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  1. Sunday, September 15, 2019

    Week 641 Weekly Menu

    Happy Sunday! Let’s get down to business, shall we?

    Week 641 Weekly Dinner Menu: Monday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches; Tuesday - Eat out; Wednesday - Braised Chicken; Thursday - Loaded Nachos; Friday - Leftovers; Saturday - Grilled Salmon; Sunday - Fried Rice

    MONDAY:
    Pulled Pork Sandwiches with coleslaw and watermelon

    TUESDAY:
    – Eat out night (it’s a bananas crazy day and night so I’m crying a preemptive “uncle”)

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Stefania’s Braised Chicken
    – Green Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Loaded Black Bean Nachos

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Grilled Salmon (using this rub recipe)
    – Rice and Salad

    SUNDAY:
    Fried Rice

    Can’t wait to see your menus! Please share in the comments below!


  2. Sunday, September 8, 2019

    Week 640 Weekly Menu

    It’s menu time! Last weekend I planned my menu, went to the store, and, despite a week filled with back to school nights, sports and more, I still cooked every night. Being prepared meant cooking was actually easier and faster than going out. I am so grateful for this blog to keep me planning each week because otherwise I totally would not be! As always, thank you for sharing menus every week. They are incredibly helpful!

    Week 640 Weekly Dinner Menu: Monday - Chicken Pasta Salad; Tuesday - Roasted Vegetable Scramble; Wednesday - Ground Turkey Tacos; Thursday - Braised Chicken; Friday - Leftovers; Saturday - Eat Out; Sunday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches

    MONDAY:
    – Chicken Pasta Salad with an Asian Twist (I’m planning to do a separate post about gluten-free pastas, but I’ll do a quick plug for Tinkyada rice pasta here because it will be perfect for this recipe)

    TUESDAY:
    – Roasted Vegetable Scrambles

    WEDNESDAY:
    Cora’s Mexican Ground Beef Tacos (using ground turkey)

    THURSDAY:
    Stefania’s Braised Chicken
    – Green Salad

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Pulled Pork Sandwiches with coleslaw and watermelon

    Your turn! Share your meal plans in the comments below, they are the best! 


  3. Sunday, September 1, 2019

    Week 639 Weekly Menu

    Happy Labor Day weekend! Hope you are doing something fun…or at the very least eating great food! I completely followed last week’s menu, so gotta come up with new ideas for this week.

    Week 639 Weekly Dinner Plan: Monday - Leftovers; Tuesday - Shepherd's Pie; Wednesday - Bolognese; Thursday - Leftovers; Friday - Rachel Sandwiches; Saturday - Chicken Pasta Salad; Sunday - Roasted Vegetable Scramble

    MONDAY:
    – Leftovers

    TUESDAY:
    Shepherd’s Pie

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Spaghetti Bolognese

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Rachel Sandwiches

    SATURDAY:
    Chicken Pasta Salad with an Asian Twist

    SUNDAY:
    Roasted Vegetable Scrambles

    Thank you everyone who posts each week. It is incredibly helpful and I rely heavily on your menus. Keep it coming! Post your meal plans in the comments below!


  4. Friday, August 30, 2019

    Friday Show & Tell: I’m Dreaming of a Toyota Sequoia + Other Awesome Finds

    The number of things I want to share in today’s Show and Tell is a clear indicator that it’s been too long since I’ve done one of these posts. Here we go!

    The Sequoia is the first car to make me consider ditching my minivan.

    2019 Toyota Sequoia in various places in New EnglandJust a few of the places we took the Sequoia this summer! Top left: Cape Cod National Seashore, Provincetown, MA; Top Right: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, MA, Author’s Ridge in the background; Bottom Right: Off roading on my in-law’s property in New Hampshire; Bottom Right: Centerville on Cape Cod

    This summer, Toyota leant us a Sequoia Platinum for our New England vacation. I was excited to give it a try, but had no idea just how much we would love this car. It is honestly the first car that made me go, “Huh, maybe I can live without my minivan.” It’s about time I tell you about the car, given the level of fondness I have for it! Why did we like this car so much? Let me count the ways…

    Awesome safety features:

    The technology around safety is really well done, with lots of customization possibilities. Note: I accidentally got myself stuck driving down Commercial Street in Provincetown, MA. This was perhaps one of the most stressful driving situations I’ve ever found myself in. It was like trying to fit a grown man’s foot into a baby bootie. However, I was completely able to make it through that crazy street stuffed with cars and people, thanks to helpful beeps if I got close to something as well as a surprisingly tight turning radius on such a large SUV. If I could drive the Sequoia here, I can drive it anywhere.

    Commercial Street in Provincetown, MAThat is Commercial Street. I think my heart rate is still coming down a month later.

    4WD + the ability to fit lots of people and stuff.

    I love camping here in California and visiting Joshua Tree as often as possible. As a result, we’ve forced our minivan down roads that it had no business driving down. We would love to have a 4WD vehicle but as yet haven’t found one that we liked that could also fit 3 kids plus 2 cellos. The Sequoia can do all of that. 

    Storage space in the back of the 2019 Toyota SequoiaI fit those four suitcases and definitely still had space to pack in more stuff…and that was with the third row up! Two cello cases would be no problem!

    So much space.

    Let’s go back to the whole space thing again. The third row was just as comfortable as the middle or front seats, even for adults. And even when we had tons of stuff in the car, we still had room to fit lots of people comfortably.

    Random awesome stuff.

    The sound system was amazing. The front seat had double visors so you can block sun on the side and in front at the same time. Heat warmers in the front and middle seats, plus vented seats in the front to help cool you down on a hot day. Buttons that moved the seats up and down in the way back. All the bells and whistles. 

    Honestly, this might be the next car we get. I’ll keep you posted! Thank you, Toyota!!

    Enamelware Jackpot!

    Stack of Crow Canyon Enamelware, white with blue rim

    I’ve been looking for pretty white enamelware with a thin colored edge for ages. West Elm would carry it sometimes, but it always sold out quickly. Then, while in Provincetown on Cape Cod, we went to a wonderful home store called Utilities, filled to the brim with great finds, including the enamelware of my dreams, made by Crow Canyon Home. I bought a bunch of plates and some serving bowls, then got home and discovered they have a website, which means I will be buying more. (Seriously, I need more bowls, they are awesome.) Definitely go check them out.

    Cedar Grilling Wraps for Cooking Fish

    Salmon cooking on cedar grilling wraps on a gas grill

    A few weeks ago I put grilled salmon on my weekly menu, and my friend Sharon commented on the post saying she had just used cedar grilling wraps the night before and loved them. When I went to Sprouts to buy the fish, I picked up a couple packs myself. And I am officially joining the “I heart cedar wraps” club with Sharon. 

    Why cedar wraps? Well, you’re not really supposed to cook with aluminum foil because aluminum leaches into your food at high temperatures. But buying the cedar planks feels wasteful as you can only use them once. These cedar wraps are the best of both worlds! I have used them twice now for salmon, just laying the salmon right on top of the cedar “paper” and throwing it on the grill. 

    You can buy the wraps on Amazon (and actually there are a ton of brands to choose from on there), but you may also be able to find them at your local market like I did, most likely near the butcher. 

    I love Lori Gottlieb’s book and everyone should read it.

    Cover of "Maybe You Should Talk To Someone" and photo of the author Lori Gottlieb

    Looking for a great book? Go read “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottlieb. She is a fantastic writer and I found myself highlighting things left and right, something I rarely do. So, so good. Enjoy!


  5. Sunday, August 25, 2019

    Week 638 Weekly Menu

    School starts this week for us! These last two weeks before school starts have been crazy busy so I am actually craving a regular routine again.

    Week 638 Weekly Dinner Menu: Monday - Asian Chicken Salad; Tuesday - Salmon; Wednesday - Roast Chicken; Thursday - Indian Tacos; Friday - Leftovers; Saturday to Sunday - Las Vegas Trip

    MONDAY:
    – Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad

    TUESDAY:
    – Lime & Honey Glazed Salmon

    WEDNESDAY:
    – First day of school!
    Roast Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Indian Tacos

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Quick trip to Las Vegas to meet up with family!

    SUNDAY:
    – More Vegas

    Please pretty please share your meal plans in the comments below! We can’t wait to see them and they are a huge help! Have a great week!


  6. Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    Shepherd’s Pie. Nothing Crazy, Just Really Good.

    I have perfected Shepherd’s Pie. There’s nothing magic about this recipe, no secret ingredients. It’s just really, really good, with the right balance of spices and flavors. And that is seriously all I have to say about this recipe. Yup, that’s it. 

    Side view of Shepherd's Pie on White Plate

    Okay, actually, one more thing. You can use ground lamb, beef or turkey. I always use turkey. As I’ve started subbing in poultry products for beef products more and more, I’m discovering that I actually like ground turkey better better than beef in most recipes, and this recipe is no exception. Use whatever meat tickles your fancy, but I’m loving the ground turkey in this one.

    Side view of shepherd's pie in blue casserole dish

    Uh oh, I thought of something else. This recipe is gluten free and, if you use oat milk (which I do), it’s dairy free, too.

    Top view of shepherd's pie recipe in casserole dish

    Okay, okay, just one more thing. You may notice that there are no peas or corn in these photos. I totally forgot to add them even though I specifically made this batch of shepherd’s pie for photographing. Just pretend there are a few more veggies in the photos. You are now like one of the lost boys on Peter Pan. You’re welcome!

    Top view of shepherd's pie on a plate

    Here you go…classic shepherd’s pie, no bells and whistles, just deliciousness.

    Plated Shepherd's Pie

    Shepherd's Pie
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8
    Ingredients
    • 2 standard-sized russet potatoes
    • ½ cup milk or oat milk
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 small onion
    • 2 full-sized carrots
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ cup peas (fresh or frozen)
    • ½ cup corn (fresh or canned)
    • 2 pounds ground meat (lamb, beef or turkey...I like turkey!)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon ground sage
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1½ cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    Instructions
    1. Cut russet potatoes into evenly sized discs, about ¾" thick. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium or medium-high to maintain a light boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and drain. Put potatoes back into pot.
    2. Heat milk and butter in microwave until warmed, about 30-60 seconds.
    3. Add milk, butter, salt, pepper and egg yolk to potatoes and mash (with an electric hand blender or potato masher). Set aside.
    4. Preheat oven to 400º F.
    5. In a deep 12-inch frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook about 5 minutes.
    6. Add ground meat and cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add the salt, pepper, sage and thyme while the meat is cooking.
    7. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the meat, then whisk in the broth. Stir in worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and cook a few minutes until everything is fully mixed.
    8. Pour meat mixture into a large casserole dish (a 13"x9" or equivalent). Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over the top, doing your best to create a seal around the edge between the potatoes and the pan and spreading the potatoes so there are no holes in the surface. If there are holes it's not the end of the world - you'll just get gravy bubbling up over the potatoes.
    9. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned and dish is bubbling. I will sometimes turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end to get the tops of the potatoes even more browned.

     


  7. Sunday, August 18, 2019

    Week 637 Weekly Menu

    I have a few repeats from last week’s menu, and the second half of our week is filled with all kinds of fun things. Last week of summer here we go!

    Week 637 Weekly Menu: Monday - Asian Chicken Salad; Tuesday - Indian Tacos; Wednesday - Salmon; Thursday - Leftovers; Friday - Eat Out; Saturday - Petco Park; Sunday - Picnic on the Beach

    MONDAY:
    Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad

    TUESDAY:
    – Indian Tacos

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Lime & Honey Glazed Salmon
    – Whatever produce looks good at the farmer’s market!

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out night (The Avett Brothers concert!)

    SATURDAY:
    – Dinner at Petco Park (Go Red Sox!)

    SUNDAY:
    – Picnic on the beach!

    Thank you in advance for sharing your menus in the comments below. They are so helpful week after week!


  8. Sunday, August 11, 2019

    Week 636 Weekly Menu

    Hi everyone! I can’t believe it’s already time for the weekly menu. I do in fact have recipes and show & tell stuff to share with you, but I suppose I am in super summer mode right now. So, stay tuned! Until then at least I’m keeping up with the weekly menu!

    Week 636 Weekly Menu: Monday - Caprese Paninis; Tuesday - Salmon; Wednesday - Indian tacos; Thursday - Leftovers; Friday - Pool Party; Saturday - Eat out; Sunday - Spaghetti Bolognese

    MONDAY:
    Caprese Paninis

    TUESDAY:
    Lime & Honey Glazed Salmon
    – Whatever produce looks good at the farmer’s market!

    WEDNESDAY:
    Indian Tacos

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Pool party

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Spaghetti Bolognese

    Share your menus in the comments below! They are so incredibly helpful every week, thank you!


  9. Monday, August 5, 2019

    Week 635 Weekly Menu

    Happy Monday! It’s our first full week home and the kids have a few summer camps, so we are easing back into a more normal routine, which should be good for gearing up for school! I’m actually excited to go shopping and make dinner this week, it’s been a while with all the traveling!

    Week 635 Weekly Dinner Menu: Monday - Naan pizzas; Tuesday - Orange chicken; Wednesday - Hot dogs and hamburgers; Thursday - Leftovers; Friday - Caprese paninis; Saturday - eat out; Sunday - Tri-Tip

    MONDAY:
    Naan pizzas on the grill
    – Salad

    TUESDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Green beans and rice

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Hot dogs & hamburgers on the grill
    Corn on the cob, fruit,  and salad

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Caprese Paninis

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Tri-tip on the grill
    Crispy rosemary roast potatoes and salad

    You know the drill, y’all! Share those menus in the comments, no matter how plain or fancy!


  10. Sunday, July 28, 2019

    Week 634 Weekly Menu

    Our East Coast trip is winding down this week, with a few days in New Hampshire, some time in Boston and then home! So, another unconventional menu from me this week!

    Week 634 Weekly Menu: Monday - Orange Chicken; Tuesday - Dinner in Boston; Wednesday - Travel Day; Thursday - Kebabs; Friday - Asian Chicken Salad; Saturday - Eat out; Sunday - Tacos

    MONDAY:
    Grammy’s Orange Chicken
    – Rice and salad

    TUESDAY:
    – Dinner in Boston

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Travel day…food TBD

    THURSDAY:
    – Kebabs on the grill with rice and salad

    FRIDAY:
    Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Cora’s Mexican Ground Turkey Tacos

    Please share your menu in the comments below! Thank you and have a delicious week!