Saturday, February 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 2/27

I am so glad to be home and be able too cook again and just enjoy being in my kitchen!  I always love vacation and getting away and happy memories and fun as a family, but more than vacation, I love returning home and enjoying where we live.  I kind of wish we didn't have to go back to the hustle and bustle of the work week, but I get to make dinner for my family and being home together!

So, here's our plan for the week...

Sunday:  Out to dinner to celebrate my husband's birthday!

Monday: BBQ chicken fingers with spinach salad

Tuesday: Raspberry chipotle marinated flank steak sandwiches and sweet potato fries

Wednesday: leftovers for the boys while I'm at PTA meeting

Thursday:  I have a hair appointment after work, I think I'll pick up mexican on the way home!

Friday: homemade pizza

For more menu planning ideas, head over to
What have you planned for the week?

We're back!

We were away on a family vacation for the last 5 days.  We had a blast, but it was so good to be home last night and sleep in our own beds.  I'm tired of eating out and ready to cook for my family!  Tonight, we'll have homemade pizza.  Tomorrow is my husband's birthday, so I'm making his favorite, chicken cordon bleu.

Our vacation started with a drive to San Diego.  We stopped in Santa Barbara for some lunch and a visit to the ocean.  My little man got to spend some time playing in the sand.


We got to the hotel late.  We stayed on Coronado Island in a beautiful hotel.

On Monday, we played in the pool and just hung out in the sunshine.  It was nice to just kick back and see my husband and my son play together in the pool!

We went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park on Wednesday.  I went there about 25 years ago, and it has changed so much!  I love the wide open spaces for the animals to roam.  We saw 2 baby animals just born that day!  The hilight of the day was seeing my son feed the lorakeets!  He had a blast and spent his money so he could buy the food and do it again before we left!  What an experience!

On Thursday, we went to Disneyland!  What a blast.  We rode rides and played and had a blast spending time together.  After all the time in the park, my little guy went to Ridemakerz and he got to build a car.  Its kind of Build A Bear for cars.  He enjoyed that part of the trip the best, I think.  Its definitely going to be a go-to place for birthdays and Christmas!  I wish we had the store closer!

It was a wonderful week together.  Now time to get back to reality!  The laundry needs to be done and I have a fridge that needs to be cleaned out!

Monday, February 14, 2011

{virtual} coffee

If we were meeting for coffee today, I'd ask you to come to my place.  I have lots of tea and some coffee, what would you like?  I have some delicious cinnamon and strawberry mini-muffins that I made last night too.  Have one or two or 3!

If you were coming to my house today, I'd have to point out my clean tile floor.  We had it cleaned on Saturday.  I am so excited!  It looks great and I am thrilled at how it turned out.  After I pointed out the floor, I'd also show you my new curtains.  Its nice to be slowly making our house our home!  I'd have to tell you that I'm trying to talk my husband into us getting new couches for our second wedding anniversary.  I'll keep you posted on my progress on that one!

Finally, I'd tell you that Valentine's Day for our family wasn't ideal.  My husband's company decided that Valentine's Day was a good day for them to go back to his crazy overtime work schedule.  So, I made mac n cheese for our family and had dinner with the 2 kids.  I got little man to bed and then the older one helped me with the dishes.  My husband came home with beautiful flowers for me.  Bless his heart!  A 12 hour work day, an hour drive home and he still thought to get me flowers.  I married a great guy!  I also got a beautiful necklace from Brighton to match the earrings he got me for Christmas!

I'd also sneak in some talk about how we're starting to really look forward to our getaway next week.  We're all so excited to get out of town and sleep in and have fun together.

What has your week been like?  How was your Valentine's Day?  I'm looking forward to hearing all about you and what's going on in your life!

For more cups of coffee or tea, you can go to Lucky Number 13 for more {virtual } coffee

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday week of 2/14

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you have some special time planned with your loved ones for this day.  My hubby and I were supposed to have a date night last night.  He got home late from work and I was exhausted.  So, my wonderful husband went and picked up Cheesecake Factory and we cuddled up in bed and watched sappy romantic movies.  I love going out with my husband, but I also love that we can stay in and enjoy time together too!

Monday: Macaroni and Cheese
Tuesday: Take-out (Its fundraising week for our school district)
Wednesday: Spicy Chicken and noodles  I've wanted to try this for a couple weeks!
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: homemade pizza
Saturday: not sure.  We leave for vacation the next day, so we'll either get something out or eat up leftovers again!

Happy Valentines Day!  Have a great week!  For more menu planning, visit

My family's favorite (Mac n Cheese)

My macaroni and cheese is famous.  Maybe not as famous as Kraft, but all my friend's kids love my macaroni and cheese.  In fact, my godchildren tell their mom that mine is the best ever on a regular basis!  My son has made it very apparent to everyone in the family that mommy's macaroni and cheese is the best in the whole world.  I asked him last week what he wanted for Valentine's Day and I wasn't surprised, he asked for my macaroni and cheese!  Last time I made it, I finally took pictures.  So, before I go grocery shopping and bake the muffins I am taking for his class party tomorrow, I will share recipe for my macaroni and cheese.  Enjoy!

1 box elbow macaroni (I use quinoa pasta)
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
pinch salt
1T olive oil
2 T flour
1 1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
2 cups sharp white cheddar
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cups bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Boil 6 quarts of water with salt.  While water boils, chop cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.  Boil pasta about half-way to aldente, then add cauliflower.  Drain and put pasta and cauliflower into deep dish casserole dish.

Add oil to saute pan.  Once oil is heated, add flour and mix together.  Add milk once a paste is formed with the flour and oil. Add milk to pan.   Cook until the milk begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Next, add tomato paste.  mix together until sauce thickens and is heated through

Add shredded cheese, reserving about 1/2 cup for the top of your dish before it goes into the oven.  Incorporate cheese until its melted and incorporated into sauce

Add small amount of salt and pepper, as needed.

Pour sauce ever pasta and cauliflower and mix a little so the sauce is mixed in.  Top with reserved cheese and breadcrumbs.  Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{virtual} coffee

Good Morning!  I hope you are having a great day.  If we were meeting for coffee, I'd suggest we meet at Peet's Coffee.  They have the raspberry mochas back, and as always, I'm in love!  I would get mine with nonfat milk, and half the chocolate and raspberry syrup since the whole lot is WAY too sweet for me!  Maybe a little whipped cream!  Let's sit outside since the weather here is still beautiful.  The rain is supposed to be back this week.

If we were meeting for coffee today, I'd have so much to tell you!  I'm not even sure where to start!  First, I'd tell you how proud of my little man I am!  He had his first communion on Sunday.  The children participated in the church service and each child participating had a part to read.  My heart swelled with pride when he read!  He did such an awesome job.  I've been a member of that church since I was his age, and I still hate getting up in that big church and reading in front of all those people!

Next, I wouldn't be able to hold of telling you that my husband bought my birthday present yesterday.  OK, I know you'd tell me that my birthday isn't until May.  Yes, but I don't actually get my present til the week after, I'd say.  I get to go see U2 in concert!  I am so excited!  I've wanted to see them in concert since high school.  We won't talk about how long that's been.  Let's suffice it to say that I've wanted this for a long time!  Then I'd grin and tell you I married the most wonderful man in the world!

Finally, I'd tell you I'm starting to run again.  I have to start back at the beginning of the Couch 2 5k, but I'm back to it.  I've been struggling with an injury and doing Physical Therapy for a few months now.  Its hard to go back to the beginning after doing a 1/2 marathon, but it feels good to be back!

What is going on with you this week?  I hope you are having as good a week as I am!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Menu Plan Week of 2/7

I think I need a weekend from my weekend!  Yesterday was supposed to be a lazy, hang around the house day.  Instead, I got an email from my son's dad on Thursday night saying that my son had baseball practice on Saturday morning.  After baseball, we ran home and got lunch.  Then we had errands to run.  Today was my son's First Communion.  He read his parts of the service beautifully!  I was so proud of him.  We enjoyed a beautiful day at my dad's house with friends and family.

Here's our plan for this week:

Monday: Spinach Soup and grilled cheese

Tuesday: Pork Tacos with spanish rice and bean salad

Wednesday: Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli

Thursday: Teriyaki marinated Flank Steak

Friday: Leftover Flank Steak Sandwiches and sweet potato fries

And we have cake, LOTS and LOTS of cake!  When I ordered the cake for my son's First Communion, we had 30 people coming.  By today, we had 15.  So, we have lots of extra to enjoy this week.  Its a good think I go back to running this week!

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I hope you have a great week!