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


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.




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


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.






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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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)