Meal Planning

Meal planning can save both time and money. Planning and shopping for a week of dinners will save daily trips to the grocery store and will save money by preventing impulse buying. Below are two meal plans consisting of 5 dinners each, one being vegetarian. Both meal plans consist of recipes that take under an hour to prepare so they are perfect for those busy weeknights!

Meal plan 1:
Monday: Why not end the monday blues with a delicious and easy dish. Smoked Gouda and Bacon Quiche is a dish packed full of flavour the whole family will love. Serve with a fresh green salad.

Tuesday: Italian Turkey Meatloaf is no ordinary meatloaf. This healthy alternative to the ground beef version does not sacrifice flavour. Serve with a side of rice and steamed veggies.

Wednesday: Need a little kick to get you through the rest of your week? Why not throw some spice into your Wednesday dinner? Bucatini Matriciana is a tasty tomato base pasta with pancetta and chili peppers.

Thursday: Set your alarm 10 minutes early and have dinner ready by the time you get home. Slow Cooker Chili takes only ten minutes to prepare.

Friday: The end of the week is finally here so celebrate with something extra tasty! The whole family will enjoy this classic, Spaghetti Carbonara.

Meal plan 2 (vegetarian):
Monday: Start the week off with a dish packed full of flavour. Spaghetti, Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino is a delicious Italian dish that will be sure to satisfy your tastebuds.

Tuesday: Vegan Mexican Stuffed Peppers is a healthy yet hearty dish.

Wednesday: Looking for an alternative to pasta? Try Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. This recipe is so good you won’t miss the carbs! Serve with a side of mixed beans drizzled with balsamic vinegar for an extra kick of protein.

Thursday: Add a little decadence to your Thursday with Mushroom Risotto. You may want to double the recipe because you will definitely be going back for seconds!

Friday: It’s Friday, you deserve a treat… a cheesy treat! Cacio e Pepe will satisfy the biggest of cheese lovers!

Christmas Baking

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without some baking, but, you have a to do list that just keeps growing and spending time in the kitchen just doesn’t seem to fit in your schedule. Chances are you are wanting to spend time with family and friends so why not invite a group of people over and have a day of baking?!

Crank the Christmas tunes, light the fire and roll up your sleeves. Baking can be fun for the whole group. Below are a few of my favourites must have treats to have around during the holidays.

Whipped Shortbread is an easy 3 ingredient recipe. This cookie is delicate and buttery and melts in your mouth. It also freezes great so I encourage you to make multiple batches, although I guarantee they’ll never make it to the freezer!

Candy Cane Bark is a no bake treat that is sure to delight and just screams holiday.

Rolled Sugar Cookies are perfect to make with a group of people. Whip up some colourful Vanilla Buttercream Icing and have your friends create their own unique masterpieces!

Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies. These can be made a little more festive by simply swapping the chocolate chips for holiday coloured M&Ms.

Holiday Cake Batter Rice Krispies Squares are always a hit for the younger crowd. For an added touch grab some Christmas cookie cutters to cut the Rice Krispies into festive shapes.

Remember to tell your guests to bring some to-go containers so they don’t leave empty handed!

From my kitchen to yours, happy baking and Merry Christmas!

Mangia; An Italian Feast!

The holidays are upon us and chances are you will be gathering with friends and family. Why not try something different and serve a holiday dinner, Italian style!
Prepare an assortment of pasta dishes:
Bucatini Matriciana provides a nice kick to those guests that like it spicy.
For garlic lovers this next past will be sure to satisfy. Spaghetti, Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino is another pasta that has a bit of a kick to it from the chilli peppers but is also loaded with garlic! This pasta is also meat free for your vegetarian friends.
Finally, Orechiette with Rapini. The bright green rapini adds a nice texture to the dish and the blend of cheeses provides a rich and savoury flavour.
The great thing about all of these pastas is that all 3 sauces can be prepared in advance so when your friends arrive all you need to do is cook the pasta.
In my opinion, no Italian meal is complete without a fresh Caprese Salad. Assemble a big platter of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil to offer your guests something to snack on while you prepare the pasta.
What’s nice about this meal is it really provides something for everyone and it will be sure to impress! If you have any gluten free guests, both the Bucatini Matriciana and Orecchiette with Rapini can be made with gluten free pasta.