Saturday, December 6, 2014

Meal Planning : Weekly Eats with Whole Parenting Family {Vol. 5}


We've been making our way through the Turkey Day leftovers. It is quite incredible how many meals can be made from one turkey. Ours was about 8 lbs. but it was feeding only three people (two and a half since I doubt the toddler was pulling her weight as a third feaster).


Steve smoked the turkey over hickory so the smell permeated the entire fowl, including the bones. As I boiled the bones for soup stock, the entire house filled with the smell of hickory smoke. (I was actually alarmed for a moment about what was on fire.) Our soup was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. with the added addition of hickory flavor.


Here's a few other things we enjoyed this week:

Sunday - gingerbread pancakes  served with eggs and bacon

Monday - bean burritos topped with spicy salsa

Tuesday - shepherds' pie : I placed the leftover turkey and stuffing in a pyrex dish and whipped up a pan of mashed potatoes, enough to cover the top. Baked it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Wednesday - turkey soup : made something based on this recipe here

Thursday - sloppy joes in whole wheat buns served alongside zucchini

Friday - breakfast for dinner: omelets with cheddar and ham & whole wheat applesauce cake (oops, I guess I'm serving dessert for dinner -- don't tell my mom)


And, you, what's on your menu this week??

Link up here! Or to peruse more ideas.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gingerbread Pancakes

We're moving full swing into winter foods around here. I believe we've already drank our way through four cartons of egg nog. (And they only hit the shelves last week.)

I grew up with a wonderful German gingerbread cookie recipe that has passed down through the generations -- and we allllll know I'm okay with eating cookies for breakfast -- but, in the interest of teaching my daughters better eating habits, I'd prefer to stick (mostly) with breakfast foods at breakfast. Breakfast for dinner is always a good option too. ;)

These pancakes make it easy.

They remind me of those delectable gingerbread cookies. Just the right amount of spice, and sweetness added with rich molasses. You can choose whether to add syrup or not. (Not necessary in my book.)



Gingerbread Pancakes 
adapted from Martha Stewart Living November issue


2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. wheat flour
1 T baking powder
3/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. molasses
3 c. buttermilk


Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. Whisk together eggs, molasses and buttermilk. Once combined, add to dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined.

Cook on a greased griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Makes enough for about 30 small pancakes. (Great as leftovers!)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Meal Planning : Weekly Eats ~ Thanksgiving Edition

To get you in the mood for prepping for Thanksgiving dinner this week, we're sharing our Thanksgiving dinner ideas on Nell's Weekly Eats link-up!

The 2008 turkey that wouldn't cook. (Like the one from 2005.) Don't let me near your turkeys, guys.

This will be our first Thanksgiving with just my husband and the girls. It is a little intimidating being in charge of all the dishes, but, then, I'm only making enough for four (three, really). We're planning on having a little Pilgrim and Indian party to make it fun for the girls (and to commemorate the night my husband and I met -- yes, we met at a Pilgrim and Indian party hosted by the man himself -- so it only seems fitting). ;)

And, yes, we blow dry turkeys at my parents' house. It started when one of my brothers got the ingenious idea when my mom told him to dry it off. She meant with paper towels.

Here is the dinner plan for the evening:

Appetizer
baked brie with cranberries 
I won't follow this recipe to a T but it will be something similar. We'll serve this alongside some multigrain crackers. 

Main course dishes
turkey
We're actually going to bbq ours this year. My husband is a pro on the grill and he has the extra large one. So to the grill it will go.

stuffing
I tend to just do one of the boxed kinds (and will probably do a cornbread one), following the instructions on the back. Exciting, I know.

gravy
Not sure yet.

cranberry sauce
Unless I get really daring, I will stick to my tried-and-true simple recipe of cranberries, sugar and water. MUCH, much better than the canned jelly stuff. Do yourself a favor and make it fresh. It is fast and easy.

brown sugar-glazed sweet potatoes with marshmallows
My family didn't do sweet potatoes growing up but they are my favorite (as well as my husband's) so we'll put them on the table this year. This recipe looks amazing.

braised dijon brussel sprouts 
They're in season and a great addition to the Thanksgiving table. This recipe will be the one.

honey whole wheat dinner rolls
I don't often do freshly baked bread (although I wish I did), but during holiday meals, I like to make an exception. These will go splendidly with our dinner.

Dessert
maple pecan pie
The one we are making will not have corn syrup but brown sugar and maple to sweeten instead. I wish I had the recipe to share with you but it comes from the November edition of the Martha Stewart Living magazine. I couldn't find it on the site but with a google search you can probably find something similar.
Also, a few wines that won't break the bank but are wonderfully paired with Thanksgiving fare. 

What will you be serving on your Thanksgiving table?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Soup


Here in Northern California I think we skipped straight from summer to winter. One week the temperatures where in the 80s, the next in the 50s. {I know most of you don't consider that winter temperatures, but for us that is cold!}

My favorite thing to make when the temperatures drop is a large pot of soup to warm up chilly bodies. Plus, soup recipes always seem to make enough for plenty of leftovers -- one thing I'll never complain about!

Today's recipe is perfect for lunch, dinner, and snacks in between. A cheesy soup with plenty of protein packed in by adding chicken to the mix. Toss in broccoli and you practically have a one pot meal!



Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Soup 
adapted from a recipe by Six Sisters' Stuff
 

2 - 2 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, diced after cooking

onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. butter
1 c. flour
8 c. reserved chicken broth
2 heads of broccoli, heads cut off into bite size pieces
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 c. whole milk
5 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated (not packed)

Ahead of time, fill a large stock pot half full with water and place your chicken breasts inside. Boil over high heat for about 30-40 minutes, until cooked through. Reserve water to use as broth and allow chicken to cool.

Heat butter over medium high heat in a large stock pot. Add onion and garlic, cooking for about 5 minutes until onion is softened. Add in flour, stirring well so that is does not burn to bottom of the pan, for about one minute. Slowly add in chicken broth, stirring well after each cup addition. Throw in diced chicken and broccoli, along with the spices and salt. Bring to a slow boil and cook for 30 minutes.

Add in milk and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted in.

Makes about 6-8 servings as a main dish.


Wonderful served with sourdough bread or multigrain crackers.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Meal Planning : Weekly Eats with Whole Parenting Family {Vol. 4}

It's that time again -- Saturday Weekly Eats with Whole Parenting Family!

We've got a pretty basic meal plan this week. Quite a bit of comfort food and a whole lotta protein 'cause this cold weather (finally!) is making us hangry! (Yes, hangry. This household gets a bad case of hunger anger when our stomachs are growling.)

Food photos are lacking this week, but there's the bbq!


Monday - Bacon and cheddar quiche and carrots (Just a basic quiche recipe -- placed cooked bacon and grated cheddar in the bottom of a pie crust, mixed together 6 eggs and 1/2 c. of half and half {you can use cream or milk too), and poured it on top. Baked at 350 F for one hour.)

Tuesday - Fajitas (grilled some skirt steak, and green bell peppers and onions; grated cheddar; avocado; salsa -- all on small flour tortillas)

Wednesday - leftover fajitas (it's always helpful to make enough in one night for two!)

Thursday - out to dinner with my mom at this wonderful restaurant

Friday - Chicken, Cheddar, and Broccoli Soup with sourdough bread (recipe for the soup to come this week!)

Saturday - Pizza with pepperonis, olives and mushrooms and salad (Trader Joe's dough)

Sunday - Roasted Sausages, Apples and Potatoes with salad (thanks to Laura at This Felicitous Life for the idea/link!)






What are you eating this week?