Monday, January 28, 2013

MPM--Whoops, That Monday Just Got Away From Me

Well, and just like that, it's Monday already, and me without a post. All is well, just work is perking along, and kids are in a lot of activities and it's January and cold and snowy, and there's just a lot of the minutiae of life. And I couldn't be more grateful for it.

This week:

Monday: potato leek soup for parents, chicken nuggets for boys, kale chips

Tuesday: God bless Taco Tuesday.

Wednesday: Wednesday Spaghetti again. "I don't like pasta" boy has become "I only don't like spaghetti," so as long as I make a different shape for him, we are good to go. Hurrah! And I'm now addicted to Rao's sauce (which I only buy on megasale at the ShopRite for $4.99 because hello, even that is a crazy price for sauce).

Thursday: Leftover pork roast from Sunday, baked or mashed potatoes, depending on my level of ambition,

Friday: Pizza night. Yes, again.

Eating down the cabinets is going pretty well; I tried making the quinoa last week with chicken broth this time and for whatever reason, it came out gloppier and was not as big a hit. I don't know why I keep messing with success; after I try to tweak something, they often stop eating it entirely because the one tweak turned them off to the idea of that food forever. Very frustrating--both that they stop liking the tweaked food, and that I cannot seem to learn to leave well enough alone!

But they they go and switch things up on me (that's their job, though, right?); I made the cider cream chicken at the end of last week, and it was roundly dismissed by the boys, who nibbled around it and ate the rice. Wait a few days, and we brought it back out, scraped off as much sauce as we could to disguise it, only to watch both boys tuck it away, saying it was delicious. The older one even poured the end of the sauce over his rice and ate it with a spoon. Wonders may never cease. I really just need to keep saying the "big picture...big picture..." mantra here.

The Smitten Kitten broccoli "pesto" was not well received by the kids but I found it to be an excellent baked potato topping.

I also tried the Clover Lane salad dressing because I totally agree with her that once you make homemade (and the hardest part is finding a shaker bottle), it's hard to go back to store bought. I liked it a lot and it gave my kids a great lesson in emulsions, which was awesome as part of their Martin Luther King learning was about global water issues, and why oil and water don't mix but don't separate well either. The emulsion blew their minds. But back to salad dressings. My total favorite right now is Catherine Newman's (with white vinegar and marjoram, see sidebar); I also love the buttermilk dressing on the sidebar and sometimes I need to switch things up just a little. The hardest part for me is that I have been trying to keep a food log on Lose It, and all this homemade stuff is hard to log. But this is the epitome of a first world problem and a dumb reason not to do something. (Especially with how easy CalorieKing is to use.) Now: does anyone have a good homemade ranch recipe?

In a fit of snowy day cooking, I made the Hungarian mushroom soup a friend on Facebook raved about; it went over well, and would be even better over noodles in a faux-stroganoff kind of way. I made it with vegetable broth (what I had) instead of chicken and it was still good. Not sure it can be veganized further but at least it made it vegetarian and my husband ate it all too.

Finally, in a long-delayed (cabinet cleanout) project, I made the Two Fat Als toffee-almond-coconut cookies. I still love them like crazy but they are no 10-minute bake time cookie. While they are by no means healthy with all the sugar and flour, I do like the oatmeal/coconut/almond aspect and when they are finally done 20 minutes later, they are still chewy inside and have a great mouth feel, but they harden pretty dramatically. In that way they are a "tough cookie"--too little and they are clearly underbaked; too much and they are hard on the teeth. But--yum!

Last crowdsourcing of the night: anyone have a warming drawer/"double" oven in a single oven space that they love? It's new appliance time at Chez MemeGRL and while the old stove and I are on decent terms, it's time for a new one. I'm a little sorry to see her go; she and I have an understanding now. I know how to get her to the temperatures I need by feel, and I know which burner does rice perfectly or browns beef as needed. But one burner doesn't work; neither does the clock, the timer, or the broiler, so while we are appliance sale-ing anyway, it's time. Off topic, same goes if you have a washer or dryer you love or hate--I'm all ears.

Go see I'm an Organizing Junkie! to see other, better prepared lists!

1 comment:

Mom24 said...

I'll be curious to know what you learn about the ovens. Hopefully mine has a bit of life left in it, but I'd like to do the double oven in one space thing when it goes. My dad was concerned about trying to lift heavy things out of a lower oven (Thanksgiving turkey), but I can't decide how much weight I want to give that.

I have a new Maytag dryer. It's a 7.4 cu ft., it has steam and I don't like it very much. *sigh* Extremely expensive so that's a bummer. What I don't like is that at the end of the cycle it stops, then tosses the clothes for 1 tumble every five minutes for an hour. shirts and work pants wrinkle. Badly. Plus, the steam feature doesn't work as well as I thought it would. Things stay wrinkly, even with the steam refresh. I've tried setting timers and running downstairs to catch the end of the load (I can't hear the chime from upstairs, another thing I'm not so crazy about), but it will say it has 30 minutes left and when I go down in 10 it's been sitting.|1

Ranch dressing: equal parts (I often use 1/3 cup)Greek yogurt, light mayo, and buttermilk. Add a tablespoon or two of chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, a minced and smashed clove of garlic or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper. This is truly flexible, sometimes I add chopped basil, just whatever I have and I feel like. For a SW twist sub in cilantro for the parsley, leave out the onion and add in 1/2-1 tsp or so chili powder.

Have a good week!