Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY
Mothers Day! This mama is not cooking :)

MONDAY
Junior League Meeting for mama
Pesto Chicken Bake

TUESDAY
gymnastics AND new photography class for mama
Crockpot Mexican Stuffed Peppers (from garden)
This is a hold over from last weeks meal plan that we didn't get around to

WEDNESDAY
late soccer night
Tuscan Sausage Soup from the freezer
This is one of our "keeper recipes"

THURSDAY
*new* Ritzy Cheddar Baked Chicken

FRIDAY
Family homemade pizza night

SATURDAY
Caprese Avocado Salad

Marinated Flank Steak

Andouille Sausage, red beans, and rice

Taco Night

Ground Beef Casserole

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our raised garden ::. The Second Month

Here's my belated post about month 2.
Click here for all garden related posts.

After 2 months:
I need to remember to actually water the garden. The hubby (if you remember, the person whose idea this garden was) had foot surgery so garden tending has been handed over to yours truly. I think I'm doing pretty good. I go out at least once a day to check on the garden. The girls LOVE LOVE to go see if there are any strawberries ready to be picked, they have taken over the strawberry job. Also, they enjoy green bean picking too.

I'm really having fun with this garden thing... but I kind of slacked and didn't actually take a full garden picture this month.

What have we learned:
Picking green beans actually causes more to grow... and we should have picked them a whole lot sooner.  The bush green bean plant has a maturity date of 55-60 days. While we got TONS of green beans, I had high hopes of giving some to friends and freezing a lot... but by the time we got around to that a lot of them were turning yellow and overripe.  All that said, I'm quite impressed how well these did since we grew them from seeds!

We should have planted our tomato plants WAY further apart. They are so crowded we can't get in there to see if we even have tomatoes. Also, I'm afraid the crowding was encouraging bugs and fungus.

Bell Pepper plants ALL grow green and only change colors (yellow, red, orange in our garden) when they are ripe. We were a little confused when the peppers on ALL our plants were green... fingers crossed we get some to change color.

Head lettuce likes shade and will not actually form a head if it's too sunny or hot. SOOO.... that was kind of a bust. We did not get ANY yield from our head lettuce - it was "bolting" I think and shooting straight up... so we pulled that.
Not-so-much-of-a-head head lettuce
Our red romaine lettuce, on the other hand, gave us quite a yield; We tried both tearing off the outside leaves and cutting the whole heart to the ground and letting it grow back. Nearing month 2, I felt like I couldn't keep up with the number of plants that we planted... and it too was beginning to shoot straight up and flower. I was told that once your lettuce flowers, it becomes bitter... so after 2 months (and a few days) we ended up pulling the red romaine. We may try this again in the fall.
Red romaine

I've also learned that me and herbs are not friends -- I can not keep those things alive to save my life. Except for mint... turns out I really have no use for mint... I am pregnant so mojitos are out of the question... and this herb grows like a weed and is trying to take over the herb section of our garden - YIKES!

This months yield:

LOTS Red Romaine Lettuce -- we had a salad at least every other day (sometimes daily) for a month and a half
Green beans, green beans, and MORE green beans

A few green bell peppers
Some tomatoes (that didn't get destroyed by bugs)
Strawberries every so often
And ONE onion (which I apparently picked too soon and wrong -- which was another thing we learned!)

Stay tuned for next months update.
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Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY was...
Grilled marinated flank steak with mac n cheese and (garden grown) salad

MONDAY
Andouille Sausage, red beans, and rice

TUESDAY
CINCO DE MAYO
Tacos... of course! with some black bean hummus

WEDNESDAY
Late soccer night
Ground Beef Casserole

THURSDAY
Crockpot Mexican Stuffed bell peppers (from our garden!)

FRIDAY
Garlic Parmesean Crusted Chicken

SATURDAY
Homemade pizza night

Grilled Chicken, green beans, and mac n cheese

Grilled Flank Steak with black beans, corn, and tomatoes

Chicken and spinach stuffed shells

Roasted Garlic, Pesto, and Chicken Pizza

Corned Beef, potatoes, and cabbage

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY was...
Spaghetti with grilled italian sausage

MONDAY was...
Grilled Chicken, green beans, and mac n cheese

TUESDAY
Corned Beef, potatoes, and cabbage

WEDNESDAY
Grilled Flank Steak with black beans, corn, and tomatoes

THURSDAY
Chicken and spinach stuffed shells

FRIDAY
Roasted Garlic, Pesto, and Chicken Pizza

SATURDAY
Friends Birthday party!


Last weeks recap

Ranch Chicken

Corned Beef, potatoes, and carrots

Corned Beef Melts

Crockpot White Bean Chicken Chili

Tuscan Sausage Soup
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY
hold over from last week...
Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

MONDAY
Smothered Pork Chops (sale)
We made this a while ago and gave it good reviews, since pork chops are on sale I'll give it another go

TUESDAY
Gymnastics Night
Crockpot Corned Beef, potatoes, and cabbage

WEDNESDAY
Late soccer night
Corned Beef Melts (if we have any leftovers from Tuesday)
OR Skinny Tuna Melts

THURSDAY
Crockpot White Bean Chicken Chili

FRIDAY
Tuscan Sausage Soup

SATURDAY
Chicken and Spinach stuffed shells

Last weeks recap
Pan seared chicken (freezer), green beans (garden), and wild rice

Ground Beef Casserole

Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Grits

Crockpot Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos

Eye of Round Roast

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

March's Cookie Trial ::. Magic Cake

For the month of March, I didn't come across a cookie that I particularly wanted to make... but I DID find the Magic Cake that looked pretty cool.... so I gave that a shot instead.



The gist of the Magic Cake  is that it is one batter that magically creates 3 layers when baked. I think I got 2 layers pretty solidly... but only like a millimeter of a 3rd layer; but the flavor was great!! Also, the recipe I followed said to bake it until the top was golden brown for 40-70 minutes (which, by the way... is QUITE a difference in time). So I baked mine until golden brown (just over 40 min) and took it out. It was a little jiggly in the middle, but I figured that since this was sort of custard-ish that it might firm up when cooled....
Looking golden on top... in my opinion
...  it didn't. So I lost the middle of my cake. But oh well.

In doing further research, after the fact, I saw that many recipes said to make sure your melted butter had cooled before adding it in... I did not, so maybe that was one issue I had.

MAGIC CAKE
src: Jo Cooks
INGREDIENTS4 eggs (separate yolks from whites) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
125 g (1 stick or ½ cup) butter, melted
115 g (4 oz or ¾ cup) of all purpose flour
500 ml (2 cups) milk lukewarm
powdered sugar for dusting cake
INSTRUCTIONS1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.
Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until egg whites are stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
3. Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in. Another variation to folding in the egg whites would be to add a third of the egg whites and gently whisk them in to the cake batter, then reverse the process and add a bit of the cake mixture to the egg whites and gently whisk in, repeat until all cake batter has been whisked in.
4. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
5. Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.
RESULTS
Great flavor, but too soft in the middle. I may try the lemon one to give that a shot, put foil over it to keep it from browning and leaving it in longer.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY
Pan seared chicken (freezer), green beans (garden), and wild rice

MONDAY
Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Grits

TUESDAY
Gymnastics
Crockpot Flank Steak

WEDNESDAY
Soccer practice
Pesto Ranch Crockpot Chicken

THURSDAY
Eye of Round Roast

FRIDAY
*new* Crockpot Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos

SATURDAY
Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Last weeks recap
French Bread Pizza
Salmon with Champagne Sauce
Chef Salad


Breakfast for dinner, YAY!

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