Better Late Than Never

Things in our home got a little busy following Thanksgiving and my food blog entries fell to the wayside. My apologies. But our Christmas decorations are up, my husband didn’t fall off the roof, we survived an endless snow day (this Florida girl does not fare well in frigid temps), and my son had a bit of a cold. There were a few order-in nights and it took a little while to get through one week’s menu. So here it is…

Best Buffalo Baked Ziti with broccoli
I was not the chef for this meal. Instead, I was at the salon getting a much needed tune up on my hair. We had a military ball to attend later in the week and I couldn’t show up looking like death warmed over. My husband said this was pretty easy to make and I say it was mighty tasty. I think it’s a great weekday meal.

Turkey Corn Chowder
The last of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey went into this pot. Wahoooooo! (This was made well before this blog post and not long after Thanksgiving.) This was actually a pretty tasty chowder. And perfect for those cold winter nights. My two year old even enjoyed this one!

Steak Dinner with potatoes and broccoli
Sometimes we like to keep it simple and make something we know is a winner. A good ol’ steak dinner is a staple in our household. Nothing beats a perfectly seared steak to a medium rare temperature. And I know this will sound crazy, but we love to add dried mint to the rub. It’s super delicious!

Mississippi Roast with mashed potatoes and baby carrots
Soooooo I was supposed to make this roast, but I ended up preoccupied around the time I needed to put it in the crock pot. We ended up using the roaster to make the roast. Which turned out superb! However, this is my go-to roast recipe. It’s always on point. Full of flavor and super easy!

Cheesy Garlic and Brown Sugar Pork Chops with sweet potato latkes
This pork chop recipe is one of the hubby’s favorites! Simple and consistent. The sweet potato latkes were a different story. The photos of them on the web page look great. The recipe seems easy enough. The end result – sweet potato hashbrowns. A few of them kiiiiind of remained intact, but the majority fell apart. They were still tasty and actually paired really well with the suggested sour cream.

Cheesy Bacon and Corn Stuffed Zucchini with rice
Awesome recipe! Fairly simple to make and quite filling. The zucchinis took longer to boil than the recipe states. Maybe I just bought thicker zucchinis…? The recipe doesn’t call for it, but when I gut the zucchini I usually chop up what I scooped out and add it to the bacon and corn mix. Waste not, want not.

Avocado and Tuna Tapas
This is a great recipe for that after-grocery-shopping dinner. I think the most difficult part is chopping up the pepper…or maybe opening and draining the cans of tuna. Either way, if you’re looking for a quick, simple, and healthy meal, this is it.

 

Well, ladies and gents, I’m back in the blogging groove….at least until the Christmas holiday rolls around. Then I may go AWOL for a for a few. I do have a Christmas dinner menu that I’ll share with you. A few of the Thanksgiving recipes are included. And if you’re interested in viewing how these scrumptious recipes look, follow my Instagram account @tfchronicles. Every time I cook a meal I post a pic. Happy cooking!

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Thanksgiving Meal

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with lots of family, friends, food, and love.
This year I decided to try all new recipes for the important dishes that make up a Thanksgiving meal. And I must say, they were fantastic! I may make some of these throughout the year as sides for dinner.

Delicious and Easy Dry-Brined Roast Turkey
This recipe truly made the turkey moist and delicious. I also added rosemary, thyme, and basil to the salt for the brine. And, thanks to a Facebook friend, I saved a ton of space in my oven by using a Oster Turkey Roaster. It was great! After the turkey got a butter rub down (and butter under the skin) I placed the roaster on my counter, popped the bird in, set the temperature, and didn’t have to worry about maneuvering all the side dishes around the turkey.

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
The second most important component of a Thanksgiving meal – mashed potatoes. By using the slow cooker, I freed up a large pot and space on the stove. I used little gold potatoes instead of the red potatoes in the recipe. I also quartered them. These potatoes had a wonderful flavor and so simple to make. Definitely a winner!

The Very Best Green Bean Casserole
This recipe lives up to its name. Using fresh ingredients and making it from scratch made all the difference. I highly recommend giving this one a try!

Sweet Potato Casserole
Holy yum! This sweet potato casserole was the best I’ve ever had. The recipe says to boil the sweet potatoes, but we baked them instead. I’m not sure if that would make a difference in flavor, though. Added bonus to baking them – warmed up the house. Absolutely delicious side!

Corn Casserole
This was a great alternative to serving regular corn. It has a nice salty/sweet flavor and remind me a lot of spoon bread. This is one of those recipes I’d make any day of the week.

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Again, fresh ingredients make all the difference. To save time, this was made the night before. I think letting it chill over night was key to how flavorful this dish ended up. The bitter flavor of the cranberries paired with the sweetness of oranges was a great combination. Adding this one to my Christmas dinner menu for sure.

This Thanksgiving meal was a masterpiece. All of these amazing recipes brought together on one table made it quite memorable. If any of these dishes are a staple in your Christmas menu, I recommend trying a few of these recipes.

Now, onto the Christmas and then the New Year. Happy cooking!

Cold Weather Comfort

The temps here in Colorado are (mostly) reaching bone chilling levels. Not exactly my ideal weather, but not something I can control. This week’s menu had comfort and cold weather in mind.

Chicken Divan Casserole with a side salad
This was a pretty comforting recipe. I’m a big fan of chicken, rice, and broccoli casseroles and this seemed to fancy it up a bit, sans the rice. The recipe calls for fresh broccoli, but I used frozen instead. I bought a bag from Costco several weeks ago, so naturally it’ll be enough to last an entire year. I also used the shredded cheese I had on hand. It was a mix and I think everything turned out pretty well. Unfortunately, I had to nix the side salad. The husband was in Kentucky and I had a very hungry toddler. Parenting solo at dinner time is not an easy task. To save time and avoid another epic toddler meltdown, I only served the casserole. Besides, the tiny human doesn’t care much for salad.

Beef Barley Soup with fresh bread
I made this soup on a particularly cold day. It had snowed a bit and what better way to warm up than a bowl of homemade soup. I followed the recipe exactly. However, if you like your soup a little on the salty side, I’d suggest adding it after making yourself a bowl.

Cheesy Italian Rice with Sausage
This is a huge hit with my husband and son. It’s definitely a favorite in this house. I follow the recipe as is every time. Well, except I add a little more lemon juice. I love lemon flavor. This is also really good as leftovers….if there are any leftovers.

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Shrimp Skillet with rice
I’ll start out by saying this was a tasty recipe. However, the sweet potatoes took FOREVER to cook. I kept having to add water, which was actually a little helpful considering I over estimated the “to taste” suggestion for the red pepper flakes. Apparently when you add a liiiiiiittle too much everyone in the house starts choking and gagging. Whooops. The final result was not overly spicy though. I was slightly hesitant to use kale. The last time I had kale in my house it was infested with tiny bugs. They took over my kitchen! Luckliy I found bagged, chopped kale and avoided another bug-infested mess.

Creamy Spinach Lemon Chicken with sauteed zucchini and cauliflower rice
Ok, so, this recipe was good, and I followed it exactly, but the sauce never ended up creamy. I’m not exactly sure what I did wrong. If you end up making this and get the creamy sauce, let me know what you did. I’ll probably make this again just to get the sauce correct.
The zucchini was sauteed with Lowry’s Season Salt and olive oil. And the cauliflower rice was made with (obviously) cauliflower, olive oil, and dill.

Daniel Fast Cabbage Rolls/Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
One of my husband’s favorite meals is cabbage rolls. For this week’s cabbage roll recipe I used two different recipes. I used everything except the sage and canned tomatoes (and used fresh spinach instead of frozen) listed in Daniel’s recipe. From the second recipe I added ground beef and used canned tomato soup. In the past I’ve always boiled the entire head of cabbage thinking it’s easier to peel off the leaves. This time I tried to peel the leaves without boiling the whole head and then boiled just the leaves. Neither way is easier, but I suppose boiling the entire head first gives you less ripped leaves.

Balsamic, Honey, and Mustard Pork Chops with parmesan brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes
The hubby took over the kitchen for this one. He made the sauce for the pork chops into a glaze by removing the pork and letting the liquid simmer a bit. The sprouts had a great flavor and were tasty dipped in the glaze. Aaaaand mashed potatoes are, well, mashed potatoes.

 

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I have a special menu set aside for this meal. Once we’ve toasted, chowed down, and come out a turkey coma I’ll post all of the recipes I used. They all look quite scrumptious.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy cooking!

Mostly Hearty Meals

Hello! My name is Heather and I’m addicted to making recipes I find on Pinterest, Tasty, SoDelicious, and other Facebook food pages I follow. Every week I sit down and write out a weekly dinner menu. I try to make sure there’s a decent variety of veggies, meats, and other sides.

Occasionally, I see friends post recipes on Facebook that they have personally made, but more often I see friends asking for new recipes to try. So, I decided to share my weekly menus and thoughts (and if I added my own variation) on each recipe.

I’m not much of a baker, but I have been known to try a sweet treat recipe from time to time. So, when I do get a baking bug I’ll add that recipe as well. I also want to let you know most of these are not my recipes. Though I have conjured up a few on my own, I’m not very creative in the kitchen and prefer to follow directions rather than make my own awesomeness. I’ll provide links in case anyone would like to “Pin it for later”.

This week’s menu…

Honey Lemon Chicken Lettuce Wraps
This recipe was a quick and light, but filling meal. My only recommendation – don’t use butter lettuce; use the bib lettuce listed in the recipe. I made this mistake and will remember it when I’m fighting to keep the chicken and other ingredients in a piece of lettuce that’s too thin. But, hey, live and learn. It was still delicious, nonetheless. Even if it ended up turning into a pile of lettuce, chicken, rice, and toppings.

Blackberry Sage Pork Chops with butter and thyme rice, and roasted carrots with dill
Mistake number 1, I didn’t make sure I had enough blackberry jam. Thankfully, my husband was willing to run out to the store. I used fresh sage instead of the dried sage the recipe calls for. Personally, I like fresh sage over dried. I think it gives the meal a better, stronger sage flavor.
The butter and thyme rice I created on a whim. I didn’t want to serve plain rice. The butter was out, the thyme was within arms reach and that’s how it was created.
The roasted carrots with dill were super tasty! I’m a big fan of dill, so any recipe that includes it usually catches my attention.

Breakfast Cups
This recipe is one of those occasions where I started creating something on my own. It was a morning when my husband wasn’t working and I decided to make him a nice breakfast. I had seen a few recipes that were similar, so I used them as a guideline.

Hashbrowns (grated 2-3 cups of potatoes)
Cooked Bacon – 6-7 pieces
Chopped green onion
6 beaten eggs with milk
Shredded cheese
Salt and pepper

Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Put enough potatoes in each muffin cup to mold into cup shape. Add chopped green onions. Add crumbled bacon. Pour eggs into cup until full. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add shredded cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-30 mins.

Roast Beef Recipe with mashed potatoes and asparagus
This roast beef recipe is truly a winner. It’s super simple and incredibly tasty. However, try to find and even shaped roast. When you’re supposed to put the fatty side up, but the opposite side is narrower, your roast falls over. Also, don’t ask your husband to take over the gravy part. It was a bit of a fail, but the roast had so much flavor the gravy wasn’t necessary.
For asparagus, I like to put them in a microwave safe dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, add chopped garlic, and just enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. Mix up the bunch, cover with saran wrap, and microwave for 5 mins. Perfectly cooked asparagus, every time.

BLT Grilled Cheese Sandwich with fries
My husband actually took over the kitchen for this meal. The concept is great, but the lettuce wilts. Yes, I figured it would. However, this one is still worth a try. Quick and easy weekday dinner or lunch.

Piri Piri Chicken with cauliflower rice
This was such a great recipe. So much flavor and all around great meal. I did have to cut the spicy ingredients in half because I’m not sure that my toddler would enjoy that much spice. He is a fan of spicy, but I didn’t want to push the limits. My husband absolutely loved this one. He said it reminded him of a few meals he ate in Afghanistan and Kurdistan while deployed there….but it’s a Portuguese inspired meal. Haha!
Instead of the grain rice this recipe uses, I decided to try cauliflower rice for the first time. And I must say, I am impressed! It was wonderful! After making the cauliflower rice, I followed the recipe for the rice. Highly recommend trying these two recipes together.

Simple Salisbury Steak with mashed potatoes and green beans
This was a slam dunk recipe. Super simple and comforting. The only thing I wish I had thought of was to add mushrooms. Other than that, I followed this one exactly and it was fantastic.

Smothered Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and a chopped salad
This is definitely a good cold-weather recipe. Minimal ingredients, but packs a lot of flavor. This one calls for chicken broth, buuuuuut I didn’t have any so I substituted beef broth. Honestly, I think the beef broth pairs better with this recipe, but I don’t think chicken broth would make it any less tasty.

So there you have it. A week’s worth of dinner. And yes, I’m aware there are a lot of mashed potatoes featured, but I love them, my husband loves them, and my son loves them.

Happy cooking!