Friday, April 23, 2010

Menu Plan for April 25, 2010

I ended up switching one of our meals last week and making these Grill Master Chicken Wings for some friends who were coming over for a barbecue. They were delicious, a huge hit, and disappeared in no time. The flavour was spectacular, and were tangy and moist without being overly spicy. Two of my three Things ate them, so that is always a win in my book! I served the wings with roasted potatoes and a spinach, strawberry, and goat cheese salad.

My kid-friendlier meals are working!! Most nights the kids are eating everything I make. I'm finding it a lot less stressful - for everyone. Less bickering and whining, more eating. And I feel better knowing that at least if we're having the dreaded chicken nuggets for supper, they are hand-made by me and I know all the ingredients going into them. And, for the record, last week's Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard were a big success here! My other strategy is to get the kids helping and more involved in the cooking. They love grating cheese, stirring, and with assistance, chopping vegetables. Setting the table is another great task for kids, and it's really making all of us happier to have everyone involved.

Here's a look at my meal plan for this week:

Sunday: Leftovers, Salad
Monday: Salsa Chicken Tostadas
Tuesday: Taco Pasta
Wednesday: Leftovers/Sandwiches
Thursday: Sesame Beef and Broccoli
Friday: Out for dinner
Saturday: Grilled Steak, BBQ Potatoes, Salad

I did make the Tzatziki Sauce I mentioned a couple weeks ago. I think I was the only one who enjoyed it - the kids really didn't eat it. I'm not sure if it was how I made it or if they are just not fans of tzatziki. I'll have to try a store-bought version and see if they like it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan for Week of April 18, 2010

I've noticed that I can no longer link to Martha's recipes from her Everyday Food Magazine anymore - so I'm not able to include the links to the recipes I've included below.

Last week I ended up being away most of the week (a long story, which I will get into on my other blog) so I am adding a couple of last week's recipes along with some new ones that I am excited about. So far so good with making simpler meals that the kids will eat - for the most part I have been pretty successful!

Monday: Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs
Tuesday: Emeril's Kicked-Up Tuna Melts (from the April Everyday Food Mag)
Wednesday: Penne with Cream, Smoked Salmon and Chives (from the April Everyday Food Mag)
Thursday: Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard
Friday: Salsa Chicken Tostadas
Saturday: Spinach and Meatball Calzones (from the April Everyday Food Mag)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Menu Plan for Week of April 11, 2010

In an effort to make sure that more meals that I cook get eaten by everyone in our family, I am going to focus even more on making healthy, kid-friendly meals. I don't have the time to make a meal for my husband and I, only to then find out the kids don't like it and and then I have to recreate something else for them (and I don't do that all the time, but if they truly don't like a meal and I feel that their distaste is reasonable, then I do sometimes offer them something else).

So you'll notice more and more simple, healthy meals for kids in my meal plans over the coming weeks. I want to have a big list compiled of all of our favourites before I go back to work in September, so that I can easily make meal plans for next year that we all can agree to.

Sunday: Pierogies and Veggies
Monday: Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa
Tuesday: Freezer Meal or Leftovers (Mom out for the evening)
Wednesday: Mini Bacon and Cheese Toasts (from March 2010 Everyday Food Magazine)
Thursday: Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard
Friday: Beef Tacos
Saturday: Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

My lovely sister and her family were visiting this past weekend and she shared with me a secret she has for getting her two children to eat lots of raw veggies. She serves them with tzatziki sauce for them to dip the veggies in. Much healthier than some of the processed dips and dressings (yuck!) I sometimes give my three Things, so I want to give it a try. I found this straightforward recipe for Tzatziki Sauce and I really think it might be a hit around here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Menu Plan for Week of April 5, 2010

It's been a little while since I kept up with my menu planning. Sometimes it seems like too much and I feel like I am too busy to do it - but I am once again realizing that 15 minutes of planning saves me hours of work and stress during the week. I am not someone who is good with last minute planning, so when we have a busy afternoon outside (and the weather has been fantastic so we have been outside often) I am not able to pop into the kitchen and whip something up last minute.

So since my sister and brother-in-law and their kids are coming to visit this week, I thought there would be no better time to get back at it!

: Roasted Marinated Lamb with Lemon and Rosemary Potatoes, Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and Almonds, Asparagus with Breadcrumbs and Parmesan
Monday: Easter Dinner at Granny's House
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Chicken Quesadillas
Thursday: Chicken Tenders Parmesan with Penne and Broccoli
Friday: Home-made Pizza
Saturday: Pulled-Pork Sandwiches with Coleslaw (recipe in my April Everyday Food Magazine)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Roasted Marinated Lamb with Lemon and Rosemary Potatoes

I made this roasted lamb for Easter dinner. It was truly divine. It was my first time roasting a lamb, and I will definitely be doing it again. It was easy and delicious, rich in flavour and yet light at the same time.

**Adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine, April 2010**

Zest and juice from two lemons
1 head of garlic, cloves chopped
2 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil4 lb leg of lamb
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 lbs small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

1. Grate lemon zest. In a medium bowl, combine lemon zest and juice, garlic, and rosemary. Whisk in oil. Pat lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. Place lamb in a bag and pour in marinade. Seal bag, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Let sit for at least one hour, flipping bag halfway through.

2. Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 mins. Drain potatoes.

3. Remove lamb from marinade. Place lamb on a plate; season with salt and pepper.

Pour marinade into a roasting pan, add potatoes. (I used my Le Creuset Dutch Oven instead of a roasting pan.) Cook 15 mins. Push potatoes to edge of pan, place lamb in center. Roast 15 mins. Reduce temperature to 300 and cook until medium-rare, 1 - 1 1/4 hours. Toss potatoes halfway through.

4. Tent pan loosely with foil and let lamb rest for 20 mins before slicing. Toss potatoes in pan juices and serve along side lamb.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easy and Tasty Grilled Sweet Potatoes

While there are dozens and dozens of sweet potato recipes I have not had the chance to try yet, this one was definitely a favourite at our house over the Easter long weekend.

We chose the grilled sweet potato packets. I found grilling them in the packets really sealed in the taste and the potatoes tasted just glorious.

First thing you do is peel your sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/4 inch slices.

Turn your barbecue on and get it ready for grilling.

Place your potato slices on four 14x12-inch sheets of tin foil. Brush the tops and sides with olive oil to prevent drying. You can season them any way you like, I added freshly grated pepper and salt, a bit of garlic, and some cayenne pepper.

Wrap in foil using the following technique: Bring the 2 long sides of the foil together above potatoes; fold down in a series of locked folds, allowing for heat circulation and expansion.

Fold the short ends up and over again. Crimp closed to seal the foil

Place foil packets on preheated grill. Grill packets, on covered grill, over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Open packet carefully and serve hot.