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. 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. 7 – Oct. 11

Meal updates from last week:
Favourites from last week were: Shepherd’s pie and the chicken buddha bowls.  We enjoyed the turkey sloppy joe’s, and I didn’t end up making the lo mein as we decided to have waffles instead.  All of the pumpkin muffins from last week are gone!  I’m not sure if I will make more, or try a different recipe.  This weekend I finally got the chance to make grape jelly, and pumpkin cookies to serve to friends that came for dinner tonight.  Was a highly successful Sunday of cooking!

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Wednesday, we are going away for the long weekend, spending time with family and enjoying a non-traditional Canadian Thanksgiving.

  • Italian bolognese sauce from @fooddotcom we ate this with spaghetti, caesar salad and fresh bread.  The sauce took a long time, but let me tell you it was worth every minute!  I didn’t realize until after I serve dinner that I forgot to add the milk to the sauce.  I am not sure that it would’ve made a big difference, perhaps it would have made it creamier?
  • Barbecued chicken with autumn glow salad from @pinchofyum it looks like Monday is going to be one of the last warmish days, so I am going to take advantage and grill some chicken.  We will eat this with a salad full of fall flavours.
  • Thai coconut curry shrimp noodle bowl from @howsweeteats I am not sure if my kids will like this meal, I am crossing my fingers and will let you know.
  • BLT salad from @marthastewart this is a family favourite that I haven’t made in a long time.  My kids love eating the homemade croutons.

I still have a cup of pumpkin left over from my muffins and cookies, if time allows I will bake another pumpkin recipe this week.  I also have a recipe for banana date muffins that I’ve been told are the best muffins ever.  I bought all of the ingredients, so stay tuned to see if they are worth all of the hype!  Today my mom dropped by and gave me a new cookbook!  I cannot wait to look through Fraiche Food, Full Hearts by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer, the recipes that I have looked at so far look amazing!  Shopping made easier with shopping list 108

Happy cooking and Happy Thanksgiving,
Sara

 

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,
Sara

Weekly meals Sept. 16 – Sept. 20

Meal updates from last week:
As always the entire family loved the hamburger soup, and this time I made it with ground elk instead of ground beef.  I don’t find that it changes the taste in any way.  I took the soup for lunch and it was even better days after it was made.  My husband and I really like the chicken enchiladas, my daughter didn’t like anything except the rice and corn and my son only liked the chicken and rice.  I guess it just goes to show, that you cannot please all of the palettes in your house!  I also enjoyed the salmon bowls, it was a perfect combination of flavours and the citrus dressing just added a little tartness.

I have to say that I am glad last week is all over.  We were so busy with work and school, plus we were celebrating my husband’s birthday.  It just felt so packed with things, I am hoping that this week will be a little slower.  We will be eating at home Monday-Thursday we don’t have much planned this weekend.  I would really like to bake some zucchini muffins, but we will see what time I will have for that.

  • Chicken gyros from @littlebrokenblog I love a good Greek flavoured meal and I think that this one sounds delish!
  • Sesame noodle bowl from @pinchofyum we are heading to the school BBQ, but I think the kids will eat there (hotdogs) and my husband and I will eat these bowls after.  I am going to use linguine as the noodle for this recipe.
  • Shrimp burrito bowl from @carlsbadcravings I am going to make a version of this bowl, but I won’t be using the peppers as they are far too spicy for my kids.  We will add corn, tomatoes and some sliced avocado.
  • Homemade pizza using pillsbury pizza dough, this is a simple and fast weeknight meal to prepare.  Add any of your favourite pizza toppings and make a green salad, and you have a well balanced meal that your kids will love.

While making my meal plan for the week I came across a few recipes that I would love to try: hummus platter with roasted veggies and rice, crunchy cucumber cabbage salad with sesame dressing and crockpot chicken fajitas.  My kids wouldn’t go for the hummus platter but it would be a great appetizer to take to friends or even a nice meal to serve for a girls night.  Head to the grocery store with grocery list 105

Happy cooking,

Sara

Weekly meals August 26 – August 30

Meal updates from last week:
We loved two recipes from last week, the caprese chicken and the skillet coconut shrimp.  I didn’t add the pesto to the kid’s chicken as I knew they wouldn’t like it.  Served with some simple pasta with butter and parmesan, and it was a complete meal.  The skillet shrimp were so good, I didn’t make the coconut rice, but served cauliflower rice and steamed edamame instead.  I will make the shrimp again soon as it was amazing and came together so easily!

This week we are eating at home Monday-Thursday, Friday we are heading out of town for the long weekend.  This week marks the end of summer and the beginning of school, my daughter started child care today, I go back Wednesday and my son will be heading back in a week.  I have already been stocking my freezer with rhubarb muffins, banana muffins, zucchini loaf and blueberry lemon bread.  I like having snack options ready for the beginning of the school year, it makes packing lunches that much easier.

  • Stuffed peppers from @thekitchn this was a recipe I shared last week that I didn’t have a chance to make, so I pushed it until tonight.  We really liked these, I served the kids the filling topped with cheese with raw veggies on the side.  My husband and I ate ours with a side salad.
  • Summer grilled chicken power salad from @whatsgabycooking I have made this salad before and it is so delicious!
  • Pork tenderloin from @carlsbadcravings I will serve this with some roasted potatoes, green beans and carrots.
  • Shrimp tacos, I will toss the shrimp with olive oil, chili powder and some cumin.  Then I will cook them in the frying pan and finish with a squeeze of lime.  We will eat these on warmed corn tortillas with avocado, sour cream and cilantro.

This weekend I will be soaking up the last moments of summer, and getting ready for the back to school transitions.  Make life easier with grocery list 103

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals August 19 – August 23

I am back home after a week away with my kids.  We enjoyed spending time by the ocean, relaxing and exploring.  I am very happy to be back in my own bed and cooking in my kitchen.  This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, we don’t have any plans Friday and will be heading to friends Saturday.  I am trying to take advantage of these last few weeks of summer weather, and more importantly before I go back to work and my son heads back to school.

  • Thai baked turkey meatballs from @aspicyperspective I served these with brown rice, edamame, carrots, peppers and sweet chili sauce for dipping.
  • Caprese chicken from @themediterraneandish we ate this with caesar salad and I made some cheese and butter pasta for the kids.
  • Ground turkey burgers from @saltandlavendar on the side we will have fries and a simple green salad.
  • Skillet coconut shrimp from @bevcooks I will serve this with brown rice and edamame.
  • Stuffed peppers from @thekitchn I am going to make these peppers without the rice, instead I will use cauli-rice and shredded zucchini.  I will let you know how they turn out.

I am going to try to bake a chocolate zucchini loaf as well as more banana muffins, I like to pack my freezer in anticipation for school lunches.  My son loves to take a muffin or slice of bread for his morning snack.  Peach season continues for the next couple of weeks, when we were on the coast I made a blueberry peach crisp that was outstanding! Now is the time to take advantage of all the fruit and veggies that are in season, because before you know it we will be eating apples and oranges.  The grocery list 102 is back!

Happy cooking,
Sara

Blueberry lemon bread