Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Meal Planning 8.29.11

I am in total shock right now after writing the title for today's post, because we're in the final days of August already. How in the heck did that happen so fast? I'm sure the month has passed in the blink of an eye because of how busy we've been, and it's just about to get even more busy! Here is what we busy people are planning to eat this week:

Monday: Take Out

Tonight we have Gabbie's preschool open house (she starts next week!) and then Gabbie's first ballet class, so I'm not even going to pretend to have time to cook. Chinese it is!

Tuesday: Twice Baked Potatoes, Salad

One of my favorite, fairly simple meals. So, so good and comforting!

Wednesday: Pepperoncini Beef, green beans

I didn't end up making this last week, but I want it really, really bad, so we're having it this week for sure.

Thursday: Oven-baked ratatouille and bread (Plus possibly some rosemary ranch grilled chicken kabobs so that there's something other than bread that Gabbie will eat)

Friday: Burritos, Quick Spicy Rice

Saturday: ??

We haven't decided what we're doing for the weekend, so I didn't plan that far ahead. I cannot wait for the 3-day weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Meal Planning 8.22.11

Last week was a week of easy, dad-doable meals like sloppy joes, hot dogs, french fries, and macaroni and cheese, because I was out of town for most of the week. Then we were bad and ate out all weekend (except for breakfasts; I  made awesome breakfasts), so I'm forcing us to eat in all week, using all the wonderful produce we have from the CSA,the meat we have stocked in our freezer, and ingredients from my overflowing pantry. Even though I'm (really not, because I have a lot) limited to what I have on hand, we're eating pretty well.

Monday: Aloo Gobhi, vegetable rice, naan (and possibly baba ganoush to use up an eggplant before it goes bad)

I'm making the rice slightly more fancy than plain basmati, because I have a feeling Gabbie won't eat the cauliflower and potatoes. I'll start by sauteing onions in butter, use broth instead of water to steam the rice, and add in carrots, peas, and possibly corn to give it a little more nutritional punch. Because otherwise, my carb loving child would eat just bread and rice, and I just can't let that happen.

Tuesday: Stuffed zucchini, bread, fruit salad

We're down to our last gargantuan zucchini, and I plan to stuff the whole thing (it's seriously about 18 inches long) with all sorts of tasty vegetables and sausage. Aaron didn't notice the turkey sausage last time, but I'm a little wary of buying any right now due to recent ground turkey recalls, so he gets the full fat version this time. Really, though, it's only about 1/2 a pound at the most that I usually put in, so it could be worse.

Wednesday: Pepperocini beef sandwiches, sweet potato fries, cole slaw

There was a buy-one-get-one sale on roasts at the store last week, so I have 4 roasts to use up now (it ended up being about $2 per pound, I really couldn't pass it up!). I also have a jar and a half of pepperocinis in the fridge, so this works out perfectly. I've been making my sweet potato fries seasoned lately, using paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and they're fantastic.

Thursday: Marinated hot dogs, potato salad, fresh vegetables and dip

I read about marinated hot dogs a while ago, and was completely intrigued, so they're on the menu this week. I'm also making Aaron's grandma's recipe for potato salad, and if she told me the truth and it works out, I'll share the recipe. She's famous for leaving out "the secret ingredient," so you can understand why I'm feeling a little dubious.

Friday: Baked sweet potato and black bean burritos, quick spicy rice cheesified

I was looking for a second vegetarian recipe to add for the week, and these just look fantastic, plus they got great reviews, so they're going on here. I made a "cheesified" (TM Aaron) version of my quick spicy rice last weekend, and it was a hit, so I'll probably make it to go with these. Basically, I made the rice, then mixed it with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and a little softened butter, and baked it for 20 minutes, and then we all devoured the entire caserole dish worth in ten minutes flat (we had help from my parents and sister, lest you think we are complete gluttons).

Saturday: Pasta with pepperoni sauce, foccacia, salad

This is what you make when you have plenty of pepperoni and pizza dough left over from recent pizza making experiences, and a sick-of-pizza husband. (I really think he's just sick of the mess I make when I make pizza. I manage to get corn meal everywhere, I admit.)

Sunday: ???

Either leftovers, brinner, or a last minute, what do we have that needs to be used type meal. Or beer can chicken, because I've really been wanting to make that.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creamy Chicken Quesadillas and Quick Spicy Rice

Side note to start off this post: Ignore that this does not at all match what I had on my meal plan for this week. My family has revolted and vetoed pretty much everything on that list or told me that they want it this weekend instead and I am about to scream because why can't I have what I want, stupid having-to-compromise sucks royally, and yes, I'm a little cranky, why do you ask?

*Breathes Deep Breaths*

Last night I wanted something for dinner that was both quick and would create leftovers for lunch today (to help out with my August Challenge of not eating out at all (3 days in and so far, so good!)). I stumbled across this recipe, which fit the bill pretty perfectly. Then I got home and found that I had neither (a) corn, nor (b) black beans, but decided, screw it, I'm making them anyway. So I fudged it a little bit.

Then, when I was almost done cooking, a certain person in my house, who is not the one who usually speaks in "Whine," started whining that there was no side dish to accompany the quesadillas, so I whipped up some rice to go on the side. And, lo, it all turned out delicious and everyone (except the pre-schooler, who didn't feel like eating anything because she survives on air and squeezy yogurts) enjoyed the heck out of the meal.

And because everything was so tasty, I thought I'd share what I did here, in case you, too, need a quick, easy meal on a weeknight when you would much rather be in bed eating a giant ice cream sundae.

Creamy Chicken Quesadillas
Adapted from Sugared Whisk

4 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. water
1 chicken bullion cube
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 c. shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
4 burrito sized flour tortillas
butter for the pan

In a sauce pan, mix together cream cheese, water, and the herbs and spices. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the bullion is dissolved and the cream cheese has melted and incorporated. Add chicken and cook until heated through.

Melt a little butter in a skillet, swirling to coat. Place one tortilla in the pan, and on one half of the tortilla sprinkle on 1/8 of the cheese, top with 1/4 of the chicken mixture, and sprinkle 1/8 of the cheese on top of that. Flip over the the other half of the tortilla, and press down. Cook until browned, then flip and brown the other side. Remove from the pan. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas, fillings.

Quick Spicy Rice

1 can Rotel (heat level of your choosing)
1 1/4 c. water
1 chicken bullion cube
1 c. rice (I used basmati because that's what I had on hand; cooking time may vary based on rice)

Combine the Rotel, water, chicken bullion cube and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then add rice. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is soft. Remove from heat, and stir with a fork to fluff. Let sit 5 minutes.

We didn't do this, but thought it would be delicious - Combine cooked quick spicy rice with sour cream and shredded cheese. Stir together and place in a small casserole dish. Top with more shredded cheese. Bake (probably at 350 for 20 minutes) until heated through and bubbly.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Meal Planning 8.1.11

I'm sitting here in disbelief that it's August already. August! The last month of summer! The last month before my oldest starts preschool! I'm so not ready for all of this!

Anyway, we still have to eat, so here's what we're having this week:

Monday: Spice-rubbed rib-eye with Bar Americain Steak Sauce, Grilled Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Mayonaise, and steamed fresh peas

For Aaron's birthday back in May, I bought him a Bobby Flay cookbook to inspire him to use our new grill. He decided he didn't really want it, but never took it back, and now we're stuck with the cookbook, so we're using it tonight. We also have some fresh peas from my parents' garden which need to be used (and Sophie gets peas for the first time tonight!), so those will be accompanying this dinner as well. Fresh peas are one of my favorite foods, hands down.

Tuesday: Perfect poached eggs and sauteed kale on toast, fruit salad

As adventurous as I usually am in the kitchen, I've never tried to poach an egg the traditional way. Well, I'm trying it this week. Wish me luck!

Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese, brats and hot dogs, broccoli

This is a request from Gabbie, and I don't know why I'm giving in, because she almost never eats the macaroni and cheese even though she swears that she will! I was inspired this recipe for the macaroni and cheese, so I think I'll try something similar, leaving out the taco-type ingredients (and then making it as written next time, because, yum!).

Thursday: Garlic Greens and White Beans over Polenta

I may be the only person in my family that eats this meal, but it sounds completely heavenly to me. There will be leftovers and other options for the nay-sayers if there are any. I'll win them over on polenta eventually, I swear!

Friday: Pot Stickers, Vegetable Fried Rice

I have been making pizza of some sort every Friday for a couple of months now, but I think it's time to change it up and do home-made take-out type dishes. We all love pot stickers, and I have a pound of ground pork in the freezer, so these fit perfectly. The fried rice is an awesome way to use up extra CSA vegetables that we haven't gotten to yet. Plus, I love fried rice like no one's business.

Saturday: Fajitas on the Grill, Southwest Corn Dip

We bought a beautiful skirt steak yesterday, and I think fajitas (something like this recipe) sound like the perfect way to use them up. Yum! Also, the first corn is arriving at Farmers' Markets in the area lately, so I will be there ready to grab a bag full of fresh sweet corn.

Sunday: Something with Zucchini, fruit salad

I have zucchini coming out of my ears lately, so I need new ways to use them up. This recipe for zucchini pie/quiche is a strong contender, and uses up a bunch of other stuff I have in the house already.

Preschool Lunch Ideas:

What do you send with your kid for lunch? My preschooler has recently decided to eshew all foods that were previously deemed the only foods she would eat and I'm at a loss. She would eat yogurt and crackers every day for every meal, accompanied only by candy, if she could get away with it. Which she can't. So help me out, if you would. I'm fresh out of ideas!


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