Friday, November 28, 2014

The Week and The Food

Another week, another couple appointments.  A couple more answers for hubby. . .some good, some not so good.  We are still awaiting approval for a drug and he gets the joy of adding more pills to his current repertoire, with that hope that they are but a temporary bump in this journey.  But we still had much to be grateful for as we woke up yesterday:  we have each other, our kids, extended family (and all their support), our faith and friends (who have also been a source of support.) 
I didn't host Thanksgiving but I was in charge of the pies.  I made two.  Rather than my traditional pumpkin, I opted to use up more of the sweet potatoes we have on hand and made this Caramel Sweet Potato Pie.  It was lighter than pumpkin. . .a little less custard-y.  Apple Butter gave it its seasoning and sweetness.  If I'd felt more like it, I'd have made Pioneer Woman's Easy Caramel Sauce, but used some jarred stuff I had on hand.  I did whip up my own whipped cream though.  The second pie was this German Apple Pie, which is so amazing - creamy filling around tart apples. I've made it before it won raves. 

I've hosted Thanksgiving before, but it's nice not to have to clean and cook and clean some more.  But, we realized, upon returning home, that there was something good about hosting - leftovers!  About 6:30 we were all craving leftovers, whether it was turkey or the amazing mashed potatoes, we were hungry.  I'll be thawing a bird this week and with luck we'll have leftovers next week.

The odd week of two kids off school and two kids in school, combined with the holiday and the doctor visits, it was another "make it good, make it fast" menu.

It'll take a bit to remember to work a meatless and a fish recipe into the week, but this Classic Cheese Lasagna not only used up some ricotta I already had on hand, but met the meatless goal for the week.  I made this Quick Marinara, which is my go-to.  I've used this recipe before and it's creamy and gooey - everything lasagna should be.  I sometimes have fresh basil on hand to sprinkle on top, not so much this time around, though.  You could up the nutrition a bit with the addition of finely shopped spinach in the chesse filling.

This was apparently "Pasta Week," something I'll have to rethink/watch moving forward.  Luckily, I'll have some other options to keep these quick meals in my rotation.  This Monterrey Chicken Skillet used up my stash of chopped rotisserie chicken (I doubled the recipe) but was worth it.  It was a really easy one-pan meal.  I loved the heat and the BBQ sweetness.  Keep an eye on the liquid level.  I should have checked my noodles about 5 or 6 minutes into the cooking - they were a little past al dente because I had to simmer off the excess liquid after hitting the recommended cooking time.  The blogger notes this in the directions, but I just wasn't thinking.

If comfort is the name of the game this Creamy Parmesan Tomato and Spinach Tortellini Soup could be your ticket.  It's almost all pantry staples, and, look at me, I didn't even realize until now it was another meatless meal.  It was warm and smooth, even without the optional blending of the tomatoes (I used petite diced., plus I like the chunkier texture.)  It was creamy and rich.  I would be good with browned Italian sausage or chicken, but was totally filling without the addition of a protein.

Believe it or not, I still have a couple sweet potatoes to use up, but these Sweet Potato Scones got me closer to the bottom of the bag.  I love scones and these didn't disappoint.  Hubby thought they didn't have enough flavor, but if you eat scones, you know they are not the "sweet" treat that we westerners are used to.  Their flavors are more subtle, which is what I like.  They were moist, lightly sweet with a touch of All Spice.  I didn't have marshmallow cream, so I made my own by using about 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, about a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of light corn syrup.  I zapped it for about 30 seconds and stirred it until the marshmallows were melted and smooth.  Then added to cream to make the glaze and dribbled away.  I think it was better than the pre-made fluff - not as sweet, but with that marshmallow-y flavor.

I also made these Pumpkin Scotchies, to use up some pumpkin I had left over.  I've made them before and they are always a hit.  Store them flat, between layers of parchment paper and a loose lid, to keep them from getting too moist.  The same for the scones above.

Hubby and the 16 y.o. are out shooting clays this afternoon.  The 17 y.o. took the dog out to the park.  I've done a few things around the house, and just came up from the basement where I discovered my studio has been overtaken. . .and I am not happy.  The rest of the crew are doing their best imitations of slugs.  If the weather holds, I'd like hubby and the boys to get the lights on the house, while I concentrate on decorating the main floors.  We'll see where we get to.

Happy Friday,

No comments: