Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

London Broil
Lemon Scented Chickpea Salad
Smashed Buttermilk and Dill Potatoes

Steak Quesadillas (made using leftover London Broil)
Rice and Beans

Trout with Almonds
Brussels sprouts with Brown Butter and Orange Zest

Sweet and Sour Glazed Shrimp
Pineapple, Roquefort, and Watercress Salad

Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Peppers (make extra to freeze)
Sautéed Broccoli Rabe

Tapas Night (AKA leftovers cut into tiny bites)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Roasted Salmon
Spicy Rice
Lentils and Carrots
Naan Bread

Shells with Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Salmon and Herbed Ricotta (using last night’s salmon)

Lentil Soup (using leftover cooked lentils, carrots and rice)
Brie, Green Apple and Arugula Panini

Eggplant Parmesan
Green salad

Baked Pasta with Eggplant and Sausage (use leftover Eggplant Parm)
No-knead Bread
Green Salad

Green salad

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Roast Chicken with Bourbon and Bacon
Herb Popovers
Roasted Veggies

Out to dinner for Valentine’s Day

Pasta with Chicken, Chard and Lemon (using leftover chicken)
Green Salad with Apples, Goat Cheese, and Dill

Shrimp and Grits (make twice as much sausage as necessary)

Sauerkraut Alsatian Style (using leftover sausage)
Hot Soft Pretzels with Dill Mustard

Roasted Veggie Frittata
Home Fried Potatoes

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spread Love and Cupcakes

Mother Theresa once said, “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

Valentine’s Day is a week away how will you spread love? It could be as simple as putting down your cell phone and making eye contact with the barista making your latte or as complicated as leaving flowers for the elderly widow down the street. You know I'll be out spreading love and cupcakes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Chicken Breasts with Tomato and Capers
Orzo (make twice as much as needed)
Green Salad

BBQ Chicken Pizza (made using leftover chicken)

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter and Bittersweet Chocolate
No-knead rosemary bread
Salad with cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese

Salmon (cook an extra ½ pound)
Orzo salad with dill, cucumber and feta (made using leftover orzo)

Bow Tie Pasta with Salmon, Pesto and Peas (made with last night’s salmon)
Green Salad
Garlic Bread (made with leftover rosemary bread)

Veggie Omelet
Green salad

Friday, February 4, 2011


French Toast
Pain Perdu
(serves 4)

• 6 extra-large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 8 Slices of challah, brioche or Texas Toast bread
• Unsalted butter
• Vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, sugar, and salt.

Dip the slices in the egg mixture, turning once, until coated.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven.

Cook the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked.

Serve hot with maple syrup or any of the variations below.

A dusting of powdered sugar
Slivered almonds, strawberries and orange zest
Blueberries, lemon zest
Sliced banana, toasted walnuts and maple syrup

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I am not a professor of etiquette and your children have lovely table manners, of course, but it never hurts to practice. If you assume that your child will just know what to do when the situations arises--believe me they won’t (I speak from experience). We will never be invited to dine with the President but it’s nice to know that my boys wouldn’t drink his water by mistake.

Start by teaching your child how to set the table. For a simple supper, from left to right, your place setting should include: a napkin, one fork, one plate, one knife, one spoon and one glass or cup. The acronym BMW will help your child when seated at the table, from left to right B (bread) M (meal) W (water).

A formal table can be set up at home any night so that your kids are comfortable and familiar enough to wow everyone with their great table manners when it truly counts! For a formal table print out Martha Stewarts place setting guide.

These bullet points are taken from Table Manners for Kids by Robin McClure

Teach kids how to greet relatives and guests. Many kids simply don't know what to say or the appropriate action to take. If the occasion is at your home or you're serving as host, instruct your kids about properly opening the door and taking any coats. (Show them how to hold them and not to roll them up in a wad.) Teach them how to properly shake hands and how to appropriately hug relatives, especially elderly or individuals with disabilities.

If you're serving appetizers, ask your youngsters to act as a host/hostess. Instruct them what to ask, how to not interrupt conversations, and to tell them what the choice is. If they are on the receiving end of an offering of hors d'oeuvres, be sure to tell them how to say hors du'oeuvres and what it means to avoid the normal kid reaction of "what's that?" Instruct them how to take one or how to graciously refuse. If it is an item that sounds unappetizing to a kid's palate (and many do), tell them to simply decline without offering any commentary about how it looks, smells, or seems to taste.

At the table, show them how to pull out a seat for a guest and to hold it and help them scoot to the table. Boys can do this for ladies or girls, and boys or girls can do the same for older guests as a sign of respect.

Teach kids how to place the napkin in the lap and how to sit up straight and near the table. Be sure to let youngsters know not to plop their elbows on the table.

Practice table manners such as passing food, asking for something rather than reaching across the table to get it (and risk spilling a drink or worse), and to take only as much as they know they'll eat. The proper table manners protocol is to pass food from left to right (counterclockwise).

Talk with kids about how tables are set up, where forks, knives and spoons go, why sometimes there are utensils above the plates and what particular order means (using the outside utensil first). Emphasize that proper table manners are for everyone to be served and the host/hostess to pick up a fork to begin eating.

• Talk about the no-no's of "double-dipping," slurping, licking fingers, or the ever-tempting dragging a finger across the side of an item to taste it (i.e. icing on the cake).

• Practice sitting up straight and not hunched over, and remind them to bring food from their plate to their mouth and not hunker down over it.

• Explain bread etiquette and how bread plates are positioned to the upper left of a dinner plate. Kids need to learn not to butter the entire piece of bread; rather, butter is placed on the bread place, and then a bite-sized piece is to be buttered only. Explain how some breads are to be "torn off" with your hands while other types may need to be cut. Younger kids won't be apt to understand the differences, but older ones should be able to make a distinction.

• Practice napkin use about how they should wipe their mouth appropriately, and where to put the napkin if they need to get up or go to the bathroom.

• Offer your kids some conversation ideas, and be sure to emphasize that they are not to talk with their mouths full or too stuff too much in their mouth, or chomp with their mouths open, or other disgusting kid habits. Kids should be reminded to eat slowly and to not gobble down their food.

• Use utensils and only eat with fingers if it is meant to be eaten with fingers. Explain to youngsters the difference, and how french fries are even meant to be eaten with a fork and dipped into ketchup rather than with hands during certain occasions.

• Tell kids to always thank the cook for the delicious meal
--even if it wasn't to your youngsters. Someone put forth an effort, and kids should be taught to find at least one or two things they did like, and to praise those items in particular.

• Kids should stay seated until the dinner is concluded or until there becomes an obvious point where kids are being excused and going elsewhere so that adults can linger.