Monthly Archives: March 2015

Out like a lamb?

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March really did come in like lion this year.  Fingers (and toes) are crossed hoping it really does go out like a lamb!  It will be somewhat sad to see Hubby bubby’s “bulletproof” mustache disappear now that “mustache March” is over.  I hope the weather is nice in April since I really want to put Hannah in her cute little Easter dress from Nana.   Which reminds me, I have to narrow down our Easter menu.  We will make something a little fancy even though it is just us.  Should we have lamb or ham?  Hmm, decisions, decisions!   I use an app for menu planning and have a habit of adding too many recipes when I add them wayyy in advance.  There are about 30 recipes still in there for Easter…oopsie!

Sunday:  Crispy chicken with chermoula and escarole.  We are going to tweak the recipe a bit (I know, such a dangerous move!  How will we know if it would be good as written?!) to add a little flavor to the chicken, probably a little marinade and then will serve with the chermoula and escarole.  May the odds be ever in our favor.

Hubby got to eat this amazing Chile Apple Chop from Coco's Bistro this week.  In just a few weeks we'll have to make a trip back when the crazy part of me is able to actually leave Chloe with our amazing babysitter.

Hubby got to eat this amazing Chile Apple Chop from Coco’s Bistro this week. In just a few weeks we’ll have to make a trip back when the crazy part of me is able to actually leave Chloe with our amazing babysitter.

Monday:  Friends of ours will be feeding us. Yay!   Am very much looking forward to the bean taco soup.  We all love beans and soup (I’ll told hubby they are bringing stew 🙂 )! Yum!

Tuesday:  Spanish stewed chicken thighs with crusty bread.  This might be a gamble since it has olives and the pirate pasta wasn’t well received.  Maybe I’ll just leave those out (and sprinkle them just on top of mine) since the combo of chicken, chorizo and tomatoey sauce with crusty bread sound like something everyone would love.

Wednesday: Leftovers.  Easy peasy!  Makes hump day so much easier!

Love this sweet girl and best big sister ever!  She can't wait to wear all of her dresses that Nana got her that will match baby Chloe!

Love this sweet girl and best big sister ever! She can’t wait to wear all of her dresses that Nana got her that will match baby Chloe!

Thursday: Indian chicken with chickpeas and rice.  Gotta use up all those pantry staples and frozen meats!

Friday:  Today will be Good Friday for us and the start of Passover for a lot of friends.  We’ll be having clam shack-style broiled fish with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que copycat coleslaw and seeds of change whole grains.  Gotta practice all the Dino BBQ recipes before we go to Germany so I can make sure I have them right since we won’t be able to have them for a loooong time.  Any other Dino fans out there?

Saturday: Pork satay with rice and Asian-style salad.  I’m still trying to decide if I want the cucumber salad or the celery salad.  Which do you think we should have?  Leave a comment below!

 

Do you celebrate Passover or Holy Week?  What are some of your favorite traditions?  Thanks for stopping by and staying a while!

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Best chicken EVER!

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Love this slow cooker!  Gotta ship this one ahead so it is there when we arrive in Germany!

Love this slow cooker! Gotta ship this one ahead so it is there when we arrive in Germany!

This week we had the best chicken EVER! And then some underwhelming recipes. Ahh, well. You win some, ya lose some. Better luck next week I guess. Maybe we should just have the honey-ginger chicken every week?! 🙂

Saturday: Honey-ginger chicken with lime and quinoa and arugula. Oh. My. Goodness! Shut the front door! This was the best meal we’ve had in a very long time. So good that we were still talking about it the next morning after we woke up: “all those layers of flavor.” “I know! And that skin; so crispy and flavorful!” I totally ate the chicken skin and I’m a dietitian. That says something. This was a meal that when you speak of it afterwards it feels like dirty talk. That good. The recipes are on my Pinterest page. You MUST try them!

Sunday: Butcher shop chicken with potatoes and romaine salad. This chicken was a really good, mild-flavored chicken. It was no honey-ginger chicken with lime, but still good. Both kids ate a ton of chicken. Let the clucking commence.

Looked so pretty...looks were somewhat deceiving.

Looked so pretty…looks were somewhat deceiving.

Monday: Steamed sausage, sauerkraut and pierogis in the slow cooker. This was divine as usual! Ryan licked all of the potatoes out of the pierogis before eating the dough…such a two year old! This meal made me even more excited for our big move to Germany. Sausage and sauerkraut here I come!

Tuesday: Tuscan-style garlic-herb pork chops with salad and beans.  The pork chops were just okay and the bean salad was pretty bland. Even with a bunch of things that usually add flavor (all those herbs! Lemon zest! Capers!) it just all tasted very one note to me and hubby bubby. Hannah loved the beans. She scooped herself two giant spoonfuls after she ate her first portion. Girl sure does love her beans!

Wednesday: Leftovers. The good wife that I am I let hubby bubby have the honey-ginger chicken and I ate the pierogis and sausage. More chicken for the kiddos. Still so many pork chops left. Rut roh.

Hubby bubby's heavenly pasta.  I'm still swooning!

Hubby bubby’s heavenly pasta. I’m still swooning!

Thursday: Indian butter chicken with basmati rice and Indian-style chickpeasHubby bubby whipped together pasta with sausage and fire roasted tomatoes. It was delish and used up stuff from the fridge, freezer and pantry! My very own Tom Colicchio (sans baldness)…or maybe Bobby Flay. Swoon!

Friday: Giada DeLaurentiis’ Pirate pasta. I hate to write this because I have a total girl crush on Giada, but we didn’t love this one. I usually love pasta with olives and capers…puttanesca is one of my favorites! I think the tuna threw it off for me and the briny flavors made hubby not love it. The kiddos ate it just like normal, though.

Saturday: Dare I say we had to eat leftovers? Cringe. The only leftovers we had left at this point were about 8 pork chops (how many people did I think we were feeding?!) and the pirate pasta. None of it was bad, just still not very exciting the second time around.

Arrgh, mateys!  At least with a name like Pirate Pasta our little Neverland Pirates gobbled this one up.

Arrgh, mateys! At least with a name like Pirate Pasta our little Neverland Pirates gobbled this one up.

What are some recipes that make you feel like you’re “talking dirty” when you describe them? Did you have one this week? Hope your week was awesome! Thanks for reading!

 

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Welcome, Spring!

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Teeny tiny baby Chloe! Grow, grow, grow little lamb!

Teeny tiny baby Chloe! Grow, grow, grow little lamb!

Ahhhh, Spring!  Finally!  This week we are hoping to head outside more so I have some slow cooker recipes planned so we won’t be cooped up inside while it is nice out.  Gotta get our Hannah outside on her new Princess Sofia bike!  Chloe is still too tiny to ride in the Ergo carrier so taking all three kiddos down the street to the swings might be a little challenging.  It will at least be entertaining if nothing else!

Our teeny tiny girl is still not back to birthweight. 🙁 But at least at the last weight check she was still gaining well so I can keep exclusively breastfeeding.  Makes me feel like I need to keep up with my cookie intake…luckily I picked up some Girl Scout cookies from a mama friend this week.  Hopefully all the meals planned for the week will help keep us all well fed!  Here’s what we’ll be having:

Sunday: Butcher shop chicken with potatoes and romaine salad.  I have to admit that we are trying this chicken recipe because it is a Tom Colicchio recipe and I have a little bit of a crush on him.  🙂  Who doesn’t love a man that knows his way around the kitchen?!

Chocolate cookies? Yes, please!  I'm hoping to bake a few more things this week.  Gotta feed the baby!

Chocolate cookies? Yes, please! I’m hoping to bake a few more things this week. Gotta feed the baby!

Monday: We are having a HOOTOWL meal on Monday since hubby bubby has a work dinner to go to.  HOOTOWL is an acronym that was used by a mom’s group I was in that stands for “husband out of town or working late.”  We will have my absolute favorite slow cooker meal: steamed kielbasa (we use chicken apple sausage instead), sauerkraut and pierogis.  I can’t wait!!!!

Tuesday: Tuscan-style garlic-herb pork chops with salad and either potatoes, beans or rice.  May actually be able to grill outside!  I have not mastered grilling on the real grill so I will use the grill pan if hubby isn’t home when these are ready to go on the grill.  We are big pork fans in our family and love Italian flavors so this should go over well.

Wednesday: Leftovers.

Maybe we'll make a trip back to German village in Columbus this weekend to continue celebrating our pending move.  Love that place!

Maybe we’ll make a trip back to German village in Columbus this weekend to continue celebrating our pending move. Love that place!

Thursday: Indian butter chicken with basmati rice and Indian-style chickpeas.  Since we will be moving in less than 90 days (eek! such a short timeline) we have to start using up our pantry staples.  I am going to have to make sure that I can have the Maya Kaimal sauces shipped to our APO address…someone that loves me will send them over for me if Amazon won’t, right? 🙂

Friday: Giada DeLaurentiis’ Pirate pasta with radicchio salad with sourdough vinaigrette.  This pasta has olives, capers and tuna.  Sounds like an interesting combo!  Hubby loves tuna noodle casserole and I am not a big fan of it so I keep trying to find a recipe with pasta and tuna that I like that fills this comfort food craving for him.

Saturday: I’m not sure what we’ll have yet.  My plan is for something with protein from our freezer…maybe shrimp or chicken.  We shall see what kind of food mood I’m in next Saturday.

Do you love tuna noodle casserole?  Are you willing to share your secret recipe with me?  I hope you have a great week!

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Our new normal

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Happy kiddos!

Happy kiddos!

We are starting to adjust to our new party of five.  Hubby bubby is really back to work, Papa and Gigi have been gone for almost a week and the kiddos and I had our first full day alone together on Thursday…and we survived!  I was super proud of myself for showering before noon three times this week.  With daylight savings just happening recently I like to pretend that it was really eleven in the morning…a huge success with a newborn!  So far we have managed to stay pretty close to our meal plan.  I know that won’t last for long. 🙂

Sunday: Pasta with sausage, basil and mustard and salad.  Going from two kiddos to three kiddos hasn’t been too crazy yet.  We have moved from a “man-on-man” to a “zone” defense.  This means we also are having to tag on and off in the kitchen at times.  I started the sausage browning, boiled the pasta and prepped the rest of the pasta ingredients and then Chloe was hungry.  Tag, you’re it Hubby bubby!  He swooped in and finished the pasta and made a salad with “chetons”.  What are chetons exactly?  Only the best croutons in the world!  When we were stationed in Washington, D.C., hubby bubby acquired the nickname Chet and he loves to make homemade croutons so they have now been dubbed chetons.  Yum!

Pasta with sausage, mustard and basil and yummy salad with Chetons.

Pasta with sausage, mustard and basil and yummy salad with Chetons.

Monday: French Market Soup in the slow cooker.  This is one of our staple recipes since I LOVE bean soup and it passes for a stew so it counts as a meal to hubby bubby.  The last few times we have used ham hocks they have been all bone and connective tissue.  What gives?  They used to be so meaty!  Anyone else have this trouble?  We are planning to buy some hocks and some diced ham for the next time we have this since it is much better with yummy ham chunks in it.

Tuesday: Happy St. Patty’s Day!  Slow cooker corned beef and cabbage and double chocolate Guinness smoked porter cookies.  We tried this corned beef recipe for the first time last year and it is a keeper!  The addition of leeks and rutabaga make me swoon.  I love how creamy the rutabaga is and the leeks turn silky and delicious.  This one is finished with a horseradish sauce.  Pretty sure that is not traditional at all…but so yummy!  The kiddos and I made some chocolate cookies using a smoked porter hubby had brewed.  These were so sinful and so worth every bite!  I think I ate five cookies before I put them in a Tupperware container.  They were super soft and the chocolate chips stayed gooey.  There wasn’t a strong beer flavor, more just a whisper of it which was perfect.

Italian chicken for St. Joseph's feast day.

Italian chicken for St. Joseph’s feast day.

Wednesday: Leftovers.  Didn’t need to make dinner!  Hallelujah!

Thursday: Italian chicken with salad.  I decided since it was the feast day of St. Joseph that we needed to have something Italian.  I had planned on doing something with an Italian spin in the slow cooker and this was the result.  I just thawed some chicken breasts, cut them into chunks and added them to the slow cooker with a sliced onion, a packet of Italian dressing mix and a jar of marinara sauce.  The kiddos gobbled it up, which was great because hubby and I thought it was just okay. Not one I’ll whip together again, but at least it was something.

Friday: Grilled shrimp burrito bowls.  Another Friday during Lent and this time we went Tex-Mex.  We all love grilled onions and hubby bubby is now over thinking the grill pan makes food “taste funny”.  I love our grill pan…even though it was the first way I started a fire in our kitchen a few years ago (leave a comment below if you want the full story 🙂 ).   I managed to make this one while hubby bubby corralled the kiddos.  We all loved this one and will definitely make it again.  Quick, easy and delicious?   I’ll take it!

Grilled shrimp burrito bowl.  Visit my Pinterest page to find the recipe!

Grilled shrimp burrito bowl. Visit my Pinterest page to find the recipe!

Saturday: Tonight we’re having honey-ginger chicken with lime and quinoa with arugula.  I’m pretty sure Ryan won’t try the arugula, but everything else should be crowd pleasers.

I love my Le Creuset grill pan!  I couldn’t live without it.  Do you have one?  If not, I highly recommend it!

Grilling onions and scallions on our Le Creuset grill pan.

Grilling onions and scallions on our Le Creuset grill pan.

How did your week go?  What helps you adjust when life gives you a “new normal”?  Hope you had a great week.  Thanks for reading!


 

 

 

 

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Farewell, Papa and Gigi!

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Chloe loved snuggling with her Gigi!

Chloe loved snuggling with her Gigi!

I am running about a week behind with our weekly updates…such is life with a newborn, right?  🙂  Papa came to visit and pick up Gigi.  It was so sad to see them go!  The worst is when the big kiddos wake up and realize that Papa and Gigi left already.  Tears abound!  Luckily they will be back in a few weeks for baby Chloe’s baptism.  Here is how things went for us toward the end of last week.

Thursday:  Asian pork wraps and yummy slice and bake cookies for dessert.  The pork was finally thawed!  This made a ton.  I am a huge fan of cabbage and having the Asian flavored slaw made this slow cooker meal feel light and fresh.  Gigi made us the cookies.  I liked them but was hoping for more peanut buttery and Nutella flavors. 

Slow cooker Asian pork wraps with slaw.  Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

Slow cooker Asian pork wraps with slaw. Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

Friday:  Jerk rubbed catfish with slaw and rice.  We made half of the fish with the jerk seasoning and the other half just with some salt, pepper and garlic (for Papa and the kiddos).  Hannah wanted to try a bite of the jerk fish and really liked it…and then drank tons of water.  She’ll be able to hang with our level of spice soon, I just know it!

Saturday:  Salsa verde pork with rice and salad.  Beef goulash with blue cheese and romaine salad with parmesan vinaigrette.  Ready for a shock…the pork was still frozen! I know, I know.  This is the story of my life.  I thought hubby bubby cut our gigantic pork loin in half and put both halves in the fridge to thaw but he put one in the fridge and one back in the freezer.  Luckily it was no biggie since he had already done our grocery shopping for next week so we just shifted some menus around a little bit.  This recipe was amazing!  I grew up on goulash since my Mom has a lot of European ancestry.  This recipe is from Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine.  I have a love affair with food magazines and have had a  love/hate relationship with this one.  I am very much in love with it at the moment!  Back to the goulash: adding the blue cheese really took the goulash to the next level.  And did I mention we used Boar’s Head blue cheese?  There are no words to adequately describe just how amazing the Boar’s Head blue cheese crumbles really are.  If you are blue cheese fan I highly recommend it.  It is a more expensive blue cheese, but a little bit goes a long way and the extra cost definitely delivers with the amazing flavor.  It is so creamy and tangy and it really does melt in your mouth.  I can’t believe I really lived without blue cheese for 9 months! 

Beef goulash with blue cheese...yummo as Rachael Ray would say!  Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

Beef goulash with blue cheese…yummo as Rachael Ray would say! Find the recipe on my Pinterest page!

How did your week go?  What are some foods you just can’t live without ?  Hope you had a great week.  Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy birthday to me!

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This week was my birthday so I got to pick my birthday meal and cake.  The pumpkin cake was the big winner so we had that and it was so yummy!  Papa arrives late this week and we are all so excited to see him.

Arugula salad with pomegranate vinaigrette. Check it out at www.thegourmetrd.com!

Arugula salad with pomegranate vinaigrette. Check it out at www.thegourmetrd.com!

Sunday:  My birthday!  We had red-wine spaghetti and meatballs with arugula salad with pomegranate vinaigrette (check out www.thegourmetrd.com for the recipe!).  These were the best meatballs I have ever had.  The combination of ricotta and couscous in the meatball really made them tender and gave great flavor.  I think this will be my birthday meal every year for the rest of my life.  The salad was amazing!  Ryan was trying to scoop the salad up with his hands he liked it so much!

Monday: Leftovers.  A little earlier in the week than we usually have them but needed to make some room in the fridge.  We were all happy to have some more meatballs and cake, of course, mmmMMMmmm.

Pumpkin layer cake with some Halloween sprinkles (thanks, Gigi and Hannah!).

Pumpkin layer cake with some Halloween sprinkles (thanks, Gigi and Hannah!).

Tuesday: Marinated flank steak with bleu cheese sauce and salad.  The flank steak was pounded thin so it was super tender.  We all liked this one.  Ryan ate almost all of the blue cheese sauce himself.  He had a little bit of steak with his sauce. 🙂

Wednesday: One-hour Spanish chickpea soup.  Hubby bubby made this in the pressure cooker and it disappeared very quickly.  Ryan didn’t want the greens, but ate three bowls of the beans.  Hannah ate three bowls of the soup.  Such a happy mama that they love their beans like I do!  I am so impressed with how quickly the pressure cooker can cook dried beans. Truly amazing!

Thursday: Tonight we’re having the Asian pork wraps.  They are actually in the slow cooker now…finally remembered to thaw the pork! 🙂  This has an Asian slaw to go with it so they are almost like Asian tacos.

Friday:  Jerk rubbed catfish with slaw and rice for another Friday during Lent.  I’m hoping our jerk spice isn’t too spicy for the kiddos or Papa.  Hannah can probably handle more spice than Papa if we’re being honest.  Hopefully we’ll remember to cook a piece or two of fish without it just in case.

Ryan is super excited for Papa to arrive on Friday!

Ryan is super excited for Papa to arrive on Friday!

Saturday: Salsa verde pork with rice and salad.  Since our pork loin was ginormous we are using the rest of it for a southwest style pork.  This one is super easy…a good way to round out the week!

What are you up to this week?  How does your family do with spicy food?  Hope you have a great week.  Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life With a Newborn

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Life with a newborn for me meant snuggling sweet baby Chloe while hubby bubby cooked and Gigi baked all week long.  Yay!

The short ribs were just okay.  Nothing too special so not worth having again.

The short ribs were just okay. Nothing too special so not worth having again.

Sunday: Red wine braised short ribs with potatoes and veggies.  This was just okay.  The short ribs tasted like a run-of-the-mill pot roast.  Not bad, but not the flavors we were hoping for.  We will not be having this one again. 

Monday: Mustard-crusted branzino tilapia with whole grains and salad.  Telling hubby bubby that this was an Epicurious recipe totally worked!  He made it and it was delicious!  It felt very fancy but really was pretty simple and was a huge hit.  Ryan gave it two thumbs up and Hannah ate two pieces of tilapia.  We had to force ourselves to stop eating so there would be a tiny bit of leftovers for the kid’s lunches for school.  They are lucky I love them.

 

Ree Drummond's Penne alla Betsy.

Ree Drummond’s Penne alla Betsy.

Tuesday: Italian pot roast with buttered noodles   Prime rib burgers with potatoes and salad.  The pot roast looked a little funky after thawing so we had the prime rib burgers instead.  Oh. My. Goodness!  These were the very best burgers I have ever had in my life!  I am not a fan of prime rib roasts but this cut sure does make a delicious burger.  The Kentucky steak sauce was amazing.  Ryan was eating it with a spoon!

Wednesday: Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan, pasta with herb sauce and salad.  Our arugula was all wilty and stinky so we just had a tossed salad.  The chicken and pasta were delish! 

Thursday:  Asian pork wraps.  Leftovers.  Hubby bubby started to feel a little under the weather (probably since he has worked at least a half day every day since Baby Chloe’s arrival!) so we just had leftovers.  Love when leftovers are things that are SOOOO good.

Copycat of Carrabba's Chicken Bryan with some herb pasta. Yum!

Copycat of Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan with some herb pasta. Yum!

Friday: Ree Drummond’s Penne alla Betsy with endive salad.  Mmmm, all of my favorite things!  The sauce was creamy and rich, but still nice and tomatoey and the shrimp were perfectly sweet and tender.  I ate this as an evening “snack” a few days in a row.  Gotta feed the baby, right? 🙂  We had this with an endive salad which reminded me that I don’t really like endive as the main salad green.  Oops.

Saturday: We heard that we will most likely be moving to Germany for our next military assignment so decided to celebrate with food from the local eastern European restaurant.  Pierogies, sausage and sauerkraut…think I’ll be a happy girl in Europe!

 

German food!

German food!

How did your week go?  Did you have some yummy dinners this week?  I hope your week was nutritious and delicious.  Thanks for reading!

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Feeding our Party of Five (and visitors, too!)

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My sweet boy loves  his baby sister.

My sweet boy loves his baby sister.

This week we are having some comfort foods heading into the last few weeks of winter (hopefully!).  Gigi will be here to help out and snuggle baby Chloe this week and has offered to help pitch in in the kitchen…maybe I can convince her to bake me cookies.  That’s what mamas are for, right?

Sunday: Gigi arrives today so we are making some braised short ribs with potatoes.  I love the flavor of perfectly browned meat braising for hours.  And the house always smells like home when we make slow cooked food.  This will be perfect with a wee bit of red wine…now that I can drink wine again! 🙂

Monday: Mustard-crusted branzino (but we’ll probably use tilapia) with salad.  I know hubby bubby didn’t really want this the last time it was on the menu so my plan is to tell him that it is an Epicurious recipe…he always likes those!

Hannah is so excited Gigi is here to visit!

Hannah is so excited Gigi is here to visit!

Tuesday: Italian pot roast with buttered noodles and an endive and pear salad with BLEU CHEESE! 🙂  This one is always a crowd pleaser.  It always feels a little fancy but is super easy to make.

Wednesday: We will not be having leftovers, gasp!!! One of hubby bubby’s friends will be in town for a few days at a local training and he will be coming over for dinner.  We’ll have Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan using a copy cat recipe (it really tastes like the real thing!), pasta with herb sauce and an arugula, blood orange and honey goat cheese salad with pomegranate vinaigrette.  The salad sounds amazing and is a recipe by a fellow RD that I went to grad school with.  If you’re not following Julie, the Gourmet RD (www.thegourmetRD.com), on social media you should be!

Thursday:  Asian pork wraps.  Our pork that we were going to have last week froze in the fridge in our sun room.  Guess it got a little extra cold out there!  Hopefully I’ll remember to thaw this in time.  Fingers crossed!

Friday: Ree Drummond’s Penne alla Betsy with salad.  I love shrimp and pasta so this will be a perfect one for a Friday during Lent.  I have a huge girl crush on Ree Drummond lately!

Saturday: Prime rib burgers with potatoes and veggies or salad.  Can you tell I have been craving burgers?! 🙂  These have a special Kentucky steak sauce that goes on top.  A little bourbon in steak sauce sounds perfect to me!

You can always count on Gigi for a good snuggle.

You can always count on Gigi for a good snuggle.

What will you be up to this week?  What are your favorite recipes and menus for when you have guests over?  I hope you have a great week.  Thanks for reading!

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