Happy Halloween! This is an iPhone photo I took this week when we visited a pumpkin farm very close to our house. When I was there I also picked up a beautiful butternut squash that I can't wait to use next week as well as some local honey that I hope will help me to naturally reduce my seasonal allergies. Since I will be 8 and 9 months pregnant at the beginning of Spring when I always have severe allergies and usually take medication, I'm hoping local honey that contains the pollen will help me.
It's November already. Hard to believe, although I say it every year, it's amazing how quickly the year passes. For me, I'm already thinking about the holidays and specifically about what I'll be cooking and baking. If you like to bake and make candy and cookies to give as gifts, my #1 Tip for holiday baking is to start stocking up now on your supplies. Pretty much every grocery store and even stores like Walmart and Target have their holiday baking displays set up already with items on sale. I always find it to be easier to start buying things like chocolate chips, sugar, flour, mini loaf and cake pans, even butter with each trip to the store, to help spread out the cost. You can even get nuts in advance, just stick them in the freezer along with the butter so they can stay fresh. By the time December rolls around and you are in the thick of spending money on gifts or travel expenses, you have already purchased what you need to make heart-felt homemade treats.
I will begin sharing great recipes for the holidays over the next few weeks as well as on my Facebook page, if you have questions/comments or want advice, please let me know.
Meals for Week of November 1, 2010
Don't forget to use ziplist.com for an easy way to make your shopping list.
Apple and Cheddar Whole Wheat Quesadillas-This can certainly be a snack, but I consider quesadillas my go-to meal for a busy night. Have a salad or tomato soup on the side and it’s a complete meal.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas- I’ve recommended this recipe before, but it’s worth repeating and a great Fall meal. They re-heat well and are perfect to pack in your lunch for work the next day.
Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Italian Sausage- Instead of pasta, use delicious spaghetti squash. You can make the squash in advance and then re-heat and add your favorite pasta sauce.
Beef Stew with Noodles- Very simple with not a lot of ingredients. This is a great Sunday evening meal or the kind of meal where you can multi-task while this simmers on the stove.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders- These take just 30 minutes to make and they are low calorie, but flavorful.
Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Orzo- Sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, cheese and whole wheat orzo pasta. Easy enough for a weeknight, but could be a great dish to serve company.
Turkey Meatloaf- A tasty and lower fat alternative to traditional beef meatloaf.
Crockpot Pasta Fagioli- Similar to a minestrone soup, this contains ground beef and it is a sort of copycat of a soup available at The Olive Garden. The recipe can easily be vegetarian by omitting the meat and using vegetable stock instead of beef.
Apricot Barbecue Wings- I don’t know about you, but in our house chicken wings aren’t always a snack, or appetizer, we have them as a part of dinner. So you could have these cooking while you’re away at work or save them for a weekend to have when watching football. Either way, they are sweet and tangy and delicious.
Tortellini Tomato Spinach Soup- A low calorie but filling soup that you can throw together on a weeknight. Great for lunch leftovers too.
Butternut Squash with Sage- You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to make this, give it a try and if you love it, then serve it again for the holiday.
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries- I like this because it has a slightly different twist than other oven recipes using spices like Chinese Five Spice or pumpkin pie spice instead of just salt and pepper.
Spiced Applesauce Cake- So perfect for fall. It’s really a very simple scratch cake with a delicious cream cheese frosting.