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  1. Sunday, April 12

    Week 116 Menu

    Happy Easter!  May your day be filled with baskets, loved ones and chocolate.

    – Leftovers

    – Pork Chops
    – Wild Rice (Rice-a-Roni, please!)
    – Veggie

    – Paninis of some sort (Cate just gobbles these up!)

    Canneloni (I need to use up the ricotta cheese!)
    – Salad

    Orange Chicken
    – Dumplings

    – Eat out

    Lentil Soup
    – Crusty bread

    It may be a holiday today…but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to eat this week!  Plan a menu and share it with the rest of us! (PS – Thanks again for your menus each week!!!!)

  2. Friday, April 10

    Oroblanco Grapefruit

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sweet grapefruit junky. Nate went to the farmer’s market last weekend and discovered my new favorite grapefruit variety: Oroblanco. It’s actually a cross between a grapefruit and a pommelo…and what a DELICIOUS cross it is.  Sweet, not as acidic, milder in flavor.

    It’s also huge. I photographed the oroblanco (yellow) next to a normal sized grapefruit, a navel orange and a ‘cutie’ just to give some perspective on the ‘giantness’ of this grapefruit. The rind was really thick, so the actual fruit yield was about the same as any other grapefruit.

    Anna just couldn’t resist being a part of the big photo shoot.

  3. Thursday, April 9


    Cannelloni is one of my favorite things to order at an Italian restaurant.  Which means I had to figure out a way to make it at home, of course!  I gave it a try this week and it was so so yummy.  Here’s what I did!

    Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
    Cuisine: Italian
    • FILLING: will fill ~8 cannelloni, maybe up to 10
    • 1 chicken breast, cooked & shredded
    • ¼ C fresh, shredded parmesan cheese
    • 1 C ricotta cheese
    • ½ C shredded mozzarella
    • 1 Egg, beaten
    • 1 garlic clove, minced or use garlic press
    • 1 T chopped fresh basil (maybe a little more than 1 T)
    • ¼ t pepper
    • ½ t salt
    • SAUCE:
    • 1½ C jarred marinara (you could make your own, but this is faster and tasted great)
    • ½ C cream
    • 24 grape tomatoes, smashed up a bit (I pulsed in the blender a few times)
    • ¼ – ½ C shredded asiago cheese
    • SHELLS:
    • Ideally I suppose you make your own pasta, roll it into thin sheets and cut into rectangles. Yeah, THAT’S gonna happen around here”¦.so, I tried two readily-available pastas.
    • Barilla No-Boil Homemade Style (Flat) Lasagna Noodles: These were PERFECT. Boil 3 minutes, CAREFULLY remove from the water (it’s easy to crack them in the middle, so be gentle!). Filling them is a cinch”¦just lay the rectangle out portrait (you know, tall-wise), lay your filling across the noodle near the end, then roll up! (I had a few cracks when I took them out of the water, but the noodle overlaps itself when you roll it up, so it wasn’t a problem) Pictured RIGHT.
    • Manicotti Shells: I also tried manicotti shells. They didn’t taste quite as good, and they’re harder to stuff. So, I will definitely do the flat, no-boil lasagna noodles from now on. Pictured LEFT.
    1. Mix filling ingredients.
    2. Mix sauce ingredients and warm on the stove (doesn’t need to cook too long or get too hot).
    3. Spray a rectangular casserole dish or metal cake pan with spray oil. Stuff cannelloni (see noodle descriptions above). Place stuffed cannelloni in the pan. Cover with sauce.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Mangia!
    Makes approximately 8 cannelloni”¦Nate and I each ate 2, and the girls had 1 each. Fed our family of 4 with 2 cannelloni left over.


  4. Tuesday, April 7

    Chag Sameach! Happy Holiday!

    Tomorrow evening (Wednesday) marks the start of Passover. I thought it would be fun to get some recipes from a few of my Jewish friends and share them with you.

    One thing that I like about the Passover Seder is how important the food is to the celebration. It’s very symbolic and plays a key role to the festivities. It’s all very fascinating to me. If you’d like to read more, this web page has lots of great information.

    I will not be preparing a traditional Seder, but I am going to try a few recipes. I’ve got my Kosher ingredients all ready to go! Speaking of which…when I was at Safeway today, I was trying to find some matzoh bread. I’m not Jewish, so I was going to go quietly about my business in the Kosher food aisle and hope no one noticed I didn’t know what I was doing. Well, I couldn’t find any matzohs and overheard a woman ask for it. To make a long story short, Gentile Jane ended up on a store-wide matzoh quest with about 5 other Jewish people. So much for staying under the radar. I just kept my mouth shut, used as few words as possible and hoped people didn’t realize I was an impostor! And, after all of that, Safeway was completely out of matzohs! Oy Vey!

    Big thanks to Ciaran Blumenfeld, a dear blogging buddy, for providing us with so many wonderful family recipes!  And another big thanks to my friend Michele Wang for sharing her mother-in-law Sherry’s great Chocolate Walnut Spongecake recipe.

    Click “more” to see the recipes, including Jewish Penicillin (intrigued? read on!).  It’s worth a read-through, and Ciaran’s commentary is great! And, as always, if you have your own seder-friendly recipes to share, please do!

    (>> Find out more…)

  5. Sunday, April 5

    Week 115 Menu

    I planted my first tomato plant yesterday, which I am very excited about! The tomatoes will be grape-sized, sweet and yellow…assuming I don’t kill the plant.  I can’t wait to eat them!

    Yeah, I know, I have repeats on the menu this week. I didn’t do as much cooking last week as I had planned. Although, we only ate out once. I’m not entirely sure WHAT we had for dinner every night…I know we ate food. Anyway, it has just been one of those weeks…I was swamped with work (which I’m grateful for!) and Nate was beyond swamped, at one point working for 24 hours straight.  YIKES!

    – Meatball Subs

    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Brown rice & Salad

    – Waffles or some other easy breakfasty food

    – Leftovers

    – Eat out

    Chicken Piccata
    – Pasta or Garlic Mashed Potatoes
    – Salad

    – Pork chops on the grill
    – Wild Rice (yes, from a Rice-a-Roni box!)
    – Veggie

    Time for you to post your menu for the week! If you haven’t posted before, go ahead and give it a try – all menus are welcome! It doesn’t have to be fancy. This is ME you’re talking to, here.

    Thanks everyone! Have a great week!

  6. Friday, April 3

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza

    Remember Lindsay?  I think it’s about time I start sharing some of her recipes with you!

    chicken tortilla soup |

    Today it’s Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza! I’m going to start adding the word “Extravaganza” to the end of all my recipes.  It’s just so festive! (Aaron is Lindsay’s husband, by the way…who is one of the maybe five male commenters on this site.  Thanks, Aaron!)

    Lindsay actually fries up her own tortilla strips for the soup. She is WAY more gourmet than I am.

    Lindsay has the most beautiful spices.  She puts them all in matching containers.  And how cute is her bowl of salt?  I always feel like I’m in the audience of a cooking show at her house.

    I no longer live next door to Lindsay.  I so miss our afternoons of her cooking and me photographing.  Those were the days… 🙂

    And now, for the recipe!

    Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza
    A little spicy and a lot delicious!
    Recipe type: Main Dishes, Soup
    Cuisine: Mexican
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • olive oil
    • 2 green onions, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 8 cups chicken broth
    • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
    • ½ bag frozen corn
    • 1 large chicken breast
    • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
    • 1 lime (one extra for garnish)
    • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
    • 4-5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
    • 1 avocado, diced
    • cayenne pepper
    • chili powder
    • cumin
    • salt and pepper
    • cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
    • sour cream
    1. Sautee onion in olive oil until soft, then add garlic, green onions, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin. Sautee until fragrant (a minute or two). Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes, corn, black beans.
    2. Grill up chicken spiced with cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. (You can also pan-fry it, but it won’t add the smokiness that the bbq does). Cut up or shred chicken and add it to the soup. Try the soup and add more seasonings according to taste, if needed. Add lime juice and cilantro.
    3. In large fry pan over medium-high heat, crisp up tortilla strips. Add salt. You may do this with oil or cooking spray. (For a shortcut, use tortilla chips instead).
    4. Serve soup garnished with avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and a lime wedge.