Sunday, February 7, 2010

MPM--Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It STOP!

Happy Sunday everyone! We are almost dug out here, thanks to my husband and sons, but we had quite a doozy of a storm here this weekend. Happily, we were well and together and could just relax and enjoy. I ran to the store with everyone else, scored everything I needed but a pineapple (oh well), and we hunkered down for library DVDs and books, Le@pster games, and three warm meals. I counted our blessings every single time. Here's hoping you had lots of blessings to count as well!

This week:

Sunday: Extra-Easy Crockpot Chili from Fix It and Forget It for Entertaining, plus noodles, rice, or potatoes to put it over, and sour cream, shredded cheddar, and chopped green onions for on top

Monday: Trying again for the bacon wrapped roasted chicken, with carrots and potatoes in with it. (Last week the 2-for-1 chickens were all out! but I got a raincheck--booyah--so I can try again.) Also trying the Smitten Kitchen Caramelized Shallots and having a salad. I will probably also try the Smitten Kitchen Best Cocoa Brownies or Walnut Jam Cake. (My inlaws are coming for dinner. Pray for me. I figure there's always chili if the chicken doesn't work!)

Tuesday: Leftovers. I'm out this night.

Wednesday: Freezer meal. Could be anything. Chicken Shu Mai? Trader Joe's Flatbread? Who knows. I'm sure my husband will have a mac and cheese though.

Thursday: Flemish beef stew. I'll make egg noodles for under it (and as probably the only thing the boys will eat).

Friday: Olympic Fever! We might eat out but it is opening ceremonies so I might do takeout or freezer meal instead.

Extra Easy Chili from Fix-It and Forget-It for Entertaining
contributed by Jennifer Gehman of Harrisburg PA
makes 4-6 servings

1 lb ground beef or turkey, uncooked
1 package dry chili seasoning mix
16 oz can chili beans in sauce
2 28-oz cans crushed or diced tomatoes (she uses seasoned with garlic and onion, I use whatever I have and add garlic and onion as necessary)

1. Crumble meat in bottom of slow cooker.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir.
3. Cover. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours. Sitr halfway through cooking time. (Which I often forget to do but I'm sure it's better to follow this direction!)
4. Serve over white rice, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped raw onions.

She writes: I decided to make this chili recipe one year from Christmas. our family was hosting other family members--and we had guests for about a week prior to Christmas. Needless to say, I was tired of cooking so this seemed easy enough. It was so nice to put the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook all day long. Not only did the chili warm us up on a cold day, but itwas a wolcomed change from the traditional Christmas meal. It has been my tradition ever since!

Last Sunday, I just cooked up a storm. When the high temperature is 19 degrees, I'm happy to be chained to the stove, thankyouverymuch. And it was so well worth it.

First up: the bolognese sauce, care of the Well Read Hostess and epicurious. I did as WRH suggested and added a second can of tomato paste for color, and used the "meatloaf mix" from my butcher. Result: perfect winter meat sauce. I would personally prefer all beef but this is a nice basic (if totally unkosher) meat sauce. I will throw in more garlic and probably other Italian seasonings (oregano, etc.) next time for some more kick but overall, this was a great winter's sauce. And--FTW!--my child who does not eat meat sauce cheerily downed a sloppy joe. Which was the bolognese with some Worcestershire, brown sugar, and Montreal steak seasoning added. Shhh--don't tell him! But it sure worked for me.

Second: I made the Catherine Newman Pork-So-Good-You-Could-Cry. Who can resist a title like that? And it was terrific, and terrifically easy. Of course, me being me, even terrifically easy is just a little too hard for me so I missed the part where it said "turn down to simmer for 90 minutes" and just merrily boiled away. So that really cut down on the open-pot simmering time; there just wasn't enough liquid for that luxury. And then it did fall neatly in to barbeque or carnitas style pork, with a ginger-scallion-soy background taste I find swoonworthy. So did my husband. I made less than her suggested 4lbs and there were no leftovers. I won't make that mistake again.

I also made my favorite beef tenderloin for a classic Sunday dinner and tried these roasted potatoes from The Bitten Word for a twist. Their description was perfect, and somewhat unusually for me, mine came out just like the photo. I'm crazy about shallots and will put more in next time, and also found these a little bland, but nothing that salt & pepper at the table couldn't perk up. It's a great presentation, though, and I'll bet if you made ahead to the point where you put on the thyme, you could just restart from there. (Which is essentially what I did, finishing them off with the roast.)

There was something amazing about entering the week with at least four meals made. I didn't feel pressure to get to the market, and knew I could take my time with side dishes for the week, which was great. And since this Sunday is supposed to be almost as cold, plus about 2 feet of snow, I think we'll go for two Sundays in a row. Have a great week wherever you are! And for more recipes, don't miss the great list at I'm an Organizing Junkie! (And one week in to her Organizing Challenge, the snow has at least helped us with that a little bit!)


Mom24 said...

So funny about the noodles being the only thing the boys might eat...sounds familiar.

I'll definitely have to check out the pork-so-good-you-could-cry.

Colie's Kitchen said...

Yummy roasted potatoes. Thank you for sharing!! Nicole

Domestic Goddess said...


Kelly said...

It's a mistake to read your blog hungry. My fridge and pantry are pretty bare, and everything here sounds so good!