Monday, October 22, 2012

Menu Monday #23

We enjoyed a nice, quiet weekend at home. We started the weekend off on Friday with a crazy sleep-in for Noah. When Ethan was younger, he was known to sleep-in until 11 am or 12 pm on occasion. The boy could easily sleep 15 hours at times and we'd think nothing of it. Noah, on the other hand, has never been a super sleeper, and while he does a great job sleeping through the night, 9 am was as late as he would ever sleep. So when he proceeded to sleep in until NOON on Friday, I was very concerned. I was certain that he must be sick (catching what his brother had earlier in the week) and would have an outrageous fever when he woke up. I was shocked to discover a normal temperature when I went in to get him from his crib!! Not sure if a growth spurt was the cause for this extra sleep? We should find out tomorrow when we head to the doctor for his 15-month check-up! Later that afternoon, we headed to a local farm for some fall fun. More about that soon! By the time we left, it was getting late, so we headed to Smokey Bones for dinner. There is never a wait and they are pretty quick with the food, so we thought it would be a good plan.

On Saturday morning, I made some more of my yummy whole wheat pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. Instead of using chocolate chips this time, I whipped up some of my favorite cream cheese icing to top the pancakes. Oh. my. gosh. It was heaven on my plate. For real. If you love pumpkin, you really must try this combo. We decided that it is definitely our new favorite pancake (even better than the whole wheat banana bread pancakes!!), and we wondered why I only make pumpkin goodies in the fall?!? I may have to re-think that idea. ;) The kids agreed, as they both devoured two entire pancakes each! Impressive since hubby and I had only three each! Haha! These pancakes will be getting a lot of rotation time for the next few months for sure!

We did some shopping later on Saturday, then headed to a local restaurant, Cootie Brown's, for a very early dinner since we skipped lunch. The place is always packed whenever we drive by, so we wanted to see what the fuss was all about, without having to wait forever to be seated. 4 pm was a great time to check it out! Haha! It was a great little place that offered "real food," as they make almost everything they serve right there in-house. I had the Caribbean Jerk chicken sandwich and roasted sweet potatoes. They were both very tasty and had some great flavor combos! Josh enjoyed a NY Reuben sandwich. I also loved how their pizza crust options included whole wheat and gluten free! Definitely a place we will return to in the future. :) Later that night, I finally made another pan of pumpkin crunch (hubby had been bugging me all week! Haha!) to enjoy since we had such an early dinner. Recipe will be posted soon, I promise!

On Sunday morning, I was feeling a bit lazy, and the pan of pumpkin crunch was looking pretty good in the fridge. So yeah, that was breakfast, too. Haha! Pumpkin and walnuts (and plenty of sugar) are healthy for a meal, right?? ;) Josh was busy most of the day completing one of the items on our house update to-do list. Can't wait to share pics of how it turned out!
I am so sad. This was an epic dinner fail! :'( Even more so than the awful seafood paella I tried about a year and a half ago. It sounded and looked so good in the pics (I linked to the recipe above), but it was so not good at all. I think the main problem was the rotisserie chicken that I bought to use, as the author had suggested. It smelled like formaldehyde. Yeah. Like those cats we dissected in college. Ew. I couldn't get past that and the flavor ruined the entire filling for me. It was so bad, I wouldn't even share  any of the leftovers with Daisy and I definitely didn't make the kids eat it! I had also used a cornbread mix, as the recipe directed, and it was pretty crappy after having made cornbread from scratch last week. It was, however, the only edible part of the dish. Sigh. Josh came to the rescue and made eggs for him and the boys. I think this meal could be good, if made from scratch, but would be quite time consuming, so I probably won't try it again. I really want my money back for that crappy chicken, too!

Monday: Lasagna
I haven't made this in awhile and it sounded good. I normally use the no boil noodles for my version, but my local store here doesn't carry them (major bummer!), so I bought some regular whole wheat noodles to use instead. This will make plenty of food so that I can serve it again later this week if I need to, as Josh will have some late nights at work-related dinners this week! :( I like to use lean ground beef, spaghetti sauce (I'll use Newman's Own this time), ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded and grated parmesan cheese. Super yummy!

This is another new recipe, so I am a bit wary now, after Sunday's disaster. This one, however, comes from Plain Chicken, and I love her recipes, so I hope this is another from her that we will love! It will be easy to throw everything in the slow cooker and have dinner ready in a flash. I thought that it might be nice with rice, so we'll try that, too.

Wednesday: Grilled pork chops, roasted butternut squash, whole wheat couscous
The weather should be cooperative to enjoy another meal from the grill this week. We haven't had squash since last fall, so I am excited to get it back into the menu rotation! When roasted in the oven for an hour or two, it is so delicious all on its own, without adding anything to it at all! Mixed in with some couscous, it makes a tasty side dish.

Thursday: Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
If I don't use leftovers, I'll make a loaf of my French bread and pair it with some provolone cheese to make a great grilled cheese sandwich. We'll have our favorite, Amy's organic tomato soup. The perfect fall meal!

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

Saturday: Halloween Party
We're excited about hosting a party for friends this weekend! My plan is to set-up a chili bar, using our special recipe Spicy Italian Chili as the base, with add-ins like spaghetti and shredded cheddar cheese, hot dogs, crackers, and buttermilk cornbread. For dessert, I'll make some more pumpkin crunch, and hopefully some pumpkin cake pops for the kids. We'll probably get a fire going in the fire pit and roast marshmallows and drink apple cider as well. I love fall!!

Happy meal planning to you this week! I must get busy this week getting the boys' Halloween costumes finished up! They will be going as their favorite animals this year, per Ethan's request. :) I'll post pics and tutorials after our party!


  1. Where to start? I love the new pics on your blog (have they been there for a while and I've missed them?) I want to hear how the chili you make tonight goes. Sorry for the fail too with the chicken dish, but at least you can just cross that one off your list, right? :) And I'm very jealous of that long sleep-in you scored! Hope your busy week of party prep and costume-making goes well and enjoy!

  2. Thank you!! Aren't they gorgeous?? We have a wonderful photographer we use here!! I just posted them at the end of the week last week, so you didn't miss them. ;) I will definitely let you know how the chili turns out! It will be my first chicken chili attempt, so I hope it's good! Can you believe noon?!?! I am still in shock!! I'm sure that will never happen again! Haha! Thank you! :)

  3. The chicken chili recipe was EXCELLENT! I really liked it served over the rice. Just mix it all in together for a super yummy meal! :) I hope you like it if you try it! This recipe is a keeper for sure.


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