Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 22 - April 4, 2015

Hi everyone!  I'll be taking a 2-week break from the menu blog.  Our schedule is a little crazy now, and we aren't home many nights this week.  I should be back with a new menu on April 12th!

For now, I'll leave you with a new family favorite I made last week.  The kids loved them, and Chad and I did too!

Parmesan Chicken Bites

I made about 2 pounds of chicken, and I'm glad I did!  There was plenty for everyone's hungry dinner appetites, and there was enough leftover for lunch the next day.  :-)

(Recipe and picture courtesy of http://damndelicious.net/)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 15-21, 2015

Sunday:  Dinner with Small Group

Monday:  Zoodles with Crockpot Turkey Italian Meatballs

·          My friend, Dana, shared this recipe from Skinny Taste on her own blog.  I’ve always wanted to try zoodles (zucchini noodles), but I didn’t have the right kitchen tool for the job.  So, I grabbed one from Target, and spun away!  It was really fast and easy.

      I followed her recipe and made the turkey meatballs in the crock pot as well.  They were delish!  Chad and I loved this, and the boys liked it too.  Payton ate her meatballs, but she wasn’t a fan of the zoodles, even though she eats roasted zucchini.  I had a few of the meatballs for lunch the next day, and I quickly made myself another batch of zoodles!  This one is a keeper.  Even if you don’t care of the noodles, the crock pot turkey meatballs would be amazing with any meal.

Tuesday:  Best Chicken Enchiladas with Rice & Salad

·          I mean, if it says they are the “best ever,” I need to give it a try, right?  J  These actually were amazing, and I agree that the made-from-scratch sauce is really delicious.  I made my chicken breasts in oven earlier in the day, and I also diced them up.  So, when it was time to put the enchiladas together, I didn’t add the chicken to the onions and green chilies on the stove.  I just mixed it all together after the onions and green chilies were cooked.  I used whole wheat tortillas.  This made a 10 large enchiladas, so I placed 4 of them in an aluminum pan and stuck them in the freezer for an easy meal one evening. 

Wednesday:  Dinner with Mom

Thursday:  Leftover Night
·          I went to listen to someone speak this evening, and Ranger and Chad had baseball practice, so I made the kids sandwiches and then Chad had leftovers.  J

Friday:  Pizza & Tie Dye Shirt Party with Friends!
·          Our book this week talked about a mother and daughter dyeing yarn to make a new coat, so my creative friend, Meredith, thought the kids would have fun tie dyeing their own shirts.  We through pizza into the mix, and we had a party! 

Saturday:  Cheeseburger Sliders with Fries & Avocado

·          I finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to the kids this week, so it was the perfect time for family movie night!!  Normally I would have just had pizza for movie night, but since we had it the night before, Chad grilled some yummy hamburgers for us.

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 8-14, 2015

Sunday:  Dinner with Small Group

Monday:  Chicken Ravioli with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce & Bread

Chicken Ravioli with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
·          I have had the recipe from Pinch of Yum pinned for Creamy Cauliflower Sauce for a few months now, but I just never took the plunge and gave it a shot.  We typically don’t eat much alfredo sauce around here, so I didn’t think about it much.  But, I had some chicken ravioli from Costco that needed to be eaten, so it seemed like the perfect time to give it a shot!

I think I was hesitant because I thought it would be difficult.  However, it couldn’t have been any simpler!  It takes almost no time to prepare!  I laughed while reading the author write about how much she enjoys it and how she wants to put the sauce on everything now.  But, once we ate it, Chad and I both agreed that it would be good on anything from pasta to potatoes to chicken fried steak!  J  I did add about 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese to our sauce before I blended it, but it would taste great without it, I think.  It made quite a bit, so we had plenty to use in another meal later in the week, and I put a bit in the freezer for a rainy day!  The kids even ate their pasta up and said they really liked it, so I’ll definitely be making the Creamy Cauliflower Sauce again.

Tuesday:  Cheeseburger Mini-Muffins with Apples & Broccoli

·          Chad’s mom shared this recipe from Taste of Home with me, knowing how much our kids LOVE cheeseburgers!  Ranger, in particular, might eat one every day if I allowed it.  J  This seemed like a fun, new way to have a cheeseburger that the kids might really enjoy.  I didn’t have all-purpose flour on hand, so I used whole wheat.  I forgot that whole wheat is much denser, so they were a little drier than I would have liked.  If I use whole wheat flour again, I’ll remember to use less, or even use only half whole wheat, half all-purpose to balance everything out.  I also think I’ll add in a few more seasonings the next time. 

So, the verdict?  We liked them, but didn’t love them.  The boys, Chad, and I ate them, but we each had our own dipping sauces to give a bit more flavor.  Payton didn’t really eat hers, but she ate her broccoli and apples, so I wasn’t worried about it.  Still, I froze what was left and will pull them out for quick kid lunches or dinners because, hey…it’s a muffin, after all.  J

Wednesday:  Beef, Quinoa, & Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Stuffed Bell Peppers

Beef, Quinoa, & Creamy Cauliflower Stuffed Bell Peppers
·          We had ½ a pound of cooked ground beef leftover from last night’s dinner and also the creamy cauliflower sauce from Monday’s dinner.  I had 3 bell peppers in the fridge with no purpose in mind, so I thought a stuffed bell pepper could be really wonderful with the ingredients I had on hand.  Chad, my mom, and I really loved them!  We also had chips and guacamole.  I didn’t even try to feed them to the kids, though.  They had some rotisserie chicken, veggies, and fruit.  I mean…the stuff bell pepper battle wasn’t really one I felt was super important to fight.  Ha!  Here’s the recipe:

½ pound cooked ground beef (turkey or chicken would also be great!)
2 cups quinoa (I used the frozen, microwave ready kale & quinoa from Costco)
1 cup (ish) of creamy cauliflower sauce from Monday’s meal (I didn’t really measure)
Bell peppers, stems cut off, seeds scooped out, and sliced into halves or thirds

Mix the first 3 ingredients together and spoon inside of your prepared bell peppers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Add some freshly-grated cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Yum-0!

Thursday:  Leftover Stuffed Peppers with Chips & Salsa

Friday:  Grilled Venison with Roasted Potatoes & Asparagus

·          Earlier in the day, I asked if Chad would grill some venison for our dinner.  He has time on Friday and Saturday nights to do a little cooking, which I very much appreciate!  He made a ranch and horseradish sauce to go along with venison.  I roasted fingerling potatoes that I had halved and quartered with a little olive oil and season salt, and also some asparagus.  The asparagus takes much less time than the potatoes, so don’t put them in the oven at the same time.

Saturday:  White Chicken Chili with Garlic Cheese Biscuits

·         This was actually some leftover White Chicken Chili I had in the freezer from the last time we ate it.  I thawed it enough to be able to pour it out into a sauce pan and added some homemade chicken broth and a little fresh rotisserie chicken.  Then I warmed it all on low for about an hour and a half.  Chad and I topped ours with tortilla chips, sour cream, and a little tomatillo salsa. I had some Red Lobster Garlic Cheese Biscuit mix, so I made those as well, which of course, were the kids favorite part of the meal.  Callen and Payton didn't eat much, but Ranger cleaned his bowl.  Some days, one of three isn’t bad.  J

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 1-7, 2015

Sunday:  Sandwiches After Small Group

Monday:  Breakfast for Dinner – Eggs, Whole Grain Waffle Sticks, & Fruit

Tuesday:  One Pot Ziti with Roasted Broccoli & Bread

·          This is a yummy, easy, family favorite in our house.  The kids always eat this up without complaint, and there’s always plenty of tasty leftovers!

Wednesday:  Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin Over Rice with Roasted Green Beans & Sweet Potatoes

Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin
·          We had a cold, busy day, so a simple crock pot meal was perfect.  I threw a pork tenderloin in the crock pot and poured over half a bottle of hot and spicy pineapple sauce (mine was Target brand).  Then I spooned over about half a jar of apricot preserves and cooked on low all day.  The pork shreds perfectly, and it’s not too hot for the kids.  I think this recipe is from my friend, Meredith.  J  I served ours with diced and roasted sweet potatoes and green beans seasoned with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Thursday:  Dinner at Mom’s

Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night

Saturday:  Grilled BBQ Sausage, Roasted Broccoli, & Macaroni & Cheese

·          I was at a conference all day, so Chad was super dad and had dinner ready to enjoy right when I arrived home.  I think I’ll keep him!  J

Monday, March 2, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

Sunday:  Eat Out - Babe’s Chicken

Monday:  Crockpot Creamy Tortellini Soup with Warm Sourdough Bread

·          We finally had our official “Ice-maggedon 2015” day, so a warm crockpot of soup sounded like a perfect idea for dinner.  We love this soup so much! 

What made it even easier is that I actually had a batch of it frozen from the last time I made it.  The full recipe makes an absolute TON of soup, so I only cooked half of it a couple of months ago.  I put the other half of the ingredients, prepped and ready to go, in a ziplock bag except for the spaghetti sauce, water, and beef broth.  So, today, I just pulled the bag of goodness out of the freezer, poured them frozen into my crock pot, and added the remaining 3 ingredients.  It cooked on low for about 7 hours, and then when we were about 30 minutes away from dinner time, I stirred in the tortellini.  I served ours with some warm, freshly made sourdough bread I purchased from the farmer’s market this weekend.  Yum, yum, yum!

Tuesday:  Venison Medallions with Roasted Broccoli & Beans

·          Chad thawed out some venison and planned to cook it on the grill for us.  (We use venison just like steak or ground beef around here since we have a good supply in our freezer!)  But, because of weather changes, he needed to hop on a flight out of town a day early.  So, he kindly marinated the meat for me before he left, and I seared it for just a few minutes on my cast iron skillet on the stove.  It was thin, so it really only took a minute or two per side.  I added some pinto beans that we also had frozen from a previous large batch and roasted some fresh broccoli.  It was a healthy, delicious meal that took very little time to prepare.

Wednesday:  Dinner with Mom

Thursday:  Dinner Out

·          Another dinner out, but the boys had a swim assessment so we grabbed a yummy grilled cheese from a tasty restaurant on our way home.

Friday:  Date Night!

·          The kids stayed with their Grammy and DadDad while Chad and I enjoyed date night with some friends.

Saturday:  Turkey Meatballs, Quinoa with Kale, & Roasted Zucchini

·          The kids were still at their grandparents’ house, so I made a quick dinner for Chad and me before we headed out to have a little more kid-free fun.  I love these meatballs and the quinoa and kale from Costco, as I can have a healthy dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.  I eat this often when Chad is traveling so I’m not always eating kid food.  J  I added some thin-sliced zucchini that I roasted with a little olive oil, season salt, and freshly-grated parmesan cheese.