Easy dinner-baked chicken with baked veggies

I made another quick and easy dinner last night. Baked chicken and green beans. 


Chicken

I just used olive oil, sliced lemons, and fresh rosemary. 

Potatoes and Green Beans

We had a few leftover red potatoes so I used these with green beans and red onion all covered in olive oil and garlic. 

Overall

I totally forgot to put the potatoes in ahead of everything else so they were a bit under cooked. Live and learn! This was a good and quick meal for a week night. Just prep everything and throw it in the oven!

Easy Dinner- Pasta with Meat Sauce

Now that I am a stay at home mom, I realize I need to be more “domestic”. I have always loved decorating my home and have never minded cleaning. I also love baking. However, I am not a huge fan of cooking. Jim typically did all the cooking for us. But now we have a crazy 9 month old, and by the time Jim gets home and makes dinner, it is Connor’s bedtime. I realized that something needs to change. I am making a concerted effort to get better at making healthy, semi-fast week night meals. I thought it would be fun to document them on the blog in case anyone else needs ideas for weeknight dinners, and to note any epic fails, which I am sure will occur! 

 

Last night was my first night of doing this, so it’s still a work in progress! I stuck with a simple dinner of salad, garlic bread, and pasta with meat sauce.  Super easy!

Salad

This was a spinach salad with red onion and candied pecans. I also made a yummy vinaigrette.  I just threw in some olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and sugar. It really made the salad.


 

Pasta with Meat Sauce

I browned up some ground beef with garlic and olive oil. Then I just combined it with a store-bought sauce and whole wheat spaghetti.

 

Garlic Bread

This is a total no brainer! We had bought two loaves of French bread on the weekend, so I just put some butter and garlic and popped them in the oven while everything else cooked.

 

Overall

This meal was easy and fool-proof. I always make sure to try to do the dishes as I go so that there isn’t a huge clean up after dinner. There were a few pots and pans to wash but that’s to be expected. This meal is pretty healthy, and of course the garlic bread could be eliminated, and ground turkey could be swapped for the ground beef.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Peaks of the Week #2

Saying goodbye to summer!

It’s been a busy week getting ready for school! I can’t believe summer is over and school is starting! I went into my classroom a few times this week, and also tried to enjoy my last few days of summer, and my last few days off EVER where I only had to worry about myself and could nap and read a book in bed if I wanted! I watched my fill of HGTV, The Real Housewives, online shopped, and read a lot of good books this summer. While I will miss it, I am excited to get back into a routine, and meet my new kids!


Listening to my body

I have been super hungry this week and yesterday was so hungry at 10:30 that I ate either a second breakfast, or an early lunch of peanut butter and honey on toast. It has been pretty fun to not worry about counting calories or if this was in my “plan” for the day. I have always been good about listening to my body, even before pregnancy, but have been even better about it now. If I’m hungry, it is for a reason, and I need to eat! I have been eating very healthy, and always make sure I have lots of fruits and veggies and dairy in my diet. I have also let myself indulge in a daily dessert- a few pieces of dark chocolate, gelato, or sometimes a more decadent dessert out at a restaurant. I don’t feel guilty at all about this because I eat well and stay active so I know I’m doing everything I can to help the baby grow and be healthy!  Earlier this week I had been forcing myself to get up at 5 and stop taking a nap to try to get ready for my school schedule. I was doing a million things and was super tired. Coupled with restless sleep at night, I ended up with a huge headache on Thursday. I took this as a cue to chill out and relax. In a few days I won’t have a choice and will have to power through my days, but for now, I should listen to my body and sleep when I’m tired, and take it easy when I have the chance!


Cuddly cat

The weather was quite fall-like in Chicago this week, which meant my cat Penny was super cuddly. Even when I was trying to type on the computer or needed to get up, she wanted to still be on my lap. I’ll take all the cuddles I can get!

Easiest dinner in the world

I whipped up a super fast and healthy dinner this week for us. I got a pound of cooked shrimp from the grocery store and stir fried it with a bag of frozen stir fry veggies and a bit of soy sauce. I served it over brown rice- the Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice. It came together in a flash, and was tasty and healthy!

Pottery Barn Baby 

Somehow I got this catalogue in the mail without signing up for it. I normal would be annoyed and toss this type of mail, but I LOVE Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, so I was super excited to look at all of the beautiful things and start thinking about our nursery!

Cooking Class

For Jim’s birthday, I got him (and me) a cooking class at The Chopping Block in Chicago. http://www.thechoppingblock.com There are so many choices but I chose New England Lobster Party since we are heading to Cape Cod on Friday!

  
  On the menu:

Boiled Maine lobster with buerre blanc

  
Fennel and new potato salad with roasted garlic vinaigrette

  
Grilled corn on the cob with dill butter

  
Individual blueberry cardamom crisps-I forgot to take a picture! :-( 

The class was very informative, and the recipes were simple enough that I would actually try them again, but we still learned a lot from the class.  You worked with another group of 2, so it was fun to socialize with other people and work together.  One thing I was shocked about was how we prepared the lobster.  I thought you just drop the lobster in the pot, but actually we were instructed to tear the tail and claws off the lobster (when it was ALIVE)!  I was not a fan of this, so I took the instructor’s lobster that was already ready to cook.  The upside to preparing the lobster this way was it was easier to eat afterwards.  I would probably not make lobster this way again, because I was too grossed out but if you have the stomach for it, it cooks more evenly, and you don’t have to deconstruct the whole thing while you are eating.  After we made everything, we got to eat everything and it was all so delicious.  We were beyond stuffed after this decadent meal.  It was a really fun experience and I would love to go back with another couple so we could all work together!