Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 9/30 - 10/6

I feel like I have been a total slow poke getting my recipes up this month. It has felt a little crazy and we have made a lot of repeats at Ron's request so I have not had as much to blog as usual. This past weekend we celebrated Ron's cousin's wedding and it was such a blast! I love weddings! She looked absolutely lovely and they topped of the celebration with a Duck Dynasty themed grand march. 

This weekend and next weekend we have settled down our calendar. We were originally going to go to Chicago, but things have been so busy I think we are putting it on hold for now.  We will be making our way down there to celebrate my birthday in February and see Alton Brown (yay!).  

Hope everyone has a great week!

Monday:  Crockpot Sausage Peppers and Onions, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Tuesday: Hearty Vegetarian Vegetable Stew and My Swap Recipe
Wednesday: Out for Volleyball
Thursday: Corn Potato and Sausage Chowder
Friday: Cheesy Broccoli Pumpkin and Sausage Stew and Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Saturday: Out for Tacos for Dinner
Sunday: Beef Chili

Treats: Pumpkin Rolls Bars


Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 9/23 - 9/29

Happy Monday!

This weekend was really fun! We had two birthday parties for two separate nephews this weekend.  Both had great little parties and got great gifts. Ron's got one of our nephew's a Transformer voice changing mask. This is proving to be a very successful buy for both kids and adults! 

Weeks have picked up a bit since Ron started school and this week Ron's cousin is getting married! I am really excited and can't wait for drinks and dancing! This week also marks the season premier of Law and Order: SVU... I am so excited..... If you haven't seen the season finale...ugh I can't even talk about it! 

So excited (please note that similar excitement will be given to Walking Dead). 

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Pan Seared Salmon and Scallops with Sriracha Cream Sauce, Wild Rice and Broccoli
Tuesday: Lighter Lasagna Soup
Wednesday: Beef Chili
Thursday:  Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chili and Rice
Friday: Rehearsal Dinner for Ron's Cousin's Wedding
Saturday: Stacy and Scott's Wedding!
Sunday: Pizza or Subs



Friday, September 20, 2013

Grilled Coconut Curry Pork Chops

CIC header
Two challenges in one day.....whew! 

This is my first time participating in the Crazy Ingredient Challenge hosted by Jutta of Hungry Little Girl.  I previously participated in a Surprise Recipe Swap Challenge, but it has been re-born into an ingredient challenge. The theme for this month was tomato and coconut. My mind immediately went to curry. I recently made a crockpot chicken curry and wanted to try something on the grill.  The marinade came together very easily and smelled amazing. I served these with wild rice and fresh pea pods. Ron and I both loved this meal and thought the flavors were perfect together. 

If you want to join the fun of the Crazy Ingredient Challenge check out the button below.


Ingredients

4 Pork Chops
1 cup tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can coconut milk
2 inch chunk fresh ginger, minced
3 T olive oil
2 Tbl agave nectar (or honey)
Juice of 2 limes
2 1/2 Tbl curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper


Instructions

Mix all ingredients into a medium bowl. Place pork chops into a large ziplock bag and pour marinade over the chops. Shake to coat and allow it to marinade in the fridge for at least 8 hours.  

Remove meat from container or bag and discard the marinade. Grill meat to desired doneness. My pork chops were medium thickness and were grilled 3-4 minutes per side (this can be adjusted depending on the thickness of the chop).


HunngryLittleGirl

Recipe Swap: Crab Cake Sandwich

Time for a Recipe Swap!


The theme for this month is blogger's choice and I received Katie's blog So Tasty, So Yummy.  Katie has a ton of delicious crab recipe on her blog. We do not cook with a lot of crab at home because it is pretty expensive, but the seafood truck was in town a few weeks ago and they were selling fresh crab meat. I bought some hoping to find a recipe on Katie's blog. I came across her recipe for crabcake sandwiches and  my mouth was watering.  I also opted to use her crabcake sauce on the sandwich over the caper sauce listed in the recipe.  These were such a wonderful treat for Ron and I. Normally, we only get crab when we go out and it was so nice to have it at home. Ron and I both loved the crabcakes and the sauce was delicious.  We topped ours with fresh tomatoes from the garden and used a whole wheat bun. 

Thank you Katie so a lovely recipe! It was absolutely delicious! 

Bigs thanks also go tot Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking  for organizing these swaps! 


Ingredients

for the crabcakes:
1 egg
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced parsley
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl Old Bay
½ pound crabmeat
½ cup crushed saltines
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 sandwich buns
1 large tomato, sliced

Mix together the egg, mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice and Old Bay. Add crab and crackers and stir gently to combine. Form into four patties and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Fry the crabcakes, about a minute or two per side until golden brown. 

Serve on sandwich buns with sliced tomato and crabcake sauce

for the crabcake sauce: 
3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

few pinches cayenne pepper, to taste

pinch sugar
pinch salt

lemon zest, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Brat and Beer Mac and Cheese

Time for an Improv Cooking Challenge!

Improv has been a challenge I have participated in for over a year and absolutely love. I love the different themes and getting brainstorm different recipes. The theme for this month is pasta and cheese. Considering these are two of my favorites things I was, needless to say, thrilled to come up with a new recipe. 

It is football season across the country and in Wisconsin that means a few things: beer and brats. Grilling brats on game day is a staple for us Wisconsin folk......as is drinking beer.  When I was thinking about what to make for this challenge my mind kept wandering to a beer and brat mac and cheese. I used my basic recipe, but added in a bit of beer to the cheese sauce. I used Miller Lite for the beer in my recipe and I would recommend sticking to a lighter beer over a dark beer. 

The beer flavor was absolutely perfect and paired with the cheese it tasted delicious with the grilled brats. This would be a great way to use up any leftover brats from game day, or to celebrate while watching at home. 

If you want to join the Improv Challenge visit Kristen of Frugal Antic of A Harried Homemaker for details! 


Ingredients

4 Bratwurst Links
1 lb pasta of choice (I used elbows)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbl olive oil 
2 Tbl salted butter
4 1/2 Tbl flour
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup lite beer (I used Miller Lite)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded  Monterrey jack
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Instructions

Grill or pan fry brats until completely cooked. Cover and set aside.  

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  While pasta cooks, heat oil and butter in a medium pot or a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute till soft.  Stir in flour. Gradually whisk in the milk and allow the sauce to bubble for about 4-5 minutes stirring often. 

The pasta should be done at this time. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.  

Whisk the beer into the sauce and allow it to bubble for and additional 4-5 minutes stirring often. 

Fold in the cheese and stir till completely melted.  Gently stir in the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. 

Top with sliced bratwurst and serve. 





Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 9/16- 9/22

Happy Tuesday! 

I am a little behind this week.....

This weekend was busy, but fun! We brought Kellen to the zoo and he was able to see the animals and be with his cousins.  On Sunday, Ron and I went with our family and friends to the Packer game. It was so much fun and I can't wait to go again! I love tailgating! 

This week is pretty busy with more family celebrations, but I am looking forward to a dinner this evening with a newly engaged friend. 

Have a great week! 


Monday:  Shredded Beef Tacos with Jalapeno Beer Cheese Sauce, Rice and Beans
Tuesday:  Out for Sushi to Celebrate my Friend Dianna's Engagement
Wednesday: Volleyball Grill Out at Our Place- Brats and Burgers
Thursday: Beef Chili
Friday:  Greek Lasagna Skillet and Salad
Saturday: My nephew's 4th Birthday Party and Taste of Thai in the evening
Sunday: My Nephew's 5th Birthday Party and Packer Game! In the evening I am making Crockpot Italian Chicken

Sunday, September 15, 2013

SRC: Crockpot Coconut Curry Chicken

It is time for September Secret Recipe Club!

Secret Recipe Club

This month I received the blog The Tasty Cheapskate.  I had a hard time choosing because there were tons of great recipes that were right up our ally.  I came across her recipe for Crockpot Curry Chicken and knew it was a perfect weeknight meal for Ron and I.  The chicken came out great and was very flavorful. I also loved the addition of the peas to the meal.  Besides this yummy curry, there are a few other delicious sounding recips on The Tasty Cheapskate (Dutch Almond Bars- yum!).  Thank you for a delicious recipe! Check out the linky below of other great SRC posts. 


Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
 1 medium onion, sliced
2/3 cup coconut milk 
1/2 cup chicken stock
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
2 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne 
1 cup frozen peas 
 Chopped cilantro for garnish


Instructions

Place chicken into the crockpot and top with onion.  Mix coconut milk, chicken stock, tomato sauce, curry powder, garlic, salt and cayenne. Pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours. Break chicken into pieces and add peas. Allow peas to thaw. Serve over rice and top with cilantro. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crockpot Korean Beef Tacos

 I originally saw this recipe Josie's blog Pink Parsley.  Josie is on a cooking board with me and everyday members post blog updates. When she posted this recipe I knew I needed to give it a try. Ron and I love tacos and the flavors sounded fantastic.  I love that it is a crockpot recipe because it is prefect for our bust nights and usually makes a lot so there are leftovers for lunches. I used short ribs for the tacos and they were fantastic, but next time I may use a beef roast because it is a little more cost effective and I am sure it will work just fine. The tacos topping recommendation is a light and refreshing cucumber slaw, chopped cilantro and a bit of sriracha. The slaw is easy to put together and is wonderful with the rich meat. We also added sliced radishes and jalapenos from our garden for a little more crunch and heat.  Ron and I both loved the flavors of the tacos! Ron made his into sandwiches the following day for lunch and reported that it was just as yummy as the taco shells. 

Thank you Josie for a delicious meal! 


Ingredients

6 1/2 pounds short ribs (or other ribs)
1 1/2 cups low sodium soy sauce
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
10 cloves garlic
2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Cucumber Slaw
1 hot house cucumber
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pinches of salt
crushed red pepper flakes to taste

To serve:
6-inch flour tortillas
fresh cilantro
extra Sriracha
Sliced radishes
Sliced jalapenos


Instructions

In the bowl of a small food processor, pulse the garlic and ginger until finely chopped (you can do this with a knife or on a microplane as well, but it was really fast and easy in a mini food processor).

Add the ribs to the crock pot.  In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the cooking liquid.  Pour over the ribs. 

Set the crock pot to low and cook about 8 hours. When ready to serve, remove the bones from the ribs, and shred into bite-sized pieces.

Skim the fat off the top of the liquid and add to a small saucepan.  Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened and reduced.  Pour over the shredded meat and serve.

For the cucumber slaw, slice the cucumber as thinly as possible, using a mandoline if you have one.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Toss the cucumbers in the mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, warm the tortillas and fill with the shredded meat, and top with cucumbers, cilantro, radishes, jalapenos and Sriracha to taste.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 9/9 - 9/15

Happy Monday! 

Not so happy "day after the Packers loose"...snarl.....

Yesterday, we had the Belly to Baby Expo and Kellen was in the cloth diaper fashion show.  Ron picked his diaper and we had a great time!  Kellen and I also went to brunch with friends before the expo. My friend Katie is expecting her second child and it was so fun to chat about all things baby. 

This weekend we are heading to the Packer game! Wooooohooooooo! We are going with my cousins, sister in-law, brother in-law and our newly engaged friends. It is going to be so much fun! We went to the season opener last year and it was a blast, but I am excited not to be pregnant for the game this year. 

Hope everyone has an great week! 

Monday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Beer and Bacon Carbonara and Salad
Wednesday: Out for Volleyball
Thursday: Coconut Curry Pork Chops, Roasted Potatoes and Salad
Friday: Dinner with a Friend
Saturday: Grill Out with Family
Sunday: Packer Game!  WooooHooooo!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan 9/2 - 9/8

Happy Monday! 

We had a great Labor Day weekend. Kellen and I went to Door County on Friday night because Ron was in Milwaukee visiting a friend.  The weather was great and we got to visit with our cousins from Arkansas and eat delicious grilled salmon.  Kellen also got to play in the sand on the beach. He loved it until he got a bunch in his mouth- poor baby! Saturday was spent relaxing and the evening was spent in the backyard around the fire pit. On Sunday we had a wedding and Kellen loved music and dancing (and all the attention!).  On Monday, we went to visit friends of our that are adopting and were matched with a baby. We brought them some clothes and baby things. We are eagerly waiting the arrival of their new addition! 

This week Kellen moved to the "big boy" room at daycare! **Sniff** 
 My nephew also started 4K today **Sniff**

This is also the start of the Packer season!!! WooooHoooo! We are going to the game on the 15th with family and I can't wait!  This weekend is also the Belly to Baby Expo. I am helping with the cloth diaper show and Kellen is going to be in the show...I just have to decide what diaper he will wear! My Doula, Emily, organizes this bi-annual event and I love that it gives parents different resources into different birth and care options for their children. 

Here is what is on tap:


Monday: Crabcakes, Potato Wedges and Broccoli Slaw
Tuesday: Crockpot Korean Beef Tacos, Rice and Broccoli Slaw
Wednesday: Volleyball
Thursday: Coconut Curry Pork Chops, Hashbrowns and Salad
Friday: Beer and Brat Mac and Cheese and Salad
Saturday: Out to Dinner
Sunday: Packer Game! Menu is TBA.....