Sunday, March 15, 2009

MPM--Eating Down the Fridge, Take 2 Edition

Hello, menu planners! I hope you all had a nice week. We did a pretty good job Eating Down the Fridge over here, but it was chock full of invisible progress. Anyone who came in to my house unaware would still see a wildly overstuffed pantry and too-small fridge. I made most of the main meals I meant to (look back over the week for reviews and recipes) but didn't get to some of the little things (bar nuts, for example, or carrot cake, or the Oasis Carrot Salad in Gourmet this month from Marrakesh, one of my favorite restaurants when I was in college--and with a carrot salad that I remember, even from that long ago). One hit from the freezer: Morningstar Farms Spinach-Artichoke nuggets. What is it about a nugget that makes them so attractive to kids? It didn't even fake out my older one, he took a bite, said, "Oh! Spinach!" and kept on going. Even with that knowledge, my little one watched him eat and tried some himself. Wonders may never cease.

So, we're continuing this week, with some modifications. I am limiting myself to ingredients on the list Right Now. I'm terrible about buying good deals, or things that aren't always in, or things for that thing I think I'm going to make soon, even though it's not this week.

The exception: if I need more Irish Soda Bread ingredients, I will get them. I'm embarrassed my five year old didn't know or remember what St. Patrick's Day was and in my house growing up, it was as big a minor holiday as any--like Valentine's Day, or half-birthdays, or New Year's. However, I draw the line at ham and cabbage. We've done cabbage this week already, and it does make the house stink. Irish Soda Bread recipe is at the bottom.

Sunday: Greek burgers, spinach, carrot salad

Monday: Hot Chicken Salad, iceberg lettuce salad, applesauce

Tuesday: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Soda bread, of course, and turkey shepherd's pie from Rachael Ray (with half the turkey and double the veggies)

Wednesday: Leftovers.

Thursday: Leftovers or turkey tacos. If I make the turkey tacos, I will also make the Smitten Kitchen black bean tacos with this cole slaw.

Friday: I know, any regular readers will laugh, but honestly, this is the week for the Real Simple ravioli with peas and shallots. I have all I need and more to make it, and this is the year. Week. I mean week.

Here's the embarrassing part: for all of that, I need to buy exactly...7 items. The rest is here already. And I haven't even cracked open a frozen meal yet. Oy.

How about you? Post your menu or get inspired at a new spot this week: $5 Dinners by Erin. (I'm an Organizing Junkie is taking a week off.)

Irish Soda Bread, from my mother, from her friend, Joan Hood Beck

4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 C sugar
1 generous C raisins
2 C buttermilk ([note from my mother] I always measure whole milk, ad a hefty TBS of white vinegar and allow it to curdle while I measure other ingredients.) Have never tried buttermilk. (My note: I have; not a big difference & of course I prefer what I grew up with.)

Mix dry ingredients. Add milk one cup at a time and stir. Add raisins last. Batter is thick.

"Pour" into pan--heavy iron is great. I use one 9" iron round fry pan or two smaller pans. Butter pan(s) lightly on the bottom.

Bake in pre-heated oven 50-60 minutes at 325F until golden brown, separates from pan on the sides I always test in middle with cake tester or big toothpick. Remove and put on cake racks. IR 8-24-99


Anjali said...

While I haven't eaten down the fridge, so to speak, you have inspired me to clean out my fridge before writing up a grocery list for the week. Yesterday I rearranged and moved around everything in there (OK, so maybe there wasn't actually any cleaning going on), so I was able to find stuff I already thought I had.

I must try Eating down the Fridge myself. Or at least Eating Down the Pantry.

Unknown said...

Living in Maine St Patricks was a big celebration. I've been living on the West coast for the last 15 years and it doesn't seem that popular here.
Oh well, they have no idea what they're missing in the terrific foods, like Corned Beef and Cabbage.
It's a beautiful spring day in Vegas. I hope that it's a great one in your neck of the woods.
Have a pleasant week.

$5 Dinner Mom said...

Yum!!! Hope you enjoy your St. Patricks Day! Irish soda bread looks yummy!


DEHausfrau said...

Yum, soda bread. The question is, will I have time to make it? Have to go out and pick up a couple of things tonight, maybe I'll get the milk/buttermilk while I'm out.

brandy101 said...

We are not doing a St. Pats meal this year because... husband and his bosses got invited to an expense-paid Bulls game by a contractor.

So he is going downtown; me and Emma will probably make her fave - TJs mandarin Orange Chicken, Steamed Rice and those green beans I make. He doesn't like that meal so we only make when dad is traveling. In this case, taking the train to the West Side of Chicago to drink beer at the United Center.

Ruth Saves $ said...

Ooooh, I love chicken salad!