Monday, January 7, 2013

Menu Monday #34

We enjoyed another week of having Josh off of work. Sadly, he's back at work today, and we were back to waking up to alarm clocks. :( Grandpa and Grandma Seeley and Uncle Jared visited for a couple days at the beginning of the week, then it was time for the Christmas decorations to disappear for the year. It's bittersweet. I love gazing at the lit-up tree in the evenings (it's always magical to me!), but I hate swatting at little hands all day as they try to remove ornaments for the gazillionth (yeah, that's a word - it's like 100 trillion?) time. This year, the tree kind of had to go, so we would have room for all the new toys the boys have! It's kind of ridiculous. They were spoiled rotten between all 3 Christmases this year!

The feast I made for New Year's Eve was fabulous! I was very happy with how the mini pizzas turned out. I will make those again. They are a great way for guests to be able to customize their toppings if you decide to do a pizza bar. That could be a fun option for a winter party, when you can't fire up the grill! The star of the night had to be the crabmeat appetizers though, but I was also equally impressed with the cranberry cream cheese crostini. I had no idea what to expect with this recipe, but I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. They were heavenly and I will definitely make them again because they were fairly quick and easy to make, too! I also discovered that the extra cranberry mixture makes a delicious salsa for corn chips! Yum. So, in Sesame Street fashion, the letter of the day must have been C...crabmeat appetizers; mini pizzas with chorizo, red onion and cilantro; Caprese skewers; and cranberry cream cheese crostini! Whew!

On New Year's Day, our Caribbean Jerk pork roast was delicious, as usual, but surprising to me, I actually really liked the sautéed red cabbage (a Rachael Ray recipe) that Josh made. In the past, I have tried preparing it other ways, and I was never a fan. But the flavors that he used this time were great (for the recipe, he used whole grain mustard instead of mustard seed), and the final dish was a good one. I would definitely make it for dinner if I could get the kids to eat it!

On Friday, we decided to check out our local fossil museum, as it's just down the road from our house. Ethan went in October with Uncle Mike and cousins Jacob and Rachel, and he kept telling us he wanted to go with us too, so we decided to check it out after naptime. The boys had a good time, especially when they got to dig for fossils. :)


After we were done there, we headed to Carrabba's, to beat the dinner rush. That place is always busy, but luckily there wasn't a wait at 5:30!

On Saturday morning, I made blueberry pancakes with a blueberry syrup. They were very tasty. I used my strawberry pancake recipe, but substituted 1/2 whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour, and blueberries for the strawberries. For the syrup, I used the rest of my fresh blueberries, some granulated sugar, some cornstarch (as a thickening agent), a splash of water and a splash of orange juice. The orange juice provided just the right amount of tartness to counter the sweetness of the berries and sugar. It was perfect.

We enjoyed some time outside that afternoon, since the sun finally decided to make an appearance after days and days of rain!! The boys enjoyed riding around in their new dune buggy, and I managed to slow down the tiny one for a pic. :) He is such a sweetheart!

On Sunday morning, I decided to use up some of the ingredients that were leftover in the fridge, so I threw together a frittata, using the rest of the cherry tomatoes from the Caprese skewers, and the green onion from the cranberry cream cheese crostini. Perfect! I had also bought an extra package of English muffins in case I wanted to make a double batch of crabmeat appetizers, so those made a good side, topped with some strawberry preserves. I hate wasting food since it is so darn expensive lately, so I was happy that I didn't have to throw out this stuff! I used my basic frittata recipe, just changing up what I added to the eggs, milk and cheese.

Sunday: Leftover chili with whole wheat spaghetti and shredded cheddar
Continuing the trend of cleaning out the fridge, we ate up the leftover chili we had. This time, we served it over the spaghetti (Cincinnati-style), topped with the cheese.

Monday: Crunchy chicken, pierogies, sautéed corn
I made this meal a few weeks ago for the first time in awhile, and it was gobbled up by everyone, so I'll make it again. I coat the chicken in egg, then a mixture of crushed cornflakes, paprika, salt and pepper, then bake it. I sauté the pierogies in a little butter, as well as the corn. :)

Tuesday: Beef stroganoff over egg noodles, steamed peas
I haven't made this meal in ages, and Josh requested it awhile back, so I'm finally getting to it. I basically use Betty Crocker's recipe, as that is the recipe my mom uses. It's tasty served over egg noodles. I wanted to sauté some snap peas in a little EVOO, but our local store didn't have any, so I'll steam some frozen peas, unless I stop by Fresh Market to pick some up in the morning.

Wednesday: Whole wheat Pizza pancakes, Caprese salad
I haven't made these in awhile, but the boys love them, so I'll make them this week. I'll be using sausage and pepperoni in them. I still haven't updated my original recipe, but I now make my own Bisquick, and also sub 1/2 whole wheat flour, too. On the side, hubby and I will have a Caprese salad - fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar. Light and delicious.

Thursday: Cream cheese chicken chili over rice
I've only made this one once, a couple of months ago, but it was good. I really liked how the rice sopped up all of the liquid, and it did help cut down a bit on the mess factor with the tiny one, too. :) Instead of using a dry packaged ranch dressing, I make my own. It's super easy, much cheaper, and no extra ingredients that you can't pronounce!

Friday: TBD
We'll probably go out.

Saturday: TBD

It is going to be a rough week getting back into a routine again and back to preschool for Ethan tomorrow. I'm hoping it goes better than I am expecting it to! Is everything back to "normal" at your house, too?


  1. All the food you made looks fantastic! I admire your creativity and how hard you work to make such nice treats for everyone!

  2. Thanks, Meredith! I love cooking and bringing my creativity to the kitchen, too! :)


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