November 12, 2017

Menu Planner

Sunday: Do The Dukkah Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli

Monday: Breakfast for Dinner - French Toast, Eggs, Sausage, Bacon

Tuesday: Meatball Subs, Fries, Salad

Wednesday: Spicy Sausage Pasta

Thursday: Chicken Fajitas

November 4, 2017

Amazon Finds & Menu Planner

Happy Saturday! We are having a low key weekend which is a welcome change. I woke up early today planned my meals, ordered Clicklist, picked up Clicklist and then had time to sit down and write this post. I wanted to share some of my recent Amazon finds and then scroll all the way down for my menu planner.



Starfiber Microfiber Kitchen Scrubbies, 4-Pack

I can't remember how I ran across these Starfiber Microfiber Kitchen Scrubbie sponges but I ๐Ÿ’“ them! They come in a 4 pack and they have a rough side and a smooth side. The best part is you wash them in your washing machine and they come out perfect!


Camille recently had to transform a pumpkin into a storybook character for a project at school. She choose the book, Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella by Cerrie Burnell. This is such a cute story and she loved the book! She just started Harper and the Circus of Dreams.





I received a review copy of Chef Gino's Taste Test Challenge: 100+ Winning Recipes That Any Kid Can Cook by Gino Campagna recently. I flipped through it and must say I didn't see a ton of recipes that I thought my kids would make. However, I was out with Clyde earlier today and came home and Camille and Michael had proved me wrong, they made homemade pizza dough using Chef Gino's recipe! It was delicious.




                                   
Finally, I just started reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid yesterday and am really enjoying it so far!  

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

Sunday...Chicken Noodle Soup with Blueberry Muffins, Pear Slices 

Monday...Do the Dukkah Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Green Beans w/Almonds



Thursday...Mini Man Burgers, Fries, Roasted Broccoli




October 29, 2017

Menu Planner

Sunday....Barefoot Contessa Winter Minestrone, Pumpkin Muffins

Monday...Ham & Pretzel Roll Sliders, Sweet Potato Fries, Pineapple

Tuesday....Halloween!

Wednesday...Turkey Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce

Thursday...Black Bean Soup & Chicken Quesadillas 


October 18, 2017

Our trip to Napa!

Note...I wrote this post last week, a day before the fires started. It is so sad to see what is happening in the Napa Valley and surrounding areas. I can't imagine the devastation. Follow this link for ways to help.

I turned 40 last month and we celebrated in Napa Valley! A good friend from high school got married in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend and we extended our trip to celebrate the big 4-0!

We stayed in an AirBNB called Villa Murialdo. It was great and I would definitely recommend it. The location was perfect; walking distance to many shops and restaurants in downtown Napa.

Our first vinveyard was Duckhorn. This may have been my favorite! We sat on this nice porch overlooking the vineyard. It was a very low key tasting with pretty views.



 Next up was Domaine Chandon. I also really enjoyed this one! Another very low key, no pressure tasting.


Our final stop that day was Sequoia Grove which didn't have the same atmosphere as the other two but I really liked their wines! Michael joked that we seemed to love all the wines at the end of the day. Maybe we weren't as picky by then. ๐Ÿ˜

That night we had dinner at Celedon in Downtown Napa. It was very tasty and nice atmosphere.

The next day we did the cave tour at Stag's Leap! This was a little more expensive that the normal tasting but I am glad we got to see a wine cave while we were in Napa.


 


After Stag's Leap, we had lunch in downtown Yountville which was so cute!

Our final vineyard of that day was Bell Wine Cellars.  It was a really fun tasting that included a short tour. Bell was recommended by close friends of ours and we really enjoyed it! We loved the wine so much that we join the wine club. #lastvineyardoftheday๐Ÿ˜‰

The last night we had dinner at the Oxbow Market which was like an upscale food court. We loved the concept...we ended up eating from different restaurants and both places were yummy! 

It was a perfect trip! ๐Ÿ’“

October 16, 2017

Menu Planner & New CrockPot Cookbook

Happy Monday! We are off to a rainy start here in RVA! The kids have made a few requests for dinner this week (note the French Toast & Tacos below). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Monday...French Toast, Sausage & Bacon, Baked Apples

Tuesday....Chicken Parmesan over Spaghetti, Bread, Salad

Wednesday...Stock the Crock Brunswick Stew (recipe below), Grilled Cheese 

Thursday...Tacos with Ground Turkey & Pinto Beans



I recently received a copy of Phillis Good's new Cookbook, Stock the Crock. Good has written many cookbooks including the Fix-It and Forget-It series. I love a good slow cooker meal, takes the hassle out off the evenings. There are a bunch of recipes in this cookbook that I am anxious to try!

Brunswick Stew

4 medium new potatoes, peeled or not and cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, chipped
3 (14.5 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (32 ounce) box gluten-free chicken broth
1 (9 or 10 ounce) package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 (9 or 10 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 3.5 pound boneless pork butt roast, cut in half
fresh topper: 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh snipped chives or their long green tops

1. Grease the interior of the slow cooker crock with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place all the ingredients except the pork and fresh chives in the prepared crock. Mix every together gently but well.
3. Trim the fat off the roast. Settle the two halves of the roast into the slower cooker, surrounded by the other ingredients. Spoon the sauce over the meat.
4. Cover. Cook on Low 7 to 9 hours or on High 5 to 6 hours, or until the meat can be shredded with a fork.
5. Remove the pork pieces from the crock, one at a time and shred each with two forks. Return the shredded pork to the cooker. Stir the meat into the other ingredients.
6. Cover. Cook on High 10 minutes, just to be sure that the stew is heated through.
7. Spoon into a serving bowl. Top with fresh snipped chives or their tops.

Good's recipe also includes tips for reducing the recipe by half or using fresh veggies instead of frozen or making it paleo-friendly. Click here for a printer-friendly version.



October 11, 2017

Disney Cruise

Michael's parents took us on a Disney Cruise this summer! We had a blast on this family vacation!


Michael's sister and her family has been on two Disney Cruises already. They knew the ropes! We had never been on a cruise so  I scoured Pinterest and planned and planned. I felt like I was prepared. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The boat had a lot of people but was very nice! I felt like everything was very clean. We did a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas and I think that was the perfect amount of time. 

After researching, I brought the following...
Sea Bands: I got these for everyone and I definitely wore mine a few days. Camille and Clyde wore them on and off.
Clothes Pin for Bathing Suits: There is a clothesline over the bathtub but no clips so I am glad I had these.
Water Bottles: I brought reusable water bottles for everyone. Disney doesn't technically want you filling up your own cups at the water station. I broke the rules a few times. ๐Ÿ˜จ
Disney Autographs Books: We brought the ones we already had from a previous trip to Disney but they were definitely important. 
Towel Clips: We used these to save our spot at Castaway Cay and they were helpful poolside as well. I bought these. 
Pirate Attire: Disney leaves you a bandana but we brought outfits! They were a hit. See below.
C&C Shirts found here. M & A Shirts found here
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The cruise is awesome for the kids and adults. There is a kid's club you can check your child into during the day or night. The first night the kids stayed there until 11 pm while the parents checked out the night clubs. ๐Ÿ˜€ There are so many activities...we rode the water slide (many, many times even Neena rode it!), we saw shows and movies, did character meet and greets, ate yummy food!

Waiting to Board the Disney Dream

Exploring the Kid's Club
 
 
Sail Away Party
 

 







 


 










We had such a fun time with the fam! Thank you to Michael's parents aka Neena & Moe for taking us on this awesome trip.