Why grocery lists are fun!

Our kitchen system goes something like this.  I have 2 dry erase boards on our refrigerator.

#1 has a list of all the dinners planned for the week…

meal-list

#2 has a list of things “certain household members” need/want me to buy on my next trips to the grocery store:

list

Cluck! Cluck, cluck, cluck

Chicken.  Chicken, chicken, chicken!  Last week I was surprised to find boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale.  Not one to pass up a sale on chicken I bought three family packs and cooked them all.  This led to a completely lazy meal plan, including, but not limited to lime chicken soft tacos, chicken burritos and chicken pasta. 

Because of this impromptu laziness Mini-Meatloaves were pushed forward to this week.

This week’s menu:
Mini Meatloaves, mashed potatoes, vegetable (from last week’s plan)
Lasagna Soup (recipe from my sister who got it from her friend Karin)
Crockpot Chicken Chili (recipe from my sister who got it from her Principle but the exact recipe was also listed on Plain Chicken)
Macaroni and Cheese Soup by SkinnyTaste
Chicken Cordon Bleu by The Girl Who Ate Everything 
Buffalo Wing Turkey Lettuce Wraps by The Girl Who Ate Everything
Left Overs

What’s a hand-basket anyway?

Last week’s menu went to hell in a hand-basket pretty quickly.

The Fonz on Christmas

It started out with The Fonz catching me on my way out the door (with my grocery list already set) saying, “Hey, mom, can you get some stuff for a Mexican meal at the store?”.  “What?!” I asked, instantly annoyed.

So the two cooked chicken breasts that I was going to use in the lettuce wraps got converted into Chicken Tortilla Soup.  The Fonz made dinner that night, satisfying his homework requirement and his mother.

I had also planned to make pork chops but when I saw the price I was instantly pissed and said to myself, “No way am I paying that much for pork”.

I ended up getting pork anyway, but a different cut.  I don’t know what it’s called but we call it the politically incorrect name of “Mexican Meat” because the first time I made it I cooked it in the crockpot with taco seasoning and it shredded up like the shredded beef served in Mexican restaurants.  It’s been called “Mexican Meat” in our house ever since.  Even if I don’t add the spices, which I didn’t.

So, instead of pork chops I made Beef Barley Soup with the pork.  Which should be called Pork Barley Soup but that doesn’t have the alliteration of Beef Barley Soup, which I like.  Oh, and I didn’t make this meal, Superman did ‘cuz I was busy.

“Mexican Meat” only comes in huge portions so I had to replace my regular taco plans with “Mexican Meat Burritos” but I got confused at the store and still bought the taco shells.  I guess we’ll be having tacos with regular old ground beef in the next few weeks so I can get that box out of my pantry. (Don’t get me started on excessive packaging).

After all of this, I was still able to try one new recipe: Roasted Vegetable Omelet.  We actually really liked this dish and I would definitely make it again.  I also love it when I can make a vegetarian dish.  Although I did serve it with a side of chicken sausage which probably negates the vegetarian meal plan but was still pretty satisfying.

Here’s the plan for this week:
(Only 5 meals to plan since I’m late in getting to the store)
Hawaiian Meatballs over Rice (Superman’s request) from allrecipes.com
Lasagna with Salad (My mom’s recipe)
Lime Chicken Soft Tacos from allrecipes.com
Mini-Meatloaves, mashed potatoes, vegetable (from Mel’s Kitchen)
Warm Tortellini Salad

None of these are new this week, but maybe they’ll inspire you one way or another.

When nothing sounds good but you still gotta cook

Menu

First of all: Here’s the verdict on last weeks kitchen happenings:

  • Those Jumbo Sausage Raviolis I was so excited about?  Yeah, not so great.  We wouldn’t make them again.  We just didn’t like the noodle to meat ratio.  There was too much noodle in our opinion.  Plus we really didn’t think the sauce needed the cream.  It was too bland.  This would have been much better with regular old spaghetti sauce.  If you like noodles more than meat then this recipe is for you.  It just wasn’t what we were expecting.  Chrysanthemum liked it in her lunches, so that’s a plus.
  • We loved the Chicken Potato Casserole (well almost, Lil’ Sport didn’t).  It was so simple but had a really good taste.  I’ve never  had Buffalo Wings or Frank’s Hot Sauce but I’ve seen it in several recipes, so it was fun to get a sense of that flavor.  This definitely made enough to have leftovers which is always a plus!
  • The Crockpot Jambalaya was a keeper but I’d make some changes.  First of all I couldn’t find fire roasted tomatoes so I used regular diced tomatoes.  I wouldn’t do this again.  I would make the special trip to QFC for the fire roasted and I think that would have kicked up the taste a bit.  Also, we’re not big fans of frozen shrimp (or shrimp in general) so I’d double the sausage and leave out the shrimp.  This seems like the kind of recipe I’ll make very occasionally.
  • Now, the Cheeseburger Salad???  This was DELICIOUS!!!  I was pretty surprised because it (1) it doesn’t call for dressing so I thought it would be dry (it wasn’t), and (2) I thought it would taste like taco salad so I was feeling ‘been there done that’…  However, this was so so so so so good!  I’m craving it as I write this and I’d make it again this week if I could.
  • We really liked the White Chicken Enchiladas too. I’ve made versions of these over the years but I loved this recipe and it was really easy so I’m sure I’ll make it again.  Unfortunately we ate the whole darn pan so there were no leftovers.  I could see myself making 2 pans for leftovers throughout the week.
  • Oh, and a little side note: The Fonz broke my brand new casserole dish!  It was purely accidental so I couldn’t even get mad but I sure was disappointed.  So much for having nice cooking dishes.  But the few days I used it?  My food looked so pretty!  RIP fancy casserole dish…
  • Here’s what’s on the menu this week:
    Zuppa Soupa (renamed) (by The Pioneer Woman)
    Reuben Sandwiches
    White Chili (by Donna Nugent via All Recipes.com)
    Roasted Vegetable Omelet with a side of sausage (I renamed it) (by Kayln’s Kitchen)
    Pork Chops with red potatoes and salad
    Tacos/Tostadas
    Chicken Spring Rolls (to use the 2 left over chicken breasts) and Fried Rice

Photo Credit: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 New, 2 Old and Easy

I got several cooking items for Christmas this year.  I’m super excited about them all but mostly I’m excited about my new big non-stick pan from my mom and a beautiful ceramic type casserole dish from my Mother-in-law.

Also, November and December were pitiful months for inspirational everyday recipes.  Now that the holidays are over my favorite food bloggers are back to their regular topics.  Namely, recipes that inspire me to go shopping.

Here’s this week’s plan:

Cheeseburger Salad (by The Pioneer Woman)
Jumbo Sausage Ravioli (by Let’s Dish) w. Salad
Chicken Potato Casserole (by Let’s Dish) w. Broccoli
White Chicken Enchiladas (by Let’s Dish) w. Salad
CrockPot Jambalaya over rice (by Let’s Dish)
Black Bean Soup and quesadillas (recipe from my sister Karin)
Baked Potatoes because they’re easy and vegetarian (except for the bacon!)