Thursday, February 21, 2013

When a recipe isn't dinner but is a good dinner inspiration

Snow day so I should get to post a couple of recipes today.
Last night Byron made a recipe we had picked for this week. It was very tasty, but he changed a few things.
We'll have to try it "as written" soon.

He was cutting up the leg of lamb I'd gotten at Costco to put into meal sized portions in the freezer and used the scraps of lamb in the dinner instead of the chicken called for.  He decided to use various frozen vegetables we had in the freezer instead of the broccoli called for. So it really wasn't the same recipe as in the book, but it sure was tasty!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chicken Curry Kebabs were so so, on to oven fried chicken with waffle strips

The chicken curry kebabs last night were tasty, but a bit bland. Next time we'll spice them up a bit more.

Tonight Byron's working till 7 and I'm working 12:30 - 4.  I'm making oven friend chicken with grilled waffle strips.  This will be interesting as the grilled waffle strips are from scratch and look fun to make. The recipe calls for chicken thighs and I'm out, so I'll be using chicken breasts.

Assuming I ever get caught up on my homework, I'll type up this week's recipes and post them on the blog.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu planning at last - spice flavor and flair

After a couple of weeks of emeals (nice but not for us)
a couple of weeks no-plan (boring, not the most balanced and not enough flavor)

we are back to our "standand" mode of menu planning.

One day a week, typically a weekend, I pull out a flock (about 10-12) Weight Watcher cookbooks, toss in a few Pampered Chef cookbooks and a Taste of Home Diet Cookbook  and maybe some others for variety.

Byron picks 3-4 recipes and I pick 3-4 recipes and that's what we have for dinner the following week. The next week we do the same things only use different cookbooks.

This way get a lot of variety, it's all healthy, very tasty, full of spice, flavor and flair

This coming week our menu will be:

Monday: Coconut-Curry Marinated Chicken Kebabs (WW Power Foods Cookbook)
Tuesday: Szechuan pork and Ginger (Turn up the Flavor WW cookbook)
Wed.: Oven-Fried Chicken with Grilled Waffle Sticks (Pampered Chef: 29 minutes to dinner, volume 3 (coming out March 1)
Thurs: Crispy Thai-Style Chicken with Ginger Bok Choy (WW Power Foods Cookbook)
Fri: Stovetop Pan Pizza (Season's Best Spring/Summer 2013)
Sat. Leftovers
Sun: Will make new plan later this week

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cooking for One is Not So Fun

So, another crazy almost non-cooking week.

Byron's cooking for an Olympic Wrestling Team from another country. He's working 14 hour days a few days a week and merely 8 hour days others. However, those days right now primarily mean he's cooking dinner for 40 at work and sometimes breakfast for those at the hotel as well.

This leaves me home alone and fending for myself. Which doesn't lead to great creativity in the kitchen.

This week's menu has featured
salad (on a night when I taught all day and then taught night school 4-10 pm)
frozen pizza (the night after I taught 14 hours and then 8 hours and then was too tired to cook, so frozen pizza fit the bill)
and one night Byron cooked me a steak/baked potato dinner.

Maybe this coming week will be a cooking week. I sure hope so. I enjoy cooking and I enjoy eating good food, but this past week there wasn't time for that.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chicken Salad Lunch

Byron's working tonight (again) and we have various leftovers AND I have networking event tonight. So, it's tacos for me for leftover dinner (with salad) and I turned some leftover chicken into chicken salad.

8 oz leftover chicken (in this case boneless breast and a boneless thigh)
1/4 cup Best Foods Light Mayo
1/4 of a green bell pepper diced
about 1/4 cup diced onion
1/3-ish cup celery.

Mix together, 4 servings.  I'm going to work out how many WW points plus this is.

I had this on a sandwich thin from Costco, with some chips (1 oz) and a cut up orange. Easy and filling

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cooking Again!

Byron has been working most nights (and mornings) this week cooking for the Olympic Wrestling Team from another country, thus he hasn't been home for dinner. I worked one night of night school, had a meeting on night and ushered last Sunday night at church. Thus, I wasn't home for dinner three nights this week.

We had enough leftovers to make it through the week for lunch and dinner till Friday (with one  night frozen pizza).

At last we're out of leftovers and we can cook again!  That's the downfall of "empty nesting" - cooking every night means too many leftovers, but not cooking means eating only leftovers.  I'm medium on  liking leftovers.  I like leftovers as long as I have them once, 2 nights after their first appearance or for lunch.

In any case, I'll be posting a menu plan soon. And in the mean time

We had tacos for dinner last ngiht and I'm having lasagna (from the freezer/made for Christmas Eve) and Byron's having tacos (made last night)

How do you make your tacos? Ours are technically burritos, but we've always called them tacos.

flour tortilla
ground beef
taco seasoning, from my friend Bethany's recipe, I make in bulk and keep in a jar
refried beans
sour cream
corn as a side

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Emeals, after the first week

I've been trying out Emeals and have a few menus by the week. We've reviewed 3 weeks of Portion Control *(WW friendly/points posted). The recipes are ok, for the most part, but aren't really to our tastes The use more processed foods than we are used to and they lack complex spicing. The recipes are VERY easy. The thing is Byron and I like to cook, enjoy cooking and have many, many, many spices/herbs and blends and know to use them. 

The next week of menus I'll be trying is their "easy" gourmet menu.  At the end of the month I'll switch the "Portion Control" menu to the low fat menu and see if the recipes get a bit more interesting/complex. Not necessarily complex in difficulty, though we don't mind that at all, but more in complexity in flavors.

The soup we made (portion control menu) the other day was fine, but it was broth, salsa, chicken and cumin.  It was nice, but nothign special. I can and have made better "taco soup" with recipes which call for separate spices to be added and fresh herbs. 

Emeals also has a "clean eating" menu that I make look at which would use non-processed foods. that might be more to our liking.  The other thing is we prefer to eat a variety of cuisines during a week and not "American" food and we prefer bright, clean flavors with some complexity to them.

It's been an interesting experiment, but I think looking in my Pampered Chef and Weight Watcher cookboks may be the way to go.

I do like trying new things and new ways of doing things in the kitchen. So I'm glad we are trying Emeals and I understand why so many find this a really good thing for their families.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Yum! Pita Burgers were a big hit

Last night 1/10 we had Pita burgers. I'll edit this later to post the recipe.  With it we had canteloupe and tortilla chips. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's for Dinner January 9, 2013

Tonight is a rice, chicken, salsa and vegetable dish. Byron was going to make a particular recipe, but we were out of two important ingredients, so he invited something on the fly. Being married to a chef is good like that.

Last night it was leftovers.

TOMORROW at last we'll start emeals and I'll post recipes as we go, or a menu and recipes for a week or so at a time.

Monday, January 7, 2013

What's for dinner, an ever changing question

Well, I was all set to start Emeals, but the life happened.  I have the groceries to make all the meals for emeals this week, Portion Control (WW friendly) plan. However, last night was Anthony's last night home before going back to college AND he wasn't feeling well, so the planned dinner changed.

Pork chops (with Pampered Chef Carolina Mustard Barbecue sauce on them)
Mashed potatoes (from scratch of course, and with just potatoes, butter and milk, nothing fancy as I was trying to make them bland as Anthony wasn't feeling well)
Steamed Broccoli and steamed green beans
Christmas Cookies (from the freezer) for dessert

Tonight's leftovers, we have a plethora of the in the fridge and it's just me and Byron at home. So it's pull out the leftovers and eat, toss and consolidate/freeze leftovers.

Tomorrow I'll start the emeals cooking. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Menu planning meanderings

Lately I've been toying with different ways of menu planning mostly using Weight Watcher friendly recipes.  I use a variety of cookbooks and cooking styles and cuisines in our kitchen.

This week I'll be trying the Portion Control menu from Emeals  . Stay tuned for new recipes and ideas.