31 August 2011

Over at the Vera's

A few good recipes I've used this week:

I tried my hand at Minny's chocolate pie which may have been more fun than it was tasty. (It was a little too rich for my taste.) Though I must say, the sliver of a piece that was left over the next morning really hit the spot. I used this recipe for the crust.

Sunday we had broccoli cheese soup with homemade bread (I used the recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Monday I made this salad, roasted vegetables, and a green salad. It was kind of a random meal, but we were craving something light and this hit the spot; I definitely recommend it. If you want to make it heartier you could add some grilled chicken, orzo pasta, or anything really. And can I just say, roasting red peppers is probably the most fun I've had in the kitchen in a long time. I felt like I was doing a science experiment. If you try this recipe, definitely roast your own peppers.

29 August 2011

This week...

...we're eating:

*Monday: Shells with Grilled Chicken & Mozzarella Mondays are interesting these days because we now have soccer practice right at dinner time. I try to have it ready for Ryder to eat before we go, and I take a little picnic for Ellery, me and Haven to eat while we watch him play.

*Tuesday: Taco Salad & watermelon (summer can't officially be over until we've had this meal, right?)

*Wednesday: I've been wanting a good Panzanella lately. I love throwing a bunch of my favorite veggies in a bowl with some good crusty bread. I'll make one similar to THIS one. But you can really add whatever you like.

*Thursday: Baked Potatoes (with all the fixins')

*Friday: We're headed to Michigan for Labor Day weekend! But if I were staying here, I would probably make Grilled Barbecued Chicken with Corn & Radish Salad and THESE cookies (I admit, I made them last week as a celebration on the first day of school--quite possibly the BEST cookies I've ever made. I added some vanilla & chocolate chips to mine.)

20 August 2011

Let the school years begin...

Remember THESE? Yeah, you NEED to make them...

I can't believe I have a child entering Kindergarten this week! I'm so excited for both of our sakes. And I'm also a little sad, not to have my Ryder guy with me all day long every day. Thank goodness this is only half days. And with soccer already begun, we're entering my favorite time of the year. So as the summer months are coming to a close, here are some dinners that I feel the need to make:

*Monday: Leftover night

*Tuesday: Night before first day of school dinner -- Homemade Pizzas (tomatoes, basil & fresh mozzarella for mine, please)

*Wednesday: Chicken Pasta Salad (see recipe below)-one of my favorite things in the world...

*Thursday: Can hardly wait for these Eggplant, Zucchini & Chickpea Wraps...YUMMY!

*Friday: Camping AGAIN! We had so much fun last week, we're going for round 2. Tonight we'll make classic foil dinners. I LOVE making these, because you can personalize them so much. I'm sure Ryder will go with the normal, meat, potatoes, carrots, corn. But I usually use chicken in mine, or sometimes I go with no meat. I love to add lots of fun veggies like squash, zucchini, peppers, onions, etc. With some good sauces/seasonings, this is one of my all time favorite summer meals.

*Saturday: Leftovers

*Sunday: Black Quinoa Salad with Mangos, Avocados & Tomatoes. I love how simple and fresh this recipe looks. All basic natural ingredients thrown together to make amazing flavors.


- 5 cups medium shell macaroni, cooked
- 2 cups seedless grapes, sliced in half
- 2 cups unpeeled, diced apples
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup grated onion (or diced green onion)
- 1/2 cup green pepper
- 1 cup diced celery
- 14 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
- 3 cups chicken breasts, cooked and diced
- 1 cup coleslaw dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate before serving.

*I definitely don't use 2 whole cups of mayo/coleslaw dressing. I start with just a little, and keep adding until all ingredients are coated, but I don't like mine to be as saucy as some people may like. Play around with it...in fact you could make your own healthier version--a little olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper could be just as yummy!

15 August 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Thanks to my Mom and Burke I had a DELICIOUS birthday. ;) It involved these cupcakes. If you ever come visit me in Chicago, I'm probably going to FORCE you to visit Molly's cupcake shop. And I'll probably MAKE you sample the Ron Bennington (bottom left cupcake). It made my birthday quite delightful. This may actually be my last birthday involving Molly's. :( So let's turn our focus to what we're eating this week:

*Monday: Leftover Giordano's Pizza...darn. ;)

*Tuesday: We never made this Ziti last week, and the kids have requested it. So we'll try it tonight. We'll also have fresh peaches and salad

*Wednesday: Corn/Black Bean Salad--I can't believe I haven't made this yet this summer! I mix black beans, corn, diced purple or green onion, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado and chopped cilantro with a little olive oil, lime juice and salt. It is heavenly. We'll have Chicken Quesadillas with ours.

*Thursday: Salmon & Roasted Red potatoes (bought some fresh red potatoes at the farmer's market this week...can't wait to use them!)

*Friday: CAMPING! We're hoping and praying for good weather so we can enjoy our roasted hot dogs (and grilled peppers/onions for me & Burke) and smores.

*Saturday: Leftovers

*Sunday: Chicken Fajitas with Lime Rice and these beans...and some of THIS for dessert (I'll serve it with fresh strawberries & blueberries)

08 August 2011

Baby Shower time.

Tomorrow I am helping with a baby shower for a cute friend. My mind has been buzzing for the last couple weeks with ideas, and I'm so excited for it to finally be here! Check out what I'll be making for that--oh, and for my family for the rest of the week. ;)

*Monday: Ultimate Nachos

*Tuesday: Cobb Salad with Parmesan Crisps, Cream Puffs (don't be intimidated-these are the easiest things anyone could every make--see recipe below), Asparagus Tart & Fruit Parfait cups (for these I'm just getting a variety of fresh berries, placing them in cute cups and topping with a dollop of freshly whipped cream) Seriously AMAZING cupcakes are being made by my baker friend Annie.

*Wednesday: Baked Ziti with bread & salad

*Thursday: Hamburgers on the grill & Sauteed Zucchini, Peppers & Tomato Salad

*Friday: Pizza for the kids--date night for Burke & me!

*Saturday: Leftovers

*Sunday: Homemade Hummus & Pita Chips


-1 c. water
-1/2 c. butter
-1 c. flour
-4 eggs

Heat oven to 400*. Bring water and butter to a rolling boil on the stove. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs all at one time; continue beating until smooth. Drop dough by scant 1/4 cupfuls about 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool and fill with desired filling. Dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate until serving.

01 August 2011

It's August!

Holy cow! I can hardly believe that I have a little boy starting school in about 3 weeks. That is nuts. We're headed to the pool today, and I'm planning a super easy menu for these next last weeks of summer. Hope you enjoy your week!

*here is an EXCELLENT peanut sauce recipe. Super simple and goes with anything.

*Monday: Artichoke Bruschetta & green salad (I'm LOVING) all the fresh "local" veggies & can't get enough salads! I've also FINALLY lost those extra pounds (from my little Haven girl) thanks to all the greens. ;)

*Tuesday: Stuffed Tomatoes (I'm using our favorite stuffed peppers recipe with some garden grown tomatoes to stuff)

*Wednesday: Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce & corn on the cob

*Thursday: Roasted Red Pepper/tomato soup with pretzel bread panini's (soup & pretzel bread from Trader Joe's)

*Friday: Red Pepper Dip with Pitas

*Saturday: Spring Rolls (with the leftover Peanut Sauce)

*Sunday: Leftover day!