We Made It!

Last week was a blur of bookkeeping and preschool orientation, but we made it through the week. I’m shocked I actually got dinner on the table four out of the seven nights. I’m taking life a little slower this week and enjoying the snow with Bear.

The Menu


Taco night! I sure do love Penzeys Original Taco Seasoning. No picture (sorry).


Chicken and Butternut Squash Skillet Pot Pie with Sage Biscuit (recipe from Meredith Deeds @ StarTribune)

Chicken. gravy. biscuits. How could this be bad? My mom forwarded this recipe to me and it is so so good and so so easy for a “pot pie.” Add additional salt if you like your pot pies on the savory side. The butternut squash is quite sweet.

Sides: Steamed broccoli


Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard and Garlic (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

An old stand by. I love this soup. I prefer to sub 8 oz hot Italian sauage for the mild sauage but mild is also nice. It might sound like too much work but you simply cannot skip the drizzle of warm garlic oil over each soup bowl. It adds so much warmth and flavor.

Sides: Big green salad with vinaigrette


Yummy Salmon Burgers with Slaw (recipe from Pinch of Yum)

Make this. Make it now. This has quickly become one of our favorite recipes to date. A crispy, salty salmon burger atop cool tangy slaw is such a pleasing combination. I use fresh chives as my herb of choice in both the salmon patty and the slaw. When it comes to the slaw, make sure yours it’s extra creamy.

Lemon Herb Quinoa (recipe from Gabi Shahar via Mirj2338 @ Genious Kitchen)

I actually don’t enjoy quinoa. That fact always makes me feel grumpy, because I truthfully do not understand picky eaters. However, I can confidentially say that I am now hooked. This is by far the tastiest quinoa recipe I have ever tried and, trust me, I have tried many.

Sides: Frozen green beans for the little one


Dinner at my in-laws.


Dinner at my parent’s.


Pizza night!

Sides: Warm Candied Corn Salad (recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli via parade)

Candied corn salad. How delicious does that sound? AND, this recipe truly is delicious! My mom made it for dinner the previous evening and I just had to have it again.

(Jan 14th, 2017 – Jan 20th, 2017)

So Much Work!

I’m knee deep with work this week. January is my busiest month as a bookkeeper. I’ve logged 17 hours from home over the past four days, and I have hours left to get in today. Here’s a quick recap of last week.

The Menu


Meal Idea: Chicken + Grain + Vegetable

Our Recipe: Spanish Spice Rubbed Chicken Breasts With Parsley-Mint Sauce (recipe from Bobby Flay @ Food Network)

Joel and I spent the day in Stillwater, eating lunch and shopping for art. We returned home, painting in hand and still full from lunch. We were in the mood for something healthy-ish and this recipe sounded perfect for dinner. Since we don’t have a grill, I had to improvise. I pounded the chicken breasts thin, pan sautéed them for two minutes a side, and slid them into a 375 degree oven until cooked through. This wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. The actual recipe gets great reviews. I have a feeling we would have really liked this off the grill.

Sides: Faro with butter & salt + Sautéed kale


Meal Idea: Ropa Vieja

Our Recipe: Slow- Cooker Ropa Vieja (recipe from the June/July 2017 issue of Cook’s Country magazine)

Ok, I really dislike the whole having to have a subscription to access any recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen archive. It actually really annoys me. If you have a subscription, great! You can access the recipe. Otherwise, go with the Ropa Vieja meal idea and find another recipe. Truthfully, this wasn’t my favorite and the flavor was a tad bitter. I’m not one for slow cookers though. Food always has an underlying “slow cooker” taste. Give me a Dutch oven any day. Maybe I still need to break in my slow cooker?

Sides: White rice + Roasted Brussels sprouts & sweet potatoes


Meal Idea: Chicken Noodle Soup

Recipe: Thai Chicken Soup (recipe from Food Network Kitchen @ Food Network)

Ok, not our favorite. The broth was really thin and flavorless. Find another recipe.

Sides: Raw snap peas


Meal Idea: Beans + Bread + Vegetable

Our Recipe: New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas (recipe from Julia Sullivan @ Bon Appetit via Epicurious)

A week late, but these were delicious! Bacon and beans. Always a great pairing. We liked this very much. I served it with Ina Garten’s Garlic Sautéed Spinach, which I love, but it was all wrong with this recipe. The two recipes together equaled salt overload. With that being said, beans and greens are a nice pairing.

Sides: Greens + Buttered bread 






Make Your Own Pizza night with friends

(Jan 7th, 2017 – Jan 13th, 2018)

Here We Go Again

Well, everyone in our household was on the mend and feeling great this week until Bear fell trying to move a chair in the kitchen and not only bit the inside of her lip real bad, but also bruised her front tooth. Many tears were shed, a mango popsicle was eaten, and a trip to the dentist was made. She is in fine spirits now, but I’m a little traumatized. We’re on strict orders to monitor her front teeth until her permanent teeth come in. That’s at least four years. Sigh.

On the bright side, we spent lots of time outside this week playing in the snow and sledding. Rejoice!

The Menu


Our annual New Year’s Eve plans had to be rescheduled, but we still made it a fun evening on the fly. We went out for dinner at Shore 96 with Joel’s parents and some of their friends. Then, we put Nola to bed early, made Grasshopper cocktails, and watched New Year’s Eve and The Last of the Mohicans.


Board games and Leftovers at Joel’s parent’s house.


Meal Idea: Chili

Recipe: Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili (recipe from Food Network Kitchen @ Food Network)

I loved this recipe. It incorporates 3 1/2 cups of vitamin-packed butternut squash so it felt more exciting and substantial to me than plain old chili with meat and beans. I left the chia seeds out, because I was afraid it would make the chili too thick. It was perfect.

Sides: Raw sugar snap peas


Meal Idea: Chicken + Whole Grain 


Mustard and White Wine Braised Chicken (recipe from Helen Rosner @ Saveur)

Tender, flavorful chicken. It’s a nice recipe and pretty hands off after the chicken is seared. We ate the chicken alongside whole grain farro with the sauce spooned over the top.

Baked Panko and Parmesan Zucchini Fries (recipe from The Spruce)

Yum! These zucchini fries were especially crispy.


Meal Idea: Pasta with Sausage

Recipe: Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage (recipe from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich via Epi Curious @ Genius Kitchen)

We liked this recipe. The only thing I took issue with was the fact that the ingredient list called for cooked and crumbled sausage. I was not about to dirty a second pan, so I added the sausage to the main skillet and cooked it until it was brown. I removed the susage to a plate and continued on with the recipe as written by adding the garlic to the sausage drippings. It worked just fine. I also substituted regular broccoli.

Sides: Salad with vinaigrette


Meal Idea: Homemade Pizza


Rushed Pizza Dough (recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook via Jess @ On Sugar Mountain)

First of all, the The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. I always make pizza on a whim, so I am slightly infatuated with Deb’s recipe for rushed pizza dough.

I had plans to make something else for dinner on Friday, but Joel was late getting home and it was too cold to take Bear to the store. A quick survey of my kitchen yielded all of the ingredients I would need to make a BBQ Chicken Pineapple Pizza. Bear and I set to work making the pizza dough. After it rose (slightly) I pulled it out of the warm oven and stretched it over  my parchment paper covered pizza stone. We spread a thick layer of BBQ sauce accross the dough and topped the sauce with shredded cheddar cheese. On top of the cheese we added shredded cooked chicken, diced red pepper, fresh pineapple chunks, and slivered onion. We sprinkled 1/2 cup cheddar cheese on the top and baked it at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. After the pizza emerged from the oven, we sprinkled fresh cilantro over the top and dug in. It was the best meal we ate all week.

Sides: Steamed cauliflower (it’s all we had)


New Year’s Eve redo with friends. We were treated to the most delicious homemade Italian spread. I’m still thinking about it…

(Dec 30th, 2017 – Jan 5th, 2018)

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing. Well, almost. Bear and I were down for the count last week with terrible colds. The thought of going anywhere was too exhausting and the negative temps outside made it impossible anyway. The week was a blur of restless nights, Kleenex, Doc McStuffins episodes, and impromptu dance parties when we simply needed to get up and move. Bear is completely obsessed with “Dancing in the Dark” by Rihanna. It was on repeat all week. Over and over and over. Fortunately, leftovers from Christmas sustained us for much of the week and I rarely had to lift a pan. I cooked so few meals that I actually found dust on my stove yesterday morning when I started a pot for oatmeal. That was new.

Oh, hey, by the way. Happy New Year!! I hope it was lovely for all of you out there. I also want to say that I am so thankful for all of you that have stopped by this blog in recent months. I am delighted to know that my blog has been able to inspire home cooking and I am so touched by the feedback I have received.

Best wishes for the new year!

The Menu


Christmas Eve


Christmas Day


Orange and Oat Scones (Recipe from 101 Cookbooks)

In great need of Vitamin C, as well as something comforting, we whipped up a hot batch of Orange and Oat scones for breakfast Tuesday morning. These scones always evoke such pleasant memories for me. I used to stock them in my freezer when we lived in New York. They were the perfect sort of breakfast to eat while walking to work. I rarely have currants kicking around my cupboard so I generally leave them out or substitute chocolate chips. No matter what you substitute, don’t forgo the crackly sugar topping. The extra bit of sweetness really enhances the flavor.

Oh, and I’m ridiculous. I make gigantic scones. I cut my dough into eight because I like my scones the size of hockey pucks.


Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Florentine Pasta (recipe from Pinch of Yum)

On Wednesday I wanted pasta. I wanted chicken. I wanted sun dried tomatoes. Lo and behold, the internet delivered. I will admit that my taste was slightly impaired when I ate this, due to my cold, but it fit the bill and received thumbs up from the other two in my household.

Sides: Roasted Asparagus




Dinner? I’m drawing a blank.

I think I remember watching Black Mass with Johnny Depp Friday night. Yeah, that was good.


Pssst. Joel, did I feed you guys on Saturday?

(Dec 24th, 2017 – Dec 30th, 2017)