We have a couple pumpkins to carve. A Where's Waldo shirt to stripe up. A dinner to cook. A couple loaves of banana bread to bake to use up the past-their-prime bananas. Some family friends in town to say hello to. And a morphing Sunday afternoon.
The last couple of weeks I've been trying to cook my way through my over-stuffed freezer. My goal was to not purchase any meat, but to use what I have on hand. So far so good, though it doesn't look like I've made much of a dent. My left-over-filled refrigerator (and an "I'm done" run to Taco Bell) had me shuffle a couple recipes off this week, onto next, which is just one of the beauties of planning a menu. If you're looking for a meal for the weekend, or to plan next week, look no further.
One thing I had too much of was chicken, so Romano Chicken Supreme was a good way to use some up. I opted to use boneless-skinless thighs which I like better; more flavor, more moist. The mushrooms never made it into the dish, but otherwise I cooked as listed. It was really good. Moist, tender, good flavor.
I have Butternut Squash on my list for the garden next year. I've only cooked with the frozen puree, and though it best to recipe test it before planting it. I liked the sound of this Maple Butternut Squash, plus I stink at preparing side dishes. The only thing I didn't have on hand was cardamon (I know I had some, but I think it got tossed in the Great Seasoning Clean-out.) This would be a good Thanksgiving side, but it's easy enough to do on a weeknight.
I was shuffling things around in the freezer and found I had a way more tortellini than one needs, even with keeping it as a staple. Enter Creamy Tomato Tortellini with Sausage. I opted to use the Smoke Kielbasa I also keep on hand, but it would be good with Italian, too. It was warm, creamy and comforting. If you have leftovers, reheat with a touch of milk, the sauce will thicken. Actually, if you like it a little saucy, add a splash to the pan as well.
I've had pumpkins on my garden list for, well, ever. I took the same approach with pumpkins as with the squash, if I'm going to grow them, I better try my hand at them. In this case, Roasting Pumpkin, to make and freeze my own puree. I picked up a Pie Pumpkin at the store and it's cooling now. It'll be interesting to see how the taste varies and how much I get for the $2.99 I paid for it.
We have officially entered Hot Drink territory for my 16 y.o. son, though I don't mind a hot mug in the evenings, either. His drink of choice is generally hot chocolate. I've got a few mix recipes pinned. We've tried and loved this Polar Express version, but today it's this Hot Chocolate Mix, which has white chocolate chips in it. He's home sick with strep today, so I'm hoping I can get him to give it a try later.
I have to say I'm enjoying mixing up creamers with milk/cream instead of sweetened condensed milk. I mixed up this Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer this morning. Super fast, super easy and I can convince myself that the pumpkin in it makes it healthy. Plus it's quite tasty.
A lot of down time this weekend, with a little chaos mixed in tomorrow night (getting home from Mass before the trick-or-treaters hit, plus we have to get our own little Storm Trooper out.)