Archive | May, 2012

Comfort Foods for Rainy Days

21 May

So I’m running a little behind schedule this round.  Work has been busy and has had to take priority.  But we still have to eat and while we didn’t make it to the grocery store this weekend, we’re going to raid the pantry for dinner tonight and get back on the wagon tomorrow.  I’m also feeling a little uninspired right now – possibly due to the non-stop torrential downpours – and nothing is really jumping out at me.  Although all the rain has put me in the mood of some good old fashioned comfort foods.  And I do have a bunch of new recipes to try – hopefully a few will make it into our regular rotation.  It’s also a shorter menu than usual, as it’s a holiday week.  Michael will be manning the grill on Memorial Day and we’ll be out of the house at least once this week.  Plus, I’m excited to try a new RR recipe that one of my best friends from college recommended me.  So I guess I’m not totally in a rut – and by the end of the week hopefully we’ll be feeling good about dinner again!

1.  Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Talk about the ultimate rainy day comfort foods.  I might “fancy-up” my grilled cheese with some fresh mozzarella and/or fresh basil leaves, but the kids like theirs plain.  Either way, I wish we could stay in all day and eat this!

2.  Rachael Ray’s Oven Fried Fish Mushy Spring Peas

This is Whip’s recommendation – and she has excellent taste, so I’m sure it will be great!

3.  Greek Turkey Picadillo

Because it is easy, yummy, and uses up stuff from our pantry

4. Tuna, Tomatoes, White Beans with pasta

A RR inspired dish that is also using up stuff in the pantry until we can get ourselves to the store

5. Ravioli with Roasted Sesame and Honey Carrots

6. Turkey Kielbasa with Peas and Carrots over Egg Noodles

One last dish trying to use up everything in the house

7.  Michael’s Spaghetti with Slow Cooker Meat Sauce

I have to get the recipe from him – but the boys love it!  I’ll update once he gets it to me.

8.  Pasta with Goat Cheese, Baby Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

Menu Planning and Flexibility

4 May

So despite my best efforts, things definitely do not always go as planned when it comes to dinners.  Sometimes it’s for a fun reason, like an impromptu pizza party at a friend’s house, other times it’s more annoying, like an unforeseen stomach bug hitting the household.  Whatever the reason, we definitely don’t always manage to make all the meals I plan for.  Sometimes we end up eating out, and other times Spaghetti with muffin tin meatballs turns into just plain old spaghetti with a jar of store bought sauce because that is all I could muster the energy for.  These last two weeks seem to have had a lot of such unexpected events so there are a couple of meals from then back in this rotation.  But that’s okay – so long as you have a method to the madness, you can be pretty flexible with menu planning.  For example, if you suddenly find yourself going out and skipping a dinner, rotate meals around so you’re skipping something that doesn’t have fresh ingredients that will go bad.  That’s why we skipped chicken enchilada pasta last week and are going to try it next week instead.  And if you just can’t find it in you to put together a full meal you planned, don’t just reach for the phone and call for carry out.  Simplify it – spaghetti without the meatballs was just as satisfying and still healthier and cheaper than fast food.  So if you planned on making Mexican lasagna, for example, just turn it into tacos and be done with it!  As type A as I am, there are always more important things to stress over.  Meal planning is supposed to make life easier, so if it’s being more stressful than helpful, let it go.  And then jump back in the next week!

1. Slow Cooker Jambalaya over rice

2. Parmesan Orzo with Smoked Salmon and Asparagus

3. Chicken Enchilada Pasta

4. Spaghetti with Muffin Tin Meatballs and Spinach/Parmesan Balls

5. 20 Minute Skinny Sesame Chicken with rice

6. Baked Pork Tenderloin with Apples with mashed potatoes

7. Chicken Sausage with Farro Risotto and spinach

8. Slow Cooker Chicken Makhani (Light Butter Chicken)

9. Turkey Stroganoff over Rice

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