Plannin’ Menus & Hittin’ Goals

In addition to us (trying to) be responsible by menu planning, I also made it one of my Life List goals to learn 50 new recipes. No time line given, but just learn 50 new ones. I figure at the end of each month, I’ll let you know how many I’ve accomplished (and which ones). But first, this week on the menu planning agenda, we have:

1. Rachael Ray Pretzel Chicken (yes, this is on the menu again since we never actually got to it before)

2. Goat cheese and apple salad (of my own devising)

… and that’s it. We’re going out to dinner tomorrow night to take advantage of NYC Restaurant Week and to celebrate our engagementversary (since it’s on Feb 8), and we have a TON of leftovers from this week to finish up.

So, in January I made 7 new recipes. All were great, and were added to the sheet protectors in my binder (yes I am OCD). Here they are! (recipe linked if I could)

1. Keys-Style Citrus Chicken – from Better Homes & Garden’s Easy Everyday Cooking book.

2. Kyla Roma’s Easy French Onion Soup

3. The Pioneer Woman’s Best Lasagna. Ever.

4. CrockPot Thai Curry w/ Chicken – from A Year of Slow Cooking.

5. The Pioneer Woman’s Spaghetti w/ Artichokes & Tomatoes

6. Cheeseburger Soup – from the BHG Ultimate Slow Cooker Book.

7. S’mores Fudge – from Baking Bites.

I tweeted about making the Cheeseburger Soup and S’mores Fudge yesterday and was asked for the recipes by a few of you. You can click the link for the S’mores Fudge recipe above – oh holy crap it’s good. And so easy to make. Even if you don’t have a double boiler but fashioned one out of a sauce pan and metal bowl like me. (It works, just don’t burn yourself like I did a few times.) I brought some to my friend Anita’s house for girly crafty night, and then to my parents house today to go over wedding flowers, and everyone LOVED it.

S'mores Fudge Cheeseburger Soup
S’mores Fudge & Cheeseburger Soup… the picture of healthy eating.

The Cheeseburger soup I made for late lunch/early dinner yesterday in the CrockPot (aka the love of my life… besides Dave.) I can’t find the recipe online, so here it is below:

– 1 lb ground beef
– 1/2 cup chopped onion
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 cups 1/2 inch pieces peeled russet potatoes (2 medium)
– 1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrot (1 medium)
– 1/4 cup ketchup
– 2 tablespoons yellow mustard (I used spicy brown – it’s what we had)
– 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh serrano chile pepper (we couldn’t find any, so I just used a lot of pepper flakes)
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp ground pepper (I eyeballed both the salt and pepper)
– 2 14-oz cans beef broth
– 10.75oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
– 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (approx 4 oz)
– dill pickle spears (optional)

1. In a large skillet cook meat, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.
2. In a 4-5 quart slow cooker (mine is 6 qts) combine meat mixture, potatoes, carrots, ketchup, mustard, serrano pepper, salt and pepper. Stir in broth and cheddar cheese soup.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 11 hours, or on high-heat for 5-5 1/2 hours. (I cooked on high.)
4. Top each serving with cheddar cheese, and if desired, serve w/ pickles.

ALSO – cool the soup off before taking a bite! The potatoes will be VERY HOT and I learned this the hard way, causing a blister to form on the roof of my mouth which was DISGUSTING and I never want to experience that again. GROSS!

Other than causing damage to my mouth, this soup was super yummy, very filling and had a nice kick from the pepper flakes. It’s also not a super creamy soup, which I was kind of expecting from the condensed cheddar cheese soup. It had more of a beef stew consistency, and adding the shredded cheddar cheese on top was delicious.

Happy Cooking! (Or baking!)


  1. OoOo I think I am going to make that fudge for the super bowl!

  2. Hope you enjoyed the soup =)

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these. I seriously thought about the S'More Fudge all weekend =) And the soup? Just yum.

    Kudos on the meal planning/learning new recipe thing, too. 7 recipes in one month is great. (And I also have a binder that I keep things in, in plastic sheets. OCD chefs unite!)

  4. Now I'm hungry again!

  5. I want that s'more fudge… yum!! Your engagementversary is the same day as my birthday!!! Yay!

  6. I know Rachael Ray is freaking annoying as hell, but her recipes are really good. And easy. Which is my favorite.


  7. I need that fudge. Now.

  8. Neeed to make that soup asap! You're making me hungry and I JUST ATE! ๐Ÿ™

  9. There is nothing wrong with having your recipes in sheet protectors in a binder. At least I hope not because that is where mine reside! It makes it so much better because then you can't get ingredients on it when preparing!

  10. I wish you'd post more dessert recipes! I've tried several of the ones you've posted and I always eagerly await more!



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