Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 4/24 - 4/29

What is on our table this week?  Lots of yummy things. Many of the yummy things spilled over to this week because our entire house, minus Kellen and the cats, had a stomach bug. Now that the grossness has left we can return to meal normalcy. 

This weekend the weather was beautiful and we went to the park to play and headed to the county wildlife sanctuary for an Earth Day event. Kellen and Rowan both loved the outdoor time and watching all of the animals. We also grabbed dinner with my parents at a local broasted chicken restaurant on Sunday. The icing on the cake was beating Ron at Trivial Pursuit. 

This week work is busy with presentations and training, but we have a pretty easy week at home. I am doing a few Pure Barre classes, a volleyball game and a dinner with a few friends on Saturday night. I am also hoping to get the kids outside to play and hoping to start doing a little yard clearing before things get out of hand and it looks like a dump (aka my outdoor space all last year....I blame the baby). 

Have a wonderful week everyone- I will be back tomorrow with a delicious treat to share!


Monday: Chicken Enchiladas, Rice and Beans
Tuesday:  Italian Olive Pork Tenderloin, Rice and Green Beans
Wednesday: Subs
Thursday:  Creamy Taco Mac and Salad
Friday: Grilled Pesto Burgers Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper Garlic Mayo and Salad
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Spicy Beef Chili

Friday, April 21, 2017

One Pot Pesto Feta Pasta with Asparagus

TGIF!

I am really tired today.... I went to see Tesla, Poison and Def Leppard on Wednesday night and I am still recovering from being up till midnight and getting up at my normal 5:00 AM alarm. Now that I am not 22 anymore apparently I can't hang. Sigh. Either way the concert was awesome and I got to drink beer. Double win. 

I love asparagus and when the season starts we eat it like crazy. It obviously has but started popping up in Wisconsin, but it is more readily available making the grocery store prices super cheap. I decided I wanted to make a one-pot pasta with asparagus and my favorite combo: feta and pesto. I threw in a little tomato and bacon because why not? This recipe take about 30 minutes to make which makes it weeknight friendly and those, as you know, are my very favorite recipes of all.  The great thing about this recipe is you can add different mix-ins if your family likes something additional like mushrooms or spinach. My family loved this pasta and, to my surprise, Kellen declared it was the best ever. At 4 years old Kellen is a good eater, but like to have his picky days. However, he seems to have developed a love for all things pesto.....

Tonight we are planning to go out for fish and then a relaxing night at home. I have my fingers crossed for an early bedtime so Ron and I can watch a movie. I think we might watch something new.... but perhaps will re-watch Patriot Games with Harrison Ford and Sean Bean (if you haven't see this before it is great as is Clear and Present Danger).  Speaking of movies, I am so excited for the new Alien movie. So. Excited. I love that franchise and sci-fi.....I have already informed Ron that he is taking me on opening day- my Dad will come too.

Have a happy Friday friends and a great weekend!  


Ingredients

1/2 small onion, diced 
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb dry shaped pasta (a "thicker"  shape like gemelli or radiatori) 
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 3/4 cup milk (I use whole)
2/3 cup pesto 
1/2 tsp black pepper 
3 oz feta cheese (1/2 a regular container), reserve remainder for topping 
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed and chopped 
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
8 pieces of bacon cooked crisp and chopped 
Tomatoes chopped, garnish 


Instructions

In a pot, saute onion in olive oil till tender.  Add pasta, broth, milk, pesto, pepper, and feta. Simmer until pasta is tender and sauce reduced. Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese, asparagus (this will work best with a thin to medium stalk) and 3/4 of the chopped bacon (reserve the rest for topping). Allow asparagus to soften in the warm pasta for 2-3 minutes. 

Portion the pasta and top with feta, bacon and chopped tomatoes. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sour Cream and Chive Dip

I love the transition of winter to spring. I love getting excited that it is going to be 60 degrees outside and everyone rushes outside to finally get some fresh air after the colder Wisconsin months. I am a person who loves the 4 seasons and I think it is the transitions that make it, to me, the best. 

This dip is super versatile and can be served with wedges (pictured), veggies, chips or even on a sandwich. I personally love it with roasted potato wedges, but any dip delivery system will do.  This recipe comes together so fast and only needs to chill for about 30 minutes before serving. Weeknight or party perfect in my opinion! Kellen loved this dip and his favorite thing to dip is celery and pretzels sticks. 

Tonight is an exciting night! Ron and I are going with out friend Amanda to see Poison! Amanda and I are big Poison fans, and are soooooooo excited. We don't get out much these days and finally getting to a concert sounds like fun to this girl! 

The remainder of the week will include a barre class and a fish fry! We are also planning to get to the County wildlife sanctuary for their Earth Day celebration. 

Happy hump day friends. 


Ingredients

1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 Tbl fresh diced chives
Salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

Mix all ingredients and cover. Place in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Serve with potato wedges, veggies or chips (also great as a wrap or sandwich spread). 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan 4/16 - 4/22

Happy Monday friends!

I was off with Kellen today and it was so nice to spend the day with my boy. Working outside the home makes those days few and far between. 

We had a lovely Easter and celebrated with both sides of the family. We ate lots of ham and chocolate, and the kids enjoyed playing outside in the warm weather! The day ended with Kellen, my mom and I finally getting to see Beauty and the Beast! I wondered if it would hold Kellen's attention considering it was over 2 hours long, but he was enthralled. He has loved the beast since he saw the animated version, and loved him in this as well. 

This week I am taking a few barre classes and on Wednesday I am going to see Poison with my friends Amanda-so excited! Amanda and I have had a bit of a Bret Michaels obsession for ....well....years.....as you can imagine this is an exciting evening for us....Ron is coming with too to make sure we don't try and run off. Haha. 

Have a great week everyone!


Monday: Subs
Tuesday:  Chicken Enchiladas, Rice and Beans
Wednesday: Pizza and Poison Concert!
Thursday: Italian Olive Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Friday: Out for Fish
Saturday: Creamy Taco Mac and Salad
Sunday: Out for Chicken

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Slowcooker Shredded Beef and Pepperochini Sandwiches

Hello friends!  Happy Friday eve....

I have been so bad about blogging these days! Life has just been busy, but I have so many yummy things to share with you!

So what is new in my world?

1) I just returned from a trip from Disney with my family! I want to devote a post to out Disney experience, but if you follow me on Instagram (@ashleylecker) you probably saw all my fun adventures with my family. 

2) Rowan is 1! His birthday was a few days before Disney and I had a small family party, but am planning a little larger celebration for my boy when it gets a little warmer. 

3) We are starting to look into putting our house on the market. I love our house, but we are slowly getting too big for our space. 

4) I had a few recipes place 1st in Taste of Home recipe contests for my Grilled Ribeye with Blue Cheese Mustard Sauce and Baked Pumpkin Goat Cheese Alfredo with Bacon.  Yay!

5) I still love Pure Barre....it is amazing. 

On to the food! This is a recipe that has a few different variation floating around, but this is my favorite way to eat this type of sandwich. I love slow cooking roasts for sandwiches because the meat is so tender and the peppers give a tang and slight bite to the sandwich.  I like to serve these on bolillo rolls- if you have not tried these hop to it! The roll is the perfect sandwich size and the bread is chewy and holds up to a saucy sandwich like this one.  I like a little provolone cheese on top, but a pepper jack would be delicious as well. 

This week I am getting ready to celebrate Easter with the family. I am doing the cooking at my parents and I am always excited to cook for them. I am planning: ham, scalloped potatoes, roasted asparagus, deviled eggs, rolls and a cheesecake!  We are also going to Ron's family's house and I know his mom will prepare a delicious ham and I am bringing a cheesecake as well. 

Have a great rest of the week!



Ingredients

3 lb beef roast (I use a chuck roast)
1 envelope Italian dressing seasoning
1 envelope au jus mix
1 jar (about 1 - 1 1/2 cups worth) sliced pepperochini peppers
1 tsp black pepper
Sandwich rolls (I like to use bolillio rolls
Sliced provolone cheese


Instructions

Place beef roast in the slowcooker and season with black pepper.  In a medium bowl, mix together italian packet, au jus, and peppers. Pour over beef roast.

Cook on low 8-9 hours. Shred roast and portion meat on the bolillo rolls. Top with cheese and enjoy! 

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