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Weekly Menu

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Can't believe April starts in a few days and it looks like it will be quite the busy month.  I always love Spring when we all come out of hibernation mode and all we want to do is get outside and do something.  I mean, it was still below freezing all day today, but we were out and about at Franklin Park Conservatory and it was "warm enough" for some Jeni's.  Earlier in the week, it was still above freezing when I got home from work... so of course that meant it was great weather to take Snoop for a walk!

ohio fairgrounds cardinal go for a ride

Spring also brings strawberries... I love when they are so red that the juice stains your fingers a bit.  That level of ripeness, you hope the bowl never ends!  Also... El Vaquero opening in Pickerington is going to be a bad idea for us since we have already been there a couple times and I think they have only been open a month now.  Oops!  We love Mexican food too much!  I'm still making enchiladas and tacos at home every week on top of these incremental trips to El Vaq.

homemade granola el vaquero franklin park conservatory jenis bexley

Blooms and butterflies started at Franklin Park Conservatory which is always a fun trip.  They are having their orchid weekend next weekend, so definitely something to check out!

Alright, on to this week's meal plan...

cauliflower tacos
creamy shrimp bowties with garlic bread
sloppy joes
veggie calzones
chicken and veggie fried rice

What are you planning to make this week?

Streusel Muffins - total time 40 minutes

Cinnamon sugar!  I love it!  I was seriously in heaven at all of the bakeries in Switzerland... streusel everywhere!  Okay... I was pretty much in heaven at every European bakery we stopped in while on vacation, but streusel is something I can make at home (I still plan on making those Italian Nutella tarts someday).  

These muffins are somewhere between a muffin, a cupcake, and a doughnut.  They are a little too sweet (and maybe a little too much butter) to be considered an ordinary breakfast muffin.  This is definitely a treat.  Pair it with some fresh fruit for breakfast, add it to your brunch buffet lineup, or as a sweet snack to satisfy that annoying sweet tooth.  Since I love cinnamon, there is cinnamon throughout... even in the muffin!

You know, cinnamon has several health benefits including many antioxidants and having anti-inflammatory properties, so it can keep you healthy.  Too bad sugar and butter aren't health foods too!

Weekly Menu

Happy first weekend of Spring!  Hope you were able to enjoy the sunshine this weekend. We definitely were out and about... so tired of being inside!!

101 beer kitchen
101 beer kitchen 101 beer kitchen
101 Beer Kitchen opened their second location in Gahanna last week.  There is always a long wait at the Dublin location, and the Gahanna location appears like it could be the same way.  Of course there is good reason for the wait!  A long beer list, seasonal menu, and tasty appetizers.  We had the fried cheese curds, I had the mahi mahi tacos, and he had the shrimp po' boy... all very good!

forno pizza kitchen forno pizza kitchen
We also spent some time in the Short North this weekend since the weather was quite nice and we needed to get outside.  Our first stop was Forno for some lunch.  Of course, as the name suggests ('oven' in Italian), is known for the giant pizza oven... so we needed to try the pizza.  But the appetizer we got (because he was starving) was a baked ricotta and peaches spread with bread... almost had a dessert-like sweetness.

laughlins bakery 
laughlins bakery laughlins bakery almond croissants
We finally went to Laughlin's Bakery after hearing about their croissants amazing likeness to the ones you expect in Paris.  I was totally ready to be taken back, if only through my taste buds... and we got the last two almond croissants available for the day!  So if you want what you want, it's best to go early for the largest selection of delicious French pastries.  

homeage jenis splendid ice cream
Then some wandering around high street enjoying the local shops and treats.

pine quarry park pine quarry park
Today was filled with a family get together and a walk in our neighborhood park.  Love being able to walk to pine quarry park from our house.  :)

This week's meal plan...
shrimp fajita tacos
stir fry
catfish po' boy
creamy dijon chicken and asparagus
cauliflower tacos

Spicy Chicken and Potato Waffles - total time 40 minutes

You know, there are a lot of fun kitchen gadgets out there!  I mean, you could have the world's largest kitchen and still run out of space if you bought every gadget that might be useful.  That's why I try to limit myself to gadgets that have at least a few uses and I see myself using at least once a season (here is a list of must haves).  So I must pass on that mango pitter despite how useful it would be that one time a year I break down and need some mango in my life (how far did that mango have to travel to get to my plate again?  ugh).

Introducing the waffle iron... used only for making waffles, right?  It's also good for making waffle sammies and potato waffles.  Potato waffles are great way for using leftover mashed potatoes!  I always make soooo much mashed potatoes because it's one of my favorites (I was once known to eat an entire plate of mashed potatoes at buffet-style dinners) so we always have some left.  Potato waffles are great for breakfast (they're like one big hash brown), a side, or with spicy chicken!

The traditional southern comfort meal of fried chicken and waffles gets a little twist.  Take out the fryer and add some potatoes for a gluten free waffles!

Weekly Menu

The weather is finally starting to feel like Spring... some rain... some blooms... now some sunshine!  And tomorrow is supposed to get near 70 degrees!  Hopefully we can maintain the Spring weather, but I fear another cold snap before winter is finally finished with us.  

This weekend marked the home opener for the Crew... lots of changes this year with the stadium sponsor, food trucks, local beer selection, and... a parking price increase.  :(   At least we don't have to find somewhere to eat before the game with Hot Chicken Takeover, Schmidt's, and Jeni's now available!  :)  (Oh, the Crew won 2-0!)

spring flowers hot chicken takeovergreen bean bins snoop dogg

All summer we were waiting, trying to catch a glimpse of what was going on inside the old Reynoldsburg fire department building.  A few months ago, Prost Beer & Wine Cafe finally opened and we just got a chance to check it out this weekend.  They have a nice rotating beer list... I'm sure the wine list is good too, but we didn't really look at it.  There are flight options for both beer and wine.  And then they do have some food which includes a variety of bruschetta and paninis.  All in all, one of the few good beer lists in Reynoldsburg with some decent food.  :)

prost beer and wine cafe
prost beer and wine cafe prost beer and wine cafe

Meal planning time...

burgers (because it's going to be warm enough to grill!)
sour cream enchiladas
grilled asparagus with poached egg and crispy potatoes
alley doughs (calzones)
salmon burgers and brussel sprouts

Good Day Columbus - Packing Your Lunch

This morning I got to spend some time with the Good Day Columbus crew at Fox28 (check out the video here).  It was a lot of fun seeing everything that goes on behind the scenes and all of the fun segments they get to do.  I helped out with some tips on packing sandwiches for lunches, whether that's for your lunch or your kids' lunch.  It was kind of a mini Chopped challenge to think of some interesting ways to use Klosterman's bread (Ohio family owned bread company).  So here are the three super easy, super quick, all vegetarian sandwiches I came up with....

Peanut Butter Banana Rollup
peanut butter banana rollup

Perfect for kids!  Just smear some peanut butter on two slices of bread, split the banana in half with your fingers, and wrap the bread around the banana like a taco.  The peanut butter will keep the bread "stuck" to the banana and prevent the banana from oxidizing.  Also delicious toasted a bit for ooey gooey peanut buttery goodness!

Avocado Tomato and Cheese
avocado tomato and cheese avocado tomato and cheese

Kind of your vegetarian BLT.  Avocado makes everything better and a packed lunch is no exception.  Bring the avocado with you if you're worried about browning because all it takes is a spoon to scoop and squish!  The avocado and the cheese act as barriers for your bread to keep from getting soggy from the juicy tomatoes... and I hate soggy bread... you know I'm not recommending anything that would leave you with a soggy mess.  :)

Pear and Brie
pear and brie sandwich

During the winter I was obsessed with this panini!  I made them several days in a row, which never happens in my house... we're all about variety.  Even though melty brie is the best, you can still get a good cold sandwich out of this cold duo.  Just slice up the pear and the brie and layer it on.  Extra points for a toaster oven at work because nothing beats melty brie!  :)

pear and brie sandwich pear and brie sandwich

Here are a couple sneak peeks to the behind-the-scenes view on the Good Day Columbus set...

good day columbus good day columbus

Celebrate Pi Day (3.14) with Some Pie!

Pi Day is this Saturday (3.1415)!  Celebrate the mathematical "holiday" with some pies!  Whether it's a pizza pie, savory, or sweet... it's easy to whip up something... then calculate the circumference using pi!  That's pi times the diameter of your pie!  ;)  Here are a couple ideas and recipes for you...

Pizza Pie

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Pizza - Put your broccoli alfredo on a pizza, hold the noodles
Springtime Pizza - Spring veggies are springing up in your produce department.  Make the most of them on pi day!

Savory Pies

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie - kind of an oxymoron, shepherd and vegetarian, but a great, heart-warming Irish dish... perhaps you're getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day too.
Mini Taco Pies - These cute little guys are easy to dish out and perfect for little hands

Sweet Pies

Caramel Apple Struesel Pie - caramel apples... plus... struesel?!  mmmmm
Mini Pumpkin Pies - I know it's waaay past Thanksgiving, but I'm pretty sure pumpkin pie was where we got the saying "easy as pie".

Happy Pi Day!

Weekly Menu

We're finally getting back into the swing of things after vacation... took a little longer than it should have!

I have never been a big fan of cauliflower.  When it is raw, I think the texture is really strange.  And then when I have had it cooked in the past, it was over-cooked (but I didn't know) and was pretty mushy.  After watching an episode of Guy's Big Bite last week, I decided to give cauliflower another chance... this time in taco form.  They turned out really good!  Much better than what I was expecting.  Even my husband who was really hoping for chicken in his tacos thought the cauliflower tacos were great!  So, next time, I'll take pictures and post the recipe.  :)

purple cauliflower vegetarian cauliflower tacos

This weekend we celebrated my husband's birthday, so there was a lot of going out to some of his favorite restaurants... and I think we're both ready to eat more at home.  So here are a few pictures from around town (El Vaquero is open in Pickerington!  Our usual Mexican restaurants have all changed ownership over time, so this is perfect.)

matt the millers blood orange martini temperance row brewing flight
el vaquero pickerington

Alright, this week's meal plan...

lobster mac and cheese
coq au riesling and brussel sprouts
grilled asparagus with poached egg and crispy potatoes
fish tacos
pizza (for pi day)

What are you making this week?

Fish Fridays

If you're observing "fish fridays" during this season of Lent, chances are you're getting tired of the fried fish dinners.  Even if you're not tired of fried fish, maybe you're looking for something a little healthier.  There are five more Fridays until Easter, so here are three fish and three vegetarian recipes to change it up a little!

Fish Fridays


Creamy Salmon Pasta - so creamy and the salmon melts in your mouth!
Fish Tacos - you might decide you like fish tacos better than the chicken or steak versions
Salmon Burgers - for when you're craving a juicy burger, then realize it's Friday

Meatless Fridays go Vegetarian


Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pies - a cross between broccoli cheddar soup and a chicken pot pie (sans the chicken)
Butternut Mac and Cheese - the ultimate comfort food, it's still winter afterall
Vegetarian Crunchwraps - it's soft, it's hard, it's wrapped up and ready to go with you

Alright, there are no excuses for fried food tomorrow!  :)


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