Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 10/5 - 10/11

Tuesday greetings! 

I got a little behind this weekend with a trip to Door County and an afternoon Packer game/victory!

This weekend was a blast and we has a lot of fun activities on our agenda. On Friday, we met my Dad, Sister and Nephew for dinner at one of our favorite places (I worked there for 10 years before I had Kellen),  Nicky's. I love their muffaletta and gumbo and it did not disappoint! 

On Saturday, we were up and ready to go to Door County with my friend Kayla, her kids and our friend Emily's daughter. We had a big crew of kiddos (3 two year olds!)! The kids were awesome and we had an amazing day. Our first stop was The Farm and we had a blast feeding goats and exploring. I love The Farm in the summer, but my favorite time is the fall because it is surrounded by tall trees and they are just starting to turn a beautiful orange color. Here are a few shots from the morning:

After The Farm, we stopped at Culver's for burgers and had a funny milk spilling incident. The kids were getting so tired from all the running and now full bellies. One of the kids fell asleep at the table and their head lightly hit the table and it bounced slightly. The bounce startled Kellen and he dropped his milk on the bench. The kid on the other side of him dove under the table for "cover". The looks I got from other people around us were priceless. It was hysterical. 

The kids slowly passed out in the car and we headed north in search of our favorite apple cider doughnuts.....so delicious.

After we returned home, we relaxed for the rest of the evening. I had thrown a roast in the crockpot and we ate that for dinner after Kellen went to bed. 

On Sunday, Kellen and I went grocery shopping. See how thrilled he is.....he just liked to go because the bakery counter has cookies for little kids.... I can always count on him to want to come with me. 

After we returned, I got working on my chili for the Packer game and Kellen took a short nap. Before heading to my parents, I stopped at my friend Emily's doula training to participate in a mock interview for her doulas. It was a lot of fun! 

The Packer game was great and the we loved the win! The chili was also great, but what was the best was my Mom returning safe from her road trip with friends to Montana to go horseback riding. Kellen was so excited to see her- he sprinted to the car to be first to greet her. 

This week we do not have a lot planned besides the normal swim and volleyball (last week of the season- sniff). However, this weekend I am planning to head to Washington Island for the Fall Harvest Fest! 

Have a great week everyone!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Subs
Tuesday: Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Green Peppers
Wednesday: Lasagna Soup and Garlic Bread
Thursday: Potato, Green Bean and Bacon Soup
Friday: Ham and Cheese "Hot Pockets" & Black and Orange Pasta
Saturday: Washington Island for Harvest Fest
Sunday: Breakfast: Potato Frittata with Feta and Scallions Dinner: Slow Cooker Beef & Ale Stew and Crusty Bread

Treats: White Chocolate Mousse 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

IKEA Swedish Meatballs

I previously made an oven-baked Swedish meatball recipe and talked a little about Grandma's Swedish traditions during the holidays. My Grandma passed away about 10 years ago, and we don't keep with the traditional Swedish meal of Swedish meatballs, rutamuse and lutefisk.  However, I am still a biiiggg fan of Swedish meatballs and always enjoying trying different recipes. My cousin and I usually cook the Christmas meal and maybe one year we need to try a throwback to a few of my Grandma's offerings. 

Everyone always raves about IKEA's meatballs and I have never had a chance to try them. The closest IKEA is 3 hours away and not a regular stop for me. I knew there must be a recipe online and I found a great recipe form a blogger using the IKEA cookbook and an adapted recipe with US measurements and adjustments as well. The meatballs are very easy to make and I was surprised to find potatoes as some of the ingredients!

How did the meatballs stack up to Grandma's holiday meatballs? They were really delicious! The gravy was a little lighter than my Grandma's, but it was very tasty with the meatballs. I loved the texture of the meatballs and they reminded me a lot of my Grandma.  Traditionally, the meatballs are served with boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam, but I had some egg noodles to use and opted to serve them over pasta.

Last night we played a really fun volleyball game and today my friend Emily is stopping after work for dinner and a little SVU watching!  It is much cooler in my area this week and today's high is 58 degrees- fall is here! I am really looking forward to this weekend and a trip to Door County. I am thinking that a little apple picking will need to be added to the agenda! The following weekend I am heading to Washington Island to have my apples pressed!


1⁄2 lb ground beef
1⁄2 lb ground pork
1 egg
1⁄2 cup whole milk
1⁄2 cup water
1 small onion, grated
1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs 
2 small cold boiled yukon gold potatoes, grated
2 Tbl butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 dash allspice 


For Cream Sauce:
1 Tbl flour
1 Tbl butter
1⁄2 cup half-and-half
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1⁄4 teaspoon soy sauce
salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste


For Meatballs:

Fry the onion till golden in a tablespoon or 2 of  butter.

Mix all the ingredients until evenly mixed

Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch round balls and roll in flour.

Fry them slowly in plenty of butter. When they are all cooked, cover and keep warm while you prepare cream sauce.

Cream Sauce:

Melt butter in pan and add flour, whisk till golden brown.

Add beef stock, soy sauce and cream until desired thickness.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve sauce over the meatballs with boiled potatoes or pasta.

Yields about 22-24 meatballs.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 9/28 - 10/4

Happy Monday everyone!

The weekend went way too fast again.... Sigh... 

On Friday, my friend Emily came over for spaghetti and Law and Order. She made delicious peanut butter truffles with dark chocolate- so good. Later, another friend stopped over for a little henna- so fun! 

On Saturday, Kellen and I did a little shopping in the morning and around noon I headed over to help my sister for my nephew's birthday party with his school friends. The party was at one of those bouncy house places and the kids thought it was so much fun. The birthday boy had a blast and got lots of fun gits. After the party, I headed home and waited for Kellen to wake so Ron and I could bring him to a final evening at Bay Beach before it closes for the season (the ferris wheel is always the first request!) . 

After Bay Beach, we headed home for sub sandwiches and some relaxation. Kellen went to bed, and Ron and I relaxed with a few old episodes of The Closer (loved that show!). 

On Sunday, Ron had to work for a few hours. Kellen and I grabbed breakfast with my sister and nephew. After breafast we came home and played outside for a bit and I worked on a few blog recipes. Later, we met my friend Amanda for lunch and headed to the Halloween store to look at costumes.  Kellen thought it was a lot of fun, but didn't like the scary light displays!  We headed home for naps and I did some laundry and got started on dinner. Ron watched a little football and Kellen played with his trains. After dinner, Kellen went to bed and Ron and I enjoyed watching the eclipse and blood moon- so cool!

This week is not as crazy as last week. Tonight, Kellen has swim and we are heading home to order pizza and watch the game with my dad and sister. I am looking forward to this weekend because we are taking a trip to Door County!

Have and great week!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Pizza for Packer Game
Tuesday: Slowcooker Saucy Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Wednesday: Out for Dinner
Thursday: Black and Orange Pasta (Black Bean Rotini and Creamy Roasted Orange Bell Pepper Sauce) and Meatballs
Friday: Darn Good Roast, Cheesy Skillet Potato Casserole and Green Beans
Saturday: Door County for the Day
Sunday: Spicy Beef Chili for Packer Game

Treats: Peanut Butter Banana Bread & Pumpkin Banana Bread

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Banana Pudding Pie #BookClubCookBookCC

It is month 3 of my book club and it is so much fun! 

A little background if you don't remember my kick off post in July, a group bloggers organized by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla (click the link if you want to join the fun!) draw inspiration from a book and recipes published in The Book Club Cookbook. Each month, a blogger selected a book and The Book Club Cookbook offers several suggested recipes or the blogger can create a recipe inspired by the story.  At the end of the month the host or hostess posts a round-up and gives away a copy of the book. 

Here are a list of my fellow participating bloggers/hosts:

Cheese Curd In Paradise               
Life on Food       
The Pajama Chef              
The Spiffy Cookie             
Things I Make (for Dinner)           
Tortillas and Honey         

This month our hostess is Renee, author of Tortillas and Honey, selected Ernest J. Gaines' book, A Lesson Before Dying.  This book takes place in Louisiana and centers around a man named Jefferson. Jefferson is on death row and is deeply impacted by how he was treated during his trail, and how he was called a "hog". Jefferson has a hard time seeing worth in himself and does not think himself worthy of the food brought to him by his grandmother. Jefferson's grandmother wants him to believe that he is a man and hopes that it will allow him to die with dignity. Eventually, Jefferson accept the offerings and begins to realize that he is a a person who has worth despite what happened to him. 

Some of the different dishes offered to Jefferson were, gumbo, fried chicken and pralines. I will be the first to admit that I am not very familiar with preparing traditional southern dishes. However, I am on a cooking board with a few southern ladies and a frequently mentioned dessert when the topic comes to southern cuisine is banana pudding. I love bananas and found a recipe for banana pudding pie and knew it was a perfect submission to my book club. 

This pie is really easy to make and I put it together and baked in less than an hour (it does require a few hours to chill). I love a quick dessert recipe and loved the creamy banana filling with the fluffy meringue topping! Ron is not a banana fan, but Kellen and I loved this pie.  While I have never made a true banana pudding I felt pretty proud about this and making my own vanilla cream! 

Tune in next month to learn about our next book selection and to discover more delicious recipes from our blogging crew! 


1 (12-oz.) box vanilla wafers, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large bananas, sliced
1 recipe of Vanilla Cream Filling
4 egg whites (save the yolks for the filling)
1/2 cup sugar

for vanilla cream filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the crust, set aside 30 vanilla wafers; pulse remaining vanilla wafers in a food processor until finely crushed. Pour melted butter slowly into the food processor is it processes. Remove, and firmly press on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a 9-inch pie plate.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and cool 30 minutes.

Arrange banana slices evenly over bottom of crust. Prepare Vanilla Cream Filling (see below), and spread half of hot filling over bananas.Top with 20 vanilla wafers. Spread remaining hot filling over vanilla wafers. (Filling will be about 1/4 inch higher than top edge of crust.)

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves. Spread meringue evenly over hot filling, sealing the edges.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool 1 hour on a wire rack or until completely cool. Coarsely crush remaining 10 vanilla wafers, and sprinkle evenly over top of pie. Chill 4 hours.

for vanilla cream filling:
Whisk together sugar, flour, eggs, egg yolk and milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until it reaches the thickness of chilled pudding. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla. 

This month Renee at Tortillas and Honey, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book. Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from September 1st till September 30th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

*Disclosure: Renee received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp to use in this year-long project plus the opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

How are we so close to the end of September? It seems crazy to me because I feel like yesterday I was floating in a tube on Lake Michigan! Time flies when you are having fun I guess! 

This is a special week because both my nephews have a birthday this week! One had his party on Monday and turned 6 on Tuesday and the other turns 7 today and we are celebrating tonight! They are both such sweet boy and so good to their cousin Kellen.  Kellen is excited because he gets to eat cake twice this week. Priorities. 

This week has been crazy so far! Last night I played volleyball and it was a blast as usual. I really like the girls I play with and we played particularly well last night! 

Since Fall has arrived, I decided that it was a perfect time to make and share Sour Cream Noodle Bake from Pioneer Woman. I love casseroles in the Fall and Winter (well I really like them any time) and this is a perfect meal on a breezy night as the temperatures start to get lower. This recipe is so easy to make and requires minimal pantry ingredients. The leftovers are also great for lunch the next day. I served this will garlic bread and a big green salad, and my family gobbled it up. 

Hope everyone is enjoying their week!  Anyone catch Survivor or Law and Order last night?!?! I have it recorded and can't wait to watch it tonight and SVU on Friday! 


1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
Salt and black pepper
12 oz wide egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup grated sharp cheddar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown beef  in a large skillet. Drain grease and add tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer lightly while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add to noodles and green onions and gently stir. 

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until all cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 9/21 - 9/27

Happy Monday and Yay Packers!!! It's nice waking up on  a Monday morning after a great Packer victory!

This weekend was a lot of fun! On Friday, I met up with two of my girlfriends, Emily and Kayla, at Red for dinner. I had goat cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates for a starter and they were fantastic! For my main dish I had Jalapeno Chicken and it was just ok. The chicken was good, but the sauce was a little thick and there wasn't enough for all of the chicken, but that could just be me liking sauces a lot! My friend got a steak sandwich that looked delicious...next time I will try that. For dessert, we all got a slice of the flourless chocolate cake and it was so delicious. I could only eat half of mine and the other half was boxed up for Ron. I love hanging out with these ladies and can't wait till we can all sneak away again! 

On Saturday, Ron headed out to a golf outing for work and Kellen and I got ready to go to Mulberry Farms with our friends. I had never been before, but had heard great things!  It was a little pricey for both of us, but there were many things included in the amount like a hay ride, pony ride and pumpkins! Kellen absolutly loved it and it was so fun to be able to touch all the animals. We held a chicken, held baby ducklings, pet kittens, pets pigs and baby cows...and lots more. Kellen's two favorite things were the pony ride and the hay ride- so much fun! As we bumped along he said "mama, I like this!!".  Here are a few snap shots from out day:

In the evening, we relaxed and grilled brats. Ron and I watched a few recorded shows after Kellen fell asleep and I passed out in the chair right in the middle...go figure. 

On Sunday, we slept in (as much "sleeping in" as you do with a 2 year old). and grabbed breakfast at one of our local favorites- The Pancake Place. Kellen loves the pancakes, Ron loved the hash and I love the hashbrowns- win win for everyone.  The remainder of the day was spent cleans and getting ready for my family to come for the Packer game. I roasted a few chickens,  made potatoes and homemade green bean casserole, gravy and dinner rolls....so yummy! My sister brought yummy cookies for dessert! The cherry on top of this great weekend was the Packer win! I saw on Facebook that many of my friends got to go and enjoy the game! I can't wait till we go with my cousins in October!

This week is busy busy busy! We have two birthday parties, swim lessons, dinner date with some girlfriends, Law and Order date with Emily and volleyball! Very busy week, but all of those things are really fun which makes it something to look forward to! I am also going to get started on some of my fall baking! 

Monday: Swim and Nephew's Birthday Party in Appleton...Dinner on the Go!
Tuesday: Out to Dinner with Girlfriends
Wednesday: Spicy Beef Tacos
Thursday: Nephew's Birthday Party
Friday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread and Salad.
Saturday: Grilled Cheese and Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Sunday: Potato Frittata with Feta and Scallions for Breakfast & Ikea Swedish Meatballs, Egg Noodles and Peas for Dinner

Treats: Pumpkin Banana Bread

Friday, September 18, 2015

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

Oh my goodness- time has flow by these past few weeks and I have been trying to keep up with everything!

Kellen started swim class and I have been playing volleyball on Wednesday nights.  That with a few other commitments have made my plate a bit full but, do not fear, my weekly updates will be back on Monday and I have lots to share! 

It has started cooling down in Wisconsin, but we grill year round (the snow just makes it taste better!) and I had a taste for chicken teriyaki on the grill! This recipe is from Taste of Home and is really easy and the ony adjustment I made was adding a little pineapple juice. Easy recipes are a lifesaver for me on busy weekdays and it is an extra bonus if the leftover are yummy for the following day lunch for Ron and I. I added a few pineapple rings to the grill because I love grilled pineapple and it is perfect with teriyaki chicken. Kellen, Ron and I loved this chicken and it was perfect dish to keep summer alive a little longer! 

This weekend we are headed to Mulberry Farms to look for a pumpkins and play with animals. Ron is golfing for work, so Kellen and I have the day to ourselves. On Sunday, I have some cleaning and cooking to do because my family is coming over for the Packer game in the evening!  I am making a mini Thanksgiving with roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, homemade green bean casserole and roll. My sister is bringing dessert too. 

Have a great Friday everyone! I am heading to dinner with a few of my girlfriends tonight and am excited!


1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


Whisk together, soy sauce, oil, onions, honey, juice, garlic and ginger. Place chicken in a large resealable bag and pour in the marinate. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Drain and discard marinade. Heat grill to medium and grill 5-6 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 170°. Serving suggestion: rice, grilled veggies and grilled pineapple.