December 5, 2013
Invitations & Décor:
- Invitations were from Tiny Prints
- Banner and cupcake picks were from Favors4Fun on Etsy. Great vendor to work with, and the final product was very high quality.
- Weighted balloon bouquets. What’s a birthday party without balloons?
- Juice Boxes
- Kuerig Cocoa & Apple Cider with whipped cream vodka
- Veggies & Dip
- Creamy Bacon & Cheese Dip with Potato Chips & Pretzels
- Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip from Costco
- Goldfish Crackers
- Cheese, Sausage, & Cracker Plate
- Hot Dogs in the Crockpot
- Pulled Chicken
- Mac & Cheese from Costco
- Meg’s Harvest Salad
- Baked Beans
- Caramel Dip with Apples & Graham Crackers - Added a little salt to the linked recipe
Birthday banner from Favors4Fun.
Digging into lunch with his cousins.
Birthday boy bouncing with his cousins.
Late night bouncing!
December 5, 2013
- Friday: Family Dinner with the Cuperys
- Saturday: Gallaway Family Dinner: Anti-pasti and Pizza Delivery from Falbo Brothers
- Sunday: Thanksgiving Leftovers
- Monday: Leftover Pizza and Caesar Salads
- Tuesday: TJ’s Mandarin Chicken, Stir-Fried Vegetables, and Rice
- Wednesday: Sausage & Peppers with Red Sauce over Gnocchi
- Thursday: Left-Overs
… After the last few weeks, I feel like I’m really phoning it in here, but even I need a bread sometimes!
December 5, 2013
- Friday: Chicken Alfredo Pizza with Bacon - We really liked this, especially since it wasn’t nearly as rich as you might expect, though I still love a salad with my pizza. HIGHLY recommend fresh basil to finish it off.
- Saturday: French Bistro Inspired Dinner Party with the Lau’s and Renno’s
- Sunday: Kentucky Hot Brown Bake - We liked this, but it look about 90 minutes, so plan accordingly to avoid your husband asking you every 10 minutes if dinner is ready. I will say I felt like it needed something like a schmear of mustard, but that might just be me, as Jim said it was fine as is. For the record, he says almost everything is fine as is.
- Monday: Left-Overs of Short-Ribs and Pear Salad – If it’s good the first time, why not have more?
- Tuesday: Steakhouse Baked Potatoes - This is a great easy and well received meal in our house, especially now that Carter has decided he likes potatoes. I recommend making an extra potato for lunches and/or killer hashbrowns on the weekend.
- Wednesday: Southwest Chicken Salads with Avocado Ranch
- Thursday: Thanksgiving Contributions: Slow Cooker Stuffing with Sausage, Apples, and Cranberry, Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprout Gratin with Shallots and Rosemary, Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart - The stuffing was great, though I did finish in the oven, as I was nervous I wouldn’t get any crunch and/or brown in the slow cooker. The Brussels sprouts were as delicious as the first time. I will say that I quarter, rather than shred, my sprouts, as I like them to keep their crunch through the sauté and baking process. Now, the tart. I cannot tell you how excited I was to make this. On the flip side, I cannot tell you how disappointed I was in how it turned out. I followed the directions to a T, and to see how the final product cracked and separated was a huge bummer. I will say it tasted great, but the presentation was less than desirable.
November 24, 2013
- Kir Royales
- Gougeres – These were simple and delicious. They present quite fancy, but your guests don’t have to know how simple they really are. I added a good teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. They can be made ahead and warmed in the oven just before your guests arrive.
- Salami Plate – Slices of peppered salami were a great balance for the veggies and gougeres.
- TJ’s Rosemary Almonds – Fantastic find. A really full rosemary flavor that doesn’t overpower the almond.
- Cheese Plate with Brie and alongside Crackers and Raisin Rosemary Crisps
- Crudités – Some find it boring or predictable, but I usually have a veg plate out at all my parties. I find it’s a nice counterbalance to the other appetizers that are often quite rich.
- Roquefort Pear Salad - I cheated a bit here, and used Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear vinaigrette rather than making from scratch. I also used dried cherries rather than cranberries, just cause I felt like it.
- Bistro-Style Short Ribs - This is a great recipe. Make it on the weekend when you have lots of time to wait for the deliciousness. Also, it’s a great choice for company, as you can do the work in the morning, and simply bring back to temp before your guests arrive.
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Fresh Baguette and Irish Butter – Every once in awhile, you MUST treat you and your guests to really good butter.
- Jessica’s Oreo Layer Cake – Yum!
November 24, 2013
- Friday: Sushi Night! – Realizing that it had been awhile since Jim got to join us for sushi, we picked up take-out from Asiana in Pewaukee. Now, while their food is great, their service is awful, which is part of the reason we don’t dine in. We ordered following: Edamame, Pan-Fried Dumplings, Clear Mushroom Soup, Vegetable Tempura, and the following rolls: Cucumber, California, Yellowtail & Scallian, and Western (Spicy crab w. crunch inside and avacado, shrimp tempura outside w. mayonnaise sauce on top).
- Saturday: Spicy Beef Tacos, Rice, “Refried” Black Beans, Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole – These tacos with Penzey’s Bold Taco Seasoning continue to be one of Jim’s favorite meals, and a go-to for me when I just don’t know what to make. Win-win!
- Sunday: Pancake Breakfast with Oven-Roasted Bacon
- Monday: Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, Wild Rice Pilaf, and Steamed Green Beans – Finally broke in my cast iron skillet, and I do not know what took me so long. After one use, I am sold. This was a simple recipe, that yielded flavorful, juicy chicken with crispy skin. And really, isn’t the skin the best part???
- Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with Garlic Bread & Caesar Salads
- Wednesday: Asian Chopped Salads with Grilled Chicken Tenderloins
- Thursday: Carter’s Choice – Chicken Nuggets, Macaroni & Cheese, and Broccoli – Every once in awhile I let Carter pick dinner. While he eats what we eat most of the time, he is definitely a normal 5 year old who likes his “kid food”. Admittedly, Jim looks forward to these nights as much as Carter does, and I don’t mind them either.
November 14, 2013
- Friday: Semi-Homemade Fish Fry – Grabbed some frozen fish from the grocery store and baked with some fries and served with a quick broccoli slaw. After the week I had, I
wantedneeded easy peasy.
- Saturday: Lasagna with Garlic Bread and Caesar Salads – I think I need to write this one down and formally post, as it was excellent. I based it off of Annie’s recipe, but changed slightly to use the huge pot of sauce and meatballs I made. The best part is that I divided the recipe between 2 pans and tossed one in the freezer.
- Sunday: Football Food and Meatball Sandwiches
- Monday: Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders, Broccoli, and Roasted Teeny Potatoes
- Tuesday: TJ’s Beef & Broccoli with Egg Rolls and Rice
- Wednesday: Zuppa Tuscana with Salad & Rolls
- Thursday: Leftover Lasagna with Garlic Bread and Caesar Salads