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Weekly Menu Plan, June 22 – June 28

2014 June 24
by Alicia

We had three new recipes on the menu plan for last week, and I am happy to report not only did I make all three, but we liked them all, too!

And, I already have pictures taken for this week’s recipe, so I’m aiming to get that ready for you all by Thursday or Friday!  I haven’t made blogging a priority lately (did you notice there wasn’t a new recipe last week?) and I am not happy about that.  Here’s to better planning and preparation :)

Dinners
Pad Thai
Spaghetti, garlic bread, corn
Ham & Cheese Quesadillas, peas
Walnut, Cranberry & Blue Cheese Salad
Frozen Pizza (It was just one of those Mondays!)
Chipotle Pork Soft Tacos with Pineapple Salsa (new recipe to us)
Dinner at our small group (we are taking potato salad and pasta salad)

What’s on your menu plan this week?
Looking for some inspiration?  Check out my growing archive of weekly dinner menus.

Week 26 menu plan: one year ago and two years ago.

Weekly Menu Plan, June 15 – June 21

2014 June 16
by Alicia

We spent this past weekend at a family reunion, and had a great trip.  Saturday afternoon was spent making coffee breads with the girls, and we made enough for dessert Saturday night and brunch Sunday morning.  I was blessed with a new Italian cookbook written by one of the family members, and I’m trying one new recipe from it (garlic butter sauce) this week!

Last week, we liked the new recipes that we tried.  In fact, my husband enjoyed the chipotle chicken salad so much that he said, “You could make this again next week!” :)  We added fresh spinach in the pitas before putting in the tuna mix, and that was really good, too.  But, I didn’t end up making the tilapia last week (we had enough leftovers), so it is being bumped to this week.

Dinners
Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken (new recipe to us)
Texas Caviar Rice & Beans (new recipe to us)
Roast Chicken with Grape & Blue Cheese Salad (new recipe to us)
Sweet & Spicy Tilapia, steamed broccoli, rice
Lettuce Wraps
Tacos, corn
Leftovers

What’s on your menu plan this week?
Looking for some inspiration?  Check out my growing archive of weekly dinner menus.

Week 25 menu plan: one year ago and two years ago.

Simple Blondies

2014 June 13
by Alicia

Are you a fan of blonde brownies?  I am!  These chewy bars have the texture of brownies, but taste more like a buttery, chewy cookie than a chocolatey brownie.  This recipe for Simple Blondies is a great one to have on hand.  It takes about 30 minutes to go from, “Let’s make something” to actually taking it out of the oven!  And chances are, all of the ingredients are in your kitchen.

Blondies

read more…

Weekly Menu Plan, June 8 – June 14

2014 June 9
by Alicia

My visit to Alaska last week was pretty nice.  I certainly ate well, that’s for sure!  This week, my husband and I agreed that we need to “detox” a little in the food department, and by that we mean try to eat a little healthier ;)  In an effort to do so, I’m planning to make things that are on the lighter side, and hopefully serving more fruits and vegetables.  I’ll get to trying to recreate a few meals from AK sometime soon!

Dinners
Sweet & Spicy Tilapia, rice
Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad (new recipe to us)
Tuna, Tomato, Red Onion, and Olive Pitas (new recipe to us)
Pasta with broccoli, asparagus, and carrots
Something on the grill (we’ll see what looks good at the store!)
Dinner at a family reunion
Dinner on the road

What’s on your menu plan this week?
Looking for some inspiration?  Check out my growing archive of weekly dinner menus.

Week 24 menu plan: one year ago and two years ago.

Dining Out in Anchorage, AK

2014 June 7
by Alicia

I spent this past week in beautiful Anchorage, Alaska.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and if I had been there to sight see, it would have been amazing!  However, I was there for work, so we were arms deep in workshop tasks during the core business hours of the day.  On the plus side, lunch and dinner were on our own every day I was there, so I had the opportunity to try lots of delicious meals!  I like to try to eat things that I couldn’t get at home.  If you will be dining out in Anchorage, AK, here’s where I visited and what I thought about it!  All of these pictures were snapped with my phone, so the quality of the photo isn’t what I would hope for, but it helps give you an idea of the meal!

Lunch Tuesday
F Street Station
no website, Yelp, TripAdvisor
Order: Halibut Sandwich and Fries

Halibut Sandwich and Fries

This was a great stop for my first lunch in Anchorage.  F Street Station is a small bar & grill, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t seat more than 40-50 people.  There was a line when I got there, and as soon as one group got up, the next group in line would seat themselves at the vacated table or spot at the bar.  The halibut was very fresh, lightly breaded, and cooked just right.  The tartar sauce was nice, and in fact I also dipped my fries in it.  The fries were just OK– they were not crisp enough for my taste.

Dinner Tuesday
Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order: Italian Stromboli  (I forgot to snap a pic before I dove in, so this is missing several bites of stromboli, salad, and chips. Oops!), and a Glacier Brewhouse Raspberry Wheat (not pictured)

Italian Stromboli

My boss thought calzones sounded good for dinner, so we found this place on our walk toward the Captain Cook monument.  I thought I would give the stromboli a try, and I was not disappointed.  It was delicious.  The stromboli was little on the greasy side, but I expected that given the cured meats involved :)  The house dressing (which they served on the side of the romaine salad) was also good.  I thought about this sandwich several times this past week, and almost went back to have it again.  It was that good!  The beer I ordered was also very good, but it was very fruity, too.  You definitely have to like raspberries to enjoy the beer.  The Glacier Brewhouse restaurant is around the corner from this pizza place, and I hear it’s often very crowded and is a favorite place for visitors and locals alike.

Dessert Tuesday
Alaska Cake Studio
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order: Slice of Triple Blackberry Cake

Triple Blackberry Cake

I don’t usually do dessert when dining out, but I was curious about this little place when we walked by, so we stopped in for a treat.  The blackberry cake was decent.  The cake was overbaked and the frosting was too sweet for my taste.  But, the parts of the cake in the center were pretty tasty :)  When I asked for water, they pointed me to a small water cooler and a stack of the little Dixie cups that hold about 3-4 oz, so I think they want most people to order a drink, too. I did not think the cake was really worth what I paid for it, but you never know until you try!

Lunch Wednesday
Humpy’s Alaskan Alehouse
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order: Single Halibut Taco (another partially-eaten dish; sorry!)

Halibut Taco

I’m sad to say that this was the most disappointing meal I had in Anchorage.  A group of teachers from Alaska that I had the pleasure to work with suggested that we all eat here.  Several of us ordered the halibut tacos, and every single one of us (locals included!) was pretty unimpressed.  The halibut was incredibly fishy tasting (and because I had amazing halibut the day before, it was very apparent), and it just wasn’t anything all that amazing.  The fish wasn’t breaded or anything; it was just cooked and crumbled at the bottom of the tortilla.  I hate to have such a “downer” of a review, but I really just don’t have much praise for it :(

Dinner Wednesday
Ginger
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order:  Mee Krob (again I took a bite before remembering to snap a pic…)

Mee Krob

I am going to start looking for recipes for this dish.  I finished just about every last bite of this dish, because the flavor was incredible!  There were pieces of chicken, pork, and a few shrimp along with noodles and peppers.  It had just the right amount of heat to bring out the falvors in the dish without overwhelming them. Very good, and I would order this again if I had the chance to go back.  I really need to find out how to make it!

Lunch Thursday
Midnight Sun Cafe
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order: Zeus panini on multigrain bread (completely forgot to snap a pic because I had it “to go”)

This was a tasty sandwich.  I could tell this was a place with a loyal local crowd, as they addressed several customers by name when they walked in.  My sandwich was pretty delicious, and they offered a choice of kettle chips or baby carrots as a side.  Had I more room in my stomach, their “spiced blueberry” smoothie sounded interesting!

Dinner Thursday
Sack’s Cafe & Restaurant
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order: Fresh Alaska Copper River Red Salmon

Copper River Salmon

Sack’s prints a new menu every day.  So, when they say “Fresh”, they mean it.  This salmon was incredible.  It was cooked perfectly. The “deconstructed spring roll” was flavorful and didn’t overpower the fish.  They did serve bread before the meal with balasamic vinegar and olive oil, but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.  The salmon on the other hand?  Amazing.  I really can’t say too much about it other than it was cooked just right, and the “sides” were just enough to bring out the incredible flavors of this fish.  A very nice preparation of a delicious fish.

Lunch Friday
Fat Ptarmigan
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order: Reindeer Pizza (and sampled a meatball)

Reindeer Pizza

Yes, I said reindeer.  This pizza featured reindeer sausage, black olives, and green onion.  (Sidenote: there are multiple hot dog stands downtown that sell “reindeer dogs”, and had I not tried this pizza, I would probably have tried one myself out of curiousity :) )  I took off some of the green onion, as I thought it was a little much, but the reindeer sausage was nice.  It reminded me of a smoked sausage like kielbasa.  Fat Ptarmigan’s wood-fired pizza oven was right across from the table where we were seated, so it was cool to watch the staff toss the dough, and then watch how they kept pizzas rotating in the giant flame-filled oven.  The crust was pretty good, and I hear that this pizza can compete with Moose’s Tooth (which was too far away for me to visit, but is supposed to be “the best” in the region/state).  The meatball that I sampled was good, and I would maybe order it for an appetizer if I was really hungry and needing a protein boost.

Dinner Friday
Snow Goose Restaurant
Website, Yelp, TripAdvisor

Order: Salmon Cakes and Sweet Potato Fries (both happy hour specials) and 49er Amber Ale

Salmon Cakes, Sweet Potato Fries

This was our last restaurant stop in Anchorage, and it was a good one.  We caught the happy hour (and I was still pretty full of pizza!), so I ordered a few happy hour appetizers as my meal.  The sweet potato fries were nice and crispy, as were the salmon cakes.  The inside of cakes were not dried out at all, though.  They were served atop some dressed salad that was a nice touch.  The beer was good, and I wish I knew more about beer to be able to say something sophisticated about it ;)

Unfortunately, I did not get to visit every place that I would have liked to, so I have a list going for “visit next time” already!  Have you been to (or do you live in) Anchorage, AK? What are you favorite places to eat?

And as a side question that I would love for you to answer, what did you think about reading these reviews? Is it something interesting to you?  A waste of time to read?  I took pictures and wrote notes mostly for my own memory (in case I get to go back!), but I wondered if this was something others were interested in… I am interested in hearing what you think!

Weekly Menu Plan, June 1 – June 7

2014 June 2
by Alicia

I don’t have a menu plan to share with you all this week, as I am going to be traveling to Anchorage, AK for work!  I wanted to see if anyone was familiar with the area and had any suggestions for places to eat or things to do while I’m there :)  I won’t have a whole lot of time for non-work things, but I’d love to fit in as much as possible while I’m there!  Have you been to (or do you live in) Anchorage, AK?

What’s on your menu plan this week?
Looking for some inspiration?  Check out my growing archive of weekly dinner menus.

Week 23 menu plan: one year ago and two years ago.

Pink Starbust Smoothie

2014 May 29
by Alicia

This Pink Starburst Smoothie is a strawberry, mango, and pineapple smoothie that tastes like a pink Starburst candy.  The bright pink color makes your mouth water, and the sweet and tart taste are so refreshing on a hot summer day!

Pink Starburst Smoothie read more…

Weekly Menu Plan, May 25 – May 31

2014 May 26
by Alicia

Happy Memorial Day to all of the readers in the USA!  I am so grateful for the many sacrifices of the countless families (both of yesterday and today), and I hope everyone will take a moment to be thankful for their service.  Last week, the new recipe that I tried was good.  Both the kids and I ate it and enjoyed it, but I couldn’t get my husband to even try it, so I’m not sure that I will make it again.  I think I’m going to try a few new recipes this week… We’ll see how many of them I get to!  It’s starting to warm up here, so I’m going to want to use my oven less and less… Time to refresh my memory of slow-cooked and no-cook meals!

Dinners
Cheesy Sausage Pasta (new recipe to us), corn
Chicken with Olives and Tomato Sauce (new recipe to us), garlic bread
Spicy Chinese Chicken & Broccoli (new recipe to us), rice
Bean & Cheese Burritos, peas
Walnut, Cranberry, & Blue Cheese Salad
Pulled Pork sandwiches, chips, fruit
Dinner at our friends’ wedding!

What’s on your menu plan this week?
Looking for some inspiration?  Check out my growing archive of weekly dinner menus.

Week 22 menu plan: one year ago and two years ago.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

2014 May 23
by Alicia

Are you looking forward to a great Memorial Day barbecue or picnic this weekend?  Need a simple summery dessert to take along?  Strawberry Cheesecake Pie is an easy cheesecake-like dessert that is a perfect dessert for Memorial Day weekend.  Really, it’s so simple that you might find yourself looking for reasons to make it year-round!

Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

read more…

Weekly Menu Plan, May 18 – May 24

2014 May 18
by Alicia

Well, friends… I must admit that I’m not doing as good about getting back on track like I said I hoped to last week.  While our vacation was action-packed and amazing, I am now back in the daily grind, and feeling the squeeze on my time.  I know we’ve all got the same 24 hours in the day, but lately it seems I have more to do than time to do it (I’m looking at you, three baskets of clean laundry waiting to be folded…).

One thing I can’t afford to let slide, though, is menu planning!  It saves me so much time and headache to have a list of meals that I can throw together because I have all of the ingredients on hand.  While I don’t always stick to it 100% (and you’re well aware of this fact if you’ve followed my menus for more than a week ;) ), it is still a lifesaver.

Dinners
Brats on the grill, corn on the cob
White Beans and Veggies with Couscous (new recipe to us)
Quesadillas, peas, strawberries
Walnut, Cranberry, & Blue Cheese Salad
Sonoran Hot Dogs (making our own based on ones we ate in Tucson), chips
Sun-dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken
Rehearsal Dinner for our friends’ wedding!

What’s on your menu plan this week?
Looking for some inspiration?  Check out my growing archive of weekly dinner menus.

Week 21 menu plan: one year ago and two years ago.