Archive for the ‘In the Kitchen’ Category

Welcome back to week 2 of Superb Supper Sundays! Last week, I attempted to include some pictures of the meal my family ate and some commentary on how the meals turned out. As always, the homemade pizza was a success, so I will be repeating that meal with a change of toppings. This time, I am planning to add more veggies. I have also traded my Crockpot Night for Breakfast for Dinner Night because I really did not want to chop up all the ingredients this week! There have also been a few other trades for the themed nights this week. I hope you enjoy!


Weekly Meal Plan – 2/26 – 3/3

Sunday (Breakfast for Dinner) – Homemade Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit Salad, Strawberry Lemonade

Monday (Tex-Mex Night) – Vegetarian Chili; Salad

Tuesday (Home Cooked Meal – HMC Night) – Roasted Rosemary Potatoes; Sauteed Kale & Swiss Chard

Wednesday (Italian Night) – Vegetable Lasagna; Steamed Broccoli

Thursday (Mexican Night) – Black Bean Quesadillas; Oven Fries

Friday (Italian Night) – Four Cheese Pizza w/Broccoli; Salad

Saturday (Asian Night) – Vegetable Stir-Fry; Jasmine Brown Rice; Vegetable Dumplings; Fortune Cookies


I will be updating some photos of the meals as they are completed!

Do you have any kid-friendly vegetarian dishes to share? I would love to try them out! Please share your ideas in the comments section below.


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“What’s for dinner?”There have been many days when I knew about as much as the hungry family member who was asking the question. “I’ll figure out something”, has been my usual thought as the minutes in the munchies madness hour (right before dinner) begin to dwindle. Then the importance and benefits of meal planning dawned on me (no, it really took over a year of researching for it to soak in)!

5 Benefits of Meal Planning:

1. Your grocery shopping is streamlined.

2. You and your family know what’s for dinner, so you don’t get the same kind of questions.

3. You are able to prepare items that take a little longer in advance.

4. You don’t run out of ingredients for a dish you were planning to make. Therefore, there are fewer mad dashes to the grocery store and (sometimes not so good) substitutions.

5. You end up spending less time in the kitchen on meal-related tasks.

So, in the spirit of finally understanding all of these benefits, I thought it would be fun to share my meal plan ideas with you in a weekly series called Superb Supper Sundays. My meals run from Sunday to Saturday, however I try to plan out my meals and grocery list on Fridays so that all the grocery shopping can be done on Saturdays. I happen to find that early in the morning on Saturday is the best time for me to shop because I have more free time and the crowd is minimal. (At the present, my wonderful husband has been doing the shopping or Peapod has been making the delivery.)

Weekly Meal Plan – 2/19-2/25

Sunday (Crockpot Night) – Crockpot Hearty Vegetable Stew; Cornbread; Salad

The stew turned out really well and my husband went back for seconds! My son ate all of his too!

This salad has mixed salad greens, tomatoes, red peppers, shredded carrots, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Yum!

Monday (Mexican Night) – Bean Nachos; Salad

This was a very tasty dish and we all went for more chips and salsa afterwards!

Tuesday (Caribbean Night) – Steamed Cabbage (Jamaican); Rice & Peas (Jamaican); Festival (Jamaican)

Wednesday (Leftover Night) – Leftover Buffet

Thursday (Mexican Night) – Black Bean Fajitas; Corn

Friday (Italian Night) – Four Cheese Pizza; Salad

A slice was taken out due to an early eater!

Saturday (Asian Night) – Vegetable Fried Rice; Jasmine White Rice; Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls

I will be updating photos of the meals as they are completed!

Do you have any kid-friendly vegetarian dishes to share? I would love to try them out!

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So, I was sitting in my bed, surfing the web (as I tend to find myself doing, especially when I am confined to it:) and had this urge for something sweet. I happened to stumble upon a post on Simple Organized Living that happened to have a Best Apple Cake recipe. The picture of the cake looked so delicious, that I was prompted to go the the kitchen and carefully manage to put together the ingredients of the recipe while sitting down. It wasn’t easy, but the end result was totally worth it. There was only one problem, I didn’t have all of the exact ingredients and therefore had to do what I usually do when I run into this kind of situation…I make substitutions!

Therefore here is my tweaked (and lower fat) version of the recipe (I actually made quite a few changes):

2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t.  sea salt
1 T. organic ground cinnamon
1 T. baking powder
4  organic/cage-free eggs
1.5 c. organic cane  sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
1/3 c. unsweetened pumpkin butter
2 t. organic vanilla extract

1/3 c. water
3  organic Gala apples — peeled, cored and diced
cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle over the top


Preheat oven to 400* F .
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except apples and the extra cinnamon and sugar.
Pour batter into a greased bundt ban.

Sprinkle the apples, cinnamon, and sugar over the top of the batter.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick/butter knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Original content from Simple Organized Living: http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2012/02/13/the-best-apple-cake/#ixzz1mP4RM6X4

My husband and my son tried it with some whipped cream and went back for seconds! I also enjoyed a large slice or two. Thanks Andrea!

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This recipe happens to be my family’s favorite. Each time I make it, my son says, “Yay, Chili!”  I hope that it will become a favorite of yours too! Oh, and may I add that it takes about an hour from start to finish!


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 medium, green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cans (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup of vegetable broth


1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, and peppers for about 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling and cover.  Cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a small amount of broth if needed, depending upon desired thickness).

3. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and multi-grain or sweet potato tortilla chips. Yum!

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I have to say that if you have been eating meat for most of your life, it can be hard knowing what kind of meals to cook that are vegetarian. Therefore, I thought that I would suggest some tasty meals that are quick and easy. In a later post I will write the recipes for some of these meals.

1. Vegetarian Chili
2. Vegetarian Stew
3. Pasta Primavera
4. Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
5. Stir Fry with Brown Rice and Tofu
6. Brown Rice, Corn, and Black Bean Burritos
7. Roasted Root Vegetables
8. Tofu and Sweet Potato Burrito with Lettuce, Tomato, and Sauteed Onions
9. Veggie Burger, Mashed Potato, Mushroom Gravy, Corn, and Green Peas
10. Vegetable Fajitas, Black Beans, and Rice

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Five Guys Burgers and FriesSeveral months ago I went to this restaurant in Levittown, NY called Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I tell you, I had the best fresh french fries. They have bags and bags of potatoes that are washed, peeled, cut, and fried. They actually do not add salt, you can add your own.

I was so inspired by the taste, that I made my own attempt have a go at it. I used the same procedure, but I added a little bit of salt after the potatoes were done frying. I made sure to drain them in paper towels…I can’t stand overly greasy fries. They came out wonderfully and I must say that I may just be able to last a few more months without another trip out for fries. Now, I must learn how to make a really tasty cheeseburger!

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