Weekley Menu 9/17 – 9/23

Check out the organization on Amy!  I have been in organization mode lately.  I rearranged my short/tank top drawer last week, put all of Kamryn’s school work from last year in a binder (yes, I keep everything – even the little pictures her friends made her), started new binders for this year, categorized my recipe binder and organized all of my PTA crap stuff.

When I am organized, I do my weekly menu.  When I’m not organized, we eat out.  I’m hitting up skinnytaste.com again – it treated me well last week.

Monday – Chicken Piccata – I don’t think I have had this before, but there was a comment on the recipe that said chicken piccata isn’t usually breaded.  Oh well – I like breaded stuff better and I have breadcrumbs so it’s going to be breaded.  I don’t, however have capers and I don’t know if I’ll make it to the store today.

Tuesday – Tacos/Tostadas – This was Kamryn’s choice.  That girl loves tacos and so do I.  I recently started buying tostadas and melting cheese on them.  I love it.  Anyway, I have a bag of tostadas already so I most likely won’t buy the shells.

Wednesday – Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac) – This sounds intriguing.  The recipe suggests serving it over a bed of greens and tomatoes.  I’ll probably do that for me and Ryan and let the kids have it over rice.

Thursday – It’s Ryan’s birthday.  He gets to choose where we go to eat.

Friday – Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas – I’m really trying to get at least one vegetarian meal or more a week.  I know I could never go 100% vegetarian, but I don’t need to eat meat everyday either.  These looked pretty good and my kids like zucchini.

Saturday – Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Another Kamryn choice.  It’s football season and what better than some kind of wing related entrée?  Kamryn loves bleu cheese as well and when she saw the picture of a wrap with a pile of bleu cheese on it, she was sold.

Sunday – Pizza – I haven’t made pizza for awhile because it’s been so hot and I can always eat pizza.

Happy eating!


Weekly Menu 9/9 – 9/15

I kind of fell off the semi-good for you diet that I try to maintain.  I also only ran once last week so now I have to get back to planning a menu and make sure I’m running.  Surprisingly, the scale was good to me, but I just didn’t feel that great.  Almost all of the meals from this week are from skinnytaste.com.  I am kind of in love with this site.  The food is soooo good!

Sunday – Big Salad – Lettuce, lots of veggies, beans, etc.  I still top mine with Ranch, but I tried not to put 1/2 the bottle on it.

Monday – Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce – this actually made mushroom eaters out of Kamryn and Rory.  The parsley makes it taste very similar to lemon chicken.  I served it on a bed of brown rice.

Tuesday – Skinny Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese – I noticed that there have been quite a few people commenting about the weather cooling off in their neck of the woods.  It’s hot here – like really hot.  This probably isn’t the best thing to make tomorrow, but the air is on so I can pretend it’s in the 70’s.

Wednesday – Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Spring Peas – I’m not sure what drew me to this recipe, but I’m guessing it was the potatoes.  It’s served over rice and my kids love rice, although I hate cleaning up after they eat it.  I just realized I forgot to get peas so I may use corn instead.

Thursday – Greek Lamb Burgers With Cucumber Sauce – This was Ryan’s choice.  I love lamb, but it’s kind of expensive so we don’t get it very often.  If we do get it, I like it to be the focus of the meal.  I’m making a different cucumber sauce than in the recipe because I have made it before and I know it’s good.  I’m going to serve this with my B.F.S.E.

Friday – Slow Cooker Filipino Adobo Pulled Pork – Whenever I put pork in the slow cooker it always turns out delicious.  There was another recipe I was going do instead, the Kalua pork, but that cooked for 16 hours!  No way.  My slow cooker kicks off some heat and if it’s still hot on Friday, we’re going to melt.  I’ll save that for the winter when I don’t want to turn the heat on.

Saturday – Roasted Snapper Fillet – I don’t know if I’m going to make this or not.  They didn’t have any red snapper at the store and I hate going to multiple stores to get my things.  If I find myself back at the grocery store this week, I’ll check for it again.  If not, we’ll probably eat leftovers.

Happy eating!

Another Menu

This should be called Another Half Ass Menu, but I like to try and keep things clean around here.  Ha!

Ryan and I are heading to Chicago on Thursday sans children so I can’t be bothered with what my kids are going to be eating from Thursday to Sunday.

Monday – Italian Potato Torta and salad – I have never made this before and it is requiring me to turn the oven on.  It’s a little warm today and I do not want to turn the air on, but I also don’t want to figure out something else to make for dinner.

Tuesday – Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff – Another “light” meal.  It’s going to be even warmer tomorrow so clearly I have really thought this through.

Wednesday – Souplantation – My parents are flying in to watch the kids and what better way to welcome them to California than a trip to one of the best buffets in the country?  Plus, I think they’ll both qualify for the senior discount.  Nothing says I love you like buying someone dinner on a discount.  We just have to get them there before 5:00pm.

Thursday – ????? – If you have any suggestions of where Ryan and I should go to dinner in Chicago, I’m all for it.  We have a few recommendations, but I like to keep my options open.  I’m open to any and all places as long as they don’t suck.  We are staying on W. Monroe.

Happy eating!

White Bean Ranch Dip

I found this recipe in the store flier a couple of weeks ago and I thought it would be perfect for Kamryn to take to school with some veggies in her lunch.  It had a big “Kid Approved” thumbs up stamp on it, only had 3 ingredients, was low calorie and high protein.

1 can (15 oz) white beans such as great norther or cannellini

1 cup low-fat or fat-free sour cream

1 1 oz package dry ranch dressing mix

Drain and rinse beans.  Puree with sour cream and ranch dressing mixing in a food processor or blender.

I made this tonight and I think it’s delicious.  Kamryn tried it and she said “Yum!” before it was barely in her mouth and then didn’t eat another bite – she ate baby carrots sans dip!  I had Rory try it and he made the most disgusted face he could muster and asked for blue cheese instead.

Kid approved my ass!  It has a very hummus-like texture because of the beans, but I didn’t think that would be such a turn off for my kids who would drink a gallon ranch if I let them.  And since my kids have eaten hummus and liked it.

I stamp this dip Adult Approved and highly suggest you make it.  It also suggested putting it on bagels (I don’t know about that) or using it on sandwiches instead of mayo.  I think that would be really good too.

Weekly Menu

I am finally feeling a bit more organized, but at the cost of feeling rested.  I am exhausted.  I haven’t been home one night this week and barely for an hour during the day.  Tomorrow won’t be much different, but the weekend is upon us and then I can rest.

I’ll get you through the rest of the week for dinner, though.

Thursday – BLT’s and Fries – I wanted something fast, easy and with bacon.

Friday – Smothered Pork Chops – I don’t like pork chops.  That may be illegal since I am from Iowa, but I have never had a great pork chop.  These, however, come close with.  It’s probably just because they are covered in gravy.

Saturday – Chicken Cordon Bleu – This is turning into one of my tried and true recipes.  Every time I make it, it’s good.  I think it’s kind of hard to screw up.

Sunday – Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad – I just discovered this website, skinnytaste.com and there are some damn good recipes on there.  I don’t like using fat free things like cheese, dressings, etc.  I may get low fat, but not fat free.  Anyway, I like this site because it uses herbs, vegetables and spices for flavor instead of a bottle of chemicals.

Happy eating!

Weekly Menu 7/23 – 7/29

I have fallen completely off the wagon in regards to my menus and after Ryan gave me an intervention, I decided to actually go to the store today.  I was able to keep the bill under $200, but by less than $3.  We were out of EVERYTHING!

Here is my proof that I only blog for myself.  The weekly menu posts get by far the most traffic (besides pictures of my son with his hand in his pants).  It’s an easy post too.  I don’t have to come up with clever wording or a story of any kind.  But yet, this is one of the first posts to go by the wayside.  Even my friends tell me that they love the menu posts – no love for my friends either, until today.

Monday – Vegetable Tian – This is basically vegetables that are sauteed and then baked with cheese.  I’ll post the recipe at the end of this email.  I got it from a local magazine when we lived in Iowa.  The recipe is from Chef Kim Zesiger from the Redhead Restaurant in Solon, IA.  I made this and served it over a bed of brown rice.

Tuesday – Chicken and Cashews in Lettuce Cups – It’s been in the upper 80’s for the last few weeks and I can’t handle eating heavy meals when it’s hot outside – I apologize for all of you in the rest of the country where it is in the triple digits.  Living in San Diego has made me a wimp when it comes to extreme temperatures.  This is a really good light meal and the kids like it too.  I have to leave the cashews out for Rory’s portion since he is allergic, but it’s good with or without the nuts.

Wednesday – Foil Packet Fish Crockpot Recipe – The recipe calls for Tilapia, but I had a bad run with Tilapia and it started tasting like dirt so I pick up any other white fish at the store – cod, sea bass, flounder, halibut, etc.  This time I got rock fish.  I was really skeptical of this recipe because warm mayonnaise makes me want to vomit, but it’s actually very good.

Thursday – Tortilla-Black Been Casserole – I don’t know if I have ever made this or not, but it sounds good enough to eat.  It’s also vegetarian (that’s two meatless meals this week!)

Friday – Beef Fajitas – I subscribed to e-diets after I had Kamryn to lose the baby weight.  If you need to loose some lb’s, this works well, but I quit doing it because I had to buy too much stuff and wouldn’t get a chance to use up the entire amount before it went bad.  For example, I would need 1/2 an onion for something and the other 1/2 wouldn’t get used that week and thus would end up in the trash.  Anyway, the recipe is at the end of the post.

Saturday – Turkey Burgers or ribs – Ryan has some ribs that he is going to smoke and he wasn’t up for it last weekend so maybe we’ll have those next weekend.  If he’s still not up for it, we’ll have turkey burgers.

Sunday – It’s My Birthday! – I’m sure my husband has a glorious meal to make for me or is already planning an extravagant dinner out somewhere (with a 5 year old and a 3 year old of course).

I’m also going to make a Midwest Summer Staple:  Creamy Cucumbers!  I ate these every summer and it’s been awhile since I have had them.  They are a perfect side to any dinner or I’ll probably end up eating them for lunch too.


Vegetable Tian

4 to 6 medium zucchini, chopped or sliced

1 medium onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup Gruyere cheese, or any firm, rich cheese will do

Fresh choped parsley

Olive oil for sauteing

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Sautee the onion for about 4 minutes, then add the zucchini.  Continue sauteing zucchini for about 6 more minutes, or until zucchini is slightly brown, adding the minced garlic about halfway through.  Add enough wine to deglaze the pan, but do not drown the zucchini.  Then add the chopped tomatoes and parsley and cook for 2 more minutes.  Spread the mixture into a casserole dish and stir in the shredded cheese, sprinkling the last of the cheese on top of the casserole.  Bake at 325 degrees covered for 15 minutes, then uncovered and brown the cheese on top.


Steak Fajitas (From e-diets)

Flour tortillas

1lb steak, cut in strips

1 Green pepper

1 small onion

Cheddar cheese

Chili powder

sour cream


olive oil


Slice all meat and vegetables into strips.  In a skillet, heat oil on medium and stir-fry steak until slightly golden, about 4 – 6 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high and add vegetables and chili powder to skillet.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently until vegetable are tender but still firm, about another 2 – 3 minutes.  Chop tomato and add to the mixture.  Spread mixture over tortillas, sprinkle with cheese, top with sour cream and serve.


Creamy Cucumbers

1 1/2 c miracle whip

1/2 c sugar

1 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1/3 c vinegar

Peal and slice 3 or 4 large cucumbers and 1 large onion – mix and sit overnight.


Happy eating!



Maximizing My Time

Today we drive up to Temecula to see a good friend and her family.  Ryan and Rachelle grew up together and have known each other practically their entire lives.  Rachelle’s husband’s family lives a short 30 minute drive north of us and they are out visiting for a few days.
On the way up to Temecula, we passed a restaurant called Duke’s Mesquite Broiler.


We joked about picking up a chicken for dinner, but due to a recent craving, I had crab legs on the menu for tonight.  Well, after 5 hours in the hot sun, we were coming up on Duke’s again and the convenience factor won. 
I sent Ryan in for a bird.  I still plan on making my crab legs, but while he is in there awaiting smokey goodness, I just knocked out my blog post for the day!

Weekly Menu 6/25 – 7/1

After my run to the store for pizza supplies yesterday, I made sure to grab the stuff for tonight’s dinner.  I also went to Costco this morning to get some other supplies and decided to rearrange my whole scheduled week of meals with what I had on hand and what I picked up the last couple of days.

Monday – Tacos – Regular, run of the mill tacos with the mix and ground turkey.  Nothing special.

Tuesday – We’re going to the fair!  I’ll be sure to post about all the crap that we eat.

Wednesday – We have a playdate with friends.

Thursday – Patty Sandwiches – These are named after my friend, Patty who introduced me to these a few months ago.  Take some good crusty bread and toast it, top it with a layer of pesto, mozzarella, tomato and then drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top and top with the other slice of bread.  It’s very simple, but REALLY good.

Friday – Costco Chinese Chicken Salad – If you have not had this yet, you have to try it.  It will easily feed two adults and 2 kids.  All you have to do is get the lettuce (one bag of the pre-washed stuff or cut up your own).

Saturday – Pizza is on the menu, but I may end up switching that up since we had it last night and I just ate the leftovers for lunch.

Sunday – We are going to a pool party at our friend’s house.

This week is a little thrown together because of the activities we have going on, but if I didn’t plan something on the days we didn’t have anything scheduled, I can almost guarantee that we would be going out to eat on those days and that would make it a really bad dinner week.


Pizza Pizza!!

This afternoon we were watching a show about the best pizza places in the country so I had to go off our weekly menu and make some pizza tonight instead.

The convincing pie that had me back at the store picking up a few things was the Mac ‘n Cheese pizza.  I have been wanting to make this for awhile, but always thought I had to make the mac ‘n cheese first and that was a little too much prep.  I wasn’t going to throw some Kraft crap on my pizza, it was going to have to be made from scratch.

Mac ‘n cheese pizza isn’t unique to one pizzeria.  I have had it at a couple of different places and it’s pretty standard – cheese and pasta and usually some kind of white sauce.  I thought maybe an alfredo sauce would be good, but then that can be kind of heavy and rich so I put my mac ‘n cheese pizza on the back burner until I saw the show today.

I don’t remember the name of the pizzeria that they were featuring, but the guy making it said it was the easiest pizza they made.  He started with a crust (duh), sprinkled a little mozzarella on top of that, squirted some crème fraîche on top, then added plain noodles and put it in the oven.  When it came out after about 8 minutes, that was when he topped it with cheddar cheese.

That seemed easy enough.  I have never had crème fraîche that I know of, but whenever I hear someone mention it I think of the South Park episode when Randy treats the Food Network like porn.  As it turns out, crème fraîche is just like sour cream, but from what I read, it won’t separate or curdle when it’s heated.  That was worth the $4.99 I paid.

You can also make your own crème fraîche, but it involves intentionally letting some cream and buttermilk spoil on your countertop for about 12 hours.  I don’t think I could bring myself to eat it after knowing how long it sat out.  I prefer to let someone do the spoiling for me.

Here is the finished product:

Mac ‘n Cheese Pizza

My only complaint was that I didn’t cook it long enough.  It was good, but it could gone about another 5 minutes in the oven.

I also had to make a mashed potato pizza.  That one turned out perfect!

Mashed Potato Pizza


Weekly Menu 6/18 – 6/24

I have slacked on the last two weeks of menus because we have been busy with school ending and overcoming illnesses in our house.  Now that we are all healthy again, it’s time to get back in the swing of dinner planning.  I hope never to take a break from doing this again because I have already changed the meal for tonight.

Also, this morning when I was trying to plan the menu, I had just finished eating left over pizza and was kind of stuffed so nothing sounded good.  So they say not to go to the store on an empty stomach, don’t try and plan 3 weeks of meals on a full stomach.  It’s really hard.

Monday – Crab Cakes w/ Salad – They usually have some snow crab legs in the meat department for about $10 a pound and I was going to splurge a bit and make the crab cakes with fresh crab instead of the canned stuff.  Well, for one, they didn’t have any in the display and the canned stuff was $4.50/can and I needed 4 cans.  So, I’m replacing the crab in the recipe with tuna.  I’m not too excited about the swap, but it’s $20 cheaper this way.

Tuesday – Skirt Steak W/ Lemon & Chili Roasted Potatoes – I bought a flank steak instead of skirt steak, but I think they are the same thing.

Wednesday – Curried Chicken Salad – I love chicken salad, but until now, I was never satisfied with making it at home.  This recipe changed that.  This is an excellent chicken salad.  I intend on serving it over a bed of lettuce instead of on bread.

Thursday – Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwiches – We’re going to go see an Elvis Tribute band on Thursday and what better way to celebrate The King than with his favorite sandwich?

Friday – I’m heading out of town for the night so Ryan will have to come up with something.

Saturday – Parmesan Pasta w/ Chicken & Rosemary – This looks really easy to make and I doubt I’ll be too excited about making something, I’m hoping this prevents me from ordering something or going out.

Sunday – Salmon w/ Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette – They had sockeye salmon on sale at the store so I had to get it.

Happy eating!