Friday, September 17, 2010

Meals for Week of September 20, 2010

You know that phrase “Sometimes life gets in the way”?  Well, I have to use that phrase this week.  I started thinking back and although I only moved to this blog format in August, I have been writing my weekly newsletter since June 1, 2009.  I have done it every week and I have not missed a week.  I have written it while on vacation, on holidays and while sick.  But this week I have to just take a pass.  I had to have a little talk with myself this week.  I talked about everything I have going on, the obligations I have made and the deadlines for various tasks that are looming.  I realized that something has to give.  Today (Friday) is the first time I’ve truly sat down at my desk this week.  I’ve had appointments, my personal chef work, meetings, soccer practice and housework that have kept me from doing any writing or research all week.  I considered taking a photo of the enormous pile of unwashed laundry to share here in hopes of getting some sympathy but then I decided it was too embarrassing.  But the biggest thing hanging over my head right now is that we’re going to put our house up for sale.  We have a goal to have it listed at the end of September.  This means we are supposed to begin packing and sprucing up the house.  My husband works very hard and commutes over an hour each way to his job, so he’s generally not home for about 14 hours each day.  Our oldest has soccer on the weekends.  This is basically leaving the weekdays to do this work.  Meaning me.  By myself.  Granted, I have hardly begun any of this except for a bit of closet purging because this week was full with other stuff.  It’s really made me feel like my household has come off it’s wheels.  So I decided I have to devote some of my time at my desk to writing lists and making plans for myself and my family, to get us back on track so that I can get my work and this blog back into the routine.

And then here’s an added wrinkle to my already crazy life- we’re expecting a new addition to our family!  It’s still early in the pregnancy, so on top of all the work I have, I’m moving at a snail’s pace to do any of it because I’m so exhausted I’m practically lethargic and I’m operating in a state of constant nausea.   So ok, excuses, excuses, excuses.  But with all of that, I thought I should do what “experts” say, take a step back, put yourself back on your To Do list, and prioritize.  So this is me, trying to do that.

I didn’t research or cook any new recipes and I haven’t read any new articles to share with you.  On the left margin of the blog is the archive and you can browse through that to look at previous weeks as there may be recipes there that you haven’t tried.  I am also linking here a couple of past recipe pages from my website that used to be password protected for paying members.  Some recipes I have used again in recent meal plans but a few I haven’t used in awhile and I should have because they are good.

September 14, 2009
October 5, 2009

Here’s something I had bookmarked and had been meaning to share, it’s a Martha Stewart collection of kid-friendly recipes.

Thank you and I’ll be back with you next week!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Meals for the Week of September 13, 2010

I'm very tardy this week.  I'm full of reasons and excuses, but I won't bore you with that.  I will say that on the 4th it was my birthday and then a holiday weekend and I didn't get as much cooking, research and reading done as I would have liked.  In fact, I'm embarrassed to reveal that although I did look for something to write about this week, nothing caught my interest enough to want to share it with you.  I couldn't possibly do yet another blurb on back to school or packing lunches.  So I thought maybe I'd just get right to it and just do the meal plan.
I do have a request for my readers though; I would love some feedback.  I have been told that sharing cooking tips and links to articles and information that I find interesting is a great part of my weekly post, but I would love to get more requests and comments about what kind of information and resources you want.  So comment here or drop me a line at info @ and let me know your thoughts.

Meals for the Week of September 13, 2010

Turkey Sloppy Joes- Sloppy joe’s don’t have to come from a can, it’s so easy to make the saucy meat mixture from scratch.  And this version uses lower fat ground turkey and whole wheat buns to make it healthier.

Calico Bean Soup- This vegetarian slow cooker recipe is healthy and provides plenty of fiber and protein.  It uses dry beans, which means you could start this soup before bed and let it cook overnight, then keep it warm all day to eat for dinner that next night.  If you’d rather not do that, use canned beans and cook it on low for 6 hours.

Salmon with Orange Mustard Sauce- If you have a good size microwave that has a turntable to rotate food, give this recipe a try.  Salmon is quick cooking and this meal is even quicker steamed in the microwave.  One note- it doesn’t state to cover the food when cooking, but you should cover it with plastic wrap so that it steams to cook.

Coconut Shrimp Soup- Easy to make Thai-style soup.  It doesn’t take any hard to find ingredients and still result in a flavorful soup.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce- Simple and delicious.  I love this sauce. 

Simply Roasted Pork- One 3oz slice of this pork tenderloin roast is 159 calories.  Pork tenderloin is naturally flavorful and lean.  It takes just a few simple seasonings to make this great weekend dinner.

Mexican Taco Stew- It’s sort of like a chili with ground beef and black beans but the seasoning is more in line with tacos and it doesn’t have to cook all day like other kinds of stew, it’s ready in about 30 minutes.  This would also be great to serve on the weekend while watching football.

Broiled Lemon Garlic Chicken- Fast and easy method for delicious roasted chicken.  It goes perfect with a salad.

Rigatoni with Goat Cheese- Super easy, takes just 10 minutes.  An easy vegetarian meal or serve it with grilled chicken and a salad.

Low Carb Low Fat Grilled Eggplant- This is sort of a casserole, but not quite, layering slices of grilled eggplant with ricotta cheese and roasted red peppers.  You can actually serve individual “stacks” of the layers.

Side Dishes/Dessert

Quinoa Salad-  Unique combination of cranberries and sun dried tomatoes with a lemony dressing.  Simple and you can make it ahead, perfect to put in your lunch.

Last week I provided a couple healthy dessert recipes.  This week, I wanted to share two cookie recipes I tried and loved.  Both rather simple to make, and both make a lot of cookies, perfect to use for parties or to donate for school bake sales.  The chocolate chip one can also be portioned and frozen to just keep on hand whenever you need to make a few cookies.

Butterscotch Cookies

Hot Chocolate Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friday, September 3, 2010

Meals for Week of September 6, 2010

Labor Day Cooking

At first I told myself I would not write about Labor Day cooking.  Everywhere you look there’s information; be it sales at the supermarket, the program line up on Food Network and every food/cooking website.  But then I thought I might as well share a couple of great recipes that are good for taking to a barbecue potluck.

Guacamole- This is how I make mine and I have people tell me they love it.  I avoid chopped raw onions which just about every other recipe includes.  I don’t like raw onions and so therefore I don’t put it in MY guacamole.  I do however add a little of a fresh salsa or a pico de gallo, which does contain onions and to me, it’s the right amount to add flavor, but not have it be overpowered by onions like so many guacamoles can be.

Spinach Artichoke Dip- Ooey, gooey and delicious.  Another party food I am often asked to make.  You can mix it ahead of time and bake it at the party, or just re-warm it in the microwave or oven just before serving it.

Broccoli Salad- There is a great ready to assemble broccoli salad kit you can find at Costco, I have had it and it’s good.  But I also like this recipe and it’s really very easy to make.

Snickerdoodle Blondies- My kids LOVE these.  It makes a lot, so it’s great for a party. 

Lunch Ideas

I wanted to share a couple links that have lots of ideas for packing lunches.

I recently wrote about Easy Lunch Boxes- They have a great photo gallery of their boxes packed with lunches.  Tons of inspiration even if you don’t have them.  Although I highly recommend you try them. 

Building a Nutritious Lunchbox- Toward the bottom of this short article is a link to a larger list of lunch ideas.

Meals for Week of September 6, 2010
This week I chose some recipes based on requests from my Facebook page.  There are some crock pot recipes as well as quick and easy meals for busy weeknights.