Friday, November 13, 2015

Meal Planning Week of November 7

Monday: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
A tried and true favorite. Ava doesn't like it as lemony as I do, so I hold back a little and squeeze fresh lemon in my bowl.

Tuesday: Pasta with Slow-Cooker Pork Ragu
This is a new technique and recipe for me. If you've ever made a from-scratch ragu, you know it takes foreeeeeever. The flavors are worth the wait, so I'm hoping this method produces a similar result.

Wednesday: Slow-Cooker Shepherd's Pie
I hate this dish. I've never made one I didn't throw out and call for takeout dinner instead. But, Josh has the day off on Wednesday and he saw this recipe and wanted to give it a go. It does look more promising than the other versions I've tried. And I have a Chinese takeout menu ready just in case.

Thursday: Asiago Bisque with Pretzel Bread
What's better than a great cheesy soup and pretzel bread when the weather starts to cool off? I'll cheat and buy frozen pretzel bread since it's a weeknight.

Friday: Beef and Squash Chili
This recipe is one of my favorites from last winter and I've been dying to make it, but refusing until the temperatures got their acts together. It may sound like a strange combination of ingredients, but it's so good! The toasted pumpkin seeds, thinly sliced red onion, avocado, and sour cream on top make it extra magical. Start with good beef and you can't go wrong!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Menu Planning Week of October 26

Monday- Weeknight Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad
On a weekend I would make a more involved version with homemade pasta, but this version is wonderful for a quick meal. I'll blend half venison and beef for this one, pork would be fantastic too.

Tuesday- Asparagus Wraps, Tomato Basil Soup
Another meal Josh and I adapted from the little cafe where we worked after we were married.  Take your favorite wrap tortilla, we like spinach or tomato basil, favorite melting cheese, like provolone, an optional protein, like shaved turkey or ham.  Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with garlic salt and a freshly-squeezed lime. Steam a big bunch of asparagus, salt. Layer citrus mayo, cheese, turkey or ham, and a few asparagus spears, cover with spring mix. Roll up and grill on a griddle or in a grill press. Cook until tortilla is toasted and cheese is melted.
Wednesday- Chili to enter in the NorthHaven Church

Thursday- Chicken and Dumplins (another friend recovering from surgery so this is a must)

Friday- Out

Menu Planning Week of September 13

Monday- Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes, salad (we love this alliterative Monday staple!)
This meatloaf is unlike any other.  It starts with a giant batch of fresh pico de gallo and just gets better and better.  Serve with mashed potatoes however you like them (my recipe is almost equal parts potato and sour cream with LOTS of pepper), and salad. I serve romaine lettuce with most meals. Each family member has their favorite dressing, and some of them use the lettuce leaves like chips to dip in their dressing. It's easy and green and a win!

Tuesday- Pork Zuppa and Garlic Bread (making a double batch for a friend recovering from surgery)
 I sub milk for the heavy cream called for in the recipe.

Wednesday- Chicken Strips, oven-fried okra, oven roasted broccoli
 I use chicken thighs instead of breasts (in almost every instance, thighs are better). 
Wash and cut okra and broccoli. Okra on one cookie sheet, broccoli on another. Spritz with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in 400 degree oven until desired texture is achieved. (I have two ovens and meals like this are the reason why. Chicken strips in the top, veggies in the bottom. Easy breezy.)

Thursday- Bacon-wrapped pork fillets, OMG Mac and Cheese, salad
We just started buying bulk meat from Zaycon. I'm excited to try these bacon-wrapped pork fillets. 
I don't like mac and cheese, but my family does. They prefer boxed garbage. I will only tolerate from-scratch versions as long as they don't involve my food nemesis, American cheese *shudder*. Add a sprinkle of dry mustard to make this recipe sing!

Friday- Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Curry over jasmine rice, edamame (a meal I'll dream about all week)
I add pineapple and a few tablespoons of my favorite red curry paste. Serve over fluffy jasmine rice and your favorite frozen edamame.

Menu Planning Week of September 20

Monday: Pesto Salmon and Veggie Packets, Mac & Cheese 
I always make my own pesto. Josh has a cashew allergy, and many prepared pestos sneakily use cheap cashews instead of pricey pine nuts. Not worth the risk. Pulse a handful of fresh basil, a garlic clove, a good chunk of Parmesan, pine nuts (or pumpkin seeds), and enough of your favorite olive oil to coat in the food processor. Easy and no trips to the ER!

Tuesday: Neiman Marcus chicken tortilla soup
Triple the veggies and use milk instead of heavy cream.

Wednesday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Tried and true, always Ava's request.

Thursday: Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad
So fresh and lovely. 

Friday: Twice-Baked Carnitas Nachos
This has become one of our favorites. It makes a ton of meat, so I'll use the leftover pork in another meal next weekend. It's also fantastic in breakfast burritos. You slow cook the pork roast in the slow cooker all day, then shred it on a cookie sheet and broil until the top starts to crisp. Just incredible. We're going to put it on bean and cheese nachos with all the fixin's! Come on Friday!

Menu Planning Week of September 27

Weekend Kick-The-Sick meal- Chicken and Dumplins (there is no 'g' in dumplins, like ever)
I totally cheat and use Bisquick dumplins  & lemon poppy seed muffins (obviously I sub melted butter for vegetable oil- yuck!)

Monday - Baked Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo, salad

Tuesday - Cuban Sliders, sweet potato fries, salad

Wednesday - Balsamic Pork Loin, Jasmine rice, broccoli
The balsamic glaze is so good. Maybe I lick the bowl after, who can tell?
Thursday - Chicken Pad Thai, edamame

Friday - Hideaway Pizza with the Crawfords!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Menu Planning Week of October 5, 2015

Monday: World's Best Frito Chili Pie
World's Best Frito Chili Pie, serve over rice, Fritos, top with sharp cheddar and coconut flakes. Yes, coconut flakes. They're an amazing finish to chili. Trust me.

Tuesday: Balsamic Pork, Jasmine Rice, Broccoli (didn't get to this recipe last week)

Wednesday: Grilled bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce, fancy Brussels sprouts
Celebratory Coach is our Hero meal (Ava's fall break snuck up on us and Coach is coming to town to save the days!) 

Thursday: Black-eyed peas, cornbread
These really aren't too spicy. My kids loooove this recipe.  Cornbread, in a cast-iron skillet or nothing at all.

Friday: Twice-baked pork carnitas nachos, fire-roasted salsa, and all the fixins
One of our favorite fun Friday meals, the carnitas are great in breakfast tacos on Saturday morning too!

Bonus: the Best-Ever Sausage Balls
DO NOT make these the size of golf balls, DO NOT cook very long - just until you cut into one in the center of the pan and see no pink. The cream cheese helps these stay delicate, but if you're lazy with your size or linger the timer you will still accomplish the leather boot texture you remember about these appetizers at every horrible church potluck. Just say no.

and Mamaw's Wassail 
Magical fall and winter beverage that will warm you from your toes up. Feel free to add a little vodka (or Rumchata) to finish if you're in the mood!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Menu Planning Week of October 18, 2015

Since FB hashtag searching is not my friend, I've decided to rekindle my old cooking blog.  Each week I'll post my menu plan over here with searchable labels!  Each post will have one week of recipes.  I hope you enjoy!

Week of October 18

Menu plan (tips and links in comments below) I only post dinners here.  Lunches are mostly leftovers or sandwiches, although I did try the new meatball place on CC one day this week and I was impressed.  Didn't want to like it because it replaced a Norman favorite, but the price was right (my lunch was $5.41) and the food was excellent.

Sunday:  Huevos Rancheros, fruit
This is a long-time favorite at our house. It takes a while, and I recommend making both the red and green sauces because they're both delicious. I usually double the sauce and freeze half for next time. Time saver step- skip buying soft corn tortillas and grab tostadas instead. Warm them in the oven for speedy plating. Cook eggs to your preferred texture. Serve with sliced fruit and a mimosa!

Monday:  Cream Cheese & Green Chile Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Salad
We just bought part of a grass fed and finished cow, so I'm excited to start including some beef meals into our weekly menu plans. Serve with frozen sweet potato fries and salad.

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice, French Bread
I have an evening event Tuesday night, so I'll throw this in the slow cooker before I leave for work. When Josh gets home with the kiddos, he can make a quick batch of brown rice, heat our favorite frozen French bread in the oven, and serve an easy, delicious dinner.

Wednesday:  3 Cheese Italian Rigatoni Pie, Salad
I just love anything that comes from a spring form pan! Which one of us Type A firstborns will win the task of aligning the pasta? That's the real question. Serve with salad.

Thursday:  Herb Roasted Chicken with Butter Toasted Wild Rice

Friday:  Baba and Pops are coming and who knows where we'll end up for dinner.  $100 says Hideaway.

Bonus:  Spinach Artichoke Dip and GF Rolls

Hugo's weekly request:  Beer Cheese Dip and Crackers

Last one, I promise!  Soft Baked Pumpkin Cookies with Buttercream Icing