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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Menu for 7/29/13-8/4/13

Some cool stuff is happening this week.  First of all I have two new breakfast recipes that I am super excited about, as well as our "new" recipe this week which is one of my favorite recipes of Mom's.  Second is we are probably going to swim at Nana's tomorrow, one of Bailey's favorite activities.  Well, actually anything involving water is automatically Bailey's favorite activity, but the pool definitely makes that list.  And third is that we get to go to Dollywood again!  We will be spending Thursday at Dollywood with Aaron's sister-in-law, Aunt Shelia.  She says there's a show right now that's all about bubbles and the whole room gets filled with bubbles!  Bailey will love it!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Peach Cobbler

We spent another lovely evening at the lake with Aaron's sister-in-law, celebrating her birthday.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I have been wanting to do some fruit muffins for awhile now, especially since I have all the fresh (and affordable) fruit I could ever want.  I keep buying way more fruit than Bailey and I can eat anyway.  I have a freezer stocked full of the "leftovers" to use for smoothies, but this is another perfect use for all that extra fruit!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

I had planned to share two recipes tonight, but I think the rice recipe needs a little tweaking first.  I found some recipes on Pinterest and decided to try them both at the same time.  The rice may have been a mistake, but the chicken... there was no mistake with the chicken.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mamaw's Fried Okra

Fried okra just tastes like summer to me.  I remember being 5 or 6 years old and Nana had picked the okra out of her garden (which was more like a farm it was so big) and she and Mamaw were frying it in large batches to freeze.  They would lay it out on a sheet pan to cool and I would come in and steal bites.  I say bites... Nana says I stole handfuls.  She said she was afraid they wouldn't have any to freeze because I would eat it all.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Menu for 7/22/13-7/28/13

Tonight was supposed to be big sandwich night, but I made this really awesome new bread (recipe sometime next month) and it wasn't conducive to big sandwich so we sliced it up and had little sandwiches instead.  I was especially excited about this bread because I have been eyeing the recipe for almost a year, but never had an occasion to try it.  It's Challah bread.  I've only ever had it once before.  If I remember correctly my Aunt brought it to our Thanksgiving gathering one year.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Honey Garlic Chicken

When I was pregnant I couldn't get enough Chinese food.  There was a restaurant down the street from my office, China Garden, I would order from on the way home some nights, but Chinese food can get expensive when you order for two and one is extremely picky.  Aaron liked the Honey Chicken which came with Pork Fried Rice, but he only ate the chicken, wasting all that scrumptious rice.  If I was given a choice I would usually order either the Chicken with Broccoli (spicy because they do that for me there) or the Steamed Chicken and Shrimp with Broccoli, also spicy (from the diet menu it comes with garlic sauce on the side and steamed rice), but they're both also a bit pricey and since Aaron will only eat the honey chicken and waste all that rice I sacrificed a little.  I ordered his honey chicken, but with the chicken and rice in separate containers (which by the way also guarantees extra chicken because they use the same size container as before but they almost completely fill it with chicken) and I would eat the rice while he ate the chicken.  If I was really hungry I would order some Chicken Sticks (you know, those ridiculously well marinated chicken thighs they stick on a skewer) and Aaron might get some Crab Rangoon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Red, White, and Blue Smoothie

I really wanted to post this for Independence Day, but things got so busy that I never did get my camera into the kitchen while making one.  This is kind of a go-to breakfast here.  I've been getting lots of fresh fruits at the store since they're in season, but we can never finish all of the fruit.  I'll buy two pints of blueberries, but only use one before they start to go bad.  I work fruit into the menu whenever possible.  Still, sometimes the fruit goes bad and I feel so lousy throwing it away.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Menu for 7/15/13-7/21/13

I'm not sure how your area has been, but this has been the rainiest summer I can remember.  I can't complain too much since it has kept the heat down some, but it's crazy humid and hardly ever sunny long enough for us to go out and play.  Saturday while I was visiting Mom's cats and picking up her mail we had a downpour so heavy that it flooded my way home.  I had to make a U-turn and find another route.  According to the 5-day forecast here we're looking at 2 days of mostly sunny weather for Bailey to enjoy some outside play time!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fresh Green Beans and Corn Off the Cob

We spent all day Tuesday freezing corn.  It's all the corn my Nana is getting this summer so we had 7 dozen ears of corn to put back.  It had to be shucked, silked, cut off the cob, cooked, cooled, and bagged for the freezer.  I know my Nana and Mamaw used to do this every year when I was little, but this is the first time I've ever done more than help shuck the corn.  I got to do most of the cooking (which is way too easy because it cooks in the microwave) and bagging.  Each bag gets about 3 ears worth of corn in it and is enough to feed 2-3 people.  It's already cooked and seasoned so all you have to do is thaw it and heat it up before you serve it.  I had a blast but it is hard work.  I'm glad I don't have to do that every day.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lemon Chicken Romano

Well, this was our new recipe for the week and it turned out spectacular!  I was very pleased, especially for a first attempt.  The chicken was tender and juicy, not overcooked, the crust was crispy, and the cheese was melted and bubbly brown the way I like it.  The breading was delicious and well seasoned.  I think the lemon zest and fresh oregano do a lot for this recipe.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Menu for 7/8/13-7/14/13

I'm hoping to get to share my chicken salad recipe with you this week, maybe my family's fried okra recipe (which is pretty much the best thing in the whole world), and our new recipe for the week which I found on Pinterest.  It looks awesome; I can't wait to try it!  I am also looking forward to making some bread this week.  I need to restock my freezer.  We're almost out of honey yeast knots and sandwich bread.  I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow, but when I get back it's going to be a bread baking festival in my kitchen.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Grilled Meatball and Mozzarella Sandwiches

As I've said before, I eat most of the leftovers around here.  I reheat some leftovers, such as chili, hot dogs, and mashed potatoes, but I will eat leftover chicken, pizza, pasta, steak, and a whole mess of other things cold right out of the fridge.

Pretty much the only leftovers I just don't like to eat are meatballs because they just don't taste good cold or reheated, unless you take the time to reheat them on the stove, and I never seem to have leftover pasta so I have to cook fresh pasta to eat the leftovers.  The only way I can get Aaron to eat leftover anything is to use it in a different way.  We use leftover chicken from dinner to make sandwiches or quesadillas for example.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Baked Potatoes

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Today has been just plain ugly.  It rained almost all day.  It was even sprinkling when we stepped outside to watch our neighbors' fireworks.  That's probably okay since they scared the living daylights out of Bailey.  She was so conflicted, wanting to watch the pretty part but wanting to hide from the sound.

Since the forecast for the day was like 90% rain all day we decided not to do a cookout.  I was fine with that decision being that I would have ended up standing in front of the hot grill either in the rain or in the 90 degree heat.  The only problem was that I didn't know what to make for dinner.  I didn't buy anything to cook tonight and I don't generally keep extras of anything around.  I did happen to have 2 extra chicken breasts for the week, the boxed macaroni and cheese that I keep stocked in the cabinet, half a crown of broccoli from last week that was still good, and some extra potatoes.  I chose to make something new since technically it is new recipe night, and I have been on a baked potato kick for the last few weeks.

I used to order a spud at McAlister's Deli that had deli ham and turkey, cheese, and black olives.  There was another one I used to get that was topped with grilled chicken and mozzarella.  I made a sort of cross of the two.  I used baked chicken, black olives, butter, and shredded colby jack cheese.  It was a delicious combination and a very satisfying meal.  I don't think Aaron was quite as excited about it as I was, but he'll get over it when I make the spaghetti and meatballs tomorrow night.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Creamy, Cheesy Potatoes

Sometimes I find a recipe that seems just too good to be true.  This is one of those recipes.  It's only 3 ingredients!  Despite the excessive amount of time it takes to bake, it is absolutely delicious.

One Christmas my Aunt Chuck came to visit and made these amazing potatoes.  They were sliced thin and layered in a baking dish with sharp cheddar cheese, blue cheese, and cream, then baked in the oven until the potatoes were tender and the cheese and cream had turned into a wonderful melty, crunchy...