Archive | July, 2012

There’s An App For That

23 Jul

I’ve got to be honest, sometimes the last thing I want to do is plan out our dinners and make a grocery list. It’s a double edged sword – on one hand planning out two weeks at a time means I don’t have to think about it again for a long time. But on the other hand, it also means it’s a bigger endeavor when I do sit down to do it. Luckily I’ve recently discovered a couple different apps that help me make it all more manageable. The one I use the most is called Wunderlist and it is a real life saver. It allows me to create tons of different lists that I can share with Michael. What makes this different than most list sharing devices is that either of us can update it at any time and it will automatically synch on our iPads, iPhones, and desktop. I keep a running list of ideas for dinners, as the week goes on I just keep adding to it. Usually when it’s time to put the next two week’s worth of dinners together I’ve got a decent list going already. I’ve also currently got a grocery list, a Costco list and a Target list – all of which Michael and I update whenever we pick anything up at the store. Another great app that I discovered is Evernote. Evernote allows me to capture webpages of things that interest me for access anytime. It’s the 21st Century equivalent of clipping articles out of the newspaper.  If I see a recipe on a blog that piques my curiosity or an article that I think is helpful but I don’t have time to read it right away I “clip” it to Evernote for later. And of course I have the WordPress app too – which not only let’s me edit and post here but also let’s me read all the blogs I follow in one easy place.
Anyway, I definitely used both of these for putting together this latest installment of meals, but I’m always on the look out for more useful apps and websites for organizing and planning. Anyone have any other suggestions to share?

P.S. If you’ve noticed we’re a little short on dinners this time around – it’s because a certain little man is turning 5 this week so we’ll be doing lots of celebrating out with him!

1. One pot salmon with snap peas and rice
A Real Simple recipe I’m looking forward to making – especially as I love anything “one pot”.

2. Kale with chicken sausage and white beans over mashed potatoes
This is easy and quick and delish.

3. Pasta with tuna and ricotta cheese
I have to admit, I think this sounds a little weird but her recipes have never steered me wrong.

4. Baked chicken tenders with steamed asparagus and Onion Soup Potatoes
These potatoes are so easy to make and make a really yummy side dish that requires only three ingredients.

5. Greek turkey picadillo over rice
A favorite with the kids and grown ups.  Plus, I have olives and capers burning a hole in my pocket.

6. Slow cooker Asian-style pork tenderloin with jasmine rice and roasted green beans
We like lean pork tenderloin for a change from turkey and chicken. This is just a new spin on it.

7. Slow cooker Thai lettuce wraps
I love lettuce wraps so I’m going to give these from the queen of slow cooking a try.  But I think I’ll add carrots and water chestnuts towards the end of the cooking time to give them a little crunch.


Power Outages and Restocking the Freezer

6 Jul

For those of you in our area, hopefully you have all  had your power (and sanity) restored from the storms that hit just before the Fourth of July.  We were relatively lucky in that we were on vacation for the storms and only had to live at home without power for about a day.  But I know many of you weren’t so lucky.  Also not as lucky: all of the food in our refridgerator and two freezers.  Since we were on vacation, there wasn’t that much in the fridge, but our freezers were stocked.  I’m not sure what I’m more heartbroken over, the tray of spanokopita I had been saving for a rainy day, the dozen or so single-serving tupperware containers filled with frozen leftovers that I take for lunch, or the 2 packages of ridiculously expensive special diet dog food – all of which had to be thrown out.  Of course, it is still sweltering out there, so I’m leaning towards quick cooking, lighter dishes these days.  But I will probably try to make a little more each night so I can restock my back-up lunches.  And putting the menus together have helped me figure out what staples we now need to stock up on again (could I have saved the Worscteshire sauce?  Possibly, but why risk it?).   In the meantime, stay cool!

1. Tuna, Tomatoes, White Beans and Pasta

An easy Rachael Ray inspired 30-minute meal.

2. Grilled Cilantro Chicken over Lemon Linguine

Found this recipe while browsing my fave website: FoodGawker!  Looks delish and I can’t wait to try it.

3. Baked Panko Breaded Chicken Tenders with Farro Risotto

Easy, peasy chicken tenders that the kids will love and hopefully distract them enough that they’ll give Farro Risotto (which I intend to make with some pumpkin puree) a try 🙂

4. Spaghetti with Edamame, Tomato, and Parsley Pistou

Don’t be frightened by the pistou – it’s a super easy sauce and you can easily substitute pesto if you want!

5. Roasted Tilapia with Potatoes and Lemons

Do you love Real Simple Magazine as much as I do?  This is one of their recipes that I’m excited to try.

6. Easiest Ever Baked Mac and Cheese

Maybe with chicken sausage.  Maybe without.  It’s really good either way.

7. Chicken and Chickpeas over Rice

Another superfast, one pot (well, I guess one pot and one rice cooker) dinner.

8. Leftover Rice Salad with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Tomatoes

What do you do when you have leftover rice?  Make a rice salad! 

9. Dinner on the grill with chicken, corn on the cob, and Grilled Salad.

You haven’t tried a grilled salad yet?  What are you waiting for?  No recipe here – just brush a little olive oil on some romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions and grill away – it is delicious!  And best of all, for me, it means Michael is cooking dinner!

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