Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Planning Monday - XV

Our weekly menu for July 27th - August 2nd:
  • MONDAY - Spaghetti (thanks, Mom!), Sauteed Zucchini and Carrot Medley, Crescent Rolls
  • TUESDAY - Hawaiian Chicken (thanks for the recipe, Jessie), Jasmine Rice, Mixed Vegetables, Homemade Garlic Bread
  • WEDNESDAY - Turkey and Ham Deli Sandwiches, Applesauce
  • THURSDAY - Pasta Primavera, Homemade Garlic Bread
  • FRIDAY - Dinner with Wright's to Celebrate Kevin's Birthday
  • SATURDAY - Pizza, Salad and Breadsticks
  • SUNDAY - Dinner with Autry's to Celebrate Kevin and Mom's Birthday's

Thursday, July 23, 2009

6 Crazy Kids + 1 Cool Pool = Summertime Fun!

Our friend Krista Gryzcan invited us over recently for an afternoon of summertime fun at her house. The boys really enjoyed playing with her children in their pool. I didn't get a chance to take pictures of everyone because I only had my phone's camera and it started raining shortly after I recorded these videos and pictures. Here is a quick (and I do mean quick!) snapshot of the fun we had! Thanks, Krista, for such a great afternoon of fun and friendship!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Menu Planning Monday - XIV

Last week I took off from menu planning because I was working up at Camp Fa-Ho-Lo each day and didn't get home until late each afternoon. As you can imagine, it was a week full of leftovers, pizza and dinner with my parent's.

Below is the menu for the week of July 20 - July 25, 2009. We might be heading out of town to go camping this weekend, so our dinner plans for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all TBD.
  • MONDAY - Hamburgers on the Grill, French Fries, Green Beans, Watermelon
  • TUESDAY - Chicken Tetrazzini, Peas, Homemade Garlic-y Bread
  • WEDNESDAY - Deli Turkey Bagel-wiches, Potato Chips, Baby Carrots
  • THURSDAY - Braised Balsamic Chicken, Pine Nut Couscous, Mixed Vegetables, Homemade Bread
  • FRIDAY - Dinner on the road?
  • SATURDAY - Campfire Cuisine TBD?
  • SUNDAY - Dinner on the road?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Menu Planning Monday - XIII

Last week ended up going a little differently then planned so the few dishes I didn't end up making last week are now on this week's menu.
  • MONDAY - Bistro Chicken Skillet, Whole Wheat Penne Pasta, Tossed Salad, Crescent Rolls
  • TUESDAY - Pizza Tortillas, Watermelon
  • WEDNESDAY - Leftovers Smorgasbord
  • THURSDAY - Baked Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs, Fresh Fruit, Toast
  • FRIDAY - Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Camp Cornbread, Fiesta Rice
  • SATURDAY - Baked Ham Steaks, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans, Homemade Honey Whole Wheat Bread
  • SUNDAY - Lasagna, Glazed Carrots, Cauliflower, Homemade Garlic-y Bread
I went ahead and posted all of the recipes from last week's menu (below), in case anyone wanted them. If I haven't posted a recipe that you would still like, please let me know.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pizza Tortillas Recipe

This recipe can be a great appetizer or a fun, simple dinner. I love the fact that it can be made in advance and then just popped in the oven for a quick and delicious meal.

1/2 lb. ground beef (or pork)
2 Tbs. pizza seasoning, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
8 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the beef and pizza seasoning. Brown over medium-high heat; drain. Toss onion, tomatoes and jalapenos with olive oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano; let stand at least 10 minutes to allow flavor to develop. Lay 4 tortillas on two baking sheets. Sprinkle evenly with cooked beef, vegetables, cheese and remaining pizza seasoning. (Don't pile up cheese in the center or it won't melt properly) Top with remaining tortillas. Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until tortillas start to brown. While hot, remove tortillas from baking sheets and cut into pizza-shaped wedges.

Serves 4

Bistro Chicken Skillet Recipe

The savory and somewhat tangy flavor of this dish is so yummy. Plus, I love the fact that it's all cooked in one skillet - less dishes for Kevin! :)

2 tsp. olive oil
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup Italian dressing
3 Tbs. tomato paste
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onions; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, dressing and tomato paste. Add chicken; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chinese Broccoli Beef Recipe

Kevin loves the authentic soy and ginger flavor of this dish, and I love that it's pretty straight forward and easy to make. Whenever fresh broccoli is on sale I like to make it, but frozen broccoli can easily be substituted as well. I usually serve this dish over hot Jasmine rice - yum!

2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 (10.5 oz) can beef broth
1 Tbs. white sugar
4 Tbs soy sauce
1 lb. boneless round steak, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped fresh (or frozen) broccoli

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, broth, sugar and soy sauce. Stir until dissolved. In a large skillet or wok, cook and stir beef about 3 minutes, or until browned. Add broth mixture, ginger, garlic and broccoli. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer 5-10 minutes, or until sauce thickens.

Serves 6

Friday, July 3, 2009

Double Chocolate Toffee Cookies

This is one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes (second only to the original Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, of course) and the cookies are extremely hard to resist while still warm from the oven. Enjoy!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa and salt. In a separate bowl cream sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into batter. Fold in chocolate chips and toffee bits. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-12 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

First Smiles!

The exciting milestones in Delanie's life are beginning and it has been so fun capturing the moments on film and on video (courtesy of my uber-sophisticated Palm Centro)! Lanie is now six and a half weeks old and has been smiling and cooing for the last week. I was so excited the first time that I witnessed a huge toothless grin that I immediately called Kevin at work to share in my excitement. Kevin laughed and said, "I thought that was old news, she was smiling at me last night!" Oh sure, fine - thanks for sharing the moment with me!

Alright, I guess I can be happy about Kevin being the recipient of the first smile - there is something special about that Father-Daughter bond after all.
A few days later, however, after a good long nap and a full tummy, Lanie and I were cuddling together and she started cooing and "talking" to me. I was ecstatic! Kevin was in the kitchen and I immediately called him in to share with me in this new milestone. You can imagine how shocked and (a wee bit) annoyed I was when Kevin sheepishly looked at me and asked, "she hasn't cooed for you before?" What?!?! You mean to tell me that once again I was not the first to witness such a momentous moment?

Man alive! It's a good thing that both Kevin and Lanie are cute - I guess I can forgive such grievous behavior . . . but it is challenging . . . I'll get back with you on how well I manage . . .

In the meantime, enjoy this quick video of Lanie's smile (and please disregard the super-high pitched voice in the background - it's a given pre-requisite for getting babies to smile, or so I've been told). :))