Tag Archives: pasta

Week in Review: Keepin’ it Simple

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This week we started out with hubby still out of town. Last minute trip to Portugal, cool, huh?!  At least it was cool until I took all three kids to church by myself. Thank goodness we ate dinner before church since Ryan really sucked the life out of me while we were there. From pulling his pants down (including underwear!) to screaming “alleluia” during the homily it was non-stop crisis management with no Olivia Pope in sight. Luckily we kept dinners easy this week to help us recover from the weekend.

Hubby was making silly faces and had our Chloe giggling!  Thank goodness he's back!

Hubby was making silly faces and had our Chloe giggling! Thank goodness he’s back!

Sunday: Meaty Mushroom Ragu and Salad.  I love mushrooms and try to eat them as much as possible when hubby is not home for dinner. Mushrooms and pasta, such a perfect combination, yet this pasta just didn’t deliver. The pasta shape didn’t feel right for the sauce and the flavors in the sauce didn’t feel like they were working together, more like they were competing. We already deleted his recipe from our meal planning app. At least the salad was good!

Monday: Leftovers.  Hubs was still out-of-town for dinner so I kept it easy. Leftovers with another salad. I bought some balsamic “creme” for drizzling and it is tart and slightly sweet and the kids will eat just about anything with this stuff drizzled on top!

Prepping for Valentine's Day with our favorite: Reese's Hearts!

Prepping for Valentine’s Day with our favorite: Reese’s Hearts!

Tuesday: Mexican restaurant with friends.  Friends of ours introduced us to a restaurant that has a kids play room, genius!

Wednesday: Leftovers. We still had some leftovers in the fridge so we stuck to our usual Wednesday leftovers plan.  Ciao, meaty mushroom ragu!

Thursday: Gnocchi with sausage and tomato. I had a meeting over dinner so hubby made some gnocchi with turkey sausage and a can of diced tomatoes and some other spices. Gnocchi and turkey sausage are two of our fave freezer staples these days.

Friday: Frozen pizza and salad. We are in teething crisis mode with Chloe and this week felt SO long so we kept it easy with a frozen pizza and salad. Ryan claimed he didn’t want the pizza since it had pineapple on it so he just ate salad. Gotta love the balsamic drizzle!

Frozen Hawaiian Pizza and Salad made for an easy Friday night meal.

Frozen Hawaiian Pizza and Salad made for an easy Friday night meal.

Saturday: Spicy penne, “lunch for dinner”, hubby had leftover gnocchi.  We putzed around at the grocery store so we ended up arriving at home right around 6pm. Oopsie!  I quickly made the kiddos a sandwich and have them some fruit, pickles and a cheese stick then hubs and I were left to fend for ourselves.  He opted for the leftover gnocchi and I quickly made penne with spicy tomato sauce, similar to the one in the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.

What did you eat this week?  What are you planning on having for Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day?  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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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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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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Best chicken EVER!

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Love this slow cooker!  Gotta ship this one ahead so it is there when we arrive in Germany!

Love this slow cooker! Gotta ship this one ahead so it is there when we arrive in Germany!

This week we had the best chicken EVER! And then some underwhelming recipes. Ahh, well. You win some, ya lose some. Better luck next week I guess. Maybe we should just have the honey-ginger chicken every week?! 🙂

Saturday: Honey-ginger chicken with lime and quinoa and arugula. Oh. My. Goodness! Shut the front door! This was the best meal we’ve had in a very long time. So good that we were still talking about it the next morning after we woke up: “all those layers of flavor.” “I know! And that skin; so crispy and flavorful!” I totally ate the chicken skin and I’m a dietitian. That says something. This was a meal that when you speak of it afterwards it feels like dirty talk. That good. The recipes are on my Pinterest page. You MUST try them!

Sunday: Butcher shop chicken with potatoes and romaine salad. This chicken was a really good, mild-flavored chicken. It was no honey-ginger chicken with lime, but still good. Both kids ate a ton of chicken. Let the clucking commence.

Looked so pretty...looks were somewhat deceiving.

Looked so pretty…looks were somewhat deceiving.

Monday: Steamed sausage, sauerkraut and pierogis in the slow cooker. This was divine as usual! Ryan licked all of the potatoes out of the pierogis before eating the dough…such a two year old! This meal made me even more excited for our big move to Germany. Sausage and sauerkraut here I come!

Tuesday: Tuscan-style garlic-herb pork chops with salad and beans.  The pork chops were just okay and the bean salad was pretty bland. Even with a bunch of things that usually add flavor (all those herbs! Lemon zest! Capers!) it just all tasted very one note to me and hubby bubby. Hannah loved the beans. She scooped herself two giant spoonfuls after she ate her first portion. Girl sure does love her beans!

Wednesday: Leftovers. The good wife that I am I let hubby bubby have the honey-ginger chicken and I ate the pierogis and sausage. More chicken for the kiddos. Still so many pork chops left. Rut roh.

Hubby bubby's heavenly pasta.  I'm still swooning!

Hubby bubby’s heavenly pasta. I’m still swooning!

Thursday: Indian butter chicken with basmati rice and Indian-style chickpeasHubby bubby whipped together pasta with sausage and fire roasted tomatoes. It was delish and used up stuff from the fridge, freezer and pantry! My very own Tom Colicchio (sans baldness)…or maybe Bobby Flay. Swoon!

Friday: Giada DeLaurentiis’ Pirate pasta. I hate to write this because I have a total girl crush on Giada, but we didn’t love this one. I usually love pasta with olives and capers…puttanesca is one of my favorites! I think the tuna threw it off for me and the briny flavors made hubby not love it. The kiddos ate it just like normal, though.

Saturday: Dare I say we had to eat leftovers? Cringe. The only leftovers we had left at this point were about 8 pork chops (how many people did I think we were feeding?!) and the pirate pasta. None of it was bad, just still not very exciting the second time around.

Arrgh, mateys!  At least with a name like Pirate Pasta our little Neverland Pirates gobbled this one up.

Arrgh, mateys! At least with a name like Pirate Pasta our little Neverland Pirates gobbled this one up.

What are some recipes that make you feel like you’re “talking dirty” when you describe them? Did you have one this week? Hope your week was awesome! Thanks for reading!

 

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Welcome, Spring!

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Teeny tiny baby Chloe! Grow, grow, grow little lamb!

Teeny tiny baby Chloe! Grow, grow, grow little lamb!

Ahhhh, Spring!  Finally!  This week we are hoping to head outside more so I have some slow cooker recipes planned so we won’t be cooped up inside while it is nice out.  Gotta get our Hannah outside on her new Princess Sofia bike!  Chloe is still too tiny to ride in the Ergo carrier so taking all three kiddos down the street to the swings might be a little challenging.  It will at least be entertaining if nothing else!

Our teeny tiny girl is still not back to birthweight. 🙁 But at least at the last weight check she was still gaining well so I can keep exclusively breastfeeding.  Makes me feel like I need to keep up with my cookie intake…luckily I picked up some Girl Scout cookies from a mama friend this week.  Hopefully all the meals planned for the week will help keep us all well fed!  Here’s what we’ll be having:

Sunday: Butcher shop chicken with potatoes and romaine salad.  I have to admit that we are trying this chicken recipe because it is a Tom Colicchio recipe and I have a little bit of a crush on him.  🙂  Who doesn’t love a man that knows his way around the kitchen?!

Chocolate cookies? Yes, please!  I'm hoping to bake a few more things this week.  Gotta feed the baby!

Chocolate cookies? Yes, please! I’m hoping to bake a few more things this week. Gotta feed the baby!

Monday: We are having a HOOTOWL meal on Monday since hubby bubby has a work dinner to go to.  HOOTOWL is an acronym that was used by a mom’s group I was in that stands for “husband out of town or working late.”  We will have my absolute favorite slow cooker meal: steamed kielbasa (we use chicken apple sausage instead), sauerkraut and pierogis.  I can’t wait!!!!

Tuesday: Tuscan-style garlic-herb pork chops with salad and either potatoes, beans or rice.  May actually be able to grill outside!  I have not mastered grilling on the real grill so I will use the grill pan if hubby isn’t home when these are ready to go on the grill.  We are big pork fans in our family and love Italian flavors so this should go over well.

Wednesday: Leftovers.

Maybe we'll make a trip back to German village in Columbus this weekend to continue celebrating our pending move.  Love that place!

Maybe we’ll make a trip back to German village in Columbus this weekend to continue celebrating our pending move. Love that place!

Thursday: Indian butter chicken with basmati rice and Indian-style chickpeas.  Since we will be moving in less than 90 days (eek! such a short timeline) we have to start using up our pantry staples.  I am going to have to make sure that I can have the Maya Kaimal sauces shipped to our APO address…someone that loves me will send them over for me if Amazon won’t, right? 🙂

Friday: Giada DeLaurentiis’ Pirate pasta with radicchio salad with sourdough vinaigrette.  This pasta has olives, capers and tuna.  Sounds like an interesting combo!  Hubby loves tuna noodle casserole and I am not a big fan of it so I keep trying to find a recipe with pasta and tuna that I like that fills this comfort food craving for him.

Saturday: I’m not sure what we’ll have yet.  My plan is for something with protein from our freezer…maybe shrimp or chicken.  We shall see what kind of food mood I’m in next Saturday.

Do you love tuna noodle casserole?  Are you willing to share your secret recipe with me?  I hope you have a great week!

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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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