Sunday, November 30, 2008

menu planning monday 12.01.08

We traveled to Charlotte, NC to spend Thanksgiving with family and just returned home last night.  The holidays are definitely here as I am already finding those extra events to plan my menus around.  This time of year makes me realize how grateful I am to have started menu planning!

Monday:  Sharla's Tortilla Soup (I'll make extra to take to a ladies potluck dinner at church) for Chef D, cheese quesadillas for the boys.

Tuesday:  Chicken and Rice Casserole with a tossed salad. Dessert for our bible reading group will be these Brownie Cups.

Apprehension-Free Wednesday:  Dinner at church will be soup, salad and dessert (grilled cheese for the kids!).

Thursday:  Crockpot Barbecue Pork Sandwiches with pinto beans (going to the Jars of Clay Concert)

Friday:  BB's Chicken and Dumplins' with steamed green beans (einstein has a field trip to see a Christmas play and then both the boys have practice for their church children's choir play this night).  I will be making a double-batch so I can take half for my share of the food at my monthly scrapbooking crop.

Sous-Chef Saturday:  Stay tuned to see what Chef D has planned for this week:)

Snacks for the week will be pumpkin bread and oatmeal bars.

Don't forget to check in over at OrgJunkie for more menu planning ideas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

menu planning monday 11.24.08

We will be traveling to my brother's home in North Carolina later this week, so I have a limited holiday week menu.  I will be bringing our traditional cranberry relish for the holiday meal on Thursday. 

Monday:  Chef D and tigergirl will be working a thanksgiving food drive and will not be here for dinner.  The boys and I will have pasta and salad.

Tuesday:  Tigergirl requested Chicken Noodle Soup (yeah, she prefers the canned stuff) and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  Dessert for our Bible Reading group will be Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Don't forget to check out all the other menu plans over at OrgJunkie!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

dessert AFW

One of the best parts of Apprehension-Free Wednesdays is that there is always a dessert.  Tonight's meal at church included baked spaghetti, salad, garlic toast and a choice of two desserts -- german chocolate cake or apple-pecan cobbler.  Chef D chose the german chocolate (I never doubted he would choose otherwise since it is one of his favorite types of cakes and he does not care for cooked apples).  I, on the other hand, listened to Mr. Joe's advice (he helps serve dinner on Wednesday nights) and tried the cobbler.  Oh, I think I will keep on heeding Mr. Joe's advice because it was to.die.for delicious!

Monday, November 17, 2008

maple glazed salmon with baked potato

This salmon recipe is really easy and definitely leaves a nice crisp exterior and tender inside.  I didn't use enough salt this time, so the flavors did not all come through like they should have.   The potato was fluffy, yet still had a nice texture.  I originally planned to have steamed broccoli, but realized I had the makings for a salad already, so made a last minute change.

In the end, I still really liked this quick and easy meal.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

menu planning monday 11.17.08

MondayMaple Glazed Salmon with baked potatoes and steamed broccoli.  

TuesdayCrockpot Beef Curry with coconut rice and a tossed salad.  Yummy Mushroom-Squash soup for lunch.

Apprehension-Free Wednesday:  Dinner at church this week will be baked spaghetti, salad and dessert.

ThursdayPepper Chicken over rice and steamed asparagus [plans changed due to meetings and a late doctor's appointment so we will be dining out instead]

Friday:  I have a scrapbooking crop and haven't decided what to take to share.  Chef D and the boys will be on their own! [due to the change on Thursday's menu, I will be using the chicken thighs to make Chef D's version of Mimi's Sticky Chicken to take to the crop]

Sous-chef Saturday:  I wonder what Chef D has up his sleeve for this week!

Don't forget to check out all great menu plan ideas at OrgJunkie!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

steaks with sauteed squash, carrots, and asparagus

Tonight was sous-chef Saturday where Chef D prepares the meal.  Most of my sous-chef duties were cleaning up afterwards!

Chef D prepared bacon-wrapped filet's for the ladies and ribeyes for the menfolk.  On the side, we had some perfectly cooked, but crisp, fresh veggies and our favorite Sister Schubert rolls.

We ended the meal with a store-bought tiramisu kicked up a notch by Chef D.

Here are a few remarks from the test kitchen attendees:

Mama S:  Great.  Delicious. Splendid. Superb.
Ms. Diva:  The filets were almost like butter.
Mr. Diva:  Scrumpdeli-icious.
DW: Superb.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

crockpot bbq pork sandwiches and pinto beans

I have grown to love this Crock pot BBQ Pork recipe.  It is so easy.  All you have to do is throw some country ribs and a can of beef broth in the crock pot and let it cook on low all day long -- you end up with an unusually tender meat for your BBQ.  It cooked on low for about 2-3 hours, then I left it on the warm setting for another 6 hours.

I originally planned to make some cole slaw, but that didn't fit into the day's plans.  But, the pot of beans were great!  I like to add a little shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream to mine.

This is my second time using this recipe and there will be definitely be a third.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

dancing AFW

Oh, how I love Apprehension-Free Wednesday!  I am just so happy not to have to decide what to make for dinner tonight that I feel like dancing -- Russian dancing, that is.  

Tonight's dinner at church will be Russian Chicken, rice, squash casserole, salad, and dessert.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

menu planning monday 11.10.08

I hope to be back in the swing of following through with my menu-planning this week.  Chef D will be eating elsewhere a few nights this week, so I will have somewhat of a apprehension-reprieve those nights.

Monday:  Chef D will be eating dinner at the church Men's Club meeting tonight.  The boys and I will have vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  I am going to try to make these graham crackers for snacks this week.

Tuesday:  Fish Tacos with Blue Tortilla Chips (make enough for company that will be here) and mini blueberry dump cakes for dessert for our Bible Reading group.  Chef D will be smoking a pork butt for this week's to go meal (since he has a work holiday and will be home for the day!).

Apprehension-Free Wednesday:  Dinner at church will be Russian Chicken, rice, squash casserole, salad and dessert. (start soaking pinto beans for Thursday)

Thursday:  Crock pot Barbecue Pork Sandwiches with cole slaw and pinto beans

Friday: Spaghetti, Salad, and Garlic Toast

Sous-chef Saturday: It's time again for Chef D to work his magic.  I look forward to serving in the sous-chef role!

Don't forget to check out OrgJunkie for more menu planning ideas!

Friday, November 7, 2008

crock pot apple-bacon pork chops over basmati rice with sauteed veggies

Tonight's meal came from a Food Network menu and recipe.  I chose it because the 'pork chops and applesauce' theme reminded me of that old Brady Bunch episode -- not really, but it did bring back the memory.  I was a huge Brady Bunch fan in elementary school...I even had a BB lunch box.  But, back to tonight's meal.

I did not follow the recipe's instructions for the vegetables.  Instead, I just sauteed the mushrooms in a little butter and olive oil and sprinkled a bit of Mrs. Dash's on them.  While they cooked, I prepared the zucchini by using my  OXO julienne peeler.  This is the best tool and I highly suggest you purchase one.  I also use it to make carrot strips for salad or soup.  After prepping the zucchini, I stir-fried them lightly in a bit of olive oil and seasoned them with a little Emeril's Essence...BAM!  A touch of freshly grated parmesan and it was ready to eat.

In the end, pork chops, even very thick ones still with the bone, do not do well in a crock pot.  Although they were tender and easy to cut, they were dry.  Chef D scraped all his apple-bacon-crouton goop from the top.  I liked it okay, but it wasn't anything special.  Unfortunately, this recipe is not a keeper.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

rosemary grilled chicken thighs with sauteed garlic spinach and two-cheese polenta

This Southern Living recipe just looked too good not to try and turned out to be pretty simple to prepare, as well.  Although the recipe said that boneless breasts or pork tenderloin could be used, I stayed with the thighs in hopes of a more moist meat.  The thighs marinated for about 20 hours and were true to recipe in only needing about 5 minutes per side on the grill.  At that point, I pulled them from the grill and wrapped them, covered in the fresh lemon juice, in foil and kept them in the warming oven until Chef D arrived home from work.  I used polenta in the place of the called-for grits (since I had some in the cupboard that needed to be used) and used chicken stock instead of water.  As always, it ended up needing extra liquid so I added about 1/2 cup of water extra during the 25 minutes of cooking.  

I wasn't too sure about the spinach, but decided to give it a shot.  Chef D was quite the good sport and ate all his spinach, even though I know it would not have been his choice of vegetable.  Personally, I did not care for it either, but ate mine as well.  The chicken was good and the polenta was divine (in my mind, grits are the perfect food).  I will definitely fix the chicken and grits again:)  

Sunday, November 2, 2008

menu planning monday 11.03.08

Well, I survived my busy week of planning and running our church fall festival.  It took place last Friday night and we ministered to between 800-1000 people over the course of 2 hours.  Whew!  Then, the next night we had our eldest son's 11th birthday party with 10 of his friends -- a Video Game Playing party (what more could any 11-year old boy ask for?)!  Needless to say, I am whooped.

I look forward to having more time again to plan and prepare meals this week.  I am also adding an extra to go meal each week that will be sent home with friends.  This week's to go meal will be on Monday.  So, here we go:

Monday: Fajitas (Chef D finally found skirt steak last week and started marinating it Sunday, so it's a done deal for tonight) with pinto beans ; Lasagna to go

Tuesday:  Lasagna, Salad, and Garlic Bread

Apprehension-Free Wednesday: Dinner at church will be Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans (start chicken marinating for Thursday)

Friday:  Crockpot Apple-Bacon Pork Chops over rice 

Saturday:  Football Game at Auburn (dining out with L & I afterwards)

Sunday:  Church Supper Club at the HBs

Don't forget to check out all the other menu planning ideas at OrgJunkie!