It’s all in the family

Some of the best recipes can’t be found online or in a cook book, but rather right in the kitchen you grew up in.  This week on the blog, I am featuring recipes that are passed down to my husband and myself from his mother and my mom. 

SundayBeef Stroganoff. This is one of my go-to recipies when I don’t know what to make.  It’s always a crowd pleaser and, paired with a vegetable, it’s the perfect Sunday dinner. I’ve adapted my mom’s recipe because it’s simple and easy to follow.  I use egg noodles because I like the wide noodle to soak up some of the sauce. 

  • 1 1/2 lbs stew beef
  • 4 tablespoons margarine/butter
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup onion-chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sliced mushrooms- optional 

Cut stew beef in half if smaller pieces desired. Put steak in crock pot with remaining ingredients (except mushrooms). Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with your choice of noodles or rice.  Right before stew beef is ready to serve,  heat olive oil in pan and saute sliced mushrooms until done.  Mix with stew mixture and noodles/rice.  Enjoy! 

Monday Cider- Dijon pork chop with roasted sweet potatos and brocolliOften I find pork chops to be too dry, but this recipe keeps them juicy and makes you keep going back for more! 

TuesdayMushroom quinoa with spinach salad.  I’ve made this recipe once before; I thought the quinoa needed a little extra seasoning. But it’s a typical one pot dish that I love. 
WednesdayPasta night!  I’m italian, I went to Italy for my honeymoon. It’s very hard for me to go more than one week with no pasta.  In my household, I make the homemade meatballs and my husband makes the sauce.  Here is my mom’s meatball recipe (sorry for no exact measurements)  and my mother in law’s sauce recipe.

Laura’s Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmiginao reggiano
  • fresh parsley-chopped. Can use dried parsley or fresh parsley that has been frozen
  • bread crumbs

1-2 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Mix everything together in all large bowl using your hands.  Break off pieces about 1-1 1/2 inch and roll into ball.  Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins.  Rotate half way through cooking time. 

***note- if mix is too dry add another egg, if mix is too wet add more bread crumbs. 

Joan’s homemade spaghetti sauce

  • 2 35 oz cans of Italian style peeled plum tomatoes 
  • 2 6oz cans of tomatoe paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic-minced
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning or oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup of water

    Blend can of tomatoes and tomate paste in blender until well mixed. Then pour into large cooking pot. Repeat. Add all the seasonsings.  Simmer on low 3-4 hours. 

Thursday– Left overs.  YAY no cooking!! 

Friday-Make-your-own-pizza.  Using left over sauce from earlier this week and store bought dough.  I enjoy making a margherita pizza for myself and my husband enjoys pepperoni pizza. 

Stevenson’s Pizza
1-2 fresh dough loaves 
Tomtoe sauce
sliced mozzerella cheese
fresh basil
2 large tomatoes chopped
pepperoni slices

***You can use any toppings you like. Get creative! 

Roll pizza dough out on a greased cookie sheet or pizza baking stone.  Layer sauce on top and top with your favorite ingredients.  When I use fresh basil, I don’t like it getting crispy in the oven, so I put it on after taking out the pizza.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 mins or until edges are golden brown! 

This week for snacks I’ve adapted this no bake energy balls recipe. I used oats, ground flax seed, sliced almonds, chocolate chips, and raisins in mine. They are perfect to add to your lunch or a quick snack during the day.

Easter Brunch Ideas

Next weekend is Easter and for those who will be hosting an Easter Brunch or attending an Easter celebration, I put together a variety of brunch ideas.  These recipes feature some of my favorite brunch foods like deviled eggs and honey ham.  And of course you can’t forget about the drinks!  Click on the link below to be brought to the recipe.

Egg dishes

Pastries and cakes

Side dishes

Meat dishes


Where is Spring?!

Most of my posts will be planning for Monday-Friday just because the weekends are always up in the air between going out to dinner, visiting friends, or going on trips. But when I know we’ll be home for a weekend night, I’ll include them in my planning. This week we will be home at the start of the week for Sunday and having friends over on Saturday, all for the craziness that is March Madness! 

Sunday– Keeping it simple and making stromboli with chicken sausage.  Can’t spend time in the kitchen when there’s basketball to watch! I’m not following a recipe for this dinner.  Here are my ingredients and steps.

  • Pizza dough, split in half, so you have two pieces. I prefer to use dough that you find near the deli section in food stores instead of the dough from a can.
  • 3 cheese chicken sausage (or whatever your preference is) 1 per Stromboli, cut into 1/2-1/4 inch slices.  If we have left over pepperoni slices, I’ll make my husband’s using those.
  • Shredded cheese
  • Pasta sauce
  1. Roll two pieces of dough onto a greased baking sheet.
  2. Spread cut chicken sausage pieces over half of the dough and spread cheese on top
  3. Fold the other half over the side with the sausage.
  4. Seal edges with a fork and poke 5-7 air holes.
  5. Bake at 475 for 10-15 mins or until golden brown.

MondaySalmon stir fry.  I love this recipe; fresh, healthy, delicious.  I often season fish in a mustard/honey dressing, so this recipe is a much-needed change.  Plus it’s a one pot meal and who doesn’t love that!  Salmon is on sale this week at Big Y for $6.98/lb, that’s the lowest I’ve seen it in a while. 

Tuesday Baked chicken with sweet potato and green beans.  A new recipe I get a lot of ideas from the weekly flyers and this one comes from Stop and Shop. They haven’t disappointed me yet! 

WednesdayQuinoa fiesta enchilada bake.  I’ve only made this meal once before and it was one of the best quinoa dishes I’ve ever had! It’s a healthy spin on Mexican and I can’t get enough of it! 

Thursday Lemon chicken with roasted brussel sprouts and rice.  When in doubt on how to cook chicken, always go with lemon chicken- simple and reliable. 

Friday– Leftovers. Once again, who wants to cook when there’s March Madness to watch!!? 

SaturdayBBQ ribs in the crock pot with corn bread and strawberry shortcake trifle for dessert.  We’re having our friends over and their TWO, that’s right, TWO sets of twins for dinner tonight. Since there will be more basketball to watch, a crock pot dinner is the perfect way to avoid not staying in the kitchen all night.  Big Y is having a sale this week on ribs for $2.50/lb!!! I have never seen ribs at that price! 

 This week I will also be making this sweet potato, quinoa, kale recipe for lunch. 

 *****To use any of these dinner ideas, click on the italized link to be directed to the recipe****

The best week of the year

Happy hump day! The quinoa makes a great healthy alternative to mexican rice.

Happy hump day! The quinoa makes a great healthy alternative to mexican rice.

The third week of March is my favorite week of the year for two reasons.  1. St. Patrick’s day and 2. MARCH MADNESS.  I don’t watch much college basketball during the season, but I am obsessed with March Madness.  Obsessed to the point where I always have a highlighter on me, ready to go! Such a bummer the defending champs, UCONN didn’t make the tournament this year.  Because of all the celebrating this week, I don’t have to do much meal planning.  Instead I am going to make extra food for lunches this week. Some healthy foods to last the week like quinoa or kale salad.

Monday-Pulled pork with broccoli and greek yogurt mac and cheese.  The pulled pork was left over from a month ago that we froze. I love making pulled pork in the crock pot for two reasons-simple and easy and now it will be even easier that’s its frozen left overs

TuesdayMarket Grill for St. Paddy’s Day!  This has easily become one of our new favorite restaurants in town. Check out the link!

Wednesday– Mexican night with tacos, guacamole, and southwest quinoa.  Maybe some margaritas to get through hump day!

Thursday- Trader Joe’s spinach tortellini with a kale caesar salad.  Not following a recipe for this. I might add some grilled chicken or sun dried tomatoes. We’ll see!

Friday– Out for happy hour/dinner for March Madness. Let’s hope my bracket does well!!

I will be making this kale salad with warm cranberry vinaigrette to take in for lunches during the week.  Doesn’t it just sound fresh and delicious!

Hearty meals…will winter ever end?

Today we change the clocks ahead one hour, which should signal spring is on it’s way! YAYY!  YIPPIE!  But yet I still see three feet of snow outside my window!  So this week we’re having a few hearty meals aka soups to warm us up.

This week there were some good sales at the food store, so I didn’t have to take anything from the freezer.

MondayRoasted Sweet Potato Soup.  I’ve been looking forward to a recipe that allows me to use my immersion blender.  It was a wedding gift that is still in the box. I’ve heard different opinions on them, so I decided I’ll just have to try it out myself and see if I like it.    Do you use an immersion blender? If so, please comment and let me know your thoughts on it!

TuesdayRoast Chicken with Spring Vegetables with RiceChicken pieces are on sale this week for $1.59 at Price Chopper.  This is a new recipe, so we’ll see how it comes out!

WednesdayCrock Pot Ground Beef Stew.  I will use ground turkey instead of ground beef.  The turkey is on sale at Stop and Shop for $3.99 for 1 lb package.  Plus I’m using left over potatoes from last week.

ThursdayLeftovers. Isn’t it nice to sit and reheat a meal after a late night of work! Sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking after getting home at 6:30pm, so left over soup to the rescue!

FridayPanko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon with Broccoli.  Salmon is on sale for $7.99/lb at Stop and Shop.  Since my husband will be in Las Vegas this weekend, this will be a nice, easy recipe to make at the end of the work week.

Grocery list for Stop and Shop and Price Chopper

I don’t always go to two different food stores/week. It really depends on what the sales are and how much time I have on the weekend. But this weekend I wasn’t working at all, so I went to Stop and Shop on Saturday and Price Chopper on Sunday.  Trick is to notice when the weekly sales go into effect.  Price Chopper isn’t until Sunday and I’ve made the mistake before and walked in on a Saturday!

From Stop and Shop

  • Ground turkey
  • Sour cream- using with the Roasted Sweet Potatoe Soup
  • Brocolli
  • Cracker Barrel cheese on sale for $1.88 with coupon if spend $25
  • Salmon
  • Shredded Cheese
  • 1 can tomato soup- use with Crock Pot Ground Beef Stew
  • 1 lb Sweet Potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Clementines- On sale for $4 with coupon

From Price Chopper

  • Almond milk
  • Bread
  • Chobani yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Pizza dough It’s BOGO this week, so how could I resist stocking up.

Hope you enjoy meal planning week 1!

Hello world!

My first post!

I’m Megan, a twenty-something year old from Connecticut.  I was born and raised in New England and love everything about it, well maybe except for the snow sometimes. I am a newly wed and recently bought my first home.  Now that the wedding planning and house hunting is over, I want to start a new adventure…..blogging. On my blog I will share my tips for meal planning and my weekly meal ideas. I hope you enjoy!