Weekly meals July 20 – July 24

I’m back!!  I know that it has been a while since my last post, but we were road tripping and enjoying some family time.  We’ve been home less than a week, but have been busy celebrating my son’s 10th birthday.  Full birthday meal and cake recap will come later.  We cooked every meal while we were away and as promised I will share my dinner ideas with you:

  • pre-made kebabs (purchased from Save On Foods) served with salad
  • pizza cooked on the grill using naan bread as the base
  • grilled sausages, potatoes, peppers and onions
  • BBQ chicken salad from @skinnytaste
  • Turkey tacos made into taco salad from @culinaryhill
  • Homemade fish and chips (I didn’t make this meal, but provided slaw and roasted potatoes and carrots as side dishes)

Once we got home I couldn’t wait NOT to cook, so last week for our anniversary we ordered sushi to have with the kids.  We ended the week eating home cooked meals since I had some time to do some recipe searching.  We had zucchini turkey burgers from @bigdeliciouslife you can find the recipe right on her Instagram feed, and skillet chicken with rice, zucchini and corn from @bevcooks.  My son requested homemade pizza for his birthday on Sunday, so I bought dough from CO-OP and all of the necessary toppings and we did make your own pizza night.  For his cake I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe with pudding frosting and made it into a bowl of popcorn.  It turned out so well, way better than I had expected.

This week we are eating at home Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, my husband and I are going to friends for dinner Tuesday and Friday my son is having a small group of kids for a drive in movie in the backyard.

  • Easy grilled enchilada chicken from @thismessisours I served the chicken in corn tortillas with a simple pico de gallo and some sour cream, and added some gilled corn on the side.  You can make your own enchilada sauce but I opted to buy some from the store.  This meal is so quick and easy and would be great made into a salad.
  • We are out for dinner but I am taking dessert, I have a box of peaches and decided to make a peach and pecan crisp from @smittenkitchen, her recipes never disappoint.
  • Shrimp bowl with coconut cilantro lime rice and pineapple salsa from @twopeasandpod this is a new bowl recipe that I can’t wait to try!
  • Grilled chicken and peach kebabs from @aimeebourque I will serve these with some roasted potatoes and green beans.

Since I have so many peaches I am going to try to bake a few other things besides the crisp.  A long time ago I made peach cobbler scones from @joythebaker and they were amazing.  I also found a recipe for peach upside-down cake that looks divine!  If I find any other peach recipes I will pass them along.  After a long hiatus the grocery list 133
is back!

Stay safe,
Sara

Weekly meals June 29 – July 3

Meal updates from last week:
My meals didn’t go as planned last week, we decided to go out for our first restaurant dinner since COVID.  Our son had golf lessons and then we went to Brown’s Social House,  there were very minimal patrons, but food was really good and service was great.  I loved the watermelon salad that I made last week.  Our favourite meal was the Mexican pizza, it was a hit with the kids and so easy to make.  I never made the strawberry salad, but I did make the couscous salad with lime basil vinaigrette.  I was going to substitute brown rice instead of couscous but I ended up leaving it out and added some avocado.  It was amazing!  I served the salad with marinaded grilled chicken thighs from @littlebrokenblog

This week I am taking a break from my traditional recipe searching, and listing our favourite family meals.  I will be back next week with all new recipes for you to try.  For now give our tried and true recipes some love!

Happy cooking and Happy Canada Day!
Sara

 

Weekly meals June 15 – June 19

Meal updates from last week:
Last week I didn’t follow my meal plan as I usually do.  I made the tortilla soup and it was amazing.  I cooked the sausage and served it with grilled asparagus and a spinach salad.  The other meals that I had planned I didn’t end up making, so I will save the cobb salad and cauliflower bowl recipes for a later date.

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, we planning a weekend camping trip if all goes as planned and the weather holds.  This weekend we ordered from Globefish Sushi and Browns Social House, both meals were really good.  It will be very strange to eat out in a restaurant again after we haven’t been in so long!  Most recipes this week are from Gina Homolka’s Skinnytaste Cookbook.  Sometimes it’s inspiring to look through cookbooks and get dinner ideas.

  • Teriyaki pork chops Teriyaki pork 2 from @skinnytaste I served these tonight with sesame noodles and an Asian slaw.  The pork was delicious, her recipe says to grill for 6-7 minutes a side, my pork loin chops were small so I grilled them for 4 minutes a side.  They were perfectly cooked.
  • Buffalo chicken salad Buffalo chicken salad 2 again from @skinnytaste I love a good dinner salad and I think this one will be great.
  • Naked Greek feta-zucchini turkey burgers from @skinnytaste I am going to serve these with a large Greek salad.
  • Crispy shrimp bowl from @joyous.apron I made this not that long ago and it was so good I decided to make it again.  My kids and husband will eat theirs in a bun.
  • Asian peanut noodles with chicken from @skinnytaste I make a very similar dish from Anne Lindsay, but it is always nice to try something different.  I don’t usually add the chicken but this time I am going to add it.

Last week I made a batch of buttermilk blueberry muffins with cinnamon streusel, I’ve tried a lot of blueberry muffin recipes and this one was great!  There was only one difference and that was I used vegan butter instead of regular butter.  I bought it on a whim, but really wanted to give it a try, and it made the muffins so soft and fluffy!  I don’t have any plans to bake this week, but if we are planning on camping I might make a batch of protein balls. Dinner List 132 ready for the taking!

Stay safe and healthy,
Sara

Weekly meals May 4 – May 8

Meal updates from last week:
As always everyone loved the Thai noodles, this time I added sugar snap peas and edamame and omitted the chicken.  We really liked the rosemary chicken patties, I served these with fries and a Greek salad.  My husband and son ate theirs in a bun, I had mine without and it was delicious.  The crispy shrimp bowl was by far my favourite meal of the week.  The shrimp were delicious, I made mine a little different as I realized when I went to cook them that I didn’t have any panko.  Instead I used flour and egg, dipped them in flour then egg and back into the flour before cooking them in a little bit of oil.  They turned out so good!  I will be making this recipe again.

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday we will do the usual takeout Friday and Saturday.  This past Friday we ordered sushi and then Saturday night we had bbq sausages with Greek salad and tater tots.  I also made some flourless blender banana brownies from @sara.haven if you head to her Instagram account you can find the recipe.  They were amazing!  The only substitution I made was using brown sugar instead of coconut.  I also topped mine with some extra chocolate chips.

I don’t have any plans to bake this week, but that has never stopped me!  Shop safely with grocery list 128

Stay healthy and stay safe,
Sara

 

Weekly meals March 30 – April 3

Meal updates from last week:
Last week’s meals were a hit!  We loved the make your own salad rolls, my son especially enjoyed choosing his ingredients.  The roast chicken was delicious, and it did double duty as I used the leftover meat for the creamy chicken noodle soup.  The soup and white buns were the best recipe of the week, I cannot tell you how good those buns were!  I do admit that it was a long process to make the dough, as it needed to rise three times, but the end result was well worth all of the work.  I accidentally over cooked the salmon so it wasn’t my best meal.  We had takeout Friday night from Joey’s Chinook, they are offering a simplified menu and you are able to pick it up curb side.  On Saturday we had grilled sausages, baked beans and a spinach berry salad.  After dinner we took a family drive to deliver a birthday cake to a very special girl, the day didn’t include the party that she had wanted, but the cake made her day that much better!  I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe from @thelittlekitchen

This week will look similar to last week, we are eating at home Sunday-Thursday and then doing takeout Friday.  Weekends continue to be wide open as we navigate these uncertain times.  I begin working from home this week, so we will see how that goes.  My son will begin to do some school work during his days at home, it will be nice to have some routine.

  • Flank steak with salsa verde from the Whitewater Cooks cookbook, on the side I served baked potatoes, grilled peppers and asparagus and sautéed mushrooms.  The steak was outstanding as was the sauce, it would be great on chicken or fish.
  • Lemon garlic baked chicken drumsticks from @themediterraneandish we will eat this with a Greek salad and some steamed rice or butter noodles for the kids.
  • Spicy pork and kale soup from @eatliverun this recipe comes from my bestie who makes this soup on a regular basis.  I think besides the kale I will add some shredded carrot and possibly snap peas.
  • Turkey and white bean chili from @saltandlavender I couldn’t find any white kidney beans as the store today as the canned bean aisle was empty, but I did find one can of navy beans so they will have to work.  I will top the chili with avocado and some tortilla chips.
  • Chicken fried rice from @amandafrederickson my kids don’t love peas so I will add some snap peas to the rice.

I am not planning on making any bread this week!  I think that I need to do some research and find a slightly less time consuming recipe.  We made some energy balls last week, and my kids gobbled them up!  I am going to make another batch this week, and was also debating making some granola.  I have some dried blueberries and a ton of pecans, and found a recipe that sounds delicious!  Stay safe and healthy, make life easier with grocery list 124

Happy cooking,
Sara

 

The new normal

I realize in this time of uncertainty that we are trying to all go about our lives as ‘normal’ as possible, but the reality of the situation is that life is so different.  I needed to take a few days and think about how I was also going to change now that life is different, I am spending so much time at home, and my job as a teacher is changing by the minute.  I’ve decided that I would continue to post my weekly menu as people will still need to eat!  I will also be sharing some different activities that I plan to work on with my kids age 3 and 9.

Meal updates from last week:
Three of the recipes from last week were amazing!  The shrimp BLT, chicken cacciatore and spicy ramen were all outstanding.  The shrimp were crispy and crunchy, paired with the salty bacon and creamy dressing.  The cacciatore came together so quickly, we ate it over egg noodles, and there were tons of leftovers for lunch (this is a great recipe to make a freeze).  I LOVED the ramen recipe, I added mushrooms and spinach to the bowl, and next time would even toss in some tofu.

This week is the beginning of a different kind of living, so with that being said we will be eating at home for the foreseeable future.  I know that it is Tuesday, I will share the recipes I have already cooked this week, as well as what I have in my freezer and pantry for ‘just in case’.

  • Hamburger soup from @bestofbridge we ate this with buns and tortilla chips.  This is a great pantry staple recipe.  If you feel like adding any extra frozen veggies that would be a great idea.
  • Smoky pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes from @cookinglight I served this with some steamed green beans, but baked beans would also work very well.  This is another good pantry recipe, as it requires very little ingredients.
  • Bangers and mash, as today is St. Patrick’s Day I am trying to bring the Irish to us.  I will grill spicy Italian sausages as well as hotdogs (for the kids), then serve them alongside some mashed potatoes and a simple green salad.  If you were going to go really traditional then peas would be your side dish.  Find inspiration here.
  • Ground turkey teriyaki rice bowl from @yellowblissroad I will serve this with steamed rice and cauliflower rice.
  • Spicy sausage and kale soup from @thefeedfeed I will being using mild sausage as my kids don’t like spicy.

Usually at this point I would share that we will be doing takeout or going out for dinner, but I guess that is all uncertain at this time.  We may take advantage of Doordash or Skip the Dishes if they are still available, but if not then we will continue to cook and eat at home.  Here are a few things that I have in my freezer: bread, bagels, cheese buns, ground turkey and beef, sausages, hotdogs, chicken breasts, broccoli, edamame, corn, pizza, pirogies, mixed fruit and the most important ICE CREAM!  In my pantry I am stocked with beans, tomatoes, soup, chicken stock, pasta, macaroni, crackers, granola bars and lots of cereal.  I also have baking essentials as my kids love to bake and I have a feeling we will be doing it a lot!

For the kids:
Today all of our morning activities were themed around St. Patrick’s Day, my daughter (3) did some print making with the bottom of a red pepper dipped in green paint.  She made different patterns with the pepper.  Then she traced the letter S with cheerios.  We talked about words that start with the letter s.  My son (9) created a 3D shamrock using paper strips, essentially you make them into hearts and then attach them altogether.  He finished the morning with a word search and a word scramble.  Then we headed out for a walk and some sunshine, after lunch my son did origami and my daughter napped.  It is my daily goal to keep them as far away from the t.v. as possible.  I have ordered a JUMP math book for my son, so that we can continue his math skills, I also ordered a book that he is studying in class.  We will have some daily book club together.  This is how far I have come with a plan for moving forward, but I will continue to share recipes and learning activities with you.

Stay safe and healthy,
Sara

Weekly meals March 2 – March 6

Meal updates from last week:
We really enjoyed the chicken piccata as well as the Korean chicken.  I loved the tofu stir fry, my son didn’t like the sauce but ate all of the tofu.  My daughter didn’t even try the tofu this time?!  The balsamic salad was a perfect side dish for our grilled sausages, I tweaked the recipe a little bit as we ran out of blackberries.  I ended up using blueberries and raspberries, and made the dressing with some blackberry balsamic instead of blending whole blackberries.  I don’t think that it made a huge difference in the taste at all.  We spent the weekend away in the mountains with friends skiing and enjoying some down time.  On Friday night dinner was waiting for us when we arrived, it was a bowl of chicken enchilada soup, such flavour and so delicious.  Saturday night I made a sheet pan of sausage, peppers and gnocchi. This is a recipe that I have shared before, so simple and so good, it also makes great left overs.

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, Friday we are going out for dinner with friends, Saturday we don’t have any plans.  The weather is beginning to change and we are starting to think about spring sports and spending more time outside!

I don’t have any plans to bake this week, but I did have a chance to make a batch of banana blueberry muffins last week.  I also picked up a box of spring Rice Krispies and a bag of marshmallows because I just couldn’t resist and I  know my kids would love to help make them.  Get ready to shop with grocery list 121

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Feb 17 – Feb 21

Meal updates from last week:
All recipes from last week were winners!  I think my favourite out of the three was the chicken shawarma salad and the cashew chicken.  The salad was simple, but full of flavour.  The cashew chicken was delicious, it took a little more time to make as you have to cook the chicken in batches.  We celebrated Valentine’s Day with heart shaped pizzas made at home with ingredients bought from the Italian Centre Shop.  If you have never been there to buy Italian goodies then go as soon as possible!  They sell fresh pizza dough for $2.00 per ball!  As well as pre-shredded mozzarella that has been grated that day.  It makes homemade pizzas so easy and delicious.

This week we are eating at home Monday-Wednesday, my husband and I are heading out of town for the weekend and the kids are with family.  The weather got really cold today, so I decided that a hearty soup was in order:

  • Italian pasta and bean soup – Paste e Fagioli from @cooksillustrated this was so simple and full of flavour.  My kids really enjoyed the soup with cheese buns for dipping.  I will make this again very soon.  I didn’t have any pancetta, so used bacon instead.
  • Zesty kale and sweet potato bowl from @cookinglight I am not sure if my kids will like this bowl?!  I am going to use brown rice instead of quinoa.  I know that they will like the rice, avocado and cheese but really not sure about the rest of it.  I may add some corn and a dollop of sour cream to theirs.
  • Chicken and cabbage stir fry from @littlebrokenblog I will supplement the kids stir fry with some left over rice from the night before.  I also bought a bag of PC riced broccoli and zucchini that I will use instead of the peas and carrots.  I may add some shredded carrot as well.

This week is a very short recipe week, but I have been reading lots of new recipes that I am hoping to try.  Here are a few on my list, so that you can get through the rest of the week.  Chicken parmesan soup (all the things I love in a bowl), gluten-free turkey meatballs (I must be on an Italian kick!) and butternut squash kale salad with goat cheese and apricot vinaigrette (just add some grilled protein and you have a dinner salad).  A very short grocery list 119

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals Jan 27 – Jan. 31

Meal updates from last week:
The crispy tofu bowls were amazing!  You wouldn’t even have known that you were eating tofu.  My son gave them a try and loved them, he just ate the tofu without the Thai sweet chili sauce as he thought it was too spicy.  I will be making these again very soon.  The sloppy joe tacos were also a family hit.  The kids ate theirs with hard shell tacos, and I made mine into a salad.

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Thursday, we continue to stay busy with kid’s activities and family skiing on the weekend.  February is a jam packed month, full of travel, ski trips, my birthday and Valentine’s Day.  It is going to be a good one!

Blueberries are plentiful right now, so it might be time for some muffins or a loaf.  We will see what the week brings. Grocery list 118

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