Sunday, June 28, 2009

MPM--On Steroids

Hello Menu Planners!

Ok, the steroids were actually last week. My hale and hearty son woke up one morning with both ears red, and as the morning went on, one grew to twice the size of the other. I called the doctor to see what was appropriate to put on it and they had me come in to check it. Turns out it was poison ivy, which was a relief, though one more thing to put on the list of things to look out for with him.

And they put him on steroids. Which make him VERY TOUCHY and a little ENERGETIC and somewhat SHORT TEMPERED if he doesn't get to act on every impulse RIGHTNOW! Which, honestly, isn't too far from normal but it was rather dialed up.

So I was awfully grateful to not need to go to the store this week.

Oh, hi, EDF participants. Really, I was going to talk about that too.

Ok, to be realistic, I went to the store. I bought milk and bread to replace the milk and bread my boys consumed. And I only did so after checking the freezer to make sure there was no bread-like product we could use instead. Reviews of last week's meals, with recipe links, are below. And that was it! I really do overshop and need to get better about it.

This week, I'm continuing with EDF, just for fun. So here's the menu:

Monday: I can't be the only woman in America salivating over the Pioneer Woman's Spring Shells, as raved about by Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer and BooMama. And thanks to generous friends with good gardens, I'm good to go.

Tuesday: I found some Turkey Shepherd's Pie in the freezer and will make mashed potatoes to top it.

Wednesday: Tacos for all! My husband and I will work on the cabbage from the CSA and the cans in the pantry with the black bean tacos. They were a huge hit last time and I hope they are again. Also, we're using Jora's spice blend and tortillas I have already so I only need the meat for the boy's taco here.

It's from here, in a gracious replay in the comments, but I'll reprint here too. And look! Using more things from my cabinets! :)

Taco Seasoning Mix

6 tsp. Chili Powder
2 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
5 tsp. Paprika
3 tsp. Onion Powder
4 1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 t. salt

Use 1/4 c. (or so) of mix and add one cup of water, to one pound of cooked ground beef/turkey/chicken. Simmer for a few minutes until it thickens a bit.

Thursday: our rescheduled Town Picnic! Our last name falls in the "bring an entree for 3x the size of your family" category. I have a bag of Ikea meatballs and packets of Swedish meatballs sauce...not a traditional picnic favorite but I bet it will be popular! Or, if that doesn't seem to be in the cards, I have a ton of hot dogs in the freezer and will just need to pick up buns, which are on sale at Target.

Friday: Sweet potato chili.

Lunches for me will include frozen Trader Joe's pizzas and flatbreads.

And all I will need for this week's fun: 2 lemons, 2 limes, ground meat (turkey or beef) for tacos; and an avocado (to splurge). So it's not ALL from the freezer/pantry, but darned close. How long can we go with this? Could be interesting to see! Or just interesting to me. But honestly, it's a little alarming to see how much I've stockpiled without good reason. (As I've mentioned, I do like to have some bottled water [which we usually do not use] and some open-and-eat meals/snacks really available just in the you-never-know category--hurricanes, etc. But there's no reason for the massive amount of STUFF we have. I can do better in dialing it down a notch, and actually MAKING the things I bought all the stuff for, since I do a lot of shopping for recipes I forget about later. Sigh.)

As to last week...the meals were great. We started with the amazing beef tenderloin, which I'd hoped to grill but was thwarted by the weather, so I went back to Rachael Ray and her recipe from here, only without the scallops or artichoke hearts or even the sherry sauce (tried it, didn't like it). This has really been the most effective way to get that nice caramelization, I've found, and the seasoning-after seemed to help too. Yum.

Tuesday, I tried the feta and sausage quinoa bake and was proud of myself for doing so. (One child napped. That was immensely helpful. Even though it wasn't the one on steroids.) I used a box of frozen spinach instead of fresh (which normally I would never do, which is pathetic) and used some frozen Trader Joe's chicken sausage with spinach and fontina. I also doubled it, sort of, since the recipe was for two, and used all four sausages, all of the box of spinach, and 3/4 C quinoa, which doubled when cooked and was the base. I was concerned; it didn't even call for salt and pepper, and without the oil wouldn't it be dry? But it was really good--it tasted like Italian wedding soup, minus the soup. Downside: my kids would not touch it for love or money. But I enjoyed it and it did a great job using stuff in my fridge!

The rest of the week worked out mostly as planned...I was unhappy to discover that I did not enjoy the crab sauce or gnocchi as much as I had in the past...changing taste buds? Too long in the freezer? Not sure. We also made the Trader Joe's chocolate croissants (all in the spirit of emptying the fridge, really!) but they may have been too old too...the directions said to "proof" them (let them rise overnight) and promised we'd be amazed at how much they'd grow. Instead, in the morning, they were the exact same size, or pretty close to it, as they were when we got them from the freezer. So while that was a disappointment, the taste wasn't--yum.

Have a good week; and for more inspired menus, try I'm an Organizing Junkie! And if you (unlike me) have a good organizing tip or two, do scroll down to her last post; you could be featured in a national magazine!

1 comment:

brandy101 said...

oh those frozen croissants...

I proof them overnight in the oven on a baking sheet sprayed w. pam. They usually at least double if not triple in size.

It is possible yours were freezer burned/dried out and the yeast died off in them.

I can never keep mine in the freezer long b/c when family finds out they are there, they demand I make them at the first opportunity!

I also brush them in the morning with raw egg prior to baking, which gives them a lovely color and sheen.