This week on Catching up with the Kelnhofers, I’m sharing some past birthday traditions and all of the love I felt this year on my birthday. Plus, plenty of zucchini recipes, a new weekly meal plan and one of my favorite travel mugs.
This past weekend was my birthday. Birthdays were always big when I was growing up. Not big in terms of gifts or anything, but in terms of it being a special day. My mom made us our favorite cake (my older sister has her birthday 3 days before mine, and still my mom would each make us our own cakes and separate decorations.) My favorite has always been a white cake with berries (I talk about it more in this in a super old post – strawberries and cream cake roll).
This year, wow. I feel so full of gratitude and love, friends and family celebrated my birthday. Nick made me a German blitz torte (stunning and delicious) – I made a REEL here of Nick putting this gorgeous cake together. Ben made me special banana bread muffins and sang Happy Birthday Mama to me on repeat throughout the day, friends cooked me dinner (omg yum) while my sister-in-law babysat, a friend dropped off a bunt cake, and we had a virtual party! So much love!
Are birthdays a big deal in your family?
- 5 Ingredient pineapple pork chops – I love making this recipe when I’m willing summer to come faster! It’s both hearty and filling, but light and summery all at the same time! (And, there’s a recipe VIDEO to walk you through)
- Weekly meal plan – the best way to plan meals for the week!
- Roasted chicken and chicken seasoning – this is the chicken recipe from the Publican restaurant in Chicago, adapted to make it easier for the home cook and OMG it is amazing. I’ve shared how to grill it and how to roast it.
- Love List – our weekly list of fun finds around the web
- Quick dinner idea for you: miso glazed cod (from Costco, but you could use any fish), jasmine rice, and crispy from frozen broccoli.
- Frankie shared her pancakes with me at breakfast – which is a big deal because she LOVES her pancakes and bread.
- Something my dad said at my older sister’s wedding and a story. We registered Ben for 4K. Only after receiving a little registration confirmation letter did it really sink in (not during the seemingly endless registration process) and I randomly cried thinking about it. How he’s going to be at school. Something my dad said at my older sister’s wedding always stuck with me. (He’s really good with words and public speaking, so caveat here, I’m not doing this justice). It was about how mother lions love and protect their cubs, and human mothers love and protect their children and gaze down at them and wonder “what will you be when you grow up” and that sense of pride and wonder (I may be getting this wrong, but it was a beautiful sentiment). I now find myself looking at Ben and thinking the same thing. He’s only 3 (almost 4), but I’m already so proud of him.
- Ps., I made my sister’s wedding cake.
What to make
I got asked if I had any recommendations for zucchini so that it’s not bland, and I DO!
- Grill it/roast it – I use it in this recipe for balsamic grilled veggies on repeat all summer long.
- Add it into burgers – add shredded zucchini into burgers like these (keeps lean proteins like ground turkey from drying out.)
- Make it into burgers– these chickpea zucchini burgers are incredible
- Add it to meatballs – I make these ground turkey slow cooker meatballs (they’re porcupine meatballs)
- Add it to soups – like this vegetarian chili
- Bake with it – zucchini cheddar bread is a favorite or you can make a sweet option like this zucchini banana Nutella loaf.
- See a bunch of recipe ideas in this zucchini recipe roundup
Ok, sometimes I am making and trying so many different recipes, I even forget some of my favorites and the vanilla scones (with an orange glaze) that this reader is talking about are SO GOOD!
- “Just finished making these. They are delicious! Very easy to make. Because I had no sour cream on hand I substituted buttermilk, which is what I always use in my scones. Thank you for sharing this recipe!”
This reader used my recipe for upside down apple and pear loaf as inspiration and put her own delicious-sounding twist on it.
- This travel mug is just the best ever! Keeps hot drinks hot, cold drinks cold, easily washable, and is cheaper than other brands.
- Love at First – This is a modern romance novel, very cute! I also love that it’s set in Chicago – where I grew up.
- Yes, And I Love You -This book just came out this week, I’m so excited about it. Haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it
Cookbook of the week:
- From Freezer to Cooker – This book is really good if you like freezer cooking and want to go freezer to Instant Pot!!
- It’s finally nice outside. The weather is finally starting to be nice again, and I am absolutely loving it. I’m trying to take the kids outside as much as possible (to make up for the super cold periods when we couldn’t even go outside!!) We also put the twins on Ben’s bike, their little feet don’t quite reach the pedals yet.
- Poop in the tub. Well, Freddie took a giant poop in the tub. I’d like to say it’s the first time, but it’s not, lol. So Ben got to take a big bubble bath in our tub (he’s used it more than we have, lol) while I disinfected everything.
- Music class attendance switch. Ben was being a grump, but it was really our fault. We had just been outside, and then I remembered it was time for his virtual music class. He didn’t want to attend and just sat there saying he didn’t want to do it. So we let him go play and Frankie sat in on the class and had an absolute blast!
- New Wendy’s menu item. Nick and I got to try the new Wendy’s menu item: a jalapeno chicken sandwich and salad! I talk about what we thought in this post.
- We’ve been making mini naan pizzas all the time because it’s such a good/fast/easy recipe for those busy weeknight!
- Ted Lasso – this is an Apple tv show I heard about because it won awards lately, and it is SO GOOD! It’s feel-good and just all around a good show. You get 7 days free and then it’s $4.99/mo for Apple TV.
- I’m almost out of practically all of my skincare products – the ones I use daily, so placed a big Sephora order (read about my skincare routine here)