Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Week of Recipes

One thing that always makes me happy is cooking dinner with Bjorn. We have always loved cooking together and have done so for a long time. We lived together our senior year in college and used to cook fun meals for ourselves on the weekends when we didn't have a lot of money to go out to eat. My last semester in school too Bjorn would have dinner ready for me when I got home from a long day of student teaching and the hour and fifteen minute drive back to our apartment. What a sweetie :)

We even like to go grocery shopping together. We don't actually love grocery shopping per se, but going together makes it so much more fun. We joke and goof around the whole time and end up having fun while we're getting something super boring done! I love my shopping buddy!

My sister loves to come over too and help me cook, watch the doggies while I cook, and make fun drinks. Below we are sharing a fun cookies and cream martini (which gave me a migraine btw), but it was totally delicious! I shouldn't have had two. Live and learn!!



I've gotten really good at planning out dinner with leftovers and using our crockpot, now that I don't let it bother my OCD anymore! This sounds kind of crazy, but I like planning dinners (To a point, mind you. Some weeks I would rather rip my hair out). I like getting our meals together for the week and checking sales to see how to save some money. I also look forward to nights of wine drinking, singing together, and laughing while getting dinner ready in the kitchen after a long day of work. 

Here is what we made making this week:


Roasted honey chicken, with twice baked, mashed sweet potatoes, and steamed 
cauliflower with turmeric and curry powder

Cauliflower: Chop into pieces. We cook ours in a pot with a small amount of water in the bottom and place a vegetable steamer on top. Place the cut up cauliflower in the steamer. Sprinkle with your desired amounts of curry powder and turmeric. Bring water to a boil. Place a lid on the pot. Steam until the cauliflower is fork-tender.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes: I bought the sweet potatoes wrapped in plastic that you can microwave. I had three in my pantry. Cook them in the microwave according to the packaging directions. Allow to cool before handling. Open up potatoes and scrape out the middles into a mixing bowl. Add two Tablespoons of light sour cream, three ounces of light cream cheese, 3 Tablespoons of light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (I like cinnamon!), and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mash together. If the potatoes are too dry, you can add a little more sour cream or a splash of milk. Taste them as well to see if you would like more sugar; you can always add less as well. If you are not a big cinnamon fan, you can omit it, or add less. I wish I had had more sweet potatoes because these were so delicious!

Chicken:--we bought a Miller Amish Roaster Chicken (ours was 4 lbs.), mix      
butter (4 Tablespoons melted) honey (2 Tablespoons), salt, and pepper. Brush on the skin of the chicken. Tent and cook at 375 degrees for one hour and a half hours on a rack or until chicken is 180 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh and all juices run clear. Take off the tent for the last 45 minutes of cooking (you don't want the honey to burn and smoke alarms to go off like it did at our house!). We forgot the tent for the first half of cooking! Let the chicken rest 15 minutes before cutting for the juices to settle. You don't want a dry bird!


Take-out from Kinneret Cafe (Bjorn and I both had the hummus, cheese, and 
avocado sandwich with a cup of Matzo ball soup--sooo good!)


Pita Salads with leftover roaster honey chicken and butternut squash soup (Brand: Pacific--organic section at Kroger)

Salad:  romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, chicken, crumpled up pita crips (take 2 pitas and place on baking sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until dry and crispy; turn over after 6-7 minutes; set aside and cool before breaking up into salad), dressing: Makoto ginger dressing found in refrigerated cabinet of produce section at Kroger



Grilled cheese with pickles and tomato soup (Pacific brand-light in sodium)

Sandwiches: bread, (Oroweat Country Potato Bread) Sargento thin sharp cheddar slices, Mt. Olive Pickles (with sea salt) sandwich slices


Gnocchi with mild Italian sausage, onions, white wine, and spinach

Recipe: Saute one diced onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 diced carrots, and diced celery stick in a little olive oil. Once onion is opaque and veggies are tender, remove from pan (set aside) and wipe clean. Brown mild, Italian sausage in the  same pan until cooked through (you can drain off excess fat). Put veggies back in the pan. Add 1/2 cup white wine (we used Pinot Grigio). Bring to a simmer. Allow to cook down halfway. Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Gnocchi can be found in Italian isle in the International section at Kroger. Add one Tablespoon of butter, salt, pepper, and one Tablespoon of fresh thyme. Add gnocchi, take off the heat, and stir in two heaping handfuls of spinach. Stir in spinach until it is slightly wilted. Serve in bowls. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.


Homemade Ramen noodle soup with tofu (double batch): modified Martha Stewart recipe (see bottom of post for recipe changes)


Leftover Ramen soup


Slow-cooker cheese steak sandwiches--the only swap I make in this recipe is using red or yellow peppers instead of green. I'm not a big green pepper fan! And we buy the low-sodium Dale's Steak Seasoning (which is a sauce found in the BBQ isle at Kroger). Oh--and we used bonless, skinless chicken thighs! (okay, that was three swaps!)

The links above to the recipes are the meals that have recipes with them. A lot of the time as well, we change recipes to suit our tastes and what is in season or on sale. For example, in the slow cooker cheese steak recipe, chicken thighs were on sale last week, so we used those instead of chicken breasts. 

In the Martha Stewart Ramen soup recipe, we change this one up a bit and don't quite follow the recipe anymore. We just make it now without one anymore. Here is how we modify it:

  • double the carrots and celery
  • triple the amount of stock (we use 3 quarts of chicken stock and 1 quart of beef for a little richness)
  • add 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • Add 3 diced cloves of garlic
  • add 2-3 Tablespoons of Sriracha
  • optional: this time we added diced tofu and sliced mushrooms (you could add sliced chicken or beef or keep it vegetarian and use vegetable broth)
This is a very versatile recipe that can be made many different ways. We double or triple the recipe, so we can have leftovers for lunch and one quick dinner another night of the week. We usually freeze a batch too for a later time. The only suggestion I have has to do with the cooking of the noodles: we cook the Ramen separately and store them separately in the refrigerator. The noodles tend to get soggy and slimy if left stored in the broth. 

To reheat, just put the soup on the stove and bring to a simmer. Add the noodles a few minutes before serving to reheat. This is seriously one of my all time favorite soups!

Here are a few recipes that I plan on making for this coming week:

Slow Cooker Pepper Pork Chops with Apples and Onions (pork loin is on sale at Kroger this week) I also plan on using the leftovers for another dinner, maybe a type of pork sandwich?

Wine Chicken: my mom's recipe (boneless, skinless chicken breasts are on sale)

And one night is dinner at my mom's!! My sister is coming into town from Chicago! She's so much closer! We don't have to fly out to Utah anymore! Yay!

Me and my Booty (yeah I know--long story!)

Can't wait to see ya!!

Hope you had a great Super Bowl Sunday!!

Love and happiness <3 Holly


  1. I like planning meals too! I know that sounds strange, but I much prefer it over getting home from work and not having a clue what dinner will be! Looks like you guys have been eating well! :)

    1. I sure do too! It doesn't sound strange at all! I hate coming home and having no idea what to make! It stinks! The recipes I've checked out on your blog look great too :) Happy Valentine's Day!!


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