Monday, December 31, 2012

Menu Monday #33

We had a wonderful Christmas here at home. It was nice having Josh home for a fun-filled week! It was so awesome on Christmas morning to share in Ethan's excitement and Noah's wonder. This was the first year that Ethan has really totally understood what's going on and it was great!

Santa visited us!

Noah was cookin' up breakfast for us on their new kitchen!

Hopefully another post soon with more details from Christmas morning!! We spent lots of time together as a family, and my parents came to visit to celebrate with us and the boys. Of course, my parents spoiled them, and the boys made out like little bandits with this fun, new dune buggy!

Ethan and "Black Doggy"
Noah and "Trunks"
On Wednesday evening, we took the boys to our local Wacky Bear Factory to make animals as part of their Christmas present. Ethan chose a black dog, which he appropriately named "Black Doggy," and Noah chose an elephant, which we named "Trunks" for him. :) They loved filling them up with the stuffing, then brushing them under the air to fluff their fur.

On Thursday, we used the gift my sister and her family got us this year - a membership to our local Hands On! Museum. The boys had so much fun exploring everything they had to offer! We will love going back to visit as often as we want for the next year! Thanks Aunt Katie, Uncle Mike and cousins Jacob, Rachel and Hannah! :)

Having fun making clouds with shaving cream in the Discovery Lab!

Our menu plans changed for the week, and we ended up going out for Mellow Mushroom on Wednesday, and I made grilled cheese and our Spicy Italian Chili Thursday night, and served it Texas-style, with Fritos and shredded cheddar cheese. For breakfasts, I made a couple breakfast casseroles on Wednesday morning, a whole-wheat version of my favorite coffee cake on Thursday morning (even better than the original!!), and my whole wheat banana bread pancakes on Friday morning. On Friday night, we were in the mood for seafood, so we headed to the Riverfront Seafood Company for dinner. Their New Orleans Style BBQ shrimp is awesome!

On Saturday morning, we had leftovers from all of the yummy breakfasts we had consumed all week. Later that day, we took the boys to Sesame Street Live's production of Elmo Makes Music at the local civic center. The boys loved it!! Noah danced along to the music and clapped with the audience. It was too cute! After the show, we headed to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for dinner. We lucked out and scored order #00, which meant we won a $5 gift card. Fun!

Cheesin' while munching on popcorn before the show!
On Sunday morning, I used the leftover French bread I had from Christmas dinner and the grilled cheese sandwiches I made on Thursday, to make cinnamon French toast. It was delicious. Noah gobbled it up! :) He also made the switch to his very own big boy booster seat now! No more high chair for this crazy little man.

Mad fork skills!

Sunday: Panera Bread
We were out shopping, so we stopped in for a quick bite to eat. I got my favorite, the chipotle chicken sandwich, with their French onion soup. It's impossible to pass up their shortbread cookies!

Monday: Appetizer night for NYE!
We traditionally make various appetizers to celebrate NYE, and this year will be no different. I'll make several favorites, and try a couple new ones, too!
  • Crabmeat appetizers - consists of a crabmeat, Old English cheese, and butter mixture spread on English muffins, toasted under the broiler (this is a favorite that I can remember having for many, many NYEs when I was growing up)
  • Pigs in a blanket - Lil' smokies wrapped in biscuits (a traditional favorite)
  • Taco dip with corn chips - A mixture of cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning
  • Caprese skewers - 1/2 a cherry tomato, basil leaf, and fresh mozzarella ball drizzled with a balsamic glaze (I made these for Nosh's 1st birthday party and they were a hit!)
  • Mini pizzas - I'll use my whole wheat pizza dough recipe to make mini pizzas topped with chorizo sausage, red onions, cilantro and shredded mozzarella (I've never made mini versions with my homemade dough, so I hope it works well!)
  • Cranberry cream cheese crostini - toasted baguette topped with cream cheese and a mixture of fresh cranberries, sugar, green onion, and jalapeƱo peppers (new recipe to try - wanted to add a sweet component to the menu!)
  • Roasted chickpeas? - drizzled with EVOO, then roasted until crispy, and sprinkled with sea salt, cumin and garam masala (not sure we need these, too, but they are sounding good right now!)
Tuesday: Pork tenderloin with sweet peppers, onion and pineapple over rice
It's good luck to eat pork on New Year's Day, so we started making this meal several years ago. It has become tradition now. We cover a pork tenderloin in Caribbean jerk marinade, add in chopped sweet peppers and onion, and top with sliced pineapple. We let it roast in the oven for a couple hours, then serve over rice. Super tasty!

Wednesday: Spicy Italian Chili, Texas-style, with grilled cheese sandwiches
This is what we made last week, too, but Josh would be happy to eat chili every day and Ethan requested grilled cheese sandwiches again, so they should both be happy! We'll serve it Texas-style, with Fritos and shredded cheddar cheese. I make a loaf of French bread for the sandwiches and use provolone cheese.

Thursday: TBD
Something light sounds good. Probably chicken? We'll decide later this week.

Friday: TBD
Not sure if I'll cook, or if we'll go out.

Saturday: TBD

We'll do big breakfasts again this week since we'll have company again - the Seeley grandparents and Uncle Jared. Happy meal planning to you this week. What special meal do you make to bring in the New Year for good luck?

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