Sunday, January 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #5

Last week went great and I switched a few days around but then it was....Friday and things didn't go according to plan. I was able to get back on track Sunday night.

The highlight last week was the sweet potato fries I made from scratch. They were very very good! I'll post it later this week, but I'll let the photo tempt your tummy.

This week I'm still working on seeing the bottom of my freezer....I'm seeing some of it, so that's exciting!
Monday - Spinach and Feta stuffed pasta with farmer sausage and salad - I have everything for this one
Tuesday - Chicken and Veg soup with flax buns - I'll pick the buns up at Ralphs they are super good, I have the rest of everything for the soup
Wednesday - homemade hamburgers on the BBQ on the left over flax buns and sweet potato fries- other than the buns and sweet potatoes, I have everything
Thursday - fancy grilled cheese with tomato soup - I'll pick up the soup at Ralph's. I have the rest
Friday - Honey Garlic meatballs on rice with salad. I didn't make these last week so I'm moving them to this week
Saturday - leftovers or scrambled omelets
Sunday - flax and multi grain pancakes with fruit. I've been making a double batch of these and feeding them as peanut butter and jam pancake sandwiches to my kids for lunches and they love them.
Here it goes for another week. I'm not having any company for dinner this week. We need a low key week as it seems my kids are off schedule from so much company lately and in this house that means unhappy kids and stressed mommy. And again I'm going to try to get to making some bread...fingers crossed on that one!
Best of luck to all the others over at the Organizing Junkie that are busy with their menu plans. Head over there to see more menu plans that you can imagine!
And of course...the kidlets for your enjoyment...a rare moment of actually playing together

Friday, January 29, 2010

Slow BBQ'd Marinated Chicken Thighs

Wow, this week has gone by in a blur. It's Friday and I've not posted since Monday!! I'm sure all six of you were missing me greatly. It's been busy as I've had a lot of work with my 'part' time job and company over on two different nights this week for dinner and my friend and her kids over and we also went over to her house. So that's a bit busy for us. Oh and I did make cookies today also. Whew I'm tired just thinking about this week!
So I slow BBQ'd two batches of marinated chicken thighs this week for each of my nights of company. They turned out fantastic!!
The first batch I did in a home made plum chutney that a friend had made and 'forgot' at my house....I hope she didn't want it back! It was great!

I then dumped the chutney and the chicken together in a ziplock bag and marinated it for the day, squishing it and turning it around a couple times

At the same time I threw the other half of the chicken in the second marinade for later in the week and put it in the fridge

3 hours before dinner, I heated up and cleaned the BBQ.

Then I turned half the BBQ off and left the other half on high. Put the chicken, skin side up, on the half that is off and close the lid.

I checked it a few times to make sure it was cooking well and rotated any pieces that were cooking faster with pieces that were not. You do not flip the chicken and do not put it over the flames. Cooking it this way will give you a nice crispy outside and a very moist inside!

In the end, they will be pretty dark, but the chicken is not over cooked at all...the sausages are a different was late sadly. So the chicken survived and the sausages even over cooked were consumed also

Girly loved the chicken!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Roasted Broccoli

I had a lot of good feedback about the roasted cauliflower, except for ONE person...and you know who you are....
So here is the roasted's soooo good, really. MMMM

You need Broccoli, Garlic, Salt, Pepper and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Grapeseed Oil as I prefer the taste)
A baking pan with sides
The oven heated to 350

Cut up the broccoli into bit size pieces and put into the pan and add the EVOO or Grapeseed oil and toss it together to coat the broccoli

Mince up the Garlic

add the garlic and the salt and pepper to the broccoli

Roast it in the oven for about 25 minutes. It will turn all brown and crispy...mmmm

My kids both loved it and the little man kept eating it up

And according to my Menu, today was the fish day...I really really don't like fish....still....really I don't. But it's what we do for our kids right.....try to teach them what is good for I suck it up and eat it with out complaining...honest even with yummy sounding topping, I still don't like it...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #4

Week #4....So I've discovered that I need to plan easier meals for later in the week. I really have a hard time making anything later in the week. I did alright last week, changed a few days around and still did not make that pasta with white sauce. Instead I was so tired that night I threw the leftover ham and gravy in a pot to heat up and served it on warm bread. And we had no left overs for our left over night so we did order in, I was just to lazy to come up with anything.
I am still working on eating out of our freezer. I'm excited to say with the exception of the ham last week I've not bought any meat in the last three weeks! Last week I ran to the grocery store for pie crusts, grapes, strawberries and milk. That was all I bought. Pretty amazing for me!
So my fridge is looking sparse and I'm really looking forward to hitting the produce store tomorrow and I'm going to run down to the US to get my milk and cheese as it's so much cheaper than Canada and it's just as fast for me to go there as the grocery store here, as long as there is no line up at the boarders!
So I'm still wading thru the depths of the freezer and found some food that's in need of here is this weeks menu plan
Monday - Fish and Brown Rice with Salad - I found some fancy tilapia in the freezer I forgot I bought, most likely because I really don't like fish at all, but like to think I'll eat it because it's far that theory doesn't work so well for me.
Tuesday - BBQ'd chicken thighs with brown rice and salad. I have my inlaws coming for dinner this week again. I'll slow BBQ the chicken on indirect heat for about 3 hours. This makes it nice and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. I'll most likely do it in sauce of some sort
Wednesday - Honey Garlic Meat Balls with brown rice again and salad. The hubby really likes brown rice and we don't eat a lot of potatoes. I have the meatballs already made and cooked in the freezer. I'll post the recipe I have for this later this week
Thursday - Chicken wings and fries with Salad. I have frozen/flavoured chicken wings from Costco that I just want out of the freezer. I'll make my own fries
Friday - BBQ'd chicken thighs again with BBQ'd potatoes, veggies and salad. These are from the same package as the ones on Monday, it's one of those huge ones from costco that was put in the freezer before I could portion it in smaller meals. So they have to be cooked. I think I'm having company again this night. I'll cook it the same as previous, but with a different sauce
Saturday - leftovers or a meal from the freezer if there are no left overs
Sunday - breakfast for dinner. French toast and sausage with cut up veg and fruit
Pretty easy meals this week!
Best of luck for all those trying to eat out of the pantry and sticking to a menu plan!
For many many more ideas and menu plans check out the organizing junkie!
And of course, just picture of the kiddlets to leave you with....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Easy Apple Crisp

I often throw together an apple crisp when company comes over. It's one of those desserts that is easy to do fast and then let it cook and fill your house with a yummy smell.
I don't use a recipe, but just throw the stuff together and mmm, mmm, yum.

I use about 4-5 apples and cut them with my handy apple slicer from the above picture. I cut each of the apple pieces in half and I leave the skin on. Normally you should take it off, but really, I'm lazy and too lazy to peel the apples so I throw them in the dish (that has been sprayed or buttered)

This last time I sprinkled them with cinnamon, just because I could. I didn't notice it, so next time I guess I should do more...hmmm, oh well
In a mixing bowl I start the topping, because lets face it, really that's all I want anyway, it's the best part, the apples are just to make me think I'm making it for the appley goodness, but seriously we all know the truth here

I always make a large amount of the crisp top. I put the quick rolled oats and the brown sugar in the bowl and add some flour to help thicken the sauce that will form. I mix it all together. Then I add the butter and use two knives to cut the butter into the oats/sugar mix. I cut it in until it's all mixed.

If you need to know about how much I use of each, I would guess 2 cups of oats, 1 3/4 cups of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour and 3/4 cup of butter, more if you want.

I put it in the oven at 350 for about an hour. Less if I make a smaller one for just the three of us. Let it cool a bit and enjoy on it's own or with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

Of course this is amazing with rhubarb (add some white sugar on the rhubarb to cut the tartness), peaches, pears, blueberries and the list goes on!

Let me know if you whip one up! It's a yummy treat and the leftovers are good the next day to!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So I had some fantastic pictures to go with this post...but I deleted them and of course we are done dinner so I'm sorta out of luck and pretty angry at myself!

Pannekoek is a very large thin pancake basically. The dutch serve it filled with most anything from sweet to savory. Cooking it is easy and eating it is even easier!

Here is the *gasp* recipe....yes, an actual recipe that I even followed....for the most part anyway!

One of my bestest girly friends gave me this recipe and gave me the go ahead to post it.....


2 Cups of Flour

2 Cups of Milk

4 large eggs

dash of salt

dash of sugar

I didn't alter this recipe to much. I did 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat flour, I added about 1/2 a cup more milk as I found the whole wheat flour made it a bit thicker, and I added some vanilla

So the trick here is you want it runny and you want a big pan with sides. I use a soup ladle and put one ladle full into the pan and turn the move the pan around to ensure that the pannekoek spreads out around the entire pan and you want it THIN....and I mean THIN and the size of the pan. Don't worry if your first few don't look like mine... (the one picture I didn't delete)

This recipe should make about 5 - 6 pannekoek. We in the past have just put jam in them and rolled them up. Tonight we put syrup in them, rolled them up and topped it with strawberries and real whipping cream.....but I deleted the great picture I took. I can eat 1 and maybe a half more, the hubby packs away at least 3. You can put bacon and eggs in it and roll it up...really anything you want. I kept mine in foil to keep it warm and pliable while I was cooking and I generally use 2 pans on the stove to speed up the process.

Once you have your filling, roll it like a cigar and cut into it and enjoy the yummy dutch pancake and pretend you are surrounded by tulips, with the smell of nice strong coffee being brought to your table at the cafe you are at, far far away from here....mmmmm, it's good to day dream....all I smell is a dirty diaper that didn't make it into the garbage can....I guess I should find that and take care of it...*sigh*

And just an FYI..even the whole wheat flour does NOT make this any type of healthy....but at least it makes me think I tried!

So far this week other than switch the night for the pannekoek with the pasta for tomorrow I'm on track with my menu plan...YAY. And considering that my craptacular day on Monday has thrown off my entire week and put me in a poor mood...I'm still sticking to my menu.

Here is a picture to leave you kids after dinner tackling mommy.....I am in this picture...promise....see my arm as I snap the picture....

Wordless Wednesday - Zebra Shoes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ham, Broccoli and Spinach Quiche

Quiche to me has always been one of those things that sounded too hard to make......I'm here to tell you, it's not! It is super simple.
As always, I don't have a recipe I followed. So I'll just walk you thru it.....

I bought premade pie crusts.....

I had left over ham so I diced it up
diced up some green onions
steamed some broccoli and then cut them up a bit smaller
cut up some spinach
cut up some cheese....I would recommend you actually shred the cheese, however I have this weird thing about not wanting to dirty my dishes right out of the dishwasher...I like to at least put them away's odd, I know. You should shred it, forget about my issues, shred the cheese

put it all in a bowl and mix it together

put it into the pie crusts. I had planned to only make one quiche, but I had enough filling to make two, which was a good thing as my SIL brought a friend for dinner.... I put parm cheese on one and then decided it would be better to add the parm cheese to the eggs...oh and learn

Then I used the same bowl to mix the eggs and milk in. I used a dozen eggs for these two quiches, however, I used 4 full eggs and the rest I used egg whites (just to take out some of the fat), I also took the time to take out all those yucky white things attached to the eggs, you know what I'm talking about....those gross me out, so I remove them...blah, gross.

To the eggs I add milk, fresh cracked pepper, sea salt, parm cheese and dried thyme...mix them you can see my little man likes to do the mixing for me...

Add the egg mix to the pie crusts
the little man also topped it with tomatoes to make it look nice
You can see I put them on baking sheets.....I would say do this before you start filling them...unlike me....I did manage to not spill any amazingly

Put them in a 350 oven until they are set in the middle as in they don't 'jiggle' in the centre

Then enjoy the yummy yummy quiche...I had no left overs from this meal!

I also threw together an apple crisp as per my SIL's request! I'll share that yummy and super easy treat later!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #3

So Menu plan #2, did not go exactly as I had hoped. Until Friday I managed to mostly follow the plan, at least we managed to eat at home. Friday was a bit of a gong show and after that everything went downhill :(
I've had a terrible day today, spending the last 2 hours trying to update my accounting program....and lets just say it's not going well. So I'm taking a break, posting my menu plan for week #3...late.... and watching Heros.

So last week I obviously didn't make all the meals on my plan, so this week is a new week and I have a new ambition to make a go of it!
To add to it, I'm trying to avoid the grocery store this week other than getting milk for my little all things must be present in my house. It helps that I made a large ham dinner Sunday night and have some good left overs from that. So ham will be a feature this week!

Monday - tonight I made the pizza that I was going to last week. It was very good!

Tuesday - So I am making a crust less Ham and Broccoli quiche with salad and bread. My MIL and SIL are coming for dinner. My SIL leaves to go back to the East coast this week :(

Wednesday - The pasta from last week that I didn't get around to making with a white cheese sauce, ham and peas

Thursday - Pannekoek (a large thin dutch pancake) I'll post the recipe later this week

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - We might be having company for dinner. So I think I'll make the red lentil soup I was going to make last week

Sunday - Breakfast for Dinner - likely French Toast and fruit

I'll be back to let you know how it's going....for many many more menu plan ideas head over to the Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Homemade Crispy Chicken Strips and Sweet Potato Fries

I have mostly been able to stick to my menu plan this week. I changed a few things around to accommodate real life. I've not made the Pizza yet and we had soup leftover from the previous week to finish. But that's the beauty of it, nothing is written in stone!

Tonight I made the chicken strips. I had planned to also make homemade french fries, but when I took my potatoes out of the bucket I saw that a mouse had been in there, so those are not usable anymore in my books. I remembered I had some sweet potato fries in the freezer and used those.

Ashely over that the Happy Little Homemaker asked me if I had a recipe that was a good crispy one. When I saw that I thought, Oh, recipe.....right. I often don't use recipes but make things up as I that's what I did tonight. The chicken strips were super crispy, crunchy and moist! Here is how I did it....and please remember, I have no measurements as I literally just pulled things out of my cupboards and added them...

I first put three dishes beside each other, big enough to dip/roll the chicken you are using in them.

The first dish contains flour, breadcrumbs, cracked black pepper, sea salt and garlic/parsley salt

The second dish is milk and one egg mixed together....I added the egg thinking it might help, I have no idea if it did or not

The third dish is the crunchy coating. For this I used smashed up corn flakes, some more bread crumbs, dried thyme and parm cheese

I turned my oven on to 350 and cleaned and cut the chicken I was using

First put the chicken into the milk mixture drenching it (the middle dish)

then I rolled it in the flour mixture so it was well coated (the first dish)

back into the milk mixture for a roll

into the crunchy coating, making sure it had a lot of coating sticking to it (end dish)

onto a wire rack placed on a baking sheet covered in foil

Repeat until they are all done and look something like this

I baked them for probably about 45 minutes. They are very very yummy! The coating stayed on them even as we were cutting into them.

The wire rack allows them to cook all around without you having to flip them half way thru and running into a possible soggyness situation or sticking issue and the coating coming off.
Try them, they are delish! My husband was very happy as were the kidlets!

The little man enjoyed the chicken and making mustaches out of the sweet potato fries before eating idea where he gets this stuff

And of course the little girly always enjoys her food...all over her, the chair and the floor

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #2

Last week was fantastic! I was able to totally stick to the plan until Friday. We did leftovers as hubby and I took off for Saturday night and then Sunday night, still being in the escape mode, we ordered in...
So the highlight of last week was the casserole of Chicken, Rice, Broccoli and spinach. I added curry powder at the last minute and did roasted cauliflower on the side

I thought the casserole would last my hubby for two nights of leftovers at work, but he ate it all that night!
So this week, I want to eat as much as I can from what I have in the house. We'll have a salad or cut veggies with each meal. So here goes

Monday - We'll do pizza's again, I have enough meat from last week and still a bunch of veggies and cheese. I only need to get the crusts

Tuesday - Hamburger and Hash brown casserole. I have everything on hand for this one and I hope this will give hubby leftovers for the next 4 nights of work

Wednesday - Jazzed up grilled cheese and tomato soup - I'll jazz it up with tomatoes, onions and a few other things on hand - this will be our meatless meal this week

Thursday - Home Breaded chicken strips and homemade fries - I have everything for this

Friday - Pasta with a homemade white cheese sauce, peppers, onions and farmer sausage

Saturday - Lentil soup - I'll pick up the organic mix at Ralph's

Sunday - left overs

So I hope to do better than last week!

I'm hoping to also get back into making bread. So my goal this week is to make a batch of bread, if I get to it, I'll be sure to post about it.

I find it hard to make lunches for the kidlets and myself. Any ideas would be helpful. Leftovers are not generally an option. We do a lot of egg and spinach scrambles. But if anyone has any fantastic ideas, let me know.

Check out a ton more Menu Plans at the Organizing Junkie!