Tag Archives: well plated

Sunday Meal Planning

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For us to eat healthy, Sunday meal planning and prepping has become really helpful. I posted about this pretty recently with some great recipes we made.  It also helps to have some things already done so that on our busy days, preparing a healthy dinner isn’t as hard. Sometimes it works out really well (like that day) and sometimes….. it just doesn’t.  This weekend, it was a mixed bag.

We went to the grocery store and got all our supplies.  Lots of fresh veggies and fruit. (And some other stuff I’ll tell you about later.)

Paul made a big bowl of salad that we will dip into for several days:

Can I just say that our salad spinner is the best salad spinner ever?  (Find it here: ZYLISS salad spinner) I have broken no less than three salad spinners.  One with a rip-cord and two with a round cylinder to push down.  This one has a lever and just works so great.  Salad spinners can be a little pricey but I think they are well worth the time and aggravation it saves in trying to dry lettuce the other way (pick any other way).  Also, if the other way is using a ton of paper towels, a salad spinner is much better for the environment!

Next up was a Crock Pot Mexican Casserole from Well Plate (Again.  Yes, it’s one of my new favorite food blogs!).

Before:

After:

Very healthy with ground turkey, quinoa, beans, and lots of veggies.  And so tasty! Even better with a little extra cheese, scallions and cilantro on top!

Our attempt at healthy pizza for our meal planning Sunday was only mildly successful.  We decided to make it relatively healthy by using a wheat pizza dough. Thus, we were skeptical from the start.  We are MAJOR fans of pizza.  Thin, charred crust is the best! [We someday would like a stone, wood fired pizza oven so we can make pizza just like Pepe’s in New Haven.] However….. since we are trying to be somewhat health conscious, we decided to try the wheat.  But, the wheat crust was not the only issue….

We have a pizza stone (a Pampered Chef Rectangular Stone 12″ x 15″):

….which we decided to try for the first time.  While it was heating up in a screaming hot 500 degree oven (and creating lots of smoke because of the cooking spray it said to put on there), we put the pizza together.

Issue #1: We did not have a pizza peel.  So we decided to use the back of a cookie sheet so we could slide the pizza off onto the stone (Ha!).

[Notice the addition of the pepperoni to our “healthy” pizza?]

Issue #2: We did not have any cornmeal to put under the pizza to make it slide off the cookie sheet.  So we used a bunch of flour.

How did that work out you ask? Ha!

It didn’t.  Into the oven went the cookie sheet, on top of the stone.

It came out only ok.  It looked pretty good, and that charred pepperoni was the bomb. The wheat crust? Meh.

Issue #3: We were not patient enough to let the dough rest and we should have so that we could make the crust thinner.  It would have been better.  As it was, it was pretty doughy (and wheat-y) in the middle.

We will keep trying.  We will get a pizza peel.  We will get some cornmeal.  We will figure out how to use that pizza stone.  We will not have wheat crust again.

The last thing I made was a pan of Tollhouse cookie bars for our friend Tyler who is coming to work in town this week.  He is a carpenter and makes beautiful post and beam buildings (his company is Pioneer Post and Beam). They have chickens (and pigs and cows and a horse) which are laying 2 dozen eggs a day (!!) and he is bringing us some since he will be in the area.  He likes my cookies so he gets them in exchange for the eggs:

A last note about our grocery store trip in which we purchased healthy stuff:

We got suckered, and it’s all because they came out with the s’mores version.  And the tip from the girl scout behind the table who said to put them in the microwave.  To be honest, they weren’t all that I wanted them to be.  They could work on making the “marshmallow” taste more like marshmallow.

Isn’t stopping me from having them on my afternoon break though:

(I’m starting my second Apple Blossom sock before I finish my first one, so I won’t not knit the second one. And in case you are remembering my last post in which I showed you a picture of the class I taught on how to knit two socks at the same time…. I actually don’t like to knit my socks that way! Double points are just my favorite.)

So, meal planning this week didn’t go as well as we would have liked but we’ll keep trying. Paul is having fun learning new recipes!  Do you do any meal planning for your busy week?

New Food Blog Discoveries: Three Delicious Recipes

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Are you looking for something new and different to have for dinner or as a treat? I might have some options for you! This week as I was doing my regular blog trolling, I came up with three delicious recipes to try.  Ok, really two –  one was a recipe that I was inspired to bring back when I was trolling the blogs.

I’m a big blog reader (because I am a blogger after all – have to keep up with my peeps), having several that I follow pretty regularly. Some of those include: The Yarn Harlot (I follow her VERY regularly – she is my blogging idol and I love her), Attic 24, Smitten Kitchen, Shutterbean and The Pioneer Woman.

Now and then, I stumble upon something new. Sometimes one blog will recommend another blog. And sometimes there is Facebook, throwing something in my face.

Recipe #1:

The first recipe came about when I stumbled upon the Well Plated blog.  She has got great recipes that are healthy and yummy.

She had these wonderful looking Irish Soda Bread Muffins and I knew I had to make them:

This recipe called for using part wheat flour and part white flour but I only had white.  It also called for caraway seeds which I also did not have.  But I did have the yogurt and currants and everything else!

These were so easy to make and very delicious. Especially warm, right from the oven, with butter. And surprisingly they did not stick in my muffin pan! I am notorious for not greasing the pan well and having to dig out the muffins in chunks.  I’m keeping the Well Plated blog on my regular list.

Recipe #2:

The second recipe came courtesy of a Facebook video from Delish: Bundt Pan Roast Chicken.  Sounds strange and it was strange to put together….

Potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic get chopped up, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme and put into the bottom of the bundt pan.

Then, stuff the chicken with lemon and more rosemary and thyme, cover the hole in the pan with foil and stick the chicken on top:

(It just looks kind of creepy, sitting upright like that.)

But it turned out great, cooking in just one hour and ten minutes:

A little less browned on the bottom parts than I would like.  But, it wasn’t dried out like my previous attempts at chicken cooking so I’m guessing either the bundt pan/sitting upright had something to do with it.  Or I just got lucky.  And the vegetables were done perfectly.

Very tasty and I’ll definitely make it again.  My bundt pan worked very well for what I believe is the first time.  I have never made a cake in it!

Recipe #3:

The third recipe was actually an old standby and inspired by all the St. Patrick’s Day corned beef cooking I was seeing.  Good old corned beef hash and eggs:

My mother-in-law makes a traditional boiled dinner of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage every year.  She always saves us some corned beef and potatoes (we are not fans of cooked cabbage).  We chop them up and fry them until crispy.  Throw eggs on top (I’m still trying to master the perfect over medium fried egg) and dinner is done.  YUM!  There is nothing like it, especially if you get the corned beef crispy enough.

I’ve also recently discovered the Dessert for Two blog.  She makes everything in smaller portions, enough for two people and not having a ton of leftovers. Six inch cakes; 6 muffins instead of 12; casseroles made in 8×8 pans (or individual dishes), not 9×13 pans.  That is great for us, because sometimes it is hard to eat chicken casserole four times in a week! Yes, we could freeze it, but then we say, “Oh, we have that chicken casserole…yeah, let’s make something else.”  Sometimes it is just. too. much.

So, there you have it, three delicious recipes! Are you inspired to make any of these? Or have any good recipes you have found recently?

A Last Tidbit: Knitting

By the way, I think I’m going to have another finished knitting item to show you on Friday!  Sneak peek from my “Afternoon Break” instagram post yesterday:

And I’m dying to start these, from Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade podcast:

Apple Blossom Socks by Helen Stewart

Apple Blossom Socks by Helen Stewart.

Apple Blossom Socks.  Becuase they sound spring-y and they look spring-y and I need that right about now since it is 22 degrees outside.