Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 19-25, 2015

Sunday:  Sandwiches

Monday:  Dinner Out
·          Swim lessons from 4:45 – 5:20 and Daddy’s baseball game at 6:30 means a quick dinner out.  J  Our choice…Cheezies for yummy grilled cheese sandwiches!

Tuesday:  Baked Venison Meatballs with Homemade Marinara and Pasta with Caesar Salad

Baked Venison Meatballs
Meatballs are a kid favorite around here, so I thought it was time I made some with a little of the ground venison in our freezer.  I didn’t really measure anything, but here’s the recipe if you need measurements:

-           1 lb ground venison (or any lean meat of your choice)
-          ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
-          ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
-          1 egg
-          Salt
-          Pepper
-          Italian seasoning

Mix all ingredients together with your hands until everything is incorporated.  Roll into 1” balls and place in a foil-lined baking pan.  Cook at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cut one open to check for doneness. 

I made this marinara in the crock pot several weeks back along with the meatballs she makes, and really enjoyed it.  So, I made the sauce again for this meal, except this time I doubled the recipe and made it on the stovetop.  I let it simmer for a couple of hours.  I made double so that I could throw some in the freezer for use in a later meal.  I added a little more basil and Italian seasoning to the sauce to give it a bit more flavor, and I also added some red pepper flakes to give it a kick.  This is so delicious, easy, and healthy!

Wednesday:  Dinner at Mom’s
·          One more busy night…after swim lessons we ran to Mom’s where she had a yummy dinner for us before heading to Ranger’s 7:00pm baseball game.  This week has been a little too busy for my liking, and I know it’s nowhere close to how busy most people with older kids are all the time!

Thursday:  Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce & Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

·          We’ve had parmesan crusted tilapia in the past, and the kids always really enjoy it.  I saw this recipe and thought the cream sauce would taste AMAZING!  It’s a pretty simple recipe, but you are standing over the stove for the entire meal prep.  So, either your kids need to be occupied elsewhere, or they will be “helping” you in some way while you cook.  J  I didn’t put any of the sauce on the kids’ tilapia, as they prefer it plain and aren’t big fans of tomatoes.  Chad and I didn’t mind though…there was more for us!  Ranger and Payton gobbled their fish up quite quickly, and Callen didn’t eat because he hasn’t been feeling well.  Chad and I cleaned our plates, and Chad went back for seconds.  This recipe is definitely a keeper! (Life’s Ambrosia Blog)

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
  We love roasted veggies around here!  We all prefer the taste of them, and they are very simple to make...especially if you have some good frozen veggies on hand.  I buy the large, frozen bag of organic green beans from CostCo so that having a green veggie with our dinner can be quick and easy.  I just lay out the frozen green beans, drizzle with a bit of olive or avocado oil, sprinkle with season salt, and roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then, I toss them around and roast for another 5 minutes or so.  After I pull them out of the oven, I sprinkle on freshly grated Parmesan and let it melt a bit.  That's all!  It's so good!  Here's the cast of characters:

Friday:  Breakfast for Dinner!  Toast, Eggs, Turkey Bacon, & Fruit
·          Because Daddy was gone to a men’s retreat!  J

 *  If you don't already bake your bacon, you really have to try it!  Just line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay out the bacon in a single layer.  Place in a cold oven, then turn the oven on and heat to 375 degrees.  In about 15-20 minutes, your bacon is crisp and ready to go!  The time will depend on the thickness of the bacon and how done you prefer it to be.  Lay your bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the grease a bit, and you're all set!  Then, by the time dinner is done, the bacon grease has cooled on the foil, and all you have to do for clean up is roll up the foil and toss it in the trash.  

Saturday:  Family Pizza & Movie Night

·          This was moved from Friday to Saturday this week so that Chad could be included.  J

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 12-18, 2015

Sunday:  Chicken Sausage, Macaroni & Cheese, & Spinach Salad

·          Chad was on a hunting trip all weekend, but he was coming home on Sunday evening.  We were all pretty excited, so we stayed home from small group so we could be here when he arrived.  I pulled out some chicken sausage that we had cooked and frozen a few weeks ago.  It thawed out in a couple of hours, and then I just warmed it.  I also added in mac-n-cheese and a spinach salad, and our quick, easy meal was ready to go!

Monday:  Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever, Steamed Broccoli, & Rice

·          Our boys have swim lessons this month on Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:20.  These are also Callen and Payton’s preschool days, so everyone is feeling a little tired by dinnertime.  I had some of these enchiladas in the freezer from making them last month.  They were still delish!  I just put them in frozen, covered and baked them at 400 degrees for about an hour and 20 minutes, while we were gone to swim lessons.  After trying a bite, I remembered that this batch was a little spicy, so I called an audible and made the kids some chicken nuggets to go with their broccoli & rice.  Everyone made a happy plate!  J

Tuesday:  Dinner at Mom’s

Wednesday:  Sweet Chili Lime Chicken with Rice & Sautéed Zucchini

·          This is one of my favorite dishes…it’s actually one of the first recipes I pinned on Pinterest!  We haven’t had it in a long time, and it’s pretty quick to prepare and have on the table.  Before we went to swim lessons, I cut up the chicken, which is the most time consuming part.  So, when we came home, everything was thrown together pretty quickly.  I doubled my recipe, except for the sugar.  I used the amount for just one recipe…it’s pretty sweet.  I also diced up some zucchini and sautéed it in a skillet with a little olive oil, butter, kosher salt, and pepper.  I sprinkled on some freshly grated Parmesan cheese once it was done.  Yum!

Thursday:  Brisket Tacos with Fresh Guacamole

Brisket Tacos
·          I found this recipe for pork carnitas on Pinterest from The Weary Chef blog, and it looked delicious, so I knew I wanted to try it.  I had some green tomatillo salsa in the fridge that needed to be used, so I altered the recipe for it.  Also, my Aldi didn’t have a pork shoulder roast, so I decided to buy a beef chuck roast, and we had brisket tacos instead!  I also didn’t add the diced onion and used dried instead because it’s what I had on hand.  My house smelled AMAZING all day having this in the crock pot!  When it was time for the last instruction, I was a little skeptical….I mean, I’ve never poured milk on top of meat and then stuck it in the oven before.  But, it was incredible!  Definitely don’t skip out of this step if you can help it. 

I tried it, and decided because of the salsa I used, it was a little too spicy for my kids.  I had some fresh whole wheat tortillas from our Kroger, so I made the kids cheese quesadillas with a spinach salad and diced avocado on the side.  For Chad and me, we had the yummy brisket inside the tortillas topped with cheese and a little Ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt.  I also made The Weary Chef’s 5 Minute Guacamole, and it did not disappoint.  It may be the best guacamole I’ve ever made.  Seriously.   This meal was a hit for all of us, even though the kids didn’t eat the brisket.  I’ll absolutely make this again and try it with green taco sauce like she recommends so that it wouldn’t be quite so spicy.

Kid plate...

Chad and I also enjoyed the wonderful leftovers for lunches for the next few days!  J

Saturday:  Family Pizza and Movie Night!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 5-11, 2015

Sunday:  Easter Lunch with Family!

·          We always host Easter at our house, but everyone helps with the wonderful food.  This year, I made a ham in the crockpot, which couldn’t have been easier.  I did use a liner for the crockpot since this ham can be a little messy. 

Crock Pot Brown Sugar Pineapple Ham
                1 large spiral sliced ham
                2 cups brown sugar
                2 cans pineapple tidbits or chunks

                Put one cup brown sugar in the bottom of the crock pot.  Place the ham on top of it, then sprinkle the other cup of brown sugar over the top of the ham.  Last, pour in the 2 cans of pineapple with the juice.  Cook on low 7-8 hours.  It will just fall off the bone when it’s ready!

Monday:  Dinner Out

·          The boys started swim lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays, and we also planned to watch Chad play softball in the evening, so we grabbed a quick dinner out.  Chad’s softball game ended up being cancelled, but since I had already told the kids we were having burgers, we went ahead with the plan.  J

Tuesday:  Turkey Lasagna & Spinach Salad

·          Costco makes a great turkey & spinach lasagna, which was perfect for our busy week!

Wednesday:  Dinner at Mom’s

Thursday:  Ham & Mozzarella Crescent Rollups with Roasted Green Beans

Ham & Mozzarella Crescent Rollups
·          My kids love anything rolled up in a crescent roll.  J  We used some nitrate-free Canadian ham and mozzarella cheese for this meal.  I brushed a little melted butter over the top and sprinkled on a little garlic salt to give it more flavor.  

      Callen asked for green beans to go along with it.  This meal made everyone happy!

Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night!

Saturday:  Breakfast for Dinner:  Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Bacon, Toast, & Fruit

·          A favorite for our three rascals…even when I add in spinach.  Ha!