Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meal Plan Week Starting 7/28

Meal Plan, Shopping List

#1 Brown Rice Pilaf Served with Berry Salad and Bread.

#2 Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta Served with Sauteed Greens.

#3 Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Butter Served with Roasted Green Beans.

#4 Sauerbraten Served with Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Cabage. (Recipe to come)

#5 Ravioli with Heirloom Tomato Sauce Served with Green Salad.

#6 My own version of Fried Chicken and Waffles (inspired by Hash House A Go Go). (Recipe to come)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

San Diego, Comic Con and Hash House A Go Go

Just returned from a lovely trip with my DH and friends. We went to the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego. Not maybe the vacation I would have picked on my own but we had a blast and I actually really want to go back again soon. San Diego was amazingly pretty with perfect weather and pretty trees and flowers everywhere we went. Gas Lamp was really cool and had many options for dinning and fun.

Because the weather was so amazing we loved to walk around Gas Lamp in between our celeb panels and people watching. My what things we saw. First of all we saw so many celebrities there that I can't get them all straight in my head. Luckily we have pictures to sort through and remember. The panels were fun and the waiting in lines was an experience as well. Many different types of people were there and we enjoyed talking with strangers in lines and hanging out with our friends. I was waiting in line with the guy who created a game on DH's phone. He designs games for Glu. It was kind of funny when he asked DH what he was playing and his face lit up like a proud daddy. We also waited in line with "John" who is a researcher for movies and television. He happened to have a lot of "facts" to share.

My favorite day was the day we went to Balboa Park and Hash House A Go Go. First we grabbed a bite at Hash House. Monster bite more like it. Wow, that place has HUGE portions and had we known we would have split something and STILL had leftovers. The food and drinks were amazingly good and the vibe was really cool there. I couldn't help but notice that every single person there was skinny and I'm really curious how they can eat there and work there and be so darn skinny. I think DH and I left 3/4 of the food still on our plates and our conscience was heavy letting the rest go to waste as we made our way over to Balboa Park.

Balboa Park was lovely. We went to two Museums and had a nice walk through some of the gardens. There were little girls with little jars of water colors painting pictures of the coy fish in the ponds. There was a young lady coloring a canvas with pastels sitting on the bench. The zoo was around the corner but we didn't have the time to visit. Next time we will make time for the zoo and for the Cove.

Out of all of the things we did in San Diego only one wasn't really "great". This was the Masquerade which is essentially a costume contest. It was rather boring and since we had seen so many cool and scary costumes already over the whole weekend there wasn't anything there worth the very long wait in line. Also, I ended up losing my phone that night which made us have to go back to find it the next morning instead of going to the Cove like we wanted. I heard from my newly engaged friends (yes, he proposed in San Diego) that it is a must see. All around a really wonderful time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No New Menu Plans for this week or next.

We are going on vacation soon so things have been hectic around here and we are trying to save up some $$ to use on our trip. I have planned to use some extra stockpile goodies to get us through until we get back.

Things to make when trying to use up stockpile and not spend a lot:
Baked Ziti
Mac N Cheese
Rice and Beans
Panini Sandwiches
Breakfast for Dinner (waffles, pancakes, eggs)

I promise to bring you a new inspired menu in a week and a half. Meanwhile, feel free to re-use some of the recipes from previous menus. I especially loved the Guava Glazed Chicken, Cherry Salsa Chicken,  Cheese and Pepper Enchiladas, and my Balsamic Reduction Salmon! Yum.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sugar Cookies

Drop Sugar Cookies.

These cookies are incredibly good and easy to make. My kids always ask to make sprinkle cookies and it is a great way to spend time together and teach them a bit about baking.

1 stick Smart Balance Butter (or regular if you wish)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional but so yummy!)
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter in mixer. Add oil and sugars and cream some more. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract and mix. Combine dry ingredients in a seperate bowl. Combine with wet and mix well to combine. Freeze the dough for about 15 minutes. Scoop out with cookie scoop or spoons. Add sprinkles or cinnamon sugar and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How To Organize Leftovers

I found this post after looking at a blog that my sister "liked" on facebook. I will be bookmarking this blog for sure! Had to share the post about organizing leftovers. Very helpful when sticking with meal plans and budgeting. I always end up with leftovers that I use for lunches and with her simple plan it seems much more organized.

Meal Plan July 7th-14th

Meal Plan

#1Spicy Grilled Peach and Chicken Kabobs served with Summer Corn Salad.

#2 Maple Mustard Apple Pork Chops with Roasted Acorn Squash and Sauteed Kale.

#3 Grilled Salmon Fillets with Avocado Sauce served with Dill Roasted Green Beens and Crusty Bread.

#4 Oven Roasted Pecan Crunch Catfish with Asparagus served with Fruit Kabobs and Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

#5 Roman Style Chicken Saltimbocca with Parmesan Noodles and Steamed Broccoli.

#6 Mediteranean Couscous Salad served with Pita or Naan and Fresh Fruit or Green salad.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cheese Please Burger.

I have been making these burgers for a couple of years now and while we do not eat very much red meat occasionally there is just nothing like a great juicy burger to celebrate the holidays (like the 4th of July!). Make sure you get a good lean ground beef, preferably organic. I love Publix's Green Wise Ground Round.

Cheese Please Burger's-

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (or gorgonzola works great too)
2 tbs. worcestershire sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbs dried minced onion
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 pound lean organic ground round
Crusty Hamburger buns
Sliced onion

Combine cheese, worcestershire, garlic, meat and salt and pepper to taste. Form thick round patties with your hands and poke through the middle leaving a hole. This hole helps the burger cook through consistantly not leaving burnt outside and raw inside. It also helps to keep it's shape. Sprinkle patties with kosher salt and pepper. Grill over high heat in grill pan or BBQ for about 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and grill the buns for a minute or two. To make the burgers start with mayo on the buns, then ketsup on one half, mustard on the other, top with beef patty, then sliced onion. Serve with baked beans if desired.

Balsamic Reduction Grilled Salmon

This recipe is so amazingly good and simple to prepair. I'm sure the Balsamic glaze could be used for a number of proteins, perhaps tofu? Serve with a simple side like roasted asparagus or a delicious salad. This dish pairs really well with Pinot Grigio.

Serves 2
Grilled Salmon:
2 thick fillets of salmon
salt and pepper
Balsamic Reduction (recipe follows)

Season the fillets with salt and pepper and brush grill with EVOO. Cook over very hot heat either in a grill pan or ouside on the BBQ. Cook about 3 minutes then turn, add glaze to cooked side and cook about 3 minutes more. Turn onto plate and glaze the other side.

Balsamic Reduction:

In a small saucepan heat about 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar over med. heat. Add chopped fresh rosemarry (about a heaping tbs. of fresh chopped rosemerry) and 2 cloves garlic, minced. Cook down stirring frequently until about half of liquid remains. Add 1 tbs honey and 2 tbs of unsalted butter. Wisk well and remove from heat. Use quickly to avoid "sticky" glaze.

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Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Pie is one of my husbands all time favorite desserts. Blueberries are so good for you and taste never better than with a sugary filling and buttery crust. I came up with this recipe with the intention of cutting the fat and calories. It was so yummy he didn't even miss the crust!

Sarah's Blueberry Cobbler-

6 cups washed and drained blueberries
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 lemon zested and juiced
1-2 tsp vanilla (to taste)
1-2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbs. Smart Balance Butter (stick)

Combine filling ingredients. Mix Crumb Topping mixture with fork or pastry tool until "crumb" texture. Add filling to a baking dish (I used an oval baker from Pampered Chef that cooked up beautifully but you could use a square pan or casserole dish). Top with Crumb mixture and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Enjoy!
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