Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Break!

Woo! I am still education nerd enough that spring break makes me excited and uneasy at the same time!  I always feel like I should be heading off somewhere like the cool kids but really--I'm a homebody at heart, and so are my kids. Happily, we live in an area with enough to do that we can be tourists without going far. But it does mean that meals will be loosey-goosey for the week.

Monday: leftover pork from last week (yum)--my husband, best dad ever, turned the "I don't think I like pork" whining into AwesomeSauceFest--he got out everything saucelike in the fridge and had a dipping contest. Even Mr. Picky loved the sriracha and was bragging that he didn't take any milk after a big bite of it. I do not get this boy. A vegetable=poison, but hot chili sauce? Bring it.

Tuesday: Duh.

Wednesday: I am loving this new anchor night. Noodles, please.

Thursday: Holy Thursday. Not sure what we'll do here. The semi-Seder is a decent plan but only my husband likes lamb-qua-lamb so maybe Indian? Palak paneer for bitter herbs and lamb biriyani? We'll see. That might be pushing it even more than nachos and zeppoli.

Friday: Good Friday. So, not much.

Saturday: pick up the ham and try not to pick at the ham. We also have a neighborhood egg hunt. I know I'm bringing water and ... I'm sure I'm going to get something else but I am not sure what.

Then it's Easter, and brunch with the family. Wishing you a wonderful break, if you are having it, and a lovely week either way!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Alas, Poor Reader, I Hardly Knew Ye

So, right when I need it most, Reader is shutting down. Boooooooo. So, now I have a deadline to finish debugging my blog.

Sigh. So here we are another week. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Last week went well; I finished my grad class! woooooooooo! So we jettisoned the Thursday crock pot for Friday. And then Friday discovered it was quite bland and not a hit, so off to two nights of pizza it was.

This week:

Today, my kids were outraged that there was no family celebration of St. Patrick's Day, so we pulled one together. I poached a salmon, for the first time ever. De-lish. I also made sprouts (cabbage like, but tastier) and we'll have corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

Monday: Joanne's Pork Tenderloin

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday--special papal edition! Tacos + Nachos (Nacho=nickname for St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, of which the pope is one), and Zeppole (for St. Joseph's Day, and to celebrate the pope's Italian heritage!).

Wednesday: Noodles.

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: March Madness Party. Not sure what we are bringing.

So, nothing exciting but a good week overall. Have a happy day, all!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Not Sure How the Pageviews Are Going Up...

But I wish any of you coming to the site good luck and know I bear you no ill will.

Hi again, and welcome to my stripped-down version of my meal planning.

Last week, I went hot and heavy in to my friend's blog, trying both her pad see ew and gyro recipes. I hope she posts some new stuff soon, because, yum. Pad see ew I talked about in the last post; as to the gyro: the chicken is prepared in a yogurt base, exactly like my all time favorite grill recipe. This has more oregano (makes sense) but otherwise--not a lot of difference. It was delicious and my only regret was not making a ton more. I will know better next time.

The gyros were only a moderate hit--as gyros. Only my husband ate them as an actual gyro; the rest had it deconstructed. The tzatziki was excellent and I will make more for just me, no gyro, this week. And I used the extra red onion to make the Smitten Kitchen pickled onions again, which really hit my food happy spot. My mouth waters just writing about them. So a qualified success, as long as you believe in the deconstructed meals version of success (and I do).

This week: I am tired and not doing much experimentation. Today I did a lot of cooking ahead. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday: London broil, asparagus, baked potatoes (sweet or Russet)

Monday: leftover buffet (pad see ew, steak from last week and maybe tonight), brussels sprouts, broccoli

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday. Hoping to use that bag of black beans with this slow cooker recipe. If it fails, no problem; beans from a can with the same taco spices I use for the meat totally works for me too.

Wednesday: Wednesday spaghetti, all by ourselves though.

Thursday: hoping to try a pinterest recipe: slow cooker root vegetable stew. It has zero chance of being popular in the house (soup; no meat; all veggies) but I am looking forward to trying it and I'm the one cooking. Plus, it will finish up a ton of stuff in my house that is on its way out one way or another.

Friday: A little unclear. Pizza night is not enjoyed as much in the no-pepperoni season, and the older one is getting his spacers for his braces this afternoon, so that makes it a challenge.

Also this week: Irish Soda Bread baking. Recipe is on the sidebar. Sigh. I'll see what I can do about pulling it off.

Meanwhile, my third of three grad classes ends this week; wish me luck, I have two papers to write and am totally freezing on them! Deep breaths...Have a great week! (PS--I'm no longer linking to Menu Planning Monday while my blog is point. Hoping I'll get back to it someday, but this is not that day!)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For Those Who Read in Reader, I Salute You

I still have no idea how to get my site out of quarantine, but the habit is hard to break. So, here I am with some random bits of news...

1) We got a new stove! Finally. It's an LG "dual oven" (top is more of a warming drawer/broiler; bottom is a "real" oven). It's more than I wanted to spend but my husband talked me in to it, pointing out that we (I) use it every day. And while I always try not to blame my boots for the faults of my feet, wow, the right tools can really make a difference.

The story of the appliances is: we really needed a washer and dryer. The washer was on its last legs; the dryer door had to be propped shut with a mop; it was not just inconvenient but actually unsafe. So while we were shopping, my husband said, Get an oven too. I resisted, and then he said simply: Would you donate this one? and when the answer was, getting a stove was clearly happening too. First, the clock and timer went (that was years ago, to the point where the first thing my seven year old said was, "Wow! We got a new oven! And there's a clock on it!"); then the broiler became dangerous; then the numbers rubbed off all the dials (so I knew how to get the stove to 350 or the burners to boil or simmer, but heaven help a visitor); then the knob for the back burner disintegrated. All of which to say: A nice oven from 1998 would probably have been an improvement. But this one? Hoorah. The downsides are all only cosmetic; it only came in stainless, so it doesn't match the other appliances, but the old stove was black and white, so it didn't quite match either. The old stove had a white top, and this one is black, and wow, it gets dusty every day. But: I love that the grates are all one level; I love not having to guess on the burners anymore; I love being able to broil again; and the luxury of three timers is awesome. My old stove and I had come to an understanding, and so I do miss it, just a little, but this has been really fun to work with. Here's hoping it stays that way.

(The new washer and dryer are also pretty cool but this is not a laundry blog.)

This week:

Monday: leftovers/freezer meal.

Tuesday: In other news, my older boy is home with the flu for Day 6 and actually asked me to put off Taco Tuesday to Thursday in hopes that he feels better. But excitingly, he ended up liking what I made: pad see ew, from my friend Tracey's blog. I was sort of cursing myself (I hate handling raw chicken! how many steps does this have?) but tried to remember: I wanted to make something that used what I had already, and this was awesome in that category. The only thing I needed to buy was the rice noodles (Trader Joe's had them) and the chicken. Everything else was in the house, including a rapidly aging bottle of oyster sauce I was eager to move along. And now that we are back in the foodie world and have sriracha in the fridge (which my husband and older boy LOVE), the rest just fell in to place. (Broccoli? check. Rice vinegar? check. Molasses? check.) She is right: that baking soda trick makes the chicken very tender and forgiving. And to my shock and awe, after seeing me eat it, my sick one asked me if he could have some and went back for seconds. So grateful.

That said, will I make it again? Answer: maybe. The prep isn't hard but it is extensive. We did enjoy it, and I still have oyster sauce, so I saved the link and we'll see how it goes. (Loved the chili vinegar. The acid seems to kill whatever it is in the peppers that can make me queasy so this is a winner for me.)

Wednesday: Tracey to the rescue again: trying the chicken gyro recipe. Of course the minute I finished the marinade, I thought, no wonder, it's basically my favorite chicken recipe with oregano added! But, thanks to my trusty new broiler, I don't have to brave the weather for the grill.

Thursday: hoping hard for Taco Thursday around here, which would hopefully mean my big guy was well again.

Friday: What does the Magic 8 Ball say--"Outlook is cloudy"? That's me. Not just the weather (my very favorite map was here; "Snow totals all over the east coast are listed here. Except you in the blue. We have no clue what's going on there in the middle.") My husband is working late, and my boy is so sick...I'm hoping to go out and do something fun with the boys but that all depends on whether he's finally kicked this flu, whether we have no snow on the ground or 6 inches...I'm prepared to punt. We have plenty of good food in the cabinets and I am confident we'll figure something out.

Wishing you a good week!