Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's cooking this week?

Hooray, back to reality...
I just read the weekly meal "run-down" to Stephen, and he called it a very "flair filled week".  The truth is, I'm really just trying to get rid of a bunch of meat we have stock-piled in our freezer.  Due to a lack of a shelf in there, things tend to get buried.  I just took inventory of what is in there...it was shocking.  It is amazing how we have accumulated so much ground meat.  We have a TON of ground beef, which is mysterious considering I usually stick to turkey and chicken!  So let the cleaning out of the freezer begin.  I can not risk another avalanche every time I go in there for something!

Tonight - A roasted veggie sausage sandwich creation using one of Frankie's recipes as inspiration...with his expert advice this should be A-Mazing -  I'll probably make a pasta salad using some quinoa pasta too
Monday - Paleo Chipotle Meatballs with Guacamole over quinoa
Tuesday - Grilled Pineapple and Chicken Sandwiches with sweet potato fries
Wednesday - Ground Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Asian Edamame Fried Rice
Thursday - Grilled Mango Jalapeno Cheese Burgers with Baked Onion Rings
Friday - I will be too busy shopping in Orlando to cook!  :)

This week is going to be VERY busy, I'm glad my meals are set....and they all seem pretty quick!  For me, figuring out what to make is the hardest part so this is always a huge help!  I even have my workouts planned!  CLICK HERE!
Here is todays... going to run through it 3 times and time it!
I'll post the time here --> 15:09 when I am done.  If you don't hear from me, then be concerned!  (It wasn't TOO bad)
I have no idea what times I am working until over these next few days, so this will be a quick way to make sure I get a workout in!  My goal is to do this, and maybe get some running in as well.  This week is going to be a crazy one, I can feel it!  We are little over a week out from the first day of school...can you believe it?!?  It has been an incredible summer, had a ton of fun, and made a bunch of memories with friends and family.  I'd say my first summer as a "Mrs." was a great one!  Now, school is almost in session....and I have 328 7th graders that need schedules!  Luckily, there is a little carrot dangling at the end of my work week.....another girls weekend!  Okay, maybe the summer isn't over just yet!  :)
  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Foodie Blogroll

Yippeeeee!!!  Not too long ago, I applied to be a part of the Foodie Blogroll.  This is an online community for people who have a food blog.  It is one of the many website I often go to in order to search for some new recipe inspiration!  I wasn't sure I would meet the criteria based on the fact that I have had this blog for so long, and it has only been a food blog for a short time.  Well.....as of last night, I have officially been accepted!  It is an awesome website FULL of some really amazing blogs, I'm super excited to be a part of it!

Right now I am on a meal planning hiatus due to the fact that I had family over the past week.  We mostly went out to eat, but over the weekend I cooked for 13 people...that is a personal record for me!  Pasta, garlic bread, and salad...the easiest thing I could think of for such a large group!  We were a little smooshed in our apartment, but we made it work and everyone seemed to have enjoyed it!!!  This is a blurry picture of one satisfied looking bunch of people....I promise!
I was originally planning on making the zucchini risotto for my parents on Monday night, but I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer, and it was a little late when we got home.  We ended up having....left over pasta (shocking)!  Apparently 3 lbs. of penne is WAY too much for 13 people...lesson learned!  I'm looking forward to getting back into "meal planning mode", and also getting back to a normal routine now that summer vacation is over (sad face), family visits are over for now (more sad faces), and I have to burn off all these excess calories I have consumed over the past week!!!  Tonight I made egg salad for dinner in order to use up all of the eggs from the giant breakfast that I never had a chance to make while everyone was in town!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top 6

It is really getting down to the wire on MasterChef!  As it gets closer to the end of the season, it is getting more and more intense!  We are enjoying every second of watching Frankie, he is doing such an amazing job!  I told him that I would consider flying up if he makes it to the final 3.  It would be nice to go to one of those viewing parties, and support him in person!  I was so upset that I couldn't make it to one, he didn't have a party last time I was on Long Island...I missed it only by one day!   Here is a pic of my parents, when they went to that party WITHOUT me!  My dad said that the apple pie he made was "off the hook"!
If you aren't watching, you are seriously missing out!  It is such an exciting show, next Monday he takes on the TOP 6!  He also gets to be team captain (again)!  This is still so crazy to me, GO FRANKIE!!!!!  (9:00 on FOX)
Click HERE to see Frank's recipe on Paula Deen's website!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Proud Sister Moment

This is non-food related, but I have to take a minute to share a few things I dug up on the internet regarding my brother.  I was first stalking his YouTube account, then randomly decided to google him. I obviously have too much time on my hands, and miss my bro VeRy MUCH!!!  I found this awesome video that was posted a year ago...yet for some reason I have never seen it!

Then I found his bio on the School Of Rock website...so proud of my little brother, and the fact that he is going back to school this fall to start working towards his Masters!!!!!  Also, so proud of him for pursuing his dream and doing what he loves...I  LOVE HIM!
"At the age of 12, Peter was determined to learn how to play guitar in hope of starting a band with his friends. This was just the beginning of his musical journey. From there, he threw himself into anything that would offer him the opportunity to play music. As a teenager, he played in many rock bands and studied audio engineering. Being heavily influenced by guitarist Steve Howe from the 1970’s progressive rock group YES, Peter became inspired to pursue jazz and classical guitar on top of his rock background. While attending Suffolk County Community College, Peter played guitar in Indie-Rock bands Mystic Flavor and The Woolgathering. After receiving his Associates Degree in music he continued his education at Purchase College where he studied classical guitar under the leadership of world-renowned guitarist, Frederick Hand. Today, Peter is still performing his music as a singer-songwriter around New York as well as playing gigs with musical pit bands, jazz artists, and other local songwriters. As a teacher, Peter encourages his students to have fun, play with other aspiring musicians, and to participate in anything that will further their musical abilities.  Peter is currently enrolled as a graduate student at Purchase College where he plans to continue pursuing a master’s degree in classical guitar beginning in the Fall of 2012."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bruschetta

Here is another classic example of something I make very often, but put a different twist on it EVERY time!  Sometimes I throw in kalamata olives, other times I put in some cubes of fresh mozzarella...it really depends on what I have on hand.
Last weeks version looked like this:


This time I used:
  • 3 chopped ripe tomatoes 
  • 1/2 chopped onion 
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mozzarella chopped into cubes 
  • a handful of torn fresh basil 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Balsamic vinegar (it's worth splurging on the good stuff) 
  • Salt, Pepper, italian seasoning 


*Just mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with EVOO, add a splash of balsamic vinegar, and then season to taste!  How could you go wrong with a little of this, and a little of that?!?  Publix sells this delicious Italian multi-grain bread that I cut it into thin slices, and toast a bit.  Throw some bruschetta on top, and enjoy!  

I seriously could make a meal of it.  Moment of truth....I sometimes do!  I've been known to fill up on soups, salads, and appetizers instead of the actual meal!  :)

Speaking of the actual meal...the Penne alla Vodka I made from Skinnytaste was delicious!  I highly recommend it!
Have you ever tried whole grain pasta?!?  I admit there is nothing like the real thing, but as a weeknight alternative I LOVE it!  It is good, give it a chance!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's Cooking This Week & Our Girls/Boys Weekend

This week, I have only planned for three days...because we are having visitors soon!  My parents will be here on Thursday, and the rest of the crew will be driving up from South Florida on Friday.  We have a fun weekend ahead of us, so I'm keeping it somewhat light for now in order to prepare for all of the festivities!
Tonight - Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Sausage (from The Fresh Market), with roasted yukon gold potatoes with peppers and onions
Tuesday - Green Chili Chicken Burritos
Wednesday - Dreamfields Linguine (excited to try this low-carb pasta for the first time) with this Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
Stephen and I are also coming off of a busy weekend that certainly requires we go into recovery mode for the next few days while we can! He had a boys night at the Rays vs. Red Sox game...and I had a girls weekend in Clearwater on the beach. The best part was how we were able to meet up with the boys on Sunday for one more round of the beach.

Love this pic that Will took at the game...





Such a great weekend with wonderful friends!  Looking forward to doing it again sooner than later!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Loaded Veggie Pizza

Last night we decided to make a quick and easy veggie pizza.  No....I'm not under the illusion that this is healthy just because it is loaded with veggies.  But, with a whole wheat pizza crust, tons of vegetables, and part skim cheese, it is at least "semi-guilt-free"...that's a thing...right?!?!  Anyway, we bought the pizza dough at the grocery store, and Stephen is able to roll it into two thin crust pizza's.  I topped it with sauce (the only time I ever use jarred sauce), part-skim mozzarella and cheddar cheese, sliced red peppers, and onions.  I also sauteed some frozen spinach with broccoli florets, with lot's of garlic.....and loaded that on top too.  I cooked it according to the directions for the dough (400 degrees for about 20 minutes)...SO easy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What's cooking this week?

Ok, like I said in my last post...things got a little out of order last week.  This actually happens a lot, which is why when I plan out my meals I usually try to cook all of the freshest ingredients early on.  If I need to "bump" things off by a day, or even into the next week then at least the produce doesn't go bad.  Example...last week I was going to make the turkey chili on Friday, and now I now I am going to make it this Friday.  All of the ingredients are either dry, canned, or in the freezer (besides onions which don't count because I always have those on hand).  Anyway, it doesn't always work out this way, but if at all possible it usually helps.  You can only plan so much!  Here is what this week MIGHT end up looking like...
Tonight - Veggie Pizza
Monday - Lemon Basil Chicken, with roasted broccoli, and yukon gold potatoes (might roast with broccoli or make it mashed...we'll see)
Tuesday - going to have a good old fashioned "Taco Tuesday"!!!  We stock up on taco kits everytime they are BOGO...it couldn't hurt to make a dent in our supply!  Mmmm!

Wednesday - Probably won't be home
Thursday - Penne Alla Vodka, and bruschetta
Friday - White Bean Turkey Chili....why hello again!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lemon Risotto with Summer Squash

The whole weekly plan got a little thrown off due to some last minute plans with friends.  Not a problem at all, I just had it pushed off by a few days.  That is why, I ended up making the Orange Honey Chicken Salad yesterday.  It was SO good!  The only problem was that the package of chicken I had in the freezer was very small.  Only 3 measly little thin cutlets, it got me thinking that there is no way it would be filling enough for the both of us.  So then I had to search the fridge and pantry to see what else I could come up with.  I had a bunch of leftover zucchini and summer squash...and arborio rice...lightbulb!!!  After a few minutes of internet research, I found this recipe... CLICK HERE!  OMG it was sooooo good!  I made it with vegetable stock (that is all I had), which is why it came out looking much different.  So filling, it was just what we needed in addition to the salad.  


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Arugula Feta Frittata

This past Saturday, I woke up and was in the mood for something other than the usual oatmeal or cereal.  I happen to have some ingredients on hand to throw this delicious frittata together.  The husband definitely approved.  Not to shabby for a spur of the moment breakfast!
You will need:
8-10 eggs (I substituted some egg-white because I like it a little lighter)
5 oz of crumbled feta cheese
3-4 cups of packed arugula
1 cup of chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Directions:
*Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1. In a 10 inch oven safe skilled, sauté onions, garlic, in olive oil - and wilt arugula on medium heat - cook down for 2-3 minutes
(Should look like this)

2.  In a bowl, beat the eggs, add salt and pepper to taste, then add feta cheese
3.  Reduce heat to low, and distribute arugula/onion mixture around the pan...slowly pour in the eggs and cheese
4.  Cook until the edges start to separate from the pan, then put it into a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until it puffs up and sets
5.  Slide the frittata onto a large plate, and enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What's cooking this week?

So, pretty much every weekend....I plan my meal for the upcoming week.  Here is what I have in store for this week!
Tonight - Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken & Jamaican Red Beans and Rice
Monday - Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce and cous cous with lemon and spinach, and salad
Tuesday - Grilled Honey-Orange Chicken Salad
Wednesday - 4th of July :)
Thursday - London Broil, with Skinny Scalloped Potato Gratin
Friday - White Bean Turkey Chili

Chicken Cheesy Amazeballs

The best definition I can find to describe the word Amazeballs is:
"The superlative used when a friend shares such exciting news with you that no other word embodies the excitement you feel over it."
A friend of mine used this word the first time I heard it.  I kept trying to make it be a "thing", yet my husband and another friend cringed every time I would throw it out there...basically I gave up on it.  Until now!  These chicken meatballs are so good, no other word can embody the excitement I feel over them.  Therefore, I have brought "Amazeballs" back!  How is that for not having a Masters degree in words??? 


Since this is my own creation, I am going to guesstimate the ingredients and measurements.  You can probably add "ish" after each one...
You will need:
  • 1 lb. of ground chicken meat
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots (separate in half)
  • 1 large onion chopped (separate in half)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (separate in half)
  • 1 Tbsp. of sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs (may need more or less...don't put it away)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • pinch of red pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • thai sweet chili sauce (for dipping)
*Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
1.  Ok basically I sauteed 1/2 the onions, garlic, and carrots (add salt, pepper, and red pepper) until it was cooked down and caramelized...then I put it into the fridge to cool off.  

2.  In a large bowl I combined the chicken meat, egg whites, the other half of the raw onions, garlic, and carrots, sriracha, cheddar cheese, and some more salt and pepper.

3.  After the cooked ingredients have cooled off (I gave it about 10 minutes in the fridge)...combine with chicken meat, and mush it all together.  If it is still too wet, add more breadcrumbs.  I have no clue how much I ended up throwing in there.  It seemed like I had to keep dumping more in because it was sticking to my hands too much.  Be careful though, you don't want it too dry!  You just need to be able to roll the meat in to balls without it sticking to your hands. 

4.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Roll the chicken meat mixture into 2 inch balls....cook for 30-40 minutes until they are golden brown.  

5. Serve with the thai sweet chili dipping sauce...so good!!!!  

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