Monday, May 12, 2014

Dinner: May 12-18

Happy Monday!

Before I share the menu for this week, I want to tell you how we liked the meals from last week.

Monday: Chipotle chili

I have made this chili several times but I've always substituted chicken broth for the beer. This time, however, I decided to stick to the recipe and try the beer. I have to say, I didn't like it as much. I used a quality dark beer (Oregon no less!), but I thought the taste was too prevalent. I'd much rather taste the chipotle and spiciness, but that's just me.

Tuesday: Thai basil fried rice (sans radishes - I hate 'em)

I need to stop trying to recreate Thai dishes. Why? In a word: fish sauce. I know it's all in my head because Forrest couldn't taste it at all, but the fish taste was so strong for me that I had a bowl of cereal instead.

Wednesday: Baked potatoes with leftover chili

Good. Nothing too amazing but definitely filling and comforting.

Thursday: Crispy paprika-parmesan fish with green beans

Again, I should just stay away from the fish. My tastebuds are super sensitive and even the smoked paprika and parmesan couldn't mask the fishy taste. Forrest liked it though.

Friday: Taco pizza (Friday night is always pizza night)

Instead of cooking we went out to eat! Forrest finished his first year of grad school last week so we went out to celebrate. It was lovely. Especially the no dishes thing.

Saturday: Rotini pasta with ground turkey and broccoli

We had  Taco pizza instead. It was okay. I think I would have preferred refried beans as a base instead of black beans, but, honestly, I think I'm a little burned out on homemade pizza so this poor pizza didn't really have a chance.

Sunday: Grilled chicken, grilled corn on the cob, homemade sweet potato fries (Forrest is making all of this since it's Mother's Day)

We had a big lunch out for Mother's Day which was really special because we almost never eat out twice in one week. I definitely felt spoiled. So for dinner we just had leftovers.


Now for this weeks menu! Hopefully there will be a few winners since, for me, there were so many duds last week.

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Image retrieved from The Kitchn
PS: I can already tell you that this is wonderful! I love a good Chicken Tortilla Soup and that is what this soup reminded me of. It makes a ton so we're all set for lunches this week.

Tuesday: Easy Sausage, Pepper and Onion Frittata

Image retrieved from Feed Me Phoebe

Breakfast for dinner? Yes please.

Wednesday:  Turkey Bolognese

Image retrieved from Dinner A Love Story

Pasta with tomato/meat sauce is one of the few meals that I know Juniper will eat. However, I've been trying to cut back on the amount of sodium we eat and pasta sauce is loaded with it. Even when I tried to look for a low sodium or "no salt added" option for tomato puree (needed for this recipe), I was out of luck. I ended up buying diced tomatoes (no salt added) that I'll just puree myself.

Thursday: Stir-fried Minced Beef with Chiles and Basil

Image retrieved from Orangette

This recipe is an old favorite that I love to tweak. For instance, it tastes amazing with sauteed red and yellow peppers. This week I'll be substituting ground turkey for the beef, and, needless to say, I won't be adding the fish sauce. I couldn't find Thai chiles so we're going to be boring and use a jalapeno.

Friday: Tacos

Because who doesn't love a good taco night? Also, I've been craving a double-decker taco from Taco Bell but I just can't bring myself to actually go and order one. 

Saturday: Grilled chicken and homemade sweet potato fries

Rerun from last week because we didn't make it. Also, the weather is supposed to be 82 so I know we'll want to be outside.

Sunday: On the road!

We are headed to Arizona to see my parents and I just can't wait!


There you have it, friends. What's on your menu for the week? I'd love to hear.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Dinner: May 5-11

For my birthday this year my parents got me the cookbook, Dinner A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach.

Dinner A Love Story

Jenny had me at "dinner diary." Every week (for fifteen years!) she wrote down what she wanted to eat for the upcoming week. Brilliant, right? This book, part cookbook and memoir, is the fruit of those 15 years. It is divided into the various stages of Jenny's life (i.e. Just-Married Stage and the New Parent Stage) with stories and recipes that correspond to those days. This book has given me hope for the days to come (you know, when my child might actually eat the food in front of her instead of playing with it. Or, wait - does that ever change?) and perseverance in the nitty-gritty of early parenthood. Basically, it revolutionized the way I do dinner in our house.

Since I love plans and lists I have started planning my own menu at the start of every week. When Sunday rolls around I write down what we're going to have Monday-Sunday of the upcoming week and then on Monday (usually) I head to the store with a complete list of all the ingredients I need to make those meals a reality. Planning out our meals has relieved so much stress! Of course, we don't always follow the plan, but it's such a relief to know that the guesswork has been taken out of "what are we having for dinner tonight?" Plus, when I'm stumped about what to include on the menu it's nice to have a handy reference to look back on - "oh yeah! we had (insert meal here) a few weeks ago and it was awesome! I'll make that!"

So, I've decided to let you in on my weekly menu. Maybe this doesn't interest you in the slightest, or maybe, if you're like me, you love this kind of stuff. I also hope that maybe it gives you fresh ideas for dinner because I know how easy it is to fall into a dinner rut. Finally, I hope you'll share your favorite dinners in the comments below. I always love to hear new ideas!

Without further ado, here is our menu for May 5-11

Monday: Chipotle chili (I decided to make this a vegetarian meal to save money)
Tuesday: Thai basil fried rice (sans radishes - I hate 'em)
Wednesday: Baked potatoes with leftover chili
Thursday: Crispy paprika-parmesan fish with green beans
Friday: Taco pizza (Friday night is always pizza night)
Saturday: Rotini pasta with ground turkey and broccoli
Sunday: Grilled chicken, grilled corn on the cob, homemade sweet potato fries (Forrest is making all of this since it's Mother's Day)

What are you having for dinner?