Weekly meals Jan. 20 – Jan. 25

Meal updates from last week:
My husband and I loved the pork chops with mushrooms, I wasn’t sure when I was reading the recipe if a sauce made with coconut milk was going to go well with mushrooms, but it was so delicious.  My kids aren’t huge fans of mushrooms, but they ate the pork with rice.  We also enjoyed the Korean beef, I made the cauliflower rice in the skillet and added mushrooms, snap peas and spinach, they were the perfect addition to the bowl.  My kids devoured the chocolate chunk banana olive oil cake!  I will be making this again very soon.  I also made them a peanut butter banana smoothie one day after school, I added three pitted dates, one frozen banana, soy milk and a couple tablespoons of peanut butter, and let me tell you it tasted like dessert!  We went to friends for dinner on Saturday and I made a small snack platter for the kids and goat cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates with rosemary honey, a very simple but delicious recipe.

This week is a full one, and my husband is heading out of town.  Kids continue their two activities each and then we will try to ski on Sunday as we did today.  We will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, we don’t really have weekend plans, possibly a date night with my husband.

  • Slow cooker Thai chicken and wild rice soup from @sweepeasandsaffron this was a set it and forget it meal.  I put everything into the slow cooker this morning before leaving for skiing, when we arrived home this afternoon it was cooked and ready to eat!
  • BBQ mild Italian sausage with oven roasted veggies and waffle fries.  Our cold weather has broken and I am excited to shovel off the BBQ and cook some dinner.  I have a head of cauliflower leftover from last week that I will roast with a couple other veggies, and serve them alongside sausage and fries.
  • Crispy tofu bowl from @fraicheliving this will be a big stretch for my kids, but I am hoping that at least exposing them to a meat alternative will be a positive experience?!  I have no idea, but I am really excited to try this recipe.
  • Sloppy joe tacos from @gimmesomeoven I have shred this recipe before, it is simple and tasty.  Kids will eat theirs in hard shells and I will eat mine as a salad.\
  • Greek lemon roasted chicken thighs from @lemonblossomsblog I will serve this with a simple salad and some parmesan pasta for the kids.

I don’t have any plans to bake this week, although my freezer is still full of brown bananas!  We will see if I find the time.  Grocery list 117

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Jan. 13 – Jan. 17

Meal updates from last week:
We really liked the shrimp, mango and cashew stir fry as well as the chorizo crumble.  We ate the crumble as a taco salad, and the kids ate theirs with some chips and shredded cheese.  As always, and probably forever we will LOVE hamburger soup from @bestofbridge.  I only make half of the recipe and it is always more than enough for us, plus we get at least four lunches.  We continue to be in a deep freeze in southern Alberta, and this week is going to be FREEZING!  I decided that today I was going to do some meal prepping as it was too cold to do anything else.  I made a large batch of curried butternut squash soup from @minimalistbaker, a tray of healthy granola from @gimmesomeoven and a chocolate banana olive oil cake from @fraicheliving.

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, no plans Friday and then dinner with friends Saturday.  My son has ball twice, my daughter has dance and then they both have swimming.  It is going to be a busy week.

  • Roasted chicken with mashed cauliflower/potatoes and steamed green beans.  I bought a whole marinated chicken from @sunterramarket then made a potato and cauliflower mash and steamed some beans.
  • Creamy mushroom smothered pork chops from @thekitchn we will eat this with brown rice and another vegetable.
  • Classy chicken from @bestofbridge I will serve this with egg noodles.
  • Korean beef and rice bowl from @alyssa_therecipecritic I am hoping that the kids like this one!
  • Lemon herb salmon from @completelydelicious we will eat this with some green veggies and roasted cauliflower.

I did so much prep and cooking today I don’t have plans for any other baking this week.  I still have many brown bananas, but will save them until we are done the cake that I made today.  I did use some of them yesterday while making banana bread waffles.  This week staying warm is going to be the key!  Finally the grocery list 116

Happy cooking,
Sara

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

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. 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,
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