Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oven Roasted Herbed Zucchini

It's the time of year for zucchini harvest, and many people find it difficult to know what to do with it. This easy recipe adds some pizazz to the veggie that some people find bland. And other than slicing it up, you won't do much at all besides enjoying it.

Here's what you need:

2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP Italian seasoning
2 teas lemon juice
salt and pepper

Mix the olive oil, Italian seasoning and lemon juice in a Ziploc bag big enough to hold all the zucchini slices. I use a gallon bag. Then put the zucchini slices in the bag and squish around carefully until all the slices have been covered with the oil mixture.

Place the zucchini slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Menu Plan July 21-27

Last week was crazy busy, so I didn't get around to posting any recipes. I'll try to do better this week.

Here's what I've got on my menu:

One pot BBQ chicken and bacon pasta, broccoli

Southwest turkey burgers, crispy potato wedges

Ground pork and eggplant casserole, zucchini

Grilling out with friends

One pot sausage and tortellini, crusty bread

Beef and potato burritos

 Roast beef and potatoes

For more meal planning inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Menu Plan July 14-20

I'm BACK! The kids and I just arrived home this afternoon.

After several hundred miles of traveling and a good visit with my family in West Virginia, I'm glad to be home. We made lots of good memories, including a nice trip to Valley Falls State Park and a Frozen-themed birthday party.

I also enjoyed a West Virginia classic, the pepperoni roll. This one came from a local joint called Colasessano's. They pretty much set the standard for pepperoni rolls where I grew up.
 Hubby survived quite well without us. He grilled up some meat and ate on that for days. He's said several times today he can't wait to eat my cooking again! Sweet, huh?

So here's what I've got planned:

Parmesan tilapia, balsamic carrots

Beefy Spanish rice, corn

Crockpot chicken, roasted zucchini

Dinner with friends

Greek Night! We're having a themed dinner with some friends.
I'll be making pastitsio, chicken shawarma, flatbread, and Greek lemon potatoes.
Greek honey cake for dessert!


Honey rosemary chicken (crockpot)

For more meal planning inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Frozen Birthday Party

Yesterday the Princess and her cousins celebrated their birthdays together. They had decided on a Frozen theme. My sister-in-law volunteered to make the cake and I bought decorations.

Rock candy sticks served as the backdrop for the cake, which was made from angel food cake and ice cream. It truly was a frozen cake!

Blue jello and clear gelatin were used to make jello ice cubes, and punch made with Sprite, blue Hawaiian punch and ice cream quenched our thirst.

They all got some Frozen presents, too!

I think all the birthday girls had a great time, and we made some great memories with family.

Monday, June 30, 2014

No Menu Plan for This Week

Hey, y'all. The kids and I are heading up to West Virginia to spend time with my folks, so I'm not doing a menu plan. While we're there, we'll celebrate the Princess' 12th birthday, along with her two cousins who share the same birthday. This year's theme is Frozen.

Here's a pic of the birthday girls last year.
Charles and the dog are holding down the fort at home. I've made sure there are plenty of fruits and veggies as well as some other healthy stuff for hubby to snack on while I'm gone. In the past he's survived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and poptarts. I'm eager to see how he fares.

I don't know if I'll be around much, so you all have a great week!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Big Macs at Home

We've been trying to eat healthy around here, and one of the things we're trying to cut out is fast food. We really didn't eat it often, but when we did, the Princess and I headed straight for the Big Macs.

I remember in elementary school music class learning the Big Mac sales pitch as part of a lesson on rhythm. Over 35 years later, I still remember it - "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." Know what I'm talking about?

So I tried to recreate those toppings here at home, though I added my own little twist. On my "Big Mac," I leave off the pickles. I always just picked them off the fast-food version anyway. And I don't use two beef patties. Although one of my burgers would definitely equal the two tiny flat ones McDonald's uses on their Big Macs!

My first step is to carmelize some onions. I can't stand the taste and crunch of raw onions. Usually I scraped them off if I could. But cook onions up in a pan, softening and sweetening them up, and I'm all over that!

I thinly slice two onions, then heat up 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Over low to medium heat, cook the onions for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. You don't want them to burn, just to brown nicely.

Then I make the special sauce. It's really very simple. I take 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of ketchup. Then I stir in two teaspoons of dill pickle relish. It's very similar to Thousand Island dressing, so you could use that if you don't want to make the homemade sauce.

After grilling up some burgers on my George Foreman grill, I assemble the homemade Big Macs.

First comes the whole wheat bun. Mine didn't have any sesame seeds, but it's okay. Layer the cooked burger and cheese, then pile on some carmelized onions.
Now if you're going to add pickles, do so now. Everyone else in my family does. Spread some special sauce over the top bun and stack up some lettuce on the burger.

Now enjoy your Big Mac, knowing it's healthier and more satisfying than what you'd buy at the drive-thru!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Menu Plan June 23-29

This weekend Charles and I went to a local farmers' market together. I've gone by myself in times past, but since he's become interested in healthy eating, he wanted to go along. We went early in the morning to beat the heat, but it was already 90 degrees by 9 am! Still, we enjoyed spending time together AND purchasing some yummy organic produce and goat cheese, as well as some whole wheat sourdough bread from a local bakery.

Here's our haul:
And this was dinner that night:
The purple potatoes, green beans and bread came from the farmers' market. The steak is from a grass-fed cow we purchased in the spring. It was a delicious, fresh-tasting meal!

Now on to this week's menu plan:

Baked eggplant and pork casserole, broccoli

Quinoa burrito bowls

Steak bites, twice baked potatoes

Crockpot cheesy cowboy casserole, green beans

Jambalaya with chicken and shrimp, crusty bread

Pastitsio, Greek lemon roasted potatoes

Crockpot chicken and wild rice soup with bacon
For more meal planning inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.