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. 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 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 Nov. 25 – Nov. 28

Meal updates from last week:
We really enjoyed the chicken cacciatore sandwiches, and the chicken and pepper mixture was really good even on its own.  As I mentioned last week, they didn’t have any flank steak so I made a version of the fajita bowls only with shrimp.

This week we will be eating at home Monday-Thursday, we don’t have any plans on Friday.  Saturday we are heading to friends for gingerbread decorating and a parade of lights.  Sunday we are off to cut our trees down!  The weather is going to change later this week so I’m pulling out some comfort food family favourites.

  • BLT salad from @marthastewart this is a family favourite, bacon and homemade croutons enough said!
  • Classy chicken from @bestofbridge another family staple my kids will gobble this up.
  • Turkey tacos from @culinaryhill my kids love tacos.  My son loves a hard shell, my daughter likes to dip chips and I usually eat mine as a salad.  I like this meal as it is very versatile.
  • Buddha bowls from another food love for my kids is sausage.  I am going to serve their bowls with brown rice and ours with cauliflower rice.  I didn’t buy sprouts as the green veggie but bought a head of cauliflower.

I have zero plans to bake this week as I have school work that needs to get done.  Once it is finished I will have some time to think about my Christmas baking plan.  I am not sure if I will make some of what I always make, or change it up and make something different.  The Dinner List 112is back!  Print and take it with you to the store.

Weekly meals Nov. 4 – Nov. 8

Meal updates from last week:
All the meals from last week were great.  Everyone loved the chicken and tortellini soup, and it made for great leftovers.  The salmon was amazing and it paired so well with a simple green salad.  The fall salad with roasted sweet potatoes was so delicious!  It would be a great salad to prep on the weekend and then eat for lunch during the week.  The kids loved eating the jack-o-lantern quesadillas before going trick or treating.

This week is a busy one, my son has basketball twice, and we are celebrating two birthdays.  We will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, not sure what we are doing Friday and heading to friends on Saturday.

  • Garlic beef and broccoli lo mein from @therecipecritic we ate this tonight and it was so good.  I couldn’t find any lo mein noodles today, so I used linguine instead.  I added some green beans and we topped ours with sriracha.
  • Mediterranean salmon from @theraostedroot we will eat this with some roasted broccoli and potatoes I will make a simple dressing and toss it to coat.  I am inspired by a recipe I have already made from Epicurious.
  • Asian ground turkey and rice from @philiakelnhofer another recipe for a one bowl meal.
  • Zuppa Toscana from @foodnetwork I will serve this with some bread for dipping.
  • Caprese chicken from @themediterraneandish we will eat this with a caesar salad and some simple pasta with butter and parmesan.

I never got the chance to bake last week, and don’t think that I will have the chance this week either.  I have been craving granola and homemade is much better than store bought.  I also need to start thinking about my holiday baking and gift giving, I’ve been skimming through some of the holiday baking magazines for new cookie ideas.  Shop with ease using the grocery list 111.

Happy cooking,

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,

Weekly meals Oct.14 – Oct. 18

Meal updates from last week:
I LOVED the autumn glow salad and we all liked the Thai coconut curry shrimp.  I used brown rice in the salad instead of farro, the roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower were a perfect compliment to the rice and dressing.  Next time I am going to double the recipe and make enough for a week of lunches.  The curry shrimp were also great, I used ramen noodles as they cook really fast.  My kids tried the sauce but didn’t really like it, so they had all of the other ingredients over noodles.

We spent the weekend away in Southern California, soaking up the sun and enjoying time as a family.  We ate some delicious meals at Ola Mexican Kitchen, Waterline at Balboa Bay Resort and Watertable at the Hyatt Regency.  We always find that eating out in the United States offers more variety for kids menus and options that they don’t have in Canada.  If you are ever in the Huntington Beach area, try out some of these restaurants, all were kid and family friendly.

This week we are eating at home Tuesday-Friday, we don’t have plans on Saturday, but Sunday we are going to friends to celebrate an overdue Thanksgiving.

  • Creamy chicken tortilla soup from @littlebrokenblog this is the second soup that I have made from her blog, and let me tell you it was amazing!  I topped the soup with sliced avocado, cilantro and chips for dipping.  It was a perfect fall meal.
  • BLT salad from @marthstewart this was on last week’s plan, but I didn’t get a chance to make it as we ate out unexpectedly one night last week.
  • Spinach and feta turkey burgers with cauliflower mash from @sara.haven this recipe can be found directly on her Instagram feed.  I am going to make the kids some mashed potatoes and add some steamed beans on the side.
  • Mediterranean beef rice bowl from @mysequinedlife I will be using ground elk instead of ground beef for this recipe.

I used up the last of my canned pumpkin today and made another batch of pumpkin muffins from @cookieandkate.  We cannot get enough of these muffins, I don’t top the muffins with oats, but dot each one with some chocolate chips.  I have another muffin recipe I need to try, and if there is time tomorrow I will bake them.  When I was away I found some Halloween M & Ms that are called ghouls mix, I’m thinking of making some blondies with these.  The regular grocery list will return next week.

Happy cooking,

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 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,