Weekly Menu

Get out of that same ol’ recipe rut and try one of these delicious and easy recipes this week! This week I highly recommend making the Potato Gnocchi in a Bacon Cream Sauce and the Crack Chicken Casserole – Tots, Crispy Bacon, Cheeeeese and BBQ Ranch Sauce!!

Happy Sunday TKW Family!  What’s shakin’ in your world? Tis the season and things are ramping up here. Work is making that one final push to get stuff pushed into production before we go into the end of the year freeze which means long hours and lots of work. TKW is always busiest from October to January which yes I start listening to Christmas music around early October. I know, I know, I’m one of those people who actually look forward to when the radio stations go all Christmas music 24×7 for the season. It’s just happy music; stuff that makes you feel good and for many of us, reminds of our childhood.

Christmas for me was such a magical time of year. You all know my story – youngest of 6 from a very, VERY poor family. We simply didn’t have stuff and going to the store to buy things like clothes or the latest and greatest toy just really didn’t happen. However Mom and Dad always found a way to get us each at least one “new” thing from the store. They’d often go without and sometimes they wouldn’t pay a bill just so we’d have a nice Christmas. They always made it so special and Mom would make $20 spent on each kid look like we had a million presents. I think that’s why I get so excited when I see lots of presents. It’s not so much about what’s inside of it but rather seeing all the pretty papers, bows and ribbons. Mom would put so much thought into each individual present that she’d even make unwrapping a single packet of gum exciting.

What we lacked in money and ‘fancy’ things, we made up in other ways a million times over. From the foods from scratch to the homemade gifts. I can still remember sneaking down one Christmas Eve night to go to the bathroom and seeing my new “used junkyard” bike that my Dad made for me. He would go to the local junk yard and find parts, sand them up, slap on a new coat of paint and voila! Beautiful purple banana seated bike. And because Mom was who she was, she put silver tassels on the handles to make it more “Lori”.

It’s because of them I tend to look at the holidays differently. Sure both Mr. Fantabulous and I have been fortunate in our careers but when it comes to gifts and so forth, it truly is about the thought behind it rather than what’s actually in it. Seeing a million presents is great but knowing he sat on the floor, wrapping paper everywhere (trust me, it’s not pretty!), smiling from ear to ear, ribbons all around him and him taking the time to wrap each one prettier than the next is what means the most to me. It’s the thought, the love and care he puts into that. I know, I know you’re thinking “But c’mon Lor, what if there were diamonds in the box? Wouldn’t you be more excited? Or worse, what if the box was empty? Wouldn’t you be upset?

So let me tell you what he did one year for Christmas. He had a ton of presents for me but I had to go on a treasure hunt throughout the house. One box had screws with a note, another had a screw driver and various other things. As I got to the one big present it was this stand cart he built for me. For weeks, after I went to bed he would go down to his shop to fabricate and weld this rolling cart for me. This honestly was gorgeous… but he wasn’t done. Attached to it was another note as the treasure hunt wasn’t over. One of the notes took me to our closet to which it said “sit on the floor and open me”. As we sat on the floor I opened up such a beautifully wrapped box. As I removed the wrapping I saw it was a white jewelry box. Now I’m not one to hint that I’d like something (I’m actually really hard to shop for as I simply just don’t ask for stuff as I’m not a “stuff” person) but for a few weeks he kept saying “how come you don’t wear earrings?” to which I’d simply say “I don’t have diamond earrings.” As I saw the box I did smile a little and I could see the biggest grin on his face start to form.

When I opened the box it was empty. Puzzled, I turned it over, shook it and said “um, did you forget to put it in?” And folks what he said is something I will never, EVER forget. He said “No honey, that is the box that has no limits. Every time you have a happy thought, we create a beautiful memory I want you to take it and put it in this box. As we grow old together the box will grow with us. And whenever you find yourself sad or unhappy I want you to go to this box, open it up and pull out a happy thought. Remember that you are loved unconditionally and that you are the reason I smile; while I love.”

Folks I sat there and cried like a baby (fyi… I have tears pouring down my cheeks now as I write this). So you see, even an empty box can make the most amazing present. But for those of you wondering, the treasure hunt didn’t end there. After a few more trips around the house I finally found my huge commercial mixer (thus the need for the rolling cart he made me).

*smile*

Anyway, what do you have planned this week?  Today I have to get a cake done and 2 more recipes. Last week I wasn’t too active on Instagram only because I was super busy.

I did make Mr. Fantabulous smile from ear to ear when I came home with 5 pounds of Chestnuts. Are you a fan of them? I’m not; I actually hate them. Is it an Italian-only thing as honestly, the only folks I know that like them are Italian.

Who’s a chestnut fan? Mr. Fantabulous is and these 5 pounds will keep him happy for a little while. . #chestnuts #anythingformybaby #love

A post shared by The Kitchen Whisperer (@thekitchenwhisperer) on

I did make an on-the-fly burger yesterday which was RIDICULOUS! If you’ve never put maple syrup in a burger with bacon, you are totally missing out!

Anyway guys, I need to get my butt in the kitchen and get that cake made. Have one fantabulous week!

♥ Monday – Cereal Crusted Kid Approved Chicken Fingers
♥ Tuesday – Crack Chicken Casserole – Tots, Crispy Bacon, Cheeeeese and BBQ Ranch Sauce!
♥ Wednesday – Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
♥ Thursday – Chicken Roulade Stuffed with Mushrooms, Arugula and Shallots
♥ Friday – Indoor Grilled BBQ Beef Shortrib Pizza
♥ Saturday – Potato Gnocchi in a Bacon Cream Sauce
♥ Sunday – Slow Baked Beef Short Ribs
♥ Dessert of the week – Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Bread

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