Weekly Menu – Week of May 15 2016

weekly menu planning

Welcome to another week!  I am spending the week in beautiful Cincinnati!  I arrived yesterday and have already had some marvelous food.  That’s the way I like to start of the week!

I went through Minneapolis and had a bit of a layover so I had breakfast at the French Meadow Bakery.  Yum!  My biggest complaint about the place was that the pancakes were as big of as the plate and I could only eat half.  Given that I only had gotten about two hours of sleep the night before I was hoping that the carbs would put me in a food coma for the flight but alas it was not to be.  Two hours up in the air in uncomfortable seats without a wink of sleep in sight.  Oh well.

After a full day of traveling with very little sleep, I decided to spend the afternoon in my hotel room sleeping instead of exploring the city (I know – I’m a slug but I needed to be on my game for work last night).  On my way up to the room I stopped by the market and grabbed myself some lox and bagel.  First stop eating it, not quite sure if I’ll go back again.  The capers that they had included drew me in but I think I got stiffed on the cream cheese.  Probably would have been better with a little bit of the good stuff to smear on top.


The Best Book Reading Apps

book reading apps

This is a guest post from my friend Jenny:

There are a  lot of book reading apps you can download to your computer, tablet, and phone.  I’ve tried several and find it really difficult to actually pay to read a book….I come from the old school, where books are free to read, especially if you go to your local library.  As our society and technology continues to move at a very fast pace, I have been reading much more on my devices, and even more with the amount of international travel I have been doing recently.  When you are on an 8-12 hour flight you need some great reading material!

Technology means less paper versions, and ultimately the demise of the library systems.  At least that’s my belief…just a matter of time.  This causes me a lot of consternation because I wonder what the world will be like when libraries stop existing….not a good thought.

I like several apps that help me review books, know what books may be in a series by my favorite author, find out the reading order for a series, find free books, and some apps even help you connect to your local library’s ebook selections.

Weekly Menu – Week Of 5/8/16

weekly menu planning

Welcome to another week!  It was a gorgeous weekend here in Wisconsin!  Warm and sunny.  Dare we think that Spring is here to stay?

Saturday morning I was suppose to do a 5K but I skipped out due to an ongoing issue with a pinched nerve in my neck.  I was worried I’d get half way through and have some issues.  Saturday night we had a big party for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.  50 years!  That’s a long time.  Another 24 years and Mike and I will be there :)

Sunday Michael brought over steaks for a cook-out.  My parents came over and we enjoyed a nice leisurely afternoon.  I love it when the kids take control of the cooking and cleaning up!

Last week was super busy, fortunately this week seems to be shaping up to be a bit quieter.  I only have one night out (last week I had plans every night!) so I should get to do some relaxing.

This week’s menu was entirely planned around what recipes I had the majority of the ingredients for (mainly meat).  I cleaned out the refrigerator and pantry, it was shameful how much I ended up throwing out.  I really need to do a better job of planning my meals around what we have and not what sounds good.

That’s about it for us.  Without further ado, here’s our menu.

Weekly Menu

Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostadas

Steak Gyros

Steak Gyros

Brats on the Grill


Steak on the Grill

Steak on the Grill – This was Michael’s Mother’s Day present to me.

Leftover Chicken Recipes

Baked Chicken (here are some ideas for any leftover chicken you may have)

Spinach & Mushroom Frittata Recipe


Strawberry Lemonade - WWIN

Strawberry Lemonade

That’s it for us, what’s on your plate?  I’ll be linking up at I’m an Organizing Junkie.



Thai Peanut Chicken Curry Recipe

Thai Peanut Chicken Curry


We’ve been using Plated.com for over a year.  This Thai Peanut Chicken Curry recipe was in one of our first few boxes and one of the first I tried on my own, you know, when I had to buy the ingredients and actually measure them out myself.  I absolutely LOVE the fact that Plated sends you all the ingredients pre-measured and all you have to do is unpack the box.  Since we had already tried this recipe and loved it,  I wasn’t 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 now have enough of red pepper paste and sticky rice to last me a lifetime :)

This Thai Peanut Chicken Curry 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 be adding this into a somewhat regular rotation.  Now if I could just find someone to pre-measure all the ingredients……..

8 Tips for Mastering a New Skill

This is NOT indicative of my photography skills!

This is NOT indicative of my photography skills!

Do you know how many hours of working at a skill it takes before you can master it? 10,000 hours. Broken down into a 40 hour work week, that equates to almost five years. That’s a lot of time!

Remember the movie Ground Hog day where Bill Murray accomplished all those skills and wooed Andie MacDowell? It’s been estimated that it would have taken him over 30 years to master all those skills. Wow! That’s a lot of work to woo a girl.

I’ve been thinking a lot about mastering a skill as I work on my photography. In previous posts I’ve shared that I’ve been taking some classes to learn the tricks of photography. The end game is that I want to beef up my food shots that I do for this blog as well as get more into travel photography and writing.

Mastering a New Skill

Do you have any idea how frustrating it’s been trying to learn this skill? I take pictures and I take pictures and I take pictures. Only to have them disappoint me. What I capture in the photo doesn’t seem to mimic what my brain was seeing. I feel like a failure and I think I’m no good. When we recently had the opportunity to have our portfolios critiqued by professional I felt that my work wasn’t nearly as good as others. It really doesn’t feel good at all.

On the flip side, when I look back over my pictures and see just how far I’ve come I realize that I’m making progress. I’m nowhere near my 10,000 hours but I’m going to keep plugging away at it. Before I know it I’ll be able to say that I’m photography and mean it.

Weekly Menu – Week of 5-1-2016

weekly menu planning

Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day.  In Wisconsin at least!  The day started out overcast and a bit chilly, to chilly to do anything outside, so Mike and I decided to take a drive around the lake to get us out of the house.

When we got back we fired up the grill for a late lunch of steaks.  Just as we were sitting down to relax a friend of ours called to see if we wanted to go Frisbee golfing.  Since I can’t throw a Frisbee, I decided to take my camera and just hang out with everyone.


I got to enjoy some turtles

Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes


Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes feel a bit like a summery recipe and you’re probably right, it is.  However, summer is right around the corner so thought I’d post this so we could have a little taste of summer right now.

When I look for new cupcake recipes I scour the internet.  Typically I”ll find a recipe I think looks good and then tweak it a little based on my experience with other recipes.  When I came across this Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes recipe at Calphalon I decided not to tweak a thing and I’m glad I didn’t.  This recipe is delicious!

Earlier this year I needed more than my usual 10 dozen cupcakes for Mike’s team building event so I threw some of these along with the carrot and chocolate that I usually make.  When he saw that I added the he wasn’t entirely pleased since he thought that no one would like lemon.  Ha!  This last time I made cupcakes there were some sad people since there were no lemons cupcakes.

Weekly Menu – W/O 4-24-2016

weekly menu planning

What happened to last week’s beautiful weather?  This weekend’s cold, wet and rainy weather foiled my plans for sitting outside and frying my fish.  Definitely not a good day to be doing that!  Hopefully one of the days this week will be more conducive to sitting outside.

I mentioned last week that I bought new bedding for the master bedroom.  It came and I absolutely love it!  It’s very similar to what I had before but it is slightly different and it’s A LOT fresher!  I’ve had the same comforter set for almost 10 years so it was probably time :)

New Bedding

I have found that having a calm, restful master bedroom that makes me happy is relaxing and allows me to sleep better.  One of my must haves in the bedroom is my diffuser.  Misting a pleasant, calming smell throughout my bedroom makes me happy.  This isn’t the exact diffuser that I have but it’s very similar (affiliate link).  Personally, I don’t use any of the ambience lights, I just want the smell.  Before getting the diffuser I would light a candle at night but since the diffuser has an automatic shut-off I thought that would be safe.