Saturday, November 28, 2009

Menu Nov. 29-Dec. 5

Sunday- Turkey Soup
Monday- Pasta with Butternut Squash and Parmesan
Tuesday- Spaghetti/Tortellini
Wednesday- Salmon Cakes and Spaghetti Squash
Thursday- Easy Shepherd Pie
Friday- Tuna Pesto Pasta
Saturday- Flank Steak or Ribs?

This Curry Turkey Salad may also be made for dinner or lunch one day this week. Looks too yummy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Sides

I did get these off the minimalist list by Mark Bittman.

These beans were my absolute favorite. I purchased 3 cans large butter beans and 1 large can of regular black olives (my kids won't eat the yummy kalamata ones). I cooked the beans, drained and rinsed them, then added them to chopped black olives, about 8 scallions (I used both the white and the green parts), and a mixture of olive oil and white wine vinegar (just enough to coat- about 1/2 cup). I used some fresh oregano (about a tablespoon) from our garden. This was definitely a favorite and I'll be making this for lunch/sides even on non-Thanksgiving Days. I'm adding this to my easy breezy meals. This also tasted better the second day (I made it the night before).

This sweet potato recipe is very different. I didn't even know you could eat sweet potatoes raw, but they were good and had a carrot texture. I absolutely loved the blender dressing made for this (jalapeno, olive oil, lime juice, and red onion). This was added to the shredded sweet potatoes and diced bell pepper. I ended up making this the night before. I suggest making it the day of because it tastes better to me that way. Or, I might suggest mixing the dressing with the potatoes the day of (even if you make them separately the night before). Also, I love spicy dishes so next time, I'll probably add another jalapeno or two.

I also tried two more of the minimalist recipes that I wasn't as thrilled about, but they were easy, different, and good:

Onion-Rosemary Skillet Bread and the Sauteed garlic/pine nuts with broccoli bake.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rosemary Flank Steak, Potatoes and Asparagus

This steak was very yummy for my tummy. We marinated this overnight with fresh rosemary and some other stuff and grilled it to perfection! We'll definitely do this one again.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Soup and Fruity Salad

Hubby has been good to me this week! I got TWO gourmet meals this night!!

Halloumi Cheese with Cucumber Lentil Salad

My new favorite cheese. Oh my...

Jill's Favorite Calibasita

We found some wonderful recipes in a free copy of Women's Day we got in the mail. The recipes are from a book called "The Family Chef" by Jewels and Jill Elmore. We're making these recipes all week. The first of the series is called Jill's Favorite Calibasita. It was super yummy because hubby cut all the chunks up in tiny pieces. We didn't take our own picture of this, but we should have. It was beautiful!! This was eaten as our main course, but it would have also been perfect as a side or a dish to bring to a summer potluck.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesdays Bentos

The kids loved this sweet box. The sandwich had cream cheese inside of it. I think I needed to add some veggies in there but worried the kids wouldn't eat it.

Tilapia Topped with Warm Cherry Tomatoes, Bread and Corn

Yum. Hubby slaved over this meal. The boys loved it.

Penne Pesto with Sliced Peaches

Pesto, garlic, tomatoes, onions, cooked penne. Wahlah.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Menu July 19-25

Sunday- Grilled Salmon Burgers
Monday- Tilapia Topped With Warm Cherry Tomatoes
Tuesday- Vegetarian Enchiladas
Wednesday- Grilled Curry Lime Pork Tenderloin
Thursday- Cuban Black Beans And Rice With Sweet Corn
Friday- Mango Salsa Shrimp
Saturday- Spaghetti Carbonara

Turkey Sandwich?
Wafer Cookies
Mini Carrots
String Cheese

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara

I was a bit skeptical about this menu item because there really wasn't any sort of "sauce" used on the pasta. I think it helped that the eggs were mixed with Parmesan cheese, that I put bacon pieces in the pasta, and the fact that there was garlic and olive oil, I think this turned out nicely. The boys inhaled it. That always tells me I should make it again!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

California Taco Salad

I thought this was really good. We didn't have salsa to put on top though. I used some Louisiana hot sauce, but it really needed some true Mexican salsa. Otherwise, I loved the mango, black olives, ground beef, and avocados mixed together with the lettuce, cheese, black beans and vinaigrette dressing. Writing all this, I don't think we'll make this again. It wasn't a big hit with hubby. He may change his mind with some real salsa on top though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yummy Yummy Polenta!!

This was polenterrific!! Definitely something I want to make over and over again. Is that too much corn for one day? I guess it depends on what we ate for breakfast and lunch. I need to remember this recipe forever. Again, I got it from The Scramble. I think I may stop blogging... because I've obviously come up with a favorite source.

Anyway, I hate to leak recipes that most people have to pay for, but really, you pay for the convenience of having the ingredients thrown into a grocery list for you... and the ability to pick your favorite recipes and lump them together. I love the Scramble... have I mentioned that yet? Anyway, I want to share the vegetable recipe because I'm in love with yellow curry these days.

Saute about a 1/2 of an onion in a little bit of olive oil... once it's pretty soft, throw in a diced zucchini (I used calabaza squash). Let that cook a couple of minutes, then throw in 2 cups of corn kernels (fresh or frozen). Cook those for a minute or two and then dash in some yellow curry powder (I probably used a teaspoon or so). Add a little bit of salt and you have a side dish that is very tasty.

I used to hate curry as a kid but now I can't seem to get enough of it. What's up with that?

Tuesday's Lunch for Two

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Lunch for Two

The boys started a summer program. This is what they got today.

Mango Salsa Shrimp -Drool

Holy smoking gun! This combo of curry rice, lime avocado and mango chunky salsa shrimp is definitely something I'll have on my list of last dishes to eat on my death bed. It's always amazing to me how something so good can be so easy to make. I have to give credit to The Scramble once again. Thanks Aviva Goldfarb!

Awesome Breakfast Tacos

These were made for me on a lovely Saturday morning. Hubby knows his tacos. I say add cilantro to anything to make it better.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu: July 12- July 18

I'm cheating this week. Since I start a full time non-food planning job tomorrow, I will be making up dinner from The Scramble. It's a definite shortcut. I found the recipes I wanted to cook and she sent me a grocery list. It's wonderful.

Sunday- Mango Salsa Shrimp with Steamed Rice, Carmelized Onions and Avocados with Lime.
Monday- Grilled Steak With Garlic-Parmesan Crust
Tuesday- Grilled Italian Polenta With Fresh Tomatoes (thaw ground beef for tomorrow)
Wednesday- California Taco Salad
Thursday- Penne Pesto With Fresh Tomatoes
Friday- Spaghetti Carbonara
Saturday- Chinese Barbecue Noodles With Carrots And Onions

Lunch for the kids at school:
Monday- PBJ, Cantaloupe, Broccoli and WF Cookies
Tuesday- Turkey Sandwich, Yogurt Dip, Apple Slices, Chips
Wednesday- PBJ, Grapes, Granola Bar, Carrots
Thursday- TBD

Bentos and Tiffins

This is a very interesting article by Addie Broyles. I am keeping it on file for the yummy recipes she's added towards the end. I also love that she shows pictures of basically my bentos and tiffins I use daily.

Flavor Tripping Party with The Berry Fairy

Flavor Tripping Party with The Berry Fairy

WHAT: The Berry Fairy is bringing Miracle Berry Flavor Tripping to Austin, TX.
A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to the local charity We
Are Learning.

Miracle berries are a native West African fruit that have an extraordinary
effect when consumed. The "miracle" is that everything sour and bitter
eaten afterwards will taste sweet for up to 2 hours. Lemons will taste like
lemonade, vinegar like apple juice, goat cheese like cream cheese
frosting, and stout beers like chocolate milk!

Admission includes one miracle berry and a bacchanalian banquet of
foods specially selected for the flavor tripping. Tito’s Vodka will be
sponsoring a mad-mixologist vodka bar for guests to create their own
taste-defying tonics.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 from 6:00-8:00pm.

WHERE: The Belmont, 305 West 6th Street Austin, TX 78701. For more information
about The Belmont, please visit

COST: $40. Tickets will be available online through Paypal at The event is expected to sell out.

About The Berry Fairy:
The Berry Fairy was founded by Jenny Wang, head hound and founder of the Houston
Chowhounds, an extremely active foodie group that is the force behind many exciting
food-related events in Houston. Comprised of food writers, bloggers, photographers,
chefs, sommeliers, local culinary celebrities, and people who just have a passion for food,
it currently has almost 450 members. Jenny is also the food writer for 002 Magazine and a
contributing writer for Houston Modern Luxury’s e-zine, Juli b. She has thrown several
Flavor Tripping Parties in Houston which received extensive media coverage from the
Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, and Houstonist here and here. Photos and details from
past events are available at

About the We Are Learning:
We Are Learning is a non-profit organization based in Austin, TX that provides social and
learning opportunities for children with special educational needs. The organization was
founded by Brandon McKeithen who serves as the headmaster and executive director.
For more information, visit

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tortellini Tossed with Fresh Mozzarella

- 16 oz. tortellini filled with pesto or cheese
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)
- 28 oz. whole tomatoes, with their liquid
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped, or 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, diced

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté them for 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes (optional), black pepper and sugar (if using dried basil, add it now), and simmer it until the pasta is ready, cutting the tomatoes into smaller pieces while they cook. When the tortellini is done, drain it and put it in a large metal bowl. Toss it with the sauce. When the pasta has cooled for 2-3 minutes, add the mozzarella and fresh basil and toss it again. (This prevents the mozzarella from melting too
much and getting stringy.) Serve it warm.

Greek Rice Bowl with Spinach, Feta and Pine Nuts

This was pretty good! The title pretty much says it all. I can say, if the feta cheese wasn't added, this would have been quite bland. The cheese really added the flavor this dish needed. There was also a clove or two of garlic sauteed in with the wilted spinach. The boys even ate this one (well, one of the boys).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Menu: July 5- July 11


Sunday- Greek Rice Bowl With Spinach, Feta And Pine Nuts
Monday- Tortellini Tossed with Fresh Mozzarella
Tuesday- Tortilla Pizzas with Guacamole
Wednesday- Pan-Browned Sausage And Red Potatoes (and guac)
Thursday- Orange and Beet Salad
Friday- Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce
Saturday- Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese

Cold Pea Salad

I made this Cold Pea Salad as a side for our 4th of July festivities and it was soooo good! I'm definitely going to be making this quite often!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mumbai Meatballs and Artichokes with Rice

This dinner was so good, I can barely describe how I made it or what it actually looked like before it was eaten. The main thing is both boys liked it. I even got the 6 year old to eat an entire artichoke. Yes!

I got this meal from The Six O'Clock Scramble.

Great salmon sandwiches

These were so easy. I think the bread really made them perfect for this whole family. I just smeared whipped cream cheese on one side of the bread, dropped some fresh dill and capers, and then layered it with smoked salmon. YUM! The boys ate them too (although we left off the dill and capers for them). All plates were clean after these sandwiches!

What's in my fridge?

For some reason, I'm thinking this might help me plan my next menu. Maybe not.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red Snapper and Fruit

This was really yummy. I can't even remember what we used to marinate the red snapper, but the fact that it was caught by the people selling it at the farmer's market makes for a fresh fish! It was very yummy with raspberries and blueberries

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Risotto-Style Orzo with Spring Vegetables

This Orzo Recipe was really yummy. I hate to admit it, but I couldn't find orzo, so I just used some small noodles that looked like orzo. I couldn't tell the difference (although I had to use twice as much of the noodles as the recipe called for). I also tripled the mushrooms (yum- my favorite part of the meal). We ate this Saturday night as well. We made more than we needed... and still have some left for tomorrow!

Thursday Quesadillas

These were really good. I found the recipe on Whole Food's website (that was the theme this week). I changed up the cooking method, but all the ingredients really worked well together (sauteed onion, yellow bell pepper, and olive oil mixed with black beans and shredded cheese). I put the buttered tortillas onto a cookie sheet, filled each one with the ingredients, then topped them with another buttered tortilla. I put the oven on broil and cooked them for about 4 minutes per side (be sure to watch so you don't burn them!! All ovens are different... mine even has multiple personalities depending on the day of the week/year). These are super tasty with some guacamole (secret- add some garlic salt and a half teaspoon of mayonnaise-- makes for a great consistency and taste).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back from the Beach Snack

The kids loved this one!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This week's Menu Planning

Wow, you can tell we've been on vacation, burglarized, lost a job, gained another job, shot at while driving... does that warrant a break from blogging? Well, as you can see, here is my menu planning for the rest of this week:

Tonight- Salmon Burgers cooked inside on the stove in buuuuttter
Thursday- Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Quesadillas
Friday- Risotto-Style Orzo with Spring Vegetables
Saturday- Tuna and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Gazpacho
Sunday- (is it Father's Day? Ack!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dad's Stuffed Bell Peppers Monday

This recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers looked interesting (and we had all the ingredients) so we gave it a try. I cooked the ground bison halfway through on the stove top, as I didn't have an hour for it to sit cooking in the oven. The stuffing turned out really yummy. I think we may make it and stuff tortillas with it next time. It makes a nice picadillo for tacos.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pasta Salad and Mashed Potatoes

This pasta salad was pretty easy. It would be a nice picnic or potluck meal... although it is better when it's warm! I love mashed potatoes- especially with a little sour cream and milk (and melted butter). This was taken from the Six O'Clock Scramble, although we used an orange bell pepper in lieu of the carrots:

This light and colorful pasta is perfect for welcoming spring. Serve it with a spinach salad with strawberries and slivered almonds.

  • 16 oz. campanelle noodles, (which means bellflowers)
  • 16 oz. broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
  • 2 carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. milk, any variety
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions until it is al dente.

Meanwhile, in a separate medium stockpot, steam the broccoli and carrots in simmering water, covered, for about 5 minutes until they are tender but not mushy. (While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the salad.) Drain the vegetables, retaining 1/2 cup of their cooking water.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot over medium-low heat. Add the butter, milk, cheeses, basil, salt and pepper and stir it thoroughly until the cheeses melt. If the sauce is too thick, stir in the reserved cooking water. Toss in the vegetables and serve it hot.

I think the mashed potatoes we made added a nice touch... as the boys loved them!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Lunch

Oh- and I did send my boy with a bag of Fritos for the first time. I hope he doesn't think it's going to be a trend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Homemade Pesto Pizza

This is a pretty easy pizza crust to make... it takes about 3 cups of flour, some yeast, a tad bit of sugar, some oil and water. I let this dough rise too long and it turned into something more like focaccia bread with cheese and pesto on it. The fresh basil under the cheese added a nice touch.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Carrot Parsley Salad

A friend posted this on a recipe group I'm on and I definitely want to try it out one night this week!!

Carrot Parsley Salad
Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

3 ½ cups grated carrots
1 bunch parsley, finely chipped (about 2 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients in serving bowl. Can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, until serving time. It will keep nicely for 2 or 3 days.

Variation: Add 1 Tbs chopped fresh mint or chives or 1 tsp cumin.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 18- May 24 Menu

Monday- Homemade Pesto Pizza (soccer night) and Carrot Salad
Tuesday- Pasta with Shrimp
Wednesday- Salmon Burgers (soccer)
Thursday- Ravioli and Salad
Friday- Vegetarian Enchiladas
Saturday- Salmon Cakes and Potatoes with Sage
Sunday- Tilapia-related meal? (maybe pesto tilapia)

Monday- Beans and Cheese, Corn Tostada Chips, Carrots, Brownie
Tuesday- Turkey Sandwich
Wednesday- Tuna and Crackers
Thursday- Chicken Taquitos
Friday- Mac and Cheese, Hot Dogs

Homemade Pasta Sauce and Whole Wheat Penne Sunday

Our cupboards are bare, and this is all I could come up with today. I liked the sauce, but I think the kids disliked the asparagus I put in the sauce... I will probably leave that out next time... just thought I'd throw in all the veggies I had in the fridge... but I guess the asparagus had too much flavor for my guys (even though they eat it as a side). I also threw in carrots, celery, zucchini, and tons of other spices.

Stuffed Shells and Spaghetti Squash Saturday

I love me some spaghetti squash! Even though I had the shells in the oven for 30 minutes, I decided to nuke the squash in the microwave in 1/4 cup of water (cut in half) for 10 min. I scooped the seeds out before cooking it and then added some butter and salt after I scraped the insides. The best vegetable ever (as far as my taste goes).

I also topped my "tried and true" stuffed shells with cheese and fresh basil leaves. It helped make the Ragu taste less Ragu-y. I will be making a batch of homemade sauce this weekend!

Thursday's Field Trip Tiffin

Chaz and I shared this at the park on the day of his field trip. I love my new tiffin! It fit two sandwiches, lots of strawberries, bananas and a little container for sugar (yes, I've allowed my son to pick up my addiction to sugar dipped strawberries!!). The yogurt was used for dipping strawberries too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday's Lunch Box...

Not telling what's inside! Just love my new lunch box... even though I let my 6 year old take it to school today :)

Tropical Shrimp Wednesday

This was such a good recipe. I don't know if it's because hubby made it while I was at soccer practice (and I didn't have to cook for once) or if it was just so darn good! I think it was a little of both... but we'll definitely make this again!!

  • 7-10 oz. rice noodles or white rice, (need 3 cups cooked rice noodles or steamed rice)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 lemon, juice only, about 1 Tbsp.
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined or boneless chicken breasts, (if using chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 large juicing orange, juice only, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 oz. tequila or rum (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste

Cook the noodles or rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté them for 3-4 minutes until the onions soften and become fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and shrimp (or chicken) to the skillet. Sauté them for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink (or the chicken is no longer pink in the middle). (Meanwhile, prepare the edamame or peas, if you are serving them.)

Add the coconut milk, orange juice, tequila or rum (optional), and red pepper flakes (optional) to the skillet and stir until it is heated through. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the shrimp (or chicken) and sauce ladled over the noodles or rice.

Flavor Booster: Use the optional red pepper flakes and tequila or rum.

May 11- May 17

Monday- Salmon Burgers, Corn on the Cob
Tuesday- El Chile 1/2 Price Appetizers and Free Drinks!
Wednesday- Tropical Shrimp and Pasta or Rice (Soccer Practice and Chess Club)
Thursday- Fish Sticks and Sweet Potato Fries with Steamed Asparagus (Mom working)
Friday- Bean and Cheese Tostadas (Carnival at School)
Saturday- Stuffed Shells
Sunday- Homemade Pesto Pizza

Monday- Ham, Asparagus, Bean/Cheese Taco, Yogurt
Tuesday- Ramen, Veggie Rice, Cookies, Ham
Wednesday- PBJ, Granola, Yogurt, Apple
Thursday- Pasta, Hot Dogs, Celery,
Friday- Bean and Cheese, Tostadas, Corn

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday and Tuesday boxes for the boys

Chaz actually made his lunch with the rice, Ramen, Juice Plus+, cookies and ham. He made one for his little brother too :)

Monday's Tuna with Dill Sauce

This was pretty good. I found the recipe on and had dill in the garden so I thought I'd try it. It wasn't nearly as good as the seared sashimi tuna we have made in the past, but it was good. I wish we hadn't used our sashimi grade tuna for it! Next time we'll know! The squash and salad were really good with Annie's Goddess Dressing though!!.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Salmon Cakes, Salad and Broccoli Thursday

This is my tried and true Salmon Cake Recipe. It turned out super good and we had plenty for left overs the next day. I made a double batch :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday Lunch

This is my kind of lunch!! Tuna, Crackers, Strawberries, Vanilla Yogurt, and Whole Foods Mint Cookies with Juice Plus+ Gummies!