Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Foodie Penpals and a Meal Plan - Both a Day Late

It has been forever since I posted. No excuses, blogging just lies a little low on the old list o' priorities. Behind stuff like sleep, and eat nutritious food. I've been busy meal planning and cooking, but not so much with the posting of what I've made.

I also participated in the Foodie Penpals program again for April. It was pretty fun! My penpal (the person who sent me a package) was Megan, and she sent us some pretty fun stuff!

The girls, of course, love the little chocolate chip cookies. Gabbie keeps asking for the crunchy cookies when she wants one. The dark chocolate cranberry granola is delicious, and I even put it in pancakes one day, for a fun change. Very tasty! Aaron ate most of the dark chocolate bar, and says it's one of the best he's ever eaten. I haven't tried the raw bar yet, but it's in my desk drawer for one of those days when I don't have time to run out for a much needed snack!

Thanks to Megan for a fun box of goodies! (See the bottom of this post for Foodie Penpal details if you want to participate!)

On to the meal planning!

Since things have been so crazy busy lately, when Sunday rolled around and I hadn't even thought about a meal plan yet, Aaron decided to take on the planning duties. What a man! I have to say, with a little bit of input from me, we put together a pretty excellent plan! (I'll include yesterday's meal, since it was fan-damn-tastic!

Monday: Spring Vegetable Risotto and a fresh fruit platter

Gabbie helped me make the risotto (a fairly basic version, with asparagus and peas) and did most of the stirring and adding of broth. It's amazing to me how helpful she is in the kitchen! Aaron put together the fresh fruit platter. It had (let's see if I can remember it all): bananas, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, mandarin oranges (Sophie's favorite), pears, and mangoes, with plain and vanilla yogurt on the side. It was amazing, and we managed to eat every last piece of fruit on that plate.

Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas, refried beans

You are going to see a theme start to emerge from Aaron's plan. He's a big Jamie Oliver fan, and so that's where he got most of his recipes for the week. These chicken fajitas are pretty delicious (we've made them before), and because we've had so much rice lately, we decided to go with a different side tonight.

Wednesday: Classic Tomato Spaghetti with Peas and White Beans, Salad, Bread

We've made this basic recipe a few times, but we decided to try out one of the variations this week. The original idea for the variation calls for fava beans which a) are pretty impossible to find around here, and b) remind Aaron too much of lima beans, apparently, so we are switching them out for white beans. Yum!

Thursday: Quick Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yogurt, Naan, Carrot Salad

I had to be talked into this one, but since he has volunteered to do the cooking, and it is supposed to be warm enough that night to open the windows (so any fish smell doesn't linger), I let him put it on the menu. The girls both seem to like fish, so far be it from me to prevent them from eating it. I'm not a huge fan, but I can tolerate very fresh seafood. I'm making Aaron buy it from a local fresh fish place so that I can enjoy it too. We shall see! (I'm being open-minded, at least that's what I keep reminding myself!)

Friday: Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce, Rice

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a very long time. I saw the black bean sauce at the market a few weeks ago and put it in my cart so I could be one step closer to making this. Friday is the day!

Saturday: Crunchy Garlic Chicken, Broccoli, Fruit

Another recipe I've been wanting to try for a while. I read this cookbook all the time and drool over the pictures. The only reason I don't give it more play is the lack of easy vegetarian meals. However, I think we did pretty good balancing out what we're having this week.

Sunday: Unknown

We'll probably celebrate Aaron's birthday and my sister being in town on Sunday afternoon/evening. We're undecided yet, but as I'll be out of town from Monday until the wee hours of Aaron's birthday, I thought it best to celebrate before all that craziness ensues. All I know is that there will be chocolate cake. Mmmmm.....

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for May, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by May 4th as pairings will be emailed on May 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

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