Thursday, December 31, 2009

Week 36-Retrospective

Tuesshredded beef and potatoes
Wedschicken fingers and sweet potato fries
Thurs steak, shrimp, cheeses, munchies
Fri lentil soup
Extras pizza; homemade tortillas for chip plate
It's the last day of the year, so I'm offering a "retrospective" of the week's menu, since no plan was ever made. End of the year, time to clean the cupboards and work through the holiday left-overs. Enjoy the night (complete with a Blue Moon), and happy cooking in the new year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oatmeal for dinner

We spent this afternoon and evening driving back from family Christmas celebrations in Iowa. We made a mid-afternoon fast-food stop, and snacked on some party mix en route. By the time we got home the kids were ready for a warm bath and I was ready for a bowl of hot oatmeal. Simple, warm food to get us ready for bedtime and help soothe stomachs full of rich holiday fare.

Made me feel like I was in a Quaker Oats ad. I guess the house couldn't be chock-full of unpacked luggage, bags, boxes and new toys for that little illusion of contentedness to work. Anyway, for now the kids are all nestled snug in their beds and giggling their heads off about something or other. For my part, I'm going to go make a nice hot tea. Happy holidays.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 35-Ready for Christmas

MonAu Jus French Dip (4-ingredient slow-cook recipe from HyVee cookbook)
TuesLeft-over lasagna
WedsChicken Noodle Soup (Deceptively Delicious cookbook)
Thurs Oyster Stew
Fri tbd (Christmas!)
Extras Chicken Fingers
Somehow everything from last week's menu plan did eventually get made, so I picked some less involved items for this week. Have a bit to do before Christmas and I don't want extra time in the kitchen. I am planning to make a Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake that I made for a bake sale, but have never actually tasted for myself. I have a great aunt visiting who celebrated her 90th birthday this past weekend and want to have a nice dessert on hand. Otherwise, there's a Christmas party for tonight, then putting together our final cards for the mail by tomorrow. Good luck with your preparations this week, and happy cooking.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cookie Time!

My 4-year-old and I had fun decorating some cookies earlier this week. She vastly preferred the taste of the canned "squirty" frosting to the Royal Icing I made. Youth! Anyway, it made for nice variety when we decorated -- especially after I chilled out and let us both enjoy the festive mess.

As a side note, she did her decorating while topless, sporting a Superman cape. Wonder if that would pass muster in professional bakeries for food prep. The baker wears a hair net, but no shirt. Maybe if s/he's not otherwise hairy? Hmm.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Week 34--What was I thinking?

MonRed Lentil Soup (Le Creuset recipe I sampled at Cook's on Grand last week)
TuesTurkey pot pie (Taste of Home)
WedsMaple glazed meatloaf (newspaper recipe)
Thurs Rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies
Fri Goulash and biscuits
Extras Cuban rice (rice w/tomato sauce
Made this menu plan on Saturday when it seemed like spending a couple hours making dinner each night this week would be simple. Wrong! So here I am at Wednesday and I haven't followed the plan too closely. At any rate, I'm showing what I planned, and these items will probably show up for the next couple weeks until I actually get them all made. As for last night, I ended up just frying chicken tenders with lemon pepper seasoning, making a side of rice and heating up a pre-fab (store-bought) Indian side dish. Lovely. Happy cooking.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Caveman Cooking

This just tickled my funny bone. The ultimate kitchen tool!
Photo courtesy of ThinkGeek.

By the way, I did make a menu plan way back last Saturday afternoon. I've just not made an online appearance with yet. Suspense is becoming almost intolerable out there I know.

I'm going to go pound some steaks now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Parker House Rolls & Banana Cream Cheesecake

I'm showing the rolls I made for Thanksgiving, primarily because this site is in desperate need of some eye-candy. The kids gobbled these up, I think in part because of the fun croissant shaping. The recipe is from my "Beard on Bread" cookbook, for Parker House Rolls. Lots of raising time required, but they were fun and turned out well.

I also made a Banana Cream Cheesecake. I had been looking at pie recipes on epicurious but didn't have the time to pursue one of their typical 2-day cheesecake recipes. I gave this one a try from Taste of Home and thought it was excellent! Better than your usual banana cream pie.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Soothing Snibble

I've been casually attempting to learn to knit over the past month, not very successfully. Until tonight.

I found a knitting movie that had tremendous promise just by nature of the site design. Deliciously tacky. Then I played the video.

I didn't so much watch the video as let the comforting grandmotherly voice that used words like "snibble" roll over me. Within a few minutes, I had successfully knitted for the first time. So what does this have to do with cooking and kids? I wonder if this is about knitting at all and is more about defining a state of mind.

I feel like testing the effect of this video on some other tricky task. Oven repair? No problem honey. Let me grab my knitting video first. 12-hour, 3-day Epicurious birthday cake recipe to make? I'll do it while polishing my toenails and reading to the kids -- just as long as I've got the knitting audio on.

Who knows. Some people pray. Some people meditate. This ranks somewhere...

Week 33 - Extra! Extra!

MonRed Lentil Soup (Le Creuset recipe I sampled at Cook's on Grand last week)
TuesRavioli with ham and peas (Taste of Home)
WedsPancakes/French toast
Thurs Spaghetti & meatballs
Fri Chip plate w/refried beans, avocados, tomatoes, cheddar, etc.
Extras Sweet potato fries/mash; salmon patties; turkey & cheese melts on tortillas; turkey, peach jam, cottage cheese, cheddar wraps on tortillas; jelly, banana & cream cheese wraps on tortillas; veggie burgers; smoothies; go on a freezer expedition
I'm solo parenting for a few days this week, so this menu plan involves a lot of extras I can use depending on what the mood dictates for lunches, snacks, or dinner. I'll let you know if I end up just serving cereal those nights in reality. Happy cooking.

Thursday, December 3, 2009