Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tilapia, Sweet Potatoes, Asparagus and Couscous Tuesday

Dinner was yummy. I think my favorite part was the sweet potato, but the rest was good (even though I way overcooked the asparagus!!). The fish was a Broiled Parmesan Tilapia (minus the mayonnaise), the couscous was cooked in vegetable broth and garlic (to up the veggie intake for the kids), the asparagus was baked with olive oil and garlic salt, and the sweet potatoes were all natural!!

Chaz's lunch of popcorn, pesto pizza, broccoli, orange slices, muffin, and yogurt pretzels. He also got some organic vanilla milk and water.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tuna Casserole and Broccoli Monday

Here's what's for dinner. Easy tuna casserole that I actually had in the freezer, and some steamed broccoli.

For lunch, this is what the boys had:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sept. 29- Oct. 5 Menu

Monday- Tuna Casserole with Broccoli
Tuesday- Tilapia, Potatoes (sweet?), Asparagus and Couscous
Wednesday- Homemade Pesto Pizza with basil and tomatoes
Thursday- Spaghetti and Meatballs with Zucchini (homemade sauce)
Friday- Egg Fried Rice and Purple Potatoes
Saturday- Fish Sticks and Squash Casserole
Sunday- Salmon Burgers and Tater Tots

Monday- French Toast Sticks, Grapes, Broccoli, Yogurt, Watermelon
Tuesday- L/O Pizza, Popcorn, Orange Slices, Yogurt Pretzels
Wednesday- Apple Slices, Peanut Butter, Ramen Soup (and Cooper with Popcorn for snack too)
Thursday- Fish Sticks, Corn, Banana Bread, Watermelon (soy nuts for snack)
Friday- Meatballs, Ezekiel Bread, Orange Slices, Dried Papaya (pretzels for snack)

P.Terry's and BBQ Saturday

The boys and their grandparents grilled some hot dogs, corn on the cob, and ate some yummy watermelon. Dad and I ate some vege (and regular) burgers and fries at P.Terry's on the way home from ACL. Yummy P.Terry's! I'm definitely going back there!!

Here is what I left for the boys to snack on for lunch too:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Festival Food Friday

We'll be at ACL tonight. We'll probably try to sneak in some fruit and a doctor's note showing that my son has low blood sugar. Who can resist a cute little sick boy? The ACL festival food isn't all that horrible, BUT you have to pay $10 for a single taco that won't get a family full AND you have to wait 30 minutes in line to get it. We'll definitely fill up before we get there and bring our alloted 2 bottles of sealed water with us.

Here is what Chaz requested for lunch... homemade banana bread, homemade zucchini muffin, and alphabet soup.

Here is the recipe for my grandma's famous banana bread:

Banana Bread Ingred:

1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Spry (butter)
2 Eggs
1 TSP Baking Soda
1/2 TSP Baking Powder
2 Cups Flour
1/4 TSP Salt
1 TSP Vanilla
2-3 Mashed Bananas
1/3 Cup Milk Soured with TBSP Vinegar
*1 Bag Chocolate Chips (*Optional)

Mix: Sugar and spry. Add eggs. Mix dry ingredients. Alternate mixing bananas and milk to rest. (*also, don't forget to add the chocolate chips if you make it with them!!) Bake 350 for 1hr and 15 min

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bean/Cheese Tostada Thursday

So I don't have any soy sauce, so I won't be making the rice tonight. Also, the neighbor kids are coming over for an hour, so I thought it might be easy to feed us all the bean and cheese tostadas for dinner. I have avocados (59 cents each), refried beans, cheese, lettuce, and some chopped up tomatoes. We will have some chips and salsa on the side too... maybe I'll throw in some broccoli or asparagus and rice for good measure (and because Chaz basically had beans and rice for lunch too).

Here is Chaz's lunch from today:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


UPDATE, November 12, 2008:



I have a free eco-friendly bag to give away this week!! I may pick more than one winner depending on how many people respond!!

Just visit my Menu Madness blog and leave a comment. I will randomly draw a name (or possibly more) to select the winner! No strings attached!! The more comments made, the better your chances are. Please only comment about the actual posts!! Add insights or recipes if you'd like too!!

This free giveaway will end on Oct. 31st, 2008. You must respond to the winner email within 3 days to receive your bag.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Zucchini Ramen Salad Wednesday

Lunch of yogurt, hot dogs, mandarin oranges, pita chips, nutritional supplements (Juice Plus+). Hope Chaz likes it! Seems a little too sweet to me!! No wonder why he asks me to pack it for him every day!!

Dinner was quite different, but it wasn't all that bad. I almost felt like the veggies should have been cooked, but they were still fine raw. The basil added a nice touch to it, and the vinegar taste was different!! Cheap meal though!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shrimp Tacos Tuesday

I'm changing the menu up for Tuesday as we have a lot of large leftover shrimp from Monday night. I'll cut up cabbage, make a spicy sauce, chop the shrimp up into smaller pieces, and put a taco together. I will throw in some black beans and rice as well.

Here's Chaz's lunch for Tuesday too (done the night before when I'm planning correctly!!):

Broiled Squash Pasta with Grilled Shrimp Monday

I made the pasta early so the boys and I could eat some dinner before 8pm. I pretty much made the recipe similar to the Whole Foods ravioli and squash recipe (see my post from a few nights ago). It turned out really well. I love sage butter!!

Once Jeremy got home, he grilled up some jumbo shrimp in garlic and sage... yummy!!

For lunch, this is what Chaz had. He continues to ask me to pack a lunch for him. I guess the cafeteria food isn't all that spectacular.

Sept. 22- Sept. 28 Menu

Monday- Broiled butternut squash pasta with grilled shrimp
Tuesday- Salmon Burgers, broccoli, and tater tots
Wednesday- Zucchini Ramen Salad and Purple Potatoes
Thursday- Egg Fried Rice
Friday- ACL Festival- Tostadas with beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes
Saturday- ACL Festival (TBA if we can sneak something in)
Sunday- ACL Festival

Pecan Street Festival/Pizza Sunday

We didn't stick to our weekend menu plans at all. Things just kept popping up and preventing us from being home and grilling. Sooo.... the boys had some cheese pizza for dinner from East Side Pies, while dad and I went out to a birthday party where we each had a free slice of East Side Pies. So yummy!!

We spent way too much money on corndogs (ick) and tea (and beer) at the Pecan Street Festival.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Eating dinner at sister's house Saturday

My sister in law invited us all over to her house for dinner (too bad I had to do the concession stand at the UT/Rice game- I missed all the goodies). The boys ate shrimp and chicken just off the grill. I'm not sure if they had any veges or not, but I'm sure they were offered!!

I didn't partake in eating any hotdogs or nachos at the game, so I had hubby grab me a slice of East Side Pies for dinner. Yum.

Oh- and YES, UT did smother Rice.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fish Sticks, Tartar Sauce, Tater Tots and Salad

I never took a picture of the fish sticks and tater tots... but they were pretty quick, easy, and the fish sticks were actually pretty tasty. I'm definitely going to get those instead of chicken nuggets for the boys from now on... if Costco will keep carrying them!!

Here is Chaz's lunch today... looks a lot like last night's dinner :) as he decided at the last minute that he wasn't interested in buying lunch at school today- even with the free ice cream they give on Fridays.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich with Tomato Basil Soup Thursday

I'm starting tomorrow's post early so I can put a picture of the lunch I made for Chaz in already. It's much easier to throw something together the night before than to do it in the wee hours of the dark morning!!!!

For dinner, I made some mozzarella cheese sandwiches and some tomato basil soup. I can't believe the boys asked for seconds on the soup!! Amazing!!

Peruvian Sopa a la Minuta Wednesday

We're going to a friend's house for dinner tonight and I'm bringing this soup and a salad:

Peruvian Sopa a la Minuta

It tastes pretty yummy--- although I had to add a couple more cups of water and some salt to season it (otherwise it was too bland). I've also sliced some jalapenos and have found that these really add a great flavor to the soup!!

I still need to make the salad, but most likely, it will just be lettuce, almonds, and oil/vinegar dressing.

Update from dinner- everyone loved the soup... 1 year old, 3 year old, 5 year old, and 4 30-something year olds! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Night Tuesday

I almost forgot about tonight's event at Chaz's school.

We had some yummy beans, rice, ground beef, salad, tortillas and chips! All for a measly $3 donation!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Burritos Monday

Another recipe from Whole Food's Meals for Four under $15 called
Roll Your Own Burritos . The kids LOVED putting together their own burritos... even though they really only chose rice, beans, and cheese. Cooper didn't even eat the tortilla!! Bananas at bedtime has been a ritual around here.

And here is Chaz's lunch for Monday: PBJ on Whole Wheat, Cauliflower with Parmesan and Garlic, Chex Mix, some mandarin oranges, and a cup of yogurt.

Sept. 15- Sept. 21 Menu

Monday- Roll Your Own Burritos
Tuesday- Tilapia and Zucchini Quesadillas with Salad
Wednesday- Peruvian Sopa a la Minuta and salad
Thursday- Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich with Tomato Basil Soup and Salad
Friday- Fish Sticks, Tartar Sauce, Tater Tots and Salad
Saturday- Hickory Smoked Salmon with Grilled Onions/Squash and Salad
Sunday- Salmon Burgers and tater tots (if we have some left over)

Butternut Squash Ravioli Sunday

We're kind of mixing our menus for this week and next together, because we went to Whole Foods and Costco and would rather eat the fresh stuff now and save the canned stuff for later! So, we had a really yummy meal tonight, thanks to Whole Food's Meals for Four for under $15.

Here's the recipe for this one we had tonight (it reminds me a lot of Primizie's Gnocchi with Sage Butter):

Butternut Squash Ravioli

2 TB Olive Oil
1.5-2 Cups Butternut Squash (cubed--I'd use more next time)
1 Yellow Onion (diced)
8-10 Sage Leaves
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
1 pkg Frozen Cheese Ravioli (365 brand)
2 TB Butter
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss squash, onion, and 2 chopped sage leaves in oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast 20 min., turning once or twice, until tender. Cook ravioli according to package instructions. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Fry sage leaves in one layer for 1 minute. Flip and fry until crisp, about 1 minute more. Remove from skillet to drain. Reduce heat to low, add broth and bring to simmer. Add drained pasta and butternut squash/onion mixture. Adjust seasoning, garnish with fried sage and sprinkle with cheese.


Honey Mustard Tilapia with Cauliflower and Bread Saturday

We didn't end up getting a drop of rain from hurricane Ike, but we do have about 20,000 evacuees here in Austin. I feel like I should be volunteering or something, but not sure how.

For dinner tonight, we made a honey mustard tilapia (similar to the trout we've made in the past) with some garlic Parmesan cauliflower and butter and garlic toast (on the grill). It all turned out about the same color, but it was really yummy. Luckily, we had some greens for lunch, so we did have some color throughout the day!!

The boys ate almost everything on their plates.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bean and Cheese Tostada Friday

Seems like Fridays are always something easy- like bean and cheese tostadas!! A new favorite!!

I also heated up the scalloped potatoes (from the other night) added some more milk and blended it all together. It turned out soooo yummy as a soup for lunch!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Homeslice Pizza and Mac and Cheese Thursday

So our plans changed for the night, and we went out to have a few slices of pizza at Homeslice. It was pretty good!! The boys were starving before we could leave, so I made them some organic 365 brand mac and cheese before we left.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Salmon Cakes with Spicy Mustard Wednesday

I made some mini salmon cakes- with celery, onions, bread crumbs, cheese, salmon, and spices. they turned out really well, although I made them mini-size and cooked them a little too long. The boys ate every bit of theirs and so did hubby and I! Unfortunately, the only thing I made to go on the side was some spicy mustard dipping sauce. We need more veggies than just the celery in the salmon cakes. Grocery shopping tomorrow most likely!!

Here's what I sent with Chaz for lunch today. He ate all of the meatballs, 1/2 of the apple, and all of the sweets (of course). He's asked to buy his lunch tomorrow and Friday as they give free ice cream on Fridays when you buy your lunch.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spaghetti/Meatballs and Waffles Tuesday

So, I'm switching up the menu again only because I hadn't even started dinner yet at 6:30pm tonight. Spaghetti and meatballs are always fast... so while I was cooking that, the boys popped some Eggo's into the toaster and munched on those pre-dinner. I can't believe Chaz ate every last bite of both meals. Wow.

This week's a busy one during the evenings, so we may be eating some more convenience type foods for the next couple of nights.

This is what went with Chaz to school today. He requested the vegetable fried rice again (he loved it last night), and he has tuna, crackers, and grapes to go along with it. I need to find a nice water bottle that fits in his lunch box system... as he left his bottle at school and that was the one thing I didn't label. Maybe I should check the lost and found.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Vegetable and Egg Fried Rice Monday

YUM!!! This was sooo good! I never thought I'd be full from a meal like this, but it did the trick!!

1 cup frozen mixed peas and carrots (I used fresh carrots and frozen corn-- no peas)
3 tablespoons peanut oil (I used olive oil and a teaspoon of peanut sauce)
2 eggs, beaten (I used 3 eggs)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups cold cooked white rice (we had about 3.5)
2 tablespoons chicken broth (or you can use vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 green onion, sliced (I used 1/2 of a red onion)
Microwave carrots and peas until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. (I sauteed the carrots and onions until tender, then threw in the corn for a minute, and set aside).

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add cooked peas and carrots. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a bowl.

Heat remaining oil in pan over high heat, break rice apart with wet hands and add to pan. Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.

Make a well in center of rice and pour in beaten eggs. Stir the eggs until they are scrambled then stir-fry the eggs into the rice until thoroughly blended.

Add soy sauce and chicken broth and stir fry for 3 more minutes. Gently add vegetable mixture, and scallions. Serve hot.

Also, you can see the yummy smoothie we made for snack today- banana, watermelon, cantaloupe, plain yogurt, milk, ice, and agave nectar. It was good!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Caramelized Ginger Salmon, Scalloped Potatoes Sunday

A little deviation from the menu... hubby wanted salmon, so we'll be doing next Sunday's salmon today instead. We'll switch and have the pasta ramen salad next week.

I marinated the salmon in fresh ginger, soy sauce, lemon pepper seasoning, brown sugar, and olive oil. This is such a yummy dish!!

I'm scalloping potatoes similar to this (which I also found on Budget 101):

Scalloped Potatoes

Large Onion, cut in rings
3 T. Butter
3 T. Flour
Salt & Pepper
1 c. Milk
1 c. Chix Broth (make a little with bouillon)
Potatoes, washed

Melt butter, add flour, mix till pasty, add broth and milk. Stir constantly until creamy and thick ( cooking over medium heat), Cut potatoes into slices and toss'em in a 9x13 pan. Place the onion (cut into rings) all over the potatoes. Pour the sauce over the potatoes and onions. Bake at 350ยบ for 30-40 minutes.

The potatoes took a lot longer than the recipe called for, so I ended up cooking them at a higher temperature for 30 more minutes... still not totally done. I think I may have just layered too many potatoes (they never mentioned how many to use in the recipe so I used the rest of what we had!!). So, in order to get the boys to bed at a reasonable hour, we served Ezekiel bread along with the salmon. The boys ate more than the adults.. they LOVED everything about it!

I think I'll throw the left overs into a pot with some milk or water and boil up some potato soup for lunch tomorrow.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sept. 8 - Sept. 14 Menu

Menu planning for dinners
Chaz's Lunch Ideas Part 1
Chaz's Lunch Ideas Part 2

Mom and Cooper's Lunch Ideas (much less intricate!)

Dirty Rice and Beans with Lentils Saturday

WOW! I can't believe how much this meal was a hit!! I changed up the recipe that I found so that I could use what I had on hand and not have to make another trip to the store.

Here you see the dirty rice and beans with hot sauce and without (for the boys).

1 cup quick-cooking brown rice
1 8oz package frozen vegetarian "sausage" patties, thawed, cut into chunks (I left this out)
½ cup celery, sliced
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15.5oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained (I used black eyed peas)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
(I added a cup of chopped carrots, and 2 cups of cooked lentils)

Prepare rice according to package directions. Fluff with a fork

Meanwhile, spray a large nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add "sausage", celery, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender-crisp and "sausage" is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add cooked rice and all remaining ingredients to skillet; mix well. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fish Quesadillas Friday

So I'm using leftover tilapia from last night to make quesadillas. Cheese added to anything makes it good!!

Also, here's Chaz's lunch again. He came home with the entire sandwich still untouched, and only about two bites out of the couscous. The fruit was gone, the candy still there, two cookies left, no yogurt pretzels, and he drank his milk. Luckily, he ate his sandwich in it's entirety when he got home.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Parm Tilapia, Couscous, Carrots/Spinach Thursday

Okay, so it's a parent/teacher night. I'm thinking I'll have all of this food ready to be eaten by 4:45 or 5 so Chaz can get a little in before going back to school. Dad will just have to eat out or get left overs after the meeting. I think I'll make a Parmesan encrusted tilapia with couscous (maybe almonds in there?), and wilted spinach and carrots. Sound yummy? I better get to working on it now!!!! Here's the recipe I'll probably go off of:

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

* 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
* 1/8 teaspoon celery salt
* 2 pounds tilapia fillets


1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Here are pictures of Chaz and Cooper's lunches. Yum!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuna Casserole and Birthday Dinner Wednesday

I whipped up some tuna casserole for the boys tonight (I split the recipe and made two small batches- one is in the freezer for a later meal). I'm hoping to be taken out to a Primizie birthday dinner by my hubby tonight!! Are you jealous of the gorgeous roses I got? Thought so!!

This is what I sent Chaz to school with today. Hope he eats it!!

Tuna Pea Wiggle on Bread Tuesday

Okay-- this definitely was a meal I remember from my early days. I'm not sure if it's exactly how mom made it or not, but it was comforting. Chaz hated the peas, but munched down on it when the peas were taken out. Cooper ate the entire thing and said "YUMMMMM" with every single bite!! This one goes down as one of the most frugal and quickest meals yet!!

I got this from Budget 101
(who's URL isn't working at the moment--ahhh!!)

Tuna Pea Wiggle

3 T. Margarine (I used butter)
3 T. Flour
dash of salt
1½ c. Milk
1 can Tuna, drained
1 can Peas, Drained

Melt butter, add flour, mix till pasty, add milk and stir constantly over medium heat until thicken and bubbling slightly, (do not bring to a rolling boil). Add the tuna and peas. Stirring constantly until bubbling.

Serve over toast or biscuits or saltine crackers.

I also felt like showing off Chaz's lunch box again. It's always so pretty with all the colors!! Unfortunately, it came home with most of the broccoli still in there. Amazingly, all the Oreos hadn't been eaten either! Very odd day at school... he must have been talking more than eating! At least he ate one of the PBJs and most of the watermelon.

Meatball Stroganoff Labor Day Monday

Okay, well the 2 lbs of HUGE shrimp I bought Sunday didn't smell right to dad. Soooo... we decided on plan B... Ikea meatballs warmed in cream of mushroom soup and placed on top of some whole wheat rotini noodles. It was pretty good for a quick meal!! The broccoli was steamed.

Sept. 1- Sept. 7 Menu

It's just easier this way!!