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Monday, September 15, 2014

TCOT Weekly Menu Planner #26

Welcome to The Cherry On Top's Weekly Menu Planner!

I've been researching the Paleo diet and have found it very interesting for our family.  My hubby is a heart patient, both my boys have Autism and I've always had digestion issues, so I thought I might take on some of the ideas from this diet.  

It certainly hasn't been easy and a lot of peeps are not at all into this kind of eating.  So far, my two issues are, I'm ALWAYS hungry and that's because of number 2 reason.  I always feel like I'm in the kitchen preparing or cooking.  I really feel it's just a matter of making it routine and I've had few digestive issues since I started even though I haven't gone hog wild.

I actually feel a bit guilty about sharing recipes that totally goes against, what seem to be good reasons for cutting particular food out of our diet.  I'll put in a couple of notes and links to explain or replace some ingredients that ya may want to try illuminating from your cabinet/fridge.

Meatless Monday: Salad  Yip!  I really love this blog that this recipe is hooked up to.  Head over and check out how to prepare this yummy, filling salad or make a salad that your family can sink their teeth into.  Of course you can add some prosciutto, ham or chicken!  (Paleo Tip, no beans.  If you were like myself and thought that beans/legumes were good for us, read here.)


Tuesday:  Monterrey Chicken and these awesome baked fries

I would eat just these two and lay it out over a nice mix of salad greens, like rucola. One of my favourite.  (Click here to get the skin about potatoes and why you might consider cutting them out.  Especially, if you are diabetic.)

 recipe  recipe

Wednesday:  Linguini Rosa and shrimp

I'll be whipping up this recipe with a lot less dairy and quinoa or rice pasta.


Thursday:  sesame ginger salmon 

I'll be enjoying some rice and carrots with this salmon.


Fun Food Friday:  Burgers, Baby!  Check out this amazing page full of awesome burger ideas and head to the site for more details.  It's pretty funny.
I leave out the bread and cheese and turn these into a big chopped salad that is more Paleo friendly.


Saturday:  sausage, mashed potatoes, veg

I make sausage on my grill pan with peppers and mushrooms.  No onions for me, but you can throw them in there as well.  My boys love mashed potatoes, so I'll whip some up without milk because I'll be having gravy to serve with it.  Choose a family favourite vegetable or try something new.  (If you want to go Paleo, you'll have to rethink those potatoes.  Instead of cutting them out, I'm cutting way back to once or twice a week.)


Sunday:  Rustic Italian Beef Ragu

Get that crock pot out and give yourself a break on Sunday!  Have the kids set the table and clean up. Hehehe...Serve this with bread, pasta, rice, potatoes or wrap it in some lettuce.


If you want a handy place to write out your weekly menu, then click on the below image to print this out and get some ideas.

 free download

You're set!  Enjoy your meals this week.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Free Lego Goodies and Ideas

 A super, happy day to you!

Since there is little reaction in Liam's class when it comes to outside of school, I often arrange mini parties.  We had an awesome Lego party last year, just for the fun of it and I'll be doing it again, in a couple of weeks or sooner.

I got to thinking of this great kit I just worked with from Boomer's Girl Designs.  It's perfect for this party!  I might make a few more things for those who are coming.  Maybe some book markers or cup cake toppers.  If I do, I'll be back with those as well.

These lovely items will be FREE for two weeks and then they are going in the shop.  So do not delay.  Download today!  Hehehe...

Here's the layouts I made with the kit.  There is also a girlie Lego kit, too!

Really fun, right?!  Fabulous colours and cute kids, too!  If you want to scrap your own layouts or make your own party stuff with this great kit, then just click on the image and it will take you to the store where you can purchase it.


I created these invitations on a 12x12 and measured them to fix on a 6x6 space.  Make sure your printer is all set to print properly.  You can either turn the image so that you can type your information in or write it in.

 FREE Lego Printable Invitation

Click on this image to go to my TOTALLY AWESOME LEGO blog.  I've got tons or FREE printables there and a lot of fun ideas for your party.

 Lego Party Ideas

Click on this image to see how I deal with the Lego Land of the Lost.

 TCOT Lego Organization

I hope you enjoyed today's blog and that you'll come back again for more of....well, just about everything!  I invite you to scroll through previous blog entries where you'll find a ton of FREE stuff and inspiration of all kinds.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Week #25 Menu Planner From TCOT

Welcome to the Cherry On Top's weekly menu planner!

Have ya started planning your meals?!  You did?  Great!  You didn't?!  Well, get started today because there's no time like the present.  Save yourself time, money, hassle and eat better with these relatively simple and fast meals.

Meatless Monday: pasta n' pumpkin

Mmmmm...Pasta, pumpkin and sage are perfect for meatless Monday and for this time of year.  I've got two pumpkins ready for eat'n, right outside  my kitchen door.  There are so many things you can make with pumpkin and a lot of kids and peeps like pumpkin.  Although, sometimes ya have to slip it under the rug if ya know what I mean.  Click on this fabulous image and grab the recipe and start your ingredient list for shopping.  

Tip:  If you want to add meat, then try some prosciutto or bacon julienne style!.


Tuesday:  fish, chutney and veggies

This is a Paleo style meal if you minus the sugar which I always do.  Yuck!  I mean, isn't mango sweet enough?!  Anyway...Take a good look at the image.  This lovely fish and chutney is resting on a lovely salad.  Try to ditch the thought that we HAVE to have a starch with our meal.  It ain't easy!


Wednesday:  Ranch chicken tacos

This meal is border line genius with the rotisserie chicken choice.  Makes your cooking time null if you're going to pick it up on the way home.  Otherwise, use some ground chicken or grill some chicken on your grill pan and shred it up.  You may need a bit of time for getting out all of those yummy toppings, but there's no cooking.


Thursday:  smoked salmon sandwiches with spinach or argula and mascarpone

The name is the recipe here, folks.  You won't find anything more than that.  I've got a couple of tips for you.  I love using garlic and herb cream cheese with my salmon sandwiches and if possible, use fresh baked bread. 

Fun Food Friday:  Hot wings, Baby!

Well, what do ya know?!  I've even got Hooters on my blog today!  Something for everyone!  Hehehe...  I've been making my own hot wings for nearly two decades and since I'm raised a Florida girl, I love Hooters style wings.  Enjoy this awesome recipe and one of my favourites! Tips:  Just a few more for this one.  My hubby grills our wings then shakes them up in the sauce.  No fat, no flour. You can also fry in coconut oil for a much healthier choice.

Serve up your wings with some delicious fries and a raw veggie platter with the family's favourite dip'n sauce.  My hubby can't have wings without his blue cheese dressing.  I make it from scratch and it's really easy.  Click here for the recipe.


Saturday:  BLT's

For my European and non US fans, a BLT is a sandwich.  Typically, consisting of bacon,lettuce and tomatoes.  However, there are so many different ways to make them.  Some swear by toast (Yes, please!).  Some like it on fresh bread.  You can add avocado, egg salad, cheese....I've got ya hooked up to Southern Living where they have 17 different version of this American classic.  I also did a search on Pinterest and found some more mazing alternatives!


Sunday:  Grill it up!

We are serious grilling people.  If we've got a bit of extra time, my hubby is out there firing up the grill.  I love that!  The mess is outside.  There are hardly any dishes and clean up is a breeze.  For me!!!  LOL!  I thought this steak looked awesome.  When you click on the link it will take you to a simple recipe that you could also use your grill pan for.  Check all 17 recipes out until you find the one you like.  
 chicken recipe +

Gee!  3 pm already?!  I've gotta go grab the kids from school.  Get your lists ready for the grocer's and enjoy your week's meals!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kid's Morning Chart Free Printable

Welcome to The Cherry On Top!

I've got a special edition for you, today.  As you may know, I have two boys with Autism and getting our mornings started is something none of us look forward to.  To make it easier on all of us, I've designed a chart.  I don't know about your kids, but mine do NOT like being told what to do.  That's why charts are so helpful.  All I have to do it point and the CHART tells them what to do, not me.

They also get a feeling of accomplishment by putting the big checks in place when a task is finished.

 FREE Printable Chart

I made a super, simple chart, below.  This is the one I'll use.  Take note the one above is a bit more distracting and exciting and it also does not include making their bed.  My boys are 7 and 9.  It's time to start helping around the house and they need to learn these things, anyway.  They only have to pull up their duvet/comforter and put their pillows at the top, neatly.  Keep it simple!

 FREE printable chart

 Free check marks

Choose the chart that best complements your child's needs and click.  Don't forget the handy check marks.  Download, print to your desired size, laminate, print, laminate and cut your checks or use a big square punch if you're not into fussy cutting, then use magnets or velcro dots.  That's it!

My girl Barb has a great kit out that focuses on special needs. 'Beautiful Me".  You can get the kit by clicking on the image, below.

 A2R @ MM

I found a bunch of charts that I thought were useful.  Check them out if you like, by clicking on the images.



Good luck get'n those little ones off to school!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy Birthday To The Studio And Presents

Hey there, Fans and Friends of The Cherry!

I've got a little something different for you, today!

I headed over to check out The Studio's Birthday Bash celebration and jumped right into this challenge from ADB.   There are so many FREE goodies over there.  You won't believe your eyes.  I picked up two FREE mini's and went to town on my quick page.   I added a bit of CU items I purchased from The Studio, previously.  This is the result.  You may download if for nut'n over at The Studio by clicking on the image.  When ya get there, click on the hi-lighted word "Freebie".

WAIT!  The fun doesn't stop there.  Nor do the FREEBIES!

 The Studio

Here's a look at the palette and an example of a FREE mini.  Fabulous, right?!


I am NO designer, but I do love to play.  I whipped up another special goody, keeping this challenge in mind, especially, for my blog fans.  Have at it!

 FREE cluster

If you are here for the FREEbies, then you MUST head over to my Facebook Page and grab three more, fabulous FREEBIES I have over there.  My designs with more CU goodies from The Studio and a couple of others.

 FB Page

Scroll through past Cherry blog entries and see all of the other free stuff you can add to your Digi Stash.

Thanks for hit'n up The Cherry On Top!  Do it again!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

TCOT's Weekly Menu Planner #24

Welcome To The Cherry On Top!

Back in the saddle this week with some totally awesome recipes and helpful, FREE printables that will make your life even easier still.  I've teamed up with my girl Raquel from Boutique Cute Dolls.  She's a designer over there and a recent kit of her, Things Cooking was just what I needed for today's blog handy helper!

First!  The menu for this week.

Meatless Monday:

Ravioli in a fresh tomato sauce is at the top of my favourites list.  If you don't want to do the meatless thing, then buy some raviolis with meat in them.  Solved!  Fresh pasta cooks under 5 minutes and it exceeds dried pasta by far when it comes to flavour and health.  Buy the best canned, diced tomatoes you can buy for a recipe like this or use your fresh ones from the garden.  As if?!  (My pa-la totally sets me up with his delicious, organic veggies.   Mega score!)  Sautee some chopped garlic and onions in a couple of tables spoons olive oil, add your tomatoes and herbs of your choosing, let it heat through and BAM!  It's ready!  Of course, you can go with a jarred version, but Boo!  There's almost always sugar in there and all kinds of other ingredients that are not good for you.  Yuck!

Oh!  Don't be afraid of that olive oil either.  It is really good for you. I often drizzle a little olive oil over the top of my dish right before serving because uncooked olive oil has even more health benefits than cooked!  This recipe is perfect.  Click on the image to get it.



Quesedillas are a kids favourite.  The variety is absolutely amazing!  The way you cook them also.  These are not known here in Belgium, but when I serve them, they ask for the recipe and typically make them for their own families.  My hubby and I like shrimp on ours, the kids like just cheese or some sliced sandwich chicken or ham on their.  You can pan them up for a couple of minutes on each side or throw them puppies in the over for 10 minutes if you don't wanna dirty the stove.

There are very little dishes and the cooking itself also uber short!  Garnish with some sour cream, sambal, green onions, salsa, guacamole....unbelievable, right?!



Big Salad with Fresh Tuna.  This could be your flex day if your too busy to cook up something for the Fam or you have some left overs around, but we will be enjoying a big ole fresh salad from the last of summer's goodies and grilling up a tuna steak to go with it.  have you ever had FRESH TUNA?!  OMG!!  I've only had it very recently, but, Man!  That stuff is good!  That crap in the can can't compare.  It's really expensive here, but in some places like Spain, it's very affordable.  I buy it when I see it on promotion, which ain't often!

Use THIS recipe.  There are some many recipes where they marinate the tuna!  Hello?!  Fresh tuna is so gosh darn delicious, you DON'T have to marinade it?!


I've been researching the Paleo Diet for a ton of different reasons and I'm thinking about taking on the challenge.  The above meal if Paleo perfect!  Delicious fish filled with Mega Healthy Omega 3 and all the other fabulous minerals, fiber, vitamins from our salad will give us an awesome healthy kick!


Slow cooker ribs, Baby!

Get out your flow cooker.  Slice up some onions, place them on the bottom, place your ribs on top of the onions, pour over your favourite BBQ sauce and head off to work.  When ya get home, you'll think you're in a restaurant.  Heat up a can of corn or even better some corn on the cobb.  It's ready in a mere 10 minutes!  That's it.  It's all ya need.

Doy ou know the Six Sisters?  Fabulous recipes, my friends and fans.  Check out their recipe for ribs. (The link wasn't working at the time.  So, I'm giving the Pinterest link. I'm sure it will be fixed soon.)

Fun Food Friday:

Pizza is back on the list!  It has been way too, long.  I'll be looking into Paleo versions of this for our family, but I'll set you up with a traditional recipe.  Buying the packaged, ready to go crust isn't such a sin if  you don't do it too, often.  I never like the taste of if though.  Use a tortilla if you have some left over.  My boys love pizza on a tortilla and they love helping to make pizza crust.  Most of the time I make it from scratch and sometimes I make it in the bread machine.  I used to think it was quite some work until I made it a couple of times.  The longest part is the rising time, but by the time the oven is ready, all of your toppings are laid out and ya finish that delicious aperitif, it should be about ready!  Ha!


I've got ya totally set up with this link from the image above.  FIVE different varieties of pizza dough making AND a VIDEO.  Thanks to the Food Network Blog.


A Greek Gyro Platter is on tap for today.  I can't get a gyro here, in Belgium.  They have kebab, but it's not nearly as good.  So, as usual, I have to make the darn thing myself.  Since I'm trying to eliminate grains, I won't even bother with a wrap or pita.  I'll be just diving into the meat and veggies.  I love Feta and I know I'll be eventually giving up the dairy, too, but one thing at a time, Man!


When you click on the above image, you'll swept away to my recipe box at AllRecipes.  They use beef for this recipe, but I use lamb.  Awesome!  You could also use chicken if you prefer or no meat at all!


Paella is up for dins tonight.  Let that sucker simmer all evening then dig in or whip up a speedy version.  There are so many varieties of paella out there.  


You are gonna wanna thank me for this recipe.  I often do a quicker version with a lot less seafood, but we do exactly this one for a very special occasions.  Take time on Sunday to be in the kitchen and around the table with your loved ones.

I promised you something special today.  Here's your menu planner that I designed with Boutique Cute Doll's fun digital scrapbooking it, "Things Cooking".
You can print it out and laminate it, magnetise it to your fridge, then use a dry erase marker.  I will be framing it and using a fry erase marker directly on the glass.  Simply click right on the image and it will automatically download to your computer.  It's a 12x12 image, but you can always resize it to the size you want and print.


I've also designed a handy dandy grocery list and mini planner for you to take to the grocers!  Click on the image below and check out my my girl's Kel blog where you can find it and download it, too. Please share the links with your friends and family and not the download itself.  These were meant for your enjoyment and we sure do appreciate the traffic on our blogs.  It's a great way to say thanks.  These are also NOT for resale.  Duh, right?!  Hehehe...

 BCD Blog

Thanks for hanging out at The Cherry.  Enjoy your weeks worth of fabulous food!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Menu Planner Week #23

Welcome to the 23rd Weekly Menu planner!

Planing your week's menu saves time, hassle, money and ya might even find yourself fitter if you choose healthy meals like the ones you find here.

Meatless Monday:

Follow this delicious recipe for Kung Pao Spaghetti.  Leave out the chicken, add shrimp, use both if you like and you could even use a non pasta or gluten free type pasta as well.  So versatile!

 Kung Pao spaghetti recipe

Tuesday: M, S, V= meat starch veg or even a flex day if ya wanna prepare some left overs or simply bring home some delicious fresh made goodies from your local delicatessen.  I'll be firing up my grill pan, baking some potatoes and making this recipe below of balsamic glazed carrots.  Only I substitute the sugar with honey.  Goodness!  Do NOT use 3 tablespoons of sugar?!  This isn't dessert.  Hehehe...Sugar is pretty much poison for our bodies.  So limit it any time you can.  I'm throwing some pork chops on my handy grill pan and I've got some garlic butter for over those baked potatoes. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over both sides of your porkers and grill until your desired doneness. Depending on the thickness, I go about 2.5 minutes each side on a medium high heat on a very lightly olive oiled pan.


Wednesday:  steak, crochets and a fresh salad

Wow, right!  Snip some fresh rosemary or use dried if ya haven't got the fresh stuff (although rosemary is THE easiest herb to grow.) and chop it up with some fresh garlic and salt.  I actually take these ingredients plus a couple table spoons of olive oil and put it in my mortal and pedestal and make a paste, then rub it all into my meat. Mmmm....  I never make my steak like they do here, but rather use my good old, cast iron grill pan.  I would definitely hit up the garlic butter though.  Just watch your salt content.  If you use the garlic butter, it's better that you don't use the salt in your rub.

You can decide if ya need the carbs or not.  I'm serving the steak with a basic, fresh salad and balsamic vinegar, olive oil and herb dressing.  Put some croutons on that salad if ya gotta have your carbs.

Thursday: fish, rice and broccoli

Why not try this delicious recipe of tilapia baked parmesan?!  If you're wanting to cut calories and cholesterol, than it will be best to ditch the cheese.  However, hard cheeses like parmesan, are lower in fat and cholesterol.  Yay!  I've got two recipes ready for you because many peeps out there are not so great with rice making.  I was terrible for decades!  The recipe below is for a garlic, Phillipean recipe.  I love how simple it is.  Give it a try and see that'll it will fit with a lot of future meals, too.  


They are also giving you an extra garlic version, but you can decide how much is right for your family.  Remember garlic is awesome for combatting cholesterol!


I love making broccoli with my fish, but you can choose whatever FRESH veggie your family prefers.  Yes, fresh!  Always fresh!

Fun Food Friday:  slow cooker chicken taquitos

Fabulous recipe here, folks!  Grab these couple of ingredients, throw them in your crock pot, head to work and when ya get home, not only will your house smell fantastic, but dinner will be nearly ready!  
A few tips for this recipe.  Chipotle is not accessible where I live, but I did manage to grab some dried chipotle mix that I'll use for this in its place.  I also never use canned bouillon either.  In its place, use water and some granules or best your thawed out fresh version.  (As if?!)  Hehee...


Saturday:  Lemon, orzo shrimp

I love orzo dishes!  I love one pot meals, too!  This one is a fabulous!  I love this site, by the way.  All great ingredients and fairly easy and fast.  Check out the site further for more fabulous meal ideas.  You can use fish or chicken here for a meat substitute or no meat.  If you have no orzo use something similar.  Of course, risotto would be FAB-U-LOUS as would any smaller, compact pasta or even rice!


Sunday:  Pot Roast Patio Fries

You're gonna need a bit of time for this baby, but Man!  This is one kick ass recipe!  
A couple of tips with this recipe.  You probably don't have left over roast beef available, so click here for a delicious slow cooker recipe that you can use. If you don't use it all make some awesome beef sandwiches tomorrow!  If you think the sauce is a bit difficult, then I've got an uber easy replacement.  Simply, melt some cream cheese in a shallow pan (on low heat) and add some shredded fresh cheese to it.  That's it!  Use one of the cheeses from the recipe, though.  


Now, get that list together and get cook'n!