Monday, March 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: March 24th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
Monday: Chicken Caesar Salad
I cooked up some chicken thighs for the soup Sunday so I made sure to cook extra, which I'll slice up and use on the salad. We have a meeting at 8pm to plan a friends baby shower, so an easy dinner is a must after a Monday. 

Tuesday Paul and I both work, and then we have the rest of the week off. So we're leaving right after work to head down to Seattle. Ill put the crockpot on in the morning, and Duncan will finish it up at the end of the work day. I'll make rice the day before for it to be served with. That way our housemates have food. There's also leftover Mac & Cheese from the weekend, and baked Spaghetti that Duncan whipped up. For lunches I've left a Quinoa salad from Costco in the fridge and made sure we have four types of deli meat, lots of cheese and bread, and many frozen dinners. AND most days at least 2 or 3 of our 4 students will be out or away. All organized!

Tuesday to Saturday: Washington Trip
Tuesday night we'll be heading to Lake Stevens to stay with some of Paul's family - we will get to see them and have dinner together. We rarely get to visit them so it will be really good. 

Wednesday morning we'll leave after breakfast and head towards Puyallup. Along the way we'll hit up World Markets and Hobby Lobby in Lynnwood before making our way to Puyallup to stay with Mark and Heather - we'll get to see their new place and just chill with them overnight. Normally I'm rushing in and out when I visit so this will be a treat. 

Thursday we leave Puyallup and head to Renton to stay with Tony and Rebekah. We haven't really gotten to hang out with them since their wedding this past summer, so I'm really looking forward to it, especially as Reba is pregnant. I can't wait to catch up with them and just spend some time with them. 

Friday we'll either head back towards Canada OR just pop over to downtown Seattle for the day. We're bringing our bikes so we want to A) Bike around the city and B) find a cool biking place. Any ideas? 

We'll go by Costco along the way, as well as WinCo, Target, and Trader Joes. We'll return Friday or Saturday, but most likely Saturday. We don't need to be back until around 3:30. 

When we get home we'll unpack and expect company shortly - Ana is throwing Josh's 30th birthday at our house, so we want the house tidy for her arrival so she can set up to her hearts content. I'm looking forward to a night with great friends. 

Sunday: Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole
Sunday Paul preaches again, and as per usual we have have transformations afterwards. This week we have a womens ministry meeting before hand - so I'll be involved in that while Paul preps for preaching. Before the meeting I'll make up a casserole which I'll be able to put in the oven right after Transformations. We'll have a quiet night at home after a busy weekend!

In Review:
Monday: Creamy Balsamic Chicken with roasted vegetables
1. This meal is a win for sure. I served it with Pesto Pasta and roasted vegetables. I used my ninja to make the chicken because it feels easy that way and everyone was very pleased with the meal. I will make this again. 

2. We had our friends Hanne and Drian over - to join us for dinner and help us do stuff in the house. Everyone should have friends like these two - they came over after work and school, ate with us, then Hanne helped me make Perogie Lasagna AND Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bars. We made food for 3 straight hours and she never complained once!! While we did that Drian helped Paul change lights in the garage, hang a laundry system and do a bunch of other house stuff. The Roos' know how to serve and love, and can laugh and talk while doing it. Lovely. 

Tuesday: Pierogie Lasagna for Lifegroup
Perogie Lasagna was good - a lot of work for a fairly simple seeming meal. I'm not sure I would plan to make it again, unless I needed to use up a lot of mashed potatoes, then it would be awesome and very easy. I added crumbled bacon and chunks of farmers sausage to mine and I'm glad I did for sure. 

Wednesday: Balsamic Roast with potatoes and carrots, served with roasted vegetables.
I planned to make Balsamic Roast in the crockpot but realized I waas out of beef broth. I quickly went onto Pinterest to see what I could do instead - I found this recipe (I can't find the Pin I used or I would link to it). 

CrockPot Roast:

Place Roast in CrockPot. Sprinkle 1 package of ranch dressing mix, 1 package of brown gravy mix and 1 package of Italian dressing mix over the roast. Cut Potatoes and Carrots and add to crockpot. Pour 1 cup of water over and cook on low for 8 hours. 

Simple! I didn't add carrots as I knew I'd be feeding 8-10 people and need a lot of potatoes. When the roast was done cooking it tasted great. I took it out of the pot to sit in a pan, with cooking liquid swimming around it. Then I took the potatoes and placed them into a pan to bake for a few moments, adding some of the cooking liquid from the pot. These baked for about 15 minutes at 450 and oh, were they good. 

I also roasted up carrots and broccoli with slivers of onion (tossed with Garlic Herb spice from Costco and garlic and onion salts) and then lightly steamed green beans and tossed them with margarine and parmesan slivers. Oh, it was all so good. 

We had my parents and Paul's grandparents over for dinner. We had a lovely time talking and catching up - both sets of family are good friends and so conversation flowed easily. We had tea and coffee in the living room, and they loved the leftover cookie dough bites from the night before. Success all round!

I ran out of time to put dinner in the crockpot, then realized that only one or two of our students would be home for dinner - and on top of that Paul and I had dinner plans with friends. So I texted them to say "YOYO" and left it at that. 

Thursday I cycled to and from work - it was sunny and I felt carefree. Since we were going out for dinner I had some chill time after I got home - I had a shower and dressed for the evening, then tidied around the house. And then got to spend half an hour sitting in my sunny living room, enjoying a drink and a book, and the sights of the flowers and sun shining in the space. It was lovely. 

We joined our friends the Montroy's for dinner at their place - the Montroy's live up the road for us and are a family we really enjoy. We had a great night of good food, good conversation and great game play. Like our family if you join them for dinner there are often other people around - you can expect that it's normally not just the nuclear family there - nope, friends and housemates and more, all can be expected! I LOVE that. 

Friday: Green Beans, Chicken and Potatoes with Cranberry Bliss Bars YOYO
Friday night was DATE night!! I spent the morning with my Auntie Debbie for breakfast and some shopping - I love home sense...and even more so love a chance to hang out with my awesome aunt. Then it was home - lunch with Paul, and a quick shower and moment to relax before my awesome hair dresser Tess came over. She gave me a great cut and gorgeous curls to enjoy - plus she's great to talk to. 

Then it was time to rest a bit before heading out with Paul for our date. We hit up Wings on Kingsway for an appie platter, then were off to Coquitlam for the VIP Theatre to see a 5:40pm showing of Divergent. We love the VIP theatre - extra big seats, no kids, comfy space and we get to share a pitcher of beer while watching. Love it. 

As someone who has read the Divergent Book series, I was excited to see it come to life. While, of course, it is different than the books, and the story flow felt very different, I have to say I really enjoyed the movie and felt like it was a good use of 2 hours of my life. I look forward to the next one!

We followed that all up with a hang out at home with Lyndsay - Tommy Boy on the TV downstairs - a first for me! I finally know where "Fat man in a little coat" comes from. Mystery solved.

Saturday: THE Mac and Cheese
Saturday was a nice sleep in day, then while Paul did sermon prep I was off to Costco and Safeway. I got to cash in my rebate cheque and renew my membership (so exciting) and then headed home - I tidied and organized, then started working on unloading groceries and making food for the evening.  I slowly put together all the pieces of the meal - it felt relaxed and not rushed at all. The Mac & Cheese was the last thing I put together, but that felt easy and relaxed, despite making a giant double batch. 

Games night was super fun - we played a great girls game of Agricola, while the husbands and Laura played Power Grid and Munchkin downstairs. After game play there was a movie on downstairs (A team) and conversation upstairs - we didn't go to bed until almost 2am and our friends initially arrived at 5:30pm. We obviously like each other a lot!

Sunday: Thai Chicken Coconut Soup: Option A or Option B
I decided to go with Option B to start - I had chicken thighs upstairs and was feeling too lazy to get chicken breasts from downstairs - choice made. The soup was tasty, a bit lacking in flavour, next time I would add more curry and such to heighten it. 

I got to sleep in again and be awoken by the son. I made a meal for Paul and I, then did some devotions and transformations homework and then prepped lunch. Paul prepped his sermon all day, and then we headed to church, then Transformations, then a rush home for dinner, and a rush out to a LifeGroup Leaders Meeting. Phew! Meeting Sundays are overwhelming.

And that, is last week!

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