Category Archives: This week

Thanksgiving Menu Part 1

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Usually I have our Thanksgiving menu finalized weeks in advance.  Maybe it is the third kid factor, but for some reason I was way behind on finishing it up.  With less than a week to go I have finally finished the menu and I think this will be a yummy Thanksgiving this year.  Over the past 8 years or so we have been tweaking our menu so that we can have a pretty relaxing Thanksgiving even though we have a LOT of food.  Here are the dishes that we have on our menu that we are able to prep a few days and some even a few weeks in advance.

Cranberry Bars: This recipe has been on our menu forever.  It was published in Gourmet magazine before Conde Nast made the awful decision to nix it.  I usually make these a few days before Thanksgiving since they keep well in an airtight container.  That is, if we don’t eat them all before Thanksgiving.  I may have to make a second batch since these are one of our “snacks” for Thanksgiving and knowing that makes it seem totally fine to nibble on them all week.  Kind of like having Halloween candy around before Halloween. 

Sweet and tart cranberries atop a crumbly shortbread make for the perfect all-day snack on Thanksgiving.

Sweet and tart cranberries atop a crumbly shortbread make for the perfect all-day snack on Thanksgiving.

Cranberry Sauce with Port and Tangerine: This is another of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  I usually double it since we love it so much and we use it in our breakfast on Thanksgiving.  I love to make this recipe because not only does it taste great, it is really fun to watch the cranberries burst!  I am a food science nerd!

Turkey Leg Confit: This is a new recipe for us this year.  I wasn’t able to find duck fat but I did find some goose fat so we are going to try that instead.  And I am not roasting the breasts as the recipe calls for.  We are making this ahead because we love dark meat and who doesn’t love anything that braises in fat? Since we are making it ahead it will give us extra dark meat and not require the oven on the day of.  Win-win.  (We’re going to make a porchetta-style turkey breast with the breast to have for dinner early in the week…we’ll be gobbling soon!).  We’ll be making this one on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. 

Turkey Stock: This year I roasted a turkey early so that I could make some homemade stock since I haven’t found a store bought option that I like.  I froze the stock in quart size freezer bags…and had almost a bowlful before I finished putting it away.  This recipe calls for roasting the veggies before adding them to the stock and I think that is what makes this stock AMAZING!

Roasting veggies for our turkey stock in our teeny tiny German oven...with no oven light.  Reminds me to be thankful that we do have an oven and food to put in it.

Roasting veggies for our turkey stock in our teeny tiny German oven…with no oven light. Reminds me to be thankful that we do have an oven and food to put in it.

Cider GravySince we do a non-traditional turkey I realized last year that I need to have “normal” gravy to go with stuffing and mashed potatoes.  I roasted a turkey this week so that I could make the stock AND this yummy gravy.  We used just a smidge of it when we ate the turkey and I froze the rest. 

Pumpkin Five-Spice Ice Cream: If you live in Ohio you can swing by a fancy grocery store to find this fresh from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.  I have the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook and am obsessed with it.  We had this ice cream last year and it was a big hit so we made it again.  Since ice creams can stay happy in the freezer I usually start making them a few weeks ahead.  This year I was “so behind” since I just made it a few days ago!

Cranberry Royale Sorbet: Since I am cranberry obsessed and love a nice sparkling wine this one just had to be on the menu.  A scoop in a champagne glass topped with Prosecco…I die.  This is just one of the reasons I cleaned out all of the fresh cranberries at the grocery store yesterday. (Sorry to anyone else needing them 🙂 ).

I put most of the turkey stock in the freezer in quart size bags and laid them flat to freeze quickly and use our space well.  I saved this quart of dark golden goodness to use this week to make some soup.  Yum!

I put most of the turkey stock in the freezer in quart size bags and laid them flat to freeze quickly and use our space well. I saved this quart of dark golden goodness to use this week to make some soup. Yum!

Baked Apple Sorbet: This is one we had last year and was super easy and yummy so we are having it again.  If you have never made homemade ice cream (or sorbet) this is a great one to start with.  You just bake some apples with spices, blend it and then whizzzzz it in the ice cream maker.  Could. Not. Be. Easier.

Gucci Muu Muu (Chocolate Ice Cream with Coconut). Hubby bubby requested a chocolaty ice cream for Thanksgiving this year so we are trying this one out.  I haven’t made this before, but since the recipes in the Jeni’s book use a similar process it should turn out well and be kid friendly to boot!

Garlicky Potato Apple Soup: We are trying a new soup this year since we can’t find the recipe for the best ever soup we had a few years ago and didn’t love the one from last year.  We will make the soup the weekend before Thanksgiving and then freeze it in baby food ice cube trays.  We heat it up on the stove on Thanksgiving and then have it in a slow cooker for when guests arrive since I feel like the eating should really be a marathon.  A cranberry bar here, some soup there…perfect way to warm up for the big meal.

This is the best gravy separator of all time.  When you squeeze the handle the good stuff drains from the bottom and you can leave the fat in the separator.  Genius!

This is the best gravy separator of all time. When you squeeze the handle the good stuff drains from the bottom and you can leave the fat in the separator. Genius!

What are your favorite make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes?  What is your best tip for a relaxing Thanksgiving?  I hope you like the links to all of the recipe sources.  Let me know in the comments section below!

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Thanksgiving Dry Run

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I have a confession.  I think about Thanksgiving all year long.  I start planning the menu at the first sign of weather turning chilly.  Usually I start making ice cream several weeks before Thanksgiving.  I had an almost panicked moment, “I’m so far behind!” We have no ice cream in our freezer, gasp!  A few deep breaths later I realized that most normal people are still planning their Thanksgiving meals, too.  Our menu this week is our dry run for roasting a turkey in our brand new oven.  Fingers crossed that it goes well!

Sunday: Fettuccine with Sausage and Kale and salad.  Since this is the week before Thanksgiving (aka crunch time) I decided to add a few things to the menu that we’ve had before. Even though I’ll still have to make them it will be nice to have my cooking brain on auto-pilot for a few meals.  This fettuccine was super easy and we all loved it.  I think I even spotted Ryan eating some of the kale!

We love pasta. I usually save some of the pasta boiling water in case our sauce needs a little more pizza.

We love pasta. I usually save some of the pasta boiling water in case our sauce needs a little more pizza.

Monday: Ribollita. If you have never had ribollita you must try this recipe. It is such a hearty soup that hubby bubby not only doesn’t mind that there is soup on the menu but he LOVES this recipe!  There are so many veggies and beans and just a little smidge of pancetta (we are using bacon this time) so it is not only hearty but healthy to boot. 

Tuesday: Sage Butter-Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy, Apple and Pistachio Brussels Sprout Salad and some kind of potatoes. This is our Thanksgiving dry run. When we were at the grocery store hubby bubby caught me trying to add three turkeys to our cart.  They are frozen, what is a girl to do?  I need to get them all early enough so that I can thaw them safely.  He reminded me that we don’t have that much fridge space so I reluctantly put one back.  So, I ended up getting a ten pounder for today and a fourteen pounder to test thawing times.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday: Leftover Makeover with Turkey Tortas.  Usually we just have boring leftovers that I don’t try to fancy up at all. I think that might be a New Year’s Resolution in the works…do a better job with leftovers.  Anywho, this week we get one of the best leftover items evahhhhh.  I made this last year the day after Thanksgiving and it was amazing.  It is worth roasting a turkey just to have this torta.  For reals.

I know kale is "so last year" but who couldn't love these beauties?

I know kale is “so last year” but who couldn’t love these beauties?

Thursday: Spicy Pumpkin Chili.  This is one we haven’t tried before but it sounds so amazing and we have a gazillion cans of pumpkin so I just had to put it on the menu.  Hannah has dance in the afternoon so I am planning to get it finished before we leave for dance and then just keep it in our slow cooker on low until we get home.  What is better than chili on a cold Fall day?

Friday: Parents’ Night Out! Woohoo! We will give the kiddos some leftovers before we drop them off and then hubby bubby and I will go out for a hot date.  I’m not sure where we’ll go yet.  Guess I should start figuring that out!

We sure do love these kiddos, but what parents don't need a night out every now and then, right?!

We sure do love these kiddos, but what parents don’t need a night out every now and then, right?!

Saturday: Buffalo Chicken Buffalitos.  The chicken recipe is a slow cooker fave (I leave out the margarine) and I use it to make our version of the Buffalitos they have on the menu at Buffalo Wild Wings. I just shred some lettuce and pick up some pico de gallo and tortillas and they are divine.  Perfect for some college football watching.

This week I added links to all of the recipes we’ll be having. Hopefully you like them!  Let me know in the comments below.  Have a delicious week!

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Yummy Blog Food

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Hannah enjoyed some apfelschorle (apple juice mixed with sparkling water) at the castle.

Hannah enjoyed some apfelschorle (apple juice mixed with sparkling water) at the castle.

Hubby bubby was out of town last week and we survived our first week with me as the solo parent of the three kiddos. The hardest part of him being gone was that the dogs ignored me every time I wanted them to come inside. Am I the only one this happens to? I guess hubby bubby is their only pack leader. Ugh, oh well! The kids and I had fun making food together and taking a road trip to a castle. It is so fun that there are castles all around here in Germany! I should have known better than to take all three kids on a guided castle tour…Ryan was so loud! He kept yelling, “DANKE! BITTE!” (thank you, please). Oy vey. Should I at least be happy he was using some German? Now that hubs is back and we are feeling more settled we are going to start having people over and he is back to brewing beer. So fun! Here is what we’ll be having for our family dinners this week.

Sunday: Boiled dinner. We started this one off on the stove and finished it in the slow cooker so we could head to church (without hubby bubby, so proud of myself!). Hannah loved all of it, but Ryan ate mostly the ham and potatoes. I’m not sure if that was because he didn’t want the rest or if he was just too busy giggling about how he pulled his pants down in church. He really went there. I hope the little girl sitting next to us is not scarred for life!

My mom used to always make boiled dinner (ham, cabbage, carrots, potatoes) for us when I was growing up. Still such a comfort food!

My mom used to always make boiled dinner (ham, cabbage, carrots, potatoes) for us when I was growing up. Still such a comfort food!

Monday: Hearty Pumpkin Potato Soup. This one was a recipe I just downloaded from one of my new favorite blogs, betterinbulk.net. It was amazing! It was packed with veggies and sausage and was a cinch to make. Ryan doesn’t like wilted spinach so I left the spinach in leaves so it was easier for him to eat around it without whining. It felt like a yummy soup you could get from Panera. Mmm. I am calling dibs on this for leftover night!

Tuesday: Beer Braised Chicken and Peas, Giada’s Mashed Potatoes, Carrot Salad (we call them “Bobby carrots”), Romaine Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette (but without Romaine) and Healthy Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie bars. We had some friends over to celebrate hubby bubby’s first brewing session in our new house and somehow I actually managed to stick to the menu that I planned. Miracle! I thinned out some potatoes for Chloe and she gobbled them up. Overall I think everything turned out pretty good. I think my favorites are the Bobby carrots and the cookie bars. Yum! The cookie bar recipe is one I have now made probably about thirty times and is from another of my fave blogs, halfbakedharvest.com.

Wednesday: Leftovers. I doubled the salad dressing yesterday so that I can just toss it on some spinach (Ryan recently decided he loves spinach salads) and have that to go along with everything else. I am kicking myself that I haven’t gotten the most adorable Polish pottery soup and salad/sandwich plates. How cute would that be: some pumpkin potato soup and spinach salad on some new Polish pottery? I guess there is always next week.

This hearty pumpkin potato soup was perfect for Fall.

This hearty pumpkin potato soup was perfect for Fall.

Thursday: Pork Chops Simmered in Spiced Tomato Sauce with pasta and salad. Hubby bubby loves pork so I am trying to include lean pork in our menus more often. We all love pasta so it should be a hit. If all else fails I’ll at least have some spinach for Ryan’s salad. 🙂

Friday: Skinny Thai Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce, Cucumber Salad and Edamame. It just hit me that I planned a week of meals with recipes from tons of great blogs. The thai chicken meatballs are from jocooks.com. The pictures look SO good! I definitely do not have the food styling skills like a lot of other bloggers out there. I love having Asian food on Fridays and who doesn’t love a meatball?

This little angel is 8 months old already! I cannot believe it! (Said like Quincy from Little Einsteins. :) )

This little angel is 8 months old already! I cannot believe it! (Said like Quincy from Little Einsteins. 🙂 )

Saturday: Happy Halloween! I am not sure what we’ll have for dinner on Halloween. I’m hoping we’ll have enough leftovers left that we can just eat a quick bite of leftovers before trick-or-treating and then sustain ourselves on Reese’s pumpkins the rest of the evening.

 Happy Halloween! What are you planning for your dinners this week? Is there an awesome food blog you love? I’d love to know in the comments section below!

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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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Heat wave!

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We are experiencing a heat wave in Germany these days so I am making menu plans that heat the house as little as possible.  Did I mention that Germany does not have air conditioning…pretty much anywhere other than Hubby bubby’s office? Yep.  No air conditioning.  The dietitian in me thinks that at least I am burning extra calories this way.  The American in me wants to whimper at times.  Here is our menu plan for this week.  I hope you are able to stay cool this week!

Steak is always a hit in our house.

Steak is always a hit in our house.

Sunday: Brats and Broetchen with slaw. We are doing Sunday dinners in mid-afternoon these days since it makes it easier with the little people. This week we went for a German option with fresh brats from my fave German grocery store and some broetchen from the bakery. The Germans shove a delicious brat into the middle of a crusty roll and top with some mustard. It is heavenly!

 
Monday: Tuscan Steak Salad. We are big steak fans. Weird from a former vegetarian, I know. When the weather is steamy we try to lighten up our steak meals with a steak salad rather than heavy, steakhouse-style sides. We save those for Winter. 🙂

Tuesday: Moroccan Lemon-Herb Chicken Skewers, Green Bean and Potato Salad. Even if I never actually get to go to Morocco at least I can close my eyes and pretend every time I have a tagine. It is a little too hot out for a tagine so I figured something grilled would be perfect. The potatoes and green beans are very not Moroccan, but it is one of our fave summer sides. We received the recipe with one of our very first CSA shares, before kids even! It is a keeper!

We are trying to hit the evening Sunday mass these days so are pushing our dinner earlier. Makes for an easy-breezy Sunday!

We are trying to hit the evening Sunday mass these days so are pushing our dinner earlier. Makes for an easy-breezy Sunday!

Wednesday: Leftovers and No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie. I signed up to drop off a dessert at a dinner on the base. I’m going to make an extra for us…just the way to jazz up leftover night. At least there is fruit involved!

Thursday: Beer-Braised Turkey Tacos. We love tacos in all their forms and with great German beer there really is no way this one could go wrong, right? I’ll have to make sure to get lots of radishes for Hannah’s tacos. I’m hoping this one will be a good one to keep us from eating chicken or stay ad nauseum.

Friday: Dinner at a friend’s house. Hopefully we can bring something yummy. This may just be he time for me to bust out my ice cream making again. I’m thinking maybe the blackberry chip ice cream by Ree Drummond might be just right for a Friday in August.

Saturday: Chicken Braciole with Spinach and some kind of veggie, fruit and whole grain (the whole MyPlate thing 🙂 ). I have to admit that I was really surprised to see that Ali Larter (remember the whipped cream bikini?!) has some cooking chops and was writing a cookbook. Then I saw this recipe for chicken braciole and thought I must try that ASAP!

What will you be eating this week? What do you to keep your kitchen cool on hot days? Salads? Grilling? I’d love to hear in the comment section below!

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We’re back! (Sort of!)

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We made it to Germany and are starting to get settled. We love it here!  The food is great, especially the backereis (bakeries)!  We had our first shipment of our stuff show up so we have no furniture, but we have our essential kitchen items. We are back in business in our kitchen and on our new grill and are lovin’ it!

Our big girl loves to help dish up the food at dinner. When did my baby Hannah get so big?

Our big girl loves to help dish up the food at dinner. When did my baby Hannah get so big?

Here is what we are up to this week. Stay tuned over the next few weeks to read about our recent trip to Brussels and our first samplings of German food!

Sunday: Leftovers. We had a ton of food left from the Fourth of July so just had leftovers.  Easy peasy.

Monday: Chili Pork Tacos with Sweet Lime Slaw.  This is one of our favorite taco recipes!  It uses the grill so is perfect for the summery weather and comes together quickly…minimal prep and dishes.  Win-win!

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken with Spicy (we might make it mild) Brazilian Tomato and Coconut Sauce with rice and Black Bean Salad. We made this one a long time ago and don’t totally remember it, but my notes say it was good and it uses the grill.  I hope we like it as much as we did before!

Ryan always ate ALL of his Shish Wraps!  We have found some kebab places here, but nothing as awesome as Shish Wraps!

Ryan always ate ALL of his Shish Wraps! We have found some kebab places here, but nothing as awesome as Shish Wraps!

Wednesday: Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos with Pecan-Chipotle Salsa.  Another recipe for the grill and the salsa just sounds amazing doesn’t it?!  As long as I remember to marinate the steak all should go well.

Thursday: Pan-Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri.  If I haven’t mentioned it before I should mention now that I have somewhat of an obsession with chimichurri.  It is virtually calorie-free and packs a huge flavor punch.  It is great on everything and a great way to give food savory yumminess without any guilt.

Friday: Salad with Cilantro-Chile Vinaigrette and Thai Pork Burgers.  I found a cute little Asian grocery store in Ramstein village called Seoul Market and have been hitting it up for some of our fave ingredients (if I go too long without miso or fish sauce I get the shakes). Gotta keep our weekly Asian flavored dishes on the menu plan or we’ll end up getting take out!

How have your last few weeks been?  What will you be up to this week?  What do you recommend we check out in Germany?

 

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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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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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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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