Friday, March 21, 2014


It's been a long time since I've posted, mainly because the energy drain of pregnancy was taking up my blogging time! Now I have a beautiful 1 month old little girl and have even less time to blog. I anticipate that the blog will continue to be on hiatus for a while. I do occasionally post on Facebook and I'm an active pinner on Pinterest, so feel free to follow me on one of those sites.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Week Ahead... 6/17/13

What a weekend! We had my son's 3rd birthday party on Saturday and Father's Day on Sunday. The birthday party was construction-themed, fitting for my little "Engineer Junior". I hope to do a post about all the food later this week.  Meanwhile, here's what's on deck for this week.

Menu for the Week of June 17th

Monday: neighbor's graduation party
Tuesday: Make-ahead Layered Salad using leftover pork tenderloin
Wednesday: grilled veggies
Thursday: salad with grilled chicken
Friday: pizza
Saturday: sausage and veggies

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Thoughts on Laundry and The Week Ahead... 6/10/13

Laundry is the gift that keeps on giving. Problem is, it's a gift I (and most others I know) don't want. Wouldn't it be great if laundry just did itself, particularly the folding part? We are so bad about folding laundry that we have four laundry baskets and an expandable "back-up" basket. I know...pathetic.

Menu for the Week of June 10, 2013

Monday: rice & beans, tomato
Thursday: beet salad
Friday: ?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Grilled Eggplant Stacks

In my last post I noted that I'm trying to grill more as it get warmer. Although, with Tropical Storm Andrea swinging past close enough to make it a yucky, rainy day today, I think I'll skip on tonight's planned grilling session.

This past Tuesday was gorgeous: mid-70s and dry! My son and I played on the deck while I grilled dinner and then we ate on the deck. My Girl Scout troop meeting was even held on the deck! We had eggplant stacks and they were amazing. You can't go wrong with prosciutto and fresh, smoked mozzarella cheese.

Some people would argue that anything with eggplant is wrong, but I think it's an acquired taste. I started out with a variety called graffiti that I get at our farm market. The skin seems to be thinner than some other varieties. I have since graduated to normal, grocery store varieties, such as these pictured here. The first key to preparing eggplant is to salt it and let it sit for about 20 minutes. This removes some of the moisture and makes it less rubbery when you cook it. I press kosher salt into both sides of each slice and place it in a colander over the sink. Make certain to rinse each piece before cooking!

I top each stack with a red pepper spread, which I cheat and purchase from Trader Joe's. I use it on so many different things from sweet potato to fried egg sandwiches to this recipe. My father-in-law enjoys it on ham or turkey sandwiches.

Grilled Eggplant Stacks
  • eggplant, sliced 1/4" thick
  • course kosher salt
  • olive oil (I use my Misto for this recipe)
  • smoked mozzarella, sliced 1/4" thick
  • prosciutto, slice each piece in half to fit eggplant
  • roasted red pepper spread
  1. Salt eggplant as described above. Preheat grill with all burners on high.
  2. Rinse and dry eggplant and spray or brush on olive oil. Place on grill over medium heat. (I place the food over my two center burners, which are turned off. The two outer burners are on medium-high heat.) Grill for about 5 minutes or until you get good grill marks and the eggplant has softened some.
  3. Flip eggplant over and place a piece of prosciutto and mozzarella on each eggplant slice. Grill for about 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from grill, top with red pepper spread, and serve!

This recipe has been shared on Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten Free Fridays and Allergy Free Alaska's Whole Food Fridays.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Week Ahead... 6/3/2013

Now that the summer heat is upon us, I'm turning to grilling a bit more to avoid the oven and adding heat to the house. This does require me to re-tool my meal planning, though, and find new, grill-able standards.

Menu for the Week of June 3, 2013

Monday: leftover rice and beans
Tuesday: grilled eggplant with prosciutto, smoked mozzarella, and roasted red pepper sauce
Wednesday: baked beans with chicken sausage and chard
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: grilled bison steak, grilled veggies, potato salad

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sweet Potato Sweetie Packs (for campfire, grill, or oven)

I love sweet potatoes. They are, hands down, one of my most favorite foods. I will even eat them for breakfast. I could go on Bubba-style (think Forrest Gump) about the many ways I eat them, but I'll spare you!

Last week I was considering food my three year old would likely eat for our camping trip and arrived at an old favorite: grilled ham steak, pineapples, and yams. My grocery store doesn't sell a lot of canned vegetables, which overall is a good thing, but annoying when you want canned yams. Then I remembered that I had two large sweet potatoes in the pantry and also remembered how good my last batch of grilled sweet potatoes was... this would mean that I would not have to go to a second grocery score... score!

I used the same method as before and they tasted AMAZING! They work on the campfire, grill, or in the oven. When we camp I prepare the pack before we leave and put it in a gallon zip bag in the cooler; that way all I have to do is throw it on the coals.

Sweet Potato Sweetie Packs
  • sweet potatoes, sliced (however many you need for your group) - I used two HUGE ones
  • butter (I use Earth Balance spread) - I used about 2 Tbsp.
  • honey (coconut palm sugar or sweetener of choice if vegan) - I used about 1 Tbsp.
  • cinnamon - I used about 1/2 tsp.
  • heavy duty aluminum foil (don't even think about skimping on this!)
  1. Set out a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. For two huge sweet potatoes I used a piece that was about 2' long. I also use the wider (18") heavy duty aluminum foil for foil packets.
  2. Smear butter on the aluminum foil, where the potatoes will go.
  3. Place half the potatoes on the foil. Drizzle honey over potatoes, scatter a few pats of butter, and shake on some cinnamon.
  4. Add the remaining potatoes on top.
  5. Gather the long sides of the foil and roll to close. Roll in each short side to form a packet. If I'm camping I put this packet in another sheet of foil to create a second packet around the first.
  6. Cook and enjoy!
    • Campfire: Cook right on top of hot coals for about 40 minutes, flipping and turning about every 10 minutes.
    • Grill: Grill over hot, indirect heat for about 25 minutes.
    • Oven: I've never done it, but I would cook it in a 400°F oven for about 30 minutes.

Mmmm... butter AND honey AND cinnamon!

On the grill (along with a chicken)!

Yummy perfection!

This recipe has been shared on Diet, Dessert, and Dogs' Wellness Weekend, Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten Free Fridays, and Allergy Free Alaska's Whole Food Fridays.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Week Ahead... 5/20/2013

It's yet another crazy week. I have a few evening meetings, my mother is having surgery on Thursday, and we leave for a camping trip with friends on Saturday morning, which is why I already know what we're eating next weekend.

We are going to the same campground the moms went to last fall. It will be the same moms, along with their families, as well as another family. I believe the total count is 10 adults and 9 kids, so it should be tons of fun. If all goes well with the food I'll be blogging on the trip later.

Menu for the Week of May 20th

Monday: Cuban-style black beans (source) with brown rice and tomatoes
Tuesday: Halloumi Quinoa (we didn't get to it last week)
Wednesday: Beet Salad
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: ham steak, grilled pineapple, foil sweet potatoes, s'mores!
Sunday: chicken foil packets with potato, bacon, apple, and onion, s'mores!