My Crazy Little Life

ramblings of a crazy woman living her sometimes crazy life with her little family, in their little home, in a little town, in the BIG state of Texas


Posted by mycrazylittlelife on 11/09/2008

Welcome to another week of menu planning! The format I used last week didn’t quite work out for me. Several meals were switched around for various reasons which made me feel like a fraud. From now on I am just going to post in categories.

Also, last week I linked a recipe for Beef & Barley soup, but it‘s not the one I use. It’s from All You magazine but I could not find it online. I was just too lazy to type it out. Today, I feel like typing it out. Lucky you. And because my world would crash around my ankles if I followed a recipe exactly as listed, my notes are in parentheses….as if you couldn’t figure that out.

Beef and Barley (or rice) Soup

Prep: 5 minutes    Cook: 7 hours     Serves: 8     Cost per Serving: @$2.23
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 10 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 lb lean beef stew meat, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 6 cups canned low sodium beef broth (I use water & bouillon granules)
  • 2 carrots, chopped (I use baby carrots)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I use crushed because I have a child who hates tomato chunks!)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I double this amount)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (I use 1 tsp…why even bother with a ½ tsp ?)
  • 2/3 cup pearl barley (or brown rice. Also, I use a whole cup.)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Warm 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have released their water. About 7 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into your crock pot.

Add the other Tbsp of vegetable oil into the skillet and add beef. Cook, stirring about 5 minutes. When all beef is browned, scrape it into your crock pot.

Pour @ a cup of broth into the skillet to scrape any browned bits and pour into the crock pot as well. Add carrots, tomatoes, seasonings and barley to slow cooker. Cover with remaining broth. Stir, cover and cook on low until meat is tender. 6 to 7 hours.

Per Serving: 448 calories, 28 g fat, 82 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 26 g protein, 24 g carb, 899 mg sodium.

This is a tasty, filling soup that also freezes well.

On to this week…

~breakfasts~ cereal with fruit (2x), muffins of some sort, oatmeal (2x), pancakes, Breakfast Bake

~dinners~ sandwiches (cold x1, grilled x1), soup from the freezer, ‘snack trays’, hot dogs & mac & cheese, leftovers


ham with red-eye gravy, eggs, toast

lasagna from the freezer, salad

chicken enchilada casserole (roll over from last week), Spanish rice

pasta with grilled chicken breasts and broccoli, applesauce

pulled pork sandwiches, Cole slaw

homemade pizza, salad

As a treat, I’d also love to make these:

Belinda’s No-Fuss Peanut Butter Bars (also from All You magazine)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter, preferably chunky
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, peanut butter and egg together in a bowl. Spoon mixture into an ungreased 8-by-8-inch pan. Press mixture until it is even.  Bake until gloss has left top of cookies, about 10 minutes. Turn off oven.  Sprinkle chocolate on top; return to oven (it will still be warm) for a few minutes.  Remove from oven, spread melted chocolate, let cool and cut into bars.

You know, because we need to test them before I can add them to my ‘Christmas Baking’ list. What are you planning this week? MPM is hosted by 


2 Responses to “MPM”

  1. From the Powell Lily Pad said

    i suppose you liked the soup well? Dave likes beef barley, I’ll have to try this one out!
    i posted my plan, but it’s not thorough. I’m trying to get better planned, but w. Dave’s schedule up in the air, I never know when he may be home. So I’ve done cooking and a lot of freezing lately! The PB bars look great. I may have to try too. Have a great week!

  2. […] beef and barley soup, crusty french bread […]

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