Anyone Else Waiting For Summer?

You know when all the snow finally melts in your yard, you have made the Spring to do list, you have dusted off the patio furniture and are ready to bring it outdoors, and you are so ready to pack away scarves, hats, gloves, and everything that adds bulk in the winter and then you wake up one morning to another full layer of snow covering everything in sight???? This was me a few mornings ago here in Green Bay! IMG_0877

I was bummed. Yes, I know we have gotten snow before…..many times in April, heck even May, but come on already. I am done with winter. So done. It’s really no joke when we here in the midwest say we have to train to get back into shape for the summer season. Winters are long, boring, we eat comfort food just to stay warm, and then before we know it, we are 10 lbs heavier, our joints hurt, and staying up past 8 p.m. is literally a chore even though the sun is still shining brightly. I keep telling my self it’s coming just hang in there.

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Alrighty, I just had to get that rant off my chest. So this weeks meals turned out to be a disaster…but not on my part. It all began Easter Sunday about dinner time when my husband got the call that he was once again was needed in Tennessee and would be leaving on the 7a.m. flight out of Green Bay. UGGGG, we first thought it was an April fools joke, but unfortunately it was not! So even though I had the menu planned and all the groceries bought for the week, I replanned very quickly, and winged it all week.

Here is what this week was in meals:

Saturday: unwrapped egg roll bowls….they were such a big hit last time I had to make them once again

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Sunday: egg and roasted potato bake with ham along with roasted green beans (Easter)IMG_7009

Monday: here is where the week went down hill…at least in the meal area.

Today we ate pasta salads that I had prepared for both my husband and my son’s lunches for the week.

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Tuesday: I opted to try a jar simmer seasoning I picked up on my last trip down to Trader Joe’s called Masala Simmer Sauce. I prepared this with carrots, chicken, and spinach. It was ok, not great, but coming from a jar it was edible. Would I buy it again? Probably not. IMG_0871

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Wednesday: Out for my monthly dinner with my brother

Thursday: bean burger wraps, chips and salsa

Friday: out

Food prep this week was a bit all over the place. I, like I said above, threw together two different pasta salads for lunches for my boys this week. I also roasted potatoes for a casserole and boiled a dozen eggs for myself  for before my morning workouts.

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I also made up 6 muffin egg sandwiches to toss in the freezer and reheat for fast breakfasts. I love doing this….it so easy and so much less expensive than the store bought premade breakfast sandwiches that have so many other ingredients in them that you really do not know what your truly eating.

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Party of 1/Party of 2….Sometimes You Never Know!

This week I was once again on my own except for the nights when our son joined me for dinner time after work. Which, for me, is tough not knowing but also not so bad depending on the day. I knew dinners would be hit or miss all week being our son had friends home for the week due to spring break….and the fact that young adults don’t plan anything too far ahead could mean I would get short notice of being a party of one or a party of two for dinner time. Yes, a fact that drives me a bit crazy but I have learned to roll with it. Add this with the fact that my husband was traveling for work for the week, meant that I got to choose when, if, and what, for that matter, I cooked each and every night.

 

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So here is what my week looked like:

Saturday: my own homemade spicy black bean burgers

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Sunday: tortellini veggie soup with bread sticks

***Although I still made this soup for me to enjoy for lunches all week long

Tonight we ended up going out for Chinese instead…my husbands request before he flew out in the morning.

Monday: Annie’s biscuits with eggs, cheese, and homemade chicken breakfast sausage

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Tuesday: chili stuffed sweet potato…OMG they were so good and easy

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Wednesday: pulled pork salad ( my remake of the salad I had in Port Washington, WI a few weeks ago) IMG_0638

Thursday: pesto chicken and quinoa with cucumbers

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Friday: out

I also threw together a quick mixture of artichokes, spinach, sundried tomatoes, olives, garlic, mushrooms, and chicken sprinkled with Greek seasoning for my lunches this week. So easy and quick to make, yet so tasty and filling. IMG_0832

Mom….I’ll Make Dinner Tonight!

Apparently, many of you still would like to see this weekly posting about what I prepare for our meals so I will continue writing these. However, I cannot promise they will be as exciting come summer time since I would much rather be outside than in my kitchen cooking. That being said, with the way we now eat, I will still have to be in the kitchen somewhat everyday and would be happy to share what I come up with to eat with all of you.

Anyhow,  it’s been an exciting week for us all here. So much happened on all angles of life that the week flew by. Stressful but all good at the same time. Everyone in my family is finally happier and then I got my bonus for the week when my son announced to me that he wanted to prepare dinner one evening. I was all for it. I had mentioned to him I wanted to try making my own butter chicken and he took this suggestion and ran with it. It turned out really good and surprisingly enough even my husband liked it….since he is not a big fan of this type of food.

Here is what meals were at our house this week:

Saturday: homemade salmon patties…one on toast and one in a spinach wrap, with dill yogurt sauce, and potato leek soup (meatless technically, but it was fish)

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Sunday: grilled chicken brats, basil dill coleslaw, and perogies

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Monday: butter chicken, broccoli, and bulgar with a side of grilled naan

***You may ask why not on rice as its traditionally served. We have been doing our best not to eat rice since this is a high inflammatory food that seems to be a big trigger food for me. So we have been trying other grains and bulgar is one of our favorites.

***Also, I cannot take credit for this meal since our son prepared this for us for dinner tonight. He is quite the cook when he has the time which makes his mom pretty darn proud.

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Tuesday: cheese tortellini with veggie marinara sauce and grilled flat bread (meatless)

Wednesday: chicken and homemade mac and cheese

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Thursday: pepperoni pizza quesadillas
We changed plans quickly due to some family logistics and had to celebrate a birthday dinner a week early so our son could join us. Sushi is what my hubby (the birthday boy) chose for his birthday dinner. IMG_9812

Friday: out

Food prep for the upcoming week looked a bit like this. I finally made my own spicy black bean burgers. We have yet to eat them but if they taste good I will share my recipe with you all in an upcoming post. If they are a failure, then back to the lab (my kitchen) it is to try again.

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I also prepared some roasted veggies, quinoa, and an asian type sauce to drizzle over this for my lunches.

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And the usual pre chopped veggies and hard boiled eggs were also prepared in advance for the upcoming week.

 

Weekly Meal Sharing…..Continue or Discontinue???

With the arrival of Spring I am hoping to begin sharing more outdoor adventures with you all. Although, with that being said, I also know many of you enjoy the weekly meals I share that we enjoy….which I write about to give you all inspiration to cook instead of go out/order out/consume convenience food. However, I am debating discontinuing this weekly post since many of us, including myself, don’t really have the extra spare time in the warmer months as we do in the colder months to read blogs/social media and such.

So I need to know and ask that you please leave me a quick comment…..do you wish to still read and see what I prepare for my family or would you prefer this weekly posting on meals to be discontinued until it gets cold once again in the later part of the year?

And of course, like always, if you have any suggestions on what you would like to read about, shout them out….I would love to hear some suggestions

Thanks

Add Grilled Meals To The Menu Plan and What Happens…..An Ice Storm!

This week I thought I would change things up and add two grilled meals to the weekly menu. Well, apparently Mother Nature did not think it was time for grilled food since the first meal I had planned also brought and ice storm that same evening. Thankfully dinner was done before it got too bad outside, but come morning this is what we all woke up to.

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(***Note: the bed sheet on the window of our son’s car is so he would not have to scrape his windows at 5a.m.. It works just like a tear off….sweet trick if you hate scraping your windows)

Thankfully, both my husband and son each stayed home from work and did not have to travel in this winter mess.

Besides that one evening of grilling misery, we also enjoyed a few more meals that were easy to prepare. Take a look….

Saturday: Asian chicken lettuce wraps with sauteed baby bok choy and mushrooms on the side

****You can read about my baby bok choy find here if you missed it.IMG_0430

Sunday: sweet potato quinoa chili (meatless) recipe here

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Monday: grilled chicken sausages, homemade coleslaw, and baked beans

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Tuesday: cheese tortellini spinach salad and parmesan toasted pita bread (meatless) IMG_0467

Wednesday: grilled chicken thighs, roasted broccoli, and rice/orzo side dish

Thursday: smoked salmon and orzo salad with pickled squash IMG_7808

Friday: out

That should do it for this week. I can’t wait to trade in my whisk for my hiking boots and blog about something a bit more exciting than food. Sadly though, I still find myself deeply searching for new and exciting recipes to serve my family rather than researching trails to visit in our area that we have never seen. Spring has not arrived quite yet, but for now I am just hanging in there and waiting patiently.

 

 

New Cookbooks Are Being Delivered Which Meals New Meals Are Being Enjoyed

I’ve added yet another new cookbook to my collection. Right after Christmas I cleaned out my cookbook cabinet and found that there were not many I used anymore since going artificial sweetener free in my meal planning for my husbands health reasons. Even now, with the three new books that I recently bought, I typically get ideas from them and add my own twist to the meal I prepare. I know what will pass the test of my family and what won’t…and sometimes I wing it and hope for the best. I will say, and give a lot of credit to both my husband and my son, they have been really adjusting much better than I thought they would to a more plant based diet. Why plant based you may ask? To simply put it, fruits and veggies don’t have labels that I have to scan for things that are not good for us to consume. They are straight forward and don’t need any help being tasty.

In other news, has anyone else noticed more daylight hours? I sure have. I have also noticed that our snow here is melting and temps are slowing becoming tolerable. Mud season(Spring) is right around the corner and I for one am so ready to dive right in. My upcoming meal plans have grilled food on them, I have charcoal on the grocery list, and all this means life for me is finally turning a corner. We even went for a walk on the neighborhood streets the other night….I have not done this in months. WhooHoo!!!

So, moving on with some meal inspiration for everyone….here is what dinner time looked like at our house this past week. I accomplished five new recipes this week…wow this was amazing.

Saturday: Moroccan stew and homemade spring rolls with dipping sauce (meatless) (both new recipes and both so yummy)

***This was a mother/son meal combo. I made the stew and he made the spring rolls with dipping sauce. As for dad….he simply enjoyed the meal;-)

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Sunday: ham, peas, and pasta with garlic cream sauce and crusty bread

Monday: slow cooker beef lo mein (new recipe and oh so tasty)

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Tuesday: cheese stuffed manicotti with veggie marinara and cheese topping (meatless)

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Wednesday: Mediterranean pasta skillet casserole (new recipe that came from my own thoughts….maybe I aught to write a cookbook since this also turned out spectacular)

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Thursday: honey mustard crunch salads (honey mustard was another new recipe-fabulous!!!)

Friday: out

I am a bit afraid of what will come once the weather is really nice and I have so much less time to spend in the kitchen to prepare quality meals. Although, I know here in the midwest  summer is so short that I can surely come up with some fast, tasty meals that can be thrown together super quick after a long hot day of playing outside. The plan is to cross that bridge when I get there.

As for food prep for the upcoming week….none at all happened. I know I am going to pay the price for not doing any on Sunday but after waking up and making a trip to urgent care for an unforseen issue, I did not have the energy to do anything but sleep.

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When That Solid Plan Falls Apart

Going into this week I had a pretty solid plan. However, by mid morning Monday that plan had drastically changed in more ways than one. Which ultimately meant it was going to be a wild ride….especially since I was solo this week with the hubby traveling for work. Although, looking back at the week, I still did pretty good in the meal area so it was not a total failure.

Here is what we (my son and I) enjoyed this week:

Saturday: BBQ pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, and parmesan potatoes

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Sunday: Vietnamese vermicelli bowls

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Monday: chicken breakfast sausage(recipe here), eggs, and cheese on biscuits

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Tuesday: lentil veggie chowder (recipe here)

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Wednesday: I went out with my brother for our monthly dinner together

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Thursday: one pot ham and parmesan pasta casserole with broccoli and spinach

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Friday: My son offered to prepare dinner tonight since it would just be us and I had had a long, hard day of emotional family stuff. He made an egg skillet with peppers, onions, and andouille sausage and served it with jalepeno cheese bread. YUM!!!

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Not terrible right? Could have been better but really could have been worse also. From freezing cold mornings once again which made my morning gym sessions too cold, to a death in the family which then resulted in an unexpected day off of work, to a fall on the ice…ouch, and a disaster in airports due to a major snowstorm which brought my husband home at 2 a.m. instead of the original 4 p.m.. I, for one, am so darn happy to bid this week goodbye!

As for the next week, it was a tough call. I hate throwing out food but not knowing if my husband would be traveling once again for work or not left me two menu plans. One for two people and one for four people(one serving being a lunch box serving of leftovers) which in turn made grocery shopping a free for all. So I was sort of flying by the seat of my pants not knowing exactly how much to buy or not buy. I was trying to plan for not to much veggie waste if he would be gone but also to have enough if it was cancelled and he would be staying home. What’s worse than having to grocery shop twice in one week when you don’t have enough or forgot something right? So here is what I came up with for food prep for the week.

I cooked up some cinnamon apples for my daycare child and my husband(if home) to enjoy. IMG_0378

I made some carrot coconut muffins for breakfast for everyone to enjoy. I also pre cut all veggies for the week and also threw together a quick batch of mexican quinoa for myself to have for lunch all week.

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