Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Monday #50

Back to the real world. It was nice having a long weekend, spending time with Josh, the boys, and my parents, as they arrived Thursday evening. On Friday morning, everyone was home from work/school, so I made my whole wheat banana bread pancakes with vanilla maple glaze. I've had a lot of bananas leftover at the end of the week lately it seems! Haha! For lunch, we introduced my parents to Bagel Exchange. With Ethan in school every day, he doesn't get the chance to go very often, so he was quite pleased with our lunch choice. :) For dinner, we took them to Main Street Pizza Company, another of our new favorites. It was definitely a delicious day!

On Saturday morning, I made my delicious coffee cake to get our day started. Earlier in the week, Josh had ordered a piece of coffee cake from Starbucks for a sweet pick-me-up. Sadly, it was so bad, he didn't even want to eat it. That is the only downside to eating coffee cake as good as the one I make. It makes all other coffee cakes taste horrible! So, I made this for everyone at his request. That afternoon we had an egg hunt here at the house for the boys and Daisy. :)

Hmm, can you tell they're brothers?!?

For dinner, I tried a new recipe for Orange Dijon Pork Tenderloin. It was amazing. This is definitely a keeper. So simple, but so much flavor!! On the side, I made a Chipotle-copycat cilantro lime rice (it was perfect, and tasted just like Chipotle's!!) and roasted balsamic parmesan Brussels sprouts and mushrooms with pine nuts. It was a delicious meal! And I figured the pork could count as our Easter ham. ;) That's as close as I get to making ham! Haha!

On Sunday morning, Josh made our usual egg bagel sandwiches for breakfast before the Easter church service. It was a beautiful service, the choir sounded great, and the brass ensemble was amazing! And the boys looked super cute, of course. ;)

Easter 2014

Sunday: Grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, grilled corn on the cob, dark chocolate pudding with strawberries (see recipe below)
Again, it's no Easter ham, but it was a yummy, comfort meal for us to enjoy! I marinate the chicken in Zesty Italian dressing before grilling it. For dessert, I made my first ever pudding. Oh what I've been missing for the last 30+ years! Haha!

Monday: Chicken nuggets, mac 'n cheese
With Josh out of town again, this is an easy meal that the boys are guaranteed to eat! Haha!

Tuesday: Crispy shrimp pasta, roasted broccoli with parmesan
We love this easy shrimp dish, and the boys do, too.

Wednesday: Spaghetti squash "pasta" with sauce and meatballs
I'm finally going to try this out. I'm hoping the boys will be ok with the idea of squash, in place of the pasta. We shall see! To those who make this, do you prepare your squash by roasting it?

ThursdayBlackened chicken with avocado cream sauce over savory quinoa, roasted Brussels sprouts
I'm excited to try this new recipe. I'll use Josh's Cajun seasoning on the chicken. The avocado cream sauce sounds awesome, so I hope we all love it. I'll make my usual savory quinoa (cooked with chicken broth, adding some seasoning, onion and garlic) and roast some Brussels sprouts. I may try a new recipe, but the one with parmesan cheese and pine nuts is delicious!

Friday: Girls night out
I will be enjoying a night out with the ladies at a new local restaurant. The boys will enjoy the night in together and some pizza!

Saturday: TBD
Josh's parents will be visiting, so I'm not sure whether I'll cook, or we'll go out.

What's on your menu this week?

For some reason, I've always thought that I didn't like pudding. I tried a "snack pack" a couple weeks ago and it surprisingly wasn't bad. So, I figured homemade pudding would be pretty amazing. I was right. It literally took 10 minutes to make. Between the amazing taste and the fact that it had no added junk to it, it is the perfect sweet ending to a meal, especially when topped with some fresh strawberries! I found a recipe here that I altered a bit.

Dark Chocolate Pudding
(serves 4)


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the milk and whisk until the mixture is well-blended. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes as the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth. Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes and serve warm, or refrigerate for 1-2 hours and serve cold.


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