Monday, April 26, 2010

Meal Plan Monday!

I'm dreading this, really. Not that I'm burnt out on cooking or anything, I'm just tired and don't feel like thinking. And partially because, like last week, I have a couple that just didn't actually happen and are carried over. Doesn't make for a very interesting blog, does it? But, I can either do it now, or fumble around every night this week at dinnertime trying to figure out what to make. So, onward!

Okay, let me open up my Excel spreadsheet of meals to choose from! (um, and last week's blog to see what we didn't have) Ahem....

Last night's Greek Lentil Soup was fantastic! Thanks Hannah =)


Ribeye Steak, Salad


Taco Chicken (Riley's fave!); Green Beans. Here's the yummy recipe if you're interested:

Preheat oven to 400.

3 Chicken Breasts (or more depending on how many people you're feeding)
1.5 t Taco Seasoning (or you can make your own with 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t each of oregano, paprika, garlic salt and chili powder)
3 T Mayo or Miracle Whip (we use MW but I'd like to gradually switch over to homemade mayo)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla Chips (we've switched to Garden of Eatin' Organic Blue Corn Chips, so that's what we'll be using this time)
Taco sauce, hot sauce, or salsa

Mix the seasoning and mayo, spread it across the tops of the chicken, crush the chips and press into the chicken, then sprinkle the cheese on top. Sometimes I put the cheese on first, I always forget which way it's supposed to go. Just use as much as you want.
Bake for 20 minutes, then top with sauce. Enjoy!


Tuna Sandwiches (1 can of tuna, 4 boiled/sliced eggs, 3 heaping T of mayo, and sometimes I sneak in some finely chopped celery)


Bruschetta Chicken Bake; Cinnamon Carrots



Chicken Parmesan; Chard and ricotta gnocchi with sage butter (can't wait to try this!)

Crock Pot Sunday:

I'm looking forward to Wednesday morning moms' Bible study, we're having a menu-plan swap! So, I should have some great new meals coming soon!

Oh, and my children are now eating kale chips. Well, not right this minute, but you know. I'm so proud that my little ones are eating healthier than ever! My guacamole turned out kind of bland, so i'll just go back to my old trusty recipe, I didn't even try the beet top/banana smoothie but Riley and Julia finished it off, and the spelt crackers turned out great! Lasted a whole day. Actually, not even a whole day. So, those will definitely be repeated! And I was inspired to try and create a new fun recipe with spelt, so stay tuned for the results!

Ok, so I know I've been a bit obsessed with all things gastronomical lately, but that's good! However, I don't intend for this blog to become all about food, so I promise to post something else this week that is totally unrelated!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Now I lay me down to sleep

When I was a wee lass living out in the country with my mom, there was a brass plaque on the wall that my bed was next to that read, "Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep; If I should die before I wake, I  pray the Lord my soul to take."

I said that prayer every night, but didn't really pray much more than that during those years.

Something that I love about my daughter is how she prays. She blesses people and asks Jesus to heal ouchies and thanks him for her food and socks and "MommyandDaddyandJuliaandJosiah" and proudly declares "AMEN!" at the end.

I can remember my dad praying with me as a teenager, something that still means a lot to me.
When Julia was born, I knew that it was important to pray over her and speak blessings over her every day. Now, I'm not going to lie, there have been many days that I've failed to do so. Either because I forgot or was just plain *gasp* too lazy.

These are the things I pray over her regularly:

"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. May you love the Lord with all your heart all the days of your life, and know Him at an early age. May Jesus be your highest passion. May you be bold and compassionate, shining your light to the world around you. May you have the faith of a child and know that you are a princess in the kingdom of God. No weapon formed against you will prosper; all those who rise up against you will fall. If the enemy comes at you one way, he'll flee from seven. May you be pure for your husband. May you be full of wisdom and discernment. Every piece of ground that you walk on is yours to take. May you have the confidence to fulfill your destiny. I declare healing over your body from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Sweet dreams, restful sleep and visions of Jesus."

Of course I usually forget a few of those, and they don't always go in that order. I think she really enjoys it and sometimes even falls asleep as I'm saying it. There are few things in life more enjoyable than watching your child calm down under the blessing of the Lord!

I've noticed that it doesn't occur to me as often to pray these things over Josiah, not for lack of desire or need, I'm just so used to it being a thing that I do with Julia. So lately I've been making a point to pray the same things over him as well, plus some other things that I think are especially for him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meal Plan Mon--, Er, Tuesday!

 I promise, I made this meal plan Sunday morning! But as fate my children would have it, I didn't get around to actually putting it all together so pretty in my dear blog. Until now.

Okay, so since we're being realistic here, I will confess that only 3 out of 7 of last week's menu plans actually happened. And the three we did do weren't even on the right day. Not that we didn't eat the other 4 days, other things just came up.You know, life.

So, here's how my new recipes turned out:

Beet Greens Salad-- didn't even do it. Instead, since I was so not in the mood to use my brain follow the recipe, I got creative. I sloshed together the chopped greens/purples with a Tbsp each of dijon mustard, honey and lemon juice. Topped it with the salmon that I was too lazy to patty. Oh, didn't you know? Patty is a verb now. Turned out decent after baking, but because I didn't chop the purples small enough, I couldn't stomach all of mine. But I did eat most of them, and am healthier for it!

Let's see, what else did I try out? (clicking over to blog because my memory doesn't work the same these days) Ah yes, The Mommypotamus' Homemade Pizza.

Ok, so this was something I was looking forward to ALL WEEK. I even bought fresh, organic basil to make my own homemade pesto. I followed all the instructions exactly, even the night-before soaking. Well, let's just say I started to wonder what I did wrong. It didn't exactly look or feel like dough. I would say, hmmm, oatmeal/porridge/soup? Very watery, but I didn't have any flour and since the recipe didn't call for more than I put in it, I trusted that it would thicken up while it sat in the warm place to rise. Um, no. Instead, my precious, long awaited, hard earned dough that I kneaded smeared for 10 whole minutes slowly dripped off the edge of my pizza stone onto the inside of my oven. Boo! I was getting pretty upset because my expectations weren't being met and therefore disappointment began to set in. I could very well make something else for dinner, but I wanted pizza. That pizza. That I had all the toppings for. And had started working on the night before. I contemplated getting a store-bought crust but decided not to. Dang it, I was gonna cook that dough no matter how it ended up tasting! So, we did and finally, after hours of preparation and stress, we had our first homemade pizza. It was obviously not how it was supposed to be, but it tasted good. But not as good as the new one I made today (that Heather so graciously prepared the crust for while I sat and watched in her own kitchen this morning!)! What did I learn? When in doubt, add more flour. A little bit more. A little bit more. Heck, a whole cup more! (she has corrected the proportions now so don't be afraid to hop over there and try it out!)

Ahem, what is the title of this post? Ah yes, Meal Plan something-or-another. Well here's what might end up in our mouths this week (in no particular order):

Last night: (ha! we really did eat this.) My deeelicious Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tonight: Pepper Steak; Sweet Potato Casserole (See? I really do have a few meals from last week that got bumped)

Wednesday: Spaghetti; can't-remember-what-kind-of-leafy-green Salad

Thursday: Bruschetta Chicken Bake; Green Beans, Cinnamon Carrots

Friday: Zesty Chicken Penne; Peas, Broccoli

Saturday: Fish Sticks; Romaine Salad

Sunday: Greek Lentil & Chicken Soup; Chard (will find a recipe because I don't really know what to do with this but it came in our coop pickup Saturday)

Monday: Chicken, Lentil, Tomato, Arugula & Couscous Salad

I will most likely rearrange these as the week unfolds, but it's good to have some sort of an outline of ideas to choose from instead of panicking at 6pm every day with no ingredients in the kitchen and a hungry family! So, I guess I better make it to the store tonight to pick up the handful of things I need, huh?

Oh yeah! I also made Kale Chips last week. Wait, don't cringe. They're AMAZING. They are super healthy and are a totally yummy alternative to traditional potato chips. I'd never even eaten kale, but I kept hearing new friends and acquaintances talk about them so I had to give it a whirl. Tear 'em off the stalk, brush some olive oil on, sprinkle some sea salt on, stick 'em in the oven for 10 minutes and voila! Julia didn't try them but I know she eventually will, and will love them as much as Riley and I did!

I'm also going to make some guacamole/salsa sometime this week that will include the avocado and cute little colorful peppers we got in our coop. That should be fun. Oh and there were some beet tops too, and someone posted a recipe for a smoothie with these and bananas. Honestly, it sounds disgusting, but it will be pink so maybe that will make it taste better! We'll see.

Alright now, it's your turn: What's on YOUR dinner table this week?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Meal Plan Monday!

First of all, I have to say that I'm kind of so extremely glad that I started weekly menus again. It really made the past week less stressful and super delicious!

Here's a brief review of how my new recipes turned out (I took pictures but for some reason they won't upload, so forgive the lack of evidence):

The Gorgonzola and Bacon Stuffed Burgers turned out really yummy! We decided to do beet "chips" instead of the other recipe though, and except for a little overcooking (next time I'll do it at a lower heat and take them out quicker) they were pretty good! Especially dipped in poppyseed dressing. MMM!

The Goat Cheese and Arugula Quesadillas didn't turn out exactly how I hoped. Partly because I changed so much of the recipe- used spreadable instead of shredded cheese (what was I thinking? No wonder they didn't stick together well!) Partly because I used spinach tortillas that didn't cook too well at high heat. But they were OK. I might try them again in the future but follow the recipe exactly. It was really just a way to use the arugula that came in our coop produce share.

Apple Cider-Glazed Turnips- Not bad! I've read that you can mash them like potatoes so I may try that route next time.
Ok, on to this week's fare!

The Chicken Casserole that we didn't end up making last week; Sweet Potatoes (anybody got a good recipe? I tried making fries last time but they didn't turn out too well)

Pepper Steak with Green Bell Peppers and Tomatoes on Brown Rice, Corn on the Cob (also carried over from last week's menu)

My famous Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup; Cinnamon Carrots (wait, is that a THIRD thing that we didn't go through with last week? Geez!)

Spaghetti, Twice Baked Potatoes (can anybody say YUM!), Peas

Chicken Parmesan on top of some kind of Pasta; Green Salad

Early dinner with our produce coop families, then a second dinner at Primo's with my good friend Katiebug!

Salmon Patties, Mac-n-cheese, Beet Greens Salad

Wait! I bought all the fixins for a new homemade pizza recipe-- Which dinner should I knock out to replace with this?

What's on your dinner table this week?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meal Plan Monday!

Don't judge-- I just couldn't resist jumping on the wagon with The Mommypotamus and The Belgexans

This is really just for my own benefit (ok ok, my husband and children's as well) to make a weekly meal plan. Not that I'll stick to it exactly, but hey it's worth a shot!

Well, here goes:

Tonight: Stuffed Burgers on thin whole wheat buns with Gorgonzola Cheese and Smoky Bacon*; Tangy Buttered Beets and Greens with Dijon*

Tuesday: Goat Cheese and Arugula Chicken Quesadillas*; Cinnamon Carrots

Wednesday: Lil Smokies in BBQ sauce; Corn on the Cob

Thursday: Rosemary Plum Chicken; Apple-Cider Glazed Turnips*

Friday: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Saturday: Paula Deen's Chicken Casserole (I have to tell you what's in it because it's not your everyday chicken and rice dish)... this is a thing of beauty really, snatched from the kitchen of my mother-in-law-- french style green beans, cream of celery, mayo (or in my case, miracle whip), long grain and wild rice, pimentos, water chestnuts, diced chicken, cheddar cheese.

*new recipe ( wish me luck!

So what's on your dinner table this week?