Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

This menu along with hundreds will be linked to orgjunkie

This week will be a fun week!  A fun week creating in the kitchen.  It's my oldest-6th Birthday.  Not only will be have a few celebrations throughout the week, there will be some yummy treats to go along with them-mostly sweets!
Here is one great recipe I will be making first for the family celebration!  Pictures will post tomorrow evening!

Which means, I must stay on track this week with some healthy meals to equal out a bit of that sugar...:)
Here is what will be cooking on my stove this week:
  • Easy Lemony Chicken Picatta with a Garden Salad/Linguine/Fresh Fruit (recipe below)
  • Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches on Crusty Bread/Fresh Fruit
  • Guiltless Alfredo with Grilled Shrimp (held over from last week)-(recipe below)
  • Buffalo Cheese-Stuffed Burgers/Roasted Potatoes/Fresh Fruit
  • Grilled Mahi-Mahi over Field Greens/Fruit Smoothie Shots

Easy Lemony Chicken Picatta
(adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

Prepare Chicken Cutlets by sauteing boneless breasts in canola oil.  I like to put a light coating of flour/panko crumbs on mine.

Green onions or shallots
2 medium lemons
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons of butter
any drippings left from resting chicken

Drain all but a tablespoon of oil in your fry pan from your chicken.
Add 2-3 tablespoons green onions or shallots, chopped and
saute for about 3 minutes.
Add lemon juice from 1-2 lemons based on taste.  Simmer for a minute or two and add broth.  Allow to reduce to 1/3 from original amount.  Finish with a few tablespoons of butter and any drippings that collected on resting chicken, allow to melt into sauce.  Pour over chicken and serve immediately.  **For a thicker sauce you can add a few tablespoons of flour/cornstarch/Wondra to thicken it up before adding the butter.  Capers can also be added for taste.

Guiltless Alfredo
(recipe from buddy Gevay :) )

2 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
Blend these ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

On medium-high heat warm 1 tablespoon of butter, and add 3 minced cloves of garlic and saute about 3 minutes.  Add blended milk mixture, stir and cook for 5 minutes until thick.  remove from heat and stir in 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese.  Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Serve over pasta.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Dinner this week is going to be a few comforting dishes.  Here in South FL our winter is starting to wind down.  With several days in the high 70's and hitting 80 a few times this week, stews, soups, and casseroles will be far and few between.  Luckily, we are able to grill out year-round which our family enjoys.  We love eating outside under the stars with the brisk Atlantic breeze.  So, before the winter starts to change in the coming weeks, we will be enjoying these comforting favorites.

  • Abolutely Delicious Low-Fat Fettiachini Alfredo with Grilled Shrimp, Garden Salad, Fresh Fruit
  • Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles, Green Beans, Cinnamon Apples
  • 30-Minute Itlaian Roasted Chicken, Sauteed Zuchinni, Fresh Fruit
  • Breakfast for Dinner - Scrambled Eggs, Cinnamon Rolls, Fresh Fruit, Bacon
  • Philly Cheesesteaks, Onion Rings, Deviled Eggs, Fresh Fruit
  • Leftover Buffet
This menu and hundreds of other menu's, recipes & links are uploaded to

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vintage Valentine's Day Candle Craft

I am a HUGE sap for Valentine's Day!  I decorate my house, bake sweets to give to everyone to show my appreciation and LOVE, and to shout from the roof tops that I am in LOVE with my God, my hubs, my kiddos, my family & friends!  I believe it isn't all about that one true love in your life, but all those around you that deserve to know your appreciation. I think it is the perfect excuse for yet another celebration!!  Are you guys in?

Remember these?

Well, I designed some more for our upcoming Valentine's celebration!  Take a peek, tell me what you think.  I plan on making more, and now consigning them in some quaint boutiques.  So easy, inexpensive to make, and a super fun project (even with kids)! 

Materials Used:

tall religious candles
scrap paper
red/white baker's twine
paper flowers

This post uploaded to Blog party

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

This menu was uploaded to
Check out all the varieties of meals and recipes you can plan for your family!

I took a week off last week, and boy was I in a mess.  There was defiantly food in my house, but I felt myself sinking instead of swimming.  We ate out WAY too much last week for convenience instead of enjoyment-although we have had the most incredible weekend with date nights each night with each of our children individually. Our schedule was quite busy, but I still like to have my hot meals for my children at least~

I am back on the wagon this week, with lot's of plans for impromptu meals-ready to go...

Here is what is cooking in our tasty kitchen-
  • Roasted Turkey Caesar Salad with Fresh Fruit (left over Rotisserie Turkey Breast)
  • Individual Homemade Pizzas with our favorite homemade sauce, garden salad, fresh fruit (see instructions below)
  • Grilled Chicken Quesadilla's, Corn on the Cob, Garden Salad
  • Cheeseburger Pinwheels, Green Beans, Potato Chips
  • Beef Stew with Beer & Paprika, Biscuits
  • Leftovers- I just know we will have leftovers!  I plan to freeze some of the stew for another cool evening.
**Individual Pizzas can be made to suit any taste.  Take frozen bread roll dough (not frozen rolls), and place on your pizza stone or baking sheet for about an hour or two before eating and drizzle with olive oil.  When soft enough, pat out (have kiddos help), and top with your favorite toppings.  We like everything from traditional to our own creations.  This is also a quick lunch, so much more healthy than frozen pizzas and cheaper too.
C-man's favorite topping is turkey pepperoni and lotsa mozzarella cheese. Hubs enjoys sauteed Italian sausage and cheese, and my personal fav is pesto sauce with mozzarella and lot's of fresh garlic - watch out!  These can be made in your oven or on your grill.  Just be sure you brush olive oil on your grates before throwing down the dough.  Cook carefully for 1-2 minutes, flip and top~Baked in the oven can be for about 20-25 minutes or until crust is done at 350.  Of course you can make your own dough or purchase pizza dough, but we have come to love the convenience of the bread dough for quick planning in the kitchen.

Have a FANTASTIC week, I cannot believe we are already through the middle of the first month of the year. Time is flying past us, which make me want to remind you how important eating with your family is.  Gather round the nearest table and enjoy talking to one another (a lost art since hand helds have come to adorn every table I see when I dine out with my hubs-sad that people cannot put it away for the littlest time to enjoy real conversation.

I will now step off the box......

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolutions or Goals?

I love the start of a new year.  Anticipation.  A clean slate.  A fresh start.  A new beginning.  But, resolutions vs. goals gets me and half of our world every January.  Hence, if you aim at nothing you hit it every time. You must have at least one resolution or goal.  What's your New Year's Resolution?  Hmmm....I have failed each and every January (much before the end of the first month) with such high expectations on myself in the past.  Often creating a million and one too many ideas.  And you?  Honestly speaking, I think one sets themselves up completely for disappointment, let-down, discouragement, and any of those things that all mean around the same.  I believe in REALISTIC GOALS

Over the last three days I have read blog posts, Facebook questions, and personally talked with people about what their outlook is on this subject, I was glad to know that I wasn't the only person on this side of the page.  When looking at what folks were saying here was what my statistics gathered for the top 4, number one being the first:
  • Exercise
  • Lose Weight
  • Save Money
  • Organize my home
I couldn't agree more with those top 4 from my scientific research gathered information.  Seems like those are the same ones I hear from folks every year. 

Well, let 2011 be your year!  Make those goals, try to keep them, find someone to share them with the will cheer you on.  Stop saying yes to all those commitments that make you crazy that you only regret days after you commit, stop being a push-over for everyone else's urgency (this includes your kids).  Don't allow all the clutter in your life become a detour for your goals (resolutions).  A friend shared recently with me a famous quote (not sure who originated it) that I heard often growing up, it goes something like this...

"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine." 

I get this one totally.  That's where I would say yes, I'll help, yes, I'll serve, yes, I'll pick up the pieces, yes' I'll be there.  There used to be a lot of yes's and not enough in the areas that mattered most.  This past year, I worked on SIMPLIFYING, which included a little a lot of saying "no".  That was my goal and theme during 2010. With a child that required multiple doctor appointments many times weekly, and working out of my home with not one business, but two, I needed to be ON.  I found myself barely being about to get it together.  I have since (last January) come to conclusion I CAN'T do it ALL-there I said it...ahhhh~  Delegation, saying "no" to personal things as well as things for my children, and learning to sit back and live somewhat in the moment needed to be on the fore-front.  I feel I have successfully accomplished my goal in several specific areas of my life this past year. WHA HOO!

This year I want to take that goal, continue with it so I know it is a habit, and be more intentional in my life.  Giving in where I need to and letting go the things I cannot control (sounds like the serenity prayer).

So here is my two-cents on GOALS:

1) GOALS GIVE YOU PURPOSE:  If there is no meaning to your efforts, there is no purpose.  As I mentioned earlier, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time" Purpose is important.

2) GOALS GIVE YOU ACCOUNTABILITY:  Whether you have them privately to look at or you share them with an appropriate friend or your spouse, they are there, and in your face.  Accountability has been proven to help with all sorts of things including business, weight loss, personal success, and so on...  People tend to be more invested when working along someone, sharing ideas, and helping one another.  You tend not to want to let the other person down, and then ultimately you don't let yourself go by the wayside.  Accountability is good.

3) GOALS CREATE AN EXCITEMENT with momentum.   You must write them down and look at them hourly, daily, weekly, monthly- whatever your style.  Track your progress...this keeps you going.  Even if you have a daily, weekly, monthly set can see where you have been to keep you going.  Index cards work great they are easy to tuck in somewhere, just don't lose them.

Most of all DON'T STRESS about your expectations for yourself.  Create something that will work.  After reading all this and you think you have it all together and more...please fill out the comment section below on the post with your solutions...We would all like to know.  These are ideas that have worked for me and I wanted to share them with you.  Happy 2011!  Let the new year bring each of you more happiness, more peace, more love for those around you and your community, and most of all success in all you do and set out to accomplish!

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Menu Plan Monday

linked up with hundreds of menus and recipes!

Here I am again...back to reality...I have lived in a fantasy world for the last few weeks of dinner out, to-go, and cooking on the fly...It's back to basics, trying to clean out the pantry/freezer this month from all the grocery shopping done over the last month of cooking and entertaining.

Is menu planning going to be added to your resolutions goals?  It works, it cuts down on your grocery trips and bill, and allows you not to stress at 5 o'clock!

Here is what we will be eating at our home this week!
  • Spaghetti & Meatballs/Green Salad/Fresh Fruit - Plain and Simple to get the week started!  I do like our family recipe of  homemade sauce I triple/quad the recipe so I always have it available in the freezer-I have some vegetarian and some with meat added to the sauce.
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi/Green Beans/Fresh Fruit
  • Chicken Parmesan/Ceasar Salad/Fresh Fruit **using leftover sauce from spaghetti night or vice a versa
  • Cheeseburger Pinwheels/Green Salad/Applesauce
  • Leftover Buffet
Happy Cooking!