Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 12-18, 2015

*This was a busy week for us, and we weren’t home every night.  I also attended a conference and was gone Thursday and Friday evenings.     J

Sunday:  Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches with Fresh Fruit and Veggies
  Because it was a pool afternoon!

Monday:  Market Street Dinner – Pecan Crusted Chicken, Green Beans, & Macaroni & Cheese
  The kids and I had late afternoon chiropractor appointments, so earlier in the day I went to Market Street and bought some of their yummy prepared foods.  If you have a Market Street near you, most of their food is really delicious!  It’s not economical for an every night thing, but for a day when you know cooking is simply not an option, I feel like the food is much better than eating out, and also a bit less expensive.  It could be healthier than eating out too, if you left out items like macaroni & cheese.  J  We, however, NEVER leave out the macaroni and cheese from Market Street, as it is some of the most ridiculously delish macaroni and cheese you will ever have.  You’re welcome.

  I bought extra pecan crusted chicken, which was nice to have to dice up and put on my salads for lunch the rest of the week!

Tuesday:  Smoked Turkey & Broccoli Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Smoked Turkey & Broccoli Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
  This dinner was so simple and so healthy!  I pulled some diced, smoked turkey we had frozen in our deep freezer from the holidays.  (Someone sent us a huge smoked turkey, so we cut and froze most of it.  Chad has a Food Saver, and we have used that thing like CRAZY!)  I thawed the turkey during the afternoon.  About an hour before dinner, I prepared my cauliflower and made some amazing Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce from Pinch of Yum.  If you haven’t tried this yet, don’t be scared!  Give it a try!  We all really enjoy it.  It’s weird because it’s absolutely an alfredo sauce (especially since I do add a bit of fresh parmesan to mine before I blend it), but it could also double as a gravy.  I’m not kidding. 

  Once the sauce was made, I just set it aside.  Then I boiled the water for the pasta.  Once it was boiling I put in my pasta (we used whole wheat elbow macaroni) and a bag of frozen broccoli.  I boiled them together (1 pan!) until the pasta was al dente.  At the same time, I warmed the turkey in the same skillet I had used to brown the butter and garlic for the Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce!  So, I made a dish with 4 main ingredients, but only used 2 pans on the stove.  J

  When the pasta and broccoli were cooked, I drained them, and then stirred everything together.  I didn’t add all of the macaroni right at first because I didn’t want it to be too dry.  I dished it out into bowls, and we all had dinner…complete with veggies right in!  This was a hit!  If I didn’t have the smoked turkey on hand, I would have used diced chicken.  Just make sure it’s seasoned well, or add more salt and pepper to your cauliflower sauce to make sure there is enough flavor.

Wednesday:  Dinner Out

Thursday:  Dinner at Mom’s
  Chad had the kids while I was at a conference, and he also needed to fix my mom’s air conditioner.  So, word on the street is, she made them a really yummy dinner!

Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night
  Again, without me around, but the kids had Chad, Nonnie, and their cousins, so I’m not sure I was missed much.

Saturday:  I arrived home around 5:30 from my conference, and Chad had made an absolutely wonderful meal!  He grilled some venison (the cut was like filet mignon!) that he had marinated earlier in soy sauce, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  He also made buttery, boiled potatoes and an amazing fruit and kale salad!  Seriously…I hit the jack pot when I married that guy.  J

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 5-11, 2015

Sunday:  Hot Dogs at the Texas Rangers Game!

Monday:  Chicken Sausage & Cheese Crescents with Steamed Broccoli & Brown Sugar Carrots

Chicken Sausage & Cheese Crescents
The kids and I had been gone for over a week, so our grocery stock was pretty low.  But, wrapping chicken sausages and cheese in a crescent roll made for an easy, tasty dinner.  I steamed some frozen broccoli and made some brown sugar baby carrots to go along with it.

Brown Sugar Carrots
Put baby carrots in a sauce pan and pour in about ½ cup to 1 cup water.  Cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  After the carrots are fork tender, most of the liquid should be absorbed.  Add in some butter and brown sugar (just eyeball it based on how sweet you want them…it doesn’t take much), stir it around, and warm over the stove for 4-5 more minutes.  Some of the carrots will start turning a yummy golden color. 

Tuesday:  Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Bacon, Roasted Green Beans, & Roasted Sweet Potato Chips

If it’s a recipe with cheese and bacon, I’m game.  This one looked both delicious and easy, and it didn’t disappoint on either front!  I actually used some turkey cutlets we had in the freezer from the turkey Chad shot back in the spring.  These were so, so yummy!  My turkey cutlets were a little thinner and had almost no fat, so I should have cooked them just a little less than the recipe required.  So, just want the thickness of your chicken so you don’t overcook your dinner!  In the comments, several people had just baked them, rather than frying them first, which is a great idea if you are cutting back on a little fat from the oil or if you just don’t want to stand over a hot stove on a hot summer day.  J  (I added some Panko bread crumbs to my breading.)

We all really enjoyed this recipe, and I will absolutely make them again with chicken, turkey, and maybe even pork.

Roasted Green Beans and Sweet Potato Chips
I keep a big bag of frozen green beans from Costco in the freezer for an easy side dish.  I tossed them on a foil-lined baking sheet with olive oil and season salt.  On the other half of the baking sheet, I spread out thin-sliced sweet potatoes (I had peeled them as well), and drizzled olive oil and sprinkled season salt on them as well.  Normally I roast at 400-425 degrees, but the chicken recipe called for a 350 degree oven.  So, I roasted the green beans and sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, then I tossed them around.  I roasted them for another 10 minutes or so.  When I pulled the main dish out of the oven, I turned the oven to broil and broiled the vegetables for 3-4 minutes to crisp them up a bit more.  They were just right!  The kids especially loved the sweet potato chips!  (They aren’t quite as crispy as actual chips, but they are still delish!)

Wednesday:  Swedish Meatballs with Boiled & Buttered Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli

Ranger loves Ikea’s meatballs, so when I can make them at home, I know he will be a happy camper.  I saw this recipe for them, and generally love the recipes she makes and posts on her blog, so I made them for dinner.  I made a huge batch of them so that we could have leftovers the following night, and also a few for the freezer.  These were a little more time consuming that some of the meatballs I’ve made since she browns them in batches in a skillet.  They were wonderful, though!  I love that everything was from scratch rather than a packet of some kind.  Still, the recipe where they are baked first, and then put into the gravy is nice too.  I think I may try a combination of the two recipes for the next time.  J

Thursday:  Leftover Meatballs, Potatoes, and Salad

Friday:  Date Night #1!
Our kids were with my mom for the weekend…yay for date night!

Saturday:  Date Night #2!

2 date nights in a row!!  Crazy!