Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week 124 — Regrets from the Cookie Jar

Mon – Chicken and cheese quesadillas
Tues – Italian Meatloaf (Deceptively Delicious)
Weds – Steak, potatoes, peas
Thurs – Pizza
Fri – Tacos/chip plate
Alts – Groupon to Greenmill; stir-fry
We've been camping and eating outdoors a lot lately, and I've reached my hot dog/sausage limit. So for cookouts in the near-term, chicken and steaks will be featured more prominently.

Camping this past weekend, my 4-year-old hit the Cupcake Wall, having eaten cupcakes and orange soda almost continually over a 5 hour period at a party on Saturday. By the time we hit the campsite, he purged his overloaded tummy on the lawns of sweet Mother Nature herself, then went quickly to sleep. When we offered him a left-over cupcake 2 days later for dessert, he blanched and quietly said, "No thank you."

We all have an over-indulged-and-tossed-it story somewhere back there. My husband's was a box of Girl Scout cookies he ate entirely by himself in one 15-minute sitting. For me, it was a luxurious and enormous cold glass of orange juice drank immediately after I'd just gotten sick. Rinse, repeat.

I've been sick from food, mostly when traveling, other times when pregnant and morning sick, more times than I can count, but those weren't really from over-indulging. That's its own special nod to the ancient Romans. It does seem to be from the sweet and sugary (or alcoholic), doesn't it? Otherwise restaurants would probably be loathe to offer t-shirts and free meals to those who can eat the 48oz steak platter down to the gristle. Too many misfires requiring major clean-up before they get a real winner. On that note—happy cooking.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Many of us have "ex's" in our lives. This is one of mine. Meet, former lemon. Now an ex-member of our local fridge drawer community. Nice to reconnect with you, but your juicy tartness has grown a bit rancid.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Week 123—Between camping trips

Mon – Chicken fingers
Tues – Spaghetti
Weds – Grilled brats
Thurs – Pizza
Fri – Burgers
Alts – I don't have it in me. Cereal!
Got as close as I could to "not cooking" this week. This means meals that require minimal inputs; certainly no recipes.

We haven't bothered unpacking our kitchen box from our trip 2 weeks ago. I can report with a mix of depression (have I really let it go that long?) and appreciation for the convenience of it all that it is still sitting in my living room, some 11 days later, and I'm now just preparing it for our next camping trip in Iowa this coming weekend. Happy cooking.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Campsite Centerpiece

Back to the theme of "beauty in the kitchen," my daughter collected this centerpiece for our picnic table when we were camping a couple weeks ago. It was a lovely touch in the great outdoors. We had a really fun campsite at Cherokee Landing on the Oklahoma-Arkansas border. There was ample driftwood to support--if not encourage--the first really big beach bonfire of any of our lives. Such a fun evening. Think it was our 13th anniversary that day. Or that day +1. Good memories.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week 122—Grocery Store Snacking

Mon – Pizza
Tues – Pasta a la carbonara
Weds – Beef stir fry (w/my new favorite Trader Joe's/ "Ming's" General Tsao Stir-Fry Sauce)
Thurs – Chicken fingers
Fri – Grilled brats
Alts – BLTs
Went grocery shopping during the perfect storm of it being, on the one hand, lunchtime, and on the other hand, nearly nap time for the 2-year-old in the house. I prided myself on managing this insane feat by stuffing them with Pirate Booty I selected from the aisles, opened, and fed them until half the bag was gone.

I used to be slavish about not feeding my kids anything in the aisles until it had been paid for. One time I remember grabbing a drumstick from the deli, waiting in the checkout line, then going back through the store to make sure it was all done in the proper order.

Now, I'm much more in the "do what works" camp. Shoot looks at me if you will. I know I'll pay for it, and I also know you will thank me for not dragging screaming kids through the grocery store. Could I be better prepared to begin with? Definitely. But until perfection is attained, you'll have to work really hard to get my attention if I'm shopping at lunchtime with little kids--because I will not be making eye contact with anyone as we snack from the bag of Pirate Booty.

Happy cooking.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What's cookin'

Unless someone makes a plan and gets to the store pronto, this is what's for dinner (and lunch and breakfast) around here this week. Oh, and 4.5 gallons of milk, because someone in my little brain keeps whispering urgently: "we really need milk!"