Menus of a Mom

Just trying to get the family fed!


Recap Week of 11/5/12

LOVING this November weather, but not loving that Husband now has the flu.  Could we just have a bit of a break between illnesses, please?  So, if anyone has some positive energy out there to send our way, it would certainly be appreciated.  I’m also hoping that he’s got a strain included in this year’s vaccine, since both Boog and I have been vaccinated.  Just in case, he still has to maintain a 2 ft minimum perimeter at all times.  Just kidding…sort of.

Anyway, he seemed happy with the dinners all week….but maybe that was just because he can’t really taste anything?  Hmm…

Monday, 11/5: Oh-Honey-Honey Boneless BBQ Wings with sweet potato fries

What we having? Chicken nuggets and french fries.  Win!  Husband loved these.  I think I put a in more Frank’s than last time, because Boog said they were spicy.  But she seems okay with a little extra spice, as long as she has a big glass of milk.

Tuesday, 11/6: Southwest Chicken Chowder

The picture makes it seem like it’s more watery than it was.  I opted out of the chipotle peppers, but had planned to add a little chipotle pepper powder.  However, I forgot.  So, this was really mild.  I think that part disappointed Husband, but Boog ate her entire bowl, except the onions and most of the red peppers.  I say it’s a keeper…and a safe slow cooker recipe.

Wednesday, 11/7: Potato and Pea Frittata from Peri’s Spice Ladle

This is so yummy and relatively simple!  The first time I made it, I sliced my potatoes and had these really large, hard to handle slices.  (I failed to look at the pictures provided on the blog the first time…oops!) With that, and my general tendency to be impatient, I ended up have some potatoes that were still a bit crunchy.  But this time… I used the mandolin to cut the potatoes french fry style, which made them easier to handle in the pan, and it cooked a little faster.  So, I got to really experience this dish as it’s supposed to be, I think.  Loved it!  Husband loved it!  Boog loved it! Though, for her, I called it eggs, french fries, and peas.  She declared that she liked peas, so it’s a win, no matter the name.

Thursday, 11/8: Beef and Bean Taco Salad

Simple and delicious! I made some modifications…let’s see.  I used ground turkey breast instead of beef.  I cooked the red onion with the turkey breast.  The onion was super pungent and I couldn’t handle it anymore!  I bought a 4-pk of Wholly Guacamole at Costco last weekend, so we had that instead of a fresh avocado.  I used some leftover baked tostada shells hanging around the house instead of tortilla strips.  It was really tasty, and Boog ate quite a bit of the meat/bean mixture.  And all of the “chips”, of course.

Friday, 11/9: Peanut Noodles with Edamame


Ok, yum!  I made the sauce in the blender the night before, popped the whole blender into the refrigerator overnight and just whirred it up while I cooked the rest.  This was seriously tasty and everyone raved.  Boog was covered in peanut sauce by the time dinner was over, which is always considered a compliment to the chef in my book.  This reminds me of a Publix recipe that I used to make, but this was much easier.  I included the chicken, but I think next time, I would either omit it, or have cooked, shredded chicken to just throw in, to make it an even easier meal.


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Recap Week of 10/29/12

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!  We did, my little garden gnome has been all candy-crazed since Halloween for sure.  Now I remember why she doesn’t get sweets a whole lot…

Other than all of the candy, we had a great food week:

Monday, 10/29: Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash

It was tasty and pretty easy.  I told Boog we were having “Spaghetti Boats” for dinner and she ate it right up.

Tuesday, 10/30: Buffalo Chicken Chili

This was pretty easy made in the crock pot.  LOVED it!  Husband raved and had to take leftovers to his buddy at the shop.  Boog asked, “What’s this?  Is it a carrot?  Mmm, I like carrots.”  She asked for more carrots and more beans.  What?!?  This is a definite winner in my house, and the only prep was to chop some veggies the night before.

Wednesday, 10/31: HALLOWEEN! Creamy Chipotle Chicken

Husband was wound up about this one too.  While it was pretty tasty, I might keep some of this on hand in a bind, but probably won’t keep the Campbell’s skillet sauces in a normal rotation.  It’s a prepackaged sauce so the stats (read: SODIUM!) are a bit horrendous.

Thursday, 11/1: Crowd Pleasing Vegetable Casserole

Ok, I get that this is definitely not a “virtuous” recipe, but anything that gets my two-year old to hork down an entire bowl of vegetables can’t be all bad, right?  Seriously, this was delicious…with no prep…and less than an hour of bake time.  Yeah.  Winner Winner Vegetable Dinner.

Friday, 11/2: Chili Mac (made with our leftover Doc’s Chili)

I know, I took super healthy chili and dumped it over carbs and added cheese on top.  But it was good.  And at least I started with healthy chili…?  Again, a hit with the Boog, but it’s “skyettee” so how could it not be.  My favorite thing about this is that the preparation was already done.

In other news, the fever is gone, but I’m still feeling a little wiped out.  So, this will be the new format for the foreseeable future, unless I get struck by some extra energy and amazing words come to me…but probably not 🙂


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 🙂

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Surprise Simple Success

I had planned to wait to recap the Quinoa Broccoli Chicken Casserole until later in the week, but it was such a hit, I had to post tonight.

Everyone loved it.  Yes, that means Boog too, who ate two big spoonfuls, including the broccoli.

Here’s the “recipe”, sorry I don’t really measure things:

Quinoa Broccoli Chicken Casserole

1 lb chicken breast, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup quinoa

Broth (in whatever water quantity your quinoa or quinoa/rice blend calls for, usually 1-1/2 to 2 cups)

1 can Ro-tel tomatoes


Cilantro (or cilantro paste, no judgment here)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cheddar cheese (go with what you know, again no judgment)

Saute the chicken and onions until the chicken is cooked through.

Follow cooking directions for your quinoa, substituting broth for water.

Cook the broccoli – I usually use frozen or the fresh microwave packs.

Add the cooked chicken/onion mixture, cooked broccoli, and remaining ingredients to the quinoa and mix thoroughly.

Kid-approved dinner done!


Noodles and Doodles and Muffins, Oh My!

Lots to catch up on!  We’ve been busy busy.

A few weekends ago, we discovered the show Noodle and Doodle on Sprout.  It’s awesome!  Each show, they have a theme and make a recipe in the kitchen with a related craft.  Everything Boog sees on there, she says, I WANNA do THAT, so we have an endless list of project ideas. And now when we do cook or bake together, I don’t have to fight her to wash her hands first, I just tell her she has to wash them like Noodle does and she’s all over it.

On Sunday morning, we did some baking to restock the freezer with zucchini muffins and tried out these Vegetable Garden Muffins we saw on the show.  We were, um, off our baking game, big time.  Boog was really interested in baking at first, but my husband was home and had the TV on and Boog kept getting distracted, not to mention we had been butting heads the latter part of last week.  So I did a lot of the baking on my own.

We started with the Garden muffins – Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of them, but I’ll definitely be trying these out again.  The only flour I had in the house was chickpea flour, which would have worked fine except I didn’t compensate and add any leavening, so they came out a bit dense.  Also, I’d add a bit of salt to them next time.  But no worries, they were pretty good anyway, and, the best part, Boog eats them.  Ours were full of zucchini and yellow squash and topped with carrots, awesome!

Then I moved on to the Zucchini Muffins.  I had exactly 12 muffin papers, but my recipe always makes more….what to do, what to do.  I decided to use those silicone letter molds. Yes!  Thinking on the fly and now I have alphabet muffins, excellent.  Except… I forgot to set the timer on the oven.  Somehow, magically, I  checked on them and saved everything, and they came out fairly well.  The muffins were just a bit “tough” on the bottom, but otherwise, tasty 🙂



Bite-sized and perfect for little hands!

Since we had enough leftovers to cover dinner on Friday night, I made the catch-all pasta that had been planned on Sunday night instead.  Simple, delicious, Boog always eats pasta, and I cleaned out a lot of miscellaneous stuff from the refrigerator.

Lastly, tonight we had the delicious Cherry Tomato & Yellow Squash Crumble.  It came out great, and Boog ate her squash (though she passed on the tomatoes tonight).  However, I think the last time I made this, I not only chopped the ingredients the night before, but had sautéed them all and assembled everything but the cheese and bread crumbs.  I only did the chopping last night, so it took some time this evening to saute it all and then bake it.  Oops – that’s part of the reason I started the blog, so I can remember the best approach to take on these recipes.  So, now it is officially documented…hopefully I can remember for next time!

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Sometimes It’s OK to Change Your Mind

I know, I know.  After the debacle with the lasagna last week, I sort of swore off using the slow cooker for anything but shredded bbq and pot roasts.  I immediately turned around and made the turkey in it on Tuesday, but that totally counts as a roast, so yeah.

I had planned to have enchiladas on Friday night, but decided to switch nights and have them tonight instead.  After having a really easy prep schedule this week and crazy times at work, no part of me wanted to cook and shred chicken last night.  So, I decided to cook all of the enchilada filling in the slow cooker today instead!

This morning, I threw diced onion, diced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, chicken, and taco seasoning in there with some water…and when I came home, there was beautifully cooked chicken.  I used the hand mixer to shred it and them mixed in some Greek yogurt to add creaminess.  Of course, I topped them off with some shredded cheddar cheese, with some help from Boog, and popped them into the oven.

In an overabundance of caution (since I got burned last week), I added a bit too much water, but otherwise, these were great.  This is definitely the plan for enchiladas from now on, though I will probably mix up the ingredients a little more, like some salsa verde in place of the tomatoes.  Who knows?  Now that I found a way to make these even easier, I’ll have time to think through new options 🙂