Monday, February 20, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 2/20/17

Farmer's Market Finds
Sourdough Sesame Bread

Brussel Sprouts
{never, ever have I bought them on the stem}

{I cut them before I took a pic}

Three kinds of Peppers
{Poblano, Cubanelle, and Red and Yellow Bell}

Fresh Okra

Goat Milk Cheesecakes

Raw Milk Cheese

My son surprised me and went to the Farmer's Market this past weekend with me.  Needless to say, we got a little carried away buying fresh produce, raw milk cheese, local honey, and individual goat's milk cheesecakes.  There was a such a variety, we were inspired....or we might have been hungry?

Our meals this week, will be packed with fresh, local produce.  Good thing since bathing suit season will be here before we know it!

In no particular order...

Green Thai Curry Chicken-Just a reference, I make it up as I go along
Stuffed Banana Pepper Soup-{new}
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
Lentil Tacos or Nachos
Juicy Lucy Burgers

Sunshine and Flowers, and by the way...have a Happy Monday!

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 2/13/17

Image result for pictures of hearts

My plan last week was not a bust per se, but I didn't make many of my planned meals despite attempting to account for the unknown.  Oh well, I still have all of the ingredients for great meals and only need to supplement fresh vegetables and lunch items eg:  yogurt, fruit, and easily accessible protein.  That means my post this week will be just a tad bit redundant with the exception of a special Valentine's Day Dinner for Ty and myself just because!

This Grilled Chicken or This one {if I use chicken breasts}

Chicken Parmesan {using the cutlet recipe} or this easy version Chicken Parmesan
Buttered Noodles or Baked Rice
Green Beans
Chocolate Cake with this frosting
Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Baked Ham
{unexpected deal from Aldi, will yield a few bags for the freezer too!}

I will probably make some of these {the ones at the bottom of the post that I didn't get to before} recipes this week, depending on the busy-ness of my work schedule.  I have bunches of options to choose from since I went with a friend to Trader Joe's this past weekend and stumbled upon a brand new Aldi almost next door to one another.  Next week's shopping list will be pretty slim since apparently I have no impulse control when shopping for food.

Have a great week and happy cooking.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

National Pizza Day 2017, Who Knew?

I topped mine with chopped chicken, sauteed mushrooms and peppers, sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, green olives, feta, and swiss cheeses over a thin stretched crust pre baked  at 450 degrees for about four minutes.

Yesterday, I worked hard.  Like, really, really hard.

I arrived at work at 5:30 am and never stopped moving until about 4:00 pm when I sat in my car to drive home.

On the ride home, I knew with every fiber of my being that I was absolutely, positively not cooking anything from my carefully designed meal plan that laughably {at least in reality} took in to account my aforementioned busy-ness for the week.  As a matter of fact, cereal with milk was in my immediate vision for my future.  Getting an early shower, being in my jammies by 7:00 pm sounded divine, until my Ty, well....he done went and had himself "a great idea".  "Let's make homemade pizza dough, Mom" he said, to which I replied "I don't want to be involved, I'm watching my dvr shows and I'm quite happy sitting very, very still".    He, with his characteristic persistence, broke me down after only a few minutes of intermittent badgering {he's found that type to work best} and obtained my reluctant agreement to semi-participate in this venture on a work/school night.  In Ty's defense, he did most of the work even cleaning up after himself and shaping the pies.

I'm working at a different job today, and I was infinitely surprised when  I opened my job calendar and learned that yesterday was National Pizza Day.  I was participating and I didn't even know it...hmmm..did Ty?  Probably, lol.

Ty went all the way with everything but the kitchen sink on his, even brushing fresh garlic infused butter over the edges for flavor.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 2/6/17

I amped up this salad and found that this greenery was delightfully more flavorful the second day.  I suppose the flavors in the dressing had time to combine and reach their full flavor potential.  The added Feta and sliced deli chicken also didn't hurt.

This week's plan will feature mainly tried and true recipes since my time will be short.  I have a lot of things prepped and ready to go which makes my heart sing.  Not having to think too hard about the method of the recipe will make my evening routine smooth and easy.

{I am using chicken and a combination of cheeses}

In no particular order:

{original inspiration and my version}

This Grilled Chicken or this one {if I'm using boneless, skinless breasts}

My recipe is never the same, usually adding a variety of condiments, milk, and panko bread crumbs.  Simple topping of tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar mixed.

Grilled Hot Dogs with Chili
if you are feeling ambitious try this Hot Dog Chili Sauce.
{sorry, no personal pics}

The Szechuan Green BeansBaked Salsa Verde Chicken, and Chicken Florentine are all carryovers this week.  If I happen to find myself with some extra time, I'll be making at least one of these.  They all look delicious and you will be sure to see a review here at some point in the near future.

Have a great week and as always....
happy Monday!

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Grilled Thin Pork Chops Review

I went rogue yesterday and made what you see above with great least in my mind.  This was just what I wanted, exactly when I wanted it.  I was concerned about grilling these thin chops but decided I really didn't want to eat them any other way so, I brined them and crossed my fingers.  I seasoned, and then grilled them for four minutes on one side, two on the other.  They were delicious.  Who knew that such a simple step makes a chop its best self.  
I roasted one sweet potato and one regular potato dressed with olive oil and salt and pepper in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes leaving me plenty of time to prepare the salad.  I liked this salad...but I didn't love it.  I followed the directions exactly and even measured 1/8 tsp salt to the dressing.  I dunno, I'm on kick these day that has me adding fruit and feta to all things salad.  Regardless, I'm eating leftovers for lunch so I liked it well enough 😏
Truly, I wish I was cooking tonight but I have to go to a business dinner. The recipe I posted for Chicken Florentine is calling to me but will have to wait until the weekend.

I also made this recipe that used up some odds and ends in my pantry, quite nicely I might add.  Instead of mixed nuts, I measured my own using cashews, almonds, and peanuts.  For the life of me, I couldn't find any ground ginger in my cabinet so I used a bit more cinnamon.  This is a fantastic sweet and savory snack that is just a little different and perfect for any occasion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Broccoli Cheese Soup, Baked Spaghetti, and Korean Beef Reviews

This is the remainder of the soup I made last night for dinner.  I played around with a few recipes and then decided to go my own way.  I made this yummy rendition that certainly hit the spot.  

2 cups chopped cooked broccoli
1.5 cups homemade chicken stock
1.5 cups whole milk
1 onion diced and sauteed in 1-2 tbs butter
1 heaping tbs flour
1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese
cayenne pepper
hot sauce 

1.  Saute onion and butter over medium heat until onion is softened, avoid browning.
2.  Add flour and stir for approximately 1-2 minutes over low-medium heat.
3.  Add chicken stock in a slow stream stirring constantly to avoid lumps, allow to thicken.  Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the onion to soften more.
4.  Add milk, broccoli, and seasonings as desired, stirring well to incorporate.  Allow elements to combine over low-medium heat.  Do not allow mixture to boil. 
5.  Add cheese, stirring until fully melted. {use immersion blender if desired}
6.  Serve with crusty bread or rolls.

I made this dish with leftovers only....adjusting the ingredients for what I had on hand.  I'm writing these changes so I won't forget what I did. was that good!

{my version..and no picture 😩}
8 oz leftover cold Bucatini Pasta
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese {the green can works great}
4 oz cream cheese
2-3 tbs chicken stock
3 cups leftover meat spaghetti sauce {I used ground turkey}
Shredded mozzarella {shred your much better}

1.  Heat pasta, toss with Parmesan cheese and egg.
2. Place in a sprayed 8 inch casserole dish.
3.  Heat cream cheese until warm.  Mix with chicken stock until pourable.
4.  Layer cream cheese sauce over the noodles, spreading to the edges with the back of a spoon.
5.  Spoon cold spaghetti sauce over the noodle/cream cheese mixture.
6.  Cover dish with shredded cheese, and top with no stick or sprayed foil.
7.  Place dish in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.
8.  Allow casserole to stand for 5-10 minutes until you would for a lasagna.

We love this recipe!  Prepping all the ingredients ahead of time makes for a speedy weeknight dinner with leftovers.  I only make one change.  I omit the step of browning the ground meat with the sesame oil and just add in the tablespoon of oil when combining all the ingredients on serving day.  We prefer to use ground chicken or turkey in this dish.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 1/30/17

I've decided to do something a little different this week when planning our menu.  You see, every week I save recipes that look interesting and tasty to me...but I usually don't get a chance to make them.  In fact, I've saved the exact same recipe on more than one occasion.  This week, I thought I would use recipes that I've saved over the last fourteen days to make up a mostly experimental, definitely new to me, new recipe, menu. Whew...what a mouthful!

Simply said....I'm gonna make a bunch of new stuff, with one lone tried and true favorite. 😊

Skinny Million Dollar Baked Spaghetti (leftover sauce and noodles) see my review here
Chicken Florentine
Chinese Green Beans, (Szechuan) with Steamed Rice, Grilled Chicken
Baked Salsa Verde Chicken Breasts
Korean Beef with Rice see my review here
Broccoli Cheese Soup (leftover broccoli) see my review here

Dessert of the Week:  Easy Oatmeal Bars

I'll try to update with pictures and reviews.

Have a fantastic week!

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