Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Favorite Category of Food

Well, we are in a crazy place--by October everything is up and running, activity-wise, and now what seemed reasonable is looking a little like craziness! The swimming is what is sending me over the edge but we will see how it goes. And really--this week is just sending me over the edge, with lots of odd one-time activities.

Thank goodness--this weekend we were in New York for a bar mitzvah and we were sent home with TONS of leftovers! We'll be eating risotto and mashed potatoes all week. (There was so much more awesomeness to the bar mitzvah than that, but this is my dinner blog!) Hence the title: my favorite food is always leftover party food!

Monday: apple-sausage-potato bake. With mashed potatoes. It's a little potato heavy but mmmm.

Tuesday: Lego build! We will deviate from our usual plan but I can live with that.

Wednesday: spaghetti. Just us, at home, but still--yum.

Thursday: Taco Thursday

Friday: School Fall Fest! This is always a good night. We'll be selling pumpkins all night long but it should be fun.

We will have to see if we can freeze risotto...should be an interesting experiment!

Have a great week!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back to Reality

So, I'm back. I ended up flying cross-country to be with my family for the funeral and I am glad I did though it was hard hard hard. My uncle was such a vital presence, we all kept expecting him to step back in at any second, but of course that never happened.

So this week, I'm being kind to myself again...

Monday: Leftovers from the one-pot chicken recipe with the potatoes and tomatoes. Verdict: looked better than it was. It was a great use of potatoes (though I used too many) and tomatoes (though I didn't use enough); and the chicken parts with bones tasted much better than the ones without. A worthy experiment but we won't be repeating it.

Tuesday: Need you even ask?

Wednesday: This has been a good innovation of 2013. (Spaghetti night, woo!)

Thursday: I am working so this might be crock pot freezer meal night. Will let you know how that goes.

Friday: We are meeting friends for dinner and I am so excited to be off to a happy occasion!

I will also be making a kale salad; I am linking to this video because I have liked it a lot and I am a slow learner and need to watch her almost every time. And heaven knows I have all these ingredients except for the avocado. Except for the hating-to-touch-my-food issues, this is my favorite way to make kale.

Watching that video makes me think it's time to get back on the green smoothie horse too. I need some detox this week. If I try something new, you know I'll share it here.

Wishing everyone a good last week of September! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In the Swim

So, one full week of school and work down, for almost everyone--my older son immediately picked up the cold that was flying around the school so he was out for a day and probably should have been for longer. But all the activities are underway and we are ready to be in a routine.

Alas, that will need to wait as I got the sad news today that my uncle passed away, unexpectedly, in his sleep. He was in his late 70s and so this is really what we all pray for but it is hard to be one of the ones left behind.

This week:

Monday: I never did make the one pot chicken dish, but with still a world class collection of potatoes and tomatoes, we're going for it tonight with a salad and kale chips if I get my act together.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Wednesday: Wednesday Spaghetti is a close second in my beloved nights.

Thursday: Leftovers or freezer food or pesto quinoa. I am not really in shape to go hunting stuff down to do right now.

Friday: Pizza night. Because I am not knocking myself out this week.

Last week, I finally made the pineapple pork chops. They were a complete no-go for my sons but that just left more for me and my husband, and that made us happy. They were great. I left them in a little longer because my chops were pretty thick, but if you have people in your house who would eat this combo, by all means, try it. Apparently it started life as a chicken recipe, so if you think it sounds intriguing except for that pesky pork part--this could still work for you.

In a pig-filled week, I made this crockpot pork tenderloin. I doubled the recipe and froze half. Again--no-go for the boys but my husband enjoyed it. Thanks to my cousin for posting it on facebook!

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

2 pound Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 TBS Yellow Mustard
2-3 TBS maple syrup
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS Diced dried onions
1 1/2 TSP Garlic Salt or Powder
Mix ingredients above. Pour over Tenderloin in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours.

And to continue the crockpot theme: I tried the crockpot chicken marbella. Again--my husband loved it but no one else did. (Sensing a theme?) Part of this, I think, is my own inability to really warm up to dark meat chicken. It did not do the boneless breasts justice, but the drumsticks I threw in were gobbled quickly by my husband.

That's about all I can do right now. Wishing you a week ahead with all good news.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Sweet Smells of September

First, thanks for the suggestions on the stink. My title is a bit of a joke as our house is getting better but still has distinct Eau de Dog. We keep thinking we have it on the run, and it returns. The dog goes to the vet tomorrow so we'll see if they have any great ideas. I am afraid it is just Old Dog Stank and the new normal around here. But I am psyched to try the charcoal to see if that helps. This week...

Monday--I'm out, but home for most of the day. I am planning to make the pineapple pork chops that I never got to a few weeks ago. I'll serve with rice and applesauce and peas. (My oldest, and pea-adorer, is sick today with a sore throat and if he's not eating them, making his favorite seems mean.)



Thursday--trying this one-pot chicken dish in hopes of using all the awesome CSA tomatoes coming our way.

Friday--unclear. I have the crock pot mongolian beef in the freezer so I might try that. If we aren't "porked out" from Monday, there is a slow cooker pork tenderloin floating around Facebook that I might try. If it goes well I will post the recipe. On a different note: it is very strange not going to football games every Friday, but it's kind of pleasant, too. We have no local cousins left in high school, and our advisee graduated, and we aren't getting another until next year, so it's kind of a year off.

A few other random notes: lots of salty language here but this post railing against back to school pinteresting made me laugh out loud.

We are overloaded with CSA potatoes. I thought ordering our own instead of taking what we got would work better, but so far--it is not working out quite as well as I hoped. Partially it's the selection. There was exactly one week of cucumbers. There was also only one week of zucchini! There was no corn. And I could continue but I think our CSA time might be over for a while. The tomatoes are good but we are overrun with them, and I like Jerseys better anyway (yes, totally mental but there it is). But anyway: the potatoes. The good thing is, they have them every week, they are delicious, and now I have more than enough to make the make-ahead mashed potatoes for the holiday season. (I can't believe I haven't posted my sister-in-law's freezer mashed potatoes recipe! I will have to get on that for next week.)

Also, I happen to think that Ghiardelli brownies are a pinnacle of the art form, but suddenly it seems like there are brownie links everywhere. So when the weather turns colder, I'm having a brownie-off, with Tipsy Baker's old favorite, new favorite, and the somewhat wincingly-named (but probably accurate) man-catcher brownies from the Washington Post. (The intention here is to add chocolate chips and bake for 55 minutes.) If I'm missing your favorite brownie, please let me know.

Wishing you a good week!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Those Were the Days, My Friend...

...I thought they'd never end. In both good and bad ways. This summer was well-planned--ten years in to this parenting gig, I am getting better. I hit a good balance of structured and un-, and overall was pleased with the time. And here we are at the start of another school year, with a 2nd grader and a 4th grader, celebrating my baby's 8th (EIGHTH!) birthday, and getting the load of school supplies coordinated.

Monday: Labor Day. I am hoping for a cookout at the pool if weather cooperates. Hamburgers, chips, and little picky guy starves but surely he'll find something, even if it's cheeseburger cheese on a hamburger bun. If I am feeling very inspired, I might make a gratin with the parade of potatoes on my countertops, h/t to City Mouse/Country Mouse for the inspiration. I will add, in case anyone else is like me, that a gratin dish is oh so cute but not necessary. I needed to look that up. I am truly pathetic in the kitchen.

Tuesday: first day of school AND work AND Lego build! So glad to have a reprieve tonight.

Wednesday: noodles

Thursday: tacos (we are so flexible around here). Also CSA day, also kids off school day, so an easy one is called for.

Friday: slow cooker chicken marbella (new recipe for me but old favorite; using a can of olives in my efforts at cabinet cleanout)

Then soccer starts and the year is officially underway.

Last week, I never made the mongolian beef. I sneaked off to the beach instead. I have no regrets.

I did make this avocado-mozzarella-tomato salad. I was looking for something more "magic" with some "aha!" ingredient and did not find it. But you know what? I made it with good white wine vinegar and it was excellent.

On another note: this year, while we were away, we left our poor dog home. It was great for her; she got to rest her legs, took long walks with our dog loving neighbor, and generally she was as refreshed as we were. BUT. With one week of Only the Dog in the house--the doggy stank is huge. We have shampooed rugs, washed everything that had dog hair on it (sorry, should edit to read "everything" since "with dog hair" is redundant), groomed the dog, lit candles, you name it. Dog stank still pronounced. Any great tips for eliminating it? I fear the large bowls of vinegar are going to get knocked over, starting a new stank problem, though so far, they are doing the best job. We have also shampooed the carpets, shampooed the dog, bought the "Good Air" thingees from Yankee Candle, Febreezed, and Arm & Hammer Carpet Deodorized. It has gotten better but I don't want to just add layers of scent; I want to remove stank.

Have a great Labor Day holiday and see you next week!