Introducing Gleeful Market!

Market

At Gleeful Gourmets my goal is to make dinner as easy as possible and I know that no matter how much planning and preparation go into your meals, you can always use an extra hand in the kitchen.  That’s why Gleeful Market is created!  I will be putting together different rubs and marinates for all sorts of meats in the short future as well as other products that relate to our site, cooking, and personalizing your kitchen. New products will be added as we see fit!

To start the market off, I am excited to introduce our dessert expert, Elisa Heath!  She is a perfectionist who is not willing to comprise on flavours.  She bakes with passion and dedication so that every dessert coming out from her oven is pure perfection!  No matter occasions you are celebrating, you can always find the perfect dessert at Gleeful Gourmets. Check out our Christmas cupcake designs, just in time for the holidays get-togethers!

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Season’s Greeting!

Christmas GG

I would like to wish all our faithful Gleeful Gourmet members and readers a very happy holiday season! May this season bring you much joy and happiness!

Since the official launch in October, Gleeful Gourmets’ user base has grown by leaps and bounds and I am very excited to see our daily page visits record exceed 2,500 views! It’s wonderful to know that everyone finds the mealplans helpful! Thank you for supporting me and making my idea a reality! Gleeful Gourmets wouldn’t exist without all of you!

As our user base grows, so has our own little family. We’ve recently moved into a new home with a larger kitchen which makes testing recipes and hosting future get-togethers a lot easier. However it is currently being renovated which means I am out of a kitchen. The new kitchen won’t be done until late December so during this transition period, there will be no new weekly meal plans for the next two weeks. During this period, you can still access the past meal plans and shopping lists.  Your membership will be extended for an additional FREE MONTH for all the inconvenience this may have caused you! Once again I apologize and I look forward to the new kitchen and resume cooking together soon!

Meanwhile, I will continue to share cooking, shopping and kitchen tips as well as party food ideas via Gleeful Gourmets’ Pinterest and Facebook pages. If you haven’t already followed or liked our pages, now is a great time to start to get even more cooking ideas to try with your family and friends! Just in time for the holiday season!

I look forward to resuming our meal plans in the new year and I hope you are as excited as we are to trying new foods, eating healthy, and spending more quality time with your family… all without the 5pm dinnertime rush!

Finger Licking Good!

I love this rib recipe because Glee and Huan love ribs and I can easily prepare these in advance. You can pre-bake the ribs and prepare the sauce and just refrigerate them.  When it comes time to eat just toss the ribs in the sauce and broil them for 5-8 minutes.  I paired these ribs with the cranberry apple quinoa salad because the tartness of the apples balanced off the sweet honey garlic.  Making this meal finger licking good!

Cooking Notes:

  • These ribs can also be served as part of an hors d’oeuvre at a cocktail party as it is individually cut.

[gmc_recipe 3782]

Element of Surprise!

I love phyllo pastries. The flakiness and buttery taste is just so heavenly!  The only thing is that it is mostly done in desserts.  Once I saw this recipe, I had to give it a try!  Again, this looks a lot more work than it really is.  The mashed potatoes and cucumber salsa could be done in advance and stored in the fridge up to 48 hours.

This dinner is great for a formal party or a date night.  Not only does it look great, the taste of freshness from the salsa and the texture from the wrap just go so well with fish making this meal a memorable one.  When you bring out the meal, the element of surprise will be a great conversation starter.

[gmc_recipe 3736]

Goulash to the Rescue

On top of the move, my baby was sick so I had to take time off from the move and work to take care of her since she had to stay home. It was really hard having to care of a sick baby.  I just know that Glee was uncomfortable but I had no idea what was really bothering her.  She barely ate anything which made me worried sick.  I’ve tried making her favourite foods, but nothing seemed to make her want to eat until this Goulash.  Luckily I made a big pot so we would reheat it whenever she was hungry. It was really easy to make, so if you have a really busy week ahead of you, make this because the leftovers tasted just as good!

[gmc_recipe 3766]

Can Kale be eaten raw?

This meal was actually put together with all the leftover ingredients from other meals.  I got the macaroni for American Goulash and bought kale for the soup.  The bag of macaroni was so big and so was the kale bunch.  I knew the macaroni could be stored but I really didn’t want the kale to go to waste, so I searched around and found this kale salad.  I decided to give it a try.  It was so good that I will definitely make it again.

You can actually make this salad in advance especially if you don’t have baby kale.  The dressing will marinate the kale a little making it less raw tasting by bringing out the sweetness of the kale.  You can also season the chicken in advance and precook the macaroni to ensure a fast dinner!

[gmc_recipe 3709]

Holiday Samosas

This week, we are moving the last bit from our condo to the new house. Things are all over the place, so I usually like to do all the prep work as much as I can when I get a chance to be in the kitchen.  With this meal, it might look like a lot of work, but it was a lot easier than it looks.  I made the filling and chopped the vegetables for the soup in advance.  I placed them in the refrigerator and when it was time to eat, I just preheated the oven and started wrapping the samosas.  By the time I was done, the oven was ready for me to pop them in.  While I was waiting, I just cooked the soup.  Dinner was ready in 20 minutes.

Cooking Notes:

  • These samosas are also great as finger foods for any holiday get together.
  • You can make them even smaller if you cut the phyllo into thinner strips.
  • When you prepare the kale, save the baby leaves for the salad in the next meal.

[gmc_recipe 3673]

Shopping List 12/10/12 – 12/14/12

As we get closer and closer to the holidays, everybody is busy shopping for gifts for their loved ones. Dinner is the last thing you want to cook. This week, I am making meals with options to prepare in advance and less ingredients. This way you can do the prep work at your convenience and when you come back from a long day of work and shopping, you can have your dinner ready in no time.

Here’s the meal plan for this week:

Samosas with Kale Soup
Chicken over Creamy Macaroni & Cranberry Kale Salad
Phyllo-Wrapped Cod with Cucumber Salsa and Mashed Potatoes
American Goulash
Honey Garlic Ribs with Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad

Check your pantry

The following items should already be in your pantry. However, just double check to avoid a second trip to the grocery store.
EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Sesame oil
Red wine vinegar
Hoisin sauce
Soy Sauce
Bay Leaves
Basil
Oregano
Thyme
Ground cumin
Sugar
Salt & pepper
Honey
Canned Tomato Sauce
2 Canned Diced Tomatoes
Kidney beans
Chicken broth
6 Cups of Vegetable Stock
Dijon mustard
Butter

Produce

1 Large bunch of Kale
2 English cucumbers
Celery
1 Medium Zucchini
1 Red pepper
3 Carrots
1 Medium Tomato
1 Granny Smith apple
1 Royal Gala apple
4 Russet potatoes
3 Onions
4 oz of Fresh cranberries
1 Small Red onion
2 Lemons
1 Lime
2 Inches of Ginger
11 Cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp Fresh Tarragon
1 tbsp Fresh cilantro
2 tbsp of Fresh parsley
1 tbsp Fresh dill
2 tbsp Basil leaves

Dairy

1/4 Cup of Greek yogurt
1/2 Cup of Heavy cream
Sour cream

Dried Fruit

1 1/2 Cups of Dried cranberries

Frozen Foods

1 Cup of Frozen corn
14 Sheets of Phyllo pastry

Meat & Poultry

4 x 6oz Boneless & skinless chicken breasts
2 1/2 lb Baby back ribs
2 lbs of Lean ground beef

Nuts

1/2 Cup of Pecans
1 Cup of Pine nuts

Pasta & Noodles

4 Cups of Elbow macaroni
1 cup Quinoa

Seafood

4 x 6-8oz Cod fillets (or any white fish fillets)

MOMpreneur Award of Excellence – 2013

mompreneur-awardGleeful Gourmets is a proud nominee of the “MOMpreneur Award of Excellence 2013!” The Top 10 Finalists depend upon your votes! Please take a few minutes to vote for Gleeful Gourmets by clicking the banner and click VOTE NOW! You can vote once a day until January 31. Thank you for your support!

Mom in the kitchen

What inspired you to become a mompreneur?

After a 5 year corporate assignment in Asia got cut short, I came back to Canada with a new phase of my life. My family now included a baby girl, Glee. It was really difficult to focus on job hunting while caring for Glee. It was quite a transition and I became lost. I could return to the financial industry, however thinking back, I remembered how demanding it could be. I used to do 60-80 hours per week as a sales manager and my evenings and weekends were reserved for meetings. Even if I could get my foot back in the door, I wasn’t sure if that same lifestyle would allow me to see Glee very much. I refused to choose between career and family. That’s when I had to take my life into my own hands. I wanted flexibility to spend time with my family, excitement to keep me going each day, and diversity to continually challenge my creative side. So I followed my heart and started Gleeflgourmets.com. The concept is to help busy families with their daily dinner planning. I do their meal plans so they will never have to ask the question, “What’s for dinner?” ever again!

We are different

How is Gleeful Gourmets Different?

Food blogs and recipe sites have exploded since the internet age. There are millions of recipes available at your finger tips. The advantage of recipe sites is that you can search for anything and everything. The only thing is that you have to know what you are looking for to fully take advantage of the search; even then there are too many of the same recipes that you have to sort through. Food blogs on the other hand feature special recipes and it comes with a story which makes them attractive. Most people think it is a weekend thing where they can try the new special recipes. Others who want to use it as a daily dinner source find that most blogs are not frequently updated. Also sometimes the recipes are really complicated, and more often than not the food looks better than it tastes. That’s why Gleeful Gourmets is a little different. We will bring you the best of both worlds with 5 featured meal plans each week that are designed to taste great and easy to make for your family!

Tall Tree

My Biggest Challenge As A MOMpreneur:

The biggest challenge of being a mompreneur is handling every aspect of the business by myself. When things are not going well or as planned, I start doubting the business idea and my own abilities. I feel very lonely and start to think that maybe getting a traditional job is a better idea.

To get out of that negative mode, the trick is to focus on the positives about the business such as my best sales month, highest hit on the site, the positive feedback and comments. I need to dig deep and remind myself as to why I started this business in the first place; to have my freedom and the flexibility to have more time with my loved ones.

I would also call the people who cared and believed in me. Their words of encouragement were like magic because it gave me strength to face the challenges and helped me see the problems a lot smaller. So thank you friends and family for your on-going support! Words cannot express how grateful I am to have you all in my life! Thank you for giving me the motivation to carry on though those tough days! Love always!

Kari

What Will The Prize Allow My Business To Do?

Meet my editor, Kari Snorek!

Not only is she my editor, she’s one of my greatest friends. Currently she’s been working every week on short deadlines to do all of the editing on GG!

As gleefulgourmets.com is a new concept, it is under marketed. We believe that once this concept is seen and understood by the busy moms and dads, they will appreciate how much time and headaches this will save them. Having said that because they are busy, the marketing has to be very specific so that it will catch their attention. I am confident that the prizes will allow Gleeful Gourmets to properly market ourselves to the right target market.

Hoping that with the right marketing, GG can be come more profitable so Kari can get paid!