Weekly Menu

Another week in the books – I hope it was a good one for you.  The week was fairly quiet for me, which was good because I wasn’t feeling the best.  The weekend, however, was jam packed!  Mike was home this weekend which usually means we’re super busy.  On top of it we had a 50th surprise party for one of The Chicks plus we had our annual girls trip to see a Broadway production.  Both of which were a good time!

On the cooking front I did quite a bit of it.  Lately I’ve been getting in the habit of cooking something for Mike to eat most nights when he gets home.  If I didn’t cook something he’d like or a “real meal” I’ve been throwing chicken on to bake about 45 minutes to an hour before he gets home.  That way when he walks in the door he has some hot food waiting for him.  I better be careful though because he may get used to that :)

After a few week hiatus I have another Plated box coming.  It’s been a while so I’m super excited.  I let them choose the meals so it will be interesting to see what we think of them.  I’m a little apprehensive about at least one of them but we’ll see.

Weekly Menu

Baked Chicken - WWIN

 

 

Baked Chicken – Did you really think we’d have a week without Mike getting this at least once!

Chicken Khao Soi_WWIN

 

Chicken Khao Soi 

Ginger Trout en Papillote with Miso Butter, Sweet Potatoes, and Snow Peas

Image courtesy of Plated.com

Ginger Trout

Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps with Basil Rice

Image courtesy of Plated.com

Thai Beet Lettuce Wraps

Fresh Spaghetti with Pan Roasted Artichokes, Garlic, and Lemon

Image courtesy of Plated.com

Fresh spaghetti with Pan Roasted Artichokes, Lemon and Garlic

Finished Ham_WWIN

 

Baked Ham – my mother-in-law had a knee replacement a couple of weeks ago and isn’t up to cooking Easter dinner.  We’ve decided that the girls are going to do all the cooking and just take it over on Sunday.  I elected to do the ham so I’ll be cooking it on Saturday and putting it in a crockpot for Sunday.  Yumm – I can’t wait!

That’s it for our menu this week.  What are you planning on eating?

I’ll be linking up at I’m an Organizing Junkie

De-cluttering the Mail Box

Mailbox Decluttering_WWIN

Simplifying my life is really what this blog journey has been all about.  When I started blogging I felt a bit like I was at the end of my rope and wanted some accountability to keep me on my journey.  Over the years the hard work has been paying off.  I finally feel like I have some balance and fun in my life versus the constant stress and overwhelmed feelings I use to have.  Although I still have a way to go on my journey, it’s gratifying to see the results.

One of the areas that has still been a pain point for me is the mail box.  Most of our bills are paid online so we don’t get a lot of “real” mail.  However, it seems like our mailbox is always overflowing with credit card offers, catalogs and fliers.

When I decided to tackle the mailbox I started with doing some online research.  I found a website from the Federal Trade Commission with information on how to stop unwanted solicitation.  They provide information for mail solicitations as well as phone solicitations.

Thai Peanut Chicken Curry with Sticky Rice

Thai Peanut Chicken Curry

 

This is the first recipe from Plated that I’ve tried on my own.  I absolutely LOVE the fact that they send you all the ingredients pre-measured and all you have to do is take a lid off.  Since we’ve already tried this recipe and loved it I wasn’t to apprehensive about buying all the ingredients to make it again.

Finding all the ingredients was another story.  Although my grocery story carries a wide selection of food, I could not find sticky rice or gochujang.  After stopping in at a local Oriental foods store I found out that gochujang is usually sold under the description of red pepper paste.  Oh well, I know have enough of red pepper paste and sticky rice to last me a lifetime :)

This recipe does have a bit of a bite.  While I’m not a complete lily lips, I don’t like overly spicy food.  This was border line for me in terms of spice.  If you don’t like spicy foods I would halve or leave out altogether the red pepper paste.

Now that I have the majority of the ingredients, I’ll probably be adding this into a somewhat regular rotation.  Now if I could just find someone to pre-measure all the ingredients……..

Chicken Khao Soi

Chicken Khao Soi_WWIN

As I’ve shared, in my request to expand our menu options I’ve been trying a new service called Plated (you can read my review here). One of the meals that got two thumbs up from us was a dish called Thai Coconut Khao Soi with Chicken and Crispy Noodles.

Overall I loved this meal but I have to warn you, it has a real slow burn. About halfway through my nose started to run non-stop. When Mike got home and ate his he asked how I even was able to eat it because it was so spicy. I told him that by the time I realized how spicy it was I was already too invested to quit. J I think that if you don’t like spicy food you could cool it down by cutting back on the gochujang and the curry paste.

One thing that I’ve really been enjoying about Plated is all the unusual (at least for me) ingredients I’ve been exposed to. This is the first time that I’ve ever eaten mustard greens. Since they’re mixed in with a bunch of other stuff I couldn’t say for sure whether I like them or not, however if I ever find myself with a bunch of mustard greens I don’t know what to do with I now have a recipe to use them in.

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients to this recipe but I think it was definitely worth it. If you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and give this one a try. I know that Mike and I will be adding it into rotation.

Is a Meal Delivery System Right for Your Family?

Thai Pork Salad

Thai Pork Salad

What is a meal delivery system? Basically it’s a company that provides you with everything you need to make a home-cooked meal without the hassle of shopping, ensuring that you have all the ingredients on hand to prepare the recipes.

Typically when you sign up for a service you pick a day of the week that you want food delivered, you choose how many plates you want (typically 2 or 4 per meal) and then choose which meals you’d like. I’ve found that most companies have 4 – 8 meal options per week.

Everything that you need for the meal (with the exception of the pan and oil) is sent to you in a “refrigerator” box. I mean everything you need. The recipes are fairly simple although they sound impressive and aren’t supposed to take more than 30 minutes to cook.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you while reading this are doing some eye rolling. After all, many of us are looking for ways to lower our budget not splurge on non-necessary items. Hear me out.

Every family is unique and has different needs. I work outside the home and have a 45 minute commute each way. Our kids are older, while Belle is still living at home most nights she isn’t often home for dinner. In the past, Mike and I would get take-out A LOT which can be pretty costly. As far as cooking at home, we always seem to be in a rut when it comes to what we eat. Cooking the same handful of meals over and over and over.

Weekly Menu & Goals

What a beautiful week last week!  While I’m sure we aren’t out of the woods yet, last week definitely gave us a taste of spring here in Wisconsin.

Last week was fairly low key for me.  The highlight(s) of the week was spending two evenings with friends.  It’s always fun to get to hang out and chill.

Using a Rain Barrel to Save Money

 

Rain Barrel from Amazon.com

Rain Barrel from Amazon.com

 

Up until about a week or so the idea of using a rain barrel was a completely foreign concept to me. I knew they existed but they seemed a little clumsy and awkward, plus how could they actually save me a worthwhile dollar amount? And then I had a conversation with my parents.

It turns out that our city offers a discount to homeowners who have a rain barrel system in place. Roughly the savings is about 25% of your storm sewer bill. If you add in a rain garden you could save another 50% but we’ll save that discussion for another day.

Weekly Menu and Goals

Koftas

Last week’s menu ended up exploding on me!  I did make everything I planned, but I also received one of my Plated boxes.  I thought I had cancelled everything prior to the vacation but I guess I didn’t.  I felt like Cinderella in the kitchen!  The Lamb Kofta pictured above was one of the meals in last week’s box that I made.

Oh well, everything did get eaten and both Mike and I enjoyed the contents of the box.  The downside is when I get a box it pretty much limits my ability to get anything else done as you will see in my goal update.

Thai Pork Salad with Papaya and Coconut Rice

Thai Pork Salad

This is another one of our Plated meals.  I really enjoyed it and would make it for myself again but Mike wasn’t totally sold on it.  To be fair, this was the second meal that I made and I don’t think he was really “into” the whole Plated thing yet.  He’s since loved a couple of the meals so when I make this again for myself I’ll have him try it and see what he thinks.

As I’ve been trying these new dishes I’m surprised by the number of times that mint is used in the recipes.  I was a tad bit apprehensive about topping this with meal with fried shallots and mint – come on, who would think that would be a pleasing taste combo!  However, both the mint and the shallots really made this meal come together.

When I made this recipe I ended up burning my first try at toasting the chile so be careful.  Fortunately I still had a portion that I had set aside so I was able to put the Thai chile in, just not at the level that the recipe called for.

This recipe was not spicy and serves two and took 30 minutes to prepare.