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  1. Thursday, June 7, 2018

    Kitchen Sink Orzo Bowls

    These kitchen sink orzo bowls are delicious and a new favorite go-to dinner option in our house, super flexible and you can use whatever ingredients you have lying about…you know, everything but the kitchen sink!

    Kitchen Sink Orzo Bowls, a comforting, nutritious and delicious go-to dinner recipe

    Last week when I went to the farmer’s market I had no idea what I was going to be making for dinner that night (despite having a meal plan ready…yeah, sometimes I don’t follow it, I’m only human). I decided to see what vegetables I could find at the market and go from there. Then I came home, rummaged through the cabinets and fridge and discovered a package of whole wheat orzo. The result of all this searching and finding is today’s recipe, kitchen sink orzo bowls.

    Easy and tasty kitchen sink orzo bowl recipe

    This is a very flexible recipe. Pretty much the only ingredient you have to have is orzo! Olive oil, onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper are also pretty necessary, too, but beyond that you can throw all kinds of yummy veggies and even chicken or fish with success. As a result of all this flexibility, I don’t have any measurements for you on this recipe. I’ll describe the technique and the approximate amounts of ingredients I used and then I encourage you to take this recipe and make it your own. And your own version will probably even change depending on the season or what is in your fridge on a particular day.

    Recipe for Kitchen Sink Orzo Bowls - use whatever you have in the kitchen to make this delicious go-to dinner

    The final result is a very homey, tasty dish, reminiscent of a classic casserole but much healthier. If you’re craving risotto but don’t feel like cooking risotto, this is a great alternative, providing a similar texture and flavor without the long cooking process. Enjoy!

    Kitchen Sink Orzo Bowls
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Whole wheat orzo pasta (Definitely go whole wheat here! It's more nutritious and tastes the same! My favorite brand is Delallo Organic.)
    • Olive oil, a few tablespoons
    • Onion, about ¼-1/2 of an onion chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
    • Cherry Tomatoes, halved, above one pint (you could also chop appx. 2 whole tomatoes)
    • Fresh vegetables, whatever you have lying around (I used 2 fresh summer squash)
    • Cooked chicken, chopped or shredded depending on your preference (About 1-2 chicken breasts' or a few thighs' worth of meat, I like the chicken to be grilled)
    • Dry white wine, ¼-1/2 cup or so (optional)
    • White balsamic vinegar, a few tablespoons (optional)
    • Pasta water, reserve 2-3 cups
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Spices and herbs if you like: parsley, oregano, basil are all good options (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Prepare orzo pasta as directed on the package. Drain, reserving 2-3 cups of the pasta water, and then set aside both the water and the orzo. I used about ¾ of a package of Delallo Whole Wheat Orzo to feed our family of 5 with some leftovers.
    2. In a deep, 12-inch skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook a few minutes until translucent.
    3. Add fresh garlic and cook, stirring, about 30-60 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low and let mixture cook for 5-10 minutes to really get the tomatoes to cook down.
    4. If using wine, add it now and cook about 5 minutes. Add vegetables and cook a few minutes until the veggies are al dente. (If you are using vegetables like carrots that take longer to cook, steam them ahead of time and just heat through at this point in the recipe.) If you aren't using wine and need a little more fluid in the pan, just add another swig or two of olive oil.
    5. Add the orzo to the pan. Add the white balsamic vinegar and then start adding pasta water about ½ cup at a time until you get a nice, creamy consistency. Salt and pepper to taste, adding herbs and spices if you choose. I simply used salt and pepper and it tasted great!

    OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:

    EQUIPMENT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:


  2. Sunday, June 3, 2018

    Week 581 Weekly Menu

    Sorry about last week…we were, quite frankly, having too much fun over Memorial Day weekend and I blew it on the meal planning front! We had a strange week, too, so there wasn’t much cooking happening anyway. But we’re back in business this week.

    Week 581 Weekly Dinner Menu

    MONDAY:
    – Taco Salad

    TUESDAY:
    – BBQ Grilled Chicken
    – Baked Beans and Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    Lentil Rice Bowls with Lime-Tahini Dressing

    THURSDAY:
    – Chopped Salad with Chicken

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Stir Fry

    Seriously, your menus from last time were a huge help for me as I planned today. As always, thank you for sharing your menus with us week after week…including this week! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got cooking, please share below!


  3. Monday, May 14, 2018

    Week 579 Weekly Menu

    Since yesterday was Mother’s Day I took it upon myself to perform no household duties, including planning the weekly dinner menu. Sadly Mother’s Day only lasts 24 hours and we still need dinner this week. Back to real life!

    Week 579 Weekly Dinner Menu for the week of May 14, 2018

    MONDAY:
    – Chicken Tortilla Soup

    TUESDAY:
    – Red Beans and Rice (trying a new recipe, will let you know how it goes!)

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Hamburgers

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Stir Fry

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Steak
    – Roasted Potatoes + Another Side Vegetable (whatever I find at the farmer’s market)

    You know the drill – share your menus in the comments! They are a huge help to us all, thank you!


  4. Thursday, May 10, 2018

    Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

    So. I’ve been making pot roast in a slow cooker for ages. The recipe is simple, reliable and delicious. I didn’t think anything could ever replace that recipe. And then, this week, I tried making pot roast in my Instant Pot, using the pressure cooker settings. Whoah, boy, pressure cooker pot roast just replaced slow cooker pot roast. Quite frankly I’m stunned by this upset. But I’m happy about it just the same.

    How to make pot roast in a pressure cooker

    I bought an Instant Pot I think three years ago and, until last month, had used it only once. I tried cooking basic chicken using the pressure cooker function and it worked, well, fine. It didn’t blow me out of the water, and so the Instant Pot got pushed to the back of the cabinet. And then my friend Christine mentioned a few weeks ago how she loves making brown rice in the pressure cooker. So I dug it out and started experimenting.

    Recipe for pressure cooker pot roast

    As of today I am so-so on brown rice (I just haven’t perfected that process yet) and in love with making beans in the pressure cooker (I’ll share that recipe another day, it took some tweaking but I finally have it where I like it). And then I decided to try pot roast. HUGE SUCCESS. It tasted the same as my slow cooker pot roast and, top to bottom, took about 2 hours instead of the usual 8-9 hours.

    I will say this – I can totally see instances where cooking the pot roast for 8 hours will be more convenient based on my schedule for a particular day. But what is so glorious is now I have two options, 2 hours or 8 hours, with equally delicious results. Hooray for pressure cooker pot roast!

    Pressure cooker pot roast, my new favorite way to make pot roast!

    I took my inspiration for this pot roast from my friend Barbara from Pressure Cooking Today. She is my pressure cooker guru. You need to bookmark her site pronto if you have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. You’re welcome. (Click here for Barbara’s pot roast recipe, which has a few more ingredients than my version below.)

    Pressure Cooker Pot Roast
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Simple, easy and delicious! Instructions below are based on using an Instant Pot.
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8
    Ingredients
    • 1 chuck, chuck-eye, or round roast (around 4 pounds)
    • 1-2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • ½ of an onion, chopped
    • 2 cups beef broth or stock
    Instructions
    1. Sprinkle roast evenly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    2. Select the "Browning" setting on the Instant Pot. Add oil to Instant Pot and let heat up. Once hot, brown the roast on both sides, a few minutes per side until you start to get beautiful browned spots. Set roast aside.
    3. Add onions to the Instant Pot and cook until softened and translucent. Stir regularly.
    4. Add the chopped onions to the oil in the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Stir in broth and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Scrape up all the browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pot while broth is simmering.
    5. Add roast and change Instant Pot setting to High pressure. Make sure the pressure release handle is on "Sealing." Set the timer for 90 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the pot to build pressure and for the 90-minute countdown to begin.
    6. When the 90 minutes is over, turn off the pressure cooker and let it sit for 15 minutes, letting pressure release naturally. At the 15-minute mark, using a hot pad and being careful not to touch the steam, turn the pressure release handle to "Venting" to release the rest of the pressure. Once it stops steaming, remove the lid.
    7. Let roast rest for 10-15 minutes. Use juices for gravy, straining the juice first to remove the "stuff" left behind in the juices. Make gravy using white roux (click here for recipe and instructions). You can also use a slurry made from ½ cup flour whisked with 1 cup cold water to thicken the gravy if you forgot to make the roux.

    OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:

    EQUIPMENT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:


  5. Sunday, May 6, 2018

    Week 578 Weekly Menu

    Happy Sunday! This week I attended the Mom 2 Summit and it was, as usual, really wonderful. This year I came home with a list of things to do that are going to improve my {aging} blog. So get ready! Changes are in store and they are all for the better! (Although, honestly, some of those changes are pretty boring and you won’t even know they  happened…but I’m good with that because spring cleaning always feels good, even when no one sees inside your closets!)

    Weekly menu from This Week for Dinner for the week of May 7, 2018, including pesto chicken pasta and chicken tortilla soup!

    MONDAY:
    Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos (I’ll be eating mine as a brown rice bowl :))

    TUESDAY:
    – Pesto Chicken Pasta

    WEDNESDAY:
    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Red Beans and Rice (trying a new recipe, will let you know how it goes!)

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Baked Salmon with Chimichurri
    – Roasted potatoes and another side vegetable

    Okey dokey, your turn! Please share your menus in the comments! Can’t wait to see what everyone has cooking! (That and I can’t wait for a list of dinner ideas that I can steal for next week!)


  6. Monday, April 30, 2018

    Week 577 Weekly Menu

    Oh my, this week is getting off to a busy start! Let’s see if I can pull off a weekly menu in 5 minutes or less. I’ll be heading to the Mom 2 Summit this week, so it’s a lot of the family fending for themselves.

    Weekly dinner menu from This Week for Dinner for the week of 5/30/18

    MONDAY:
    – Leftovers

    TUESDAY:
    Taco night

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Spaghetti
    – Salad

    THURSDAY:
    – English Muffin Pizzas

    FRIDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Pot roast (because I’ll be needing a good old fashioned home-cooked meal by the end of this week!)
    Roasted potatoes and salad

    We need your menus this week to provide a bit more inspiration than what I’ve got going on. Please post your weekly menus below in the comments! Thank you!


  7. Sunday, April 22, 2018

    Week 576 Weekly Menu

    Happy Sunday! We’ve got a busy week ahead of us, but the dinner plan should help with the stress! Here we go…

    Weekly dinner meal plan #576 from This Week for Dinner

    MONDAY:
    – Coconut Chicken Tenders (going to try experimenting with cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs)
    – Salad

    TUESDAY:
    Chili

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Chicken, Veggie, Rice & Lentil Bowls (going to copy something I had at Cava in Orange County, will share a recipe if what I create turns out well!)

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Pesto Pasta
    – Salad

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night! (The girls and I will be in Los Angeles attending the first-ever Maverick Summit for girls as well as the Get Lit Words Ignite Classic Slam…I can’t wait for this inspiring day with my daughters!)

    SUNDAY:
    – No clue because we have back-to-back music recitals in different towns. Will pack snacks and hope we don’t starve!

    As you know this blog would be super duper boring without all of you. Please share your own weekly menu in the comments below! Thank you!


  8. Sunday, March 25, 2018

    Week 572 Weekly Menu

    I have a lot of carry-overs from last week because, well, life. Gotta love those weeks! (Note: the menu graphic below has the wrong meal for Easter…when I planned my menu I forgot Sunday is Easter! I have updated Sunday’s plans in the list below, with links to a few recipes.)

    Week 572 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard

    MONDAY:
    – Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice and Vegetables
    – Naan

    TUESDAY:
    – Ordering pizza for a get together with a visiting friend

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce, Brown Rice, Vegetable

    THURSDAY:
    – Out to dinner with friends

    FRIDAY:
    – Enchiladas

    SATURDAY:
    – Chicken Soup
    Prager Brothers Spelt Bread Toast[r

    SUNDAY: 
    – Ham, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Crescent Rolls, Salad, Dessert

    Time for your dinner plans! Please share your menus in the comments below! Thank you!


  9. Monday, March 12, 2018

    Week 570 Weekly Menu

    Hey all! It’s time for some meal planning!

    Week 570 Weekly Menu from @janemaynard

    Regarding the whole clean eating thing I’ve been doing, I’m going to write a separate post about it instead of updating here in the weekly menu. As I talk to people in real life, I’m finding that even the most reluctant want to give some variation of this a try by the time we are done with our conversation. So, I’ll write a post explaining how I have adjusted my diet and why, along with tons of ideas for food you can actually eat when it feels like everything is off limits. Stay tuned!

    Until then, here is my menu for the week, with modifications for my current way of eating in parentheses.

    MONDAY:
    – Thai Beef Basil with Brown Rice

    TUESDAY:
    – Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Chicken Stir Fry, Brown Rice and Potstickers (no potstickers for me)

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Taco Night (Carnitas and Chicken; I will be having a fajita bowl with brown rice)

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    – Breakfast for Dinner: Pancakes and Smoothies (Going to try these for myself and adjust to make them flourless and dairy-free)

    You all know the drill! Share your menus in the comments! Love that we are all back on this meal planning train together!


  10. Monday, November 27, 2017

    Week 560 Weekly Menu from Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte: Eat. Make. Groove.

    Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with the best food! We did…and we’re still swimming in leftovers. My family has informed me they are done with Thanksgiving food, but I beg to differ. We shall see…

    Guest Weekly Dinner Menu from Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte (Week 560 Menu on @janemaynard)

    Today’s guest menu is fun and different than anything we’ve ever had on the blog. It comes from my friend Rachel Faucett, the founder of the blog and company Handmade Charlotte. Rachel and I initially bonded as roommates on the ONE-Heifer trip to Malawi I took a few years ago (here’s proof). My connection with Rachel is something for which I will be forever grateful. There is seriously no one on this planet like Rachel. She has boundless energy and creativity and is hysterical to boot. When I was asking friends if they wanted to write a guest menu for my blog, she was the first to jump in, immediately responding with ideas and inspiration for dinners, crafts and music. I told her to run with it and now here we are. Grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit down, and enjoy a trip through Rachel’s meal planning brain, which is unlike any meal planning trip you will ever take.  Thank you, Rachel, for creating a menu that is just so you.

    MONDAY

    EAT:

    This ricotta ravioli looks so beautiful and so deliciously inviting!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Sail a Ship Kite

    SURF:

    I adore this Sailing Ship Kite! I think I may try to sail away to Neverland on it. Will you join me?

    GROOVE:

    Chill out to Yo La Tengo – My Little Corner Of The World while you enjoy your delicious dinner.

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Embroidered Leaves

    MAKE:

    This is such a great fall crafting project.

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Studio Anorak

    FLIP:

    Flip through this cool magazine.

    VIBE:

    All good vibes here! http://butdoesitfloat.com/

    TUESDAY

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Soup in a Pretzel Bread Bowl

    EAT:

    Soup meets glorious bread bowl in this brilliant combo!

    STYLE:

    WOW! I’m in love with everything from this shop!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: DIY Hair Ties

    MAKE:

    How fun and adorable! Let’s make these hair ties with Lunch Lady magazine!

    WEDNESDAY

    EAT:

    Dinner is a walk in the garden with these gorgeous pizzas!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: DIY Paris Doll

    MAKE:

    J’adore everything about these DIY Parisian Dolls!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: How to Paint a Mural

    DIG IT:

    We love everything about Winter Water Factory and painted our studio a pattern from their fall collection!

    GROOVE:

    Listen to Come On, Come Over by Jaco Pastorius

    THURSDAY

    EAT:

    Order in from your fave take out place!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Sew on Patches!

    MAKE:

    Sew Patches All Over Your Clothes! Check out these Etsy finds:

    FRIDAY

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Fried Eggs and Charred Tomatoes Toast

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Blackberry Slab Pie

    EAT:

    Mix it up and eat breakfast for dinner under your table! Try these awesome Fried Eggs and Garlic Toast and this Potato Skillet Bake! And for dessert? This Blackberry Slab Pie will be gone in seconds.

    WATCH:

    Watch silly home videos, or make some new ones!

    MAKE:

    Draw silly pictures. Can you sketch a silly portrait of your siblings or parents?

    SATURDAY

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Grilled Pimento Cheese

    EAT:

    Nosh on these melt in your mouth grilled pimento cheese sammys!

    MAKE:

    Rock out with these DIY Rock Candy Magnets!

    GROOVE:

    Get your groove on with this cool Putumayo jam!

    SUNDAY

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: Stuffed Butternut Squash

    EAT:

    Make some Stuffed Butternut Squash for dinner!

    Week 560 Weekly Menu on @janemaynard from Rachel Faucett: DIY Marbled Mugs

    MAKE:

    Marbled Mugs! One for each person in the family! Fill them with Hot Cocoa afterwards!

    GET COZY;

    Fill your crafted mugs with the most amazing Hot Chocolate ever!

    AS USUAL…please share your dinner plans in the comments! And, in honor of Rachel, share something that inspires you in addition to food!