Merry Christmas

Meal updates from last week:
All meals from last week were a hit!  As always, the kids loved the shake and bake chicken, and very surprisingly they LOVED the loaded baked potato soup.  My daughter ended up eating two bowls!  We really liked the taco rice skillet, I used brown rice instead of the cauliflower rice as my kids don’t really enjoy it.  If you haven’t made the Thai noodles then you must!  It is a simple recipe that comes together in 30 minutes, I stopped using protein in my recipe and now only use veggies.

This week is all about Christmas, and all of the preparation that needs to get done before dinner on the 25.  This week I will be sharing my entire Christmas dinner menu as well as what we will be eating for breakfast on Christmas morning.  We are hosting 22 for dinner, it will busy but well worth it.  My 23 pound turkey is already thawing in the fridge as it is such a large bird.  I have asked everyone that is joining us for dinner to contribute to the meal as I cannot do this one alone.

Christmas Menu:
Breakfast:
Land of nod cinnamon buns
Fresh fruit with yogurt

Appetizers:
Vegetable platter
Pate with mixed crackers
Baked brie with cranberries and pecans

Main course:
No-fuss turkey
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes and cauliflower
Turnips
Sausage and herb stuffing
Brussels sprouts with pancetta
Green salad with tarragon and mint
Gravy
Buns and homemade cranberry sauce

Dessert:
Gingerbread spice cake with cream cheese frosting
Cookie platter: cranberry almond shortbread, gingersnap sandwich cookies, snickerdoodle kiss cookies and double chocolate peppermint cookies.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2020!

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 Dec. 2 – Dec. 6

Meal updates from last week:
As always the kids and adults devoured the classy chicken!  I didn’t make the BLT salad as we went out for an impromptu dinner with my parents.  We really liked the turkey tacos and the buddha bowls came together very quickly.

This week is jam packed!  My son has basketball twice this week, I am going out twice and my husband is out once.  Tis the season!  This means that there won’t be a lot of home cooked meals going on, but I do have a solid plan:

  • Lasagne soup from @farmgirlsdabble I have made this soup before and it is delicious.  I very good tip is to cook the pasta separate from the soup and then just add it when you serve.  This way the noodles don’t get overcooked.  I am going to serve this with a salad or some bread.
  • We will be out tonight, so my kids will be having takeout.
  • BLT salad from @marthastewart we will give this another try and see if it gets made this week!
  • Pineapple chicken from @chelseasmessyapron this is a new recipe that looks so good, I cannot wait to give it a try.

I would love to start some holiday baking this week, but it all depends on time.  I am going to buy everything that I need for the recipes in hopes that I will find some time to bake.  I’ve decided that I would like to make some kiss cookies and then something gingerbread.  I found a recipe for snickerdoodle kiss cookies and then I am going to make a gingerbread cookie with some white chocolate cream cheese icing or gingersnap sandwich cookies with white chocolate with white chocolate filling.  I also wanted to make something with a mint flavour but who knows if I’ll ever finish all of it!  I will keep you posted as to what I bake in the coming weeks.  Grocery shopping  made simple with grocery list 113

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. 11 – Nov. 15

Meal updates from last week:
We LOVED the mediterranean salmon as well as the zuppa Toscana.  The soup got even better sitting in the fridge and was delicious for lunch.  I had made the caprese chicken before and it was a hit once again.  Pair it with a caesar salad and some parmesan pasta and your kids will gobble it up!

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Wednesday, I will be out on Thursday and then my husband and I are heading out of town for the weekend.  The cold weather broke today and it looks like the rest of the week will be a lot warmer.  Below I will share recipes that I made for Sunday and Monday dinner, plus the rest of my weekly recipes.

  • Thai slow cooker chicken and wild rice soup from @sweetpeasandsaffron we ate this with cheese buns for dipping.  This soup is amazing!  I only use two Tbsp of curry paste as I don’t want it too spicy for the kids.  This makes a big amount of soup, so invite friends or freeze the leftovers.
  • Caramel shrimp with coconut rice from @cookingforkeeps I didn’t have a chance to make the rice as it was a basketball night, so I served this with brown rice, edamame and green beans.  I decided to half the sauce and there was still enough for four servings.
  • Stuffed Italian mini meatloaves from @iowagirleats I will serve this with some green beans and a salad.
  • Sausage and veggie sheet pan, I have shared recipes for this before, but tonight I am going to keep it simple and roast everything together.  I am going to use broccoli and potatoes as my veg, I like to slice the potatoes on a mandolin, they turn into baked potato chips that my kids devour.  Here are some other sheet pan meals: sausage and greens, sausage and veggies and healthy sausage and veggies.

As I mentioned last week, I have started to think about my holiday baking, I even put a few Christmas decorations up today!  My husband always heads home in late November and I like to send some homemade goodies for his dad and grammas.  As always I will be making and sending nuts and bolts, this is a simple yet delicious holiday treat.  In the past I have made cookies and a couple of years ago I made turtles, this year I think I am going to make peppermint or turtle bark.  Both recipes come together in less than twenty minutes, but look and taste like you spent way more time!  I will make sure to update when I have decided/made the recipes.  There will be no time for any baking in this house this week.  My son just finished the pumpkin muffins that I had in the freezer, I still have a lemon blueberry loaf that I made in late summer.  Once that is gone then I know it is time for more baking 😉

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Dec. 18 – Dec. 22

Meal updates from last week:
Our favourite meals from last week were the steak fajitas and the rice casserole.  If I am being honest, my son hated the rice casserole but everyone else loved it.  I ended up using mild Italian sausage and it tasted great.  The fajitas had great flavour and were so easy to make using the grill.

This week is going to be a busy one!  We will be eating at home Sunday-Friday.  Saturday night we will be at friends and then we are hosting Christmas Eve at our place.  My holiday baking is almost over, I do need to finish making some icing for my gingerbread cookies.

  • Hamburger soup from The Best of Bridge served with buns.
  • Thai turkey lettuce cups from @cookinglight I am not sure how the kids will like these, but I’m hoping if they don’t want the lettuce then they will eat the filling and the veggies.  I may also supplement the cups with some steamed rice just to give the meal more substance.
  • Spinach and ricotta stuffed shells from @forkknifeswoon we will eat this with a caesar salad and fresh bread.
  • Coq au Riesling from @halfbakedharvest as this meal includes vegetables we will only eat this.
  • Pork Milanese with kale salad from @cookinglight I am not going to make the kale salad with this, but instead will serve this with a steamed green vegetable.
  • Mexican haystack rice bowls from @togetherasafamilyblog we are hosting friends with kids and decorating gingerbread houses.  I needed a meal that was flexible with kids and adults and I think that this one will work out well.

I am bringing an appetizer to friends on Saturday night, I have decided to make these potatoes.  They sound like a great one-bite starter and will go well with the chili that is being served for dinner.  Christmas Eve is going to be very casual and filled with family.  We are going to start in the late afternoon so that the kids can get to bed before Santa arrives!  I have ordered a large charcuterie platter that I am going to serve alongside meatballs, caesar salad and a baguette.  Christmas morning will also be very casual, we will be having gingerbread cinnamon rolls with fresh fruit before we head out-of-town to visit family.  Although I claim that my holiday baking is finished my good friend shared a Swiss Mountain Shortbread recipe that sounds amazing!  I have decided to bake them and send them to work with my husband as a treat for the staff.  I will not be adding my weekly grocery list as it is way too long!  I will continue as usual after the holidays.  We are heading out-of-town, so stay tuned for some healthy menus to kick-start your new year!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas,
Sara

Weekly meals Dec. 4 – Dec. 8

Meal updates from last week:
I cooked all of the planned meals from last week except for the chicken parmesan from @skinnytaste.  The top meal of the week was the turkey meatloaf, it was juicy and full of flavour.

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday.  We are in full holiday mode, our house and trees are decorated and my holiday baking continues!  This evening we had family over to decorate our Christmas trees and enjoy a meal.  I wanted to make chicken cacciatore in my crock pot, but I wasn’t left with enough time after getting back from our tree cutting.  Instead, I made chicken cacciatore in the oven from @jocooks.  It was amazing!  We ate it with a baguette and caesar salad.

Last week I baked two more Christmas cookie recipes both from @sallysbakeblog.  I made peanut butter kiss cookies, which were one of my gramma Illa’s favourite cookies.  I did use her recipe, but the one on Sally’s site is very similar.  Later in the week I made raspberry almond thumbprint cookies, which are shortbread with a dollop of jam.  Although we do eat a few of the cookies, I mainly bake them to give them away during the holiday season.  I usually make a few other kinds of cookies, stay tuned for those recipes!  Grocery shopping made easy with Dinner List 37

Happy cooking,
Sara

*White chocolate dipped snickerdoodles*