Thursday, August 7, 2014

One Week of Yummy Meals

Summer days can be the most relaxing and the most boring days of the year. Once I got back from Africa, I decided to pass some of the time by cooking. I planned out a weekly menu from my pinterest page and I figured I would share with the blog world.

BE WARNED: I am not a food blogger. I do not have fancy tips and tricks. I do not have delicious looking pictures. In fact, I didn't even plan to blog these pictures. I am no chef and I only have my family's opinion to go by.

So, here we go. 

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Ring, Fresh Veggies, and Nutella Pastry Cookies

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures from this meal, but it turned out just like the step by step directions found here. This meal reminds me of something to serve while watching a football game. It is certainly not finger food, but reminds me of hot wings. I paired it with cold baby carrots and celery dipped in ranch. I really enjoyed it and it was something different to shake up the menu.

I was a little iffy on the Nutella pastries, but they were a big hit. They are definitely a pastry with more of a pie crust texture than a cookie. The dough could definitely be made and separated into baggies for later use if you didn't want to bake them all at once. Hint: The dough did not brown off in the oven, so just go by baking time and they should be good to go!

Bowtie Lasagna, Buttery Garlic Broccoli with Parmesan, Garlic Bread, and Blonde Brownies

The Bowtie Lasagna is a 16 minute dinner from Pioneer Woman and the recipe can be found here.
It pretty much tasted like spaghetti made with bow ties to me. It was pretty quick and easy and a hit at home. The broccoli was a favorite around here. We like fresh steamed broccoli, so add some garlic salt and cheese and it turns to love! The "recipe" is here, but you could just add the ingredients to your taste. There is no exact science here. 

I have never had a blonde brownie before, but they were easy to mix up and we pretty much had all of these ingredients at home already {from my dessert board}. We added vanilla bean ice-cream for some extra yumminess! 
BBQ Chicken, Salad, and Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

BBQ chicken pizza is something we made in Africa a lot. Over there we had to make everything from scratch, but in this recipe, I used a Pillsbury pizza crust. HINT: This crust rolls out in a rectangular shape and would be easier made like that than the circle I used. We loved this pizza and it was not difficult or time consuming.
The BBQ sauce is definitely the main flavor in the pizza, so be sure to pick a kind that you like!
In the salad, we got to use the salad tongs I brought back from Africa!
The cookies weren't hard to make either and were probably one of the best things we have had yet. The recipe makes a LOT of cookies so there will be plenty to share! 

Chicken-Broccoli Shells and Cheese, Ranch Carrots, and Snicker Caramel Apple Salad

Another quick and easy meal but I would suggest adding more cheese than this recipe has. I understand that the cheese makes it "unhealthy" but it sure does make it tasty. I would also recommend a BIG skillet. Mine was almost not big enough for all the delicious ingredients. Also, SALT- be generous! 
I don't have a picture of the carrots, but we also enjoyed them and they were super easy to make. However, the recipe calls for Hidden Valley dip, but I couldn't find just regular ranch so we ended up just using the powdered ranch dressing instead of the "dip" it called for.
The dessert was good but needs to be made in advance and should be very chilled when served. Our fridge didn't get it quite cold enough for my family. It also made a large portion and would be a good dessert for a party! We had leftovers for quite awhile.
Turkey Pesto Grilled Cheese and Crockpot Potato Soup

This has been one of my favorite nights on the menu. This meal is super easy and will make you feel like you're sitting in Panera. The potato soup is obviously going to need a little bit of time to cook, as it is a crockpot dish. As the recipe says, the cayenne pepper gives a KICK. I used half of the recommended amount and I still thought it had a little kick to it. I would recommend using half or less or the suggested amount of cayenne pepper. I also crumbled up bacon I had leftover onto the top to add a different flavor and texture.

The sandwich was my favorite part of the meal. Instead of a seeded artisan bread, as recommended here, we used sourdough bread. Also, when I went to look for herb roasted turkey at good 'ole Walmart, the deli only had herb roasted chicken. So, we had that shaved and it was GOOD. I used Roma tomato slices and the George Foreman to cook them on. Mmmmmm.
No dessert tonight since we had so many left over.

Nacho Supreme Pizza, Guacamole, and Sopapilla Cheesecake

It's MEXICAN NIGHT! Aye Aye Aye. I made this recipe just like it is written. It is a very filling meal and we loved the addition of some guacamole {as seen by the picture}. The cheese sauce on top of the pizza will determine the spiciness of the pizza, so you can pick a mild or hot sauce. We also had this meal as some leftovers but just remember there are chips on top which will get soggy {yuck}! 
The guacamole doesn't have a recipe, I just mixed together what I thought would be good. I used 4 medium sized avocados, about 1/4 of a diced yellow onion , a seeded and diced tomato, and squeezed in the juice of half a lemon. For a little seasoning I also added garlic salt and table salt to taste. As you can see, even Myah loved it.
For dessert we had sopapilla cheesecake. I made it before dinner so that it could chill. Since the fridge didn't get the caramel apple snicker salad quite cool enough, I put this one in the freezer during dinner and that was perfect for us. Just don't forget and leave it in for too long! 
There ya have it, a week of meals! We enjoyed all of these recipes and I don't think there was a "flop" in this bunch. I'm obviously a beginner cook so you have to know they aren't too hard! I hope you enjoyed and have a chance to try some of these recipes yourself!

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