Monday, February 23, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 9 - 2015

Why do weekends always go way too quickly. We had a really good weekend. Friday we met my sister and brother in law out for dinner. We had been to this restaurant once before with Scott's parents so we thought it would be a good idea to bring them there. Unfortunately it was not as good as the previous visit. We didn't order the exact same things of course, but we were still not overly impressed. After we headed to friends of theirs to see their new home. They moved in about 6 months ago, and had bought a model home in a new build area. It was really fun to see them and their house. 

Saturday, I had been wanting to try this restaurant in Uptown, it had been on my restaurant list for a while and last weekend our friends were talking about their buttermilk fried chicken sandwich again, and I could not get out of my mind. It did not disappoint, but, I think I enjoyed their cheeseburger just as much if not more. It was delicious! Scott and I split so we could each try both, so glad he does splitzies. We had seen that MIA had built this fabulous dragon ice sculpture on Lake Calhoun, so we walked down and checked it out, really cool, but SO cold! I really want to go back and see it lit up at night. We also stopped into Penzey's to get some spices, I really miss living in the Uptown area. 

We worked on crossing off the Oscar nominated flicks off of our list last week. We saw The Judge, a free Redbox movie, loved it, The Imitation Game, really enjoyed it, Selma, great movie and then yesterday we went out to lunch with Scott's parents and then saw Still Alice. Julianne Moore was fantastic and really deserved that trophy she won last night. We were home in time last night to build a big fire, pour a nice glass of wine and get a cheese and cracker platter together to take in the fashion on the Red Carpet. SO fun! Loved it!
We didn't get to make all of the recipes we had planned for last week, but the Pork Chop Parmesan was fantastic. 
Our Red beans and rice and gumbo turned out really good, Scott could not have been happier and had the last of the gumbo for breakfast this morning. 
He loves leftovers for breakfast. I need more breakfast foods. We did not do the tri tip steaks or the meatballs with rosemary aioli last week, but instead I used the rest of the chicken thighs from Tuesday for chicken thighs with red wine vinegar, this was such a great recipe, we loved it and I passed it along to a few other people. Really interesting ingredients that made for a wonderful sauce!
All of the new recipes that I made last week were all keepers and I would make all of them again. The red beans and rice as well as the gumbo will be regulars on our Fat Tuesday menu from here on out. We had our neighbor Pat over for dinner Tuesday, I wasn't sure how everything was going to turn out, but it was a fantastic dinner that we will definitely repeat!
One of my goals for 2015 is to cook more at home, we tend to eat out quite a bit, which is great, but I want it to be more thought out and planned. I have a list of restaurants that I want to try and with all of the new restaurants opening that list tends to grow. But I have a ton of cookbooks, a ton of recipes pinned on Pinterest and some great tools at my disposal, like our crockpot, le creueset dutch ovens and our grill, plus, I really enjoy cooking, at the end of the day, I find it very relaxing. I want to try a new recipe every week, use the crockpot at least once a week and make something from one of my cookbooks or magazines. 
We try not to make plans for Mondays, we use it to ease into the week and continue to wind down from the weekend. I would like to do a Mexican Monday, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, taco salads. We love all of those things so I figure why not, it makes life easy! 
I also want to try to cook from our fridge/freezer/pantry as much as possible. My problem is that I have the flashy object syndrome. I see a new recipe or get a craving for something and our plans go out the window and I wind up going to the store to get what I need instead of using what I have at home. Since I have spent a lot of time cleaning out and organizing these cabinets the past couple of months, it would be nice to see them get emptied out a little. I threw a lot of stuff out, and I don't want to do that going forward. 
One of my other goals for 2015 it to try to adhere to a Whole30/Paleo/Clean Foods lifestyle as much as possible. We have really enjoyed the foods and recipes that we have tried, and it really seems to agree with us. We have a couple of exceptions that we have both agreed to, Scott needs his milk, it doesn't agree with me. Cheese, we love it too much. We try to do goat as much as possible, but, that is a deal breaker for us. In the past two weeks we have had pastas and rice, I am going back to staying away from those. 
Here is what we have scheduled for this week!


Plans - home, I have laundry I need to catch up on, we had our Home Service Plus out to look at our fridge what has been working more as a freezer lately, and I just need to veg and catch up on DVR. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Leftovers from lunch yesterday, my tuna melt with clementines. I was thinking I would have something for lunch, but I am still SO full from breakfast. 
Dinner - I started this yesterday, the whole house smelled incredible, Braised Pork Shoulder we are having ours with polenta instead of grits, but I am really looking forward to this for dinner!

Plans - Home. I know after work I need to get the car washed and run some errands but it will be another evening in. 
Breakfast and Lunch - I am meeting a high school friend for lunch. We haven't caught up since HS, so it should be a lot of fun. Its also restaurant week, so we are trying one of my favorites in downtown Wayzata 6Smith.
Dinner - Pot Roast in the Crockpot I don't usually follow or need a recipe for this, but this looks really close to how I make mine. 

Plans - Home. Again. At the bottom here I am going to publish my long outstanding ta-da list that I know I need to tackle this week. These are things that I have had on my list since the beginning of the year, so I want to do my best to actually try to get some things accomplished. Work has been crazy lately, so even though I work from home, trying to get anything extra accomplished during the day is impossible. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Eggs and bacon. Salad, I bought beets at Trader Joe's on Sunday, so I am planning on roasting those in the morning so I can have them with my salad!
Dinner - Leftovers. With lunch plans and a salad for lunch, the leftovers are not getting eaten so we need a clean out the fridge night. 

Plans - Home. See above. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Eggs and bacon, leftovers.
Dinner - Cookbook recipe to be posted later

Plans - SOOOOO excited about this. We are headed to Spoon & Stable, which was just nominated for a James Beard last week. It is a new restaurant that opened in November last year and is impossible to get a reservation at. We have had these reservations with friends for two months! I cannot wait! Now, what to wear!
Breakfast and Lunch - I will be keeping it light today, an egg and some fruit for breakfast and a salad or some soup for lunch. 
Dinner - If you follow me on Instagram, I am sure you will see a few posts from dinner!

Plans - We don't have any plans at this time, but I really enjoyed last Saturday and just heading out and doing some exploring. There are always so many fun things going on in our own back yard, I am looking forward to seeing what we encounter. I will probably need to prep dinner for Sunday as well.
Meals - up in the air based on what we find to do! We will have to do some grocery shopping for Sunday. 

Plans - I am really looking forward to our plans for Sunday. This is my kind of a day. We are heading to the Home and Garden Show with two other couples. We all have house projects going on, one couple is even looking at buying a new place which I mentioned last week. We always have projects going on, but the other thing that I have realized is so important, in order to keep your house marketable, you need to keep refreshing! Looking forward to the show with this fun group though. After, there was a special request for my spaghetti and meatballs. I made them one night years ago, after Thanksgiving, we had them over and did a little Wii bowling, just a really fun night, but they loved my mom's recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. My mom's recipe for spaghetti and meatballs was always my birthday meal request, and now I have had several people request mine (I use my mom's recipe!). Scott's dad, its one of his favorites, my dad, of course, I love making it too! Its kind of funny because my parents are both Polish and if you know MN we don't have a lot of Italians, especially on the Mpls side, most of our true Italians are either up on the Iron Range or in St. Paul. But my mom always made her three meat meatballs and homemade sauce. I wonder if someone else taught her how. I will have to ask. I am thinking I will make them up on Saturday so that they have plenty of time to cook in the sauce. 

Ta Da List (this is a huge list, ugh, I need more hours in a day)

  • Clean out fridge - wipe down all shelves (we had it serviced today and a motor replaced so it is the perfect time to get this done)
  • Mail package to friend who just had a baby
  • Spray tan (its the middle of winter in MN, enough said)
  • Clean out pocketbook
  • Clean Office
  • Go through hanging shirts in closet, clean out
  • File Receipts
  • Laundry
  • Decorate mantle 
  • Decorate shelves in Living Room
  • Decorate builtins
  • Eyebrow wax (I feel like they are starting to braid together)
  • Drop comforter off for dry cleaning
  • Sprint (My phone battery has been draining really fast and I am not due for an upgrade until August. We switched to the Framily plan back in May or June of last year, my whole family is on it, but I am SO unhappy with it. I loved Sprint up until that point. My bill went up a ton, I can't get a new phone when I want one and now we have to lease our phones, just hate the whole set up and have been thinking about switching, ugh, why are we so dependent on these things!)
  • I have two bins of clothes that need to be put away
  • Clean out drawers in kitchen
  • 2015 Goals - put them in binder
  • Home Binder - we need to update our project list and get our budget for 2015 in order
  • Order photos to put in frames
  • Put our Groupons on the calendar (we love these, but if they aren't on the calendar sometimes we forget about them)
  • Invitations for Neighborhood Sip n Mingle (we did this in the fall, it is a great way to bring everyone together and see how everyone is doing. In MN we tend to hibernate in the winter so you don't really see people out and about.
  • Wine Swap party. It has been forever since we have had a wine get together with the club. For this one I will have everyone bring a bottle of wine and snack to share and a bottle of wine that will go into the swap. Should be fun. 
  • Update chalkboards - there isn't anything on them at the moment, they need a little update
  • Turn Style - I dropped stuff off for consigning a while back, I should go in and check to see if I am owed any money. I should see if I have more i could take in. 
  • Basket for blankets in the living room. I am looking for a big basket we can store our blankets in, we tend to do a lot of snuggling under blankets during the winter. 
  • Make eye appointment. I think I might be at that age where I need those special glasses. I had to stop wearing my contacts about 6 months ago, not sure, maybe there is still something they could do. 
  • Inventory and catalog wine (this is a mess and needs to get done asap, but it is a big project, we easily have at least 24 cases that need to be photographed, inventoried and put into our spreadsheet/database). 

For more meal plans and links to recipes, check out the Orgjunkie.

Monday, February 16, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 8 - 2015

We had a really nice, busy Valentine's Weekend! Friday our neighbors from across the street and kitty corner from us came over for a little happy hour. I made some sun dried tomato meatballs with a chipotle sauce and put out some hummus and tzatziki with pita chips as well as an assortment of cheese and crackers. It was fun to catch up with neighbors who we don't normally see during the winter months. 

Saturday we had lunch at a new burger place that opened up near us, Freddy's Steakburgers and Custard. It was really good, and fun to have a new place to try. We thought it was a lot like Smashburger or Five Guys, but I loved the custard. 

After we met up with friends to tour a local distillery, really interesting and fun to get the insight into something local that seems to really be catching on. Can't wait for these craft cocktail rooms to open! 

After we went back to their house for dinner, a little penne ala vodka with a really nice salad! Great way to spend Valentine's with friends. 

Sunday was a busy day for us too, we knocked off our grocery shopping after planning out our meals for the week. We have friends that are starting to look for a new house, and they are thinking they would like to be on a local lake. It was so much fun to check these houses out and I think we found one that they will be putting an offer in on. I had serious kitchen envy, this kitchen, along with a butlers kitchen was to die for, so huge, absolutely loved it!

 This week, we have a little Fat Tuesday planned, and we are also trying to catch the last couple of movies that we want to take in before the Oscars on Sunday. 

Plans - Going to see The Imitation Game after dinner
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg, bacon, tomatoes, melon and a salad
Dinner - Pork Chops Parmesan, asparagus

Plans - Fat Tuesday
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg, bacon, tomatoes, soup
Dinner - Chicken and sausage gumbo, red beans and rice (I am making both of these on Monday so they really have a while to cook.

Plans - Red Box - The Judge
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg, bacon, fruit, leftovers
Dinner - Tri-tip steaks, brussel sprouts and oven fries

Plans - Selma 
Breakfast and Lunch - Steak and eggs (leftovers) and soup
Dinner - Meatballs with Rosemary Aioli and asparagus

Plans - Dinner out with my sister and brother in law possibly
Breakfast and Lunch - Eggs with leftover meatballs and soup
Dinner - Out

Plans - Hoping to work on some organization in the lower level. Fingers crossed. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Leftovers, cleaning out the fridge
Dinner - Maybe out, depends on how things go with the organization. 

Plans - Still Alice with Scott's parents and lunch
Breakfast and Lunch - Out
Dinner - Prime rib, roasted potatoes and asparagus

For more meal plans and links to great recipes, check out the orgjunkie.

Monday, January 26, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 5 - 2015

Nothing to report from the last week and weekend other than the fact that I was recovering from the crud that was going around. I came down with it last Monday and I really struggled to recover from it. I did not do any cooking or eating last week at all. All of our meal plans went out the window. The only thing I did was to put a pork butt into the crock pot and made Kahlua Pork, I figured that would be good for Scott to be able to have different ways. I realized though that if I wasn't eating he didn't really eat too much either. At least this week we will be able to use the leftovers in different ways. 
My Stellacat didn't leave my side pretty much the whole week. She is such a good companion.
We did get out on Friday and see American Sniper. Scott had been dying to see it. What a great film, so well done and a great story, I am so glad that Chris Kyle was able to put his story on paper before we lost him. Clint Eastwood did a fabulous job with the material and Bradley Cooper really brought justice to the role. At the end, in our sold out theater, the entire theater clapped. 
Saturday I thought I was feeling well enough to get out of the house. I should have stayed home. We did go to Total Wine though on Saturday. I really wanted to get out of the house, and we had not been there yet. I ran into a high school classmate of mine, who has changed careers and is one of their wine experts. It was fun to talk to him and catch up. I can't wait to try some of the wines we picked up.  They have a huge selection and great prices. 
I am looking forward to being able to get some things accomplished this week! I feel like I lost a whole week!
Plans - Catch up on all of the stuff that I wanted to get to last week! First up, clean out my sock drawers! I know, SO exciting!
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon, egg and toast, salad with some kahlua pork
Dinner - Gyros - we did not get to have these last week! 
Plans - Third time is the charm. We have tried to go to the movies for the last two Tuesdays, I am hoping we can really make it this time! We still have a few movies that have been nominated that we want to see.
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon and egg, bbq pork on tortilla
Dinner -Lettuce wrapped hamburgers
Plans - I need to get our spice cabinet cleaned out, so that will definitely get tackled.
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon and egg, leftovers
Dinner - Walleye (seriously, I am getting sick of seeing this on our meal plan week after week and it seems to never happen, this week it WILL).
Plans - we have plans for a wine dinner with friends at Al Vento which is one of my favorite Italian restaurants from our old neighborhood. Can't wait for this! I am also getting a much needed haircut and spruce up! This is always nice!
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon and egg, leftovers
Dinner - Al Vento
Plans - Hoping to try to get to another movie and grab a bite out. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon and egg, leftovers
Dinner - hoping out
Plans - Really looking forward to a spa day with two of my girlfriends. Massage, facials, spa pedicures and lunch.
Breakfast and Lunch - Spa salads!
Dinner - We are going out to celebrate Scott's mom's 75th birthday with his family.
Plans - Super Bowl Sunday. My sister is hosting us again. We are having a chili and wing cook off. I am doing chili and Scott is doing wings. I haven't decided what kind of chili to do yet, debating on a white chicken chili or a traditional red bean chili. Game time decision I guess.
Breakfast and Lunch - light, we will be eating lots of good stuff later on. 
Dinner - chili, wings and good food!
For more meal plans and links to recipes, check out the orgjunkie.

Monday, January 19, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 4 - 2015

Last week just seemed to fly by, not sure why? Of course we didn't get to everything we wanted to, and having my parents in town changed things up a bit, but we had a good week.
We did not get to HH on Wednesday, we are going to try again this week, but I am not holding my breath with this group. We also did not make the walleye, again, because I wound up picking my parents up from the airport, so I just grabbed takeout on the way home. 
Friday, we had two couples for dinner and we had such a good time. I have been craving Ina Garten's lamb roast, and it turned out really well and we had people going back for thirds even.
I also did a crostini bar for appetizers. We had leftover beef tenderloin which was perfect, along with some cave blue cheese, horseradish and olive tapenade. Next time I think I would add garlic roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and a brie, or some kind of cheese. 
The salad that we started with was a recipe from my favorite local grocery store. Blueberry, Manchego, Walnut Salad. I loved the dressing for this salad, it was delicious. Dessert was very easy, we just had chocolate truffles with mixed berries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. It was a really nice evening.
We needed a refresher in our guest bathroom, so I bought a new shower curtain, new rug and new shower hooks. It really brightened things up! A nice inexpensive change!
Saturday, after our family friends funeral, we stopped in to my sisters to see her new kitten, she is SO cute! Really takes me back to when Stella was that small. 
After we decided to catch Birdman. We like to try to see all of the movies that are nominated for the Oscars. We enjoyed this one, Scott more than I did, but I can definitely see why Michael Keaton was nominated. After we grabbed a bite to eat out, nothing fancy, but it was good.

Sunday we had a family lunch to celebrate G & G's birthdays. I cannot believe they will be 14 on Thursday. But boy, can you tell they are teenagers. I don't remember being so grumpy all the time at that age, but they really aren't a lot of fun. Grant would not even take a picture with me.

I started getting a tickle in my throat last night, and I am not feeling that great today, so not sure if our plans this week will hold up, but fingers crossed. 

Plans - Our neighbors just got back from a two week cruise, so they are coming over to tell us about their travels. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Fruit, Leftovers from Saturday, spaghetti and meatball
Dinner - Joey Nova's pizza, our favorite
Plans - We have not taken advantage of the $5 movie night at our local theater yet, and Scott is really looking forward to seeing American Sniper. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg and Fruit, Leftovers, probably broccoli and something
Dinner - Yard House, I love this place
Plans - we are going to try, for the third week in a row, to get together with former co-workers for HH. Can't believe that we have such a hard time getting together. 
Breakfast and Lunch - fruit, leftovers and a salad
Dinner - HH @ Bacio
Plans - getting together with a girlfriend who I always enjoy seeing for HH.
Breakfast and Lunch - eggs, fruit, leftovers and a salad
Dinner - using up some of the leftover lamb and making gyros
Plans - oh boy am I in for fun now. I have a root canal scheduled for the afternoon, so it will be a low key night with some DVR or movies on demand.
Breakfast and Lunch - eggs, fruit, salad
Dinner - I am thinking the only thing I am going to feel like eating is soup.
Saturday and Sunday
Plans - We haven't made plans yet for the weekend. I am sure we will try to get another movie or two in that have been nominated for awards.
For more meal plans and links to recipes, check out the orgjunkie.

Monday, January 12, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 3 - 2015

I didn't get to make everything I wanted to last week, but here were a couple of favorites!
Pan fried bone in organic chicken thighs, seasoned with Flavorgod Everything seasoning, roasted broccoli with lemon and pan roasted butternut squash. This made great leftovers as well. 
 Oven roasted pork tenderloin with red peppers and onions. Acorn squash with ghee and roasted brussel sprouts. This was SOOOO good! We both loved it!
We had a fantastic weekend! Friday I had done some running around for our dinner party on Saturday. I picked up a couple of salads for dinner and we were going to just pop in a frozen pizza for dinner, but we decided to try a new place not far from us called Living Waters, which also has a yoga studio. Lets just say, they should stick with yoga. I could not even eat one slice, all you could taste was raw pizza dough. We even put it back in the oven and cooked it further, but yuck. I hate to throw out food, and we tried a few neighbors, but no takers, so we literally threw out a almost a whole pizza. Sad, but it was awful! 
Saturday we spent the morning getting some errands and shopping done for our dinner party. We were supposed to have a chef come in and prepare dinner for 12 of us, but our chef, along with two of his kids got the flu, so I had to pinch hit. We came up with the menu Friday and I made the potato dish and the salmon spread in preparation. I asked one of our neighbors grandsons to come over and help with prep work, serving and clean up. It was the third time he has come to help with something like this, and he is absolutely wonderful and a huge help! Dinner worked out really well, we had a smoked salmon spread on endive, paired with a really nice sparkling wine from New Mexico, a mashed potato dish, I had picked up the recipe the week before from one of our Trader Joe's. It had broccoli, leaks and cave blue cheese, it went really nicely with the beef tenderloin with a mushroom madeira reduction that I made and roasted asparagus. We did a salad course with Kung Fu Riesling, a nice dry Riesling, loved it. The main course we paired with a Mount Vedeer Cabernet and then we had a  dark chocolate cake with a butter cream frosting, paired with The Velvet Devil Merlot. It was a really good time and a great group of people. 

Sunday, our friend Carrie was in town visiting her boyfriend, so we met up with them for lunch at The Bonefish Grill which is new to us here, they just opened a couple of months ago. We have been twice and just love the food. After a bite to eat we went to see Wild with my girl Reese. Pretty good movie. I think she will get an Oscar nod. When we got home, we had Boyhood from Redbox so we watched that before the Golden Globes came on, and we both loved that. Trying to make sure we get all of our "Oscar" movies in. Can't wait to see who will be up!
I have set some goals (once again) around meal planning, as best I can. I want to try a new recipe at least once a week. Have one chicken meal, one fish meal, one crock pot/braised meal and one soup or stew. This week we have plans a few nights, so I am doing my best to squeeze these things in.

Plans - Home, I need to work on my planner and goals for 2015
Breakfast and Lunch - Clementines, Pear and chicken salad with a vinaigrette (this is a pre-made salad from our local store, they are SO good).
Dinner - Chicken and Pasta with a Champagne Cream Sauce I am changing this up a little to include leftover ingredients I have on hand. We have a half of a bottle of sparkling wine left over from Saturday so I thought it would be a good use of it. I am also going to use pasta I have on hand, add some chicken and try thyme instead of sage. I also will add some of the leftover asparagus. If  had mushrooms, I would add those as well, but I am sure it will be good. 

Plans - Neighborhood Bunco night. This is always one of my favorite nights of the month, looking forward to seeing the girls!
Breakfast and Lunch - Eggs and bacon, fruit. Leftovers (clean the fridge out - unless I pick up another salad!)
Dinner - Usually it is just snacky foods at Bunco. I am bringing Cheesy Beer Smokies I think it seems like something that the girls will like!

Plans - We weren't able to get together for HH last week, it was SOOOOO cold, I was happy to not have to leave the house! BUT, the good news is, more people can make it this week!
Breakfast and Lunch - Eggs and bacon with fruit and a salad
Dinner - Bacio for HH

Plans - Hoping to catch up on some things at home and get ready for a dinner party Friday night. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Eggs and bacon and salad
Dinner - Walleye. We didn't have this last week, and I am still working on cleaning out the freezer. 

Plans - Carrie and Scott are coming for dinner along with another couple, Mike and Kelly. Looking forward to seeing them, it is a fun group!
Breakfast and Lunch - Eggs and bacon with fruit and soup or a salad if there aren't leftovers. 
Dinner - I have not come up with the menu yet, but I am sure it will be good!

Saturday and Sunday
Plans - my mom and dad are flying up from AZ on Thursday to attend a good friends funeral. So my sister and I will be going with them to the services, just waiting on details. So keeping most of the weekend open to spend with them.

For more meal planning and links to recipes - check out the Orgjunkie.

Monday, January 05, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 2 - 2015

So, the last time I posted a meal plan was week 17. That is just sad. I am going to try to get back to posting and meal planning. One of my goals for 2015, and I really miss blogging, both reading and posting. 
This week is kind of up in the air for a few things, but we will just roll with it. We have things in the fridge and freezer that need to get used up. We are also on what I will call a modified Whole30. Probably more Paleo than anything else, I just don't want things to go to waste and want to make sure I use things up. Like dinner tonight for example. I have 3/4 of a half gallon of milk that needs to get used up, and three packages of open shredded cheese that I want to get rid of, so they went into the egg bake. I figure it will make a good dinner and will make for a really good breakfast all week for us. It is going to be really cold all week, it is sitting at about -30 with the windchill right now. 
Plans - home, put more Christmas decor away. I guess I might take down the mantle. Makes me so sad!
Breakfast - fresh fruit - we have mango, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, clementines and bananas, so lots to choose from!
Lunch - leftover prime rib and roasted potatoes
Dinner - Easy Breakfast Casserole (for dinner) - I added fresh broccoli, red pepper and green onions to this as well. I had ham leftover that I wanted to use up as well as shredded potatoes that needed to get used, so this recipe worked out great. 

Plans - the ICON movie theater that we like to go to, not far from our house, just announced that they are offering all movies for $5 on Tuesdays and free popcorn. So, we will be taking advantage of that deal and catching Into the Woods. Can't wait!
Breakfast - Leftover Breakfast Casserole and fruit
Lunch - Leftover steak and mashed potatoes
Dinner - Out, I am thinking The Bonefish Grill or The Yardhouse - it is an impromptu date night after all!

Plans - waiting to hear back from some former co-workers to see if we will be getting together for happy hour. Otherwise, maybe a mall walk? 
Breakfast - Leftover Breakfast Casserole and fruit
Lunch - Leftover soup
Dinner - either out or pan fried chicken thighs and roasted butternut squash

Plans - Now, some people may think this is morbid and wrong, but we are joining a Dead Pool this year and our yearly draft is tonight. We have been working on our list!
Breakfast - Leftover Breakfast Casserole and fruit
Lunch - Leftovers hopefully or I will have to scrounge something up.
Dinner - Out - JJ's Clubhouse

Plans - Home, finish taking down Christmas decor, get the house ready for Saturday.
Breakfast - Leftover Breakfast Casserole, if there is any left, or it will be a fried egg and sausage. 
Lunch - Leftover stew
Dinner - Pan fried walleye and roasted broccoli (we have walleye in the freezer that needs to be used up).
Plans - We are hosting a chef's dinner with five other couples. This is the third time we have been a part of this, but the first time we are hosting and I am really looking forward to it. 
Breakfast/Lunch - Hopefully Scott will make an omelet, they have been really good!
Dinner - I will post the full menu next week. It will most likely be four courses with wine pairings. 
Plans - We are doing a Mystery Shop for Brunch at The Bonefish Grill. I know that this is a larger chain, but we just got one here. We have been twice already, once for brunch and once for dinner and we loved it both times. Since it is right next to our movie theater that we like, we might catch a movie as well.
Brunch - Bonefish Grill
Dinner - Normally I like to make something that can be used as leftovers during the week, but I am not sure if we will be hungry, but either way I think I will make something. 

For more meal plans and links to recipes, check out the orgjunkie.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Recipe of the Week - Trisha Yearwood's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Unfortunately it was a busy night and I didn't get good pictures of the making of this recipe, but I wanted to post it because it was such a good recipe, I will definitely be making it again. 

I don't have Trisha Yearwood's cookbook, but I think it might be one I need to purchase, I have found a few of her recipes and seen her show on the Food Network and she is always cooking up something delicious. This soup was no exception!

We have been buying rotisserie chickens and the boy will take the chicken off of the bone so that we can use it in different recipes during the week. It is easy to throw it into a soup. 

Recipe (I changed her original recipe to use what I had on hand, it still turned out wonderfully!)


3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Three 14-ounce cans chicken broth
4 cups half-and-half
1 cup prepared salsa, mild or spicy
1 rotisserie chicken - pulled off the bone
Two 15-ounce can black beans, drained
One package Trader Joe's roasted corn, frozen
2 teaspoon ground cumin
One package taco seasoning

Toppings, cheese, tortilla strips and sour cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onion and saute until softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir well, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the broth and the half-and-half. Stir in the salsa, chicken, beans, corn, cumin and taco seasoning. Continue to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Crumble the tortilla chips into individual bowls and top with a ladle of soup. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and tortilla strips and add a dollop of sour cream.

I am linking up over at In and Out of the Kitchen and Aynonita Nibbles this week!