Fuzzy Navel with Fresh Fruit and Prosecco

Heeheehee…For some reason, the name of this drink makes me giggle. A traditional fuzzy navel has OJ and peach schnapps. I decided to change mine up a bit. I just happened to have fresh oranges and a big juicy peach. I used my hand juicer to get all the fresh juice out and combined that with about a shot of triple sec and topped off with Prosecco. Delish!
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Meal Plan Sunday 7/28

Monday-Errands and out to dinner…The girls have been begging to go to Taco Mac.

Tuesday- White wine roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas https://funfoodiefamily.com/2013/07/01/white-wine-roasted-chicken/, I will probably do it a bit different this time, because I already have chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken.
Wednesday- Leftover lasagna from freezer, Bruschetta, salad

Thursday- Cheese bacon wrapped hotdogs

Friday- Fish and chips with broccoli

Back to school week for me, so I am trying to make this week pretty easy.

Grocery List- After I figure out what else I need to get for the week (breakfasts, lunches, etc), then I will make a master list divided up by sections in the grocery store.

White Wine Chicken- mushrooms, onion, garlic, white wine, chicken stock, carrots, celery, chicken (I already have some in my freezer)
Bruschetta- bread, mozzarella, tomato, basil,
salad stuff, croutons
hot dogs, cheese, buns, bacon,
Fish (will actually buy later in the week, so it is fresh), fries, frozen peas

What is on your meal plan? I am especially excited about hot dog night!

Homemade taco seasoning mix

Tonight I planned on making beef tacos with homemade taco seasoning. Have you ever read the ingredients on those package mixes from the store? Take my advice and don’t even bother. It is not good. Make your own seasoning instead. We were going to have crunchy tacos, but then my husband found some burrito tortillas and had the idea to make gorditas. Gorditas are crunchy tacos inside of a soft taco. So good!

Ground Beef with Homemade Taco Seasoning

Sautee 1/2 a chopped onion and 2 cloves chopped garlic in a bit of oil in your hot pan. Take out the onions and brown a pound of meat. Once browned, take it out and strain it. Add it back in the pan with your onions and add your taco seasoning.

Seasoning- Of course, you can always add more of less of these ingredients. I am using real sautéed onions and garlic, but you could use ground onion and garlic if you have it.
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon corn starch

Add your seasoning to the beef and about 1/2 cup water over the heat until it absorbs, about 5 minutes

Add all your fixings to your Gordita…beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole; whatever you like!

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Banana Bread

I had a bunch of bananas that were starting to turn brown. No one here will eat them with all those brown spots. I usually cut them up, throw them in a zip top bag, and use them for smoothies. This time I decided to make banana bread.

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3-5 ripe bananas depending on the size. I used 4.
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Melt 1/3 cup of butter and add to your bananas. Mash together using a potato masher. 004

To the banana and butter mixture, add 1 cup of sugar, 1 whisked egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add 1/3 cup of both buttermilk and coffee.
Finally, add 2 cups of flour. Mix to combine ingredients.
I put some parchment paper in a loaf pan and poured in the mixture. Bake for an hour at 350.

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Meatloaf, Cornbread, and Mashed Potatoes

The comfort food trifecta. Yum! I had originally planned on having this on Wednesday night, but E begged me to make it tonight. I had my parents over as well, so I made a huge amount of food!

Cast Iron Cornbread: I made the cornbread first. Preheat oven at 425. Heat your 9 or 12 in. pan. Add about 1/3 stick of butter to melt. Combine the following: 2 cups of cornmeal, 1 egg, 1 cup sugar, 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, and a pinch of salt. Combine in the heated pan and melted butter. You should hear a sizzle. Then put in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. 003

Meatloaf: I let 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground Italian sausage come to room temperature in a bowl. I sautéed 1 small onion and 2 cloves of garlic in a pan, about 8 minutes. I do this to avoid raw onion chunks in my meatloaf. Take off the heat and cool for a few minutes.

To my meat, I added 1 egg and the onion and garlic. The rest of the ingredients I eyeball a little at a time until the right consistency; Worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons), about a glass of red wine, a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce, a squish of tomato paste. I use the tube, so that is why I say squish, but if you use the can, about 1 tablespoon, and about a cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. I get in there and mix it up with my hands. Mix just enough to combine the ingredients. I do not use ketchup at all. The tomato sauce, tomato paste, red wine, and Worcestershire combo is better and gives the meatloaf so much more depth of flavor than ketchup ever could. I take my mixture, form in a long loaf shape, and put it on some aluminum foil in a long baking dish.Top with more tomato sauce. 350 for 45 minutes. We had only 1 chunk leftover….perfect for a couple of meatloaf sandwiches! Always make extra for this!
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Mashed potatoes: Ok, so I learned this really cool trick from someone on TV, in a cookbook, or one of my food magazines. I honestly can’t remember where I heard this, but boil your potatoes in milk, cream, and butter instead of water! Add some salt and a touch of pepper. The potatoes cook with these flavors! GENIUS! When they are fork tender, strain them out but keep your liquid. Then add your cooking liquid a bit at a time to your desired consistency. Plus, I added a bit more butter… Oh, and we had peas. Gotta add the veggie!

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Meal Planning and Grocery Lists

The best way to ensure that you eat at home and go grocery shopping with a purpose is to meal plan. I know…easier said than done. During the summer, life is a bit more laid back, but once school starts back, the craziness begins! Work schedules, homework, gymnastics practice, soccer practice, remembering to pack ballet clothes, making lunches… I really just want summer to last one more month.

So I try to be good during the school year and plan out all our meals in advance. I think of it this way…if we could just make it to Wednesday, the rest is easy. Basically, I plan Sunday-Wednesday. Thursday is leftovers and clean out the fridge night. Friday is date night. Sat. is family night out.

So here are some helpful hints to plan out your meals and go grocery shopping:

1. Take stock of what you have and what you can make with it. Go through the fridge, freezer, and cabinets to see if there are any parts of a meal you already have so you don’t buy something you don’t need.

2. Ask the family some ideas. What do you guys want for dinner this week? Let the kids go through a couple of cookbooks and magazines to see if there is something they might like to try. If they don’t help you out, threaten to make liver and onions. That will do it.

3. When you make your list, divide up your headings for each section of the grocery store.
Produce, Meats, Dairy, Grains/Pasta, Canned Goods, Baking, Frozen, Drinks, Breads, Misc. Items (like cat litter, paper towels, and batteries)

4. Shop the perimeter of the store for the bulk of your items. I know this is old news, but all the best and healthiest items are in the perimeter.

5. If you have coupons, have them ready. I have to be honest and say I don’t really use coupons. Most coupons I see are not for foods we typically eat. Sometimes I may have a coupon for dog food, cat litter, Greek yogurt, or cereal; I find most coupons are for processed and unhealthy foods, so I don’t really get in to the whole couponing thing.

Here is my meal plan for this week:
Sunday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas, home made cornbread
Monday: Pulled Pork sammies, baked beans, and broccoli
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Chicken cacciatore with pasta and corn
Thursday: Clean out the Fridge/Leftover Night
Friday: Eat Out
Sat: Eat Out

Breakfasts: Cereal, eggs, oatmeal, grits, French toast, lots of coffee for me =)
Lunches during the school year may be leftovers, sandwiches, or salads with the occasional school lunch.

Each week, I will post a new meal plan. Maybe that will help you guys get some ideas.