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Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}

Mardi Gras is in the air!  That means our dinner menu will be full of tasty Mardi Gras meals.  Since hubby is traveling out of town again this week, I plan to keep the Mardi Gras festivities and foods easy and simple.

 Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}

Allan will make a huge pot of gumbo that will last us all week. I may even need to freeze some of it.  Instead of the usual maple syrup cornbread that we serve with the gumbo, I’m serving a King Cake for a different sweet for the heat. It’s something special we do once a year for the kids and they love finding the little plastic baby inside the cake.  I found all these fun, simple King Cake recipes on Pinterest, but Betty Crocker’s Quick King Cake sounds like a winner to me.

Tuesday Day is Fat Tuesday also known as Pancake Day in our house.   Can you guess what will be on the menu morning and night on Tuesday?

 Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}

In addition to all the fun NOLA foods on the menu this week, we’ll also make something with mushrooms because my oldest daughter, Allana has been craving them lately.  A mushroom craving typically means a lack of potassium, iron, selenium or Vitamin D. Since Allana eats a lot of yogurt and drinks plenty of milk, I’m sure it’s not a lack of Vitamin D, however, she doesn’t like bananas. She hates them. Hopefully, a bit of mushroom stroganoff on the menu for Meatless Monday will fix that vitamin deficiency and craving real fast.

Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

S – Chicken AndouilleSausage Gumbo and King Cake for dessert

Meatless Monday – Mushroom Stroganoff

Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day – Iron Chef Allan’s Perfect Pancakes

W – Perfect Shrimp Po’ Boys

Th – Pasta with Asparagus

F – Pizza

What’s on your dinner menu this week?   Are you serving up anything special for Mardi Gras? What recipes are you pinning and planning?

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning – March 2 {Dinner Menu}


Pinterest Inspired Valentine’s Day Cards

I *heart* Pinterest.

Who doesn’t? Am I right?

I’ve been pinning all sorts of Valentine’s Day ideas since I first joined Pinterest. You may remember the Valentine’s Day cards my kids and I made a couple of years ago.

I pin fun holiday ideas all year round.  You do too, don’t you?  Pinterest puts new meaning to “Christmas is July”.

I had my eye on this crafty car Valentine for my little guy for a while.  I knew it was the perfect Valentine for my little car enthusiast’s preschool classmates.  To recreate it, I purchased a pack of cars and 40 count small heart treat bags at our local dollar store.  I designed the card on PicMonkey and assembled it to look like this.  The text reads, “Valentine, You make my heart race.”

IMAG4299 Pinterest Inspired Valentines Day Cards

When I showed Emmalynn the assortment of Pinterest-inspired Valentine’s Day cards, she loved the s’mores craft.

IMAG4322 Pinterest Inspired Valentines Day Cards

To recreate this Valentine, I used the same loot bags as above and purchased s’mores making items at our local supermarket.  With very thoroughly washed hands, Emmalynn assembled little s’mores kits for her classmates which included two graham cracker squares, individual Fun Size Hershey’s and pink one large marshmallow.  Again, I designed the card on PicMonkey and affixed it to the little bag with Scotch tape. The text reads, “Valentine, I need s’more friends like you.”

IMAG4321 Pinterest Inspired Valentines Day Cards

Since Allana is my moustache lover, she loved the “I moustache you a question” Valentine’s Day Card for her middle school friends.  We used her Christmas portrait, added some text and a moustache on PicMoney, because she felt it was necessary to add a handlebar moustache to her own face.  Then, we uploaded the cards to Wal-Mart’s photo center to print them.

AllanaValetine2014 Pinterest Inspired Valentines Day Cards

We found some fun fuzzy facial hair at the dollar store which Allana affixed over the word mustache.  She like the idea of hiding the word “moustache” under the actual moustache.

IMAG4320 Pinterest Inspired Valentines Day Cards

I love PicMonkey for creating fun things like this as well as fun graphics for blogging and photo editing too.  Right now, PicMonkey is offering my friends (We’re friends, right?) one day of free PicMonkey Royale (their cool upgrade option).  So give PicMonkey a go!

PicMonkey is normally free, but with my special link, you can play like a Royale and test out all the cool fonts, designs and photo editing options that aren’t normally free.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Run DMT!

Pinning and Planning – Week of February 9 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   Week of February 9 {Dinner Menu}A week from today, I will be running in my sixth marathon, the A1A marathon.  Although I’m feeling good about my training and my overall performance, I have been ridiculously ravenously hungry for about two weeks now. Despite nourishing and hydrating appropriately, I don’t know what has changed to cause my hunger development.

Last year while we were all training to be Marthon Maniacs with Disney Marathon followed by Clearwater Marathon, my running partner, Daffodil, sent us daily hydration and nourishing reminders so our bodies would be ready for multiple marathons. I need Daffodil to do that again for me.  (Hint…hint… Daffodil)

Since it’s not Daffodil’s job to be my coach and nutritionist (I honestly don’t pay her well enough for that job.), I read an interesting article at Runner’s World about how much protein runners should eat related to how much your workout.  It’s a quick an interesting read and definitely pin worthy.

Basically, “if you run an hour most days, you need about .6 gram of protein per pound of weight (run more and your needs go up), compared with .36 gram for couch potatoes. That means a 150-pound runner requires 90 grams a day.”  Based on that little tasty little tidbit, I know I am not eating nearly enough protein, which is probably why I feel like I am starving all the time.

The article further sites a study by the University of Missouri which “found that eating a high-protein breakfast (with 35 grams of protein), as opposed to one low in protein (with 13 grams), curbed participants’ appetites later in the day and reduced cravings for high-fat, high-sugar snacks in the evening. that little  curbed participants’ appetites later in the day and reduced cravings for high-fat, high-sugar snacks in the evening.”

Given that interesting protein-packed information from Runner’s World and my marathon next Sunday, there will be lots of lean meats on the menu this week.  Conveniently, fish and Greenwise organic meats are on sale this week at Publix. So, thank you for that Publix. That was very good timing indeed.

Since Chinese New Year is still happening Hot Stuff, I added another Asian-flare dish to the menu this week.  It’s also Valentine’s Day this Friday, but we prefer to stay home.  I’d like to surprise the kids with heart-shaped pizzas for our usual Friday pizza night.  Iron Chef Allan and I will be attending a Yelp Elite Event on Wednesday night, so the Yelp’s Cure to What Ales Ya Event will be our pre-Valentine’s date night, although attending a craft beer event isn’t probably the best idea before a marathon. Let’s hope the beer isn’t what ales me during the marathon.

Here’s what’s on our dinner menu for the week:

S – Grilled Steak and Fritas (Unfried Parmesan Steak Fries) with a mixed greens salad

Meatless Monday – Spinach Lasagna Rolls

T – Lightened Tilapia Picatta

W – Yelp’s Cure To What Ales Ya

Th – General Tso chicken with Steamed Broccoli and brown rice

F – Heart-shaped Pizza for Valentine’s Day

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  What’s on your dinner menu this week?   What recipes are you pinning and planning?

Pinning and Planning – Week of February 2 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   Week of February 2 {Dinner Menu}Gung Hay Fat Choy!

It’s Chinese New Year!

Yeah, yeah I know, it’s also Super Bowl Sunday and if you need a great game day appetizer, try Iron Chef Allan’s Grilled Buffalo Wings.

Also, Family Foodie and the #SundaySupper team have compiled a delicious list of Game Day dishes to nosh on during touchdowns.  These Baked Buffalo Chicken Jalapeño Poppers from Skinnytaste look great too.

Honestly, I’m in the mood for a burger. I want to chow down on a burger between touchdowns during the big game. I don’t even care who wins. I just want to watch the commercials and eat a burger, preferably, Skinnytaste’s Salsa Verde Burger. Then, wash it all down with a Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat Ale.

Iron Chef Allan cleverly called today “Souper Bowl Sunday” and is planning to put on a big pot soup. He hasn’t told me what soup he will serve yet, but I hope it compliments my burger. Slurp!  Nom….nom…nom…Slurp!

As I mentioned, it’s Chinese New Year and I love holidays that revolve food. Every Chinese New Year, I serve our favorite, fun Chinese dishes and my kids really enjoy the change in the dinner menu.  Try adding some Asian flare to your dinner menu this week, with these tried and tested Run DMT family favorites.

Quinoa UnFried Rice

Chicken Pot Stickers

Sesame Noodles for Chinese New Year

To bring your family some good fortune in the year of the Horse, follow Steamy Kitchen’s Chinese New Year Good Fortune Guide and learn what foods to eat.

chineseNewyearGoodFortuneFoodGuide Pinning and Planning   Week of February 2 {Dinner Menu}

Between Super Bowl (or Souper Bowl) and Chinese New Year, it’s a good week for a foodie!

Here’s what’s on our dinner menu for the week:

Super Bowl Sunday – Skinnytaste’s Salsa Verde Burger

Meatless Monday – Honey Roasted Vegetable + Smoked Gouda Baked Penne

T – Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

W – Crock Pot French Onion Soup and a Mixed Greens Salad

Th – Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry Noodles

F – Pizza

What’s on your dinner menu this week?   What recipes are you pinning and planning?

Pinning and Planning – January 26 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   January 26 {Dinner Menu}This week will be starting off with a Celebration and it will be hard to hit that high the rest of the week.  My family and I are staying overnight in Celebration so I can run in the inaugural Celebration Half Marathon today.

We are such huge fans of the town of Celebration, a sleepy little Main Street USA hometown and every time we visit, we love to walk through the town center.  Last night was no different, except we dined at Columbia Restaurant to carb load for my race and celebrate Marcia’s 40th birthday.

An inaugural Celebration race and a celebratory meal is differently a hard act to follow, but with the Best Damn Race this Saturday, it could be two great weekends in a row.  Not to mention, it’s also my dad’s birthday, Super Bowl and a Soda Stream House Party. So, it would seem that the celebrations will continue.

Our dinner at the Columbia Restaurant had me craving more Cuban food.  Since Allan is out of town this week, I’ll be parenting solo.  Therefore, I want to keep the meals simple and you can’t get simpler than my black beans and rice recipe. It’s so healthy too.

Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

S  – Roasted Tomato Soup and Caprese Paninis

Meatless Monday – Black Beans and Brown Rice with Healthy Baked Plantains

T – Ground Turkey Tacos

W – Mojo Roast Chicken and Skinnytaste’s Southwest Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango Medley

Th – Leftovers

F – Pizza

S – Birthday dinner for Papa

S – Soda Stream House Party for Super Bowl

What are you pinning and planning for dinner this week?  What are your plans for Super Bowl?

Pinning and Planning – January 12 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   January 12 {Dinner Menu}Did you experience strange delivery delays at your local supermarket last week?

Due to the horrible polar vortex arctic blast weather last week, the delivery trucks in my area had difficulty delivering items.  Oddly, our local supermarket shelves particularly the meat department was very bare.  That’s not good when you have tacos and burgers on the menu.  I wonder if vegetarians experienced any dinner disruptions due to delayed deliveries.

The ground turkey took nearly a week to hit my local supermarket’s meat cooler.  I don’t know how or why turkey meat was affected by the polar vortex, but it was. Maybe the turkeys planned a revolution and timely escape during the polar vortex onset.  Who knew turkeys were such clever birds?!

The tardy ground turkey never arrived in time for our tacos this week.  Therefore, the ground turkey tacos are being added once again to this week’s dinner menu.  Since cool weather blew through once again last night, Soup Sunday is also on the dinner menu again this week.

Here’s what’s on our dinner menu for the week:

Soup Sunday – Garden Minestrone

Meatless Monday – Roasted Veggies Sandwich on Cuban bread

T – Ground Turkey Tacos

W – Chicken and Broccoli with Brown Rice

Th – Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner)  Eggs in the basket

F – Pizza

S – Gasparilla Children’s Parade – Dinner out

Did you experience delivery delays at your supermarket last week? What’s on your dinner menu this week?   What are you pinning and planning?

Pinning and Planning – January 5 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}My name is Denise and I have been Cheez-Its free for one year now.

In my life, that is a HUGE deal.  My pantry is constantly stocked with kid’s snacks such as Goldfish, chips and Cheez-Its.  The temptation to cave into the cravings is always there, however, when I put my mind to something, I can stick to it.  A year ago, I gave up my go to snack and for the past year, I have refrained from eating those cheesy little crispy squares.

NoCheezits Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

That’s a bigger deal than a Publix BOGO deal on Cheez-Its.

Yesterday, my family and I visited Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market to find some fresh season produce and inspiration for this week’s meals.

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

One of the vendors, Life Garden, sold all kinds of fun hot peppers.  Some varieties I had never even heard of such as the Ghost Chili or Chocolate Habanero.

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

Being in the midst of a Florida winter with cooler weather and finding these hot little numbers seemed the perfect time to bring back Soup Sundays starting with something with a little heat.  Discovering all these gorgeous colorful spicy hot peppers in Downtown Lakeland inspired Iron Chef Allan to cook up a big pot of Gumbo for first Soup Sunday of 2014.

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

But in all honesty, we ventured to Dowtown Lakeland to taste the beignets at The Poor Porker, which totally lived up to their reputation.

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

All the beignets are made fresh on site and serviced with a smile while a large crowd gathers around patiently waiting to taste the special of the day.  As evident by the 15 minute wait time and sold out chicory coffee, this humble eclectic food cart is quite the cash cow.

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

The Poor Porker’s light, fluffy beignets are as good as anything in NOLA and certainly worth the wait.  We sampled “The Traditional”, a traditional powdered sugar beignet served in a paper bag and a small taste of NOLA in the heart of Downtown Lakeland.  Since I like to keep it simple, this was my favorite.

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

We also sampled “The Poor Poker”, a traditional served with an avalanche of crumbled bacon (Allan’s and Allana’s favorite).

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

Cookies and Cream happened to be the special beignet of the day for our visit.  Oreo cookie crumbles served with a drizzled with a marshmallow cream syrup.

 Pinning and Planning   January 5 {Dinner Menu}

Thanks to huge pile of beignets, we began the New Year with big fattening bang.  Now, it’s time to get back on track.

The kids return to school this week and I predict it will be hard to get back into routine after a few weeks off due to winter break.  Therefore, dinners were be easy and simple.  We also have quite a bit of lentil soup leftover from last week.  Leftovers for dinner definitely make things simple.

Here’s what’s on our dinner menu for the week:

Soup Sunday – Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

Meatless Monday – Lentil Soup and Mixed Greens Salad

T – Ground Turkey Tacos

W – All-American Cheese Burgers (No carb option – Big Mac Salad)

Th – Leftovers

F – Pizza


Pinning and Planning: December 15 – Dinner Menu

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning: December 15   Dinner MenuWe’re into our third week of our Advent calendar, which offers Christmas activities that immerse my entire family into spirit of the season.  For the Advent calendar, I plan fun Christmas activities for each day of the month leading up to Christmas.  The simple relatively inexpensive activities include things such as making “candy cane pipe cleaner ornament while snacking on candy canes”.

For Meatless Monday, I’ve planned an indoor Christmas picnic, which my children love. The whole family sits on a blanket while we eat sandwiches near the Christmas tree.  Then on Friday, we’ll have a Christmas tea, another of my kids’ favorite Christmas pastimes.  My girls love getting dressed up in fancy clothes to nibble on finger sandwiches.

Since I will be out a few nights this week, much of the Advent calendar and dinner will be simple for Allan and the kids.  Today, we’re off to Jump with Santa at Airheads and then tonight, the girls and I will be “Caroling for Cans” with their Girl Scout troop, so we’ll grab a bite on the way to caroling.  Kids eat free at Evos, which will probably be where we stop to eat.

Last night, we stopped for dinner at Whole Foods in between Christmas shopping.  The food there is fabulous and tastes very similar to how we cook at home.  I love the variety of cuisines and how there is something for everything on the buffet line.  Plus, the food is always fresh and made with wholesome ingredients.  While dining in the café, I spotted this sign which sums up my weekly pinning and planning dinner menu perfectly.

IMG 20131214 185501 Pinning and Planning: December 15   Dinner Menu

As part of a GoGo squeeZ #GoGoplayfully campaign, my sister and I will be attending a private Rockettes kick class on Tuesday evening. After the class, we’ll attend the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Straz.  In between high kicks and The Rockettes we’ll grab a bite to eat nearby in downtown Tampa.

Allan and I celebrate our 14th anniversary and we’re planning to have dinner out for the occasion, but we haven’t decided where to go just yet.  Also this week, my girlfriends and I are getting together for an annual ornament exchange.

Yes, Christmas is hitting new heights with another busy Christmas-filled fun week!  Here’s our dinner menu looks for the week.

S – Dinner at Evos after Airheads

Meatless Monday – Christmas picnic with a variety of vegetarian sandwiched including Grilled Portabella Burgers, Roasted Veggie Hoagies, French Onion Soup Sandwiches

T – Kick Class with The Rockettes followed by dinner and a show

W – Anniversary Dinner

Th – Pasta and Grilled Chicken Sausage

F – Christmas Tea menu: Peppermint Tea served with Cucumber & Cream Sandwiches, Holiday Cheese & Crackers, Hummus & Veggies and a variety of Christmas cookies

How juggling meals between all the Christmas hustle and bustle?  What’s on your dinner menu this week?   What are you pinning and planning?

Pinning and Planning – November 17 {Dinner Menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   November 17 {Dinner Menu}Over the past month, the stomach bug has come full circle in our house.   First, Liam had it.  Then I caught it.  This past week, Allana and Emmalynn were bed-ridden by it.  Last night, Liam caught it again and now Allan is down for the count.  I just hope I don’t catch it again.  I think I make a Clorox wipe as a face mask just in case.

It’s another busy week, but thankfully, Allan will not be traveling.  Solo-parenting with sick kids is not something I want to relive again anytime soon.

Can you believe next week is Thanksgiving?!  My goodness, where did November go?!

Iron Chef Allan and I were planning our Tahnksgiving menu yesterday.  We’re keeping it simple, of course.  I will try to make it as healthy as possible too but sometimes you just have to let it go and give in to the calories, which reminds me of this McCormick commercial.  Only for me, it’s more like “Sometimes when you’ve tried to be good for 364 days, you just give in to calories on that FATal Thanksgiving Day.”

Are you preparing a Thanksgiving meal this year or are you attending a meal?  What side dishes are you planning this Thanksgiving?  What will be accompanying your turkey?  How do you cook your turkey?

Our Thanksgiving menu is still a work in progress, but Iron Chef Allana and I should have it all finalized for next week’s Pinning and Planning.  I know I would love to try to make this coconut oil pie crust from Yesterfood.

As for this week’s dinner menu, I’ve sorted that all out.  Greenwise chicken is on sale at Publix this week, so lots of chicken on the menu.  Also, did you see all the $5 off coupons this week?  Publix had a $5 off $40 coupon insert in Sunday’s paper and Target also had a $10 off $50 its in weekly sales ad, which Publix will accept.  Winn Dixie shared a $5 off $50 coupon its weekly flyer this week which Publix also accepts.  That’s $20 savings in just store coupons this week! SCORE!  I love save money on groceries!!!  Mama, is getting her chicken for free this week!

S – Chicken Pot Pie Soup

M – Roasted Veggie and Asiago Cheese Flatbread

T – Chicken and Broccoli

W – Blogger event at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

Th – Chicken Curry

F – Media Event at Gaylord Palms

What’s on your dinner menu this week?   What are you pinning and planning?

Pinning and Planning – November 3 {dinner menu}

PinningPlanning RunDMT Pinning and Planning   November 3 {dinner menu}Battling sickness and schedules while balancing birthday celebrations and Halloween hoopla has been taking a toll on Little Lion Man and me.  We have been suffering with bad allergy attacks and the two of us have been coughing and sneezing our heads off.

While I don’t feel like eating, dinner still has to be served no matter what sickness or schedule we face.  Although all I want is hot soup, my face needs more than soup this week.

Here’s what’s on our dinner menu this week:

S – Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Meatless Monday – Spinach Lasagna Rolls

T – Lightened Tilapia Picatta

W – Mojo Roast Chicken with Stuffed Mushrooms and Mashed Cauliflower

Th – Low Fat Ground Turkey Chili

F – Pizza

 What’s on your dinner menu?   What are you pinning and planning?


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