Month: January 2017

Weekly Menu Planner

I don’t know about you, but when I put something in writing I stick to it. Maybe it comes from being a teacher and all those years of lesson plans — knowing that if I wrote it down it was my goal to get everything in those little blocks completed to the best of my ability by the end of the week. Sometimes everything was completed in order and other times it wasn’t. That’s how I feel about my Menu Plan.

I generally do my meal planning on Thursday or Friday so that I can make sure I have everything I need for the week in the house by Sunday.  If you’re feeling really ambitious, plan for two weeks at a time and you won’t have to think about “what’s for dinner” for two whole weeks! That’s actually my favorite way to meal plan. I like to have our schedule handy while planning so that I know what will work best for certain days. For example, since my husband is in retail management, if he has to close the store and won’t be home for dinner I won’t plan a roast or something that I know he would enjoy since he won’t be home.

If you’re someone who has a grocery store that offers delivery, like I do, I love planning my menu, getting my grocery list made and then placing my order. I just click, click, click — and then wait for delivery. Everything shows up and I’m ready to go for the next two weeks. I also find that shopping this way saves us money. In addition to no impulse buys, I can shop for the best price without standing in the aisle comparing products.

You can grab my FREE Menu Plan and Grocery List Printable here: Menu Planner

Give it a try! And don’t worry if you don’t make everything on the day you have it written. It’s okay. I just like knowing there IS a plan and if I want to switch it up, that’s fine too.

Oh, and feel free to put “Pizza Night” or “Leftover Night” on there – you’re entitled to a night off!

Happy Planning!

-Denise

 

 

 

Crowd-Pleasing Pepperoni Bread

Whether it’s the holidays or an upcoming football party, I figured this was the perfect time to share this simple recipe. It’s a favorite around here and it’s always on the menu when we’re having a party. I don’t know if you noticed, but there are three large loaves in the photo above. And guess what? You can make those three big loaves for less than twenty bucks and in about an hour! (Minus thaw time.) Say what?! Oh, and you only need THREE ingredients. You can thank me for this later.

You’ll need:

  • 3 loaves frozen bread dough
  • 1 lb Sliced Pepperoni
  • 1 lb (16 oz) Provolone Cheese

Directions:

  • Using a pastry brush, coat bread dough in vegetable oil. Let thaw and rise for 6 hours. (I place each frozen loaf on a cookie sheet with nonstick foil.)
  • Once bread is ready, flour your surface and roll each loaf out with a rolling pin. Just roll it out in as close to a square shape as possible – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  • Place pepperoni on dough – leave about an inch all the way around.
  • Place cheese layer on top of pepperoni.
  • Add another layer of pepperoni on top of the cheese.
  • Roll bread up into a loaf and close the ends nicely.
  • Place back on cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350° for 40 minutes until golden brown.

That’s all there is to it! Every time I serve this someone wants the recipe. It’s simple, delicious, and inexpensive to make.  (Just don’t count the calories!)

Enjoy!

Easy Spice Jar Makeover

I decluttered my entire kitchen last week. Every cabinet is organized and the countertops are empty again – except for the things that need to stay out. I kept looking at my spice rack and thinking that it should just go. You see, I’ve had this metal spice rack for about 5 years and I just love how slim and decorative it is, but the jars it held came from a popular brand that, quite honestly, I can no longer afford to purchase. On top of that, I just don’t use them very often. I’m always reaching for my 99 cent grocery store spices, but the jars aren’t very pretty. They are all different sizes and the labels don’t match. So rather than toss the spice rack, I thought I should try to put it to good use. Maybe it would make me feel better about it sitting there. I mean, I am pretty crafty, so this shouldn’t be too hard! ; )

First, because I’m a little frugal, I dumped the stale, unused spices from the original jars and then soaked them in a pot of water with some dish soap to try to loosen the labels. After they soaked, I scraped the labels off and let the jars dry out .

Next, I headed to computer and created a label for each jar. I chose to make them 6.75″ long (just long enough to wrap with a teensy overlap) and 2″ high. I just inserted a background and typed a text box and BAM! Done. Took all of about 30 seconds. (I used Photoshop, but really any program would do – you could even use Word.)

 

Once I had my labels created – and I just printed on regular white copy paper, nothing fancy – I neatly cut each one. Then I cut a strip of Transparent Peel & Stick adhesive covering and placed it over the labels. I left about 1/4″ all the way around for some extra “sticky.” I wrapped each jar with the label and VOILA!

I am in LOVE with my “new” Spice Rack and it didn’t cost me anything except the hour it took me to make it over. Even if you don’t have a Spice Rack, you could totally jazz up your jars! I’m already thinking of what I can make labels for next!

 

 

 

Chicken Alfredo Soup

It was a cold, damp, and dreary day here – the perfect day for one of my favorite comfort foods. This soup is absolutely amazing – it’s creamy and delicious and has two of my favorite ingredients: chicken and alfredo sauce. The best part about this soup is you can have it on the table in under an hour.  I, personally, like to peel and cube the potatoes earlier in the day (just put them in a pot of water and cover) and dice up the veggies too and leave them in the fridge. So how do you make this delicious soup?  Here ya go:

You will need:

  • Boneless Chicken Breast (I use 3-4)
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • 32 oz Chicken Broth
  • 2 Jars of your favorite Alfredo Sauce
  • Garlic
  • Onion Powder
  • Basil

{I use the frozen garlic cubes and basil cubes, but I also add garlic powder to taste. I use onion powder too.}

If you notice, I don’t have measurements for any of the ingredients – I just add enough for us.
We like a lot of potatoes, so I typically cube up about 7 medium size potatoes. I use about a cup and a half of carrots and celery.
1. Wash, peel, and cube potatoes
2. Chop carrots
3. Chop celery
4. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, garlic, onion, and basil to your soup pot.
5. Cook until potatoes are almost done.
6. While veggies are cooking, fry up chicken breasts and cut into pieces.
7. When potatoes are just about cooked, add 2 jars of Alfredo Sauce and Chicken to the pot.
8. Cook just long enough to finish cooking potatoes and to warm everything together.
Serve with Italian Bread. {I love to dip the bread into my soup!}

You can also add broccoli and/or red peppers to the mix – we just prefer it without those.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do! It’s always a good “snow day” dinner!

xoxo, ? Denise

 

 

Hello world!

Thanks for stopping by. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Denise and I am a daughter, sister, wife, and mom. I’m a former Catholic school teacher turned stay-at-home mom. The name “Happy Little Wife” is fitting because without becoming a wife, I would have never become mom and that right there – that has made me so incredibly happy.

I am a bit of a mess. Although, most people think I have it all together because of all that I do. I menu plan and cook, coupon, bake, garden, clean, run my own handmade business, and somehow always end up doing direct sales as a hobby. In addition, my husband and I have chosen to homeschool our children. But back to the part about me being a mess. I am. Things get crazy around here and clutter happens. I go on a little mini rampage and get things back in order.

I’m a perfectionist and I tend to overthink things waaaay too much. I’m extremely sensitive. I can get a little snippy and say things I don’t mean. And then I’ll most likely cry about it later. I care too much and I love unconditionally.

So why this blog? I’ve always loved to write and I have made it one of my goals this year to spend a little time doing something for me. I’ve created about three blogs over the past ten years, all of which had one post and then I never wrote again. I’m making a promise to myself to keep up with this. I’m looking forward to sharing what I do and how I do it. Whether it be a recipe, organization tip, a homeschool activity, or some other random rambling because I just need to get it out. This is where you’ll find it.

I hope you’ll join me on my journey.

xoxo ? Denise

 

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