“falling for Fall”


pumpkin everything

Fall…autumn…harvest…end-of-summer…whatever you call it, it’s fast approaching. Sure, we have a few more weeks until its official arrival (21 days to be exact), but it’s hard to subdue the anticipation with football returning, Halloween costume stores popping up, evenings getting a bit cooler, and the scent of pumpkin spice lattes soon to be wafting through the air.

Let’s face it, it’s hard not to fall for Fall. I personally have two favorite things about this change in season and those are BOOTS and the EATS (including Thanksgiving, duh)! Hope you love apples, pumpkins, squash, roasted root vegetables, gingerbread, and game day comfort food because they’re coming your way via The Weekly Spread. In the meantime, enjoy these top 21 pumpkin treats:

Pumpkin, yum!

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Jenelle


“8.31.15 weekly spread”


In honor of Fall…the best season of the year!

Bacon tomato shrimp with cheddar polenta

Pan-seared steak with Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangoli (with butter and parmesan cheese) and roasted pear and arugula salad (add goat cheese)

Apple cinnamon pork chops with roasted fall vegetables

Tuna noodle casserole

Pumpkin pork enchiladas with brown rice with black beans

Shopping List

Meat and seafood

1 bone-in or boneless rib eye steak or sirloin steak at least 1 ½ pounds, cut to at least 1 ½ inches thick

1 lb shredded pork

4 Ribeye (rib) pork chops, bone-in, about 3/4-inch thick

12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 slices bacon

 Produce

9 peeled garlic cloves

Few sprigs fresh parsley, including stems

3 ripe Anjou pears (or any pears you can find)

Juice of 2 lemons

1 bag (6 oz.) arugula (or baby spinach or spring mix)

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch green onions

2 apples, peeled (optional), cored and thinly sliced

2 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 jalapeno (remove seeds and membranes if you don’t need extra heat)

4 medium carrots cut into 1-inch thick pieces

1½ cups brussel sprouts, halved

4 cups red new potatoes, cut into 1½-inch thick pieces

1 cup sweet potatoes, cut into 1½-inch thick pieces

1/3 cup diced tomato, seeded

1 red bell pepper, chopped fine

1 tsp fresh lime juice

 Canned, bagged, and frozen

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 small can of tuna, drained and flaked with a fork

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup frozen peas, cooked

1 can of roasted green chilies

1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz)

2 1/2 cups of chicken stock

1-2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

¾ cup corn kernels (fresh from cob, or frozen and thawed)

 Flavor/cooking essentials

6 tablespoons butter

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Olive oil

Salt

Ground black pepper

 Starch

Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangoli

1½ cups long-grain brown rice

6 oz. egg noodles (wide or extra wide), cooked*

¾ cup yellow cornmeal (polenta or grits)

 Bread

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

12 corn tortillas

Eggs and dairy

Goat cheese crumbles

2 cup (or more) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup heavy cream

Milk

 Beverage

Apple juice or apple cider

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Jenelle


“8.24.15 weekly spread”


Sweet and Spicy Ground Turkey Stir-Fry (with bok choy, cabbage, carrot, and red bell pepper) with Simple Sesame Noodles

Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Pesto Pasta with Bacon & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

One Pan Baked Chicken & Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole (subbed broccoli, green beans, and mushrooms for carrots and peas)

Sloppy Joes with Yukon Gold and Green Onion Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Carnitas Burrito Bowls (with tortillas)

Shopping List

Meat
3 lbs ground turkey
4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
½ pound thick cut bacon
4-6 lbs pork shoulder or butt (I purchase mine already marinated)

Produce
18 garlic cloves
1 ½ onions, cut into thin wedges
1 -2 cup bok choy, chopped
1 -2 cup Napa cabbage or 1 -2 cup Chinese cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
6 whole green onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice (zest lemon first)
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
5 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup green beans
1 cup mushrooms
1 whole large green bell pepper, diced
8 russet potatoes
Juice from 1 wedge lime
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
1 cup diced avocado, tossed with juice of 2 wedges of lime
2 shallots, minced

Canned and frozen
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup sweet corn kernels
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

Flavor/cooking essentials
1 pinch coriander seed, crushed
4 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry wine (optional)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
3 1⁄2 cup chicken stock (must be cold) (optional)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/3 cup pesto
1-1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons chili powder (more to taste)
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Tabasco sauce (optional; to taste)
⅓ cup orange champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 heaping tablespoon hot and sweet mustard
1 cup salsa (homemade or store bought)
Soy sauce
Canola oil
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Starch
White rice
12 ounces, thin spaghetti noodles
1 lb (16 oz.) orecchiette (or any pasta)
1½ cups brown rice

Bread
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Hamburger buns
Tortillas

Eggs and dairy
1/2 cup slightly packed finely grated Parmesan
5 tablespoons butter (optional)

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Jenelle


“8.17.15 weekly spread”


Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir Fry (with rice)

Moroccan Kefta Kebabs (in flatbread with cucumber and tomato with corn, chickpea, and black bean salad)

Italian Chicken Bake (with couscous with red onion and red bell pepper)

Cheeseburger Pizza

Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing (with breadsticks)

Shopping List

Meat

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1.5-2 lbs ground beef

8 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Produce

8 ozs snow peas

1 cup broccoli florets

1 carrot

4 green onions, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped very fine or grated

1 red onion, diced

1 cucumber, diced

3 tomatoes, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 packages salad lettuce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 tbsp basil

1 tbsp chopped mint leaves (optional)

Canned and frozen

1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts

1 cup chicken broth

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can black beans

1 can corn

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small jar artichoke hearts

1 can pizza or tomato sauce

10 dill pickle chips (about 1 1/2 ounces)

1/4 cup cooked and shelled edamame

1/4 cup fried wontons

Flavor/cooking essentials

Soy sauce

Vegetable oil

Olive oil

Sesame oil

Cornstarch

Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

Salt

Pepper

Sugar

Paprika

Cumin

Cayenne pepper

Flour

Peanut salad dressing

Cinnamon (optional)

Starch

Rice

Couscous

Bread

Mediterranean flatbread

1 whole wheat pizza crust dough

Breadsticks

Eggs and dairy

2 eggs

1 package shredded mozzarella

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Jenelle


garlic oil

“kitchen assistant”


There are a few must-have kitchen items in “meal planning 101.” Of course, quality cookware is imperative. So are salt, pepper, and all of their spice, seasoning, sauce, and condiment buddies (I’ll be sure to post on flavor profiles in the future). But, I’d have to say my best kitchen assistant (besides my four-year-old who’s always anxious to “help”) is roasted garlic oil. It is just such a superstar and makes everything sooo delicious. Now, there are A LOT of cooking oils to choose from…vegetable, coconut, sunflower, grape seed, peanut, sesame, and many more…and some may be healthier for you than others, but I can’t live without my garlic oil. You can sauté, bake, or roast with it – or use as a salad dressing or bread dip – it will all be equally delicious. You can find garlic or roasted garlic oil pretty inexpensively almost anywhere, but here is a great recipe for when you have a moment to spare. That moment will invigorate your Weekly Spread…guaranteed. Enjoy!

homemade roasted garlic oil

img_1265057707135_2141Jenelle


“top 21 @ Trader Joe’s”


Why “21,” you ask? Simple. Because when it comes to Trader Joe’s, I’m like a kid in a candy store…I want EVERYTHING. I could never choose my favorite 5…10…or even 15 items, so I went with 21. (Besides, you’ll see this post again…there are sooo many more TJ items to share!)

TJ is like my fun, best friend. I’m married to the market, loyal to the market, and the majority of my groceries come from there each week. But every now and again when I really want to whoop it up (and get into some trouble), I visit TJ. I’m never disappointed with what I buy, and snacks and meals are that much better that week.

Who’s with me? Anyone else enjoy TJ as much as I do? Share some of your favs!

Like The Most Interesting Man in the World…I don’t always go to Trader Joe’s, but when I do, I prefer the items below. Stay hungry, my friends.

avocado's number guacamole

two guacamole packs in one = twice the dipping deliciousness

roasted seaweed snack

perfect salty snack, healthy, and very affordable

parmesan pastry pups

pigs in a blanket on a whole ‘nother level

fig butter

perfect paired with sweet or savory…delicious with brie (or goat milk brie, another TJ fav)

simply almonds, cashews & chocolate trek mix

a must-have for a midday energy boost or snack for the kiddos

white cheddar popcorn

TJ should sell willpower with each bag…nearly impossible to not eat the whole bag in one sitting

silver dollar pancakes

perfect for lil fingers and tummies

porcini mushroom & truffle triangoli

easy quick night dinner with olive oil and fresh herbs

whole wheat pizza dough

amazing and cheap…pile high with toppings and you’ll have no regrets

arugula

whether arugula, sorrento salad mix, Persian cucumbers, San Marzano plum tomatoes, or fresh fruit…no trip to TJ is complete without produce

rice pudding

sweet and yum

crumbled goat cheese

probably my most purchased TJ item…sprinkle on everything

thai yellow curry sauce

this + protein and veggies of choice + rice = fast, delicious dinner

vegan chocolate chip cookies

must resist, heavenly

pork gyoza potstickers

great side item to any Asian meal

mango ginger chutney

my four-year-old’s favorite TJ item…scrumptious with the samosas

dark chocolate covered mini pretzels

stick ’em in the freezer when you get home, YUMMM

basmati rice

a Weekly Spread MUST-HAVE

vegetable samosas

perfect savory accompaniment to any meal

party size mini meatballs

on pizza, subs, pasta or solo…these are so delicious (mmm, smother in TJ sweet chili sauce and cranberry sauce)

fig cereal bars

morning staple in our house…other flavors are great (mmm, pumpkin) but fig is our fav

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Jenelle


“dinner revolution”


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Life in our household is pretty crazy. Maybe you can relate? I’m a mom of two under 5, wife, daughter, sister, friend, doctor-appointment-scheduler, bill-payer, chore queen, play-date-organizer, referee, therapist (and the list continues)…oh yeah, and I have a full time job. Thank goodness for venting sessions, retail therapy, good food, and of course, red wine.

Believe it or not, I also LOVE relieving stress at the grocery store. Alone, of course. Add begging kids to the mix and it is no longer a therapeutic outing! There is just something about roaming the aisles, picking out food, and planning meals that does it for me. I guess my mind is able to wander from the daily routine and I can have some fun searching for ingredients for all the hundreds of Pinterest recipes I’ve pinned over the years!

Going hog-wild at the grocery story can be a dangerous thing though – especially if you’re on a budget. Shopping without a plan can have you frequenting the store way too many times during the week, eating all the wrong things (sadly, sour cream and onion chips and s’mores don’t constitute a proper meal for kiddos)…OR eating out because you’re too tired to go back to the store for ingredients or don’t know what to make with the random things you purchased. Sound familiar? Then it’s time for a dinner revolution…meal planning!

Join me on “The Weekly Spread” for the skinny on what’s for dinner each week. I’ll share tips, deals, shopping lists, meal ideas, and recipe variations to keep things interesting. Meals will be simple, affordable, creative, and nutritious (most of the time!). Disclaimer: I am not a chef, a nutritionist, nor an expert…just a busy mom who needs to get dinner on the table most nights of the week WITHOUT things getting complicated!

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Jenelle