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.

 

 

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What I Am Loving Lately

I find myself starting to enjoy each day a little more as the weather starts to heat up little by little here in Green Bay. From finally seeing leaves on trees to gorgeous colors starting to be planted in planters around homes and businesses. There is something about color that just adds happiness to life. With that being said, here are a few things I am loving lately.

Dinners outside again: My husband and I will often share dinner together outside on the porch in the warm months of the year. We have begun doing this again on the days that are nice and I am so grateful for this time.

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Coffee Nut M&M’s: OMG….they are my favorite all time M&M.

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Our Bugaboo Camp Cooking Pot set: I could not believe this when I found it at a garage sale one morning walking the neighborhood with my kiddos. I almost had a stroke when I saw the $3 price tag (normally $70 brand new retail) and opened it up to find it new, not scratched, and never used for that matter. It will no doubt be the best thing I find at a garage sale this season.

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Palmer’s Coconut Oil Lotion: As I mentioned in the past, my hair and skin have drastically changed since surgery back in January. And since I found my new favorite hair moisturizer, I was on a mission to find a lotion that would offer my skin some relief. I gave this coconut oil lotion a try after talking with a friend and have been very happy with the results so far. It not in any way greasy which is a BIG thing for me. It smells wonderful….like the tropics and really seems to moisturize well.

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Luna Chocolate Dipped Coconut Bar: After a long walk one day I stopped at a local drug store for a quick errand and noticed these by the checkout. I grabbed one since I was hungry and this sounded yummy. I don’t typically do bar type snacks unless on a trail or paddling a river but this just sounded perfect. After opening it and giving it a try, I think I may have a new favorite bar because it was soooo good.

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Sriracha Aioli: With grilling season upon us I am always experimenting with ways to liven up burgers, chicken and other meats. I picked this up in Door County, WI on a day trip with some friends and cannot wait to return for another bottle. We have tried it on chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers, and its fabulous in black bean burger wraps. It really adds a kick of flavor and spice.

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This inspirational saying:  I recently saw this while shopping and thought of how much our life has changed in the last few months. It’s exactly how I feel and I am working very hard to feel like I am living right side up again. All in good time….right

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That shall do it for now.

If you want to share something you are enjoying lately, feel free and do so.

Since tomorrow is going to be one of those crazy busy days I will end by wishing everyone a safe and very happy Memorial Day weekend………….

 

 

 

 

Let’s Reminisce Again….

Every year about this time I look back through my photos and just reminisce. Winters are very long, lonely, and cold for me. I try and keep myself busy, however, winters drag on as if they last forever. My summer photos give me something to look forward to so let’s reminisce together.

I miss grilled food

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I hope to utilize this box this summer.

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Maybe I will try outdoor yoga in the park.

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We are hoping to make another visit to a friends cabin.

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I miss relaxing on my front porch almost as much as I miss the beach.

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Don’t forget the sunsets of summer

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Disc golf, one of our family favorite games.

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This year our son’s brand new kayak will get a real taste of summer now that he is completely healed up.

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Just to see green leaves and grass again would be an improvement over snow, slush and yuck that is covering everything right about now.

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Summer can not come fast enough for me.

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What do you miss about summer?

Hillshire Farm American Craft Sausage Review

Upon receiving two free coupons for two out of the three flavors of Hillshire Farms American Craft sausages to sample I was pretty open to giving these a whirl. We are not big processed food lovers at our home but sometimes a quick meal is just what needs to happen and this was perfect. These sausages come in smoky bourbon, jalapeno cheddar, and garlic onion flavors. They were priced at $2.89 each on sale at the time, but again, I was able to try these for free.

I choose smoky bourbon and jalapeno cheddar for my family then had my husband grill them one night for dinner. I had a smoky bourbon link and was happily surprised with the taste. Sweet,smoky, and not too greasy.

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My husband had one of the jalapeno cheddar links and he was also surprised at the kick of heat that this sausage offered. He said it was tasty enough to eat alone with no additional condiments added.

The only down side to these sausages were the nutritional content. At 22g of fat, 260 calories and 630g sodium per sausage in the bourbon links and even higher in the jalapeno links, this was a huge drawback for me. Even though I would not expect  a processed sausage to be on any great diet list, I normally would never purchase these and feed them to my family or myself on a regular basis. Now, if you are not health conscious, I can say without a doubt, these you will find very appealing because they were very good.

 

*****As an authorized Buzz Agent I was sent this product for free in exchange for my honest and personal opinion. If you would like to know more about how to become a Bzz Agent visit this website https://www.bzzagent.com/

 

 

BBQ Rub

As grilling season approaches I get pretty excited about the break I get from cooking dinner every night. I am not a grill master and have no hope to be in the future. However, my husband does a really nice job of grilling. On a good day he may even get creative with the spices.

Here is a BBQ rub that he made after reading a few different recipes for some ideas. Then I borrowed out my lab (my kitchen) and he mixed up his own mixture of spices and came up with this. It is spectacular on ribs, pork, and chicken.

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BBQ Rub

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup sweet paprika

3 TBSP. black pepper

2 TBSP. sea salt

1 TBSP. celery salt

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix all these spices together in a glass jar. Give it a good shake until its well combined.

Apply this rub to your choice of meat and refrigerate for at least one hour.

This works well with meat that is grilled, baked or pan seared.

Store remaining rub in an airtight jar for up to 6 months.

It’s SPRING

I am probably the happiest person on earth today because it’s SPRING 🙂

OK, so maybe I am not the only person happy about this fact but I think we should all celebrate together today. Let’s smile a little more. Let’s take a step outside and take a deep breath of fresh air. Let’s imagine the sprouting of little green plants that will soon poke through the ground in the coming weeks. Let’s imagine the leaves on trees reappearing and providing us shade to play under and let’s enjoy the extra hours of daylight that are upon us now.

I am so ready for everything about this season. I already have a good start on cleaning the garage. Shhhh, don’t tell my husband. This is best attempted while he is at work:)

Hubby and I made a trip to a local hardware store to stock up on charcoal for grilling season. I can taste those kabobs already.

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We also made an extra purchase that will have me grinning from ear to ear this summer. My new lawn mower. There is just something about cutting the lawn that makes me so happy. Crazy, I know, but I enjoy it for some reason.

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No gas, no pulling a cord to start, no nothing. This is the model they had out for a floor display but we ended up getting the next size up that came with a bag also. I have never been so excited about something so unexciting. Now, I no longer have to run and get more gas because “someone” did not leave enough from the last time or they did not refill the can themselves when they emptied it!!! I also will never have to wait until there is someone here to start the lawnmower for me, because ours is too hard for me to start. I can just start mowing. Now, if only we had grass to mow….all things comes to those who wait. Right?

Hope you all enjoy today as much as I will.

Celabrating Two Decades Together

This past week we officially celebrated our 20th Anniversary together. Even though our real gift to each other was our trip to Zion National Park, we still went out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and I was surprised by two dozen roses from my husband.

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We decided on a nice quiet place called 1951 West in Green Bay,WI.

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They have some of the best meals we have ever tasted in the Green Bay area. They are featured yearly at the Feast with the Beast event and also have the best brunch in town, in our opinion.

We arrived and decided to splurge and have an appetizer first. We love mushrooms and decided to be different and give the wild mushroom flatbread a try. I was a little scared when I saw bacon jam as one of the ingredients listed on the menu, but sometimes you just have to be brave, right?

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It was served on a cedar plank, and was drizzled with balsamic glaze that can make any dish wonderful. It was very tasty and the goat cheese really made the dish quite the culinary experience. I told my husband that I really want to buy some and experiment with some recipes of my own. We normally don’t eat goat cheese at our home. I do think we would order this again. Although, if I ever made it at home I would just use a few bacon pieces and not the jam, it was a little strong tasting.

Next, came the crock of french onion soup for us both. One of our family favorites. We even serve this to my entire family on Christmas at our home. So yummy:)

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Then the star of the show…..my grilled portabella sandwich. This is my favorite menu item here. I order it every time we come.

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It has a huge grilled mushroom, artichokes, pesto, cheese, pine nuts, roasted pepper, grilled onions all served on a wonderful roll. It’s like a party in your mouth.

Our night ended with a nice walk together, after a great meal. It’s odd to think 20 years ago I married my best friend. It seems so long to say 20 years… yet I remember that day like it was just yesterday.

Many would say communication is the key to a successful marriage, which I agree helps make it more enjoyable. My secret to a successful marriage would be HONESTY. Without honesty, you really have nothing!

*What would be your secret to your successful marriage?