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 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 Oct. 21 – Oct. 25

Meal updates from last week:
We loved the tortilla soup and the Mediterranean bowl, I didn’t end up making the turkey burgers with cauliflower mash as we went out for dinner mid-week.  We also took the kids downtown for dinner on the weekend, we ate pizza at Posto, the food was amazing.  We ordered their romaine salad and a white pizza with wild mushrooms, spinach and truffle oil.  Last night we were lucky to go to friends to celebrate a belated Thanksgiving. The food was so delicious, it was my first time eating turkey done on the bbq, and it was just as good as the oven.  I took two pumpkin pies, blondie brownies and an autumn chopped salad.

This week we will be eating at home Monday-Thursday, we don’t have plans Friday but are heading to a Halloween party on Saturday with our kids.

  • Sheet pan roasted veggies with Italian sausage.  I diced a sweet potato and drizzled with olive oil, I added the sausage and cooked in a 425 oven for 20 minutes.  Then I added small broccoli florets and roasted for another 5-7 minutes.  While cooking I made a simple vinaigrette of: honey, Dijon, red wine vinegar and olive oil.  After removing pan from oven I placed the veggies in the bottom of a large bowl, topped with the sausage and drizzled with the dressing.  Delish.  You can find a similar recipe here.
  • Turkey meatloaf from @foolproofliving I will serve this with mashed potatoes and steamed beans.
  • Vietnamese lemongrass noodle bowl from @gimmesomeoven this recipe uses chicken as the protein, but I am going to use shrimp instead.
  • Greek power bowls from @delish this is another one bowl meal, and one that has all of my favourite things!

I don’t have any plans for baking this week as I spent the weekend making pie dough and then baking two pumpkin pies.  If you are looking for a great pie dough recipe, simply search the blog and you will find my gramma’s tried and true recipe!  Simplify your life with grocery list 109

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

July 15 – July 19

Meal updates form last week:
There was a lot of eating out and meals on the fly last week as we had many different plans.  I really liked the spanakopita meatballs, I ended up making them into patties as I didn’t feel like making little meatballs.  I served these over a simple Greek salad with greens and tzatziki.  Other meals last week were simple and easy to prepare as well as many dinners out.  I am happy that this week is a little calmer and there will be more home cooked meals.

We are eating at home this week Sunday-Thursday, I had all intentions of making dinner tonight but we were invited to my parents for cabbage rolls, which is not a meal that I can pass up!  They were amazing as usual.  For the rest of the week we will be eating in and then the weekend is filled with birthday celebrations for my son and father.

The only baking I will be doing this week is a birthday cake for my son.  He has asked for a dog cake!  As usual I will be using my go-to chocolate cake recipe with pudding frosting from @thelittlekitchen.  I will also be making a lemon bundt cake for my dad’s birthday, this recipe was in my gramma’s recipe box and I will post a copy later this week.

Happy cooking,
Sara

 

Weekly meals June 10 – June 14

Meal updates from last week:
We enjoyed all meals from last week, but the top two recipes for me were the turkey patties and monte christo sandwiches.  My kids also loved the sandwiches!  I didn’t add the gruyere cheese to theirs as they find it too strong.  We were away in the mountains this weekend, and we had a wonderful time and ate some amazing food.  We went to stay at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise, it is a hidden gem in the rocky mountains.  The added bonus is that they have an outstanding restaurant at the hotel, we got a chance to eat there for dinner last night and then for breakfast this morning.  Once again they didn’t disappoint.  I had their summer salad with avocado, tomatoes, peppers, feta and a passionfruit vinaigrette.  For my main course I ordered poached lobster, which was served over a mixture of homemade pasta noodles and zoodles.  For dessert they did a take on a magnum bar with some khalua whipped cream and salted caramel popcorn.  It was amazing!  If you are ever looking for a place to stay while visiting Lake Louise, the Post Hotel is not to be missed!

This week has lots going on.  My son has baseball twice, we are also celebrating his friend birthday.  We do this so that all of his school friends have a chance to attend, if we waited till summer then no one would be around.  He has chosen to have a Nerf birthday this year, so we will transform our yard into a Nerf battle zone where they can shoot till their hearts content.  He has asked for chicken fingers and fries and a toothless dragon cake for dessert.  As always I will use my go-to chocolate cake recipe with accompanying icing.  I will post pictures of the completed cake on the weekend.  Also somewhere in there we need to celebrate Father’s Day!  It’s going to be busy.

  • Soy marinated flank steak from @skinnytaste we ate this tonight with a spinach and mixed berry salad.  I topped the salad with toasted almonds, feta cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette.  The kids ate raw fruit and veggies as well as a cheese bun with butter.
  • Pineapple Thai grilled chicken skewers from @foodfaithfit we will eat these with some steamed edamame and rice.
  • Egg roll bowls from @skinnytaste
  • Steamed shrimp and watermelon salad from @cookinglight I will serve the kids some pasta alongside their shrimp.
  • Tonight I am going to grill sausages with peppers and onions.  I will serve these in a sub roll with some veggies or salad on the side.

Besides baking a birthday cake this week I won’t have any other time to bake.  I do have some rhubarb that I am dying to use, but not really sure what I am going to do with it.  I was leaning towards a strawberry rhubarb crumble.  Head to the store with Grocery List 97

Happy cooking,
Sara