Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 4/14 - 4/20

There is snow on the ground.....SNOW!  

Yesterday we were grilling steaks, and today it is blustery and snowy. Go away ol' man winter because you are not wanted. Rant over...unless there is another snow storm...I will rant again. 

This weekend was really fun and low key.  Ron and I bummed around on Saturday and enjoyed end end of True Detective. I heard rumors that season 2 might have Brad Pitt??  Sunday I have a wing date with some lovely girlfriends and a trip to Costco. Ron and I finished the weekend grilling with my parents. Kellen was thrilled to be center of attention and showing off his new tricks (climbing into a chair) to his grandparents. 

This week is a little busier, but filled with fun stuff. Tonight we are going to a fundraiser for our friend and State Assembly member.  We also have volleyball this week and I am taking a photography class on Thursday evening.  

Have a wonderful week! 

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Pizza
Tuesday: Breakfast For Dinner: Scrambled Eggs, Hashbrowns, Bacon and Pancakes
Wednesday: Spicy Pork and Asparagus with Chili and Brown Rice
Thursday: Picking up Subs
Friday:  Chile Spiced Shrimp Tacos with Avocado SalsaHomemade Refried Beans and Yellow Rice
Saturday: Eggs Hunt and Cheeseburger Soup
Sunday:  Happy Easter! Lunch at Ron's parents and Dinner with my parents.

Treats: Pastel Deviled Eggs, Peep Lemon Krispies, Carrot Cake Cheesecake and Oreo Truffle Brownies


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spinach, Tomato, Basil and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Time for April Secret Recipe Club!

Secret Recipe Club

This month I received the blog Flavors by Four.  There were tons of wonderful recipes to pick from.  This red wine risotto sounded amazing, but I ultimately decided to make  Spinach, Tomato, Basil and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken.  The recipe sounded perfect and easy for a hectic weeknight.  The recipe is super easy and I only made a very small modification to the cooking method. The originally recipe called for the chicken to be briefly pan fried before going into the over to bake. I just baked the chicken and increased the baking time slightly.  Ron and I loved this chicken recipe! The fresh basil and fresh grape tomatoes are what really make this dish. The breading is nice and crunchy and full of flavor as well.  I also think this would be wonderful with a little fresh tomato sauce drizzled over the top. 

Thank you for a fantastic new recipe! 


Ingredients

 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (4-5)
15 oz Ricotta Cheese 
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 
1/2 Pint Grape Tomatoes, halved
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Cup Baby Spinach, chopped and stemmed
10 Fresh Basil Leaves, finely chopped
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 Eggs 
Salt and Pepper


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large bowl,  combine ricotta, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese, spinach and basil. Gently mix until fully combined. 

Salt and pepper both sides of each chicken breast. On a cutting board carefully make a slit in the largest section of each chicken breast. Fill each chicken breast with the ricotta mixture. Mix the breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Put the eggs in a bowl and scrambled them with a fork. Carefully dip each breast in the egg followed by the panko making sure to cover the sides and the top, shaking off any excess. 

Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes uncovered.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tortellini Primavera

Is it crazy that I haven't eater tortellini in years prior to this meal?  Truth is I never cared for it much because it was meal I ate prior to coming down with a nasty bug as a child. It only took 25 years to get me back on board with it. 

I saw this recipe for Totellini Primavera posted on Pioneer Woman's site and thought it sounded amazing. I was initially surprised because I tend to bypass any and all tortellini recipes. However, since it tickled my fancy, I put it on our meal plan. The recipe has all of our favorite things: pasta, cheese, fresh veggies, ham and wine....what is not to like? 

One thing that is really fantastic about this recipe is that it is super quick to put together and only requires a little chopping- perfect for a weeknight.

 It is also a fantastic way to use any leftover Easter ham in a few weeks

The verdict: It was delicious! I am so happy I went back to this pasta because I really enjoyed it. The flavors of the veggies with the light creamy white wine sauce are so good!  The ham gives a nice salty flavor and paired with the sweet basil is perfect. 

This weekend we don't really have any plans.  Tonight I am hoping to grill if the rain holds off, Saturday I am bringing m car into the shop (blah) and Sunday is for relaxing and a chicken wing get together with a couple of my girlfriends.  

Have a great weekend! 


Ingredients

1 Tbl Butter
1 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, Finely Diced
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2/3 cup Diced Carrots
1 cup Cauliflower, Broken Into Small Pieces
1/4 cup White Wine
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
 Salt And Pepper, to taste
8 whole Basil Leaves,Chiffonade
3/4 cups Cooked Ham, Diced
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 pound Cheese Tortellini


Instructions

Cook tortellini a couple of minutes less than package directions call for. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir to cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cauliflower, stir, and cook 3-4 minutes. Add wine and stock.  Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cream and Parmesan.

When the mixture is hot, stir in peas, ham, salt, and pepper. Allow them to heat up in the sauce for about 3 minutes. When the sauce is hot, stir in the tortellini. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 4/7 - 4/13

Happy Monday!

This weekend was lots of fun and crazy in terms of weather!

Friday started off with an all day snow storm.  However, non of the snow stuck because it started to get warmer though out the day. By Sunday, it was 58 degrees. Welcome to Wisconsin.

Friday night was for relaxing and playing. On Saturday, Ron had lab, Kellen and I had lunch with my parents, we took a family walk while a big pot of chili simmered all day on the stove.  It might be my last pot for awhile so I made an extra large batch so we could freeze a bunch.  We also watched the Badger game and are sad to see the season done. However, it was a fantastic game. I am a Kentucky fan after a Badger fan and am very excited to see them play for the championship too!

Sunday we had a family play day with our friends at the zoo. It was our first trip of the season and we got our zoo season pass to future visits.  Ron and I had wings for lunch while Kellen slept and we had left over chili for dinner.  Ron and I have been loving True Detective on HBO.  We just discovered the first season after buying the channel for Game of Thrones.

This week I am meeting my friend Emily at a new restaurant in Green Bay. It is in the place of an old favorite of mine that  sadly went out of business. I have hear great things about this place and am excited to try it!  ?We also have volleyball on Wednesday which is always a blast and are grilling on Friday night.  We have nothing planned this weekend (besides a wing date with a few girlfriends) and I am hoping to get Kellen to the park for some sunshine and playtime.

Have a great week! 

Monday: Spinach, Tomato, Basil and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken, Wild Rice and Salad
Tuesday: Out with My Friend Emily to Chateau De Pere
Wednesday: Out for Volleyball
Thursday: Tortellini Primavera and Salad
Friday: Grill Out: Brats, Potato Salad, Baked Beans Cottage Cheese and Salad
Saturday: Father's Day Pork ChopsAu Gratin Potatoes and Green Beans
Sunday:  Wing with Girlfriends at Legend Larry's 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

5 Ingredient Meatloaf

Oh my gosh.....I think spring is on the horizon! 

We celebrated with a trip to the sanctuary on Sunday.  Kellen thought it was amazing and it was so fun to watch him smile ear to ear. Here are a few pictures of our outing:


Following our busy afternoon a comforting meal was needed.  Ron and I love meatloaf and love putting together new recipes. I had heard of using Stove Top in meatloaf before, but wanted to create my own spin.  We do not normally use Stove Top, but the flavors worked fantastic for a quick meatloaf recipe. In addition to the stuffing mix, we used eggs and ketchup. The meatloaf was delicious  and the glaze was perfect sweetness.  Kellen also enjoyed the meal, but I think the peas were his favorite! Ron declared that this was his favorite meatloaf we had made so far. This is a pretty big deal since it beat his favorite blue cheese and bacon meatloaf! 

Happy April everyone! 


Ingredients

3 lbs lean ground beef
1 box traditional sage Stove Top stuffing mix
2/3 cup ketchup
2 eggs, beaten

for glaze:
3 Tbl ketchup
1 Tbl brown sugar


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a 9x5 loaf pan lightly with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, mix beef, stuffing mix, eggs and ketchup gently with your hands. 

Place meatloaf mixture into loaf pan.  Press down to insure it is sitting evenly without any air pockets in the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

While the meatloaf cooks, mix ketchup and brown sugar together. After 1 hour cook time, remove foil and evely spead ketchup mixture on the meatloaf. Leave uncovered and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Allow meatloaf to rest for 5 minutes after removing from the oven. Slice and enjoy.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 3/31 - 4/6

Happy Monday!

This weekend was a blast. I was up north with a few girlfriends and we had a fantastic time. Lots of laughs, falls, food and drinks. Amazing.  I can't wait till next year for more fun.  When I returned home, Ron and I took Kellen to a wildlife sanctuary to feed ducks and watch the animals. He absolutely loved it!  Last night, Ron and I watched basketball and I finished off the evening with Walking Dead and Shameless. 

This week is low key and I am really happy about that. I have been battling an obnoxious cold and am really hoping to kick it soon. We have volleyball and that is about it. I am hoping to get to the zoo this weekend with the little guy and make a big pot of chili to freeze. 

Hope everyone has an amazing week! 

Monday: Burgers, Salads and Baked Beans
Tuesday:  Out for Dinner
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday:  Slow Cooker Thai Beef, Brown Rice and Salad
Friday:  BBQ Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Salt & Pepper Biscuits and Salad
Saturday: Beef Chili w/ all the fixings
Sunday:  Grilled Brats, Cowboy Beans and Grilled Veggies


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Boozy Beef Brisket

Ron and I normally do not cook brisket at home, but we happened to have one in our freezer.  I wanted to do something boozy and salty- total comfort food.  I used our slow cooker to create the deliciousness in the photo below.  The onion flavors with the flavors from the brandy and beer were fantastic. We served this over creamy mashed potatoes so all of the juices could be soaked up.   

Kellen turned his little nose up at the brisket and mashed potatoes (his loss), but loved the green beans.  Kellen has his canines, top and bottom molars come in right now which has cause him to be pretty finicky on his meals. I looked into his mouth yesterday and I can see bits of all the teeth. I feel so bad for him because I imagine it to be very painful, especially coming in so quickly, and can imagine eating would cause discomfort.  
Wisconsin had a little snow over the past few days! All I have to say to that is GO AWAY.  I suppose it is par for the course living here, but I am ready for spring.   


Ingredients

2- 21/2 lb beef brisket, trimmed
1 cup beer (I used Miller Lite)
1/4 cup Brandy
1/2 cup beef stock
1 onion soup packet
Black Pepper


Instructions

Place brisket into the crockpot and season with black pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk beer, brandy, stock and soup packet. 

Pour over beef.  Cook 8-9 hours on low.