Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weekly Eats: Monday Jan 1 - Sunday Jan 7

A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  Polar Vortex week two edition, logged some serious kitchen hours.

Weekday Breakfasts:
Breakfast Burritos (first cooking project of the year!)
Cranberry English Muffins with string cheese and fruit (a rare non-egg breakfast craving)

Weekend Breakfasts:
Breakfast quesadillas (nothing fancy, just scrambled eggs, cheese, and lot of hot sauce in a skillet toasted tortilla).

Weekday Lunches:
M: cereal bar, string cheese, and snacks (saving calories for New Year's Dinner)
T & F: Vegetable Enchiladas from the freezer 
W: Lasagna from the freezer
H: leftover Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Weekend Lunches:
Snacks and tastes from meal prep.

Weekday Dinners:
M: New Year's Dinner (family bash, cooking by sister in laws #1 and #3).  Pork and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and veggies.  Everyone brought wine and treats.  By the end of the night, our treat tray was reduced to just two cookies.  I put a serious dent in the Christmas Crack.

T (family meal, first work day of the New Year): the curious case of the mismatched dinners.  When I packed my lunchbag that morning, I saw that we had two pieces of lasagna in the freezer, we'd had them for awhile, so I routed one of the pieces into my lunchbox and took it to work.  Well, when dinnertime came around, our vague idea that we had Christmas/New Years leftovers proved false.  The kids got hotdogs and mac and cheese, hubs got the remaining piece of lasagna, and I tucked in to the last portion of Spinach Artichoke Pasta.

W (date night): Chicken Pot Pie Soup via Two Peas & Their Pod.  I chopped the veggies the night before and whipped up a half recipe of pie crust for pie crust crackers, so that all I had to do was throw everything in the soup pot.  It came together quickly and was yum.

H (fend for yourself night): more mismatched dinners.  I had chicken soup for lunch, he had it for dinner.  I found two pieces of pizza lurking in the fridge and polished them off.

F: A fusion of date night & fend for yourself night.  Due to the temperature, there was no way we were leaving the house.  He stirred up a bachelor serving of chicken, rice, and veg, I tucked into a plate of Annie's Cheese Enchiladas.  We opened a bottle of Jose Cuervo margaritas and life was good.

Weekend Dinners:

S (date night):  Again, there was no way we were leaving the house, so I asked hubs at breakfast what he wanted for dinner.  The seed had been planted from Wednesday's date night soup, and he asked for Chicken Pot Pie.  I knew without a doubt that I was going to turn to Two Peas & Their Pod.   I whipped up a double batch of pie crust in the morning so that all I had to do at night was roll it out and make the filling.
I got the pastry mat a few years ago.  Yes, it's a nice thing to have but not mandatory.  My only gripe is that it's difficult to clean due to it's size, just the nature of the beast.

I enjoyed cutting in the steam vents.

But the final proof was in the pie.  I cannot recommend this recipe enough.  Hubs was very happy.

Su (family meal): leftover chicken pot pie.  Hubs and I were happy, I got the impression the the kids weren't thrilled but they ate it.

Meal Prep:
The freezer was almost bare, so it was no holds bared meal prep.  Normally I wouldn't make more than two recipes in a weekend, but at the last minute I came across a thai curry that I couldn't get out of my head, so it was on.

PaleOMG green thai curry: I make thai curry all the time and love it, but there's something missing from the recipes I've tried compared to take out thai.  This recipe stood out because it has what I believe to be the missing ingredients: lemon grass and lime leaves.  Lemon grass was easy to come by, lime leaves were not, so I had to do without.  Other changes: since I knew I would be freezing this and I'm not paleo, I swapped tofu for shrimp and added rice.  For the coconut milk I used one can full fat and one can reduced fat.  Verdict: yum, but I can't wait to revisit this with lime leaves (ordered on Amazon) and red curry.

Veggie Burritos:

I've been dreaming on these for some time.  I started with cilantro lime rice (from the freezer), topped it with home made refried beans (recipe coming soon), cilantro, the filling from Budget Bytes Veggie Fajitas, and topped them with a little salsa and cheese before skillet toasting.  I got a dozen burritos for my effort, I'll add avocado, cheese, and salsa for serving.  I'm kicking myself for not thinking to get an extra lime to drizzle over them.  Next time!

Spinach-Mushroom-Artichoke Stuffed Shells: this was a favorite recipe from Erica House's blog.   So I headed there to get the recipe and nooooo her blog is gone.  I took a guess at the ingredients, I was pretty sure it had 10 oz of spinach, but was it 8, 12, or 16 oz of mushrooms?  I turned to google and came up with something that seemed pretty similar.  My changes: I topped it with Newman's Own Cabernet Marinara (similar to Erica, she didn't make the tomato-cheese sauce in the Food Network version), swapped cottage cheese for ricotta, and added a can of artichoke heats because obs if you have spinach and mushroom there should be artichokes.

Please come back Erica!  Your blog was great and the blogosphere misses you.


Workouts: standard fare of treadmill walks and runs, two weight lifting days.
    Watching (from the treadmill): Call the Midwife.  Tomorrow's workout will be bittersweet because it's the last episode. 
    Watching (from the couch):
    • We started the New Year off right by finishing Jean Claude van Johnson before the kids got up.  Well, off course they got up as soon as we started it and were drawn to it like magnets.  Hubs chased them off into the kitchen and sat them down to breakfast, so they didn't see it but still got to appreciate the explosions and language.
    • Kids in the Hall
    • Kiss Me Kate (I'm an old movie fan, hubs is a Shakespeare fan)
    • Noises Off (hub's answer to Kiss Me Kate)
      Reading: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.

      New Year's Resolutions/Goals
      Health Stuff:
      • I'm carrying a few extra lb's.  Get rid of them.  I'll write more about this later as I get it done.  We're starting a weight loss challenge at work tomorrow, and I'm all in.
      • This is the Year of the Pushup.  I used to be able to crank out three sets of 10 boy pushups, but I've gotten off my game.  My goal is to do 100 pushups a week, specifically three sets of 10 throughout the day 3x week with an extra 10 in there somewhere just for bragging rights (I can do three sets over the course of a day, just not three sets in one workout).   Just one more set and I will have achieved the goal for week 1.
      • Use my standing desk more.  We have adjustable desks at work, but I've gotten out of the habit of standing.  My goal for now is to stand for an hour a day (broken into two half hour sessions) and build up to two hours a day.
      • Work on sleep quality.  I used to be a champ at sleeping through the night but something's changed.  What I need to do to make this happen: keep the coffee down to one cup a day (so far I'm 100% on this for the year), and listen to meditation mp3's at night (this really helped me back when I was in grad school and so stressed that I couldn't sleep).
      Family Stuff:
      • More family dates!  My husband and I have never stopped dating, and now I want to expand that to include the kids.  We did a few last year and had a blast.  The basic formula is local attraction (museum, short road trip, etc)+dinner.  Ideally I'd like to do a family date once every two months, minimum of once a quarter.  I've got a list of ideas to roll out.
      • Expand the family meal rotation.  The four of us have different tastes and limited hours in the day, and if we don't put in the effort, we default back to the same old meals all over again.  
      House Stuff:
      • We've got some bathrooms and a kitchen to remodel. We have some interviews with contractors set for the next two weeks.
      Learning and Skills:
      • Work on writing skills.  I've got a couple of resources set aside to work through.
      • My Photoshop skills are getting rusty, rework my way through the tutorials.
      Blog Stuff:
      • Shorten the time span between photographing a recipe and posting it.  I'm sitting on a least four posts worth of photos.
      • More non-food posts.

      Your turn:
      • What are you cooking this week?
      • What are you reading and watching?
      • How did you survive the cold this week?
      • New Years Resolutions? 

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