family meals: week 99

family meals family meals Wonton Soup. I made this a week or so ago when it was cold outside, and loosely followed this recipe. Doesn’t matter the weather though, I would gladly eat this soup anytime. Making wontons might appear fancy and extremely difficult, but it really isn’t. Give it a try and you’ll be surprised how easy it is!

Week of 3/16 – 3/20
Monday: Pozole
Tuesday: Beans and rice
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Homemade pizza
Friday: Tilapia

My BFF made this for dinner with her husband, and I can’t wait to add it to our meal plan in the next couple weeks.



family meals: week 98

chow mein chow mein Soy Sauce Pan Fried Noodles. The girls devoured this dish. Next time, I want to add shrimp and more vegetables, but even without those things, this really was so yummy. Another plus, it’s easy to make too!

Week of 2/23 – 2/27
Monday: Soba Sesame Noodles
Tuesday: Dumpling Soup
Wednesday: White Bean Chili
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Tilapia Ceviche (we have this every Friday night)

We have new friends coming over this week, so I think the chili is a safe dish to make. Do you have a go-to dish when you have first time guests coming over to your house?



simple granola

simple granola Simple Granola
approximately 9 cups

8 cups oats
1 cup chopped nuts
4 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup canola oil (or any oil)
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
Cooking spray

simple granola Directions:
Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine the oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt in one bowl and mix together. Set aside. Next, combine the honey, vanilla, and canola oil together in a small bowl. Warm that bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds (if you prefer, do it over the stovetop in a small pot). Warming it helps coat the oatmeal more, rather than the honey creating too many clumps. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and be sure to mix together well. Spread the mixture onto two baking sheets lined with foil or parchment paper, and lightly spray with cooking spray. If you like, drizzle some honey and sprinkle some brown sugar on top. Bake for about 10 minutes, then stir a bit, and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely; then, transfer to a container for storage.

simple granola simple granola I make big batches since I have a lot of mouths to feed, but if your family is smaller than ours, you might not need as much. Also, if you have nut allergies, this tastes just fine without nuts in it. In fact, I make two batches, one with nuts, and one without (for True).

simple granola simple granola simple granola The girls have been devouring it with milk every morning, and I like using it to top my plain yogurt with it (with berries!). The first time I made it, Ben kept having spoonfuls and I had to remind him to leave some for the girls. It’s mildly sweet, but if you need more sweetness, just add more honey. There’s so many other ways to change this recipe up. We want to get some sunflower seeds and put that in, or maybe even add raisins. If you’ve made granola, what other ingredients do you suggest putting in?



family meals: week 97

chicken noodle soup chicken noodle soup Mexican Chicken Soup with Chick Peas, Avocado, and Chipotles. This is the best chicken noodle soup recipe ever. It actually isn’t exactly a chicken noodle soup, but we change it up to where it kind of is. First, we put ten times the amount of carrots it calls for, and then we add whole wheat pasta with it. I highly recommend you make this!

Week of 2/9 – 2/13
Monday: Supreme Soy Sauce Chow Mein
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Tilapia
Thursday: Bay Scallop Gratin (a healthier version)
Friday: Ceviche

I’m sure you figured out by now, we are pretty adventurous when it comes to eating and cooking. The only thing is we try to make things healthier, but we love trying new things. Are your taste buds open to trying new things or do you like sticking with what you know?



family meals: week 96

mushroom burger mushroom burger Mushroom Burgers with Carrot Garlic Parmesan Fries. My attempt at recreating a healthy version of the Red Robin (a chain restaurant) mushroom burger didn’t end up so great. My version was delicious, but it didn’t taste anything close to that 961 calorie burger I used to eat all the time back in college (slathered with honey mustard sauce of course). I made a lean ground turkey patty infused with garlic and parmesan, and then topped it off with low-fat swiss cheese. I used shiitake mushrooms, which were so flavorful, and while we all enjoyed it, it still didn’t satisfy my Red Robin craving. For the fries, I just cut the carrots real thin and tossed loads of fresh herbs, garlic, and grated parmesan on top. The burger and the fries made a good pairing.

Week of 2/2 – 2/6
Monday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Tuesday: Won Ton Soup
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Lavash Pizza
Friday: Ceviche

I made some fresh won tons and soup last week and most of us loved it. I want to make another batch, but this time leave out the ginger in some because I think that’s the part True didn’t like, so hopefully that will win her over. I find myself looking forward to cooking dinner, especially something new. Sure, I get tired of cooking, but I do experimenting and trying out new recipes. I never thought I would enjoy cooking as much as I do these days. I cook 3-4 days out of the week, and the other days we eat leftovers.



family meals: week 95

herb stuffed meatballs herb stuffed meatballs Whole Wheat Spaghetti & Herb Stuffed Meatballs. This is always a winner in our house. My friend, Reese, even jokingly refers to it as the “Bratcher Meatballs.” HA! We usually use the Trader Joe’s marinara sauce, but since it doesn’t use organic tomatoes, I think we are going to try something else. Anyone have an easy marinara recipe you can share?

Week of 1/19 – 1/23
Monday: Garlic Cheese Balls
Tuesday: Steamed Tilapia with Garlic and Ginger
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday:  Mushroom Burgers
Friday: Ceviche

I’ve been craving a Red Robin mushroom burger, and it’s been years since I had one. I just looked up the calories, since I used to eat that burger all the time back in high school and college, and my oh my, it’s a whoppin’ 961 calories! That doesn’t even include the fries and honey mustard I use to guzzle down with it. I’m definitely going to attempt to make my own (much healthier) version of it.





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