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September Menu - Menu Plan Monthly

I hope everyone has been enjoying this wonderful Labor Day weekend. I will keep this post short and sweet! Today I have my September Menu Plan for y'all. As usual recipes in red are linked recipes, and recipes noted with (New) are ones that I am working on and hoping to post in the future. I hope you find something you like.

 

September 2014 Dinner Menu

Ma maws Dorito Beef Casserole, Flour Tortillas & Fresh Cantaloupe
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (New) & Cilantro Lime Rice 
Grilled Lemon Chicken (New) Baked Potatoes & Grilled Zucchini 
Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Texas Toast & Salad
Chicken Ranch Tacos & Sopa De Conchas (Mexican Pasta)
Logan Country Hamburgers & Sweet Potato Fries
Barbecue Chicken & Bacon Pizza & Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Chicken Pot Pie & Salad
Fall Off The Bone Ribs, Baked Beans & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes 
Oriental Chicken Pasta  & Baked Crab Rangoon Wontons
Honey Pecan Pork Chops (New), Roasted Broccoli & Skillet Potatoes 
Friendship Casserole, Salad & Peas & Carrots
Red Beans & Rice & Cornbread
Amish Chicken & Rice (New), Roasted Veggies & Rolls 
Smoked Ham, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Grilled Corn & Watermelon (Labor Day)
Cheesy Hash brown Casserole W/Ham , (Leftover Ham)  Buttery Crisp Green Beans  
Ham Fried Rice (Leftover Ham) & Egg Rolls 
30 Minute Pumpkin Chili & Corn Muffins 
Teriyaki Meatballs (New), Brown Rice & Sweet & Sour Green Beans
Pasta Carbonara (Whole Grain Pasta), Steamed Carrots & Salad
Copy Cat Arbys Ham & Cheddar Melts, Tater Tots & Yogurt Fruit Salad 
All-In-One Crock Pot Pork Chop Dinner
Ground Beef Stroganoff, Brown Rice & Baked Acorn Squash
Breakfast Night (King Hawaiian French Toast, Bacon & Eggs)
Stuffed Bell Peppers, Salad & Fresh Fruit 
Pizza Skillet Bake , Green Beans & Salad
Not My Mama's Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes & Brown Sugar Carrots
Sticky Chicken FingersMacaroni & Cheese & Fruit Salad
Soup & Sub Sandwich Night 


Desserts: 
The Best Apple Crisp Ever
Apple Fritters

Crock Pot Chocolate Cake W/Vanilla ice Cream (New)
Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Pie

     


Labor Day Recipe: Red, White & Blueberry Angel Fluff

Today is the first day of school for my kids, so summer break is officially over!!!! Growing up I remember our summer break started at the end of May, and we didn't return to school until after Labor Day. I always enjoyed getting three full months of summer vacation! For my kids they're in school until the first week of June and return by the end of August.

 
Throughout summer we always have celebrations for Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. Most times it's a cookout, picnic or a barbecue with friends and family. Labor day is not only a national holiday set aside for working men and woman, but it also represents the end of summer and the beginning of fall. In Texas that calls for a celebration! It's still pretty hot, but fall is coming!!!!

As a family we look forward to the three-day Labor Day weekend. The kids have their first week of school behind them, and my husband and I look forward to time off from work. A cookout is usually on the agenda as well as some much needed family time. I always make a festive dessert in honor of the holiday, and it's usually a red, white and blue one.  

As a Walmart Mom I was asked to share a favorite Labor Day recipe with all of you. Since Labor Day is the Monday I thought I would share this fun and festive Red, White & Blueberry Angel Fluff. This dessert is perfect for any occasion, but especially yummy for patriotic holidays.

This recipe calls for just a few ingredients, and is pretty impressive when it's all said and done with. While I was at Walmart last week finishing up the kids school shopping I grabbed everything I needed to make this easy dessert. 

Start by cutting the angel food cake into small cubes and place into a large bowl. In a medium size bowl or using your kitchen aid stand mixer, add the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat until well blended. 

Fold in 2 cups of the whipped topping reserving an additional cup for the top of the dessert. Add the angel food cake pieces and lightly toss until all pieces are covered. Quarter the strawberries and combine with the pie filling. In a large clear glass bowl or trifle bowl add half of the angel food cake to the bottom of the dish. 

Add 3/4 of the strawberry mixture over the angel food cake, and half of the blueberries. Once that layer is complete, add the remaining angel food cake, strawberries mixture, blueberries, and top with the remaining one cup of whipped topping. 

Garnish with additional berries and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. This dessert is so pretty with the red, white and blue layers. Enjoy!!!!




Red, White & Blueberry Angel Fluff

1 - 10 oz Bakery Ready Angel Food Cake, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 - cup powdered sugar
1 - 8 oz container cream cheese, softened 
1 - 16 oz container whipped topping (cool whip), separated 
1 - 21 oz can strawberry pie filling
1 - cup fresh strawberries, quartered
2 - cups fresh blueberries

Cut the angel food cake into small cubes and place into a large bowl. In a large size bowl or using your kitchen aid stand mixer, add the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat until well blended. 

Fold in 2 cups of the whipped topping reserving an additional cup for the top of the dessert. Add the angel food cake pieces and lightly toss until all pieces are covered and set aside.

Rinse the blueberries and strawberries and pat dry. Quarter the strawberries and combine with the strawberry pie filling.

In a clear glass bowl or trifle dish add half of the angel food cake to the bottom of the dish. Add 3/4 of the strawberry mixture over the angel food cake and half of the blueberries. 


Once this layer is complete, add the remaining angel food cake, strawberries, blueberries, and top with the remaining one cup of whipped topping.  

Garnish with additional berries and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Servings: 8 - 10
Adapted from: Mommy Hates Cooking


For more great Labor Day Ideas, check out the following posts from my 
fellow Walmart Moms!


         

    Apple Pie Egg Rolls W/Caramel Dipping Sauce

    Summer is finally winding down, and back to school is quickly approaching. August has been unseasonably cooler in North Texas which has been a welcome relief. With all the rain and cooler temps (high 80's - Low 90's) I can't help but to think of fall.   

    For Texas fall doesn't officially start temperature wise until late October, but apple season begins in August for most parts. We have a pick your own apple orchard, but picking doesn't begin until September, so I will be relying on store bought apples for now. Apples are one of my favorite fruits to bake with, because they're so versatile.

     
    Last September I mentioned that I partnered with Marzetti to develop a few recipes using their products, and would be sharing them with all of you. Well, today is my last post and it's a doozie!!!!  Since fall will be here before we know it I made an easy fall inspired recipe! These Apple Pie Egg Rolls pictured above have been floating around Pinterest for quite some time now and I've been dying to make them. 

    I used my own recipe for apple pie filling, and added Marzetti's® Old Fashioned Caramel Dip as a yummy dipping sauce. I think the addition of the caramel dip took these apple dessert rolls over the top!  This recipe is really simple to make. After the apple filling is cooked and cooled then comes the fun part of filling the egg rolls. 

    All it takes is a little stuffing, tucking, folding and rolling. Use the guide on the back of the egg roll wrappers for step by step directions on filling and rolling.     

    Once the egg roll wrappers are stuffed you can fry or bake them. I prefer to fry them, but use your own preference. I have including baking instructions in the cook's notes at the end of the recipe. 

    Look at all that gooey apple goodness! These are the perfect individual sized apple pies. Don't forget the caramel dipping sauce.  





    Apple Pie Egg Rolls W/Caramel Dipping Sauce
    {mommyskitchen.net}

    Ingredients: 
    3 - 4 - apples peeled and chopped 

    1/3 - cup granulated sugar
    2 - tablespoons brown sugar
    2 - teaspoon cinnamon

    1- tablespoon cornstarch
    1/4 - cup water

    1/2 - teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 - tablespoon butter
    10 - 12 - egg roll wrappers
    Canola or vegetable oil for frying
    cinnamon sugar
    Marzetti Old Fashioned Caramel Dip 

    Directions: 
    Peel and dice the apples small and place in a medium size pot. In a small bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch. Sprinkle over apples; add water, vanilla, and dot with butter.

    Cover and bring mixture to a slow boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer until the apples are tender and the mixture starts to thicken up.  


    Remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool.  Lay one egg roll wrapper on a clean surface or cutting board. Place 2 -3 tablespoons of apple filling onto each egg roll wrapper. 

    Fold bottom corner over filling and then fold side corners and roll (use the back of the package for a guide). 

    Brush a bit of water on the top corner and sides to seal the wrapper before completely rolling up. Continue with remaining filling and wrappers.   

    In a large skillet pre heat the oil to 350 degrees. Place the egg rolls flap side down and fry a few at a time turning occasionally until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. 


    Sprinkle egg rolls with a bit of cinnamon sugar and serve with caramel dipping sauce. 

    To make the caramel dip easier to drizzle first, place the caramel dip in a microwave safe dish and heat on the defrost setting for 20 - 30 seconds. Drizzle caramel topping over egg rolls before serving or use as a dipping sauce. 

    Cook's Note: These egg rolls can also be baked instead of fried. Place egg rolls on a greased baking sheet, or use a parchment paper. Bake the egg rolls at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Brush on a bit of melted butter or use a butter spray and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve alone or with caramel dipping sauce.  


    Recipe yields: 10 - 12 Egg Rolls depending on how much filling is used


    Disclosure: I have been invited to participate in the Marzetti® ambassador program. This post is a sponsored by Marzetti® and products have been provided by them. I have been compensated for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions stated above are 100% entirely my own.

         


    BTS Teacher Survival Kit + Matching Decorative Clipboard

    The countdown to school has already begun and we officially have 3 days left until school starts. I think were all prepared and have everything we need to start out. We have purchased all of their school clothes, shoes, lunch boxes, back packs, and required school supplies.

    Throughout the year I love giving gifts to my children's teachers. Most times it's around the holiday season or for teacher appreciation week, but this year I thought it would be neat to send a little special something for the first day of school.  


    While school supply shopping at Walmart I purchased some extra supplies as I do every year. The beginning of the school year is when supplies are at their cheapest, so I always pile up on everything the kids go though rather quickly (paper, pens, pencils, etc). I grabbed a extra school supply box and a clipboard specifically to make this neat little Teacher Survival Kit & Clipboard.

    The pencil box was .97 and the clipboard came in a package of two for $3.77. I headed to the craft department and grabbed a few rolls of Duck Brand Designer Duck Tape. Back in June while in Bentonville, Ar. I attended a craft demonstration with Duck Brand and Sharpie. I had no idea you could create so many crafts using duck tape!!! I was instantly hooked! 

    My youngest son will be in 6th Grade, so I made a fun little teacher survival kit that he could give his teacher on the first day of school. I wrapped the outside top lid of the pencil box in a fun duck tape design, added a tag, and filled it with all sorts of items that his teacher could use throughout the year. 

    I packed the pencil box as full as I could get with so many different items. I have included a list below of some useful items to include in your Teacher Survival Kit.

    • Travel Size Kleenex, Germ X
    • Mini First Aid Kid or Sewing Kit
    • Gum or Mints
    • Mini Lint Roller
    • Nail File or Mini Clippers
    • Tylenol and Cough Drops
    • Hand Lotion & Chap Stick
    • Candy, Granola Bars, Protein Bars or Cookies
    • Disposable Toothbrushes
    • Mini Bottle of Mouthwash
    • Crystal Light Water Bottle Drink Packs
    • Pens, Sharpies, Pencils & Crayons
    • Microwave Popcorn
    • Starbucks or Walmart Gift Card (for teacher essentials)
    • Mini Decorative Duck Tape or Post it Notes
    • Tide to Go Pen
    • Mini Hair Spray

    Most of the items included in the kit were found in the travel size products section located in the health and beauty department.

    We had so much fun making the clipboard and survival kit that I made an additional Diva Clipboard for my daughter. We also made matching decorative pens to go with both.  

    Start by gathering your supplies (scissors, ruler, clipboard, pens, duck tape sheets and a roll of plain or patterned tape). To make the clipboard first cover each corner by taking squares of duck tape and folding them over all four corners. Cut a slice in each side of the fold. Bend down the tape around the corners and smooth. Do this to all of the corners of the clipboard. 

    Take pieces of duck tape and place them over the top and bottom of the clipboard.  Now take strips of duck tape and place them horizontally or vertically on the clipboard.  Slightly overlapping as you go. I started vertically, but quickly changed to horizontal, because it looked neater. Continue wrapping until the whole clipboard is covered front and back. Add some strips on the outside edge of the clipboard or add a few cut out shapes (I did hearts). 

    Finish up by wrapping tape around a ink pen for a matching touch. I think these turned out great and this project was really easy to make. Do you have any fun ideas that you could make using Designer Duck Tape?



         

    Lunch Box Fruit Water & Yogurt Fruit Salad + More BTS Lunch Box Ideas

    I can't believe summer is almost over! My kids will be heading back to school in 12 days. We have definitely been enjoying the lazy days of summer for sure, but I think everyone is ready to get back into a routine. We have done awesome at sticking to our dinner routine, but our lunch options are really what every one can make on their own.

    With a new school year begins Back to School Lunches. My kids pack their lunch most days with a few exceptions of purchasing school lunch on their favorite days. My youngest is picky, so he only buys on pizza or corn dog day. My daughter starts high school this year, so she will have better options for buying than Carson because she isn't picky at all.

    It's always hard not to pack the same thing when it comes to school lunches. During the summer I usually try out a few new recipes in the hopes that they will like them, and we can add them to our Lunch Box list. Over summer my kids got hooked on DIY Fruit Water

    I purchased mini water bottles and added all kinds of different fruits and refrigerated them. My kids started taking them out of the refrigerator and drinking them all on their own. We usually pack 100% juice boxes, plain water bottles or milk boxes, but I love this idea of mini fruit waters, and so do my kids. 

    Another favorite was Yogurt Fruit Salad. We had lunch at Jason's Deli and I enjoyed a yummy fruit salad from their salad bar. It was so good I asked what it was made of. I was told all it consisted of was flavored yogurt and some fruits. I went home and recreated it myself to pack in lunches. My husband even packs it in his lunch for work, so it was a big hit with everyone. 



    Yogurt Fruit Salad

    1 - 32 oz container vanilla, vanilla w/honey or strawberry yogurt
    1 - cup apples, cut into pieces
    1 - cup red or green grapes
    1 - cup blueberries
    1 - cup strawberries, cut into fourths

    Rinse all of the fruit and pat dry. Cut any fruit that needs to be cut. Combine the fruit with yogurt and mix to blend. Store in a airtight container and refrigerate for to 2 - 3 days. Separate into small storage containers for lunches. Make sure to pack a cold pack to keep the yogurt fruit salad cold.

    Cook's Note:  Use your preference on how much fruit you want to add (you can use more or less fruit). 




    Lunch Box Fruit Water

    8 oz store bought water bottles or pop top water bottle
    fresh fruit, chopped

    fresh mint, optional

    Rinse all of the fruit you will be using. Add chopped fruit to 3/4 filled water bottles. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Pack in lunches that have a cold pack added to keep water cool. Fruit infused water will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated. Our favorite fruits to add are peaches, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, lemons, apples, blackberries and grapes. 

    Cook's Note: If you are worried about possible chocking cut the fruit big enough to fit through the bottle and it won't come out. You can also pack a straw in their lunch box or use a water bottle from home with a pop top.

    I pack a lot of lunches (including my husbands), so I like to have everything I need on hand. For dry ingredients and snacks I prefer to use Glad Mini Rounds or snack size bags. The min round snack containers are bpa free, hold 4 ounces, and are priced at $2.57 for a set of 8.


    If you don't like the idea of throwing out a lot of snack bags the mini rounds are a better option. You can also use these fun reusable sandwich and snack bags from Lunchkins. They're BPA and Phthalate free, dishwasher safe and reusable. They have so many fun patterns and designs to choose from. 

    Some of our favorite items to pack in these are: Trail mix, s'more trail mix, granola, dry cereal, air popped pop corn, gold fish crackers, dried fruit, nuts, animal crackers, teddy grahams, pretzels, healthy oatmeal peanut butter ballsdips, peanut butter, ranch dressing or hummus for dipping veggies.
      The lids easily snap in place to hold all the snacks in one container. I don't recommend these containers for liquid foods (yogurts, applesauce, etc). See below for the best containers. If it is a small amount such as dressings, peanut butter or hummus for dipping vegetables these work fine. I just don't think they're a good option of more than that. 

      I do use the snack bags for a few items such as pretzels or to bag fresh vegetables (celery, carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers) for dipping. I also use the snack size bags for sliced apples that have been soaked in sprite or juice to keep them from browning. 

      I prefer these Rubbermaid TakeAlongs for liquid items. They come in a package of 4 priced at $2.57 and hold 8 ounces. I love these containers because they twists shut, so nothing leaks. This is super important for liquids. These containers are also microwave re heatable, freezer and dishwasher safe and are BPA free. I found all of the Glad bowls and the Rubblermaid ones in the home department at Walmart in the storage container isle.

      I like to use these containers to make pudding cups, Jell-O cups and Yogurt cups. It's so much cheaper to make your own instead of purchasing the store bought cups. one 32 ounce container of yogurt runs about $1.97, and a 48 ounce jar of applesauce is $1.68. 

      Boxed Jell-O mixes and instant pudding cost pennies per box. Plus they come in a variety of flavors and come in sugar free. A few of our other favorites are, fresh fruit, canned fruit in juice, salad, cottage cheese, pasta or fruit salad, cold lunch box noodles, diced lunch meat and cheeses. 

      Besides lunch packs I also love these Bento style lunch boxes. I bought one for each of my kids. My daughter has the Rubbermaid Lunch Box and my son prefers the Blue Cool Gear Collapsible Bento Container

      The Blue Cool Gear is very convenient because it's collapsible. You can store a sandwich and juice box on the bottom along with a snack. The small containers are perfect for fruits, cheese cubes, gold fish, chips or trial mix. Each container has individual lids and everything stacks and locks into place. The solid blue part under the fruits is the ice pack that keeps everything nice and cool. My son loves this lunch box container. 

      My son loves store bought Uncrustables, but I dislike the price and all the preservatives. DIY Uncrustables are easy to make and so much better than the store bought ones. My kids prefer peanut butter & jelly on whole grain bread, so I usually make up a large batch, and place them in the freezer so they'e easy to grab. 

      To make Peanut Butter Uncrustables add a light layer of peanut butter, sun butter, nut butter on each slice of bread (this keeps the jelly from soaking through the bread).
      Add about a tablespoon of a good quality jelly (I use homemade) in the middle of one slice, add the bread slices together and cut with the Uncrustable sandwich maker

      Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm. Once the sandwiches are frozen place them in a large Ziplock bag and remove sandwiches as needed. besides PB & J here are a few other options. Peanut butter and honey, peanut butter and bananas, Nutella & bananas, and cream cheese and jelly. I have also included a few other favorites that my kids like to pack. 


    • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls 
    • Lunch Meat Wraps (Tortillas or Wraps) with cream cheese or hummus & veggies
    • Ham or Turkey Pin Wheels
    • Pepperoni Pizza Tortilla Pinwheels
    • BLT's, Egg Salad or Tuna Sandwiches 
    • Turkey or Ham and Cheese Sliders on King Hawaiian Rolls
    • Meat & Cheese Tortilla Roll Ups 
    • Sandwich on a Stick (lunch meat, cheese & bead on a stick)
    • DIY Meat & Cheese LunchablesDIY Pizza Lunchables
    • Pepperoni Pizza Cups


    • I always keep a variety of fresh fruit on the counter to grab and toss in lunch boxesIf the kids are helping or making their own lunches it's easier to have everything in eyes view.

      For sweet treats we keep everything in a basket in the pantry. This is another great option for kids helping or making their own lunches. Items we keep on hand are a variety of granola bars, cereal bars, rice cakes, breakfast biscuits, raisins, yogurt covered raisins, 100% juice snacks, fruit leather, rice krispie treats, homemade bagged muffins, homemade cereal bars, granola bites and homemade cookies. 

      Whew! Well there you go and that was a long list. Hopefully you can get a little lunch box inspiration from my post.  Happy Back to School Time! For more lunch box ideas check fellow Walmart moms and their BTS Lunchbox posts.







           


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