Monday, July 28, 2014

#19 Weekly Menu Planner from TCOT

Welcome to the 19th week of The Cherry On Top's menu planner!

Planning your meals ahead of time saves, time, hassle and money.  You'll also stay away from those restaurants which will help you lower calories and preservatives.  We've come to a point that we cook so well, restaurant food isn't so yummy any more and we are saving the big bucks!

Another tip:  Make the family drink water with dinner if you're not doing this already.  After a while, everyone gets used to it.  Water is essential to health and can help you in numerous ways.   Especially, if you want to lose weight.  Stay away from sugary drinks as much as possible.  A nice, sweet tea at lunch won't hurt.  I HAVE to drink bottled water or I add lemon, lime or mint to tap water.

Let's dive into this week's meals!

Meatless Monday:  Portabello, Veggie Lasagna

This is SO easy!  If you feel it's not enough, then bring some fresh French or Italian bread home and dip it in the sauce.  Mmmmm...It looks fancy, but the directions are really easy!  If ya just can't go without meat, put a slice of ham in-between!

 vegetarian lasagna recipe

Tuesday:  Fish, rice and veg

Bake or boil some fish.  Don't ruin it by throwing it in the fryer!  Go back to last weeks or other previous menu's for more fish recipe ideas if you need them.  I'm supplying you with a copy cat, lime rice recipe.  So easy, convenient ingredients and made very fast.   Try to stay away from long grain rice, but if it's all ya got, then go for it.


Wednesday:  spaghetti

I just made some spaghetti today for lunch and my son said, I had to make it again this week.  So, here it is.  I've also supplied you with a slow cooker recipe!  Come home from work, cook your FRESH pasta, that'll only take 5 minutes or less, set the table and BAM!  I've read in a cook book, that you never have to cook your meat before you put it in the crock pot and frankly, I'm pleased with that.  It saves time, energy and DISHES! (I've got a couple other recipes in other entries.)  Of course, you can always go meatless, again.


Thursday:  pulled pork or chicken

It's as easy as dumping in your choice of meat over some sliced onions and pouring over your favourite bbq sauce over the top and turning on the crock pot.  You can choose a nice toasted kaiser, tortilla wraps, pita or just toast.  I'd whip up a quick raw veggie tray with the family's favourite dressing for dipping.  Olives, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are the fastest veggies to prep.


Fun Food Friday:  Super Nachos

Yeah, Baby!  I love nachos.  Use chicken, shredded beef, bacon, hamburger...whatever you like.  Lay your chips on a baking tray, pour over your cooked meat of choice and add any topping you like.  This is another meal ready in no time flat!  Follow the recipe below for a twist on nachos.


Saturday:  grilled cheese, please

Make a regular grilled cheese or add ham or tomatoes or...try out this recipe.  My boys are gonna love it!  I think it'd be great as a quesedilla, too!


Sunday:  Swedish Meatballs

Ha!  I love Swedish meatballs.  This is exactly how I make them, too!  Make some time for in the kitchen on the weekend if you can.  The kids love helping make the meatballs, believe it or not.  Serve over fries, boiled potatoes, egg noodles...the choice is yours.


Another week, down the hatch!  Thanks for taking a peek.  If ya have any suggestions, add them to the comments and make sure it's constructive!  Hehehe...

Enjoy your week and see ya on Monday!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

TCOT's Weekly Menu Planner #18

Welcome back to another, fabulous, weekly menu planner.

Isn't planning menu's great?!  Save time, money, hassle and eat healthier.  So, here's what's on tap for this week!

Meatless Monday: polenta with veg...

It's a holiday here for us and we'll be whipping up some BBQ!  Ribbs, polenta and corn on the cobb.  Feel free to have the same or bring home some rotisserie chicken after a hectic Monday.  You may want to have some fish with your polenta and corn if you don't want to break out the grill.  I love polenta.  It's a great potato substitute.  Here's a recipe you may want to try.  Polenta is VERY EASY to make!  Add hamburger to your tomato mix if ya gotta have your meat.


Tuesday:  slow cooker stoof vlees

What is that?!  It's basically beef stroganoff, belgian style.  They don't add the cream, but dark beer!  Ya got to let it set for hours.  That's why the slow cooker is the best!  Just dump all of your ingredients in the pot, turn it on and head off to work.  When ya get home all ya have to do is set the table!  Alternative:  If ya have the few minutes, chop up some fresh garlic and onion in the chopper.  You could leave the garlic whole and onion sliced if you plan on cooking for 8 hours or more.  Instead of water, use a dark beer!  Just make sure your mix is just covered with liquid.  If you prefer it creamy and with out beer, then add some sour cream to it when ya get home and let it all warm  through and serve.


Wednesday:  Meat, Veg...Flex

Flex day for left overs or take out.  Consider the healthy choice of staying in and enjoying some baked fish, rice and steamed green beans.  I always recommend a rice cooker.  When the rice is finished, I put in a nice pad of butter and one of those jellied bouillon cubes and stir.  Yummy and fast!  Of course, baked, steamed or grilled fish are your healthiest choices.

This image is all hooked up to a great, fast and easy, baked fish recipe.  You probably have all of the ingredients at home, already.  If ya don't have fresh lemons, use the stuff in the bottle!  Always keep that stuff on hand. 


Thursday:  Fast Fajita Salad

Man!  You are gonna love this one!  Made in minutes, fresh and just might turn out to be a family favourite!  Click on the image for the really easy recipe.


Fun Food Friday:  wings

My hubby is bugging me for wings, again!  I serve them up in traditional, American style.  Raw veggie platter with either ranch or blue cheese dressing and some fries!  Delicious!  The kids are starting to come around to them as well, but I leave off the hot sauce.  There are so many fabulous hot wing recipes out there, but we simply deep fat fry the wings in the frier, while on the stove, we melt butter and add Texas Pete hot sauce.  Then flip the wings all in the sauce.  That's it!  I'll hook ya up with another recipe.  There are actually, two different recipes here along with a dressing recipe, which I always recommend.  Make it yourself!  It's way better in flavour, you can make it like YOU like it and it's ready in mere minutes.


Saturday:  sushi

Not your thing?  Throw a pizza in the oven or consider a fishy steam up!  Place your fish, potatoes or rice and veggies all in the steamer.  Finished quickly, really easy and healthy as all get out!

I like making my own sushi.  The grocer makes it easy by having kits and some lovely fresh fish all ready for sushi making.  I can also buy fresh sushi all ready to go.  That's what I plan on do'n!  hehehe...Here's a pretty easy recipe if want to endeavour the ride.  My hubby loves to make his own sushi.  If ya love prepping stuff and really enjoy cooking, then this is for you!  You can always use canned tuna or cooked shrimp.  It doesn't HAVE to be raw.


Sunday:  chicken alfredo

People!  I am drooling over this one.  This is cajun style!  Wow!  Absolutely fabulous. 


All of the images are hooked up with brilliant recipes for your convenience.  Thanks so much for hopping over and I hope you're able to use theses recipes sometime.  Let me know if ya do!  Have a great week!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week #17 Menu Planner

Welcome back to this week's menu planner!

Monday:  Simple tomato and pasta

Does it get any easier than this?  Not even a recipe for this baby.  Just some images.  It's pretty small, so I'll help ya through it because it is delicious!  Making fresh pasta is the fastest, easiest, healthiest way to cook a meal.  I always have some kind of fresh pasta in the house because it lasts for weeks.  Isn't that awesome?!  This recipe is for ravioli's, but you could easily substitute tortellini, spaghetti, rigatoni...any fresh pasta will work! If you choose dried pasta, get started earlier on it because it takes 3x the time.  If you are not dig'n on the meatless Monday thing, then buy pasta with meat in it.

Let's take a look.  We've got fresh basil here, but you could put oregano, thyme, parsley, etc. I would definitely add GARLIC and onion. It's all really good and super healthy.  I always keep fresh herbs in my kitchen window sill, both inside and outside.  They cost nothing, last a long time, are healthy and makes your meals SOOOOO much better!

Prepare your FRESH pasta according to directions or use dry,  knowing it takes longer.  Then either use a jarred sauce (withOUT sugar) or better yet and 'tis the season, use fresh tomatoes and sautee in olive oil or butter (in this recipe).  Add your salt and pepper and leave the fresh herbs for the last minute or two.  Fresh herbs do not need long to cook, but dried ones do.  If you are using dried herbs, then let them cook the entire way through with your fresh tomatoes.  When everything is nice and soft, you're set.  The pasta should also be finished!  How easy was that?!

Tuesday:  flex day/meat, starch, veg

A flex day is good for left overs or some Chinese take out.  What about baking some drum sticks, grilling a steak or sautéing some sausage?  I'll be making sausage, these camp fire potatoes and broccoli.


Wednesday:  slow cooker swiss steak


One of my Facebook Fans asked for a slow cooker meal.  I'm super happy to oblige because I love using my slow cooker!  Put your ingredients in in the morning and it's ready when you get home.  The house smells great and dinner's ready!  All you have to do is set the table.  I chose a recipe with super easy ingredients that you can find anywhere because she lives in South Africa and I'm not sure just what you can and can't get there.  Fingers crossed that this one will work.  It looks really, really fabulous.  I love cooking with sherry.  It's a permanent feature on my stove top.  I often use it in place of dry white wine, too.  This would be so awesome with some french fries to dip in that delicious sauce or mashed potatoes.  Mmmmm....

Thursday:  toasted chicken Philly cheese steak


Grab some French or Italian bread on your way home or use the half baked bread for the healthiest choices.  You could use tortillas, pitas, kaiser rolls, anything would work!  I love a hoagie style roll like they suggest.  Of course, beef would be great, sausages...Mix it up and enjoy!

Fun Food Friday:  Smoked Salmon Pizza


This looks totally awesome!  I am totally going to make it.  I bought all of the ingredients and can't wait!  They use creme fraische, but I will use Philadelphia cream cheese. To make some short cuts, you could always use the crust that's prepared in the grocer's, but know it's not nearly as healthy.  If this ain't yo' thaang, then just order some take out pizza.  Hehehe...

Saturday:  cheesy ham, potato and BACON casserole


My stomach is actually growling as I'm typing and this one is really making my mouth water.  Wow!  I'll keeping this one on tap because I just got back from Spain and I have a plantain I want to make.  However, I will be making something similar to this.  Platinos cubed, potatoes cubed, diced green onions, prepared ground hamburger, cheddar cheese, cilantro and salt and pepper.  I'll let ya know how it goes!  It's my own concoction, but I think it should be fabulous.

Sunday:  Skillet Chicken Parmasean


This recipe promises to be ready in 20 minutes.  I love that!  I'm serving mine with fresh spaghetti pasta.

I am so looking forward to this week's menu.  I hope you are as well.  I've mentioned it often, if you like what ya see, let me know.  If I get enough responses, I'll make shopping lists for ya.

I have a food board on Pinterest if you like easy, healthy meals like the ones here.  I also have a board dedicated to my weekly menus that you can get easy access to.

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll see ya next week!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Throwing Some Scraps Around Free Quick Page

Welcome to The Cherry On Top!

I just returned from a couple of weeks in Spain!  Wow!  What a great vacation it was.  Now, I have a ton of blogging to do.

I promised my Facebook Fans that I would treat them when I get back.  So, I teamed up with Jodi from Throwing Some Scraps Around and used her new kit, "What Makes You Special".

Boy, have we got some great freebies and awesome deals for you.  Let's take a look at the kit, first.  It's on sale for 50% off which makes it under $2!!!


We are sticking with the trend by including journal cards that are great for project life type of layouts like this one.  My boys in Calpe, Spain.  They climbed the Pinon!  I am so glad I didn't go.  They were inches away from death for hours.  They have no concept of danger, so they loved it!!!  I would have never made it physically or mentally!  LOL!

Jodi always has the prettiest elements in her kits.  I'm shooing off a bunch of them as well as those gorgeous journal cards in this next layout.  A hint of bling is always my thing.

Head over to Throwing Some Scraps Around's blog to find out how to get these two free quick pages for nut'n!

 TSSA Freebie

 tssa freebie

This freebie is no longer available. If ya just love the FREE stuff then you have to head to my FB Page.  I post FREE stuff there every single day.

 TCOT Freebie

With all of these lovely goodies, you can make someone a lovely mini! Thank you for stopping by.  Make sure ya do it again.