Menu Round-up

Who loves to cook, but has the hardest time deciding WHAT to make?!

Well folks, that’s me. Every Sunday I try (key word, try) to plan out what we are going to have for dinner each night. This past week, the planning worked out quite nicely. Don’t you just love that?

If you’re looking for some new recipes to try, here are a few ideas.

MONDAY: Soy Sauce Marinated Pork Chops

This recipe came out of Better Homes and Garden magazine. We threw some mac & cheese (YUM) on the side & called it good. I loved the glaze, but it definitely had a bit of a kick to it. If you’re not into spicy food, I wouldn’t recommend adding it after grilling.

RU245085.jpg.rendition.largest(photo from Better Homes and Garden)

SOY SAUCE-MARINATED PORK CHOPS
Author: Better Homes and Garden

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 6 ounces bone-in pork chops, trimmed (about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups mixed spring greens
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place pork in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, oil, vinegar, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture over pork and turn several times to coat. Cover pork and let stand 20 minutes at room temperature, turning occasionally.
  2. Place the remaining soy sauce mixture in a small saucepan. Bring to boiling. Boil gently for 1 to 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup; set aside.
  3. For a charcoal or gas grill, grill chops on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side or until pork is slightly pink in the center (145 degrees F), turning once.
  4. Place greens on a serving platter, top with pork, and drizzle with boiled soy sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro.

TUESDAY: Baked Chicken Lasagna Rolls

This recipe is a fun find from a cookbook we received as a wedding present. Included are recipes submitted from members of Wellspring Baptist Fellowship, a local church in my hometown of Bolivar, MO.

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As if the title alone didn’t have me interested, this recipe was submitted by one of my favorite high school coaches, Rhianna Garber. I was sold. And rightfully so. This was Alex’s favorite meal of the week. He took it for lunch Wednesday & Thursday…

BAKED CHICKEN LASAGNA ROLLS
Submitted By: Rhianna Garber

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded baked chicken breasts (as a time-saver, use a rotisserie chicken from your grocer’s deli)
  • 8 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 can (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix first eight ingredients, reserving 1/4 cup mozzarella for baking, set aside.
2. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on counter-top. Lay noodles flat atop plastic wrap, top each noodle with a layer of ricotta mixture and 1/4 cup of chicken. Starting at one end, roll one noodle at a time.
3. Fill the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce. Lay rolls seam-side down, cover with remaining sauce, sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake 20 minutes

WEDNESDAY: Homemade Minestrone Soup

I took advantage of the slightly cooler weather and made one of my fave soups.

Fun soup fact: We served it at our wedding – out of sweater-wearing crock-pots!

I pinned this recipe from The Little Spice Jar Blog. And for all you skeptical meat lovers out there, Alex even likes it! Super hearty and delish. You won’t be disappointed. This photo is from her blog because, well, I forgot to take a picture. I’ll get better at this I promise!
Minestrone Soup

HOMEMADE MINESTRONE SOUP {SLOW COOKER}
Author: Little Spice Jar
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  15 mins
Serves: 6-8 servings
An easy to make, minestrone soup recipe that tastes 1000 times better than the Olive Garden’s version! My minestrone soup is loaded with good for you veggies, like spinach and zucchini. It’s also protein packed with red kidney beans and great northern beans. You’ll be full for hours from this healthy, nutritious soup!
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1¼ cup celery, diced
  • 1½ cup white onion, diced
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups zucchini, diced
  • 1½ cups tubular (ditalini) pasta
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
  • 2½ cups baby spinach, chopped
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (or Romano)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  2. Add in red kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, and pasta and cook on high heat for an additional 20 – 25 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese and garlic toasts.

THURSDAY: Burgers  & Grilled Zucchini & Peppers

Since I am not a big red meat eater, on burger night I opt for my favorite black bean burger. Morning Star is my go-to. These are delicious & obviously super easy since they are frozen. I typically put mine on a bed of spinach and top with cheese and spicy mustard. Alex goes all-American with a beef burger, BBQ sauce and seasoning.

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We douse our vegetables in olive oil and lemon pepper, place them on a grill tray and turn often. Violà! Simple and tasty. Alex has totally mastered these.

FRIDAY: Date night y’all!!! On Friday’s we date. And I love it. (heart eyes)

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Sprucing Up My Office

As I’m sure is the case for many of you, 40 hours of your week are spent in a not-so-stylish office wor cubical. I am one of those (lucky?) people. A few months ago I asked to move to the front office…which has a window! Windows are hard to come by in many offices so this is a BIG deal.

Although the window alone does a ton for my office, I have added a few other small things to spruce up my space.

First, I bought a couple place mats from Target. They have added color, warmth, and interest to my little workplace.
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Secondly, pictures! Because, who doesn’t love pictures? This is a simple way to add some cute frames and the people you love most to your desk.
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I also threw in a flea-market-find dictionary for a little something extra. (Please pardon the florescent glare. The struggle is real.)

Next, a lamp. This is such a quick and easy mood fix to the florescent world in which I spend hours each day. Plus, I adore lamps. I found this $10 lamp at the one and only, you guessed it, Target. (I promise I shop other places, too…sometimes :)).
lamp editAnd, my favorite part…the personal touches.

I gave you a preview earlier, but here is the close-up of the floral “H” my sweet sissy made me for my birthday.

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Finally, this elephant was something my dad bought my grandma when he went to India. When she passed away, it was one of the keepsakes that I was able to add to my home. It constantly reminds me of my grandmother and dad. Two people I am proud & thankful to call family.
elephant editOne day I will have a home office where I will get to pick out every single detail. But for now, this is a pretty good compromise.

xoxo hannah