Snow

Yes! Snow! Finally! We’ve waited all winter for it and here it is blanketing everything in sparkly drifts and mounds. There’s something about fresh snow for Valentine’s Day that just feels festive and cozy. Bear has been out sledding the past few days and we have big plans to build a snow fort in the front yard. I can’t wait to celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow, like we do every year, with homemade pizza and a movie. As a special treat, I’ve also hidden a tray of pink, sugar-dusted, whole wheat raspberry ricotta scones in the freezer. I’ll pull them out tomorrow morning and bake them up fresh for Bear to enjoy before school.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Last Week’s Menu


Sunday

Sheet Pan Roast Chicken with Brussels Sprouts & Balsamic (recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen)

Charred Creamed Corn (recipe from Molly Yeh via Food Network)

I love making this recipe for chicken with brussels sprouts. It requires little work and the payoff is huge! First of all, dark meat is where it’s at. It’s always flavorful and juicy. Second, the brussels sprouts cook in the chicken fat and the tops char ever so slightly in the warm oven. Once tossed with the balsamic reduction, the result is crisp, sweet, and salty.

The creamed corn went nicely with the brussels sprouts and chicken. I particularly enjoyed the gentle heat bestowed on it from the two teaspoons of smoked paprika.


Monday

Leftovers


Tuesday

Fragrant Beef Curry with Rice (recipe from Bon Appetit via Epicurious)

I was really excited to try this recipe after devouring a delicious beef curry at Stewart’s last year and thinking about it incessantly ever since. However, this was nothing like the dish I had, and I am going to blame it on my curry powder. I used this curry powder and I just don’t like it. Dinner tonight received a big F for fail at our house but, if you have a curry powder that you love, give the recipe a try. The chutney, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks all sound like they should go so nicely with tender beef and hot rice

Sides: Roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes


Wednesday

Minestrone Soup

Tonight I made my favorite recipe for minestrone soup. I got the recipe off of Genius Kitchen last year, and thankfully I printed it, because it’s gone. Just gone. It was titled Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup by Todd Wilbur and posted by Suzy9725. Instead, my searches keep landing me on this recipe, which is not at all the recipe I make. Stay tuned for the recipe down the road when I have more time to type it out, and take this as a suggestion for minestrone on your meal plan.

Sides: Bread, cheese, & salad

Fortunately, I can share a dessert recipe with you. Bear and I made Molly Yeh’s Whipped Cheesecakes with Pistachio Crust for dessert. We substituted roasted pecans and walnuts for the pistachios and topped our cheesecake cups with sliced fresh strawberries. We didn’t have all of the ingredients to make the recipe as written, but we enjoyed our adaptation.


Thursday

Leftovers


Friday

Pizza!


Saturday

Jennifer ate leftover taco meat over quinoa with salsa while bouncing baby L. non-stop on her hip. Bear ate something delicious at her cousin’s house. Joel had the guys over for fillets. Who lost this dinner round? Jennifer.


(Feb 3rd, 2019 – Feb 9th, 2019)

Surviving A Polar Vortex

Last week’s polar vortex cancelled school, meetings, and play dates for our family. I don’t think I’m alone in saying we all went a little nutty indoors for four straight days! Fortunately, Bear got to play with her cousins all week. She even slept over at their house for two of the nights. For the other stir crazy moments at home, we relied on the best method we know for entertaining a three year old: bubble baths.

This week, on the other hand, has been incredibly busy. Appointments, meetings, yadda yadda…

It’s finally Friday and this is the first chance I’ve had to blog. Bear is coloring at the kitchen table and Baby L. is asleep in my arms. I think I have about 10 minutes. Here we go!

The Menu


Sunday

Chicken and Tomato No-Boil Pasta Bake (recipe from Faith Durand via The Kitchn)

Our family loves this pasta bake. It’s easy to throw together and the sauce is so lusciously creamy and delicious.

Sides: Roasted asparagus


Monday

Steakhouse Steaks (recipe from Ina Garten via Food Network)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (recipe from Martha Stewart)

Impromptu date night (with the baby) at home and a run of Family Feud episodes. We opened stouts and seared steaks. We also made a pot of mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed a mass of kale and swiss chard. We finished the greens with a sprinkling of salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


Tuesday

Zuppa Di Farro (recipe from Serious Eats)

A nice hearty soup for a polar vortex. I did add quite a bit of white wine vinegar at the end to punch up the flavor. Also, this could absolutely be made vegetarian. The pancetta is not a star player. Just substitute extra olive oil and season to taste.

Sides: Sliced cheese and raw vegetables


Wednesday

Another impromptu date night at home! We thawed leftover turkey and gravy from Thanksgiving and ate it alongside another batch of sautéed greens with lemon and the leftover mashed sweet potatoes.


Thursday

Crispy Skillet Turkey Burgers (recipe adapted from Cook’s Country)

See this post for the recipe.

Yum!! We love this recipe and usually eat ours sans bun and dipped in mustard.

Sides: sautéed green beans with lots of salt and wild rice with butter


Friday

Slow-Cooker Chipotle-Orange Pork Tacos (recipe by Anna Stockwell via Epicurious)

Tacos on Friday night… yes, please! This recipe was pretty good, but it was the first meal I’ve cooked in my new slow cooker and I thought it had a bit of the “new” slow-cooker taste. As a result, I can’t fully vouch for this recipe.

Sides: Roasted broccoli and yams


Saturday

Nachos! We topped ours with the leftover chipotle-orange pork, pickled onions, and roasted vegetables. We also added sour cream, corn, and loads of cheddar cheese. Oh, and we made it a movie night and watched Coco during dinner.


(Jan 27th, 2019 – Feb 2nd, 2019)

Cold Weather

It was -27 degrees when I woke up today. Schools are closed for the third day in a row, and many businesses are closed as well. Joel cancelled his meetings. We are housebound. Again. These insane temps, in addition to an infant that wants to be held all minutes of the day, have left me feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s impossible to get anything done. Yet, as I sit here, frantically typing while the baby sleeps for a few minutes on her own, I know that winter won’t last forever. It may be cold outside now, but the light shining through the window is warm and nourishing. Spring will be here eventually.

The Menu


Sunday

Cheeseburger Soup (recipe from The Recipe Critic)

Ok, stay with me here. I had ground beef, potatoes, and a block of sharp cheddar cheese knocking around the kitchen. I wanted something warm and creamy. Joel was very skeptical of this recipe and so disdainful of it that I had to banish him from the kitchen while I worked. Once it was finished and bubbling away on the stove, I took a little taste. It was true. It wasn’t very flavorful. I added a little Worcestershire and some yellow mustard, but it still wasn’t great. So, we ladled it into bowls and topped it with Frank’s RedHot and you know what? It was delicious! We ate every bit of it over the next few days. Joel even asked me to make it again.

Sides: Fresh, delicious, homemade bread from your sister-in-law (!) and sliced veggies


Monday

Leftovers


Tuesday

Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss (recipe from Rachael Ray via Food Network)

This was recipe was ok. Not mind-blowing in any sense, as I assumed, but it was quick and easy.

Sides: Roasted cauliflower & a green salad


Wednesday

Kabocha Squash and Pork Stir-Fry (recipe from Chris Morocco via Bon Appetit)

This was a weird recipe, but I loved it. Creamy squash combined with spicy sausage, lime juice, and crunchy peanuts. This is my kind of meal, although I may be alone on my desert island. As you can see from the picture, I over steamed my squash and it completely fell apart. This didn’t bother me, because the flavors were still there. However, I might suggest keeping a closer eye on your squash while it steams, or even roasting cubed sweet potatoes, if you want something that stands up texturally. The peanuts are a must for texture and the lime juice is essential for it’s bright contrast to the otherwise salty dish.

Sides: Popovers & a green salad


Thursday

Leftovers


Friday

Italian Dunkers

This meal brought me right back to the middle school cafeteria. Simply brown some hamburger, add your favorite red sauce, and let it simmer away on the stove while you top sliced French bread with mozzarella cheese. Slide the cheese toasts into the oven at 450 degrees until the cheese melts and then run them under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble and brown. Turn on a movie (in our case, A Bug’s Life) and dunk your cheese toasts into the meaty sauce.

Sides: Steamed broccoli

End your meal with a bowl of chocolate ice cream 😉


Saturday

Leftovers


(Jan 20th, 2019 – Jan 26th, 2019)

Awake All Day

This is going to be a brief post this week, as I seem to have babies that like to stay awake all day and sleep all night. Baby L., who is only one month old, can go a solid six hours at a time at night. The flip side is that she tends to only cat nap here and there during the day. It makes for a pleasant night’s sleep, but a slightly more challenging day. Thankfully, coffee, my dear friend, is back in my life.

The Menu


Sunday

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (With Yoghurt) (recipe by Twinks at Nigella.com)

I had planned to make this recipe tonight, but time was not on our side. Instead, Joel and I traded off holding the baby and throwing together our old stand by recipe for macaroni and cheese with yogurt. It’s tangy, cheesy, and always a treat. We achieve the best results with Stoneyfield Organic Whole Milk (Plain) Yogurt and Organic Valley Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

Sides: Roasted asparagus and frozen peas


Monday

Yogurt-Braised Chicken Legs with Garlic and Ginger (recipe by Claire Saffitz via Epicurious)

The picture of this recipe looked so delicious, but it had little flavor and it was way more trouble to make than it was worth.

Sides: Steamed green beans


Tuesday

Ground Orange Chicken (1 Pan) (recipe via Dinner Then Dessert)

This recipe for orange chicken had great flavor and it was super quick to prepare. Obviously, it doesn’t have the flavor of deep fried orange chicken, and it’s loaded with sugar, but it came through when I realized I forgot to thaw turkey for dinner. Ooh, I hate when that happens!!

Sides: Roasted Asparagus, broccoli, and red pepper with salt & pepper


Wednesday

Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs and Spinach (recipe by Deb Perelman via Community Table)

Another family favorite. Easy to prepare, especially if you peel your carrots earlier in the day, and nutritious. Top with a generous mound of parmesan cheese and dip crusty bread into the carrot purée. I might suggest buying a nice block of fresh parmesan to grate over the top yourself. Pre- grated parm is just sad.

Sides: Crusty bread and salad with vinaigrette


Thursday

Leftovers


Friday

Reubens, sweet potato fries, & salad!!!! Thanks, Mom 🙂


Saturday

Monthly family night at a friend’s house, complete with ham and cheese sliders and a bouncy house for the kids!


(Jan 12th, 2019 – Jan 19th, 2019)

Life’s a Jungle

Life’s a jungle these days. There’s a thicket of dirty laundry, dishes, or diapers around every corner. Little creatures squawk, howl, and cry out in the darkness of the night. Foraging for food is a real past time, and one must always remember to proceed with caution when picking up a little howler monkey that just might expel something questionable.

Speaking of navigating new terrain, Bear, at 3 1/2 years old, informed me yesterday that she no longer wants to be Rapunzel when she grows up. She wants to be Taylor Swift.

Mayday!

people…

Mayday!

The Menu


Sunday

Leftovers


Monday

Chicken with Scallion Dumplings (recipe from Canal House Cooking, Volumn 3, Winter and Spring  via Turntable Kitchen)

This recipe hails from one of my favorite cookbooks (check out Canal House). It is truly beautiful in it’s simplicity and a recipe to keep in your back pocket for any occasion. After all, who doesn’t love tucking in to a warm bowl of chicken and dumplings? I have made this recipe countless times over the years. It is always eaten with gusto around our table.

Sides: Steamed asparagus


Tuesday

Chrissy Teigen’s Sleepytime Stew & Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes (recipe from Cravings: Hungry for More)

I received this cookbook for Christmas and, let me tell you, it makes me so happy. I’ve bookmarked just about every recipe to try and I’ve read through the entire cookbook more than once. The Sleepytime Stew with Cream Cheese Smashed Potatoes was the first recipe I tried, and it was delicious! It simmered away on the stove all afternoon making me feel like a domestic goddess again (as opposed to a milk machine). It’s a delicious combination of beef, Worcestershire sauce, aromatics, white beans, and jalapeno. Check out the book at the library (or buy it!) and dig in.

Sides: Sliced raw veggies


Wednesday

Pizza drop off. Thanks, Pastor Jeff 🙂

Sides: Salad


Thursday

Leftovers


Friday

Dinner at Big Bowl. Red wine, egg rolls, shrimp rangoon, and yellow chicken curry. I so deserved this.


Saturday

I have no idea. I’m sure we ate something.


(Jan 6th, 2019 – Jan 12th, 2019)