Monday Musings & Menu Plans

Happy Monday, everyone!img_1211

The weather is feeling rather fall-ish around here. It’s a gloomy day today, but the temperatures are really nice. I’ve pulled out my trusty fleece vests, happy to snuggle up in them again for a few months.

And that means hearty soups and stews for dinners – comfort food at it’s best. I am so happy.  Love cooking that stuff – love eating it even more!

Last week, the girls’ virus derailed my dinner plans for a few days. Pretty much all they wanted to eat those few days were bagels and ginger ale.  So, I have a few things that I’m carrying over from last week to this week.

I think I may have the virus myself, so haven’t really been feeling up to cooking much – so I’ll be focusing on simple things (read crock pot friendly) and comfort food favorites.

Dinners

Lunches

Monday Shredded Beef Burritos Leftover Baked ravioli from last week (recipe coming soon)
Tuesday Cheesy Chicken Pasta (requested by kids)
Wednesday Chicken Fried Rice (carried over from last week) leftover chicken pasta
Thursday Cheesy breadsticks w/ marinara sauce sub sandwiches
Friday Dinner out – Friday night Mexican cheesy breadsticks with a salad

I’m also craving some chicken tortilla soup but won’t be making that until my tummy feels a little better. Right now, the only thing that tastes good to me are saltine crackers and ginger ale. Ugh.

Hope you all have a great week!!

Monday Musings & Menu Plans

 

Oh, my, it’s Monday again.

How did this happen?

Over and over and over again – Monday just keeps sneaking up on us.

Someone really should do something about that.

I’m sitting in my office on this gloomy, rainy Monday morning with my Jabba-the-hut kitty cat sitting in my lap (my legs will be numb soon) and I’m contemplating the week’s activities and menu planning.

It is supposed to rain all day and into tomorrow – which means, to me, it’s a day for soup!  I’m trying out a white bean chicken chili. If it turns out well, I’ll share the recipe with you later in the week. I’ve just concocted something based on reading several recipes online and taking a little from this one and a little from that. We’ll see how it turns out.

As for the rest of the week, here’s what I’ve got planned.

Dinners Lunches
Monday White Bean Chicken Chili leftover chili mac
Tuesday leftover fajitas white bean chicken chili
Wednesday Chicken Fried Rice Salads
Thursday Cheesy breadsticks w/ marinara sauce TBD
Friday dinner out cheesy breadsticks with a salad
Saturday Atlanta Greek Festival (?) sandwiches

I’ve also got to make some sweets for the girls’ lunches. I’m thinking of trying the Pioneer Woman’s granola bars. I’m hoping they turn out better than the last type I made – those fell apart. They were tasty, but they didn’t hold up very well. More crumbly than bar-y.

I’ll probably also make a cake – I made an apple cake on Saturday but it disappeared last night at our gathering with our friends from church.  I love that – when people devour something I cook. Makes my heart happy.

So, that’s my week in the kitchen. If I come up with anything good, I’ll be sure to share with you here on the blog.

What’s cookin’ in your kitchen this weekend?

 

Friday Adventures & Menu Plan Monday ~ 27 Aug

 

Last Friday, SuperMan and I had a big adventure. It started out as a trip to the store where I buy my wheat berries & sucanat for baking. I mentioned I needed to stop by the grocery store and he suggested going to the international market. I was game, but then we realized that it was over an hour away from where we were and we decided that was just too far to go and try to make it back for carpool.

So, SuperMan said, “Leave it to me. I know where I’m going to take you.”

I sat back and enjoyed the ride…

and we ended up at a SuperH Mart. Have you ever been to one of these? It’s a Korean market and they had the coolest things. SuperMan was laughing at me as I snapped picture after picture with my phone.  He said, “You’re not going to buy anything, just take pictures of it?” IMG_1967[1]

I decided that pictures were safer than purchases – IMG_1968[1]

This picture is titled “Things I’ll never eat”

But it was so much fun. (well, except for the overwhelming fish smell. me no likey raw fish smell)

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And then we went to lunch at a Cuban restaurant. (grin)

A great time together – almost like a “date” although we were being productive at the same time.

This week, we’re looking forward to an early release day at school and the long holiday weekend.  Seriously, we can’t wait.  SO ready for a little fun with the family.  It’s going to be busy, busy before we get to that holiday weekend. We have meetings and classes almost every night.  That long weekend will be well-earned, for sure.

In preparation for the week, here’s what I have planned on the menu:

  • Monday: Cuban Pork, black beans & rice
  • Tuesday: Taco salads
  • Wednesday: Pesto chicken with pasta & parmesan
  • Thursday: leftovers

So, what’s on your menu plan for the weekend?

 

Menu Plan Monday ~ 20 August 12

 

Hello, and Happy Monday to you all!

It was another busy weekend at our house, filled with Saturday baths for the puppies, car washes and grass cutting.  And some great times with great friends on Saturday night.  The weekend was capped off by the very best part – Picking up Big Girl on Sunday from her Boot Camp weekend.  It’s a weekend retreat the church does just for sixth graders – to focus on them for one whole weekend as they transition to middle school.

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Little Bit has been sick with a cold.  And has tried to share it with us big people. I have been running a low fever today so I think she may have been somewhat successful. Big Girl sent me a text at 1AM on Sunday telling me she was all stuffy and had a sore throat. I guess she got infected before she left us on Friday. Sad smile

Regardless, it was a good weekend.  And I think she had a good time as well at her retreat.  Sunday was the best day of the two – of course – because Big Girl came home.  I couldn’t wait to see her!

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She was exhausted (of course) and ready for a hot shower and some peace and quiet.  We were all in bed by 7 last night! The power went out because of storms so we just all decided to turn in early.  I think we all needed the rest.

This week, I’ve got some comfort food planned for the first part of the week – at least until we kick this virus to the curb.

Here’s what’s on my menu plan this week:

I’m also making some homemade bread – trying this new recipe out.  Big Girl is making some brownies for lunch snacks and I’ll probably make some other lunch snack/sweet later in the week.

What’s on your menu this week?

 

Bourbon Street Chicken

 

With the new schedule for the girls’ schools and after-school activities, I’m on the hunt for some new, easy recipes to cook. The after-school schedule is different enough that I’m having to get creative with some dinner routines. I’m shooting for 6:00 for suppertime, but that doesn’t work on the nights that Big Girl has dance classes because they are later in the evening. I think she and Super Man will be eating late dinners together those nights and Little Bit and I will eat together earlier. It’s a juggling act and we’re just going with the flow for right now.

Last night, we tried something relatively new for dinner.  I’ve made it once before, but no one seems to remember eating it and I can’t remember if everyone liked it or not!  As I cooked, I was wondering if I was making something I was just going to throw in the garbage because of this, but it turned out to be a success and everyone loved it.

This will definitely go into my list of regularly-cooked menu items, I think.  It’s a sweet and tangy glazed chicken dish – reminiscent of some of the chicken dishes I remember having at the quick-cook Asian restaurants when I worked downtown.  It’s not technically Asian in origin and I think the original recipe hails from Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Regardless, it is really good and worth a try!

(sorry for the grainy cell phone picture – I forgot to take a “real” one before we ate!)

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Bourbon Street Chicken

4-6 servings

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts; cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 Tbs olive oil
1 heaping tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 c apple juice (I just used an apple/grape juice box I had in the fridge for kids’ lunches)
1/3 c brown sugar (or 1/4 c Splenda brown sugar blend)
2 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1 Tbs corn starch (to thicken sauce)

  1. In a large skillet, sauté the chicken pieces in the olive oil.
    (I seasoned mine lightly with Houston House Seasoning)
  2. While chicken is cooking, whisk remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Once chicken is browned, pour in the sauce. Stir to coat chicken and bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes. (Until sauce thickens)
  5. Serve over rice.

I also served mine with some steamed veggies.  It was a huge hit – Big Girl even ate two helpings!

I think next time I might even toss some sesame seeds on the chicken right before serving.

 

Menu Plan Monday ~ 18 June

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend.  We did. It was busy on Saturday, but Sunday was all about peace and rest.  Other than church, we took it easy all day. I even managed a two-hour nap!! I cooked SuperMan some homemade spaghetti for his Father’s Day lunch and we enjoyed some grilled burgers and hotdogs for dinner. It was a really nice day.

I haven’t had a menu planning post for a long time – I have either not had a plan (eek!) or have been recycling the same menus from previous weeks and therefore didn’t really have anything to share with you. I have been so busy, I’ve been sticking to the same tried-and-true recipes that I knew were easy, sure to please the family, and easy for me to shop for and prepare.

I have gotten a little bored, though, and so I have decided to try to incorporate some new recipes into the rotation this summer. We are finally  hitting out “summer stride,” which means slower days and more time for experimentation in the kitchen.  I’m looking for things I can prepare ahead and/or use my crock pot to cook.

So, here are this week’s plans:

I’m also planning to try some new things for lunches this week. Still working on those, but I want to get away from processed, “convenience” foods for the girls’ lunches. I’m thinking salads, wraps, things like that… if you have any suggestions that would be kid-friendly, please pass them along! I am hoping to broaden their palates this summer – and teach Big Girl to do some basic cooking/food prep to help me out and grow her skills in the kitchen.

Well, that is it for me today. Not feeling too hot – I think I have picked up a virus – so I am off to mega-dose on some Vitamin C and take some Tylenol.

Hope to have some scrapbooking posts for you this week – I have THREE weeks of Project Life to catch up on! I think I printed 60+ pictures this weekend. Ay-yi-yi!

Six New Recipes to Try Soon

 

The weather is changing, and so is my palate – out go the heavy soups and stews and in come the lighter foods – grilled fare and salads.

Here are a few recipes that are on my list of things to try out soon:

  1. Asian Chicken Salad – this one was served by a friend at a get-together last week. It was soooo good. We all enjoyed it and the guys went back for seconds! She serves it “buffet style” so that everyone can put the things they want in there and leave out the things they don’t.  I will definitely be adding this to our menu plan soon.
  2. White chicken enchiladas – this is another one a friend made and we fell in love with. I actually made this one for dinner last Saturday. The girls loved it – as did SuperMan and I.  However, the tortillas get gummy when warmed over so this is not one to plan for having tons of leftovers. Freshly cooked, it’s delicious, though. And super easy. Deutsch: Tortilla-Chips, salsa, und guacamole ...
  3. Warm Bean Dip – thinking I may try this one night for a meatless dinner option. The girls are not much for beans, so it will be interesting to see how they like it. But, smothered in cheese may make it worth trying. We will see. I may serve it with some type of salad or just make it a “dip” dinner and serve with some tortilla chips and salsa.
  4. Another easy dinner idea (and a favorite around here) is baked potatoes and salad.  Here’s a nifty baked potato idea I may try one night.
  5. Grill cooking means hamburgers at some point in the month, too, but I always have a hard time with the bun – breads like buns and I don’t get along anymore. So, when I found this recipe, I decided it is also a must-try-soon recipe – Hamburger Wraps – where the “bun” is a tortilla! I love, too, that we can fix each one to suit everyone’s tastes.
  6. The girls have recently discovered the chocolate-chip granola bars at the grocery store – I have let them have them as a treat but have been on the lookout for my own version of this treat so that I can better control the contents and (lack of) additives that they have. I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and think I’ll give it a go one day soon.

How about you? Have any good recipes you’ve been wanting to try – or that you have tried and would like to share?