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.