Tag Archives: Recipe

What’s Cooking – Menu for the Week

Hi!  This week, I am starting this challenge to kick-start our dinner routine in the New Year – 7 new recipes in 14 days.  Here goes this week:

split-pea-soup-with-ham

{Image via Dinner: A Love Story}

Sunday (New Recipe): Split Pea Soup with the leftover Christmas ham bone, crusty bread, simple salad.  This was really good!

sausage-rice-ck-554693-x

{Image via MyRecipes.com}

Monday: Cooking Light Southwest Sausage and Rice and veggie platter with dip.

giadasoup

Tuesday: Giada’s Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup, superfast drop biscuits and Ceasar salad.

Wednesday (New Recipe): Baked Ziti with Sausage and Mushrooms (from Dinner: A Love Story cookbook).

Beef & Broccoli

{Image via Emily Bites}

Thursday (New Recipe): Emily Bites Slow Cooker Beef and Broccolirice.

Friday: Cooking Light Turkey Tetrazzini, Greek salad.  

Saturday: Out of Town

What’s for supper at your house this week?  I would love for you to share your favorite quick and easy dinner recipes.  I need 4 more new recipes next week to complete the challenge!

read this book!

Upon the recommendation from my foodie sister, I have been a loyal blog reader of Dinner: A Love Story for a couple years.  Jenny, Andy, Abby and Phoebe feel like my favorite neighbors, so without a second thought, I immediately pre-ordered Dinner: A Love Story, the cookbook/memoir.

Jenny and Andy are both magazine editors/executives and Jenny worked in the now-defunct (and sorely missed) Cookie Magazine.  I have been enjoying Jenny and Andy’s simple, real and fresh recipes on the blog for a while now, and I can attest that each one we have tried has been delicious and accessible.

But my favorite part of this book is the narrative.  I sat down and felt like I was having an easy conversation with my best friend over skinny lattes at my local Starbucks.  Jenny’s voice is pitch-perfect — not too judgey and not too kitschy.  I like her self-depricating snark mixed with her romantic notions of the family dinner table.   I also loved that Jenny meets readers where they are — whether you have never made a dinner from scratch or you are a “foodie,” her life lessons and recipes apply equally.

Below are two of my favorite excerpts that capture the essence and the message of the book:

“But my point is, even though the most important part of the family dinner is the family part, I do not want you to dismiss the role of caring in the equation.  The more you care, the more you’ll cook, and the more you cook, the better you’ll get, and the better you get, the more firmly the family dinner ritual will take hold.  It’s probably going to be a long time before my kids recognize in a conscious way that eating a meal with someone who loves them satisfies some psychological need.  But for now I’m pretty sure that they’re psyched to show up for the pork chops.  And I have no problem with that.”  (page 297)

Quoting with a friend with teenagers: “‘You know, when they were little, dinner was such a pain in the ass.  All the kids did was complain about what I cooked. It was such a thankless job.’  She went on, ‘Now that they’re older I’ll cook anything they ask for.  I’ll cook five different meals if it means they’ll all sit down with me for dinner.’….I call [this scene] up and then force myself to think : Lucky.  Feel lucky.  They are sitting at the table.  They are seven and nine years old.” (page 298)

(copyright 2012 Jenny Rosenstrach)

Watch this trailer, and I dare you not to develop an intense girl crush on Jenny!

We struggle with a picky preschooler and an early-to-bed infant every night, but on some sacred evenings, the stars align and the preschooler, the infant, and my hard-working husband and I are sitting at the very same dinner table that I used growing up, and Cheese-y Peas-y Chicken Orzo  is being enjoyed by all of the dinner participants who eat solid food, and it’s the most beautiful, lovely, happy moments of the day, the week, the month.

This book celebrates encourages and celebrates these divine occurrences.  Read it!

What’s Cookin’?

Life has de-railed my weekly menu planner series.  Between work, back-to-school, ballet classes, swimming lessons, weird food aversions, and evening fatigue, my family is lucky to get a home-cooked meal 2-3 times a week these days, instead of my goal of at least 5 days per week.  (We should be buying stock in Jason’s Deli, Chipotle and Panera….)  

But, I love that spark! readers enjoy the recipes and dinner inspiration.  So, these days, instead of full menu planners, I may just pop in here and let you know what my 2-3 pre-planned weekly meals will be.   Mini inspiration is better than no inspiration at all, right?  :)

This week, I shopped for ingredients for 3 simple, pre-planned meals:

1. Cooking Light White Cheese and Sausage Bake.  I made this for dear friends who just had a baby girl and bought extra ingredients for a batch for us.  It’s simple and delicious and really only requires a few store-bought ingredients because you can substitute most any pasta for the ziti.  It looks kind of like this when it’s done:

{Image from Emily Bites}

2. Easiest Ever Crockpot BBQ Chicken from The Picky Apple on potato buns with cole slaw.  Ok, this is seriously the best recipe ever and only requires 1-2 pounds of chicken breasts and a bottle of BBQ sauce.  If I have it, I also add a thinly sliced sweet onion (Vidalia is best) first, then the (raw) chicken, then the sauce.  I also have found that I strongly prefer the thick, hickory BBQ sauce (generic brand tastes best for some reason!).  The Carolina-style sauce is too runny for this recipe.  When it’s done, just fork shred and let it sit in the crockpot until you are ready to eat.  You can start this as late as 1pm and still have it on the table for din-din.  So yummy and delish!

3. Cooking Light Quick Corn-Chicken Chowder.   Another easy recipe that requires only a few store-bought items.  I often use leftover rotisserie or grilled chicken, or even canned white meat chicken in this soup, so I just have to pick up a jalapeno pepper and a can of creamed corn at the store.  I usually have the rest of the ingredients on-hand.  This is a fall and winter fave around here!

Quick Chicken-Corn Chowder

I am hoping to be back later in the week with a post on updates around the house.  It’s been rainy and hard to snap any decent pictures, but things are a-changin’ around here.  I posted a recent development on the blog’s Facebook page last night — check it out and become a follower while you are there!

Happy cooking!

Weekly Menu

Here’s what’s for dinner over here this week:

Sunday: Cooking Light Corn and Shrimp Chowder, cheddar and banana pepper quesadillas, sliced fresh vine ripe tomatoes with chopped cilantro, salt, pepper and a dash of EVOO.

Southwest Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Monday: New Recipe!  Rachael Ray’s Vegetable Ravioli Lasagna, Caesar Salad.

Tuesday: Cooking Light Grilled Spinach and Turkey Burger with Goat Cheese Spread, Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries.

Spicy Sweet Potato Julienne Fries

Wednesday: New Recipe!  Restaurant Style Chinese Chicken and Broccoli, with Asian Cabbage Salad (shredded Napa cabbage, sliced red bell pepper, sliced almonds and cilantro, dressing of soy sauce, dark sesame oil, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes).

{Photo Courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story}

Thursday: Evening Swimming Lessons, Eat Out.

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner — Eggs Made to Order, Giada de Laurentiis’ Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes, Salad with Mandarin Oranges, Pecans, Feta and Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Picture of Ricotta Pancakes Recipe

Saturday: Amy’s Spinach & Tomato Pizza, Cooking Light Tomato Basil Soup.

Tomato-Basil Soup

Random Things I am Liking Lately

What’s on my radar lately:

I am totally smitten with this bedroom.  I love the neutral colors, wall-to-wall seagrass rug, fabulous fireplace and amazing vertical bookshelf.  Perfect!

{Image courtesy of Laura Day via  Two Ellies}

This ain’t your mama’s one-piece.  Lotsa coverage with some va-va-voom.  Love the name too: the Accomodating Maillot (as in, for my big wide a$&).  :)

Life is a parade — don’t you love this Ditsy Pennants Pillow?  It would look perfect in a nursery, kids room or a beach house.    So adorbs.

Cutting for Stone is an amazing epic journey.   A moving and unforgettable story that I didn’t want to end.  Read it. 

I saw this fun tray at my local Target and thought it was a cute, kitschy take on the “Keep Calm and Carry On” print:

This Antipasto-Style Penne is an amazing summer lunch or dinner.  I substituted diced ham for the proscuitto and it was equally as good.  It’s sooooo yummy and a good way to use up pesto before it goes bad.

I love body lotion and I have found a new fave: Heavenly Flowers by Victoria’s Secret.  It smells like a Michael Kors or D&G summer fragrance for a fraction of the price.  A whole bottle is on sale right now for $9.99!

With the humidity during the summers in Richmond, I am always looking for a good hair product to keep the “fly-aways” to a minimum.  My hair dresser came to my rescue last week — this shine spray by It’s a 10 does everything and smells divine too!

 

Summer Recipe Round-Up

It’s that wonderful time of year when we are all grilling and pot-lucking, and always looking for some new inspiration.  Here are a few of my recent summer faves — I dare you to try to share!  They are all really easy and fast (the only way I cook and bake!).  Click on the links for the recipes.

Fail Proof App: Bobby’s Pimento Cheese

This recipe is from one of Paula Deen’s sons, Bobby.  I love serving it with water crackers and pita chips.  Delish.

So Yummy Salad: Pizza Panzanella Salad

Salad with pizza crust?  Yes please.

Mouth-Watering Main Dishes:

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese Spread

This is a Cooking Light recipe, so you can eat 2 and not feel so bad!  The burgers grill up so tender and moist — they are divine!

Chipotle Sloppy Joes

Although this isn’t made on the grill, it’s easy and super yummy.  We actually eat it on hot dog buns — it’s less sloppy and equally as tasty!

Delish Desserts: Frozen Lemonade Pie

One of my BFFs recommended this pie for our Memorial Day barbeque and it was a smashing hit.   It is amazingly easy, refreshing and fabulous.  You must try this!

Banana Split Cake

A to-die-for Paula Deen dessert!  I top this one with maraschino cherries and chocolate sauce.

What are your go-to summer recipes?

Do Yourself A Favor

AND MAKE THESE DIVINE LEMON COOKIES.  I DIE.

{Photo courtesy of Food Network, Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis}