Tag Archives: chicken

Best Ever: Mardi Gras Faves

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We love Fat Tuesday and all of the Cajun and creole flavors that go along with it.  We usually try to make a week long event of it so that we can fit in all of our favorite recipes.  Here is a list of our favorite recipes to help you celebrate Mardi Gras.  Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for the best last-minute Fat Tuesday recipes.  Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Crawfish Etouffee: Swoon!  If you have never had etouffee you MUST try this recipe.  One word: bacon.  Convinced yet?  It is not difficult to make but has huge flavors.  We have made this one with crawfish and have used frozen parcooked shrimp when we can’t find the crawfish.  This is the recipe that makes me a little jelly that I am not from Louisiana.

Crawfish etouffee will make someone fall in love with you. I promise.

Crawfish etouffee will make someone fall in love with you. I promise.

Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo: This is one of our favorite recipes even though it is not as traditional.  There is no roux in site for this one, but it does contain the “holy trinity” of onions, peppers and garlic.  We always sub the green pepper for an orange or yellow one since we like the flavors better that way.  We like to use jasmine rice with this since it has a mild flavor.  This is a more tomato-ey gumbo and with some hot sauce it is divine.

Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya-Ya: If you are looking for a traditional chicken and sausage gumbo this is the recipe you are looking for.  It takes about two hours or so to make so if you can wait that long then definitely give it a try.  The prep is really easy, but there is some hands-on time when you make the roux.  And you have to make the roux as patiently as it calls for or the flavors and colors will not be quite right.  It is worth every ounce of patience you can muster.  And trust me, you can stir the roux if you have to {very carefully} hold a baby in the other arm.

We like the Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo heavy on the rice.  Yum!

We like the Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo heavy on the rice. Yum!

Pan-Seared Shrimp Po’ Boys: Because the shrimp are pan-seared it is a little lighter than a traditional po’ boy.  The sauce is what really makes this one special.  We have tried lots of po’ boy recipes and keep coming back to this one.  It has tons of five-star reviews, ’nuff said.  This is the first one that is great for a last-minute Fat Tuesday party.

Chicken-and-Sausage Jambalaya: When the recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken you know that it is going to make your life easier.  This is one that we have made with some frozen parcooked shrimp instead of the chicken (just add the shrimp right before serving instead of when you add the rice) and it turns out just as good.

This dirty rice is one of our fave one-pot meals.

This dirty rice is one of our fave one-pot meals.

Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausage: This is one that you can grab the ingredients on your way home today and impress everyone with your Fat Tuesday prowess.  It is quick and easy and since there are so many veggies it can be a one-pot meal.

I hope you have a great Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday!  If you are looking for more recipes like this check out John Besh’s latest cookbook.  Thanks for reading!  Have a great week!

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Week In Review: Salad of my dreams

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We try a lot of new recipes around here.  Pretty much every week we are trying something new.  This was a habit I got into when I worked as a clinical dietitian and I had clients that needed recipe recommendations and it has since spiraled into an obsession with trying new recipes.  The crazy thing about it is that usually we are trying new recipes and can say that they taste great…like that other thing we had however long ago.  It is a rare thing when we taste something that really tastes like nothing we have ever had  before.  We had this sort of experience with the kale salad this week.  It was really a Caesar salad with Caesar in quotations.  Caesar salad just doesn’t do this salad justice.  And kale salad, pfff.  You may think kale salad is SO 2015.  It’s not.  This salad is literally the salad of my dreams.  You’re welcome that I linked it below. 🙂

Hello, lovahhhhh!  This kale Caesar has really been starring in my dreams lately.

Hello, lovahhhhh! This kale Caesar has really been starring in my dreams lately.

Sunday: Kale “Caesar” Salad and Pasta with Abruzzi-Style Lamb Sauce. Let me just start by saying that the pasta was good.  The sauce definitely had a slight gamey flavor with the lamb, but if you like lamb {we do} then you will like it.  Now, about the salad.  Oh my goodness!  This may be my new favorite salad of all time.  It was the best Caesar salad I have ever had in my whole life.  It made me fall even more in love with Damaris Phillips than I already am.  We might make the pasta again, but we will definitely make the salad again.  Maybe everyday.  It was that good.

Monday: Korean-Style Chicken WrapsI signed up to bring a meal to a mama with a new baby (cutest baby of all time, next to my kiddos, of course!) who has a deployed hubby.  What a hard gig she has!  I decided to make one of our fave Asian recipes since it has the best homemade Korean barbecue sauce ever.  By some miracle the weather was gorgeous and hubs was able to actually grill the chicken outside. If you are looking for some new, un-run-of-the-mill chicken recipes that are perfect for weeknights check out this cookbook from Food & Wine (just click the image below).  You will be glad you did!

Tuesday: Chicken Cassoulet-Style SoupI couldn’t decide what to have for dinner and wanted something meaty and hearty and bean-y so I looked at my pantry and freezer staples and decided to make this.  It is SO easy to make and we all love it.  We just toss it together then it simmers for a little bit and then dinner is ready.  So quick and so yummy.

This pantry/freezer staple soup is a lifesaver on nights I can't decide what to make for dinner.

This pantry/freezer staple soup is a lifesaver on nights I can’t decide what to make for dinner.

Wednesday: Leftovers.  Easiest day of the week!

Thursday: Citrus and Chile Braised Short Ribs with Cucumber SaladWe really liked this one but it pains me how much inedible portion there is with short ribs.  I’m  not even going to go into how un-dietitian-like short ribs are as a cut of meat.  But how much you pay for the bones that you can’t even eat?! I die.  Sure, bone both is super trendy, but c’mon.  Anyway, we did really like the flavor of this and it was easy to make so we will make this recipe again, but with a different cut.  I was thinking maybe flank steak because it is lean or a pot roast since they are budget friendly and it is easy to pick the healthy meat portion away from the fatty parts.

My sweet Chloe is 11 months already!  Where has the time gone?!

My sweet Chloe is 11 months already! Where has the time gone?!

 

Friday: Thai Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice.  To be fair, maybe the curry that we used wasn’t quite strong enough.  We bought a wimpy, mild one so that the kids would eat it.  The flavor of the coconut milk came through which was great, but it just tasted like gravy and not curry.  It really didn’t hit the mark for us so we won’t make this one again.

Thank goodness for long roasts and slow cookers during baby teething season!

Thank goodness for long roasts and slow cookers during baby teething season!

Saturday: Steamed Kielbasa, Sauerkraut and PierogiesHubby ended up going on a work trip last minute…to Portugal.  Poor him, right?  At least I had heard about it on Friday so I was able to go to the grocery store and get what I needed to make this slow cooker recipe that is my absolute favorite slow cooker recipe.  This recipe is a great alternative to slow cooker stews and super quick to put together.  If you like any of the ingredients in the recipe name I urge you to give it a try.  If you are interested in more recipes like this check out Family Circle magazine.  We have been subscribing for a few years and it is one of my new faves: a little fashion, a little home, a little kids and hubby, and some recipes! I love it!  Click the image below to find out more info and to subscribe!

Thanks so much for reading!  Did you have anything great to eat this week?  I’d love to know in the comments section below!

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Week in Review: Paprika everywhere

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Last week we were coming back from a great weekend in Strasbourg, France and I was really feeling having meals with a European flare.  Enter paprika.  Paprika is one of my favorite spices.  I love it sweet or smoked.  Apparently our big kids love paprika as confetti and clothes dye.  Hubby bubby came home in the midst of them sprinkling it everywhere.  I had just gotten it out of our spice rack.  How could those little ninjas stealthily sneak it away from me so fast?!  Hubby has not mastered the art of capturing moments on camera so I do not have any pics of the kids covered in paprika, but I’m sure you can use your imaginations.  🙂  I hope our weekly meal plan helps give you some dinner inspiration!

A French pastry for the drive home from Strasbourg...heavenly!

A French pastry for the drive home from Strasbourg…heavenly!

Saturday-Sunday: Strasbourg!  It is an awesome city just a few hours from us.  We ate lots of Alsatian food which is essentially German influenced French food.  Yum!

Monday: Spanish Beef StewAfter our drive back from Strasbourg we hit the grocery store and made it home in time to have the first of our paprika-y meals.  This one is served over yellow rice which made it taste like perfection.  This was one we all liked and we will definitely be making it again.

A Euro-style chicken and dumplings.  So good and definitely worth trying...on a day you have extra time for prep.

A Euro-style chicken and dumplings. So good and definitely worth trying…on a day you have extra time for prep.

Tuesday: Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings.  This was the second of our paprika-heavy meals.  When hubby came home he said, “You’re actually making biscuits?!”  Pff, you bet I was!  they are the easiest biscuits to make ever.  All of the ingredients are pulsed in the food processor and then dolloped on top of the chickeny goodness.  So easy.  This one did take more hands-on prep so it is probably better for a weekend or a night when you have extra time.  We all loved it…even after hubby cleaned up the paprika crime scene in the kids kitchen.

Wednesday: Tango Joes and Salad Oranges.  Did I mention I like paprika?  I do.  I love it.  This one called for paprika, too, but we didn’t love this.  I love sloppy Joes and {almost} all riffs on them.  I also am a little obsessed with Chimichurri which is the topping for these.  This chimichurri had too much oil and rosemary, not my idea of a refreshing and light chimichurri.  The chimichurri also didn’t seem to really go with the flavors in the sloppy joe mix.  We ate this one but will not be making it again.  I have included the link in case you want to check it out.  At least I warned you!

Tango Joes with mandarin oranges since the 3 year old froze all of our salad greens.

Tango Joes with mandarin oranges since the 3 year old froze all of our salad greens.

Thursday: Pasta with parmesan sauce and fruit.  We were all a little under the weather and didn’t really feel like having much so hubby winged a parmesany sauce for some pasta and we had it with some fruit.

Friday: Leftovers.  Not an exciting way to kick off the weekend, but we were still not feeling well so having leftovers was perfect.  Except that I ate the Tango Joes.  I took one for the team.

Saturday: Leftovers again.  Still not very exciting, but made for a super easy day.

What did you have for dinner this week?  I’d love to know!  Just leave a comment below!  Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week!

Minestrone soup the kids and I had for lunch.  I added a little turmeric to help us kick our colds...gotta love functional foods!

Minestrone soup the kids and I had for lunch. I added a little turmeric to help us kick our colds…gotta love functional foods!

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Week in review: Thumbs down, thumbs up

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This past week we had some interesting meals.  Interesting.  Not always a good word, right?  When I dyed my hair back to red some people said it was “interesting”…not good, yet maybe not bad?  That was how our week started out.  It got better quickly, luckily!  I guess this is what happens with my obsession with always trying new recipes.  It is times like this when I am reminded it really is necessary to try recipes before making them for guests.  Here is our week in review:

Sunday: Peruvian-Style Pasta Bolognese and salad. This one sounded so good. The spices, the ginger, the tomatoes! Pasta! What could go wrong?! Well, a lot apparently. To be fair, this recipe was not bad, but it was just not what we expected. Kinda like when you order a mocha at the coffee shop and they make you a latte. The latte isn’t bad, just not what you had wrapped your mind around and prepared your palate for. We won’t be making this one again. On a positive note, making a weirdish pasta was a great way to get the kiddos to eat second helpings of salad!

It smelled amazing and looked great but this Peruvian Bolognese just didn't quite work.

It smelled amazing and looked great but this Peruvian Bolognese just didn’t quite work.

Monday: Red Beans and Rice.  This is an oldie and a goody. We love “RBR”!  I am still trying to find the source for the original recipe so I can share it with you. Yum!

Red Beans and Rice never, ever lets me down.

Red Beans and Rice never, ever lets me down.

Tuesday: Authentic Bangladeshi Beef Curry, Asian Cucumber Salad, Basmati rice.  This meal was the antithesis of the Peruvian bolognese. I wanted something different, something out of our ordinary. This was even better than I hoped. We were supposed to save some for leftovers but we ate every last morsel. We left out the cayenne so it would be a little more kid-friendly. The sauce was still a tad spicy, but we tried to just fish the beef out for the kids and hoarded the sauce for ourselves. If you love beef stew and are looking for a more exotic version this is it. This is a must-try. 

This beef curry was my redemption after the Bolognese. This one is a keeper! I have since had dreams of this curry. It is that good.

This beef curry was my redemption after the Bolognese. This one is a keeper! I have since had dreams of this curry. It is that good.

Wednesday: Turkey Sausage-Gnocchi Soup.  We always have the ingredients on-hand to make this. A few freezer and pantry staples, no chopping, dinner in twenty minutes. Perfect option for the end of a long day. 

Thursday: Leftovers.  Easiest day of the week. I had the rest of the Peruvian pasta. It was still perplexing. Hubby bubby had the RBR. That gives me wife bonus points, right?

Friday:  Latin baked chicken, Rice, Roasted Broccoli.  We love this recipe and hadn’t had it in forever. There are five ingredients. Super easy and really flavorful. We set aside some of the sauce to use on the chicken for the kiddos before adding the chipotles. This chicken would be great sliced and served in tacos, too. 

What was the best thing you ate this week?  I’d love to know in the comment section below.  I hope you like the links to the recipes.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you come back soon!

Saturday we headed to Strasbourg, France for some yummy Alsacian food!

Saturday we headed to Strasbourg, France for some yummy Alsatian food!

 

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Best Ever Weeknight Chicken Recipes

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Welcome to 2016, Radishes Are Pink style!  :)I was just reflecting a little bit {don’t we all at this time of year?!} and was thinking about my goals for this here blog this year. I started the blog at the very end of 2014/beginning of 2015 when I was 7 months pregnant. Pregnant brains are weird and some days I think my lactating brain is even weirder! Needless to say it was not easy to keep up with the blog in 2015 and I am committed to doing better at it this year. Right after our sweet Chloe was born we learned we were moving to Germany and then the steamroller of an overseas move took hold of our life for most of the year. We found an awesome house but were without internet and television for five months! That seems insane thinking about it now. I guess my lack of sleep made it seem like it wasn’t quite so long.

My littlest sous chef has grown so much this year!

My littlest sous chef has grown so much this year!

Now that I am back to blogging I figured the best way to kick of the blogs in 2016 is with our favorite chicken recipes. Everyone {okay, maybe not everyone, but LOTS of people} love chicken. I think it is fair to say it is a weekly staple in most households. We are always trying out new recipes and I promise to give you my real take on them so you know which to try and which are just not worth your time. Here is a list (with links to the recipes) of five of the best weeknight chicken recipes we have ever tried. Cheers to puttin’ a little pizzazz in your chicken game in 2016!

Arroz Con Pollo: This is a Food and Wine recipe and is one of our favorites. It is from their Best From Scratch Chicken Cook Book. We love this one because you can really use whatever chicken you have on hand to make it and it comes together really quickly. This recipe is almost a formula for a chicken and rice and not just a recipe. You can riff with whatever peppers you have on hand and can add extra veggies (we usually do). The best part is that as long as you are willing to wait 45 minutes for dinner to be ready you can prep for twenty minutes then sit back and relax for the 25 minutes while it simmers…soaking in all of the delicious aromas.

Chicken Tikka Pizzas: It may sound a little odd at first, but trust me, this one just works! The chicken quickly broils in a yogurt mixture while you make an Indian-spiced tomato sauce. You mix this all together then spread on a pita with some onion and cheese and you are left with one of the best fusion recipes of all time. All in under thirty minutes!

Korean-Style Chicken Wraps: Every Asian chain seems to have a version of lettuce wraps and I had never found one to make at home to do them justice until we made these. These are sweet and salty (but not too salty) and with a squeeze of lime and some cool cucumber they are the perfect homemade lettuce wrap. I love the ones with some grated daikon which would be super good in these, but the daikons at our store are always enormous so the cucumber is a nice substitute. This is probably the best “take out, fake out” you’ll ever make. Trust me.

Our move to Germany moved us far away from some family and much closer to others! We are so happy to be able to see Auntie Anouk and Auntie Nienke more often!

Our move to Germany moved us far away from some family and much closer to others! We are so happy to be able to see Auntie Anouk and Auntie Nienke more often!

Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts with Thyme Gremolata: This one sounds fancy but don’t let that fool you. This recipe has six ingredients. Six! It takes a wee bit over thirty minutes, but that is because you marinate it for thirty minutes which is the perfect amount of time to settle in after work. The lemon juice makes the chicken tender and juicy. We usually serve this with some microwaveable rice and a tossed salad. This is definitely worth standing on your patio in a parka to grill in the Winter.

My sweet Hannah is always such a great helper and eater. She loves any kind of chicken!

My sweet Hannah is always such a great helper and eater. She loves any kind of chicken!

Cumin-Rubbed Chicken with Guacamole Sauce: We love Chipotle. A lot. The closest Chipotle to where we now live is almost two hours away. The horrors! The guacamole sauce is really what makes this recipe. It is creamy and tangy and takes only a few minutes to make it. Especially if you are lazy like me and roughly chop {ahem, okay so maybe I dared my blender to blend the halved tomatillos and giant chunks of avocado} the ingredients.

Stay tuned for more of our favorite ever recipes and weekly meal plans! Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you never miss our take on a recipe we’ve tried. Happy New Year!

Life with this kiddo is always an adventure. A little Nutella on your face, Ry?

Life with this kiddo is always an adventure. A little Nutella on your face, Ry?

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Leftovers Galore

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This week we had friends over mid-week and I am finally getting into a groove with meal planning since our big move to Germany. I have been thinking about our usual week and trying to plan meals that work with our schedule. We don’t have any kid activities on Tuesday afternoons so those are days that I can make a dinner that may take more time.  This is a big week for Hannah since we just found out that a space opened up for her to go to pre-K instead of the part-day preschool she has been going to. She will have homework and is allowed to bring a backpack. She’s a pretty big deal and could not be more excited!

Good thing Hannah has been working on her reading (note the box of spaghetti on the way home from the grocery store).  She's definitely going to be ready for pre-K in a few weeks!

Good thing Hannah has been working on her reading (note the box of spaghetti on the way home from the grocery store). She’s definitely going to be ready for pre-K in a few weeks!

Sunday: Leftovers. We ran a little (a lot) late going to the grocery store. We didn’t make it there until almost 1pm! We usually make it there by 11am. Needless to say our whole schedule for the day was thrown off so we didn’t have time to make dinner before church. We peeked in the fridge and realized we had leftovers. Score! Lifesaver!

Monday: Skinny Thai Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce with Edamame. This was SO fun to make! Do you have any kitchen gadgets that you love to use? For me it is my cookie scooper. I think I love to harness my inner lunch lady. I used my 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop up the meatballs. It really was a win-win since I didn’t get my hands icky (this is always good when the three kiddos are running rampant) and it portioned the meatballs evenly. Love that! I kept half of the meatballs out of the sauce so that the kids would have some that were not spicy and they tore it up. I forgot how edamame obsessed Ryan is and only had one bag of the steamable edamame. Ryan let the rest of us have a few, luckily. Big thank you to JoCooks.com for the awesome recipe!

Anything that allows me to use my cookie scoop is a winner for me.  I LOVE meatballs!!!!

Anything that allows me to use my cookie scoop is a winner for me. I LOVE meatballs!!!!

Tuesday: Aleppo Pepper-Roasted Pork with Shallot Vinaigrette, Pasta Salad with Walnuts, Gorgonzola and Mozzarella and Salted Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies. I recently decided that weeknights are the best nights evahhhh for entertaining. I picked a recipe this time that hubby hadn’t had yet since I made it for my fam when I was visiting them in May. This pork is a must-try. Really. Super easy since you just prep the rub the night before and then just pop it in the oven. While it roasted I was able to make the vinaigrette, prep the pasta, bake cookies and even clean up a little. 🙂 The cookies are a must try, too. Kinda like a Reese’s cup in cookie form with some salt…yum!

Wednesday: Kielbasa and ‘Kraut. This was a Rachael Ray recipe that I really liked but hubby didn’t dig so much. Everyone ate the kielbasa and onions. Ryan was weirded out that our apples got mushy. He also did not approve of the ‘kraut on his potatoes. We ended up with tons of potatoes and ‘kraut left and ran out of kielbasa. Ugh. I thought it was good, but not as good as my fave slow cooker recipe with pierogis. And with hubs not liking it we ended up just deleting this one from my recipe organizer. So sad.

Daddy had a tough job while I made the kielbasa and 'kraut: snuggling the littlest angel.

Daddy had a tough job while I made the kielbasa and ‘kraut: snuggling the littlest angel.

Thursday: Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan, Pasta with Herb Sauce and Salad. This is hubby’s fave meal and he wanted to have it earlier in the week but I had already had the beginning of the week planned so we just filled it in for Thursday. We have made it so many times that it is pretty easy for us to pull it together. The pasta is one we found in the Joy of Cooking a looooong time ago and have made so many times. I really need to make sure I plant some oregano, marjoram and chives in my herb garden next year.

Friday: Date night. Hubby wasn’t feeling good and got progressively worse throughout the day so we ended up just having leftovers. At least we had one of his fave meals on Thursday so leftovers were not too shabby.

Saturday: Leftovers. We still had a lot of random bits of dinners from the week left so we decided to just take it easy and have leftovers. Thank goodness we had some good food this week!

She IS so cute it's scary!  Guess I should actually put this shirt away now that it is past Halloween.  If anyone is interested in this cute shirt it is a 9 mo size...send me a message on my "contact me" page and it's yours!

She IS so cute it’s scary! Guess I should actually put this shirt away now that it is past Halloween. If anyone is interested in this cute shirt it is a 9 mo size…send me a message on my “contact me” page and it’s yours!

How did your dinners go this week?  What is your favorite day of the week to entertain?  I’d love to know in the comments section below!

 

 

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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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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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One-Pot Vegetable Chicken Miso Soup

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From the back of the car I could hear this squeaky voice and I knew Hannah still had a scratchy throat. My poor, sweet girl!  Don’t you just hate it when someone you love is not feelin’ good?  Just tears at my heartstrings! So, naturally I told her we could have whatever she wanted for dinner. She replied, “Soup. With vegetables. Miso soup but with vegetables. And chicken.”  Uh. Oops. Maybe I should have given her options. Then I thought about what we had on hand and figured I could just wing something.

Hahnchen (chicken) for our new fave chicken soup.

Hahnchen (chicken) for our new fave chicken soup.

Next thing I know this cold circled through our entire house over the course of a few weeks ending with our sweet Ry-guy. He definitely has it the worst, so sad!  I swear if he asked Daddy for a convertible today he’d probably get it with his sad little voice. I made the same move today asking Ryan what he wanted for dinner and saying it could be whatever he wanted. He promptly grabbed a bag of parcooked rice from the pantry but then said, “I want the miso soup you made for Hannah.”  With the veggies, chicken and noodles, bud? Yep!

I figure if he wanted it, too, it is probably worth sharing. Make this for someone you love, especially when they are under the weather.

One-Pot Vegetable Chicken Miso Soup

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 green onions, thinly sliced on a bias (pale and dark green parts)
5 stalks celery, thinly sliced on a bias
4 carrots, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 quart (32 ounces) fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth (such as Swanson’s)
1 quart water
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup white miso*
2 cups thin egg noodles
2 limes, zested and juiced

Directions
1.  Heat oil in a ditch oven (I use my 5ish quart round Le Creuset) over medium heat.  Add the green onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until almost tender.

2.  Add chicken broth, water, chicken and ginger and stir. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

3.  Remove chicken to a plate and set aside. Stir in miso and noodles and simmer until noodles are al dente (just under what the package directions suggest). While noodles cook dice or shred chicken, whichever you prefer.

4.  When noodles are cooked remove from heat and stir in chicken, lime zest and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

*White miso is more yellow than white. Ask for help finding it at your friendly local Asian grocer. You can find more recipes that use white miso on my Pinterest page.

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