I haven't posted a menu in a while, but I am still cooking every night while I lovingly pet my counter tops and gaze across the peninsula at the whole world spread out before me. Or really just the living room and sun room, but still, I see far. So I'm totally still in the newlywed phase with my kitchen and want to make out with it all the time.
So I'm cooking a lot of things, though lately things like soccer and swim practice are getting in the way of some of my preferred meals that involve 45 minutes of vegetable chopping prep time. A few fave recipes we've tried lately:
Lasagna soup. Go make this. It is so insanely good, especially with the cheesy goodness you put in the bottom of the bowl and then ladle the hot soup over and oh my goodness, it feels so fancy and cozy and tastes so wonderful. I've made it twice- once with chicken Italian sausage, and another with both chicken sausage and ground beef and while we usually prefer our recipes to be lighter on the meat, that heavier chunkier version was my favorite. It really tasted like lasagna in a bowl.
Quinoa Fiesta Enchilada Bake. A family favorite. Not as good as the amazing Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas, but very yummy and satisfying. We like things that involve serving with sliced avocados. Or three sliced avocados (Cora eats one herself). Recipes are always subject to your own interpretation.
Meatball stroganoff. Landon's favorite meal and one I always have the ingredients on hand for, so it's often a pinch hitter at the end of the week, served with frozen steamed green beans and those delicious frozen Marie Callenders wheat rolls.
Chicken Barley Chili. Saturday night's dinner. So satisfying, yet surprisingly healthy.
And then here's the menu for the week ahead:
Sunday: giant chef salads with all the organic veggies I could buy at Trader Joe's, hard boiled eggs, diced grilled chicken, and anything else I find in the fridge/pantry; cheesy bread. My kids may be weird, but they love a giant salad full of all the things.
Monday: pesto grilled cheese and this tomato soup. I'd originally planned something different, but the weather was cold and grey and I left work early after a doctor appointment and had time to stop at the store on the way home to indulge my fancy. The soup was excellent and those pesto grilled cheeses are the best grilled cheeses ever.
Tuesday tacos! I'm not a huge fan of the traditional ground beef taco, but JP loves them and it makes him extra happy when we eat them on Tuesday. He asks for so little. Mexican rice and refried black beans will also be involed.
Wednesday: penne pasta with sauteed zucchini and onion and this new Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Chicken Sausage we got at Costco. And then I'll probably add a bunch of marinara sauce at the end because JP likes food saucey. I'm kind of winging it with this one because the delicious sample forced me to buy the sausage and I'm not sure what to do with it.
Thursday: chicken, pineapple, and red pepper diced and tossed in TJ's Soyaki sauce, then broiled in the oven and served over rice. A meal I made up one night we planned to have shish kebabs, and then realized I didn't have any skewers. This meal is surprisingly delicious and cooks in about 10 minutes.
Friday: Costco frozen mahi filets, other half of package of TJ's organic zucchini cooked in some way, rice.
So only one new recipe this week, which is unusual, but I spent all my internet time on reading skincare reviews. I'm also trying to plan ahead for all the practices with meals that are easy and quick to make because last time I just pretended all those practices weren't happening and was woefully unprepared when we all got home at 7:15 and no kitchen elf had appeared to get dinner going while we were gone. There was a lot of scrambled eggs and cereal.
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New topic: I discovered Ebates over the weekend. I'm not sure how I missed it before, but now I'm almost upset to how much money I could have made for the family through my online shopping orders of days past. So many dollars left behind. I'll make it up for us somehow.
I spent my birthday money at Sephora buying technical makeup items like "brushes" and "foundation," but if I had extra birthday dollars I would buy this purse for spring:
I keep agonizing between the red/chili and brown/cream color like it matters.
But I like my unrequited handbag love interests to be specific.
There's also a pair of leggings at Lululemon with mesh and black strips of fabric criss crossing down the front that look very bondage-y, but I adore them and my relationship with barre does have certain masochistic overtones. They aren't available online and I've banned myself from the store for the last month because I'm afraid I won't be able to not buy them.
I might need a food processor. If you have on, do you use it? I hate cleaning kitchen tools and I look at all the parts of a food processor and think, I would pull it out, think about the clean-up, and put it back away, but then there are recipes I cannot make because I don't have one. And you know how much I like putting vegetables in everything, now I could add even more! I've googled "do I need a food processor" multiple times and no one has given me a good answer.
(Side note: before we had Cora I often googled "should I have a third baby?" and the answer was usually no. In case any one else is googling that right now, the answer is YES.)
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In non-consumer-goods wonderful things, JP lost his wallet on Saturday. We were walking in to Trader Joe's when he felt his pocket and realized his wallet wasn't in there. He was certain he had it when he left the house, and he'd gotten out twice to scrape ice off his windshield along the way and thought it might have fallen out onto the street. He headed back out on the dicey roads to try to find it, or at least get back to the house to grab my wallet so we could pay for our purchases, while the kids and I shopped for everything in the store (we were out of everything by Saturday).
He got back to TJ's with my wallet and lots of sadness about the loss of his just as the kids and I were pushing our two carts to the checkout. We paid and slowly drove back home looking down at the road for black leather with increasing hopelessness only to arrive home and find his wallet tucked into our front glass door handle!! Someone had found it, seen the address on his license, and left it for us entirely in tact. It's nice when my "I'm sure someone will find it and bring it back to you" optimistic first thoughts are validated. And extra nice to not have to cancel a bunch of credit cards. I wish I knew who'd brought it back- I'd bring them cookies and wine.
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And finally, we have taught Cora to locate her tummy on demand.
Cora, where's your tummy?!!, we all exclaim constantly.
THERE IT IS!, we yell in unison.
Poor baby probably feels sorry for us being so easily entertained and keeps humoring us with a tummy locating pat on the head. She's the best.