Archive for the ‘in the kitchen’ Category

IN THE KITCHEN-A WEEKLY PLAN

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

weekly plan | Where is June?

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.  I find it’s helpful to organize myself so there is less scrambling during the week.

2.  I do all the cooking in my family.  All of it!

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!] Many are Paleo or Whole 30 because there are terrific communities sharing tons of recipes.  Keep in mind, I only share recipes that are delicious!

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

The Plan:

1. Pumpkin Shrimp Curry

I have posted about this dish before and I have made it for years!  You could easily substitute chicken if you don’t like seafood.

2.  Crowd Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad  (Weekend Lunch)

This is a labor intensive salad, with lots of moving parts.  It was worth the effort and would be “crowd pleasing”.  Probably best to save for the weekend.  Maybe serve for brunch with a Bloody Mary?

3.  Egg Roll Bowls

So easy and packed with flavor.  You could serve this over rice if your family insists.

4.  Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

It takes 5 minutes to throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, but this chicken is so amazing.  If you don’t ordinarily cook with ghee, I would recommend you try it.  It adds a rich flavor.  (You can always sub butter for ghee.)  Serve over sweet potato, baked potato, on a bun, or on nachos.  The list is endless.

5.  Forest Mushroom Bisque

This was a perfect Sunday evening soup.  Of course you must love mushrooms.  I used my immersion blender and it worked perfectly.  For those of you who can handle bread, fresh focaccia would be delightful.

6.  Creamy Vegan Shiitake & Kale Pasta

Always a pasta dish!  Can’t help it, I’m Italian.  You obviously do need to use gluten free pasta.  My husband teases me that every plan must include kale.  He isn’t a huge fan.  Spinach would work too.

 

 

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SOLE IN PARCHMENT PACKETS

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

sole with dates and apricots

During the spring season, I started using Sun Basket for 3 meals during the week.  Sun Basket specializes in gluten-free and Paleo meal delivery.  Similar to Blue Plate and Hello Fresh, they send you all the ingredients and a recipe card.  You follow the directions and eat delicious food.  One of my favorite meals was Sole in Parchment packets.  It was so simple, including clean-up.  The flavors were amazing and the fish was cooked perfectly.  I plan on eating this again and again.  The recipe is here if you would like to try it too!

Sole in Parchment | Where is June?

I also found a similar recipe from Williams-Sonoma.  Puttanesca flavors in a packet.  I bet it is really flavorful too.  I am sucker for anything with kalamata olives and capers.

Give these simple recipes a try and let me know what you think.

 

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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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Where is June?

 

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