Tuesday, April 26, 2011

{virtual} coffee

Good Morning!  Welcome to my home!  I am so glad you're here.  Since I got up early this morning and went for a run, I'm drinking coffee.  Would you like a slice of the lemon bundt cake I made with little man last night?   I really wanted to just go back to bed after my run, but, alas, I must go to work.  I'm excited to say that I have 28 days left of school, and our summer plans are finally coming together!

I have so much to show you!  I know the front yard is still a mess, but did you see the 3 beautiful irises out in front?  I planted those a year ago, and they never bloomed last year.  I'm so excited they're blooming this year!  You'll also probably be greeted by the out of control rose bush in our front yard!

My husband and I had the week off together last week.  My son was with his dad all week, so my hubby and I tackled some house projects.  I don't know about you, but we started with a couple projects and one thing led to another, and now everything is moved around!  We started out by getting a new HD TV.  That went on the wall, so we didn't need the TV stand we bought 2 years ago.  Then we decided to move the cabinet that was in our bedroom downstairs to organize DVDs and my son's toys.  Finally, we got rid of the awful black curtains and got some beautiful curtains to replace them!  I think that's my favorite part!

Spring is here, and I am so excited that the sun is out.  I hope that after a couple errands this afternoon, my little man can go out in front of our house and ride his bike a little.

I'm linking up to {virtual} coffee at Lucky 13

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Greek Steak Gyros and Menu Plan

Last week, I didn't do a lot of cooking.  My husband and I were working on the house or out and about, so I didn't get a lot of time in the kitchen this past week!  I did make gyros, and they were delicious!  I thought I'd share the recipe.

1 skirt steak, cut into bite-sized strips
1beer (I used Blue Moon, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup cilantro, diced

Marinade skirt steak for 30 minutes, or over night.  When ready to eat, grill meat until tender and cooked to your preferences.  I did this on my panini press and it worked out very well!

Tzatziki Sauce (adapted from Alton John):
1 16 oz. container greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
Dash of salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tbsp cilantro, diced
4-6 mint leaves, diced

Mix all ingredients into a small bowl.  Taste and season as needed.

For sandwiches:
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4-5 lettuce leaves, cut into small pieces
whole wheat pitas, one for each person, tops sliced off

For assembly, layer pita with lettuce, tomato, meat, sauce, and repeat.
They were a hit!  

Menu Plan:
Monday: Macaroni and Cheese
Tuesday: Baked Chicken Parmesan 
Wednesday: Spiced Chicken and Rice
Thursday: veggie quesadillas
Friday: I'll pick something up on my way home from my son's baseball practice
Saturday: We may be at friend's house for dinner, but if not, we'll have homemade pizza

homemade granola
homemade english muffins

hummus and chips

lemon bundt cake

I'll be linking to Menu Plan MondayMouthwathering MondayTempt My Tummy Tuesday Tuesday's Tasty TidbitsWhat's on the Menu WednesdayFull Plate ThursdayWhat's for Dinner? and This Week's Cooking

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vacation Menu Plan

I'll have a couple new recipes and pictures nex week, but I'm popping in quickly to add my menu plan for the week. My husband and I have been out and about, enjoying some time together.  We'll be home the next few days, still in and out, but home enough for me to have some time in my kitchen.  So, here's what I'm going to the grocery store to have on hand for the rest of the week:

Verde Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Tikka Masala
Homemade Pizza

I'm not attaching days to these because I have no idea where we'll be, but this is what I'll have on hand for dinners and lunches.  Some of it may end up on the menu for next week too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

{virtual} coffee

Good Morning! 
 Please come in and have some raspberry hot chocolate. 
I will post the recipe later this week.  

I hope you are having a good week.  The sun is out here, but its still cold.  We're supposed to have sun all week, which is good, because I am tired of clouds and rain.  

Oh, my son is better!  It was so sad to watch him last week, when he was sick.  On Wednesday, I took 1/2 day off to take him to the doctor again.  I heard his running footsteps down the hallway to my bedroom from his, and my heart leapt!  My little man was back!  His stepmom is sick again, but I'm hoping my little man will stay healthy. 

We had a busy weekend.  Little Man had a baseball game on Saturday, then we had our big school fundraiser.  We ended the evening with dinner at our favorite place!  On Sunday, we had church and did some shopping for summer clothes for Little Man (had to use those gymbucks!)  When we came home from our errands, I dropped our packages and then went to find my little man.  Here's what I found him doing! I snapped a bunch of pictures of him enjoying the weeds that have taken over our yard!  

Next week is spring break!  My son is spending the week with his dad, which makes me sad. My husband will be home with me though, which will be a nice treat.  When we got married almost 2 years ago, we moved 2 houses into one.  For about 2 weeks when we moved in, I got to park in the garage, then we moved the rest of his stuff in and my parking spot became a storage room!  Before we do anything next week, we are cleaning out the garage!  Its going to be a lot of work, but it will be good to finally have time to get all that cleaned out.  We will also make time for some fun.  

After gushing about some time off, I'd ask you what you've been up to.  How is the weather where you are?  Are you enjoying the spring weather? What projects do you need to tackle around the house?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baked Garlic Fries and Weekly Menu

I love garlic fries, but I hate to think about how many calories I am ingesting when I order them when we're out.  This is my version that I make at home.  I make either these or sweet potato fries at least every other week.

4-6 yukon gold potatoes, washed and cut into strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-5 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  
Wash and cut potatoes.  Drizzle olive oil on potatoes, then add garlic, salt and pepper.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are soft and begin to brown around the edges.  When they come out of the oven, add parsley and parmesan.  Enjoy!  


homemade granola
homemade english muffins
frozen waffles


Sunday: Flank Steak with Sun-dried Tomatoes and goat cheese with parmesan baked cauliflower
Monday: Root Vegetable Pot Pie
Wednesday: ravioli with homemade tomato sauce
Thursday: {the teen}'s birthday.  My stepson turns 18 today.  We're headed down to my in-law's for dinner
Friday: Homemade pizza

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

{virtual} coffee

Good morning!
Please come in and have a cup of french press.  I stopped yesterday and picked up some fresh roasted beans at our local coffee shop downtown.  I'm having mine with frothy vanilla milk.  How would you like yours?  Yesterday, I also made some delicious homemade granola and homemade english muffins.  

Before we start talking about our week, I need to apologize.  Last week, I was not very gracious or social.  I don't think I stopped by anyone's for a cup, and I feel guilty.  It was one heck of a week last week.  I was an emotional mess and exhausted after work every day.  I will be better this week, I promise!  I chose this cup today for me.  Its time for me to snap out of it!  Last week was tough, but I need to move on!  

As we settle in on the couch, with the sun streaming in the window, you will probably notice the kid shows on in the background.  Yes, my little guy, who I brag about never getting sick, is sick again.  On Saturday morning, while I was running errands and getting ready to go meet him at his baseball game (he was at dad's house last weekend), I got a text from his stepmother that he had a 102.3 fever.  My heart broke, shattered.  He just can't catch a break this year.  He ended up getting sick to his stomach 3 times.  We've been home together yesterday and today.  His appetite isn't really back, and his fever comes and goes.  I just want to wave a magic wand and make it all better.

Next, I'd tell you that my friend is home from Europe!  I drove up there on Saturday afternoon and spent a much-needed afternoon shopping and talking with her.  Its so nice to have her home!  We live about 45 minutes apart, but just knowing she's there in her house, and I can txt her or call her makes things look brighter.  I love being able to share with each other over the years.  

I think I'd also mention that we have Spring Break coming up in a week and a half.  My son will be with his dad for the week, but my husband will be home!  We're planning to spend the beginning of the week cleaning out our scary garage.  I hope we get it done so we can take some day trips.  I'd really like to go down to Carmel and maybe spend a day wine tasting.  Maybe we'll get to San Francisco to the museum. We've been together almost 5 years and have always talked about it.  I hope this year, we can make it!

What is going on in your life?  Is everyone healthy?  I'm so glad you stopped by for a cup of coffee.  I hope to see you next week!  For another cup or 2, visit Lucky 13.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tomato and Chorizo Salad and Menu Plan

A couple weeks ago, I was watching the Food Network, and Jamie Oliver Came on.  Jamie is truly inspired, in my mind, when it come to cooking!  I love his dishes and the way he mixes flavors.  When I saw him make this, I knew I had to make it.  My husband LOVES chorizo.  Its one of the things he loves, but I rarely make. I had the leftovers for a snack a couple days later and it was just as good!  Let me know what you think.

olive oil
2 links chorizo, sliced roughly
1 basket cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
1 large tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp. italian parsley
2 green onions, sliced thin (white part and some of the green)
2-3 tbsp. white wine vinegar

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto a pan and cook chorizo until crispy.  Meanwhile, slice vegetables and add to a salad bowl.  Season with salt and pepper, olive oil, and white wine vinegar, add vinegar a tablespoon at a time and taste before adding the next one.   When the chorizo is crispy, add it to the salad.  I served this right away, but it was delicious cold too.


homemade granola and yogurt
english muffins

homemade chicken strips

Sunday: Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells  (Giada De Laurentis)
Tuesday: Baked Ziti with Proscuitto and Peas (I'm basing this on a recipe from my new favorite cookbook, but I'm lightening the sauce)
Wednesday: Pesto and Mozzarella Panini and roasted cauliflower
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Homemade pizza
Saturday: We'll probably eat out because we will be out all day.  We have baseball and our huge school fundraiser.

I'll be linking to:

Have a great week!