Menu Planning - Winter Themes

Mondays - Breakfast for Dinner
(recipe also at the bottom of this post)

Tuesdays - Calzone Night
I make calzones, or sometimes homemade pizza or stromboli, every Tuesday night.  They are a favorite here, and SO easy!  

For the dough:
5 cups flour
2T oil
2 cups warm water
2 1/4 t yeast
1t salt

Mix the yeast & water together, then add the other ingredients.  I use the dough hook in my KA to knead it.

That makes two large calzones.  I split the dough in half, then roll it into a rectangle.  Layer ham, pepperoni, provolone cheese, and mozarella cheese.  Do not be stingy with the cheese - use lots of provolone.  Sprinkle with italian seasoning, salt, and garlic, then fold in half and seal the edges (I use the point of a large knife).  Slice slits into the top to let the steam out, sprinkle sea salt and italian seasoning on the outside.

  Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes - watch for the crust to start to brown.

I heat up spaghetti sauce and serve it on the side for dipping, and usually serve this with salad, and a fruit salad, canned peaches, or applesauce.

Wednesdays - Taco Night
Wednesday is my shopping and errands day, so it makes the most sense to have taco night when I have fresh produce to work with.  :-)

Usually I cook dried beans in the crock pot with some salt, pepper, and garlic and hot sauce all day.  Each month I buy a huge pack of ground beef at Sam's club, brown it and season it, then separate it into quart bags and freeze it.  

We also have:
avocado (our good cholesterol is low, avocados help raise it)
sour cream
tortilla chips
whole wheat tortillas
shredded cheese
hot sauce

Everything is set out on the table, and everyone can make their own concoctions.  Tacos, burritos, taco salad, a layered dip..  whatever they feel like putting together.  

Thursdays - Pasta Night (getting use out of my KA pasta making attachment!)

Spaghetti and meatballs
(I've already made fettucini, ravioli, lasagna, and a chicken noodle soup, but I have yet to make spaghetti with this!)

Friday - Beef & potatoes (think hamburgs, steaks, etc -)
steaks, twice baked potatoes, brocolli
and cheesecake for dessert

Saturday - Soup and sandwiches

Karen Ehman has a free pdf file of ideas for "From Sunday Supper to Monday Soup".  Recipes included.  

Another Pioneer Woman Recipe - Ranch Chicken Sandwiches
(recipe also at the bottom of this post)

I don't know what kind of soup I will make yet - I often just throw soup together based on what sounds good/what leftovers I want to use up.

Sunday - Traditional Sunday Dinner.  Usually involves a Turkey, a chicken, a roast, a pork loin, or possibly pork chops layered in stuffing or a lasagna.  All but the lasagna served with mashed potatoes, salad, dinner rolls and a vegetable.

Roast Chicken


Cinnamon Baked French Toast

2012 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved
Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
12 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
45 min
12 servings


French Toast:

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 1 loaf crusty sourdough or French bread
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces, plus more for serving
  • Warm pancake syrup, for serving
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, for serving
  • Special equipment: 9-by-13-inch baking pan


For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably).
For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a re-sealable plastic bag in the fridge.
When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup and sprinkle with blueberries.


Ranch Chicken Sandwiches

2012 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved
Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
2 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
15 min
8 servings


  • 4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard (or country/grainy mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Crushed red pepper, for sprinkling, optional
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, sliced in half
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • 8 soft whole grain buns


With a very sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts in half down the middle. This will result in 8 chicken breast pieces that are thinner and uniform in size.
Next, make the marinade. In a large bowl mix together the honey, mustard, paprika, salt, pepper to taste, lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes if using. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge, 2 to 4 hours.
While the chicken marinates, fry up the bacon until chewy. When finished cooking, reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon grease and pour off the rest of the grease (but do not clean the skillet).
When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the marinade and cook it in the skillet over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes each side. Brush a little reserved bacon grease on the chicken as you cook it. (Or you can grill the chicken breasts on an indoor or outdoor grill.)
When a couple of minutes grilling time are left, lay 2 pieces of bacon onto each chicken breast. Top with some Cheddar and allow it to melt on the grill (if you need to remove the chicken you can finish melting the cheese under the broiler).
Halve the rolls and immediately load with the bacon-and-cheese covered chicken.