Life Lately

Nat King Cole only had it partially correct when he sang about those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” – the crazy part. There has been nothing lazy or hazy about our 2019 summer. I’m not complaining – the not having to do homework or get to bed at a certain time is fabulous. But, the quintessential “summer pic” of a mom, sipping on a cool glass of lemonade while watching her kids play in the pool, is just hilarious!! Patrick and I did get a little break last week. We dropped our two off at Camp St. Christopher and they had a blast. I can’t tell you what we did – I honestly can’t remember!!

Not sure about where you reside, but here in Charleston, it’s getting too hot to eat anything but cold soups and salads. There aren’t enough cold soups I enjoy so I’m opting for salad options this week. Don’t worry – they aren’t your typical boring lettuce and protein mixtures – healthy, flavorful and simple is where it’s at this week! Enjoy!

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 7/14

Sunday, July 14th – One Pot Summer Pasta: This recipe is adapted from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Everyday is Saturday, by Sarah Copeland. You have a ton of room to play with this recipe as you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I used zucchini, tomatoes and kale but any combo will be divine. I know, I said all salads, but pasta and veggies is kind of salad-y, right?

Monday, July 15th – Summer Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini: Again with the pasta but this @Skinnytaste recipe is crazy low in calories and full of flavor. To make this a meal, instead of a side, I tossed in some sautéed shrimp but I think I will do grilled chicken, or rotisserie chicken, the next time I make this one. ( Chicken Sausage would be great too!) I also added a half a cup of yellow and red chopped bell pepper for added crunch. Kid Tip – the beauty of this recipe is all the veggies are raw so you can add them in at any point. One of mine is a veggie eater, and the other a Chick-fil-a eater, so I pulled some plain pasta salad out for her, prior to adding the veggies.

Tuesday, July 16th – Spicy Tomato – Cucumber Salad: Spice + Salad = the perfect combo in my book. I love turning up the heat on lettuce. I added steak bites to my salad but any grilled protein will do. Kid Tip – Spice and kids don’t usually mix so I chopped extra cucumbers and tomatoes and served them plain, with a dippy sauce, and the steak bites!

Wednesday, July 17th – Chicken Zucchini Casserole – Have ten free minutes? You have the time to make this guy. I would let Regan make this recipe if I trusted she wouldn’t lick her fingers after touching the raw chicken. I suggest using chicken tenderloins, instead of breasts, or cube your chicken as the full breast takes too long to cook. If you opt to cube or use tenderloins, check this dish after 25 minutes. And play around with this one – I added tomatoes but artichokes would be awesome too.

Thursday, July 18th – Turkey Taco Bowls: This is a meal prep, lunch, recipe but it’s perfect for a family dinner. I served the adults over romaine lettuce – having a serious love affair with romaine lettuce these days – and put the taco meat in tortilla shells for the girls. I also used the pre-packaged taco seasoning instead of making my own because, well, it’s easier. If you use the pre-packaged stuff do not add water. The turkey will cook down and create enough liquid on it’s own!

Friday, July 19th – Hamburger Skillet with Thousand Island Dressing: I think I’ve shared some version of this recipe before but THIS @thymeandjoy guy is my favorite. The thousand island is on point. A few things – I subbed non-fat greek yogurt for the mayo, in the dressing, and I used soy sauce, not coconut aminos. KID TIP – serve the meat mixture on hamburger buns for a “sloppy joe.”

I hope you and your family have a wonderful week! Please tag and share your Dinner with the Duffy food pics on Instagram!

Cheers! XO ~ Kelly D.


Four for the 4th!!

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.

Tuesday, July 2nd – Skinnytaste Fish Florentine – Straight forward and delicious here. Any white fish will do so check your grocery stores to see what is on sale this week!!

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!!


LEAP

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.

Meal Plan for the Week of 6/16

Sunday, June 16th – Skinnytaste Chicken Parmesan Lasagna – I’m already drooling over this recipe that has very few calories but BIG time flavor. Perfect Sunday Supper option.

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.

Tuesday, June 18th – Crockpot Chicken Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce – The sauce in this recipe is divine because of the vinegar. I love vinegar – just adds the perfect tang. Omit the jalapeno if your people aren’t spice people. Happy Taco Tuesday!!

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!

Thursday, June 20th – Creamy Coconut Lime Salmon – Lots of flavor and super easy, y’all. I will sub light coconut milk and serve over jasmine rice. I might also add in some sautéed peppers, and maybe, snap peas!

Friday, June 21st – Skinnytaste Inside Out Turkey Cheeseburgers with Cucumber, Tomato Salad – This screams summer to me. Can’t quite think of anything better. The fact that it’s low cal is bananas with a capital B. Just saying.

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends.

XO ~ Kelly D.


Sweet, Sweet Summer Time

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!

BEFORE
AFTER

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.

Monday, June 3rd – Baked Chicken Thighs with Asparagus – You all know I have a straight up obsession with @TheModernProper. Their recipes never disappoint. You can sub skinless thighs if you prefer but you may need to add a little more fat to the pan after cooking. I’m not an olive eater so I’ll just forget those guys.

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!

Thursday, June 6th – Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce – There is a small chance I will have a working oven and running water by this time but just in case, I’m opting for a crocker. I will sub light coconut milk and use skinless thighs. Breasts are perfectly fine to sub!

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.

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends.

XO ~ Kelly D.


A Day Late and a Recipe Short

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.

Tuesday, May 29th – Asado Chicken and Sauteed Lemon Zucchini – Asado Chicken is a sweet and salty Filipino dish that is full of flavor and really easy to pull together. Oh, and of course, healthy.

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!!!

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends!

XO ~ Kelly D.


“D” Day

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.

Wednesday, May 22nd – Weight Watchers Chicken Taco Casserole – Basically, a taco in a dish but I’m cool with that. No need to make it complicated to make it taste good. Family friendly too!

Thursday, May 23rd – Easy Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken – I have a knack for finding easy recipes. We all have our talents, people. This looks SO delicious. Serve with white rice, brown rice, quinoa, caul rice – whatever your family desires.

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!!!

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends!!

XO ~ Kelly D.


Worth the Wait??

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…..

Photo Cred ~ @Simply Recipes

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.

Tuesday, May 7th – Steak and Asparagus Quinoa – Straight forward. Easy. Filling. Go.

Wednesday, May 8th – Weight Watchers Goulash – One of my favorites. Family friendly and low cal – takes no time to throw together.

Thursday, May 9th – Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus – I am always shocked at how flavorful, yet simple, this recipe is. It is one of my favorite chicken and veg dishes, hands down.

Friday, May 10th – Skinnytaste Tuna Noodle Casserole – All of the Friday night, family feels, in this one. Not only low calorie, but it cost about $10 to make. My kind of recipe.

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

Happy, Healthy Eating Y’all.

XO ~ Kelly D.


Year in Review

The next time you read one of my blog posts I will be one year older. Yep, my “day of me” is 4/18 and I will be thirty eight years young. Hard to believe, honestly. As of now, numbers don’t bother me so much. As long as I’m alive and kicking I’ll take it. I’m trying to think back to this time last year and to tell you the truth, I can’t really remember much up until I started the blog. Not sure what that says about my 37th year from April – August but oh well. Now from August to current, that I remember. I was gifted two huge surprises during my 37th year – my blog and my family. Let’s start with the blog. I can not put into words, although I will certainly try, how exhilarating, terrifying, frustrating, time-consuming, rewarding and powerful Dinner with the Duffys has been for me. I never in a million years would have imagined I would have the courage to put my thoughts on paper for all of you to read. A gift I hadn’t realized I so badly needed. Something just for me. Something that was only mine. And not a new dress or a piece of jewelry, no. Something to help me grow from the inside out. Blogging has been such an adventure and it will most definitely go down as my number two all time from my 37th year. On to number one – family. My family grew quite a bit during my 37th year. As most of you know, I located and connected with my biological family a few months back. Hands down the best thing that happened to me this year. I started my 37th as an only child, not knowing a thing about myself, biologically, but will close with three half siblings, more familial knowledge than I could have dreamed of and a family that has welcomed me with open arms. What a gift. Love. I was gifted additional love this year, y’all. For those dying to know, I have made a real connection with my maternal fam and we are all meeting up this summer. Wild, right? You just never know. #1 thing I learned in my 37th year – you have to learn to leap if you really want to live. I’m so damn glad I leaped.

365 days y’all. Each year we are gifted 365 days of wonder. How spectacular. What will you do with yours? I plan to challenge myself a bit in my 38th year. I want to be bolder, stronger, less concerned with what people think – hell, not concerned at ALL about what people think. I want to take more risks. Live in the moment. Dance in the rain…all of that stuff. My birthday wishes for myself. Let’s just hope I can blow out all of the candles!

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK OF 4/14

Sunday, April 14th – Mediterranean Tuna Salad – My mom broker her back last week – she’s OK now, thank God, but I need to make her something that will travel well and please a crowd. Enter this recipe! I have been waiting for a good reason to make this – awesome twist on your typical tuna noodle cass.

Monday, April 15th – Pepper Steak Stir-Fry – Perfect Monday meal. Crazy easy to throw together and NO marinating necessary. My favorite kind of meat dish. Serve with brown rice!

Tuesday, April 16th – Mediterranean Grilled Chicken + Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce – I love dill. Weird because I don’t love pickles. Go figure. This recipe does require you to marinate – sorry. Try to do it the night before and make the sauce too. I’ll serve ours over lettuce!

Wednesday, April 17th – Skinnytaste Turkey Meatloaf – Skinnytaste does everything delicious. Honestly. Gina Homolka is a genius. Great family friendly option here. Serve with a veg and call it a day.

Thursday, APRIL 18TH – (AKA -BEST DAY OF THE YEAR) – Cajun Asparagus and Sausage Skillet – No, I’m not cooking tonight. My friends are taking me out for a night on the town. P will be home cooking and enjoying this healthy and hearty dish!

Friday, April 19th – Chopped Turkey Burger with Thousand Island Dressing – I can’t get that light Caesar, from last week, off of the brain, y’all. It was bananas good. I’m giving this burger salad a try – will sub greek yogurt for mayo.

Happy, Healthy Eating Friends. Cheers to you!

XO ~ Kelly D.