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dinner, revisited

P1010020

Hello, I’m still here. I owe my disappearance from this blog to a writing deadline that was using up my brainpower, another round of (milder) sickness hitting the youngest two, and just too many sunny days. Although Elizabeth seems to have the worst of it now, but she had a milder case of the flu when we were all suffering with it the first time around. I see sick eyes in this picture….

P1010005

I finally finished my mobile for meg’s mobile swap last week. It is a variation of the one hanging over elizabeth’s changing table, which she is demonstrating in this picture, needs to be raised a wee bit! And instead of hanging it on an embroidery hoop, I attached a few fabric leaves to a willow branch and hung the swallows from there. If you haven’t seen the mobile swap flickr group, you must check it out. There is some amazing work floating around–(one of my favorites being the one meg made…)

P1010022

So this week I planned my menus again, just dinner–and spent a little more than last week–$131. But last week I think I did a better job of using some of the things I already had in my pantry and made some old standby meals. This week I tried two new recipes. Several people have asked me to share what I made, but let me warn you, we are a very meat and potatoes type of family. Well-balanced and colorful, yes, but meat and potatoes. This is nothing fancy, all very simple menu items….

Monday (b/c the planned roast didn’t defrost):
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Baked potatoes
salad

Tuesday:
Marinated chicken
Couscous
Broccoli
Tomato/Bocconcini cheese/Basil tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Wednesday:
Meat Loaf
baked sweet potatoes
homemade corn bread
salad

Thursday:
Spaghetti with turkey meatballs
homemade bread
salad

Friday:
homemade pizza–
"white" pizza–chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach, a bit of bacon, mozzarella cheese.

tabouli over mixed greens–
this was a first try for me, the tabouli. I made it from a mix out of a box and it was no good. But I want to find more grains to include in my menus besides rice and couscous, so if anyone has any suggestions?)

(and I think we had some applesauce in there somewhere…)

So there it is. In all it’s (lack of) glory.
Now I’m hungry….

P1010020

Hello, I’m still here. I owe my disappearance from this blog to a writing deadline that was using up my brainpower, another round of (milder) sickness hitting the youngest two, and just too many sunny days. Although Elizabeth seems to have the worst of it now, but she had a milder case of the flu when we were all suffering with it the first time around. I see sick eyes in this picture….

P1010005

I finally finished my mobile for meg’s mobile swap last week. It is a variation of the one hanging over elizabeth’s changing table, which she is demonstrating in this picture, needs to be raised a wee bit! And instead of hanging it on an embroidery hoop, I attached a few fabric leaves to a willow branch and hung the swallows from there. If you haven’t seen the mobile swap flickr group, you must check it out. There is some amazing work floating around–(one of my favorites being the one meg made…)

P1010022

So this week I planned my menus again, just dinner–and spent a little more than last week–$131. But last week I think I did a better job of using some of the things I already had in my pantry and made some old standby meals. This week I tried two new recipes. Several people have asked me to share what I made, but let me warn you, we are a very meat and potatoes type of family. Well-balanced and colorful, yes, but meat and potatoes. This is nothing fancy, all very simple menu items….

Monday (b/c the planned roast didn’t defrost):
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Baked potatoes
salad

Tuesday:
Marinated chicken
Couscous
Broccoli
Tomato/Bocconcini cheese/Basil tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Wednesday:
Meat Loaf
baked sweet potatoes
homemade corn bread
salad

Thursday:
Spaghetti with turkey meatballs
homemade bread
salad

Friday:
homemade pizza–
"white" pizza–chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach, a bit of bacon, mozzarella cheese.

tabouli over mixed greens–
this was a first try for me, the tabouli. I made it from a mix out of a box and it was no good. But I want to find more grains to include in my menus besides rice and couscous, so if anyone has any suggestions?)

(and I think we had some applesauce in there somewhere…)

So there it is. In all it’s (lack of) glory.
Now I’m hungry….

26 comments on “dinner, revisited”

  1. I’m jumping on the quinoa bandwagon. It’s so good and easy to prepare! There was a spotlight on quinoa in a recent MS Everyday Food (Jan/Feb 08) which has a great recipe for muffins with quinoa and raisins. You can probably find the recipe online. I substitued blueberries for the raisins and added lemon zest, and they turned out really nicely! Also, Feeding the Whole Family (Cynthia Lair) has a fantastic recipe for a quick quinoa salad with lemon and garlic (I added in a bit of red wine vinegar for some extra punch). Yum. Thanks for the inspiration for meal planning. Your meals sound so good!

  2. We, too, are a very “meat and potatoes” family. I like really great basic recipes that stand up to variation. Not that I don’t love a little Indian food thrown in now and then as well… 😉

    I’ve got a bunch of this kind of dinner recipes posted, and have you found Randi’s Recipe Swap at ‘i have to say’? Check it out!( http://ihavetosay.typepad.com )

  3. wow molly! that is a great menu! but i’m wondering, do you guys eat leftovers? im too lazy to actually make five meals, i plan for three and we eat say spaghetti two nights and whatever mish-mash we can find in the fridge on the weekends.

  4. de-lish!

    You must try the tabouli again. Fresh. It’s not too difficult. With humous and pita bread. You can even make the pita bread – yum yum.

    Have you ever had polenta? It’s basically the masa-type cornmeal bread-ish type stuff that goes into tamales. I made it a couple weeks ago with a chicken taco soup and it was really good. The next day I threw it in cubed with my salad for lunch, along with some pulled pork and salsa. SOOOO good.

    I am total leftovers girl too, but I have known quite a few families that “don’t do leftovers”.

    It’s going to be beautiful tomorrow molly! In the sixties. We are picnicking at the state park – let me know if you wanna come!

  5. ***a couple of you asked about leftovers…most of our leftovers go in Dan’s lunches the next day, or I save them up for a big leftover party meal on Saturday night.***

  6. Quinoa… I think that’s how it’s spelled, but don’t quote me. It’s a dense grain… easy to prepare and very flexible. It was a staple in my vegetarian days (before I met my meat & potatoes partner…)

  7. Sounds yummy!

    I definitely think you should try Quinoa. It’s a bit hit around here. I make a little salad out of it, using chopped broccoli, cucumbers, feta cheese, and then adding homemade balsamic vinaigrette. We’re having it tonight!

  8. ugh, grocery prices lately! i was thinking about it after your earlier post, and i’ve reached the conclusion that we make *too much* food – we often have leftovers. when we eat them, that’s great – it lowers our overall grocery costs. when we don’t eat them, boooooo.

    i do make up frozen leftovers for my grandmother and fill her freezer up about every other month so i should remember that when i freak out over the bill.

    menu planning really does help – and when i’m in an organized phase, i do it – but when things get out of control, i’m back at the store every day or two… sigh.

  9. I have to ‘third’ the quinoa. It’s great! You can get it at Trader Joe’s (if you have one) or here’s a link for you:http://www.quinoa.net/145/index.htmlI really like their Inca Red Quinoa. The box comes with some fun recipes and I think the website has some too!The best part is it cooks in 10-15 minutes instead of the 45 it takes for rice so you can even be a little bit last minute with it!

  10. I love quinoa! YOu can do anything with it. For the kids lunch I like to make some and then just add steamed veggies.You can make some for dinner and then use what’s left and mix it up with olive oil, lime juice, peppers or whatever to make a cold salad for the next day.

    Also barley is always good.

  11. We eat a lot of different grains in our house. Our favorites are millet, quinoa, kasha, and a variety of rices. As for cooking them I find that everything comes out best if you start with some oil or butter melted in the pan and toast the grain before adding the liquid. After about 5 minutes as some liquid (water or broth) cook it down and continue to add liquid as it cooks (if you are using broth alternate with water otherwise it gets too intense). If you want to add other flavors start with some spices in the oil before you add the grain. We’re a big fan of cardamon rice and cumin millet. You can also sautee some onions or garlic before adding the grain.

    Hope this helps, if you want more details email me.

  12. Oh, that wretched boxed tabuli. Don’t do that again. I used to try, and try with that stuff, until finally a man from Nigeria that I met standing in line at a grocery store told me to just use TONS of fresh parsley, and 1/4 cup of bulgar wheat soaked in hot water. Then you just season with lemon juice, pepper & salt, and olive oil. That was the trick, because now the kids volunteer to eat tabuli if I offer them a choice of that or spinach. 🙂 Good luck with the meal planning. You’re a better woman than I. And, wiser too!

  13. Molly, this is sooo cool that you listed your menu for the week! I’ve asked a few of my friends before to just tell me what they make because coming up with ideas has always been the hardest thing for me. Thanks for sharing!

    A lady at my church recently had a bunch of us over to talk about meal planning and give us some encouragement and advice and it was great. After that get together I was totally motivated to sit down and take the time I needed to come up with a plan. That taking the time part is a big milestone in itself. I made a list of all the things I have made and [we] liked and/or just all the things I can make (not the longest list at the moment).

    For now I just pick from that list and make a weekly plan. When I get things under control I’d like to start trying new things, probably from the Tastefully Simple magazines I get (a gift from my husband’s grandmother–great gift!)

    Thanks for the encouragement and practical advice. You are so right–the week goes much smoother when you’ve planned it all out. It’s really neat to hear your testimonial. Keep us posted so we can keep learning and fine-tuning along with you!

  14. your menu sounds wonderful! will your girls eat all of that or just bits and parts?

    i try and try to plan, but i don’t do very well. and today, i dropped a whole unopened gallon of organic milk and the lid popped off and spilled all over our garage. yes, i cried over that spilt milk. $6 down the drain. ugh. and definitely another trip to the store.

    finally, your mobile turned out lovely, molly. hope you are all on the mend.

  15. Your menu sounds pretty yummy to me! I’ll suggest quinoa, too. Regular quinoa is great (I like to make it, cool it and then mix it with some feta, olives, etc, sort of like cous cous) but I also love the red quinoa that Whole Foods has. Also, I like to make red rice—I think it’s called Wehani Rice. It has a flavor similar to popcorn…

  16. Definitely quinoa. I like it even better than rice when we make veggie/steak/shrimp grilled kabobs in the summer. Like rice, it’s good at soaking up sauces.

    I also recommend trying the tabouli again. The Bob’s Red Mill brand bulgur has a great recipe on the package (though sometimes I halve it; it makes a lot). We like to do a whole middle eastern thing with tabouli, pita, hummus and baba ghanouj. Very vegetarian, but a real crowd pleaser.

  17. Those are the types of meals we eat, too, though minus the “homemade” tag much of the time. 🙂 I am guilty of using the Jiffy cornbread, which is really more like cake, but I still like it.

  18. If you make tabouleh from the box it definitely has to be doctored. We like to add cucumbers, feta cheese, fresh basil, a squeeze of lemon and whatever else I might find. I have since gone the route of bulgher and doing it myself. It’s better the second day though when all the flavors have a chance to meld. Your menu looks delicious. Something I need to do.

  19. Yay! We got the mobile today! Thank you! I love it so much! I will post pics on my blog soon. Of course, I still have my mobile to finish and send… Thanks again!

  20. I know this is an old post and a gazillion readers mentioned quinoa, but it’s the best grain! However, I saw noone mention that you need to rinse it first before cooking or it might taste bitter. I usually rinse it in a wire mesh sieve. You cook it 1 part quiona to two parts water. I usually have to cook it 15-20 minutes on a very low flame and covered. I saw someone say 10 minutes. That definitely doesn’t happen in my world! But, I know different elevations can make for different cooking times. I use quinoa in place of bulghur wheat in tabouli. It’s very good.

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