Monday, November 4, 2013

On certain Sundays in November...

November is here!  The month of my favorite holiday by far - Thanksgiving.  Our family is switching things up quite a bit this year.  We usually spend Thanksgiving with my husband's family.  But, since our move, I've only seen my dad's side of the family twice and it has been really bumming me out.  So, instead we decided to switch up our usual plans and spend Thanksgiving in St. Louis.  Not to mention, I haven't been to this particular Thanksgiving feast since the year I found out I was pregnant with The Incredible Hulk.  I actually found out the day before Thanksgiving that I was pregnant.  So, as you can imagine, I didn't really get to enjoy the food that day.  Since I was just focused on trying to keep it all down.  Gah.

In addition to Thanksgiving festivities, rumor has it that in the first week of December, someone is turning 30 (eek!) so we're also going to be celebrating my plunge into my next decade while we're there.

Due to all this travel, some exciting social engagements for the month, and inevitable turkey-leftover-eating, November was actually a VERY simple month to meal plan for, and this month (unlike October where I really failed on the preparations), I had quite a few recipes bookmarked to try.  I'll be trying out a few new recipes this month, so make sure you're checking back because I'll review new recipes on the blog a couple of times this month.

So, let's get started shall we?

{November 2013}

Friday, November 1 - This was a really high-stress week for me, so by the time Friday rolled around, I was in no mood for cooking.  We checked out a new Mexican restaurant that recently opened down the road and were pleasantly surprised to find a new favorite place to dine out.

Saturday, November 2 - We went and had dinner in the city at a Chicago original - Pizzeria Uno.  Let me tell you, it was worth every minute of the 45 minute wait!

Sunday, November 3 - No meal plan.

Monday, November 4 - No meal plan.

Tuesday, November 5 - No meal plan.  (See!  I told you.  Easy peasy.)

Wednesday, November 6 - Easy Lemon Chicken*; Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cous Cous (Didn't get to this meal last month, so I'm excited to throw it back onto the menu!)  {Click here for recipe review!}

Thursday, November 7 - Mexican Casserole*; Guacamole (I pinned this awhile ago and forgot about it, but a co-worker tried it and said it was awesome!  Very excited when someone reminds me of a good recipe I have at my disposal!) {Click here for recipe review!}

Friday, November 8 - Buffalo Chicken Wraps; Tator Tots (This is an easy recipe for buffalo chicken we make in the crock pot and then serve up with cheese & shredded lettuce in whole wheat tortillas.  The only change I make is that at the end, I add just a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese and stir it in to take down the heat a bit.)

Saturday, November 9 - Spicy Sausage Pasta; Salad  (LOVED this recipe.  So we had to have it again.  Of course.)

Sunday, November 10 - Pot Roast; Noodles in Beef Broth; Roasted Vegetables (My husband's favorite meal growing up was pot roast.  My mom's pot roast was also the very definition of comfort food for me.  When we got married, we started doing a blending of the two recipes and sort of made it our own.  I've noticed there are kits you can get that come with a good cut of meat [we like chuck roast the best, it has the most flavor and comes out so tender!] and all of the vegetables you need.  But, I've also provided a link to an easy pot roast recipe you can make in the crock pot.  However you decide to do it,  it's always a good night when it's pot roast night!)

Monday, November 11 - Pesto Cavatappi with Chicken*; Bagged Salad (I'll probably just grill up some boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of using a whole chicken.) {Click here for recipe review!}

Tuesday, November 12 - Taco Stuffed Shells{Click here for recipe review!}

Wednesday, November 13 - Ranch Pork Chops; Brown Rice; Steamed Asparagus

Thursday, November 14 - Grilled Chicken with Avocado Lime Sauce; Quinoa with Corn/Scallions (Another yummy meal I didn't get to again last month.)

Friday, November 15 - Taco Salads  (Nothing fancy, just some taco meat on a bed of lettuce.  I may look up a yummy dressing to make to go alongside it.)

Saturday, November 16 - No meal plan as we'll be celebrating my niece's upcoming FIRST birthday!

Sunday, November 17 - Chicken Tetrazzini; Salad (We used to make a recipe for this all of the time.  I can't seem to find it on the internet right now.  YIKES.  I found one that is somewhat similar, but we might have to do most of it from memory.  I use a rotisserie chicken to make things a bit easier and have adapted the recipe a bit to fit our tastes - for instance, we add some sliced red pepper and use whole wheat spaghetti.  This is a great recipe to have in your arsenal if you're ever wanting to bring a casserole to someone who is sick or if they just had a baby.  OMNOMNOM.)

Monday, November 18 - Chicken Tortilla Bake*; Guacamole (I had a recipe similar to this at a potluck once and I have been looking for a similar recipe ever since.  Fingers crossed that this is the one!)

Tuesday, November 19 - Buffalo Pork Chops* (assuming this is going to be a husband pleasing meal); Fettucini; Broccoli

Wednesday, November 20 - Crock Pot Lemon Chicken*; Sauteed Zucchini; Pasta

Thursday, November 21 - Chipotle Grilled Steak with Lime Butter* (Another husband pleaser since I'm not a big steak eater); Baked Potato; Bagged Salad

Friday, November 22 - Pizza & Salad

Saturday, November 23 - No meal plan as we will be heading over to Medieval Times Chicago to check out the show and have a great dinner.  Jealous?  Check back soon as I'll be giving away FOUR passes to see the show here in Chicago!  SO EXCITING!  (And, if you're following me on Instagram, you'll get an insta-sneak peek on this day!)

Sunday, November 24 - Cheese Bacon Beer Soup* (YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT, OMG); Bread

Monday, November 25 - Grilled Marinated Chicken with Corn/Barley Salad (We had this one time before and all LOVED it.  It's a little bit labor intensive, but WELL worth the effort.)

Tuesday, November 26 - No meal plan.

Wednesday, November 27 - No meal plan.

Thursday, November 28 -  THANKSGIVING!  WHOO HOO!  In years past, I have always made this delicious Corn Casserole recipe. (Ignore the fact that it's a Paula Deen recipe.) My husband and I both love it and I've been requested to make it at other events as well.  I'm not sure if my grandmother will want me to bring this or if she'll need something else.   No matter what, I'm really looking forward to enjoying some of my old favorites at my grandparent's house. (Even though I'm really going to miss my mother-in-law's's pretty stellar.  Wonder if leftovers would ship well?)  I also made this Rosemary & Cranberry Spread as an appetizer last year and it was a big hit.  I probably ate well over half of it myself :)

Friday, November 29 - My 30th Birthday Celebration!  EEK.  (In addition to celebrating my 30th with some dear friends, this is also the THIRD bloggiversary for NMOTB.  I don't really have anything special planned for that...but at least one glass of champagne will be raised that night to 3 years of blogging fun.)

Saturday, November 30 - No meal plan, but I'll bet there will be some leftover turkey in my future!


How is meal planning going for you?  Anyone have something awesome they would like to share this month?  I'd love some ideas to start my December menu ahead of time!  I have to admit that last month I tried a simple substitution on a recipe I've made about three billion times and it totally screwed it up.  We ended up having to order some Jimmy John's (but, no complaints here from me about that.)  Literally in our entire 5 years of marriage, that has never happened to me.  Not bad, but still I'm baffled about how such a small change could mess up such a good thing!   Oh well.  Happy cooking, everyone!

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