I know, I know. This is SO late. Apologies. The girls and I spent hours at the beach, on Friday, and then we crashed. Just been a busy week. This post will be short and sweet since the 4th is this Thursday!! I try not to overschedule holiday weeks because you inevitably end up wasting food. Here are my four picks for the week of the 4th and my four favorite dishes for the 4th!!
Sunday, June 30th – Buffalo Chicken Baked Ziti – Somehow this is a low calorie recipe. It’s weight watchers, so I trust it, but it looks too good to be true! I’m seriously back on the romaine salad train so I will make an easy romaine side salad and call it a weekend!
Monday, July 1st – Zucchini Noodles with Chicken Sausage, Tomato, and Basil – Our last away swim meet is this evening. While I love summer swim for my girls, I’m pretty much over it. Just being real here. It’s A LOT. Great exercise, comradery and structure for R & A but I’m ready for a month of laziness before we go back to the school grind. This recipe is light and summery. I will sub cherub tomatoes for the whole tomato and possibly, throw in a little pesto. The pre-made stuff from Costco is legit.
Wednesday, July 3rd – Avocado Chicken Salad– My avocado obsession is taking over. I can’t help but gravitate to the avocado recipes, especially during the summer when the tomatoes are ripe. Feel free to use a rotisserie chicken here to make this even easier!
July 4th Recipes – Below are my favorite summer go-to “bring a dish” recipes just in case you need some ideas!!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I hate taking risks. I should be the poster child for playing it safe. Normally I avoid risk at all costs but recently it seems I’ve put myself at it’s epicenter. Maybe some would label that growth? I think I’m just so discombobulated with the kitchen renovation that I didn’t realize what was happening. So what did I do? Well, I signed on with a PR firm to commit to growing the Dinner with the Duffys brand. No big, you say? Not so. In taking this step, no LEAP, I’m opening myself up to failure. The fall on your face kind of failure. I don’t like to fail – probably why I don’t like taking risks. But here’s the thing – I really believe DwtD’s has a shot; a long shot, sure, but a shot. And I know I will regret it, for the rest of my life, if I don’t take this chance. Over the next few months, I will be plugging away creating varied meal plans, grocery lists, my own recipes and who knows what else – any and everything to make this dream a reality. It’s all very exciting and I hope you will continue to follow along and ride this rollercoaster with me. I would not be here without all of you and I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. P.S. – I meet my biological family in t-minus 24 hours. P.P.S – I’m freaking out.
Monday, June 17th – Grilled Chicken Skewers – Dear God, please let my kitchen be finished by this day. At the very least, please let there be furniture in my living room. And no, a beach chair does not constitute furniture. On to the recipe – y’all know I hate a skewer- such a pain in the arse – BUT I’m giving this recipe a go because there’s a pretty awesome hack that may make it worth our while. You use peeled plum, CANNED, tomatoes. Just pick them out of the can and thread them onto the stick. Along with some chicken. And that’s pretty much it. Serve with rice, side salad – whatever gets you thru this Monday.
Wednesday, June 19th – Flank Steak with Zhoug Sauce – So, you really don’t need to click out for this recipe but, the marinade is good so use it for that. Don’t feel like making homemade zhoug? Grab a bottle of the pre-made stuff from Trader Joe’s. It’s delicious – on all of the things. Might be too spicy for the kids but they can eat there’s without. Serve with some roasted veggies or, sautéed okra!
It’s officially summer, y’all. Friday was the last day of school for Regs and Avs. Don’t you remember that freeing feeling you felt, as a kid, on the last day of school. The best. My brain is chock full of memories of ice cream trucks, flashlight tag, mid-week sleepovers and late night swimming. Sweet, sweet summer time. My how things change. These days just the word summer sends me down a rabbit hole of anxiety. Parents have to start making summer plans for their kids in January. JANUARY. Sitters book up in no time, as do camps. I never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined the anxiety I would feel over trying to get my kids into camp. Finding a soulmate is less stressful. For the working parent you have no choice – you have to figure out what to do with your kids for twelve straight weeks. And the price tag that comes with those camps. Forget it. Not to mention the pressure to get them into the best camps, you know the ones where they build space ships and solve US – Chinese tensions. Bananas with a capital “B.” And the non-working parents don’t have it any easier. You all have to deal with entertaining your kiddos for twelve straight weeks! When I was a kid (I am officially old), my summers were spent sleeping in and running the streets until dark. I promise you my parents were not planning out my days. My point here – cut yourself some slack. Our kids will be OK if they wake up for the next seventy-five some odd days at nine AM, get their agua from the neighbors hot water hose and ride bikes all day instead of learning algebra. We all survived. They will too. #makesummertimesweetagain
Kitchen Update – We are moving right along. Two and a half weeks and lots of progress. Electrical is mostly done, walls are up and cabinets are in. Next week brings counters, floors and I pray to God, running water!
MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 6/1
Sunday, June 2nd – Hamburgers, Dogs and Israeli Couscous Orzo Pasta Salad – It’s not officially summer until you have a cookout so the Duffys will be a grilling come Sunday. This couscous & orzo salad is one of my summer staples. It’s served room temp, or cooled, which is necessary when it’s 185 degrees out. Hopefully the tides will cooperate and we can jump in the creek after dinner.
Tuesday, June 4th – Skinnytaste Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce – Pulling out a flashback fav for tonight. Make sure not to overcook these bad boys – 160 and they are good to go. I will serve with an arugula, lemon and parm salad to make it light and simple. Girls will probably get a canned green bean – more than one if I don’t eat them all. God I love a canned bean!!
Wednesday, June 5th – Sesame Garlic Ramen Noodles – I have a confession to make. I have never actually cooked ramen noodles. My neighbors eat them all of the time, and when they feed me, I love them. Just never really crossed my mind. That changes today. I will toss these with shrimp or chicken to add bulk!
Friday, June 7th – Sheet Pan Pork Tenderloin – I think sheet pan Fridays should become a thing. I’ll work on that. In the meantime, this recipe had me at sheet pan and hoisin. I love hoisin. And it cooks with green beans and potatoes. Quickly put this one together, stick it in the oven and pour yourself a glass. You deserve it.
Memorial Camp 2019 is officially in the books. A wonderful time was had by all. We ate too much, drank too much, got way too much sun and too little sleep but it was well worth it for two full days/nights inhaling the salty, Lowcountry air. Of course, I’m putting this weeks meal plan out super late so I will just get to it!
Meal Plan for the week of May 27th
Monday, May 28th – Prosciutto, Arugula, Burrata Pizza – Or whatever pizza you would like. We are still without a kitchen so our neighbors invited us over for dinner. They are the best. On the menu tonight – grilled pizzas. I am not making the pizza dough – neighbor is knee deep in flour as I type – but if he wasn’t doing the deed, I would just buy pizza dough from the store. You can go crazy and add whatever ingredients you would like. I just happen to be obsessed with burrata these days. And arugula. And prosciutto.
Wednesday, May 30th – Hawaiian Ground Beef – I always get nervous when I add fruit to salty foods. Odd as I usually end up loving the flavor combo. This one is crazy family friendly and incredibly easy to make. Chop your veggies/fruit ahead of time and this will take you twelve minutes, start to finish. A good thing because we have swim mock meet Wednesday and will be at the pool, for eighteen hours, to watch our girls swim for three minutes.
Thursday, May 31st – Air Fryer Basil-Parmesan Salmon ( Oven Instructions Too) – I do not own and air fryer so I will be baking my salmon in the oven. Maybe once my kitchen is finished, and I have more space, I can purchase this Skinnytaste one. Regardless of how you choose to bake, this dish will rock your taste buds. Serve with a veg and side salad!
Friday, June 1st – Skinny White Chicken Enchiladas– I have been seriously craving Mexican food. Hopefully I will have a working oven by Friday and I can make this dish in my own kitchen. Easy and scrumptious, perfect for a Friday night. P.S. – summer is officially here!!!
Well, “D” day has come and gone and we are still alive and living in our house. Aside from the layer of dust that now covers every inch of our home, we are OK. Not having a sink is by far the biggest inconvenience but thankful for neighbors and their dishwashers. And paper products. Y’all, we worked so hard this weekend. I mean, we are probably going to die, before this project is complete due to all of the dust we inhaled, but oh well. Our children will enjoy it. I can not wait to see the end result! I’ll post updates as things should start moving pretty quickly. ( All the contractors in all of the world are laughing at me right now!) This weeks meal plan is going to be a bit tool heavy as I’m having to rely on the crocker, grill and sous vide to make it all work. Challenging but I’m always up for a challenge.
Meal Plan For The Week of 5/19
Sunday, May 19th – Greek Lemon Chicken Bowls– I am not quite sure where I’m going to chop all the things necessary for this recipe, but I’ll figure it out. Y’all know how I feel about skewers – too much work – so we will just grill our chicken breasts whole. This yummy recipe screams summer. Orzo, grilled chicken, feta – #drooling.
Monday, May 20th – Super Easy Skinny Veggie Crockpot Lasagna – She had me at super easy & crockpot. I’m not totally sold on the meatless lasagna idea BUT for under 400 calories a serving, I’ll give it a try. Make sure to read the directions well as she suggests letting the lasagna sit for an hour AFTER cooking to absorb all of the liquid.
Tuesday, May 21st – Sous Vide Korean BBQ Chicken – If you don’t have a sous vide, not to worry, although you should definitely consider purchasing one – check out my favorite here! You can totally marinate these and throw on the grill. We will serve ours with microwavable green beans!! Thank God we still have a microwave.
Friday, May 24th – Camp, Baby Camp – No, that’s not a recipe but it’s where I will be all weekend. We are heading to the beach to camp for Memorial Day, with our good friends, and I can’t wait. It’s my favorite weekend of the year. It’s actually glamping but whatever. I’ll report back on all of the yumminess – the food is always the best part!!!
My high school friends and I have our first supper club this Saturday. There are finally enough of us, back in Charleston, to organize such a fun event. My insanely talented photographer friend, @KristenLequire, is hosting our first gathering so I only need to bring an app. No big deal, right? Not true. The struggle to come up with an app that travels well, eats well and tastes good is real. I find the “what app should I bring” question is the most common I’m asked by followers. So, this week I’m giving you a list of my favorites, by category, and a few tips to boot.
Cold Appetizers ~ By far the easiest appetizer option. Want to make it and forget about it? These apps are for you. Most cold apps can sit at room temperature, for around two hours, including apps made with meat, dairy or eggs. After that, you may want to put them back in the fridge for a bit unless you are OK with being sick the next day. My favorites:
Hot Appetizers – These can be tricky if you are taking your app on the road. Make sure, when bringing a hot app, it will still be tasty at room temp – some wilt or get straight up nasty after they cool down. Opt for an appetizer that can live in a crockpot or place your app on a warming tray. I really need to convince the peeps @yeti to create some cookware!! Hot apps are perfect if you are hosting – you can pull them out of the oven just as your guests arrive. Below are my favs (P.S. – I have a slight obsession with wonton wrappers. They used to frighten me but no more. Super easy to work with and have made apps a game changer in my world. Use them)
1/3 cup ( up to ½ cup depending on how buffalo-y you like your chicken) Franks Red Hot Sauce
Wonton Wrappers – 24
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
Pre-heat oven to 400. Melt cream cheese, butter and hot sauce together on low heat, stirring frequently until fully incorporated. Fold in picked rotisserie chicken, salt, pepper and paprika to the melted mixture. Set aside. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Place one wonton wrapper in the bottom of each muffin cup. Place about one tablespoon of the buffalo chicken mixture into each cup. Top with 2 tsp of shredded cheese. Place a second wonton wrapper on top of the cheese then add the remaining chicken mixture and cheese across all the muffin cups. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until wonton edges are browned and cheese is melted. Top each cup with a dollop of sour cream, tomatoes and green onions – or whatever your heart desires!! Serve immediately.
MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 5/12
Sunday, May 12th – Happy Mother’s Day. I’m not even going to pretend I’m cooking today. No Mom should. Go out. Order pizza. Have your partner cook for you. Relax and enjoy.
Monday, May 13th – Greek Burger Salad – I’m only linking out the tzatziki because I plan to use a @bubbaburger and since the instructions are on the box, I’m pretty sure you can manage. I’m going to chop my burger, add some veggies and top with this delicious tzatziki. Don’t worry about squeezing the cucumber – it’s not a big deal.
Tuesday, May 14th – Everything Bagel Chicken with Asparagus – I apologize but you will need @TraderJoes Everything Bagel spice for this recipe. You won’t regret it as it’s the most amazing spice, ever. Amazon also sells! I went to put on a pair of shorts Friday night that were HUGE last summer only to find they had shrunk. I swear clothing shrinks if it’s sits for too long. That’s a thing, right? I’ll just eat super healthy in case I’m wrong. This recipe will help!!
Wednesday, May 15th – BBQ Pork Tenderloin in the Crocker – By this point in time my kitchen should be pretty packed up. Hopefully I was smart enough to put a few items towards the front of the chaos for accessibility. My crocker should be one of those items as I will be using the bejesus out of it for the next few weeks. I’ll nuke some green beans and call it a day. Oh wait, will I have a microwave? Hmmmmmmm
Thursday, May 16th – One Pan Baked Smothered Chicken – Just chopping and mixing here peeps. Family favorite in my house. Well, Regs doesn’t vote unless it’s grilled cheese, chicken fingers, steak or dessert. 3 out of 4 ain’t so bad. Serve with brown rice, salad – whatever you have on hand.
Friday, May 17th – Salmon and Summer Veggies – Well, I’m pretty sure my kitchen will be dust at this point so I’m hoping my neighbors were for real when they told me I could use their kitchens. Mandy, if you are reading this, I’m coming over. Hopefully I can put these easy packets together in my living room and then bake them at the Reids. Light, summery dish, perfect for a Friday in May!!
Happy, Healthy Eating Friends! Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram – @dinnerwiththeduffys!! Kitchen updates coming soon.
Well, I fell down on the job. SO sorry folks. I was hoping I’d have the “I was too busy packing to work” excuse but that’s not entirely accurate seeing as I only packed for about an hour. It took an hour to pack up our china and glassware. How does one accumulate so much glassware? None of it matches and I honestly can’t remember purchasing like 80% of what we have. So odd. We left around ten cups in the cabinet, to just survive over the next few weeks, and you would have thought we had left one for all four of us to fight over. The girls were freaking out. I can’t wait until we pack up the plates. Meanwhile, the thought of not having to wash plates, cups and utensils, for the next four weeks, has me kind of giddy. I feel like I’m hitting the jack pot. People can’t believe we are choosing to stay in our house, during the work, and I’m over here like, “are you kidding?” You want me to leave just about the time my responsibilities will go from 100 to 10? You crazy. No vacuuming, mopping, dusting, 409-ing, windexing, pledging, or cleaning after cooking? I mean, it might as well be vacation. So I have to live in a dust infested house with no sink or stove for a few weeks. Meh, just minor inconveniences compared to being a cleaning lady, short order cook, dry cleaner and uber driver. Dropping two of the four ain’t so bad. I’ll be armed with my arsenal of Costco paper products, a toaster oven and a grill. My meal plan may be a bit odd from the 19th to the first of June but I will get creative. I mean, I’ll have oodles of time, right? This entire post is going to come back to bite me in the arse, isn’t it? IS IT? I can hear you laughing…..
Meal Plan For The Week of 5/6
Monday, May 6th – Shrimp, Arugula White Bean Salad – On top of all of the packing, swim team practice starts for my girls today. For those who don’t know, summer swim team controls your life for about two months. It’s every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Healthy, delicious and quick will be my strict moto for the next 8 weeks. This one is perfect.
No Sunday meal plan as it’s Monday so I’ve already missed that boat. Plus, our Sunday night meal was Sonic. I needed the grease if you catch my drift. Too much fun, the night before, at Cinco de Derby!! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram ~ @Dinnerwiththeduffys