Monday, March 29, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

I get so much out of doing these meal plans. They help me out, which helps out my family. That said, they're getting harder and harder to do. We don't have a huge selection of meals that we regularly eat, so I feel like I'm constantly recycling meals. I guess I should stop trying to impress y'all, and just put down what we actually love to eat (even if it is super simple or the same thing we had the week before)!

Monday: Garlic Chicken, pan roasted asparagus with prosciutto, mashed potatoes - This one does happen to be a new (to us) meal. The reviews looked promising, and it was super simple. The kitchen smells great, too (which is what happens the instant garlic hits oil)! Fingers crossed!

Tuesday: Take out! I've been craving a barbecue sandwich lately, so I think we'll swing by and pick some up after gymnastics tomorrow. Yum!

Wednesday: Sesame Chicken Salad - This was on the list for last week, until I realized that I had eaten all of the salad greens and regular lettuce. Going shopping tomorrow!

Thursday: If all goes well, I'm going to try Bobby Flay's Garlic-Mustard Grilled Beef Skewers. My sister made them last week and said that they were so good. Since we have church in the evening, though, I'm not sure about the timing.

Friday: Tuna Casserole - An oldie, but a goodie.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Girls' Day Out

I felt bad that we didn't get to do much fun stuff over Spring Break. A few of the days were wet and rainy, we didn't have any trips planned and Kevin had to work Monday-Wednesday of the week. Finally (in the snow on Saturday), I planned to take the girls on a fun, super girly "spa" day. We went and got manicurese (for them) and pedicures (for all of us). The nail place that I frequent recently got these 2 little pink pedicure chairs. Every time I go in, the nail tech tells me that I should bring my daughters in. We finally did. They have had their toes done before, but they loved every second of it. Picking the colors, being offered a drink, relaxing with their feet in the water. Heavenly!After being pampered at the nail salon, we headed to the beauty salon, too. The girls were both due to have their bangs trimmed, and they (both) convinced me to get their hair cut, too. Hannah's didn't change much - just a bit shorter. Meg went whole-hog, though! She told me that she wanted her hair to be up to her lips. I tried to talk her into a chin-length bob, but she insisted. It does look pretty cute (even though her bangs got SHORT). They both told me that it would be the last hair cut for a while, though. They want to grow it out all summer! Girls! In the words of Mr. G (our old bus driver) they were acting just like "fickle minded females"! Go figure!...and, to add a tiny bit of testosterone to this post, here's a cute, recent picture of Owen. He has a habit of shedding his clothes multiple times a day, so when I saw this "I'd Rather Be Naked" t-shirt, I couldn't resist buying it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Orange Sesame Pork with Teriyaki Noodles - I was on a kick where I made this all of the time, but haven't in quite a while. I just checked and I have all of the ingredients! YUM!

Take-Out Tuesday

Wednesday: Paula Deen's Chicken Empanadas - I've made these several times and they are so yummy! I'll probably only cook half, and put the other half in the freezer for another night.

Thursday: Sesame Chicken Salad

Friday: Authentic Maryland Crab Cakes (from my friend - hi, Kara! - who is from Maryland)

The Sesame Chicken Salad recipe is too good not to share. It seems more like a lunch dish (being a salad and all) but since Kevin and I are both trying to eat a little more healthfully (and it's so darn good!) I'm going to make it for dinner this week. The kids will like the chicken strips, minus the salad. The recipe originally came from one of Rachael Ray's first 30-Minute Meals cookbooks.

Sesame Chicken Salad
Whisk together 1/4 cup of dark maple syrup, 2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce (she always uses Tamari...a dark soy sauce) and 1/4 cup sweet hot mustard. Season chicken tenders (I actually cut mine up into smaller pieces) with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the bowl of marinade. Set aside (you can do this at the time of meal prep or before and let it sit in the fridge until you're ready for it).

Spread 1/2 cup sesame seeds (a mix of black & white or all white) in a shallow dish and coat the chicken pieces in sesame seeds. Cook sesame chicken in a large nonstick skillet (with enough veg oil to cover the bottom of pan) over medium-high heat in small batches, 3 minutes on each side and remove to plate.

DRESSING: Whisk 1-inch of fresh grated gingerroot, 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 1/4 cup Chinese duck sauce (or apricot all-fruit spread) and 1/4 cup veg oil.

SALAD: 1 bag (10 ounces) of mixed baby greens. Add to this anything else that you like in a "Chinese-style" salad--she suggests thinly slices cucumber, 1/2 cup shredded carrots, scallions, snow peas. Combine all of the salad ingredients into a bowl. Toss with dressing and serve, topping with sesame chicken tenders. Garnish with fried Chinese noodles for added crunch.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't let the looks fool you...

This is what pure evil looks like! I'm on day 8 of the 30-Day Shred, and I think Jillian is trying to kill me. After a week at level 1, I decided to step it up and do level 2 today. OMG! I am going to stick with it, but I'm shooting daggars at her every time I look at the TV!

However, if my body ends up looking like hers, I might kiss the ground she walks on! Gotta go redecorate the house. I'm hanging bathing suits in the kitchen, to motivate me to keep it up until we go to Mexico. Wonder what Kev's boss will think about that when he comes for dinner tomorrow????? (Just kidding, Mom. I'll take them down before he gets here!) :-)

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Spring Break, everyone! The kids are home (even though Kevin still has to work) and all after-school activities have been cancelled for the week. Unfortunately, it's also raining buckets today, and is supposed to be wet and gross all week. I have NO IDEA how we're going to survive being stuck indoors all week! We shall see! ;-)

Monday: Make-Your-Own Pizza night - I've had pizzas on my list for the past 2 or 3 weeks, and something always comes up on the night I have them planned! As soon as I finished this post, I'm going to make my dough so that it's ready for tonight!

Tuesday: Lasagna - Megan has been asking for it lately. Since Kevin's boss is in town and coming over for dinner, it's a perfect night for it. It's a crowd pleaser and everyone seems to love it. I'll have corn, garlic bread & salad as sides.

Wednesday: Crispy Ranch Chicken - Not sure on sides yet. Maybe mac & cheese.

Thursday: Leftovers - Lasagna produces a lot of them!

Friday: Grilled Shrimp with Garlic - I made this last Friday along with my crab legs. They were so, so good (even better than the crab)! I'll have rice and roasted broccoli as side dishes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

99 Days...

Inspired by my friend Angela's blog, I thought I'd share our fun news, too! In 99 short days, we'll be heading to sunny, warm, Mexico! Ole! Our friends (Angela & Jarred) bought into a vacation club at a 5-star resort in Playa del Carmen a few years ago. They were able to get us a deal that was almost $1000 cheaper than the price we were quoted by a travel agent (and the deal through them is for 8 days, 7 nights - the travel agent's was only 5 days)!

Our 10th wedding anniversary is in June, and I can't think of a more fun, relaxing place to celebrate than Mexico! We've never gone on vacation with friends before (other than Spring Break in college), so this will be exciting! Our families get along fabulously, so I'm not concerned at all (plus, Kev will have someone to go golfing with, and I won't feel bad for lounging on the beach or by the pool with a fruity cocktail while he's gone).

Now, I'm off to do the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred (yet again). Angela is in GREAT shape, and if I don't want to look like a donut in a bathing suit next to her in 3 short months, I'd better get cracking!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tuesday: Take-out, due to our schedule, unless someone can post a really yummy crock-pot recipe for me!

Wednesday: Cheesy Hashbrowns (This is a Hamburger Helper mix, but I really like it. It also happens to be the only Hamburger Helper flavor that I like, because it has no pasta. I think their pasta tastes weird). We'll have creamed corn with this one.

Thursday: Chicken Fried Rice (something that even the kids like!)

Friday: Crab legs, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes. I'm really, really looking forward to Friday!

In the blink of an eye.

Three years, gone. How does that happen? Today is my little guy's birthday. His birthdays are always bittersweet for me, since he's my last child. I'll never have a 2-year-old again. All of the "firsts" he has are "lasts" for me (although I will rejoice at the end of diapers). Happy birthday to my sweet, funny, huggy, playful, laughing, mischevious Owen Thomas. I love you so much!
A chubby-cheeked newborn:
One year old:
Crazy two-year-old:Three (at his birthday party this past weekend):
Love, love, love this boy! He makes me smile every day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Kevin is going to be out of town for a few days this week, so the beginning of the week (especially) will be kid-friendly!

Monday: Crescent Dogs (ummm, yeah. Kid friendly!), corn, mac & cheese

Tuesday: Take-Out after gymnastics/dance. Probably Rosa's (Taco Tuesday!!!)

Wednesday: Game Day Chili (I make mine without beans). We'll probably make them into frito pies for the kids.

Thursday: Shepherd's Pie (I don't normally do another side dish with this, since it's got corn, carrots & mashed potatoes all in the "pie". I'll probably set out a salad, though.)

Friday: Make-your-own pizza night! Fresh mozzarella and spinich for the grown-ups (meatless) and I'll let the kids use pepperonis or canadian bacon if they want.

There's a chance we'll have some out-of-town guests on Friday night. If so, then I'm okay with going out to dinner and pushing my pizza day to next week! :-)

Nothing too exciting this week, and no new recipes, but I know that I love reading other people's meal plans just to get ideas!