Monday, August 29, 2011

This week's menu

Soooo...I definitely fell off the menu planning wagon the moment I started throwing up way back in February.  I used to be so efficient at grocery shopping and having everything ready for the next couple of weeks as far as eating was concerned.  Now that the nesting syndrome has kicked in gear, I am ready to get more organized.  Also, I know that after the baby gets here there are going to be people coming and going and I'll be super embarassed if there's a lone pork chop and a can of black beans to our name.  Time to stock up, get some meals in the freezer, and EAT!  I'm easing back in, though.  Here's a sample of some dinner ideas we've eaten/planned since Saturday.

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
These are man food all the way, baby.  My man made these for me and I loved them, but if you make them for your man he will certainly be pleased.  We love any kind of enchiladas at our house, and while these are spiiiicy, they are delish!  Just cover them in sour cream and you can handle the heat.

Tomato Salad
Aren't these just gorgeous?  I picked these yellow and chocolate grape tomatoes up at the farmer's market on Saturday.  I am obsessed with tomatoes that are not red.  Don't get me wrong, I eat all tomatoes, but the other colors are where it's at.  I halved these up and added salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.  You can also throw in any other veggies that you have on hand like cucumbers or peppers. 

Roasted Chicken
We love roasted whole chicken.  It's inexpensive and goes a long way.  It can be intimidating [don't forget to take out the guts!] but if I can do it, so can you.  There are so many ways to cook it, but I have found the easiest and best way is to cover the bird generously in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  That's it.  No stuffing it with fruit or trying to get a compound butter underneath the skin.  Even though I take all the skin off [after it's roasted], somehow the salt and pepper still penetrates the meat and it is so flavorful.  Not to mention juicy.  I start it out in a 425 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, just to get a nice crust on the skin.  Then I turn my oven down to 350 and let it go until it's finished, usually about another hour.  You can also cook it in the crockpot, but I've never done it that way.

Um, is it ok that I'm almost 30 and looove me some sloppy joes?  But please, none of that canned stuff.  We've tried lots of different recipes and the one I've linked is by far the best Jerry, the best!  It literally [enter Rob Lowe] takes 15 minutes from start to finish, and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  I love these so much that I might request them for my birthday dinner tomorrow.  Lame?  Oh well.  I'm entering the lame stage of life, so I'll just embrace it.

This picture looks like a hot mess.  And I guess that's kind of what a fritatta is.  People can try to church it up, but it's still just a bunch of stuff [leftovers, anyone?] thrown in a pan with some eggs and cheese.  My little trick is to take a couple of small potatoes and microwave them.  Adding the potatoes makes this dish more substantial, and par-cooking them in the microwave avoids burning them in the pan.  Once they've taken a few turns around the microwave, I slice them up and cook them in the iron skillet in butter and/or the fat leftover from the meat I've added.  Get them all crispy and then you can add the rest of your ingredients.  It's a great way to use up veggies that are not quite fresh.  You can add bacon or sausage, or go meatless.  I think you should use at least 4 eggs for a nice medium thickness on your fritatta.  All you really have to cook stovetop is the potatoes and the meat if you're using it.  Once everything else is in the pan, put it in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes or until it's set in the middle.  I don't even know if I'm spelling it right, but this is so simple so get at it!

Shrimp Poboys on Homemade Ciabatta
Maybe it's kind of silly to make homemade ciabatta only to top it with store-bought frozen shrimp, but I'm silly and there just isn't anything I can do about it.  We live in a land-locked state and I had a coupon for Sea-Pak.  I hope none of my beach-dwelling family reads this part.  As we speak, I'm in the middle of the second [or third?] rise on this bread.  It's very high-maintenance.  Come to think of it, maybe that's why this is my favorite kind of bread.  I knew there was some kind of connection.  Anyway, when the father of my child gets home tonight he'll whip up a remoulade [he's a great saucier] to top these sammies.  Oh, that reminds me, I need avocado.  Do you like avocado on sandwiches?  Try it!  Hopefully the bread will turn out and we won't have to eat our poboys on Sara Lee.

I hope you found something you might like to try from this week's pathetic attempt at menu planning.  I'm easing my way back in.  Maybe next week I'll actually plan 7 meals.  Peanut butter and jelly is getting a little old.

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