Monthly Archives: September 2015

I heart routines!

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After a whirlwind of our first few months in Germany I am loving being back in a routine. Sure, I like excitement and travel, but there is something really comforting and cozy about Fall that I just adore. We definitely did some splurging over the last few months and now that we are really starting to feel settled we are eating more like our “normal” with meal planning and most of our meals being healthy options. Lucky for me Chloe is still breastfeeding, but for hubby bubby with a PT (physical fitness) test coming up (aren’t they always?!) he is happy that we are having healthier meals so it is easier for him to get back to his usual fitness level. Here is what we will be cookin’ up this week:

We'll definitely have some salad or a veggie to help keep our portion sizes in check for our heartier meals this week.

We’ll definitely have some salad or a veggie to help keep our portion sizes in check for our heartier meals this week.

Sunday: Skirt Steak Fajitas with Grilled Cabbage and Scallions. We just had these last night and they are now my very favorite ever steak fajitas. The marinade was SO good. I think the smoked paprika is what clinched it for all of us. It was not spicy, but just the right amount of smoky yumminess. We all devoured this. I was feeding Chloe while the rest of the fam was digging in and Ryan kept asking me if he could have some of my steak…gotta keep an eye on that one!

Monday: Penne alla Senese with salad or green beans. Remember that whole “we’re back to eating healthy” thing I mentioned? That doesn’t apply to this meal. Ya gotta live a little, right? As every great dietitian says, “there is room for anything in a healthy diet”…just not a lot of it. Portion sizes will be key for this pasta as it contains not only sausage and heavy cream, but some parmesan and mascarpone to boot. I can’t wait!

This little angel loves eating and wearing her fruit!

This little angel loves eating and wearing her fruit!

Tuesday: Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Mustard and Sage, Salad, Giada’s Mashed Potatoes. We are home all afternoon this Tuesday so it is the perfect day for a slow-roasted pork dish. I have been trying to break our chicken and beef rut with a variety of proteins so hopefully I won’t disappoint myself with this pork shoulder. I keep thinking that a lot of the fat will melt away as it roasts, but I do keep second-guessing if I should have just opted for leaner pork loin. We shall see.

Wednesday: Leftovers. Wednesday is definitely our busiest day of the week so it is the perfect day for us to have leftovers. Both big kids have activities in the morning and then part-day preschool in the afternoon followed by swimming lessons. Hopefully we’ll actually have enough leftovers this week that this plan doesn’t go awry. The last few weeks we have been eating too much so we have only scraps left by leftover day. If that happens again it’ll be PBJ night!

Go Gators!  Our newest little Gator fan is almost big enough for her cheerleader outfit.  Yay!

Go Gators! Our newest little Gator fan is almost big enough for her cheerleader outfit. Yay!

Thursday: Spanish Stew Chicken Thighs with crusty bread. Hannah helped make the meal plan this week and wanted “chicken and pasta” for most nights. I gave her some choices and read off the ingredients in a few things and she wanted this one because it has celery in it and “celery is my favorite vegetable ever” she says. I don’t think there is a vegetable that she doesn’t like, but I think radishes’ feelings might be a little hurt these days.

Friday: Beef Noodle Soup. This is an Asian inspired noodle soup. I am a HUGE phan (hehe) of pho so I am hoping it is a little reminiscent of that. Hubby will be home late so I’m hoping we can sneak this one by him. At least I can say Hannah picked it, right?

Saturday: Slow Cooker Texas Smoked Beef Brisket. Hooray for college football! We FINALLY have internet and FINALLY have some television again. With the package of channels we are using the local stations of the major networks are from Miami so they will hopefully play lots of Florida Gator games. We are planning to do a little tailgate at home and the main dish will be the brisket. At some point I’ll figure out what to have with it.

I'm praying the beef noodle soup is almost as good as this pho from Linh's restaurant in Riverside, Ohio.  Theirs is amazing!

I’m praying the beef noodle soup is almost as good as this pho from Linh’s restaurant in Riverside, Ohio. Theirs is amazing!

What are you up to this week? Are you cookin’ up anything new or stickin’ with tried and true recipes? Let me know what recipes I should be trying in the comments section below. Have a great week!

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Back to school!

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Whew! I am sad to see our fun summer start to fade away, but am very much looking forward to wearing sweaters, eating stews and all things Fall. From what I hear my fave season is done right by Germans. I can’t wait to explore all of the markets and attend some pumpkin fests! We were able to get our big kiddos into preschool after much finagling and they are happy to start this week. Here’s what we’ll be up to this week:

Yummy doner box from Quda. Mmm.

Yummy doner box from Quda. Mmm.

Sunday: Quda. We were back from our trip after our usual dinner time so we decided to grab a quick dinner at the local kebab place. My favorite is the doner box which is a salad of cabbage and other veggies topped with some shaved chicken kebab and yogurt sauce. Yum!

Monday: Steak with potatoes and asparagus. Hubby was in the mood for steak so we made a quick trip to be store to grab the essentials. I like to tell myself that we buy the filet because it is such a lean cut. It also happens to be delicious! Hubby bubby made a quick rub for the steak and then grilled some little potatoes and asparagus. Our kiddos were fighting over the asparagus. I love when that happens! Ryan will surely be an expensive teenager. He ate about 6 ounces of filet! Yowza! Can’t say I blame him.

This little angel is so excited to be eating more purées at our mealtimes!

This little angel is so excited to be eating more purées at our mealtimes!

Tuesday: Cajun beans with chicken. I was not feeling so good so hubby bubby busted out the pressure cooker and grabbed a bag of beans from the pantry. It smelled so good, but I could only eat a few bites. At least it’ll make great leftovers for when I’m feeling better.

Wednesday: Out to dinner with friends! This is also the big kiddos’ first day of school! We are so lucky that some of our favorite people in Ohio also had the good fortune to get sent to Germany. They arrived a few days ago so we are going to show them our favorite Greek restaurant. The kids love the appetizer platter with grilled zucchini and eggplant. Ryan referred to them as pickles the last time we were there and was mad that I ate some. Guess I will have to leave them all for him his time!

Thursday: One-Pot Pork with Apple Cider & Potatoes. I am praying that there will actually be apple cider at the store because I really want to have this. A one-pot meal that has tons of Fall flavors (I shouldn’t rush Fall, but I can’t help it!) is just what I am craving.

These two are very excited to go back to school this week! Hard to believe this is the last year before Hannah goes to Kindergarten!

These two are very excited to go back to school this week! Hard to believe this is the last year before Hannah goes to Kindergarten!

Friday: Date night! We have found a babysitter! Hallelujah! Hopefully our silly kiddos and crazy dogs don’t scare her off. Now that the Germans’ summer holiday is over we are hoping to hit up a fun restaurant in Kaiserslautern.

Saturday: Indian Masala Chili. Another one-pot meal, but this time a hearty stew with warming Indian spices. There should be some fun festivals going on so I am planning to prep it early in the day and let it simmer in my new shiny 220volt slow cooker.

What are you up to this week? Are you looking forward to Fall foods or clinging to the last bit of summery weather and foods? I’d love to know what your fave summer dish is! Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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Baby Food: an ode to homemade

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How could it be time already?!  It seems like these last six months have flown by.  My sweet baby Chloe is eating purées.  It seems like it has only been a few weeks since I was fretting over her losing too much weight after birth.  Now she is happily sporting some cute baby rolls. Continue reading

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