Monthly Meal Wrap Up for April

I checked out a bunch of cookbooks from the library again and this month I made a couple things from Katie Lee's Endless Summer Cookbook. The biggest success were these healthy banana oat muffins!

Who knew that spelt flour bakes so nicely? I'm super glad this recipe gave me the excuse to buy some, and now I'm going to use it instead of whole wheat. We also made her recipe for a creamy chipotle sauce to use in lieu of our usual cilantro lime sauce on fish tacos and is was delicious. 
We also tried this Mexican Lasagna recipe from The Kitchn. It was tasty, but I'd use almost half the suggested noodles next time.
I happened to catch Trisha Yearwood's show on Food Network and decided to try her Pork Medallions recipe which we'd definitely make again! 
I didn't catch what the 'ginger sauce' was or where to find it, so I used Trader Joe's Soyaki for both the Teriyaki and ginger sauce the recipe calls for and it turned out great.
Speaking of Trader Joe's... ZOMG, the cauliflower gnocchi is TO DIE FOR - that is, if you are a fan of gnocchi. 
I do enjoy cauliflower, but if it's not your thing, I'd still try them. They taste like perfect pillowy gnocchi, with the added bonus of more fiber and veggies! As per the advice from the peeps at Trader Joe's List, I just sauteed them from frozen instead of steaming them in water per the package directions and they come out great. I've been heating them up with some sauteed onion, garlic and butternut squash.
And last, but not least, we went on our first Spring Break family vacation in April! Since this focus of this trip was sightseeing and family fun, I didn't delve too deep into foodie mode like our previous trips. However, we did enjoy some fun local eats. On advice from a San Diegan friend, we hit up Mona Lisa Pizza in Little Italy which was so adorable, so reminiscent of little family owned Chicago eateries, and delicious comfort food: chicken Parmesan, stuffed shells, lasagna, garlic bread and of course, the kids (and adults) loved the pizza!
Another recommendation that was a hit for brunch: Breakfast Republic. My kids were over the moon for the pancake trio with choices like cinnamon roll, Oreo cookie and strawberry cheesecake.
I cannot resist eggs Benedict and their mushroom and pesto version with SPINACH HOLLANDAISE was to die for. Plus you can upgrade your potatoes with Brussels sprouts!
At the end of our trip, we decided to take the kids out for a 'fancy' dinner. Since they both eat steak at home, we decided on Ruth's Chris as they actually have a kid size steak on the kid's menu. Although, in the future we'll probably have to order the eleven year old the adult size portion! They were so adorably striving to act like grownups in the 'fancy' restaurant, and the looks on their faces when their virgin daiquiris arrived were priceless. Of course, that's a picture I didn't take! They discovered the allure of virgin drinks at the pool and asked if they could order one at the restaurant. Ruth's Chris has a slightly elevated presentation compared to the pool bar, and I think my kids now have slightly elevated expectations for our next restaurant adventures!


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