Happy 2020!

After Christmas and a lovely holiday in the Californian sun, I am back!  It’s time to dive into 2020, try some new recipes and cook even more.  I survived hosting Christmas for 22 people, but only because I had so much help.  It was a resounding success, but I don’t need to host next year 😉  While on holiday I cooked many times, we also got a chance to eat out as well and were hosted by others.  Here are a few recipes that I tried: crispy sheet pan gnocchi with sausage, fresh winter greens and citrus salad, chocolate peanut butter pie, citrus salad with pistachios and maple vinaigrette and berry lemon cheesecake cookie cups.  The citrus in California was amazing!  Grapefruit, lemons, limes and a multitude of oranges, my son loved the blood oranges.  I tried my best to take advantage of what was in season and use it as much as possible.  Now, we we are back in Calgary just about to start the coldest weather of winter.  BRRRRRR!

This week we are eating at home Monday-Thursday, I am meeting friends for dinner Friday and we don’t have plans Saturday.  Our activities all start up again this week, both kids are swimming, my daughter has dance and son has ball.  It is a busy but exciting time of year.

  • Sheetpan sausage supper from @foodnetwork we ate this last night, but I substituted broccoli for the Brussels sprouts.  The kids didn’t love this meal, they did eat the sausage and the broccoli.
  • Cashew shrimp and mango stir fry from @howsweeteats I added some edamame and snap peas to boost the vegetables.
  • Chorizo crumble from @cleaneating we will eat this as a taco salad with all of the fixings.  I will add some tortilla chips for dipping.
  • hamburger soup from @bestofbridge I have shared this too many times to count, but the temperature is going to dip down and we are going to need a comforting meal.  We usually eat this with cheese buns for dipping.

I’ve shared in the past, that I struggle to make and enjoy lunch meals.  Today I decided to start off 2020 by making a large batch salad and then divide it out for the week.  It did take some prep time, but I think it will be well worth the effort.  I made quinoa broccoli slaw from @cookieandkate I didn’t realize until I got home that I bought couscous instead of quinoa.  I used the couscous and it turned out really well.  I will add a dollop of hummus to the bowl and some rice crackers, and that will be lunch for the rest of the week!  I hope that I can do this at least every other week so that my home and work lunches are more exciting and enjoyable.  I won’t have time to bake this week, but possibly on the weekend I will make some banana muffins.  With it being so late into the week I won’t be posting my grocery list, but it will be back next week.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Dec. 16 – Dec. 20

Meal updates from last week:
We really enjoyed the chicken buddha bowls, but my husband and I loved the crunchy baked chicken.  It was salty, crunchy and creamy.  Neither of the kids liked the chicken, I think because the sauce was made from Swiss cheese which isn’t their favourite.  I will be making the recipe again.

We are on the home stretch to the holidays.  This is the last week of school for my son, child care for my daughter and work for me.  We will be eating at home Monday-Wednesday, Thursday we are eating out after my daughter’s concert and then we are out Friday and Saturday.  I have already started to plan my Christmas dinner, which I will share in next week’s post.  My son is done basketball until the new year, so our week nights are not a busy.

  • Shake and bake with tater tots and salad.  My son and daughter love chicken done this way and it has been a long time, so we will go for a crowd pleaser for tonight’s dinner.
  • Loaded baked potato soup from @skinnytaste I have made this soup before and it is delicious!  It is lightened up by using a head of cauliflower instead of all potatoes.
  • Taco cauliflower rice skillet from @cleanfoodcrush my kids don’t love cauliflower rice so I am going to make them some brown rice to have with the turkey, corn and beans.
  • Thai noodles with chicken and broccoli from Anne Lindsay, I have all of the ingredients for this pasta so if I need to make a quick dinner on the weekend I can pull it all together.

I got a chance to make the cranberry almond shortbread last week, I still have plans to make the double chocolate peppermint cookies, and possibly Swiss Mountain Shortbread for my husband to take to work.  We will see how much time I have to get it all done this week!  Make you life easier with dinner list 115

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Nov. 19 – Nov. 22

Meal updates from last week:
I loved the mini meatloaves from last week!  My son said that they tasted like a meatball, but my daughter didn’t like them at all.  I guess you can’t please everyone.  I didn’t make the sausage sheet pan meal, instead I made that meal tonight.

Last week was a bit of a blur, and then my husband and I were away for the weekend.  I arrived home last night and ate a pretty sad dinner of toast and cereal.  This week is another busy one, lots of things going on and I will be solo this weekend.  We will be eating at home Tuesday-Thursday, there are no plans this weekend, so we will see what happens.

  • Sausage and green sheet pan from @epicurious as I have mentioned before I use the mandolin to slice the potatoes and then I roast broccoli instead of the greens.
  • Chicken cacciatore hoagies from @eatingwell I will serve these with a green salad.
  • Steak fajita bowls from @littlespicejar this was my grocery list plan, but the store had something else in mind as they were out of flank steak.  I am going to switch the protein from steak to shrimp but use the similar ingredients and process.

The plan is short this week and there isn’t a grocery list, we will resume regular programming next week.  I started my holiday baking, and as we speak have nuts and bolts in the oven.  This is a great homemade holiday gift to give, it is simple to make and tastes so delicious!  What’s on your holiday baking list?

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Nov. 4 – Nov. 8

Meal updates from last week:
All the meals from last week were great.  Everyone loved the chicken and tortellini soup, and it made for great leftovers.  The salmon was amazing and it paired so well with a simple green salad.  The fall salad with roasted sweet potatoes was so delicious!  It would be a great salad to prep on the weekend and then eat for lunch during the week.  The kids loved eating the jack-o-lantern quesadillas before going trick or treating.

This week is a busy one, my son has basketball twice, and we are celebrating two birthdays.  We will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, not sure what we are doing Friday and heading to friends on Saturday.

  • Garlic beef and broccoli lo mein from @therecipecritic we ate this tonight and it was so good.  I couldn’t find any lo mein noodles today, so I used linguine instead.  I added some green beans and we topped ours with sriracha.
  • Mediterranean salmon from @theraostedroot we will eat this with some roasted broccoli and potatoes I will make a simple dressing and toss it to coat.  I am inspired by a recipe I have already made from Epicurious.
  • Asian ground turkey and rice from @philiakelnhofer another recipe for a one bowl meal.
  • Zuppa Toscana from @foodnetwork I will serve this with some bread for dipping.
  • Caprese chicken from @themediterraneandish we will eat this with a caesar salad and some simple pasta with butter and parmesan.

I never got the chance to bake last week, and don’t think that I will have the chance this week either.  I have been craving granola and homemade is much better than store bought.  I also need to start thinking about my holiday baking and gift giving, I’ve been skimming through some of the holiday baking magazines for new cookie ideas.  Shop with ease using the grocery list 111.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Sept. 23 – Sept. 27

Meal updates from last week:
We really enjoyed the chicken gyros and shrimp burrito bowls.  I liked the sesame noodle bowl, but we ate it cold and later in the night, so it didn’t taste as good as if it had been fresh.  I had a chance to use the gifted apples and zucchini to make muffins,  they are delicious, really moist and flavourful.  Tonight we ate at my parent’s house, dad made elk burgers, my sister-in-law made this great broccoli salad and I made apple crisp.

This week we will be eating at home Monday-Thursday, my husband will be away all week, so I try and make dinners a little easier because I am solo.  We don’t have plans for the weekend, but it looks like the weather is going to be taking a turn 😦  That means I need to get my grapes off the vine (for jam), and try to take all of my flowers out of their pots.

I did buy some canned pumpkin today when I was shopping, and was thinking about making these muffins.  I also have some zucchini left and have made these cookies before and they are good!  Who knows what I will have time for, so stay tuned to see.  Start the week off right with my grocery list 106

Happy cooking,

Sara

Weekly meals Sept. 9 – Sept. 13

Meal updates from last week:
I LOVED the rosemary chicken salad with peaches, it was so well balanced between the sweet of the corn and the salty from the bacon.  I also really enjoyed the dressing and will use it on other salads.  I’ve made the marinated flank steak many times before and as always it was very good.  We ate it with arugula and tomatoes.

This week we are in the full swing of school and work.  My son starts basketball tryouts and my husband is turning 40!  We will go out for dinner on Thursday night and then we are celebrating with friends on Saturday.  The rest of the week we will be eating at home, but have no plans for Friday.

  • Classy chicken from @bestofbridge this is what we had tonight as the weather was cooler and dreary.  All of a sudden it feels like fall!  We ate this with egg noodles.
  • hamburger soup from @bestofbridge as rain is supposed to fall I feel the need to make a big pot of soup.  I will serve this with cheese buns.
  • Chicken enchiladas from eatingonadime.com this meal is entirely cooked in a foil pack, so this should be a quick and easy one!  I am going to add corn to the mixture as well.
  • Greek salmon bowls from @cookinglight as we are eating rice the night before I may serve this with a small pasta like orzo.

The only baking I have planned for this week is for my husband’s birthday.  He isn’t a sweet lover but does enjoy cheesecake, so I am going to make a batch of mini cheesecakes from @sallysbakeblog.  They are made in a muffin tin, so I think that they should be pretty easy.  I am going to top them with a homemade berry sauce.   The grocery list 104 is back!

Happy cooking,
Sara

Home and away

We have been back for a few days after going to visit friends in southern Alberta.  We enjoyed soaking up some summer heat, swimming, hiking and picking strawberries.  We spent the weekend at home unpacking and now repacking for a week away with family.  We will be heading to the coast, and I cannot wait to see the ocean!  I have cooked a few meals lately that I will share with you.  I have also made a list of easy recipes that we can possibly cook while we are away on the coast.

Meals lately:

Meals while away:

Regularly scheduled meal plans and grocery lists will return next weekend, until then, enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Happy cooking,
Sara