Saturday, March 31, 2012

Planning: Week of March 31-April 6, 2012

I've been busy.  Really busy.  Wishing I was sleeping more busy.  That means we don't eat at home because I walk through the door and can't imagine the thought of cooking.  It's an ugly cycle.  And once I haven't cooked one evening, it becomes easier to replicate the cycle, spend too much money, and become bored of restaurant food.
So, yeah.  It's Saturday, and I'm planning to eat at home for dinner from now until next Friday night.  Saturday, it currently appears that we're going to see my folks.  But I may need to take food with me.  After combing Pinterest, and my magazines, I've planned a good tasting week, I think.  Here we go:

Saturday:  I couldn't find something at the store after not being inspired for another dinner, but I had a brainwave when I woke up from my snooze - I have one of those Philadelphia Cream Cheese Sauce things in the fridge.  With bacon, spinach and pasta, I think I have dinner. 
Sunday:  Spaghetti for lunch.  Homemade pitas, Chicken Gyros and Tzatziki for dinner
Monday: Mexican Stuffed Shells and salad
Tuesday: Leftover Shells
Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken Parmesan
Thursday: Leftover Chicken parm
Friday: Grilled Burgers, chips, carrot sticks and homemade dill pickles

Sounds like a good week.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pinteractive: Buffalo Chicken Wontons

This is my Pinteractive post for the week.  Click on the badge over there ------> to go to Nanette's blog and see all the Pinteractive posts!

So, I drool over a lot of food blogs, and over all of the recipes pictured on Pinterest.  I often post blog pictures to my Pinterest board so I don't lose them later when I'm ready to make them.  In fact, my most repinned recipes are often the ones I pull off other websites and pin to a board.  This week's recipe is a case in point. 
I enjoy looking at the recipes that are posted to the theme on Family Fresh Meals Recipe of the Week.  Last week's theme was Hot n Spicy Recipes.  I entered my Buffalo Chicken Soup...the first recipe I posted here!  I even got votes!!  But there was this other intriguing recipe from Peanutbutter and Peppers.
For appetizer night on Saturday, I made bruchetta, carrot sticks, ranch dip, and these yummy little wontons.  I present to you now Peanutbutter and Pepper's Buffalo Chicken Wontons:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Retro Dinner: Shepherd's Pie

J loves this recipe too, and it's dead simple.  I'm thinking that I probably had a recipe for this at one time, but I don't remember the last time I actually did anything other than go into the kitchen and whip this up.  I love forgiving recipes that let you use what you've got.
My mother's recipe for Shepherd's Pie has a pastry crust and uses a can of alphabet soup instead of gravy.  It's okay, but I like the brown sauce better, and there's melted cheese, so how can you go wrong?
I present to you now Shepherd's Pie, my way:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

So, it's Winter...RIGHT???

We are experiencing unusual weather this week.  Not that I'm complaining.  I am always happy to pull out my sandals.  Let us celebrate the lovely, lovely weather with a couple of pictures, shall we?
Look what I uncovered today!
Yep, we went to the butcher, and it's now Grilling Season. 
Let the fun begin.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Appetizer Saturday: Bruschetta's now a couple of Saturdays ago that I made this, but J and I have been eating tapas dinners on Saturday nights.  In theory, it's so that we have a good repertoire of things for football season.  You know, those days you sit on the couch in your team's colours because it's an away game and you're not tailgating?  Okay, well, perhaps that's our house.
We have decided, however, that we cannot live on baked cheese dip alone.  So, we're trying some other small plate things (Buffalo Wontons, anyone?) that we can eat Saturdays as we watch at least 3 games.
Hopefully in fall, the tomatoes will be better than what I could get in February.  I even bought hothouse vine ripened, and they were a little mealy.  But with what I added, it was still all good.
I present to you now how we make Bruschetta around here:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Microwave Mac and Cheese...The Good Stuff

When I was in Grade 6 in 1984, my parents bought a microwave.  It was a big, boxy affair that died last month, meaning my mother has fulfilled her wish to (finally) buy a new, smaller microwave.  When my mom got her Kenmore behemoth, she decided that we needed to take a cooking class in microwave cooking.  So, we went every Thursday for 6 weeks and made microwave foods, including cakes.  This is the only recipe I still make from that class.  Okay...I still make the peanut brittle.  I don't melt spatulas anymore making it either - I learned my lesson that one time when I was 12.
J loves this version of Mac and Cheese.  In fact, when we went to Zingerman's delicatessen in Ann Arbor over Christmas break, J ordered their mac and cheese as a side with his sandwich (I had #62, and it was amazing.  I have no clue what J had other than that mac and cheese).  It was divine, but he told me that my mac and cheese was almost as good.  I don't use $8 pasta, and only 1 type of big box shredded cheese.  I did, however, purchase the pasta they use, and am going to go to the local cheese shop to purchase good cheese to make top shelf comfort food.
My parents gave me my first microwave in 1998 for my 25th birthday, because I didn't own one, and they couldn't understand how I was managing to cook for myself in my one bedroom apartment without a microwave.  Frankly, I use my microwave to heat frozen vegetables, melt chocolate and butter, and make this dish.  Oh, and reheat soup.  Everyone needs to be able to reheat soup quickly.
I present to you comfort food:  Microwave Cooking Class Macaroni and Cheese:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Meal Planning: March 3-9, 2012

Okay, this week has started, but I need to recap last night.

Saturday:  Appetizer night!  Buffalo Chicken Wontons, Bruschetta, Ranch Dip and Carrot Sticks
Sunday:  Homemade Macaroni and Cheese along with Sausage and Salad
Monday:  We're off to Jann Arden, and are going to our favourite Greek restaurant before the show.  Saganaki and Baklava, here I come!!
Tuesday:  I have an appointment for a cut and colour at 5:45PM  I'm going to be home wicked late.  We're talking leftovers supplemented by Snack Wraps, or maybe all leftovers.  We'll see.
Wednesday:  Guitar lesson, so I'll be home later.  We're having burgers on the Foreman Grill, chips and dill pickles.
Thursday:  I pulled the spaghetti sauce out of the freezer.  We're really eating it this week.
Friday:  On the road.  Probably Wendy's.
 One more week.  Then a few days away, and then a few days of home time.  Lots of time to plan and cook.  Hooray!

Friday, March 2, 2012


Apparently, I'm falling behind.  Not with not posting because I didn't upload pictures...but because I'm not making anything new and thrilling.  Grilled chicken on a Foreman grill doesn't qualify for a post.  I marinate in Parmesan Pesto salad dressing, so I'm not even making the marinate when I cook.
Tomorrow, however; that should change.  I talked to J about something I want to make, Buffalo Chicken Wontons, and I proposed Appetizer night - a bunch of small plates of interesting stuff. 
So, I promise you something tomorrow.  Something interesting.  With lots of flavour on a bunch of small plates.