Weekly Menu 5/1 - 5/6


I realized a few days ago that I haven't been posting the weekly menus. I got caught up in all of the planning and prep for Easter and college homework and completely forgot about it. Then I had to debate on whether or not to even post the menu for next week. Its super fast and not at all healthy. But its the week of my finals so, honestly its amazing that I'm even attempting to make dinner.

The bad part about not having time to make decent meals next week is that I started exercising and eating healthier this week. The menu really isn't conducive to losing weight, so I decided to up the healthy-ness of my breakfasts and lunches next week.

The good part - after May 8th - I'M DONE WITH COLLEGE. Well, until fall classes start in September. But look, I'm excited okay? I can't tell you the last time Tom and I spent more than an hour together on a weeknight. I'll be able to catch up on time with him, watch tv, dedicate a reasonable amount of time to exercising (No excuses anymore), start reading something other than textbooks again and find new and exciting meals to make. On the weekends there won't be a mad dash to get everything clean and run to the grocery store before burying myself in my accounting book for the next 6 hours. I'll be able to BAKE!

Anyway, here's my pathetic attempt at still making dinner next week:

Sunday - parmesan herb chicken tenders and fries

Monday - pierogie (yep, the boxed kind)

Tuesday - shrimp scampi (the healthiest meal on the menu!)

Wednesday - breakfast for dinner (probably eggs, bacon and hash browns)

Thursday - cheeseburger and fries

Friday - pizza

Recipe Swap: Chicken Fried Rice


Another successful recipe swap meal! Before we moved to the middle of no where, Maryland we used to order Chinese food pretty frequently. There was a place near our apartment that made the best Chinese food ever. The schezuan beef had just the right amount of spice, the beef chow mein had perfectly cooked vegetables, the crab rangoons weren't too greasy....I'm getting hungry again just thinking about it!

Here in the middle of no where, the Chinese food just isn't as good so I've started making our favorites at home. Needless to say I was pretty excited that I got a recipe for chicken fried rice. This recipe comes from Lisa at Tastetastic Voyage. She found the recipe on Recipe Zaar

Chicken Fried Rice
Slightly Adapted from: Tastetastic Voyage
Servings: 2
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    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    • 1 cup quick-cooking brown rice
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 eggs, whisked
    • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 6-8 asparagus spears tips
    • 3/4 cup frozen peas
    • 1 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
    • 2 tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
    • 3-4 tbs. olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot. Add the rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the rice and cook for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining water from the rice.
2. Spread out the rice on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator.
3. In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and the chicken pieces. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked though. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm on a plate. Drain any remaining chicken broth.
4. Add 1 tbs. of oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and asparagus and cook until the vegetables are soft, 7-10 minutes. Add the egg to the pan and stir until the eggs are scrambled.
5. Remove the eggs and vegetables from the pan and add to the plate with the chicken.
6. Increase the heat to high and add the remaining olive oil. Remove the cold rice from the refrigerator and add to the skillet. Stir to coat and then add the chicken stock, a little bit at a time until the rice has absorbed the liquid/it has evaporated. Repeat until you've used all of the chicken stock.
7. Return the chicken, egg and vegetables to the pan. Add the soy sauce and stir frequently until everything is heated through and the rice is just about to stick to the bottom of the pan.
8. Serve immediately and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tom and I both thought this was really tasty and quite close to what you'd expect from a Chinese restaurant. The original recipe calls for basmati rice which I forgot to pick up. I debated on using a non-quick cooking rice, but we were both starving. If I had planned out the meal a bit better I would have also made the baked crab rangoon recipe I've been meaning to try. I'd also probably brown the chicken instead of cooking it in chicken broth so it had more color and would stand out on the plate a bit more. I definitely plan on making this again!

Easter Dinner Recap


Am I the only one that feels like when you host a meal for a holiday, the amount of time your guests are there is about 3 times less the amount of time takes you to clean and prep everything? I'm pretty sure I spent close to 20 hours getting everything ready for Sunday and everyone was only here for 5-6 hours.

Here is a recap of our Easter dinner.
When my mom and Rodney arrived around 1:30, I put out the appetizers.
 Cheese, crackers and veggies tray
Other appetizer not pictured: deviled eggs

Late last week my mom called me and asked if I minded if she bought the ham from a Heavenly Ham store. She chose a 7 lb. pre-cooked bone-in ham with a brown sugar glaze. Once everyone had successfully stuffed themselves with appetizers, I put the ham in the oven to reheat. 
brown sugar Heavenly Ham, ham 
I served the ham with the following dishes:

Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes (recipe coming soon)
and the following non-pictured sides: bacon green beans and honey yeast rolls. Since we're Polish, my aunt couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring along some sauerkraut and kielbasa. 

Nothing goes better with dinner than wine. I made sure that everyone tried this out!

An hour or so after everyone had finished eating, I pulled out the desserts:
My favorite, the Fruit Trifle

and the Easter Sugar Cookies my cousin thought I bought from the store.

Do you have any traditions on Easter? My family has always "picked eggs". Tom has never heard of this. Each person has a hard-boiled (and preferably decorated) egg. Two people will "pick" eggs against each other. The person to go first will hold their egg with the pointier part down. The other person will hold their egg in their hand so only the pointy part of the egg shows. Person one will tap their egg against person two's egg and the person with the unbroken egg after one tap is the winner. If neither egg breaks, the people take turns tapping their egg until one egg breaks. The person who didn't break their egg continues on with the same egg against other people. Does that even make sense? It seem so much more confusing writing it out than actually doing it. 
My mom and my aunt picking eggs

And this is what happens when your almost 26 year old husband receives an early birthday gift of a remote control airplane. He decides to land it on your head, and instead manages to tangle the propellers around ALL of your hair. 

So then as payback, you force Mr. I Hate Taking Pictures into taking one with you. 

I hope you had a great Easter!

Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus


Even though I knew that Tom and C won't eat asparagus and I wasn't sure if my cousin or her boyfriend would either, I really wanted to make this appetizer. I haven't had prosciutto in forever! Almost every time I visit my aunt at her beach house in Delaware, she'll have honeydew melon slices wrapped in prosciutto as an appetizer before dinner. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asaparagus
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 6-8
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    • 1 lb. asparagus, washed and woody ends trimmed off
    • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 10-15 slices prosciutto
1. Preheat the oven to 450. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Spread a small amount of the cream cheese onto each slice of prosciutto. Place the asparagus stalk at the top of the prosciutto slice and roll up until the end of the slice.
3. Repeat with each slice and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until the prosciutto is slightly crispy and the asparagus is tender.

I was expecting this to have a bit more flavor than it did. I think next time I'll use a flavored cream cheese, maybe a veggie one or something to add a little more kick to this.

White Wine Sangria


Wine is the only alcoholic beverage I can drink unless I want a hangover. I'm pretty sure this is because I spent my late teens and early 20's drinking every drink imaginable except for wine and now even the slightest combination of alcohol and sugar flips a switch in my body to trigger the worst hangover ever. I'm okay with that though because I really, really like wine!

White Wine Sangria
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 1 pitcher
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    • 1.5 liter bottle of white wine (I used a dry Riesling)
    • 1/2 of 2-liter of ginger ale
    • 1 orange, sliced
    • 1 lime, sliced
    • 5 strawberries, hulled and sliced
    • 4 frozen peach slices, chopped

Combine everything in to a large pitcher and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Optional: top each wine glass with additional fruit.

Cheese & Onion Quiche


When I planned out the menu for Easter I decided to make a bunch of things I hadn't made before. Would you believe the first time I ever had quiche was this past December? I still spend a decent amount of time on the wedding message board I used while planning the wedding. In December, one of the the girls hosted a get together at her house in DC. She served a cheesy broccoli quiche. Yum!

Cheese and Onion Quiche
Slightly Adapted from: www.allrecipes.com
Servings: 1 quiche, 9" or 10" round
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    • 1 9" pastry shell
    • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and divided
    • 1 vidalia onion, diced
    • 1 tbs. AP flour
    • 2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup half-and-half
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Melt two tbs. butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until the onion is soft.
3. Rub the remaining tablespoon of butter onto the unrolled pastry shell and onto a 9 or 10 inch round baking dish.
4. Place the pasty shell into the baking dish, butter side up. Press the shell into the sides of the dish and crimp around the edges.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add the half-and-half and salt.
6. Spread the onion out in the baking dish and sprinkle with the flour. Sprinkle the cheese over the onions, spreading to the outer edges of the pastry shell. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese, evenly making sure it reaches the outside of the dish.
7. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 325 and continue baking for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

This was the first thing I made on Easter morning and it was so delicious I ended up having two slices of it for breakfast. Once my mom and Rodney arrived, they each had a slice and I figured I should probably make up another quiche just in case. Of course, because I did that, no one ate any more of it, but my mom and aunt took some home and I still have half a quiche for breakfast tomorrow. I definitely plan on making this again if we're ever having company in the morning/early afternoon.

Fruit Trifle


We received a trifle dish as one of our wedding gifts and with the low price of strawberries, I immediately wanted to make fruit trifle for Easter.

Since this is so easy to make and I was already cheating by purchasing the angel food cake instead of making it, I decided fresh whipped cream was the way to go.

Fruit Trifle
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Creation
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    • 1 angel food cake ring
    • 1 1/2 cartons strawberries, hulled and sliced
    • 12 oz. fresh/frozen blueberries
    • 6 oz. fresh/frozen peaches, sliced
    • 3/4 cup fresh/frozen raspberries
    • 2 bananas, sliced
    • 32 oz. heavy whipping cream
    • 3 tsp. vanilla extract2 tbs. powdered sugar

1. Place the bowl of your stand mixer and the beater attachment in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before preparing this.
2. Add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar to the stand mixer. Start off on low speed until everything is combined and then increase to medium/high speed. Once the mixture is the consistency of whipped cream, turn off the mixer and set the bowl aside.
3. Break off chunks of the angel food cake and make a layer on the bottom of the trifle dish.
4. Add a layer of strawberries, then bananas, followed by blueberries and peaches. Sprinkle some of the raspberries on top.
5. Add half of the whipped cream on top, spreading to the edges.
6. Repeat with another layer of food cake and fruits, topping with the remaining whipped cream.
7. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Nothing makes me think of warm weather more than a dessert like this. It is absolutely delicious. It looks great in the bowl and is really easy to assemble. What more do you need for a fast but yummy dessert?
I had extra strawberries, so I decided to add those on top.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles


When I decided on sugar cookies and a fruit trifle for dessert on Easter I knew that I wanted to have a chocolate option as well. I debated on making chocolate cupcakes or brownies, but with the amount of prep work I needed to do, I decided these would be the easiest.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Source: RecipeGirl, adapted from Food Network
Yield: 36-48 truffles
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    • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs. brown sugar, packed
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 3/4 of 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
    • 8 oz. semisweet Baker's chocolate
    • Toppings: chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, caramel sauce

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, and once incorporated add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
2. Add the condensed milk and then the mini chocolate chips.
3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour.
4. Roughly chop the semisweet chocolate.
5. Use a cookie scoop and your hands to roll the dough into small balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. 
6. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in the bottom pan of a double boiler. In the top pan, add the chopped chocolate. Stir with a melted spoon until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat.
7. Dip the dough balls into the chocolate mixture and use the spoon to help roll them around to coat with chocolate. Transfer the truffle to the waxed lined baking sheet and sprinkle with additional toppings.
8. Refrigerate the truffles until ready to serve.

I was able to coat 4 of the truffles in chocolate, place them on the baking sheet and then coat them with toppings before they were no longer sticky. After 4 hours in the fridge, I transferred the truffles to plastic containers, layering wax paper in between each layer of truffles.

Easter Sugar Cookies


I've become addicted to making holiday sugar cookies. In the weeks and days before a holiday, my Google Reader is full of different posts with decorated sugar cookies. Combine that with a set of 100 different cookie cutters and well, I just can't resist.

I've tried a few different recipes for royal icing and I believe I've finally found the one that I'm going to stick with. A couple of months ago Tom and I were visiting his mom at her new house. We were flipping through Coastal Living (or something like that) magazines and I found a recipe called Decorators Icing. Since my last royal icing attempt didn't go so well, I figured I'd check this one out.

Royal Icing
Yield: 1 cup icing

2 cups powdered sugar
7-8 tsp. heavy whipping cream, plus extra
food coloring of your choice

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream.
2. Beat on low speed until a chunky icing has formed. Increase the speed to high. I typically need to add another teaspoon or two of the whipping cream. Continue beating until a smooth, glossy icing has formed.

This made enough icing for to outline all of the bunnies and eggs with a little bit left over. I usually double or triple this recipe in order to have enough icing.

To use icing:
Transfer the icing to small bowls and add a small amount of food coloring. Using a plastic spatula, stir until the food coloring has completely disappeared and you've reached the color you want. Cover the icing with a lid or tightly wrap in plastic wrap until you're ready to use it.
To flood icing:
Add water, one drop at a time and stir until you reach a consistency where the icing will pour easily off a spoon.

I think these are my best cookies so far, I just really wish I hadn't misplaced my #1 tip. I think there would have been a 100% difference in the detail of the cookies. I debated on running out to Walmart to buy another #1 tip, but they only sell it in a package of 4 tips and then I'd have four of the other tips I already have multiples of.

I really had a lot of fun using the sanding sugar I found at the Amish Market near work. I also decorated some of the cookies with star shaped sprinkles. My favorite cookies are the sanding sugar only bunnies.

Corn, Onion and Tomato Salad


I didn't expect with all of the prep work I need to do for Easter dinner tomorrow that I'd actually have a chance to blog any of the recipes that I'm serving tomorrow. But while I'm patiently waiting for my honey yeast rolls to rise, I have some time.

Corn, Onion and Tomato Salad
Adapted from: www.allrecipes.com 
Servings: 2 cups 
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    • 1 roma tomato
    • 1/2 vidalia onion
    • 8 oz. frozen corn
    • 1 green onion stem
    • 2 1/2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
    • 1/2 tbsp. sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. cilantro
    • sea salt to taste
1. In a small pot over medium heat, add the corn and 1/4 cup water. Cook until the corn is soft. Drain the water.
2. Dice the tomato and onion. Chop the green onions.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the corn, tomato, onion and green onions. Add the rice wine vinegar, sugar and cilantro. Toss until well combined.
4. Season with sea salt to taste.
5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

When I first started cooking, I spent hours going through recipes on allrecipes.com. I'm pretty sure I used an entire ream of paper printing out all of the ones that looked interesting to me. I found this one right in the middle of summer and first tried it with fresh corn. It was absolutely delicious! Since then I've made this with drained and rinsed canned corn as well as frozen. Fresh is definitely the best, but frozen is a very close second.

I thought this would make a great side to the brown sugar and spicy mustard ham and garlic roasted mashed potatoes.

Recipe Swap: Garlic Roasted Potatoes


I missed the last recipe swap last week for pasta so I made sure not to miss this one and I'm glad I didn't because it was side dishes. I'm pretty good at coming up with the main portion of the meal most times but I feel like I just flip through my recipe book over and over again for side dishes or I feel like I'm making the same things over and over again.

So I was quite happy when I received the recipe for Garlic Roasted Potatoes from Melissa at I Was Born to Cook. We have roasted red potatoes pretty often, but for some reason I never thought to roast them with garlic. Considering I love the smell and taste of garlic, I have no idea how this was possible.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Source: I was Born to Cook, from Ina Garten
Servings: 4
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    • 1 lb. red potatoes
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Wash and quarter the potatoes and add to a medium sized bowl.
3. Add the olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic cloves to the bowl. Toss to coat the potatoes.
4. Spread the potatoes out on the cookie sheet in an even layer.
5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, turning them twice during cooking.
6. Garnish with parsley once served.

Garlic and potatoes. Do I really need to explain why these were delicious? Right as a popped the last potato into my mouth I realized that I never garnished them with the parsley. Damn. I even had some fresh parsley I could have used.

I did learn something though. The potatoes cook much better on a cookie sheet than they do in a glass baking dish which was my typical method of making them. So its definitely a cookie sheet from now on!

Apologies again for the blurry picture. I seem to have lost my patience in waiting long enough for the food to stop steaming. But if you can imagine the smell, I think you can forgive me. =)

Brown Sugar and Spicy Mustard Ham


Brown Sugar and Spicy Mustard Ham
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
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2.5 lb. precooked ham
3 tbs. brown sugar
2 tbs. spicy brown mustard
1 tbs. beef broth (if using crock pot)

1. Remove the ham from the packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and spicy brown mustard until a thick paste forms.
3. Using a fork, poke holes in the skin of the ham.
4. Spread the mixture all over the ham.
Crock Pot:
Add the beef broth to the crock pot. Place the ham on top. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or until the ham is warmed through the center.
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the ham in a baking dish. Bake for 2 - 2.5 hours or until the ham is warmed through the center.

Arroz Con Pollo


We eat a lot of chicken. I've known about arroz con pollo for years and I have absolutely no good reason for not making it before.

Arroz Con Pollo
Source: Cassie Craves, adapted from Mocha Me
Servings: 4
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    • 4 slices bacon
    • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 small yellow onion, diced
    • 1 large green pepper, diced
    • 4 cloves, garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp. olive oil 
    • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
    • 1 cup uncooked rice (quick cooking)
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tbs. cilantro
    • salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the bacon and once cooled, crumble.
2. Season the chicken with paprika, oregano, garlic power, cumin and salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
3. Brown the chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side until the outside is cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
4. Add the olive oil to the pan. Then add the onion and green pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes (and juice), chicken broth, and rice. Stir until everything is well combined.
5. Return the chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through and the liquid has almost completely evaporated, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the pan.
6. Add the peas and cook 1-2 minutes more until they are warmed through.
7. Plate the chicken and rice mixture and top with crumbled bacon and cilantro.

Tom and I both thought this was really good but needed a bit more flavor in the Spanish direction. Next time I'm going to add a diced jalapeno and substitute the spices with some Sazon Goya. This also tastes great reheated, as we had leftovers that I had for lunch the next day.

Weekly Menu 4/11 - 4/15


Since my birthday is tomorrow I decided I'm taking the day off from cooking. We really don't have anything planned for tomorrow, other than a pedicure and that I'd like pit beef for lunch. I did realize however, that it would be impossible not to bake myself something for my birthday. Its currently in the oven so, fingers crossed they turn out, and a post will follow soon.

Monday - taco pie
Tuesday - raspberry chipotle bbq chicken with garlic roasted potatoes
Wednesday - fried shrimp and fries
Thursday - caramelized onion and mushroom paninis
Friday - Asian beef with veggies

There are some repeats on the menu this week. A couple of weeks ago I had planned on making the raspberry chipotle chicken but when I pulled out the recipe before dinner, I realized it took 45 minutes to make the sauce and 45 minutes to cook the chicken. It was already late so I scrapped that plan and made something else. I'm going to make the sauce today to save me some time this week.

The fried shrimp are also a repeat. I forget what happened that Friday night that I was supposed to make them, but I believe it ended up as a fend for yourself night. I really don't like fried shrimp so I think I'll just fry some up for Tom and either steam or roast them for me.

Easter Menu


I know Easter isn't for another three weeks, but yesterday I decided to procrastinate on homework and figure out what to make. So far, I know it will be Tom and I, C, my mom and her boyfriend, my aunt and uncle and my cousin and her boyfriend. If Tom's parents decide to come I'll need to add in another main course because his mom doesn't like ham. I'm taking suggestions. =)

deviled eggs (I'll probably have my aunt do these)
cheese and onion quiche
prosciutto wrapped asparagus
veggies and dip

Main & Sides:
brown sugar and spicy mustard ham (recipe coming this week!)
garlic roasted mashed potatoes
bacon green beans
corn, tomato and onion salad
corn (because Tom won't eat the salad)
potato or macaroni salad (whichever my mom chooses to make)
honey yeast rolls 

fruit trifle
cookie dough truffles
sugar cookies with royal icing

white wine sangria
soda, juice, tea, water

While typing this up, I realized I've made quite a few of these recipes but never blogged them. Now I'll have to see how many I can make and blog before Easter.

I plan on making the corn tomato and onion salad, honey yeast rolls, cookie dough truffles, sugar cookies and sangria 1-2 days before so hopefully at least those items will get blogged.

Weekly Menu 4/3 - 4/8


Ah, the beginning of another week. I'm not really looking forward to this one though. I've been patiently waiting for my accounting teacher to upload the assignments we will have for this week. Usually she has them up on Saturday afternoon. They still aren't there.

Why do I want to get such a head start? Well, for the past two weeks the assignments have been so detailed, its taken me over 12 hours a week to do everything. Tuesday I'll be in NJ for work and won't be able to do any homework, Saturday I have an eye exam and Sunday is my birthday. I had planned to do as much as possible today so I could actually relax and celebrate my birthday. It doesn't appear that this will happen now. Boo!

Anyway, onto the food.

Sunday - ham with a brown sugar and spicy mustard glaze, mashed potatoes, corn (for Tom) and asparagus (for me)

Monday - strawberry stuffed french toast

Tuesday - nada

Wednesday - pot roast in the crock pot

Thursday - jalapeno popper chicken with fries

Friday - ham and pineapple pizza

I'm also beginning to think about what I want to make for Easter this year. Last year I made a ham and then just did a bunch of appetizers and finger foods. I'd like to do something different this year, but with a family full of picky eaters, I really don't know what to make.

So far I have ham, deviled eggs, some type of salad, a fruit trifle and white wine sangria. What do you make (or eat) on Easter?

Sugared Asparagus


A couple of months ago I had a very vivid dream that I had just finished decorating my formal dining room in my house. This was pretty strange because I don't have a formal dining room, let alone a house, the color scheme is not something I'd typically like, and I rarely ever remember my dreams. The dream dining room was so gorgeous and I remembered so many details that I immediately decided to Google and see if there was a program where I could design what I saw in my dream to see if it was nearly as good in real life.

It was better. The color combination of green, white and black looked amazing together. So now, whenever we begin to look for a house, not only will we have our wish list of more normal things, but it will be a requirement to find a home with the dining room like the one in my dream. It shouldn't be too difficult, it was a standard size room with a double window on the left and from wall.

So, what does this have to do with Sugared Asparagus, right? Today I picked up paint for the offices at work, and while I was patiently waiting for the Home Depot employee to mix three gallons of paint, I began looking at the different colors and the little booklets they have to show you how different colors look together.

And I found the perfect color for my eventual dining room. Its called Asparagus. And I just so happened to make sugared asparagus the other day.

Paint Color:

Sugared Asparagus
Source: AllRecipes.com
Servings: 2
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    • 1 lb. asparagus
    • 1 1/2 tbs. unsalted butter
    • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
1. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the asparagus and chicken broth and cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until asparagus are fork tender but still crisp.
3. Transfer the asparagus to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Continue cooking the sauce until it has reduced to a syrup like consistency.
4. Serve the asparagus with the sauce drizzled on top.

I think these are great. I like most veggies and I love candy. So why not make veggies taste like candy? Now if only I could get sugar-tooth Tom to try them, it'd be a real success. :-)
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