Archive for the ‘in the kitchen’ Category

A WEEKLY PLAN

Monday, November 30th, 2015

a weekly plan | Where is June?

I am bringing back a favorite series.  In the Kitchen- A Weekly Plan is written to help limit the stress that comes with putting a healthy dinner on the table.  With busy lives and kids’ practices and activities happening at all hours during the evening, dinner might be the only time we have to look each other in the eye and spend uninterrupted time together.  This post provides six meal ideas for you.  Pick and choose which recipes work for your family.  My hope is that you get at least one meal to add to your menu this week!  I have tried them all and provide notes and the link below.

A few things to know in case you are new:

1.  I usually make my plan for the week on Saturday.

2.  I do all the cooking in my family.

3.  My #1 criteria for weeknight meals is quick and easy.  No meal I post [unless a Sunday Dinner or a slow cooker meal] will take more than 45 minutes to prepare.

4.  All meals are 100% gluten free and dairy free.  [Because we are fun like that!]

5.  My kids do not eat everything I serve.  [And that, my friends, is an entirely different post.]

A Weekly Plan-

1//  Chana Masala

This Indian dish was superb.  Full of flavor and easy to make.  It does call for many spices {some you may not have in your pantry}.  Review and grab the spices you need so you are ready.  I served with rice.

2//  Pumpkin Avocado Tostadas

OMG!  Seriously.  These tostadas are a new favorite.  I might make a variation every week!  I used sweet potatoes instead of roasting a pumpkin.  The spice was perfect.  Crisping the corn tortillas in the oven for just 15 minutes created the perfect base to build upon!  TRY THESE!

3//  Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage

Breakfast for dinner.  My husband loves hash, so this was a crowd pleaser.  I added mushrooms for extra texture and flavor.

4//  Spicy Sausage, Spinach, and Mushroom Gnocchi

This was my favorite meal!  I am a pasta girl and this dish was perfect.  So easy and simple, but I loved every bite.  I used Capello’s Gluten Free Gnocchi.   They are little pillows of potato goodness.

5//  Spicy Fish and Potato Soup

This soup has been featured before.  It is excellent on cold nights.  Quick to make and the white fish provides a healthy protein alternative.

6//  Chicken Tamale Pie

Comfort food at its best.  Use a rotisserie deli chicken to make this meal even easier.  Add the spices at step 3 instead.

 

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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE JARS

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Cookie jar | Where is June?

I wrote a guest blog post last week featuring a yummy dessert.  I thought I would share it here as well.  These little jars make great individual treats.  Give them as a gift and your friends will think you are the best!


 

I don’t know about you, but I fall victim to anything sweet.  I love desserts that look amazing, taste delicious, but are are simple and easy to make.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Jars, simply a chocolate chip cookie baked in a jar and served ooey and gooey, are perfect in any season.  However, they are particularly awesome this time of year.  There is nothing better than a little something sweet after a delicious fall meal.  Plan to serve them with a big Sunday dinner or make them mid-week for a special treat!

Here is a quick break down:

1. Start with your favorite chocolate chip recipe.  In a pinch, I use the Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. {Trust me!  No one will know it is a mix.}

basic cookie dough | Where is June?

2.  Fill 4oz jelly jars approximately 1/2 full with prepared cookie dough.  You don’t need to grease the jars.  Just spoon in the dough.

cookie in a jar prep | Where is June?

3.  Place jars on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.   You want the just the edges to be golden brown.  Don’t over bake!  The centers will collapse a bit as the cookies cool.  Don’t worry!  This creates a perfect spot for that scoop of ice cream!

baked chocolate chip cookie jars | Where is June?

If you plan to bake and eat them right way, give the jars 20-30 minutes to cool down.  You don’t want to try to hold the jar when they are hot!  A scoop of salted caramel gelato puts these babies over the top, but vanilla works too.   These are also great to bake ahead of time.   Just remember to microwave them for a 10-15 seconds before eating.  It is just too sad not to eat them warm!

 

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CREAMY BREAKFAST POLENTA

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

creamy breakfast polenta

I am in a breakfast rut.  Most mornings I have a hard boiled egg, some fruit, and a cup of coffee.  After making polenta for dinner a week or so ago, I decided it would also be delicious for breakfast.  Time to change things up!  I made my breakfast polenta with milk to make it creamy.  The toppings, like oatmeal, make the bowl sing.  I added pure maple syrup and strawberries.  Other toppings or add-ins might include: vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, blueberries, blackberries, heavy cream.  The possibilities are endless.

It took less than 10 minutes to make.  While not instant, it is still a quick and easy breakfast!

breakfast polenta

CREAMY BREAKFAST POLENTA

1/2 cup     Corn Grits or corn meal  { I used Bob’s Red Mill Corn Grits}

1 1/2 cup   Milk

Bring milk to a boil.  Add corn grits and reduce heat.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cover for a couple of minutes.   Add desired toppings and enjoy!  Serves 2.

 

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A WEEKLY PLAN

Friday, January 16th, 2015

a weekly plan 2015 v. 1

Oh, hello my long lost friend I call menu planning!  Welcome back to my life.

It it totally confession time.  The reason there has not been A Weekly Plan post in close to one year is because I literally dropped the ball.  I am not sure if it was 8 years worth of preparing meals, but I kind of just gave up.  Has this ever happened to you?  Sadly, even without a menu, dinner STILL needed to be prepared.  Let’s just say that eating is much better when you put some thought into it!

So, if you value eating a home cooked meal with your family like I do- you need a plan!  This is our week of dinners.  It is my hope that you can find at least one meal to put on your menu.

A few things to know in case you are new:

1.  I usually make my plan for the week on Saturday.

2.  I do all the cooking in my family.

3.  My #1 criteria for weeknight meals is quick and easy.  No meal I post [unless a Sunday Dinner or a slow cooker meal] will take more than 45 minutes to prepare.

4.  All meals are 100% gluten free. Most are dairy free.  [Because we are fun like that!]

5.  My kids do not eat everything I serve.  [And that, my friends, is an entirely different post.]

A Weekly Plan::

1// Quinoa, Chicken Kale Soup

{Slow Cooker}  Quick to prepare in the morning, hearty soup in the evening, and lots of left overs.  Make sure to add a squeeze of lemon before you serve it too!

2// Chocolate Chili

No beans in this chili and the unsweetened chocolate makes it super unique and tasty.  {You could always add beans.}

3// Thai Beef Stew

{Slow Cooker} This is dinner tonight!  It already smells delicious.  It would make a great Sunday supper.

4//  Wintry Mushroom, Kale, Quinoa Enchiladas

A spin on traditional enchiladas.  I used store bought enchilada sauce to make the prep faster.  Since my husband is not dairy -free, I added cheese to his enchiladas.  You could easily add chicken or pork as well.

5// Comfort Noodles

OMG.  These are crazy good!  I hesitated because the recipe calls for making zucchini noodles, which seemed kind of nuts.  Trust me, it took less than 5 minutes to make them and this whole dish was to-die-for good.  Searching now for more recipes with zucchini noodles.  This recipe link also has a short video on how to make the noodles! TRY IT!

6//  Energy Bites

A little something extra for your week.  Make these on Sunday and they will help with the “It’s 3pm and I will eat anything and everything right now!”  They are also great ski treats-if we had any damn snow!!

Have a great weekend!  Eat well, my friends.

 

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HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I am sure all of you are in full prep mode for Thanksgiving.  You are either packing and getting your family ready to travel or you have cooking and baking to do.  I am not hosting this year, so my tasks are light.  Just sides for me this year.  One of the easiest and delicious sides to bring is homemade cranberry sauce.  I use this recipe and love that it takes just a few ingredients.  In no time at all you have bubbling goodness.  Never a fan of cranberry sauce in its gelatinous canned form-this sauce is really perfect.  Sweet and just a little tart.   It is easy to make ahead and it travels like a dream.

Cranberry Sauce ingredients

I am also making gluten- free stuffing and a gluten-free pumpkin pie.  To my surprise Williams-Sonoma made a gluten-free stuffing mix this year!  I just need to add the onion, celery, and sausage.  Thank you VERY much.  And lucky for me – I am a pie crust pro after taking a class this spring.  The all-butter pie crust, using gluten-free all purpose flour, should be flaky and delicious!  If I do it right, no one will know it is gluten-free!

{Confession:  For Thanksgiving-I would be happy with a plate of stuffing and gravy, with a side of pumpkin pie!}

 

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CROCK POT APPLE SAUCE

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Crock Pot Apple Sauce

My grandmother made the best apple sauce of all time.  My favorite was a version that she made with Red Hot candies.  Until I can find a recipe that replicates that delicious pink applesauce, I will be making this apple sauce.  Using Danielle Walker’s recipe, I used farmer’s market apples and cooked the apples in the crock pot all day on a Sunday.  It did take some time to peel, core, and slice the apples-but after that I just threw in the apples and a bit of water and let them cook for six hours.

In the evening, I mixed in the simple whole, ingredients {honey, vanilla, and cinnamon} and single-handedly ate the entire batch over the course of a week!  I am headed to the market again this Sunday to buy more farm, fresh apples.  Delicious!

Need another quick and easy fall treat?   These Quick Pear Crips are perfect on a crisp autumn evening!

 

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TAILGATE NACHOS

Monday, September 8th, 2014

tailgate nachos |WHERE IS JUNE?

Who doesn’t love a great gathering pre-game with delicious food and drink?  It is officially tailgate season.  You might the best thing that happened to your tailgate if you bring nachos.  This weekend at the home opener at Husky Stadium, I noticed portable grills a-plenty.  If you have a grill, you can have nachos.

So this isn’t really a recipe, but I will share how I did it!  First, I found an aluminum baking pan at the grocery store.  Next I assembled simple nachos.  I used chips, left over taco meat, diced green chilis, and black olives and cheese.  {You can make the nachos however you love them!}.  Cover with foil wrap and throw the pan in your cooler.

Once it is time to warm the nachos, simply place them on the grill covered until cheese was fully melted.  Remove the foil for a few minutes, so the cheese is extra bubbly and the chips get crispy.

Cover with diced green onions.  Serve with jalapenos, salsa, and guacamole.  I am telling you….they will L-O-V-E you!

Of course these nachos aren’t just for tailgates.  I actually brought them with me to a barbeque on Friday for an appetizer.

{Picture taken with my iPhone.  Didn’t want to look like a fool staging my food……}

 

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SUMMER SALAD STAPLES

Friday, July 25th, 2014

summer salad staples

Salad is a go-to on hot days.  Of course it is healthy, but more importantly, making a salad doesn’t heat up your kitchen {or make you sweaty!}.  I have been using these summer salad staples on a weekly basis.  The Chopped Summer Garden Blend is the ultimate base on which to build a salad.  I love the bite size pieces and the cabbage gives it a great crunch.  The first time I bought this salad mix in the produce section, I noticed it had a recipe for a lime dressing on the back.  Being VERY lazy in the summer, I ventured over to the salad dressings.  Low and behold, Paul Newman hooked me up!  Newman’s Own Lite Lime Vinaigrette is the bomb!  Seriously.  The zing of lime makes everything taste SUPER fresh and delicious.  Salad is obvious, but I also used this mix and dressing for a slaw on fish tacos.  DeeLish.

Looking for an easy summer salad?

BBQ Chicken Salad w Lime Vinaigrette

BBQ Chicken Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Chopped Summer Garden Blend

Diced Grilled Chicken

Black Beans {drained and rinsed}

Fresh Avocado {diced}

Corn {grilled, if possible}

Red and Yellow Pepper {diced}

Toss with Lime Vinaigrette.  Serve into individual bowls and top with your favorite barbeque sauce.

 

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AN INSPIRED LUNCH

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

breakfast in praiano

It has been just over two weeks since we returned from our amazing vacation to Italy.  I look at pictures every morning to remind myself of our trip.  {I am working on editing pictures and will share about our adventures soon.  Promise!}  This shot from our breakfast table in Praiano makes me smile every time I see it.  This was our view every morning for six mornings!  It was truly unbelievable.  We stayed in a very small {8 room} hotel run by a charming and delightful family.  Arturo took care of us each morning.  Greeting us with “Buon Giorno” and the best coffee in the world!  He also whipped up made-to-order omelets.  Italians don’t eat large breakfasts and rarely do they eat eggs in the morning, so I am sure this was just to keep his guests happy.  Delightfully, his omelets were simply eggs cooked in olive oil and folded over.  Served with fresh herbs and tomatoes-it was perfection!

Earlier this week, I was missing our slice of heaven on the Amalfi Coast, so I cooked myself a lunch inspired by Arturo.  Omelet, sliced tomatoes, sliced cured meat, and orange juice!

an inspired lunch

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

 

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{AFTER SCHOOL SNACK} HALFPOPS

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

half popped

While goldfish are great fall back snack, the boys in my house enjoy variety!  We {all of us} LOVE Halfpops!  Air popped locally in Seattle, this super crunchy snack is perfect in the afternoon!  My favorite flavor is Butter & Pure Ocean Salt.  HELLO!  And they are made with all-natural ingredients.   Gluten free, nut free, no corn syrup, no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils, no preservatives.  Well, Halfpops are virtually health food!

Now that I will be watching four baseball games a week, I am going to stock up!  Moms need snacks, too.

kernels of goodness

 

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Where is June?

 

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