Meal Planning Monday

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It is a great start to this week because I am not scrambling to get a meal plan and grocery list together.  I ended up going to the store on Friday.  I probably will have to pick up a few things later this week but so far it is nice to not have to think about that this morning.

I stocked up on some things so I am hoping to make it until Tuesday next week.  I still have to plan our Christmas Eve menu.  Well really I need to narrow it down because I have way to many yummy things I want to make.

For this week we are having:

Turkey Ruebens ( roasted turkey breast, homemade thousand island sauce and homemade coleslaw) with roasted brussel sprouts
Zuppa Tuscana Soup with grilled Cheese
Turkey Enchiladas (ground turkey, homemade Enchilada Sauce)
Marinated Chicken with zucchini noodles
Marinated Chicken with Salad

I am really excited about the Turkey Ruebens.  They are so good. I will do a post later this week about how I make them.



Weekend Plans

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We are finally getting to see Santa this weekend.  Evelyn has been on countdown and is really excited.  Hopefully both her and Jack cooperate and we can get a good picture of them.
I am also meeting a friend a friend at the mall for lunch on Saturday.  I am excited to catch up with her and to possibly get to a couple of stores and finish up a few gifts.
We also are going to a friends house for dinner on Sunday and going to let the kids do a little gift exchange.  We haven't seen these friends in a while.  I am really looking forward to seeing them.
That is about us.  I'd like to get a couple loads of laundry done too but we will see about that.

What's your plans?

Birthday's and Aging

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Every year around my birthday I get question about if I feel older and can you believe it has been xx years.  So these are my thoughts on aging and birthdays.
I have honestly always loved birthdays.  I love celebrating the day and making it special.
Birthdays are a special day because I think of it as if it is a holiday for that individual person.  My parents always made birthdays special by letting us pick our favorite dinner, taking the day off of chores and of course we had cake and ice cream which is always good. 
We didn't always have big parties but we always celebrated.  As I got older and was out on my own I celebrated my birthday with friends, usually making it a full weekend celebration.
 I'd take the day off of work as well and did something relaxing like shopping, sleeping in and lounging around.
I don't think about the day as much as I am getting older but more of a day to celebrate how far I have come.  
If I am being honest each year is better and better for me.  I look back at pictures even from a few years ago and I look healthier, and happier now than I did in my late 20's.
I really couldn't be more content with my life now.  I have a great family.
Becoming a wife and mom was really what I was meant to be.  I never imagined all this for my life but with years and years of working at it things fell into place.  Without getting older, aging and celebrating birthdays each year I would have never made it this far.  
So each year I look forward to my birthday. I look forward to what is going to come next.  I choose to concentrate on the good and look for the positive that comes with aging.  I also don't mind telling people how old I am.
And yes, I can believe that this year I am turning 35.  Crazy I know but, it is the truth and next year I will be even older.  I am ok with that and look forward to it.


Out to brunch with my guy to celebrate my birthday this year.  


My birthday present!  Lincoln MKT.  Yes that is Evelyn in the driver seat.  She loves it too.

Monday Menu Planning

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We are don't have any food in the house right now.  We are out of all of our usual staples and are in need of a big grocery shopping trip today.  I am hoping to get the kids up and out the door early so we have lots of time to shop before Evelyn goes to school.


I made this soup last week and it was beyond good.  So, we are having it again this week.
Easy Zuppa Toscana  with Salad

Attempting to use the crock pot with this recipe.
Cheesy Tortellini Soup with Salad

Marinated Chicken with Salad and roasted Brussel sprouts (we are having this twice)

Turkey Taco's with Rice

I am also going to make Pioneer Woman's strawberry bars.
The full recipe is HERE.  I make these every month or so and they are my favorite snack.

Hope you all have yummy menu's planned this week.

Weekend Plans

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It has been a long week and I am looking forward to the weekend.  We have a busy couple of days coming up but they are full of fun.
Tonight after Mike gets home I am heading up to church to help with our craft show set up.  We have been working on this for months and it is finally here.  Tomorrow is the show and I am running the bake sale so I have lots of work a head of me.  I will be there early early in the morning and am staying until late afternoon.
After the show we are heading to a birthday party.  I love kids birthday parties.  This one is for Mike's cousin's daughter and she is turning 1.  After the party we will head home and hopefully settle the kids down and get them to bed a little early.
Sunday is my birthday!  I can not believe I am going to be 35.  I am planning to do a full post on my feelings on aging so stay tuned for that.  We have a sitter coming over and Mike is taking me out for a  bit for brunch.  I am excited for that.  Bloody Mary's and some couple time sounds like a perfect day.
What are you guys up to this weekend?


Thanksgiving Wrap Up

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Thanksgiving went just how I had pictured it.  All the pre planning and cooking ahead worked out for the best and made the actual day easy and relaxing.
My family arrived around 12:30 and we had plans to eat at 2:00.  At 2:15 we actually sat down to the table.  The timing all came together at the last few minutes.  All the new recipes I tried tasted great and are going to be keepers.
Below are the links for them all.  I did make my own potatoes and will post about those later.  I also made my own gravy for the first time.  It was so good and so worth the extra time.
I really liked the table setting too.  I made my own table runners with burlap.
I am working on a new one for Christmas.
It was nice to share a special day with my family and to enjoy a nice dinner with every one.  We don't get together as often as we'd like so I really wanted to make the day special.

Check out the recipes below.  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!


Turkey Tips

Roasted Turkey

Make ahead Mashed Potato's

Pan Gravy

Stuffing

Corn Casserole

Cranberry Sauce

Green Bean Casserole

Pumpkin Cheesecake





Tuscan Bean Soup with Cornmeal Waffle Grilled Cheese Recipes

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Soup is on again.  I try to do at least one meal a week vegetarian.  Mike is not a fan of this.  I realized that if it is in soup form, he doesn't have any complaints about it.
These recipes were really good and are going to be a go to for me.  I like the idea of using the waffles for grilled cheese.  It is like fresh homemade bread.  Very clean eating.


Paula Dean's Cornmeal Waffles
Full recipe HERE

Ingredients:
1 3/4 C Flour
1 1/4 C Yellow Cornmeal
1 T baking powder
1 t Sugar
1 t Salt
2 C Milk
3 T vegetable oil
2 Large Eggs

Directions:
Stir all together and cook in small batches on waffle griddle.  

Once they are cool, use a bread knife and cut so they are open faced.  Then put lots of shredded or sliced sharp cheddar cheese on one side.  Put the top back on and bake in the oven on a cookie rack at 350 degrees for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.  


Tuscan Bean Soup
Full Recipe HERE

I didn't change anything about this recipe and it was so so good.  

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, dice
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 yellow summer squash, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
1 quart vegetable (or chicken) broth
2 (14 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juices
3 cups chopped kale, ribs removed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 6 quart or larger Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash. Saute for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme and rosemary. Cook 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring the contents to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and add the chopped kale. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender* to partially puree the soup, leaving some chunks of beans vegetables for texture.
  5. Add Salt, Pepper and vinegar.  


Meal Planning Monday

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I still have to go grocery shopping this afternoon but, I have a good meal plan put together.

Here it is:

Baked Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles and Salad
Tex Mex Turkey Wraps
Marinated Chicken with Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Cauliflower Chowder with Salad
Veggie Black Bean Soup with Grilled Cheese


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