Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I don't like cooking that much. I mean, I might like cooking if I could walk around a little french market buying my groceries all day and then had a quiet evening to make Matt and myself something fabulous to eat while we sipped wine and talked about our days.

But that is not how it goes around here. I hate grocery shopping. I hate figuring out something that both adults and children will appreciate eatting (or fighting the fights that happen if the kids don't like dinner). I hate having to make it quickly with one hand while trying to NOT burn the baby who is in the other arm. And I really hate the clean-up part, (oh....wait....I also hate the planning what the meals will be part. I have enough to plan in life!).

So, for those, like me, who don't like planning, I thought I'd post what WE ate each week (with recipe links) in case you want to copy any of them. I know I'm always looking for ideas and recommendations. I don't necessarily intend for this to be a weekly post because if you knew what we ate LAST week, (when  Matt was out of town) you'd gag and/or call the child authorities on me for the lack of nutritious food I gave to my children.

But here is this weeks plan:

These salted, crispy oatmeal cookies. I found them on America's Test Kitchen's website. They are super good and are sprinkled with sea salt. However, they are a pain to make. I guess they aren't that hard, but it just seemed like a lot of steps the first time through.
This roasted chicken recipe from America's Test Kitchen was also very yum. I made it on Sunday. However, in this recipe, you make a glaze to put on it and I didn't make the glaze. I just wanted the crispy skin. And I wanted to buy a giant can of beer at my grocery store just because that seemed so funny to me. And Claire really laughed looking at the chicken perched on top of the beer can. We ate this chicken with sauteed spinach and a can of Pillsbury's rustic french bread.

Last night I made this seared sesame tuna. Matt and I gave it a thumbs up. The peanut gallery gave it a pretty hearty thumbs down. With enough of the soy saucey dip though, they choked it down.

(photo courtesy of Pioneer Woman)
However, it eased their pain that I made a giant mashed potato recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman to go with it. Very good, but don't make the mistake I did and beat the potatoes with a mixer. They ended up pretty gluey that way. The kids didn't mind though. I made steamed green beans on the side, (the kind that comes already trimmed in a bag in the produce dept). Worth every penny.

Tonight, the intention is to grill these steaks I've had in the freezer for a while. We'll finish PW's mashed potatoes and either do more green beans or salad.
This "hearty tuscan bean stew" is from AMT as well, and I haven't made it yet so I can't say if  it's good or not-so-good. I CAN tell you that I bought canned beans rather than soaking dried beans (really? Why would you soak beans these days?) so hopefully it won't make a big difference. I bought another of the Pillsbury bread loafs to make with it. Hey, I could run out for fresh bread, but why? It's all white bread fluff anyway.

And finally, (after throwing in a leftovers night) we'll make pizza on the grill as taught to me by my dear cousin Hilary and her husband, Mark. The crust recipe I use was given to me from Matt's mom and it is as follows:

2 packages (or 2 T) yeast
2 and 1/4 c very warm water
sprinkle of sugar
3 T oil
1 T sugar
1 T salt
6 cups flour (sometimes replace part of the flower with corn meal...like 1/2 c at the most)

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water
2. Sprinkle and mix in the sugar
3. let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes
4. Add oil, sugar, and salt
5. Mix in flour and knead the dough
6. Let dough rise for 20 min or more.
*This is enough dough for at least 3 pizzas

Now, you can bake it in the oven at 415 degrees for 7 minutes, put toppings on it, and bake for 7 more. OR, you can grill it. I preheat the grill with the pizza stone inside and then take a pre-rolled-out circle of dough to the grill and plop it onto the stone for just a few minutes. Then, after it puffs up, flip it over and start putting the toppings on the side that baked already. It won't take long to melt the cheese so if you have toppings like green peppers or onions or something that need to cook for a while, you might have to pre-cook them. We use sauce, a tiny bit of hot giardiniera relish, spinach, cheese, pepperoni, and mushrooms (in that order).

Happy cooking.

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