Weekly Menu for March 29th thru April 3rd - Spring Break Fare

Woo whoo!  Party Time! Today at 3:00 p.m. it will officially be spring break! Now I’m not sure if spring break has passed already, or if yours is just around the corner, or if spring break even applies to you, but if it does I’m sure you are probably thinking; party? are you kidding me, I will have the kids home aaaaallllll day long!  I on the other hand am so okay with this.  Why you ask?  Let me count the ways....
1. I do not have to set the alarm clock or get out of bed early, which means the true night owl in me can stay up past 11:30!
2.  I do not have to deal with homework or monitoring of the kids school activities.
3.  All practices for my kids sports are canceled and most importantly...
4.  We get ten whole days to play!  Since we recently moved to Florida I want to see what is in our own back yard per say.  Beach days, movies, the kids museum and site seeing are on the docket so far. Plus it’s Easter weekend, one of the most special holidays in my book! Such fun awaits! 
Since this surge of let’s get out and play is stirring in me, I know that this week I will need some easy meals that can be thrown together quickly.  Even though this weeks meals fit the above bill we will not be compromising  on proteins or flavors and dinner will be just as enjoyable as all the activities you may have planned.  If you don’t get to have fun this upcoming week, I’m truly sorry (solemn music playing) but there is a bright side; dinner will be done in no time this week and you will be able to kick back and possibly enjoy some “me” time after dinner.  Plenty of time to rest so that you’ll be ready to celebrate the Easter weekend with family and friends.
I have another reason for celebrating today; my blog is officially three months old and I succeeded in not posting the same recipe twice!  You will now find 80 recipes within this blog!  I’m so thrilled about this and I would like to thank each of you for sticking with me and spreading the word of my blog around.
A few reminders for the newbies; you can click the title of any recipe to access it and if you are interested in a blank grocery list sheet formatted for Excel, send me an email and I’ll send one off to you.  This sheet saves you lots of time in the grocery store. As always you can email me at mydinnerplaybook@aol.com with any suggestions, recipe ideas or blog tips!  Don’t forget to sign up as a follower, by doing so you will show up in the “really cool people” slot.  Thanks for sending this blog off to family, friends and strangers!  As always, have a fabulous week!
Find this weeks Grocery List here
Quick Meal 1
This happens to be one of the most versatile meals I have in my repertoire. While at my last Bunco/Girls Night Out parties I took these and then was asked why the recipe wasn’t on my blog and if I would post it.  Since I normally make these as an appetizer, beach fare or lunch, posting it as a dinner option for you hadn’t crossed my mind.  While I’m planning to make this meal for my beach day I would suggest that for dinner you forgo the bread cups and use a croissant instead, and I’d throw together a salad to accompany it.  If you are going to contribute a meal for Easter, volunteer to bring the appetizer, it won’t take you much time and everyone will be impressed.
Quick Meal 2
What an easy and tasty recipe.  This recipe is so fast that it may take longer to warm up garlic bread!  Note: This recipe was created as a two serving recipe, I doubled it and listed the ingredients as such in the grocery list.

Got Some Time - Meal 1
I love Panini’s.  They are easy and if you think about it, any combo you throw between two slices of bread and cheese is amazing!  This recipe had enough substance in it that I felt we only needed a salad to go with it.  
Got Some Time Meal - 2
Burgers, I love them, and as my husband always states “you can never go wrong with a burger.’’ As much as we both love burgers I do believe that Rachael Ray has us both beat, her love affair with them runs deep as she has so many burger recipes.  In her latest Everyday magazine she created a Hot Wing Burger named for her favorite hockey team, while I’m a huge hockey fan, Go AVS, I was intrigued by the fact that these burgers were made with ground turkey.  Since this is such a budget friendly protein I thought I’d give it a whirl.  They were great an a huge hit with the whole family. 

Got Some Time Meal - 3
Thanks to my slow cooker, stripped beef tacos are always a very easy choice.  I throw a roast in the slow cooker in the morning and when I get home at the end of the day I just have to throw a few items together for a great meal.  I’ve added watermelon salsa to create a meal more in tune with the spring feeling.  Also, this go around I’m going to use small flour tortillas instead of corn to save time, no frying of the corn tortillas. I just have to throw the flour ones in the microwave to warm.

Pass the Wine; I got all the time - Meal 1
This recipe won’t really take all your time but it may take just a bit longer than the other five. Overall I think that this is a good take on a rib and potato dinner and feels like an official spring dish.

Grocery List: 3/29 thru 4/3

Celery, 3 stalks
Carrot, 2
Onion 2
Red Onion, 1 small
Lettuce, iceberg, 1 head
Tomato, 2
Red Seedless Grapes, 2 cups
Watermelon, seedless, 2 lbs.
Jalapeno, 2
Lime, 2
Lemon, 1
Orange, 1
Russet Potatoes, 2 lbs.

Chopped Walnuts, 1/4 cup
Whole Wheat Bread, 1 loaf
Sandwich Rolls, 4
English Muffins, 4 sandwich size
Small Tortillas, 1 pkg
Angel Hair Pasta, 1/2 lb.
Bread Crumbs
Tomato Sauce, 1 cup
Hot Pepper Sauce
Pickle Relish
Black Tea, 6 bags

Salt and Pepper
Poultry Seasoning
Cooking Spray
Olive Oil
Vegetable Oil
Light Brown Sugar
Rotisserie Chicken, 1
Large Shrimp, 20
Chicken Breasts, 2 boneless, skinless
Ground Turkey, 1 1/2 lbs.
Beef Roast, Med-Lg
Baby Back Ribs, 2 racks, (2 lbs.)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesean
Mozzarella, shredded
Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Cheddar Cheese, Sandwich slices 4
Sour Cream


Grape and Walnut Chicken Salad Cups

Recipe courtesy of Jo Davison
Servings: 8 sandwiches or 16 bread cups
1 Rotisserie Chicken
2 Celery stalks, finely diced
2 cups Red Seedless Grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste
Remove all meat from chicken, shred with two forks and add to a large mixing bowl.  In a separate small bowl, combine the sour cream and mayonnaise, set aside.  Add the celery, grapes, walnuts and cheese to the chicken and combine. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise mixture in one spoonful at a time, combine until the desired consistency is obtained.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve sandwich style over croissants or create edible cups by placing a scoop of salad into each bread cup.  (A small ice cream scooper works great)
Bread Cups
16 pieces of whole wheat bread
2 tbs. butter, melted
muffin pan
cooking spray
Heat oven to 375.  Remove crusts from bread.  Roll each slice out with a rolling pin to create a thin flattened piece of bread. Brush melted butter on each one (face side up only).  Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray and place each piece of bread butter side up into cups.  Bake for 7 minutes or so until just golden and toasted.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Stripped Beef Tacos with Watermelon Salsa

Recipe Courtesy of Jo Davison
Serves 8-10
2 tbs. Olive Oil
1 medium to large roast
1 medium onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
Salt and Pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Choose either: 2 packages Taco shells/24 corn tortillas/12 small flour tortillas
Lettuce and Tomato for garnish
Sour Cream
In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat on high.  Season roast with salt and pepper.  When pan reaches temperature place roast in pan carefully and sear each side for 45 seconds or so.  This will seal in the juices while it cook.  Place in slow-cooker along with the onion and garlic.  Cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
When done, remove from slow cooker and place in a large bowl.  Shred meat with two forks and season with salt and pepper if needed.
If using corn tortillas, heat a small saucepan with canola or peanut oil to a medium-high temperature and cook each one a few seconds at a time.  Allow to drain on paper towels.
Assemble tacos.  Place taco shells on a large foil lined baking sheet, add shredded beef  and
cheese to each one.  Heat thru for approximately 5-7 minutes, shells should be warmed through and cheese melted.  Remove and serve with salsa, garnish and sour cream.
Watermelon Salsa
Recipe courtesy of Jo Davison
2 1/2 cups Seedless Watermelon, finely diced (a 2lb watermelon should work)
2 Jalapenos, minced (remove seeds but keep membrane if you would like additional heat)
1 Tomato, medium, finely diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/4 fresh Lime juice
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and chill until ready to use.