Monday Mixture

IMG_4234Okay I feel the need to write since Mr. Mixture keeps referencing things I can put on the blog.  Yes ,I am calling him out on this.  I have not written recently and there is no specific reason for my lack of writing, except I have not been in the mood to write, and wait I have been trying to work on some other random projects around the house and for the family.  Wonder if Mr. Mixture or Little Miss Mixture would notice if I forgot to do those other things?

Apparently Mr. Mixture is not the only one as some other family members seem to miss my post showing up in their inbox.  How great it is to feel missed and loved.  So here it is an update of things that have been going on in the life of “Let’s Have Mixture.”

1. What We Are Eating – yes here it is an account of all the food we have been enjoying.  Even though I have not been snapping photos and writing post, I have been busy in the kitchen this month with some old favorites as well as some new meals.

Week of 10/5

Sunday – Enchiladas

Monday – Spinach Ricotta Pizza

Tuesday – Ham & Cheese Homemade Hot Pockets, Fruit Salad

Wednesday – Leftover BBQ and Pizza from our weekend festivities

Thursday – Leftover Enchiladas and Salad

Friday – Tony’s De Napoli (NYC)

Saturday – Mercer Kitchen (NYC)

Week of 10/12

Sunday – Catch (NYC)

Monday – Pumpkin Ravioli with Sauteed Spinach in Brown Butter Sauce

Tuesday – Spinach Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Bacon

Wednesday – Scrambled Eggs and Fruit Salad

Thursday – Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwich on Challah Rolls, Cauliflower with cocktail sauce

Friday – Sandwiches on the go before Homecoming Football Night

Saturday – BBQ Chicken Pizza

Week of 10/19

Sunday -Pizza @ a Camp Open House

Monday – Collard Wrap with Tuna Salad, Veggies and Naan bread with Garlic Hummus

Tuesday – Srirachi Chicken over Couscous

Wednesday – Waffles and Sautéed Maple Syrup Apples

Thursday – Little M and a sitter had Macaroni & Cheese and Veggies with Ranch Dip

Friday – Dinner out before the Lower School Football Game

Saturday -Collard and Black Bean Soup with Cornbread

Week of 10/26

Sunday – Tacos

Monday – Raisin Challah French Toast

Tuesday – Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad

Wednesday – Leftover Collard & Black Bean Soup, Cornbread and Salad

Thursday – Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice

Friday – Halloween Pizza Party in the neighborhood

Saturday – Braised Short Ribs over Polenta, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Apple & Blue Cheese Salad, Turtle Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

2. New York City Eats – Recently we went on a trip to the Big Apple.  Being the foodie family that we are, we are always searching for good eats when we travel.  We started and ended our time in the city at a favorite – Shack Shack.  Who can resist a good hormone free burger, chicken sausage, and caramel shake when it is a block and a half from your hotel.

For lunch one day we happened upon a great food court where we enjoyed sandwiches from Num Pang, based on a recommendation.  The sandwiches were more than just a sandwich and definitely hit the spot.  Little Miss Mixture and Mr.Mixture like cupcakes, so it was hard from them to pass up Sprinkles.  The infamous cupcake shop out of Los Angeles lived up to the hype for this family.  We each got a mini cupcake and they were so moist and full of flavor they left us wanting more.

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What I love about NYC is how easy it is to find good food and a variety of it.  Some of our meals were healthier than others, but all were very good.  We enjoyed different settings from a family style italian restaurant, to a kid friendly spot, to more eclectic choices that focused on sushi and seafood tapas.DSC_0929

 

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3. GOTR – I have done it, I have signed up for my first ever race.  Little Miss Mixture is participating in the Girls on the Run program and it culminates with a 5K.  I began training about five weeks ago to be her running buddy.  Unfortunately I have learned the cooler weather is not a big motivator for me, which does not fair well since our race is in early December.  Wish me luck as this is definitely a bucket list item.

4. Girls Rock – Little Miss Mixture got to celebrate her birthday with several different groups of people in her life.  She took cupcakes to school, we had a family gathering, and she had a sleepover.  The one cake she wanted was a cookie cake for the family celebration.  She was very specific on what she wanted, so we placed an order.  On the day of her birthday, we were less than thrilled with the purchased cake.IMG_4060

Luckily I had all the necessary things at home from making cupcakes to turn this not so great creation into one that did in fact rock.  Honestly though regardless of how it looked.  It is hard to go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie cake.

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5. Package sizes – I try not use use a lot of processed products, but there are a couple of recipes I find it necessary.  We have a favorite cake that calls for Devils food cake mix and caramels.  Last year I noticed the size of the cake mix box had decreased based on the recipe.  This year I decided to give my hand a try and make the cake from scratch, but I still needed the caramels.  I have always used Kraft and I like the bits that can be found seasonally, but I was unable to locate them.  I grabbed a bag of the individual wrapped squares as the recipe simple stated one 14oz package, but as I started at a bowl that looked low in volume, I realized the current bag size is 11oz.  I cannot recall what the cost of the bag used to be, but I am sure it is more now and you get less.  Be careful during this baking season as you will need to purchase more packages to make sure your recipes came out correctly.

On other note two stores in the same shopping center are selling this package at different prices.  One local based large chain grocery store seems to think it is worth $.75 more than another major retailer.  #thingsthatannoyme  The change has even confused one of the retailers in their marketing.  Look closely here they are selling a 13oz package, but the actual picture shows differently.

Caramels

6. Halloween candy while this sits in the pantry and probably gets untouched.

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I am scanning recipes on how to use the candy in a way it may get consumed or just not tossed in 6-8 months.  Here Are some great ideas I pinned this weekend.  I also love the idea of using the candy in non edible ways – science experiment, decorate gingerbread houses.

I hope you enjoyed catching up on what Let’s Have Mixture did throughout the month of October.  I will try and post more this month as we continue to enjoy fall and its flavors.

 

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Meatless Monday: Cottage Peach Smoothie & What we Are Eating

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When it comes to making breakfast for the family, I really try and ensure it is balanced.  I know there are a lot of smoothie recipes and people who use their vitamix and juicers to make a nice beverage, but when I make a smoothie I want it to be of high nutritional content.  This is one reason you will never find a smoothie recipe I create that uses water.  As a dietitian in a nursing home you start to learn a lot about puree food.  One of the most important factors in serving puree is to ensure you give your customers the most bang for their buck.  Appetites vary so you want to make sure even the smallest appetite is getting an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber.  Water is great at thinning food when you need to change the consistency but it also lessens the nutritional content.  I prefer to use juice, dairy, or dairy alternative beverage.  This was how I taught cooks and dietary aides to make puree, and I use the same concept when I feed my family a liquid meal.

In addition to a nutritional beverage I sometimes add some yogurt as well.  I love greek yogurt but I know it has a tanginess that is not always ideal in all smoothies.  The other day I found some of the peaches we picked this summer in the freezer and decided it had been a few weeks since we had that summer flavor.  When I think of peach smoothies, I tend to think sweet as they are a sweet fruit especially when perfectly ripe.  As I began to add ingredients to the Vitamix, I was torn between greek yogurt or just using fruit in addition to the almond milk.  Then it caught my eye – cottage cheese.  Recently we discussed that I have a new found love for ricotta cheese and you find it in a lot of recipes where it is made to be sweet, but cottage cheese, I was not sure.  Of course then I realized I have a great kugel recipe that calls for cottage cheese and one of Little Miss Mixtures favorite things is cottage cheese with applesauce and cinnamon, so I figured it could not be too bad.  It definitely was not bad in fact it was really good. The cottage cheese helped to thicken the smoothie slightly while of course increasing the protein and calcium content as well.

As I sit here writing about this I realize how nice these same flavors would be using apple or pumpkin instead of peaches.  A perfect Fall flavored smoothie.

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Cottage Peach Smoothie

1/4 cup Almond Milk, Vanilla

1/3 cup Cottage Cheese

1 fresh banana

1 cup Frozen Peach Slices

1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

 

Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix. Remember liquid on the bottom and frozen on top when using a Vitamix. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

 

What we are eating (September 14 – September 20) 

Sunday – Leftovers

Monday – Roasted Mushroom & White Bean Puree (Cooking Light)

Tuesday – Ground Chicken Tacos with homemade Taco Seasoning

Wednesday – A version of this Chopped Salad 

Thursday – Patty Melt with Waldorf Salad

Friday – Ham & Swiss Sandwiches, Organic Trader Joe Corn Chips, Fruit

Saturday – Night Out

Thanks for reading and have a great week.  Looking for some more Smoothies that are packed with protein.  Check these out.

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Protein Packed Smoothie

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Monday’s Mixture

Image 1We are one week into our new school and it seems as if rather than having more time on my hands, I am in a complete whirlwind.  I am sure it will settle down, but it may take a few weeks as there is so much going on with parent meetings at school, new after school activity schedules to get accustom to, etc.  Big sigh of relief.  The first week went well and I am sure by February I will find extra time on my hands since I am sure to get accustom to the new routine and then realize I am on a time crunch for getting organized for family birthdays and holidays.  Thankfully I had a big container of mixture to help get us through the busy week.

 

1.  What We Are Eating ( August 17 – August 23)

Sunday – Tuna Salad Cold Plate, Vegetables a & dip, Fruit

Monday – Lemon Chicken, Sautéed Squash & Fennel, Cottage Cheese & Tomato Salad

Tuesday – Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

Wednesday – Bacon Cheddar Burger Patties, Grilled Okra, Watermelon, & Pickles

Thursday – Ladies Night for me, Mr. Mixture & LIttle Miss Mixture had Tuna Melts on Naan Bread, Vegetables & Dip

Friday – Tomato Mozzarella Salad, Shrimp Scampi over Whole Wheat Angel Hair

Saturday – Cheese & Red Pepper Nachos

2.  Pickles – A couple of weeks ago I saw this post on Smitten Kitchen.  I grew up eating cucumbers marinated in a vinegar type solution, but I never thought of them as pickled.  Little Miss Mixture loves pickles but I am not a fan of most of the store bought ones anymore.  I gave this recipe a try, cutting it in half and using less salt.  The revised post on smitten kitchen now indicates less salt.  These are so easy and so good.

3. Back to School Party – Since Little Miss Mixture entered Kindergarten I have had a back to school party for her class.  It is a simple get together just before school starts.  This year I swapped out the juice boxes and muffins for smoothies to accompany the doughnuts and fruit.  The plastic BPA free bottles I found at shopsweetlulu.com  worked perfectly .   I had three smoothies Peachy Watermelon, Tinkerbell (my version with coconut milk and fresh pineapple), and a Berry Blast.

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4. Hummus – I have a couple tried and true hummus recipes that I have for years.  However a lot of times I just create them as I go based on herbs I have in the refrigerator or my garden barrels.  Little Miss Mixture asked for hummus and carrots for snack at school this week.  Yes I am smiling as I love some of the healthy items she has asked for and you better believe I will get some made before tomorrow.  This is a great chart for ideas and ratios to make different hummus flavors.

5. Projects – I am enjoying this whole blog thing, but like other things it is a hobby and a project to me.  As the new school year is beginning and the rush of the holiday season starts, I just realized I am really behind on my other projects.  How can it be almost a year since our big birthday trip for Little Miss Mixture?  Worse yet how is it I have not made the picture book yet.  Anyway as I will continue to blog and make my readers aware of What we are eating and recipes worth trying, but I am going to have to get back on track with other projects before another busy season passes me by.  I would love to hear from my readers as to what really interest you.  Breakfast food, Snacks, School Lunch ideas, Weeknight Dinners, Desserts.Image

Monday’s Mixture

It is hear the official end to our summer.  The lazy days of not having a particular plan, not needing an alarm clock.  Of course I was really starting to be ready for fall since the temperatures had not hit 90 this month and we had some wonderful evenings.  The perfect weather to sit outside and enjoy dinner.  But alas that is changing too, as this weeks forecast will be the warmest we have had in weeks.  On a positive the neighborhood pool is still open on the weekends and the temperatures are sure to heat the water back up again.  I can still wear some of those cute summer outfits, and the summer produce is still available in the markets.

1.  What we are Eating (August 10 – August 16)

Sunday – California Burgers, Grilled Okra and Watermelon

Monday – Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts, Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Tuesday – Any Season Salad

Wednesday  – Super Nachos

Thursday – Low Country Kebabs and Watermelon

Friday  – Srirachi Chicken over Quinoa (Family Fresh Cooking), Roasted Asparagus

Saturday -Squash, Corn, and Green Onion Flatbread

2. Srirachi Chicken over Quinoa – This is one of those recipes I pinned awhile back and keep meaning to add into our weekly menu.  I finally made it and as Marla Meridith says in her post of this recipe “hopefully you can make this ASAP,”  well I am sorry I waited as long as I did.  We will definitely be making it again soon.  We like sauce, so I would probably increase the sauce next time to enjoy the flavor over all the quinoa.  Unlike so many recipes where I increase the spices or heat for our taste this was perfect just the way it is.

3. 2 Ingredient salad– It is Meatless Monday and we had this today.  A simple salad of cottage cheese and fresh heirloom tomatoes.  So simple yet perfect on a hot day when tomatoes have so much flavor.

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4.  Ice Bucket Challenge – If you have been anywhere near social media this week, you have seen numerous videos of people taking the ice bucket challenge.  Our family has not yet been called out, but I have enjoyed watching friends, friends of friends, strangers, and celebrities take the challenge.  It is for a good cause and is helping to spread awareness.  But can we talk about how funny I think it is that here we are in the midst of summer, a season when most of us have donned our bathing suits at a pool, beach, or even a water park.  Family, friends, and strangers have seen us, yet only a few have taken the ice bucket challenge in their bathing suits.  Some have kept the cover up on, but the majority are fully clothed men, women, and kids.  Is it more fun to get cold water dumped on you when you are dressed?  Oh and I love the individuals who are not only covering their body, but their hair as well.  The shower cap videos are great.

5. Milk Bottles – I am so excited to use these for a party I am having this weekend.  For several years, I have pondered when to use those cute vintage milk bottles that pop up all over pinterest, but I never seem to have a use.  I found one.  I will have pictures next week.milkbottle1 milkbottle milkflower

 

It has been a busy week so my content is a little light, but hopefully I will start to have more time to cook up some great new ideas for family meals and snacks.

 

* photos of milk bottles courtesy of fashionmo.com.br, cathcmyparty.com, karaspartyideas.com

 

Monday Mixture

Good Morning, though it feels as if it should be afternoon already as I have been up for hours.  Typically I wake fairly early but today it was more like the middle of the night.  I was being a good daughter though and drove my parents to the airport for an early morning flight.  They are off on another fun adventure.

I on the other hand have only mentally dreamed of my next adventure, as we seem to go in spurts with our travel and right now it is a low.  My list of places I want to visit and revisit is quite long, but finding the time and the funds is the hard part.  I hope to be able to enjoy traveling later in life as several members of my family have.  There are so many places to see near and far.

I think enjoying travel even further enhanced when you enjoy food.  When you have an adventurous palate, you are able to learn more about the culture of places through all your senses, helping to make memories that are not just in photographs.

This weekend we took time to enjoy our local culture.  I love picking my own fresh fruit.  I think it is a fun family outing and a great experience for everyone.  I cannot be certain, but I think Little Miss Mixture enjoys apples and peaches more since she has learned about the different varieties and picked them herself.

1. What we are Eating ( July 20 – July 26)

Sunday – Summer Tomato Soup & Fancy Grilled Cheese, similar to this

Monday – Zucchini Fattoush

Tuesday – Grilled Peach & Arugula Pizza

Wednesday – Tuna Melts, Chickpea & Parsley Salad, Minted Watermelon & Cantaloupe salad

Thursday –  Pan Seared Salmon with a Bacon and Corn Sauté, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Mixed Greens with Blackberries & Goat Cheese (a variation of this entree salad)

Friday – Date Night @ a local farm to table restaurant

Saturday – Ice Cream

2.  Pick Your Own Fruit – We are lucky enough to live in an area where peach orchards are fairly abundant.  A short 45 minute drive and we were at an orchard that had peaches and blueberries.  We always seem to over do it, when we visit orchards, but I guess there are worse things.   

 

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You can be assured there will be some upcoming post that include peaches and blueberries.  I am thinking of adapting this, and there are some favorites such as this that are sure to show up in our menu.

3. Okra – Remember last week I told you about the okra we had in our barrels.  Well I was able to pick three small okra this week and we each enjoyed a piece atop our salmon on Thursday evening.  I don’t see us getting enough for this, but it is still nice to have a piece or two from our own backyard.

4. Ice Cream for Dinner – YES you read that correctly.  As I have stated many times, I am a dietitian and I know what is healthy and what is not as good for you.  However all food fits and I believe it is okay to splurge and make a good memory.  Check it off the bucket list for Summer 2014.  We had Ice Cream sundaes for dinner and we enjoyed it.  This is not a routine thing and if anyone was still hungry, we had fruit salad.  But it was fun and what better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Month than to put Ice Cream in the spotlight and make it a meal.

5. Let’s Have Mixture has been cooking – I have found it hard to stay focused on menus and trying to recipes recently.  Maybe it is the lack of routine that summer brings, or maybe I have just gotten to caught up in simple meals that I can throw together based on farmer market pick ups.  Whatever the case this past week, I seemed to have gotten back on track.  I got creative and made a new pizza, which I will be posting this week.  I also pulled together a dinner off our Recipe Must Make List.  Look for both of these post soon.  Here are some other things I am thinking about now that we have so many peaches and blueberries.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce (Two Peas & Their Pod)

Blueberry Muffins (Let’s Have Mixture  6/11/2014)

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie (Iowa Girl Eats)

Peach Sorbet (100 Days of Real Food)

6.  Meatless Monday – Don’t forget to enjoy a fabulous meatless meal today.  Here are some great summer meals that we like: Zucchini Fattoush, Zucchini Walnut Feta Cakes, Red, White & Greens Pasta.

Enjoy the last few days of July and be sure to stay cool by celebrating National Ice Cream Month!