Starting Menus Again

We’ve had some major things going on recently, good and bad, but also bank account draining. When we were lower on the pay scale, I always did menus because I needed to watch money closely. I’m going to start doing this again, at least for a few months to build up again.

To start, I went way back to my older blogs (that are all consolidated here) and I pulled up some of those yummy, less expensive recipes. I’ll update the blog/add recipes if I change anything, I may take some new pictures since Kaelyn & Halie are SO TINY in the old ones! Watch for updates! Until then, Here is the menu for the next 7 days, linked to my original posts. One will be different, because I’m turning my stuffed bell peppers into a soup because I’m in NC and this hurricane is yelling “Soup weather!” at us this week. So this menu is 5 yummy meals of soup, stew, and heartiness!

A Mom with a Coffee cup ‘s Menu 10/2- 10/8
Country Captain over rice
Chuck Wagon Stew
White Faux-sagne (currently links to old blog)
“Unstuffed” Bell Pepper Soup (coming soon)
Easy Chicken Stew
plus 2 nights of leftovers mixed in because the stew and soup make a lot!


Meal Plan Monday May 14

With very few days until the move actually starts in earnest I’ve got to get back into meal planning so I can get the most tasks done with minimal effort.

I have packed up my kitchen, keeping out what I thought I would need and in cooking a full, SIMPLE meal on the stove I kept reaching for things I had packed up. So this week I’m going back to the crock pot – ALL WEEK!! I’m also using what is already in the freezer (less to move!) so that means lots of chicken!

Monday & Tuesday: Second Chance Meals Chicken Enchiladas & Enchilada Bean Soup
Wednesday: BBQ Rubbed Crock Pot Chicken
Thursday: Chuckwagon Stew
Friday: Four Bean Chili
Saturday: MOVING DAY #1! We’ll eat somewhere, at some time… I promise?
Sunday: Leftovers or Creamy Farmhouse Garden Soup

I’ll also be adapting a few of these recipes. I pulled these from OLD blog posts before we started eating healthier, so I am going to do my best to adapt them to something a litte more suotableto match teh P90X@ meal plan we’ve been eating.

  • Less salt (the BBQ Rub has 1/4 cup!!!!!)
  • Less fats (including whole milks, butters, & creams)
  • More whole grains, like brown rice, etc.

I’ll update the recipes in a new post if I make any major changes, otherwise I’ll just add a note to the original. 🙂


Chicken Barley Soup

Those of you that know me well know that I never follow a recipe to a T. I have been doing well following the P90X2 recipes but we’ve been using them since January so I wanted to mix it up a bit. This came out even better than expected! I am AMAZED! I even had it for breakfast today! what?!?! It’s good! 

Chicken Barley Soup
Serves 6-8
Time till serving: approximately 1 hour

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1 tsp original Mrs. Dash
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (*optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2TBSP olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless -chicken breast, diced small or chopped in processor (leave it out and it’s a great vegetarian dish!)
  • 1 qt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 c barley
  • 2 handfuls snap peas, snapped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can white beans (cannoli, great northern, etc), do not drain
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
  • water, as needed
  1. Saute onion, carrots, celery, garlic, dry herbs, and seasonings in olive oil over medium heat.
  2. When onions become transparent (5-10 minutes) add chicken and cook until opaque.
  3. Add in broth, tomatoes, and barley. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add water as needed to keep it approximately 1″ above the ingredients.
  5. Reduce to a simmer, cover loosely with a lid, and stir occasionally for 40 minutes.
  6. Add peas, beans, and potatoes and return to simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes and barley are tender. (Barley will have a little “chew” to it,)
You’ll love it, I promise! 

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Crockpot Potato Soup


  • 3 lbs shredded or diced frozen potatoes (thawed), or fresh peeled & diced. (Divide this into 2lbs and 1 lb.)
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen cauliflower, thawed & chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 large shredded carrot
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb diced extra-lean ham
  • 1-2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock (enough to cover, +/- more/less to desired consistency)
  • 1/2-1 cup flour (gluten free flour mixes work GREAT but you may have to simmer them longer to achieve a creamy texture)
  • 1/4 oil or butter
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • seasonings to taste (salt, seasoning blends, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and/or herbs de provence are all good add in options)


  1. In crock pot combine 2 lbs potatoes, cauliflower, celery, onion, carrots, garlic, & ham.
  2. Add broth to cover by 1″ and cook on low 6-8 hours; It can remain on low afterwards until you are ready for step 3.
  3. In a nonstick skillet on stove combine butter/oil and enough flour to make a thin paste. Cook on medium-low for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk in half & half until completely combined then add parsley & black pepper. 
  5. Add to crock and season to taste.
  6. Stir in additional 1lb of potatoes.
  7. Allow to cook on high for another 30-60 minutes to thicken.
  8. When potatoes are cooked, stir in cheese and add broth until desired consistency.
  9. Allow to warm through again and serve.
  • If cooking on stove top, process remains the same but time is lowered to 1-2 hours in step 2 and 15-30 minutes in step 7.
  • If using gluten free flours an additional 1 hour simmer may be needed due to the texture of the grains.
  • The add in of the 3rd lb of potatoes is to add texture and the first 2 will cook down to a creamy consistency. If you prefer more texture you can divide 1lb for step 1 and 2lbs for step 6.
  • Never allow the mixture to boil after adding cheese and half & half. It won’t spoil the soup but it will spoil the look as it will separate.
  • The cauliflower is optional but is a great way to hide it from your kids.
  • This can also be created with chopped broccoli used in place of all or half oft he potatoes.

    Until later! Anne Marie