Ole!

Cinco de Mayo is this Friday, and really who doesn’t love a little Mexican fiesta to start their weekend?!  Some of my oldest and most favourite recipes are Mexican inspired.  From starters to salads, here are some recipes to please every palate.

Layered taco dip: I know that everyone has been to a party and had this dip.  I make this dip to feed a crowd and it never disappoints.  Start by spreading a layer of refried beans as the base for the dip.  I use a large round platter, so that there is room to add chips along the side.  Next, cover the beans with guacamole, this can be bought or home-made. The third layer is a mixture of sour cream and taco seasoning.  I buy the seasoning from Trader Joe’s in the U.S.A. and bring it home with me.  If not buy one that is MSG-free and low sodium.  The final layer is cheese.  You can buy a Mexican blend or shred cheddar and jack cheese.  I like to top the dip with sliced tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro.
Guacamole:  Making guacamole is very simple, and requires basic ingredients.  I make it the same every time, but it always tastes a little different.  Mash three avocados, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Squeeze the juice from one lime over top and add a large heaping spoonful of sour cream.  To give it a little zip I use Frank’s RedHot sauce (10 dashes) and then a spoonful of salsa.  Serve as an accompaniment to nachos or as a starter with taco chips.

Burritos from the Best of Bridge, this may be one of my most favourite recipes of all time!  Serve with a green salad.
Enchiladas also from the Best of Bridge Ladies, I serve this with a salad on the side.
Chicken fajitas from @marthastewart I make this recipe all of the time.  Instead of broiling the veggies and chicken on two separate pans, put all of it on one pan it works just as well.
Sloppy Joe tacos from @gimmesomeoven I have shared this recipe before, but it is a kid favourite.
Baked tacos with hard shells from @byjillee my mom swears by this recipe.  The beef filling for these tacos is delicious.
Fish tacos and the best sauce from simply-gourmet.com I have made these with fresh halibut and they were outstanding.
Black-bean tostadas with corn relish from @marthastewart this is another recipe that I have shared before.  It is a great vegetarian option, especially when corn is in season.
Chopped chicken taco salad from @howsweeteats I really enjoy a chopped salad, especially if someone else makes it for me!
Cilantro lime chicken salad with mango avocado salsa from @cafedelites this is a recipe that I have never made but looks great.
Churros with chocolate sauce from @justataste
Lime margarita from @epicurious

Cocina feliz,
Sara

Weekly meals May 1-5

Meal updates from last week:
Both recipes that I made from the magazine were amazing!  The pork with rice and spinach was delicious.  It will be made again very soon.  As always the meatball sandwiches were a hit.  I liked the chili mac but it was not my favourite pasta recipe.  I do not think that I will be making this again.  I actually didn’t end up making any protein balls, instead I made Starbucks copycat oat bars which we really enjoyed.  If you are looking for the recipe search me (Sara Rumpel) on Pinterest.

I am an overnight oat lover!  I eat them every weekday morning because they are so quick and easy.  On the weekend I tend to eat cooked oatmeal, lately I have been making my oatmeal with almond milk.  Here is how I make it: 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 2/3 cup of almond milk, tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Add the oats and milk to a pot bring it to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the oats are almost cooked.  Add the blueberries and the cinnamon, as the oats finish cooking.  Scoop into a bowl and drizzle the syrup overtop. Enjoy!

This week we will be eating at home Sunday-Friday, I will be heading to the mountains this weekend.  Outdoor sports begin this week, so many of my weeknight meals will need to be quick and easy.  BBQ season is upon us, and it looks like this week is going to be the beginning.  I am going to try to us the grill as much as I can.

  • Thai chicken and wild rice soup from @sweetpeasandsaffron I know that I just made this a couple of weeks ago, but we will be out most of the day and need the meal to be ready when we come home.  We will eat this with corn bread and a salad.
  • classychicken from the Best of Bridge Ladies.  This recipe was part of my childhood, and will be part of my children’s childhood as well.  The ingredients list may put you off, but trust me just make it!
  • Tomato-asiago frittata with arugula blueberry salad from Cooking Light magazine.  Frittatas are an easy weeknight meal, and you can add anything to them.  I will probably take out the tomatoes and add in some ham.
  • BBQ pork tenderloin from @addapinch I will be serving this with grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes.
  • Chicken caesar burgers from @iowagirleats another recipe repeat as we love these burgers!  This time I am going to use ground turkey instead of chicken.  We will have a side salad and fries with the burgers.
  • BBQ sausage with grilled onions and peppers.  I cook my sausage on my grill and then use my hot plate on my grill to cook the peppers and onions.  I will serve this on toasted buns with some baked beans.  If you are looking to lighten up this meal then serve the grilled meat and veg over romaine.

This week I am going to make a pan of granola.  I found recipe for grain-free granola from @felsull I will serve this with yogurt and berries.  For snack I found a cookie recipe that I am dying to try.  This is also a grain-free recipe, but contains nut butter so it cannot go in school lunches.  Don’t forget to print your Dinner List 11 to make your shopping easier.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Weekly meals April 24-28

Meal updates from last week:
Meals from last week were amazing!  The Thai chicken and wild rice soup was so delicious, it will join our meal rotation.  The ramen with noodles was also a hit, I used chicken thighs instead of flank steak and it still turned out great.  We ended the week with the greek sheet-pan dinner and it was hands down my favourite.  If you have never visited www.halfbakedharvest.com then you need to right now!  I was not overly impressed with the chia oat recipe, but the powerhouse cookies were great.  They were gobbled up within days.  If you follow me on Instagram (three_plates_full) you will know I also made a banana zucchini loaf.  It turned out well, super moist and flavourful.  You can find the recipe on my Pinterest board (Sara Rumpel).

This week we are eating at home Sunday to Thursday, I will be cooking from an old magazine that I found called Eat Well Feel Good.  This magazine is published by Better Homes & Gardens.  I will provide the recipes to all of the recipes as this magazine is not available anymore.

Barbecued chicken drumsticks with baked potatoes and spinach and berry salad.  The recipe for the salad is in my previous post.  I did not use a recipe for the chicken or potatoes.
Garlic pork with walnut and kale barley, I will be using spinach and brown rice in this recipe instead of kale and barley.
Lemon-sage roasted chicken thighs, I am not sure if I will serve this with roasted potatoes or asparagus.
Mozzarella stuffed meatball sandwiches with caesar salad.  I shared my recipe for meatball sandwiches in my meal planning from March 27-31.
Chili mac from @todaysparent I have never tried a chili mac recipe before but this looks like a one pot hit!

This week for breakfast we will be eating baked oatmeal.  This is another recipe that I found in the magazine.  For snacks I will be going back to protein balls.  I haven’t made any for about a month so I think that it is time to get back into making them.  I am not sure which recipe I will be using.  Don’t forget to print the Dinner List 10 for ease at the grocery store.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Bring in spring

With spring in the air and summer just around the corner it is a great time to add some new ingredients into your evening meals.  At this time of year I am always looking to add some seasonal ingredients into my meal plans.  Currently, asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb are just hitting their peak.

Asparagus is an easy add to any meal, roasted, baked or even barbecued it is a perfect side dish to any protein.  I like to bake mine at a high heat with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and some grated lemon rind.  Another delicious topping to roasted asparagus is feta cheese and sliced grape tomatoes.  Here are a few more asparagus recipes: roasted garlic asparagus,  sautéed asparagus and grilled balsamic asparagus.

Most often we think to use strawberries in desserts, but topping some spinach with sliced strawberries is a wonderful flavour combination.  I found a great recipe for a strawberry spinach salad from @cookinglight.  The recipe called for chicken as well but we ate ours without.  I also added blackberries as they are also in abundance at this time of year.  Instead of making a dressing for the salad you let the berries sit in a mixture of oil and vinegar and then add it to the salad.  To finish it off you sprinkle with feta and pecans.  I decided to candy my pecans and the salad turned out amazingly!  Here is another great looking strawberry salad recipe.

I love rhubarb!  For me simplicity is the key, I love stewing rhubarb and using it as a topping for yogurt or ice cream.  Another great idea for rhubarb is baked in muffins with cinnamon sugar topping.  A recipe that I have been wanting to try is strawberry rhubarb crisp bars from @smittenkitchen.  If you are looking for something different, then give Jamie Oliver’s meringue with rhubarb and cream recipe a try.

Happy cooking,
Sara

 

Weekly meals April 17-21

All of the meals from last week worked out very well.  We especially liked the meatloaf recipe. It was a great combination of sweet and smoky.

Being away all weekend was great but it is time to get back into the groove of cooking and eating at home. We will be eating at home Monday-Friday, we arrive home Monday so I’m not sure what our dinner will look like.

  • As we have no groceries today may look like eggs and toast. If I get to the store I may buy a small ham and serve it with veggies. It all depends on how much energy I have to get it all done!
  • Thai chicken and wild rice soup from @sweetpeasandsaffron I have never made this soup before, but I have high hopes.
  • Beef and broccoli ramen from @damn_delicious I’m very excited to try this recipe.
  • Pork and apples from @cremedelacrumb1 I will serve this with brown rice and in season asparagus.
  • Greek chicken souvlaki and potatoes from @halfbakedharvest I’m never disappointed with her recipes, and who doesn’t love a one pan meal!

For breakfast this week we will be having overnight oats.  I’ve been dying to try this chia oat recipe from @theglowingfridge it sounds delicious.  For snack this week I am going to try this recipe.

As I am doing this post from afar I will not be adding my grocery link.  This will be back up next week.

Happy cooking,

Sara

 

Spring cookies

It is always fun to make seasonal cookies.  It is even more fun to include children in this tradition.  Baking is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.  Measuring, pouring, cracking and mixing are all things that kids can do.  I was very excited to make some Easter cookies and include the pastel M & Ms inside the batter.  I have made this recipe many times and shared it with you earlier in the blog.  This sugar cookie recipe from @averiesunshine is simply the best!  Follow exactly what the recipe says, and do not skip placing the dough in the fridge.  Remove cookies from oven when they are just slightly golden around the edges.  From the top they don’t even look cooked, but I promise they are soft and chewy.  I added some pink, purple, green, yellow, blue jimmies and sprinkles to the batter.  I love the crunch that it gives this soft buttery cookie.

Happy baking,
Sara

Easter feast!

How are you spending your Easter weekend?  Will it be a large gathering or something small with family?  For the past couple of years I have hosted Easter, last year we had Easter lunch and the year before dinner.  Lunch was easier and less stressful than dinner, and we had more time to spend visiting and catching up.  This year we will be out-of-town for Easter, so I am unsure what it will look like.  I have pulled some recipes together that will help you create an amazing Easter meal.

Baked ham from @williamssonoma this is the ham that I made a few years back, it turned out delicious!
Honey-Mustard glazed ham from @chowhound
Scallop potatoes from @natashaskitchen I have also made these potatoes, not low-fat but a must have.
Potatoes Anna from @neighborfoodie a different and slightly lighter take on potatoes.
Roasted carrots from @pioneerwoman
Rosemary roasted carrots from @ohmyveggies just a slight twist on the original.
Kale salad from @gimmiesomeoven
Broccoli salad from @natashaskitchen
Strawberry shortcake cheesecake from @lifeloveandsugar I made this cake a few years ago and it is a great spring dessert.
Lemon icebox pie from @lifeloveandsugar how can you go wrong with a lemon dessert in the spring?
Strawberry rhubarb crisp from @cookingclassy why not use some in season fruit to complete your Easter meal.

Hoppy Easter,
Sara

Weekly meals April 10-April 14

There are no meal updates from last week as I shared my favourite salad meals.

We are home from holiday, so that means that I will be getting back into a routine and back into the kitchen.  It is also a short week as we celebrate Easter this weekend.  Stay tuned later in the week for my Easter menu.  We will be eating at home starting tonight till Thursday.  Friday we head to visit family for the long weekend.  We will be decorating eggs this week and making some sweet treats to take with us.

Grilled Hawaiian chicken teriyaki bowls from tastesbetterfromscratch.com I have shared this with you before, but it is too good not to make again!  I will serve this with brown rice instead of the coconut rice from the recipe.
Honey barbecue meatloaf from @andiemitchell I am always looking for a new meatloaf recipe so we will give this one a try.  I will be serving this with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.
Chicken caesar burgers from @iowagirleats this is another recipe that I have shared before, but these burgers are so good!  We will have fries and raw veggies with our burgers.
Pita pizza, this is an easy weeknight meal idea.  Using pita or naan bread as a base top it with pizza or your favourite pasta sauce.  Then add your toppings.  This is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.  They can help choose their own toppings and add the cheese before they get baked in the oven.  A caesar salad will round out our meal.
Tomato basil soup with cheese tortellini from @iowagirleats this is another easy weeknight meal that is full of flavour.  Instead of making tomato soup I use Pacific organic creamy tomato soup, which is amazing!  We will eat this with a salad or some raw veggies.
Mini greek lamb burgers from @marthastewart this is an old recipe, and one that I have not tried before.  I will be using beef instead of lamb and will be making a greek salad on the side.

For breakfast this week we will be having overnight oats and cereal.  While on holidays I made my son smoothies for breakfast which he loved.  We will start this at home when the weather starts to get warmer.  Smoothie inspiration can be found on Weelicious and if you follow her on Instagram, she videos her smoothies every morning.  We will be making some Easter treats this week I think we will try this, this or maybe these.  Too many great choices I will let you know when I choose.  Make your life easier with Dinner List 9.

Happy cooking,
Sara

Meal delivery

How many times in a week do you ask yourself, what am I making for dinner?  Do I have all of the ingredients?  Do I really feel like making it?  I believe that I am not alone in these thoughts, and now there are many companies who are catering to these needs.  The idea of meal delivery is taking off in the Untied States, and it is slowly coming into Canada.  Most of these companies deliver packaged food, cut and ready for you to cook with an accompanying recipe.  From Martha Stewart to Tyler Florence many celebrity chefs are jumping on this meal wagon.  Living in Calgary there are many different places to go for pre prepared food, to take home, heat and eat.  Here are some places that we have tried: Sunterra, Forage, Meez, Fresh Kitchen, Made and Our Daily Brett.

As I am holidaying in California, I could not wait to try one of these delivery services.  I have had my eye on @onepotatobox for a very long time.  We ordered three dinners to serve two people, they arrived in a box packaged with ice packs to keep perishables cold.  Each meal is bagged with all of the ingredients, and recipe cards are inclosed in the box.  They also send you a little treat in each box, ours contained a roll of chocolate chip cookie dough.  I tried one of the recipes tonight and it was delicious!  We made arepas with slow-cooked pulled chicken and sweet corn avocado cups.  This recipe took less than 30 minutes to prepare and was full of flavour.  There was more than enough food for two adults and one child.  My son was not interested in the corn salad, but ate and enjoyed everything else.  I will be making another recipe tomorrow.  If you are looking for a similar service in Calgary I have found two that look very promising: Chefs Plate and Paper Bag Princess.  If you do a google search for both it will take you to their sites.

If you have tried any meal delivery services that you have been happy with, please post a comment on the blog.

Happy ordering,
Sara

Weekly meals April 3- April 7

Meal updates from last week:
As the meals I posted were ones that I have made before I do not have any updates, but I would love to hear from you, to see what you made and what you liked.

We are still away on holiday so meals are very unplanned.  This week I am sharing with you salads that can be a served as meals.  With warmer weather coming, salads are a great alternative to a meat and potatoes dinner.  With children, I usually deconstruct the salad and serve the ingredients separate.  I have made all of the salads listed below, and can say that I will make all of them again.  Enjoy!

BLT salad from @marthastewart as I have said before this salad is amazing!  We will usually have this salad at least once a month.
Thai cashew coconut rice with ginger peanut sauce from @hostthetoast we have had this salad many times and it is delicious every time.
Buffalo chicken salad from @smellslikehomeblog this is an amazing salad, full of bold flavours.
Bbq chicken COBB from @closetcooking this is a similar salad to the one above, but the cilantro lime ranch takes it to another level.
Greek chicken souvlaki salad from lemonsforlulu.com this is one of my all time favourite salads!  Add some pita bread and it is a well-balanced meal.

Happy cooking,
Sara