Pomegranates

It’s a holiday week and I’m trying to check off as much from my to-do list as I possibly can before Thanksgiving. With that said, here’s a short re-cap of last week’s meal plan. Also, pomegranates are finally in season. It was a long wait.

Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving!

The Menu


Sunday

We celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday with Ina Garten’s always delicious Steakhouse Steaks. Also on the menu, Roasted Broccoli with Lemon & Pine Nuts, Greens with parmesan & apple, homemade bread, roasted potatoes, and angel food confetti cake with chocolate ganache. We ate well.


Monday

Grandma’s Chicken- Barley Soup (recipe from Outta Here via Genius Kitchen)

Delicious and filling chicken barley soup with a healthy dose of Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Even Joel, who does not much care for soup or barley, loved this recipe and ate it three days in a row. For extra flavor, I always brown the chicken thighs, even though I later discard the skin.

Sides: Sliced cheese and raw veggies

Earlier in the day we made Heidi Swanson’s One Bowl Banana Bread. With the addition of whole wheat flour for half of the white flour and brown sugar, as opposed to white sugar, I consider this both a treat and healthy-ish.


Tuesday

Mexican Steak Fajitas (recipe Shirley Hilger via Taste of Home)

My favorite go-to weeknight fajita recipe. It couldn’t be easier to throw together and it always seems to please the pickiest of palates.

Sides: Beetroot, Carrot and Orange Salad (recipe from Jamie Oliver)

Beets, Carrots, and oranges are a classic combination. I wouldn’t say this dish necessarily went well with fajitas but my side dish fell though and I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand.


Wednesday

Salmon Quiche (recipe from Deanna Baldwin via Taste of Home)

I grew up eating salmon quiche for dinner on many occasions so, to me, this is comfort food. The leftovers also make delicious breakfast fare with a side of fruit and buttered, jam-smeared toast.

A quick tip: Wholly Wholesome makes delicious frozen pie crusts. I picked up a traditional 9″ shell and had to make a few minor adjustments to the ingredient list. I used only three large eggs, 1 cup swiss cheese, 1 1/2 cans salmon, and closer to 1 1/2 cups half & half.

Sides: Roasted broccoli & a green salad


Thursday

Pork Tenderloin and Panzanella Salad (recipe from Cook’s Country)

With basil and nightshade veggies, this is a quintessential end of summer meal. I almost felt guilty preparing it in November. However, I love the flavors in this recipe and I love pork tenderloin. Did you know that pork tenderloin is quite comparable to chicken in health stats? Oh, and croutons! I mean, say no more!

Sides: Green salad


Friday

Take-out Pizza!


Saturday

Bowling and dinner out to celebrate my mother-in law’s birthday.


(Nov 11th, 2018 – Nov 17th, 2018)

Winter IS Coming

Last week’s snowfall is still on the ground and it’s feeling like winter is here to stay in Minnesota, despite the fact that we are still 38 days away from the winter solstice. A winter girl at heart, I’m welcoming the change with glee. Give me winter over summer any day and feed me accordingly. I’m looking forward to rich braises and stews, cheese fondue, bitter greens, citrus fruits, under baked brownies, and Christmas confections galore. It’s time to light the fire, embrace flannel sheets, and sip hot cocoa with whipped cream (recipe below).

I didn’t cook much last week, but the two dinners I made were delicious.

The Menu


Sunday

Leftovers


Monday

White Chicken Chili (recipe from Lisa Leake via Epicurious)

I saved this recipe two years ago and couldn’t bring myself to make it until this past summer. Perhaps it was the picture. Or maybe it was the addition of cream. I mean, cream in Chili? Yuck...What?! BUT! I have to tell you that this is one of my favorite chili recipes. EVER. It’s so easy to make and the flavor, specifically the quantity of spices, is spot on. Top with cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and sour cream.

Sides: Sliced vegetables


Tuesday

Night off! I got a facial (much deserved?) while Joel and Bear headed to the in-laws for dinner.


Wednesday

Everyday Meatballs and Perfect Garlic Bread (recipes from Smitten Kitchen)

Smash a saucy meatball on top of a crisp baton of garlic bread, deliver to your mouth, nod happily to your fellow diners, and repeat.

Sides: Steamed Broccoli


Thursday

Dinner at the In-laws


Friday

Dinner out at CRAVE


Saturday

Turkey Burgers at home and a movie with Bear’s cousins. There’s no picture because plating was a hot mess and down to the wire. Recipe here.

Earlier in the day we took Bear to her first ballet class (she loved it) and returned home to make our first batch of hot chocolate for the season. Marion Cunningham’s recipe from The Breakfast Book is my favorite. It’s a cocoa based hot chocolate, so it’s not too thick, and I always have the ingredients on hand. Topped with pure whipped cream it’s perfection.

Hot Chocolate – one cup

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
3/4 cup milk (I often use cream with a splash of water)

Put the water, cocoa, and sugar in a small saucepan and whisk over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Let the mixture come to a boil for a few seconds and slowly pour in the milk while whisking. Continue to whisk until hot.


(Nov 4th, 2018 – Nov 11th, 2018)

Vote! Vote!

Joel and I just headed to the polls to vote like our lives depended on it. I’m nervous. I’m excited. I’m worried. I’m all of the above. This day can’t go fast enough!

Also, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night lately with a dreadful thought that this baby might come early. I mean, it could-! Oh dear Lord, please don’t let it come early. I haven’t had a chance to get anything ready yet for this child. If it’s a boy, it will have no clothes. It has nothing to sleep in. I haven’t packed for the hospital yet. Etc. Etc…

Thankfully, there’s food to sustain me in these uncertain times. Oh, and we hosted a lovely dinner party for friends last weekend. Friends are the best.

The Menu


Sunday

Fall Fest!


Monday

Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti with Garlic Kale (recipe from Pinch of Yum)

This recipe requires a few pans, but it is so worth it. Turkey, pasta, pumpkin, sundried tomatoes, and a touch of cinnamon. What’s not to love? Mixing the hot pasta with the sauce right before dishing it up slicks each lovely noodle with creamy sauce that just begs to be slurped up. Top with a flurry of grated parmesan and pair with the garlic kale. This belongs in your fall repertoire.

Sides: Sliced apple


Tuesday

Baked Lemon Cod & Garlic Herb Sweet Potato Fries

(recipes from What’s Gabby Cooking)

This was a lovely dinner and it took less than an hour to make (whoo hoo!). The cod was well seasoned and pleasingly tart. It paired well with the garlic sweet potatoes.

Sides: Whipped Cauliflower

To make the cauliflower, cut one head into florets and steam until tender. Throw in a handful of broccoli florets or raw spinach, if you like. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Whip until purred. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

 


Wednesday

Happy Halloween!

Shredded Beef Chuck Roast (recipe from Martha Stewart)

Excitement was high and we needed a quick dinner before our little Supergirl headed out for Trick – or- Treating. I threw the roast in the oven around 10:30 in the morning and it emerged tender and fragrant around 4:30 pm. There are many good shredded beef recipes out there, but I like that this one calls for a hefty dose of both rosemary and oregano. The flavor profile is slightly Italian.

Sides: Chips with guacamole, sliced apples, & pepper strips


Thursday

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry (recipe from Dorothy Davis at Bon Appetit via Epicurious)

Ok, I was clearly not paying attention when I took a picture of this meal. The photos are terrible! Regardless, this is a favorite in our house. I’ve made it many times. I prefer to substitute sherry vinegar for the dry sherry, because it’s All About That Tang. Not the Bass. Also, I added sliced celery and topped the stir fry with toasted almonds.

Sides: Roasted parsnip fries (the crisper was low on veggies)


Friday

Leftovers


Saturday

Dinner Party! I was too deep in cooking and serving to take a picture, but here’s a terrific menu for your next dinner party:

Roast Pork with Apples and Cider- Cream Gravy (recipe from Ben & Birdy)

Note: I do not follow the recipe for the cider- cream gravy. Instead, I heat the roasted apples, onions, and pan drippings over medium heat and add dollops of Dijon mustard and pours of apple cider vinegar until I’ve reached a delicious sweet- tart balance. I let the pan simmer until the sauce thickens before adding a bit of salt and pepper.

Creamy Parmesan Polenta (recipe from Ina Garten at Food Network)

Tender lettuces with Champagne- Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe from Chez Panisse Vegetables via Alexandra’s Kitchen)

Mollie Katzen’s Chocolate Eclipse (recipe via Alexandra’s Kitchen)

Note: At 38 minutes I overcooked my chocolate eclipse (why?!). It was still good, but it would have been even better had I removed it sooner from the oven. So sad!

 


(Oct 28th, 2018 – Nov 3rd, 2018)

Fall Fest

Joel and I found ourselves high strung with work stress last week. Fortunately, we had my in-laws annual Fall Fest party at the lake for a group of friends and family to look forward to at the end of the week. There was a bonfire and a doughnut eating contest but really the star of the event is always the food! There were three kinds of cheese balls, two kinds of chili, sweet potato chorizo soup, a pot of Columbian black beans, roasted vegetables, hasselback butternut squash, salad with shallot vinaigrette and candied pumpkin seeds (me), cornbread, chocolate cupcakes, oatmeal pumpkin cookies, and Halloween Chex mix (me). I think I ate most of the Chex mix. Candy corn, man. It gets me every time.

The Menu


Sunday

Dinner at the in-laws


Monday

Laila’s Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheese Grits (recipe from Laila Ali at Food Network)

I cannot give an honest review of this recipe, because I left out the poblano pepper, didn’t have a red pepper, and had to substitute chicken broth for beef broth. #dinnerfail. My rendition wasn’t very flavorful. Also, the grits required a whole lot of salt. I like the concept of this recipe so, if you try it, left me know if it’s good.

Sides: Salad with vinaigrette & sliced cucumbers


Tuesday

Homemade Brown Sugar Baked Beans (recipe from Pinch of Yum)

Who says baked beans only belong at a BBQ? I happily dig in to them all year long, and this was a quick take on the classic. Canned beans make this recipe easy to throw together, bacon lends smokiness, and brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness.

Sides: Buttered toast, steamed broccoli, & salad with vinaigrette topped with sliced apple and fennel


Wednesday

Creamy Dijon Chicken (recipe from Simply Delicious)

Terrible photo, but a delicious recipe for chicken Dijon. I substituted chicken legs and added extra salt and lemon juice to taste. It requires few ingredients and packs a ton of flavor. Plus, who doesn’t love creamy chicken over rice?

Sides: Brown rice, roasted carrots, & sautéed swiss chard with garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar.

Cooks Illustrated Molasses Spice Cookies (recipe from With Two Spoons)

This is a repeat recipe from last year. I make these deliciously spiced cookies every fall. I skip rolling the raw cookie dough in granulated sugar. The powdered sugar glaze, however, is a must. Sneak one in the morning with your cup of coffee and call your day off to a good start.


Thursday

Impromptu date night at Big Bowl


Friday

Pizza at my parent’s house


Saturday

Taco Night (no recipe)


(Oct 21st, 2018 – Oct 27th, 2018)

Flower Girl

Last week was busy. Joel flew out of town on Thursday for a friend’s bachelor party and Bear and I moved in with my parents for the long weekend. Bear also debuted as a flower girl at my cousin’s wedding on Saturday. I was one proud mama. She walked down the aisle all by herself, holding her flowers, and bowed at the alter before taking her seat. We had a minor melt down after the ceremony over tights, but as soon as we got to the reception she was at the bar with the best of them ordering orange juice with extra straws.

The Menu


Sunday

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

Ooh, this is a family favorite! Chicken and sweet butternut squash submerged in a luscious gravy under a buttery biscuit crust. I like to substitute fresh rosemary for half of the sage in both the filling and the biscuit topping. It makes the dish smell like Thanksgiving. Also, as opposed to standing at the counter for 20 minutes shredding a rotisserie chicken, I find it easier to chop up three salt and peppered chicken breasts that I’ve baked in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Sides: Steamed broccoli


Monday

Peanut Rice Noodles with Pork and Collard Greens (recipe by Chris Morroco at Bon Appetit)

A new favorite. It’s light, quick and easy. The peanut flavor is more of a whisper and the greens, which may seem like a lot at first, cook down to almost nothing.

Sides: Roasted brussels sprouts

Pumpkin Bread (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Pumpkin bread with a cinnamon sugar topping. Need I say more? Oh, wait, how about one-bowl?!


Tuesday

Cheddar BBQ Meatloaf Muffins (recipe from Food Network Kitchen)

Meatloaf muffins sound positively awful, but these are so good. The muffin tin crisps and caramelizes the edges of each meatloaf and BBQ – cheddar is always a good combination. I suggest you run the pan under the broiler for a few minutes at the very end to brown the cheesy topping.

Sides:

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (recipe from Martha Stewart)

Roasted Broccolini (recipe from Ina Garten at Food Network)


Wednesday

Roasted Cauliflower Burrito Bowls (recipe from Pinch of Yum)

This was not the original dinner I had planned. After a recipe for shrimp curry was vetoed by both Joel and Bear, I scrambled to come up with something else. Luckily, I had everything on hand for these roasted cauliflower burrito bowls, minus the pico. This is a terrific recipe to have on hand for those nights when you may not feel like cooking or your dinner plans suddenly change. Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce also makes the bowl extra yummy.


Thursday

Away – No cooking!!


Friday

Away – No cooking!!


Saturday

Away – No cooking!!


(Oct 14th, 2018 – Oct 20th, 2018)