But, this week, thanks to a revival of firm-like weekend prep and cooking, I think I've got it!
Sunday: Brunswick stew, adapted; ciabatta bread.
Monday: Lasagna (made my Aunt's sauce and simmered it all Sunday afternoon; composed the lasagna after dinner that night); garlic bread made Monday morning and wrapped in foil. I was DETERMINED to conquer the craziness of Monday evening/JP's latest night at the pool.
Tuesday: Leftover Brunswick stew over brown rice; frozen Sister Schubert's wheat rolls (my fave, they're like fluffy clouds of carbohydrates).
Wednesday: Chicken and broccoli in the crock pot, served over rice; crescent rolls.
Thursday: Fresh tortellini with the leftover spaghetti sauce I made for the lasagna; the twin of the garlic loaf I made on Monday.
Friday: Homemade pizza, always.
The Brunswick stew was delicious and very different in flavor from the usual soups and stews I make. It was also a great way to use up the random 2 cups of pulled pork we had leftover from our pretzel roll pork sliders we ate last Thursday. According to the internet there are strong opinions about what is supposed to be in a Brunswick Stew (okra, no okra, potatoes, no potatoes, lima beans, other beans, etc.), but I found this one and it looked delicious and then I changed lots of things because that's what I do.
(Original recipe here, which I'm sure would be delicious exactly as it's supposed to be)
3 cups shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie)
3 cups pulled pork (I used leftover Costco pulled pork from a dinner last week)
2 cups beef stock
1 medium onion, diced
5 medium red potatoes, diced (I used 7; mine were small)
1 (15-ounce) can Butter beans (in lieu of Lima beans because I hate them; you could use white Navy)
4 cups cream style white corn (2 cans worth)
1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Stubbs Smokey Mesquite bbq sauce (in lieu of ketchup which didn't sound good and my pulled pork was sauceless; it added a fantastic smokey flavor I wouldn't go without in this stew)
1 cup frozen corn
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (omitted because I'm a wimp who can't even handle that much spice in a giant pot of stew)
1. Add shredded chicken and pulled pork to crock pot.
2. Add beef stock, onion, potatoes, beans, corn, diced tomatoes, bbq sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, steak seasoning and cayenne pepper to the meats.
3. Cook on low for 6+ hours, or high if you need it sooner. You can also cook it in a stock pot over medium-low heat for just 30 minutes to serve right away. But the crock pot made the whole house delicious!
The whole family loved it and it made enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches, with considering the amount of food we usually eat is nothing short of amazing.
Four days of food; one day of prep
The menu is working out so far, so now I just need more prep-free ideas for next week! It's trickier than it seems- dinners I normally I think of as "easy" like tacos and breakfast night really involve more standing over the stove time than Cora prefers.
Not that I can blame this all on Cora, she's pretty much the smiliest and easiest baby ever, I just like to spend some of the evening actually cuddling her and making her smile giant Cora smiles instead of hitting her bouncer with my foot every few minutes while I try avoid setting her clothes on fire by not holding her over the stove.
So crock pot and make ahead meals are my saving grace for now. Because who wouldn't rather snuggle this many-chinned baby than do just about anything else from 5:30-6:15 pm?