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,

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:
Land of nod cinnamon buns
Fresh fruit with yogurt

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

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

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!


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,

Weekly meals Dec. 9 – Dec. 13

Meal updates from last week:
BLT salad is always a hit, bonus this time was that my daughter decided she liked it too!  I liked the chicken with pineapple salsa, but I think that it would’ve tasted better had I grilled the chicken.  I wasn’t going to fire up the BBQ, so I cooked it on the stove instead.  I will save the recipe for when the weather is warmer.

This week is slightly quieter than last week, my son has ball twice and then I have to work late on Thursday.  We will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, we don’t have plans on Friday, Saturday we are going to a Christmas party.

  • Turkey chili from @natashaskitchen we ate this tonight with some taco chips for dipping.  I served sour cream, avocado and pickled jalapeños as the toppings for the chili.
  • Chicken buddha bowl from myrecipemagic.com I have made this bowl before and it is amazing!
  • Crunchy baked chicken with ham and swiss from @realsimple I will serve this with green beans.
  • Homemade pizza, I am going to try the pizza bases from @cobsbread we will add our favourite pasta sauce, pizza toppings and mozzarella.
  • I am working late tonight so dinner will be left up to my husband, and I am almost 100% sure that there will be deer sausage served as I won’t be there!  I am not a fan of deer sausage, I love elk but have never really enjoyed deer.

Last week I had the chance to make the snickerdoodle kiss cookies, and I am hoping tomorrow to bake the gingersnap sandwich cookies.  My son has asked that we make something with chocolate and peppermint and I think that I found the perfect recipe.  I also happened upon a recipe for cranberry almond shortbread that I cannot stop thinking about!  I finished all of my pressing school work and we have two weeks until winter break, so I am hoping to bake a little more this week.  Grocery shop with ease using grocery list 114

Happy cooking,


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,

Weekly meals Oct. 27 – Nov. 1

Meal updates from last week:
We really enjoyed all of the meals from last week.  We especially liked the lemongrass shrimp bowl as well as the Greek power bowl.  What can I say, I am a sucker for a good bowl!  Last night we ended up having sushi for dinner, and it was outstanding!  We usually order takeout from the same place, but last night it was even better than ever.

This week is pretty calm, save for the fact that it is Halloween.  We will be eating at home Monday-Thursday, we don’t have plans Friday and we are supposed to go out Saturday but still searching for a sitter.  Tonight I made some hamburger soup and took it to my parent’s house, my mom made a green salad and we dipped cheese buns in the soup,  It was the perfect Sunday meal!

  • Tuscan chicken tortellini soup from @twopeasandtheirpod it is supposed to very cold tomorrow so we are going to have back to back soup dinners.
  • Roasted salmon with citrus-soy sauce from @nytcooking I can only access this recipe through their Instagram account, I cannot seem to find it on their website?  Find a similar recipe here.  I am not making the shaved brussels sprouts, but will serve this is steamed rice and a green salad.
  • Roasted lemon rosemary chicken from @littlebroken we will eat this with a fall salad from @gimmesomeoven I will also make some butter and cheese pasta for the kids to have with their chicken.
  • Before we head out trick or treating I will  make the kids some jack-o-lantern quesadillas, my husband and I will eat sheet pan chicken fajitas from @themodernproper.

I don’t have any plans to bake this week, I still have some canned pumpkin and did find a very intriguing cookie recipe.  We will see if I find the time to make them.  I also have to confess, I have been looking at different Christmas cookie recipes, I know that it is a little early but I can’t help myself!  Shopping made easy with Dinner List 110

Happy Halloween,

phtoto of person holding orange pumpkin ornament

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Weekly meals Sept. 30 – Oct. 4

Meal updates from last week:
The whole family loved the sausage and greens sheet pan dinner.  I changed the recipe slightly as I knew my kids wouldn’t like the greens, so I used broccoli instead and it turned out great.  I used a mandolin to slice the potatoes really thin, they turned into baked chips and the kids loved dipping them in ketchup.  I used the simple vinaigrette on my portion, but not on the kid’s.  We also really like the Thai chicken kabobs, I didn’t end up skewering the chicken and pineapple as I forgot to soak the skewers before dinner time.  There is something so delicious about grilled fruit!

This week is another busy one!  My son starts basketball, and my husband is going away. We will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday.  I have a meal plan for Thursday, but with my husband away I find that we have a lot of leftovers, so we may just eat those Thursday.  I don’t have plans Friday, I will probably want to go out or order in.  The weekend is wide open.

  • Crock pot sweet potato and quinoa turkey chili from @iowagirleats I haven’t made this for a really long time, but it was cold and snowy today and I just thought it was the perfect meal.  I didn’t add the quinoa as my kids don’t love it, instead I cooked some brow rice and served it overtop with some sour cream, sliced avocado and tortilla chips for dipping.
  • Shepherd’s pie courtesy of Alton Brown from @thefoodnetwork Alton’s recipe calls for ground lamb, I am going to be using ground elk.  I won’t be adding the frozen peas as no one in our family likes them.
  • Chicken buddha bowl from myrecipemagic.com love a one bowl dinner and I’m sure this one won’t disappoint.
  • Sloppy Joes from @kimscravings this recipe is a repeat from last week as I didn’t have a chance to make it.  We will eat these with fries and salad.
  • Shrimp lo mein from @realsimple I bought ramen noodles instead of lo mein noodles.

I finally had the chance to use the canned pumpkin that I bought last week.  I made and shared the recipe for these pumpkin muffins last year around the same time.  I don’t top the muffins with oats, but add chocolate chips into the batter and top with a few extra.  I also found a recipe for banana bread cookies, these are gluten free and vegan, which is not the most important part of the recipe, but they sounded so delicious.  Make shopping easy with grocery list 107

Happy cooking,