Sunday, April 10, 2011

MPM--The Comfort Isn't Just the Food

So, this week I'm back in the "try stuff, you might like it" mode. And there were a couple of winners, which will be listed after next week's menu.

First, a quick question, and an appreciation. The question: What do you do for on-the-go dinners? We have lots of gymnastics-to-baseball nights, or 5:15 lacrosse games coming up. I'm faking it so far but I would love something I could bring that won't break the bank.

And, the appreciation: I just love my vintage Corningware. It cleans so easily, doesn't have any of the BPA issues of plastic, lets me cook on stovetop or in the oven, goes from refrigerator to oven and back...and just looks so homey. But with dishwashers cleaning less effectively, it's really the cleanup that's making me swoon right now. The French White stuff is pretty too, but you can't beat the cornflower blue for the nod to childhood. At least mine.

OK, end of unpaid endorsement. I've been cleaning out cabinets and closets and rediscovered the Corningware and wondered how I ever let it slip out of daily use.

This week:

Monday: I'm loathe to even say it, but we're eating out. The reason I hate to say it: we'll be at an indoor playground for a school fundraiser. A portion of the food sales support the Home and School Association. But the food is gross so I will be offering all kinds of things before we go (oranges! bananas! applesauce!) and sneaking in something for me.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, of course. I have sweet potatoes again so here's hoping I get to that this time.

Wednesday: a new technique for chicken breasts, highly recommended from my aunt: brined chicken breasts, rice, broccoli

Thursday: leftovers, augmented if needed by the freezer

Friday: pesto quinoa for the kids again (we did skip it last week, I'm not in that big a rut)...and freezer fish for the grownups. (The TJ's prepared scallops were scotched for the Phillies fish recipe in honor of the Phillies' first week back to the regular season (holla!). We'll see, though; we have a baseball game that night so I might try to finish up those non-meat corn dogs that are sucking up valuable real estate in my freezer.

Last week:

First, the clear home run: pineapple pork chops. Prep time: less than five minutes. Might have been less than three if I weren't also supervising spelling homework and doing laundry. (I had the jarred ginger and used that.) And the three of us who eat Things Which Are Not Beige loved it--all four chops were polished off that night. Woohoo! This is definitely one to try and will be part of the rotation here.

Another winner, but in a more limited capacity: the banana-cashew smoothie from Real Simple. Easy, forgiving (I would be embarrassed to tell you how many days my cashews soaked), and a great use of my frozen bananas. The grownups loved this. Kids were not as enthralled, but we thought it was terrific.

And on Taco Tuesday, my husband was at a ballgame (you're welcome, honey) so I made the 101 Cookbooks quesadilla recipe. Eggs are just all over the place right now, aren't they? And I am frankly tired of tacos and am continuing to look for ways to jazz them up for me. This was a fun little experiment, and got me through a taco Tuesday, but I'm not sure I'll do it again, at least this way. I did like it as a breakfast sandwich later in the week with some of my favorite pico de galo instead of the capers, and actually think that with regular sour cream, tomatoes and/or salsa and cheddar--this would be excellent. Or I might also try it with lime in the cream instead of lemon, but I'm just crazy for limes.

We also revisited some favorites--the edamame and cherry tomato salad, the hot chicken salad, the roasted cod (or in this case, haddock) and the green bean salad with pickled red onions, all on the sidebar, all still winners, at least for the grownups. Especially the pickled onions. Mmmmmmm.

What are you making this week? Go see I'm an Organizing Junkie! for some great menu planning ideas!


Anjali said...

We plan our leftovers for those nights we are out. My entire week's planning is based on what nights we'll be out, so I cook extra the night before and have enough leftovers. It's far less stressful, and it means we'll be eating something healthier as opposed to something unhealthier that we've thrown together.

On evenings where we're somewhere with unhealthy food-- I serve the kids dinner right afterschool in lieu of a snack. Most afternoons they are ravenous anyway, and then they eat less junk at said unhealthy location.

Kathleen said...

I'll be curious about how the brining comes out! Sounds interesting!

Mom24 said...

When my boys were in baseball I would often feed them before we went, then take a picnic for the rest of us--salads, sandwiches, etc. It made the time at practice pass more quickly for the younger ones, and there was never time to eat in advance between when Mark got home from work and we had to go.

Pyrex is good stuff, it's funny what we lose sight of using, isn't it?