Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another Baked Sandwich Review

Havarti, honey maple sliced chicken, honey roasted tomatoes, and cilantro lime butter smeared on Cuban bread makes for a great baked sandwich.  I should have eaten a side of vegetables or a salad...but I didn't and I'm not sorry.  Nope, not at all and my reasoning you ask?...because I only had to wash one dish when I was finished :)

Layer anything you like on a bread roll, Italian or Cuban bread {after scooping out the extra bread if desired}, wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes and call it dinner.
{toaster oven works great if you are as reluctant as I am to turn on the "real" oven in our heat wave}

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 6/27/16 and Weekly Happenings

On the menu this week, Eggplant Parmesan Stacks with Buttered Noodles

Things have been pretty hectic in my world and the heat outside has been out of control!  You would think it's September {the hottest month of the year here in 'ole Florida} and the countdown to cooler weather is just around the corner.  Unfortunately, we're not even close to that time of year and wow I can't even imagine what September is going to be like.  As a matter of fact, I should plan a trip somewhere cooler in September...hmmm, that's an idea to ponder.  
I didn't post a menu last week because I've been working or had appointments every day over the past fourteen.  Good news though, I didn't eat out not even once.  Now I have eaten a lot of weird combinations and not so balanced meals but who cares, right?  Thank God for the kindness of my family and my odd compulsion to stuff my pantry with obscure items that jump in to my grocery cart when I'm shopping. Truly, I was only lacking fresh fruit and veg since my crisper drawer was empty.  I say sometimes you just have to make it work with what you have.   I love, love fresh produce so I was really excited to restock on Saturday and spent a good part of the afternoon chopping, slicing, and preparing.  I did enough that I can confidently say I'll be in salad for at least lunches for Monday through Friday this next week.  Yay!

grilled burgers, mac and cheese, and roasted broccoli

tomatoes with greek yogurt feta sauce

toasted roasted vegetable sandwich on cuban bread..doesn't look so good but tasted great

My weekly food prep:

  1. Chopped:  mango, kiwi, tomatoes, green onions, onion, peppers
  2. Made my favorite honey roasted tomatoes
  3. Made peanut butter waffles for the freezer using Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Butter
  4. Marinated strip steaks
  5. Cooked rice for freezer for quick stir fry
  6. Made cilantro lime butter for the grilled corn
  7. Prepped campfire cones
  8. Pre Roasted Asparagus
peanut butter waffles

grilled steak, roasted asparagus, and grilled corn with cilantro lime butter

campfire cones--I want to add fresh fruit next time
heading to the store for a few more fresh items
  1. Make bacon and spinach quiche for the freezer
  2. Chop grapes
  3. Shred cheese
  4. Make pudding
  5. Chop lettuce
  6. Put cooled rice in freezer bags

Meal Ideas:
  1. Eggplant Parmesan Stacks
  2. Southwest Chicken Breasts {freezer meal} with Mango Avocado Salsa
  3. Homemade Pizza
  4. Thai Green Curry Fried Rice 
  5. Bacon and Spinach Quiche {freezer meal} and another resource for quiche
  6. Mom's Macaroni Salad-with chicken or Pesto Penne and Cheese
bacon and spinach quiche prior to freezing

A friend has an over abundance of habanero peppers in her garden and Tan has a burning desire for really hot food...he's planning on making jelly.  The recipe he's using calls for six cups of sugar.  He might just burn his face off or if he's lucky it will be a "balanced" if, lol.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 6/13/16 and Weekly Happenings

I have been all around the internet this week saving bunches of recipes that I want to try! My list for things I want to make is going to be enormous if I don't rein myself in some.  Its not a payday week, and I'm skipping the store this week so either it's substitute or make something else.  Luckily, I have lots of options regardless of what I'm in the mood for....even some freezer meals.

I had some room for creativity last week, using this recipe as inspiration for Ground Chicken and Chickpea Rice Bowl.  Oh, and I froze some leftover Basmati Rice {never did that before} another epic success like the freezing of avocado halves.

Ground Chicken and Chickpea Rice Bowl
Saute over medium high heat 1/2 of a medium chopped onion, and one cup sliced mushrooms in olive oil (a good amount) and one tbs butter until onion translucent and the mushrooms are browned on one side.  Add two large cloves of pressed garlic stirring constantly until fragrant (you may need to add a smidge more oil).  Add one can of drained and rinsed chickpeas to the pan, sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin.  Continue to cook until chickpeas start to toast.  Add 1/2 lb cooked ground chicken, 1 cup of roasted peppers, and 1 cup of honey roasted tomatoes to the pan.  Allow all to heat and flavors to meld.  Add two cups of fresh baby spinach to the pan stirring and adding approximately 1/2 cup of chicken stock to allow the spinach to wilt and cook as usual.  Serve over basmati rice or add the rice to the pan and stir fry until edges of some of the rice begin to brown.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan Cheese.  This was one tasty creation!

I've also discovered I love Hint water!  No fake sugar or fake flavoring...just water with a little somethin'.  Blackberry or Watermelon are my current favorites and I'm planning on trying a whole bunch more.

So here are my thoughts.

Chilaquiles-I'm going to bake my corn tortillas
Inside Out Smores Bars
Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey Rice Bowls-I'm using ground chicken
Meatloaf-Freezer Meal
Grilled Bone In Center Cut Pork Chops
Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes
Grilled Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Cones
Broccoli Tots
French Bread Taco Pizza
Marinated Strip Steaks

I'm hoping to get to most of these since every ingredient required I have on hand.  Have a great week.
Happy Monday!
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wednesday List

Today I'm unexpectedly off from work due to the low volume of patients.  Normally I don't work on Wednesday's but the other nurse in my office is on vacation and we cover off time for each other.  So I thought I wouldn't be home today to do anything.  Golly gee I'm happy so......

I am gleefully sipping coffee and lazing on the couch...well, until I finish this list and then feel obligated to carry out my plans.  And as a side note, I have an owl who thinks it is his personal mission to alert me {right outside my bedroom window} of the impending dawn of the day, starting at about 4:30 am.  And just for curiosities sake......Do people eat owls? really?

Last Night's Dinner--Out of the frig and ready in less than 5 minutes
Grilled chicken salad with bruschetta topped with honey roasted tomatoes

  1. Grocery Store
  2. Cold Laser Seminar
  3. Color hair
  4. Clean up the house
  5. Dollar Store for laundry stuff
  6. Cook a few things...I'll post an update
  7. Research the icehouse
  8. Water all the plants
  9. Lowes for plants on my porch?  Maybe
  10. Check my email and favorite blogger posts

That's all I'm planning on today and "who" {blankety, blankety owl} knows I might not even finish these!

**UPDATE-I called it...had a slacker bone yesterday.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grilled Chicken and Grilled Mexican Street Corn Review

I know, I picture is sideways but I couldn't adjust the landscape.  I'm certain that it is a super simple fix that I just don't know how to do.  I can run a program like nobody's business but give me a tech problem to figure out and I'm stumped!  It's like all of my worldly experience and wisdom flies out the window, lol. Thank God I have two tech minded children who just love to give their dear old Mom a hand.
{That was sarcasm if you didn't notice}

Back to the reason for this post.
Yesterday I planned a menu that utilized my grill to the fullest and guess what?  Tropical storm Colin decided to blow through my section of central Florida just about dinner time.  I braved the elements and stuck to my plan out of sheer stubbornness and determination to follow "the plan" and I'm so glad that I did.  Staying on track has set me up for a successful week of eating things I like that are home prepared and therefore {in my opinion} are healthier.
I used the Southwest Marinade for my chicken breasts and this recipe for Mexican Street Corn.  My corn doesn't look like the picture since I just painted the very tops with the mixture and didn't sprinkle any extra cheese over them.  My method is to simply grill the corn until tender {and browned somewhat} then place the cobs in a bowl with the cheese mixture blobbed on top of each piece. Cover the bowl tightly with foil and let it continue to steam its way to done perfection for about ten minutes. 
Ummm, I ate three last night.  So good.
I'll share my grilled peach dessert tomorrow...I didn't have dessert last night {can't imagine why, three pieces of corn, you think?}...but it's definitely on the agenda for tonight.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Works Well Under Pressure is my Byline

Over the weekend, I got some stuff done!  I squeezed every minute of Sunday morning almost to death with like a weird, stupid focus that I sometimes get when I want to get in the pool and I know I have adulting to do and a tropical storm is headed our way and we are in for days and days of rain. So here is what I accomplished in five teensy, weensy hours in my house.

  1. Drank coffee, set the pot for the next day
  2. Watched the rest of the movie I fell asleep on the night before
  3. Cleaned out the frig and freezer
  4. Unloaded the dishwasher
  5. Took the grapes off of the stem for storage
  6. Chopped onions, peppers {two kinds}, strawberries, peaches, mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro, and grapes
  7. Made honey roasted tomatoes
  8. Roasted peppers
  9. Made peach, raspberry, strawberry yogurt/ice cream/waffle topping.
  10. Made up lunch yogurt jars for work
  11. Packed my lunch
  12. Washed two loads of clothes and one delicate cycle, folded and then put them away
  13. Ironed four outfits for the work
  14. Made meatloaf for freezer
  15. Made hamburgers for freezer
  16. Made this marinade, then put half on three breasts in the frig to defrost and four breasts back in the freezer for next time
  17. Straightened the bathrooms, bedrooms, and living room
  18. Watered all plants
  19. Made two types of crostini
  20. Loaded the dishwasher
  21. Took out the trash and the can to the road for pickup tomorrow
  22. Made one pound of ground chicken taco meat--at least three meals for me.
  23. Got ice for the cooler {this was on the way to the pool but I'm still counting it as a task completed}
All my chopped items except the peaches and raspberries

Honey Roasted Tomatoes

Quick fruit topping as it was cooling but still steaming quite a bit

The topping made two lunch yogurt cups and two full cups to use later

Southwest marinade for the chicken breasts

Yum, crositini with olive oil and herbs

Taco Stuffed Potatoes
The taco meat is underneath {made today}, and the potatoes are from the freezer.

I surprised myself....

Friday, June 3, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 6/6/16

I took a small break from meal planning last week even though we ate at home every day and ended up rotating a few items that really needed to be eaten.  Cream cheese that had been pushed to the back of the drawer, heavy cream that had a near date, and canned pineapple {yes, really} were all saved from the garbage can only because I just so happened to clear out the pantry and refrigerator this week. Thank goodness, because it just kills me to well....throw away money.  Except for the take out subs for Tanner's birthday party, we didn't buy any outside food.  Needless to say, I'm headed to the grocery store for just about everything this week.  I can't wait to cook with a frig full of fresh vegetables so I can make yummy salads with various greens.  We ended up eating all of the "fresh" stuff about a week ago.

Frozen Avocado 
I didn't even know you could do this...I halved them, removed the pit and scooped the flesh out, put in a plastic bag, squeezed the air out, then froze them and they look GREAT!

Loved this!  I made it with lentils for my 'vegetarian for the summer' camp counselor.

I like making a menu list of ideas better than assigning a day with a meal. This just seems to work better for me especially when I'm just cooking for myself.  What I make depends a lot on how my day went at work {and what I've pre planned for the freezer} and what errands I need to run after I punch out.

Easiest Mac and Cheese
Green Goddess Dressing--maybe if I can find the fresh herbs or Orzo Salad
Summer Fruit and Spinach SaladStrawberry Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons
Taco Pizza--freezer
Mushroom Arugula Toast
Honey Roasted Tomatoes
Ultimate Grilled Pork Chops will probably brine this way because its been successful in the past
Breakfast for Dinner-scaled down for one
Chicken Marinades for grilling
Bacon Chicken Subs--freezer
Various veggies and fruits as sides

That's it for my upcoming cooking adventures....who knows what else I'll decide to experiment with over the next few days but I'm sure I'll keep you posted ;)...  Have a great weekend.

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