Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 4/25/2011


As I said in my last post I will be joining a group of other bloggers for Menu Plan Mondays hosted by www.orgjunkie.com.  This is my first post, which isn't really exciting since we're mostly having leftovers.  Still, menu planning gives me a chance to peruse my cookbooks and discover and try new recipes.  And, no, I haven't given up on Meatless Mondays.  We just have a lot of stuff in the freezer we need to get through.  Plus, I have a lot of baking to do early in the week for my son's social group is having a fundraising bake sale.

I've told the kids they can participate too and pick out the weekend meals if they'd like.  I'm including our weekend meals when I can.  Saturday mornings I usually get up early and go for a long run so my husband is in charge of breakfast.  If I prep something the night before, as I am this week, then I can run and finish in time to handle the meal.  Lunch and dinner depends on whether or not we have any company.  Sunday mornings we always have steel cut oatmeal (I LOVE oatmeal.  LOVE it!)  Then after church and grocery shopping, we eat out for lunch and usually have a light dinner.

If you've read my blog or my Facebook posts you know I love cookbooks, a bit too much. Luckily, we live very close to the library and I get to check out the books before I invest in them. If there's at least 20 recipes I like than I'll get the book. One book I have on hand right now is Healthy Meals for Less: Great-Tasting Simple Recipes Under $1 a Serving by Jonni McCoy of Miserlymoms.com and I will be purchasing it when I get a chance.

Here are this weeks meals:

Monday
Grilled Filet Mignon with steamed veggies

Tuesday
Lasagna ('nuff said)

Wednesday
Leftover Ham with roasted broccoli (My husband loves ham and it's something we have twice a year, Christmas and Easter.  However, I'm not a big fan of ham so I don't know what to do with it.  If you have any suggestions please feel free to leave me a comment by Tuesday so I can make sure I have everything on hand)

Thursday
Turkey Stir Fry with brown rice, courtesy of Healthy Meals for Less: Great-Tasting Simple Recipes Under $1 a Serving

Friday
Turkey Burgers with sweet potato fries

Saturday
Breakfast:  Baked Buttermilk Pancakes with mixed berry compote and Vegetable Frittata (using up any veggies I didn't use during the week).  The pancake recipe is one I got from a bed and breakfast recipe book.  I can't remember which one, but I know it was created by a woman who was running a bed and breakfast and decided to share all her best and favorite recipes in a book.

That's it for now.  Remember to comment with your use for leftover ham!  Thanks!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday TEN 04/21/2011

I'm cheating this week.  I'm making this a Thursday Ten.  Sorry, but if you continue reading you'll see I've written A LOT.  So, it kinda counts as thirteen.  If I break down the paragraphs and number them accordingly!  Eh.  Here you go:

1.  Since we've all been sick the past couple of months, catching one thing or another and then passing it on to each other, I decided to add ginger honey tea to my arsenal.  Shown to help with upper respiratory congestion, sore throats and even indigestion, I figured it couldn't hurt.  I decided to make it one morning after watching a Mad Hungry episode (Lucinda is awesome!)  I used this recipe:  Ginger Honey Tea though I didn't have any fresh ginger (I had bottled grated ginger and was not about to run out and get some, being sick and all).  I also didn't measure the water.  Just boiled enough for my hubby and I to have.  Anyway, it was very, very good.  And my throat did feel better.  BUT WAIT!  The next day we were at Whole Foods and a little jar just on an end-cap I rarely look at happened to catch my eye.  It was from a company called Jayone.  They don't have their website up yet but the jar was similar to this.  With this you can conveniently prepare Ginger Honey Tea anytime, cold OR hot.  I bought it.  I regret not buying more than one because I have a feeling this will be gone very soon.  Not that I think we're all going to continue getting sick, but because I love it that much.  It's very balanced.  Not too spicy or sweet, yet you get both the ginger and honey flavors.  Aaaah, my new nightly tea!  Oh, and it goes well with....

2.  My new favorite cookie by Dancing Deer.  Chocolate Tangerine!  I found this at Whole Foods too.  Same day as the Ginger Honey Tea above.  It caught my eye too!  Funny, I guess being under the weather and a bit unfocused leads me to new discoveries!  Their website doesn't show how it's packaged for retail only for online/phone orders, but like I said I found it at Whole Foods.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Thirteen 04/07/2011

You can tell I don't have a lot of time on my hands.  I think this Thirteen summarizes a couple of months rather than a couple of weeks.  Oh, well.  Here ya go:

1.  My husband and I saw Rock of Ages.  Such an awesome show!  I was very surprised by Constantine's acting skills.  My husband liked him on American Idol and thought he should have won (I'm not a huge rock fan, so I was neutral).  Anyway, his voice of course was amazing, but I have to say I was very impressed with the way he played his character.  All in all, it was an exciting show that finished strong and is worth seeing even if you're not into rock (which I'm not and I still enjoyed it)!

2.We're trying to do Meatless Mondays now.  We had been doing something similar some time ago (can't remember how long it's been).  Maybe it was a Meatless Monday but somewhere along the way in my meal planning I forgot about it and was reminded after catching a preview of Oprah about a new book Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World.  I have not yet looked at this book but have it on hold at the library.  I actually like Mark Bittman's idea of eating vegetarian or vegan all day up until 6 p.m. where he enjoys a small portion of meat as a side dish and the rest of his plate is filled with vegetables and/or whole grains.  He was actually on that particular Oprah episode and disagreed with the Veganist author because he doesn't believe in avoiding all meat, just cutting back on it and using whole (as opposed to processed) foods to pair with it.  He also has a new show on the Cooking Channel:  The Minimalist where he incorporates his ideas.

3.  I did something I said I would NEVER do.  I was literally shaking (ask my hubby) after we made this decision because it is SO NOT like me to do something I say I'll never do.  I am stubborn and inflexible that way.  So, you now how in the last Thirteen I mentioned that my husband got a new TV?  Well, we saw a smaller version at Costco that would fit nicely in my son's room.  It came with a $90.00 instant rebate, which is what caught my husband's eye.  I said I would never, ever put a TV in either of the kids' rooms, at least until they could get one for themselves.  I caved because the kids love the fact that Netflix streams movies on it and that they can dance to the music channel I have for them on Pandora.  Plus, if my husband and I are in the living room watching a streaming movie not age appropriate I can set the kids up in the other room with a movie of their own.  We're not hooking cable up to it so it will only be for streaming movies and music, which helped me feel a little better about giving in.

4.  In my search for a really good vegetarian cookbook I happened upon Appetite for Reduction which is actually a vegan cookbook.  Out of the 6 books I looked at (both vegetarian and vegan) this was my favorite one.  The ingredients used are easy to find and the flavor combinations are far from boring.  I made a quinoa salad with a green-onion miso dressing for lunch and it was absolutely delicious!  It's a great introduction to anyone interested in eating more vegan or vegetarian dishes and for those already doing so the recipes are a great change of pace.  It got wonderful reviews.

5.  Our church has a ministry that helps church members in their time of need with a meal.  For example, if a new mom just had a baby and still has a family at home to feed.  Or if someone has been in an accident and while healing is unable to cook for themselves.  We actually received some meals after my daughter was born and I was very thankful for them.  For those whose church or community does not have something like that the website http://www.mealtrain.com/ can help you help someone or even ask for help.  Check it out.  It could really make someone's day.

6.  My husband and I watched the Swedish version of  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire.  I don't know if a U.S. version is in the works, but I loved both movies.  It was done perfectly, keeping only the necessary details without being too long.  I have to read the last book before we can delve into the last movie but I'm waiting on a Mother's Day present before I can read that one.  You'll see what I'm talking about as it gets closer.

7.  My sister made Cookies-n-Cream cupcakes.  I love Cookies-n-Cream anything (yet, I can't remember the last time I had an Oreo.  Vegas, I think.  Mmmm, Oreos.....).  The cupcakes look awesome.

8.  My husband and I watched the documentary Fat Head, the ultimate antithesis to Supersize Me.  I LOVED IT.  Not that I'm going to go out and stuff my face with junk food on a weekly or even monthly basis, but I liked that he broke everything down with regards to the government's role is today's "diet" and he disproved everything Spurlock said in Supersize Me.  To quote Naughton, "You can eat 5000 calories of anything and put on some pounds."  You have to watch to understand.

9.  Which brings me to why I don't diet.  When people say they're on a diet I quietly think to myself, "What are you going to do when you're done?"  Most people who are dieting are looking for a quick fix and go to extremes to lose weight, but once you hit your goal, what are you going to do?  Keep doing what you're doing?  I eat healthy because I like how it makes me feel and it fuels me for my runs.  When I choose to indulge, I can feel the difference.  I run and strength train because I love how strong my body feels afterwards.  Sure, after I had my kids, especially my first, I had weight to lose and I did.  I could probably lose another 5-7 pounds, maybe, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  I love food and want to enjoy it!  It eventually has to be a lifestyle change or else you set yourself up for yo-yo dieting, reaching your goal then going back to old habits, then going on a diet again and over and over.

10.  We celebrated my daughter's third birthday.  My youngest sister made the cupcakes.  They came out wonderfully!  Here is a link to my sister's blog with pictures of the goodies she made:  Cupcake Brat.  Also, you can follow her on Twitter here:  http://twitter.com/CupcakeBrat

11.  My sisters came down to hang with us.  The youngest one actually came home with us after our visit up North and then my other sister came down later in the week.  My brother came to dinner with us one evening as well.  We didn't do too much because I couldn't find a sitter but we did have a Dexter marathon.  My sister told  my husband to watch out if he happens to see large quantities of Saran Wrap being delivered or stashed somewhere around the house.

12.  I finished reading  Room: A Novel.  About twenty pages in I didn't think I could finish because it was heartbreaking and I started to tear.  I know it's just a fictional story but you know there are crazy people out there and a story like this can (and has) happen.  I read it in less than a day and when my heart wasn't breaking it was racing.  A very, very good read worth losing sleep over.

13.  Last but never least, how my daughter eats a cupcake:

That's all folks!  Hopefully, I'll be posting in a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months!