Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pero + Milk

My newest favorite drink doesn't have a real name. I've called it cold Pero, milky Pero, iced Pero... Whatever you want to call it, it is delicious! I don't drink coffee but I've tasted it before, and I never really liked it.  My SIL used to drink it and introduced me to her alternative now that she doesn't drink it anymore.

Pero is a 'coffee substitute' that is most commonly made hot. It's instant powder that just has to be added to a liquid. I love that it's made out of chicory, rye and other natural things- but none of them have to do with actual coffee.

The other day I was at my SIL's house and she made me this drink. I fell in love! Perfect for a hot day. Also, a good alternative to chocolate milk.

Here's how I make it:

Fill a tall glass with cold milk. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of Pero and mix. Add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and mix. Top off with some ice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kristine's Menu July 24-30

I have another lofty goal this week to cook EVERY meal at home. I had the same goal last week, but only ended up cooking 5 out of the 7 nights because of unexpected plans and my craving for a JCW hamburger :)  Here's my menu for the week!

Sunday: Country Chicken Picatta {recipe coming this week}.  Mashed potatoes. Asparagus. Salad.

Monday: Tin foil dinners {hamburger, onions, carrots and potatoes wrapped in foil and baked}

Tuesday: Pesto pizza. Salad.

Wednesday: Ranch chicken {chicken dredged in ranch dressing mix and bread crumbs and baked}. Mashed potatoes. Salad. Broccoli.

Thursday: Egg Breakfast Sandwiches. Fruit.

Friday: Fried Chicken Sliders. Salad. Natalie's onion rings.  Sooooo excited to try these!

Saturday: Pork chops. Salad. Fresh fruit.

Have you jumped on the plan your menu bandwagon yet? What's on your menu this week?  I love looking at other menus to get inspiration for next week and to get out of the rut of cooking the same thing over and over and over again! Share your menus in the comments!

Monday, July 25, 2011

menu, menu, read all about it!

Hey everyone! How was your Monday? Ready for another week? I'll tell you what, I am not. I was out of the office all last week at a show in Chicago so it's a little hard being back at work. But I still managed to go grocery shopping and come up with a menu.
I hope this helps you with your menu!

Actually made this on Sunday and we really enjoyed it-if you like enchiladas and you like pasta then I highly recommend it.

Tuesday: BBQ Pulled Pork
(we are huge fans of Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, just toss that and a pork roast in a crock all day and you're good to go!)

Wednesday: Chicken Fajitas (a mean staple in our house and so easy)

Thursday: Steak & Mashed Potatoes with veggies

Friday: Chicken Wraps (click for recipe)

Have a great week!

I'm starting P90X tonight...yikes! Wish me luck!

Natalie's Menu for the Week

Last Friday we spent the day exploring LA and eating yummy food (and three desserts in one day). We checked out an indoor kind of market and the spices display was beautiful at this particular booth.

Sunday:  Rotisserie chickens, baked beans (my mom's recipe. SO good. I have to post it soon), grilled zucchini, artichokes, toasted sourdough bread.

Monday: Cilantro Lime Quesadillas using leftover chicken.

Tuesday: Taco salad (seasoned ground beef, chopped romaine, pinto + kidney beans, pico de gallo, tortilla chips and fresh made ranch dressing)

Wednesday: Crock pot chicken over rice. Roasted broccoli (perfected it last week).

Thursday: Hot dogs with homemade J-Dawg's sauce. Green salad + chips.

Friday: Green chicken enchiladas + green salad.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Steak Sandwich with Chimichurri

David introduced me to chimichurri when we came across it already bottled at a farmer's market a few years ago. It's an argentine type sauce they put on meat and vegetables. I tried it and fell in love! It has so few ingredients, a while ago I figured I'd try to make it myself. It's tangy and fresh and amazing. We made steak sandwiches marinated with a Paula Deen's marinade recipe (just the marinade not the horseradish).

Chimichurri "sauce" ingredients:

bunch of parsley
6 cloves of garlic
juice of one lemon
splash of vinegar
1/4 to 1/3 cup of olive oil
lots of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in the food processor and blend until it becomes almost creamy looking. Marinate meat in it or just top your sandwich with it, like I did.
I toasted french rolls, sliced and spread a teeny bit of butter on them, topped with the grilled, thinly sliced steak, spinach and LOTS of chimichurri. I ate two and didn't want to stop there. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chicken Waikiki Beach

As promised, here is the recipe for Chicken Waikiki Beach. I wish I knew where this recipe came from so I could give the proper credit, but I have no idea! I know it did come from an old roommate and she probably got it from a cookbook... or was it a family recipe? I can't remember. It's a little bit sweet and a little bit tangy but definitely packed full of flavor.  The prep time is minimal with most of it being in the oven! It probably isn't the healthiest of recipes, but serve it up with some brown rice and veggies on the side and you might be able to get away with it ;) Hey, healthy food gets boring sometimes.

2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and brown in a small amount of oil. Since the chicken will be going in the oven, it is only necessary to brown it instead of cooking it all of the way through.

1 can pineapple
1 Tbs. soy sauce
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Chicken Bouillon cube
3/4 c. cider vinegar

1 green pepper  cut into bite sized pieces

Drain pineapple juice from can and combine with water to make 1 1/4 c. Add to a saucepan. Add all sauce ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 2 minutes {the sauce will be relatively thin, but will thicken in the oven}. Place browned chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered. Add pineapple and green pepper and bake 30 minutes longer. Serve with rice.

{Before adding the peppers and pineapple}

This is definitely enough to feed a whole family. With my husband and I taking large portions, we still barely made a dent in it, but it makes great leftovers!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kristine's Menu

Hello! I'm back from a very long hiatus. Right after I last posted, I found out I was pregnant and food and I weren't exactly friends during the whole process. My baby boy is a month old now and I finally feel like I am getting back into the groove, so I hope to post regularly!

{Photo by Natalie}

This is the first week in a long time that I have sat down and scheduled my menu. It makes such a difference! No more 4:00 anxiety wondering what I am going to make!

Sunday: Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos. Salad. Guacamole.

Monday: Lasagna. Asparagus. Bread.

Tuesday: Leftovers! Even though my pan is only 8x8, my lasagna makes enough for a few meals although my husband will only eat leftovers the next day.

Wednesday: Chicken Waikiki Beach {recipe coming soon!} Rice. Broccoli. Salad.

Thursday: French Toast. Bacon. Fruit. {I like to do breakfast once every two weeks or so - a break for me & my pocketbook!}

Friday: BLT Salad w/Basil Mayo Dressing {recipe posted soon}

Saturday: Guacamole Bacon Cheeseburgers w/ homemade buns. {After trying these last month, I will never buy again!  Makes homemade burgers better than restaurant. The recipe makes 8, so I pop the rest in the freezer to save for later.} Homemade fries with special sauce (bbq sauce and mayo mixed). Salad. Fruit.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Menu for the week

Now that I have access to Food Network, I keep craving whatever I see the chefs making. Last week my mom had a bunch of leftover ground beef and for some reason all I could think of making was empanadas. David served his mission in Argentina and always raves about how delicious the empanadas were. He loved these! This is the recipe I used: How to make classic beef empanadas

The crust is definitely the best part. The cream cheese and butter makes it flaky and it melts in your mouth. I plan on using it for chicken pot pie crust soon!

As for my menu for the week, here it is!

Monday: I made bbq chicken salad last night. Here's what I put in it:
Chopped lettuce + spinach really small, top with black beans, fresh cut corn, tomatoes, avocado, bbq sauce drenched chicken (ours was leftover from a barbeque), ranch dressing and tortilla strips. YUM!

Tuesday: I'm making Ina's pasta bolognese. I'm using Orecchiete pasta, and making garlic bread and a salad.

Wednesday: Pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and fruit on the side. (I'm going to cook the pork plain with salt + pepper and just top the sandwiches with bbq sauce so the pork is plain for tacos).

Thursday: Leftover pork turned into mexican tacos + avocado corn salad.

What are you making for dinner? Have you made Ina's bolognese, or any of her recipes that you loved?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week of Meals

I'm close to a Trader Joe's now! I'm beyond excited. They have a great selection of growing herbs and I picked up this thyme a few months back. It's lemony goodness is the perfect accompaniment to chicken, shrimp or pasta. Can't get enough. They also have baby broccoli, frozen steel cut oats and tons of organic choices. I'm in love. Here's what I'm making this week.

Wednesday: pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw (minus the almonds + apples), green salad and iced herbal tea

Thursday: fusili with homemade pesto and roasted shrimp, bread + butter

Friday: teriyaki chicken kebabs + grilled veggies (probably zucchini + pineapple)

Saturday: seared pork tenderloin with apple butter sauce, roasted veggies

Sunday: BBQ chicken pizza and green salad

Ive been making super yummy smoothies for breakfast every morning- with variations of fresh fruits. Today was 4 strawberries, a peach, a banana, 2 cups of chard and spinach, simply orange juice, coconut milk, and lots of ice. I love it!

Also, I always hear people's frustrations about how hard it is to make dinner most nights of the week + how they struggle at the grocery store. I know I've said it before- but PLAN your menu! Do it Sunday night or Monday morning, write down all the ingredients you need along with the meals you're making on your list. You'll get home with more than cereal + milk and you'll be grateful you planned ahead!


I know it's already Wednesday, but I am just barely getting around to figuring out our menu for the week, holidays always push things back I hope this helps if you're looking for dinner ideas.

Carne Asada Tacos
(Sunflower Market sells super delicious pre-marinated meat, I highly recommend it)

Chicken Stroganoff (this is a new one for us, check it out)

Hamburger Pillows (sounds gross but we LOVE these, and they're so easy)

Pizza- BBQ Chicken w/ Bacon

Have a great week everyone!