Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Monday #22

Whew! Another busy weekend with guests! With Josh out of town for work part of last week and Ethan out of school for fall break, the boys and I were starting to go a bit crazy together, haha! My sister and her family arrived Thursday night for a weekend visit. The boys love playing with their cousins and this weekend was no exception. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics with the good camera this weekend, so iPhone pics will have to suffice today!

Poor Hannah. After Noah discovered that he couldn't pick her up, he decided the next best thing would be to sit on her. Luckily for her, she's not too much smaller than him, so it wasn't as bad as it looked. ;)

On Friday morning, I made whole wheat pumpkin pancakes (with chocolate chips, to make them Jack-o-Lanterns!) for the kids, then Uncle Mike took the 3 big kids to the local fossil museum. They had a blast! They were even able to do a wet sift of some of the dirt that had been dug up there on the site, that the scientists would later sift through again. Fun! We're excited to take the boys back again soon.

Before I forget, here's the recipe for the pancakes, adapted from this recipe from two peas & their pod, so you can make them for your little ones for some Halloween fun! :)

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
(makes about 18 pancakes)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips, if desired

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice until well blended. Add in the milk, egg, pumpkin, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined and few lumps remain.

Heat a griddle to 300 degrees. Coat with cooking spray. Drop batter onto heated skillet. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips in the shape of a face to make Jack-o-Lantern pancakes. I really loved the combo of the chocolate with the pumpkin, so I highly suggest doing this step! :) Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip the pancake over and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked throughout.

UPDATE 10.20.12: I made these pancakes this morning for breakfast, and instead of using chocolate chips, we topped them with our favorite cream cheese icing. They were absolutely heavenly. They have now moved into the top spot on our favorite pancakes list! :)

Later that day, my parents arrived, and we all got ready to go get family pictures taken! Once again, we had the fabulous Kristy Vest take them. We made our way to the local VA park and were thrilled to see that some of the trees had turned to fabulous shades of orange and red! The kids had a great time running around and playing in the leaves while she snapped away! :) I can't wait to see how great they turned out! For dinner that night, we grabbed some pizzas and donuts that we promised the kids for smiling pretty. With five kids five and under, sometimes bribery is the answer! ;)

We need a bigger table!

On Saturday morning, I made my favorite homemade coffee cake and scrambled eggs for everyone. Yum! For dinner on Saturday, we made an extra huge pot of our chili (yes, Josh would eat it every day if he could! Haha!). We decided to serve it Cincinnati-style, over whole wheat spaghetti and topped with shredded cheddar cheese. I've never been a Skyline fan (I know, it's a shame, huh?), but I actually really liked this! I think it's because I don't care for their chili, but I really like ours, so that made it ok. ;) I also made more of the new cornbread recipe I tried last week, because it was so heavenly. Later that night, we all circled the fire pit out back and roasted marshmallows. Perfect.

Grandma Frank with 80% of her grandbabies!

Sunday: Cheeseburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, potato chips
Ethan wanted another picnic, so that is what we did! I use lean ground beef, topped with cheddar and served on whole wheat buns from the bakery. We had their favorite, Bush's Grillin' beans (Southern Pit BBQ), and Cape Cod's kettle-cooked chips.

Monday: Leftover Spicy Italian Chili, buttermilk cornbread
We had some leftover chili from the weekend, so I'll get a break from the kitchen by heating up some leftovers tonight! :) With Ethan not feeling well today, we'll be headed to the doctor's office this evening, so a quick meal will be helpful.

Tuesday: Melt in Your Mouth Baked Chicken, whole wheat rotini, oven roasted asparagus
This is an easy, tasty meal that we all love. The chicken is topped with a mixture of Greek yogurt, shredded parmesan, pepper and seasoned salt, or Adobo seasoning.

Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, roasted sweet potatoes with honey and rosemary
The weather should be cooperative to enjoy another meal from the grill this week. We all love pork chops and my most recent sweet potato creation!

Thursday: Chicken Capri over brown rice, stir fried parmesan green beans
I haven't made this South Beach dish in awhile, but it sounded good this week. You start by searing the chicken breast (rubbed in garlic powder) on each side, then placing them in a baking dish, topping them with a ricotta cheese mixture, some crushed tomatoes, and a slice of cheese (I'll use provolone this time), and baking them. It is super tasty served over brown rice (not a part of the South Beach diet, oops!) with beans on the side.

Friday: Out to eat
Not sure where we'll go yet, but a night out will be nice.

Saturday: TBD - probably pizza?
I haven't bought the toppings for a pizza yet, so we'll play it by ear as to what we decide to do.

Happy meal planning to you this week!


  1. Sounds like you had such a a nice weekend! So nice you got to spend time like this with family :) And my kids would flip for those pancakes--great idea!

    1. We did, thank you! :) Thanks! The kids do love them, but they are super tasty for us adults, too! ;) Little Noah ate 2 entire pancakes both times I made them last week!!!


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