Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quinoa update

Not so tasty. Like hominy grits with a hint of canned spinach. Digestible, but not desirable. Hm. Maybe an acquired taste?

Shoveling out the Grill

These steaks are from a December 20 evening meal. I had some steaks ready to broil when my husband got home from work. He suggested that they'd be better grilled. Mind you, our grill was under nearly 28" of snow, untouched since late fall, and it was only about 12 degrees out. Since my husband rides a bike to work everyday, these factors are apparently insignificant to him. 30 minutes later we had grilled steaks for dinner. Not bad for late December in MN.

(yes, that's a Barbie in the photo. I don't know what she was doing there, but at least she was a quiet dinner guest)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Week 82--Food fit for a Chilean

Tues –  Lasagna and mandarin salad w/garlic bread; burgers for lunch
WedsStir-fry beef (or 5/8 Club for Juicy Lucys)
Thurs Chicken tortilla soup (Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes) / open house chow for PM
Fri Road chow
Altseat out; salmon & greens; steaks
I got a mass-production size waffle iron from my mom-in-law for Christmas, so we tried it out tonight. Fabulous. It even came with a husband to make the waffles, at least on this initial run.

Our old exchange student comes from Chile tomorrow before starting an exchange semester at Iowa State University. We're thrilled he's with us this week and know, if his tastes are at all like they were 5 years ago, that meat and Coco Puffs should be on the menu and in the cupboards. Celebrating New Years with family this weekend. I think I have a little more room for sugary carbs. Happy cooking.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Menu plan this week is not to be.

While I'm planning what we eat next week, we will subsist on cupboard findings this week. Bon appetit!

50 Cent

We enjoyed some holiday parties this weekend, complete with entire meals made up of cookies and marshmallow kabobs. After a gathering last night, we attempted to end on a semi-healthy note by taking the kids to IKEA for "real" dinner and letting them pick a gift for their siblings while we were there (they had been asking each other for things like electric trains and helicopters with real working winches).

Unfortunately we learned they were closing 20 min after we arrived and the restaurant was already closed. Hark. At 7PM The IKEA angels announced buy-one-get-one hot dogs. 50 cents for 2 hot dogs. Desperate for dinner and to not cook, we went for it.

So if you're on a budget and can get yourself to IKEA, you could get a whole lotta hot dog at closing time each day. If you get in line quickly enough, there's pizza as well.

Of course, there are always plates of Christmas cookies...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hope Santa Likes Them

Tried a new sugar cookie recipe this year. I should have known it would make a lot as it called for 7 cups of flour. I don't even know how many we made, but I think it's in the neighborhood of 10-12 dozen.

I baked the first half of the cookies with my 3- and 5-year-old. You have to be in the right frame of mind to bake with people that age. I'm not sure I was completely there, but I did notice that when I finished baking the rest of the dough that night, it was a bit too quiet.

It made me think of my mom, and how she loves it when the grandkids help decorate her Christmas tree. Even if it looks awful or things get broken along the way, their excitement is contagious. What would the holidays be if you celebrated by yourself?

And dull.

So, dig in, Santa.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Week 81--Shopping for pants results in clementines

MonChicken noodle soup* & dumplings
TuesBeef stir-fry
WedsLemon-pepper chicken & couscous
Thurs Spaghetti & homemade meatballs (make extra to freeze)
Fri Chip plate*
Alt freezer goulash*
A foot of snow is forecast for tomorrow, so I decided to go pants shopping tonight. Sadly, my beloved consignment store was already closed. I regrouped and headed to the grocery store with seemingly everyone else. The menu plan is based on meals I don't need a recipe to follow. It is a very short list. Ah--and I had no luck finding quinoa in a plain form at my usual store. Trader Joes this week perhaps. Happy cooking.

* indicates a meal that can be made in 20 minutes or less

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Late Feast

I dedicated myself to making the butternut squash soup tonight, so when I was just starting dinner at 6:15, I knew bedtime would be late. At 6:45 I decided I really wanted to try an onion cheddar biscuit recipe to go with the soup. Fortunately, my husband was on board with the plan, or at least not offering commentary to the contrary.

We ate at 7:15, and both the soup and biscuits were keeper new recipes. Love when that happens. Bonus: no one melted down even though things got late. Admittedly I came really close at one point when there were 3 balloons, 5 people, and 3 chairs set like picks in the middle of our 10x12 kitchen while I was trying to assemble ingredients for biscuits. I managed to use some calming techniques I usually offer my kids. Deep breath. Find the humor. Kick everyone out.

Week 80--

MonFried chicken & mashed potatoes
TuesCreamy Butternut Squash Soup with Onion & Cheddar Biscuits (Taste of Home)
WedsSlow cooker steak fajitas (Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes)
Thurs Pizza out 
Fri Breakfast*
Alt freezer goulash
It's Monday. Should get some groceries for the week since they aren't magically appearing in my kitchen. Happy cooking.
* indicates a meal that can be made in 20 minutes or less

Saturday, December 4, 2010


It sounds reminiscently like the FungWah bus I used to take from NYC to Boston or DC for $35 round trip. Run by a Jewish family. FungWah. Jewish. Naturally.

This stuff sounds like a miracle food. My sister forwarded this article about the wonders of quinoa to me. Must get some when I shop this weekend. It sounds so easy and healthy. Anyone have a favorite use, comment! I'll let you know what I try.

Friday, December 3, 2010


You know there's a baby in the house when your freezer door looks like this!

I've been making simple applesauce lately. So good. Peel, core, boil in some water, put through a food mill. Done. I'm thinking I could leave the peels on. Might try that next time. I believe that's how my mom makes applesauce.