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  1. Friday, October 31

    Happy Halloween!

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    I just love Halloween!  I’ve got all kinds of movies lined up, candy ready to go, cookies ready to bake, pumpkins ready to be carved.  Oh my, this is going to be tiring, but oh so fun!

    I hope your day is as exciting as ours…complete with glittery, spider-filled hair and bags filled with treats!

    How cute is this idea? Use cookie cutters when making French Toast!  Just cut your bread before you cook.  Yeah, you’ll have wasted bread around the edges, but who cares.  It’s Halloween!  And you could do it for other holidays as well.  Cate’s gonna love it.  (Idea and photo from Parents.com)

    Looking for a SCARY movie?  Try The Skeleton Key.  Nate and I had never heard of it when we saw it and had zero expectations.  We ended up really liking it and were definitely scared in the process!  BOO!

    If our Halloween cookies come out, I’ll be sure to share them with you later today…as if you won’t already have enough treats!

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  2. Wednesday, October 29

    Raspberry (or Blueberry) Sauce

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    I love raspberries.  They were on sale this week, so I couldn’t resist grabbing a couple little containers.  They were still kind of expensive, but worth every penny!

    I made some sauce/syrup out of them and it was mighty tasty.  Here’s my recipe!

    Raspberry -OR- Blueberry Sauce/Syrup
    – 1 1/2 C raspberries (one of those 5-6 oz containers) -OR- 1 C blueberries (I’ve only ever used fresh fruit for this recipe)
    – 3/4 C sugar
    – 1/3 C water
    – 2 t. lemon juice

    Bring to a boil. Lower heat. Simmer for a bit. That’s it! Refrigerate leftovers.

    NOTE: If you want to thicken it up (which you probably do, the raspberry syrup was a little thin, but it still tasted awesome)…you can sub some of the sugar for karo syrup and/or add a little cornstarch to the water. I’ve always just sort of done this off the cuff. If I ever actually pay attention, I’ll provide measurements for you.

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  3. Monday, October 27

    Featured Recipe: Thai Chicken Pizza

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    One thing we really miss in San Diego is Leucadia Pizza.  And one of our favorites at Leucadia is the Thai Chicken Pizza.  If you live in San Diego and you are NOT eating this pizza, it’s a crime.

    I’ve begun my quest to recreate it.  And I think I’m almost there!

    Featured Recipe: Thai Chicken Pizza
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Poultry, Pizza
    Cuisine: Thai
    Ingredients
    • Pizza crust (homemade, TJ’s $1 crust, whatever)
    • Shredded carrots (about ½ – ¾ of a carrot…1 full carrot was a little much)
    • Bean sprouts
    • Chopped green onion
    • Chicken breast, cut into small cubes or strips and sauteed in olive oil (season with s&p)
    • Peanuts (I went with roasted unsalted…you don’t need the salt on the peanuts)
    • Peanut Sauce
    • Chopped Cilantro
    • Mozzarella Cheese
    Notes
    Leucadia’s peanut sauce really makes the pizza. A perfect blend of sweet and spicy. I tried the Trader Joe’s Satay Peanut Sauce. It was definitely not sweet enough and the texture wasn’t right.

    I just bought Organic Peanut Sauce at Whole Foods. I think this just might do it. I haven’t used it on the pizza yet, but I added some brown sugar to the sauce and it tastes awesome. And the texture is better for pizza. Next time I make the pizza, I’ll let you know how this sauce goes.  I think it will be a winner!


    Whenever I make homemade pizza, I always put all the toppings on top of the sauce and add the mozzarella cheese last. Especially with fresh herbs. It’s the way to go.

    If anyone has a recipe for a great peanut sauce, please share!

     

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  4. Sunday, October 26

    Week 92 Menu

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    I am a pear junkie right now. I’m eating them every day. My new favorite variety is Comice. Not sure I had heard of it before, but it is a great pear. The skins are a little thick, but the fruit itself is oustanding. Bartlett is my second fave. And I hate D’Anjou. Blech. Anyway, grab yourself some Comice pears. Mmmmm.

    On to the menu!

    MONDAY:
    – Quiche
    – Whole Wheat French Bread
    – Fruit

    TUESDAY:
    Pat’s Oriental Chicken Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    Chili
    Corn Cake Toppers

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Happy Halloween!
    – Pizza
    – Halloween Cookies & Candy!

    SATURDAY:
    – Leftovers (between chili and pizza, I think we’ll have two nights’ worth of leftovers this week)

    SUNDAY:
    – Bertucci’s Tortellini (Cheese tortellini, red sauce with a little cream added, mushrooms quartered, italian sausage)
    – Salad

    Please share your menus!

    (Oh, and I’ll be sharing the Thai Chicken Pizza recipe this week…I know several of you are waiting for that!)

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  5. Friday, October 24

    Easy Friday Night Dinner: Chicken Parmesan

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    Here’s an easy-peasy recipe for you on a Friday night.  Trust me, it’s easy. And delicious.

    Chicken Parmesan
    – 1 or 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
    – 1 beaten egg (with up to 3 T milk if want)
    – 1/2 C grated FRESH parmesan cheese (if you don’t have this, just do more breadcrumbs)
    – 1/4 C dry bread crumbs (plain flavor – the italian flavored isn’t that good)
    – Some garlic powder
    – Some dried oregano and/or basil
    – 1/2 t paprika
    – 1/8 t pepper
    – 2 T butter melted
    – Mozzarella cheese (regular or fresh – optional)

    Beat the egg. Mix the dry ingredients together. Slice your chicken in half width-ways (picture your chicken breast lying on your cutting board and you slice through the whole thing so that your knife is parallel to the cutting board). Pound the chicken. Dip in egg, cover in breading, place on buttered baking sheet or silpat (I butter the silpat, as well, for flavor). Drizzle melted butter on top. Bake at 325 until done…doesn’t take long because the chicken is so thin.

    If you have some mozzarella cheese, put some on at the very end of baking so it can melt. A nice addition!

    Serve with pasta and red sauce, or as a sub sandwich!

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  6. Wednesday, October 22

    Call for Recipes: PUMPKIN!

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    We went to a pumpkin patch yesterday (oh so fun!) and it got me thinking…I haven’t done a Call for Recipes in a while, and I think a pumpkin call would be perfect for this beautiful season we’re in!

    Please share your favorite pumpkin recipes…sweet, savory, anything! Bring it on! Show us what you got!

    I’ll start with Pumpkin Rocks. Don’t be fooled by the name. They are moist and cakey, despite their physical likeness to a rock. :)

    OH!  And you MUST try the Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe on the Recipes-Sweet Things page.  It is to DIE for.

    PUMPKIN ROCKS
    From Tassie Earnest
    – 2 1/2 C flour
    – 2 t baking powder
    – 1/2 t baking soda
    – 1/2 t salt
    – 1 t cinnamon
    – 1/2 t ginger
    – 1/4 t ground cloves
    – 1/4 t allspice
    – 3/4 t nutmeg
    ******
    – 1 stick butter
    – 1 C sugar
    – 1/2 C dark brown sugar
    – 1 small can pumpkin
    – Mini chocolate chips
    – 2 eggs

    Mix together ingredients up to *****. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs. Add pumpkin. Add dry ingredients. Add mini chocolate chips. Bake 375 for ~18 mins.

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  7. Monday, October 20

    AWESOME Flour…and Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    I’m in love. With King Arthur. And his White Whole Wheat Flour.

    I made these cookies tonight. They were awesome.

    I also made my whole wheat pancakes yesterday using the white whole wheat flour instead of traditional whole wheat flour, and they were even better than the first time I made them. This flour is awesome.

    And my cookie recipe is pretty awesome, too…if I do say so myself. (I’m a little obsessed with making the perfect cookie. This is what I did tonight and it worked. This doesn’t mean next time it will work, but one can hope!)

    AWESOME Flour...and Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • >1 teaspoon vanilla
    • <1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
    • 3½ cups oats
    • 1 package chocolate chips
    Instructions
    1. Mix butter and sugars. Add eggs & vanilla – mix. Add soda, powder and salt – mix. Add flour and oats – mix. Add chocolate chips and, you guessed it, mix. Bake at 325 degrees F for appx 15 minutes (pull them out a LITTLE before you think they’re supposed to come out).

    PS – I apologize for the indiscriminate use of the word “awesome” in this post. I plan to use a thesaurus next time, or maybe just write when I’m not so sleepy. ;)

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  8. Sunday, October 19

    Week 91 Menu

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    Have you had these new Quaker protein granola bars?  Basically they’re peanut butter granola bars (hence the extra protein) and I’m addicted.  Just another “shouldn’t buy it ’cause I’ll eat it uncontrollably” item to add to the shopping list. ;) They have lots of protein, not too much sugar and there’s fiber in there too, so I’m good if I eat a few boxes, right?

    If you are relatively new to the blog I want to make sure you know that it is awesome when you comment and leave menus, recipes, whatever!  Please post your menus!  They don’t have to be fancy.  They don’t have to be detailed. You never know what might inspire someone else in their planning, so please share!

    I have two repeats from last week because I forgot about a couple parties we had last week at dinner time.  I love it when that happens!

    MONDAY:
    Spinach & Prosciutto Lasagna
    – Salad & whole wheat french bread

    TUESDAY:
    – Thai Chicken Pizza (recipe feature to come!)

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Chicken Piccata (I have a recipe on the main dishes recipes page, but I might be modifying it this week…will fill you all in if I do)
    – Mashed Potatoes
    – Broccolini

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – A warm salad dish that my friend Natalee was telling me about…I’ll get the recipe and share it with you soon!

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    – Quiche
    – Whole wheat french bread
    – Salad

    Your turn!

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  9. Saturday, October 18

    ProFlowers Giveaway Winners!

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    First off, thank you to ProFlowers for such a fabulous giveaway! Don’t forget, click on ProFlowers in this post and receive 15% off your order! And if you want these Scary Berries, click here!

    And the lucky winners are…

    PAM, who said, “Those pumpkins are so cute, Happy Halloween!”

    -and-

    KERRI, who said, “So cute! This is a great prize, Jane!”

    Apparently the random number generator likes the word cute!  Pam and Kerri will each receive a $100 gift card to ProFlowers to use as they choose. (I vote you ladies spend the moolah on yourselves…get some flowers AND some berries!)

    Thank you to all who entered, and don’t worry, there are more giveaways in your future!  Big thanks to ProFlowers!

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  10. Friday, October 17

    New Real Simple Show

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    If you’re anything like me, you love Real Simple magazine OODLES.  So, I thought I would let you know there’s a new Real Simple show on TLC (which I also love…Stacy & Clinton, John & Kate, I’m addicted).  Real Simple sent me an advance copy of the Real Simple. Real Life. pilot episode, which airs TONIGHT at 8 pm.  It was cute and, no offense to the subject Emily, it made me feel pretty darn good about the state of my own house (wait til you see her garage!!).

    You may be thinking, this is just another in a long line of makeover shows.  But I like this one for a few reasons. A) You get to see cool Real Simple ideas actually implemented in people’s real homes.  B) They makeover all aspects of a person’s life…organization, FOOD, clothes, make-up, money, etc. Nate said, it will be good as long as the hosts don’t get too annoying…hee hee…um, can we say, Extreme Makeover Home Edition?!?!  So, if you’re home on a Friday night (don’t worry, I always am)…check it out!

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