Saturday, March 31, 2012

{Meal Planning} Week Two Update.

I started out with semi-lofty plans for Week Two of Meal Planning, blogged about here. Really actually the plans were not semi-lofty, they were basic at best. And yet life got in the way. It seems work days around here get busier and busier as we edge towards the end of the school year. This week coming up, for example, I have two meetings after school on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (after teaching a full day) and I also have choir practice Monday, a wine club Tuesday (yay!), and a choir concert Wednesday. I'm already tired.

So, excuses aside, we did make one of the three planned meals for last week. We made the Spinach (and artichoke but we forgot them) Macaroni and Cheese:

Wednesday: Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe found here.

You'll need: 
  • pasta (we'll use ditalini because we have it)
  • diced onion
  • garlic cloves (2 but let's be honest, we'll use 5)
  • fresh spinach
  • artichokes (jarred with marinade is good)
  • whole milk 
  • dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (some mixture of cheeses TBD)
  • 2 TBSP flour
It was pretty good but I will be making some adjustments to the recipe before we try it again, namely getting a more pronounced cheese and using more of the mustard to give it a "bite." 

We also had a mixed greens salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar, topped with feta. And milk. I'm still on a milk kick. 

Something that I didn't do on purpose but thought was funny about this picture - look and see for yourself. We do love Tennessee and the Vols but I didn't mean to have three power Ts in that picture!

So here we are, back to another week of meal planning. This will be week three and will definitely feature the ill-fated chicken pockets of week two (that Beamer at the chicken for, forcing us to go Outback tonight, referenced here). 

In second chances (for life and meals),
post signature

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{Life}: Random Picture Update.

I love having an iphone because I get to snap pictures all the time and end up with a nice little collection of reminders of the good life. Here's a glimpse into what I've been snapping lately:

Post Spring Break has been a madhouse around here at work. I can't believe it is almost April which means almost May which means almost summer. We're in the downward swing. I snapped this picture of my room one afternoon last week when one of my cute students stayed after school to do some test revisions on one of the prettiest days we had - dedication.

That same week our air conditioner wasn't working at school and so I finally gave up (after a girl threw up from heat exhaustion) and taught class in the bleachers of the football stadium. Our stadium is new and is so nice.

One of my go-to snacks lately has been brie slices from this log of brie cheese you can buy at the grocery store. A few pickles, the brie slices, and a toasted asian sesame vinaigrette and I'm happy and full.

We took Tyson to the vet last week and so we had his tacky carrier out of the garage for the occasion. When I got back I set it down and hadn't moved it back to the garage. A few hours later I noticed that Tyson had decided it was his cat-cave and had moved in.

This week I surprised my first period class with donuts - Donald's in Midtown on Union. My kids are being really pushed and challenged so I needed to bribe them a little. Plus AP World History at 7:30AM is pretty early and donuts always help.

I've taken back up clipping coupons that we get in the mail. First step is clipping, next step is remembering to use them. Also another key step - not buying things just because they are on sale/have a coupon.

Before spring break I got a coverlet/quilt from TJ Maxx for the guest room bed (part of my home goals for 2012). I have been looking for quite some time and was really excited to find just the right thing. This room is no where near done but it is making key progress. More on that to come.

The other night I was following along our meal plan for the week when we realized that Jake forgot the cream cheese for the recipe. He was mid shredding the rotisserie chicken and so he pushed the bowl back on the counter and ran to the store. About the same time the phone rang so I went to the front room to get away from the dogs (who are rude when I'm on the phone). I heard a clanging and knew before I even got back in the room what had happened - I found Beamer perched on the den arm chair reaching with his front paws on the counter of the island, devouring the chicken pieces. After that scene, I surely wasn't making chicken pockets with that bowl of chicken. And that is how Tuesday night found us here...

We had a coupon for $10 off our meal and I actually really like Outback. I know chains are "the devil" and I'm all about eating local (as evidenced by my blog posts and the proliferation of Memphis eating posts) but sometimes a chain just gets it right. For $9.99 I can get a 6oz steak, green beans, and a caesar salad. It is the perfect dinner and I find it just delicious. So even though I was all set for chicken pockets, eating at Outback wasn't so bad after all.

We got home to find Beamer feeling a little ill to his stomach. He spent the rest of the night lying around and such:

I guess that is what an entire rotisserie chicken will do to you.

And with that, I told you this was random. But that is life.
post signature

{Go there}: South of Beale Brunch.

I mentioned that Jake's sister was in town for the weekend - on Sunday we went out to brunch with his family after church to spend some time with her. Jake's dad suggested South of Beale for their brunch. I was excited because I had never been to their brunch but more so because they have a nice patio and it was a beautiful morning.

We got there, sat on the patio, and started checking out the menu. First of all, I have to say that the star of this menu is the prices of their mimosas and loody marys. $3 gets you a pint glass full of bloody mary or a large wine glass of mimosa (not the little champagne flutes like some places). You can pay $12 and get a bottle service of champagne and OJ - we went this route and found it to be a great deal.

After ordering, they brought out their famous bar popcorn. This has some sort of cinnamon sugar mixture on it and is pretty addicting.

Our food came out pretty quickly - I ordered four sides as a meal. I got the blue cheese grits, sausage, bacon, and home fries. I really liked everything, especially the sausage and the grits.

Jake got the breakfast burrito (and a side of grits, not pictured). The burrito had bacon, creme fraiche, egg, and steak fries inside and pico de gallo and sour cream on top. He reports that it was "really good."

The best part of the brunch, though, was sitting outside, relaxing, and spending time with family.

South of Beale is literally south of Beale street on South Main and serves lunch and dinner in addition to brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It is definitely one of my new favorite brunch locations.

You should go there - 361 South Main Street.
post signature

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

{Go there}: RP Tracks and Bosco's - March Appetizer Crawl.

Sometimes Jake and I do a little activity called our appetizer crawl. We got this idea from his parents, who love to hop from place to place getting appetizers on special occasions, and we've done it a few times now. Usually we do one of these when we want to spend some time together and eat out but can't decide where to go or what to have, so we just get the best of several places.

Saturday afternoon was beautiful - blue skies, 70 degrees. When we got out of our movie (Hunger good) we decided to do a little March Appetizer Crawl. We had grand intentions but only ended up going two places, which is more than fine by me.

We started out at RP Tracks, getting their nachos. I have blogged about them before here and mentioned then that our waiter suggested getting the chips on the side next time, so we definitely did that:

We also made sure to get black bean chili with our jerk chicken nachos - you're supposed to get the black bean automatically but one time they give us the meat chili and it was meat overload. After a little time hanging out there, we went over to say hi to Jake's sister, who was in town, diverting from our app path for just a bit before jumping back in with a stop at Bosco's.

At Bosco's we got the Garlic Parmesan fries - they aren't on the appetizer menu but you can order them none the less and they are amazing. Get them with ranch.

After that we headed on home, two stops in. Turns out our eyes and ideas were in fact bigger than our stomachs. I'm already scheming for next month's appetizer crawl, though. I'm thinking of turning it into a fun, friend-filled event to celebrate Jake's boards. Making all the stops near each other so we can walk and have a grand old time. Thoughts?

In having options when it comes to appetizers,
post signature

Monday, March 26, 2012

{Life}: Weekend Update.

Gotta love springtime. It brings hope, activity, and happiness. This weekend was no exception. Friday night we went with the parental units to dinner at Itta Bena (no pictures, felt that would be tacky at a place that nice but I have to say if you can go, you should - so delicious) and then to see La Cage at the Orpheum. Saturday morning I did something rare and slept in... slept in until 9:30! That is huge because lately I've been getting up at 7 on weekends (which is sleeping in from my usual 5:50 rise time).

After a great night's sleep, I walked over to my parent's house for brunch with my brothers, who were leaving for school this weekend after spring break all week. It was such a wonderful day and my parents live close so I am glad I walked. I snapped a few pictures along the way..

Walking away from my house it was nice to see that I haven't killed our azaleas still. The left ones have bloomed and the right ones are later bloomers.

Whenever we go anywhere, Tyson always watches us as we walk away so I snapped this picture of him:

It was an absolutely beautiful day on Saturday - blue skies, no clouds. I took these pictures as I walked with my iPhone and didn't edit them or use any filters, which just shows how pretty it really was naturally:

I got to my parents' house, which is a lovely place indeed:

My mom was busy cooking up brunch in the kitchen. My brother has a waffle maker that is serious business and he loves it when my mom makes waffles with it.

She also had bacon going:

Add in the fresh pineapple and a table full of family and we had ourselves a nice morning:

Saturday afternoon Jake got a haircut and then we went to go see the Hunger Games. The movie - oh my gosh. So good. Only made me more excited to go home and finish the third book (which I did on Sunday). Afterwards we went on an appetizer crawl (post forthcoming) and over to Jake's parents to see his sister.

Sunday brought church, a brunch with Jake's family, and then some reading and work around the house before our tradition of Garabaldi's pizza for dinner. And with that, the weekend was behind us again. Here's to a great one and also here's to the next one.

In sunshine,
post signature

Sunday, March 25, 2012

{Make this}: Meal Planning Week Two.

Last week I wrote about wanting to reinstate the meal planning that I did a lot before. To that end, I wrote out our meals for the week and reported back to stay accountable. At the end of the post, I linked the follow ups to the meals we made. And overall, we were successful - we made three of the four meals. The only meal we didn't make was the chicken caesar pitas, which is funny because it was the one I was most excited about. Turns out that Wednesday we were going to make them and Jake had a chicken caesar wrap for lunch from school without knowing we were eating it for dinner. So you may notice the chicken caesar pitas make an appearance on this one too!

Here's my meal plan + grocery list:

Monday: Chicken Caesar Pitas, Take Two

You'll need:
  • caesar salad kit
  • chicken (cubed and cooked)
  • feta cheese
  • pita pockets
  • salt/pepper
You'll do:
1) Cook your chicken however you like to. 

2) Make your salad kit - toss in chicken and feta cheese. Salt and pepper lightly.

3) Heat pita pockets in oven slightly, just to make crisp.

4) Stuff salad mixture into pita pockets. 

Tuesday: Fiesta Chicken Pockets + Salad

Recipe found here

You'll need:
  • crescent rolls
  • shredded chicken
  • cream cheese, 1 box
  • fiesta ranch dip packet
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
I think we'll add Rotel tomatoes to our chicken pockets. Salad will be a fresh spring mix with olive oil and red vinegar and some bits of feta left over from the chicken pitas. 

Wednesday: Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe found here.

You'll need: 
  • pasta (we'll use ditalini because we have it)
  • diced onion
  • garlic cloves (2 but let's be honest, we'll use 5)
  • fresh spinach
  • artichokes (jarred with marinade is good)
  • whole milk 
  • dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (some mixture of cheeses TBD)
  • 2 TBSP flour
Thursday I have a meeting that serves dinner (sweet! free food!) so Jake will have to fend for himself. 

Friday we'll do something fun for the weekend like making nachos but I'm not holding myself to it so I'm not buying groceries for it. 

So there you have it - the plan for the week. This one is a bit crazy at work with meetings and such so here's to making it through!

In pinterest (where these recipes came from!),

post signature

Friday, March 23, 2012

{Make this}: Meal Planning Update, Day Four.

This week I have been doing blogging updates about my meal plan for the week, posted last Sunday. Thursday night was Cilantro Lime Chicken night and we decided to turn that into chicken tacos. I was pretty durn pleased with the results and wanted to share our method:

After following these crock pot instructions, we took corn tortillas and warmed them on the skillet, 2X as many as the tacos we wanted. We then took the tortillas and stacked two together and then put the shredded chicken mixture on the tortilla with shredded cheese on top. We then broiled the tacos until the cheese was browned and then added fresh chopped cilantro before serving. We got the idea from our favorite Mexican restaurant, Las Delicias. To eat, you fold these into a taco (which is misleading because they are served open faced).

Suggestions: for the crock pot, make sure to add your cilantro towards the end of the crock-pot time. Make sure to use two corn tortillas for each taco because the juice from the chicken causes the tacos to rip.

In cilantro and cheese,
post signature

{Travel}: Spring Break Trip, New York Day Two.

One thing to know about me is that I love a good zoo. Here in Memphis we have an awesome zoo and I love going to visit. We were members growing up and Jake and I were members until medical school took all the fun away from our lives. So whenever I travel, I love visiting their zoos. I've been to the DC zoo, the New Orleans zoo, and the Berlin zoo. With that in mind, of course when I found out that Wednesdays at the Bronx zoo are free, I knew we had to go. And Elise happens to be a big fan of the Bronx Zoo cobra (the one that escaped - he has a twitter) so we had to go visit him.

After waking up in luscious, plush Marriott beds (no lie - so comfortable), we packed up and checked out before using Eric's handy iPhone app to find out which subway to take and where we should catch it. Having an Apple Genius comes in handy! We took the express to the Bronx, which took about 30 minutes. A longer walk than expected later (our guide said it was two blocks from the subway), we were there!

We only wanted to spend about two hours at the zoo and we had heard that you could easily spend an entire day, so we were strategic about what to see. Of course the cobra was on our list, as well as the grizzly bears and tigers (Elise is a very loyal basketball fan). We wandered around, saw the animals, and mostly just enjoyed the weather and each other.

After getting our fill of the zoo, we hit up the subway again and rode down to meet Claire for lunch and a little afternoon on the High Line. It is worth mentioning that the subways were clean, very inexpensive, easy to navigate, and not scary at all. Way to go, NYC.

So we asked Claire to find us an authentic New York pizza place. She took us to Artichoke's, which she says is not touristy and it is where the New Yorkers go. It was down in Chelsea/Meatpacking area and was good for us because the High Line picks up right there.

Not only was this place very chic, we felt extra special because it was Pi day (3/14) and we were eating a pizza pie!

After sharing a huge (18 inch) pizza, we were stuffed and wandered down to the High Line. It is an urban park made out of old rail lines that ran above the city. It is really cool because you're about 10 stories up from traffic and have a birds eye view of everything. We started it by sitting in this amphitheater where you were sitting over traffic and felt like you were floating above it.

After hanging out for a bit, we walked the High Line. It was a cloudless, 70 and perfect kinda day and a good way to say goodbye to my short stint in the Big Apple.

After walking the High Line and dropping Eric by the train station, we had about an hour to kill before our train left for New Haven. Elise needed to get some makeup at Macy's (there isn't one in New Haven) and it was the perfect opportunity to check out the HUGE Macy's (it is 10 stories high). We didn't even make a dent in it, but it was definitely exciting to explore the famous Macy's of Herald Square. The original wooden escalators were still in operation so we rode those for kicks. We also took advantage of the Starbucks on the 3rd floor and plopped down to have a bit of girl time before heading back to New Haven.

After saying our goodbyes and thank-yous to Claire, we got on our train and were on our way back to New Haven and life at Yale. New York City was a whirlwind of fun and catching up with great friends. I didn't get to do everything I wanted in such a short stint but it was a perfect first experience and a good dipping of the toes, wet and ready for the next NYC adventure.

Until next time with my last installment of the Spring Break Saga,

post signature


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Design By Designer Blogs