Tag Archives: Pork

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 39 (09/23/13-09/27/13)

Happy Friday!!

It’s starting to feel like Fall in Maryland! YAY!! I was beginning to wonder if we were actually going to have a fall this year, considering that we were pushing 90 degree temperatures up until this past week. Lame.

Last week’s menu was fairly-well executed in the Smithstrong household. The only thing that did not happen was the chicken and noodles, despite the fact that I did actually “roast” the chicken for the recipe (I use this recipe to “roast” it in the Crock Pot, which works and tastes amazingly well). It turned out that Big Daddy ended up eating the chicken by itself anyway, so it wasn’t a total bust.

And, we thoroughly ate the heck out of the Tater Tot Casserole.

tater tot

Um yum.

In fact, I just ate the last of this for breakfast today. Yes, for breakfast. And it was delicious.

I wasn’t entirely convinced about this recipe before I made it, but it has officially been starred and bubbly-hearted in my binder so that I remember to make it again in the future. So delicious.

In addition to the Tater Tots we thoroughly enjoyed, the Toddler has been enjoying her exciting Bento-style lunches. Admittedly, it takes me a bit longer to organize her lunches in the evenings (I am not a morning-lunch-packer because I enjoy sleep too much), but it might add an extra 10 minutes to the process. Not a deal breaker for me, considering how excited she reportedly gets every day when she gets to search for the “BUNNY!/DOGGY!/KITTY!/BEAR BEAR!” in her Bento box.

I probably would’ve loved this as a child, so I’m likely just projecting…but that’s another story for another day.

If you want to read all about my Adventures in Toddler Bento Lunches, I wrote a whole post about it here. I didn’t want to bore anyone who is just here for a menu with my ramblings about making lunches for The Toddler. You’re welcome.

I had a really difficult time picking out recipes this week because of all of the delicious fall DESSERTS that are clogging up my Pinterest feed. I cannot stop thinking about pumpkin donuts, apple pie, and all things sweet and fall-y…so of course there’s no room for legitimate food in my brain. I did my best, but I really wanted to keep it simple in terms of cooking because Mama wants to have some fun (and not be testing her pregnant feet for 6-8 hours in the kitchen on Saturday/Sunday).

Hence, I searched the word “casserole” on Pinterest, and an enormous list of beautifully-constructed casseroles appeared. It’s magic, that Pinterest!

Casseroles are almost always a big hit in our house, so I pretty much can’t go wrong.

Nacho Casserole won, because really…who doesn’t love anything that resembles a taco? Just us?

Nacho-Casserole[source]

And I couldn’t get past the anticipated cranberry-orange goodness of these.

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Mmmmm…just try to resist the allure of the cranberries. You can’t.

So here’s the lowdown for next week:

New Recipes:

Recycled Recipes:

I’m enjoying the fact that I have just as many new recipes as I do recycled recipes lately. That means that my grand plan is working out beautifully. Less cooking! More time for fun!

Everything you need (menu, recipes, plan & grocery list) is hanging in the folder on Box.com!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 32 (8/5/13-8/9/13)

Is it just me, or has this been the slowest week in the history of ever? Maybe it’s just because my brain is still on vacation.

So, 6 months and many lethargic afternoons later, I’ve decided this week that I’m going to lay off the carbs for a while. I have been feeling so sluggish lately in the late afternoon and evening that I can only attribute it to carb overload. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the gestating baby I’m carrying, combined with meltingly hot temperatures outside. No matter the reason, I’m going to lay off the carbs and see if I feel any better.

However. The deliciousness of this stromboli from last weeks menu has me dreaming of creating all types of fun, doughy, meat and cheese combinations.

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So, I’m going to double (or triple) the recipe and whip up a bunch for the freezer. Because when you’re feeling over-carbed, one stromboli just isn’t enough. Makes sense, right?

Since I was able to find a great organic pizza dough at the grocery store last week, it made the whole stromboli process even easier. I think this recipe will come in handy since I can bake the stromboli  in foil, and then just pop them in the freezer. I tried it out last week, and they heat up really nicely in the oven (which will be perfect after a long day of chasing a toddler and feeding a newborn). The version I made for this past week was filled with pepperoni and mozzarella, brushed with egg yolk and water (per the recipe), then I sprinkled the top with course sea salt and some Tastefully Simple Garlic & Pesto Mix that I had in my cupboard from ages ago. It was so freaking delicious!

So, that’s a carb bomb that can’t be avoided…although…I’m sure it’ll be fine since I won’t be eating the entire stromboli or anything. Maybe.

Another hit from the Week 31 Menu was the Spicy Sausage Pasta (although I made it not spicy because toddlers tend to not be a fan of that sort of nonsense).

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I loved this recipe. I was a major fan of the fact that I didn’t have to boil my noodles in one pot and cook the rest of the stuff in another pot. I’m seeing more recipes pop up where you can just add your noodles into the recipe uncooked, and they turn out beautifully. I suppose if it works for Hamburger Helper, why wouldn’t it work for a similar homemade recipe, right?! This recipe turned out great, and the leftovers were even better than the original.

This week, since I’m trying to focus more on protein and less on carbs, you may feel a bit shafted in the “side dish” category. Since a lot of my recipes are one-dish type meals, that’s normally not an issue (since they’re generally all carb-o-licious and stuff). My plan is to skip the carbs and just steam up some frozen veggies instead, or throw some fresh veggies on the grill with a sweet potato. Sounds delicious still, right?!

I’m trying to convince myself that pasta = steamed veggies. But it just doesn’t compute. I will survive.

Now. Don’t get it twisted and think that this week’s menu is “low carb”. It’s so not.

Exhibit #1.

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Now, this recipe looks delicious to me, but I need to add a disclaimer. The the recipe uses some version of conventional grocery store breaded, bagged chicken. I don’t intend to take that route (unless I can find an organic version), so I might be breading my own chicken for this recipe. I’m personally not opposed to those extra few steps so avoid any type of “frankenmeat” situation…but I also won’t judge you if you use a Tyson-esque version of breaded chicken either. I’m just paranoid.

New Recipes:

Recycled Recipes:

Don’t get nervous that there are FIVE new recipes this week. I promise you that they are all easy, so you shouldn’t feel like you’re standing in the kitchen all weekend. I added the breakfast sandwiches on the plan to be prepared tonight (Friday), so just whip them up after the kids go to bed (you know…before you watch the next episode of Orange Is the New Black in your queue).  That way, you’ll get a head start on your weekend cooking. If you wanted to be REALLY ambitious (heck, it’s Friday…you can stay up late watching Netflix, right?!), you could even make your Sweet & Spicy Chicken, which will take you next to no time to put together anyway.

Here’s the Menu, the Plan, and the Grocery List.

It’s almost the weekend!!! Enjoy it, because summer will be over before we know it (at least on the East Coast it will be)!!!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 22

First, I want to apologize for the goofy mishap last week with the menu. I didn’t have time to work on it throughout the week on my workday lunch breaks, and when I got home on Friday, I realized I had no access to my computer at work. It’s a long, boring story, but I had accidentally deactivated remote access to my work iMac…wop, wop… So–there’s no actual menu file from last week (because I honestly don’t have the time to go back and make it), but you can get every one of the recipes I used on the last menu from my Week 21 Pinterest Board.

So that’s out of the way…

HI! It’s Week 22! Are you ready? I’m not feeling overly-motivated! Or rather, I’m anticipating a severe lack of cooking motivation this weekend because it’s a THREE! DAY! WEEKEND! Exciting stuff. I’m going to keep it pretty simple. I have quite a bit of food stored in my freezer–here’s a little inventory:

  • 1 pan of Spicy Chicken and Spinach Enchilada Stuffed Shells from last week
  • 1 pan of macaroni & cheese from I couldn’t even tell you which week…it’s been in the freezer for a minute
  • 12ish Sweet Peanut Butter Muffins from Week 20
  • 6 portions of Vanilla French Toast from every single week, since I make it every Saturday with leftover bread
  • 8ish Banana Banana Muffins from Week 19
  • 12ish Spinach Lasagna Rolls from Week 17
  • 6 individual portions of Carrot Cake Oatmeal from Week 19
  • 6 Low Sugar, Whole Grain Blueberry Orange Muffins from Week 17
  • 1 Braised Beef Roast (for tacos) from ages ago, that never made it into the crock pot

So…I have quite a bit to choose from, and breakfast is pretty well covered in our house at the moment. For that reason, I’m basically leaving the breakfast meals untouched this week, and I’ll just repeat what I did last week (and incidentally the week before). However, I am running low on oatmeal, so I’m going to make a batch of Blueberry/Raspberry Baked Oatmeal this weekend so I can have it on-hand in the freezer (and baby girl can eat it one day during the week).

Monday is a holiday, so I technically don’t have to make a menu for the baby, since she’ll be home. However, it makes my life much easier if we have a menu in place so that I don’t have to scramble for her meals. Even though I don’t meal plan for the weekends, I usually have at least a mental plan of what we’re going to eat on the weekends as well. I guess it stresses me out less if I’m somewhat prepared.

Surprise! This week, I’m most excited about the Hoisin Pork with Rice Noodles.

9a4f423c136f31e483747a6d820d6380 [great photo, but I didn’t take it]

…which means that meat is back in the game, friends! I love me some second trimester!

Here are the new recipes for this week:

Here are the recipes that I am pulling from my freezer (but make sure to add them to your grocery list if they aren’t stocked in your freezer already):

Here’s the full menu (including all of the recipes as pdf attachments), the grocery list, and the game plan.

I hope that everyone has a FANTASTIC, LONG, WONDERFUL holiday weekend!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 16

Another week is upon us!

This week’s menu is heavy on the freezer, so I hope you’ve been keeping up! Why is it heavy on the freezer, you ask?! Well…because Mama’s feeling lazy! And we might as well use that food in the freezer–that’s why it’s there, right?!

There are FIVE freezer pulls on the menu this week:

  • Vanilla French Toast
  • Mini Pizza
  • Apple-Pear Bran Muffin
  • Spinach Lasagna Roll
  • Baked Oatmeal

 

If you haven’t stocked your freezer with all of these recipes yet, that’s OK. Just improvise until you get them all stocked in there. Most of these are sort of the staples that always remain in my freezer, so when I get ready to run out, I add it into my schedule to make more. Actually, I make Vanilla French Toast every single Saturday with the previous weeks’ leftover bread and eggs! It’s a great way to ensure that I always have it in the freezer.

The star of last week for me was the Blueberry-Raspberry Baked Oatmeal.

oatmealSo delicious! I’ve made a mental note that next time I need to add a crumbly topping to it prior to baking it, because that would make it even more delicious.

Here’s this week’s menu:

And the recipe list (starred recipes are from the freezer):

 

Here’s the full pdf version of the menu for 4/15/13-4/19/13 (if you click on this link and then “download”, all of the recipes are attached to the pdf), the plan, and the grocery list!

Have a fantastic week!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 14

How did everyone do with last week’s plan?! Did you make one recipe? Two? Three? The whole darn thing??

I made most of the recipes, but I definitely didn’t get it done over the weekend. I enlisted a combination of “wing’ it” and “call in some help from mom” this week. I did manage to throw together my Italian Mixed Green Salad with Pasta and Herbs, and my mom very lovingly cooked the PaleOMG Meat Sauce (and had it warm and waiting when I got home from work, to boot), but that was about the extent of it.

This week, I fully intend to get my crap together and actually cook the full menu.

Despite the fact that my brain kept whispering “pasta…pasta…pasta” while I was planning this week’s menu, I tried to throw some non-pasta dishes in. Pasta seems to be my go-to lately, even though the rest of the family is not all that fond of pasta in most forms.

I sourced all of the new recipes this week from Tasty Kitchen, which is one of my favorite recipe collection sites. I had intended on just going on there to take a look, but I just couldn’t pull myself away!

There’s no way I could walk away from these breakfast burritos.

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Impossible.

Here’s the menu for this week:

 

I’m probably a little too excited about the Italian Sausage, Kale and Blistered Tomato Fettuccine.

Here’s the grocery list for 4/1/13-4/5/13 and the Plan 040113-040513!

Just remember that items from the freezer are not included on the grocery list, so if you want to make those to stock your freezer for the future, be sure to add them to your grocery list!

Have a great week everyone!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 2

I’d say this wasn’t a terrible effort for my first week of meal planning! We learned some foods that baby girl absolutely won’t touch when they’re presented together (sweet potatoes and pork, for example), and some that she loves (this was the original week of putting mandarin oranges on daily repeat, FTW).

I hadn’t really figured out my mojo yet, so this is very basic and a little fragmented, but hey…I was working out the kinks I guess.

Some of the obvious stuff doesn’t have a recipe (I figured that tacos, cheese on toast, almond butter & jelly sandwich are pretty self-explanatory), and the butternut squash ravioli was store bought.

I put all of the January menus together on the January Page, but here’s this week’s menu:

 

If you click on the recipe name below, a new window will open with a pdf of the recipe that you can print out. Recipe credit will show up on the pdf when it prints. If it’s my recipe, it’ll either say “Joggerslife” somewhere, or just look like a Word document. Otherwise, someone else is the genius behind it.

I didn’t really have my crap together at this point, so nothing was organized, and I had no game plan. That said, I don’t have a grocery list or a plan to add here…I didn’t figure that out until a few weeks later!

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