Logistics


We eat at home for most meals, most days. We’re eating out less than once a week. I’m proud of how well we’re staying on track with this– it has really become a way of life.

I thought it might be interesting to post our “staples,” especially now that we’ve found a great source for local, ethically raised chicken, pork, beef, and turkey.

Food we generally have on hand:

  • Meat
    • Chicken breasts (2lbs/week)
    • Pork breakfast sausage (0.5lb/week)
    • Pork chops (3-4 chops/week)
    • Ground Turkey (2lbs/week)
    • Something novel (sausage, steak, etc, every once in a while)
    • Fish (salmon or whatever is on sale, ~4 fillets/week)
    • Turkey or Ham Lunchmeat (1lb/week)
    • Frozen venison (roasts and ground)
  • Vegetables
    • Red onions
    • Small yellow onions
    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Sweet potatoes or Yams
    • Bell Peppers
    • Mushrooms
    • Garlic
    • Small red potatoes
    • Frozen corn
    • Frozen peas
  • Fruits
    • Apples (usually Granny Smith)
    • Bananas
    • Lemons
    • Something novel (recently cantaloupe and mangoes)
    • Tomatoes
    • Avacados
    • Juice concentrate
  • Dairy
    • 1% milk (1qt/week)
    • Soy milk (I get it for free but don’t use it that often)
    • Sour cream
    • Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend
    • Shredded mozzerella
    • Grated or shredded parmesan
    • Sliced or block cheese for sandwiches
    • Half and half
    • Eggs (1 doz/week)
    • Butter (~1lb/week)
    • Breyer’s Chocolate Ice Cream (our terrible addiction)
  • Pantry
    • Peanut butter
    • Jelly
    • Red Beans
    • Black Beans
    • Tuna
    • Diced tomatoes
    • Tomato paste
    • Coconut milk
  • Grains
    • Pasta (generally Barilla Plus spaghetti, but also elbows, egg noodles and various others)
    • Rice (Brown rice and Jasmine or Basmati. Tilda rice if I’m splurging.)
    • Couscous
    • Quinoa
    • Homemade bread OR Store-bought bread or rolls
    • Tortillas
    • Pre-made pie crusts
    • Breadcrumbs (I recently bought a big cannister of these after admitting to myself that I was never going to make my own)
  • Baking
    • White Flour
    • Whole Wheat Flour
    • Sugar
    • Brown Sugar
    • Baking Soda
    • Baking Powder
    • Salt (Kosher and Regular)
    • Cornmeal
    • Cocoa
    • Yeast
    • Honey
  • Sundries
    • Spices (We use cumin, garlic salt, and the Italian herbs most often)
    • Curry paste
    • BBQ sauce (Chris is partial to Johnny Harris which we stock up on when we visit Savannah)
    • Cholula
    • Salsa
    • Olive Oil
    • Canola Oil
    • Balsamic Vinegar
    • Pickles
    • Condiments (Three different kinds of mustard…)
    • Soy sauce
    • Kalamata Olives
    • Pecans, Cashews, Almonds, Pepitas, Sunflower seeds, Ground Flax (Okay, I bought the ground flax months ago and haven’t even opened it yet… but someday I’ll want it!)
Did I miss anything you find essential for your everyday cooking?
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I think I’m pretty much recovered from the holidays (and my birthday). 2011 is well on its way, and I’m finding my groove. I’m also finding myself making some compromises. “Maybe it’s OK to eat Orowheat buns. They’re HFCS-free, high fiber, and low calorie. And darn if they aren’t the right shape for burgers.” “Come to think of it, salmon burgers from CostCo are pretty healthy, on the whole.” “That recipe looks like it would hit the spot, even if it does call for a roll of croissants.” And so on. Still going whole-grain where I can, still going for unprocessed, homemade, and organic foods where it makes sense. Still going CAFO-free on meat, organic on milk, and cage-free+organic on eggs. But I’m approaching it all with a little bit more of a sense of balance.

And you know what? I’m happier.

So may it go with the “no sugar until the end of February” thing, too. I’ve had ketchup in restaurants (regular Heinz has HFCS), and I even had a hot buttered rum with a little bit of whipped cream, on Saturday. (The scandal!) I can’t make myself feel too guilty for that. I think “I’ll mostly avoid processed sugar” would have been a better rule. In fact, I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but the fruit salad I’m eating (with plain Greek yogurt! yum!) has a few canned fruits “in light syrup” in it, so it’s totally not allowed. But it’s fruit–at least, mostly fruit. I drained off the syrup and put in as many “canned in juice,” “canned in water” (bleh!), and frozen fruits as I could. If I were to follow the rule to the letter, I would not be eating fruit and yogurt right now. And what could I possibly be eating, instead, that would be healthier?

Anyway, as far as the Challenge goes, I find that if I don’t have some easy things around, I fail. I am trying to eat homemade every day, not spend every day cooking. So I spent Sunday cooking up a storm. I now have a bunch of black bean burgers (do follow the commenters’ suggestions about draining everything REALLY WELL; also, I use oats instead of bread crumbs, to good effect) joining those salmon burgers in the freezer, plus those sandwich buns on hand to eat them with. There’s also a batch of pineapple carrot muffins (I can post the recipe if anyone wants it—they’re super easy!) in the freezer for quick breakfasts/snacks. I cooked up a package of chicken for some chicken tetrazzini (I used whole wheat spaghetti, regular parmesan, nonfat evaporated milk, fewer mushrooms, and some peas, but otherwise followed the recipe as is–it’s quite good) and put the extra in the freezer, to grab and throw into sesame noodles (add a couple of handfuls of chicken and broccoli, and split that recipe in half for a tasty one-pot entree for two) or maybe chicken noodle soup, in the future.

I also made the brunch bake I linked to in the first paragraph, roll of low-fat croissants and all–I used 5 largish strips of bacon, instead of the sausage, and I think I need to add an egg or two to make up for the smaller mass of meat-product; as it was, the crust made up about half of the bulk. But it was good! We enjoyed it on Sunday, and I’ll eat the remaining four servings over the next few days, for breakfasts. It can’t be an every week thing, but it is definitely going in the rotation!

You’d be amazed at how much calmer I feel with all of this stuff in my freezer, to be pulled out and warmed up with minimal difficulty (or waiting!) on low-energy evenings. I have more than a week’s worth of meals planned and ready, and that feels good. I mean, yes, it’s fine and healthy to do this Challenge, for its own sake. But I’m glad to be gaining some strategies and figuring out what compromises I need to make with myself so I can continue these good habits past October, too.

Since last week’s bacon experience, I decided to read up a bit on nitrates in relation to bacon.  The resources I found converged on a few conclusions.  I used McGee’s 2004 edition of On Food and Cooking, the Junk Food Science blog, a paper from the University of Minnesota, and a Chowhound forum thread.  Here’s the scoop:

  • Nitrates and nitrites are not bad for you, as far as anyone can tell.  They exist in huge proportions in vegetables and our bodies, and very tiny proportions in cured meats.
  • In meat, nitrates gradually turn into nitrites, which is desired because nitrites fight off botulism bacteria.  Botulism is bad.  For meats that are not cured for long, nitrites are added directly instead of nitrates.
  • Nitrites also help our meats taste good.
  • The scary things that damage our DNA are nitrosamines.  Nitrosamines are made when nitrites meet amino acids (meat) at high temperatures, ~400 F and up.  Do not overcook or burn bacon.  Microwaving produces fewer nitrosamines than frying.  McGee mentions two other toxic byproducts: heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which form in any meat at high temperatures (so, even without nitrites), and which can be thwarted in our digestive tracts by fruit, vegetables, and yogurt; and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which form when organic material (but not pure coal or gas) burns.  If you’re worried about these things, go ahead and eat bacon, but avoid meats cooked at high temperatures or smoked.  Adding citrus juice and/or Rosemary to your meats may help.
  • You are more likely to have health problems due to your sodium and saturated fat intake or obesity, or some unclear factor that connects meat-eating to cancer and early death.

In the Chowhound thread, many people mentioned that bacon marketed as “No Nitrates or Nitrites Added” is still full of nitrites from celery juice or powder.  I checked the packages at Trader Joe’s, and every package with the claim had an asterisk about celery and included celery.  What a scam.  Celery has a very high proportion of nitrites, so these bacons may have just as much as the much cheaper bacon from the supermarket that doesn’t try to take advantage of people’s fears.  At least the suckers won’t get botulism.

So, I am comfortable again with my bacon habits.  I almost always use the microwave.  I used my cast iron lately to better collect and use the fat for seasoning, and also on my high-carbon steel skillet.  I don’t eat a lot, and my diet in general is low in sodium and saturated fat, and high in unsaturated fats.  Yay bacon!

I bought “free-range, vegetarian-diet” eggs at Trader Joe’s along with some regular eggs to see if I could detect differences.  So far I’ve cooked one of each sunny-side-up and one of each over-easy.  Both had very strong yolks, especially since they were relatively fresh.  The FRVD eggs had slightly darker yolks, but barely, and had whites that cohered better.  The regular eggs’ whites tore a bit when I moved the cooking eggs in the skillet, and the FRVD eggs did not.  There was no flavor difference that I could notice.  The FRVD eggs are supposed to be higher in Omega-3s, but there are other ways to get Omega-3s, and it’s not clear to me that the FRVD eggs are worth the extra cost.

I roasted another 22 lb turkey.  I was better with Alton Brown’s directions this time, and it turned out incredibly juicy and flavorful.  I baked more bread for turkey and PB&J sandwiches.  I made a pureed greenbean soup, but I may never make it again.  I use turkey stock to make whole rice.  I had some more yeast waffles (page 234) for breakfast this morning.  I’m really digging the Tupelo honey.

I got a really strong start, at the beginning of October, and things appeared to be going swimmingly. And I knew that the week away, eating whatever food was offered at the training I was attending, would throw a bit of a wrench into things. But I really underestimated how much that would throw me off my rhythm. I got back, and it seemed like we had entirely the wrong groceries, and there were things to do all weekend and every evening (to be fair, we’ve been volunteering with one of the local political campaigns and generally staying reasonably active), except on evenings when there weren’t—and then motivation was a factor. The daylight is fading so quickly, at this point, that I think we just end up tired all the time. If I was motivated, Dale wasn’t, and if he was, I wasn’t—and we collectively seem to dip to the motivation of the least-motivated between us. Worse, I made some food for a potluck and then ended up sick and unable to go, so we had a double batch of something we didn’t really feel like eating for a FULL week, made with “normal” (instead of whole wheat) pasta, which really leaves me feeling less energetic and not as “with it,” somehow, as the whole grain kind.

So there were more days of food-from-outside than there should have been. Fewer than there might have been before this challenge started, because I am better stocked for low-motivation days: we usually have eggs, bread, cheese, peanut butter, jelly, frozen veggies, pasta, and things like that, that can be thrown together into a quick lunch or dinner, but sometimes one of those key ingredients is missing. I made the mistake, one day, of saying “Well, Qdoba has ethically sourced meat.” Of course, they don’t; I was thinking of Chipotle, which doesn’t yet exist in Alaska. (I’m not actually, yet, at the point where I won’t go to a restaurant that buys meat unethically. I figure my restaurant trips are fairly rare, anyway. Not that that makes it OK, or feels honest, but I’m not entirely ready to cut those options out yet. But I do try to go to ethical, local, or vegetarian places more often.) So we had burritos one day. We found out our hamburger buns were moldy, yesterday, and I was too grumpy—and too tired, with an oncoming cold, I later found out—to come up with another option, so we ordered pizza. (We were going to eat Snobby Joes, which are great. I was glad to find that recipe, because The PPK seemed to have dropped theirs. Don’t listen to the blogger saying to cut the chili pepper back to 1Tbsp–you can use 2, at least, with no problem. I used 2Tbsp and a little cayenne and paprika, and I might up it to 3 next time.) Today, we both have colds, and we’re going to order Indian food. It’s easier than cooking, and it’s nice and spicy, which seems to help with colds.

There have been high points, though: I made Harvard beets (my mom’s recipe, which looks suspiciously similar to Joy of Cooking’s :)) with beets from my own garden. They were great! We got eggs from a local farmer, for more than I’m willing to admit per dozen, and they were all different shapes and sizes, which was neat—we’re looking into finding a cheaper source, though. I read somewhere that “Certified Organic,” for eggs, includes cage-free conditions. Can anyone confirm or deny? (We downgraded our Internet service to the stone age, so I can’t do idle Google searches while Dale is also using the Internet, anymore. And I think he’s trying to watch a video, which makes it a lot worse. If nobody knows for certain, or perhaps even if they do, I’ll go look this up at work one day, or when Dale’s doing something offline.) We got a CSA box—one nice thing, here, is that one local CSA lets you buy a box whenever you feel like it, and they bring in organic fruits and veggies from outside Alaska, to make the boxes more exciting in winter. And they try to tell you what will be in it when you order, though of course that changes. We got Brussels sprouts instead of the mangoes they predicted; not sure we won that one. Roasted Brussels sprouts and parsnips are in our future, though I don’t have a plan for a “main dish” to go with that.

We have a ton of potatoes, so I’m leaning toward making a nice potato soup (though we have to go to the store and pick up more milk). That’ll use up some of them, but I’d take other ideas. We also have a ton of carrots—I can only eat so many raw carrots, and I’ve never loved them steamed. We have a neat recipe that involves cooking them in orange juice, as a side dish, and I made some really good carrot and pineapple muffins, so that’s helped make a dent. But I’d be open to more suggestions.

One compromise that I’ve decided I’m willing to make: I am OK with buying HFCS-free bread that might have other ingredients I can’t identify in it, because I don’t want to commit to making my own hamburger buns, and none of the local stores sell wheat ones that don’t have other ingredients. I also think I’m going to buy whole wheat tortillas, NONE of which are funky-ingredient-free. I have two recipes for making my own, but that seems like such a bother. I’d still like to try, and maybe I’ll like the result better than anything I can buy, but I think I’m open to purchasing them if I don’t make awesome ones, myself.

Anyway, even when falling short of meeting my goal of only one meal-not-prepared-by-me per week, this project has been a learning experience. So “failure” would definitely also be too strong a word. I’m still going to try to step it up a bit and actually meet the goal, over these next few weeks. If I can take some time on Saturday or Sunday to cook enough that I’m ahead of the game, I think it will work out.

Intro:

There seem to be three kinds of milk at the store: common milk, milk from non-rbST-treated cows, and organic milk.  Organic milk is also from untreated cows, and the cows were not given antibiotics, and were fed food grown without synthetic pesticides  or synthetic fertilizers.  Common milk is the cheapest, non-rbST milk is a little more expensive, and organic milk is crazy expensive.

I am a skeptic with a background in science.  I like to find out the truth of things by critically analyzing information.  When I am told that I should drink organic milk because common milk is less nutritious, will give me cancer, and cause my children to be born with three heads despite FDA approval and a space on each carton label saying that there’s no difference between milk from rbST-treated and non-rbST cows, I am quite suspicious.  But I’m not going to perform my own meta-analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles.  Here is my critique and summary of two (one, really)
convenient information sources on rbGH milk, and some integration of Omnivore’s Dilemma.  The Consumer’s Union is generally reliable, thorough and unbiased.  The other source is a blog shared by one of our mutual friends in response to a recent Ohio court ruling, which quotes a Consumer’s Union representative’s testamonies.  The CU compiled results from a number of studies from the early 1990s. I am very curious about more recent information.

Pus:

Milk from rbGH cows has more pus in it!  But, how much does that really matter? There are regulations on the amount of pus that can be in milk, so in practice you’ll still be drinking less than the limit. It’s not like non-rbGH milk is pus-free. The pus distributions are wide and overlapping.  Technically, there will be a little more non-rbGH milk that has less pus than any rbGH milk, and a little more rbGH milk that is closer to the limit than non-rbGH milk, but if that’s really a problem (more pus means the milk spoils faster) then the limit should be lowered. Focus on the outcome.  I don’t see that this is a reason to freak out about rbGH.

Nutrition:

Milk from rbGH cows has less protein in it!  I don’t see information on how much less, though.  Is this a problem?  Protein deficiency isn’t really a problem in the US.  There are lots and lots of ways to get protein, and we probably actually eat too much.  RbGH milk may also have more fat, but I don’t see how much more, and you can always control how much fat you’re consuming by not buying whole milk.  There is variance in fat content even for non-rbGH whole milk.  I am not at all worried about this, but it is important to me that the nutrition information labels on my food are
accurate.  If the label is inaccurate, that is a problem.

IGF-1:

IGF-1 is a growth hormone.  It is present in cow milk, human milk, and other parts of our bodies.  It helps with cell mitosis in many parts of the body, growing blood vessels and epithelial cells and other cells.  Though it would be destroyed in the stomach alone, other components of milk such as casein keep IGF-1 from destruction, so it is still effective when it reaches the intestine. IGF-1 is implicated in the growth of tumors, and many tumors make their own IGF-1. RbST milk has more IGF-1 than non-rbST milk on average, but the distributions are wide and overlapping to the point that CU says any limit on IGF-1 content that would allow for all non-rbST milk would also allow for most rbST milk.

There is evidence that the IGF-1 in milk may help children grow and develop well, especially in the intestines.  Some researchers were looking into the use of IGF-1 to help people whose intestines atrophied due to not eating many solids during hospitalization.  IGF-1 is involved in many types of tumor growth, but the tumors produce their own IGF-1, and it’s not clear if IGF-1 consumed as part of milk has any role in tumor growth at all.

There was no evidence as of 1997 of increased cancer rates among milk drinkers.  I really want current information on this topic, since cancer can take so long.  If there is a connection, we have to evaluate the trade-off between the risk of drinking milk and the benefits we get from milk (calcium, vitamin D, protein, etc…).  It is important to note that the variable difference in IGF-1 concentrations between rbST milk and non-rbST milk is probably not very relevant.  With such large natural distributions of IGF-1 concentration, a rule against rbST milk would be no protection from tumors if it turns out that milk IGF-1 is harmful.  We’d have to figure out a way to remove IGF-1, or drink less or no milk of any type.

Antibiotics:

The use of rbST does increase the rate of disease (mastitis) in cows by about 1/3 on average, but with massive variability across factories.  In many herds, there is no increase at all, and in others the disease rate more than doubles. So rbST use alone is not the problem so much as using it with poor disease mitigation controls.  To investigate whether rbST-related disease is harder to treat and therefore involves the longer use of more antibiotics, we’re looking primarily at cows that are already in factories that have demonstrated deficits in disease management.  This is a confound.  The studies really show that there are best practices of disease management that should be used with rbST at all factories that could result in no increased disease rates, with the possible corrolary that there would also be no
increase in antibiotic use.  Again, no reason to freak out about rbST.

The widespread application of antibiotics to livestock does increase the prevalance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which humans can be exposed to.  The laws and practices in place to protect us from antibiotic residue in our milk (as of 13 years ago! Any changes?) are inadequate.  Instead of being a good reason to stop treating cows with rbST, this is more of a reason to stop giving antibiotics to our livestock, period.  Score 1 for organic milk.

Environment:

RbGH cows are fed more protein to help them with the increased milk production.  This may contribute to higher disease rates (like BSE) as the cows are fed ground up chickens that were likely fed ground up cows.  I’m throwing in a little info from Omnivore’s Dilemma there, which means this supposition has probably not been supported or dismissed as of 2006.  Feeding cows more protein like this may stress their immune systems, since they’re really supposed to eat a variety of grasses, and thus lead to more use of antibiotics.  I can’t tell if the increase in feed per cow means that more of our environment has to be polluted and destroyed to produce corn to feed the chickens that feed the cows, since as far as I know a factory would just have more cows to meet the milk demand if not allowed to use rbGH.  So, here are some unanswered questions.

Organic milk is flat-out better for the environment, since it eschews the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  Organic milk does not necessarily have a smaller carbon footprint, though, as much fuel is still used to transport compost and whatnot.

Summary:

Milk from rbST-treated cows is different from that of untreated cows, and dairies should absolutely be able to accurately describe the differences between products on the product labels.  We have the right as consumers to be accurately informed about the products we buy, their contents and effects.  Monsanto is a truly evil company that has too much control over the government whose job is supposed to be to protect and serve the American people.  But, rbST milk is not as bad for us as some people make it sound.  Most of the reasons people come up with to oppose rbST milk are really good reasons to not drink any milk, or to impose different regulations on the entire milk industry.  I have yet to see remotely compelling evidence that drinking milk from rbST-treated cows is particularly unhealthy for us.  However, common milk production practices that are overall damaging to our environment, and which may be contributing to the occurance of harmful drug-resistant bacteria, are not part of organic milk production.  Organic milk may still come from from cows packed together in a factory and force-fed corn, but it is clearly preferable to non-organic milk.  It’s just really expensive.

Part 2 will address raw milk versus pasteurization and homogenization.

Welcome to the Challenge, east coasters! We still have a few hours, here in AK. 😉

I’ve had a very good week of practice. True, Dale and I have eaten through some of our pre-packaged foods, from saag paneer (which, interestingly, has no ingredients I have qualms about) to 100 calorie popcorn packs–and mostly used it all up, but not quite. But I also cooked my first ever whole chicken (New Sagaya had a sale on cage-free antibiotic-free chickens), made my second ever pot of stock (I tried it with a supermarket rotisserie chicken one time), and on Saturday I’ll make chicken noodle soup–it won’t be my first, but it’ll be the first that I’ve done completely on my own. I used a combination of Joy of Cooking and Warren’s directions. I’m also thinking of making a challah recipe I once got from Laura, who got it from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, to go with the soup.

Dale and I learned that neither of us is that crazy about acorn squash, but, on the bright side, I used up some rapidly aging apples in a tasty apple crisp. My beets, cauliflower, and potatoes from the garden remain uncooked–I’ll have to do that tomorrow or Saturday–do you think the potatoes and cauliflower would be all right in the soup, if I cut them up small enough? I also failed utterly to make bread in the machine (if you have any recipes for wheat bread in a machine, I’m interested), so I’m thinking of making a nice bread pudding with the outcome of that, though I don’t have any specific recipe in mind.

I have a pre-made graham cracker crust (purchased before the Challenge :)) and some pumpkin, so I have thoughts about what to do with that. It’s feeling very like fall here, so soups and pumpkin-based dishes are just right. There are also a couple of half-packs of lasagna noodles taking up space in the cabinets with some jars of tomato sauce (it’s up to you if you want to count that as an ingredient or as something pre-made; I think, if I can find one with nothing objectionable in it, I’m going to call it kosher, since I doctor my sauces like crazy anyway), so I’m itching to use those up. Do you think I could get away with a tofu-based “ricotta”? (The first ten Google hits suggest that, yes, that’ll work fine, but for some reason they want me to include something called “nutritional yeast flakes,” which I’m not sold on.)

Anyway, I’ve got full cupboards, pretty good plans for the next couple of weeks, and a full compliment of motivation to do this thing. So… let’s do this thing!

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to get better about meal planning. I meal planned two Sundays ago, spent last Sunday on a train to be away for a week, and here it is Sunday again. So if I want to have any semblance of routine, I better reflect, refine, and reiterate today.

Using the subgoals I came up with two weeks ago, I whipped up two Google Docs: one is a comprehensive list of dinner dishes and common dinner ingredients and the other is a weekly plan, detailing not only what dish will be for dinner that night, but what needs to be done on any given day to prepare for dinner (like thawing or prepping dough).

For the first document, let’s call it Possible Dinners, I just thought about what we already eat, what we eat when we’re out, and what we’d like to eat. I have this document and I have my actual wooden recipe box, I have the cookbooks I own and the cookbooks I can get out of the library.

Challah Loaves

The possibilities really are endless. Despite this fact, I have only 22 things on my list. I figure I can add more as it proves to be feasible. I also made a list of our most commonly used ingredients in three categories: Starches, Proteins, and Vegetables. With any meal I make, I try to have something from each list. Some foods do double duty: Beans are both vegetables and protein, and sweet potatoes are both starches and vegetables.

Let’s call the second document The Weekly Plan. Here’s what went into that:

  • Check contents of fridge. Is there anything that MUST GO this week?
  • Check grocery store sales (Giant Eagle’s online circular).
  • Think about Challenge Subgoals: Bread, Fish, Meatless, New, Double Batch
  • Choose seven dinners using ingredients and goals from above.
  • Add any tasks created by those dinners to the days of the week.
  • Make a shopping list for ingredients not on hand.

So that worked pretty well for me. Here’s what I ended up with as my plan:

USE UP: Spinach
PREP: Saturday- Thaw chicken breasts, Wednesday- make challah dough

Sunday – Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas
Monday – Home Cooked @ Bun’s House (I babysit in barter for meals)
Tuesday – Baked Dijon Salmon (Make before volunteering, cook after)
Wednesday – Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
Thursday – Turkey Burgers with Olives & Feta on Challah
Friday – Mchicha (Spinach Peanut Coconut Curry from Tanzania)
Saturday – New Double Batch Chicken and Broccoli Quiche (Using the Basic Quiche template)

This was a very nice plan, and I got all the ingredients I needed when I went shopping. Now as far as execution goes… my grandparents came to visit that week on Tuesday, and they wanted to go out to dinner Tuesday and Wednesday night while they were here. I made turkey burgers and baked challah bread for them, and that turned out well. I didn’t get around to making the salmon until last night. I did roast the chicken, and now I have a chicken carcass to freeze for making chicken broth later. I made Mchicha and had enough for lunches. I didn’t make the Quiche.

Making Turkey Burgers

For this coming week, all I know so far is that I want to make Biscuits from scratch (and freeze dough for later), try a new recipe using Tilapia, use up the chicken sausage in the fridge and the zucchini from the garden, and maybe try my hand at a vegetarian chickpea curry. Apples, celery, and carrots are on sale this week. Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping? Maybe make an apple pie? Or applesauce?

But for now, my better half is threatening to go back to playing spaceships instead of cuddling with me on the couch while we watch X-Files. So now it is time for me to stop blogging and focus on snuggle time. Ta!

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