How to: Pallet Planter Box

Dining Room 3Today’s post is for all you DIY’ers out there, especially that use power tools, or have husband’s that do!

As I mentioned in my last post, we’re having 27 people this year for Thanksgiving, so it’s gonna be a biggen’.  I have been thinking a lot about the table we’ll all eat at.  Our house isn’t big enough to house that many people in the dining room.  The good news is, we always eat outside for Thanksgiving.  The weather is beautiful in November in Texas, in fact, it might be the best month of the whole year.  So location was easy.  We have a large outdoor table and two card tables, and Chris’ brothers decided their project when they all get together is a big picnic table to seat the rest.  So the “table” was taken care of.  Dining Room 2
 
I ordered two more of these beauties after finding one of them on the clearance aisle at Target.  Sadly they were not clearance online, but for less that $20, I thought they were still a steal and would make the Dining RoomFrankentable, look a little bit more uniform. 
 
While the tablecloths pulled the table together, I wanted a statement piece for the middle of the table.  I also wanted it to be something I could use until Thanksgiving on my little 6 person farmhouse table, and then move it to a  the mess that will be a 27 person table.
 
I had seen these large planter-like boxes filled with gourds and things on Pinterest and on the farmhouse sites I sometimes buy decor on, but they were crazy expensive, so I asked my darling husband if he thought he could make me one.  Of course the answer was yes, and I’m not even sure if I actually showed him a picture.  He just grabbed our oldest son and the embarked on taking a pallet that had been sitting in our garage for awhile now apart.
 
 
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 After many failed attempts at taking apart pallets, Chris came up with a very easy way to remove the board.  He just cuts them with a saw where they’re attached to the cross board.  It does shorten the boards, but you can’t really use the end bits any way.  They end up splintering off and you make a mess.  This is so much easier.  

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For the plan(null)_1ter, he cut 5 boards off.  Four of them will be the sides and the bottom boards.  The fifth, was cut for the short sides and the braces on the bottom.
 
Next, was assembly.  Chris and Nolan assembled the bottom, sides and feet with a hammer and small drywall nails.  Pretty straight forward.
 
The box is about 4′ by 6″ and is about 6″ tall.  It fits perfectly on my little table and it is definitely a statement piece.  I stuffed it full of gourds, p
inecones, a few candles, and other bits and pieces I have had for awhile now.  I didn’t want it finished, although I’m pretty sure the husband thought I was crazy.  I really like the rustic “dirty look of it.  It’s a nice contrast with all of the things I stuffed in it.  I’m really pleased with it and am excited to see it on the Thanksgiving table too!
 
 

Weekly Menus 11/13

imageThis week I began trying to go easy on carbs. I am trying to lose a little weight, and that always helps. Also, two of the meals are meatless. I was really surprised at how full I felt with all of them, even the spaghetti squash dinner, which I was skeptical about. Best of all, it actually turned out to be my favorite dinner of the week, followed by the salad.

There are a couple of ingredients that aren’t common, goat cheese being one of them. I know a lot of people don’t like it. Hell, I didn’t like it until about a three years ago. If you want a substitute, cream cheese is great. You still get that “fatty” feeling that I’m pretty sure is the reason the squash dish became filling, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try the goat cheese. It was really awesome iimagen there.

Pancetta is another ingredient in that meal that is uncommon. It’s basically Italian bacon, but like
everything the Italian’s do, it’s way better. You can find it with the fancy cheese and salami in your grocery store and I promise, it’s worth finding. However, if you can’t find it, bacon wouldn’t be terrible.

I hope you enjoy the menu’s this week!

For those of you that ordered shirts, I’m officially going to pick them up tomorrow (also, thank you for ordering them!) Should you still want to order them, they’ll be on sale until Saturday, so snatch them up while they’re still cheap. I have about 9 more left!

-Jayne
 
Shopping List 11-13

 

Zuppa Toscana (Potato & Kale Soup with Italian Sausage)
Serves 6
This is a lot like that soup at Olive Garden but sooo much better. The whole family loves this one!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 pound italian sausage
  3. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 onion, diced
  6. 4 cups chicken broth
  7. 3 small russet potatoes, thinly sliced
  8. 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  9. 1 cup half and half
  10. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. To a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Brown the sausage until no longer pink. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onions a translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, and kale. Bring the broth to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the half and half, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Pork and Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry
Serves 4
This was really easy and the boys loved it. They love Asian food, so I know it's going to be an easy night when I make something like this. I served Chris and the boys white rice with this, but I left it out, since I'm going easy on the carbs. It was really great and filling even without.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  2. 1 pound lean pork, cut into bite size pieces
  3. 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  4. 1 (12oz) bag broccoli slaw
  5. 1 cup red bell pepper, cut in thin sticks
  6. 1 cup scallions, sliced
  7. 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or chopped
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
  9. ½ teaspoon chili garlic powder
  10. ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  11. ¼ cup rice vinegar
  12. 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  13. 1 tsp fish sauce, optional
  14. ½ cups white rice, optional
Instructions
  1. If you are making rice with this, cook 1 ½ cups of rice following package directions. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet or wok. Add pork and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until completely cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from pan and add to a plate. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in pan. Add all the veggies. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic and chili garlic sauce. Continue to cook and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chicken back in, add soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin, and fish sauce. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, if you are having rice, place in the bottom of the bowl and top with stir fry. If you are not having rice, just serve the stir fry in bowls.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese
Serves 4
Chris and I ate this for a date night the other night. It is so tasty! And best of all it's healthy, but really filling. I'm definitely making this again.
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Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium spaghetti squash
  2. Salt
  3. Pepper
  4. 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  5. 6 oz pancetta, diced
  6. 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  7. 10 ounces of spinach
  8. 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Cut both squash in half, clean them out. Salt and pepper the cavities and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 2 halves at a time for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your microwave. Test doneness by piercing the flesh with a fork. Once done, set it aside on the counter while you cook the pancetta and spinach. It’ll be easier to handle if you let it cool for 10 minutes before taking it apart.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the walnuts. Toast for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the pancetta. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, just until the very edges of the pancetta start to brown slightly, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook until the pancetta is crispy and the fat has rendered out, about 5 more minutes.
  4. When the pancetta is done, turn the heat up to medium and add the red wine vinegar while stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. This will deglaze your pan, so that all of the caramelized bits of pancetta end up in your food and not stuck to the bottom of your pan. After about 20 seconds, turn the heat back down to low and add the spinach, one handful at a time, stirring after every addition so that the spinach wilts and there’s room in your skillet for more. When all of the spinach is wilted, turn the burner off under the skillet and let everything sit in there while you finish the squash.
  5. Use a fork to pull the strands of the spaghetti squash apart, adding them to the skillet as you go. When all of the squash is in the skillet, add the goat cheese and walnuts and toss everything together just to combine.
  6. Divide between two plates and serve immediately.
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Harvest Turkey Salad
This was really tasty
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb turkey cutlets
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1 tsp pepper
  4. 1 tbsp thyme
  5. 1 tbsp garlic powder
  6. 1 tbsp oil
  7. 1 cup pecan pieces
  8. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  9. 2 tsp butter
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. 2 large eggs
  12. 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  13. 2 pears, diced
  14. 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  15. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  16. 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  17. For the poppy seed dressing
  18. 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  19. 1/4 cup milk
  20. 1 tablespoon sugar
  21. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  22. 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. To make the poppy seed dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, apple cider vinegar and poppy seeds in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Season turkey cutlets with salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and place turkey cutlets in skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. Set aside.
  3. Wash skillet out, reheat and add pecans, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Let the butter and brown sugar melt, stirring constantly to make sure the pecans don't burn. Continue to cook 3-4 minutes until all the sugar is melted and the pecans are covered. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain hot water and fill pan with ice and water. Set aside for 8-10 minutes. Drain well before peeling and dicing.
  5. To assemble the salad, slice turkey in long strips, combine sliced turkey, chopped romaine, eggs, pear, strawberries, pecans, cranberries and goat cheese. Serve immediately with poppy seed dressing.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Veggie Sheppard's Pie
Serves 6
This is a guest post by my mommy. She made it on Monday and it looked fabulous. I told her I would share it with you guys! Can't wait to make it myself.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Potatoes, diced into 1" chunks
  2. ½ Onion, diced
  3. 3 Carrots, diced
  4. 3 Celery Stalks, diced
  5. 1 tbsp oil
  6. 2 Cups of Mushrooms, quartered
  7. 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  8. 1 tbsp tomato paste
  9. 1 tbsp flour
  10. 1 tsp sage
  11. 1 tsp thyme
  12. 2 cups of stock of your choice
  13. ¼ cup red wine
  14. 1 tsp salt
  15. 1 tsp pepper
  16. 2 cups milk
  17. 2 tbsp butter
  18. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Boil potatoes until tender. Saute onion, carrot and celery in 1 tbsp oil for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add in tomato paste, flour, spices, stock, red wine, salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened.
  2. Mash potatoes with milk, butter, salt and pepper.
  3. To assemble, place the veggie mixture in a pie plate. Cover with mashed potatoes. Spray the top with cooking spray and broil for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Pumpkin Chocolate Cake
Yields 12
This was really good. I love the combination of chocolate and pumpkin!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 3 tablespoons sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  8. 2 cups sugar
  9. ¾ cup baking cocoa
  10. 1 tsp. baking powder
  11. ½ tsp. salt
  12. ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  13. 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  14. ¼ cup milk
  15. 2 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until fully combined and then set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9x13-in. baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In another larger mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add in the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix just until combined - Do NOT overmix. Spread into the prepared baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of your pumpkin mixture on top of the chocolate mixture, run a knife horizontally back and forth in about 1" intervals. Go back and run the knife vertically in 1" intervals.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center tests clean.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Chunky Monkey Muffins
Yields 12
My favourite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey. I love the flavor combination of chocolate, walnut and banana. While I don't have the ice cream very often, these have become a staple breakfast muffin in our house. A little chocolate never hurt anyone!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup plain or Greek yogurt or sour cream
  4. 1/4 cup oil
  5. 3 Tablespoons milk or buttermilk
  6. 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  7. 1 1/2 cups flour
  8. 3/4 cup sugar
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  10. 1/4 tsp salt
  11. 1 cup chocolate chips
  12. ½ cup walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt until combined. Add in the mashed bananas, egg, yogurt/sour cream, oil, milk and vanilla. Whisk everything together, just until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Do not overmix.
  3. Fill muffin tins ⅔'s of the way up and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are a deep golden-brown and they spring back when you gently press the tops.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
 

Be thankful!

So a week ago I got a wild hair and decided that I wanted to finally open my online shop.  Right now I have one item and I am so excited about it!

Thanks to my amazing friends at NB Sign and Design,  who are amazingly talented and creative, I was able to create a cute and inexpensive t-shirt, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Every year, I have good intLadies Cut Thankful T-shirtentions of changing into a cute outfit before dinner, and because I’m overzealous and a little crazy, I have too many things to do and I end up in a t-shirt and jeans.  I know the family doesn’t care, but I really wanted to be able to “dress up” a little, while having the comfort of a shirt and jeans.  I think this is the perfect solution.  

They should be ready quickly, but because they are in line to be printed, I’m offering an early bird special.  If you order before they arrive to me, you get 20% off.  They are only $14.40 right now!  Just head to my shop, or click the Shop link at the top of the page.  I only have 15 right now, and I’m hoping they’ll go fast.  Should I sell out or I don’t offer your size and you’re still interested, message me.  If I have enough people, I may print again!!

They are a really soft knit v-neck shirt that I have felt and seen personally.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!  

Oh and if your in NB, San Antonio or Austin, use the coupon code PICKMEUP and message me.  I’ll let you know when you can pick them up or when I’m heading to your area.  

I can’t wait to hear what you think and see them on you!!

-Jayne

 

 

 

 

Weekly Menus 11/8

 

Hello-november-picturesOh my lord this week has been insane.  I hope your week has been a bit easier.  Twice this week I forgot to take dinner out before I left for work.  The twins have been at science camp since Wednesday, so I didn’t have my helpers to pull something out.  Thank God for fish that defrosts quickly and everyone’s love of breakfast dinner (which is not listed here). Omelettes are acceptable dinner, right?

I know there are three beef recipes. If you want, you could do the nachos meatless or with chicken and they’d be great. I will be better next week :).

Our favorite recipe this week was the braised beef soup. It was so good and different from traditional beef stew or soup. Oh and the rhubarb crumble is always a favorite. The boys skipped Halloween candy the next night to finish it off. So yummy!

This week I am giving prizes for sharing your photo of your favorite recipe. You can share them via email: thegirlwiththegreendoor@gmail.com, or on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thegirlwiththegreendoor/ If you get a chance, like that page too. I will eventually not post the recipes on my own page, so as to not annoy those who aren’t interested.

Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!

-Jayne 

 

 

Braised Beef Soup
Serves 8
The soup was fantastic on a rainy Sunday night watching Doctor Who. I took the leftovers the next day for lunch and I think it was even better. The meat is super tender and amazing!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds of beef stew meat
  2. 1/4 yellow onion, quartered
  3. 6 cloves of garlic, rough mince
  4. 2 cups of red wine
  5. 4 cups of beef broth
  6. 4 carrots, medium dice
  7. 1 large can of whole tomatoes, broken up, without juice
  8. 3 cups of fresh spinach (1 cup frozen)
  9. 1/2 pound of cavatappi pasta
Instructions
  1. In a large dutch oven, sear stew meat and onions on high heat, for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Add red wine, broth, carrots and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and let cook for at least 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.
  2. Once meat is tender add spinach and pasta to the pot and cook on the stove top for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables and pasta are tender.
Notes
  1. I served the soup with the homemade crescent rolls in the following recipe.
Adapted from Everyday Occasions
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Lemon Garlic Flounder with Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus
Serves 6
This was a healthy and quick week night meal that everyone enjoyed. The boys especially loved the potatoes.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Flouder
  1. 1.5 pounds flounder fillets
  2. 1 tbsp. each parsley and oregano
  3. 2 tbsp. butter (or olive oil)
  4. Salt and pepper, to taste
  5. 1-2 large lemons, cut into thin slices
Potatoes
  1. 3 pounds potatoes, cut in 1" pieces
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  7. 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  9. 2-3 tbsp oil
Asparagus
  1. 1 lb Asparagus
  2. Lemon Juice
  3. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Place potatoes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, basil and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine. Drizzle with oil. Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, in a broiler tin or 9×12 shallow baking pan lay fish fillets. Season with salt and pepper, place fresh herbs, and thinly sliced pieces of butter on top of fish fillets. Lay 2-3 lemon slices on top of each fillet. Squeeze any remaining lemon pieces and juice onto the fish. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until fish is light and flaky.
  4. Bring 1 inch salted water to a boil in a large skillet. Break ends off of asparagus and add to pot. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes for medium and 7 minutes for jumbo. Drain, season with lemon juice and salt and pepper and serve with the flounder and potatoes
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Nachos Supreme
Serves 6
I'm not gonna lie, the boys were ecstatic about making nachos for dinner. It's awesome when I can make something they like and there are no arguments at dinner. Should you want to make this meatless or with chicken, it's pretty easy to sub out.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can tomatoes and chillies
  2. 8 oz Velveeta
  3. 1 lb ground beef
  4. salt
  5. pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon chill powder*
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder*
  8. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder*
  9. 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  10. 1 bag Tortilla chips
  11. 1 15 oz can Black Beans
  12. 6 tsp sour cream
  13. 2 tomatoes, diced
  14. sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño (optional)
  15. 2 green onions, chopped
  16. 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  17. 6 tsp guacamole or 1 avocado, diced
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef in skillet on medium high. Season beef with salt,pepper,cumin,chili powder, and garlic powder and let cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  2. In a small pan, combine Velveeta with can of tomatoes and chiles and cook on med-low until all the cheese is melted.
  3. On each plate or bowl, arrange first layer of chips. Layer with cheese,beans,and beef. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeños, green onions, cilantro, and guacamole or diced avocado.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Lighter Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo
This is a great version of an alfredo sauce that doesn't have quite as many calories as the real version. I served it with a side salad and the left over rolls I made Sunday.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. fettuccine
  2. 4 cups broccoli florets
  3. 12 oz. medium uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp
  4. 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  7. 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  8. 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  9. 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  10. 1 1/2 cups milk (I use lowfat)
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  13. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  14. 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  15. 2 oz. cream cheese, cubed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions in generously salted water.
  2. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and then add broccoli into pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp into the pan, season with salt, pepper and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp is pink.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 3 minutes, or until raw flour smell is gone, then turn heat to low. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted, followed by mozzarella cheese until melted. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in roasted broccoli and shrirmp followed by al dente pasta until well coated in sauce, adding additional milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Slow Cooker Chili
This is my favorite chili recipe. It's not too spicy; the boys don't like super spicy. We serve this with corn bread or the boys like to make Frito pie. The notes below explain that.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs ground beef, browned
  2. ¼ cup chili powder
  3. 1 large can diced tomatoes
  4. 1 large can tomato sauce
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp cumin
  7. ½ tsp oregano
  8. 1 whole onion, chopped
  9. 1 tbsp garlic powder
  10. ¾ tsp paprika
  11. 1 ¼ cups water, divided
  12. 2 tbsp masa
Instructions
  1. Combine everything, except the masa and ¼ cup of water into a crock pot on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. To thicken, add the 2 tbsp of masa in ¼ cup of water and stir into the chili. Allow to cook on high for 30 minutes.
  2. Toppings can include sour cream, cheddar cheese, or diced green onion.
Notes
  1. To make frito pie, place ¼ cup fritos in a bowl, cover with chili and cheese. The boys inhale chili this way.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Homemade Crescent Rolls
Yields 2
These are really easy to make and are really tasty, much better than the refrigerator rolls from the grocery store!
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup warm water, 110 - 115 degrees
  2. 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  3. 1/3 cup + 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  4. 1 1/3 cups whole milk, warmed to 110 - 115 degrees
  5. 3/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature, divided
  6. 1 large egg, at room temperature
  7. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Stir yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar into the warm water, whisk until yeast has dissolved then let rest 5 - 10 minutes until mixture is foamy.
  2. Pour yeast mixture (scrapping out excess) into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add in 1/3 cup sugar, warm milk, 5 Tbsp butter, egg and salt. Blend mixture until combine.
  3. Add in 2 cups flour and mix until well combine. Switch attachment to a dough hook, with mixer on low speed, slowly add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and mix until dough is smooth and elastic (only add enough flour to pull away from bowl), about 4 - 5 minutes (dough should be slightly sticky when touched). Transfer dough to a greased, large mixing bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm place, free from draft, until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Punch dough down and divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Roll each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about 13 inches across (try to keep dough as much of an even thickness as possible). Spread each circle of dough evenly with 2 Tbsp butter. Cut each circle into 4 equal quarters, then each quarter into 3 wedges (just imagine cutting pizza slices or pie slices). Roll each wedge up, beginning on wide (outside) edge.
  5. Place rolls on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (the tip of the rolled wedge should be tucked on the bottom. Note that you can fit 3 rows of 8 rolls). Cover rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. During the last 10 minutes of rising preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls in preheated oven for 15 - 19 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with remaining 3 Tbsp butter (you may not need all of it). Serve warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Rhubarb Crumble
Serves 6
This is one of my favorite English desserts and it reminds me of being home with my family. My Aunty Anne taught me how to make it and now it is one of the boys favourites too. You can find Rhubarb in the produce aisle or in the freezer with the frozen fruit.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
For the Rhubarb
  1. 2 cups Rhubard, cut into 1" chunks
  2. ¾ cups golden caster sugar
  3. For the crumble topping
  4. ½ cup self-rising flour
  5. ⅓ cup butter, chilled
  6. ¼ cup light brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Place the rhubarb in a saucepan with the sugar. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins. When soft and sweet enough, pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.
  2. Heat oven to 200C. To make the topping, rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping. Now add the sugar, mixing together with your hands. Scatter the topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with cream or vanilla custard.
Notes
  1. Heat 2 ½ cups of milk until steaming but not boiling. Meanwhile, mix together 6 egg yolks, 4 tbsp caster sugar, 2 tsp corn starch and ½ tsp vanilla extract in a bowl. Pour the cream onto the eggs, stirring continuously as you pour. Pour the whole lot back into the saucepan the cream came from and place over a medium heat. Stir until it thickens, about 10 mins. Pour over crumble and enjoy.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
 

Weekly Menus 11/1

thanksgiving-wallpaper25-free-thanksgiving-wallpapers-50vjdw4w-643x303Wow, I can’t believe it’s November already! I can never decide if October, November or December are my favorite months. There are so many reasons to love them all. However, this month, because all of Chris’s family is coming for Thanksgiving, my mom and stepdad are home, and we every one is coming to celebrate with us at the new house, November is definitely going to be my favorite month this year. I’ve been planning through October, and can’t wait to share what I’ve been up to, but first thing is first. I must do the weekly menu post.

This week was an odd conglomeration of things I’ve wanted to make on my pinterest board, mixed with things I’ve been craving because it’s finally cold here! Thank you Jesus, because my need to wear boots and sweaters was overwhelming!

Thanks to those of you that commented, or shared last week. I will get those drink markers out this week. This week’s giveaway will be this. The first 5 comments or shares get one!

Enjoy your week!!

-Jayne

11-1 Shopping List

 

Bangers and Mash and Cabbage
This is a traditional English meal that I love and it's an excuse to have cabbage. The boys moaned and groaned until they ate some, and then loved it. Hopefully you will too!
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Ingredients
  1. Bangers
  2. 4 pork sausages, I go to specs and get actual Bangers, but you can use bratwurst also
  3. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  4. Mash
  5. 2-1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
  6. 3 Tbsp butter
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
  9. Salt and pepper, to taste
  10. Onion Gravy
  11. 3 Tbsp butter
  12. 2 large onions, sliced
  13. 2 tablespoons flour
  14. 3 cups beef broth
  15. Salt and pepper to taste
  16. 1 head of cabbage
  17. 1 tbsp butter
  18. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. To prepare the mash, place the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. For the cabbage, cut the bottom off, and then quarter the cabbage. Place in a Dutch oven with enough water to cover most of the cabbage. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Once the cabbage has come to a boil, drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the bangers. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the sausages, turning often, until golden brown and the juices run clear, 12-15 minutes. Set the sausages aside, remove the grease from the pan, and return the skillet to the stove.
  4. When the potatoes are tender, drain off the water and add the milk, heavy cream, and butter. Mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  5. To prepare the gravy, add the butter and onions to the skillet on the stovetop and sauté until soft and brown. Sprinkle in the flour, then add the beef broth and thyme. Bring to a simmer and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked sausages to the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes more. Serve the sausages and gravy over the mashed potatoes and cabbage on the side.
Notes
  1. *If you need help with thickening the gravy, you can use 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with a small amount of the gravy, and then add that mixture to the skillet of gravy. Bring to a boil. That should thicken it up more, if you need it.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Chicken Avocado Burritos and Sweet Corn Bean Salad
Serves 6
These were awesome and I should have made more. The big boys and Chris would have eaten two a piece! I also love the ease of this one. Because the fajita meat is already seasoned, it doesn't require a lot of work to put it all together.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Chicken Avocado Burritos
  2. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 2 cups Fajita Chicken Breasts, pre-seasoned
  4. 1 cup grated cheese (I use mozzarella)
  5. 1 avocado -diced
  6. 2 Tablespoons cilantro-chopped
  7. 4 large tortillas
  8. 4 Tablespoon sour cream
  9. 1 Tablespoon oil
  10. Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salad
  11. 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  12. 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
  13. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, roughly chopped
  14. 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  15. 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  16. 1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  17. 1 tbsp olive oil
  18. 2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)
  19. Pepper, to tast
  20. Salsa and sour cream to serve with the burrito.
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan, place chicken breast in pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
  2. Cut cooked chicken into strips. Mix the chicken, cheese, cilantro, and the diced avocados. Spread 1 tablespoon sour cream on each tortilla, add ¼ of the mixture, fold the top bottom up about 1”, and then roll into a burrito.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil into a pan and place all four burritos on the pan, cook for 2 minutes on medium- high heat. Flip on the other side and cook for another minutes or until the the tortillas are golden.
  4. For the salad, just mix everything together!
Adapted from OMGChocolateDesserts.com
Adapted from OMGChocolateDesserts.com
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Italian Sausage and pasta with Vodka Sauce and Side Salad
Serves 4
This is super easy and really tasty. The boys inhaled it and the big boys went back for seconds. Should you want to make it easier, you are welcome to purchase vodka sauce pre-made.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound pasta
  2. 2 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled or chopped
  4. 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  7. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  8. 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  9. ¼ cup vodka
  10. 1 cup heavy cream
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  12. Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
  13. Sprig fresh basil, for garnish
  14. Side Salad
  15. 1 head of Romaine
  16. 1-2 Tomatoes
  17. 1 English Cucumber
  18. Your choice of dressing
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and return to the saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned and all pink has disappeared, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the vodka and cook until the sauce reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat.
  3. Toss the sauce with the pasta to coat evenly and transfer to a pasta bowl for serving. Top with cheese and sprig of basil and serve immediately.
  4. For the salad, chop romaine, dice the tomatoes and cucumber and combine. Top with your favourite salad dressing.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup
This is one of Nolan's favourite foods, so I saved it for when he was home. We made it the day before Halloween and because it's a crock pot meal, we were able to watch Ghostbusters and carve pumpkins! I love easy dinner nights!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Soup
  1. 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
  2. 2 cans tomatoes and chilis (like Rotel)
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 4 cups chicken broth
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon chili powder
Toppings
  1. 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  2. 2 limes, quartered
  3. Sour Cream
  4. 1 Avocado
  5. Colby Jack Cheese
  6. 1 bag tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Combine all soup ingredients in a slow cooker and put it on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  2. To assemble the bowls of soup, fill bowl with soup, place chips around the bowl, put about 1 tbsp of cheese, 1 tbsp of sour cream, 4-5 pieces of avocado and a lime and enjoy!
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Bone-In Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Purple Hull Peas
Serves 6
This is one of my favorite meals, especially on date night. You can only get purple hull peas during certain months of the year, so when I see them in the produce aisle, I know they're making an appearance on the menu that week. They are a lot like black eyed peas, but I prefer them more. They do take a while to cook, so this is a better weekend meal.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 quart fresh shelled purple hull peas
  2. 1 pkg of Goya Jamon Seasoning or 1-2 tbsp salt
  3. 4 lg. Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces.
  4. ½ cup milk
  5. 1 tbsp cinnamon
  6. 1 tbsp brown sugar
  7. 1 tbsp butter
  8. 6 Bone-in Pork Chops
Instructions
  1. Well Rinse the Purple Hull Peas -I put mine in a colander in a bowl and fill with cold water and rinse several times until I can see when the water is clear. Fill a Three Quart Sauce Pan half way with water - about 6 Cups, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add ½ a package of jamon seasoning (you'll find this in the "international aisle" with all the Goya brand stuff. If you can't find it, a little salt is fine. Add the peas and bring the water back to a rolling boil, and then turn the heat down Med-Low. Cover and Simmer for 90 minutes.
  3. When you have 30 minutes left of your 90 minute simmer, place the peeled and diced sweet potatoes in a 2 qt pot with water to cover. Bring to boil and cook until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. Drain and return to the pot. Either using a masher or a submersion blender, mash potatoes until they are the right consistency. Add butter, milk, cinnamon and brown sugar and mix well. Once all ingredients are combined, place potatoes on low on the stove, until everything else is ready.
  4. Heat butter in a skillet. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. When the butter is melted and the butter/oil mixture is hot, cook 3 pork chops at a time, 2 to 3 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook until the chops are golden brown on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes (make sure no pink juices remain).
  5. Serve together and enjoy.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Pumpkin French Toast
Serves 4
French Toast is my favourite sweet breakfast food. Adding pumpkin too it just makes it all the more yummy!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup milk
  2. ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  7. 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  8. 10 slices bread
Toppings
  1. butter, powdered sugar and syrup.
Instructions
  1. Preheat a skillet or electric griddle to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until well combined. Spray skillet or griddle with cooking spray or rub with oil. Dip bread into egg mixture (allowing a few seconds for it to absorb mixture.). Transfer to griddle and cook until golden brown on one side, flip and brown on opposite side. Cut pieces in half and serve warm with butter, powdered sugar and syrup.
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Adapted from Cooking Classy
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is my favorite chocolate chip recipe. It took me years to find one that was the perfect mix of crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and had that "caramel" taste that I need in a chocolate chip cookie.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. ¾ cup shortening
  2. ¾ brown sugar
  3. ½ cup granulated sugar
  4. 2 tbsp milk
  5. 1 tbsp vanilla
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 ¾ cup flour
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. ¾ tsp baking soda
  10. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or a mix of anything you'd like. (Chris put white chocolate chips and M&M's in these ones.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine shortening, both sugars milk, vanilla and egg together in a mixer. Sift flour, salt, and baking soda together and gradually add to the wet mixture. Add chocolate and mix by hand.
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons about 2" apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
 

Not so leftover

My leftovers that turned into something ridicously tasty!
My leftovers that turned into something ridicously tasty!

When we had the roast chicken the other night, I realized that I may have been a little over zealous with the veggie chopping and had about 2 cups of extra roasted vegetables and potatoes. I hate leftovers but I hate wasting.  I stood there staring at the leftovers and wondered what the heck I was going to do with 2 cups of smooshy leftovers.  Feeding them the the children would go over like a lead balloon.  

And then I had a small epiphany.  The hubsband (no that’s not a typo, that’s what I lovingly refer to him as) bought me a beautiful Aqua Kitchenaid submersion blender.  I broke that sucker out, dumped the offending leftovers in a sauce pot and “whizzed” the crap out of them.  I added about a ¼ cup cream, ¼ chicken broth, and salt and pepper and it turned into a fantastic cream roasted vegetable soup that was my lunch for two days.  

I love leftovers that aren’t leftovers!  

Weekly Menus 10/4-10/9

So excited to finally have the menus on the website, instead of via pdf!  They should print out just fine and I’ve attached the shopping list as a pdf, so it will also easily print, also.  

I have also cut the list to 5 meals, 1 dessert and 1 “other item”.  I was getting really behind, because of leftovers or a trip out to dinner and wasn’t able to make 7 a week.  Should you ever need another meal to fit it, head over to my pinterest “Eat” board.  I pin all my good ideas there and you’re bound to find something you like.  

I encourage comments, pins, etc, its the way I’ll get more readers, so for every pin or comment (screen shot it and email, facebook, etc) I’ll send you something fun!  This week, because I’m already in Thanksgiving mode, I’ve picked these awesome drink markers!  I’m sending out these to the first 5 people who comment :).  For each pin, you’ll be entered in to a drawing for one of these guys too.  I’ll draw on the 29th of October.  

As always, thanks for being supportive and awesome!

Jayne

10-25 Shopping List

Turkey Farro Salad with Candied Chickpeas
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  2. 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup olive oil
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  7. 2 turkey tenderloins (1 pound total)
  8. 1/2 cup uncooked farro
  9. 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  10. 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  11. 1 large Gala, Braeburn, or Honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
  12. 1 6 ounce package mixed salad greens
  13. 2 romaine hearts, chopped (8 cups)
  14. 3 clementines, peeled and cut up
  15. 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  16. 1 ounce high-quality blue cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)
Instructions
  1. Rinse chickpeas. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine chickpeas and 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 1 hour. (Or place chickpeas and water in pan. Cover and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.)
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas and return to pan. Add fresh water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until chickpeas are very tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Drain and rinse beans, then spread on a kitchen towel to dry thoroughly. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper and spread beans in a single layer in pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; stir to coat beans evenly. Roast for 50 minutes or until amber colored, stirring twice for even browning. Remove and cool in pan.
  4. Sprinkle poultry seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon salt over turkey. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and add turkey. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until done (165 degrees F), turning occasionally to brown evenly.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring farro and broth to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender but chewy. Drain off any liquid; cool.
  6. Pour vinegar into a large bowl. Whisk in remaining 6 tablespoons oil in a thin, steady stream until blended and thickened. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer turkey to dressing in bowl and toss to coat. Cool 5 minutes. Remove turkey to a cutting board and slice, reserving dressing in bowl.
  7. Add apples, greens, and romaine to dressing; toss to coat. Transfer salad to a platter or plates. Arrange turkey, farro, and chickpeas over greens. Top with clementines, cranberries, and cheese.
Notes
  1. To use canned beans, skip step 1. Drain and rinse 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas; pat dry and continue as directed in step 2.
  2. I know it makes a lot, but Chris and I took it to lunch the next day too!
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Reuben Sandwiches with Chips and a Pickle
Serves 4
This is Ethan's favourite dinner and with Octoberfests in full swing, it didn't seem like a bad idea to me either!
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Ingredients
  1. 8 slices rye bread
  2. ½ cup Mayonaise
  3. ¼ cup Ketchup
  4. 2 tbsp Dill Relish
  5. 1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained
  6. 8 slices Swiss cheese
  7. 1 lb. Pastrami
  8. 4 tbsp Butter
  9. 1 jar of pickles
  10. 1 bag of chips
Instructions
  1. Combine mayonnaise, ketchup and dill relish together to make dressing. Spread each slice of bread dressing. Top 4 of the bread slices with sauerkraut, cheese and pastrami. Place remaining bread slices on sandwich. Spread butter on the outsides of each sandwich.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Grill until browned, then turn and grill until heated through, and cheese is melted. Serve with chips and a pickle.
Notes
  1. I don't put sauerkraut on the boys sandwiches. The love everything else!
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Chicken and Sausage White Bean Pot
Serves 5
This was by far my favourite meal this week and the family agreed too. It's time consuming and you have to soak the beans overnight, but it's soo worth it!
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Ingredients
  1. ½ lb Navy Beans
  2. 4 oz Bacon or Pancetta
  3. 6 oz Smoked Sausage
  4. 1 lb Chicken Peices (thighs or legs)
  5. ½ tsp Salt
  6. ½ tsp Pepper
  7. 1 Onion, diced
  8. 2 Carrots, diced
  9. 2 Stalks of Celery, diced
  10. 2 Cloves Garlic
  11. 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  12. 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  13. 4 sprigs of Thyme
Instructions
  1. Rinse beans. In a 4-quart pot or Dutch oven combine beans and 8 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 1 hour. (Or, place beans and water in pan. Cover and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Cook bacon or pancetta in an 8-quart Dutch oven over medium heat for 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Add whole sausage to Dutch oven; cook for 6 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Add to bowl with bacon. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Add to Dutch oven; cook for 8 minutes over medium-high heat until well-browned, turning occasionally. Remove to bowl with bacon and sausage; set aside.
  3. Add onions, carrots, and celery to Dutch oven and cook for 8 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in broth, tomato paste, drained beans, parsley sprigs, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium and put chicken, sausage and bacon back in the pot and simmer, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until beans are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with crusty French bread.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
 

Tortellini Bake
Serves 6
This was one of the easiest things I've ever made other than a grilled cheese sandwich and the boys ate it up faster than had I made those for dinner! I also cleaned the kitchen while it was cooking! My favourite type of meal.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 9oz package of frozen tortellini, in your favorite flavor.
  2. 1 to 1½ C of shredded mozzarella cheese
  3. 2-3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  4. 1-2 C spaghetti sauce in your favourite brand
  5. 1 Loaf French bread
  6. Lettuce, 1 head
  7. Cherry Tomatoes, 1 cup
  8. Your choice of dressing
Instructions
  1. Place frozen tortellini in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. I used one of my corning ware dishes. Pour jar of sauce right over and mix. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
  2. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. During the last couple of minutes, turn on your broiler so the cheese gets slightly browned.
  3. Wrap store bought French loaf in foil and place in the oven for the last 10 minutes of your oven time.
  4. While you’re waiting for your tortellini and bread to be finished, chop lettuce and throw in a bowl with cherry tomatoes.
  5. Serve all together and enjoy the ease of little clean up and happy children :).
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Roast Chicken and Veggies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 whole chicken
  2. 1 tbsp salt, divided
  3. 1 tbsp tsp pepper, divided
  4. 1 tbsp garlic powder, divided
  5. 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4" chunks
  6. 1 bag of brussel sprouts, ends cut off
  7. 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4" chunks or 1 cup of baby carrots
  8. 5 garlic cloves
  9. 4 red onions, cut into 1/4" chunks
  10. 1/2 lemon
  11. thyme
  12. 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter
  13. 1/2 cup chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Season the chicken generously with the salt, pepper and garlic. Save half for the veggies. Place a half a sliced lemon, a few thyme sprigs (you can also add a few bruised garlic cloves) in the cavity of the chicken and put chicken in roasting tin with rack. Lift up the skin on the breast and smear the meat with 1 tsp of butter. Place cut veggies around the chicken on the roasting tin. Cut 1/2" cubes and place on skin of chicken and vegetables. Pour chicken broth in bottom of the roasting tin.
  2. Place the roasting tin in the middle of a preheated oven for about 45 minutes.
  3. After 45 minutes, take the tin out, lower the oven to 375 F, mix the veggies up and and spoon some of the juices over the chicken and veggies.
  4. Place the roasting tin back in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are thoroughly cooked and the chicken is beautifully crispy, golden brown.
For Gravy
  1. 1/4 cup drippings from the roast chicken
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. 2 cups cold chicken stock, or more if needed
  4. salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  5. Mix tbsp of drippings, (reserve the rest) and 2 tbsp flour together and whisk until smooth. Place roux over low heat and toast flour until light brown and mixture gives off a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes.
  6. Drizzle about 1/3 cup cold chicken stock at a time into pan drippings, whisking each addition of stock into mixture until thoroughly combined. Bring to a simmer. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until gravy is thick and flour has combined with the liquid, 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Adjust thickness of gravy; if too thick, whisk in a little more stock. If gravy is too thin, continue to simmer, whisking constantly, until reduced and thickened, about 10 more minutes.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Little Monster Cookies
Yields 25
The cookies are so good. The boys finished them off within a few days, forgoing the standard piece of candy for dessert, which doesn't happen very often :).
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  9. 1/2 cup quick oats
  10. 3/4 cup M&Ms (any size or variety)
  11. 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed, about 3 minutes. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the quick oats, M&Ms, and chocolate chips. If the dough is very soft and unmanageable by hand, chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling.
  3. Rolls balls of dough, about 2 Tablespoons of dough per ball, onto prepared baking sheet. Press a few extra M&Ms on top for looks, if preferred. Slightly press down the cookies with the back of a spoon, since the cookies only slightly spread in the oven. Bake for 9-10 minutes - do not bake past 10 minutes. The cookies will appear undone. I too mine out at 9 minutes, which is recommended. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Store cookies covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/
Pumpkin Waffles with Cinnamon Syrup
Yields 7
These were perfect for a Sunday breakfast!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  4. 3/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  7. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  8. 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  9. 1 pinch cream of tartar
  10. 5 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  11. 1 cup milk
  12. 1 cup buttermilk
  13. 1/4 cup canola oil
  14. 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  15. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  16. Vegetable oil cooking spray
  17. Your choice of syrup
  18. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees and preheat a waffle iron to medium heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for 20 seconds. Create a well in center of mixture then set aside.
  3. In a separate medium mixing bowl add egg whites and cream of tartar, then using an electric hand mixer set on high speed, whip until soft peaks form, then add 2 Tbsp of the granulated sugar and whip until medium-stiff peaks form.
  4. In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, buttermilk, canola oil, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, egg yolks and remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. While whisking, slowly pour milk mixture into flour mixture and mix just until combined (batter will be slightly lumpy), then fold egg whites into batter. Spray waffle iron lighlty and evenly with cooking spray then pour batter into waffle iron and cook according to manufactures directions. Keep warm in preheated oven and repeat process with remaining batter.
  5. While your waiting for the waffles to be done, pour 1 cup of syrup in a measuring cup, add 1 tbsp syrup and warm in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir well.
  6. Pour warmed syrup over each waffle and enjoy.
thegirlwiththegreendoor http://thegirlwiththegreendoor.com/