October 11, 2015

Weekend Recap & Menu Planner

Friday afternoon, Michael was headed to Blacksburg so Camille, Clyde and I went to the Ashland Berry Farm with our neighbors! It was the perfect time to go, no lines! We got our all your can carry pumpkins for $20 and were on our way.

Saturday morning, we tried Duck Donuts...we had never been to the Richmond location. So delicious..Camille and I loved ours...picky pants Clyde wasn't as impressed.

After donuts, we went to Chuck E Cheese for my niece Alice's surprise party. She requested a surprise party for her birthday this year and I actually think my sister and brother-in-law managed to surprise her!Very funny 5 year old!

I showed a house this morning and Camille and I are about to make these delicious cookies for an office Lunch and Learn tomorrow.

Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Sunday - Cheddar Turkey Burgers with Avocado Mash, French Fries

Monday - One Pan Orecchiette Pasta

Tuesday - Tacos

Wednesday - White Pizza, Arugula Salad

Thursday - Oops! I am short a meal...not sure what were are having Thursday! Suggestions welcome.

October 5, 2015

Hamburger Soup & Menu Planner

It was a rainy weekend in RVA...perfect for trying out a new soup. My sister got this recipe from a previous client and it did not disappoint! Very easy and tasty too! I believe it is originally from the Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Soup & Sandwich Plate from Uncommon Goods

Hamburger Soup
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 c. chopped onions
4 cups beef broth – low sodium
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. diced celery
1 c. cubed potatoes ( I use 3 russet potatoes)
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp. basil
1 can diced tomatoes with juice

In a large pot/saucepan, cook and stir meat until brown.  Drain grease.

Cook and stir onions with meat until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat.

Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Here goes with this week's menu planner...

Monday - Honey Sriracha Salmon, White Rice, Sauteed Spinach

Thursday - Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake, Squash & Zucchini, Sauteed Apples

September 27, 2015

Menu Planner

Image Source: myrecipes.com

Image Source: Blue Apron

Image source kevinandamanda.com

Image Source: myrecipes.com

Image source: myrecipes.com

Still need to go shopping for groceries for the week? You can order online through Relay Foods until midnight for pick up tomorrow. Follow this link to get $30 off of an order of $50 or more.

September 21, 2015

Menu Planning with Relay Foods

Have you ever tried Relay Foods? I had heard of the service but until recently never given it a try. Relay Foods is an online grocery store offering local, organic and natural foods with pick up locations in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area; eight Virginia cities and towns (Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Stafford); Annapolis and Baltimore, MD; and North Carolina's Research Triangle. They not only have food products but also cleaning supplies, baby items, beer, wine, health and beauty.

Relay Foods also offers a meal planning feature where you can search for recipes, select one and  quickly add the ingredients to your cart for the week. Or you can create a dish and add your own recipe or a recipe from another site. Relay Foods reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try their meal planning feature for a week. I went on the site and browsed recipes and found three that sounded delicious. I quickly added all those ingredients to my cart. I also added two of my own recipes, one was from a food blog and I was able to quick cut and pasted the ingredients into this page. The other was from myrecipes.com - this recipe was very easy to add by simply cut and pasting the link into the create a dish page and all the ingredients as well as instructions were added. The Relay Foods website will also save these recipes so you can use them again in the future. It reminds me of a Pinterest recipe page only with the added bonus of ordering the ingredients direct from the site. They also have a Cook It bookmarklet you can to your toolbar and very easily click and add recipes directly to relay from most sites.

I placed my order late Friday afternoon and picked up my groceries at the Walgreens at Three Chopt and Parham at 4 pm on Monday.

My greeter was so friendly and it was very quick and easy to secure my groceries.

After putting everything away at home, it was time to start cooking. I received an email that had all my meals for the week along with directions for cooking. I printed this out and referred to it all week long.

First up was Smothered Steak and Chili Burritos. This recipe was yummy! It called for some very specific ingredients such as Ethiopian Berbere Spice but using Relay Foods it was easy to purchase a small portion of this spice.

On Tuesday night Camille has gymnastics until 5:30 pm, I wanted something quick so I selected the Teriyaki Salmon Bowl. I marinated the salmon, chopped all the veggies, pulled out and staged all my pans prior to gymnastics. When I got home, it was very easy to complete the meal and it turned out delicious. I will definitely be making this one again.

On Wednesday, we went with Great White Pizza from Today's Parent. I couldn't directly add this link to the Relay Foods site however it was super easy to just cut and paste from one site to the other. We also had a Mixed Green Salad...I use this recipe from Tyler Florence.

Thursday morning, I prepped Crock-pot Zuppa Toscana. Everything went into the crockpot for 7-8 hours and then I added kale, milk and cream at the end of the day. I also served this also with delicious sour dough bread from Relay Foods.

I was very pleased with the quality of all the ingredients we used throughout the week. I liked that I was able to secure some unique ingredients such as Italian Arrabiatta Sausage and the Ethiopian Berbere Spice as well as local vegetables and pasta. We requested some peanut butter blossom cookies that were not available for Monday pickup but the Relay Foods Customer Happiness Team substituted for me with peanut butter cookies from Montana Gold. They provide the substitutes at pick up and you are not required to take them but I am glad we did because they were great.

I have been working this weekend so we didn't get to our last meal of Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta but that is on the menu for tonight. I added this recipe very easily to the Relay Foods site just by cut and pasting the link.

Relay Foods is offering a coupon code to my readers and all new customers. If you are a new customer, you can receive $30 off your first order of $50 or more. Such a great deal...it is definitely worth trying. Click the following link to activate the code...


You can order up until midnight before a next day pick up. Happy online grocery shopping!

*Relay Foods did not compensate me to write this post but they did graciously give me groceries for the week.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

September 13, 2015

Back to School & A Menu Planner!

We are getting back into the swing of things...up at 6:30 am, packing lunches, early bedtimes. It feels good to get into a routine again. Clyde started kindergarten and is doing great - he seems to really like it which is a relief. He made a new friend on the first day and by Friday he was able to tell us the friend's name. :)  He has the same sweet teacher that Camille had for Kindergarten so this has helped for a very smooth transition. Camille is in 2nd grade and also enjoying her class.

Last week was my birthday and Michael gave me a new computer which I desperately need and am thrilled about! He had it all set up and ready when I came down to check Facebook e-mail on my birthday morning. Also on my birthday, we adopted this sweet girl from the Richmond SPCA! Meet Piper Stoakley! We adore her...she is the sweetest thing!

New office assistant!

So back to a routine....and with that comes my menu planning. Here goes.....

Sunday - Crispy Fish Tacos

Monday - White Chicken Chili

Tuesday - Taco Tuesday! :)

Wednesday - Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake, Oven Roasted Broccoli*, Sauteed Apples
 *Oven Roasted Broccoli: This is so easy and so tasty. Use fresh broccoli and trim stems. Lay flat on a baking sheet then drizzle and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday - Gnocchi with Spinach and Italian Sausage

Friday - Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Lemon Butter, Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Slow Fried Shallots

Check back next week for a very special menu planner...I am super excited about this upcoming partnership. Have a great week!

August 13, 2015

Favorite Family Friendly RVA Restaurants

We have finally made it to a time when we can take our kids out to dinner without the need for a high chair or the fear of a major meltdown. Now nothing is perfect and we do have one very picky eater on our hands and this limits our restaurants options. Here are some of our favorite Richmond restaurants where you can take your kids.

Glory Days Grill is one of Clyde and Camille's favorites. They have a good kid's menu and there is an arcade in the back which is huge win for the kids. All the food is pretty tasty! 

Clyde picked Glory Days for this birthday dinner. Here he is enjoying a shark attack! 

We took Camille and Clyde to Hutch Bar & Eatery at Gayton Crossing once. I thought it was a great option for kids that is a little nicer. Unfortunately, our picky eaters did not like the chicken tenders because they weren't processed.  How wonderful that they were actual hand bread chicken strips. If your kids are into food that is healthy...I recommend this place. Also, definitely try the Bacon & Parmesan Popcorn...delicious! 

Right next door to Hutch is Chianti. We love this option because we can order one pizza and Michael and I split a salad! Food is really good and it gets crowded on the weekends so go early! 

Coloring at Chianti! 

Michael and I love Mexican food. Our kids not as much....Camille may eat the occasional quesadilla....Clyde won't hear of it. We like Chuy's because the food is tasty and the atmosphere is fun. Your kids can watch tortillas being made and they may even give you some dough to play with at the your table. 

Michael and I used to go to Star-lite for brunch all the time before we were married with kids! Their toasted turkey and cheese was the perfect cure for one too many weekend cocktails. We have taken our kids twice now for lunch and it has been great. They recently changed their menu and we tried it for Camille's birthday.  I had The French Bird and it was delicious! 
Dining with the birthday girl on the patio at Star-lite! 

Our family loves pizza! Mellow Mushroom is a great option because adults can get something other than just cheese or pepperoni! We also love the pretzel appetizer. The atmosphere is fun and good for kids. It is always crowded but the wait usually goes fast with a visit to World of Mirth across the street. 

What are your favorites? We are always up for trying new places! 

August 3, 2015

What we have been up to this summer!

Someone once said to me your kids need you more when they are older then when they are babies. This seemed crazy at the time but I have been thinking more about it as Camille turns 8! this week and Clyde turned 6 in May. More time helping with homework, teaching right from wrong, shuffling to activities and trying to cure a picky eater (Clyde!) That has left me with less time for my blog. I have written 629 posts for this blog...I really couldn't believe that and I love having the blog because it is fun to look back at older posts like this one from Camille's 4th birthday and this one from her 6th birthday. It is like a little family history. I also still plan my meals out every week but haven't been motivated to add them to my blog. I have tons of ideas for posts and I am hoping once we get back to school in September there will be more time. But for now...here is what we have been up to this summer.

Time at Sandbridge....

Memorial Day Golf Card Parade! We won first place! 
Moe's 70th birthday! Comment from Clyde...."What? Moe is 70! He is almost 100!" 

Cousin time! 

Serious driver! 

Time for Swim Team....Camille's first year and she did great!

 Time for a wedding...My cousin Abigail got married and C & C were in the wedding!

 Time for a birthday celebration at the beach....my sisters turned 35 on the 4th!

I really dressed up for the occasion! Awesome dress that a friend purchased on eBay! 

Balloon Bonanza! 

This kid is adorable and so happy!

 Time with Friends!

Afton Mountain Vineyards

Dinner at Rappahannock! 

Time for Real Estate....I have joined a new branch of Long and Foster, The Westham office! Very excited about the change.

More details on this listing can be found here. 

A good summer so far and there is still another month ahead! Looking forward to more fun and I hate to say also very excited for that first day of school after Labor Day! Two kid's on the same schedule...this is going to game changing!