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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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Our new normal

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Happy kiddos!

Happy kiddos!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Italian chicken for St. Joseph's feast day.

Italian chicken for St. Joseph’s feast day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grilling onions and scallions on our Le Creuset grill pan.

Grilling onions and scallions on our Le Creuset grill pan.

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


 

 

 

 

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Farewell, Papa and Gigi!

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Chloe loved snuggling with her Gigi!

Chloe loved snuggling with her Gigi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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