I’m potty training my son. I’m pregnant, I have a cold and thought that now would be a good time to convince my hard-headed 2 year old that his poo poo and pee pee are better off in a big, scary water hole than in a warm, cushy pillow attached to his tushy. I would rather give birth to him now than go through what I did yesterday morning. (Have I mentioned that I am also hard-headed… but I have way more experience in the business than he does so, naturally I won). But now, just like everything in child-raising, the storm has passed and we’re only suffering minor turbulence today. He’s really getting the hang of it and now our heads have softened just a bit…
Needless to say, we’re hunkered down for as long as it takes to complete this mission so I’m foregoing the grocery store today so we can conquer the potty. Usually I go to the store every Wednesday, like clock work, and come home to write out and publish our weekly mealplan. I post it every week and my husband gets to choose what he wants for dinner every morning before he goes off to work. We like to pretend we’re eating at a fancy restaurant every night.
But today, I’m staying home and have decided to take on yet another challenge. I still want to write our weekly mealplan and I want to do it using only the things that I already have in my kitchen. This is a great example of why it is so important to keep your pantry and freezer stocked with essentials and favorites whenever they go on sale, so if an emergency occurs…you shall never go hungry! Some of you may be thinking, ‘Why don’t you just have your husband go by the store on his way home…wouldn’t that be easier?‘ No. It would not. He would spend $300 and still forget half the list.
*Lasagna and Green Salad
I always have different kinds of pasta in my pantry-whole wheat, white, short cut, long noodles, shells, and lasagna sheets. I also always have different kinds of ground meat and bags of shredded cheese in the freezer and lots of cans of different tomato products in my pantry. So I can pull together a simple spaghetti, baked ziti or lasagna with no problem. This week I happen to have half a head of lettuce that will go perfectly with the lasagna and since I make my own bread every week we can have a big spread!
*Chicken, Brie and Apple Hashbrown Casserole
Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? Seriously. Find me someone and I’ll call them a liar. I always have eggs in the fridge and bacon and sausage stocked in the freezer, and biscuits are a cinch to make if you’ve got all the ingredients in your pantry so I can always make a delicious, simple breakfast/dinner. But I have a bag of shredded potatoes that I got for next to nothing last week at the store so I thought I would do a hashbrown casserole with shredded apples, brie and hand made chicken-fennel sausage.
*Pork Pad Thai
I have a bag of asian vegetables and some rice noodles. Pork tenderloin is usually in my freezer and I always have an abundance of Asian condiments on hand. Pad Thai is my husbands favorite so he should be happy about this one.
*Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens with Succotash
I love these little birds. I have a pack of 2 in the freezer from when they went on a big sale. And there are always lima beans and corn in my freezer or pantry to make a quick succotash. The few vegetables that I will use frozen are limas, corn, peas, pearl onions, soy beans and snow peas. The quickest way to orange-glaze anything is to use orange marmalade. If you season your meat well with s&p, then you don’t even need to add anything to the marmalade, just melt it a bit in a saucepan or microwave and brush it on your meat several times while it’s cooking.
*Uptown Fried Steak with Twice Baked Potatoes and Balsamic Peas and Pearl Onions
There is usually a pack or two of cube steaks in my freezer. I really love making an ‘uptown’ version of the classic Country Fried Steak. Cube steak is extremely inexpensive and when it goes on a BOGO sale, I stock up. My favorite thing to serve with the steak is my mom’s recipe for twice baked potatoes. She uses plain yogurt, velveeta and chives. The yogurt is essential because it adds an incredible tang to the rich, cheesy potato. This meal ends up looking like one of those 1950’s TV dinners, only much tastier 🙂
*Grilled Chicken Breasts with a Roasted Garlic Jam and Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Onions
Chicken thighs and breasts are usually in my freezer and I always have lots of garlic bulbs and onions in my kitchen. I’ll be taking the last of our garden tomatoes and slicing them into thick slices, with some quartered onions and season them well with olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. I’ll then roast them for several hours on low until they get sweet and shrively. I’ll also throw in a head of garlic while the oven is hot to allow it to roast. To make the jam, I’ll puree the roasted cloves with some salt, pepper and sugar. After the chicken is done, the jam will be served on top as a condiment.
And now I must do the potty dance again.