Monthly Archives: October 2013

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 44 (10/28/13-11/1/13)

I learned several things about my family’s eating habits this week:

  1. We all hate tortellini.
  2. The Toddler is not a fan of ANYTHING contained within ANY red-hued sauce.
  3. Big Daddy will not eat soup unless it is presented to him and he has no other choice. But he still considers ‘soup-eating’ a form of torture.
  4. Just because The Toddler enthusiastically devours a food right now, that doesn’t mean she’ll want to eat it again. Ever.

That said, last week‘s Tortellini Spinach Bake went to waste (refer to items 1 & 2 above), and I ate a lot of Creamed Chicken & Corn Soup (refer to #3). I didn’t really mind that part though, because it was delicious. And in reference to note #4, the Skillet Enchilada Pasta that I made a few weeks ago and pulled out of the freezer for The Toddler’s lunch wasn’t such a hit the second time around. She basically wouldn’t touch it with TWO ten foot poles. This was so strange, considering the fact that she consumed roughly 14 servings at one sitting the first time she was presented with the same skillet enchilada pasta.

Fickle little beasts, aren’t they?

In conclusion, I’m going to attempt to cook some food that my family will actually eat this week (you’re welcome, family). As much as Big Daddy focuses most of his food-related attention toward healthy basic foods (read: boring), the things that never go to waste in our house are inevitably those of a ‘comfort food’ variety.

For instance, this Tater Tot Casserole barely saw the light of day before it was devoured. And now that I’m eyeballing it again, it’s sorta making me drool. Oh, sorry…was that TMI? But seriously, it’s really good. Once, I ate this casserole for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. It was a well-balanced day, obviously.

If we were identifying my Perfect Food Day, it would probably look like this:

Breakfast:

Banff-Springs-scones-2-1024x637[source]

I dream of this beautiful combination of homemade scones, jam, and clotted cream on a regular (almost daily) basis. I had this for the first time when I was in Scotland (The Motherland…) during a trip to the UK with my family in 2011. I was pregnant with The Toddler, and I ate this combination for breakfast (in both Scotland and Ireland) no less than 8 times during our 9 day stay. And now, I live daily with the reality that there is no such thing as a good scone in Maryland. So I try to make them myself…and they don’t even come close. Then I cry and eat a pancake instead.

Lunch:

DSC_08941-678x1024[source]

I’ve been in love with various iterations of Asian soup for the last 3 years. The most common recipes you’ll see me searching and printing are for Asian-themed soups. I can’t get enough, and I love the (usual) simplicity of throwing them together. As long as you have a few staple ingredients, you can put a great, satisfying soup together in just a few minutes. The exception to this is when I embark on my monthly journey of making Pho broth. That’s definitely an all-day affair, and requires a trip to the Asian market (one of my favorite places in the whole universe), but it’s totally worth it in the end. It took me FOREVER to find a reliable recipe, but this one works really well for me (just in case you’re in the market for some Pho broth).

Dinner:

mare_roasted_vegetable_meatloaf_with_mustard_mashed_potatoes_h[source]

For me, this is the ultimate comfort food combination. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed or veggies…perfection.

So there is really no actual problem with this “Perfect Food Day”. Unless you consider the fact that 2 out of 3 members of the Smithstrong household wouldn’t touch 2 out of 3 of these meals. Sometimes it’s a challenge to please everyone, and I only have to worry about a family of 3 right now. I have no idea how larger families can manage everyone’s food preferences while still making sure everyone is eating what they need.

This week, I’ve attempted to pull together recipes that will please everyone in my family, and I’m not going to over-cook. I seem to be making TOO MUCH food, and I don’t want to do that. I’ll reduce a recipe by 1/2 if it seems like it’s too much. I really don’t want to waste anything this week. I hate throwing away food. In my brain, the trash can yells, “CHA CHING! CHA CHING! CHA CHING!” as the food goes in. It’s tragic.

New Recipes:

Recycled Recipes:

With any luck, the new recipes will be keepers, and I can reduce wasted food this week!

I’m not going to bore you with the details, but the baby countdown is now approaching 10 days. Yikes! This is really happening, folks!

Click for all of the recipes, grocery list, and menu!

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New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 43 (10/21/13-10/25/13)

Believe it or not, I really did plan a menu last week. Sorta. I cooked a few recipes (you can see them on my Pinterest), but I couldn’t find the time/motivation/brain cells to put together the whole shebang.

Truthfully, I’m SUPER PREOCCUPIED right now with getting my house ready for the baby to arrive. I did this to some degree when I was pregnant with baby 1.0, but it seems to be slightly more amplified this time. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that we bought our house and moved in September 2011, and then The Toddler was born in March.

You know how you move your stuff into a new house, and then you end up rearranging the furniture again 6 months later because you realize after living and breathing in the house for a while that the chair you put in THAT CORNER isn’t going to work because every time you open the closet door, it bangs into the chair? Yeah…it’s sort of like that.

So now I’m nesting, and my “MUST IMMEDIATELY MOVE ALL OF THE THINGS INTO THEIR PROPER PLACES” has kicked into overdrive.

So I won’t bore you here with the details about my kitchen and dining room master plan…because you’re probably just here for a menu. If you want to read more about that, you can check out the details on House Becomes Home (in which you’ll learn more than you likely ever wanted to know about my broken garbage disposal and gold-trimmed ceiling fan).

This week, I’m ahead of the game. It’s Thursday, and I’m done with the menu. This is a new record.

The recipe I’m most excited about this week…

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 12.57.03 PM[source]

Because really…anything that contains tater tots is pretty special to me.

Here’s the new recipes this week:

Just a couple of notes–

*For the Creamed Chicken & Corn soup, you can make your own cream of chicken soup rather than using a canned version. There are all kinds of Cream of Chicken recipes online, but I like Pinch Of Yum’s recipe the best because it’s super easy, quick, and it tastes good (3 things I can never argue with when it comes to a recipe).

*Also, for that same recipe…please make your own homemade creamed corn. It’s SO MUCH better than the yucky canned version. I use this recipe from The Hungry Housewife…and I love creamed corn, so I have to seriously pace myself when I make this recipe.

And the recycled recipes:

You can find all of the recipes, the menu & grocery list on box.net. Keep in mind that I didn’t add the ingredients for homemade cream of chicken soup or homemade creamed corn to the grocery list, so if you want to make those from scratch, make sure to add them (and omit the canned versions from the grocery list).

I hope the weather is beautiful this weekend for you! It’s finally starting to feel like fall in Maryland, and this makes me very happy.

beth signature

 

New Menu

Weekly Menu: Week 41 (10/7/13-10/11/13)

Were you absolutely lost without a menu last week? I didn’t think so. I knew you could do it on your own. We were away from home for the entire weekend for a wedding, so there was no cooking on the schedule. Or grocery shopping for that matter.

I actually dragged my hung-over husband out on Sunday afternoon to buy produce and necessities. I can’t lie…it was a little fun watching him “recover” while I calmly shopped for pears and milk.

This week, I have a plan. There is an extra recipe or two thrown into the mix this time because my freezer is honestly looking a little bare. I’m not panicking just yet…despite the fact that my dear son will be born in 33 days or less.

33 days or less.

Wow.

OK, now I’m ready to panic.

I have plans to make a couple of off-menu recipes this weekend, because in my short-lived jaunt as “Bento box lunch packer“, I’ve realized that my little muffin of a daughter LOVES her ‘special treats’ that pop up unexpectedly. I purchased a Wilton Mini Pie Press AGES ago, and have yet to use it, so I’m going to see how it handles apple-pie-making tomorrow. I bought that pie press way before kids were even in the mix, and now I’m wishing that I had an even smaller version (since my girl doesn’t really need a pie even as big as the mini press I have). I might try to procure a smaller one, but for now I’m going with the one I have.

Incidentally, there are some absolutely adorable pumpkin-shaped cookies floating around my Pinterest feed.

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Yeah, I won’t be making those. They’re so cute, but that’s just a little too ambitious for this pregnant lady.

However, I will be making these:

Screen shot 2013-10-04 at 3.09.14 PM[source]

I’m going to shred some ham and add it between the potato layers, since Big Daddy will not likely accept a meat-free meal–especially one involving potatoes of any variety.

I didn’t pick regular recipes that are overly complicated. I tried to keep it as simple as possible, considering that there are 6 new recipes this week.

New Recipes:

Recycled Recipe:

Here’s a link to all of the recipes, the menu, and the grocery list. I did away with the plan because I’ve listed what day to make which recipe on the menu…so “the plan” sort of felt like overkill.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

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