Monday, February 15, 2010

What's for Dinner

While I make a hearty home cooked meal (almost) every night, I'm often flying by the seat of my too tight pants. I find myself subbing walnuts for pine nuts or simply doing without ingredients because I didn't have my shopping shit together. My paltry pantry pinches my panties in a pickle. And there goes my culinary mojo. Down the drain with the grease (Kidding! Don't ever ever put grease down the drain, people!!!).

I've decided to try a new MO this week. I'm not committing to a WHOLE. YEAR. like a resolution or anything. I'm talking a lousy week here, folks. Not even all seven days; I'm just thinking about the six days that I'm usually flying solo and wondering who the hell granted me my motherhood license in the first place.

This week I'm planning my menu. For the whole week. I perused cookbooks, websites, my recipe box (yes, I have a splattered old recipe box), and the clipped magazine cutouts stuck to the only magnetic side of my smudged stainless steel fridge that is practically tucked behind the cabinetry and hard to access. Note to self: Must add those recipes to aforementioned box.

So here's how our menu is stacking up at Chez Dirt & Noise:

Proscuitto wrapped salmon with herbed lentils and spinach, roasted endive, balsamic marinated strawberries, bananas foster (Thank you, Jamie Oliver!)

Baked chicken drumsticks with carrots, black olives, lemon, roasted parsnips, baked maple apples, cheesy garlic bread, ice cream (The boys chose Neopolitan.)

Proscuitto and goat cheese risotto, spinach salad with craisins, walnuts, homemade dijon/orange vinaigrette (We don't do bottled dressing here. Why bother when the homemade stuff is oh so easy and exponentially more tasty?)

Fish tacos with avocado and cabbage/cilantro slaw, chili/cumin corn, black beans

Tofu stir fry with broccoli and snow peas, brown rice, sliced pears

Homemade pizza with whole wheat crust, raw sugar snap peas and apple slices (Finger food fun!)

I actually went to the grocery store on Sunday to stock up for the week. I normally go to the store or farmer's market 3-5 times a week, depending on what kitchen fantasy strikes me. My goal is not to cut down my shopping trips, but it would be a nice byproduct (particularly for Deal, who gets dragged from Trader Joe's to Costco to Kroger to Harris Teeter umpteen times a week). I simply want less frenzy in the witching hours when Bird is cranking out homework and Deal goes from Mr. Congeniality to Commander Crankypants. And, it seems, the dog rings the dang bell to pee 600 times whilst I make dinner. Lark's small bladder makes the risotto a risky proposition considering the constant attention and stirring that dish needs. Alas, I shall persevere.
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Jennifer said...

Don't tell anyone, but I don't do a constant stir for my risotto and it comes out nice and creamy every time (oh, wait, I just outed myself!). The real key is to make sure you keep the flame just below a simmer if you can't stir non-stop.

Now, what time is dinner and I'll bring some fresh baked bread.

Jennifer @ OrangePolkaDot said...

I too am trying to plan my meals more and it is making life so much easier. If your meal changes for the night, like say you are too tired to cook and go out to eat. Prep the meal and pop it in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. Enjoy the lovely dinners you planned.

PS - on my to do list - sending you some recipes from my Catalan cooking classes. =)

Unknown said...

Wow, we just had a big "discussion" about this last night. John was suggesting I make the same 5 dinners every week to make it easier. Yuck, double yuck, triple yuck! I need variety. I also committed to planning out a weeks' worth of meals, starting today. What a coincidence, eh?

Jen L. said...

That all sounds wonderful, especially Wednesday. Would you be willing to share some salad dressing recipes with us? I make my own, too, mostly because I can control the sodium that way, but I'm tiring of my 3 or 4 "regulars." I do weekly menus, too. It's the only way I can keep out of the store every day!

The Mother said...

This is one of the hardest resolutions to keep, and I don't even know why. It's economical, it's sensible, and it leads to more varied and interesting meals, so it's fun.

So why don't I do it all the time?

Anonymous said...

So what time is dinner? Your menu looks MUCH better than mine!

landismom said...

The DH is religious about making a list every week and keeping to it. It's a good thing he's willing to do all that cooking, because I am not that disciplined when it comes to food.

We should have a blogger pot-luck!

Nicole Pelton said...

Yummy, I'll be right over. I'm trying not to shop too much, use what's in the house, but kids end up eating like one piece of broccoli cuz they don't like: rice, leftover ww pizza, bbq shrimp, beer bread, etc. etc :)

Nebeli said...

Please share your recipes!!! And a photo would also go so well with it!

I can't help but think you might end up also helping us plan our menu!

Of course, with a 4 1/2 month old, maybe I'm a bit too optimistic...

Anonymous said...

Mmm. Sounds good. I got caught up reading your posts on other sites about eating well and teaching your kids about it. Unfortunately those sites require logging in to comment, and let's face it, ill a nap, i'm too lazy for that.

I'm headed in that direction, in terms of organic. The hub is allergic (yes, allergic) to high fructose hell syrup. It hadnt occurred to me to talk to Son about all of that. We just throw his candy away together! :)