Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu Monday #15

I am still wiped! We had another busy Friday, which included hosting a fun playdate for the boys and their new friends, and then we also hosted dinner for one of Josh's coworkers and her significant other that evening. The theme for the playdate was shapes, so I made some whole wheat crackers in various shapes for the kids to enjoy. I made some hummus to accompany the crackers and I was quite happy with how it turned out! It was super easy and I'm excited to try some different varieties now. More about the playdate and recipes I used in another post. For dinner, we decided on grilled Italian sausages served on whole wheat hoagie buns, topped with grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms. I slice them thin, then marinate them in Zesty Italian dressing. On the side, baked sweet potato fries with spicy ketchup. For dessert, we finished the meal with some sweet and gooey berry cobbler. I'll post this recipe soon too. It was a fun-filled day with friends!

On Saturday morning, we made bacon and egg sandwiches to use up the leftover hoagie rolls from the previous night's meal. Then we made our way to the local mall for some shopping where we may have stumbled upon the Great American Cookie Company for a few cookies. ;) They make the softest, most delicious of anywhere I can find, aside from my own kitchen! That evening we decided to check out the local fair. Wow. Josh and I both grew up in rural Ohio, so county fairs were nothing new to either of us, but this one was a little red even for us! Haha! I guess it had been awhile since either of us had been to a county fair, so maybe I had managed to forget just how interesting it can be...aside from the grease, the food was ok at best. Unfortunately, it weighed so heavy on our stomachs that we couldn't even think about consuming any of your typical "fair foods" for dessert (i.e. funnel cakes, elephant ears, deep-fried Snickers, etc). Major bummer. After eating, we decided to check out the livestock barns. This made the trip all worth it. The boys loved it! Little Noah's squeals of delight as he was able to pet the sheep, cows, a horse and a baby chick were too cute for words. He was having a ball! Sorry for the poor video quality. I forgot the camera, so all we had were our cell phones. :( And remember, we're not working with iPhones here. ;) I'm determined to convince hubby we need them! Haha!

After we finished up with the animals, we made our way to the Demolition Derby. We watched a round of that, but Ethan actually wasn't that interested. I don't think he could understand why the cars would want to run into each other! Haha! He has always hated seeing cars get demolished on TV, so I guess it was along those lines. By this point, we had inhaled enough secondhand smoke to last us a lifetime (yuck, Tennessee), so we made our way back to the van. We were happy that the boys had enjoyed themselves, but one evening was plenty for me!

On Sunday morning, I made pancakes. I hadn't made just plain ones in a long time, so I did that. Josh and Ethan love topping theirs with a little peanut butter and syrup. We enjoyed a lazy day at the house, trying to recoup after the weekend's festivities.

I am happy to report that last week's new recipe for the Chicken Pesto Alfredo was incredible!! It will definitely be added to the meal rotation as it is probably my new favorite pasta dish. I am sure it would be decent using store-bought pesto and Alfredo, but making my own elevated the dish to another level of yumminess. Is that a word?? It should be. It really was awesome and still tasted fresh with the inclusion of chopped tomato and basil on top. The basil pesto by itself was also great and tasted awesome on the homemade crackers that I made later in the week! Maybe I'm crazy, but I think things taste even better when I grow them and make them myself! :) I can't wait to start a garden next year!

Sunday: Take out pizza
I can't remember the last time we had ordered pizza from somewhere other than Mellow Mushroom, so last night we gave Pizza Hut a try. It wasn't that bad, but it made me remember why I make my own now! ;)

Monday: Shrimp scampi pasta, oven roasted parmesan broccoli
This is a meal I haven't made in a long time, but it's a good one. I buy fresh shrimp and peel and devein them, then let them soak for a bit in a mixture of EVOO, lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, crushed red pepper, salt & pepper. Then they get seared in a frying pan, until cooked through. As they are finishing, I add a couple pats of butter and some parsley to the sauce in the pan. Meanwhile, the broccoli is roasting in the oven and I prepare some whole wheat rotini. Once the shrimp is finished, I pour the shrimp and sauce over the pasta and mix it all up before serving. Delicious!

Tuesday: Grilled NY strip steaks, mashed potatoes, grilled corn on the cob, Reese cake
This is the meal Josh requested for his brithday. I bought some nice, thick steaks that should be delicious! I'll use red potatoes to make some creamy mashed potatoes and we'll throw some corn on the grill. For dessert, Josh's favorite - Reese cake. It is every bit as rich and delicious as it sounds. You start by making a chocolate cake (the recipe is actually very similar to the Texas sheet cake recipe I use), then top it with a peanut butter frosting and finish it off with a chocolate frosting. There is no shortage of sugar in this recipe and just a small piece will satisfy your sweet tooth! I think I gain 5 pounds just looking at this cake, so it's a once-a-year treat around here! ;)

Wednesday: Grilled chicken and veggies over brown rice
Another simple meal on the grill. I'll marinate the chicken and veggies (squash, zucchini, onion and Portabella mushrooms) in Zesty Italian dressing. Then they get grilled and served over rice. This meal makes great leftovers!

Thursday: Grilled pork chops, baked sweet potatoes, whole wheat couscous
Simple and easy. We season the pork chops with Patti's seasoning while grilling them. We like to top our baked sweet potatoes with a little bit of butter and brown sugar. To round out the meal, we'll have some couscous, a nice nutty grain.

Friday: On the road
We'll be headed to Ohio again for the holiday weekend, so it might mean eating on the way there.

Saturday: Ohio
Not sure what we'll be having, but it will be a break from the kitchen for me! :)

Happy meal planning to you this week and enjoy the long holiday weekend!


  1. Sounds like you guys had a busy and full weekend! We went to a local fair too--fun! And I'm looking forward to hearing about that playdate, and scoring that hummus recipe too. I've been wanting to make my own for a while now!

    1. Aww, fun! I'll try to post the details about the playdate soon! :) The hummus was so easy. I can't believe I had never tried it before now!! Hope you are having a great birthday! :)


I love hearing what you have to say! Show me some love! ;)