Tag Archives: salad

Book Review: Around The Fire

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When I see daffodils I always think it is time to start moving cooking outdoors to the grill. I am not a very adept griller so I decided to try out a new grilling book that will give me some grilling prowess by Labor Day. Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant by Greg Denton, Gabrielle Quinonez Denton and Stacy Adimando is the perfect grilling book for me (aka, the perfect book for me to ease my way into grilling while learning from hubby’s mad skills). I found myself referring to the chef authors as “Greg and Gabi” while I planned our menu and worked on prepping the recipes. The book is written in a very warm and inviting way and it made me feel comfortable tackling a menu I probably wouldn’t usually attempt on a Sunday afternoon.

The book refers to the recipes as “black-belt grilling recipes” and I completely agree. The recipes focus on the grilling traditions of Latin America in an elevated way. This book is perfect for those looking to up their grilling game…and just in time for Father’s Day, to boot!  We will definitely be using this book more. With a big “thank you!!!!!” to Mark and Shasta (hi, guys!), here is our take on the recipes we tried:

Black Gold (page 15) basting oil. This didn’t turn black for us. I’m thinking it was probably because we didn’t use basil since ours had gone bad. Hubby basted this on our short ribs which gave the ribs a nice crust and was my favorite part about the ribs.

Grilled Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs (page 89). Of all the recipes we tried this was our least favorite. The texture of the ribs ended up being tough and chewy, though this is likely more a result from the way our ribs were butchered rather than the recipe. The flavor of the not chewy bits was great. I think we may try this with a different cut of steak or a more expertly butchered short rib.

Grilled Sweet Onion (page 161).  These were by far the favorite of all the recipes we tried. Each ingredient required a little prep but it was definitely worth it.  Sweet grilled onions topped with blue cheese and buttery roasted beets and crunchy toasted walnuts all with a drizzle of reduced balsamic and some chive.  It just works perfectly.
Grilled New Potato and Onion Skewers (page 166).  I think it is widely accepted that everything is better with bacon and these skewers are no exception.  This was another recipe that required a bit of prep but was well worth it.  The potatoes were skewered with onion and bacon and then there was a bacon cream sauce (I know!!! BACON!) that was drizzled over them.  I die.  It was SO good.

Simple Green Salad (page 177).  This salad was very simple, as promised.  I have a slight addiction to avocado so I could have probably eaten the whole salad myself.  It is so super easy and light.  I will add this to our regular salad rotation.

Vanilla Bean Tres Leches Cake (page 214).  This cake looked unassuming at first with just a smidge of ingredients, but as with other recipes in this book the ingredients are coaxed to perfection so you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a great dish.  I decided before I made the cake that I was just doing the cake and whipped cream and not the ice cream (though it looks and sounds delish and I will probably make that soon).  I loved “playing” with the eggs and the cream in the KitchenAid.  I guess I am more of a food science nerd than I thought!  Everyone liked the cake and some of the kiddos even had seconds!

Roasted Beets (page 249).  This was one of the basic recipes included toward the back of the book and we used the roasted beets on our grilled onions.  The beets turned out great and were really highlighted in the grilled onions.  Yum!

What is your favorite thing to grill?  Thanks for reading!  I hope you come back soon!

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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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Mixin’ it up

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We rearranged some of our recipes this week but mostly stuck to our meal plan.  We had some issues with our cilantro stash and then I just was not feelin’ having fish later in the week. I usually love fish, not sure what was up with that!  Here’s how our week went:

Sunday: Leftovers. Nothing exciting, but still tasty the second time around.

Monday: Chili Pork Tacos with Sweet Lime Slaw. This is an oldie but goody. It is super quick to prep and the whole fam loves it. Check out my “Favorite Healthy Recipes” page on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/radishesarepink) to find it. I bet you’ll love it just as much as we do!

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken with Spicy Brazilian Tomato and Coconut Sauce, Rice, Black Beans. This chicken got two thumbs up for me and the kiddos and only one thumb from hubby bubby. He thought the sauce was just okay and he thought it seemed more Thai than Brazilian. I thought it was awesome! I loved the coconut milk and tomato together. I guess this one will get moved to the HOOTOWL pile.

Wednesday: Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos with Pecan-Chipotle Salsa, Pecan-Chipotle Salsa got switched to Tortellini with Toscana Sauce and Wild Arugula Salad with Garlic Croutons. Our cilantro was all sad and wilty so I wasn’t able to make the steak marinade in time for it to marinade for dinner. When I went to the store to grab some new cilantro I spotted some regionally produced tortellini and sauces in the refrigerated pasta case so figured we’d give it a try. The pasta were super fresh and boiled in three minutes like real fresh pasta. Dinner was ready in twenty minutes. Angels were singing, birds were chirping. It was quick and tasty. My new go-to to prevent unplanned eating out.

Thursday: Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos with Pecan-Chipotle Salsa, Pecan-Chipotle Salsa. By some miracle I actually marinated the steak. We used shredded carrots we already had for a garnish and the salsa was pretty thick but had a great smoky, creamy heat. It is definitely in our make again pile. Although, I don’t look forward to prepping skirt steak. All that fat to trim off and icky membranes. Ugh.

Friday: Cilantro-Chile Vinaigrette, Thai Pork Burgers switched to Pan-Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri then to Coffee-Rubbed Strip Steaks with Chimichurri. I finally decided what I wanted for dinner and then our grill was out of gas. The horror!!!!! We had some tortellini left so we ended up just boiling those and having our leftover pasta and made a salad. It turned out delish even if it was a back-up plan. Guess we need to keep those tortellini on-hand for future mealtime blunders!

Saturday: Grilled Steak with Green Beans, Tomatoes and Chimichurri Sauce became Coffee-rubbed strip steaks with chimichurri alongside grilled broccolini and sweet potatoes with speck and chimichurri. We loved these! This steak is an old standby and the potatoes were great with the salty speck. I was shocked that they actually had it at the grocery store! We did the sweet potatoes on the grill to avoid heating up the house and they got a little charger but we’re super tasty! Broccolini is our veggie of the moment. It is SO good on the grill with a little massage of extra-virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper. We are up to three bunches each time we buy it so there is no more arguing over who gets the last of it. Kids fighting over broccolini? I’ll take it!

How did your week go? What are some foods that you dread prepping but love to have anyway? Hope you had a great week! Thanks for reading!

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Is it really May already?

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My favorite chicken salad of all time!

My favorite chicken salad of all time!

Whew! May is here already? How did that happen?! We have been getting ready for our move and the month is just rapidly flying by! Chloe and I did a road trip to drop off our car and send it on its way to Germany. Since then we have been trying to use up the rest of our pantry staples, visit with friends and get a few more dates in before we go for a long time with no babysitter.

Tuesday, April 28: Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad.  Words cannot express how much I love this salad. I am a huge cabbage fan (yay, cruciferous veggies!) and the combo of the carrots, scallions, cilantro, cabbage, spinach and the salty, sour, Asiany dressing are mesmerizing. I like to prep the salad for breakfasts for the week but actually shared it with the fam this time. Everyone loved it. I should have doubled the recipe since Hannah kept wanting more and then it ran out.

Restaurant month mahi mahi, calamari, wedge ceasar and potatoes.  Yum!

Restaurant month mahi mahi, calamari, wedge ceasar and potatoes. Yum!

Wednesday, April 29: Leftovers.  Red beans and rice. Not enough food left to have leftovers,boo! Luckily I was able to convince hubby bubby to make red beans and rice. We used pantry staples and I got to have comfort food made with love. Win-win!

Thursday, April 30:  Red beans and rice.  Ree Drummond’s Pantry Pasta. This was divine! We are big fans of feta so this was a hit for the whole fam. When this came together it really seemed like a dish you would get in a restaurant, but it uses pantry staples. Music to my ears! This one is definitely going into my favorites list. (Okay, so we’ll probably end up just making it a few times a year since we try new recipes all the time, but a few times a year is a lot for us!)

Ree Drummond's pantry pasta is perfection!  We  used up the last of our linguine!

Ree Drummond’s pantry pasta is perfection! We used up the last of our linguine!

Friday, May 1: Hubby made steak and sweet potatoes for himself and the kiddos and I ate at the airport!  Best time to fly out of BWI? Not when there are riots in Baltimore, eek! Hubby bubby jokes that I just wanted to be in Baltimore to throw rocks. Not true! Chloe and I dropped our car off to send it on its way overseas and then headed straight to the airport. It actually ended up being a great time to fly out of BWI since it is restaurant month there and I had some yummy mahi mahi with asparagus and calamari and salad. Pretty awesome for airport food. And to get my fruit in I just had to stop at Pinkberry. 🙂

Saturday, May 2: Chorizo burgers with sweet corn guacamole.  These were delish! It was the perfect balance of smoky, subtle heat from the burger and creamy sweetness from the sweet corn guacamole. We all loved them and we used up the chorizo from our freezer!

Yummy salmon with roasted sweet potatoes and peppers, greens and a pesto vinaigrette.  This is light done right!

Yummy salmon with roasted sweet potatoes and peppers, greens and a pesto vinaigrette. This is light done right!

Sunday, May 3: Date night! Hubby bubby and I ate on the patio at Brio and it was gloriuous! We both ordered things that were identified as their lighter options but they were so flavorful and the potions were large so it didn’t feel like we were skimping…and gave us some calorie wiggle room to have yummy drinks.

Monday, May 4: Jumbo shrimp with garlic and chile butter and orzo with feta, tomatoes and dill. This was the day started to come down with a cold so hubby bubby was my very own Aaron Sanchez and whipped up these yummy shrimp and orzo. Hubby bubby’s mom makes an amazing shrimp with rosemary that is pretty similar and it felt like this was a Spring version of that dish. Ryan referred to his orzo as “rice” and ate a ton of it. Mostly spilling it all over the table and then yelling, “I NEED MORE RIIIICCCEEEE!!!!!” I think God is punishing me for being so loud myself! 🙂

The citrusy, buttery sauce went perfectly with the sweet shrimp and the salty orzo.

The citrusy, buttery sauce went perfectly with the sweet shrimp and the salty orzo.

Tuesday, May 5: Girls night with dietitian friends! Hubby bubby and the kiddos were home having leftovers and I powered through my cold (nothing a margarita with great company can’t fix!) and went out for Cinco de Mayo with some of my favorite ladies in Dayton. I had the shrimp diabla (shrimp in a spicy sauce) and meant to bring home some of the shrimp, rice and beans…but after the second margarita it was all gone! Oopsie!

Wednesday, May 6: Dinner at a friend’s house! We brought dessert and I totally forgot that our friend can’t tolerate much dairy, ahh! I hate when I forget things like that! I made a blackberry rhubarb cobbler and bought some vanilla bean ice cream to go with it. I put the kids to work picking rhubarb from our garden. Ryan kept asking for more to carry and then he dropped them all on the ground because they were “too heavy.” He promptly picked one up and started sweeping the grass with it. Such a goober! I didn’t start making it early enough so I ended up baking it on convection and I think that messed up the tapioca since it didn’t set up right. I think I will try baking it again without using convection since the flavors were yummy.

We loved this flavorful roast chicken with tangy green tahini sauce.

We loved this flavorful roast chicken with tangy green tahini sauce.

Thursday, May 7: Take out! My cold was getting the better of me and we were way behind on prepping for our first set of movers so we just got Chipotle and finished packing!

Friday, May 8: Za’atar roast chicken with green tahini sauce and edamame. Moving day part 1! The movers came in the morning and naturally all of the kids went a little crazy. Ryan ran outside in his slippers and Chloe didn’t want to take a nap in the morning. Luckily the movers were only there for the morning and by some miracle Ryan and Chloe napped at the same time in the afternoon so Hannah and I were able to prep the chicken. We didn’t have sumac or za’atar so I looked up how to make them and it was super easy and yummy! We all really liked the citrusy flavors and the tang of the green tahini. We will definitely make this one again.

Saturday, May 9: Date night! Hubby bubby and I headed to a local Vietnamese restaurant for some pho, spring rolls and pork skewers. They were all so good! I love the steaming bowl of noodles and love doctoring it up just how I like it. I add lot of sprouts, basil, cilantro, hot sauce and lime. Slurpy perfection!

Have you been enjoying Springy foods this May? Did you do anything fun for Cinco de Mayo?  Let me know in the comments below! 

Love when restaurants are BYOB!

Love when restaurants are BYOB!

Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a great week! Follow me on Pinterest to find these yummy recipes and more!

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Strange Week Ahead

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I think the kiddos and I will hit up a farmer's market (or several) this week for some locally grown greens and fruit.

I think the kiddos and I will hit up a farmer’s market (or several) this week for some locally grown greens and fruit.

This will be an interesting week.   Family and friends are heading back to their homes so it will just be us for most of the week.  We ended up with a ton of leftovers from the weekend (woohoooooooo!) and I had already started to prep a meal for Sunday evening so we’ll have to have that in the beginning of the week.  Made for a very inexpensive grocery shopping trip.  As Heather of RHONY would say, “Holla!” 🙂

Monday: Leftovers.  Kiddos had Dewey’s pizza leftovers since they had Shish Wraps leftovers for lunch and hubs and I had Shish Wraps leftovers.  I am going to mourn the loss of Shish Wraps.  Maybe Simon will let us franchise a Shish Wraps in Germany.  A girl can dream, right?  Luckily I do have a great tabbouleh recipe…the quinoa tabbouleh on my Favorite Healthy Recipes Pinterest page is the perfect balance of veggies to grains to lemony goodness.

Dark and stormy will have to be added to the menu this week.  We need to use up our ginger beer.  Aww, shucks.

Dark and stormy will have to be added to the menu this week. We need to use up our ginger beer. Aww, shucks.

Tuesday: Asian Chicken and Cabbage Salad.  I already prepped the chicken and just need to prep the rest of the ingredients.  I think I’ll get this ready early in the day so I can have it for lunch and the rest of the fam can have it for dinner since Chloe and I are headed to P.F. Chang’s for a hot date with local dietitians. 

Wednesday: Leftovers.  I am praying we have enough leftovers otherwise we’ll have Ree Drummond’s pantry pasta.  I think she is my Woman Crush Wednesday this week.  What is not to love?  She is a city girl that is doin’ her thing in the middle of nowhere, making money, having a successful home and making delicious food. This is exactly what I aspire to do now that we are moving away from my dream job…maybe not quite the middle of nowhere.  Maybe more the middle of Miami or the outskirts of Washington, DC, but still.  Love and respect and admire her like woah.

Red beans and rice is one of my absolute favorite meals.  One of the many recipes hubs wooed me with.  Such a hunk!

Red beans and rice is one of my absolute favorite meals. One of the many recipes hubs wooed me with. Such a hunk!

Thursday:  Red beans and rice. Have I ever mentioned that I love beans and sausage and rice?  And that this is likely a meal we’ll have two times a week when Ryan is a teenager? That boy can EAT!  Luckily he would survive well in a developing nation due to his love of beans and rice.  He could subsist on rice, luckily.   I am skeptical of Paleo diets simply for their exclusion of beans.  Can you really have a healthy diet without beans?  I’m still trying to figure that out.  What do you think?  I just don’t know how to live without them!

Friday: Wingin’ it!  Chloe and I will be heading back from our road trip to drop the car off and send it on its way to Germany and hubs will have the kids to himself after our AMAZING friends watch them for the day.  He should totally bring dinner to them and some of his home brews, right? 

Saturday: Chorizo burgers with sweet corn guacamole.  Only Rachael Ray could come up with such a divine sounding burger.  This sounds like the perfect recipe for us to use up the rest of the chorizo in our freezer AND having some AMAZING Ohio sweet corn.  Ohio may not have great drivers (my Dad is still talking about the not yielding), but they sure do know how to grow some amazing vegetables.  The closer we get to CSA season the sadder I get.  I just keep reminding myself that I will be able to walk to a bakery from my future house.  Hope I can get some veggies straight from a farmer’s hands in Germany, too.

Gotta make another batch of these oatmeal bars this week to thank the kiddos teachers for being so wonderful.  Can't believe they are done with school!  This move is really happening!

Gotta make another batch of these oatmeal bars this week to thank the kiddos teachers for being so wonderful. Can’t believe they are done with school! This move is really happening!

What is your favorite Spring or Summer produce?  Strawberries? Rhubarb? Asparagus?  Peas?  Sweet corn?  I can’t decide!  Thanks for reading.  I hope you have a great week!

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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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Life With a Newborn

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Life with a newborn for me meant snuggling sweet baby Chloe while hubby bubby cooked and Gigi baked all week long.  Yay!

The short ribs were just okay.  Nothing too special so not worth having again.

The short ribs were just okay. Nothing too special so not worth having again.

Sunday: Red wine braised short ribs with potatoes and veggies.  This was just okay.  The short ribs tasted like a run-of-the-mill pot roast.  Not bad, but not the flavors we were hoping for.  We will not be having this one again. 

Monday: Mustard-crusted branzino tilapia with whole grains and salad.  Telling hubby bubby that this was an Epicurious recipe totally worked!  He made it and it was delicious!  It felt very fancy but really was pretty simple and was a huge hit.  Ryan gave it two thumbs up and Hannah ate two pieces of tilapia.  We had to force ourselves to stop eating so there would be a tiny bit of leftovers for the kid’s lunches for school.  They are lucky I love them.

 

Ree Drummond's Penne alla Betsy.

Ree Drummond’s Penne alla Betsy.

Tuesday: Italian pot roast with buttered noodles   Prime rib burgers with potatoes and salad.  The pot roast looked a little funky after thawing so we had the prime rib burgers instead.  Oh. My. Goodness!  These were the very best burgers I have ever had in my life!  I am not a fan of prime rib roasts but this cut sure does make a delicious burger.  The Kentucky steak sauce was amazing.  Ryan was eating it with a spoon!

Wednesday: Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan, pasta with herb sauce and salad.  Our arugula was all wilty and stinky so we just had a tossed salad.  The chicken and pasta were delish! 

Thursday:  Asian pork wraps.  Leftovers.  Hubby bubby started to feel a little under the weather (probably since he has worked at least a half day every day since Baby Chloe’s arrival!) so we just had leftovers.  Love when leftovers are things that are SOOOO good.

Copycat of Carrabba's Chicken Bryan with some herb pasta. Yum!

Copycat of Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan with some herb pasta. Yum!

Friday: Ree Drummond’s Penne alla Betsy with endive salad.  Mmmm, all of my favorite things!  The sauce was creamy and rich, but still nice and tomatoey and the shrimp were perfectly sweet and tender.  I ate this as an evening “snack” a few days in a row.  Gotta feed the baby, right? 🙂  We had this with an endive salad which reminded me that I don’t really like endive as the main salad green.  Oops.

Saturday: We heard that we will most likely be moving to Germany for our next military assignment so decided to celebrate with food from the local eastern European restaurant.  Pierogies, sausage and sauerkraut…think I’ll be a happy girl in Europe!

 

German food!

German food!

How did your week go?  Did you have some yummy dinners this week?  I hope your week was nutritious and delicious.  Thanks for reading!

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