Sunday, August 31, 2008

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - BBQ Chicken, Tri-Colore Orzo Salad, Grilled Corn, garden salad, rolls
Monday - Homemade Pizza, fruit
Tuesday - Tacos, fruit
Wednesday - Farfalle with Zucchini, salad, rolls
Thursday - work meeting for the husband, soccer team parent meeting for me = leftovers for everyone
Friday - Asian food night - we'll see what we come up with
Saturday - (Friend birthday party day) Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken

Saturday, August 30, 2008

This Week's New Recipe Reviews

Tortiglioni Florentine in a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce with Frizzled Prosciutto
original recipe here
We tried this recipe using penne pasta instead of the tortiglioni. I was going to cut the recipe in half since it was the first time through, but my husband convinced me to make a full recipe so as to have leftovers for lunches. Well, bad idea. He decided that he didn't like the "blue cheese" flavor to the sauce. In fact, he didn't even finish one serving. And, to be honest, it was a little over powering. So, in an effort to maintain meals that everyone will eat, we will not be making this one again. But, if you LOVE blue cheese, go for it!

Creamy Orzo
original recipe here
I did cut this recipe in half, especially since it was myself and a toddler sharing it. It is originally from a show about cooking with your kids, so I hoped that it would be a crowd pleaser. And, it was. It needed more salt than I added, but that could be accomplished through adding more parmesan cheese. My toddler picked the PEAS out of it to eat first! We will definitely repeat, maybe as a side dish even.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Dinner with my parents
Monday - "Indoor Cookout" (hamburgers & Hotdogs), Tri-Colore Orzo Salad, Corn, Fruit
Tuesday - fish for the husband, Creamy Orzo for the rest of us
Wednesday - Anniversary Chicken, broccoli or zucchini,
Thursday - Tortiglioni Florentine in a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce with Frizzled Prosciutto, salad,
Friday - Dinner with family
Saturday - Leftovers

Tyler's Ultimate Beef Tacos: Recipe Review

Tyler's Ultimate Beef Tacos
original recipe here
This was good. But, I probably won't make it again. I halved the recipe, and used a thinner cut of meat. I used a yellow onion instead of a red onion. Other than that, followed the recipe exactly. So, good taste, but probably not worth the forward thought required to start dinner 3 1/2 hours before you want to eat it (which is why it took two weeks to actually try this recipe).
I really like the fresh flavor of the simple salsa. I left out the peppers. That's right, just tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime, and cilantro. It worked out great, because my toddler ate it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday

Contents: Banana slices, Plain Yogurt with a Boysenberry Swirl, Milk, Strawberries, English Muffin Puzzles, Crustless Mini-Quiche (with ham, onion, and cheese)
To find out more about Muffin Tin Monday, go here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

This Week's Dinner Menu & a Confession

Okay, so I admit it. I didn't go to the grocery store this past week. Which meant that we didn't eat the um two meals that I actually planned. We ended up eating at my mom's twice because my grandparents were in town and my sister is leaving to go back to school. We ate out once, and tonight's meal is yet to be seen. There you go. Now, onto mext week's plan.

Sunday - Dad's Birthday Enchiladas, corn, black beans, salad
Monday - Potstickers, broccoli, fruit
Tuesday - Tyler's Ultimate Beef Tacos, grilled corn
Wednesday - "Indoor Cookout" (burgers & hotdogs), Tri-Colore Orzo Salad, fruit
Thursday - eat out (I'm going to a Supper Club, where they make meals to freeze and eat later for my mom's ward)
Friday - fish for the husband, Creamy Orzo for the rest of us
Saturday - leftovers and planning for next week

Friday, August 15, 2008


A reading post on a foodblog? You may ask what I am thinking. Well, here is what I have been reading and thinking about. Some really interesting points are brought up in this book - like: Don't use food as a bribe or reward. And, some good reminders, too - like: A child may be served a new food ten times before even trying it. I also spent some time reading the general tips out loud to my husband (while driving home from my parents' house, so he was a "captive" audience for 45 minutes). And, I learned why my husband doesn't like to eat leftovers more than once. [He is great at taking leftovers for lunch once, or for dinner once later in the week - but, after that, don't ask him to eat it again.]

So, this is what I'm working on:
1. Balancing my toddler's meals - protein, fruit, veggies, and carbs
2. Serving new things, but being willing to eat them myself if he doesn't
3. Making mealtime fun, in order to disguise the healthy food I want him to eat.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Farfalle with Zuchinni: Recipe Review

Photo from The Pioneer Woman

Farfalle with Zuchinni. A Yummy Summer Meal!
We loved it! This recipe came together super easily. I cut it in half for our family, and we had one round of leftovers. I also skipped the fresh herbs, and the flavor was still amazing! I had an appointment that I had to get to and wasn't able to eat with the family, but my husband said that our toddler went back for more and more zuchinni. So, next time, I will add more zuchinni. We will definitely be doing this recipe again.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

This Week's Dinner Menu

Ok, don't hate me! We ended up spending two nights at my parents' house because of other commitments that we had, and Saturday night we went to a wedding reception. So three of our meals will be "roll-overs" from last week. Sorry!

Sunday - dinner at mom's: flank steak, orzo salad, grandma's wild rice (recipe to come so zummy!), green beans, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
Monday - Tyler's Ultimate Beef Tacos, grilled corn
Tuesday - Farfalle with Zucchini (loaded with veggies), rolls, fruit
Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Pizza, Centioli (Pagliacci Pizza-style)* or Brown Sugar-Mozarella Bread (The Rock WFP-style), salad, fruit
Thursday - thinking . . .
Friday - I think we're due for a "date-night"
Saturday - thinking . . .

*Centioli = A super-thin crust covered with olive oil, sprinkled with crushed chili peppers, fresh garlic, parsley, fontina and mozzarella cheeses.

This Week's New Recipe Reciews

original recipe here
We like this recipe, but probably won't make it again. My husband's "sensitive to mexican food" stomach did not agree with it after we were done eating. I also found that it made a lot of "topping", more than I would normally put on my nachos. So, If you don't have the "problems" that we do, I would say go for it. But, keep in mind that this recipe could easily be stretched to 4 people vs. the two it states.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake
original recipe here
I had high hopes for this recipe, really I did. The contributor states how easy and wonderful it is. I found that the "bruschetta topping" overwhelmed the bland chicken. The ratio of chicken to bread was a little off for our taste. And my husband, who normally eats everything, didn't eat it. He opted for grapes for dinner, instead.

Homemade Tomato Soup
This was my own creation! I had looked around at recipes online and gathered general similarities between them all. Then, I just went for it. I sauteed: 1/4 C chopped onion, 1 chopped celery rib, and 1/2 peeled and chopped carrot in 1 T butter. I added salt, pepper and garlic. I let those work for a little while in the pot. Then, I added just enough chicken broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan. I added one large can of whole peeled tomatoes, and pureed everything with a stick blender. Heat all the way through, then, I addedabout 1/2 C evaporated milk for creaminess.

It was yummy, but you could definitely taste the carrots and I will probably leave them out next time.

Huevos Rancheros
original recipe here
We really liked this recipe. It is definitely more of a brunch dish. But, we loved the salsa fresca! When we repeat this recipe, I think that I will fry the eggs separate from the tortillas. That technique made it a little difficult to cook and flip. I think that warming the tortillas and frying the eggs separately would make it a lot easier.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

Tonight, my mom and sisters had a Visiting Teaching Picnic to go to tonight. So, my assistance was requested in picking up ingredients for Key Lime Cupcakes on the way to their house. Caitlin decided to make them mini cupcakes instead. They were so cute! And delicious! I highly recommend them.

Let the Games Begin

Okay, is anyone else crawling out of their skin in excitement for the start of the Summer Olympics? My husband is. If he sees one more swimming promo, I think he will explode. I am excited because this is the first time that we can share it with OUR KIDS!

So, if you're looking for ideas, start here:
Olympic Rings Fruit Pizza
Olympic Ring Sugar Cookies
Olive Leaf Crown and Olympic Torch
Two great Kid's Olympic Party Ideas: here and here

And here is where you can find great ideas on hosting an Olympic Party. And this post wouldn't be complete without sharing the Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. We'll see what kind of fun we can cook up for our own Olympic Kick-off party!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Grandma Mary's Banana Nut Bread

This is my absolute favorite banana bread recipe! It is so fast, and so yummy. I have even made it up as muffins to take to school for a family members birthday.
Banana Nut Bread
1/2 C butter or margarine
1 C sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 C mashed bananas
1/2 C chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, then bananas, nuts and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and soda. Then, fold into the creamed mixture. Beat whole mixture on hig speed. Bake in oiled loaf pan at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool before cutting. It tastes best if allowed to "ripen" for one day.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Chocolate Caramel Brownies: Recipe Review

Last week, I found this recipe and instantly had to try it. It was really yummy and I will definitely make it again - with a few changes of course!

Chocolate Caramel Brownies
1 box German Chocolate Cake mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 bag wrapped caramels (50 individually wrapped caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk

Mix together the cake mix, melted butter and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Mix until well incorporated, it will be thick. Press half of batter into a 9x13 inch greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.

While batter is baking, melt caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in a saucepan until creamy. When brownies are done, poor caramel on top of the cooked portion of brownies. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of caramel. Dot the remaining brownie mix on top of chips and caramel. Return to oven and bake for another 11 minutes. Cool in refrigerator for about 2 hours.

So . . . I think that next time I will try it with a Devil's Food cake mix. I also mixed semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, because it was what I had on hand. And, I think that I will cut down the 1/3 C evaporated milk that is added to the caramels a little. I found the caramel stayed a little too gooey for my taste.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This Week's Dinner Menu

First off, I was talking with a cousin of mine and sharing one of my favorite nutrition websites. It got me thinking that many of you may like it, too. It is I use it mostly to analyze the nutritional value of my recipes or to calculate calories (etc.) per serving in the foods that I make. Check it out. You can build your own pantry and analyze your recipes, too.

Okay, on to the FOOD! Having had nearly a month off, it is a little hard to get back into the swing of having my plan together by Saturday night. But, here it goes . . . better late than never!

Sunday - dinner with my family and cousins
Monday - Bruschetta Chicken Bake, broccoli, salad
Tuesday - Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Crostinis
Wednesday - Huevos Rancheros, fruit salad
Thursday - Tyler's Ultimate Beef Tacos, grilled corn
Friday - Farfalle with Zucchini
Saturday - Homemade Pizza

Yeah, that's right we ate out twice last weekend - the Mariners' game and a RARE date without the kids.


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