Menu for the Week! June 1





Our discussion this morning with friends centered around finding some balance amongst the everyday things in life. One way that we’ve found some balance in our home is by doing some meal planning. It takes a little bit of time over the weekend, but the payoff during the week makes it well worth it. Here’s our menu for this week:


  • Pan-Fried Porkchopsthis one from the Pioneer Woman. Can’t wait to try it!
  • Mashed Potatoes – Make your favorite recipe, or pick up the refrigerated kind (just nothing boxed).
  • Roasted Cauliflowerthis one from Food Network is so good and easy! Even if you think you don’t like cauliflower I think you’ll like this.
  • Sliced Tomatoes – They’re in season right now and add great color to your plate.


  • Mexican Meatball Street Tacos – Don’t these just sound good? Looking forward to Tuesday. Here’s the recipe.
  • Mexican Three Bean Salad – This is great and you pretty much just dump some cans of beans and a few other things together, then mix. Here’s the recipe.
  • Corn – Take some frozen and saute it in some butter until lightly browned. If you really want to jazz it up add a little garlic and chopped red pepper.


  • Take-out night or Leftovers


  • Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta – Another tasty dish from the Pioneer Woman.
  • Salad
  • Bread – Think you can’t make homemade bread? Thing again! Baguettes in 30 minutes. Trust me. These guys are easy and so tasty. You will love the smell in your house. Here’s the recipe with pictures and video.


  •  Pizza Night – make it at home and you can control the ingredients. There are some really easy crust recipes like this one, or you can buy the dough ready made (not the canned stuff). The trick for pizza is to pre-bake the crust until just golden, add just enough sauce (but not covered in thick sauce), cover in cheese (but still leaving room that you can see through the cheese to the sauce), then the toppings. If you put a lot of veggies on it, consider baking them first to remove some moisture so you don’t get soggy pizza.
  • Veggie Sticks

BBQ Chicken Pizza – Homemade Quick!


I like pizza, my wife likes pizza and my boys like pizza, which means we eat pizza at least once a week. My oldest son declared about a month ago that Friday night is pizza night. That holds true most weeks, but sometimes we make it over the weekend. Yes I just said make it. You’re probably thinking to yourself… I don’t have time for that. Try it though, and you’ll be hooked.

You see, when you make it yourself, you control what goes into it. (The chains don’t seem to care)

Tonight I made a BBQ chicken pizza for my wife and I, and a pepperoni pan pizza for the boys (sorry I forget to get a photo of that one). I started with the same dough recipe but baked them differently. Here are the recipes:

Start with homemade Pizza Dough Quick (You could always pick up some dough from the Publix bakery and let it rise, but this is easy):

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

I made the two recipes below from one crust recipe. For a really thick crust, just make one pizza out of the homemade dough recipe.

Crust Directions for hand tossed / thin crust flavor:

  • In a large bowl, combine water with honey and then add yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved (stir lightly).
  • Add in flour, salt, and olive oil and use a wooden spoon to combine.
  • Once the ingredients are well combined with the spoon, use your hands to knead the dough for a few minutes.
  • Form the dough into a ball, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and spray a 16 inch pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray (or use pizza stone)
  • Roll the dough out into a 16 inch circle. Roll the edges of the dough.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with Italian seasoning and brush the entire crust with this mixture.
  • Place the crust in the oven for 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and add sauce, cheese, and toppings.
  • Return the pizza to the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.
  • Cut into slices and enjoy!

BBQ Chicken Pizza Ingredients / Toppings:

  • 1/2 pound chicken cutlets. Brush a little bbq sauce on them (I used Trader Joe’s) and broil for ten minutes total (or less, just keep an eye on them). Once done, wrap up in foil to let the juices settle in. Then chop into chunks.
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese.
  • BBQ Sauce (I used Trader Joe’s).
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onions.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.

For a Pan Pizza:

  • Use a 9×13 inch metal baking pan and grease it with olive or canola oil.
  • After letting your dough rise, press it out into the pan. If needed, let it rest for a few minutes, then continue to press out to the edges, being careful not to tear or create holes in the crust.
  • Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes, then brush a little olive oil mixture onto it.
  • Place in the oven for 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and add sauce (I used Muir Glen brand in the can), cheese, and toppings (my boys only eat pepperoni pizza).
  • Return the pizza to the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.
  • Cut into slices and enjoy! (You won’t need Pizza Hut again!)


Menu for the Week of Nov. 10



  • Naan bread pizzas – pepperoni on top for the boys and chicken / red onion / red pepper / mushroom / goat cheese / pesto for us! Do yourself a favor and make some homemade Naan bread. It was even easier than I thought. You only have to knead it for 3 minutes. It was the best I’ve ever had and made delicious flat-bread pizza. If you don’t have time, pick up a package at the store. The trick to homemade pizza is using just enough sauce and cheese. It takes less than you think it will. That will keep it from getting soggy. Back at 400 for 8 minutes or so.
  • Salad – bibb lettuce, roma tomato chopped, half an avocado chopped,  red onion, goat cheese, red wine vinegar and olive oil drizzled on top with any of your favorite seasonings.



  • Soup night! Oh my. This Provencal Vegetable Soup from Ina Garten is amazing. I made this on Friday and it was so good! Make it up Monday evening so it’s ready to eat Tuesday. The chopping takes the longest part. It doesn’t need much time to cook. If you don’t have the time to make the “Pistou” then you can sub it with some store bought pesto and then mix in a little tomato paste. It added a great complex flavor to it.
  • Serve with some fresh bread.


  • Leftovers or Take-Out


  • Grilled Boneless Pork Loin Chops, Brined and Honey Glazed – Easy and juicy pork chops! Two things I always want in pork chops that I cook. Serve with some Chardonnay or Riesling.
  • Roasted broccoli – Chop broccoli, drizzle a little olive oil over it, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness.
  • French fries – Chop up a fresh potato or buy some Alexia brand frozen ones. Those are my go-to for quick fries.


  • Sweet and Sour Shrimp – Yes you can make this take-out staple at home. It’s that easy! Make sure you buy Florida or Caribbean shrimp and nothing from Thailand please. You will be glad you did for both the flavor and knowing you supported good business practices.
  • White or Brown steamed rice – If you don’t have a rice cooker yet, you want one. Even people that cannot make rice can make it in one of these. In Japan, everyone uses them. You don’t have to spend much to get the job done.