in the kitchen: a lazy kitchen week ahead

I almost blew off writing this week’s “in the kitchen” post. Thanks to a major fibro flare up (major in regards to severity, that is, but hopefully not in regards to length), I am not feeling much like a functioning human being. I do not think I will ever get used to the way flare ups steal your brain function. Anyway, this means that not only will time in the kitchen need to be cut back, but also that it is just extremely hard for me to focus and organize. Nonetheless, I did manage to throw together a very simple menu plan for the week, featuring lots of fresh tomatoes as our garden tomatoes are finally ripening

IMG_7339Breakfasts.

As per usual, a mix and match of eggs, bacon, oatmeal, apple slices with peanut butter, faux sausage, etc. And there are a batch of pumpkin waffles in the freezer, as I made extra when Gray and I had them for supper last Monday. The exception will be on Thursday morning, as that is Max’s birthday. His usual request is donuts and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Lunches.

Again the usual for Max. The “goodie” needs to be simple this week as I’m not up for making cookies today. So probably just a doctored-up brownie mix. I’m making a huge batch of the new linguine recipe (more on that in a moment) tonight for supper, so there will be leftovers for a few days worth of lunches for Annie and Rich. Will also be making a huge batch of goulash for freezer lunches for Rich. Otherwise, the usual–fruit salad, yogurt, etc.

Supper.

Sunday: linguine with fresh tomatoes, rosemary bread

Monday (the evening that Rich and Annie can’t be home for supper): for Max–mozzarella sticks; for Gray–frozen pizza; for me–probably will just wait to eat chips and fresh homemade salsa with Rich when he gets home at 9:30 and we watch the latest Fear the Walking Dead

Tuesday: faux chicken sandwiches, leftover pizza salad, shoestring fries, key lime pie

Wednesday: chimichangas, quesadillas

Thursday: since it’s Max’s birthday, we’re indulging his Taco Bell obsession

Friday: out to eat to celebrate Max’s birthday (delayed because Annie has to work Thursday)

Saturday: cheesy baked eggs, blueberry pancakes, sausage, orange smoothies

*****

Shocking as it may be, I managed to stick to last week’s plan almost perfectly. I supposed to try a new recipe for rolls on Thursday, but instead had Rich pick up a loaf of Wegmans’ organic rosemary olive oil loaf that we all love so much. I did try the other two new recipes I had on slate–a rice pudding recipe and the linguine with fresh tomatoes. Both were awesome! The rice pudding I made strictly by the recipe, the linguine I fiddled with a bit.

*****

Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes

8 oz. box linguine

3-4 medium tomatoes, chopped

2-3 jalapenos, chopped (original recipe called for 6 green onions instead)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan (original recipe called for 1/2 cup)

4 tsps dried basil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

(original recipe also called for 3 Tbsp butter)

Cook linguine. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, jalapenos, Parmesan, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Drain the pasta. (This is where the butter comes in in the original recipe. You are to toss the pasta with the butter until it’s melted.) Add linguine to tomato mixture; toss.

It was ridiculously good without the butter, but I’m sure it would be with the butter as well.

Advertisements

in the kitchen: transitioning to autumn

IMG_0806

Did okay, but not great, sticking with last week’s menu plan. Monday brought the first kink–the earliest appointment we could get at the Genius Bar was Monday at suppertime; we bagged grilling and just grabbed a bite while out. This pushed Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday’s plans forward a day. Friday remained pizza night (Gray considers this sacrosanct). And Saturday was a complete change up thanks to the glorious weather–with nonstop rain and highs in the upper 50s to low 60s all weekend, how could we not have a big batch of Rich’s chili?!! (This is heaven for me both because his chili is one of my all-time favorite meals *and* because I get out of cooking duties 😛 ). I did manage a few extras–baked cookies for next week’s lunches and made veggie broth.

As for the new recipes tried, two out of three were winners. I didn’t care much for the lemon baked potatoes (though Rich enjoyed them); I think for me, it’s a case of there’s just no improving on a regular baked potato loaded with butter and salt and pepper. 😉  But the peach muffins and the cranberry bars–thumbs up all-around.

As for what’s on slate for the upcoming week:

Breakfasts. Much the same. A mix of eggs, bacon (for Max), veggie sausage (for Gray), etc. Plus I’m going to make a big batch of blueberry pancakes today to stick in the fridge to warm up some mornings.

Lunches. Max will have his typical bagel sandwiches and fruit salad and Gatorade.. And this week, he’ll have Ritz Bits and crack cookies as extras. Gray will choose from his regulars. Annie will have shin bowls or pb&j on waffles, plus fruit salad, cookies, and on pb&j days probably a Greek yogurt. Rich will have cavatini some days (I’ll be making a batch today for the freezer) and leftover chili some days, celery, fruit salad, and cookies. I will eat leftovers.

Supper.

Sunday: grilled cheese on homemade bread, soup

Monday: As Annie and Rich won’t be home Monday nights, this will be the night for the boys and me to eat things that everyone else doesn’t necessarily like. So for Max, it will be mozzarella sticks. And for Gray and me, I’ll make pumpkin waffles. A double batch so I can freeze a pile of them for breakfasts next week.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, as per Max’s request. Or should I say, as per Max’s begging. 😛

Wednesday: mac and cheese bake, cantaloupe slices, homemade rolls, and rice pudding (new recipe)

Thursday: linguine with fresh tomatoes (new recipe) and honey pan rolls (new recipe)

Friday: pizza night

Saturday: veggie burgers, pizza salad, honeydew melon slices

*****

Peach Muffins (from Jean Childress’ Muffin Cookbook–a favorite of mine)

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

4 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

6 Tbsp butter, melted

1 large peach, peeled and chopped

additional sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tin.

Combine dry ingredients.

In separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and melted butter. Stir into dry ingredients, just until moistened. Fold in peaches.

Spoon batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 25 minutes.

IMG_7261

in the kitchen: getting back in the swing of things

Summer always seems to throw meal planning into the trash. Between never knowing ahead of time when it’s going to be too hot to use the oven or boil water for pasta, etc. and the slightly more free and spontaneous way our afternoons can go, it just gets harder to plan.

But back-to-school time means the return of a more routine sort of week. I made a menu plan last week, and shockingly, we managed to stick with it every. single. day. That may be a first! Seriously, there always seems to be a day or two, or occasionally, most of them, where things come up, and I have to rearrange or completely change things up. But even when that happens, I find life so much easier to have a menu plan at least as a jumping off point.

So what’s in store for the coming week…

Breakfast. It used to be that the kids made due with cereal most days. But since Max gets on the bus shortly before 7:00 and this year doesn’t have lunch until 12:30, I’m trying to make him more slightly more substantial breakfasts. I’m not really going to plan breakfasts, but instead have a list of things that I can quickly throw together for him. (And Rich and Annie, if they want–they’re not big breakfast people.) And then do it all over an hour later when Gray has breakfast. 😉  Bacon, eggs, muffins, fruit salad, batches of pancakes/waffles/French toast in the freezer, that sort of thing.

Lunch.

Monday: Gazpacho.

Rest of week: Max usually takes pretty much the same thing–a bagel sandwich, fruit salad (or a piece of fruit), and some baked goodie. I still have a batch of brownies, so I don’t need to bake anything for lunches this week. Annie and Rich will be starting back to school this coming week. They take their lunches as well. But because we’re in this awful unseasonable heat wave, I won’t be cooking up batches of food for them. Instead, I’ll pack Annie shin cups (she’d live on them if we let her!) or pb&j sandwiches on toasted waffles plus fruit and yogurt and brownies. Rich will have sandwiches or crackers and sardines plus fruit and celery and brownies. Gray loves his junk food for lunch–frozen pizzas, faux chicken sandwiches, spaghettios. :/  I most often eat leftovers.

Supper.

Sunday: steak on the grill (for the omnivores), baked potatoes, big ass salad, watermelon, and cranberry bars (new recipe)

*Eva will be here. And possibly Kirsten and Maribel.

Monday: burgers (for Rich and Max) and veggie burgers (for the rest of us) on the grill, beans

Tuesday: pan-fried kielbasa (for Rich and Max), lemon baked potatoes (new recipe), broccoli, peach muffins (new recipe)

Wednesday: Arizona slop, corn muffins

Thursday: mac and cheese bake, cantaloupe, homemade rolls, green beans, rice pudding (new recipe)

Friday: pizza night

Saturday: grilled cheese on homemade bread, soup

The weather is supposed to remain too. damn. hot. for most of the week, so we’ll see how it goes…