Saturday, December 31, 2011

New year, new menu

Happy New Year!  I hope that you had a wonderful 2011 and that 2012 is a great year for you and your family.  I know our family is looking forward to spring when we get to meet our new baby boy!  What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Here's our plan for the week:

Sunday: Dinner out
Monday: BBQ Chicken Soup
Tuesday: Turkey and Artichoke Lasagna
Wednesday:  Turkey Chili Hand Pies
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Homemade Pizza and Salad

Monday, December 26, 2011

After Christmas Menu Plan

Christmas in our family is tomorrow.  My little man was with his dad for Christmas this year. I'm antsy.  I'm really ready for him to be home, to hug him and know that he's sleeping in the room down the hall.  I'm ready to know he's home safely.  I'm ready to see his face light up tomorrow morning when he comes downstairs.  I'm ready for my little man to be home!  I think these last 2 hours will probably drag on!  In anticipation of his arrival home, I got up this morning and made cinnamon rolls, 3 batches of cookies, and then spent the day finishing his last Christmas present at the sewing machine.  Now, I'm ready!  While I wait for the clock to keep ticking by, I thought I'd work on our plan for the week.

Monday: Picking something up for dinner
Tuesday: Christmas dinner: prime rib, spinach souffle, green beans, and cookies for dessert
Wednesday: Chili Cheese Dogs while we watch the football game!
Thursday: Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks
Friday: Pizza and movie night

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Menu Plan Week of 12/19

I'm planning to do a lot of sewing and baking this week.  I have lots of gifts to get finished and cookies to bake.  Our Christmas has been postponed until next week since my little man is with his dad for Christmas this year.  I'm really looking forward to another week of crafts and some fun outings next week when he gets home!

Here's our menu plan for this week:
Sunday: Creamy Pancetta and Leek Soup
Monday: Leftover soup
Tuesday: Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas
Wednesday: Asian Style Chicken Wraps
Thursday: Tortellini with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Chicken Tikka Masala

Have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Menu Plan Week of 12/11/11

I think we have something every day after school this week.  Nothing major, but its going to be a busy week!  I also have to get working on sewing Christmas presents.  I'm hoping to have the energy to do some sewing a couple nights after my little man goes to bed, we'll see!

Its been cold!  I know in other parts of the country, its been colder, but for us, its been cold!  I'm opting for some warm and comforting dishes this week.

Here's the plan for the week:
Sunday: Honey- Walnut Prawns
Monday: BBQ chicken soup
Tuesday: Chicken Fajita Crescent Braid
Wednesday: Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry and Pot Stickers
Thursday: Tortellini with peas, parmesan, and proscuitto
Friday: Pizza and movie night

Have a great week!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan 12/5

Report cards are done, and we're in the home stretch toward Christmas Vacation!  Two weeks left, and then 2 weeks off.  I plan to do lots of sewing and crafts those 2 weeks.  I'm looking forward to it.  This week, there's not much on the calendar.  The one thing I am looking forward to is taking my little man to see my Godmother at the local book store for her "slipper stories" its a great family tradition!

Here's the plan for this week:
Sunday: Tomato Fennel Soup and Grilled Spinach and Cheese Sandwiches
Monday: Swiss Chard and Chicken Pie (I'm going to make mini pies)
Tuesday: Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese and Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Thursday: Black Bean and Rice Quesadillas
Friday: Homemade pizza
Saturday: Dinner with friends

What's on your menu this week?

I'm linking up to

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Menu Plan Week of 11/28

We enjoyed a week of lots of downtime, some shopping, and lots more downtime!  i think we all needed it.  I walked a 5k on Thanksgiving morning, which felt really good.  My son got lots of lego time, I did a lot of reading and some baking.  I also tried making cheesecake for the first time.  My husband, who doesn't like pumpkin pie devoured the cheesecake and he's asking me when I'm making another one!  Now its back to work and finishing up report cards.  I have 3 weeks, then 2 more weeks off.  Its hard to believe that in a couple short months, I'll be on maternity leave, getting ready for our new baby boy to join our family!

Here's our menu plan for our week:

Monday: Ginger Beef Stir-Fry from Eating Well When You're Expecting
Tuesday: Ham, Swiss and Spinach Paninis
Wednesday: Chicken Chilaquiles
Thursday: Jerk  Turkey Burgers
Friday: Pesto Pizza
Saturday: I'm hoping my hubby will take me out to dinner!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Menu Plan Week of 11/20

Happy Thanksgiving!  We are off all week.  Although I need to find some time to work on report cards, we plan to spend a lot of time hanging out, cooking, playing games, and spending time with family and friends.  On Thursday, before the big feast at my in-laws, I am walking a 5k with another friend who's pregnant.  I could run a 5k in around 30 minutes when I was running.  We'll see how long it takes to get this pregnant belly across the finish line!

With the rain, and the promise of leftovers at the end of the week, here's our menu:

Sunday: Pancetta and Leek Soup
Monday: Chicken Caesar Wraps
Tuesday: Baked Chicken Chimichangas
          *Make Pie Crusts
Wednesday: Pasta with Sausage and Swiss Chard
           *Bake Pies
Thursday: Thanksgiving
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Pizza and movie night

Friday, November 11, 2011

Menu Plan Week of 11/13

It's hard to believe that our week off for Thanksgiving is only a week away!  I have a couple appointments next week, and I'm hopefully meeting a friend for a walk.  Other than that, there's not much going on.  Soccer season is over, so we are in slow down mode.  Oh, wait, there's report cards.  Oh yes, report cards.  Yes, I will have report cards hanging over my head during vacation.  I want to get a good start on them so I can enjoy my week off.  Since this week, my little guy is at his dad's house, its just my husband and me.  Menus tend to be simpler.

I've had a couple friends in the last few weeks who have been sharing recipes from with me.  this week, I thought I'd try a few I've discovered on that site.

Sunday: Dinner out with my dad
Monday: Sesame chicken with Broccoli
Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash with garlic, herbs and parmesan
Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair (I'm going to use turkey cutlets instead)
Friday: pizza and movie night (Little man comes home for a whole week and a half!)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

Cauliflower is one of my husband's favorite vegetables.  With fall finally here, I am excited to make soups and heartier recipes!  What could be better on a chilly evening than a creamy, cheesy soup?  I can't think of anything right now.

Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup
modified from King Arthur Flour
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large head cauliflower, cut into pieces
3 cups chicken broth ( I used unsalted chicken stock)
1/4 cup white wine
dash hot sauce
2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large soup pot.  Add garlic and onions and cook about 3-5 minuted, until softened.  Add chicken stock and cauliflower to pot, bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.  Add wine and hot sauce and simmer about 5 more minutes.  Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth (you can also do this in a blender or food processor)  When the soup is smooth, add cheese, 1/2 cup at a time and mix until melted.   Add pepper.  Taste, add salt as needed.  

I served this with homemade pop overs and cinnamon honey butter.  It's definitely a do over for our family!


My little man is finally getting his biggest wish ever.  He's going to be a big brother!  He's so excited because he's getting a little brother.  I'm due 4/5.  This little guy is healthy and growing fast!  Thought I'd share our news with my wonderful readers :)

Menu Plan 11/7

I'm sick.  I woke up this morning with a stuffy nose and a headache :(  Being sick and being pregnant is NOT fun.  I don't sleep well anyway and a stuffy nose on top of it is not fun.  UGH!!  My husband is making me some steel cut oatmeal and some tea.  We're staying home from church so hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.  The nice thing about the coming week is that we have Friday off!  I'm looking forward to a day with my little man.  I think we'lll go out for sushi lunch together!

Here's the plan for this week...
Sunday: Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup and homemade french bread
Monday: Steak and Peperocini Sandwiches (from last week, we never had it) and sweet potato fries
Tuesday: Szechuan Beef
Wednesday: Navajo Tacos
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: French Bread Pizza and Caesar Salad and homemade dressing

I'm linking to

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spicy Asian Chicken

inspired by Alli n Son
This has become one of our family favorites!  I love it because I can marinate the chicken the night before and dinner is a snap to put on the table the next night!  I think the chicken in marinade would freeze nicely too.  I hope you enjoy this one as much as my family does!

3-4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
for the marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp hot chili sesame oil
1/8 cup ketchup
1 clove garlic
1 tsp grated ginger

I package frozen asian style noodles
1 package asian style vegetables

Brown chicken in skillet.  Once brown, cover and let cook for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.   Add vegetables and cook until vegetable are heated through.  Cook noodles or rice according to directions.  Serve over asian noodles or rice.

Menu Plan Week of 10/30

I thought last week was going to be mellow, and somehow I was wrong!  I don't think we were home before 4:30 or 5 every day.  This week is busy too.  Since most of the week its just my husband and me, I'm keeping it simple!

Sunday: Eggplant Parmesan
Monday: Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches (Slow Cooker Recipe)  These are soooo easy and sooo good!
Tuesday: Tomato Basil Soup and grilled cheese (I bought a jar of the Nordstrom Cafe Soup yesterday when I was out to lunch with a friend)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Pasta with creamy mushroom sauce
Friday: Chicken Caesar Wraps
Saturday: Homemade Pizza

I'm linking to Menu Plan Monday on Organizing Junkie

Friday, October 21, 2011

Menu Plan 10/24

This week seems pretty mellow, except for the fact that I've been putting off starting to sew my little man's Halloween costume, and now I have to get it done in the next 24 hours!  We don't have a lot going on tomorrow, so I hope to get most of it done to be ready for church on Sunday.

Here's our plan for the week-

Monday- Spicy Asian Chicken
Tuesday- Swiss Chard and Potato Enchiladas
Wednesday- Penne with Tomato Vodka Sauce (from freezer)
Thursday- Grilled cheese Panini Sandwiches
Friday- Eggplant, Onion and Red Pepper Calzones

I'm linking to

BLAT Sandwiches

Sometimes, you need a meal that's quick and easy.  This one is fun and easy.  Pizza nights have been moved to Saturdays during soccer season because we just get home too late.  We need something I can throw together in 20 minutes or less.  This is one of my go-to dishes on those nights (thank goodness soccer is Fridays, not a weekday!)


for avocado spread:
2 ripe avocados, smashed
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste

12 pieces bacon, cooked
sliced tomato
6 slices sourdough bread

Heat a large skillet until its very hot.  Cook bacon to your preferred doneness.  Mash avocado in a small bowl.  Add smashed garlic clove, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Toast sourdough bread.  Layer with avocado spread, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and bacon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu Plan Monday week of 10/17

I know, I know, I haven't done recipes for a while.  The last couple weeks have been crazy busy and when I come home, I've been exhausted!  I promise, things should calm down soon and I will post some recipes.

Sunday-  Ravioli with Prosciutto and Peas
Monday- Cauliflower, Parsnip and Bacon Soup and popovers
Tuesday- Pork Noodle Bowls and Crab Rangoon
Wednesday- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Thursday- Leftovers
Friday- BLTA sandwiches
Saturday- pizza and movie night (unless we go to the football game)

For more menu planning, go to

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

The weather is cooling off a little.  Our days are still warm, but in the evenings, its definitely cooler.  I have parent-teacher conferences all week at work, so I'm going to try to keep dinners easy.  Parent- Teacher conferences always wipe me out!

Monday: Sausage, swiss chard and potato soup (Crock Pot)
Tuesday: Stir-fried Egg Noodles and Chicken Egg Rolls
Wednesday: Pasta with Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pepper Jack Stuffed Burgers and sweet potato fries

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekly Menu Plan Week of 9/25

This week is pretty normal school schedule.  Monday is piano, Thursday is legos and in between, I need to find time to work, take care of family stuff and trying to get housework and laundry done!  The weather is cooling off to fall temperatures, so I'm starting to make dishes that reflect that.

Sunday: Corn and cheese stuffed crepes
Monday: Maple glazed ham in the crockpot
Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Strips and Twice Baked Potatoes
Wednesday: Zucchini Alfredo
Thursday: Ham Sandwiches with homemade foccacia

Chicken Pot Pie Balls
Chicken Salad

Pumpkin muffins
toasted waffles with peanut butter
bagels and cream cheese

apples and peanut butter
fruit leather
cheese and crackers

Blueberry Chicken Feta Salad

I've been making chicken salad on Sunday for the last couple weeks, then having it for lunch at work for the week.  Last week, I made my curry chicken salad which only gets better later in the week!  This week, I thought I'd take advantage of the last of the berries and make a Blueberry Chicken Feta Salad.  I may end up eating it all tonight and not having anything for lunch for the next week!

Blueberry Chicken Feta Salad
adapted from Pioneer Woman
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 red onion, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 tsp dill weed
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Pound chicken breast until flat.  Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breast.  Grill chicken until finished, set aside to cool.  Chop onion and celery.  In a large bowl, add blueberries, corn, onion and celery.  Dice chicken into small pieces.  Add chicken and dill to the bowl.  Mix in greek yogurt and mayonnaise until combined.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Its starting to get cooler around her, but they're saying we'll still have some hot days ahead.  I'm keeping it on the simple side this week since until Friday, I'm just cooking for my hubby and me.  I have a couple recipes to post this weekend too!

Monday: Chinese Chicken Salad
Tuesday: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Wednesday: Chilaquiles Casserole
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Dinner out
Saturday: Penne with Vodka Sauce

Chicken Salad

waffles with peanut butter

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday- Bacon Leek Quiche with Spinach Salad
Monday-  Chicken Sausage Chili
Tuesday-Fusilli with Goat Cheese and Zucchini
Wednesday- Spicy Chicken and Rice Noodles
Thursday- Baked Potato Bar with leftover chili
Friday- Pizza Night

apple and peanut butter sandwiches
pizza bites
Chicken and Spinach pasta salad

Chocolate Chip Muffins
French Toast Bites
Waffles and Peanut Butter

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lunchbox Idea: Pizza Bites and Menu Plan

Around our house, we're trying to get back in the routine of school.  I'm sure its similar around your house. In the next couple weeks, soccer and piano lessons will begin.  After school has been pretty mellow with homework and downtime.  My 7 year old has been really helpful over the last week, helping with chores and doing a great job being responsible with homework.  I've seen him grow up so much in the last couple weeks!

This year, for school lunches, I thought I would try to make a few things on the weekend to store in the fridge and make lunch prep quicker on school days.  Over the next couple weeks, I will share some of these recipes.  

Pizza Bites
(modified from Dishing the Divine)
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 eggs
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mozarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup pepperoni, finely sliced
1 small can sliced olives
1 TBSP fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 TBSP fresh basil, finely chopped
1 TBSP grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin cups with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add wet ingredients and spices.  Add toppings. Mix together until combined.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way and bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.  Allow to cool and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Serve with pizza sauce, if desired.   Place in lunch box, they will defrost by lunch time!  My son ate them every day for lunch last week!

english muffins

Chicken Salad
cheese and crackers

Monday: Portabella Mushroom Sandwiches and baked asparagus fries
Tuesday: Greek Gyros
Wednesday: Cheese Spaghetti with broccoli
Thursday: leftovers for the boys, I will be doing Back to School Night
Friday: Pizza Night

Dessert: Peach Cobbler

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bacon Cheddar Waffles and Menu Plan

Last week, I had tri-tip planned for dinner one night.  After a long day with my first graders, I didn't want to eat tri-tip, let alone cook it in the oven.  I was exhausted and wanted something easy and comforting.  What's more comforting than breakfast for dinner?!

Bacon Cheddar Waffles
(Recipe modified from Taste of Home)
4 slices bacon
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp coriander
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk (I use 1% milk)
1/4 cup butter, melted

For bacon:
Heat large a large skillet on the stove.  When the skillet is hot, add the bacon.  Sprinkle the bacon with half the coriander and brown sugar.  When the bacon has browned, turn it over and sprinkle with the remaining sugar and coriander.  Cook until crisp and brown.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

For waffles:
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a small bowl, combine egg yolks, milk and butter until combined.  Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gently fold egg whites into the waffle batter.  Crumble bacon.  Gently fold cheese and bacon into the batter.

Heat waffle iron according to manufacture's directions until golden brown.  Serve with syrup drizzled over the top and fruit and scrambled eggs on the side.

Sunday: Asian Beef Noodle Bowl
Monday: Pulled Pork with corn and cheddar biscuits
Tuesday: Kheema, rice and flasbread
Wednesday: Pasta with portabella mushrooms
Thursday: Pulled pork quesadillas and tomato salad
Friday: pizza night

Avocado, cheese and tomato mini pitas
tortellini, olive and spinach salad
spinach pizza roll-ups


yogurt pretzels
veggie sticks

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits,  At the Table TuesdaysWhat's on the Menu WednesdayThis Chick CooksFull Plate Thursday, and What's for Dinner?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Favorite Brisket and Menu Plan

I started making this brisket recipe about 10 years ago.  Its a great meal to make on a lazy Sunday when you're just hanging out at home.  We've had a very cool summer, so this was perfect last Sunday when my son and I were just hanging out together at the house.

My Favorite Brisket
1 2-3lb. brisket
1 jar chili sauce (some day I will make my own, I usually use store bought)
10-12 small red potatoes, cut in half
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Salt and pepper outside of the brisket.
Place brisket in roasting pan.  Add potatoes around meat.  Top with chili sauce.
Bake 21/2-3 hours, until brisket is tender . If you're using a larger cut of meat, you will have to add cooking time)

Sunday: Peach-Whiskey Barbeque Chicken and parmesan baked zucchini
Monday: Pork and Fontina Sandwiches
Tuesday: Baked Camembert Pasta
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Baked Salmon Packets with pesto and Angel Hair
Friday: Homemade Pizza

Pita and Hummus

homemade english muffins

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garlic-Parmesan Pizza Dough and Menu Plan

We have pizza and movie night every Friday, which you know if you read my blog with any regularity.  I've experimented with many different pizza dough recipes.  I finally decided to experiment and make one of my own.  This is what I came up with and my family loves it!

Garlic Parmesan Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cup luke warm water
1 tsp dry yeast
1 Tbsp  honey
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp parmesan
1 clove garlic

Preheat over to 500 degrees
Add yeast and honey to warm water and allow to sit until bubbles form on the top of the mixture (about 5 minutes).  Place flour and remaining ingredients in mixing bowl.  Add yeast mixture.  Blend on medium in kitchen aid mixer with hook until combined and dough forms a ball.

Allow to rise for 1-2 hours.  I've let it rise all afternoon and it seems to be alright.

Top with your favorite cheese and toppings and bake 8-10 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

This week, I'm back to work.  I'm trying to go back to simpler meals so that when I come home from work, I don't have a lot of prep to do!  First graders will wear you out!

Sunday: Beef Brisket with veggies and Cheese Biscuits
Monday: Chicken Cordon Blue Sandwiches and sweet potato fries
Tuesday: Dinner out
Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday: Veggie Quesadillas and Spicy Bean and Corn Salad
Friday: Pizza and movie night

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits,  At the Table TuesdaysWhat's on the Menu WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, and What's for Dinner?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Smoked Chicken Burritos, Summer Vacations and Menu Plan

This week, we took a trip to Safari West.  What an experience!  We're already planing to go back next year!  Dinner was amazing, and we took a Safari Adventure tour.  The animals (zebras, giraffes, buffalo and many more) were so close we could almost touch them.  My little man was so excited, especially when we got to sit on the top of the army truck.  We got home last night and we were all exhausted.  Sleeping in tents with animals all around is not a restful experience, but it was worth it for a night.

Next week, I'm heading off for a few days to visit a dear friend and her family in Seattle.  I'm looking forward to it, but I'm leaving my husband behind for 3 nights AND I have a classroom that still isn't finished and ready for the new batch of kids inevitably coming through the door in 2 weeks.  My wonderful husband and I are probably going to spend a couple days together trying to get it in order.

Smoked Chicken Burritos:
1 tsp. liquid smoke
juice of one lime
1 tsp hot sauce (I used cholula)
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare marinade and marinade for 30 minutes or overnight

For Burritos:
Salsa, store bought or homemade
Corn of on cob, cooked or 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Remove chicken from marinade and grill or bake until golden brown and juices run clear.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes.  While chicken cools, place a small pan on the stove and heat 1/2 tsp canola oil.  Add pumpkin seeds and cook, turning often, until lightly browned.  Remove from pan so they don't continue to cook. 
Layer tortillas with chicken, cheese, salsa, corn and pumpkin seeds.

Since I'm leaving for a few days, I'm planning to whip up a couple dishes that my husband can just throw in the oven when he comes home from work.  There's a big joke in our house that my husband can cook, but no one wants to eat what he cooks.

So, here's what I'll be making on Sunday so the older boys will have food to eat:

Monday: Crockpot London Broil
Tuesday: Spicy Pepper and Pepper Pasta
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Arugula and avocado pasta
Friday: Pizza and movie night
Saturday: BBQ, probably burgers

Monday, August 1, 2011

This week, I'm posting over at Whitehead's Monthyl Menu!

Thank you, Amber for featuring my recipe and my blog!  Please go to

Whitehead's Monthly Menu to see my post!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menu Planning

Last week, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about menu planning.  She really wants to try, but doesn't know how to start.  She also commented that she feels like she's in a rut with what she makes.  With school looming around the corner for our kids and the hubbub of the fall, I thought I'd share with my readers and my friend some places to look and get started with menu planning.  I know that with my full-time work schedule and my starving boys, menu planning is a MUST!  Here are some links that I use often for cooking ideas as well as recipes.

Where to start:
Menu Plan Monday @Organizing Junkie

Some of my favorite recipe sites:
Our Best Bites
Alli N Son
Recipe Shoebox
Dishing the Divine

Crockpot Recipes
For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I often include one crockpot recipe per week!
Crockpot 365

Of course, you can always look at my menu plans!
Organic Princess Menu Planning

Please share any links you find helpful in planning meals for your family!

Picnic Sandwiches and Menu Plan

In the summer, we spend a lot of time at local outdoor events.  One of our favorite summer activities in Music in the Park.  There are many that occur nearby.  We love going to these events, and sometimes go twice a week!  We sit in the park, drink wine and eat portable food.  This is what I made for our last evening at Music in the Park.

Roast Beef and Brie Sandwiches
4 croissants, sliced in half
12 slices roast beef
4 slices brie
8 pieces roasted red bell peppers (I use Mezzetta peppers when I don't have time to roast my own)
salt and pepper to taste

Lightly spread croissants with mayonnaise.  Layer 2-3 slices roast beef on each croissant.  Top with spinach, bell peppers, and cheese.  Top with salt and pepper.  Wrap in parchment paper.  Enjoy these upscale sandwiches at your next picnic or other summer outing!

Sunday: Smoked Chicken and Cheddar Burritos with Spinach
Monday: Apple, Beet and Cheese Pizzettes
Tuesday: Tri-Tip with Feta and White Wine in the Crockpot
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Friday: Homemade Pizza with Homemade Marinara Sauce

Pasta Salad

Homemade English Muffins with homemade jam

Pretzel thins
Homemade Fruit Leather
Cheese crackers

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits,  At the Table TuesdaysWhat's on the Menu WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, and What's for Dinner?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Berry Turnovers

One of my favorite things about summer is the fruit. I can't get enough of them! Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, YUM! This year, I've been trying to figure out how keep those berries around for a little while after they go out of season. These are delicious! They are fresh and delicious, and simple to make. We took these to Music in the Park tonight, and they travel very well!

Summer Berry Turnovers
(Adapted from Fine Cooking Picnics and Cookouts)

1 cup unbleached flour
(plus extra for rolling out dough)
1 cup whole wheat white flour
14 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut onto pieces, then chilled
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. lowfat milk
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in food processor.  Pulse dough until the dough forms together into large clumps.  Turn dough out onto counter.  Shape dough into a 1-inch thick dish and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup raspberries
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Rinse and dry berries.  Toss berries with spices.  Set berries aside.

Allow dough to become pliable, but not too warm that it breaks.  Sprinkle dough with flour.  Roll dough out n lightly floured surface.  Cut dough into 2 inch diameter circles.  You will make 12 circles.  Place rounds on baking sheet (If using aluminum baking sheet, line with parchment.

Fill circles with 1-1 1/2 tsp of fruit filling.  Fold each circle in half, and score with fork.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  To take on a picnic, layer pastries with parchment paper, do not layer warm pastries right on top of each other!

I'm linking to Sweet Tooth Friday.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fire Roasted Sloppy Joes and Menu Plan

Last week, I realized I hadn't made Sloppy Joes in a while. I was going to be out late, so I needed something I could cook up for my boys that was easy for them to heat up and have for dinner. I also wanted something that I might be able to pull out for lunch later in the week. While my family and I love the traditional sloppy joes, this time, I decided to be a little creative this time and give them an extra zing! This was delicious. I served them on brioche rolls.

Fire Roasted Sloppy Joes
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste (I use Muir Glen Organic for both)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloved garlic, crushed
2 tsp sugar

Hamburger buns

Brown turkey or beef in sauce pan. Drain meat. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste dissolves. Add vinegar, worcestershire sauce, onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes until flavors combine. Taste. Add sugar as necessary to balance flavor. Allow to simmer on low for 20-30 minutes more. Serve on top of hamburger buns.

This week, I'm doing some family favorites and easy summer recipes.

Sunday: Chicken Korma (Didn't make it last week)
Monday: Pork Shoulder Tacos with spicy cole slaw
Tuesday: Turkey Burgers with homemade hamburger buns, potato salad
Wednesday: dinner at church (BBQ)
Thursday: Sandwiches and salad and WINE for music in the park with mom friends and the kids!
Friday: Out to dinner with my hubby

Homemade English Muffins
Homemade peach and raspberry jam
chocolate chip muffins


vegetables with dip
homemade fruit leather

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits,  At the Table TuesdaysWhat's on the Menu WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, and What's for Dinner?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Peach Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

This week, I had a lot of time that I could have used to be unproductive or get some things done around the house.  Instead, I decided that I wanted a yummy summer dessert with some fresh summer fruit.  Here's what I came up with!

Peach Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
4 peaches, peeled and cubed
8 slices of good quality bread (I used a brioche loaf)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup 1% or nonfat milk
2 tbsp butter
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
caramel sauce (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I used my stoneware pan for this recipe.  If you are using glass, grease your pan.  Peel and cube your peaches (boil water on the stove, create an ice water bath in a large bowl, boil peaches 1-2 minutes, then drop into ice water, peel peaches after 2-3 minutes in ice bath)  Tear bread slices into bite-sized pieces.  Place bread and peaches in a 9x9 square baking dish.  In a small sauce pan, heat whipping cream and milk until skin just forms on top of the milk.  Remove milk from burner and add butter.  Stir butter into milk until it melts.  Allow milk mixture to cool.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugars and cinnamon.  When milk mixture is cooled to room temperature, combine milk mixture and egg mixture, whisk until combined.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.  Bake until egg and milk mixture is firm and not runny.
Caramel Sauce:
1 cup of sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Heat sugar, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until sugar melts and and is golden brown.  Remove sugar from burner and add butter.  Stir sugar and butter mixture until butter melts.  Allow mixture to cool about 10 minutes.  Slowly add cream, a little at a time, whisking so its blended.
Store caramel sauce in the fridge in  a mason jar, heat as necessary.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

BBQ Chicken Nachos with Pineapple Salsa

About a week and a half ago, I was going to make BBQ chicken quesadillas with pineapple salsa.  I realized in my hurry at the grocery store, I got out without the tortillas, and I didn't have any in the fridge.  I had hungry boys that needed to be fed!  What do I do?  Well, this was what I came up with, and my husband has asked me almost every other night when I'm making them again!  These have a wonderful combination of salty, sweet, and crunch.

BBQ Chicken Nachos with Pineapple Salsa
2 breasts of chicken
Pinch of salt
4 TBSP BBQ sauce
1 bag tortilla chips, organic if possible
1-1 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated

For Salsa:
1/2 fresh pineapple cut into wedges
2 green onions, sliced with some green parts
2 TBSP Cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 cob fresh corn, removed from husk
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and diced

Grill pineapple, place on a panini press or under broiler for 3-4 minutes.  Dice other ingredients for salsa and add salt.  Put in small bowl and set aside.

Salt chicken.  Grill chicken until cooked through.  When the chicken is cooked, brush with BBQ sauce and cut into small bite-sized pieces.

Layer chips, chicken and cheese on a baking sheet and heat under a broiler until the cheese is melted.  Top with salsa and serve.  Enjoy!

Sunday: Broccoli and Pesto Tagliatelle from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
Monday: Steak and Cheese Croissant Sandwiches
Tuesday: Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Chicken Korma
Friday: Homemade Pizza

Homemade Fruit Leather
Granola Bites

homemade granola
waffles with peanut butter

Friday, July 8, 2011

S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches

Last weekend, my son wanted s'mores while we were on vacation.  Between being out site seeing in the Sierras and not wanting to fire up the gas grill, it didn't happen!  This week, back at home, it was HOT, HOT, HOT!  I didn't want to stand over a grill or oven of any kind!  Instead of S'mores, this is what I came up with!

S'mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
2 cups nonfat or 1% milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup semi-sweet and 3/4 cup bittersweet)
1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows (I used organic ones)
2 squares graham crackers
In ice cream maker, mix milks and sugar according to the directions on your ice cream maker.  As the ice cream begins to freeze, slowly add chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Continue to churn for about 15 minutes.  Freeze in freezer for 1-2 hours.  To make sandwiches, scoop ice cream onto graham crackers and make into a sandwich.  This is a great hot day treat!

I'm linking to Sweet Tooth Friday and  Sweets For a Saturday.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Menu Plan Tuesday

We got home last last night, after having a great time on our first trip of the summer.  I have recipes to post later this week, but right now I'm just going to get my menu plan taken care of so I can grocery shop while my little man is at his rock climbing class this morning.  Sorry for the rush!

Tuesday: Pasta with grilled summer squash
Wednesday: Pepperocini and Beef Sandwiches with asparagus fries, peach cobbler for dessert
Thursday: visiting friends, leftovers for my hubby
Friday: homemade pizza

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baked Asparagus Fries and Menu Plan

I'm always looking for new ways to cook vegetables.  Last week when my Fine Cooking magazine arrived, I was very excited to see a recipe for asparagus fries.  I was not so excited to see that they were fried in oil.  I played with the recipe a little and made them healthier.  These were a huge hit with our family!

Baked Asparagus Fries
1 pound asparagus, cut with tips to 2 1/2-3 inch "fries"
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
2 cups bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover asparagus with egg whites, then cover with bread crumbs.  Lay on baking sheet.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until bread crumbs are golden brown and asparagus is tender, but still crispy.

Serve with your favorite spicy chipotle aioli.

Menu Plan:
Sunday: Whole Wheat Pasta with Homemade Pesto
Monday: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes
Tuesday: BBQ Chicken and pineapple quesadillas
Wednesday:  Pepperocini and Beef Sandwiches
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: We are off on a family trip

Homemade English Muffins
Homemade granola

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty TidbitsWhat's on the Menu WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, and What's for Dinner?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Honey Almond Granola and Menu Plan

Granola is one of my favorite breakfasts!  It fills me up, helps be start my day, and tastes great.  About 4 months ago, I tarted looking at recipes and decided to try my hand at making my own.  The great thing about homemade granola is once you get the ratios down, you can add flavor in any way that you like!  Let me know what way you like it when you try it.

Honey Almond Granola
8 cups uncooked rolled oats
2 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put oats and almonds in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, mix together oil, honey, cinnamon, almond extract, and vanilla extract.  Drizzle honey mixture over oat and nut mixture.  Spread oats over a cookie sheet in one layer.  Cook at 350 degrees for one hour, turning with a spatula every 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.  I find its delicious for about 2 weeks.

Honey Almond Granola
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Egg Sandwiches

Monday:  Grilled Chicken Caesar Wraps
Tuesday:  Tri-Tip Pasta Salad
Thursday: Grilled Chicken and Summer Squash Salad
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Dinner Out

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cheesy Spaghetti and Menu Plan

With a day and a half left of school, I am getting ready to get back to my favorite ways to entertain myself; namely cooking, sewing, scrapbooking and shopping!  I thought this week, I'd share a favorite recipe from my childhood.  My mom used to make this when we were kids.  Make this when other people are around to share, because if you make it by yourself, there will be no leftovers, not that I'm speaking from experience or anything!  This is one of my favorite comfort foods.  It has almost all my favorite foods in it; cheese, garlic and pasta.  How can you go wrong with those?    I've changed the recipe a little over the years, but this is ultimate comfort food!

1 lb box spaghetti (I used fresh spaghetti)
1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp milk

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta and return to cooking pot.  Add cheese and other ingredients and mix until cheese is melted and distributed throughout the pasta.  

Yep, I think its the easiest recipe I've ever posted here!  I had a craving for it last weekend, and when I posted it on Facebook, I had 3 friends ask me for the recipe, so there you go!  Its definitely a cold day, comfort food type recipe.  (In my beautiful, sunny California right now, it feels like January!) Enjoy!

Sunday: Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
Monday: Spicy Peanut Noodles and chicken strips
Tuesday: Macaroni and Cheese
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Turkey Burgers with turkey bacon and avocado
Friday: homemade pizza

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty TidbitsWhat's on the Menu WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, and What's for Dinner?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart grow fonder!

I want to apologize for my lack of posting lately.  Its the end of the school year, and we had 30 people at our house for a BBQ yesterday.  I'm posting my menu plan, but no recipe today.  Between report cards, finishing up the school year and everything else right now, I will be back next week with new recipes and some more to share!  Hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Monday: Lots of yummy food for our BBQ!
Tuesday: Chicken (or veggie) soft tacos
Wednesday: Pasta with pancetta and homemade red sauce
Thursday: sausage, spinach and potato skillet (leftover spicy sausage from BBQ)
Friday: homemade pizza and movie night :)

This week, I'm only linking to Menu Plan Monday.  I'll be back with my regular menus, recipes, etc, next week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crockpot Vinegar Pulled Pork and Menu Plan

Last week, I ended up being home again with my little man, be was sick.  After a trip to the doctor to make sure it wasn't strep, I decided that since I was going to be home all day, I'd do something special for dinner.  Not only did I come up with this delicious recipe, but I also got the counter cleaned off and started on my desk!  Even though I wasn't working in my classroom for Spring Open House (which came together on Thursday anyway), I got a lot done around the house while my little guy recuperated by watching movies and playing with Legos)

Crockpot Vinegar Pulled Pork

1 lean pork tenderloin
1/2 cup high quality Cabernet Vinegar (You may need more if you have a large pork tenderloin, mine was only 3.5 lbs)
8-12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
6-8 basil leaves, shredded
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 pinch salt

Cook in crockpot for 6 hours on low.  Serve as sandwiches.  I used Ciabatta bread.  

Menu Plan:
Sunday- Corn Chowder
Monday- Fettuccine with Broccoli Rabe and grilled Chicken
Tuesday- Steak Salad with Basil Dressing
Wednesday- Leftovers
Thursday- Dinner out, its my birthday!
Friday- Homemade pizza


homemade granola
chocolate chip muffins

veggies with hummus or peanut butter
Pirate's Bootie

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty TidbitsWhat's on the Menu WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, and What's for Dinner?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce and Menu Plan

A couple months ago, I started making this recipe, and I use it often.  I make a big batch while I'm making pizza or another dish and freeze aprt of it in 1 1/2 portions so I can pull it out other nights.  After some experimenting, I decided I like the crushed tomatoes best because the sauce has more texture and flavor.  Its great as a pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and I even used it last week when I made sausage and pepper sandwiches.  A couple weeks ago, I boiled some pasta, added some panchetta, and voila!  a delicious, easy dinner.

2 large cans crushed tomatoes
4-6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp fresh rosemary

Put tomatoes in large saucepan.  Cook on medium heat.  Add seasonings.  Simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes.  I find it doesn't need salt, but I often add a little bit of black pepper at the end.

Sunday: Pasta with steak, onions and spinach
Monday: Crunchy Garlic Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuits, caesar salad
Tuesday: Quinoa Pasta Taco Salad
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: I have Open House for work, so I'm eating there.  The boys are on their own!
Friday: Homemade Pizza with homemade sauce

Wraps with deli meat (ham and buffalo chicken this week)

waffles with peanut butter
homemade granola

Snacks and treats:
fruit and yogurt popsicles (homemade)
celery and carrot sticks with hummus
cheese and crackers