Meal Plan 3/30/14

Our cupboards were getting quite empty, so we had an epic family trip to the grocery store. I had no real plan when we went. This happens occasionally; I feel inspired by what is on sale, what the husband and girls request, or just looks good. Here is what is on the meal plan for this week.

Sun- Sloppy Joes and Mac and Cheese
Mon- Pork Chops and couscous and veggie
Tuesday- Steak and a little blue cheese butter, pesto pasta, roasted asparagus(for me) another veggie for the others
Wed- Chicken and creamy mushrooms

Th- Grandparents night
Friday- Chicken Friand- using up the leftovers from Wed. night

Throwback Thursday- 3/27/14 French Food At Home

Who needs a fancy overpriced French restaurant (well, I would like to go to one in France one day) when you can make an amazing date night at home…





Herb Butter Baked Chicken, Herb Skillet Potatoes, and Wine Braised Mushrooms

So happy the weekend is almost near! This has been a crazy week! Yesterday, I stayed home with a sick kiddo, so I had time to make a pretty nice dinner for the family. I bought some chicken breasts that were on sale last weekend, and I have been trying to think of a new way to make them. I feel like sometimes I get in a rut with chicken, so I started researching some ideas on Pinterest, cooking blogs, magazines, and cookbooks. Then I was watching The Chew and I saw a recipe where they made herb butter and rubbed it under the skin of the chicken. Well, I had skinless chicken breasts, but I decided to rub the chicken breast with the herb butter, add a little white wine and olive oil to the pan and bake it in the oven. Then I found about half a bag of small yellow potatoes, so decided to cook those in my cast iron skillet with the rest of the herb butter. I needed another veggie, so I sliced up some onions and mushrooms and braised them in a bit of red wine and worcestershire sauce. There were no more potatoes or mushrooms leftover, but we do have a couple pieces of chicken leftover. I bet they will be great in a pita with some veggies. Yum!

Herb and Lemon Compound Butter
a bunch of fresh herbs- sage, rosemary, thyme, etc. – You can use one of a combo- I used basil and rosemary
2 sticks of room temperature butter
1-2 lemons- juiced and zested
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic
Put in your food processor to combine

Herb Butter Baked Chicken-
salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts
Rub both side of the chicken with the butter. Put in an oiled pan and pour a little bit of white wine in the bottom of the pan. Cook at 350 for about 45 minutes

Herb Skillet Potatoes
half some small yellow or red potatoes
Heat a skillet and put in a couple of tablespoons of the compound butter
put the potatoes in cut side down
cook until crispy on one side then flip occasionally
add salt and pepper to taste
add any extra herbs you may have- I added rosemary
you could also add chopped onions or garlic if you wish

Wine Braised Mushrooms
slice a container of mushrooms and 1 onion (next time I would double the recipe)
put in a hot skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of butter
Cook down for about 5 minutes on med heat
turn the heat down to med-low or low
add 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce and 1 glass of red wine
Cook at least 30-45 minutes- The longer the better =)




Vegetarian Lasagna

So my Sunday cooking continues with making a pan of veggie lasagna for some lunches this week. I am going to share it with one of my vegetarian friends at school. This is a pretty versatile recipe. You could substitute any veggies you like in this. I made an easy mushroom marinara sauce, but you could easily use an delicious jarred sauce. I also used no boil lasagna noodles, but you could used dried ones. This is a simple healthy meal that you can feel good about eating!

Vegetarian Lasagna


1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
1 eggplant, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
2 cups of red wine
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of crushed or diced tomatoes
fresh or dried herbs- rosemary, basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper (adds a nice spice) to taste
3 handfuls of spinach
1 small container of ricotta
Mozzarella- sliced or shredded
1 container of no boil lasagna noodles (I didn’t use all of them)


Preheat oven to 350

In a large pan, sweat your onions and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for about 8 minutes on med. heat. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook together for about 3-5 minutes. Add all your sliced veggies. Add your herbs. Cook between 30 minutes- an hour. Add the spinach at the end. Take off the heat and cool for a bit. If you are in a time crunch, you can use your favorite jarred pasta sauce.

Take a well oiled corningware type of pan. Put a little sauce on the bottom and a layer of veggies. Layer some ricotta and mozzarella then a layer of pasta. Continue laying until you have the last layer of cheese on the top- about 3 layers or so.

Cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 45 minutes. Take off the foil and turn the oven to broil. Cook until cheese is browned.

Can’t wait to eat this for my lunch next week!


Beef Pot Roast

The girlies spent the night with my parent last night, so I invited them to dinner as a thank you for helping take care of the kiddos. Of course, they never need a reason to take care of them, but I enjoy making a nice Sunday meal for everyone anyway! If you like pot roast, you have to try this recipe! It is a great one pot meal!


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 chopped onion
1 cup red wine
4 thyme sprigs or any fresh herbs you have
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/s container of boxed beef stock (low sodium)
1 bay leaf
1 bag of baby carrots or 4 carrots cleaned and cut into big chunks
8 red or yukon gold potatoes cut in to fourths- I leave the skins on, but you could peel if you like
1 container of mushrooms, halved


Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper chuck roast. Add roast to pan; Brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Return the browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs (or other herbs), chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and cook on med-low heat for about 2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.
Add carrots and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Slice or shred meat. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the juices. This is a great Sunday dinner! Enjoy!






Weekly Meal Plan 3/22/14

Hey guys! So happy spring is here! Out with the cold and in with the warm! Looking forward to seeing the changes more in the kitchen, too! Lots of yummy veggies coming in to season, and the farmers’ markets are just around the corner! Squeee!

I have been thinking of a way to try to expand my blog just a bit. I am thinking of adding more posts for breakfasts, snacks, and lunches (weekdays, not just weekends). I mostly try to eat at home and bring my lunch to school. For now, I will continue to post dinner meal plans, but I will add in breakfasts and lunches on the blog when I discover something I think you guys may like.

Sat- Chicken and veggie kabobs, pita, and pesto

Sun- Pot Roast and Veggies

Monday- Beef Stroganoff

Tuesday- Pork Scallopini-

Wednesday- Oven Roasted Chicken, veggies, pan roasted potatoes

Th- Daddy is with the girls while I go to class… Jimmy Johns???
Fri- Clean out the fridge night

What is on your meal plan? Happy cooking and eating!

Kale and Basil Pesto

So last night I was getting a snack from the fridge when I saw half a container of kale and a bunch of leftover basil. I also spied 1/2 a container of parmesan cheese. I decided to make a version of pesto. Real pesto has just basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. The only ingredient I didn’t have was the pine nuts. All I did was add 3 heads of garlic, the kale, basil, and olive oil and a bit of salt to the food processor. I enjoyed it with some leftover steak, and then on some pita chips. You could add with other meats, fish, pasta, seafood, eggs; the possibilities are endless! Delicious!

photo 1

photo 2

Here is another variation on pesto that I made awhile back…

Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

Happy Wednesday! I wanted to celebrate a great day by cooking something yummy for my family. I had another plan for chicken this week on my meal plan, but I decided to change it and make this instead… I made this a long time ago back in August. It was super easy and delicious. I added it to spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce. Enjoy!
mozz, tomato, basil


Vegan Pasta Sauce

So earlier I told you how cooking is my therapy. So is grocery shopping BY MYSELF!!! One of my co-workers is a vegetarian and a bit of a foodie, so I like to make us some yummy lunches every once in a while. If you don’t know me or just now reading this, I used to be a vegetarian/vegan for 13 years. I eat everything now, but I still enjoy healthy veggie meals occasionally. I recently saw a recipe for an eggplant tomato pasta sauce. I decided to add more veggies other than the eggplant, and this recipe was created. The great thing about veggie meals is you can delete or add whatever veggies you like. For example, I didn’t have any mushrooms, but they would have been a yummy addition. If you have spinach instead of kale, add it! Use your imagination to create your own individualized sauce.


2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced and chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 container of grape tomatoes
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2 glasses of wine
1/2 head of broccoli- florets (you can save the stems for veggie or chicken stock)
water as needed
1/2 bag/container of kale


Chop all your veggies while you heat your large pan/dutch oven and melt your butter with the oil.
Add all the ingredients in the order listed above to med.heat. Onion and garlic first for 5 minutes, stirring. Pepper, eggplant, and zucchini for 5 more minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes, stirring. Then add the tomatoes- grape and can of diced. Add your wine and then broccoli florets. Add water if you need more liquid. Cook on med-low for 20 minutes. Add your kale at the end and cook until wilted. Serve over your favorite pasta. Enjoy!