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Posts Tagged ‘you have to make dinner EVERY DAY’

(La la la, continuing to ignore current events.) 

Usually I try to blather on a little bit before I list the meals I’m planning for the week – I don’t know why; so this will feel more like a Regular Blog Post? Who knows. But I’m fresh out of topics for today. Literally the only thing I can think to tell you is that I saw on Instagram (I think?) that you can store your asparagus in half-filled jars of water to keep it fresh longer. Who has room for THAT in their fridge (besides the Instagram poster, whose fridge was FULL of veggies and fruits in matching glass jars that no one would ever have to worry about knocking over while reaching behind it for the milk), is what I thought. But I also thought of some asparagus that has been in my fridge for ** a while ** and that I haven’t been able to motivate to cook and eat. So I tried it. It is in my fridge now, in two small jars. We will see what happens. Now I don’t even HAVE to eat it, because it is An Experiment. 

They’ve been in there for about twelve or so hours and don’t seem the worse for wear.

Look at that – I managed to blather on for a whole paragraph! Never put it past me to come up with some words about nothing, I guess. 

Dinners for the Week of January 19 – January 25 (whew – I looked at my calendar wrong and originally wrote “February 1” instead of “January 25” and TOTALLY ACCEPTED IT AS FACT because time is meaningless) (thank goodness for very minimal proofreading!)

  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup  : This was SO GOOD last time I made it, and I have been thinking about it ever since. Like last time, I will add a can of black beans and a cup of frozen corn. Also, like last time, I suppose I will omit the lime juice? At least, I can’t remember putting lime juice or cilantro in it at any point? And it was delicious? How can I recreate a recipe I enjoyed when I apparently didn’t follow the instructions, but not in a purposeful way but in an I-clearly-didn’t-read-the-recipe-all-the-way-through way?
  • Chicken and Zucchini Stir Fry: This has become such a solid standby. It’s easy (even though I also chop up an onion to throw in with the zucchini) and it’s tasty and I feel very pleased with the amount of veggies it contains. 
  • BBQ Salmon Bowls with Mango Salsa: Okay, I get squicked out by the combination of avocado and mango, so I am just doing a plain old mango salsa with this one. And I think I may put everything on top of some romaine instead of rice. (I am every food blogger’s nightmare.) Hmmm. If I do lettuce, I’d have to make a dressing, wouldn’t I. But I could do a nice honey-and-lime vinaigrette. Yes, that sounds yummy.
  • Something with the asparagus.

I AM going to eat the asparagus. But come on – you do this, too, right? You buy something, fully intending to eat it, and then it loses all appeal before you can do it? I bet you have something like that in your fridge right now, no?

Okay, Internet. That’s it for me. I wish you good health (mental, physical, and emotional) and happy eating this week.

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Am I still doing this? Apparently so.

I recently read somewhere that the best way to meal plan is to come up with three (3) specific meals for the week and then spitball from there. This is obviously not the exact wording of the article I read, but the particulars are lost to the sands of time. And it’s always possible I misread, or misunderstood, or read a fragment of a headline and moved on before discovering that, in fact, choosing three specific meals is THE WORST IDEA EVER. Maybe I didn’t even read an article. But we will go with what we have, which is a fairly fuzzy and growing ever fuzzier memory of possibly reading this Life-Changing Suggestion. 

You will not be surprised, I think, to learn that I immediately latched on to the idea of planning FEWER MEALS. The pandemic has made meal planning/cooking more grueling than usual. A better, easier way to meal plan?! Sign me up! Also because of the pandemic, I think I have become better or at least more confident with meal planning on the fly, with the ingredients I have on hand. So this sounds doable. At least for this week.

I don’t want to take away the (only) FUN aspect of meal planning – the searching for and trying new, interesting recipes. But I definitely want to simplify, where possible. So I am going to experiment with planning a few specific things – including some new recipes, or, in the case of this week ALL new recipes – and then fill out the rest of the week with whatever I have on hand. WE’LL SEE HOW IT GOES. 

Dinners for the Week of January 4 – January 10

  • Ginger Salmon Salad 
    • Follow Up: This was a surprising hit! The sauce was a little fussy to make — not hard, just… fussy. But it was tasty and different. My husband liked it too, even though it was salmon. I would make this again.
  • Thai Chicken Quinoa Bowls  (This recipe calls for pre-made chicken, which I do not have. So I am going to braise a bunch of chicken in coconut milk like so and save the extra for another meal.) 
    • Follow Up: Braising the chicken in the coconut milk mixture did not go well, possibly because instead of using red curry paste I used sweet chili sauce (to match the quinoa dressing). It was too mild and the chicken was WAY too chicken-y. Yuck. BUT the quinoa bowls without chicken were delicious. I added sliced red and green bell peppers, edamame, avocado, and scallions, and it was so yummy. I put it all on top of a bunch of romaine which made it feel super healthful. We had leftovers and it was delicious, cold, the next day. (I did sprinkle the quinoa mixture with a mixture of soy sauce and sriracha though, which amped up the flavor factor.) Would definitely make this again, but would reserve the chicken for my husband.
  • Mushroom Ramen 
    • Follow Up: This was tasty, but very salty. My husband described the flavor as very intense. Having a separate broth was a little weird… it was almost too intense to eat without the noodles, so what was the purpose? If I made this again, I might halve the sauce, add the chicken broth, but then put the entire amount of liquid in when the recipe calls for just adding half the sauce. As per usual, it is very frustrating to watch one billion mushrooms shrink into nothing. I added sliced bell pepper and sugar snap peas to this, to amp up the veggie quotient and I used ramen. This also purported to take 30 minutes of cooking, but even if you don’t count the washing and chopping of bell pepper and sugar snap peas, it took at LEAST thirty minutes just to prepare the ingredients. And I ended up using one million dishes, which annoys me. Probably I wouldn’t make this exact recipe again. But it was fun to try.
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup  (I don’t normally like chicken tortilla soup because it has tomatoes in it. But my husband likes it, and I need a slow cooker meal this week, and it sounds good. I am going to try to blend all the chunks out of the tomatoes – and even strain them, if necessary – and we’ll see if the extra work is worthwhile.) 
    • Follow Up: I did end up blending the fire roasted tomatoes, and even then there were seeds everywhere so I pressed it through a fine-mesh strainer. Also, I think I had in mind that this would be more like chili, which it most definitely was NOT — it was clearly soup. So after it was done cooking and was sitting in the crockpot on warm, I added a can of black beans and about a cup of frozen corn. That helped. This had a great flavor and I would DEFINITELY make it again. Oh – since I don’t like the texture of cooked peppers, I chopped the poblanos into big chunks for easy removal. Next time, I might cut each poblano in half and then toss them afterward — my husband didn’t love eating the chunks of them and I didn’t miss them, but I am sure they did add some flavor to the soup.

Plus, I have pork tenderloin, pork chops, shrimp, and tons of chicken in the freezer. Plus broccoli and zucchini and avocados in my fridge. So I am going to put those things together to make the remaining meals.

What are you eating this first full week of January?

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The only thing that is prompting me to put this post up today is my own self-imposed practice of posting dinners on Tuesday. 

(Brief interlude during which I had the very real experience of feeling CERTAIN that it was not, in fact, Tuesday, but instead Wednesday. I had to check with my daughter to confirm that it is Tuesday indeed.)

The REASON I used to post dinners on Tuesday is because I used to go to the grocery store on Tuesday. Back when my child was in school and no one had to wear masks. That seems like a very long time ago, doesn’t it? 

Well. Instead of getting bogged down in WOE about the state of things, I will say that my husband should have the COVID vaccine by the end of the calendar year!!! THAT is very exciting. I get all choked up and teary when I think about all those scientists out there who worked their BACKSIDES off to get a vaccine out the door in UNDER A YEAR. Science is AMAZING and I am weepy with gratitude for science in general and all the people who believe in it and devote their lives to it. And now, hopefully, this vaccine will give people a chance against this awful, awful virus. 

Even though I have done NOTHING this year, certainly nothing anywhere near as momentous as participating in the creation of a vaccine against a deadly virus, I still must feed my family. We do what we can, even if it feels insignificant and trivial.

The thing is… I have not actually PLANNED any dinners for this week’s meals. I bought some things at the store but really I’m going to just… scrape those things together into meal-type groupings and hope we don’t run out before the next time I go grocery shopping. Of course, there is always takeout. Thank heavens for takeout.

Dinners for the Week of December 15-December 21

What are you eating for dinners this week, Internet?

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THE GROCERY STORE WAS OUT OF BANANAS. 

I am choosing to view this unsettling omission as a temporary result of needing the banana space for Thanksgiving-specific items. (Although the banana area is now half-full of pineapple, which is perplexing on many levels.) Who knows. Maybe no one eats bananas over Thanksgiving weekend. And I was at the store early on a Monday morning, so it’s possible the banana truck just hadn’t arrived yet? Yes, let’s go with that. I don’t even EAT bananas, but I don’t think I could handle a banana shortage. It would cause a banana panic, and no one needs that, although it is rather fun to say.

The chicken section was a little thin, too – and the breasts themselves looked kind of wan. I don’t care for a wan breast. But I bought three packages anyway; they were on sale and we’re facing down a Winter Storm Warning and we’re in the middle of a pandemic. But there were paper towels on the shelves and everything else seemed to be in stock. Well, except for cleaning sprays; that shelf was still pretty bare. I bought a bunch of canned veggies and some cereal for the food drive at my husband’s hospital, and both canned veggies and cereal were abundant. Notwithstanding the robust stores of food and supplies, I still feel a strong wave of Impending Doom which crests while I’m in the grocery store. (I seriously still cannot pass by a package of flour without gazing at it longingly. GET IT TOGETHER.) 

Today’s doom is, in part, brought to you by a little trip I took to Home Depot yesterday. (The other part is the Winter Storm Warning and the neverending pandemic, obvs.) You can order curbside service at Home Depot, which I VASTLY prefer to wandering the aisles of Home Depot, hoping to glimpse a wisp of Home Depot staff member in the distance, let alone actually interact with someone who can direct you to the correct aisle. Curbside service, which I have used twice now, is prompt and masked. Yesterday, I ordered and picked up a sled for Carla. This will ensure that the foot of snow we are promised will turn out to be a measly inch of watery sludge. Anyway, I was waiting for my curbside order when I saw a family exit the Depot with their cart full of paper towels. 

At first, I thought they were geniuses. Of course Home Depot sells paper goods! And if you can’t find paper towels at Target, Home Depot is a good bet. (They also have hand sanitizer and lots of cleaning supplies. Hot tip.) Or perhaps they were in the store for normal Home Depot reasons and just happened across the paper towels and marveled at their presence and bought some — beats going to Home Depot AND Target/Costco/your-paper-towel-purveyor-of-choice. But then I quickly slid from congratulatory musing to alarm, and the tableau shifted from one of Happy Family Grabs Bounty Whilst Picking Up Lightbulbs to that of Shrewd Preppers Seek Out Last Paper Goods At Unlikely Source, as when you see disaster films showing people jogging from, like, a Toys R US, with a cart full of bottled water and baby food and ammunition. Okay, maybe not Toys R Us. My panic-fantasies are dated and inaccurate.

I am always on the precipice of panic, it seems, and seeing someone else with paper towels is enough to send me scrabbling over the edge, it seems. Even though lack of paper towels is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Even if our supply of paper towels could use a little plumping, perhaps next time I visit the grocery store, we can certainly survive WITHOUT.

Speaking of paper goods, though of a different sort: I could use some more wrapping paper. We are down to maybe four semi-used rolls and one fresh one, which feels a little risky. I have done SO MUCH wrapping and it just now the very beginning of December. Yes, many people plan ahead like this Every Single Year, but this is new to me. And while I am pretty sure I am done with my Christmas shopping, I do keep buying justonemorething and other lovely people keep sending us gifts that also require wrapping. I don’t like to be low on wrapping paper, is what I’m trying to tell you. 

I guess you can add a little Holiday Apprehension to the list of Doom Source Material. Some days it feels delicious and festive, other days — like today — it feels tiring and stressful.

Then there’s the other potential/likely source of doom: the resumption of remote learning this week. I think (I HOPE) it will be better than it was in the spring. But I am still dreading it. 

This, the week after Thanksgiving, in a Period Of Doom, I am not feeling like cooking at all. AT. ALL. And yet we still must eat, I suppose. Myself, I could probably hibernate all winter on the mashed potato intake of the past week alone. But my daughter probably needs regular feeding. And all the doom and dread makes me crave pasta. One must carbo load to be able to outrun The Fearsome Something that is sending spikes of panic through one’s endocrine system.

In any event, meals must happen. So here we go, an attempt at a menu plan for the week. 

Dinners for the Week of December 1-December 7

What are you planning to eat this week, Internet? Are you still working on Thanksgiving leftovers? 

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Do I really have to plan dinners this week? I am in Thanksgiving Prep Mode, which is, fortunately, less stressful than in most years, but I still don’t want to have to plan REGULAR MEALS on top of Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving is going to be so weird this year. It doesn’t really FEEL like Thanksgiving, what with the weather being so mild still, and the absence of Planning for Visitors Stress. Obviously, I am super sad that my parents won’t be here this year. But we saw them awhile back (they stayed in a hotel, we hung out outside the entire time) which was cheering, and I would rather they be tucked safely away in their cozy forest home than be traipsing all over the country. We will FaceTime with family members from both sides of the family (my mother bravely coordinated a family meet up despite the fact that we live in three separate time zones and that my brother’s work schedule and my child’s bedtime make meeting up Very Difficult). My husband has the whole long weekend off, which is wonderful, so I anticipate lots of lounging around and video games and board games and reading.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I discovered something BRAND NEW about my husband. Stuffing isn’t his favorite Thanksgiving food. Internet. I had no idea! All along, I thought it was his One True Thanksgiving Love, that he felt about stuffing the way I feel about mashed potatoes. And I was WRONG. 

I am delighted, by the way. Each year for ten years, I have made a classic stuffing recipe for my husband because it’s what he likes. I do not like stuffing. Wet bread is not for me. I really had to restrain myself to type that sentence, Internet, but I did so because I love you and because I know that other people feel differently about wet bread. 

So this year, for Thanksgiving, we are skipping the stuffing (which I guess is more accurately a dressing, since we never stuff anything with it), we are skipping the whole giant turkey, we are skipping the cranberry sauce (will I regret this? Time will tell.), we are even skipping the pumpkin bars. Instead, we will be making ONLY a roast boneless turkey breast, gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes. BOO YAH. We will also make cranberry relish because there’s no law that says cranberry relish is just for Christmas and maybe an apple sharlotka (thank you, Steph!). I am PUMPED.

But. My family requires food even in weeks leading up to holidays. Also, I have to admit that I am feeling increasingly concerned about the skyrocketing COVID numbers, and I think I am going to try to revert to my early-pandemic shopping schedule as much as possible. (I will have to make another trip to the grocery store to pick up the turkey breast, and the in-store butcher kind of freaked me out by saying that I need to be prepared for Big Crowds that day, and they will only allow 90 people into the store at a time, so prepare to wait. But I’d prefer to make that trip as quick as possible.)

Here is my very lukewarm meal plan for the week leading up to (plus the day after) Thanksgiving:

Dinners for the Week of November 17 – November 18

What are you eating this week, Internet? Can you believe Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK? What are you looking forward to/mourning the most about a pandemic holiday?

[UPDATE]

I have just now returned from the grocery store with my two-week supply of food and I feel very relieved to have done it. Not much was on sale — and I know a LOT of things will be on sale next week — but my priority during this pandemic is spending less time in a crowded store rather than saving a few dollars. When I go back to pick up the turkey breast, I will also grab more lettuce, whatever herbs I need for the gravy, and some butter which I somehow forgot this trip (I know how it happened: I normally buy butter at Costco. But I just WENT to Costco and would prefer not to go again for many months. Why did I fail to get butter on that trip? Because butter is one of those things that my husband says, “We have PLENTY of X, do NOT get more” [i.e. chicken stock, cumin] and, even though he didn’t say that specifically about butter this last trip, I had it in my head not to buy butter. Which was dumb. Thanksgiving requires a lot of butter.). (I know you love my long parenthetical which could probably be their own paragraphs.)

Anyway, I wanted to report three specific things to you about the grocery store trip.

  1. When I got to the chicken stock aisle, the shelves of my preferred brand were EMPTY. I am now down to FOUR quarts of chicken stock which apparently is my threshold for panic. (This pandemic is truly doing weird things to my mind.) Well. My preferred brand was on sale, so I am going to assume that’s why it had been cleared out. There were plenty of OTHER brands of chicken stock, so I grabbed four quarts and now I feel slightly better about things. Most other things seemed to be well-stocked. Plenty of flour — with a lot of it on sale; I forced myself to pass the flour without grabbing a package, but it was, as usual, difficult. The chicken was in low supply, but I am ASSUMING that is because the store is making room for turkey. I did not check the cleaning supplies aisle.
  2. HORMEL PEPPERONI WAS BACK IN STOCK. I grabbed three packages (leaving plenty for other people) and which I had grabbed four. I am GLEEFUL about the pepperoni. Such a silly, strange, not-particularly-healthful thing to be delighted about. And yet…
  3. This is not about groceries per se. I just want you to share my hurt feelings/very mild outrage. I bought some wine and the checker held up a bottle and and said he needed to verify that I was over 21. Here is where I say that it is very clear I am over 21. First of all — and I may be mistaken — but if you were not yet 21 and you were trying to sneakily buy some alcohol, would you choose sauvignon blanc and chardonnay? Or might you choose a 24-pack of cheap beer or a 12er of White Claw? What 20-year-old-or-younger buys $250 worth of groceries on a Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.? Perhaps I am making financial/taste/carb-consciousness assumptions that are inaccurate or unfair to the not-yet-21 set, but I am going to guess that is a rare occurrence indeed. But now I will tell you that the checker did not ask to see my ID. No. To verify my age, he asked that I pull down my mask. What…..? Pull down my mask? During a pandemic? And also? Is he is effing kidding me? “Let’s verify your age by looking at your old face” is NOT A KIND THING TO DO TO A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN. I took a deep breath, pulled down my mask below my chin, and he immediately nodded, satisfied that I was indeed very old. I guess the crow’s feet alone weren’t convincing enough. He needed the marionette lines and sun-worn skin to really clinch it.

[END UPDATE]

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We are having unseasonable warmth. Like, shorts and tank tops weather. Yesterday, Carla and I raked the yard and she was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops. It was very odd indeed to see her leaping into our leaf pile without cozy fall clothing on. 

I am NOT complaining, but the lingering summer weather makes my craving for fall food – soups and stews and chili – feel a bit unnatural. Well. The heart wants what it wants. Let’s see if I can force myself to enjoy some still-summery-ish meals instead.

Dinners for the Week of October 12-18

  • Grilled Pork Chops with Asparagus
  • Tacos
  • Takeout

What’s on your menu plan for the week, Internet?

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Well, here we are again. Another week, another meal plan.

On a food note (the only tune I play), I had a dream last night that a group of friends was insisting we all go to Domino’s to get pizza. And I kept thinking that if I were going to splurge (barf – I hate that term) on pizza, I wanted it to be GOOD pizza, not Domino’s pizza. And my husband kept saying that I was being unfair to Domino’s because I hadn’t had in more than a decade. There was no resolution to this dream, just arguing. 

On a totally unrelated note, but yet still also tangentially food-related, I watched the first episode of the newest season of Great British Baking Show and one of the contestants used the phrase “oh, suck an egg” as an imprecation, and I realized how close it is to “effing A.” A very satisfying replacement, I think.

Okay, here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Dinners for the Week of September 28-October 4

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Still, we must eat.

Dinners for the Week of September 21- 27

  • Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa with Guacamole – I am back to requiring one slow-cooker meal each week, because Carla and I have a twice-monthly commitment that puts us back home at dinnertime. I realize “twice-monthly” does not work out to “each week” but I want to build up my repertoire of acceptable slow-cooker meals. Plus, the slow cooker is awesome. I think my husband will turn this beef into tacos. I will make a giant, sad heap of it on my own plate, and top it with as much guacamole as I can.
  • Lemon Cod with Roasted Asparagus – Ugh. I wanted fresh cod, so I went up to the fish counter (standing in line behind a gentleman who CLEARLY had not read the many posted signs asking customers to please stand six feet back from the fish counter; at least his mask was fully on his face unlike MANY OTHER CUSTOMERS) and asked for a pound or a little over of the fresh cod. (Last time I ordered fish, I got about a quarter pound less than I wanted, hence the specificity you didn’t ask nor care about.) It was a pound and a third, which is a little more than a little over, in my opinion. And the cod fillets were very uneven: one side was very thick and the other side was very thin. Which makes it impossible to cook them evenly. So I asked if he had any pieces that were thicker and he lectured me on how I had to take the whole fillet, he simply could not cut off the thin part and just give me the thick part, which wasn’t exactly what I asked for but okay. I get it. I’m not trying to game the fish system, bro. Then, perhaps noticing the panic in my eyes, he told me a fishy secret: they have the same! cod! in the freezer section! But JUST the thick parts! I knew he was trying to help me get exactly what I want, which is very kind, so I went with him to the freezer case and oohed and aaahed over the cod bundles he handed me. But the cod they had frozen was… cod from the fish counter, frozen, and wrapped in plastic. So, literally the same cod. Just… frozen after it had been sitting out for hours trying to catch the eye of some oblivious shopper. I know from experience that the cod takes on a bitter flavor once frozen. I know this because, well, I’ve noticed it, but also because my husband hates it. He is already not super in love with the menus I’m planning lately because HE has declined to join me in a second keto journey IS IT BECAUSE IT IS HORRIBLE AND I ASK MYSELF DAILY WHY I AM SUBJECTING MYSELF TO IT HMMM I WONDER so I didn’t really want to increase the chances he will hate a food he already doesn’t love. But the fish monger was Right There! Gleefully holding out a problem-solving cod package for me to take and then possibly applaud him, I don’t know. And I couldn’t very well reject his fishy offer and go back to the counter and go through the whole cod rigamarole again, could I? Yes, I could have, indeed, people change their minds. But I felt Very Flustered and, you know, indebted to his cod solution skills, so I took the cod he so reverently held out to me. Then, when he’d returned to the fish counter, I put it back and grabbed my second choice, a package of vacuum sealed cod. Then I fled. This is TOO MUCH information about a single cod-related interaction. I also picked up a package of macaroni and cheese for my husband because I am a Very Good Wife.
  • Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops with Broccoli – This recipe is for chicken, not pork, but my husband is still kind of squicky about chicken. I also bought a parsnip that I can roast for my husband, to bulk up the meal a bit. Has Carla ever eaten a parsnip? Maybe this is a good chance for her to try one.
  • Steak Kebabs with Chimmichurri  – Instead of threading the skewers with tomatoes (per the recipe), which I hate, I will use green and red bell peppers. I will roast a yam for my husband and another for Carla because she (mostly) likes or at least eats small portions of yams!
  • Saucy Pork (with Noodles) – This is based on a recipe from The Lazy Genius Collective, which I try to break down into a more specific recipe here. I will use powdered erythritol instead of sugar in the sauce, which made no difference in the mini-taste test I did, sprinkling some of the erythritol in soy sauce. We roasted, finely chopped, and froze a pork tenderloin a few weeks ago, which will make up the bulk of the meal. I will add thinly sliced snow peas and red bell pepper to the pork and eat that. My husband will eat everything with ramen noodles.
  • Bang Bang Shrimp with Slaw – I am assuming my husband can turn these into tacos if he’s into that. There is way more mayonnaise in this meal than I am comfortable with, but we must lie in the bed we make for ourselves. Even if it is smothered in mayonnaise.
  • Out
  • We are also making whole-milk yogurt. Carla has a list of things she wants to make, and this was one of them. It sounds fairly simple, even though the Instant Pot makes me nervous.

That’s it, dinner-wise. Are you eating anything super exciting this week? Or super NOT exciting? I’d love to hear that, too.

I hope you are doing all right, Internet. Take heart. Eat something delicious. Keep going.

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This weekend, our grocery store was out of yeast again. Well. They had single-serve packs of organic instant yeast for $1.09. But that seems a little desperate, to me, considering you can buy a three-pack of the non-organic instant yeast for something like $1.19. In only moderately related news, the yeast for baking was on the shelf right next to the nutritional yeast which seems like a situation rife with potential misunderstandings. I don’t even know what nutritional yeast is (I think you can put it on popcorn???) but I am pretty sure it won’t make your dough rise.

Also: almost completely out of pepperoni, except for two sad packages of gourmet pepperoni that no one in my house will eat. Hormel all the way, baby.

ALSO: This is the first time in six months that I haven’t purchased a jar of pickles. Carla proclaimed that the pickles from the most recent jar were “sour” (isn’t that… the point of pickles?) and hasn’t eaten one since.

I am glad to be back to a weekly grocery shopping schedule. It feels more normal, for one thing. Plus, we are definitely wasting less food.  (Although I still need to work on limiting my fruit buying.) The next thing I need to adjust my shopping to fit: Not having Carla around all day. She is no longer eating lunch and two snacks at home, which somehow adds up to a LOT less food (and pepperoni) I need to buy. We somehow only went through one and a half pints of tomatoes this week! Either Carla is getting tired of tomatoes, or perhaps she does the majority of her tomato-eating during the school day. Time will tell.

Here’s what we’re eating for dinner this week:

Dinners for the Week of September 14-20

There is no cocktail of the week this week. I have grown weary of cocktails. Well, more aptly, I have grown weary of making cocktails. It is much easier to open a bottle of wine, if one requires an alcoholic beverage. Or to mix a little grapefruit juice into half a can of seltzer, if one isn’t in the alcohol mood.

I am also making this purple plum torte, which I have made for a couple summers running and which I adore. Right now, plums are abundant, so I bought a bunch. If you haven’t tried this torte, it is VERY easy and SUPER delicious and the perfect summer-to-fall transitional dessert. Or snack. Or breakfast.

How are you, Internet? What are you eating this week?

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We still must eat, which means we still must make dinner.

I somehow overbought at the grocery store last time (although we are, of course, still out of cheese), and we are swimming in week-old produce that I am hopeful we can use up before it goes bad.

The bright spot in the endless drudgery of meal planning is Carla’s cooking. She did an excellent job with last week’s chicken tenders, doing everything herself (with coaching). And the meal was delicious. (My only complaint is that the chicken tenders don’t get very brown. The panic makes them crispy, but they are very pale. That’s not a Carla issue though; I’ve made these tenders before and I think they have always been pale.)

This week, she chose, much to my surprise and delight, to make salmon and mashed yams and a fruit salad. Surprise: that she picked salmon, which I have to cajole her to eat these days. Delight: that she had such a thorough vision for a meal in her head. I found some recipes to match her request – she was quite insistent that the salmon have thyme involved, because we have abundant thyme in the backyard. I am excited to eat this meal. And I am hopeful that a new interest in cooking will lead to a new interest in trying new foods.

Dinners for the Week of August 24 – 30

 

 

 

 

  • Tacos

 

 

  • Takeout

 

Cocktail of the Week:

Classic Gin Gimlet

 

What’s on your meal plan for the week, Internet? And have you tried any good cocktails lately?

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