Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day Late, Meal Plan

This weekend was filled with restaurant meals, however no buffets. Surprising since we stayed in a casino and they are grandma's favorite. However one of our favorite restaurants in Phoenix area is Mayaco's, and on the way home Jesse's mentioned there was one in Vegas. We were able to stop for lunch, fill up on chips and salsa, enchiladas and tacos.
Getting back a bit late last night, didn't leave much time for doing my Monday Meal Plan. So I am day late, but at least this week we have some meals compare to last week. At least we have a plan this week for dinner.

Tuesday: Penne arrabiata with chicken sausage and side salads
Meatless Wednesday: Black bean and cheese quesadilla with salsa from Mayaco's (brought back from Vegas)
Thursday: Roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots
Friday: Chicken tortilla soup (with the extra chicken I roast on Thursday)
Saturday: Garlic pork with mash potatoes, and zucchini
Sunday:  Mongolian beef with broccoli and rice

Thursday, May 26, 2011

J-E-L-L-O looking bright

A little broken can make you feel bright.
This Broken Glass Jello has been on my list to make for a long time. I just never really knew how it would taste. I eat it in marshmallow form but not really in Jello form, fruit favored. However this is the perfect potluck or picnic dish going into summer. It is bright, and forms a smile on kids and adults alike. When I brought it to a potluck, the response was "Is that Jello?" always said with a big smile! It is a perfect thing to make if you don't want to turn on the oven, or if you want a cool dish serve. Plus the colors can be changed for different occasions, perhaps red and blue with the white for a Memorial Day or 4th of July Picnic. I learned that using a smooth knife would have worked better to cut them. Also using container that were similar is size gave the colors a more even look.
Broken Glass Jello
4 small boxes (3 oz. each) of Jell-O or store brand "gelatin dessert" in different colors
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (don't get evaporated milk)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin 
- For each flavor, dissolve one box of jello in one cup of boiling water. Pour into a container and chill (I chilled it 2 hours until firm).
- After chilling the four flavors, cut them into small blocks.
- Carefully mix the blocks in a 9 x 13 pan.
- In a separate bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup cold water. After the gelatin blooms, add 1 1/2 cup boiling water and dissolve. Add the can of condensed milk. Stir and cool. Pour cooled milk mixture over jello and chill overnight.
- Cut into blocks or shapes and serve! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

May Flower Meal Plan

I have been making meal plans but forgetting to post them. However this meal plan isn't that much of a plan with Memorial Day weekend being here. We will be taking a little trip to visit family, so there are a lot of restaurant meals.

Here is another Monday Meal Plan, so we aren't stuck with nothing this week for dinner.
Monday: Birthday BBQ for husband, burgers, pasta salad, tossed salad, baked fries
Meatless Tuesday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken with leftovers
Thursday: Pizza and Salad
Friday: Restaurant
Saturday: Restaurant
Sunday: Restaurant

Not much of a plan. But I thought I ought to share it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chocolate Woodland Animal Cookies

Little woodland creatures as chocolate cookies!
These adorable cookies cutter are from IKEA. All I really needed was a couple of lamp shades, but I walked out with this set under my arm. In hopes that we can go camping sometime soon, these animals were made. I didn't want to make them typical sugar cookies because they seemed too outdoorsy for that. Chocolate helped them look more like they belonged in the woods. When rolled too thin these cookies were just crunchy and not that good, but when thicker they were yum. I used chocolate buttercream to give the animals a bit of dimension.
Chocolate Cut Out Cookies
Slightly adapted from Allrecipes 
1 cup butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for rolling out. 
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Mix in the vanilla. 
- Combine flour, cocoa powder and baking powder; add and mix well. 
- Wrap dough in waxed plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. 
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
- Divide dough in half. Put the half you are not working with back in the fridge. 
- Using a combination of cocoa powder and powdered sugar, to avoid sticking, roll out each half to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with desired shaped cookie cutters. 
- Place on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fruit Fondue

Little swords of fruit to dip!!
These little things took a tiny bit of time to put onto the sticks but really simple otherwise. Also would make a lovely addition to a brunch. Perhaps for Mother's day since it is approaching quickly. I used the fruit I had on hand-honeydew, pineapple, strawberries and blackberries. I think just a berry version would be great dipped in the chocolate and yogurt.
Here is super simple directions.
Fruit Fondue 
Mixed fruits, such as strawberries, pineapple, grapes, mango, melon, blueberries, blackberries (cut into bite-size chunks)
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk chocolate, chips or fondue

- Stab the fruits onto wooden skewers, seperating fruit of the same color. If the skewers are too long, cut them in half. (easier to dip if shorter)
- Melt the milk chocolate on a low heat in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time, stirring between.  Transfer to a small serving bowl
- Serve the kebabs on a platter with the yogurt and melted chocolate for dipping

The little colors of spring! These little fruit swords would brighten up any table setting. The chocolate and yogurt just add a little bit extra than your typical fruit salad.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cinco de Mayo Meal Plan

I am not sure where last week went. But it is time again for another Monday Meal Plan, so we aren't stuck with nothing this week for dinner.

Meatless Monday: A meatless version of Rachel Ray's Smokey Black Bean Stoup
Tuesday: Chicken breasts stuffed with marinara and cheese, side of noodles and broccoli
Wednesday: Chicken Chow Mein with mushrooms, squash, daikon radish
Thursday: Carne Asada with grilled corn on the cob
Friday: Tulip Festival and dinner date night
Saturday: Chicken Enchiladas stuffed with onion and pepper plus beans
Sunday: Meatball subs and a roasted eggplant side

Here are some of the many scones that my friends and I made for our Royal Wedding girls' night. I recorded it and we watched it at night with champagne and food. It was much nicer than actually getting up for it.

What I look forward to for May: Tulip Festival, running (probably walking mostly) my first ever 5K, Mother's Day, camping, husband's birthday, and a Memorial Day weekend trip.