Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meal Planning Monday.. .errr Tuesday?


Ok this was officially one of the easiest recipes ever! Pretty tasty too! Cant beat those two! Made it out of work my 5:30 home by 6 and dinner on the table by 7 - not to shabby!

I've been working really hard to do weekly dinner planning and its turning out to be quite a success! Being that the Mr and I work different schedules and I am usually not home 2 nights a week (minimum) it can be a challenge.

right now the goal is a home cooked meal Monday through Thursday and only eat out on the weekends. A few factors brought this plan to life. Mainly we were spending WAY too much $$$$ eating out and letting food at home go to waste before we came around to eating it resulting in not so fun weekly refrigerator cleaning. :( Another is that we are really trying to eat more healthy and count calories. I know that restaurants have come along way by offering healthy options and listing calories but we tend to over indulge when we eat out and too many of those dinners add to too many pounds on the scale! Time is another factor - by eating out our days were becoming ridiculously long and it felt like we were NEVER home together! My earliest day out of work is 4pm and then I have a minimum 30 minute commute without rush hour traffic, so factor that in and I'm looking at closer to an hour, other days I work until 7pm and that means after a sit down dinner out we don't get home until almost 9. I'd much rather come home cook and relax in our own space than add another 2 hours or so away from home to my day.

 All this to tell that now  I usually grocery shop on Mondays and buy based on my weekly menu (which I post on the frige as a reminder and makes it harder to cheat!) I do admit that my definition of "home cooked"  very basic -  I consider any meal cooked at home - home cooked :) One short cut I take is Birds Eye Viola dinners - they are pretty healthy and the veggies tastes really fresh. I usually make these and Tupperware them up for dinners on the nights I close or as a lunch option if we don't have left overs. We also have a great group of friends that we rotate hosting weekly dinners with. This takes the weight off my shoulders one night a week as we each host about once a month.

Here is this weeks menu

Lunch - Me- Frozen Pizza M -lunch out with Co-workers
Dinner Viola Garlic Chicken

Lunch Me & Mr - Vila Chicken and Penne
Dinner - Cheesy Chicken Enchilada & Spanish Rice

Lunch - Left Over Enchilada
Dinner - Crock Pot Potato Soup ( which is currently simmering away making my house smell delish)

Thursday -
Lunch - Left over soup or enchilada
Dinner (my turn to host)- Spicy hot dogs & Mashed Potatoes

Friday -
Lunch - Left Overs
Dinner - Happy hour with one of My BFF's

So there is my plan for the week and I'll be able to check off two Family recipes - (which is great as I've fallen a little behind!)

What about you my wonderful blog stalkers? Any menu planning advice or tips? What works for you? I'd love to hear some feed back as to whats taking place in your kitchen! Until next time . . . Happy meal planning.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Aunt Bean's Easy Chicken Enchiladas

10 Large Flour Tortillas
1/2 Cup Salsa
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Can Enchilada Sauce
1 Can White Chicken in water (10oz)

Coat bottom of 9x13 pan with 1/2 of enchilada sauce
Mix chicken, 1 Cup cheese and salsa in a bowl
Place mix into Enchilada rolls and put in pan
Pour remainder of enchilada sauce on top
Cover with foil and bake 30 mins at 350

remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese

(you can also top with sour cream, onions, tomato, lettuces  or any other toppings you like on your Mexican food)

Grandma Crisman's Spicy Hot Dogs

1 lb Pkg of Hot Dogs
2 tsp of Four
11/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Ketchup
4 tsp Vinegar
4 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Mustard

Cut hot dogs in half length wise. Mix flour with 4 tsp of water. add remaining ingredients except hot dogs. Cook stirring constantly until thickened. Add hot dogs and simmer for 30 mins.

(Family fav is to serve with mashed potatoes)

and Im Back

Ok sorry for the hiatus - as previously stated it was been a crazy few weeks to say the least! And what blows my mind even more is the craziness that lies ahead! 

As stated before my little Sister aka Fo Show came down to visit then it was back to work until my two other Little Sisters came along with one husband and my baby niece. We spent the weekend together in Orlando and drove them to Sarasota where they would spend the week with my parents. I then I worked M-F and spent this past weekend in Sarasota at my parents. Off they flew to NY early this morning while we went to Universal to take advantage the tickets the Mr scored from his job. Here are a few pictures to show how much fun we had.

That there is My Lilly- I must say that being an Aunt is by far the best thing ever! I cant believe how much I love my Justin, Makayla and Lilly!


 While is Sarasota we went to a Zoo where I held a Parrot and fed Flamingo - and of course got our Tan on!

Today we were Orlando tourist - Spending a few hours at Islands of Adventure - fun times in Toon Town and found a friend on the Caro-Seuss-el and finally made our way to Harry Potter, which I admit was pretty cool. I'm not a fan neither seeing the movies or reading the books but I did like the little village and loved the castle we walked through to get onto the ride. Fun times!
Here's a sneak peak at what we've got lined up in the next few weeks

Next Saturday will be our 6 Month Wedding anniversary! Best 6 months of my life - I cant believe how fast its gone and how blessed I am! So far the plan is Dinner that night and a Beach day on Sunday!

Then it will be the annual Faraji Florida Easter Extravaganza! We have dinner plans to go to this A-mazing Turkish place and hopefully make time to go to get some great Iranian food as well (yumm I love good food!) We will also spend time soaking up the sun at the resort where we held our wedding - LOVE!
Super sad that Chris and Laura wont be here this year but excited that by August I'll get another SISTER!

As if all that is not mind blowing enough my man is taking me on a European Cruise! Ahhhhh Barcelona, Rome, Venice just to drop a few places that we will see! I don't think I've fully processed this but we got books and are reading all about these amazing places! AHHHH 

LIFE IS (too) GOOD (to me)!

Aunt Cindy's Chicken Divan

2 Pkgs Broccoli Florets (pre steamed - can use fresh or frozen)
2 Cups cooked Chicken
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Mayo
1 tsp Curry Powder
1/4 Cup White Wine
1/2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 tbs butter melted

Arrange cooked broccoli in greased 11x7 pan
Place Chicken on top
Combine soup, Mayo, lemon juice, Curry and wine - place over chicken
Sprinkle cheese on top
Combine bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle on top.

Bake 25 Mins at 350

This dish was super easy to make! I served it with rice and it made a tasty meal. I'm attempting to do the whole meat, veggie and starch at each meal. We are also big on counting calories - Thanks to "My Fitness Pal" I estimated it was 421 per serving - excluding the wine from the ingredients as I figured the calories were "cooked" out? Hopefully it was pretty accurate.
I did use a 9x13 pan and it actually filled it up pretty high 
I also want to try it with replacing the mayo with milk - I am not a huge Mayo fan and the "sauce" was a little too thick for my taste - I think i'd enjoy it more if it was a little thinner and more like a pot pie filling.
I do like the accessibility of the ingredients as they are all things I usually have on hand- it was super easy and quick to put together. I'll defiantly try it again and add a tweak or two to make it my own.