Friday, June 28, 2019

Meal Plan Friday - #3

Friday segment spotlighting the meals for the week ahead. Why Friday? Because I grocery shop Bi-weekly, on Fridays.

Welcome back to my Meal Plan Friday!!!

I hope you've been enjoying this weekly feature, even though it's only the 3rd week, I must say that it has helped me so much staying on track and keep to my menu plan.

This week's plan is all about new recipes, a 4th of July barbecue and one family favorite which is already on the blog.  As I make the recipes, I will, as always, post them on the food blog, so if you've not yet bookmarked the blog, make sure to do so.  Full Bellies, Happy Kids.

Desserts this week will include a Frozen Key Lime Pie for 4th of July and some Lemon Zucchini Drop Cookies.  The Lemon Bars have YET to be made, I just haven't had the time, but I'm hoping to fit those in this week as well.

Turkey Tacos (I have a Game Day Taco Kit in the pantry, and some ground turkey that needs using)

Chili Mac Casserole

Arroz de Salsichas (Sausage Rice)

Peanut Chicken Noodles

Taco Twists, Black Beans and Rice

Hay and Straw 

4th of July Barbecue ( Burgers, Bratwurst, Potato Salad, Frozen Key Lime Pie, Watermelon )

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Lemon Zucchini Drops

Friday, June 21, 2019

Meal Plan Friday - #2

Friday segment spotlighting the meals for the week ahead. Why Friday? Because I grocery shop Bi-weekly, on Fridays.

This week's plan includes 2 new recipes, therefore no links for those yet.  All other recipes will be found on my food blog, Full Bellies, Happy Kids.

I was able to keep to plan last week and make everything that was on the menu, although I did shift the days forward once because we ended up eating leftovers last Sunday.

I also made the Lunch Lady Brownies, which were a hit but haven't yet made the Lemon Bars, those will be happening sometimes this upcoming week, or probably this weekend.
 Skillet Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

Copycat Rodeo Kind Burgers, Fries

Grilled Bratwurst and Potato Salad


Chicken and Dumplings

Spaghetti Casserole

Turkey Meatball Strogonoff and Rice

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Lunch Lady Brownies

Drop everything you're doing, and go and make these for your family, or for you, whatever floats your boat.

I'm not even going to sit here and make a huge introduction or talk over and over about what a brownie is or why you should make these, I just want you to know that these are delicious and you will never think of brownies the same way again.

This is yet another recipe from Life in the Lofthouse, do go by and check out the site, you won't regret it, Holly has a ton of yummy recipes available.

Lunch Lady Brownies
Yield: 12 to 24

1 cup butter, melted
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup milk ( I use 2%)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with foil and spray foil with non-stick spray. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand-mixer, add the melted butter and cocoa powder. Using the paddle attachment, blend until smooth.

Add the flour and sugar. Beat together then add eggs and vanilla. Mix just until combined. Don't over mix. (Batter will be thick)

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove brownies from oven and let stand 15 minutes before frosting. You want the brownies still warm when you frost them!

FOR CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Beat together all the frosting ingredients until smooth. Pour and spread over warm brownies. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Chick-Fil-a Sandwiches and Sauce

Y'all, if you've never had Chick-Fil-a, you don't understand what you're missing out on.  I know, it's just another chicken sandwich place, only it's really not, it is one of the best chicken fast food places around.  At least in my opinion!

Salads, chicken tenders which are to die for, wraps, sandwiches, waffle fries and let's just take a deep breath before mentioning the sauce.  THE SAUCE!!!!

I ran across this recipe purely by accident, I don't even know what I was doing, I want to say maybe browsing around Pinterest?  Who knows.  What I DO know is that the minute I found it, I was like "Yep, that's going on the menu right away."

Then it sat on the meal plan for a month, not even joking, something would come up and I would have to switch meals around, but yesterday was the day.  I finally remembered to get the chicken brining with plenty of time to spare.  Why brine you might ask?  Well, let's just say that the secret ingredient that makes these sandwiches a hit, is pickle juice.

I know, it sounds crazy, and I will admit I was a little scared that the taste would be overpowering, but it's not, it just makes the chicken super tender and yummy and......yeah you need to try it.

Recipe comes from Life in the Lofthouse.

Chick-Fil-a Sandwich
Serves 4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup dill pickle juice
2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 Hamburger buns
pickles slices
romaine lettuce
tomato slices

Slice each chicken breast in half, lengthwise, to form 4 thin cutlets. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour in pickle juice. Seal bag shut and place in the refrigerator. Marinate for 1 - 2 hours.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet to 350° F.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.

Remove chicken from pickle juice. Dip each piece in the egg/ milk mixture, and then into the flour mixture. Coat well. Shake off excess flour.

When oil is ready, fry 2 pieces at a time for 3 - 4 minutes on each side. You want it cooked through on the inside, and the outside should be golden-brown. Place chicken on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
Repeat with other 2 chicken cutlets.

Serve chicken on toasted buns with pickles, lettuce and tomato. Enjoy!

These come together pretty quickly and I am sure your family will love them, just as much as mine did.  It's surreal just how delicious and tender the chicken is, without an overpowering taste of pickles.

But, you can't have the true Chick-Fil-a experience without some waffle fries and the delicious well known sauce.  So, I've got a recipe for that as well, thanks to Dinner then Dessert.

Chick-Fil-a Sauce
Yield: 8 servings

1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup barbecue sauce I use Sweet Baby Ray's
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to come together.

If your sauce doesn’t have that hint of smoke (in case your bbq sauce is sweeter rather than smoky) use a splash of liquid smoke.

Overall, this was by far one of our favorite dinners and all done in the comfort of my kitchen.  Seriously, don't be afraid to try your very own restaurant recipes at home, they are often cheaper to make as well as easier, and what's not to like about having the food you love at your fingertips?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Meal Plan Friday - #1

Friday segment spotlighting the meals for the week ahead. Why Friday? Because I grocery shop Bi-weekly, on Fridays.

This week's plan includes 2 new recipes, therefore no links for those yet, and some family favorites which you will find on the food blog, Full Bellies, Happy Kids.

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first Meal Plan Friday post.

Over the years I have talked about how much I rely on meal planning.  I first dabbled with meal planning when I was about 15.   I was still at home at the time, not married, but my stepmother had always meal planned for our family, and anytime she and my dad were away from home, it fell to me to plan and cook for myself and my brothers.

It was something I thoroughly enjoyed and actually looked forward to.  She would leave me the money for the grocery shopping in an envelope and I would take it from there.

Once I got married and moved to the United States, I continued planning our meals and have done so for the past 21 years.  I can't function without it, and find it quite stressful to figure out meals if I don't already know what I'm preparing ahead of time.

With that in mind, you also already know that I shop for 2 weeks at a time, so my meal plan is is done in two week increments.  I decided that instead every Friday I would share my meal plan for the week ahead.  I was going to do it for two weeks at a time, but that would be a pretty long post, so I'll just stick to one week.  Yes I do share my meals in my Happy Homemaker Monday, but this post is a bit more detailed in that I'll share the links, photos and talk about any new recipes I'll be trying or any that we tried and so on. 

Maybe it will give you some inspiration, or you may find a new recipe to try for your family.

Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy this new bi-weekly segment.  Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

Dinner Out - Mexican Restaurant

Beef and Broccoli with Rice

Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches, Waffle Fries

Carne de Panela (Portuguese Beef Tips), Rice and Beans

Frango Estufado (Portuguese Skillet Chicken), Mashed Potatoes, Salad

Hot and Spicy Lasagna, Garlic Bread

Lunch Lady Brownies