Pesto Potato salad

I usually make the same potato salad recipe that my mom makes. We used to have it often in the summer and I remember her making entire 10 lb bags of potatoes and 2 dozen eggs in a single batch and of course it was very rustic in that the pieces were very large, like the size of half an egg. Last summer I found myself making that potato salad every week and it got a little redundant. A couple months ago we had purchased this large container of pesto from Costco, shopping with Paul often means we end up with random stuff that is not on the list. Needless to say I found myself with 2 cups of pesto so I started adding it to stuff… you know just to add a little kick of flavor. Potato salad was maybe the third or fourth recipe I just adding a scoop of pesto and I have to say it was sooo good. Everyone loved the stuff and since the pesto was premade it did not add any extra prep time at all. I was at Costco a few weeks ago and bought another big jar of pesto just so I could make more potato salad.

Wash the potatoes and cut roughly into the size of one inch cubes, you can peel them if you prefer but I never bother. Place in cold water and place on the stove, then carefully set your raw eggs in the shell on top of the potatoes so that they can boil at the same time. Make sure everything is covered with the water and then place on medium high heat, once the water comes to a boil check the potatoes for tenderness every 10 minutes or so. Drain in a colander, setting the eggs aside then place the potatoes in a large bowl. Sometimes I put them right into a Tupperware so that everything is one place but if I am serving this to other people I will take the time to put the salad in a nice bowl. Gently toss the potatoes with the olive oil and vinegar before covering the bowl and placing in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Once cooled stir in the remaining ingredients including the peeled and sliced eggs, if you like larger chunks then stir the dressing to cover the potatoes then add the eggs and carefully fold. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled and it keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

 

Much love, Aislinn and Emily

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Menu Planning Monday: June 6th: When no one is in the mood to eat according to plan

 

This doesn’t happen often but from time to time it seems that a week will be completely planned and shopped for but each day is a struggle to get the planned dinner on the table. It’s not so much a change in schedule or anything but more that no one feels like eating the planned meal. Out of the 7 dinners we were supposed to have last week we only ate 3 of them, the other nights ended up being meals borrowed from the rest of the month. I guess you could say this would be another bonus of planning a month at a time is that you have supplies and ideas for a large number of dinners. We had Frito pie one night, which was the first time any of us had ever eaten it but we got the Fritos for free and there aren’t that many things one can do with them. By Friday we were all tired of left overs and grilled/smoked food in general so rather than use more of the extra meat we froze it and made creamy pesto and goat cheese pasta with Italian sausage and green beans over noodles. On Saturday I made one of the pizza recipes I had planned and the other was sort of a clean out the fridge type pizza, not the best but completely edible. This means that I have ingredients left from recipes that were supposed to be made last week so I am going to have to make those dinners in the coming days or at the very least rework the perishable items into this week’s meal plan.

This week we are having recipes from last week and…

For more tips and ideas for menu planning check out organizing junkie

Much love,

Aislinn and Emily

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Menu Planning Monday May 30th: Selecting a holiday potluck menu

I am writing and posting this late Monday night because we have had a super busy weekend here. Paul and I went to Amarillo, which is a 6 hour drive each way, to judge a bbq contest on Friday and came home Saturday. We then made a mad dash to clean the house and prepare food to host a get together here at our house this afternoon. I have had virtually no time to do anything else especially a blog post. I guess you could say that we have been really busy lately and have done a horrible job posting recipes, I promise you its not that we have stopped cooking we just don’t always take the time to photograph them or write up the recipe, but we promise to try harder.

 

The nice thing about hosting an event is that you get to select the menu and keep most of the left overs. The difficult thing is you have to have your home ready to host people and you have to select and prepare enough food for all your guests and hope that they enjoy what you are serving. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what would be a good menu to serve at a holiday get together because everyone has their favorites and expectations of what they would normally have and what they think it should taste like. I have come to know my friends and family well enough to know what they each think they are the best at making and what I can do to fill in the gaps. I don’t personally have a preference as to what aspect of the meal I make so it works out well this way. If you are looking for suggestions as to where to start I would say assign people to bring side dishes or appetizers that they feel comfortable with and handle the main course, any side dishes you personally would like, one appetizer and a portion of the drinks. I like to have more than one main dish in case some people or the kids don’t like the more interesting of the options. When it comes to holiday events try your best to not have an open mind to the way that other people prepare food.

This week we are having bbq and…

 

For more tips and ideas check out organizing junkie

 

Much love, Aislinn and Emily

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Menu Planning Monday May 23rd: Catching up with groceries and the budget

As you know I grocery shop every two weeks but I budget for them on a monthly basis. I think if I had to do it all over again I would budget for each of those two week trips in order to keep things consistant but also to prevent the issue we have this week. Just like with payroll for people that get paid every Friday there are two times a year that you get an extra paycheck, but for me there are two times a year that I have to shop for 6 weeks instead of 4 weeks with the same amount of money. I’ll admit that I didn’t see this coming ahead of time until one month I got to the end and realized it wasn’t the end. Even now that I know of this short coming in my system I still avoid it, in fact I have been avoiding it for 3 months by starting the next months budget a few days before the end of the month. This month my third shopping trip is this Wednesday, a full week before June starts. I have decided to end the cycle and do a quick one week shop with the $48 and change I have left in the budget for May. I guess this is the week to really see what we need compared to stock piling and to really use the coupons only for stuff on the list and not simply because its a good deal. Our grocery ads don’t start until Wednesday so when I make my menu plans I am doing it on blind faith that I can get what I need for a low price, of course this means I change my plans to accommodate the produce and meat that are on sale but over all my plans are more likely to change for reasons other than the sales fliers. The good news is that we have been out of town three weekends in a row this month so there are roughly 5 dinners that were not needed so I suppose that is why we have the extra little bit of money left over. Wish me luck that I can get everything we need with that and I wouldn’t find myself at the register pulling out the debit card rather than the cash envelope.

This week we are probably having…

For more planning tips and ideas check out organizing junkie

Much Love, Aislinn and Emily

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Menu Planning Monday May 16th: What to serve with Mexican food

About a month ago I posted a list of ideas for side dishes for Greek meals. This time around I decided to focus on Mexican food because it seems that so many Mexican dishes are served in the summer time. To be honest I have to take a moment when menu planning, especially with Mexican food, to make interesting side dishes and not the same thing over and over. I know I’m not doing a good job with that when we have chips and salsa more than once in a week. I do my best not to make any sort of premade sides because of the amount of preservatives, sodium and calories. It does however add to the amount of time it takes to make dinner. Hopefully this list will offer you some new ideas and some motivation to try and add a little flavor to your Mexican inspired dinners.

Mexican rice

Fresh fruit salad

Taco macaroni and cheese

Coconut lime jasmine rice

Jalapeno poppers with cream cheese and bacon

Mexican corn on the cob

Corn and black bean salad

Tortilla chips with Pico de gallo or guacamole

Jalapeño corn bread

Stuffed peppers

This week we are having Mexican and…

For more ideas and tips for menu planning go to organizing junkie

Much love, Aislinn and Emily

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Menu Planning Monday May 9th: Growing your own herbs

There is nothing better than having fresh herbs to add to your dishes but the reality is that spending money on fresh herbs at the store every time you need a few leaves is not really great for the budget. Last summer I started growing them for the first time because I had this need to make pesto but it wasn’t the most fruitful experience, turns out that it takes more than a month for them to really start growing and after 6 months or so they are all but done. For some of you with a green thumb this may not be the case in your home, perhaps you have been able to keep the same plant green and thriving for years. This year I decided to take a slightly different approach, I am going to grow them in phases to keep us in parsley year round. I’m thinking that I will start new seeds every 3 to 4 months so that by the time they are large and covered in tasty leaves they can replace the ones that are on their last leg. I am in the second month of my first batch so I will be purchasing more seeds in the coming weeks to prepare myself. For anyone that is thinking of trying this out but have never bought seeds before keep in mind that they are not sold year round, I found this out the hard way when I was looking for replacement seeds last October. I suggest purchasing multiple packets during the spring and summer so you have them when you are ready. Wish me luck that my new plan provides us with enough herbs to flavor our food year round!

This week we are having fresh herbs and…

For more menu planning ideas check out organizing junkie

Much love, Aislinn and Emily

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Menu Planning Monday May 2: Dealing with unseasonable weather

Here in the Dallas area we normally have very warm weather by the time May starts. By June it is more than warm, its hot and it continues to get hotter all summer long. When it comes to menu planning this creates some challenges because I do my best not to make anything that needs to be baked or roasted for a long period of time. In fact I do my best to cook most things on the stove top, crock pot or grill because it really helps to keep from heating up the house.

When I made my menu plan for May it reflected the expected weather, it had a lot of sandwiches and salads and such. Unfortunately we have been having very intense and unseasonably cold rainy weather. There has been storm after storm for the last month and just recently we have had spouts of cold weather. As I type this it is raining and 45 degrees outside, not exactly picnic conditions and of course everyone wants soup and roasted chicken so I have had to rework my menu plan a little. I can’t change it completely because I had already grocery shopped for the ingredients so instead I have to change the cooking methods to use the food I already have, for example I am making potato wedges one day instead potato salad. Of course now that I changed our plan the weather will probably warm back up and everyone will be wanting to grill again. What is the weather like in your neck of the woods?

This week we will be having…

For more tips and ideas check out organizing junkie

Much love, Aislinn and Emily

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