Finally, things are settling down around here again and we are getting back into a routine. It is nice after nearly a month of chaos! There is still a lot of unpacking to do (things we don't use on a regular basis), but it will come with time. We have begun a few minor cosmetic upgrades already, which I'll post about later. :)
We did well with the menu last week, straying just once on Wednesday. Kingsport's annual FunFest was going on, and one of Josh's co-workers invited us to join his family there to grab a bite to eat. That was the day the "Taste of Tri-Cities" began, as a part of the FunFest. While it was definitely no Taste of Cincinnati, it had 15 vendors on site with a decent array of dinner and dessert items. We narrowed down our short list of items we wanted to sample and ended up hitting up the Savory & Sweet Truck for a Coffee Braised Chipotle Pork Taco (topped with lime cilantro slaw and chipotle creme on a handmade corn tortilla) and Cuban Beef Taco (added bonus, they use local meat and produce!), Sagebrush for a Blackened Prime Rib Sandwich, and back to the Savory & Sweet Truck for dessert, for a fried cheesecake with fresh strawberries and blueberries, topped with whipped cream. After seeing all that yumminess come out of the truck when I was ordering the tacos, they had me hooked, and I had to go back! Haha! It was a pretty tasty dinner and counted as our "eat out" day for the week.
Sunday: Grilled chicken, oven roasted red potatoes, grilled white corn
We were excited about the chance to use the grill last week, and we wanted to continue to give it some love this week too. ;) I marinate my chicken breast all day in Kraft's Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing. It gives it a nice flavor and keeps it nice and juicy too. I dice up red potatoes into 3/4" cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash's garlic & herb seasoning, rosemary and parmesan cheese. Yum. They are absolutely heavenly in this new convection oven! Soft and creamy inside, almost like mashed potatoes, and toasted nicely on the outside for a little crunch with each bite. Love it! Corn was on sale at the Fresh Market, so I picked up some cobs in their husks. I had recently seen a tip that they could be grilled right in the husk and that the husks and silks would just peel right off when they were cooked. Normally I remove all of that, then butter and wrap in foil to grill them, but I wanted to give this a try since it would be much easier! It worked great. The corn was super delicious and left all of us wishing I had bought a few more cobs! ;)
Monday: Grilled New York strip steaks topped with poblano pesto, baked sweet potato fries with spicy ketchup
I'm excited about throwing those thick, juicy slabs of meat on the grill! Topped with my homemade poblano pesto, it just melts in your mouth. On the side, I'll bake some sweet potato fries (I coat in a little cornstarch, drizzle with EVOO, season with salt & cinnamon and bake for 25-30 minutes at 400-425 degrees). I serve these with a spicy ketchup (1 Tbsp ketchup: 1 tsp hot sriracha sauce) for a nice kick. I love that sweet-spicy combo. A tasty meal!
Tuesday: Blackened wild Alaskan sockeye salmon over brown rice, oven roasted parmesan broccoli
The salmon was everything I hoped it would be last week, so I am looking forward to it again this week! :) This week I went for the sockeye instead of the Atlantic variety. Josh prefers it and it does appear to have a lower fat content. It's super yummy seasoned with some blackened seasoning and seared on the grill. I love it over brown rice (I always season mine with a hint of garlic salt). We all gobble up the broccoli. This convection oven does an excellent job cooking the broccoli too, leaving it nice and crisp on the outside with the shredded parm on top.
Wednesday: Mini lasagnas, stir fried parmesan green beans
I found this idea for mini lasagnas on Pinterest this weekend and thought it looked like a fun one to try! We all like lasagna, but like the author of catching fireflies said, it can be time consuming from start to finish. This is a quick, easy, kid-friendly version that the whole family can enjoy. I am excited to see how it turns out! The Fresh Market was out of wonton wrappers yesterday, so I picked up spring roll wrappers instead. They are about 3/4 bigger, so I'll just have to cut them into quarters to fit into the muffin tin. I am going to use a little lean ground beef in mine too. On the side, I'll stir fry some frozen green beans in a little canola oil with parmesan seasoning.
Thursday: Margherita pizza
We'll move pizza night to Thursday this week since we'll be headed out of town again on Friday. I am sticking with the classic Margherita pizza. Simple and delicious. I'll start with my homemade whole wheat crust, top it with a little crushed tomato, fresh garlic, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. Yum! I know I keep saying it, but the convection oven really is a blessing. It does an excellent job with pizza crusts! No burning on the top or bottom, but it still gets a subtle crunch, yet nice and soft inside. The perfect thick crust! :)
Friday: Road trip to Ohio!
We're off to Josh's side this week. It's not a bad trip at all now, just 4 short hours! We shouldn't have to eat on the road as we should make it there in time for dinner.
Saturday: Family reunion in Ohio
The reason for our trip, a family reunion with Josh's mom's side. I've heard that his uncle's ribs are heavenly, so I'm excited about that! The boys should enjoy some more fun with their cousin Braelynn.
Happy meal planning to you all this week!