Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter weekend recap - Part 1

Q's second Easter was much more memorable (for us, at least).  She likes candy, especially M & Ms.  She's not a fan of Peeps, which makes me very sad.  I'll give her some time. 

We all had Friday off, so we had some friends over and had a massive outdoor egg hunt.  Q is quite the egg finder and really had a great time running around.  Only a couple of elbows were thrown.  We filled the eggs with Bunny Grahams, grapes, and bunny marshmallows - yes, we are those parents!  We tried to keep the sugar to a minimum, although we did let her eat all of her Easter basket M&Ms Sunday - needless to say, naptime wasn't easy for her on that sugar high!

Easter egg hunt fun with Molly!

After the egg hunt, we dyed some eggs inside and then got to work on dinner.  I decided that it would be best (i.e., easiest and most fun) to let everyone make their own kabobs.  I marinated the beef overnight in this, but used orange juice instead of pineapple juice.  We also had pineapple, mushrooms (marinated in the same marinade separately), peppers, yellow grape tomatoes, and onions.  To keep with the Asian theme, I made Asian roasted broccoli.  We also had a bagged kale salad from Kroger.

Dessert was equally as awesome.  Sallie made some to-die for chocolate chocolate chip cookies (which were all gone by Saturday AM), and I made this dessert again!  Super easy; super delicious!!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Oh, how I wish this post was an April Fool's Day joke!  But alas, it's time to come clean and fess up to the last two weeks.

 Last two weeks' recap: NJ was a big old eating fest!  Wawa hoagies for breakfast (Italian, not breakfast hoagies!)...Chinese food from The Orient, Cracker Barrel.  Plus, earlier that week we got Chinese take out and Chipotle take out.  Not a good week.

 Dinner at Cracker Barrel - Q had a healthy dinner of sweet potatoes and corn.  My choice - fried shrimp with steak fries, corn, and fried apples.

Butterfly shrimp from The Orient.  

This past week was not much better.  I got sick in NJ, and I had the week off of work - motivation was non-existent and I just wanted to eat crap.  We went to Back in the Day Cafe, On The Border and had take out pizza.  Q and I out out several days for breakfast and/or lunch.  Not a good week.  Not a ton of hideous choices, but just a lot of not great choices adding up.  Easter candy and sweets all weekend, plus a huge cooking weekend all add up to going over budget, gaining a few pounds, and not feeling great.  Back to it!  I also didn't get a chance to do the Once a Month cooking day, because I didn't feel great.  Oh well, maybe sometime in April!

Not a whole lot to report by way of recipes from the previous meal plan.  Everything that we made over Easter weekend is in a separate post (and it was all quite delicious, I might add!)

 New Goal: (or failed previous goal) 1 or fewer meals out/week
Previous Goal: 1 salad/week; 1 meatless meal/week

Breakfast: Smoothies, oatmeal, frozen baked goods - made banana nut muffins and blueberry muffins, yogurt parfaits
Lunch: Leftovers, extra protein
Dinner Meal Plan:
4/1 M:(Late night at work) Mushroom stroganoff (freezer), tomato/mozzarella salad
4/2 T: Salad - leftover fridge veggies, sauteed mushrooms, goat cheese - SALAD, MEATLESS
4/3 W: Meatball sandwiches, frozen onion rings, green beans
4/4 Th: Salmon, sweet potato wedges, vegetable
4/5 F: Sausage pizza, frozen vegetable
4/6 S: Low country boil or dinner with Matt's parents
4/7 S: Roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots

Matt's masterpiece!

Last night, Matt made 80% of dinner, and it was all quite delicious!  We picked up some super thick bone-in pork chops, and Matt was set on finding a dry rub for them!  We found this, and Pork Chop Willy did not let us down!

Along with the chops, we had grilled asparagus (in a foil packet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon), grilled marinated mushrooms, and stuffed sweet peppers (my contribution).  We bought a big ol' bag of the sweet baby bell peppers from BJ's, and I stuffed them with homemade herb cream cheese (chives, dill, parsley, thyme, rosemary, dried onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper) and then rubbed them in olive oil and salted them before throwing them on the grill.  Delish!
Nicely done, Matthew!  Nicely done!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Last week's recap: We ate out last week.  Twice.  Not hideous choices (we went to Lime - I had two steak tacos and Matt had a burrito and Big Ed's on Saturday - YUM!)  The Crockpot Orange Beef stew did NOT work out for me.  I brought some of it for lunch the next day, but the rest saw the trash can!

Matt got catfish and eggs from Big Ed's - delicious!  Q and I "shared" a plate-sized pancakes and some other breakfast standards.

Crab rangoons worked out well - I'll add a picture as soon as I commandeer Matt's phone!  I also made egg roll wontons for Q, since she's got the dairy/seafood allergies going on.  I cooked some green onions, peppers, and carrots until soft, then added shredded cabbage to the pan.  I mixed together some chicken broth, sugar, and soy sauce and cooked it until the cabbage was cooked down and "egg roll filling" texture.  I let it cool while I made the crab rangoons, and then just made very unfancy triangle wontons with the egg roll filling.  Q liked them!
We also decided to go Irish today and make corned beef and cabbage - just put it in the crock pot!  Super excited.  We have some extra tomatoes, so we might try this as a "healthy side"!

New Goal: 1 or fewer meals out/week
Previous Goal: 1 salad/week; 1 meatless meal/week

Breakfast: Homemade breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, oatmeal, frozen baked goods, yogurt parfaits
Lunch: Leftovers, extra protein
Dinner Meal Plan:
3/18 M:(Late night at work) Korean beef, rice, sugar snap peas
I got the Korean beef recipe from the internet, but I have no idea where!  It's ground beef - I batch cooked a bunch and froze it, reheated with 1/3 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. soy, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper.  It's delicious!!!
3/19 T: Salmon (maybe with some Korean beef sauce!), package noodles (pantry clean out), green beans
3/20 W: Salad day
3/21 Th: Meatless Thursday - grilled cheese sandwiches, soup
3/22 F: On the road meal
3/23 and 3/24 S/S: In NJ with my parents - who knows what we will be eating!  I'm sure it will include Wawa hoagies and Chinese food from The Orient!

Matt and I took Monday off to recover!

I think I'm going to try this over track out.  We'll see how much I enjoy cooking that much food in one day!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Last week went pretty well.  A few blips on the radar, but we did not eat out at all Monday through Friday.  The weekend is a little hairy, but we tried to make good choices (and that hasn't been a goal, yet!)

I have also decided to try to buy our bread from a local bakery.  It is MUCH more expensive than our 99 cent "wheat" bread that I catch on sale, but it is also much more delicious.  So far, we have tried the Honey Whole Wheat loaf from Great Harvest Bread Company.  There are a couple of other bakeries in the area that I would also like to try.  Q really loved the cinnamon chip bread sample that we got!

New Goal: 1 meatless meal/week
Previous Goal: 1 salad/week

Breakfast: Homemade breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, oatmeal, frozen baked goods, yogurt parfaits, weekend leftovers
Lunch: Leftovers, extra protein
Dinner Meal Plan:
3/11 M: Berry goat cheese salad to use the rest of the goat cheese log, bread

3/12 T: Pork chops, sweet potatoes,veg
Only had chicken - cut it up and marinated it in the rest of the ranch, will bread with panko, bake, and serve with buffalo sauce...hope it's yummy!
3/13 W: (Late night at work) Orange beef stew - I plan to put this together over the weekend and have it ready to go in the slow cooker!
3/14 Th: Pi Day - Pizza pie, pie crust "pop tarts" for dessert
3/15 F: Chicken sausage and pepper sandwiches, roasted potatoes, salad
3/16 S: Chicken fried rice (frozen Trader Joe's), crab rangoons
3/17 S: Roasted chicken, rice, veg

Friday, March 8, 2013

Healthy breakfast and unhealthy dessert!

We have a busy weekend ahead - puppets, babies, dinners, springing forward - just more reason why we need 3 day weekends every weekend!

I looked long and hard yesterday for a healthy overnight French toast recipe.  I finally found one here!  With everything going on, I don't think I'll be motivated enough to make the syrup, but I would love to another time.

We are having friends over on Sunday night, and I'm making a big ol' pot of red sauce (gravy - as Ma Pettit would call it) with homemade meatballs (I use a ground beef/sausage combo), chicken, and beef on the bone.  For dessert, I figured it was still chilly enough to eat something heavy and rich and chocolately, but there will be a bunch of kids at dinner who might not want all of that, so I came up with this!  I'm drooling just thinking about it!  I will hopefully have enough leftover cookies so that the kids can enjoy them solo and the adults can enjoy the tart!  mmmm....cookie tart...

Week 1 goal:


Successfully started implementing one entree salad per week on the meal plan!

This week's plate of green, leafy goodness:

Not a great picture - I promise, there was more than lettuce and steak!  You can see a straggler black bean on the right side of the plate and some avocado if you look REALLY hard!  It was yummy nonetheless!