Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 10 Recipes of 2013

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Banana Bread- I've made this too many times to count this year. Mark has learned to grab a slice quick before it's all gone. 

Sweet Potato Hash- This recipe wins surprise of the year. I wasn't too excited about it when Angela told me I needed to make it but it turned out to be a meal I couldn't get enough of. I think I went for thirds.

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches- I made this for dinner swap and had fun with different meats, adding high-class cheez whiz on some, horseradish sauce on some, etc. YUM

Carnitas- Totally amazing. Makes a lot so serve to people you want to make friends with :)

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches- The Mojito mayo in these babies is totally awesome. I always carmelize the onions

Pork Ragu- Perfect dish to serve company

Tarraon and Dill Soufle- I also made this one a lot. Great for a potluck breakfast/brunch, breakfast for dinner, community group meal, etc.

Honey Lime Fruit Salad- This was a fun new staple for the summer. The lime! Love it.

Chicken Chorizo Tacos- Get some fully-cooked all-natural pork chorizo for these amazing tacos (PCC market, whole foods, etc)

Coconut Shrimp- Great flavors and easy to throw together

Did you have any favorites from Bites this year that didn't make my top 10?

Week of December 23rd, 2013

BBQ chicken sandwiches

Dinner at my sister's

Christmas dinner- ham, green beans, salad, mashed potatoes


*Artichoke Mustard chicken- Thank you Beth for the recommendation! We LOVED this. Totally worth making.

Ham Bone White Bean soup

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Week of December 16th, 2013

*Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers- Totally worth making

*Homemade Refried Bean Burritos- my first shot at homemade refried beans, I doubled it. I will be making this recipe again!

*Honey Mustard Chicken- Thanks Kelsey for the recommendation! This was fantastic. I loved the dipping sauce.

*Sausage and Red Pepper Quiche- Interesting crustless quiche. It had a lot going on inside so it was really hearty

*Carnitas- AMAZING 5 Stars

Quick dinner with kids before electric boat date- leftovers

Out to Eat before snowflake lane

*Peaches and Cream French Toast- it was good but not as wonderful as I hoped it would be. Blueberry French Toast is much better!

* = new recipe

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week of December 9th, 2013

This week we had our dear friends the Paynes in town. It is always fun to share our love of cooking together!

Grilled Mojito Chicken Sandwiches- I had to share one of my favorite recipes of the year with them.

*Bow-tie pasta with butternut squash, spinach and mushrooms- Thanks Jaime for the recipe recommendation! I don't make dishes which feature lots of mushrooms often because Mark isn't the biggest fan. It was fun to plan this for lunch one day when Angela was visiting because I knew she could appreciate it with me.

*Potato, Chicken and Green Beans- One of Angela's easy one-pot meals (don't forget to plan for it to be in the oven for an hour)

*Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese with caramelized onions- yum. Couldn't find challah bread but it was still delicious on normal wheat bread

*Thai Green Curry Meatballs- Will definitely make again. Not too spicy for the kids

Dinner out at Chipotle

*Eggnog Baked Oatmeal- It was tasty. The carmelized bananas were really what made it. If I make it again I will skip the egg nog because I couldn't really taste it and just do the carmelized bananas.

*Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate- Infusing the milk with cinnamon sticks totally made a difference.

* = new recipe

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week of December 2nd, 2013

I was running low on meal planning ideas so I turned to a few friends for suggestions this week.

Hamburgers with homemade buns

*Parmesan Pea Risotto- Thanks Kristi! I added about 3X the parmesan. The whole family loved it!

Community Group

*Skillet Cilantro and Lime Fish Tacos- Thanks Becky! Delicious!

*Asian Beef Wraps- Thanks Beth! Our family devoured these! (I left out the fish sauce)

*Martha Stewart Spinach Salad- Thanks Lisa! I used the herb salad mix from TJs, pears instead of apples, and raisins instead of dried cherries.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham- we're FINALLY done eating the leftover Thanksgiving ham :)

* = new recipe

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week of November 17th, 2013

*Rosemary White Bean Soup- thanks for the recommendation Jentry!

Community Group- taco night

*Veggies and Cheese Pasta Bake- thanks for the recommendation Angela! (Add more salt/pepper than the recipe calls for)

*Eggs Benedict in Puff Pastry- Mark liked it as much as I thought he would

Dinner at the Mullaneys

Dinner at a parenting conference

Chocolate Banana Bread- Again :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Week of November 10th, 2013

Frito Pie- James came home from school one day with a small bag of Fritos and I couldn't stop thinking about Frito Pie

Neighbors brought pizza over for a dinner together

White Bean Chicken Chili- yummy lime flavor

*Big Fat Greek Tacos- super fantastic!! Make these

*Roasted Shrimp with Orzo- similar to my spinach orzo salad but different enough that it's worth trying out. I think the fresh herbs are 100% necessary in this dish.

*Butternut Stuffed Shells- I was the only one in my family raving about these but I really, really liked them

*Glazed Doughnut Muffins- the tops were amazing (I admit to pulling off a few tops and discarding the bottoms)
*Chocolate Banana Bread- 5 stars. I can't wait to have some overripe bananas again!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week of November 4th, 2013

*Oven Tacos- these were a big hit at a game night we hosted. Great for a crowd!

*Chalupa- very easy crockpot recipe which turns out like a mixture a refried beans and shredded mexican pork.

Community Group- I brought bacon because the gal making the main dish made the yummy tarragon and dill souffle I've made a few times recently.

Potstickers and broccoli

Salmon and Asparagus

Chicken Cesear Salad

Family dinner at Bendito's Chicago Style Pizza. Decent pizza but not traditional Chicago style.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week of October 28th, 2013

Make your own pizza night

*Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas- I made these for community group and everyone enjoyed them. It was a little different to have a sweet flavor in the mix with the spicy but enjoyable.

After telling Mark the soup recipe was pulled up on the laptop and the ingredients were on the counter as I went off to a prental massage, I got a text saying "Soup takes 9 hours in the crockpot"  Oops! Quesadillas and Apple slices for this night!

Chipotle for Halloween

*Zuppa Toscana- finally got to enjoy the crockpot soup :) The flavors in this were great- sausage, bacon, potatoes, heavy cream, etc

Pizza at my sister's because our power was out and she was nice enough to accept my invitation for us to come to dinner :)

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread- a must make for fall. This was one of my favorite recipes last year.

Week of October 21, 2013

This week Angela and I swapped recipes again. It is so fun to cook rockstar recipes all week long. It was really hard to rank these recipes because they were all totally delicious and I would make every one of them again. But I think the all time (and surprising) winner was the sweet potato hash. I admit that I would never have made that one on my own but the flavors were amazing. If you make anything from this list of fantastic meals- try that one!

*Barley Black Bean Corn Burritos- this was so easy to throw together and although it ranked last on our list of favorites I sent Angela, it's really not fair to this recipe because it was a really great meal. It just was up against too many outstanding recipes!

*Bacon Lemon Egg Bread- So delicious! It is a baguette stuffed with an egg, bacon mixture. We gobbled up the entire baguette and would have probably eaten a second :)

*Tex Mex Pot Roast- The meat was delicious on it's own but served on top of a baked potato with sour cream and cheese??? Home run!

*Greek Panzanella- I made this for lunch one day and then ate it the next day and then the next day. YUM! I love greek salad as it is but combined with toasty bread cubes really took this recipe up a notch.

Carne Asada (from TJs) and Dad's Guacamole for Mark's birthday

*Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage and Eggs- 5 Stars. Make this. Enough said.

*Oreo Poke Cake for Mark's birthday- Yep, pretty much as amazing as it sounds.

*Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies- Also amazing. Made 2 batches in 3 days.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week of October 14, 2013

Out to Ethiopian for James' birthday

Brought salad to Community Group

*Mexican 16-Bean Tomato and Chorizo Stew- this was awesome and I highly recommend! Be sure the chorizo you buy is already cooked/cured. I found a great brand at Whole Foods with only 7 ingredients.

Balsamic Goat Cheese Chicken- already a crowd pleaser. I made this for our landlords who came for dinner.

Picnic in the car on the drive to Plain, WA

Asian Beef Tacos- Becky made these at the cabin and I had forgotten how much I love them! 5 Stars!

Blue Chip Chicken Salad- This is definitely in the Heaviland top 10 frequently repeated meals.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week of October 7th

*Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup and Spicy Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds- Total bomb. Nobody in my family would eat it. I thought it was fine but no-go from hubs and the kids.

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage

Bakers (friends visiting from AZ) treated us to Red Mill Burgers

Pulled pork, fried okra and potato salad from my mom

Mom treated us to Chipotle

Mark took me out to Bitterroot for my birthday date. It was awesome!

Pizza for James' P Party

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week of September 30th, 2013

*Hearty Chicken Pumpkin Soup- Thanks Kristin Gilbert for the recommendation! This was the perfect fall soup for a chilly evening. I have never used the already diced onions, carrots and celery from Trader Joes. Life changing!

Mom's enchiladas- always my favorite

The kids and I went to Portland for a few days to visit my dear friend Nikki so Mark lived it up with Trader Joes frozen meals. He loves living like a bachelor once in awhile :)

Dinner at the Wornicks- taco bar

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 23rd, 2013

*Alice Chicken- Beth recommended this recipe and it is totally right up our alley! It was really familiar so I went back through old (paper) recipes and realized this one of of the first meals I made when we were married :) Served with roasted Brussels sprouts

*Tarragon and Dill Egg Soufle- made this for community group and it is the third time I've made it in the past couple of months. I love the flavor, texture and amount of protein for the twins! I added 1/2 t pepper and used dried herbs instead of fresh (using half the amounts it calls for)

*Lemon Pepper Chicken- Very simple grilled chicken recipe. Served with salad and quinoa

Hot Dogs, green smoothies and cantaloupe for Charlotte's Web movie night

Becky's birthday dinner- Mexican Buffet. I made Horchata. Instead of dried cinnamon, I blended two cinnamon sticks with the rice and water and let it soak over night. In the morning, I strained it twice and then added milk (whole), vanilla and 1/2 the sugar the recipe calls for.

Dinner at the Wornicks

Dad's Red Beans and Rice
1 ½ cups dried pinto beans
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp. Chile powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
salt and black pepper to taste

Sort beans carefully for stones or other debris. Wash thoroughly.Fry bacon in dutch oven until partially cooked…not crisp. Remove bacon, cool, then chop into bite-size pieces. Add onions and sauté slowly until tender. Add garlic and flour, sauté a couple of more minutes.

Place beans in pot with enough water to cover by 2-3 inches. Add sautéed chile powder, sugar, pepper and bacon. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low simmer. Stir occasionally. Make sure the beans stay covered with liquid, adding water or broth to maintain about an inch of liquid over beans. Beans will gradually become saturated and no longer require addition of liquid. As beans become tender, season with salt, remove lid and continue to simmer until very tender.

Friday, September 20, 2013

September 16th, 2013

Flank Steak on the grill with this marinade and roasted broccoli

Community Group- enchiladas

Taco Bowls and Mexican Rice

Nachos with black beans and roasted broccoli

Dinner at the Laramas- *Havarti Dill Mac and Cheese

Spaghetti with sauce from Trader Joes

*Apple and Peanut Butter Breakfast Quinoa- thanks for the amazing recipe Ang!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dad's Guacamole

3-4 ripe Haas avocados
2 Tbsp. red onion, minced fine
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced fine
1Tbsp. cilantro
1 tsp. fine kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
juice of 1lime

First, you can’t make good guacamole with bad avocados!  Select some soft avocados, or buy firm ones and let them ripen several days till soft.
Remove seeds from avocados, keeping one or two seeds for use in storing mixture later.
Place all ingredients in large bowl.  Using a fork, mash mixture and stir until all ingredients are incorporated thoroughly.  Don’t make a paste!  Leave some chunks of avocado in the mixture.  Taste mixture, adjust seasoning.  Place one or two avocado seeds in the mixture to help prevent browning.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours.  Remove from refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes, stir again before serving.

Week of September 9th, 2013

*Seafood Enchiladas- very rich but tasty

Hamburgers with Roasted Green Chilis, Carmelized Onions, Avocado

Spaghetti at Community Group

Lasagna Roll-ups- oldie but goodie

Date night- Wings! Kids had turkey meatballs from the freezer

Chicken Burritos

Dinner at Cari's farmhouse in Sequim

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week of September 2nd, 2013

BBQ in North Bend after a 10 hour drive home from Idaho. BOOOOO to labor day traffic

Night before kindergarten dinner at the Spaghetti Factory

Make your own pizza night for Saisha's birthday (I bought the Boboli Party Packs from Costco)

Dad's Green Chili

Turkey Burgers at Becky's

Dad's Crab Alfredo

Pizza at the Wornick's new house! Congrats on the move!

Week of August 26th, 2013

*Sriracha Potato and Macaroni Salad- I loved the noodle/potato combination. I added extra Sriracha to the top of my bowl!

Chicken Barley Soup- Mark's mom's famous recipe. I'll have to post it soon

*Crispy Chicken with Apricot dipping Sauce- Thanks for the recommendation Kelsey. Delicious! I pounded the chicken thin to get more of a cutlet thickness

Teriyaki Chicken in the Crockpot

Dinner in Idaho- Chipotle Burritos, Chili Hot Dogs and Grilled Pork Tenderloin with these AMAZING potatoes.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week of August 19th

Out to dinner with out-of-town friends

Hively Stack up

Chicken on the grill (marinated overnight in Italian dressing) with roasted broccoli and quinoa

*Baked BBQ Chicken Taquitos- Kelsey's dinner swap meal. Yum!

*BLT Pita Pockets- Mark and I like to add avocados to our "blah-tas" as we like to call them (BLTAs)

Cari made us Sweet Potato Packets on a night when Mark was away at a baseball game.

Dinner at Becky's for Colter's 1/2 birthday. She made Chipotle Chicken Skewers on the grill. Delish!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week of August 12th

A couple days in California- Mark's mom made some awesome pork chops on the grill and her famous chicken barley soup (I need to post that recipe!)

*Creamy Tuscan Pasta Sauce- SO fast to throw together.

*Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches- YUM! Reminded me of Arby's hot roastbeef sandwiches. I miss their 5/$5 deal :) If anyone locally makes these, I've got plenty of horseradish sauce to go around. Mark says FIVE STARS!

*Thai Chicken and Quinoa Salad- This salad had awesome dressing and I loved all the different crunchy things going on in the salad!

Dinner at Becky's

*Cuban Street Tacos with homemade guacamole (recipe coming soon)- delicious! (Of course I'm going to say that about any taco recipe, right Ang?)

* = new recipe

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Weeks of July 29th- August 10th

Homemade Pizza Crust with some of my favorite toppings- ground beef and banana peppers

*Summer Garden Vegetable Soup- needed more salt and pepper added at the end but was scrumptious

Tuna Melts

Dinner out at Chipotle

*Thai Chicken Wraps- this was the perfect recipe for a summer picnic at Greenlake!

Grilled Salmon over the quinoa/rice packets from Costco with roasted broccoli

Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini- always a homerun. Especially when shared with friends on the deck!

*Skillet Taco Pie- find a friend to split a bag of Masa Harina with or just steal a 1 1/2 from your sister who always has Mel's Kitchen recipe ingredients on hand :)

Off to California!!

Week of July 22nd

This has been the summer of Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipes. That's pretty much where I've been getting all of my recipes lately. Kelsey and I decided to try out Mel's Kitchen Cafe's Summer Menu 1 this week.

All the recipes were good but this is how I would rank them:
1. Honey Lime Fruit Salad
2. Perfect Turkey Burgers with Romaine and Carrot Slaw
3. BBQ Chicken Salad
4. Citrus and Soy Marinated Pork Tenderloin + Guacamole Salad (the salad was phenomenal!)
5. Broccoli Beef

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week of July 15th, 2013

*Grilled Chicken Mojito Sandwiches- 5 stars! I didn't have a serrano chili so I just used a dash of cayenne pepper. I also left out the rum and caramelized the onions.

*Black Quinoa Salad- not so good. I'm not sure why, but I did not like the soft mango and crunchy pepper in the same bite.

*Southwestern Beef Wraps- SO DELICIOUS! Perfect for feeding a crowd. Avocados and sour cream are mandatory toppings

*Chicken Pot Pie Soup- 5 stars! More of a fall meal but totally amazing.

*Spicy Sausage Pasta- If you're husband is anything like mine, he will love this :)

* = new recipe

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week of July 8th

Angela and I swapped menus again and we had fun eating a week's worth Payne favorites. They were all delicious!

*Summer Spaghetti- I served this cold at the beach. I took a bite of it right off the stove and the flavor was similar as it was cold but it definitely was saucier when it was warm. Next time I think I would serve it warm.

*Tomato Basil Soup in the Crockpot- I loved the flavor in this soup and I also liked the chunks of veggies. I had thought about blending it up but I'm glad I didn't.

*BLT salad- So fantastic. 5 Stars!

*Fizzy Chicken- This was my favorite recipe of the week. I don't think I would have picked the recipe on my own so I'm glad Angela but it on the menu. It was AWESOME!

*Veggie and Feta Pasta Salad- Easy summer salad

*Chicken Tamale Pie- Mark's favorite meal of the week. And he cooked dinner this night- score!

*Cowboy Cookies- very yummy. I love nuts in cookies

*= new recipe

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The last month

We sold our condo and moved in the last month. It was wonderful, chaotic, exciting, stressful and VERY busy. The week before the move some dear friends blessed us by bringing dinners so we didn't have to cook in addition to packing for hours each night. I'm SO thankful for that! Then after the move we did a lot of quick, easy dinners and fun outings with my mom who is visiting

Went to my sister's for a Fate Burger night.
Dinner for my brother's birthday
Chipotle at Edmonds Beach
Salad- romaine, pears, spiced pecans, feta, craisins, raspberry vinaigrette.
BBQ chicken sandwiches with Stubbs BBQ sauce in the crockpot with another batch of the salad above
Fish Tacos from Ooba Tooba's to celebrate signing our documents
Taco Bar with Community Group friends
Zeeks at pizza the greenlake wading pool
Dr. Pepper shredded pork from the dinner swap
Pumpkin Enchiladas from the dinner swap 
4th of July BBQ at my sisters- I made Caprese Salad
Hamburgers on the grill with Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Week of June 10th, 2013

*Bourbon Chicken (without bourbon)- a very simple chicken recipe

Community Group

Green Chili Spinach Quiche- I love this quiche!


*Baked Spagehtti- I made this for dinner swap this month. SUPER kid friendly and easy to put together.

*Chicago Style Hot Dogs for Father's Day- Mark's request :)

Malt Bars for Father's Day

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jane's Chicken Barley Soup

My mother-in-law's famous chicken barley soup recipe!

4 Chicken thighs or 2 large boneless, skinless breasts
1/2 cup barley
5 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 small carrots, sliced
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t basil
dash oregano
dash thyme
dash cayenne
1 T minced fresh parsley

Place all of the ingredients except parsley in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer the soup for 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken and shred. Return to soup and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, stir in the parsley, serve.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week of June 2, 2013

Autumn Chopped Salad- I couldn't find poppyseed dressing at TJs so I made some from this recipe

Community Group- I made Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Caprese Soup- Delicious! I halved the tomato soup recipe that she links to and bought the tomatoes from Costco like she suggests.

Dinner at the Cooks- an amazing enchilada recipe I have to get

James' end of the school year dinner- hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon and an amazing smores bar dessert from Becky.

Dinner at the Elliffs

Chicken Gyros- Yum! I ended up making these in the crockpot and they were delicious!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Week of May 27, 2013

*Chicken Chorizo Sausage Taco with Spinach and Avocado- these were AWESOME. I got fully-cooked all-natural pork chorizo links from PCC market. I accidentally used up all the plain yogurt so I subbed in 1/3 c. cream cheese and 1 T heavy cream. Wow. This was a keeper!

Community Group- I brought spice cake truffles. Boxed spice cake baked and crumbled and mixed with coconut pecan frosting then coated in almond bark.

*Indian Spiced Pork Skewers- I've been wanting to make this one for awhile!

Foil Packet Salmon and *Cheesy Quinoa Pilaf with Spinach- I just used normal goat cheese

*Chicken Pot pie- I don't think I've ever made a real pot pie! Double the sauce in this recipe and add more seasoning. I added 1/2 t each of garlic powder and thyme.

*Coconut Macaroon Pancakes- I loved them. The rest of the family didn't. Too coconutty they said :)
*Banana Oatmeal Cups- A great healthy breakfast recipe!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Week of May 20th

*Slow cooker rosemary and onion pork- my hyper-cooking crockpot made these a little over done but the flavor was good.

Community Group

Pizza at the Wornicks

*Marinated grilled shrimp with baked asparagus fries

Out to eat at Vios Cafe (groupon)

Sloppy Joes (from dinner swap)

Croissant Bread Pudding- I made this with homemade croissants I froze from the Mel's Kitchen cooking week for Bible study and it was gone in a flash!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week of May 13th, 2013

*Honey Garlic Chicken- this will be a new go-to recipe for a night I have nothing in the house and need to make something yummy from what I have

*Spaghetti Squash with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes- YUM. Make this for your gluten free friend!

*Broccoli Pesto Pasta- really tasty. Thanks for the recommendation Stephanie!

*Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos- similar to the sweet potato packets and just as delicious! Thanks for the recommendation Becky!

End of the year BBQ at Providence

The Office Premiere Date- "Big Tuna" sandwiches and Dunder "Muffin" Apple Cider Muffins and Stanley's Pretzels

Hot Dogs at Birthday Party

Family Dinner- IKEA meatballs with pasta and swedish white sauce

Red Berry Risotto Oatmeal- I've been making an effort to only give my kids cereal for breakfast one morning a week. So, I've been experimenting with different breakfast items. My kids thought this one was kinda weird. "Rice for BREAKFAST??" But they gobbled it up and I thought it was really good!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Week of May 6th

Kryssa and I thought it would be fun to pick one of Mel's Kitchen Cafe's weekly menus and make all the recipes during the same week for our families.

We chose Menu #2.

Click on the Menu link above to see all the recipes but they are:
Smothered Pork Chops- 5 Stars. AMAZING
Black Beans and Rice- 3 starts. OK
Poor Man's Stroganoff- 5 Stars. AMAZING
Creamy Green Chili Enchiladas- 4 Stars. A great recipe (I used my dad's roasted green chilis)
Butter and Garlic Shrimp Penne- 3.5 Stars.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Week of April 29th, 2013

Lots of dinner swap meals this week. Can you tell it's the end of the month budget-wise? :)

Hawaiian BBQ sandwiches- dinner swap meal. We loved them!

*Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous- Anything you make with the Aidell's sausage from Costco is going to be a homerun!

*Chicken Coconut Curry Soup- dinner swap meal. I liked it and will make it again. I think I'll leave the fish sauce out next time.

Chipotle Black Bean Burgers (from Costco) with homemade buns and roasted broccoli

*Quinoa Black Beans and Corn Tacos- dinner swap meal. Totally yummy!


Family dinner at the Mobile Food Rodeo in Fremont

*Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins- AWESOME

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Week of April 22nd, 2013

More cleanse food at the beginning of the week...
Ground turkey taco salad
Roasted salmon and broccoli


Pizza at Sorellis!

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread and Butter Beans- YUM

*Fresno Potatoes- I made these for dinner swap this month.

Dinner at birthday party

Friday, April 19, 2013

Week of April 15th, 2013

This week we are doing the advocare cleanse again (we did one last year at this time). We like doing it once a year to get rid of toxins and waste, jumpstart our metabolism, get back to better portion sizes and break our sweets addition. My good friend Emilie sells it if you are interested in getting your cleanse on! (

So our meals were simple:

Taco Salad (ground turkey, black beans, over lettuce)
Salmon (Lemon, Rosemary), Grilled Zucchini, Brown Rice
Grilled Chicken/Onion/Pepper Kebabs (Cilantro,Lime,Cumin), Asparagus, Brown Rice
Turkey Chili (Black Beans, Diced Tomatoes, Turkey, Veggies)
Chicken Stirfry (Liquid Aminos), Brown Rice
Sliced Turkey Breast, Grilled Veggies, Quinoa
Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps (onion, peppers, green beans,spices)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Week of April 2nd, 2013

This week I had surgery to remove melanoma in my arm. Friends graciously brought meals to give Mark a break from full-time caretaker. Here's what we had:

Italian Chicken with stewed tomatoes and kalamata olives

Quiche with broccoli and ham

Roasted Chicken with roasted red peppers

Chipotle Burritos

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella

Chicken Tostadas

Thank you dear friends!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Week of March 25th, 2013

Shredded Mexican Pork

Community Group

Mark and Jessie out to eat with Laramas, kids had quesadillas. Toulouse Petit was amazing. We will have to go back again. Gumbo, jambalaya, homemade gnocchi, cauliflower truffle soup with fresh crab, beignets....mmmmmmmmmm

Fajitas (with steak from double d meats)

Baked Potato Soup- made this for meal swap this month. Gotta have one more hearty soup before the cold weather is officially over!

*Smokey Bean Soup with Ham- Emilie's soup from last month's meal swap

Easter dinner- ham, mashed poatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, and cake!

*Dave's Killer Bread Sin-Dawgs- SO good. Chrisse made one of these for us when I had pneumonia last year. I've been thinking about them since and decided to try to make them myself. I found vital wheat gluten in the bulk section at Fred Meyer. It is a multi-step process so I would recommend making them on a weekend :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Week of March 18th, 2013

*Creamy Homemade Mac and Cheese- Mark made this for his work's mac and cheese cookoff. Of course he put it on top of a hot dog (in a hot dog bun) and sprinkled bacon on top :)

Blue Chips Chicken Salad- A classic Heaviland meal

Broccoli and Sausage Pasta- Another oldie but goodie we make at least once a year

*Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree- this was kind of odd. But we all liked it. I found the recipe from Conrad Weekly Dinners which is a gal's menu plan that I enjoy getting ideas from. I bought all the ingredients before really knowing what it was and it turns out a Brodetto is kind of like a soup? So it was salmon on top of a pea puree sitting in a lemony-broth soup. Weird right? But we all gobbled it up. The kids ate as much as I did and we all agreed it was different but tasty.

*Bean and Cheese Enchiladas- perfect for community group and cooked up great after being frozen

Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Soup (from Jackie)

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped 1/2" pieces
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
5 c. veggie broth
2 t maple syrup
2 T fresh dill
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower and carrots in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat and spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until soft, about 20min. Then heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the roasted cauliflower, carrots an broth. Simmer over medium heat for about 10min. Puree. Add the maple syrup and dill and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Bran Muffins

*New recipe

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week of March 4th, 2013

A totally random week of not really cooking much at all. Monday night we made roasted broccoli and ate a deep dish pizza from Trader Joe's I had in the freezer. Tuesday was Community Group. Wednesday James won an award at school so we celebrated by walking to McDonalds. Thursday we made Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic which was one of the best meals I have made in a long time. Friday my mom treated us to Chipotle and then Saturday and Sunday we were on vacation and cooked Teriyaki Bowls and Tacos in our timeshare :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week of February 25th

*Cilantro Lime Chicken with Black Bean and Corn- a great freezable meal that was easy to throw into the crockpot for a no-cooking day.

Community Group

Dinner at Cafe Lago- homemade pasta was delicious but without a groupon it is way too expensive :)

White Chicken Chili- another great freezer meal from the swap. I always love this recipe.
Cornbread Salad- LOVE this salad

Dinner at Nikki's

Dinner at Nikki's

*Mushroom, Spinach and Avocado Quesadillas- yum! I loved the crispy cheese on the outside!

*=  new recipe

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Week of February 18th, 2013

My friend Angela and I decided to plan a week of meals for each other. It was SO fun! So she picked all of these recipes (that her family loves) and we all enjoyed trying out a bunch of new dishes.

*Chicken Edamame Stirfry- a simple week night meal that was really easy to throw together. I used whole wheat spaghetti

Community Group

*Green Chili in the crockpot- this was yummy but more like a stew rather than a chili.

*Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Skillet- My favorite of the week. Definitely making this one again! Buying the pre-cut butternut squash from trader joes makes this a quick meal.

*Pork and Cabbage-Slaw Burritos- Mark's favorite of the week. It was a burrito using the green chili from earlier in the week.

*Toad in the Hole with Toffee Date Pudding- a shout out to their British life (they are currently living in England). Both of these recipes were awesome. The toad in the hole was a huge hit- no leftovers at all!

* = new recipe

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Week of February 11th

*Red Posole- Homerun. Loved the tender pork in the flavorful soup broth. I've had this recipe saved to make for about 2 years now. If Trader Joes sold hominy, we'd have it more often.

*Shredded Chicken with Apricots- doubled this for Community Group. I overcooked the chicken (I only had the crockpot on "keep warm" all day but it is a crazy overachieving crockpot) so it was a little dry and the apricots and dates kind of disappeared

*Coconut Shrimp Curry- Another awesome recipe recommendation from Becky. This is a 5 star recipe and will be made again soon!

*Butternut Squash Tortilla Soup- I loved the flavor and the different textures in each bite.

Carrot and Tomato Soup- Mark's not a fan but I needed to use up tomatoes, carrots and basil so this fit the bill. Also, Mark isn't a huge soup person in general so I think I overdid the soups in the menu this week :)

*Crispy Cheese Pulled Pork Tacos- AMAZING. 5 star recipe for sure. Taco shells made out of fried cheese?? Get out of here!

Homemade Applesauce
Chocolate Cake (For Valentines Day)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Week of February 4th

*Tender Pork Chops with caramalized onions and apples- thank you Becky for the awesome recipe

Community Group

*BBQ nachos- used leftover pork from Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Heart Pizza for Harper's Heart party

Vegetable Beef Soup (from the freezer- I made a double batch a couple of weeks ago)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week of January 28th

Wild Rice Casserole

Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork- I've eaten this recipe at least 4 times (dinner swap, dinner at my sister's, dinner at Kryssa's, a meal someone brought when we had a baby) but I've never made it myself! It is so fantastic!

Community Group

Baked Potato Bar

Baked Pasta (I'm trying to finish up the Costco jar of marinara I used in this recipe a couple weeks ago)

*Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole- I made this for the dinner swap. So good!

*Grilled Chicken Caprese- We made this for the Mullaneys and everyone said they enjoyed it. I think next time I would use balsamic vinegar rather than red wine to give it more flavor.

Pizza and green beans for kids while we go out to Cirque De Soliel

* = new recipe

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week of January 21st

BLTs and smoothies

Community Group

*Avgolemeno Soup- the flavor was simple and it was a cinch to put together but there are a bunch of soups I'd make before this one

Out to eat for Ethiopian at Enat- sooooooo good! I'm proud of my mother-in-law for trying out such an adventurous cuisine with us!

*Couscous Bowls- I loved the ease of this recipe! Fun for a group of people. We also put TJ's balsamic glaze on top.

*Blueberry Salsa Chicken- yum! (We left out the grilled scallions) Thanks for the recipe Melanie!

*Pumpkin and Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies (found Dulche de Leche at Walmart)
*Snickerdoodle Bread- AMAZING!!!!! 5 Stars!

Coconut Bircher (another Melanie recipe)

2.5 Cups of organic rolled outs
2 c. coconut milk (or cream)
3/4 c flaked coconut
1/4 cup of creamed honey
2 tbsp. of sesame seeds
4 pinches of cinnamon

Comebine all ingredients and let stand overnight in the fridge.
In the morning, sprinkle 1 tbsp. of flaked coconut and 1 tbsp. of sesame seeds over the top of the bircher

Monday, January 21, 2013

Week of January 14th

Huevos Rancheros- I have been craving these since the first time Mark made them for me. SO GOOD!

Community Group

Thai Wraps- I used a rotisserie from Costco

*Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Red Onion and Avocado- Brussel Sprouts and avocados came in my bountiful basket this week so served with warm Naan bread. We all loved it!

*Pork Ragu for a dinner party- Make this! 5 stars!

Dinner at the Days- homemade pasta!!

*Coconut Scones- Trader Joes sells cans of coconut cream

* = new recipe

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week of December 30th

Bacon cheeseburgers (mix from doudle d meats)

New Years Eve Party- *Crispy Edemame, Corn dogs, Popcorn, Berry Crisp, Peppermint Pretzels, cuties, queso and chips, Buffalo Chicken Dip with carrots, olives and nuts.

*Shallot Date Chicken- thank you Beth for the recipe! This was AWESOME! I predict this being a top 10 recipe of 2013!! I cut 2 thick chicken breasts in half to make 4 thin breasts and they were perfectly done after 20min.

*Puff Pastry Salmon- Mark thought it was good, I thought it was so-so but after throwing up the evening after eating the leftovers, this one will never be made in our house again :(

Southwestern Chicken Barley Chicken- oldie but a goodie

Spaghetti and meat sauce


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