Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

My meal plan this week (and maybe for a lot of the summer) will be a little messy. We have recently started biking more and have found it to be way better in the evenings, when it is (just a bit) cooler. Depending on if we go biking that night, it will change what we might make for dinner. So instead of putting specific days, I will just put what we are having during the week at some point.

So, this week we are having:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Frozen Brownie Sundae

I saw Giada make this on her show a couple weeks ago and saved the episode so I wouldn't forget about it. I will have to make it to enjoy by the pool this summer. I snuck a bite from the freezer and haven't tried the strawberry sauce yet, but I am sure it won't disappoint.

Brownie Layer:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Dark Chocolatete Fudge)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 (1.4 ounce) milk chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped (recommended: Heath or Skor)

Ice cream Layer:
1 pint dulche de leche or caramel ice cream (recommended: Haagan-Dazs), softened

Chocolate Layer:
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips

1 (12 ounce) bag frozen strawberries, thawed
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Brownie layer: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray and 8 by 8-inch glass baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of paper to overhang the side. Set aside. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix together the water, oil, and egg. Add the brownie mix and stir until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and candy bar pieces. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool the brownie layer completely in the pan, about 1 1/2 hours.

Ice cream layer: Using a spatula, spread the softened ice cream on top of the brownie layer and freeze until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate layer: In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium-low head until hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until eh chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the ice cream layer. Freeze for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.

Sauce: Put the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. (For smoother sauce, strain the sauce through a sieve and discard the seeds.)

To serve: Remove the layer from the pan and peel away the parchment paper. Cut the layers into squares and drizzle with the strawberry sauce.

*I couldn't find the toffee candy bars at Publix before I made this, but it was still excellent without. I may try other ice cream/topping combinations in the future!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My birthday came early

My birthday isn't for another month, but while we were visiting my in-laws for dinner my MIL gave me my gift. I told her my birthday isn't for another month but she said she wanted to give it to me to get it out of the way since they are redoing the floors. I think she was just excited to give it to me b/c it is awesome.

Yes, my friends. This is a multi cooker. What does that mean? It roasts, steams, sautes, and slow cooks all-in-one. No more browning chili meat in one pan and then putting it in the slow cooker to finish. I can do it all in here.

The recipes that came with it look so so good. There is even a way to make dinner rolls in it. Oh, and cheesecake. And a strata recipe that looks really good. I am very excited to use it and you will likely see a few new recipes in my June meal plan that use this nice gadget.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili
Monday: Left over chili
Tuesday: Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork with Cilantro Lime Rice and black beans
Wednesday: left over pork/rice/beans
Thursday: California Chicken Burgers
Friday: Cookout with friends for Colin - Take out dinner and rental movie date night for us after we put Colin to bed
Saturday: Some kind of pasta

Friday, May 20, 2011

Easy Fudge Pie

My mom made this a couple weeks ago and it was so.so.good. She told me it was easy and she wasn't kidding. I am making this tonight.

1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
dash of salt

Mix above ingredients together.

2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted

Stir eggs into melted butter and then into dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

If you cut this to serve 8, it is 9 PointsPlus per serving.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When he grows up

If you had asked me 3 months ago what I thought Colin would be when he grows up, I would have said an athlete. He loves balls. So of course, I planned his 2nd birthday party around soccer.

Today I would tell you he will be a musician. He loves any instrument. Mamaw's house is the best because he can play the piano and he has access to Uncle Will's drums and guitar. He even loves the harmonica Great Grandma Snyder lets him play.

He can spot guitars anywhere. When we are driving past Chamber's Guitars here in town. Or even in the new Keith Urban song. You know - he says "fast cars, guitars" and Colin yells "guitars!!"

When I worked in the nursery a couple of Sunday's ago, we had a DVD in the player that played some worship music. My little guys stops what he is doing and spreads his legs wide apart, bending at the knees, and bounces at he rocks out on his air guitar.

Yes, today I am going to say he will be a musician.

We have also recently discovered that he hs a little crush on Carrie Underwood. If her videos or a commercial with her in it comes one, Colin stops what he is doing to watch.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Apples, Strawberries, and Bikes

This is what we did this weekend. First, I tried some new cake pops for Colin's teachers. Apples!

Then Colin helped Daddy put together his new bike.

And the best part: strawberry picking. We had planned to go on Saturday, but once I saw Hallie's strawberry picking post I decided I wanted to change where we were going. And I am so glad I did. Valley Home is so nice and Colin had so much fun. He didn't do much picking...mostly eating. In fact, I was washing some berries last night and I found one that Colin had taken a bite of an put back into my basket.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Eggplant Parm and Pasta
Monday: Spicey Chicken Tenders
Tuesday: undecided
Wednesday: Slow-Cooker Creamy Chicken and rice
Thursday: Asian Turkey Meatlballs with Lime Sesame dipping sauce and rice
Friday: Dinner at the Coleman's - I'm bringing pie
Saturday: Birthday Party

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I give up

The post just a couple days ago is still revalvent. Nothing can go my way. Not even something as simple as a copy machine. Not only will it refuse to e-mail only MY address what I want scanned...it is so crappy that it won't pull through any of the paper. Add to that the air went out (again) at our house (which is now fixed) and that the air is out in only MY office at work AND the fact that my nearly 2 year old refuses to sleep past 3:30 every.single.day and no matter what I can't seem to lose this last bit of weight that I want to.

I give up. Is this my own little pity party? Yes, I believe it is. But this has been about the same story for the past 2 or 3 months. I figure it is time to throw one.

I am frustrated.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Dinner at Mom's
Monday: Grilled Chicken Wraps, Fries, Fruit
Tuesday: Breakfast - Waffles, Omelets, Bacon, Fruit
Wednesday: Veggie Quesadilla (Royal Caribbean Cookbook), Fresh Salsa, Fruit
Thursday: Sweet & Sticky Orange Chicken, Rice, Fruit
Friday: Sage & Garlic Turkey Burgers, Watermelon
Saturday: Chicken Enchiladas, Black Beans, Fruit

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This is the Stuff

These lyrics to "This is the Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli describes very well how I am feeling today...and maybe the past week or so.

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please 'Cuz I can't find my phone

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

45 in a 35
Sirens and fines while I'm running behind

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I've got a new appreciation
It's not the end of the world
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff
Someone save me
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
And I've gotta trust You know exactly what You're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff You use

This is the stuff You use

Monday, May 2, 2011

Family Outing

Last week we invested in a new piece of equipment to allow for some family exercise.

A bicycle trailer! He has little pockets in there so we loaded him up with a couple snacks, his juice, and a couple cars to play with.

We planned it so that Colin could play at the Cason Trailhead, we could eat a picnic lunch, and then bike during Colin's nap time. It worked out perfectly.

We biked for 2 hours. Colin fell asleep right away and didn't wake up until we made it to the Thompson Lane Trailhead. He stayed awake the rest of the ride and enjoyed it.

I will say a two hour bike ride pulling a trailer with a nearly 30 pound kid in it is a great workout and we hope do it often.

And you don't realize, until you see a picture, how badley sports bras make you look. Hello uni-boob.

If you are looking for a bike helmet for you little guy or girl I suggest going to the bike shop near the Square. We couldn't find one small enough for his head at Target but the bike shop carried toddler sized helmets and he loves it. He will wear it around the house if we let him.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: White Chicken Chili (Carroll Shelby seasoning packet)
Monday: Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti and either Prego or homemade marinara
Tuesday: Dinner at Grandpa and Grandma's
Wednesday: Mexican Crockpot Chicken
Thursday: Baked Pasta
Friday: Coconut Chicken (new skinny taste recipe)
Saturday: Homemade Pizza - Whole Foods Whole Wheat crust and pepperoni