Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 4-11, 2016

Happy December!  Here is last week's menu.  It will likely be the last one of the year, unless a yummy recipe or two pop up that I want to share on here.  Between Christmas parties and family activities, our nights of regularly eating at home are fewer.  

We wish a wonderful Christmas to your family, and a very Happy New Year! 

** The kids and I had a funny discussion about different themed-dinner nights, so this week's menu was inspired by our conversation.  It's also really funny how, by Tuesday night, we were already off schedule and modifying!

Sunday:  Quick Cauliflower Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Quick Cauliflower Soup
  This recipe is from a new cookbook I bought for myself called 100 Days of Real Food:  Fast and Fabulous.  My friend Sharon made this recipe and recommended it, so I was excited to try it!

It was both fast and easy, and Chad and I truly enjoyed it.  The kids had eaten dinner a little earlier, so I was saved the groaning and moaning that their dinner included soup.  ;-)  There was  just enough leftover for me to have for lunch the next day.  I even sprinkled on a little freshly-grated parmesan...yum!  As cauliflower doesn't have as much protein as Chad and I require for a typical meal, I also made some grilled cheese sandwiches for us.  It was the perfect cold weather meal!

Monday:  Turkey Meatballs with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans

  Sometimes you need a healthy meal, but don't have time to make it from scratch.  I had some turkey meatballs I purchased at the grocery store in my freezer.  I baked them with a little BBQ sauce while roasting sweet potatoes and green beans in the oven at the same time.  This meal was a hit with everyone in my family, and I liked how easy it was for me on a busy day.

Tuesday:  Dinner with Small Group

Wednesday:  Ground Turkey Tacos with Sauteed Zucchini

  Another simple, crowd-pleaser!  My mom, the kids, and I ate our zucchini as a side, but Chad just piled everything together in his tacos.

Thursday:  Egg, Sausage, & Cheese Breakfast Croissants with Fresh Fruit & Veggies

  Because, if you roll it in a crescent, it's delicious and there's almost NO mess!

Friday:  Dinner Out with Neighbors

Saturday:  Family Pizza & Movie Night

Sunday:  Chad's Gumbo

  Chad makes a DELISH gumbo!!

Chad’s Conglomerate Gumbo

Total Time:3 hours
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 2 hr 45 min
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

4 duck breasts, spoonbills a good option
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup smoked turkey/chicken
Salt and pepper
Tony Chacheres
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 cups broth/stock
2 cups water (fill broth bag after emptying)
1 bag frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts


Prep by chopping onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic (trinity) and set aside in a bowl.  Cut sausage into ¼ slices and set aside with duck breasts and shredded turkey/chicken.

Add small amount of oil to hot dutch oven type pot and sear the duck and sausage together for about 6-8 minutes.  Remove meat, set aside in a bowl, and proceed to roux.  To make roux, add the ½ cup oil to pot and let get hot over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until rich brown, about 20-30 minutes.  Be patient, whisk constantly, and do not let burn.  If you don’t have time for this step, buy a jar of ready-made roux.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, along with the trinity mixture and cook for 10 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon until mixture well coated and onions start to wilt. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, Tony Chach to taste. Add 4 cups broth, 2 cups water, and bay leaves while whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour. Add okra. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until ready to serve.  Serve over steamed rice, top with green onions, and taste before adding hot sauce to preference.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 20-26, 2016

  I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Between family time, Thanksgiving day, and a couple of date nights, we only ate at home 3 nights this past week.  One night we grilled with friends, one night was chili and cornbread, and one night was hot dogs and s'mores with neighbors.  :-)  So, I've just listed the chili recipe below.

  The kids and I are headed out on a road trip to visit some dear Georgia friends this week, so there won't be a menu for next week!

Turkey Chili
  This is based on a chili recipe from my sweet mother-in-law that I have in a church cookbook I bought a decade ago.  It's referred to as Prestoncrest Chili.  It's pretty much my go-to chili recipe that I can alter however I like and have simmering on the stove top or in a slow cooker in no time.

3 lbs lean ground beef, chicken, turkey, or venison
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 T salt
1 T cumin powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 T paprika
3 T chili powder
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (32-oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 (15-oz) cans beans (Ranch style, black, pinto)

Brown meat and onions.  Add all other ingredients and simmer together.  Serves 12.

*  I tend to alter this recipe based on what I have on hand, and often I make a half-recipe if it's only for my family.  This freezes really well, so making a full recipe is nice too!  I've also added a tablespoon or two of brown sugar at times and knocked down the spiciness with smaller amounts of chili powder since my kids won't eat super spicy foods.  The kids love eating their chili in the scoop-type tortilla chips with shredded cheese.  I love mine with cornbread muffins, sour cream, and shredded cheese.  Yum!

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 13-19, 2016

Sunday:  Baked & Breaded Chicken Tenders with Quinoa & Fresh Veggies

  The Cowboys were playing, and we decided to start decorating for Christmas.  So, I made a simple dinner of baked chicken tenders accompanied with quinoa & kale (frozen packet from Costco...4 minutes in the microwave!) and fresh veggies.

Monday:  Dinner with Nonnie
  The kids and I had dinner at my mom's while they "helped" her decorate her Christmas tree!  Chad was out of town for work, so he missed out on all the fun.

Tuesday:  Dinner with Small Group

Wednesday:  Breaded "Fried" Ravioli (Me) & Baked Turkey & Cheese Sliders (Kids)
  Chad was flying home from a business trip, so I made an easy dinner for the kids of baked turkey and cheese sliders using rolls leftover from Payton's preschool Thanksgiving Feast earlier that day.

 There wouldn't have been quite enough for all 4 of us, so for myself, I heated a little olive oil in a pan on the stove and added in a few chicken raviolis tossed in a small amount of Italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  I "fried" them lightly on both sides and served them with marinara sauce.

(Do you love our fancy turkey paper plates?) ;-)

Thursday:  Black Bean, Smoked Turkey, & Sweet Potato Tacos

(Chad always makes his dinner plates look so much fancier than mine...)

  We have some smoked turkey in our freezer that needs to be eaten before we receive another smoked turkey this year.  :-)  So, I thawed some during the day.  For dinner, I diced up a sweet potato and sauteed it in a little olive oil with a few sprinkles of season salt.  Once the potatoes were browned and soft, I added in the smoked turkey and a can of drained and rinsed black beans.  Then I simply let it all heat together!  I had some freshly made tortillas from Kroger, so we had our "hash" as tacos and burritos.  This was a seriously yummy meal that was packed full of flavor.  I could see us repeating this with leftover Thanksgiving turkey next week!

Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night!

Saturday:  Hot Dogs
  I was out of town on a girls weekend, so the kids had a fun weekend with Chad...word on the street is that hot dogs were grilled for Saturday night's dinner.  :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 6 - 12, 2016

Sunday:  Leftover Night

Monday:  Chicken, Broccoli, & Quinoa Pasta with Marinara

  We needed a quick dinner, but I also wanted it to be healthy and filling.  I had some diced grilled chicken in the freezer from a previous meal.  I thawed the chicken a bit, and sauteed it with fresh broccoli, olive oil, garlic, and diced onions.  Next, I poured in some plain tomato sauce and added in some basil, salt, and pepper, and I let it all simmer together.  While that cooked together, I boiled some water and made some quinoa pasta.  Then I tossed it all together and sprinkled over some freshly grated Parmesan.  Voila!  Dinner was ready!

Tuesday:  Leftovers

Wednesday:  Sausage, Macaroni & Cheese, & Roasted Broccoli

  Chad was out of town, and I had a dinner with friends, so the kids enjoyed a night with their Aunt Amber!  I made them this easy, kid-pleasing dinner before I headed out.

Thursday:  Chicken Nuggets & Fruit
  Because Chad was still gone, and this meal made us all happy.  :-)

Friday:  Kids with Grammy & DadDad!

Saturday:  Breakfast for Dinner
  Homemade mini-waffles, bacon, scrambled eggs, & fruit!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

October 30 - November 5, 2016

Sunday:  Trunk or Treat
  Our church's annual trunk or treat was this evening, and they even provided pizza!  Score!

Monday:  Pesto Ranch Crockpot Chicken Tacos
  Hooray for Halloween!!  Earlier in the day, I just threw some frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot with some jarred pesto, some ranch seasoning, and a little chicken broth.  Cook it on low for 6 hours or so (longer if you have full crockpot), then shred and eat!  It's a yummy chicken for tacos, nachos, and even on salads.  It also makes great leftovers!  I served ours on tortillas and also roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes as sides.  It was a quick, easy meal that gave us all the energy we needed for some epic Trick-or-Treat time with the kids.  :-)

Tuesday:  Leftovers
  Chad was in California for work, so the kids and I had leftovers.  I love leftovers.

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Asian Style Country Ribs with Brown Rice

Slow Cooker Asian Style Country Ribs
  This is a delicious recipe that I made once a million years ago, loved it, and then forgot to ever make it again.  It's so simple, yet it packs so much flavor.  Just like the first time I made it, I actually didn't marinate it overnight...I just threw everything in my crockpot and cooked it on low for 8-9 hours.  About an hour before dinner time, I placed fresh broccoli and snow peas in the crockpot and spooned a little of the juice over the top before placing the lid back on.  I made some brown rice on the stove, and dinner was ready!

Thursday:  Dinner at Studio Movie Grill
  The kids have been so excited to see the new movie "Trolls," so we made a fun evening out of it!

Friday:  Kids Staying with Nonnie
  Chad and I both had separate retreats, so the kids stayed at my mom's house.

Saturday:  Cheeseburgers with Spinach Salad and Fresh Fruit

  Chad is always willing to grill for us!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 23-29, 2016

Sunday:  Zoe's Kitchen Take-Out
Healthy & Yummy!

Monday:  Leftover Night

Tuesday:  Honey BBQ Turkey Meatloaf with Steamed Green Beans & Fresh Apple Slices

  This meatloaf recipe is a family favorite. It's also ridiculously simple to throw together, which makes it perfect for a make-ahead meal or a quick week night meal.  I actually forgot to take a picture, but I've made it so many times, there's bound to be one on this blog somewhere!  (Recipe adapted from  Can You Stay For Dinner.

Honey Barbecue Meatloaf

1 lb lean ground turkey
2/3 cup oatmeal (old fashioned or instant is fine)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce, divided
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground turkey, oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire sauce, the spicy brown mustard, 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, egg, salt, and black pepper.
Shape the mixture into a long, thick log and place in an oiled baking dish. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you’ll end up with a very dense, tough loaf.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Spread half of this mixture evenly all over the meatloaf. Reserve the other half for serving.
Bake for 45 minutes. Slice and drizzle with reserved honey barbecue sauce.

Wednesday:  Dinner Out
  A 4:30 baseball practice + a 7:20 baseball game + Daddy Out of Town = Drive Thru ;-)

Thursday:  Taco Night!

  I made this a bit more fun for the kids by just setting everything on the table and having a "Make your Own Taco Buffet."  They love anytime they are in charge of their own plates.  I tell them to grab something with each color, and they do a pretty good job making a healthy plate.

Friday:  Pizza Night

  I made our pizzas this night using Pioneer Woman's Pizza Crust and topping it with pepperonis, leftover taco meat and mozzarella (for the kids) and also adding spinach and basil (for the adults).  Easy and yummy!

Saturday:  Leftover Night
  It was our last triple-game Saturday for a few months, so it was nice to come home to leftovers and a movie. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October 17-22, 2016

*  We took some time away to take a vacation to DisneyWorld with the kids...it was amazing!  But, we are home now, so it's back to cooking.  :-)  Well...it's sort of cooking.  We didn't eat out much, but nothing was really a made-from-scratch meal either.  Transitioning from DisneyWorld has been tough for me.  ;-)

Monday:  Frozen Lasagna, Steamed Broccoli, & Garlic Bread
  We had just flown back home that day, so I pulled a frozen lasagna from the freezer and served it with steamed (also from the freezer!) broccoli, & garlic bread.  It wasn't a made-from-scratch meal, but it was a meal eaten at home, which we all appreciated.

Tuesday:  Sandwiches
  Chad flew to California for work, and Callen had a baseball game, so I made sandwiches for the kids and a salad for me before the game.  Then of course, they had a snack when we arrived home from the game.

Wednesday:  Pepperoni Crescents with Fresh Fruit & Veggies

  Always a kid-favorite!  It's just mozzarella cheese and turkey pepperonis wrapped up in crescent rolls.  I serve ours with fresh fruits and veggies to round out the meal with a few healthy items.  ;-)  Everyone's plate looked a little different based on their favorite fruit or veggie choices.

Thursday:  To Each His Own :-)
  I had a ladies dinner with our church, so the kids had dinner with their aunt, uncle, & cousin and then Chad picked them up after he landed.

Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night

I took a picture to make myself feel better about my efforts for meals this week.  Ha!

Saturday:  Dinner at my Mom's
  My brother and his family were in town, so we picked up Zoe's Kitchen, which is a great, healthy take-out option.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September 2016

 *Ok...getting back into the habit after taking a summer off has been harder than I anticipated!  Yeesh!  But, we are feeling settled into our new home, and our homeschool life has fallen into a nice, flexible rhythm.  I do plan on posting weekly as I always have, but September just flew by for me, so here is the full month.  There is nothing gourmet or super special here.  We have baseball practice and games for 2 boys, Chad plays softball on Monday nights, we have small group on Tuesday, and Payton is playing soccer.  But, here is my attempt to have us eating at home and mostly healthy as much as we can.

So...welcome back everyone!  The kitchen is open...

Sunday, August 28 - Saturday, September 3
Sunday lunch:  Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Carrots, Potatoes, & Salad
Sunday dinner:  Breakfast
Monday:  Sandwich night
Tuesday:  Dinner at Nonnie's
Wednesday:  Chicken Enchiladas
Thursday:  Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, & Tomatoes with Salad
Friday:  Grilled Cheeseburgers & Family Movie Night
Saturday:  Date Night (Pizza for the kids)

Sunday, September 4 - Saturday, September 10
Sunday:  Chicken, Corn, & Black Beans with Salsa (Crockpot)
Monday:  Labor Day - leftovers!
Tuesday:  Pasta with Roasted Broccoli
Wednesday:  Hot Dogs with Fresh Veggies & Fruit
Thursday:  Venison Chili (Callen's Favorite for his 6th Birthday!!)
Friday:  Chili Dogs with Salad & Fruit (using all the leftovers!!)
Saturday:  Mommy OUT...Daddy & Kids - Pizza  :-)

Sunday, September 11 - Saturday, September 17
Sunday:  Grilled Venison Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni & Cheese, & Salad
Monday:  Sandwiches
Tuesday:  Crockpot Chicken Ranch Tacos (Chicken, Ranch Seasoning, Chicken Broth, Pesto - cooked on low in crock pot for 6-8 hours)
Wednesday:  Meatballs with Veggie Pasta & Roasted Broccoli

Thursday:  Dinner at a Birthday Party
Friday:  Date Night with Friends (Kids with Nonnie)
Saturday:  My Birthday!!  Dinner Out!!

Sunday, September 18 - Saturday, September 24
Sunday:  Breakfast for Dinner
Monday:  Basil & Butter Salmon (from Costco in the prepared foods), Salad & Bread
Tuesday:  Tacos/Quesadillas

Wednesday:  Dinner at Nonnie's
Thursday:  Rotisserie Chicken with Fresh Veggies & Fruit
Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night
Saturday:  Leftovers

Sunday, September 25 - Friday, September 30
Sunday lunch: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia (Costco) with Salad

Sunday dinner:  Grilled Venison, Roasted Broccoli, & Apple Slices

Monday:  6 Sisters Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, Garlic Butter Brown Rice, & Fresh Veggies

Tuesday:  Dinner Out
Wednesday:  Hot Dogs with Chips & Fresh Fruit
Thursday:  Grilled "10 Chicken" with Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad & Bread
Friday:  Fried  Fish, Pioneer Woman's "Crash" Potatoes, Salad & Bread

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Break Time

  Hi friends!  Summer time is family fun time, traveling time, camp time, and for us this year, MOVING time!  So, I'll be taking a little break from regular menu posts for a while.  But, once the dust settles from the move, I'll be back with new and regular menus!!

Have a wonderful summer!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

May 29 - June 4, 2016

Sunday:  Veggie Pasta with Rotisserie Chicken & Homemade Marinara, Roasted Broccoli, & Bread

  *  We had been out of town for 4 days, so for dinner that night, I pulled out a quart-sized bag of homemade marinara and rotisserie chicken from the freezer.  Then I boiled some veggie pasta, roasted some broccoli, and made some garlic bread, and dinner was all set!

Monday:  Memorial Day Cook Out

Tuesday:  Leftover Night

Wednesday:  Dinner Out to Celebrate My Mom's Retirement!!

Thursday:  Crockpot Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Tacos

Crockpot Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Tacos
  This is a flavorful, simple crockpot recipe that can be used for nachos, tacos, salads, or just alone!  It makes quite a bit, so it's good for a crowd, or for freezing some for later.  :-)  (Recipe courtesy of A Latte Food)

Friday:  Graduation Dinner with Family to Celebrate Our Niece, Addy

Saturday:  Cheeseburgers with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Pineapple
  *  Perfect for dinner on the porch!  I even made us all special juice drinks with orange pineapple juice and fresh fruit...the kids thought this was pretty special.

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 15-21, 2016

Another weird week of being in and out of our house...

Sunday:  Family Day for Our Niece's Graduation
Monday:  Turkey & Cheese Kabobs with Fruit & Veggies
Tuesday:  Dinner Out Before Callen's Baseball Game
Wednesday:  Hot Dogs, Parmesan Zucchini Chips, & Strawberries

Thursday:  Chicken & Veggie & Cheese Quesadillas with Roasted Broccoli

Friday:  Burgers, Fries, & Fruit - We were home, Chad was home, so we grilled!
Saturday:  Dinner Out for Chad's Birthday

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Last Few Weeks!

  Life has been a little crazy around our house the past few weeks, and this little blog has been very neglected.  We found a new house, and are currently trying to sell ours...yikes!  

  We have eaten at home some, but nothing new.  Everything we've had is either super simple, or a recipe already listed on the blog.  So, I've just listed our meals without adding details.  Check the links to find recipes! 

April 24-30, 2016

Sunday: Jamie's Baked Pasta
Monday:  Leftovers
Tuesday:  "10 Chicken" with Sweet Potatoes & Spinach Salad
Wednesday:  Picnic at the Park with Small Group
Thursday:  Breakfast Crescents with Sausage, Egg, & Cheese
Friday:  Homemade Pizza with Pioneer Woman Pizza Dough & Movie Night
Saturday:  Rotisserie Chicken & Roasted Veggies

May 1-7, 2016

Sunday:  Pizza
Monday:  Grilled Sausage, Baked Beans, & Fresh Bell Peppers
Tuesday:  Chicken Nuggets with Roasted Carrots & Broccoli
Wednesday:  Garlic Butter Quinoa & Shrimp
Thursday:  Dinner Out for Payton's 4th Birthday!
Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night
Saturday:  Leftovers

May 8-14, 2016

Sunday:  Mother's Day
Monday:  Crispy Beef Tacos with Rice & Beans
Tuesday:  Chicken Nuggets with Veggies & Fruit
Wednesday:  Grilled Cheeses & Fruit
Thursday:  Breakfast for Dinner
Friday:  Pizza & Movie Night
Saturday:  Dinner Out

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 17-23, 2016

Sunday:  Leftovers

  We had 1.5 sick kids, so it was basically leftover day to clean out the fridge and also because we were just trying to feed everyone what they would actually eat.  J

Monday:  Ground Turkey & Veggie Tacos (Meredith’s Tacos!)

Such an easy dinner that can have as many veggies as you’d like and also use any ground meat you have on hand!

 -  Ground Chicken  (1-2 pounds depending on how many people you are serving or whether or not you want leftovers)
-   Finely chopped/diced veggies of your choice (I used 1 zucchini, 3 big carrots, & 2-3 big handfuls of spinach.  I use my mini food processor to chop everything really small.)
-   1 Can Rotel or Petite Diced Tomatoes, drained
-   Taco Seasoning  (I use a homemade recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee)
-   Olive Oil
-   Minced Garlic

Heat olive oil in a large pan, then add garlic and cook it just a minute or two.  Then add your veggies and cook until they start to soften…about 10 minutes.  Yum!!  Look at all those colors!!

Pour the veggies in another bowl and set aside.  Using the same pan, cook the chicken with olive oil until no longer pink.  Drain chicken if necessary. Add back in your cooked, diced veggies, Rotel, & taco seasoning.  Mix it all together until everything is heated through.  

Season with salt or garlic salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with tortillas or chips of your choice.  We used corn and flour tortillas and topped them with some shredded cheese and sour cream.  I always make quesadillas for the kids so it’s not such a mess.  

This ground chicken is delicious and healthy and very easy to freeze and have on hand for other meals.  I always make more than we need because it’s such a good leftover and great to freeze.

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Creamy Herb Sauce, Brown Rice, & Roasted Broccoli

  I had some pork chops in the freezer that I needed to use, and I also had all of the other ingredients for this recipe from Slow Cooker Gourmet on hand.  I love it when that happens!  These are very easy, and also some of the most tender pork chops we’ve ever had!  Ranger asked if it was chicken, and the way the pork chops flaked away easily with a fork, Chad thought it was fish!  This pork was also great as leftovers for me for a few days with a salad for lunch.

Wednesday:  Beef Burger Sliders, Roasted New Potatoes, & Green Beans

  So random, but we stayed home on Wednesday night because of kids just not being completely well, and Chad was home (but was about to leave and be gone through the weekend), so I had him grill burgers while I roasted veggies inside.  The kids were THRILLED with Daddy’s burgers on a Wednesday night!

Thursday:  Dinner at Nonnie’s

Friday:  Dinner with Friends

  All of the hubbies were out of town, so all the moms gathered together and let the kids eat and watch a movie while we talked.  What a fun night!

Saturday:  Dinner with Friends

  Again…no hubbies, but lots of baseball!  So, several of us took the kids to Braums for burgers and ice cream.  J

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 10-16, 2016

Sunday:  One Pan Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta

  This one from Yellow Bliss Road has become a family favorite, and it’s so easy!  J

Monday:  Scrambled Eggs, Grilled Dove, Fruit, & Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

  Chad was in Tulsa for work, so the kids and I made breakfast for dinner.  Chad had grilled some dove for lunch after church on Sunday, so we had the leftover dove with our eggs, fruit, and some homemade, whole wheat banana bread.  This recipe from Baked By Rachel is my favorite!

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread
A healthier banana bread recipe, using whole wheat flour and old fashioned oatmeal!
  • 1/2C applesauce
  • 1/2C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2C bananas, mashed
  • 1C white whole wheat flour
  • 1C all purpose flour
  • 1C old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients. In a second medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly mix dry mixture into the wet. Whisk until ingredients are fully incorporated and no streaks remain. Pour batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Lightly sprinkle with additional oats if desired. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container. Serve with your favorite jams and spreads.

Tuesday:  Grilled Cheese with Fresh Fruit and Veggies

  I mean, it was National Grilled Cheese Day for crying out loud!  What else would I have made?  J

Wednesday:  Fish Tacos, Brown Rice, & Fruit

  We had a quick, easy dinner before heading to our small group.  I made some Tortilla Crusted Tilapia from Costco and warmed some Tortilla Land tortillas for a simple meal of fish tacos.

Thursday:  Dinner Out

Friday:  Dinner with Nonnie!

Saturday:  Pizza Night

  Chad had been gone for a few nights, and he wasn’t coming home until close to bedtime on this evening.  We had 2 baseball games in the afternoon, so I called Dominos and let them make dinner for us!  We brought our pizza home and had our dinner on the back porch.  Everyone was happy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Review of Blue Apron Meals

Last week, we tried something a bit new!  My sweet friend Sharon sent us a 1-week trial of Blue Apron Meals.  She and her husband have been enjoying their meals and thought we might like to try it also.  I am always up for trying new foods as well as new ways to plan our menu and prepare foods.

So, after having 3 of their meals, here is my review.  Being Type A, I absolutely LOVE the whole idea of this type of service.  Blue Apron is one of the many companies out there now who plan your meals for you, ship you foods, and have recipes ready for you to make.  It's really pretty ingenious.  Blue Apron's service includes a few different options for ordering based on the size of your family and also the foods your family wants to eat.  Their menu changes each week.  Then, it shows up at your door in a box that has everything you need to prepare your meals that week.  And don't worry if you aren't home...it's packaged with ice packs so that your food stays fresh until you are able to unpack it all.

On to the meals themselves...we had three meals shipped to us.  Our trial was free, but usually a week costs $59.95 for 3 meals that serve 2-3 people.  So, you are looking at $20 per meal.  Based on how your family typically eats, you can decide whether this is money-saving for you or not!

Here were our meals:

Dukkah-Spiced Cod

  They send you a wonderful color card with the entree and step-by-step instructions...

And all of the ingredients are pre-measured and ready to go!

And, they are SUPER beautiful once they are plated.  Seriously...the pretty plates were one of my favorite aspects!

Steak & Eggs

The cabbage slaw on this was amazing...

Chicken Fried Chicken

This one was also really good!  The sides were especially easy to prepare.

The verdict...I absolutely love the idea of this, and the food was really quite delicious.  But, for our family, it's not the best use of $60 per week.  I can shop for our groceries a little less expensively for foods that we eat a little more regularly.  For each of the meals, I substituted different foods for the kids because some of them were definitely things my kids would not have eaten enough of to be full.  Also, some of them would have been a bit too spicy, or there wouldn't have been enough meat for all 5 of us.  

However, I will take some of the ideas of these recipes and incorporate them into more of our meals.  I learned about layering flavors in a different way, and I always love finding new ways to flavor foods and prepare them in a better way.  But, all 3 meals took 30-40 minutes for me to prepare over the stovetop.  While I may make a 30-minute stovetop meal 1 time a week, I cannot do this 3 times a week.  It's a little too much standing and chopping for dinner all at the same time...I typically make foods that I can prepare earlier in the week or day so that I don't have to do so much right at dinner time.  My kids enjoy a variety of proteins, fruits, and vegetables, although they don't always like them layered and mixed together.

But, if you are a busy family who needs more ideas for dinner and even help with the shopping, I definitely recommend your giving this a shot!  Blue Apron and other services could be the PERFECT fit for a busy mom who doesn't have time to menu plan and shop for all of her family's meal each week.  With a service like Blue Apron, you would know you had 3 meals, ready to make, at home and in the fridge, which may keep you from hitting the drive through.

So, that's my review.  For this time in my life, it's not a fit.  But, the food is incredible, the recipes were easy to follow, and the fact that groceries show up on your doorstep is pretty much magic.  Give it a shot if you think it would be a good fit for your family!