Weekend Links

Connecting Family. Weekend Links.

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Whether you spent your weekend connecting with family or recharging your soul, I have a few links from across the web to start off your weekday reading.  And as promised I included my families menu for the last two weeks.


This long-weekend, my family spent a lot of time apart as we had different activities going on.  My oldest daughter had all-day Girl Scout events, my youngest a birthday party, my husband catching up on grading papers and I was quite happy to get outside by myself for nice trail run.  Until it started hailing and I returned home absolutely soaked.


With one of the changes to our household being prepping and cooking all of our meals on Sunday, I had a busy day yesterday.  I have a subscription to Cooking Light that I absolutely love!  The ability to flip through, see all the yummy food and then just rip out the recipe is simple and quick.

Kitchen food prep2


Week 1:

♦   Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas.  The kids absolutely LOVED this recipe.  As noted in the recipe, the chipotles can be spicy but the sour cream really cut down on the heat.  My kids requested this to be on the menu for week two!  Great recipe for making a double batch of the internal stuffing to freeze.


♦   Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwiches.  Another hit for the kids!  I cooked the bacon ahead of time.


♦    Flatbread Pizza.  Who doesn’t like flatbread pizza?  The kids each get to make their own individual pizza and I grill them using a pizza stone.  Using a pizza stone is a game changer, I absolutely LOVE mine.  For the flatbread, I used pocketless pita bread.


♦    Slow-cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce on slider buns.  I did substitute a beef cut that I had rather than pork.  This recipe yielded enough for me to freeze half for a later meal.  While only 1 of 3 kids liked this meal, I thought it was good.  It wasn’t too sweet but I would have liked to double the sauce to have a juicer slider.


♦    Fettuccine with Tomato-Cream Sauce.  I personally love this meal!  While I typically would make split this recipe in half and make a spicy version for my husband and I and a mild recipe for the kids.  Being that I was making it ahead of time, I made a mild version that everyone could enjoy.


♦  Veggie Corn Tacos.  This meal, I prepped ahead of time by cutting all the vegetables as well as grating the cheese.  Here is my list of ingredients:  grated cotija cheese, red pepper, red onion, roasted corn, cilantro, lime wedges, avocado slices, and white corn tortillas.


♦  Fend for yourself Friday.  Yup, I don’t cook on Friday’s.  Most Friday’s we don’t even sit down together at the same time.  Everyone finds something to feed themselves.  The kids will sometimes have leftovers or other times they will make themselves something new like Mac & Cheese.


Week Two:


♦  Hard-shelled Tacos.  Always a favorite.  My ingredient list: hard taco shells, cooked and taco seasoned ground turkey, lettuce, shredded Mexican cheese, green bell pepper, onion, black beans, and re fried beans.


♦   Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas.  Back for round two!  The kids loved it just as much the second time around!


♦   Bacon, Broccoli Mac and Cheese.   Mac and cheese is not a favorite of mine but this one looked absolutely yummy.  The kids enjoyed it and I did as well!


♦   Tuna Noodle Casserole.  I’ve made this so many times over the years, I can whip it up without a recipe.  Here’s my ingredient list: cooked egg noodles, can of cream of mushroom soup, can of cream of chicken soup, milk, cheese (I use whatever I have on hand which is usually shredded Mexican but might also be grated Parmesan), French’s Fried onions, and frozen peas.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Yes, creamy yummy comfort food.


♦   Turkey and Sausage Gumbo.   I’ve never made gumbo before and I am quite pleased with how it turned out.  We had some frozen left-over turkey from Thanksgiving that I used.  I wasn’t able to find frozen okra so I tried my hand at fresh okra.  After much research, I soaked it in vinegar and then pan-seared it to cook.  This was another recipe that made enough to freeze half.


♦   Grilled whole chicken.  My husband is in charge of any meat that is still intact but he brined the bird and grilled it.  My hope is to have some left-over chicken for a yet-to-be determined menu item in week 3.


Valentines Cards



Here are my interesting reads, creative ideas, and fun activities from across web!


♦   My family has rediscovered the game, Skip BO.  Give it a try.


♦   Use Booking.com to find the accommodations for your next trip!


♦    Read My Reason for Hiking by CityMomAdventurer.   Being Far From Family doesn’t only mean living miles from from but can also mean being estranged from your family.


♦   Start creating for Valentines Day.  I absolutely love this large conversation heart craft.   My kids make paper heart garland every years, as well as  sponge heart valentines cards.


♦   Try a new recipe.  This week my family will be trying Chickpea Coconut Curry with Sweet Potatoes.


♦  Plan ahead for next weekend with a staycation.  There are many places in our own backyard we have yet to explore but without planning ahead the day easily gets away from us.  Search Pinterest for staycations in your city or state!  Or check out the Moon Take a Hike Series for your nearest city!