Easter Sunday Brunch Menu 2014 {Free Easter Printables}

4.18.2014

Image Source: Mostly Homemade Mom

Every year, my family has a debate over whether to do a big Easter Dinner or a more simple, but still yummy, Easter Brunch. The dinner is fun, with a big ham and all the fixings, but the brunch is so nice to eat outside in the beautiful California sunshine, with the kids running around 3 minutes after they sat down. So, this year, it's brunch!

I'm recycling the main dish, Baked Egg Boats, from last year by popular demand. The only hard part is finding the demi baguettes, so I think that will be my mission today. I'll stick them in the freezer until Sunday morning. I have no idea how I ran across this recipe (probably Pinterest?) but it is so amazingly good. You can tweak the ingredients to suit your own tastes, too.

Side dishes this year were a little tricky. It's fun to have ham with biscuits, but when the main course is mostly bread, what do you serve on the side? Potatoes would be too carby, too.  So, I'm thinking a fruit salad and some roasted asparagus with lemon sauce that I found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

I'm also planning on making the Better than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake for dessert. We brought it to my daughter's school for her birthday and the teacher liked it so much, she took it into the teacher's break room to share. I was crying inside as all my leftovers were gobbled, but the teachers certainly deserve a treat for all their hard work!

And the piece of the meal that will likely be enjoyed almost more than the Baked Egg Boats is a lovely White Sangria. I am on a quest for the best White Sangria recipe, so I'll keep you posted on how this one turns out!

Here's the menu:

Baked Egg Boats {Spoon Fork Bacon}
Asparagus with Lemon Sauce {Better Homes and Gardens}
Pretty, Yummy Fruit Salad {The Pioneer Woman}
A Berry White Sangria Recipe {Fatgirl Hedonist}
Better than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake {Dozen Flours}

I'm also planning on prettying up the table with one of these free Easter printables collections:


Find them here: Whimsically Detailed

Find them here: World Label

Find them here: WC Designs


Find them here: Amanda's Parties to Go

Lately, I have found it to be so much easier to have these things printed at the local FedEx Office or office supply store. My printer can really be finicky, so I end up wasting ink and/or cardstock and it takes a total of 10 minutes for me to go pick them up. Easy peasy.

Well that's it for our big Easter shindig this year. Do you do a brunch or a big ham dinner with your family?

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

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Twitterature {April 2014)

4.15.2014



I have a firm policy that if I share the good, I have to share the not so good, too. Well, this month "me and reading" were not so good. By way of explanation, we recovered from marathon illnesses last month, then my husband and I served in committee chair positions for our preschool's big auction fundraiser. Then I thought it would be a super idea to throw a party for 40 people the next day and head out on a 7 hour car trip a few days later, with two kids, by myself. Needless to say, I fell into bed exhausted every night and spent my usual reading time catching up on my task list. I did read a whole ton of magazines, though!

Twitterature is a place to share short, casual reviews of books and I'm linking up to the event over on Modern Mrs. Darcy. I'm currently listening to Elizabeth the Queen and reading Reached, although it's taking me some time to really get into both of those. My thoughts on those next month, but here's what I read over the last month:


Under Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles #2), Colin Meloy

Under Wildwood follows another great read, Wildwood, and precedes the recently published Wildwood Imperium. The audio version I listened to was read by the author (who is the lead singer of The Decemberists), which made it seem more authentic for some reason. I just keep thinking: "Wow, this guy's imagination is amazing." This was a worthy sequel to Wildwood and made me want to keep going in the series.

Aaaaand, that's it. Don't judge! I got a lot of things done in the last month, but reading was not among them.

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This Week's Meal Plan {April 7 - 14}

4.09.2014


So, I was a little overambitious last week. I learned my lesson and took it back a notch this week in an effort to recover from over a month of craziness around here. Work, volunteering at preschool for the big auction, and planning and carrying out two birthday parties sort of pushed me over the edge. It was so nice to wake up this morning and feel well rested, then go about our regular routine. And part of that routine is the weekly menu plan, so I finally got around to making it!

I am using Facebook more and more as a news and blog reader, which is how I found the Chicken with Shallots recipe from Andrew Zimmern's wife. It was part of a great New York Times article on what chefs make for dinner at home. While we're talking about Facebook, go like the page for Plan to Happy!

Monday

Taco Bell - I was still recovering.  ;)

Tuesday

Rashia Zimmern's Chicken with Shallots {New York Times} - This was an outstanding and easy one pot dish that is a serious contender for Star of the Week.
Cous Cous

Wednesday

Slow Cooker BBQ Pot Roast over Cheddar Ranch Grits {Plain Chicken}
Green Salad

Better than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake {Dozen Flours} - My daughter requested this for her treat to bring to class. It is a high maintenance recipe (it requires you to supreme lemons, grrrr), but ever so yummy. I'll make it the night before and hopefully the kids will like it as much as she does!

Thursday

Leftovers - I'm thinking I'll put the pot roast on buns and eat it as sandwiches for night two.

Friday

Birthday Celebration - Happy Birthday to my daughter!

Saturday

Eggplant Rollatini {Bon Appetit}- Didn't make it last week and we might be going to a potluck on Saturday, so it might get pushed back to next week (again).

Sunday

We're going to grill something because our weather is gorgeous, but this requires a consultation with my Brother in Law, so it's a work in progress.

Star of Last Week

The Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce with Garlic Naan and Greek Spinach Rice that my husband requested for his birthday was a huge hit with all in attendance, making it the star of last week's menu. It was a great meal. In fact, it was so good that I didn't even take a picture.....

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!










{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {March 31 - April 6}

3.31.2014



I may seem like a glutton for punishment, but I am giving slow cooker Zuppa Toscana another shot, with a different recipe this time. The one I made a few weeks ago was just a watery, disgusting mess. However, the new recipe I found includes a step that adds flour to thicken it, so I have high hopes. I think I just picked the wrong pin last time and I learned my lesson!

I'm also trying an alternative recipe to my old favorite Eggplant Rollups from Rachael Ray. I was talking to a friend at work about how great RR's recipe was. She reminded me that she brought me the Bon Appetit version when I was on maternity leave and that I said it was way better than Rachael's. Now, I have no memory of this - Moms of newborns will understand. So, I have to give it a try to test whether it really is better than Rachael's.

I also have to confess that I keep forgetting to plan side dishes. That means I get started making dinner and really have to scramble, which I drives me crazy. This week, I remembered. Can you remind me next week?  Thanks.

Here's this week's menu:

Monday

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana {My Recipes} - despite the description, it's not better than Olive Garden, but it was better than my last attempt. If I could have let it cook longer to thicken up a little bit, it would have been even better.

Tuesday

Leftovers

Wednesday

Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles {Taste of Home Magazine}

Thursday

Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki Sauce on Garlic Naan {Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine}
Greek Spinach Rice {Olga's Home and Garden Blog}

Friday

Eggplant Rollatini {Bon Appetit Magazine}
Garlic Bread
Green Salad

Saturday

Auction Fundraiser {wish our preschool some good luck!}

Sunday

Birthday Party

Star of Last Week

Wow, this Green Curry with Chickpeas and Swiss Chard from last week was totally worth an extra trip to a specialty store to get green curry paste (I found it at Cost Plus). This is as good, if not better, than curry I've had in Thai restaurants. I served it with basmati rice, but jasmine rice would be even better. Even my picky brother in law loved it. Try this!!!!  {Fair Warning - it's pretty spicy.}


Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!










{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {March 24 - 30}

3.24.2014


This is a judgment free zone, right? Okay, because I only made dinner two nights last week.  Whooops. Things just got a little nuts around here. The old me would have run herself ragged trying to make the dinner plan happen. The new me decided we should support my daughter's school and go out for their fundraiser instead of cooking.

The new me also decided that there's no point in cooking for two of us, when the other two were going to a dinner time birthday party, right? So, there are two recipes brought forward from last week, since most of the items for them were still in good shape!

Monday

Chicken and Swiss Chard Pasta Bake {The Kitchn} - I used the leftover chicken from the Engagement Roast Chicken (made on Sunday instead of Saturday) since I didn't trust the Rotisserie Chicken I bought a week ago. [Updated to add - this was good, but sorta dry. Might need some chicken stock?]
Green Salad
Garlic Bread

Tuesday

Leftovers

Wednesday

Asian Style Dumpling Soup {America's Test Kitchen via Refinery 29} - another holdover from last week.

Thursday

Green Chickpea and Chicken Curry with Swiss Chard {Crepes of Wrath} - I have two bunches of chard to still use up and this recipe jumped out at me on Pinterest.
Brown Rice

Friday

Sushi!

Saturday

Tortellini Soup with Beans and Chard {Annie's Eats} - the last of the chard better go with this one!

Sunday

Eat Out!

Star of Last Week

Since I only made two meals last week, this was not a hard decision. It was definitely the Engagement Roast Chicken and Roasted Ranch Potatoes and Carrots.  That Ina knows her stuff, I am telling you. A roast chicken is such a treat, but so darn easy.  Give this recipe a try!


And just because it was super fun, here's the Lucky Charms Ice Box Cake we made on St. Patrick's Day, which was crazy yummy and cute, too.



Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!










{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {March 17 - 23}

3.16.2014


Happy St. Patrick's Day! This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on the same day as my daughter's late afternoon dance class, so I don't get to make the awesome Corned Beef recipe I tried last year. We'll see how Martha's slow cooker version works. And if it stinks, we'll just eat the Lucky Charms Ice Box Cake, right?

Last week, the Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana was an epic fail (see what we ended up eating instead over on the facebook page). And a couple weeks before that, the Chicken and Broccoli Casserole was, well, dog food-ish. This has reminded me of an important lesson - avoid recipes with no reviews and if there are reviews, for God's sake, trust them. If you love something, pay it forward and leave a good review yourself!

Monday

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage {Everyday Food by Martha Stewart}
Crusty Bread

Tuesday

Leftovers

Wednesday

Asian Style Dumpling Soup {America's Test Kitchen via Refinery 29}

Thursday

Chicken and Swiss Chard Pasta Bake {The Kitchn}
Green Salad

Friday

Sushi Night! {Sure doesn't seem like a Lenten sacrifice when it tastes so darn good.}

Saturday

Engagement Roast Chicken {Ina Garten}
Ranch Roasted Potatoes and Carrots {Jam Hands}
Baguette

Sunday

Eat Out

Star of Last Week

No doubt about it - the best meal from last week was also the least photogenic one: Sausage and Zucchini Bake. I had planned on making it with egg noodles, until I pulled out the container and it was empty. However, the brown rice was just as yummy as I think the noodles would have been.



Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!










{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

Twitterature {March 2014)

3.15.2014



I was behind the ball on last month's Twitterature. I posted it about 10 days late, so this month's has arrived quickly! If you're new to Twitterature, it's about short, casual reviews of books you've read in the last month. Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy hosts a linkup for it, so head over there to see more reviews.

This month was a slow one for reading - I barely made it through two books, mostly because it was a month chock full of illness and I fell into bed exhausted every night! I did read an awful lot of magazines, though, which are much easier to put down when a child is, well, let's not talk about that....

I am currently listening to Under Wildwood and can't decide what to read next. It was going to be the next book in the Mysterious Benedict Society series, but I'm leaning towards Wedding Night or State of Wonder. I may finally be over my YA binge (for now)!

Here's what I read over the last month:


The Shattering (Guardians of Ga'Hoole #5), Kathryn Lasky

I loved how this story helped transition to some new characters, which keeps things lively. I'm hooked and requested number 6 from the library!


Crossed (Matched #2), Ally Condie

I liked the two narratives but as reviewers on Goodreads noted, sometimes I would forget who was talking and had to flip back. That led me to realize that the characters did not have unique voices.

{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}