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Monday, January 21, 2013

Menu for 1/21/13-1/27/13 and Pizza baked spaghetti

I have a tendency to do my meal planning as far in advance as possible.  I plan out an entire month at a time. I actually already have February planned out; I did it over a week ago.  Since I do most of my grocery shopping for the month in one trip to Kroger and one trip to Target it helps to know exactly what I'm going to need.  However, sometimes I forget things.  I mentioned in my first post that I forget snack foods.  I never buy chips or granola bars or anything to just munch on (unless it's specifically for Bailey).  I also seem to forget to consider desserts.

I looooove to bake!  It's one of my favorite things to do.  I usually make one dessert a week.  I make some kind of cake or cupcakes or cookies or brownies (my personal favorite) on Saturday that has to last us the whole week (though it usually disappears by Wednesday).  For Christmas I got a new bundt pan so I just had to try a few new recipes.  So far this month I've made a Cream Cheese Pound Cake ( with blueberry and blackberry sauces and a Tunnel of Fudge cake ( and a boxed cake mix I had leftover from Halloween.  I'm not usually a fan of pound cake but it was delicious.  It may have changed my whole perception of pound cake.  The Tunnel of Fudge Cake was outrageous, but I hadn't planned on making it so I had to make a second trip to the store for extra ingredients.  This week I'm planning on making chocolate cupcakes.  I haven't found the recipe I want to use yet but I have most of the general ingredients that most chocolate cupcakes require.

So here is my meal plan for this week.

breakfast- cereal and dried cranberries
lunch- peanut butter and jelly
dinner- pizza baked spaghetti

breakfast- yogurt and cereal
lunch- Nana will provide lunch
dinner- Yaya will provide dinner

breakfast- oatmeal with dried cranberries
lunch- grilled cheese
dinner- baked chicken with mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and green beans

breakfast- omelets
lunch- leftovers
dinner- calzones with sausage and pepperoni

breakfast- oatmeal with raisins
lunch- grilled cheese
dinner- baked chicken sandwiches with french fries and macaroni and cheese

breakfast- bacon, eggs, and biscuits
lunch- leftovers

breakfast- bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches
lunch- undecided
dinner- Admiral will provide dinner

Bailey and I had to make a grocery store run today because somehow I have made more bread in the past 2 weeks than I had anticipated making for the whole month.  As a result I have run out of yeast and flour.  We also had to buy more juice for Bailey because she had an allergic reaction to the new flavors I got for her a few weeks ago and ran out of juice twice as fast.  I am dying to go ahead and start shopping for next month too because Kroger has boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.99/lb and boneless pork loin for $1.99/lb.  They also have 8 oz blocks of cheese on sale for $1.99.  Our family goes through about 10 lbs of chicken in one month and I try to keep about 6 blocks each of mozzarella and mild cheddar on hand because we add cheese to everything.  It is cheaper and more space efficient for us to buy our cheese in blocks.  I slice some of it for sandwiches and shred some of it for recipes.  I'm not a big fan of American cheese slices so I prefer to use cheddar for grilled cheese.

So today during Bailey's nap I emptied our dishwasher and then I put together dinner so I could throw it in the oven when Aaron got home.  Just before she woke up I cleaned all of the dishes from cooking and made her a sandwich for her lunch.

Tonight's dinner is kind of a take on something that used to be on the menu ages ago when I worked at Fazoli's.  Their pizza baked spaghetti had spaghetti noodles, marinara sauce, crumbled sausage, mozzarella cheese, and sliced pepperonis.  It was made in individual sized trays and baked in the oven.  I found it difficult to eat because of the melted cheese over the long spaghetti noodles so I make mine with penne pasta.

Pizza Baked Spaghetti

1 box of pasta of your choice (I use penne or ziti) cooked according to package directions
1 jar of pasta sauce of your choice (we buy cheap Kroger brand marinara sauce)
1 roll of sausage OR 1 lb of italian sausage (not the links, I use Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage)
8 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
15-20 pepperonis

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.  Be careful not to overcook the pasta because it will have to bake and can become too mushy.  Drain the pasta and pour it into the baking dish.  Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium heat until browned and layer over the pasta.  Pour the entire jar of sauce over the sausage.  Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top.  Layer the pepperonis over the top and cover with the remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese on top is brown and bubbly.

You could certainly use homemade sauce or pasta but I like this dish because I can have it put together and in the oven in less than 20 minutes.  I like to serve it with garlic toast and salad, though I'm the only one in this house who will eat a salad.  Seriously, this is so easy.  Make it... Soon!

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