Sunday, May 21, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 5/22/17

I remember when I was in high school and the weekend couldn't come soon enough.  I know I started planning the next two day adventure before the one I was living in was over.
Fast forward a few 😉 years and Friday night has a slightly different meaning.  I'm excited to have a chance to be a little creative in the kitchen and complete a "To Do" list without worrying about the week day check off list that seems to consume me.  I can read...or do some self care...whatever I want.  Knowing that I can slip on a really comfy outfit, let my hair air dry, and wear as much or as little makeup as the situation warrants, makes those two weekend days the "best ever" days.  Over the last month, commitments and obligations interfered with my normal weekend flow.  However, these last two days were exactly what I imagine when I'm planning out my perfect weekend.
I successfully shopped, cooked, and made a few things for the freezer.  I bribed Ty to plant a couple of new plants and, bonus, he pulled a few weeds.  I went to the Farmer's market and got my car washed.  I even ironed eight uniforms!  Those eight uniforms will get me through the next two work weeks with some options to spare.  I'll be off a few days around Memorial Day so I don't need as many.  

I made nothing of consequence and I don't think I even consulted my menu.  
Earthfare salad.  I especially like the Gigandes Beans that are found on the olive bar.  Napa Chicken Salad was the deli special this week, so I ate a fair amount of that too in my second consecutive week of not cooking.


**Eggplant Stacks

Garlic Bread using this beautiful bread and this garlic butter.
**Meat Sauce with Bucatini

and...wait for it...SHAKE AND BAKE chicken!
(Ty's request)

Parmesan Crispy PotatoesI am making these again..they are so simple and delicious.  

Have a fantastic week.
Happy Monday!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 5/15/17

Good Morning, confession time here.  Last week, our meal plan fell to the wayside.  I worked more than I would have liked, and prepped less than I should have.  With that being said though..we ate at home each and every night.  Not as healthy or fresh as I would have liked, but homemade which in my book is 100% better than grabbing unplanned fast food.
Since I didn't get to shop for this upcoming week either, this week's plan will prove to be interesting to say the least.
Leftover Pork Nachos--from the pork tenderloin I had in the freezer

Oh look...more nachos {boy request} from taco meat I had in the freezer. 

I don't have any other pictures from things I made last week but like I said, we made do and pulled things out of the frig and freezer.  
This upcoming week, yet again, I'll be using things that we already have out of the freezer and making do when it comes to dinner.  Here are my ideas for things that work in a pinch when you are short on time and motivation.
Quiche using Hashbrowns as the crust
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Feta and Homemade Turkey Sausage {freezer}

I'm hoping things will be settled enough so that next weekend I'll be able to prep vegetables like I normally do, but until then, we will have to settle for a few quick and easy things to get us through. Now, I'm not guaranteeing that there isn't a Rotisserie chicken in my future from Earthfare...anything to make dinner easy with minimal prep work is all me this week.

Have a great day, and HAPPY MONDAY!

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 5/8/17

Not a great picture, but sausage and peppers over brown rice with roasted veg.

Chicken wings, I'll be using this method again.

Sheet pan pasta.  This recipe was delicious but...I didn't have all of the ingredients, and I improvised a lot.  I think I will make it again when I have everything I need.  Due to my thorough dislike of kale, I will still be using spinach.

This recipe would have been way better if Ty had remembered to plug in the crock pot.  Regardless, I will use the method again.

Oven Baked Grilled Cheese is such a simple idea.  I sliced a tomato and heated up the leftover roasted veggies.  Voila, dinner is done.  I used bread I bought from Earth Fare {roasted garlic} and then exchanged unflavored butter for this butter making the end result even more delicious.

**Salisbury steak with mushrooms and onions, grilled corn, and slow cooked fresh green beans in the crock pot.

**Pork Tenderloin-freezer meal {omg, I still haven't made this!  Not this week, nor this week and I'm embarrassed to go back further}  Crispy parmesan potatoes or Crash hot potatoes and Green beans

**One Pan Chicken Picatta

Homemade Pizza or this one, or even this if I happen to get a bargain at the store on bread.

I'm pretty sure I won't follow this exactly because I am working an insane amount of time this week.  I cooked two meals on Sunday and plan to cook two more on Tuesday leaving the easier ones to throw in when I feel overwhelmed.

Happy cooking and Happy Monday!

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 5/1/17

Hands down, grilled corn is the most simple, delicious vegetable to make.  Shuck 'em, and throw 'em on a covered grill until they are a nicely browned. {about 20 minutes depending on the heat of your grill} Add butter, add salt, both, or none {like me} and eat it up 😏

Artichokes are a pain in the a**, but I 💗 them to infinity and beyond.  Plain, or even cold is fine by me.

Barbecued Ham, Fresh Sugar Snap Peas, Grilled Corn, and a slice of leftover baguette hit the spot for taste and ease of prep on a Monday night.

Dijon Chicken Marinade
Roasted Asparagus, Green Beans, and Grape Tomatoes were almost as easy to make as picking up take out since I did a small amount of prep work over the weekend.  I also had leftovers that made the next night's evening meal a snap to heat and eat.

THIS WEEK:  I'm trying a couple of new things which, fingers crossed, I can add to our dinner rotation.

**Truly Crispy Oven Baked Wings look simple enough.  I'll add this family favorite sauce to coat them.

**Pork Tenderloin {freezer, I never made this last week or the week before}, Crispy Parmesan Baked Potatoes, Green Beans

**Spicy Southwest Grilled Chicken, or Asian Grilled Chicken Salad

**Aldi Carving Ham  or this version{for dinner one night and sliced thin for sandwiches during the week}, Homemade Rice-a-Roni, Vegetable

**One Pan Chicken Picatta

**Sheet Pan Pasta Bake with Chicken and Kale {I'm using spinach}, Green Salad

**Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart, Green Salad

**Homemade Pizza or this biscuit version..maybe this one.

I'm headed to pick blueberries this weekend, so of course, I have to make something sweet and indulgent with the fresh berries.  Granny's Easy Peach Cobbler comes to mind because any ripe fruit is delicious in this recipe.  Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake is another viable option since, well, blueberry, lemon, and sugar are delightful together.  By far though, the dish I am anticipating the most, is non-fat Greek yogurt topped with berries and drizzled with local honey.  

My sons aren't much for outside labor....working in flower beds or mowing the lawn is really not their thing.  Me neither, but I came from a family who has three perfectly manicured acres.  This makes me desire the same look...but I want that look with half of the energy expenditure.  I do not have the  time in my schedule to spend hours and hours outside weeding, watering, and clipping.  Honestly, I could make the time, but then my weekends would only be about working in the yard.  Besides, its flipping hot here.
Luckily, my boys have a friend who doesn't mind this kind of work at all.  He is a firefighter who has a little free time due to his 24hrs on, 48hrs off schedule.  He makes extra money.  I trust him at my house.  Most importantly though, he requires no supervision.  A perfectly symbiotic relationship 😉
{finished yard pics to follow this week}

Have a great week and... HAPPY MONDAY!
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Monday, April 24, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 4/24/17

Earth Fare opened its doors this week in my town.  It is the first natural, stocks a lot of different items that are organic, type of store to make a presence in our area.  About thirty highway minutes north or south, you can find a Trader Joe's or Fresh Market but that's a drive...just for groceries.  
On our first visit to Earth Fare...It. Was. Packed.
Not your average packed crowd, but the excessively, busy packed type of crowd.  Like...block off the street busy type of crowded.
I was duly impressed with the selection of grocery and freshly prepared items available and can't wait to go back again!  I'm a grocery geek for sure 😄
I'm sure things will settle down as time goes on, although just to be on the safe side...I think I'll visit during the week rather than on a Saturday or Sunday.  

I use my old recipe as a base, but improvise with the sauce quite a bit these days.  I add a little more soy sauce, replace half of the peanut butter with PB2, and grate fresh ginger in to the mix rather than using the powdered ginger.  I also just happened to have roasted peanuts and sprinkled a few on the top for crunch.  Any kind of pasta is delicious with this, but we prefer a long type and bucatini is a favorite right now.


Grilled Chicken  {dijon}, Grilled Corn, Sugar Snap Peas

Grilled {leftover} Chicken Green Salad
It was a chopping weekend...and I don't have any more containers to store things in, but this makes for really simple weeknight meals.
Crostini with Tomato Relish

Mom's Macaroni Salad, Barbecued Ham, Green Salad 

Frozen taco meat in the freezer, lettuce and veggies chopped.

💗Have a great week💗

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 4/17/17

Our beloved taco salad, has put me in the mood for all things fresh.  Cutting vegetables and storing them in the frig increases my ambition for weeknight cooking.  Besides, making a salad with fresh items that are already cleaned and cut is a breeze.

I need some practice making shrimp.  They were cooked perfectly, but completely unseasoned.  I forgot to even use salt and pepper {gasp} for my take on this recipe for shrimp and grits.  Needless to say, this dish was a little bland...but it was edible.

This marinade for Southwest chicken breasts is a family favorite.  This chicken served with a simple salad and roast vegetables was delicious.  In fact,

I ate my entire plate...and then had a little more salad if I'm being totally honest.

I used the leftover chicken to make my take on a one pot meal, substituting parma rosa sauce instead of the BBQ sauce the recipe called for.  The round things on top are parmesan crisps.  Pretty good for a one pot meal.


Taco Bowls or Oven Baked Tacos or whatever...some sort of Mexican themed night

Freestyle Chicken Salad 

I'm headed to the store after work today, so I'm leaving some options open until I see what sort of specials I may encounter.

Have a fantastic week, and Happy Monday!

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 4/10/17

I 💗 flowers!

For the first time in in what seems like forever, last week's meal plan was executed...not an extraordinary start to cooking every night, but a respectable start.  Salads have not been too appealing to me over the last few months and I didn't feel like cutting things up but....I think I'm over that foolishness because the spinach salad we ate last week was so,so tasty.  It's worth taking the extra time and effort.

Last week:
Black Cherry Cream Cake
{my reward for being "moderate" during the week}

Korean Chicken and Asian Slaw Salad

This week so far:
Belgian Waffles with my new waffle maker

Taco Meat for the freezer

Grilled Chicken

Peanut Butter Chip Fudge Brownies

Aldi Carving Ham {this is my normal spiral sliced} but I used this glaze which was just okay to us....the glaze not the ham.  No, the ham is great!  Highly recommend.

Chopped Veggies and Fruits

Elderberry Syrup

My new favorite refreshing summer pool drink!


*Free Style Chicken Salad {with leftover grilled chicken}

*Pork Tenderloin {freezer meal} with Sauteed Okra

That's it!  
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