September 30, 2012

Meal plans: week of October 1 and other concerns

Monday: Black bean burgers
Tuesday: Apple cinnamon chicken (thanks Clint!)
Wednesday: Mcnellie's burger special
Thursday: lentil soup
Friday: steak fajitas
Saturday: left intentionally blank for possible fun!

I am starting to get antsy over this cooler weather coming up... I want to start making caramel corn, homemade vanilla extract, limoncello, and apple butter. Other holiday gifts have started to materialize... :) My guestroom, office and master bedroom need some attention before the holidays get too hectic, but I don't want to unpack too much especially if we decide to move again in 9 months (that's when the lease is up, and our landlord is not too keen on the whole "keeping things nice" approach to home ownership).

September 25, 2012

Meal plans: week of September 24

Monday: BLT Turkey wraps
Tuesday: Turkey bolognese
Wednesday: $3 hamburger and fries special at McNellie's = date night!
Thursday: Moosewood vegetarian chili
Friday: Chipotle avocado pasta, likely with a few shrimp added for fun, plus prep for Oktoberfest pretzels
Saturday: Oktoberfest
Sunday: dinner with my folks

September 13, 2012

The weekend!

We had people over for a little get together on Saturday, I was tired from working all day and staying up too late the night before. But, before I passed out, I made rum punch. It was tasty!

Rum punch ingredients:
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 3 cups rum (I used a white rum, a darker nonspiced rum would be okay)
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 dashes bitters

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Serve over ice. FYI: 2 little glasses of this will make you fairly tipsy. Be safe!

I didn't meal plan this week. Having 2 days off during the week makes me lazy. However, I did make a chicken taco salad on Tuesday.

Chicken Taco Salad
  • 1 chicken breast, rubbed with chili powder, paprika, salt, a little sugar and black pepper, baked until its internal temp is 165 or better, cubed
  • 1/2 head green leaf lettuce, torn into manageable pieces
  • handful of cilantro, plucked off stalks
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
  • grated cheese to taste
  • dressing of choice (I did salsa with a squirt of ranch)
  • tortilla chips
Combine all the veggies in a large bowl, toss until well-combined. Serve topped with the chicken, cheese, crushed tortilla chips and dressing.

September 4, 2012

Tuesday night dinner!

This week is ideal for sticking to mealplans, my boss is on vacation and I'll be opening the shop every day (home by 6:30 or earlier!). Tonight I made Dr. Zorba's Firecracker Chicken and Tasty Kitchen user Coastal Countertop's Avocado Spinach Mac and Cheese (with a little modification).

Firecracker Chicken

  • 3 Tbs Paprika
  • 1 Tbs Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs Kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp Brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp Chili powder
  • ¾ tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Ground cayenne pepper

3½ Pounds Chicken thighs or legs

Mix rub ingredients together until well-combined. rub into surface of the chicken pieces, and let rest in a zip top bag for at least an hour or up to overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes (or until an internal temp of 160 degrees is achieved).

Avocado Spinach Mac and Cheese

  • 12 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 2 whole Avocados, Peeled, Pitted
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Lime
  • ½ cups Spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 1/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, Shredded
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • blob 'o' dijon mustard
  • ¼ cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. When done, drain off the water and set pasta aside. While pasta is cooking, make avocado mix using a food processor or blender. Combine garlic, avocados, juice from 1 lime, spinach and salt and pepper to taste in your food processor and process until creamy and well-blended. Set aside. Preheat oven to 450 F. To make cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and whisk until combined, and then add milk and continue to stir until smooth. Add blob 'o' dijon. Just say yes. Add in cheddar cheese and continue to stir and heat until cheese is fully melted and sauce is creamy. Place noodles in a large baking dish (9×9 or larger), and mix avocado and cheese sauces in until noodles are evenly covered. Cover with Parmesan, and bake at 450 F for 25 minutes.

September 3, 2012

Labor Day 2012

Today is day 3 of my rare 3 day weekend. Day 1 consisted of a trip to Turner Falls, Day 2 mega-chillaxing, chocolate waffle breakfast, garage sales and dinner with my folks, and Day 3 lunch out, making sun tea, had a friend over for hanging out/cards, and making dinner at home.

Zach listens to NPR at work every day and loves Splendid Table and Zorba Paster. There were several dinners last week and this week from good ol' Dr. Zorba. Today, we're making a Cranberry Crusted Salmon from his website.

Cranberry Crusted Salmon (from Dr. Zorba at

  • 4 salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

  • 3/4 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking dish. Lay the salmon in the dish, skin side down (if it has skin still). Salt and pepper the fish to your liking, then spread the mustard over each fish filet. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl, mix until thoroughly combined. Press resulting crumb mixture onto each fish filet, dividing crumbs evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork.

September 2, 2012

Week of Sept 3 meal plans

Monday: Cranberry crusted salmon filets
Tuesday: Grilled chicken and avocado-lime mac and cheese
Wednesday: Shrimp Scampi
Thursday: Portobello sandwiches and watching Hedwig
Friday: open for visiting with friends :)

Sunday, lazy Sunday...

Hi there. Rebrand in progress. :) I am sorry if you have been hoping to hear from me. It's been a hot summer and I sometimes forget about the internet, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I made chocolate waffles for breakfast today and scored a $30 electric lawnmower at a yard sale. We celebrated with icees afterward. Chocolate Waffles (makes 4 small square waffles or 2 bigger ones) 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter, very soft (room temp or mild microwave time) 2 eggs 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup cocoa 1 cup flour 1/2 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup water Mix it all together until only a little lumpy. Throw in a little handful of chocolate chips if you want. Scoop batter into waffle iron and cook until the light shuts off. (takes about 3 minutes in my waffle iron) Serve hot with whipped cream or whatever sounds good. These were almost too sweet and chocolatey for breakfast, so maybe these are a dessert item.