Monday, November 22, 2010

(Not) Monday Meal Planning 11.22.10

There's no meal plan this week, because we're eating engirely out of our freezer until Thursday. I only have enough stamina these days to do one big task a week and cooking Thanksgiving dinner (and cleaning up the house beforehand) is what is getting that stamina.

Instead I thought I'd post my Thanksgiving Meal Plan, complete with recipe links in case you still need something to round out your menu. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

(P.S. In case you do want to cook something delicious other than Thanksgiving dinner this week, my household strongly recommends this recipe (that we had for dinner last night) for Asian Meatball Subs with Hoisin Mayonaise.)

Turkey Breast (using this brine)
Mashed Potatoes (we haven't decided on whether to do the extra baking step or not)
Gravy (I put the drippings in a ziplock bag and cut the corner, stopping pouring when before the fat reaches the hole, and then pretty much use the rest of this method.)
Stuffing (my mom's secret recipe, so I don't know the details, but it's delicious!)
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Parker House Rolls
Pumpkin Pie (from the Fannie Farmer cookbook - it makes two pies!)
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie (I haven't settled on a recipe yet, but this one is near the top of the stack)
(Plus I'm making Sweet Potato Pie (recipe number 2 on that page, substituting bourbon for the rum) and Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie for Aaron's work party on Wednesday)

Then with leftovers, we're planning Mashed Potato Quesadillas (I'll share the recipe if it works out the way I envision) and Hot Browns made with Welsh Rarebit. Yum!

Can you tell I rely heavily on my Fannie Farmer cookbook for Holiday dishes? It's great for traditional type recipes and everything I've made from the book has turned out delicious. It was my first ever cookbook and I love it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Meal Planning 11.15.10

When I sat down to plan our meals for the week yesterday morning, I could not think of a single thing to put on the list. That rarely happens to me, as there are usually a few recipes I'm dying to try. So I surfed around the 'net for a while, then I surfed around my archives for a while, and I managed to put together several recipes that should suffice. This whole thing is made doubly hard since I can barely fit any food in my stomach lately, as it's being squished by the baby. Being able to only take a bite or five of food kind of kills my will to cook. However, there's the whole having a family to feed thing that takes precedence, so I will soldier on.

Monday: Taco Rice

Quick and easy tonight since we have tumbling class. I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and then again yesterday when I was surfing for ideas, and it sounds like some amazing comfort food. Now I just have to try to avoid mixing the rice with melted butter, sour cream, and cheddar cheese before adding the toppings, even though I think that sounds totally better.

Tuesday: Pot Stickers and Sesame Noodles, Edamame

We still have pot stickers in the freezer (I apparently made a HUGE batch), so we'll be eating those with a side of sesame noodles. I'm halving the recipe for the noodles because it takes us forever to make it through a whole pound of them.

Wednesday: Coconut Curry Butternut Squash, Rice, Naan

We have approximately a dozen butternut squashes (plus assorted other squash) from our CSA so it's time to start using them up. This recipe has become a total comfort food in our house because it's so good and filling.

Thursday: Egg Salad Melts, Fruit

I didn't get to these last week, but the craving is strong so they WILL be happening this week.

Friday: Leftovers/Take-out

Saturday: Pizza

I still haven't gotten around to making this pizza recipe, but it needs to happen soon, and I'm thinking Saturday will be the perfect day for it. I'm planning to top it with pepperoni and black olives (my current favorite topping combination).

Sunday: Something in the crock pot.

I haven't decided what to make for Sunday yet, but there are a few possibilities, including Italian Pot Roast, Split Pea Soup, and Jamaican Red Bean Stew

And now, for Toddler Lunch Ideas:

(As an aside, do you know what kills me? It's when my child will scarf something down at dinner time, eating second and even third servings, and then when I send the same thing to lunch for her two days later, she won't even touch it. I just don't get it.)

Monday: Bagel and cream cheese, mandarin oranges, peas
Tuesday: Soy dog, cheese slice, carrot sticks, grapes
Wednesday: Grilled cheese, green pepper slices, strawberries
Thursday: Edamame, naan slices, yogurt, sliced peaches
Friday: English muffin pizza, yogurt, fruit strip

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Meal Planning 11.8.10

Well, even though I totally failed at NaBloPoMo once again (darn those weekend and having too much fun to remember to post!), I'm going to try to post at least most weekdays through this month, if not every weekday. I have a huge backlog of recipes to post about and I'm ready to get them up. Call it nesting: blog version, if you will.

Here are the meals planned for this week:

Monday: Hearty Black Bean Soup, Crescent Rolls

I need something fast and filling on Monday nights for the next six weeks because Gabbie has tumbling class across town at 6:45. This recipe looks like it will fit the bill, and is full of beans which are among her favorite foods.

Tuesday: Aaron's Spaghetti, Salad, Garlic Bread

It has been a while since we've eaten Aaron's specialty: spaghetti. We use a jarred sauce, and add browned sausage, and sauteed mushrooms and zuchini. It's heavenly. Add in that every time we ask Gabbie what she wants for dinner she says "noodles and sauce", and this one should be a hit. Except for with the baby, who kicks like the dickens after I eat tomato sauce and causes me to have horrible heartburn. Oh, well. It's good enough that it makes it worth what will ensue after the meal.

Wednesday: Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Eggs

I have been looking forward to this meal since I saw the recipe last week, and it immediately went on the meal plan. (Although we'll probably substitute a regular green pepper for the poblano so Gabbie can eat it too.) I love a good brinner!

Thursday: Asian Beef Skewers, Edamame

Another of Aaron's favorites and helps satisfy a red meat craving I've been dealing with lately. I have to admit, one thing I'm looking forward to most about not being pregnant any more (besides getting to have a little itty bitty baby, of course) is a meal consisting of a medium-rare steak with bleu cheese butter and a glass of red wine. Aaron has already been forewarned that this will be happening.

Friday: Leftovers

Because there's no way we can eat all this food, even with leftovers for lunch every day of the week.

Saturday: Out

Aaron is headed to beer camp (excuse me, deer camp) this weekend, so my sister is coming to stay with us and we'll probably take Gabbie out for Girls' Night Out. It should be a blast!

Sunday: Grandma's Open-Faced Egg Salad Sandwiches, veggies and dip

This one doesn't sound that appealing at first glance, but stick with me here, because I promise it's great comfort food. Plus, we just found a place that is on my way home that will supply us with farm fresh eggs all winter, and I can't wait to try them. Our first pick up is at the end of the week, otherwise I'd be eating this before Sunday. I'll post the recipe with a picture next week.

Now for Toddler Lunch Ideas

Monday: Grapes, Carrots, Yogurt, Crackers (as requested by her tiny highness)
Tuesday: Cheese Quesadilla, Mandarin Oranges
Wednesday: Mini Bagel with Strawberry Cream Cheese, Grapes, Pretzels
Thursday: Noodles and Sauce, Mandarin Oranges, Yogurt
Friday: Black bean soup, Tortilla Chips & Cheese Sauce

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend Baking 11.5.10

When it gets to be this time of year, my desire to bake grows increasingly strong. Probably because it makes the house warmer and deliciously scented, but also because of the holidays. There are several things I'd like to bake this weekend, but I'm going to have to pick one or two because it's not possible for us to eat all of the food we currently have in the house. I'm going to have to split this list up over several weeks, but that's okay. Something to look forward to, right?

On my list are:

Are you baking this weekend? What are you making? What else is on your list?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Frito Pie

Last month on Twitter, I saw The Bloggess mention something about Frito Pie. Curious, I Googled the term and quickly added Fritos to my grocery list. Frito pie is a simple, delicious dish, provided you already have chili and fixin's on hand. Since we were planning to eat chili that weekend, it was perfect timing. I fixed my self a bowl, and it was bliss at first bite. I will definitely be making sure I have Fritos on hand from now on when I make chili. I also think this would be a great recipe for a party, as people could customize their dishes as they like.

Frito Pie

In a bowl, layer following ingredients as desired. Feel free to add in other chili toppings that you might prefer.

Minced Onions
Pickled Jalapeno Slices
Sour Cream (not pictured above, but a delicious addition)

Let sit for a minute to allow cheese to melt, then dive in!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our Very Serious Problem

I have an admission to make, but it's not exactly shocking. It's probably pretty common, even. My admission is this: I love pizza. I do! I love plain cheese pizza, supreme pizza, and every kind in between. Thin crust, regular crust, deep dish, Chicago style (especially Chicago style); I love it all.

But I, or rather we the people living in our house, have a problem: there are no good delivery places near where we live. Sure, a new place with pizza that is fairly edible just opened up and I LOVE their cheeseburger pizza, but they're also very expensive, so it's only a sometimes treat. There are a couple of decent pick-up places semi-nearby, but I like my pizza hot, steaming hot even, so I either have to commit to eating there or deal with cold pizza if I want something from them. And I really, strongly prefer hot pizza.

To combat this problem, we've tried making pizza at home, but nothing has been quite what we're looking for. We found a pizza sauce recipe we really like (it's seriously delicious - try it!), but we haven't been able to master the crust or toppings.  What I really want are two good recipes - one regular crust and one deep dish - to add to my repertoire so I don't have to deal with crappy pizza any more.

The other day I was reading Serious Eats, because I love that blog and Slice is a blog all about pizza (um, don't go there if you're hungry), so of course I was reading over there. (I seriously am considering installing a wood burning pizza oven in my back yard one day in the not too distant future because of that blog.) Anyway, while I was reading, I came across this: New York Style Pizza. It looks fantastic, and it looks like it will end up being made in my kitchen someday very, very soon.

I really hope this turns out to be as spectacular as I think it will. Now, off to look for the deep dish recipe of my dreams.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pigs in a (Cheesy, Oniony) Blanket

For Halloween I always try to do a themed meal, and this year we ate Mummy Dogs and Sweet Potato Fries (because they're orange). They were fun and delicious!

However, what they really did was make me crave Pigs in a Blanket like I've made before, but haven't made in a while.

To make our house favorite Pigs in a Blanket, proceed as follows:

Sauté some onions in butter until soft and golden. Then slice hot dogs down their length (but not slicing completely through) and sauté them for a few minutes, just to heat through. Put some onions in the slice, top with some shredded cheddar, and wrap it all in a crescent roll. Brush the roll with butter that was melted with a little minced garlic, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crescent rolls are cooked through. I prefer them as-is, but Aaron likes to top his with mustard. Both ways are delicious!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Meal Planning 11.1.10

I cannot believe that today is the first day of November already! The weather decided to be seasonally appropriate today (sadly) and it is pretty frigid out there. The only thing good about seasonally appropriate weather is that it makes it the perfect time to eat seasonally appropriate food. There. I think I've said "seasonally appropriate" enough.

We'll see how we do with actually eating what we plan this week. We haven't been good at it for a few weeks now, and I think making a plan and actually sticking to it will take care of some of the overwhelmed feeling I have lately. We'll see how it goes. On to the plan!

Monday: Turkey Pineapple Chili & Cornbread

I needed something super fast for tonight because we have to leave the house by 6:15 tonight for Gabbie's tumbling class. While chili is usually a long, slow dish to make, this one is ready in 10 minutes flat, and it's a house favorite.

Tuesday: Chicken Spaghetti, Steamed Broccoli

I've been wanting to try this recipe for ages, but haven't gotten around to it. I have all the ingredients at my house right now, so I don't have an excuse. Everyone raves about it, and I can't wait to dig in!

Wednesday: Crock Pot Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Sandwiches, Sweet Potatoes

I have a 3 lb pork roast in my freezer that is taking up too much space, as well as a head of cabbage, carrots, and a bunch of small white sweet potatoes (I can't wait to try them!) from our CSA, so this meal is perfect. It uses up everything I have that needs used up! Plus it has great reviews and sounds delicious to me. You can't get much better than that!

An interesting side note - my child who won't eat anything LOVES cole slaw (usually - this will be the one time she refuses to eat it, I'm sure). Bizarre, but I'll take it.

Thursday: The Best Quiche Ever!, tomato salad

After such a meat heavy few days, it seemed perfect to have a lighter meal. We get our last egg share from our CSA this week (and are VERY, VERY SAD about this, as the eggs were the best we've ever eaten), and so The Best Quiche Ever! will be fabulous, I'm sure.

Friday: Ranch Macaroni and Cheese, roasted brussels sprouts

Friday is supposed to be one of the colder days this week, so a nice comforting bowl of macaroni and cheese sounds perfect. Mmmm....

Saturday: Baked Chipotle Beef Taquitos, red rice, chips and salsa

I've made the chicken taquitos from Our Best Bites several times, but never the beef ones. I'm pretty pumped to try them though. I'll have to hold back on the chipotles and sauce so Gabbie can eat them, and substitute monterey jack for the queso fresco so I can eat them, but I think they'll still be fantastic.

Sunday: Leftovers

This looks to be a heavy cooking week, so I'm sure we'll have plenty left over for lunches AND Sunday dinner. We tend to do our bigger meal for breakfast on Sunday anyway (ricotta lemon pancakes or pumpkin maple cinnamon rolls are on tap for this week).

And then this week on "Will the Toddler Eat It/Anything" (aka Toddler Lunch Ideas):

Monday: Cheese, Crackers, Grapes, Yogurt
Tuesday:  Mini Bagel, Peanut Butter, Apple Slices, Carrot Sticks
Wednesday: Soy Dog, Green Pepper Slices, Yogurt, Banana
Thursday: "Noodles and Sauce", Broccoli, Yogurt
Friday: Pork, Cole Slaw, Kiwi, Cheese


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