Category Archives: Kitchen

Meal Plan Monday – Paper Plate Weekends

Meal Plan Monday

I have a complaint: Fall will not happen! Last week Dallas Raines told us that on Sunday we would have a high of 79. This did not happen. It was in the 90’s! Now I’m looking at next week’s weather predictions and I’ll have to push soup off another week. It’s just too hot for soup!

  • Monday – Pink Spaghetti, – I will record the recipe this time. It was amazing last time I made it. Serve with Broccoli
  • Tuesday – Breakfast for Dinner
  • Wednesday – Pizza, Salad
  • Thursday – Honey Cashew Pork Stir-Fry (try something new day!)
  • Friday – Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken (grilling Friday!) going to go off of this version.

Paper Plate Weekends – This weekend we started Paper Plate Weekends. This is to cut down on the pile up of dirty dishes over the weekend. I even got some festive fall paper plates and as much as possible we used paper plates for the weekend. It worked pretty well. I think it’ll save water too.

Linking up at Menu Plan Monday.

Meal Plan Monday: Taco Like a Pirate

Meal Plan Monday

Apparently every fall I attempt to really get back down to both meal planning and blogging. I looked back at my past “Meal Plan Monday”s and found that I had restarted last year also on the week of Talk Like A Pirate Day. And the last one I did was the week of Halloween last year. Oops. I have Pinterest now, so maybe things will be better?

  • Monday – Macaroni & Cheese, Green Beans. I need to make double to bring dinner to a sick family.
  • Tuesday – Our first day of MOPS! We’ll have chicken & rice stir fry for dinner. I’m also bringing an egg dish and a bread for our first MOPS meeting.
  •  Wednesday – Taco Like a Pirate, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!
  • Thursday – Chicken Caesar Salad, Toast
  • Friday – Grilled Turkey Burgers with potatoes and corn on the cob.

Lunch Options

  • Pepperoni Sandwich (Jerrod’s favorite)
  • Leftovers
  • Almond Butter & Banana Sandwich
  • Quesadilla

Linking up at Menu Plan Monday

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

These may be the best cookies I’ve ever made. Actually they might be the best cookies I’ve ever tasted! Seriously, I don’t have a big sweet tooth. I can pretty much eat one cookie and I’m set. These were gone by the end of the next day.

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Adapted from The Best White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Recipe
Yield: about 18 cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips(or chunks)
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and salt and mix well
  4. Stir in 1 1/4 cup flour and baking soda. Add a little more flour if it looks too wet.
  5. Stir in chocolate and macadamia nuts.
  6. Drop spoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake about 10 minutes (remove when edges are golden brown and you’re not totally sure the center is done)
  8. Remove from baking sheet to cool*

*This is where I would say to cool them on a wire rack, but I don’t have one so I just put them on a plate. Nothing terrible happens, although they sometimes stick together a bit.

Meal Plan Monday

Many times a couple of days get changed on my meal plan. Last week almost every day was altered. But was it a fail? I still made dinner and I cleaned out the freezer a bit. Last week, this is what happened.

  • Monday
    • Planned: Butter Herb Italian Pasta with Ground Turkey, Broccoli
    • Reality: I realized the milk had expired. So instead of making a cream sauce a made a bake of pasta, ground turkey, and broccoli in creamy marinara topped with cheese.
  • Tuesday
    • Planned: Tacos, Corn
    • Reality: I discovered we needed to try not to go to the store this week if possible and alter things slightly. I clean out the freezer and bake Trader Joe’s chicken strips and Trader Joe’s garlic fries. We still had the corn and I added smoothies(strawberry/banana/pineapple juice).
  • Wednesday
    • Planned: Baked Chicken, Green Beans, Rice Pilaf
    • Reality: Still on my “don’t go shopping” challenge, I had no chicken. We hadn’t had the planned tacos so I still had the cooked meat for that in the freezer. I made a somewhat rice pilaf like stovetop taco rice one pan dinner with rice, ground beef, onions and corn, topped with sour cream and cheese, and we still had green beans.
  • Thursday
    • Planned: Macaroni & Cheeseburger*, Salad
    • Reality: The no-shopping challenge was ended and we needed something from the Apple store, so we had dinner at the mall food court.
  • Friday: Pizza

So we didn’t try the Macaroni & Cheeseburger last week. We’ll have to try again this week. Here’s what I’m hoping will happen.

  • Monday – Halloween! We are going to the “Block Party” at my friends’ church. There are supposed to be four gourmet food trucks there, so we will eat at the church.
  • Tuesday – Macaroni & Cheeseburger, Salad
  • Wednesday – Chicken, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
  • Thursday – Leftovers Fried Rice (whatever meat and veggies are available, I will put them in an egg fried rice)
  • Friday – Going to a community meetup, so I’m not making dinner.

Soft Honey Wheat Bread

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I’ve been making bread for over two years. I was making great crusty breads I loved, but I lacked a favorite wheat bread. I wanted something a bit softer, and all the wheat breads I’d tried so far were a bit too dense and just didn’t seem to work with peanut butter in my opinion. My favorite store bought wheat bread is Roman Meal with the round top and I’d been trying to make a bread along those lines. I think this is my winner.

Soft Honey Wheat Bread

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2TB brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
  1. Combine warm water, butter, brown sugar, and yeast.
  2. Let sit 5 minutes.
  3. Add egg, salt, and honey.
  4. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon or stand mixer’s dough hook.
  5. When combined, continue mixing with dough hook for a couple minutes or knead by hand a few minutes.
  6. Cover and let rise in bowl for about an hour.
  7. When ready to bake, form into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan.
  8. Slash the top and let rise another 40 minutes or so.
  9. Brush top with melted butter if you like and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
  10. Cool fully before slicing.

Meal Plan Monday

It can be so hard to plan consistently!

  • Monday: Butter Herb Italian Pasta with Ground Turkey, Broccoli
  • Tuesday: Tacos, Corn
  • Wednesday: Baked Chicken, Green Beans, Rice Pilaf
  • Thursday: Macaroni & Cheeseburger, Salad*
  • Friday: Pizza

This is an experimental dish where we put macaroni and cheese on a cheeseburger. I have several versions of this I want to try. I’ve done a skillet type “cheeseburger macaroni”. This time I plan to try the straightforward macaroni and cheese on burger method. Crazy? perhaps.

Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese

  • 8 oz macaroni or shell pasta
  • 2tb butter
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 1/2 tb onion powder
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Cook macaroni according to directions on package. Drain and leave in colander.
  2. In the same pot, add the butter, American cheese, onion powder, sour cream, and milk.
  3. Stir constantly over medium heat until cheese is melted and creamy.
  4. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
  5. Return macaroni to the pot and mix with cheese sauce.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

Variation: Add some ranch dressing mix. The first time I made this I used the end of a container of sour cream that had been made into ranch and green onion dip. This gave it an additional ranch flavor. I made it again to measure everything but made it straight. My husband preferred the ranch variation and thought the basic version had a strong sour cream aftertaste. I didn’t notice this, but he doesn’t like sour cream.

 

Homemade Buns

Last month, we got a new grill here. A proper one that works nicely. A little over a week ago I put “turkey burgers” on my dinner schedule for a Friday and planned to grill them and make my own buns.

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I made the “light brioche buns” from smitten kitchen. They were really good and pretty easy, I didn’t even use my stand mixer for them. I didn’t have any sesame seeds so I just spilt the tops.

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I made turkey burger patties with cheese inside them, and we also grilled the buns. It was really good.

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I made the pasta salad for myself for lunch earlier and saved it for a side dish.

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