Dinner Menu for the week of June 30th

The last few days have been HOT in the bay area.  The kind of hot that makes everything a chore.

Like most people in the area, we do not have AC at home.  HOT + no AC in the house = zero desire to cook.  Zero.  Like, I have not even turned on the oven since the middle of last week.

On Friday night, I attempted my first batch of home made ice cream.  I was inspired by this post, but did not have any strawberries, or heavy cream on hand.  I did have frozen blueberries and half and half though, and that was going to have to be close enough.  I mixed up the ingredients, and then pulled out the ice cream maker base out of the freezer.  Just an FYI…it is ill-advised to attempt ice cream when it is 92 degrees INSIDE your house.  So Friday night’s attempt failed because the frozen container did not stay cold enough, and we had to give it another go in the morning.  The subsequent attempt was a success.

YAY for ice cream on a HOT day!

icecream

It tastes amazing, though next time I will reduce the amount of both the vanilla and honey.  Next up later today, berry yogurt pops!

My menu this week will contain very little that requires the oven.  Here is what is in the plan.

Sunday:  Grilled lemon shrimp salad with corn on the cob.

Monday:  Left over chicken burritos made last week.

Tuesday:  Grilled pineapple and avocado burgers.

Wednesday: Potato and bacon soup in the crock pot.

Thursday:  Chef’s salad with bacon crumbles, broccoli, hard boiled eggs and avocado.  If we end up over at someone’s house for a BBQ, I will bring this to share.  Happy 4th of  July!

Friday: Simple Lemon Parmesan Spaghetti using whole wheat spaghetti.  Adding steamed broccoli and sauteed kale.

Saturday:  Filled pancakes.  I have fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.  YUM!

Next week I will share some pics of the progress of my garden.  So exciting to see the veggies growing!

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Dinner Menu for the week of June 23rd

Last week I was on a quinoa kick.  The big winner from last week’s menu was the spring quinoa salad.  It was so easy to make, and tasted amazing.   The recipe made more than we could eat for dinner, so we had it for lunch the next day.

I love it when a recipe is easy to make, the result tastes great, and it is a bonus when it is visually appealing!

quinoasalad

I was low on energy last night, so I moved the fajitas to tonight, and rocked some home made corn tortillas.  Honestly any recipe that calls for a tortilla will move to the top of my list now.  These things just plain rule.  Get a tortilla press and a bust some out people.  Or…toss the dough in between some parchment paper and roll them on out.  Either way…get on it.

Here is the dinner plan for the next week.

Sunday:  Skipping the seafood night because we have left over fajitas.  (!!!)

Monday:  Salsa Chicken burritos.  Should have LOTS of left overs for quick burritos to take to work.

Tuesday:  Quinoa with Paprika Chicken and Asparagus  (Still kind of obsessed with quinoa.  And I have a restaurant-sized bag from Costco)

Wednesday:  BLTA sandwiches

Thursday: Taco mountain.  This happens when you have taco fixins, but you layer them all on top of chips instead of putting it all in a taco shell.

Friday: Left over taco mountain, and corn on the cob.

Saturday:  I am heading down to see my sister with the boys over the weekend, so Dave is on his own for dinner.  🙂

Also planning to make these cute little zucchini tots.  In place of bread crumbs, I will be subbing in….wait for it….quinoa, and then popping them into the freezer for snacks.  Not sure what day I will get to them, but I do have some zucchini that needs to be used soon.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Dinner Menu for the week of June 17th

Right.  It is Tuesday.  Sickness has taken over my house, and consumed several boxes of tissue.  With illness comes a SLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW down of all activity.  Including the posting of this week’s menu.

Before I get to the menu, I have to share some excitement over our tiny little garden.  Saturday I loaded Trevor into my dad’s truck to go get the dirt from a local garden supply place.  He was SO excited, and was talking the whole way there and back about “Papa’s white truck.”  He eyes were full of wonder as the dirt was loaded into the truck by some huge yellow front-loader machine.  Really glad I took him along with me.

We got home with the soil, and Dave brought load after load back to the raised bed.  Trevor was right there with Dave the entire time.  Cutest thing ever.

Our first planting included watermelon, zucchini, cucumber, red bell pepper, jalapeno, parsley and basil!  Cannot wait to nurture these little guys!

garden

Of note, some of the plants will need to be moved.  I guess I underestimated the needed space for several of the items planted.  Joy.

Last quick update.  It is almost blackberry season!!!  My neighbor has a bush that is jumanji-ish, and reaches over the fence into our yard.   Plucking these gems will be the highlight of my summer fruit bounty!

blackberries

Onto what we are eating this week:

Monday:  This is our use it up day, so we scrounged for leftovers, and it worked out well. Dave actually tried to finish off the Mac and cheese from last week. I did not touch it though, because it was gross. Like, a waste of pasta gross. Cannot seem to get the ratio of pasta to sauce right, and it always turns out a sticky mess.

Tuesday:  Tonight we are eating shepherd’s pie.  Not normally something I like, but Dave is a huge fan.  It was a Father’s Day request, so I am going to give it a go. I am counting on being amazed.

Wednesday:  Spring Quinoa Salad.  YES please!

Thursday: Chopped Salad with Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Friday: Steak Fajitas. These were such a hit last time, that we are making them again! Planning to make fresh corn tortillas too. YUM!

Saturday: Brinner night, so it will either be whole wheat waffles, or pancakes. Whatever I feel I can manage.

Starting next week, my menus will go Sunday-Saturday. This will make it easier to shop on the weekends, and also my menu app on my iPhone uses Sunday-Saturday, so it was getting weird. Technology…rules my life I tell you.

Enjoy your week everyone!

He talks!

In the last few weeks, Trevor has begun putting two and three words together.  He consistently tries to say new words, and really seems pleased to be able to communicate.  It is so very cute to witness.

It all started with his first official two word utterance, “Big toot.”  Let this be just a small window into the life of a mom with three boys.  (Of note, I always count Dave as one of my three sons.)  T wakes up in the morning and from nap time jabbering away in his bed.  He describes things in his room or just plays, “Trevor ‘wake!” on repeat until we come to rescue him.  At night before bed, he lets us know his plans for the morning.  “Cars a morning,” “Books a morning,” “Train a morning.”  Ca-ute!!!!

Two weeks ago we began individual speech therapy.  This explosion of words may have just been coincidental, but progress is progress.  Dave and I knew we he would get there, and that one day it would just click.  The waiting though…not fun at all.

Our new challenge with him is getting him to eat enough.  He has always been our tactile sensitive boy, which means meal time is a chore.  Anything crunchy, is his favorite, but how many non-fried things are crunchy?  We give him waffles in the morning that are a bit on the over-done side, toasted pb and honey at lunch time, and uh….crackers, rice cakes and chips (found some that are just OK) for snack.  If you are wondering what else this kid eats….right.

We are able to squeeze in some rice and beans every now and again, the occasional banana and avocado, and he still LOVES his green juice.  Honestly, not sure we would get any veggies into his belly without that juice.  Also started giving him some mango flavored omgea smoothie supplements.  He actually asks for more when the spoonful is gone.  Thank the Lord for some semblance of nutrients.

I am learning that some seasons are longer than others, and patience and prayer need to be my focus.  Next week, he may be eating us out of house and home, so I will ride this wave in stride.

Dinner Menu for the week of June 10th

Let me begin by saying, tonight’s dinner was quite possibly the best thing I have ever eaten.  It was most certainly the best thing I have ever cooked!  Dave agrees with me btw.

The homemade corn tortillas were a smash.  So easy, and as a bonus, I got to put my tortilla press to use.  For real this time.  Combine homemade tortillas with amazing fish, and sauce that brought it all together, and you have tiny fireworks of amazing going off in your mouth.  Try them.  Soon.

The rest of the meals on the menu for last week were also good.  I would say my least favorite was the BLT salad.  Shame, because it was the thing I was most excited to make.  I think the issue was that it needed more bacon.  Dave would argue that everything needs more bacon.  I should also note that my son with the expressive speech delay, is able to say, “More bacon” consistently,  so I think we know where he stands.

I forgot to mention last week, but we are trying a new cash budgeting system for groceries.  It is pretty 1986, but something had to be done about our (my) grocery overspending.  Last week, I came in $10 over my weekly allowance.  This meant that I SHOULD be $10 under this week to make up for the overage.  I got the money out of the ATM on Saturday, and after hitting up Costco, Whole Foods and the farmer’s market, I would like to report that I now have $30 left for the rest of the week.  Shoot.  Due to the fact that I spend $11 every few days on just milk, I am pretty sure that I am screwed.  Sigh.

Last update before I get on with it.  Operation “Veggie Bed” is under way.  Dave’s parents designed a raised garden bed for us that is enclosed.  They came over on Wednesday, and put it together.   Here is what it looked like after the frame was built.

veggies

Here is what it looks like with the fencing on that is designed to keep out vermin.  (Featuring a curious one year old.)

veggies1

The dirt, and actual planning will be next weekend’s project.  Naturally, I will also be spending WAY too much time on Pinterest in the evenings this week trying to find the perfect planting blueprint.

HUGE thank you to Jo and Rich for all of the work you put into this for us.  I will feed you with fresh yumminess when this project bears fruit.  (And veggies…)

And the menu…

Monday:  Leftover night.  AKA…Fend for yourself night.  Could be an Amy’s burrito,  granola and yogurt, eggs over asparagus, Lara bars and water.  Like I said…fend for yourself.

Tuesday:  Our very very favorite chicken in the crock pot, wild rice and steamed parmesan broccoli.

Wednesday:  Cobb salad with chicken from Tuesday, eggs, avocado, shredded carrot and cucumber.

Thursday:  Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.

Friday:  Taking a night off from meat and giving Mac and Cheese another go.  It was dreadful the last time, but I found a new recipe that gives me hope.  I also plan to put a few bread crumbs on the top and bake it for a bit.

Saturday: Omelettes with avocado, spinach and cheddar.

Sunday we get to celebrate Dave and my sweet Daddy-O.  Leaving this day open to the possibility of hangout sessions, and good chats, and maybe even something on the grill.

Cannot wait to share more pics of the veggie bed progress next week!

Dinner Menu for the week of June 3rd

Last week, we took a “use it up” challenge.  We went WAY over the food budget in May, and had to put on the breaks.

I would love to report, that until Sat (when the month reset), the only food  item I purchased for home meals was milk. (I really SHOULD count the couple of i.forgot.my.DANG.lunch.at.home trips to whole foods for work lunches, but honestly…)  Dave and I even sacrificed half and half in our coffee.  I know…right?!?!  I did not think it would be possible, but it turns out that I am reminded often, that we can do hard things.  By Saturday, the fridge was SO empty, but it felt really good to have used up all of the fruit and veggies that I had on hand.

Speaking of hard things, it is in my nature to start little “projects”, then lose steam when they drag on and on and on.  I thought for sure that our real food adventure would need to be restarted several times before it really became a way of life.  Shockingly, I am mostly sticking to the menus, reading labels, and achieving 90% real food most weeks.  It feels great to commit to a life change and to see the results.  Knowing what I know about the damage done by processed foods, it is not likely that I will revert.

I digressed a bit, so here is what our dinner menu looks like for this week.

Monday:  We did not use the soup Sunday due to an impromptu BBQ at a friend’s house.  So…chicken soup it is!

Tuesday:  Grilled pork tenderloin with blueberry sauce and parm zucchini.  Blueberries were on MAJOR sale at Whole Foods, so this is the perfect way to use them up. Also, I will be grilling my pork tenderloin on a grill pan, and will not be using Mrs. Dash on anything.  Ever.  🙂

Wednesday:  BLT chopped salad.  Can.not.wait!

Thursday:  Broccoli cheddar soup

Friday:  Orange and ginger chicken thighs with roasted red potatoes and corn on the cob.  I will sub in olive oil for the processed veg oil in the recipe.

Saturday:  Take two on Poached eggs with asparagus and bacon.

Sunday:  Spicy fish tacos.  This is going to be a stretch for me, and I hope I am up for the challenge.  These look SO flippin’ good!

In related news…I am in the very early stages of building some raised veggie beds!  It will be so awesome to shop in my garden for dinner instead of the farmer’s market or grocery store.  Pics to come.

Hope everyone has a great week!