January 8, 2012

Weekend Recap & Menu Planner

It was a fun weekend that started off on Friday with Clyde's first haircut. Shame on me for not getting a picture. I took him to of all places, Sport Clips because we were on a schedule and had to meet my grandmother for an early lunch before getting Camille from school. Sport Clips was the only place open in the vicinity of our errands. It was hilarious to see little Clyde sitting amongst the football pendants and big screens covered in sports coverage. He loved it! He hopped right into the chair and sat so still. Success!

Saturday morning started off with a trip to the Jcrew Warehouse sale. It opened at 8 am and my sister and I were there a few minutes after. I must confess that I had been up since 6 am scared I may oversleep and not get first dips on $3 bathing suits.  I found quite a few cute things (including three $3 bathings suits) and I want to go back. There was no possible way to go through everything and they are putting new stuff out daily.

Today, I put my advice to good use and did some major cleaning. Two kids rooms, one linen closet and one bathroom closet later, I have 3 bags for goodwill and I filled up my huge Jcrew Warehouse sale trashbag with trash! Phew! I feel better but have more to go through...on tap this week....my desk and real estate files from last year.

Here is this week's menu planer...Enjoy!

Sunday - Minestrone Soup & Prociutto Arugula Panini (from BHG - recipes below)

Monday - Zucchini Wrapped Pork, Red Potatoes, Sauteed Zucchini

Tuesday - Slow Cooker Whole Chicken, Wild Rice, Asparagus

Wednesday- Brown Butter Gnocchi

Thursday - Light King Ranch Casserole (using leftover from Slow Cooker Chicken)

Minestrone Soup

1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced (1/2 cup)
peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth (48 ounces)
1 28-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup whole grain elbow pasta
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. In a large soup pot over medium-high heat cook and stir onion in hot oil for 4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Add celery and carrot. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add zucchini, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the broth and the diced and crushed tomatoes. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the beans and pasta. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender. Top servings with cheese and parsley.
3. Make it vegetarian Use the vegetable broth option as directed.
4. For hearty appetites Serve with Prosciutto-Arugula Panini.
5. Make it gluten-free Use gluten-free broth and substitute 1/2 cup of uncooked rice for the pasta. Cook 5 minutes longer or until rice is tender.

Prosciutto-Arugula Panini
1 12 ounce whole wheat baguette or Italian bread (about 18 inches long)
3 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
8 thin slices prosciutto (3 oz.)
1 cup lightly packed arugula leaves, chopped
1/2 cupshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (2 oz.)
Olive oil spray
1. Cut bread in half horizontally, then cut each half crosswise into 6 equal portions. Scoop out the soft center of the bread (freeze for making bread crumbs or discard). Spread cut sides of bread with pesto.
2. Divide prosciutto, arugula, and mozzarella among six bread bottom portions. Replace tops of bread. Lightly coat both sides of sandwiches with olive oil spray.
3. Heat a nonstick grill pan or panini press over medium-high heat. Cook three sandwiches at a time in hot pan, weighting sandwiches with a press or heavy skillet. Cook about 3 minutes per side, until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. Cut in half to serve.

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