Monday Munchies

Folks, I am one sleep deprived lady this Monday morning. Gordita was running a temperature last night, and so we bent our rules and let her crawl into bed with us. BIG. BIG. MISTAKE!

I just don’t get it. How can one fairly small individual totally monopolize the bed. We have a king size bed for Pete’s sake, which in theory should / could fit the four of us, plus the baby bump comfortably.  However, Miss. Sickie-Poo figured mommy only needs a sliver of bed & can totally deal with a baby in her belly and a toddler attempting to crawl into her belly. Can you even picture this all? Hard time, huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought. If it hadn’t been my night I would have a hard time conjuring up the image. My body can attest for it all, too.

Sleep deprived and achy body, life will have to keep pushing forward. Gordita’s heading to the doctor in a bit, because besides the temp, she’s been tearing from her left eye all weekend long. I’m hoping it’s not pink eye. But we shall see.

Back to business, my peeps. I’ve been somewhat lackadaisical in sharing our weekly menu. I know, shame, shame on me. I’ve been meal planning for a few months now and I swear it’s the next best thing to sliced bread. Alright, well maybe one of the next best things. But seriously, the 30 minutes of planning and hour or so of shopping, makes a HUGE difference in our daily routine and budget. I would recommend you giving it a whirl (Home Alone fans??) for a few weeks & you’ll see what I mean.

BBQ Baked Pork Chops, Oven Roasted Potatoes & Corn-on-the-Cob

Lil Giant’s favorite:  Crunchy Chicken, White Rice and Red Beans

Grilled Chicken and Broccoli over Pasta

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Steak Quesadillas

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Sis-in-Law’s Birthday Party

TAKE-OUT

Lasagna

There you have it, our week of meals, plus our sleepless night. Wish us luck at the doctor!

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Rainbow Pancakes

A few weeks ago, the Lil’ Giant requested that I make pancakes on Wacky Wednesday. But between school events and other family obligations, I just couldn’t fit it into our weekly meal plan.  That was until this week.  He was elated, when I announced that breakfast for dinner would materialize on Wednesday. What he didn’t know, was my intention to make Wednesday even more Wackier by serving…

I prepped these COOL and COOKY hotcakes as I regularly would, and just added a few drops of food coloring.

Did you notice my WOW ingredient? I like to add pure vanilla extract into my batter. I know the box says it’s a “complete” mix, just add water. But, me being me, I like to combine the vanilla for added yummi-ness. Oh and that’s another thing, I skip the water & use milk to make my batter.

As I was making these wacky colored pancakes, I was hoping they’d be a hit. No worries after seeing this smile. Lil’ Giant was one happy and full pollito after his serving. SCORE for this mama!

As for Gordita, she was amused by the “awhwange and gein” mini pancakes.

I’m thinking breakfast for dinner will certainly be repeated in our household. Heading over to Pinterest now for some more fun recipes.

What kind of activities have you done for Wacky Wednesday with your kids?

Easiest and Tastiest Spiral Ham {Recipe}

I am soooo late in releasing this blog post. It’s been sitting drafted in my dashboard without the finishing touches, for a little over two weeks. In the words of my daughter: Me, bad little blogger.

So, today I wanted to share with you the Easiest & Tastiest Spiral Ham you’ll ever make. My MIL shared this recipe with me. And it was passed to her by her late sister-in-law, Diana. My daughter is her name sake. Her middle name actually.

Ingredients:

  • 1 10lb Spiral Ham
  • 1/2 cup of packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup of packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup of Water
  • 1/4 cup of Cloves
  • 10 oz bottle of Saucy Susan (peach-apricot glaze)
  • 1 can of Pineapple slices
  • 1/4 cup of Maraschino cherries
  • 4 oz bottle of Ham glaze
  • Wooden toothpicks

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Place ham in a baking pan. Dissolve brown sugar with 1/4 cup of warm water. Apply mixture onto ham. Press the cloves into the sliced ham top. When pressing the cloves towards the front edge of the ham, be careful as the ham may spread. I use the wooden toothpicks, to perform what I call surgery to keep it all together. 
  3. Cover the ham with foil. Make sure to tent the foil. Bake for 2 hours. I calculate the cook time by the pound at 15 minutes. So for a 10lb ham, you’re cooking it for 150 minutes or 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime mix the entire contents of the Saucy Susan, ham glaze, juice from the pineapple slices, 1/2 of the juice from the maraschino cherries and 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate. 
  5. Following the 2 hours in the oven, pull out your ham & remove the cloves. Evenly spread out the pineapples onto the ham, using the wooden toothpicks to hold them. Place a maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple, again using the toothpicks. Spread 3/4 of the glaze mixture on top of the ham.
  6. Place the ham back into the oven, tented with aluminum foil for another 30 minutes, basting frequently. Use a meat thermometer to confirm the internal temperature of 160 degrees. Make sure that the thermometer does not touch the bone.
  7. Once fully cooked, remove the pineapples and cherries & begin to slice. I typically just pull the slices off without the use of a knife.
  8. Serve the ham topped with pineapples, cherries and the saved glazed mixture.

And there you have it, the Easiest and Tastiest Spiral Ham.  Perfect for the Holidays. This ham makes an appearance every Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) feast. And this year I made it for Easter too.

Oh and if you’re gonna ask if this recipe is Weight Watchers friendly or how many calories does it contain. I will have to look at you like a deer in head lights. Let me clue you in on us Spanish Folk, our meals tend to be filled with lots of butter, oil, mayonessa, love and lots of calories. So note, that after eating this ham you’ll most definitely have to work it, either at the gym or hit the pavement. But I will admit, it’s TOTALLY worth it. And so are many more of our signature meals.

With that being said, Buen Provecho Mis Amigos!

Mental Vacation

My brain has been abuzz since last Thursday. Just going at warp speed. We found out some exciting news on Thursday, which I’ll be sharing in a future post. Then there was the record breaking Mega Millions drawing on Friday. I caught myself in daydream after daydream. Thinking about all the FAB-ulous things I would do with that loot; how many people’s lives I would effect, the places I would go. I was giddy with excitement.

But as we all know, you have a greater probability of getting struck by lighting, then hitting the lottery. So, Saturday morning this was more or less my tune.

Good thing, we were heading into The City for dinner, to celebrate the hubby’s birthday. That was enough to zap me out of the Awww-man-I’m-not-an-instant-millionaire-and-have-to-continuing-working funk. Well, that was until I went to get my hair trimmed & the stylist went for more of a bush whack approach. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Tears were shed and swearing ensued. Knowing that my hair would grow helped me come to terms with my resemblance to a little boy. But I digress.

Dinner was a family affair, the Pollitos, our Compadres and their kiddos, were all in attendance. When I tell you we got our fill at Sea Shore Restaurant, that would be an understatement. The serving sizes were monstrous. And the food was scrumptious.

Here’s the two person Paella, I shared with my compadre, Allen. It was absolutely heavenly! And in no way shape or form, was that a two person serving. I had leftovers for Sunday’s lunch and Monday’s lunch, plus Allen took his own container home. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it all. YUM!

Here’s my favorite photo from the evening. The Hubs with the Pollitos with Allen and his little guy.

So between the Mega Millions daydreams and enjoying an authentic Spanish dish, my thoughts have been teeming with images and memories of my MAH-VA-LOUS trip to España. I visited in 2004 through a student exchange program and spent 8 wonderful weeks, in that beautiful country. Six of those weeks, I was based in Segovia with my host family. During that time I had the good luck to visit, Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Barcelona, Figueres and Gran Canaria. I had some truly memorable experiences and saw exquisite art, history and architecture.

While there I took over 1,000 pictures on my very first digital camera. This morning I took a mental break and looked through all of them. Here’s a highlight…

This morning’s trip down memory lane was just what I needed to calm the thoughts & re-energize. Time to start a little slush fund & take my butt back to Spain for another memory making trip.

Picnic Dinner

The temps here in the Northeast were unseasonably warm last week. I welcomed the warmth with open arms, open windows, open toe shoes & outside play with the Pollitos. It was FAB-ulous!!

On Thursday we ditched the dining room table & hit the park, for what my husband called a ghetto picnic. See I also ditched the kitchen and stopped at KFC, grabbed a bucket of chicken, mac & cheese and potato wedges for our picnic. Fried chicken is synonymous with picnics, and so it suited us just fine.

The Pollitos enjoyed the meal.

And reveled in the play-time.

The big kids in us, also relished in some outdoor fun. Totally hassle free, no dinner rush. Just memory making & good night sleeps for the lil ones. Who am I kidding, I had good sleep too.

Speaking of memory making. Today is my honey’s BIRTHDAY! He despises any hoop-la around his special day. But I’m gonna hoop-la all I want. I can’t help wanting to celebrate today. I mean, he’s my hubby, my partner, my best-friend, the love of my life. So babe, I want to wish you the HAPPIEST of Birthdays. I love you to the sky and back. And I hope to make many many many many more memories with you.

Monday Munchies

Menu Planning is really coming in handy. My husband has even caught on. This week’s menu was actually created by him. Go Babe! He’s realized the value and ease of menu planning. He didn’t even mind trekking out in the snow on Saturday with me to hit the supermarket. Talk about team work!

Up on our menu this week…

French’s Crunchy Onion Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Mixed Veggies via French’s

 

 

Beer battered Fish and Chips with Corn on the Cob

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Souperior Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli via Unilever

 

Pot Roast with Yellow Rice

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Rigatoni with Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom via A Taste of Home Cooking

 

Take-Out

 

Dinner at the In-laws.

 

Have you given menu planning a try yet? I promise once you do, you’ll see the way of the Jedi. Ok. Ok. I know totally corny. But I’m serious once you try it a few times, you’ll see how it’ll make a difference in your shopping, in your spending and in your level of dinner frustration.

Monday Munchies

Day 2 of 2012. The house is sparkling. The kids are fed and playing. And it’s time to plan this week’s menu. Sometime back I discovered how absolutely fabulous menu planning can be. I blogged about it here. The extra time I take on Sundays, ok this week Monday, to plan the weeks meals have really made a difference in our day-to-day. For one, there’s no more: “What should I cook today?”, we order out less, and the witching hour, a/k/a the hour right before dinner, runs a whole lot smoother. I basically prep and season what I can for the week and pop it into the fridge or the freezer, until the day of and just cook it.

I’ve even gone so far to prep breakfast in advance. My son adores his silver dollar pancakes in the morning. It’s rare that he’ll eat anything else, but a pancake. So, I make a batch for the week and refrigerate them. Each morning I pull out a serving for him and nuke them for 1 minute. And Whaa-Laa breakfast is served & this mama lessens her stress in the a.m.

This week’s menu is looking like this….

Sesame Ginger Steak Stir Fry over Egg noodles

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Crunchy (Fried) Chicken, arroz blanco y habichuela roja

BBQ Broiled Pork Chops, Rice Pilaf and Broccoli

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Orecchiette with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Sausage via ALL YOU Magazine

Take-Out

Sliders, Baked Onion Rings and Milkshakes

Dinner at The In-Laws

And there you have it, our weekly menu.