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  1. Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Week 9 Menu

    MONDAY:
    Kitchen Sink Quesadillas
    – Guacomole & Chips


    TUESDAY:
    Corn Chowder
    – Whole Wheat Bread

    WEDNESDAY:
    Chili Chicken Skewers
    – Rice with Cilantro Pesto
    – Asparagus or Chunky Banana Sweet Potato Mash


    THURSDAY:
    – Leftover Night

    FRIDAY:
    Lemon Crusted Chicken
    – Side veggie (TBD)
    – Mashed potatoes

    SATURDAY:
    Oriental Chicken Salad
    – Rolls

    SUNDAY:
    Real Simple Lasagna
    – Salad


  2. Saturday, March 24, 2007

    Book Club: ‘Precious Bane’ & Butternut Squash Soup

    In addition to music, I love reading. One thing that keeps me reading is my monthly Book Club, made up with 5 of my dearest friends. Each month we take turns hosting at our home, choosing the book and serving up delicious food. It is a feast every time. Since the books and food are always amazing, I think I need to share! We’ve been meeting for a long time now, so I have plenty of goodness to pick from. Hopefully Book Club doesn’t mind! 🙂

    First, let me introduce you to Book Club! Top, l to r: Loretta, Barbara, Karen. Bottom, l to r: Jen, Me, Sarah. Aren’t we cute?

    The first book and recipe I would like to share is from a night Sarah hosted. She chose Precious Baneby Mary Webb. Hands down everyone LOVED this book. The dialect is tricky, but you do get the hang of it and it is so worth it. This is a BEAUTIFUL story, a must read. Sarah served up the most amazing Butternut Squash Soup for us that evening. We’ve all made it since – it is soooo good.

    Happy Reading & Eating!


  3. Book Club: ‘Precious Bane’ & Butternut Squash Soup

    In addition to music, I love reading. One thing that keeps me reading is my monthly Book Club, made up with 5 of my dearest friends. Each month we take turns hosting at our home, choosing the book and serving up delicious food. It is a feast every time. Since the books and food are always amazing, I think I need to share! We’ve been meeting for a long time now, so I have plenty of goodness to pick from. Hopefully Book Club doesn’t mind! 🙂

    First, let me introduce you to Book Club! Top, l to r: Loretta, Barbara, Karen. Bottom, l to r: Jen, Me, Sarah. Aren’t we cute?

    The first book and recipe I would like to share is from a night Sarah hosted. She chose Precious Baneby Mary Webb. Hands down everyone LOVED this book. The dialect is tricky, but you do get the hang of it and it is so worth it. This is a BEAUTIFUL story, a must read. Sarah served up the most amazing Butternut Squash Soup for us that evening. We’ve all made it since – it is soooo good.

    Happy Reading & Eating!


  4. Friday, March 23, 2007

    Musings: The PERFECT jeans

    Get ready, things are about to get a little cheesy… thanks again to everyone visiting and participating on This Week for Dinner! I love all your menus and recipes. That’s what the blog is all about – sharing ideas. I am also loving it when I find out people are using recipes, planning their weekly menus, buying toaster ovens (YES! my friend actually went and bought a toaster oven after reading this post). Anyway, thanks everybody! Okay, I’m done, no more cheese.


    I’ve been wanting to tell you all about my new jeans (if you’re a guy, sorry). Okay, I know this has nothing to do with food or menus, but I just HAVE to write this. I have NEVER had jeans that I like. My sis-in-law Hannah (fashionista in NYC) called me on the carpet last time I was complaining about being between sizes: “Have you tried anything except Gap and Old Navy?” Okay, fine, you got me. Note: I had always made fun of her expensive designer jeans. She told me I had to get out there and try on other jeans. Well, there were a pair of Joe’s Jeans (style: The Muse) on sale at a boutique I happened upon, so I thought I would just try them on, mostly hoping to prove they really weren’t any better. Unfortunately they were. I had Christmas money that would cover the cost (almost), so after 3, yes 3, visits to the boutique, I finally decided to buy the jeans (and literally was shaking when I did). Yes, I am crazy. Anyway, THEY RULE. Hannah was right.

    Moral of the story: Every girl deserves at least 1 pair of jeans that they love. There is a pair that fits you out there somewhere – so go find it!

    Please note: I’m not saying you should go spend big bucks on your jeans, but if you don’t have a pair you like, be open minded – go try all different kinds on. You may be a lucky person who fits into the Gap jeans perfectly. But if you aren’t stop buying those jeans that just don’t fit! It IS worth the time (and sometimes the investment) to find the perfect pair. TRUST ME. (Hannah will never let me hear the end of this…)

    Okay, jeans lecture over. Back to FOOD. 🙂


  5. Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Lunchtime: The Rachel Sandwich

    I’m about to share with you my all time favorite sandwich. Let me introduce you to Rachel. Yes, Rachel is Reuben’s sister. Similar, but not as greasy and just so delicious. My friend Jami (mentioned in the last Lunchtime post) also introduced me to this delectable delight. We used to get Rachels at a deli on (I believe) 2nd Street in East Cambridge, MA. Now that I live nowhere near Boston, I have to make it on my own.


    Here’s how to make a Rachel: Get GOOD bread – wheat or white (I don’t love rye but Reuben would be happy if you used it – the deli I mentioned always used white). ‘Schmear’ two slices with Thousand Island dressing. Top with swiss cheese, turkey slices and coleslaw. (Note, I never eat coleslaw on its own, but it is AWESOME on this sandwich.) Next, grill on a skillet with a bit of butter on both sides. Lastly, get ready to thank me for the best lunch you’ve had in a long time. 🙂

    When Cate saw the coleslaw she wanted to eat the “caterpillars.”


  6. Featured Recipe: I Fought the Slaw…

    …and the slaw won. I’m not a big coleslaw fan, a few bites and I’m done. But coleslaw IS one of the main ingredients to my Favorite Sandwich, so I have to make it. Here are two coleslaw recipes for you – Classic and Fancy. If you have a coleslaw recipe you love, feel free to share in the comments section!

    Note: I don’t shred my own cabbage/veggies. I just buy the bags of pre-mixed coleslaw in the bagged salad section and then make my dressing. The last two times I’ve only found Broccoli Slaw. I like it – it’s a LOT crunchier. Nate doesn’t like it that much and prefers cabbage (not as crunchy) – take your pick!


    Classic Coleslaw
    From: Me!
    1/2 C Mayo
    2 T vinegar
    1 t. sugar
    2 T milk
    2 t. celery seed
    1/4 t. dry mustard

    Add dressing to 1 bag of coleslaw mix.

    “Fancy” Coleslaw
    Fancy means more ingredients, i.e. more work, but yummier
    From Pat Maynard, my awesome mother-in-law
    3/4 C mayo
    3/4 C miracle whip
    1/2 t. celery seed (1 t.)
    2 t. seasoned salt
    1/4 C olive oil
    1/2 C white vinegar
    1/2 C sugar
    1 T dry mustard
    1/3 t. pepper
    1 head cabbage
    4 grated carrots
    1 chopped pepper
    finely chopped onion


  7. Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Healthy Eats: Now THIS is Whole Wheat Bread

    If you read my previous whole wheat french bread post, you’ll know I was DUPED by the label & ended up with completely nutrition-less white bread that just kinda looked like wheat bread. WELL… I’ve gotten smart, well at least smartER. Hate to sound like a stinkin’ broken record, but Trader Joe’s came through again. I picked up one of their Whole Grain Artisan Breads and we had it with our stew. It had all kinds of whole wheat flour, whole grains and FIBER in it. Yea! And it was delicious – Cate even gobbled it up. yum yum.


  8. Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Kitchen Tips: Leftover Pizza

    This post begins with a confession…mostly because you’ll figure it out on your own if I don’t come clean. I didn’t cook Sunday or last night. We ordered California Pizza Kitchen with my mom & sister, and then ate those leftovers last night. For the most part you can believe that I do what I write on here, but SOMETIMES I go off program… 🙂 But, my menu cheating resulted in this brilliant post. Aren’t you lucky?

    As a kid/teen/young adult I HATED leftover pizza. Luckily I married someone who insisted on getting a toaster oven (which I thought was unnecessary – I was so wrong) and who had perfected the art of reheating pizza. Last night when Nate caught me taking a picture of my CPK Carne Asada pizza, I told him my plans for this post and how I’m the pizza heater-upper expert, to which he replied, “And WHY are you the expert?” Yes, Yes, it’s all because of Nate. So, with full credit given, here’s the “recipe”


    Leftover Pizza
    Microwave pizza until it is quite warm – appx 45 sec – 1 min
    Put in toaster oven (without the tray is better, if you can keep the cheese from dripping – nate uses the tray) and TOAST (not bake) a little longer. THIS IS THE KEY. It crisps up the bread so nicely. You won’t even know it’s leftovers. You’re welcome.


  9. Monday, March 19, 2007

    Healthy Eats: FitDay.com

    Time for a “healthy” post 🙂 If you are looking for an online diet journal, check out www.fitday.com. You can sign up for a free account and track all kinds of fitness information… food, calories, activity, weight goals, etc. Have a Fit Day!


  10. Sunday, March 18, 2007

    RECIPES: Corn Chowder

    Since I received so many corn chowder recipes form everyone, thought I should compile them all in one place. Can’t wait to try them!

    Corn Chowder
    From Adrianne’s Mom
    2 small onions, chopped
    4 slices of bacon
    2 celery stalk,chopped
    2 potatoes chopped
    4 cups corn (frozen or canned)
    4 cups chicken broth
    *****************************
    1 Bay leaf
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. pepper
    2 T. butter
    2 T. flour
    1 1/2 cups cream or half n’ half
    1 cup grated cheddar cheese

    Cook onions, bacon & celery, put in slow cooker. Add potatoes, corn, broth, bay leave, salt & pepper. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Take bay leaf out and throw away. On the stove top, melt butter, add the flour so it makes a paste. Cook until light brown. Slowly add the cream to the paste, heat until it thickens. DO NOT BOIL! Move it from the heat, add the cheese and mix until melted. Add this mixture to the slow cooker mixture. Stir well and serve.

    Joe’s Favorite Fresh Corn Chowder
    From Kelly
    1/4 lb. bacon, diced
    1 cup onion, diced
    1 cup celery, diced
    2 cups chicken stock
    2 cups water
    2 cups potates, diced
    3 cups corn kernels
    2 cups cooked chicken
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup parsley, minced
    Salt & Pepper

    Fry the bacon in the bottom of a 6 quart stock pot. When the bacon is crisp, remove it from pan and set aside. Drain all but about 2 tablespoons of fat. Add the onions and celery to the bacon fate and saute until soft. Then add the potatoes, water and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender. Stir in chicken, corn and thyme. Slowly add the cream to the warm mixture. Add the parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot sprinkled with bacon crisps.

    Corn Chowder
    From: Kelly
    8 potatoes (peeled and cubed)
    1 pkg frozen corn
    1 onion, chopped
    6 T. butter
    1/4 cup flour
    4 cups milk
    1/2 cup cream
    8 oz. cream cheese
    2 t. salt
    1/2 t. pepper
    1t. parsley
    1/4 t. thyme
    1/4 t. marjoram

    Cook potatoes until tender. Saute onions with butter until tender. Add flour, stir to blend. Add milk, cream and cream cheese. Whisk with wire until smoot. Continue to cook until slightly thickened. Stir in potatoes, corn, salt, pepper and herbs. Heat mixture to piping hot, but do not boil. For better flavor, set aside to cool and then reheat.

    Sausage Corn Chowder
    From Margo’s Aunt
    Brown in soup pot 1 pound “lite” sausage and 1 diced yellow onion. While browning meat, peel and dice 5 medium potatoes. Drain any grease off meat and onions, add potatoes and cover with water. Cook until potatoes are barely tender. Add 1 can corn, 1 can creamed corn, and 1 can evaporated milk. Thicken to tates with 3T flour dissolved in water. Heat until thickening is cooked.

    Corn Chowder
    From Cat Lady (her hubby likes with with shredded chicken)
    2 cans cream of potato soup
    2 cans cream corn
    2 cans corn (or approx 4 cups frozen)
    3 cups +/- diced potatoes
    1 qt half & half
    extra milk if needed
    salt and pepper to taste. I like a lot of pepper… almost a Tblspn

    Mix everything together and simmer till potatoes are tender, stirring occasionaly so it doesn’t stick to the pan. I also use canned potatoes or sometimes frozen hashbrowns.