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

Monday, May 9, 2011

{virtual} coffee

Good morning!  I am so glad you are joining me for coffee!  I think I'm going to go for coffee again this morning.  Would you like some?  I made lemon donuts over the weekend, I'll offer you one of those too!  They are delicious!

First, I'd ask yo how your Mother's Day was.  Mine was wonderful!  My house is filled with flowers right now.  Between the flowers I received from my students last week for Teacher Appreciation Day, and the ones my husband and my son got me, the house is full!  After brunch yesterday, my son walked up and picked out this bouquet with my dad and my husband.  I got to wander around downtown and I got myself a few things in the kitchen store!  I finally found myself an apron and I got myself a new spoon rest for the stove.  After shopping and brunch, we headed home.  The boys watched a movie and I fell asleep on the couch!  I love Sunday afternoon naps!

On Saturday, my little man had a baseball game.  He got to play catcher for the first time!  He was so excited.

We're having a slight back step in our weather.  At the baseball game on Saturday, it was really cold!  The wind is kicking up in the evening, and we had 2 nights of baseball where we sat there freezing!

I'm really looking forward to Zumba on Wednesday evening!  I found a local class that I can make.  I'm so excited to have the opportunity to do it again.  I hope I like the instructor as much as I did my first class!

I think that's all I have for this week.  What did you do for Mother's Day?  How is the weather where you are?  Have a wonderful week, and I hope you'll join me next week!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pineapple Chipotle Tacos and Menu Plan

I tired something a little different last week!  These tacos were delicious and so easy! 

Pineapple Chipotle Tacos

1 pork shoulder
1 jar chipotle salsa
1 pineapple, 1/2 reserved
corn tortillas (I used white corn tortillas)
monterey jack, grated I used half regular and half habanero pepper monterey jack
cilantro for garnish

Place pork shoulder in a crock pot.  Pour chipotle salsa over the pork shoulder.  Add half the pineapple, cut into chunks.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

When ready to serve, grill pineapple (I did it on my panini press) and heat tortillas.  Layer tortillas with pork, cheese, and grilled pineapple, and cilantro on  a tortilla.  I served it with a salad topped with mangos and a fat free tropical salad dressing.  This one was one to add to the favorites for our family!

Tuesday: Turkey Lasagna
Wednesday: Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: Homemade Beer Battered Pizza


english muffins with peanut butter
lemon donuts (I'll post this recipe later in the week!)

mulit-grain chips and hummus
veggie sticks

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 3, 2011

{virtual} coffee

Good morning!
Thank you for joining me for coffee!  The house isn't as clean as I'd like, and I don't have any yummy baked goods this week, but that's how we're rolling this morning!  I'm going to have some coffee.  Would you like a cup out of the french press or would you like to look at my tea stash and have a cup of tea?

The weekend was nice, although chaotic!  On Saturday morning, I tried my first Zumba class!  I love it.  Have you ever tried Zumba?  Its Latin Dance in the form of a cardio workout.  I had so much fun and got in a great workout too.  After Zumba, little man had his baseball game.  He had 2 great hits and got the first out of the game!  Its so fun to watch him play.  He loves the game and is getting really good!

Saturday afternoon, we had some friends over.  The kids played and the mommies hung out and chatted.  My oldest god-daughter wanted to watch the wedding.  She's getting so grown up!  She's 10.  She came over and sat in my lap and I was reminiscing about holding her the day she was born.  Between my god-daughter and my son, I want to freeze time for a little while.  They're growing so fast!

Sunday morning I made waffles and we just hung out.  We needed some family time and that's what we did!  I hope God understands why we didn't make it to church.  In the afternoon, we went to my alma mater for a baseball game.  Go Broncos! We lost, but it was still so nice to have the family just hang out and spend some time together!

I'm looking forward to this weekend, which should bring a little more relaxation, and some pampering for me at one of my favorite seafood restaurants!  My husband and son have a date Saturday afternoon for lunch and some secret mission while I go spend some time scrapbooking.

After my babbling about my weekend, I'd sit back and ask you what you've been up to.  How have you enjoyed time with your loved ones lately?  How do you celebrate Mother's Day?  Have a great week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Steak and Artichoke Salad Pasta

No, this isn't a Pasta salad, its a salad pasta!  A couple weeks ago, I had some leftover steak in the fridge and I was trying to decide what to do with it.  After looking at a few of my favorite blogs to get some inspiration, this is what I came up with!

Steak and Artichoke Pasta
1 lb package Ziti pasta
1 14 oz. jar artichoke hearts, packed in water, sliced
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, sliced into thin strips
1/2 lb leftover marinated steak, sliced into strips
3-4 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
mixed greens, 1 handfull per plate
olive oil, salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Heat skillet with a small amount of olive oil in the skillet.  Heat steak until just heated through.  Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes.  Heat for 3-4 minutes.  Layer pasta and steak and vegetable mix in pasta bowl.  Crumble goat cheese and add mixed greens to dish.

Monday:  Asparagus, proscuitto, and cheese panini and sweet potato chips
Tuesday: Pork Navajo Tacos with Pineapple Chipotle glaze
Wednesday: leftovers for the boys, I have PTA meeting
Thursday: Turkey Lasagna
Friday: Pizza Night!

homemade granola
toast with peanut butter or nutella


cheese and crackers
Pirate's Booty

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?