Monthly Archives: April 2015

Strange Week Ahead

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I think the kiddos and I will hit up a farmer's market (or several) this week for some locally grown greens and fruit.

I think the kiddos and I will hit up a farmer’s market (or several) this week for some locally grown greens and fruit.

This will be an interesting week.   Family and friends are heading back to their homes so it will just be us for most of the week.  We ended up with a ton of leftovers from the weekend (woohoooooooo!) and I had already started to prep a meal for Sunday evening so we’ll have to have that in the beginning of the week.  Made for a very inexpensive grocery shopping trip.  As Heather of RHONY would say, “Holla!” 🙂

Monday: Leftovers.  Kiddos had Dewey’s pizza leftovers since they had Shish Wraps leftovers for lunch and hubs and I had Shish Wraps leftovers.  I am going to mourn the loss of Shish Wraps.  Maybe Simon will let us franchise a Shish Wraps in Germany.  A girl can dream, right?  Luckily I do have a great tabbouleh recipe…the quinoa tabbouleh on my Favorite Healthy Recipes Pinterest page is the perfect balance of veggies to grains to lemony goodness.

Dark and stormy will have to be added to the menu this week.  We need to use up our ginger beer.  Aww, shucks.

Dark and stormy will have to be added to the menu this week. We need to use up our ginger beer. Aww, shucks.

Tuesday: Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad.  I already prepped the chicken and just need to prep the rest of the ingredients.  I think I’ll get this ready early in the day so I can have it for lunch and the rest of the fam can have it for dinner since Chloe and I are headed to P.F. Chang’s for a hot date with local dietitians. 

Wednesday: Leftovers.  I am praying we have enough leftovers otherwise we’ll have Ree Drummond’s pantry pasta.  I think she is my Woman Crush Wednesday this week.  What is not to love?  She is a city girl that is doin’ her thing in the middle of nowhere, making money, having a successful home and making delicious food. This is exactly what I aspire to do now that we are moving away from my dream job…maybe not quite the middle of nowhere.  Maybe more the middle of Miami or the outskirts of Washington, DC, but still.  Love and respect and admire her like woah.

Red beans and rice is one of my absolute favorite meals.  One of the many recipes hubs wooed me with.  Such a hunk!

Red beans and rice is one of my absolute favorite meals. One of the many recipes hubs wooed me with. Such a hunk!

Thursday:  Red beans and rice. Have I ever mentioned that I love beans and sausage and rice?  And that this is likely a meal we’ll have two times a week when Ryan is a teenager? That boy can EAT!  Luckily he would survive well in a developing nation due to his love of beans and rice.  He could subsist on rice, luckily.   I am skeptical of Paleo diets simply for their exclusion of beans.  Can you really have a healthy diet without beans?  I’m still trying to figure that out.  What do you think?  I just don’t know how to live without them!

Friday: Wingin’ it!  Chloe and I will be heading back from our road trip to drop the car off and send it on its way to Germany and hubs will have the kids to himself after our AMAZING friends watch them for the day.  He should totally bring dinner to them and some of his home brews, right? 

Saturday: Chorizo burgers with sweet corn guacamole.  Only Rachael Ray could come up with such a divine sounding burger.  This sounds like the perfect recipe for us to use up the rest of the chorizo in our freezer AND having some AMAZING Ohio sweet corn.  Ohio may not have great drivers (my Dad is still talking about the not yielding), but they sure do know how to grow some amazing vegetables.  The closer we get to CSA season the sadder I get.  I just keep reminding myself that I will be able to walk to a bakery from my future house.  Hope I can get some veggies straight from a farmer’s hands in Germany, too.

Gotta make another batch of these oatmeal bars this week to thank the kiddos teachers for being so wonderful.  Can't believe they are done with school!  This move is really happening!

Gotta make another batch of these oatmeal bars this week to thank the kiddos teachers for being so wonderful. Can’t believe they are done with school! This move is really happening!

What is your favorite Spring or Summer produce?  Strawberries? Rhubarb? Asparagus?  Peas?  Sweet corn?  I can’t decide!  Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a great week!

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Friends, Fam and Food

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We had such a great week!  We just wrapped up Chloe’s baptism and are winding down our time in Ohio.  It was so fun to have friends and family in town for the baptism and was such a great excuse to have some of our favorite Dayton food!  We mostly stuck to the menu plan for the week.  Yay!

Hannah "shoveled" her spaghetti and spaghetti squash.  Should I just be thankful that she used a utensil?  Probably, huh?

Hannah “shoveled” her spaghetti and spaghetti squash. Should I just be thankful that she used a utensil? Probably, huh?

Sunday: Butter chicken with rice and salad.  This was a great quick meal. I usually like to have it with a kale and mango salad but we just whipped it together so had a normal salad.

Monday: Meatballs in the slow cooker with spaghetti and spaghetti squash.  We used up the turkey meatballs from our freezer and the last of the spaghetti squash from our CSA from the past Fall.  I like to mix the spaghetti squash with normal spaghetti and some parmesan cheese. The kiddos end up not even noticing it and getting in a ton of veggies. Love when that happens!

Tuesday: Sloppy cubanos.  This is a Rachael Ray recipe (love her!) and has such great flavor.  I love that it takes a simple meal and elevates it to something that feels fancy but accessible.  Our kids are nuts for pickles so they ate a ton!  We had pickle slices on the side and called them pickle chips.  It is a low-cal swap for other chips and has about the same amount of sodium.  We will definitely keep making this again and again!

This slow cooker veggie chili was quick to prep and everyone loved it.  Definitely a keeper!

This slow cooker veggie chili was quick to prep and everyone loved it. Definitely a keeper!

Wednesday: Happy Earth Day!  Slow cooker veggie chili. So we sort of ran out of leftovers and I just didn’t mention to hubs that it was a veggie chili when we were setting the table for dinner.  We all really liked it…and he said he did see the veggie crumbles on the counter so he knew it was a vegetarian meal and still liked it.  He is even open to eating it again!  This was so easy to prepare and can cook in just a few hours in the slow cooker so it is a perfect one to keep as a staple meal with all ingredients on hand for those days that I forget to pull meat from the freezer or forget to start the slow cooker in the morning (that never happens to me, right? 🙂 ).   

Thursday:  Chicken with chorizo and tomato sauce with salad and either rice or potatoes.  Hubby bubby was not feeling well and wanted Chipotle.  Who could argue with a sad hubby bubby that just wants something comforting? 

Be still, my heart!  I sure do love Pappadeaux.

Be still, my heart! I sure do love Pappadeaux.

Friday: Breakfast for dinner for kiddos and kids and I went to Pappadeaux!  Hubby made the kids scrambled eggs with tomatoes, an English muffin, and fruit.  They loved it and it is so inexpensive!  I think we will do breakfast for dinner more often!  Hubby bubby and I went to Pappadeaux.  I. Die.  I love that place!  Everything on the menu is amazing and the servers are all so personable but not schticky.  I had trout with shrimp and a scallop and a lemon butter sauce with a barley, tomato and arugula salad.  Shut the front door.  It was SOOO good.  I even ate the leftovers for breakfast and it was still fabulous.  I am definitely going to miss that place!

Saturday: Dewey’s pizza and salads.  Friends and fam made it to town so we got pizza from our fave pizza place and I made a salad with fruit and blackberry basil vinaigrette.  It worked out perfectly since my sister’s main squeeze had mentioned that he hadn’t gotten in enough fruit for the day. 

Sunday: Shish Wraps for Chloe’s Baptism. There is nothing quite like Shish Wraps.  Everyone loved it and we had just enough extra to give us some leftovers.  I think we’ll still visit Simon a few more times before we go…healthy and delicious?  Gotta eat it!

Pinterest win with the decor!  Thanks to my sis and her main squeeze for putting the tulle on the balloons.  It looked so great!  I love fresh flowers.  Stay tuned to my Pinterest page...I'll be make the baptism board public soon!

Pinterest win with the decor! Thanks to my sis and her main squeeze for putting the tulle on the balloons. It looked so great! I love fresh flowers. Stay tuned to my Pinterest page…I’ll be make the baptism board public soon!

 How did your week go?  What are some of your places to go out to eat?  Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a wonderful and delicious week!

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Busy week ahead

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Muffins are on the menu this week!  We will probably make a few varieties.  What is your favorite muffin recipe?

Muffins are on the menu this week! We will probably make a few varieties. What is your favorite muffin recipe?

I am so excited that it is Earth day!  I love to plant things and get out in the garden…but now that we’re moving all I get to do in the garden is pull weeds.  Weeding is not super exciting!  At least I’m planning a meatless meal for the kiddos and I for Earth day (hubby bubby doesn’t love veggie chili).  This weekend I was 100% ready to eat Shish Wraps and checked their menu and GASP they were about to close.  I took that as a sign from God and whipped together one of our pantry staple meals.  At least I know we’ll have Shish this coming weekend!

Sunday: Butter chicken with rice and salad.  We love the Maya Kaimal sauces.  They just have such great depth of flavor and make it so easy to whip dinner together in a jiffy.  Check them out on my Pinterest page.

Monday: Meatballs in the slow cooker with spaghetti and spaghetti squash.  Now that Hannah has soccer every Monday I am planning menus that can be prepped earlier in the day and just require a few minutes right before dinner time so we can make it out the door with cleats on when we need to.

Butter chicken with rice and salad is always delicious.

Butter chicken with rice and salad is always delicious.

Tuesday: Sloppy cubanos.  This is one of my favorite sloppy joe riffs.  Rachael Ray has such a gift with tweaking childhood staples and making them more grown up.  I love that this is a kid friendly way to incorporate some new flavors.  The recipe calls for plantain chips on the side but we do pickle slices to help us eat more veggies.  I love that pickles are a veggie!  When replacing chips with pickles the sodium content is negligible so we can eat our hearts out on pickles with no guilt!

Wednesday: Happy Earth Day!  The kiddos and I will be having a slow cooker veggie chili and hubby bubby will be having leftovers since he doesn’t love veggie chili.  Chili is supposed to have cubes of meat and gravy he says.  Texas style.  No ground meat (that makes it just a soup with chili powder) and no beans…maybe a few on top for some flair, but not in the actually chili.

Thursday:  Chicken with chorizo and tomato sauce with salad and either rice or potatoes.  My plan is to make “roasted” potatoes in the pressure cooker.  Has anyone ever tried this?  The potatoes are browned in the pressure cooker and then you cover them and bring them to pressure so that they have a crunchy exterior and creamy interior.  Sounds awesome, right?  I’m hoping it goes well!

Hoping for a date night with this handsome guy this week!

Hoping for a date night with this handsome guy this week!

Friday: Breakfast for dinner.  I’m hoping that hubby bubby and I might be able to go out to dinner.  Pappadeaux is calling our name!  We will have scrambled eggs with tomatoes and onions, muffins and fruit for the kiddos even if we go out.  This way we’ll have some yummy muffins for snacking on when the guests start to arrive!

Saturday: Dewey’s pizza and salads.  Friends and family will be arriving for Chloe’s baptism so it is the perfect time to get our last fill of Dewey’s.  We will definitely have to get the Socrates’ revenge (partially because I will always be a philosophy lover) because it has pesto, artichoke hearts and goat cheese. MMmmMM!!!

 

 How do you define chili? Beans or no beans?  Served over spaghetti?  Just the cubes of meat and gravy?  If you have a great chili recipe I’d love to try it!  Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a wonderful and delicious week!

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Dinner dates and kids sports

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Hannah loves to help dish the salad and fruit at dinner.  She is becoming such a big helper!

Hannah loves to help dish the salad and fruit at dinner. She is becoming such a big helper!

This week Hannah had her first soccer game!  So fun!  I so don’t agree that there should be a snack sign up for a three- and four-year-old soccer game.  The game is only 45 minutes of the kids staring at their parents and frolicking after the ball for a bit…but more on that later.  We are really winding down in Ohio and it feels so surreal!  We are checking off places on our list that we HAVE to eat at before we move.

Monday:  Chicken bratwurst with broccoli slaw.  This, one was both a hit and miss.  The chicken apple sausage with the onions in the slow cooker was delish.  The broccoli slaw not so much.  It was pretty bland.  It just tasted like plain broccoli with some parsley, very underwhelming.  I couldn’t let all the slaw go to waste so I added some to my brat and had some on the side.  It gave the brat a nice crunch so I think when I try this next time I will just use our fave slaw dressing recipe and put that on some broccoli slaw. 

Chicken brats were yum, need to doctor up the slaw next time to make it a perfect meal.

Chicken brats were yum, need to doctor up the slaw next time to make it a perfect meal.

Tuesday:  Pork tenderloin gyros.  These were awesome!  The tomato-yogurt sauce had a great flavor and tasted very fresh.  By some miracle I actually managed to marinate the pork a day ahead.  Chloe and I prepped the marinade while hubby was at work late, Hannah was asleep and Ryan the Rascal was getting out of his bed every 4 minutes.  I loved the idea of a pork gyro.  We are porky people so this is definitely a keeper.

Wednesday:  Leftovers. Makes life so much easier.  I love to cook but it is still such a relief to have dinner already done.  Makes me feel like I have a wife.  Anyone else ever feel like that?

Thursday: Leftovers for kiddos and dinner at Pasha Grill for hubs and I.  It was great to go out on a weeknight without kiddos.  I felt like such a rebel even though we were home before 9.  I had the doner special which is gyro meat on a bed of eggplant puree topped with tomato sauce and hubs had the chicken kebab with yogurt.  Yum!

Leftovers for dinner meant time to go to the park on a beautiful afternoon.  A great reason to make a little extra!

Leftovers for dinner meant time to go to the park on a beautiful afternoon. A great reason to make a little extra!

Friday:  Dinner out at Coco’s Bistro.  We were hoping to sit in our fave waiter’s section and even requested his section on OpenTable but we got stuck near the windows with too much air conditioning.  Luckily the lobster nachos, lamb tacos and curried chocolate torte were amazing!  And ya gotta have a great time when you’re drinking a Moscow mule, right?

Saturday:  Sloppy Cubanos or Chorizo burgers.  Grilled skirt steak with smoky almond sauce, salad and rice.  Guess who forgot to pull the pork and chorizo from the freezer?  Me!  I wish there was an app that could remind me, like a dinner prep personal assistant.  Would be so nice, right?  We ended up having grilled flank steak (our store didn’t sell skirt steak!) with smoky almond sauce with rice and salad that we were planning to have a few days later but luckily I had already done the grocery shopping for the week.  This one was good, but there are other steak recipes we like better so we are not planning to make it again.  The sauce used ingredients that are expensive if you don’t end up using all of them so we’re gonna keep “seeing other recipes”.  Sorry to break up with you, smoky almond sauce!

The delicious doner specialty at Pasha Grill.  Get in my belly!

The delicious doner specialty at Pasha Grill. Get in my belly!

How did your week go?  Did you try any new recipes?  Hope you had a delicious week!  Thanks for reading!

 

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Transition plan for our babysitter

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Planned a slow cooker meal for soccer practice day and it was raining...at least I am getting the planning part right!

Planned a slow cooker meal for soccer practice day and it was raining…at least I am getting the planning part right!

Thank goodness Chloe has done well taking the bottles of breastmilk…we gotta get our last few bites in of our favorite places in Dayton!  Our babysitter thought we were moving later in the year and told me she needs a transition plan.  Guess that means we’ll have a few date nights before the kids and I head to my parents.  How will we ever find such a great babysitter in Germany?!

Monday:  Chicken bratwurst with broccoli slaw.  This is a slow cooker meal which is great because it means I have a lot of time when it is just me plus three kiddos.  Hubby has another late night training this night.  I will be so excited for this training to be over so we can enjoy our last few weeks in Ohio together…and all the nice weather!

Tuesday:  Pork tenderloin gyros.  We are having our homemade version of Shish!  We love pork and gyros so this should be a crowd pleaser in these parts.

These kiddos are going to miss our babysitter SOOO much!  It would just not be right to take them away from her without a bunch of date nights, right?!

These kiddos are going to miss our babysitter SOOO much! It would just not be right to take them away from her without a bunch of date nights, right?!

I will most definitely get the homemade Thousand Island dressing at Coco's. It is made with beets.  Amazing!

I will most definitely get the homemade Thousand Island dressing at Coco’s. It is made with beets. Amazing!

Wednesday:  Either leftovers or breakfast for dinner.  The kids and I are planning to make some muffins and I am in the mood for an egg and chorizo scramble…might just have to do breakfast and skip leftovers!

Thursday: Leftovers for kiddos and dinner at Pasha Grill (a Turkish restaurant) with some of hubby bubby’s peeps that are in town.  I can’t wait for the lebneh, baba ganoush and shish kebab with yogurt.  Yummy!

Friday:  Dinner out at Coco’s Bistro.   I know.  We are eating out way more than usual.  We have GOT to get our last suppers in at all of our fave places before the kiddos and I head to my parents and who knows when we’ll have a reliable, awesome babysitter in Germany?!   Gotta get date nights in while we can.  And we need to say goodbye to Jason, our favorite waiter.  Okay, maybe we do have a problem.

Saturday:  Sloppy Cubanos or Chorizo burgers.  Something sandwichy that will use up all the chorizo in our fridge.  The Cubano has pickles on it so I am leaning that direction.  And I always love a riff on a sloppy Joe.  MMmmmMM!

What will you be eating this week?  How are you doing with the transition to Spring and nice weather?  Hope your week goes well!  Thanks for reading!

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Move prep craziness

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Taking the kiddos to the grocery store is not as bad as I thought it would be with three kiddos.  Thanks, ErgoBaby!

Taking the kiddos to the grocery store is not as bad as I thought it would be with three kiddos. Thanks, ErgoBaby!

Coconut milk glaze for the yummy pork satay.  Can't believe I really did it ahead like I was supposed to!

Coconut milk glaze for the yummy pork satay. Can’t believe I really did it ahead like I was supposed to!

Whew!  Finally have a minute to sit and snuggle the baby…and get back to blogging for a bit!  The past few weeks have been filled with a gazillion appointments (not one, but two passport photo sessions!), packing, sorting, cleaning, fixing, organizing and scheduling more appointments.  Is it sad that going grocery shopping by myself with all 3 kiddos is now an easy item on the “to do” list?

How did your holidays go?  Easter? Passover?  Ryan and Hannah had to miss half of Easter mass because they were being crazy.  There will come a day when all five of us can make it through a whole mass, right?  I mean, we’re Catholic.  Mass isn’t really THAT long!  And they even had their new mass books.  Yeesh!

Saturday: Pork satay with rice and cucumber salad.  This was delish and I actually remembered to make the marinade for the pork.  We made an Asian cucumber salad that is probably my absolute favorite way to eat cucumbers…and I am obsessed with pickles!  This salad is so good I just CAN’T EVEN!  It was originally published in Cooking Light with a hoisin flank steak recipe.  The flank steak was just meh, but the cucumber salad is outrageous.  I pinned it on my Pinterest.  You MUST try it!  Especially with it almost being cuke season and all.

Sunday:  Happy Easter! Herb-and-honey-mustard crusted leg of lamb, mashed potatoes with leeks, marinated asparagus and fruit salad with blackberry basil vinaigrette.  This might just be the menu we stick with for years to come.  Everything was easy to prep and worked well for timing.  We were able to prep some things earlier in the day and then just relax.  Everything went really well together and we all loved it.  The lamb was definitely a splurge, but it was Easter!  I am really thinking I need to try Damaris Phillips’ lamb with chimichurri while all this lamb is around at the grocery store.  Just might have to grab one on sale!

This is the easiest soup ever!  And the fam loves it!

This is the easiest soup ever! And the fam loves it!  This pic is from the last time I made it when we had some tortellini in the freezer.  Love that it is so versatile!

Monday: Turkey sausage-gnocchi ravioli soup.  This was supposed to be Hannah’s first day of soccer so she helped me prep it in a mad rush to get us all fed and out the door in time.  Hubby bubby was working late at his training so it was just me and all the kiddos.  We open the garage and it is a down pour.  Ugh!  At least dinner was yummy and Hannah sure did look cute in her pink everything.

Tuesday: Shish wraps!  Of all the yummy food in Dayton Shish is probably what we will miss the most!  The food is yummy, healthy and Simon is the best!  I tried a new sandwich this time, the beef shawarma.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I knew there was a reason I always tried something new.  It was AMAZING!  I really think everything they make is my favorite (is that allowed?  Having more than one favorite?).  We might have to have weekly Shish until we leave!

Wednesday:  Leftovers.  I think leftovers are the surest sign that God loves us.

My pheasant sausage with polenta, grapes and broccolini.  Come here, lovahhhhh!

My pheasant sausage with polenta, grapes and broccolini. Come here, lovahhhhh!

Thursday: Baked lemon chicken with kale salad and rice.  We love citrus and chicken and this one did not disappoint.  It is basically fried chicken with a lemon sauce.  Yum!  How funny is it that the night we had this Food Network instagrammed this recipe?!  It is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Friday:  Date night!  First time leaving all 3 kiddos with the babysitter went swimmingly!  Hubby bubby and I went to Roost, a modern Italian restaurant for dinner then down the street to Salar for dessert and drinks.  The food was awesome!  So sad that this might be our last night at Roost ever!  The pavlova dessert at Salar was delish!  Think we’ll do dinner there one last time before the big move.  Gotta get in those dark and stormies!

Hannah is such a little sushi girl.  She loves her tuna rolls and is gettin' pretty savvy with the chop sticks!

Hannah is such a little sushi girl. She loves her tuna rolls and is gettin’ pretty savvy with the chop sticks!

Saturday: Sushi at Sushi Hana.  Ryan has still not mastered the “sticks” but Hannah is becoming quite the pro with them.  They both requested tuna rolls.  What will we do when they are all teenagers?!  We are going to go broke!

Sunday:  Mustard glazed chicken with roasted vegetables.  This ended up being a HOOTOWL dinner since hubby bubby’s training ran late.  As I was chopping the veggies I heard the most awful sound when you have small children: silence.  I went to investigate and both kids were sticking a foot (pant leg and all!) in the toilet.  Sigh.  At least they were in time out while I finished prepping the veggies and got those in the oven.  Loved the technique of preheating the roasting pans while the oven preheats.  We all loved this. Ryan even ate three servings of the veggies since he thought all of the “orange stuff” was butternut squash…there were sweet potatoes and carrots, too! 🙂

Always a little sad to eat dinner without the hubs...can't wait for this training and the move so we can make some roots on the other side of the pond!

Always a little sad to eat dinner without the hubs…can’t wait for this training and the move so we can make some roots on the other side of the pond!

How did your week go?  What are some of the crazy things you have found your kiddos doing?  Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Countdown is on!

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Yummy bean taco soup with homemade bread and salad.  So tasty and comforting.  Thanks, Bakers!

Yummy bean taco soup with homemade bread and salad. So tasty and comforting. Thanks, Bakers!

It really hit us this week that we are moving…and soon!  The kiddos and I will be heading to stay with my ‘rents at the end of the house so that we can have all of our stuff picked up by movers and put our house on the market.  Need to use up more of those pantry staples!   We ended up not making it to the grocery store until the end of the week so had to subsist on what we had until then.  Here’s how it went:

Sunday:  Crispy chicken with chermoula and escarole.  Hubby bubby made extra chermoula to use as a marinade for the chicken and it really gave the chicken great flavor.  Our escarole had frozen in the freezer so we ended up using baby kale instead and it was great.  We ended up eating all of it…no leftovers from this one.

Monday:  Friends of ours brought us bean taco soup, salad and homemade bread.  Everything was so good!  We are a bean loving family so this one was a huge hit.  We are definitely going to have to get the recipes!  I love homemade bread but never make it…this one might inspire me to start, though.

Butter chicken, chickpeas and spinach with indian sauce, onion naan and garlic pickle.  Love our pantry staples!

Butter chicken, chickpeas and spinach with indian sauce, onion naan and garlic pickle. Love our pantry staples!

Tuesday:  Spanish stewed chicken thighs with crusty bread.  Indian chicken with chickpeas and rice.  I hadn’t made it to the grocery store yet so we had the Indian chicken today instead.  We had some onion naan in the freezer and garlic pickle in the pantry so we had quite a spread.  The garlic pickle we had at Disney wasn’t spicy at all so I didn’t taste test this one before putting it on everyone’s plate.  Oopsie!  It was quite spicy (perfect for me and hubs!) and the kiddos each accidentally took a bite.  Eek!  They just drank lots of water and ate lots of rice and chicken after that,

Wednesday: Leftovers.  With less than a month before the kiddos and I head out of town so we can put the house on the market I’ve got to get all of my favorite local foods in while I have a chance.  Today it was Shish Wraps!  Love that place!  We are going to miss Simon and Shish Wraps a ton!

Shish Wraps!  Oh, how I will miss the yummy kafta wrap, baba ganoush, shish fries and more!

Shish Wraps! Oh, how I will miss the yummy kafta wrap, baba ganoush, shish fries and more!

Thursday:  Red beans and rice…pantry staple!  We still hadn’t made it to the store yet…who knew moving overseas would require so much coordination?!  We always have the ingredients for this on-hand so this was super easy.  Always one of my favorites!  The only downside is that the kids are big enough to eat quite a bit and I have a big appetite from breastfeeding so we didn’t have any leftovers.  Boo!

Friday:  Clam shack-style broiled fish with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que copycat coleslaw and rice.  The fish had great flavor and really went well with the Dino slaw.  Hannah helped hubby bubby prep the slaw and Ryan was their “taste tester” for the slaw dressing.  They both wanted to scoop their own slaw.  Made a little bit of a mess but they ate a ton of it!  Who doesn’t love the Dino slaw?!

Clamshack style fish with slaw and rice.  Food styling by Hannah...not bad for a four year old!

Clamshack style fish with slaw and rice. Food styling by Hannah…not bad for a four year old!

Have you had to tackle a big move that required cleaning out all of your pantry and freezer staples?  Do you have any tips for using things up?  Thanks for stopping by and staying a while!

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7 Tips to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

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Handy hubby bubby helped with the demo.

Handy hubby bubby helped with the demo.

When we decided to remodel our kitchen in 2013 the dreaminess of dark cherry cabinets and granite counter tops overshadowed any whispers in my mind about the logistics of this kitchen overhaul.  It wasn’t until days before the demolition of our old kitchen that I wondered what we would do for food while our kitchen was torn apart.

At first we were planning to have our entire counter torn apart and our sink removed…until I realized that would mean about a week with no running water (no dishwasher!) in our kitchen.  There was no way we could have survived that with all of the baby bottles we were sanitizing.  Instead we opted to pay a little extra to have the cabinets removed, old counter tops removed, new cabinets installed and our old sink (with a few inches of old counter top on each side) reconnected to the water supply and “resting gently” on our new cabinets.  Our contractors were awesome and made sure that we didn’t go without running water until the granite was installed.  So we had a sink…but no counters!  A few days later the granite was installed and this had to cure before the new sink could be reconnected.  Dun, dun, dun…three days with no running water in the kitchen.  We recently had to have a minor repair to our kitchen sink (gotta get the house ready to sell!). Here are my seven tips to help you the next time you remodel your kitchen.

Old kitchen...wasn't in terrible shape but was 30 years old!

Old kitchen…wasn’t in terrible shape but was 30 years old!  The boxes of new cabinets took up a whole room!  Yowza!

1.) Know the schedule for the remodel.  What day are they redoing the cabinets? The counters? Will they re-connect the sink in the meantime? Knowing what repairs will be done when can help you push timelines if needed. The contractors generally have to do things in a certain order, but if they are waiting for cabinets to come in or the electrician to do something could they be working on something else to move things along?

2.) Prep ahead. This is crucial! There are many different ways to do this. If you have a long lead time you could start by making double of one recipe each week and freezing them to use during your remodel. Another option is to prep a month of meals in one long day and then freeze these. There are tons of freezer meal ideas on Pinterest these days! You can always plug your slow cooker in to an outlet in the dining room during the repair. Or, do what I did and have dueling crockpots on your counter-free lazy Susan. 🙂

Bye, bye, old cabinets!

Bye, bye, old cabinets!

3.) Use plastic bags for food storage. This hurts the hippie inside of me, but during a kitchen overhaul it is pretty necessary. Store everything you can in plastic bags so that you can just throw them away and not need to wash all those big dishes.

4.) Don’t use any dishes or cookware that you can’t wash in your bathroom sink. I learned this the hard way. I used a roasting pan. Bad idea. How did I think I was going to wash that?! I wiped it out with a bunch of paper towels and then just set it aside to really wash it when the sink was reconnected. Oops.

5.) Plan a meal that uses a rotisserie chicken. For me the go-to meal when I don’t want a lot of dishes is a rotisserie chicken with some Ready Rice and a bag of steamable frozen veggies with some fruit on the side. When we were remodeling the kitchen we had this on paper plates (sorry planet Earth!) and used plastic silverware. So easy!

Built in wine rack?  Yes, please!

Built in wine rack? Yes, please!

6.) Sandwiches count as dinner. Bust out a blanket and a picnic basket and have a picnic for dinner. It makes it feel more like a real dinner if you don’t eat at your kitchen table…even better if you can get to a park!

7.) Remodel the kitchen during grilling season. The grill always cuts down on dishes and if you use a plastic baggie for marinating you can have a great meal without even using your kitchen. Maybe some grilled short ribs or shrimp skewers? MmmMMMMmmm.

Our amazing new kitchen with under cabinet lights!  This can be yours...just buy our house! :)

Our amazing new kitchen with under cabinet lights! This can be yours…just buy our house! 🙂

Have you remodeled your kitchen?  What helped you survive? I’d love to hear; just leave a comment below!  Thanks for reading!

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