Friday, April 17, 2015

Snow for the Weekend and Food

Man, if this were just straight rain, we'd need an ark.  As it is, only the snow that fell over night (and is now being slowly melted by the rain/sleet/hail) is keeping streets from being outright flooded.  There is still plenty of standing water on the streets and in the low spots of yards.  The 6 y.o. loves driving though the puddles, making the car drive seem more like the log ride at the amusement park.

It's cold though, and it looks like this weather will be with us through the weekend; which is okay by me.

Tonight we have the eighth grader's, long awaited, class play; he and his classmates have already performed twice for the kids in school this week.  As much as he's enjoyed it, I think he's ready to move on to the next thing on his year-end-getting-out-of-here list - the Ed Fair, which is a ginormous project.  I have the plaster covered counters, filled molds, figurines, models and finished plaster pieces stacked in my dining room to prove it.

Strep has, just when I think we're free, found us again.  It's hit up the 16 y.o. for a second time.  We have the appointment this afternoon to see for sure, but I'll be surprised if the test comes back negative.  Happy, but surprised.

Cooking this week was all Pinterest.  If you're looking for something that's been tried (and is generally easy to prepare, and fairly quick to pull together) you can find what we've tried and like on the I Cooked That board (if I had notes, I put them in the description fields.)

By Monday I had not yet planned my menu, thus had not been to the grocer.  I had Chicken and Mozzarella sausages in the freezer and lots of odds and ends leftovers, including an almost full bag of angle hair cabbage.  Enter the Crunchy Poppy Seed Slaw to serve with the sausage.  Outside of the cabbage, I had green apples (subbed in for the red ones) and I had green onions.  I had no ramon noodles, so those were left out.  I had roasted pumpkin seeds, so those when in instead of the cashews.  I had other nuts (almonds, pecans, pine and walnuts) that would have also worked.  I didn't have Poppy Seed Dressing, luckily the recipe came with a link to a homemade version of Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing.  Outside of cutting down a bit on the mayo next time, this was a really good dressing - it makes a quart.  Because I didn't have a full bag of cabbage, I should have cut down on the dressing added, but didn't so my slaw was swimming a bit.  But it was really good, and I'm not typically a slaw fan.  I'd make it again either as written or with my subs again any time.

I eventually made it to the store, but this Spicy Smoked Sausage Alfred Bake was a recipe I could have almost made from my pantry stock as well.  I don't keep pasta on hand, so I needed that.  This was super good - creamy, a bit of garlic, a bit of heat and I use Hillshire Farms Kielbasa (it's on hand in my freezer at any given time and my go-to when sausage is called for.)  We had it on the first night of cold and snow earilier this week and was just the comfort food needed.

I sometimes worry about chicken dishes with sauces in the slow cooker because sometimes the sauces thin out as the juices come out of the meat, leaving a watered down version of the sauce.  That was not the case with this Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken.  Holy crap this was good.  Sweet, salty, ginger-y.  I had originally intended to put them in wraps (we use Tortilla Fresca flour tortillas, our Costco carries them - they are awesome.  I will never go back to the prepared ones in the store) and top them with slaw, but I used up most of the tortillas on another night - and I wasn't planning on that.  Instead I served it over brown rice.  Totally a make again!

As I said, come Monday, I had no meal plan, and that included dessert.  I looked for something quick and these Banana Squares seemed to fit the ticket, plus I had all the ingredients on hand.  They were good; I topped them with left over Cool Whip.  My only issue, the cook time.  It was way, way too long.  I should have checked them when I could smell the bananas.  I'm sure it has to do with our altitude and, knowing this, I usually adjust all bake times down.  For whatever reason, I didn't do that with these.  I'll make them again and adjust the cooking time.  

My meatless meal came in the form of this One Pan Mexican Quinoa.  I had totally intended to serve it bowl-style.  But I looked at my ravenous family (the recipe said it fed four - and usually this type of dish will serve all six of us just right) and decided I'd give them the option of bowl-style or as a filling to a tortilla.  They all chose tortillas, which is why I was out of them on Hoisin Chicken night.  I, myself, had it bowl-style and it was quite good.  I made this before going to the grocer for the week, and had everything on hand, save the roasted tomatoes.  Looking back I could have subbed in Rotell tomatoes instead of plain diced tomatoes, but live and learn.  It was still good and super quick and filling.  My avocados were a bit over ripe, so I made guacamole (avocados, salt, lime juice and cilantro) and served it in dollops instead.

I've got dinner in the slow cooker, leftovers for the weekend, and things to do while the snow keeps me inside.

Happy Friday,

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