Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 10/12 - 10/18

Happy Monday!

We had a fun weekend and it involved lots of driving, but it was well worth it. 

On Friday, Ron was working second shift so Kellen and I joined my parents for dinner. After dinner I tried to stay awake to wait for Ron, but passed out before he got home and he found me sound asleep. 

On Saturday, we were up early for a trip to Washington Island in Door County to attend Fall Fest at the Farm Museum. I have been wanting to attend since last year when I learned they would be pressing cider on the spot. To get to Washington Island it is a drive to the top of Door County and a boat ride to the island. The island is lovely and we enjoyed the festival. We did not press our own cider since there were only two of us and we needed to keep an eye on Kellen. The process takes awhile because you need to cut up all your apples, press them and strain the cider. However, we did try the cider and it was amazing! We also went on a wagon ride in the woods and tasted a delicious caramel apple.  After the festival, we stopped at School House Beach. The beach is very unique because it is a rock beach of similar smooth white stones. There is even a heavy fine if you are caught removing stones!  After the beach, we headed home and arrived just in time to meet my parents and cousin for a fun dinner before heading home to hit the hay. 

On Sunday, Kellen and I stopped at the grocery store of quick shopping before we picked up my Mom for Kellen's first movie experience! Our local cinema for The Little Mermaid. Our cinema shows older Disney movies from time to time, and I was excited to take Kellen because he loved The Little Mermaid music. Kellen did great at the movie and loved the popcorn.... not sure which thing was the true favorite.  

After the movie, we picked up Ron and headed to my parents for the Packer game. The game was great and the Packers are 5-0! We are going to the game next weekend and I hope the streak continues!

This week is nice and easy. Swim is tonight and my in-laws are coming to watch. After swim we are heading to Culver's for dinner. This coming weekend we are going to a Halloween event at our local zoo (Zoo Boo) and Sunday is the Packer game!

Have a great week everyone!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Dinner at Culvers after swim
Tuesday: One Pan Ranch Pork Chops and Veggies
Wednesday: Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
Thursday: Crispy Baked BBQ Chicken Thighs, Mashed Potatoes and Corn
Friday: Spicy Beef Tacos
Saturday: Dinner with my Parents
Sunday: Going to the Packer Game- we will eat at the stadium

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Potato, Green Bean and Bacon Soup

Time for October's Secret Recipe Club

This month I received the blog An Affair From The Heart. I have followed Michaela's blog for awhile and was excited to try out one of her recipes. As a perused the recipes many of them jumped out at me such as: The Best Bloody Mary, Crack Bread and Double Decker Baked Tacos. However, I finally decided on Potato, Green Bean and Bacon Soup. The recipe is an original recreation of a family favorite. I like to pick recipes that are special to the individual because it normally involves trying something new and the recipes are usually delicious. 

This recipe did not disappoint my family. I loved that the soup is thickened from the mashed potatoes as well as the cream. The fresh green beans and bacon as a very tasty combo. My son and husband gobbled up this soup and Kellen even reached over and grabbed extra green beans from my bowl! The original recipe is for 8 servings, but I got about 6 servings from the portions and that worked perfectly for my family of 3. 

This soup is perfect for fall and keeping warm on a cool evening. I (and the rest of my family) can't wait to get this on my table again! Thank you Michaela for a delicious husband and toddler approved recipe! 


4 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces
1 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pint heavy cream
2 cups 2% milk
Salt & Pepper, to taste


 Cook the potatoes until tender. Drain water and slightly mash. Set aside.

Steam green beans until slightly tender. Set aside.

In a dutch oven, cook bacon pieces until crisp, remove bacon with a slotted spoon, drain fat and return to stove top.

Add onion to the pot and saute until soft. Add bacon back to the pot, add green beans, mashed potatoes, and cover with milk and cream.

Cook medium-low (avoid boiling) to allow soup to thicken. Season with salt & pepper. Serve immediately.

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 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.