Do y’all remember the McDonald’s character, Hamburglar, from the mid 80’s? He was the guy who would “stop at nothing to steal and hoard his favorite McDonald’s products all for himself“? Well friends, that will be me come Halloween night only my name will be Sweetstealer – I will stop at nothing to steal and hoard all of my favorite candy….from my children!!! Every single Trick-or-Treat Eve, I make a promise to my girls that I WILL NOT steal their candy. I really do go into this pact with good intentions, but then they walk into the house with their pumpkin bags filled to the brim. And y’all, treat bags are no longer filled to the brim with Lemon Heads, Circus Peanuts and Boston Baked Beans Oh no. Now people give out Toblerone bars, full size Snickers and Butterfingers. WTH? When I was a kid, my parents would not have touched my jack o’ lantern with a ten foot pole but now, who can resist all the deliciousness? I mean, can you resist a Toblerone bar? ( For those that don’t know, they now come in white chocolate. Just sayin) If you can, I need your guidance, and resistance techniques, so email me directly! Does anyone else do this or am I all alone on the candy steal of shame? Bloody hell. It’s probably just me. I have an idea though, on how to fix this large scale issue (surely it’s not just me). Can we all agree to stop spending $500 a family on Halloween candy. Can we go back to the ginormous $10 bags that will feed 500 kids? I mean, it’s ridiculous, right? When did Halloween go gourmet? I need to take out a loan to buy Halloween candy. And please do not get me started on the houses that give away decorated treat bags full of multiple, full sized, candy bars all glued together to form a pumpkin or vampire or whatever the hell it’s supposed to be. Pinterest pinning people – you are killing me. You are Martha Stewart fabulous but you are killing me. I can barely get to Harris Teeter in time to purchase the last bag of whatever candy has been ostracized to the deep, deep corner of the candy shelf. All of us would be much happier ( maybe not the kids) if we could just agree, here and now, to go back to giving out Lemon Heads, Circus Peanuts and Boston Baked Beans. Y’all, I just spit out my water. What is in a circus peanut? I am cracking up. OK so maybe not circus peanuts but you get my point. Let’s just take it down a notch so I have a fighting chance to honor my commitment to my children and not gain five pounds in one week? Totally doable, right? And the kids will eat anything they think is bad for them so they won’t even notice. Are you with me?????? Circus peanuts…..that’s funny.
Tip of the Week – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – READ IT. This book is so good on so many levels. At brunch on Sunday, I was trying to remember the title of this book to tell my friends to read it. Y’all, I can’t remember titles of books to save my life. I am not good with small details – although I guess some would consider the title of a book a big detail – whatever, I’m not good with remembering details. Any who, I’m trying to recall this title and then my friend starts talking about this book she just finished, for her book club, and she says the title is Where the Crawdads Sing – I about fell out of the booth flapping my arms, so excited. Y’all – this book. It’s a murder mystery, but that’s just the side story. Something about this book just settles in your soul. I want to read it again and I just finished it two nights ago. I love a good book and I think everyone needs something to help them escape this fast paced life we are all driving these days. This book will slow things down and ground you in a way no other book I’ve read has. So go rent it or buy it or stream it or whatever you need to do. Just read it!!
Happy, Healthy Eating Friends.
Meal Plan for the week of Halloween ~ 10/28
XO ~ Kelly
Sunday 10/28 – Classic Coq au Vin – Y’all, coq au vin is one of my all time favorite comfort meals. It’s right up there with lasagna. I remember the first time I had this dish. We were on vacation with my fabulous foodie neighbors, Billy & Mandy, in NC. One of their friends is a chef and he invited us to his house to eat Coq au vin. The chicken people – the chicken just fell off the bone. I so badly wanted to lick my fingers but somehow I controlled myself. What I’ve shared here is a “streamlined” version of coq au vin – just less time and effort but still delicious. You can serve this over rice or mashed potatoes. I always opt for a mashed potato and I just happen to have the BEST CROCKPOT mashed potato recipe. I found this last year and it’s a Thanksgiving keeper – would be great for this Sunday meal too! Grab your people and plop at the table for this one!!!
Monday 10/29 – Dijon Basil Chicken Salad – I feel like we need a low key cooking week this week. Or at least, I do. This chicken salad doesn’t get any easier as you use a rotisserie chicken. A couple of things – 1. It’s so much better to “pick your chicken” hot (no other way to say this people) – don’t put the chicken into the fridge and then pick it after it’s cold. SO much more tedious. Pick your chick on Sunday when it’s warm, place into a container, and then it’s ready to roll come Monday. 2. I will not use 1/4 cup of mayo – instead, I will do two tablespoons of greek yogurt to two tablespoons of light mayo. You can go all greek or all mayo – up to you. I will live in the middle. Hubs will put this on sour dough but I’ll toss over lettuce. You can wrap it too.
Tuesday 10/30 – Quinoa & Shrimp Paella – One of my favs here y’all. I really love paella but it’s made with rice and not always as healthy. This is a trimmed down version but still bursting with flavor. My favorite part is not having to cook the quinoa separately – it cooks within the dish – so one pan here people. I love a one pan weeknight meal. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on saffron, just sub turmeric but use sparingly – too much will overwhelm the other flavors.
Wednesday 10/31 – Stuffed Pepper Soup (Stovetop or Instant Pot) – Happy Halloween Y’all!! I’m sure most of you are rolling your eyes that I’m even posting a recipe for today, but you have to eat something, right? Plus, it doesn’t get dark until what, 7:00, so you will have time to cook this easy to toss together soup. I always have family popping in and out on Halloween so it’s nice to have something bubbly and warm on the stove, just in case they are hungry. Super quick and filling, this dish is a no brainer!
Thursday 11/1 – Oven Baked Margherita Chicken – How is it November? I swear it was August like two weeks ago. I need to start prepping for Turkey Day – ugh. Well, this here is a no stress, easy peasy, recipe that will fill you up and leave you light and happy. I have been missing my frozen, Costco, green beans so I’ll dip back into those babies and sauté them up quick and easy!
Friday 11/2 – Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup – I will be so relieved when we get to Friday of this week. Work will have been bananas ( two events ), plus Halloween. I know this makes two crock pot meals this week, but the thought of not having to actually cook on Friday makes me giddy. Black bean soup has never been one of favorites – until I made THIS black bean soup. It’s hearty and oh, so creamy. My husband loves this dish but he totally turned his nose up at the idea of it the first time I made it – until he tried it. All your peeps will love this one!
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