Sunday, November 6, 2011

Playing Catch-Up~ Pumpkin Carving, Meal Planning, and a Flash Back

Hello Again! Sorry for the unexplained break- I had a minor medical procedure last week so my blog was neglected for a few days. Nothing serious and all is well... just kept me away from my computer and out of the kitchen. I'm still not 100% yet, but hoping to get back to cooking really soon. Luckily I have the most amazing husband who has taken over cooking and childcare duties these past couple days. My girls have even cooked some for me- scrambled eggs and pancakes- so good!! With being out for a couple days I missed my planning post, my Flash Back Friday post, and one about our Pumpkin Carving Party. So we're going to play catch up... Are you ready?

First things first- our Pumpkin Carving Party.
We hosted it the day before Halloween and it was a huge success! There's nothing better than a houseful of family, good friends, their awesome kids, and delicious food!
We kept the menu pretty simple. The party was only going from 4-6pm since it was a school night, so we decided on appetizers and sweets. From our kitchen we had my Curried Chicken Wings, Cranberry Slow cooker Meatballs, Pepperoni Rolls, and a double Crock Pot with my Black Bean Dip and White Bean Dip.

My mother brought the most AMAZING pumpkin cupcakes that tasted like pumpkin cheesecake. My best friend Aimee brought a pumpkin apple cider that tasted like something straight out of one of the Harry Potter movies- perfect for Halloween. A couple other friends brought chocolate brownies whose secret ingredient is strong coffee- wow! And an absolutely heavenly apple pie. Hard to believe but all of these goodies were completely dairy free!

We were going to try to do this out on our patio with the fire pit going, but it was far too cold, and it had poured all day the day before so the patio and rug were still wet. Instead, we spread some plastic down in our dining room from one end to the other and let the kids pick a spot and get to work. I printed out some patterns from and put them in an old Jack-O-Lantern candy bucket I found in my linen closet. (I highly recommend doing this, especially if you are going to have kids carving pumpkins).

The evening passed quickly while everyone got to work on their masterpieces. Every single pumpkin turned out to be so awesome!

Everyone's masterpieces

I know this is definitely going to happen again next year- we all had such a good time, especially the kids!

~Meal Planning~With all that went on in the past week or so, I did still manage to do my meal planning, I just did not post it. Last Wednesday my wonderful husband drove 13 hours round trip to pick up our beef share from a private farm in W.Virginia. It's such a long way for him to go, but so worth it! Our deep freezer is now full of fresh (and I do mean FRESH), organic, free range, humanely treated beef.We also got our first delivery from our Fall CSA. This included 6 huge sweet potatoes, a insanely large bag of Kale, a few pounds of fresh raw peanuts, and 2 butternut squashes. This will make our meal planning so much easier for the winter.

Here's what is on the menu for this week:
Monday: Sausage Kale and Bean soup
Wednesday:Our 9th Wedding Anniversary so I'm thinking steaks on the grill, and a nice bottle of red wine:-)
Thursday:Grilled Marinated Chicken, Kale and Potato Gratin
Friday:Spaghetti and meatsauce
Saturday: We're going wine tasting:-)
Sunday:Empanadas made from leftover chili
Monday:Rochelle's Beef Soup
Tuesday:Curried Chicken
Wednesday::Coffee Braised Pot Roast
Thursday: Italian Chicken (It's easy and makes great leftovers)
Friday: Time to Shop!:-)

For breakfasts I am going to make some breads, overnight and slow cooker oats, and we have fresh pancakes in the freezer.
Lunches are leftovers, sandwiches, soups.

With the next couple of weeks I am working on restocking my freezer with soups that were lost during the summer power outage thanks to Hurricane Irene.

And finally ~Flash Back Friday (on Monday)~Here is the recipe I wanted to share last Friday:
Bobotie- A traditional Afrikaans Dish
This was first made for us last Thanksgiving by our South African friends. With the holidays fast approaching, we are missing them more and more. So I decided to share this one, because we will be serving it the Wednesday before Thanksgiving at our house this year. It is a similar to a curried meatloaf. I was a bit... skeptical... at first but it is absolutely delicious!

So there you have it- I think we are all caught up now.

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