Sunday, September 30, 2012

MPM--Yes, Less than 100

Welcome back! Yes, dear reliable commenter, it's less than 100 days to Christmas. Now it is less than 90. I would say "I'm behind," but that's silly. I'm just not as ahead as I meant to be.

We had a great filet of fall weekend, with my niece and her husband visiting from DC, soccer, football, a memorial walk, lots of family, lots of crisp air and jeans and outside time. And glory be, baseball is almost over. I'm giddy. (I love baseball but with a Phils obsessed husband, it goes on TOO LONG.)

This week is a busy one but it's really just on-schedule. I am pleased to have a normal, settled week. The cello is fixed and ready to go; the sports seasons are underway and doing fine, the language classes started and things are humming. So dinners:

Monday: it must be fall, I'm obsessed with my crockpot. I'm trying two new crockpot chicken recipes in 2 weeks here. I will try this one this week, for a whole chicken. On the side: this awesome and easy zucchini recipe from Smitten Kitchen. How did I go all summer without this? I ate it weekly last summer.

Tuesday: Oh, I'm so happy it's the Lego Build. That takes care of one extra night of cooking (or not cooking).

Wednesday: Leftover spaghetti and meatballs from the weekend. For kicks I might make zucchini tots to go with it. I have SO much zucchini to use this week. (Or freeze. I keep forgetting that's an option too.)

Thursday: Taco Tuesday on Thursday. Happy about that.

Friday: Fall Fest, and the start of The Weekend That Never Ends (TM) (so named by my husband, since we have an amazingly great weekend but boy howdy is it jam packed). At least they will serve pizza for dinner at Fall Fest so that's settled at least.

I tried to get out of our rut and tried a new recipe--crock pot buffalo chicken wraps. They were a qualified success. Mr. Picky actually ate some lettuce, which was a small miracle. He didn't like it, but he ate it, and I wanted to weep with joy. The real problem: I only had generic hot sauce, because I don't use that much of it. But the comments suggest, and I believe, that it is better with a brand name (in particular, Frank's), so I'll try that next time. I was also out of blue cheese dressing, so I took advantage of the opportunity to try the accompanying recipe. This was also a qualified success; I don't think I let the flavors mix long enough, I only had regular mayo, and I forgot the garlic powder. I haven't run the numbers against some of my usual favorite bleu cheese dressings to see if there is enough of a calorie difference to get past it. And honestly--I've had worse from a bottle, though I have also had better. Lastly, if you make it--don't chop the onion that small. I will do onion chunks next time--it was too hard to chase the onion away from the chicken (and it wasn't tasty).

But now I'm obsessed with pulled chicken. What can I do with it beyond tacos and BBQ?

Yay me: this marks my one-year anniversary of my job. I don't know if that means I can still call it a "new" job anymore but while on the one hand, the re-entry is bumpy, I love love love the work and the people and I am so so grateful for it. It does make things like finding kitchen mojo time difficult but really? A small price to pay. Now if I could just find my Blackberry, I'd be in business.

Hoping your fall is full of things you love. Go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! for some amazing menu plans!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

MPM--I Keep On Falling

Happy Autumn everyone! I hope the new season treats us all gently.

The first fall of fall here was a hugeonic branch right on my car. I was sooooo lucky--no one was in it, and no real damage was done to the car, just lots of scratches and when I got in the car, everything that snaps up (the sunglasses holder, the sunshields, etc.) was down. So I'm very grateful no one was in the car when it happened. Here's hoping that was the last gasp of a semi-unlucky summer.

So here we are, weather getting in gear for fall and sports seasons in swing and swim stuff all put away. I'm in the midst of back-to-work craziness and trying to keep it simple, but trying to introduce some new things too...wish me luck!

Monday: New recipe time. I'm trying these buffalo chicken wraps and hoping they are as big a hit as the buffalo chicken meatballs from Trader Joe's. Not sure what I'll do for a side with carrots and celery in the dish but I'll think of something. (This looks good, and I have the beets and feta. The real question is the time.)

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, yay

Wednesday: apple sausage bake and whatever is in the box.

Thursday: Leftovers, yay, or freezer meal.

Friday: Football game, probably, but I am trying hard to eat before the games this year because wow, while I am happy to support the team by getting something at the concession stand, the dinners add up in a big stinking hurry.

And that's the week that will be! Our niece and her husband are coming to visit for the weekend so we'll see how it goes...we usually try some Smitten Kitchen recipes but we'll be doing a lot in the weekend anyway (a memorial walk for my sister in law, kids' football and soccer games) so this might not be the visit for that.

Wishing you and yours a great week, and I will point you to I'm an Organizing Junkie! for the most diverse set of menus planned on the web!

PS--who else noticed that we're in to the "less than 100 days to Christmas" time? One of my favorite blogs, name (what else?) 100 Days to Christmas, just started back up again. It's a little less angst-inducing than the Holiday Grand Plan but keeps me on track. Take a look!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MPM--Aw, Man Edition

Wow--through some lucky fluke of timing, I ended up #2 on last weeks list and it was about the most lame MPM I've put up in forever. Had I known, I would have been more welcoming and kicked it up a notch, as they say. Ah well. (And so much for Org Junkie's oft-stated assertion that "where you are in the list doesn't matter for traffic." Oh, it does.)

This week should be fun. It starts with a day off from school and goes on from there. Football, high school back to school night, a birthday party in's a good one. I do miss summer but I am enjoying this time back in school. It's the best of both worlds--still Jersey corn and tomatoes for the table, peaches for after, and schedule and routine to keep us on track. It's a beautiful thing.

Monday: pulled pork sandwiches from my crock pot recipe, salad, roasted beets, kale chips

Tuesday: taco Tuesday, praise be. (By the way--I made up a new batch of the taco mix and thought, oh, why not do tablespoons instead of teaspoons? The ratios will stay the same. That's true, but wow, is it ever a huge container! I am not very good at estimating volume.)

Wednesday: leftover chicken breasts from Sunday, whatever is in our CSA box

Thursday: leftover pork from Monday, probably with BBQ sauce this time to jazz it up, roasted potatoes,

Friday: football game, woo! The lines are too long and annoying so we'll eat before, probably pizza or noodles, whatever I feel like.

Only one new recipe for me last week; I tried the BooMama diptacular Swiss cheese and almond dip. I liked it (a lot) but didn't love it, exactly, but it is worthy to try to figure out what is missing because it was an excellent base for sure.

Here's hoping you have an awesome week and are getting in to whatever routine makes you and your family happy and functional. Go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! for more weeklong menus, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

MPM--Here We Go Again

As first weeks go--this one was good. Boys are settled in to their classrooms, homework is ramping up just enough, and we are working on new routines for us all. This week:

Monday: leftover Italian from the weekend, supplemented with veggies from last week (beets, green beans, salad) to clear out the fridge for this week's CSA stuff.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, of course.

Wednesday: Football and meeting for mom, so easy. Quinoa pesto for boys, Mac and Cheese for dad, yogurt and quinoa salad (quinoa, chick peas, cherry tomatoes, green beans, vinaigrette) for mom.

Thursday: Back to school night. Freezer meal of some kind and CSA veggies.

Friday: Football game! Though alas, "our" player dislocated his shoulder in his wrestling meet this weekend. Sigh.

The sports and school and work whirl is upon us but I will try to keep posting (if for no other reason so that I have somewhere to look for diner ideas!). Wishing you a great week and happy dinners! For more links and ideas--try I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, September 3, 2012

MPM--Summer's End

Well. That summer ended with a bang. Labor Day was full of unexpectedness so this will be short as I am now pulling together school bags for tomorrow.

Monday: On the road.

Tuesday: Lego Build! Boys will be psyched after first day of school, I hope.

Wednesday: Did I mention this was a week of unexpectedness? Alas, we will be having a funeral dinner. My aunt passed away this weekend. She was 90 so it's hard to call it a surprise but she was fine last week and the end came quickly.

Thursday: Taco Thursday

Friday: Darn, I thought it was a football game but it's away so I'll have to cook twice this week. So it goes. Something from Dinner A'Fare and the CSA veggies.

In the plus category of the weekend: Younger Brother (Mr. Picky) is now 7! He had a great birthday, which included playing in his first football game, which went well. We had a great trip to the mountains, complete with minor league baseball and fireworks. Lots of family time, lots of tucking in things from the summer list--it was a great week. But I'm ready. It's time.

Wishing you a great week with no curve balls! Check I'm an Organizing Junkie for better meal plans!