Sunday, April 17, 2011

MPM--Spring Break!

I have deliberately hidden my head in the sand that it is mid-April. No, the taxes are done, but I cannot breathe if I think about how close to summer we are coming. So, this is my practice week for summer. I tried not to overplan, and just have some activity ideas and we'll go from there. But first, it is Palm Sunday (for you kind folks who read when I post and not from MPM), so a link to our fun food item du jour: Hearts of Palm Dip. I found a fun site called Catholic Cuisine, and they have lots of fun ideas for Holy Week and making the week accessible to kids through food. So I'll let you know how the dip goes. Tonight we have a fundraiser dinner at Peace A Pizza, so that should be fun and I am always happy to not have to cook. But the rest of the week...

And a quick question: any great ideas for things that are not food to stuff in Easter eggs? And do you have a fruit salad recipe you love?

Monday: hot dogs from the funniest meal fail of the week. Well, fail is such a strong word...we went to tailgate in a monsoon. It was very fun, but the driving rain and flooding did keep all but the heartiest away, so there are leftover everythings. Which is also fun. I don't have whole wheat orzo, but I have regular orzo and will make the Heidi Swanson orzo with broccoli pesto to go with them

Tuesday: taco Tuesday!

Wednesday: I am hoping to be at the beach this night so look for me and the boys on the boardwalk. Ahhhh....

Thursday: Baseball practice night so something quick. There will be taco leftovers for one boy, and probably I'll make noodles for the other. But we'll see. I have a few other things in the fridge (carrot and avocado salad, maybe, and I couldn't resist the supercheap kale...).

Friday: It's Good Friday. I am planning to not buy any food specifically for today (so no run to the store for that one last ingredient).

Saturday: we'll see what's around...and we'll be making macaroni & cheese and fruit salad for Easter brunch.

So, the week started with the brining. I couldn't wait until Wednesday, and I needed more healthy food to offset the junk I knew the kids would have at the indoor play place fundraiser. Since Kathleen was interested in the results, I did two brines: one with the original "recipe" (2 T sugar, 3 T salt [I used kosher]), and one with just the salt (halved the water and the salt) and threw one chicken breast in the modified version. That made it very interesting. After I brined them and rinsed in cold water, I followed my favorite lazy chicken baking system and put them in my shallow Corningware round tray, covered in foil, and baked at 375 for 45 minutes. When I took them out, they were definitely bigger than the ones that I don't brine, and were clearly more moist. They had almost poached themselves with the foil. The one that I did in just salt was fine but was (wait for it) a little salty. The regular ones were not as salty tasting; the sugar must cut it somehow. But it was a good technique, and almost as easy as my favorite Crazy Jane's chicken. I'll bet it's awesome on the grill.

And of course I'm a sucker for Dinner: A Love Story so while I was making the quinoa for the pesto anyway, I made enough for their quinoa salad. I would have never thought to roast the tomatoes with honey, and while I won't do it every time, I did like the little kick of sweetness it brought. And the salad was awesome, even without the parsley, which I thought I had but had instead liquified on the bottom of the drawer (oops). Also: I roasted them way more than an hour, because of course the heat of the oven makes the liquids swell so the tomatoes don't look shriveled until you pull them out and they cool off. Still yummy, though.

And did I say "we" would finish up the non-meat corn dogs? I believe I meant the kids would. Because I am past the corn dog stage of my life, I am afraid. The one with cheese inside is a different story, though I don't know whether I could finish all of one of those either. But even without the hot dog of questionable provenance, the corn dogs just skeeve me out at this point. We didn't turn out going that route--things went a little crazy on Friday afternoon and we picked up pizza, which was awesome.

Have a wonderful Holy Week/Passover/whatever you celebrate! And for inspiration of the culinary kind, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! for more menu plans.

1 comment:

Mom24 said...

I know I need to brine, sadly, I just don't make the time for it, but everything you read says it's better.

Those tomatoes sounded fantastic at DALS, I'm going to have to try them sometime.

Enjoy your week, though it doesn't sound like much of a break. :)

I can not wait for summer. The only downside is how very fast it will go by.