Tag Archives: 5 for friday

Five for Friday: 5 Things I’ve Cooked This Week


Whenever Racheal at Running with Racheal does her Thankful Thursday posts, she always lists at the end the recipes she made, along with what was liked or what she changed. I love that after all these years she continues to list things she’s thankful for every day!

But there is something to be said about including and being grateful for those tried and true recipes that always seem to work out for your family as well those new ones you’ve attempted to add to your rotation. (I do know that when she posts a recipe often, that it’s one I really need to action soon!)

I occasionally post new recipes I try and have, in the past, posted my plans for the upcoming week. It’s been a while, though. Today, I thought I’d just give a shout out to those recipes that treated us well this week.


Here are 5 recipes I made this past week:

Spicy Ground Pork & Zucchini Stir Fry

You guys. Where has this recipe been all my life? If you want to make some healthified Asian food at home, go for this recipe. In my opinion, though, it isn’t spicy {we add sriracha for that!}, but it does have flavor. This go round, I ground my own pork from pork sirloin. It really is the way to go so you don’t get any I-don’t-know-what-that-hard-thing-I-just-bit-into moments in the supermarket ground pork.

Want to make this recipe even easier and more versatile? You can adapt this it with what you have on hand by doing 1 part sauce (see recipe) with 1 lb ground meat of choice {but I think any thinly sliced, quick-cooking meat could work!} and 1 lb chopped vegetables of choice. The first two times I made this recipe, I stuck to the zucchini. But the last couple times I’ve added carrots and bokchoy. Whatever you’ve got and/or like will work!


White Bean and Avocado Salad

You guessed it… I’m still cooking my way through the Best Cookbook You’ve Never Read aka 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes by Jules Clancy. I guess you can’t call this “cooking” so much as throwing a few ingredients onto a plate!

Ingredients: lemon juice, can of white beans, baby spinach, avocado, roasted almonds

Here are my notes, with what I changed in blue:

  • I didn’t time it like I often do for these “10-minute” recipes from the book, but I bet you can guess how quickly one can put some spinach on a plate, empty and rinse a can of beans and top a salad with olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of crunch!
  • This served two. Instead of mixing everything together, I kept the spinach separately, so I could save the marinated beans atop another bed of velvety goodness the next day.
  • Instead of roasted almonds, I went with some sunflower seeds.
  • Lots of S&P, maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes is all that’s needed here!
  • I’ve made a few salads from this cookbook before and you’d be amazed how great beans are in them!
  • Will make again. 


Mexican Lentil Soup

This was a brand new one for us! You guys may know by now that my husband is allergic to the meat of animals with fins and feathers. Lentils are something we’ve been trying out as another protein source since it’s pork and beef he’s mostly eating. And that gets old. {Did I mention he’s allergic to most beans, too?!}

In any case, I did add just a bit of leftover barbacoa beef we had in the freezer to his bowl to amp up the protein for his lifting workouts. My bowl? Avocado was added! Because Mexican. And because… avocado, duh! Rob said this soup was seasoned perfectly; but I think a little heat would have been nice. Maybe throw in some jalapeno or red pepper flakes next time’ round? It made 7 well-rounded servings!


Crockpot Italian Chicken, Quinoa & Vegetable Soup

I made this one for the girls on Girls Dinner Night In. I’ve made a few crockpot recipes from Chelsea’s Messy Apron before, so I looking forward to a home run on this newbie. It was! I added it to my recipe arsenal! Here is a not-too-pretty photo of an almost-empty bowl.

There is no spinach in this recipe. But lately, to get a little more veg in my diet, I’ve been putting some spinach on plate or in a bowl and topping it with my meal. I served a nice hunk of oven-baked baguette alongside. The girls and I loved it! And I attempted dessert, too…


Unbaked Cookie Dough Bars

This one was way out of my comfort zone. I’ve been following Chocolate Covered Katie‘s blog for as long as I’ve known about blogs and I’ve only made one or two recipes! But I had all of the ingredients on hand and wanted a sweet treat for the girls. This dessert is made with – BEANS! I didn’t tell the girls. But they did suspect coconut and Jen guessed correctly on the flaxseed! She said they reminded her of her energy balls she makes sometimes.

Katie offers a lot of substitutions and variations in her Unbaked Cookie Dough Bars recipe. Here are the options I used based on what I had on hand: Great Northern Beans, almond butter, coconut oil, pure maple syrup, ground flaxseed and for the topping I went with the second option. Mine didn’t come out as pretty-looking as hers did, but they tasted good, if a bit rich.

What did you make this week that you loved?



5 for Friday – Last of the 2016 Book Series!


After this post, I should be about all caught up with what I’ve been reading. Well, except for all of the holiday books I’ve been reading. I’m going to write that post, but save it for just before the holidays next year to, you know, get you in the holiday spirit. So let’s just get right to it!



Today Will be Different
by Maria Semple 
(fiction) – worth a read

Semple is probably best known for Where’d You Go Bernadette, which I have not yet read. I liked this character’s honesty about how she feels. It was a quick, easy read; but in retrospect, I can’t remember the ending. I probably didn’t like it.



The Girls
by Emma Cline
 (fiction) – worth a read

This book had so much hype and high ratings. I was on my library waiting list for a long time before I received the notification that it was ready to be picked up. Cline is a definitely a talented writer. She can describe situations in such a beautiful way and envoke a mood. And while the story content is very intriguing, I felt some of the book was left unfinished. Not necessarily the ending, but maybe parts of it. There are also pieces that were either never explained or that had me confused what the purpose was to the story. I’m still not 100% sure why she was so fearful at the beginning of the book nor what she was really doing, other than reflecting.



Behind Closed Doors
by B.A. Paris
 (fiction) – must read

Yes! I never *think* that I’m a person who likes thrillers, but once I got a bit into this book. I couldn’t put it down. One Sunday, I made my husband wait until I was finished with it before I would go out to dinner.

I find the tagline on the book, “The perfect marriage or the perfect lie?” kind of annoying and it almost turned me off at first. But guess what? I loved the ending. And not because of what happens. You figure that out way before the story actually ends and it’s just the details that matter. The ending I liked was the very last page – and the dialogue that transpires.



Another Brooklyn
by Jacqueline Woodson
 (fiction) – worth a read

Woodson is a poetic author. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had a big chunk of time or a long afternoon to read this. Instead, due to life circumstances, I was only reading tidbits at a time and I had a hard time picking up where I left off. It’s a short book, so it should be savored in one or two sittings, I think. This is the second book of Woodson’s that I’ve read. I’m starting to see a theme in her stories…



Talking As Fast As I Can:
From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and everything in between)
by Lauren Graham (non-fiction) – worth a read (especially if you liked Gilmore Girls)

Yes, I’m a Gilmore Girls fan and spent Black Friday binging (boy do I hate that word) the revival with one of my best friends. I found it so wonderful to revisit that story that I was somewhat confused by all of the backlash after it aired! Still, Graham’s book became available at my library shortly thereafter. I guess I didn’t know a ton about her; my only intrigue was the show. But I learned a bit more about her through the book… and how crazily the Gilmore Girls Revival all came together!

One of my favorite lines:

But life doesn’t often spell things out for you or give you what you want exactly when you want it, otherwise it wouldn’t called life, it would be called a vending machine.

Graham also wrote a novel – Someday, Someday Maybe – which is on my “to-read” list.


 Maybe next week I’ll recap the best books I read all year.

What is the best book you’ve read this year?