Category Archives: Delicious Meals at Home

Chance Encounter

dfbb2bab2fe032d4f537560224c6ffabToday my daughter and I were at the car dealer for an oil change.  We had just stopped at the library for some books to entertain us, and I was reading Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Jerusalem.”  All of his books are beautiful, inspiring, and have recipes that work.  I digress…

An older woman came over to inquire about the delicious looking recipes.  She told me she was 84 (could have passed for 72 in my opinion) and she had been married to a man who was both a pharmacist and a medical doctor.  Ottolenghi’s recipes are based heavily on Mediterranean ingredients, and that got my new friend dispensing advice on healthful living.  Her thoughts:

  • Why does the YMCA have vending machines that are filled with chips and snacks?
  • Get rid of the salt shaker; her husband promoted garlic powder and onion powder
  • Follow a Mediterranean style of eating – lots of veg
  • Sugar – be careful
  • Buy Trader Joes frozen zucchini and eggplant for an easy veg side
  • The food of her European ancestors killed them (carb heavy, fat heavy, rich)
  • If you can’t grow your own herbs, it is worth it to pay for them in the grocery store.  They are cheap compared to the pharmaceuticals you need for Diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

When I have a chance encounter like this, I try to really hear what the person is saying.  I do believe that there are people who come into our lives that we have something to learn from.  We bought that zucchini and eggplant from TJs, and I am reading a little about Mediterranean eating.  I think it could be a sustainable way of eating, especially as I teeter on the mid-life changes in my body.

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Menu Plan Monday 4-13/15

IMG_3759_fotorLast week was super busy but now we’re back to normal and I am on a little bit of a mental high.  I found out after some tests that I was able to improve my bone density and Vitamin D levels, which had been low.  PLUS, about 43 days left of school till Summer Break.  Happy all around.

Monday – Pizza Lasagna, an improvised recipe with curly pasta, Trader Joes marinara, leftover pepperoni , and mozzarella baked in a casserole.

TuesdayTurkey and Zucchini Burgers from the wonderful Jerusalem cookbook by Ottolenghi.  I have made these before and they are also yummy the next day.  Serve with rice or naan.

Wednesday – Ballet night so its Chicken Quesadillas and home-made salsa using this amazing and easy recipe originating from Pioneer Woman.  Note: Rotel is spicy.  Tread carefully.

Millet Muffins from "Super Natural Every Day"

Millet Muffins from “Super Natural Every Day”

Thursday – Eggs, millet muffins, and fruit.   Millet sounds like something that would crack your fillings, doesn’t it?  Not at all!  While you are checking Jerusalem out of the library, request Super Natural Every Day too.

Friday – Mom’s night off.

Weekend – It’s gardening season for my husband, so on weekends we are tending to eat at home.  If anyone has any great weekend-friendly (not too much fussing) recipes, feel free to comment or leave your linked recipe URL below.

More meal ideas at orgjunkie.com

 

Menu Plan Monday Jan 12/15

IMG_3759_fotor

Last week’s menu plan included quiche, which was a huge hit with all parties.  It was even better the second day!  This week’s meals are a little less inspired because we have a number of things on our calendar this week. In winter we appreciate even a simple meal at home when it is cold and dark out.

Monday – Shrimp and twice-baked potatoes, broccoli

Tuesday – Brats and beans, salad

Wednesday – Sweet and sour chicken, broccoli

Thursday – Pizza and salad

Friday – We have a free take-out meal coupon.  Night off!

For more dinner inspirations, connect with other bloggers at orgjunkie.com

Meager Rations!

Oregon Trail Game

Oregon Trail Game

My daughter has been playing an old MS-DOS game called “The Oregon Trail” (play for free at Internet Archive). Her characters, whom she names “Axel” and “Emily Rose”, are constantly dropping dead from cholera, dysentery, and starvation.

The game warns of meager rations and that is how things look around our house. It’s been super cold here with negative temps and -25F wind chills. When it warms to above 0 degrees it snows and then it gets Arctic-cold again. It was a good week to have a solid meal plan and groceries in the house because I haven’t been anywhere except to work.

Our breakfast this morning was salvaged from a meeting at work yesterday. . .Oh yes I did! The muffins that had been out since 8 AM were looking like they were a heartbeat from the trash. This morning they were more appealing than plain Cheerios anyway.

We are headed out today on an all-family grocery shopping expedition and I’m almost giddy at the prospect of leaving the house.  “Axel” is harnessing the oxen and with a little luck we will cross the river without drowning!

Menu Plan Monday – Sept 22

Free-Downloads-Vector-Vintage-Stove-GraphicsFairy-redThe theme of this week’s menu is using what we already have as a starting point for meals.

Monday – Haircut night, meeting Dad for a sandwich dinner out!

Tuesday – Fajitas, to use up tortillas, beans, cheese, sour cream we already have.  One chicken breast will be enough for all of us in combination with beans.

Wednesday – Greek salmon salad, to use up salmon patties in the freezer.  Combined with romaine, feta, olives, and “Good Seasons” Greek Vinaigrette

Thursday – Sloppy Joes, already in the freezer from a prior meal

Friday – ‘Cheaters’ Cuban Sandwich, boiled ham, provolone, mayo/whole grain mustard, pickles in the Foreman Grill.

For more menu inspirations, visit orgjunkie!

Menu Plan Monday – Sept 15

thanksgvingPumpkin-GraphicsFairyOrgWell, we officially have turned our heat on!  I was home sick last week and spent some time reminding myself of what we like to eat when the weather turns cool.  It was fun to look through menu plans I have in notebooks going back for many years.

We have extra incentive to get our meals planned out because our church is participating in ‘Meals@Home‘, a commitment to sit down to eat at home as a family at least three times a week.  We track our meals each month and share photos on Facebook as a way to keep the momentum going.

Monday – Tacos

Tuesday – Shrimp and yukon gold potatoes from our garden.  So. Many. Potatoes!!

Wednesday – Ballet night, but we can bring a take and bake pizza home and still have dinner together.

Thursday – Jazzercise night for me … Grilled cheese and pea soup

Friday – Eggs (from my friend’s chickens) and breakfast-for-dinner accompaniments.

For more menu inspirations, visit orgjunkie!

Fresh eggs!

Fresh eggs!

 

Jammin’

When I was a kid, every summer we could look forward to a jar of my Grandma’s homemade raspberry jam, made from raspberries grown in her home garden.  I can still picture the thick wax seal inside the jar; alas, today this method is not considered safe.  Every now and then I get possessed by the urge to can fruit preserves.  Over the years I have had some successes and failures, but gradually my results are becoming more reliable. One of my favorite books is “Canning for a New Generation” by Liana Krissoff.  I originally borrowed it from the library and in time, purchased it.  (See my prior post on her Quick Indonesian pickles).  Another great resource is the blog Food in Jars.  Today I made Vanilla Rhubarb Jam from the Food in Jars blog.  The recipe called for Earl Grey tea, but I substituted Rishi Vanilla Black tea to heighten the vanilla flavor.  It tastes great!noexif_IMG_4642_private I made a small batch and mostly used the 4 ounce jars.  I am thrilled to say that all my jars sealed and the preserves set properly. noexif_IMG_4637_private While I worked, several male ducks slept in the garden.  When there are no ladies to chase, you might as well have a nap.noexif_IMG_4640_private Do you do any canning?  Or do you have memories of family members preserving food?  I’m waiting for U-pick strawberries to get my next canning fix!