Menus of a Mom

Just trying to get the family fed!

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BBQ and Green Beans

More good news!  Well, mostly…

Last night, we had the Carolina-style shredded chicken sandwiches and green beans for dinner – delish.  But, as I picked Boog up from school, she was insistent that she needed a snack and that she wanted crackers.  Hmm, I knew we actually had crackers in the house, so I thought, what the heck.  Sure, you can have crackers for dinner, but you have to dip them in your chicken.  She seemed excited about it, so we had relative peace on the way home.

Searching through the freezer, I decided on some green beans for the side and popped them into the microwave.  Boog was pretty impatient and a bit whiny asking about her crackers, but I assured her, dinner was coming and on a monkey plate!  When I mentioned the green beans, she lit up and got excited about taking the balls out.

Boog’s deconstructed BBQ sandwich!

When everything was ready and I took her plate to her, she was so excited.  She did a great job of dipping her crackers into her chicken and she ate EVERY green bean on her plate, asking for more.  Why don’t I have these more often? I had no idea of her love, ha!

Tonight, the plan was to have the leftover barbecue chicken over a salad.  But, it wasn’t the plan when I actually did the grocery shopping.  So, what we ended up with was a bowl with:

Leftover barbecue chicken: self-explanatory

Fresh spinach: originally for a gnocchi dish that was moved to next week

Onions: always available in our home

Cooked green beans: Boog specifically asked for green beans for dinner, what!

Slivered almonds: The only green beans left in the house was one of those Green Giant boxes (love them) Green Beans with Almonds

Italian Parmesan Chex mix: She also asked for crackers, which I thought we had, but Husband finished them off last night.  I had already promised crackers on the car ride again, so…  I just threw some in the salads as well.

For the record, Italian Parmesan Chex mix makes some killer croutons!

Boog again did a great job eating her dinner tonight. She even ate a fresh spinach leaf!  She did call it a green bean…but whatever.  She has had some form of “green beans” every night this week.

On the fitness front, a victory and some disappointments.

Husband and I had another family walking date planned for tonight.  I tried texting him a couple of times today to confirm that we were still on, because I knew I could pick up Boog on the bike if we weren’t going to go walking.  Well, he finally called me back right after picking her up, in the car, and said he had to work late.  Argh.

I also had a killer headache all day and am feeling a bit rundown.  But, Boog and I still went for a walk after our dinner.  Victory!  The best part?  Husband found us mid-walk and at least joined us for a couple of laps.

The only bad thing is I was having a really hard time of it tonight and started to get a bit down.  I couldn’t jog as fast or as far as I could even a week ago.  But, I did my best to keep all that negativity down and be happy that we made it out 🙂



Record of Triumphs

I was a bit of a Debbie Downer last week.  (Why is that a saying? Every Debbie I have known has been perfectly lovely)  So, I thought I’d rattle off some recent successes.

First, before we got sick last week, we had a pretty good track record for exercise.  Sunday, Boog and I went for a bike ride to and from the playground. That’s when we snapped the new profile pic.  Monday and Wednesday nights both included family walk/jogs on the track in our neighborhood. With a promise of the playground afterwards, Boog actually stayed in the jogging stroller.

Then we got sick.  And I always have a hard time judging when to go back to it. Too soon, and I’m not rested or well enough.  Too late and I’m just using another excuse.

So, after resting on Sunday, Husband and I set a date for a family walk on Monday night.  Plans for a good night, healthy Doc’s Chili for dinner and a family walk.

Fast forward to Monday morning.  I get to work, look at my calendar. I have a girls’ night planned!  How could I have forgotten?  These ladies, there are 6 of us including myself, have known each other since college.  A couple of years after we graduated, we started getting together about once a month for dinner, brunch, something.  As we started having kids, as you can imagine, it has become tougher and tougher to get all 6 of us together.  The kids range in age from 5 months to almost 5 years.  We all have at least one child, up to two children with a third on the way.  And the last time we got together was FEBRUARY.  We had been trying to find a weekend to have dinner, before the holidays and before another newborn pops into the picture in approximately 7 weeks, but it was proving impossible.  So, we finally decided on a Monday night, kids optional, dinner.  Yay!

But I had forgotten!  So, after a call to Husband to see if he could still be home in time to watch the Boog so I could make the restaurant on time, and remembering that their dinner was already made, I was excited to see my ladies.  But, I was disappointed in missing out on the family walk.  Another excuse. Ugh.

Then, an idea.  I drove home and grabbed the bike to pick up Boog from school.  I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to gussy up (i.e. shower and put something besides a t-shirt and bike shorts on) for dinner, but friends are friends and love you as you are.  No excuses.  Got to see my friends (and an adorable little 5 month old man), got to spend some time with my Boog, and got some exercise in.

Now on to the chili!  Unfortunately, I didn’t get great pictures of it, but trust me it was delicious!  I enjoyed it for lunch today.  And Boog, she ate her whole bowl of it, except the onions and a few of the tomatoes that she decided to pick out.  She called all of the beans “green beans”, which is pretty funny.  She also ate some grapes, a whole pear, and a whole banana last night.  I’m not sure where she put all of it, but if she’s going to eat that much in a night, I like her choices.

Does not do this chili justice 😦 Also, the yellow is from turmeric

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Menu – Week of 10/15/12

I’ve had a hard time deciding on things this week – I think I changed my mind about 3 times and rearranged even more.  The good news is that 1) I ended up with an easy prep week, 2) I have 3 meals figured out for next week already, and 3) I worked in some Doc’s Chili.  I’ve been waiting for it to cool down to make this recipe, but I give up 🙂

Also, Saturday we’re going to the pumpkin festival!  Can’t wait!


Monday: Doc’s Chili – This is from one of The Biggest Loser cookbooks

Tuesday: Caroline-Style Shredded BBQ Sandwiches and Veggies

Wednesday: Caroline-Style Shredded BBQ over salad 

Thursday: Grilled Chicken Breast with Zucchini Chile-Cheddar Mash

Friday: Grandma’s visiting so she can go to the pumpkin festival on Saturday – there may be a date night for Mommy and Daddy.


I have to buy:

  • onions
  • ground turkey breast
  • pinto beans
  • spinach and veggies for the salad
  • zucchini
  • green chiles

I already have on hand:

  • diced tomatoes
  • black beans
  • broth
  • garlic
  • chili powder
  • dried oregano
  • cumin
  • mustard
  • cilantro paste and lime juice (we add these to our Doc’s Chili)
  • chicken
  • sandwich thins
  • sliced cheese
  • frozen veggies
  • Carolina-style BBQ sauce (I picked this up at Target a few weeks ago on a whim)
  • oil
  • salt
  • shredded cheese



  • Organize the RR cabinet
  • Dice onions for the week
  • Make the doc’s chili. (It always tastes better the longer the flavors have to come together)


After work: Heat up the doc’s chili.  Freeze leftovers to be used in Chili-Mac next week


Before work: Put chicken breast, BBQ sauce, onions, and some water in the crock pot

After work Microwave some frozen veggies and assemble the sandwiches.


After work: Heat up the leftover shredded chicken and serve over spinach with other salad veggies.

Late night: Slice the zucchini for the mash.  Dice the chicken for easy cooking.


After work: Prep the zucchini chile-cheddar mash and cook the chicken.


After work: Date night, or big family dinner night, or pizza night – something fun!

Told you it was an easy week.


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Another Muffin Meal and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies

Despite being a little extra tired from our bug, we’ve been busy.  Friday night, we had the Mini Cheeseburger Pies for dinner.  Since I used ground turkey breast instead of ground beef, the mixture seemed a bit dry, so I added a can of diced tomatoes, drained, to the meat mixture before baking.  The result was pretty good, though I might scale them back just a bit next time as the tomatoes overpowered everything.  I thought they were okay, Boog refused to eat anything, and Husband loved them.

That really surprised me because this recipe sort of reminds me of Biscuit Burgers, a recipe I LOVED growing up.  I used to make it for him from time to time and he always turned his nose up to it.  If you’re interested, brown a pound of ground meat, drain if necessary.  Mix in a jar of pizza sauce.  Arrange a couple of packages of refrigerated biscuits, either in muffin tins or on a cookie sheet, and make an indentation in each.  Fill up the indentation with the meat mixture.  Cook according to the directions on the biscuits.  (If you’re using a cookie sheet, you may have to cook a couple of additional minutes).  About 2 minutes before they’ll be done, open the oven and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.  How can anyone not like that?

Yesterday, Boog and I decided to test out a different pumpkin cookie recipe in our quest to find one that is chewy and not cake-y.  The search led us to these Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.  We substituted dried cranberries for the walnuts, and they came out great!  I’ll definitely need to work out a different sugar ratio next time though…Maybe swap out some of the white sugar for more molasses and the rest for brown sugar.  They are really sweet!


We Got a Short One, Folks

Boog came down with some sort of stomach bug, so I’ve been up since about 2:30 this morning.  And now I think I may have caught it.  Oh, the joys of having a germ factory germ magnet toddler.  Now we both have fevers.  Boo.

On the dinner front, we’ve had some plain jane repeats the last two nights.  Still delicious, but they might not make for the most interesting blogging.

Last night we had the Cheeseburger Mac Attack.  Basically, macaroni and cheese, so it was a hit with the Boog and with me.  She ate her vegetables and ground turkey breast too, everything but the onions.  Success!

Tonight was Honey Dijon Chicken Nuggets and Sweet Potato Tots.  Had we been eating normal foods, these would also have been a hit.  Though, I realized tonight that the Sweet Potato Tots have added sugar.  Really?  That’s not necessary.  So, I was disappointed that I didn’t do a good label check on these and that they won’t be making an appearance back on our table.

I’ll leave you with my funny Boog story of the week.  Though, it was much funnier when I thought she was just saying she had a bellyache, before I woke up to a vomiting toddler in the wee hours this morning.

Getting into the car on the way home on Monday:

Boog: My belly hurts.  I don’t feel good. 

Me: Oh no, why does your belly hurt? 

Boog: <talking non-stop about something entirely unrelated> 

Fast-forward a few minutes and we’re almost home.

Me: Hey Boog, how is your belly feeling now?  Does it still feel bad?

Boog: <pulling up her shirt to show her belly> There’s poop in there.

Now I’m headed to bed in the hopes I can sleep this thing off.


Fall is Here!

Fall is here!  At least it seemed that way with the Poppy Seed Pork with Apples and Rice we had for dinner tonight.  It was all around a success.  I think I make this once a year during the fall and it’s just so hearty and warm and delicious.

The  slow cooker recipe does say to put the apples in late and says to cook it for less than 10 hours <insert mood-setting doom music here>, but this recipe still works leaving it on warm for longer than it suggests.  The apples turn to complete mush, but it’s a good thing, combining with the juices and dressing to create a delicious sauce for the pork and rice.

When we got home, it was of course, very hot.  Since time was limited on swim class night, I wanted to cool Boog’s down so she could eat it and used the colorful ice cube trick to do so.

While I was stirring the orangey-red ice cube into her bowl, she told me, very emphatically:

That’s my bowl.  Don’t eat it.  Don’t eat my stuff, Mommy.

I guess she knew she was going to like it and want to eat it, and she did 🙂


No, I Would Not Like a Poblano Pepper Facial, Thank You

You may notice that this dish does not look like the Mexican Stuffed Poblano Peppers that I planned to make. Here are the reasons, and the path my thoughts took, to explain why, none of which are knocks against the original recipe:

I’m not very experienced with peppers.  Literally, other than this one time I made Tamale Pie, I haven’t really ventured out from bell peppers.

I grossly underestimated how much of a pain in the butt that halving and de-seeding poblanos is.

Last night, as I was prepping everything, I finished the third pepper, I realized, I have nine more peppers to do this to, and then I have to stuff them? Nu-uh.

I decided, forget this, let me just chop up some poblanos and throw them into the rice mixture.

Since it took me so long, I had to stop half-way through the peppers to get the Boog a bath and get her to bed.  During that break, I washed my face.  I had not washed the poblano pepper juice off of my hands.

Did I mention that I’m a lightweight when it comes to spicy foods, so I don’t really cook with peppers other than bell peppers?

Logically, I know there is a proper pepper prep protocol.

Unfortunately, I did not follow proper pepper prep protocol.

Instead, I gave myself a poblano pepper facial.  Afterwards, I gave myself a raspberry yogurt facial, to help ease the burning.  This also worked wonders on my hands.

I am happy that I didn’t give Boog a poblano pepper facial, so there’s the bright side of yesterday evening.

Due to the face-burning event, I got nervous about the spice level of the dish and let Boog eat Oatmeal Squares with dried cranberries and milk for dinner.  Oh, and some raspberry yogurt.  Please note, this was a different container of yogurt, not my post-poblano facial yogurt.

Boog’s Dinner

Anywho, the final product became Undone Mexican Stuffed Poblano Casserole, which was actually pretty tasty, and not spicy at all.  Husband was all about putting this into the rotation, and maybe using the casserole to stuff a burrito.  However, if I made it again, I would probably sauté or roast the poblanos first to soften them up, since they ended up mixed into everything.   But…see above. It’s probably not gonna happen.  Unless he wants to prep the poblano peppers and follow proper pepper prep protocol.  This gal’s done.

I caused great pain, but I’m still tasty