Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 3/19 - 3/25

Hi friends!

Long time no see.

Sorry about that. I had a few things that needed attending to and it took a lot of my energy. It is nothing bad (actually really good!), but I can't share yet but will in the near future (no we are not having another baby).

Speaking of babies. My baby is 1 on April 2nd. How in the world did that happen. I feel like he was just born and we just left the hospital. Time went by way too fast with this little man and I know I will be a mess when he turns 1.  

These two melt my heart.


This past Saturday, Ron and I had a date night at home. We grilled steaks and watched Hacksaw Ridge. Have you seen it yet? If you like history/WWII movies like we do you will enjoy it!

In other exciting news we are going to Disney soon! Our bands arrived and I am so excited. Mine is the yellow band ripped out of the case because I NEEDED to try it on right away. I think my sister and I are more excited for the trip than the children. I really want a Dole Whip...and a Mickey Waffle. And to go on the Haunted Mansion ride. 


While I am excited for our trip I am also preparing for the all out madness of over sugared and under-rested children. Maybe I can get some rum in my Dole Whip.....

I find myself getting upset days as I watch my county change under this President. Ron and I refuse to turn a blind eye because it is so upsetting. Such behavior is not our nature, but it has made us more aware of our own actions.  I believe that racism and ableism gain ground when we become complacent and believe that we are not part of the problem. The truth is we are all part of the problem and recognition of our own bias can allow for change. I have found that this can be a personal challenge, but Ron and I continue to try be more aware of our actions and voices.  I feel like the most impctful thing I can do is be aware, be informed, and speak out.  

This week I am doing a few Pure Barre classes (I am still so in love), playing volleyball, Kellen's school conferences, going to Beauty and the Beast with Kellen, and getting ready for my friend Emily's Belly to Baby Expo!

Do you have any fun plans??

Here is my plan for the week:

Sunday: Steaks, Loaded Cauliflower Casserole, Mushrooms, and Grilled Asparagus
Monday: Homemade Corned Beef Hash with Poached Eggs and Strawberries
Tuesday: Spicy Chorizo Chicken Casserole with Rice and Beans
Wednesday: Subs
Thursday:  French Onion Beef and Rice Casserole and Green Beans
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Out

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 2/13 - 2/19

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sorry for disappearing last week- things were a little hectic!

Last week was my birthday and I celebrated with pizza with my family and a relaxing day off. The previous day Kellen stayed home from school and I brought him to the Milwaukee Public Museum with my mom. He absolutely adored it and I was so happy to see him find so much enjoyment in one of my favorite museums.  

Later in the week I went to another Board and Brush class with a few girlfriends and had cocktails after. Here is my finished product- pretty good for being a bunch of lumber 3 hours earlier (The L is sparkly, but it's hard to tell in the photo). 


On Saturday afternoon we went to Disney on Ice to get in the mood for our Disney trip in April. The show was wonderful and Kellen loved the characters (and the cotton candy).


Sunday was spent relaxing and attending Pure Barre. They are doing a challenge called Love Your Body, and it is a team challenge. Go Team Tone! Ron and I also took the boys to the Wildlife Sanctuary to enjoy the unseasonably nice weather. Rowan loved it and had his eyes glued on the different things to see. 

This week is a bit busy, but filled with fun stuff. Last night Kellen and I got ready for his Valentine's party at school with cupcakes and Spider-man valentine's for his friends. Tonight, we are going to see the musical Annie with friends, and I am excited for Kellen to see it!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday: Beef and Rice Casserole and Green Beans
Tuesday: Heart Shaped Cheese Ravioli and Meat Sauce with Garlic Bread (Brownies for Dessert!)
Wednesday: Subs
Thursday: Chili
Friday: Thai Take Out
Saturday: Date Night!
Sunday: Birthday Party

Thursday, January 26, 2017

French Onion Chicken Casserole

Casseroles are going strong in my house and I wanted to share a new favorite inspired by one of my favorite soups.  I saw this recipe and decided that I needed to make my own version of the recipe for my family. This recipe is really easy and soooo delicious. I have been liking to use ground chicken in my casseroles, but if you prefer pieces of chicken that will work, but I recommend cooking it first.
I use it because I prefer the texture to large pieces in my casserole. Also, make sure to leave time to cook the onions, or cook them prior leaving even faster prep. The casserole is creamy, rich, cheesy, and topped with delicious flaky biscuits. This was a big winner in my house.

THis morning I am a little slow moving and tired! My sister and I participated in the Point in Time (PIT) street count last night from midnight until 2 am.   The  is required by Housing and Urban DEvelpoment (HUD) and it is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. There is also another count done in summer. Our group did see anyone is our assigned area last night, but normally counts are higher in summer. Needless to say I am a little sleepy after going to bed at 3 am and getting up at 5 am....coffee for me this morning!

Tonight we are relaxing at home after 2 barre classes and PIT I need an early bed time!

Have a great day everyone!


Ingredients

2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of onion soup
1/3 cup soup cream
1 can french cut green beans, drained
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
8 flaky refrigerator biscuits, cut into quarters


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions. Slowly cook till they become a caramel brown color. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

While onions are cooking, cook the ground chicken breaking is apart with a spoon. In a medium bowl, mix together soups, sour cream, green beans, black pepper, and crushed bouillon cubes.

Add caramelized onions to soup mixture and stir. Add the ground chicken and stir.  Layer into the baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from over and top with cheese. Next, evenly layer the quartered biscuits on the casserole. Return the casserole to the over and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until biscuits are cooked and begin to brown.

Remove from oven and serve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 1/23 - 1/29

The weekend needs to be longer folks. 

This weekend was a lot of fun, inspirational, and ended with a disappointing Packer loss. 

Friday we relaxed at home and got take-out. Saturday I took a Pure Barre class, headed to Costco to use my new membership (finally), and headed to my friend Kayla's for children and adult play-dates. We made tacos and chatted while the kids ran around and played.  Prior to the play-date, Kellen and I spent a large part of the morning watching coverage of the Women's March from all over the world. I was not able to join the March, but my Mom went and we are so proud of her. Kellen had many questions and I was happy that he was so engaged with what he was watching. I am so happy to see so many women come together. Issues like equal pay, reproductive rights, education access, and family leave are big issues for me. I have been a member of AAUW since I graduated from college. I believe is activism and staying informed. I have already written to my 3 federal representatives on the imortance of the March and about the confirmation hearings- specifically the Secretary of Education and EPA.  Click here to find your representatives!

Om Sunday I did another Pure Barre class and then headed to the store for some grocery shopping before going to my parents house for the game. The game was horrible from start to finish, but overall the Packers had a great season and we are already looking forward to next season. I have to say that I am pretty sick of seeing the Patriots in the Superbowl......again. 

This week is pretty low key. I am doing a few Pure Barre classes and participating in a State-wide Point count to bring supplies to our homeless county residents who are not in a shelter. This weekend we actually have no plans! I am planning to see Hidden Figures on of the nights and get a bunch of laundry done! Have a great week everyone!

Monday: French Onion Chicken Casserole and Peas
Tuesday:  Chicken Tamale Casserole, Rice and Green Beans
Wednesday: Subs
Thursday: Chili
Friday: Out
Saturday: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Tacos and Rice
Sunday:  Beef Stew Meatballs and Rolls

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Smoked Turkey Sausage, White Bean and Pesto Soup #SoupSwappers

The weekend is here along with a new group I am posting with: Soup Saturday Swappers. The group selects a theme and posts our recipe on the assigned date. I love soup so this was immediately something I wanted to try out! The theme for this month is: Healthy Soups. A perfect theme for the new year when everyone is being a little more health conscious. 

I was originally thinking of doing a light version of a cream based soup, but I opted for something a little different. We love pesto and I know it would be perfect along side a hearty white bean soup with a little turkey sausage and a sprinkle of feta cheese.  I know that sausage is not traditionally healthy, but I used a turkey variety to lighten things up. I also opted for a sprinkle of feta, but you could easily leave this off if you wanted to reduce calories a touch more. 

My family loved this and it was the perfect meal on one of our particularly ice cold nights. 

I love that this soup eats like a meal. Sometimes I struggle with the light veggie based soups because I find myself hungry shortly after eating them! That certainly is not a problem with this soup- crammed full of beans and turkey sausage in a flavorful pesto broth. 

This weekend Ron is off to play cards and the boys and I are having a get together with my friend Kayla and a taco bar! We are also really looking forward to the Packer game on Sunday! Green Bay started rallies and other types of events yesterday- Go Pack Go! 

Stick around for next month when we make get inspired by international recipes!


Ingredients

1 lb Smoke Turkey Sausage, halved and sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (15.8 oz) cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1/3 cup basil pesto 
4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
Crumbles Feta Cheese, optional


Instructions

In a medium soup pot, cook sausage and onion with olive oil over medium heat till onion becomes tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add beans, pesto, and chicken broth. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Serve in bowls with a bit of feta on top if desired. 

Serves 4. 



Friday, January 20, 2017

One-Pot Cheesy Taco Barley Skillet #CIC

I have no participated in the Crazy Ingredient Challenge in what feels like forever! I missed it!

Theme of barley and salsa has my gears turning and I was excited to put together a dish to share.  Each month blogger participants vote to select two ingredients. Sometimes the selections are pretty tame and sometimes things get a bit crazy. Click the link to view past challenges!

This recipe is one of my favorites for a weeknight: one-pot. We love tacos in our house and I opted to make one of our favorites into a tasty one-pot using barley over a pasta or rice. I also used lean ground beef and black beans to create a perfect weeknight meal. Ron, Kellen, and I all loved this meal and it was so tasty for lunch leftovers the following day. We opted to top ours with a little sour cream (not pictured), sliced olives, and chopped tomatoes. 

Last night I co-hosted a fundraiser for my friend Amanda and it was so much fun. She raised some money and we all got to meet new people! Tonight we are home relaxing and unwinding from the week and gearing up for a Packer win on Sunday!

Happy Friday folks- check out the blog hop below for more salsa and barley creations!


Ingredients

1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 packet Taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinseed 
1 small can diced green chilies
1 1/2 cups medium salsa (I used a thicker store bought variety) 
2 1/2 cups beef broth 
3/4 cup uncooked medium barley 
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Black olives
Chopped tomatoes


Instructions

Brown beef and onion until the beef is no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning and stir to coat. Add beans, chilies, salsa, broth, and barley. Simmer 30-40 min or until barley is tender; stirring every so often to prevent burning. Keep a little extra broth or water on hand in case you need to add extra. Season with salt if desired.

Top with cheese and allow it to melt. Top with desired taco toppings (example: sour cream, olives, and tomatoes).





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Slowcooker Cheesy Potato and Smoked Sausage Soup #FantasticalFoodFight

Welcome to a new challenge I am participating in starting this month- Fantastical Food Fight!

Since the Secret Recipe Club ended I have been looking for a new challenge now that I am back in the kitchen more. This challenge is similar to the Crazy Cooking Challenge hosted by Tina of Crazy Cooking Mom back in 2012.  This challenge is hosted and organized by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes  and I am excited to be part of it. I missed the opening month of December with a shortbread theme, but was excited by this month's theme: Slow Cooker Soups. 

You all know I love a good slow cooker meal and was excited to put a family friendly recipe together. I have been craving a good potato soup for awhile now and this was the perfect opportunity. This recipe is really easy and my family loved it. I kept is simple with prep and cooking. I opted to thicken mine slightly at the end, but you could skip this or make it thicker if you like a more chowder like soup. I put some notes in the instruction section if you are wanting to adjust a bit. 

This soup was perfect for the icy weather we have had this week and heats up perfectly for lunches the following day. I found the 6 hours was a good cooking time for this soup. I think you could go to 8, but I would worry you might have a little scalding of the soup. 

Today I am back at work after an impromptu  ice day with Rowan after his daycare was flooding-yikes! It's that lovely January weather.....

Enjoy the other slow cooker soups in the blog hop below- I can't wait to try some of these!


Ingredients

32 oz frozen cubes potatoes
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 smoked sausage,  halved and sliced (I use smoked turkey sausage)
1 cup milk
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
3 Tbl flour
Salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

In a slow cooker, mix together potatoes, soup, onion, and cheese. Add the sausage and stir in the milk and broth.

Cooke 6 hours on low.  Whisk together water and flour till smooth and pour into the soup. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes to allow the soup to thicken slightly. 

Note: You may add additional flour and water to make a larger amount of the slurry if you prefer a thick soup. This amount will be slightly thick, but still closer to a soup consistency than a chowder. 

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