Aaaand...we're off! There's no getting around the holidays now. We've had three cookie swaps, two poinsettia fundraisers, and a party (in a pear tree...no, not really, but couldn't resist) this week. The upcoming week is just as whirlwind. It's so hard striking the balance between full-on holiday mode and enough time to let the family recharge. But we're trying...meal planning is part of it.
Things went well last week, for the most part. We flipped around a little and added tacos for my son, who obliged by eating FOUR of them. The experiment of the week was the crockpot Dijon-maple chicken. I'm lousy about remembering amounts of what I need at the supermarket so I had 2 lbs of chicken and doubled the recipe. (Besides, with my 6-quart slow cooker, it makes more sense anyway.) The flavor was good but I would have liked a thicker sauce and would double all but 3 bay leaves and only one cup of chicken stock. I also would have submerged the sweet potatoes as mine discolored. They tasted fine but looked unappetizing.
But the cookies...well, the cranberry blondies were awesome, and The Best Babysitter in the World's add-ins (recipe below) were a huge hit as usual. We enjoyed several other cookies (the chocolate chip gingerbread and the thumbprints come to mind) from the cookie swaps. And now we're just about out so I might bake another batch this week. But the kitchen is finally recovering and it makes it hard to want to get in to another round.
So, this week, another round of strangeness but we're looking forward to it. And I'm trying to be good to myself: I made a big pot of "Zero Point Soup" (courtesy of my Weight Watchers friends); it's pretty good and will make a good, nourishing lunch for me for the week.
Sunday: Apricot Glazed Chicken (remember Dave Lieberman?), made with boneless skinless breasts and still good; sauteed spinach; basmati rice. This is a really good chicken-for-a-crowd recipe and I usually have everything in it in my kitchen already.
Monday: Crock pot pork roast; mashed potatoes; salad; roasted broccoli (trying a new recipe from the paper, will let you know if it goes well)
Tuesday: I'm out at a potluck. I'm bringing most of the chicken, but leaving some at home for my husband and boys. I'll also make a ton of rice for both to go with it, and the boys will probably have applesauce or some other fruit or leftover broccoli.
Wednesday: Pulled pork sandwiches; salad; crockpot roasted vegetables or curried veggies (another recipe I'll post if it goes well).
Thursday: Leftovers or (probably) noodles for the boys. I'm out again at a mutual 40th birthday celebration with a friend (mine was 2 weeks ago, hers is two weeks from this night).
Friday: Out for pizza, I hope.
The bonus to this week? I needed to buy only things like broth, a zucchini or two (for the soup) and the meat and otherwise everything was in my fridge.
Other recipes I'm hoping to make this week: rosemary flatbread for the party since I love it and no one else in my family does, the cookies above, and if the pork goes fast, I might make Garlic Roast Chicken With Rosemary and Lemon for the weekend.
The Best Babysitter in the World's "Add-In" Cookies
1 stick very soft butter or margarine
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 egg (beaten)
1 cup flour
1/2-3/4 C Old Fashioned Oatmeal (rolled oats--*not instant or quick oats*)
~1/2 bag chocolate chips
~1 1/4 cup raisins (with this combo add 1 tsp cinnamon to dough)
Heat oven to 350.
Mix butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Mix to creamy; add in egg.
Slowly add in flour and baking powder (dough will be sticky).
Fold in oatmeal and add-in of choice; drop on to lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.
The add-ins I use almost exclusively with this recipe are dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Especially at holiday time, they are festive and look nice on the table.
And this is yet another reason we are eternally grateful that The Best Babysitter in the World is a part of our lives! We think of her (and how much better she is at baking these cookies) every time we make them!