Monday, April 13, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 16 - 2015

I don't know where the time goes lately! This is always one of the things on my ta-da list every week, but for some reason, it is one of those things that just never gets done!
We had such a nice weekend. Happy hour Friday night with friends to celebrate the fact that they are under contract on a new house. They have been looking for a while for a new house on a lake in the metro area. Those don't come up very often so it has been a long process and they are so excited! We are excited for them as well of course. It will be fun to do a sunset cruise with them! We went to Bacio for happy hour to celebrate and it had been a while since we had been there. SO good, love that place. 
Saturday we spent the day running errands, picked up my new glasses and got the house and dinner ready to celebrate my friend Stacie's birthday. It was a lot of fun and our friends Christi and Paul joined us as well. It was such a nice evening. Good food, good friends, great conversation. Really can't ask for more. 
Sunday after having breakfast at Maggie's and running errands, we headed home for some spring cleaning. We worked on my office. Windows and screens were cleaned, I bought new curtains for the windows, we got rid of one book shelf and I found a new bench. I also decided to change the room around and do a gallery wall. Now, just a few more things. I need to continue de-clutter, which will happen little by little, I really want hardwood floors in my office and a new ceiling fan, which I have already picked out, just need to pull the trigger. I have a fan in here now, but it was a grab and go purchase out of necessity. This is the one I really like. 
I really like the updates though. I just need to get a few more pictures for my gallery wall. To see the transformation that my home office has been through, check out this post here.
This week is a little bit of everything. I was thinking maybe we would go to a wine dinner on Thursday that looked really good, but we are doing Ruths Chris on Saturday night to celebrate a friends birthday, so one expensive dinner out a week needs to be our limit. 
Plans - After a Monday of work, as well as laundry in between meetings, we need to get some errands run. I have a couple of packages to ship out, a set of curtains to return that didn't work for my office and my new glasses adjusted (pinching behind my ears!) and then we are going to grab a bite out at Lion's Tap which Scott has been wanting to get back to for a while.
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg bake (so glad we have had this for breakfasts) and lunch is leftovers. We grilled steaks and asparagus and sauteed mushrooms last night. It made such a good lunch!
Dinner - Out for a bite!

Plans - Neighborhood Bunco Night! Always a fun night. I have to bring a snack and I have a Groupon for Wuollet that is expiring, so I will probably stop in there and pick something up to bring.
Breakfast and Lunch - Finish up the egg bake, leftover short ribs and mashed potatoes
Dinner - Plated Meal - Lamb Kofta with Pistachios and Herb Salad

Plans - Home, DVR
Breakfast and Lunch - Oatmeal with fresh blueberries, big salad
Dinner - Plated Meal - Braised Cod with Swiss Chard, White Beans and Almonds

Plans - Work on getting the closets turned over.
Breakfast and Lunch - Fresh berries, chicken and rice (Trader Joe's)
Dinner - Plated Meal - Cheesy Beef Enchiladas with Avocado, Spinach and Black Beans

Plans - Out, HH with friends
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg and bacon, whatever I can find in the fridge or soup.
Dinner - Out
Saturday and Sunday
We have a memorial service for my cousin who passed away in February up in Sartell, MN on Saturday and then dinner out for a good friends birthday at Ruths Chris. Sunday I am hoping we can do more clean up and organization at home. Its been so nice to have my office all clean and organized, would like to tackle some other rooms as well.

In regards to Plated Meals, we have been ordering these, two or three a week and we really enjoy them. Sometimes they are completely out of our comfort zone in regards to something I would make or would not make, other times it is something I might make, but it would include different ingredients. Scott likes the step by step recipe and he fact that all of the ingredients come package together for a meal. Really good stuff though. If you are interested in trying them out, here is the link.

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

Monday, March 23, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 13 - 2015

We started the weekend off mild and nice and ended it with about 10 inches of snow on the ground!

We spent Saturday turning more Parade of Homes, I love looking at the new builds and getting ideas. I am also happy when they have interior designers who have worked with the houses, love looking and getting ideas!

I love these floors, they are actually ceramic tiles. We are thinking about doing these downstairs once we finish that off. 

 Love these for counters too, I think they would look great with dark brown cabinets or white for our bar area. 

Saturday night we got together with friends for a fun game night. Scott and I have never played poker before, so we learned a couple of different games, had some wonderful food and got to catch up with some really great friends!

We have been getting siding bids, flooring bids and we are meeting with an architect to make some pretty radical changes to our house. I would love to do an addition as well, but that is not going to happen right now, but I am really excited to see the changes that we want to do get implemented. Hoping to start our project around the beginning of the summer and it looks like it will be about a 6 to 8 week project. Then of course there will be the landscaping, driveway and doctoring it all up. 

This week we have more estimates coming in this week, and here is how the rest of the week is shaping up. 

Plans - A visit to the chiro, we were rear ended lightly, a tap really, on Saturday and it threw me out a whack. Luckily we have an EXCELLENT chiro. Then out to eat!
Breakfast and Lunch - Bananas, peanut butter, granola and chicken poblano from TJ's (I picked up a few easy meals to throw together for lunch this week, I am so glad I did this, our leftovers are slim pickings).
Dinner - Lord Fletchers (we have not been in SO long, cannot wait!)

Plans - We have a company coming out for our 4th estimate for our house project, so I will need to whip something up quickly for dinner. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Banana, peanut butter and granola and a grilled chicken with lime green salad (thank goodness for Trader Joe's!)
Dinner - Creamy Spring Pasta I am going to add roasted turkey to this dish. We bought two rotisserie turkey breasts this past weekend, will be great to add to meals this week.

Plans - Scott is seeing the chiro after work, I might go into the office, I have an eye appt not far from the office, but I am debating. 
Breakfast and Lunch - depends on whether or not I decide to go into the office.
Dinner - Depends on whether or not I decide to go into the office. . . if I go in, we will probably go out to dinner. 

Plans - We have both a flooring estimate and someone coming back to deliver an exterior estimate.
Breakfast and Lunch - Cheese and turkey for breakfast and hopefully leftovers for lunch.
Dinner - Butternut Squash Carbonara and pork chops

Plans - We have friends coming for HH and to catch up
Breakfast and Lunch - Egg, bacon, and turkey with a green salad
Dinner - we are doing a bunch of different apps, hopefully I will post some of them later this week. 

Saturday and Sunday
Plans - This is the last weekend for Parade of Homes, so I will need to look at my book and make sure that we checked out all of the fabulous houses! It is also the Remodeling Showcase weekend, so I am sure we will check out a few of these. A week from Saturday, we have a Mad Men themed party on the books, so I will be getting ready for that as well, making sure we have the decor like we want it and planning the food and drink. 
Meals - not sure what we will be doing for meals this weekend, most likely out, its also the weekend before my birthday, so maybe something fun!
For more meal plans and links to lots of great recipes and meal ideas, check out the orgjunkie!


Monday, March 09, 2015

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 11 - 2015

What a whirlwind of a weekend! This past weekend was the MN Monthly Food and Wine Show and it is always one of my favorite weekends of the year! But of course we kicked off the weekend Friday with a half day of work, and lunch with my good friend Stacie, her mom, one of her sisters and my sister! It was so much fun to get to meet her sister Ashley who lives in NYC and it is always fun to see her mom. I was so glad my sister could join us as well. We had a great lunch at Lunds and Byerly's Kitchen, which is such a cool concept! It is on the street level of a new elder transitional concept in downtown Wayzata. They have a small amount of groceries, TONS of wonderfully prepared foods and a great sit down area with wine and beer. Scott and I have been there a few times, but everyone just loved it AND our food and service!

After lunch my sister and I had manis/pedis and then did a little shopping which was really nice! Scott was home working on the house, so before dinner we hit up Home Goods where I came across two lamp shades that I just couldn't pass up. I wasn't looking to replace them, but these were just way too perfect! They work in the room, and the fact that they were formerly green, and Scott painted them this rustish orange works out perfect.
I keep a restaurant list of places I want to try in the Twin Cities. Places I read about in our local magazines, hear about on Facebook or get recommendations from friends. Miltons Vino Vittles and Beer had been on the list for a while and we decided on a whim to give it a try. We both loved it. Great atmosphere, great menu, excellent service and food! 
 Great place, they have a mixture of southern down home cooking with a Jewish twist!

 Shrimp and Grits with a fried egg for Scott.
 The Russian for me.
 And a delectable piece of homemade carrot cake to share!
Saturday and Sunday we spent both days at the show, which was fantastic and a ton of fun but Saturday night was wonderful! We started meeting up with the wonderful Suedkamp girls again, bonus of one more sister and then we were joined by a couple of other friends for drinks at Coup d' etat, which has such a fun atmosphere!
We had dinner plans across the street at another place I wanted to cross off the list, Libertine. Another place with great atmosphere and a wonderful menu. The food and company were awesome!

Last week we somehow managed to eat leftovers every night we didn't go out. I am hoping to get some more cooking in this week. The weather is supposed to be really nice here all week, in the 50's and 60's very spring like. We have actually had a very mild winter here considering, but I can be ready for spring! I am ready for some deck time. 
We are getting ready to have a lot of work done on our house, so we have people coming again this week for estimates. Siding, roof, our awning recovered and hardwood floors throughout the main floor. I guess this is why we never travel any further than Wisconsin. 
Here is what we have planned for this week. 

Plans - Chiro, Scott is off, working on the eat in kitchen and working on the wood box for the fireplace. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Out to our favorite pizza place, Joey Nova's with our neighbors who just came back from a two week Panama Cruise.
Plans - Bunco night with the girls in the neighborhood. My sister and friend Stacie are subbing, looking forward to seeing them. We also have a company coming out for a siding estimate. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon and eggs and Leftovers
Dinner - Usually it is whatever people bring to Bunco, I am going to make a margarita dip with strawberries. 
Plans - It is supposed to be really nice, so I am hoping we can go for a walk in the neighborhood. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon, egg, avocado and leftovers
Dinner - Grilling something! Most likely steak, peppers and onions. 
Plans - We have another siding estimate, but this one is a former co-workers husband, so they are coming for dinner and drinks. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Bacon, egg and avocado and leftovers. 
Dinner - Chicken and spinach lasagna and butternut squash. 
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Plans - We are leaving for the weekend to get away with friends in Spooner, WI. I am looking forward to this weekend. We always have a great time with Lori and Jason. Looking forward to a nice low key weekend!
For more meal plans and links to recipes, check out the Orgjunkie.


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.