Monday, March 30, 2020

Menu Plan Monday - March 30, 2020

Menu Plan Monday for Mar 30, 2020 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

We're gearing up to a crazy month. Crazy in that our kids are out of school until the 24th and we are moving...sometime. We thought it was going to be the end of the month, but now it may be in the middle of the month. But who really knows. I have a plan in place for the whole month which is the only thing I know how to do at this point and has been harder to do with limits on what you can buy and products being unavailable. I'm doing my best to go out once a week for groceries for just what I need. I've cut down breakfast recipes to one per week and desserts are cookies for now.

Monday - Linguini Carbonara
Tuesday - Better Than Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls
Wednesday - Italian Vegetable Soup
Thursday - Baked Bruschetta Chicken
Friday - Burgers with Thyme Caramelized Onions
Weekend - Copycat McDonald's Pancakes // Ultimate Bangers & Mash // The Best M&M Cookies

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Chocolate Mousse Brownies

These rich dark chocolate brownies are topped with the most decadent mousse ever!

I am picky with homemade brownies and cannot figure out if I like dense or cakey brownies, but I do know that I like a center brownie - no edges for me. I was intrigued by these brownies because of the mousse topping. What better way to enjoy a dark chocolate brownie than MOUSSE ON TOP?! The brownies and the mousse both have a little espresso powder in them which really brings out the chocolate flavors. The mousse is so fluffy and delectable

Friday, March 27, 2020

Cheesy Gnocchi Skillet

A great one pot sausage meal ready in under 30 minutes without complicated ingredients!

I feel strange posting recipes as normal, but I have been cooking as normally as I can while the shelves are picked clean. I've made some changes here and there on the fly, but have been pretty lucky to find what I need - because I planned for the whole month in the end of February not knowing what would happen in a few short weeks.

For us, food is starting to be better kept in stock but when it was more scarce, sausage was more available than any other protein. I couldn't tell you if there's gnocchi. We have barely had diced tomatoes - but you could go fresh. This recipe would be great if you can find those ingredients or make some slight modifications. If you can't, save it for later :) I know I have eyed some things I probably won't be able to make in the near future and have been saving them to my pin boards.

I hope that you readers are doing well and you and your loved ones are in good health. My hope is that with all the stay home orders going out this past week that this will be over soon and we can go forward with more insight on how to better prepare ourselves and prevent the mess that has ensued.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pork Chops with Creamy Pan Gravy

Sometimes the most simple recipes yield the most amazing results, as is the case with these beautiful pan cooked pork chops and homemade pan gravy.

I cannot express how excited I am to finally get this recipe up on the blog. It makes it so much easier for me when I'm meal planning to find recipes for specific proteins or themes when it's on my blog. I have a board for main dishes on Pinterest but those are ones I haven't made yet and finding ones I have made can be a challenge because my Tested Out board is over 1000 pins and sometimes searching doesn't always have the most accurate results. This pork chop recipe is probably my all-time favorite tied with the pork chops with pickle juice gravy recipe I posted recently (and will link at the end of this post). It's crazy to me because I don't like gravy and now all these gravy recipes are my favorites. I love the simplicity of this recipe so very much. The original poster shared these with mashed potatoes - which makes sense because the gravy can go on those too. But I chose to do roasted potatoes because I don't eat gravy on my potatoes. Even if I like gravy now.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Menu Plan Monday - March 23, 2020

Menu Plan Monday for Mar 23, 2020 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

We're having a good mix of old foods and new foods. I'm hoping to finally get around to making the PB&J Muffins that have been on my meal plan for what feels like at least a whole year.

Monday - Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo
Tuesday - Cheesesteak Quesadillas
Wednesday - Chicken Parmesan Soup
Thursday - Steak Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Friday - Asparagus, Bacon, and Herbed Cheese Pizza
Weekend - PB&J Muffins // Tender Roast and Veggies with Gravy // Churro Bars

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Blueberry Pancake Muffins

Pancakes on the go! These blueberry pancake muffins are the portable breakfast of your dreams - they even have maple syrup without the mess!

I'm going to be super upfront with y'all and tell you that I did not anticipate liking these. I'm weird when it comes to maple syrup. I like the fake kind and I like very very little of it. I'm not 100% sure why I don't love it, but I will tell you that I will only eat it on pancakes, waffles, and french toast in just enough amount to taste but not enough to where I will have any excess on the plate. I despise the smell of maple. But some breakfast foods are not the same without it! I kept my mind slightly open and figured if I didn't care for these muffins, someone in my family would eat them. But I was pleasantly surprised when they were the perfect amount of maple flavor and tasted like a delicious blueberry pancake all in one. It was great!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Soft Pretzel Bites

These little pretzel bites are the perfect appetizer - dunk in queso, mustard, or caramel sauce!

I have made a few different kinds of homemade pretzels - mostly buns or bowls. The trick really boils down to the baking soda and water bath that the dough should take. I really really want to make my pizza crust into pretzel crust soon. I think it'll be insanely good. These pretzel bites were treats I made for NYE 2018. I made half with just salt and half with cinnamon sugar. Both were fantastic and I couldn't pick a favorite. They are really good dunked in queso, mustard, and caramel sauce. I'm sure there are plenty more dips that would pair with the salty or sweet in the most wonderful way.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Fresh Homemade Salsa

It's so easy to make salsa at home and you have the freedom of changing up the ingredients to fit your personal tastes!

I don't make homemade salsa very often and every time I do, I wonder why I'm not making it all the time. We love salsa and it definitely does not go to waste. The recipe itself takes very little prep or effort and wah-la! Fresh, homemade salsa. What I think is fantastic with homemade salsa is that you can control the heat and the other flavors you like and don't like. We love lots of garlic and cilantro, but I could totally see someone omitting them if that's not their thing. We usually do a full 3 jalapenos because more spice, please! If you don't like spice, do 1 jalapeno - or even no jalapeno. It's up to you!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Menu Plan Monday - March 16, 2020

Menu Plan Monday for Mar 16, 2020 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Some of this week's recipes are repeats from last month. Monday - because Nick wanted it - he missed it while he was away in Georgia for army training. Wednesday - we actually had too many leftovers with Nick gone, so I cut back to making 5 dinners a week and this one got the chop one week. I'm excited to try a few new recipes including the Popeye's Chicken Sandwich. I'm going to make the chicken spicy though instead of just the spicy mayo because I think it's kinda whack that you call a sandwich a spicy chicken sandwich and then it's regular mild chicken. Especially when Popeye's spicy chicken is SO GOOD.

Monday - Roasted Red Bell and Sausage Pasta
Tuesday - Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce
Wednesday - Spicy Touchdown Chili
Thursday - Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken
Friday - DIY Popeye's Chicken Sandwich
Weekend - Lemon Raspberry Dutch Baby Pancake // Italian Mozzarella Chicken Foil Packets // Soft Lemonade Cookies

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dry Rub Hot Wings

Smoky and spicy dry rub hot wings that will impress a crowd - who needs sauce?!

Are these any less messy than sauced wings? No. Are they just as good without sauce? YES! This is another food that I really didn't like at all up until the last few years. I really can't explain why I didn't like wings. I grew up eating chicken drumsticks and they are just slightly bigger than these little ones. I think I just didn't care for them because of the flavors. I have made and also eaten some banging wings recently. My sister-in-law makes some mean wings and I think hers are my absolute favorite. It just seems like homemade is better. Every time I've thought I didn't like a food was because it was something that wasn't homemade. The dry rub on these wings is great and I highly recommend making some of these dry rub wings next time you're entertaining a crowd. They won't last long!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, this crockpot recipe is a complete winner!

I have never had homemade corned beef before - just the dried stuff, which honestly is one of my favorite things. It's so good. I found this recipe and wanted to try it because I did not know that corned beef was a beef brisket and that it could be made so easily. It sounded like something that took days and a lot of patience to make. I've only had beef brisket one other time, so I was ready to try it again. This recipe ended up being awesome and I loved it so much. It was really easy to make and it was so tender. And with leftovers, corned beef hash, of course!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

White Vanilla Layer Cake

This stunning, classy layer cake has strawberry frosting made from fresh strawberries and a second frosting made with champagne.

At this point, I'm sure I've probably said this at least a dozen times, but one of my favorite things to do is make birthday cakes/desserts for my family members. I usually let the kids choose what kind of cake they want and like to surprise the adults (although I've begun to ask what the adults want and then pick something from there that fits). My mother-in-law always gets the fanciest of cakes and that seems pretty fitting with her nickname being Fancy. I chose this vanilla layer cake because it has champagne in the cake and the frosting, as well as fresh strawberries in the frosting. It looked so so pretty.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Menu Plan Monday - March 9, 2020

Menu Plan Monday for Mar 9, 2020 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Last week was insane with our house selling process - we had 12 showings out the gate within the first 24 hours. I'm hoping this week will be a little calmer but things are definitely looking hopeful. This weekend we're celebrating the last of the kids' birthdays and that should be fun! :)

Monday - Low Carb Bacon Cheeseburger Salad
Tuesday - Beef Fajita Nachos
Wednesday - Broccoli Cheese Soup (from the freezer)
Thursday - Cheesy Kielbasa, Rice, and Broccoli Skillet
Friday - Crazy Crust Pizza
Weekend - Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins // Italian Wedding Soup // Mint Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Colcannon Soup

Classic colcannon flavors of cabbage, cheddar, and potatoes in a tasty soup!

We enjoy our weekly soup nights and have begun to run out of new soup recipes to try, so it's always nice to find something different. I was somewhat aware of colcannon because I've made colcannon mashed potatoes before and loved them so dang much. I don't really get to make a lot of foods with cabbage or leeks, so I really was excited and looking forward to this one and was not disappointed at all. It's also made in one pot and takes less than 30 minutes.

Friday, March 06, 2020

Best Biscuits Ever

These stunning little biscuits easily and without a doubt live up to their name!

I think one of the best parts of cooking is that you get to try things that you may not have ever liked and turn them into something you DO like. I have had so many foods in the last 10 years or so when I really started branching out that I never would have touched as a kid or things I did eat as a kid that I despised despite not being a super picky. I never liked biscuits unless they were the refrigerated kind. Any type of buttermilk biscuit...nope. Not for me. I made homemade biscuits because unlike me, my children and husband LOVE biscuits. I tried them and fell in love. They are the best biscuits I've ever eaten. I highly recommend the brush of butter and sprinkle of salt at the end. They are fluffy, flaky, and just ridiculously good. Easily the BEST. BISCUITS. EVER.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Two already amazing desserts on their own get combined to make one supremely delicious, extra fantastic dessert

I'm excited to share this cheesecake with y'all today because it's two desserts in one and those are the best! I have some weird preferences in foods. You will never ever see me eating a banana by itself. I hate the texture a lot. But I adore pretty much any kind of banana food that isn't just a banana by itself. I somehow am okay with small slices of banana, so I love banana pudding! This cheesecake is made with banana pudding mix and you can do fresh bananas on top for serving. I love the bits of vanilla wafers throughout the cheesecake. It's a really easy cheesecake recipe to make and you get banana pudding and cheesecake at the same time, so everyone wins!

Monday, March 02, 2020

Menu Plan Monday - March 2, 2020

Menu Plan Monday for Mar 2, 2020 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I'm a little behind on getting this posted this morning, but that's Monday for you. I spent most of my weekend painting and cleaning - I don't quite understand how on earth I'm not a pile of mush on the floor at this point, but I cannot wait to sell this home and move into the new one! I think then I'll be able to relax fully! This week we're eating some old favorites in the beginning of the week and finishing out with some new ones. I'm going to be cutting back to one planned breakfast a week (not that I make breakfast recipes at all) and my desserts, other than for the last birthday weekend we have in March, will be cookies or bars, so I can pack up my baking items and not have to try and find anything.

Monday - Spaghetti
Tuesday - 20-Minute Chicken Tacos
Wednesday - Beef Stew (from the freezer)
Thursday - Chicken Gyro Salad with Tzatziki Sauce
Friday - Garlic Overload Burgers with Creamy Garlic Burger Sauce
Weekend - Copycat McDonald's Pancakes // Turkey Meatloaf // One Giant Reese's Pieces PB Cookie

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

Sunday, March 01, 2020

One Pot Cauliflower Chowder

 This one pot soup recipe is slow cooked on the stove for under an hour - you get the best of both worlds, an easy soup that doesn't take too long to make but tastes like you've had it simmering all day!

I'm sure at this point most of my chowders are very similar recipes, but nonetheless, here is another cauliflower chowder recipe. You could omit the bacon or use vegan bacon (that's a thing, I think?) and use vegetable broth for a completely meatless, vegetarian-friendly soup. I enjoy that this recipe is not exactly a quick recipe, but is not a slow cooker, crockpot recipe either.