Alley's Recipe Book
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Weekly Menu

It's been a couple weeks since the last meal plan for good reason, we've been on vacay!  Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks in Montana... pictures from the trip will come soon as well as tips on eating around those parks.

We're not fully unpacked yet and we have more travel plans soon, so meal plans are short and sweet for the next few weeks.

spaghetti squash and meatballs
pizza night with garden veggies
sausage stuffed peppers
ravioli and garlic bread
jerk chicken sandwiches and crispy roast potatoes

homemade pickles
kale chips

Anyone go to Oktoberfest this weekend?  I think it was my first time having schnitzel... but I'm always up for some Bavarian pretzels (had one in Switzerland last year and it was the best ever!).  And I'm pretty sure I would not be able to survive an Oktoberfest in Germany...

oktoberfest columbus oktoberfest columbus

A couple pics from our trip, more to come...

mount washburn yellowstone grinnell glacier lake mcdonald glacier fairy falls yellowstone

Camp Breakfast Is In the Bag - total time 30 minutes

camp breakfast in the bag

Have you seen those pins on Pinterest where they show a paper bag sitting over the campfire to cook breakfast?  I definitely have.  But have you ever seen the end result?  So many pins about allegedly being able to cook a camp breakfast without any clean up... sounds too good to be true.

So I tried it out...

To my surprise, no Pinterest fail occurred, which is good because we were hungry.  I shouldn't really be a surprised that the layered cooking works on a campfire because I did it with bacon, onions, and potatoes last year... but had to clean my cast iron afterward.  So now we can go pan free!

I love breakfast sandwiches, so the ingredients in this are perfect after a night sleeping in tents or really any time.  The bacon acts as a liner to the paper bag preventing the eggs from leaking out and the fat prevents the bag from burning in the fire.  I also add a little cooking spray just to be in the safe side.   The biscuit on top gets just enough air through the paper bag that it cooks perfectly (unlike covering a pan of biscuits with foil... if the steam can't escape, your biscuits will be soggy).  Where to put the bag once you have everything ready becomes the tricky part.  You don't want flames constantly hitting the bag... the bacon can protect the paper that well.  But you also need it close enough to cook before you get hangry.

Weekly Menu

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day, long weekend!  And that you stayed hydrated in this heat!  I am so glad summer weather came back, because the fall weather we were having recently was weighing on my mood... not because I don't like fall... but what comes after it.  :/

Any time there is a long weekend, it seems like it centers around food.  Okay... maybe all weekends center around food for a food blogger.  :)  We have been meaning to try Los Guachos as soon as we saw that the Food Networked ranked them as one of the top five tacos in the country (article here).  I tried a chicken taco and the pork taco that they are famous for (and what ranked them number three by FN).  The pork taco is kind of like a taco take on Hawaiian pizza.  It was pretty good.  The chicken was a little dry and not as flavorful as I was expecting... actually very similar to the chicken tacos I had in El Paso.  Then my husband had the spicy shrimp tacos... I had a taste and it was sooo spicy!  While we were eating, several Mexican-Americans were coming in ordering tacos, so I think the tacos are probably very authentic, but I prefer Local Cantina or Condado Tacos... perhaps they are a little more "Tex-Mex"?

Went to the Chocolate Cafe in Grandview with some work friends which I had never heard of before.  While I thought by the name it would be chocolate only, kind of like the Chocolate Bar in Cleveland, but it was also true to the cafe name with sandwiches and soups as well.  The martinis were on point and I took some brownies home to try later (also very tasty). 

Did you know Alchemy Juice Cafe and Crest Gastropub are partners?  You can get Alchemy juice mimosas at the Crest and they are delicious!  My favorite was the Strawberry Chia... mmm.  And we can't go to Clintonville without stopping at Pattycakes... I have a serious cookie addiction.

los gauchos tacos brownies from chocolate cafe crest mimosa flight with alchemy crest breakfast skillet pattycake bakery pattycake bakery

I finally got over to Grandview to try out Zest juices... their green smoothie (which is actually purple) tastes like a blueberry muffin and I always love a good orange + carrot juice.  :)  Finished off Saturday with pizza and drinks at Forno, which has become one of our food go-to's in the Short North, and some gallery hoppin'.  That picture below is made out of crayons!  So crazy!  

zest juice company zest juice bar blackberry crush at forno forno breakfast pizza short north gallery hop short north gallery hop whole foods easton nitro coffee at whole foods easton

The new Whole Foods opened at Easton this week.  I have been waiting for this for sooooo long!  We used to live across the street, literally within walking distance, to the Whole Foods in Dublin.  But when you're just out of college and living in a tiny apartment, Meijer was more budget friendly for groceries.  Now that I want (and can afford) all of those fun, different foods... it is such a loong drive from Reynoldsburg.  This new location is definitely smaller than the Dublin one.  And you could definitely tell it was opening weekend because it was CROWDED.  Like, fire code might be breached, my foot was run over by carts, and playing human bumper cars kind of crowded.  I wasn't looking to buy groceries, just a few items... like cheeses and tea cookies... some breads... quickly filled my basket and had to checkout because it was too heavy to carry.  Oh, and a cold brewed coffee on nitro... just what we needed on our way back out into the heat.

Alright, it is a short week and we're getting ready to go on vacay... so the menu is simple and short.

summer veggie pizza
fresh raviolis (from Whole Foods)
steak tacos and corn on the cob
jerk chicken with rice and beans

Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers - total time 35 minutes

My pepper plants are producing an endless supply of peppers (finally).  I typically make one of two things with sweet peppers... some sort of fajita tacos, quesadilla, casserole... or stuffed peppers.  You can change up both meals enough for it to feel like you aren't eating the same thing you had for dinner the night before. You won't hear a single complaint out of our house if tacos are in the menu for the third time this month, but you'll probably hear some sighing if I said "stuffed peppers". And I can understand, the filling to pepper ratio can be a little off for certain preferences.  For me it's the fact you have this beautiful dinner package and then the first thing you have to do is cut it up for three minutes to be able to eat it.  Why not just serve it all cut up to begin with?  Because it's not as cute that way!

Well here comes mini sweet bell peppers to the rescue!  It's like combining our not-so-favorite anymore standby with the fun of jalapeƱo poppers for something that works for dinner or an appetizer!  Also, we normally have done either quinoa or ground turkey for the filling.  Now I have completely converted to sausage. We get local sausage delivered by GreenBEAN Delivery and it is so good with bell peppers!  Of course we're going to add a little more vegetables for flavor and nutrients... and there you go... a dinner you can eat with your hands.  No more cutting up the cute presentation, just eat it!


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