Friday, April 15, 2016

Food for Thought

We are officially under a Winter Storm Warning for the lovely snow heading our way, starting later tonight and going through Sunday.  I can't tell you how excited this makes me.  Not.  

They say it will be a wonderfully wet sludge of a snow, which translates into several inches of water, not the light fluffy build-a-snowman stuff.  It means all that moisture sinks to the bottom and shoveling is near impossible; using the snow blower is laughable.  It's literally like shoveling water.  It also means crushed flowers, more broken trees and frozen buds. . .my lilacs!  For some it will also mean loss of power.

The only thing different with this storm, than the almost identical one that came through a few weeks ago, is that my 15 y.o. and I won't be the only ones shoveling (the 7 y.o. tried to help, but at a certain point, he's more time consuming to manage.)  We won't be the only ones wet from the inside from sweating, and drenched from the outside in because it's more rain than snow; the hubby and the 17 y.o. will be here!

If I shovel, which is a big IF, meals will be simple.  If I don't, they'll still be simple, but they'll be more filling, more warm, more frequent.  I cooked mostly from Pinterest this week, and because of a lazy mood one night I have a leftover meal that I can pull together this weekend, one that would keep if shoveling is going on.  Even if you're not in the "storm zone" this weekend, everyone needs to eat and there were some good things cooking here this week.

I'm not gonna lie, I love tater tots.  That crunchy salty thing, with soft warm centers.  Yum.  So when I came across this Tater Tot-chos, I had to try it.  I've never cooked with tater tots but this was more like a bowl.  I loved the mini tater tots, which I didn't think I'd actually find.  It was also a good meal for a night when people weren't eating together.  I might bulk up the meat-topping a bit by adding black beans and adding avocados or guacamole as an additional topping.

Since hubby has discovered he actually likes Brussels sprouts, when they aren't boiled to death, they've made frequent appearances at our table. They will again tonight once I find a slaw recipe.  These Garlic-roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Sauce were a side to these Grilled Brown Sugar Mustard Chicken Thighs.  I love that the sprouts roast quickly and the mustard sauce had a nice spice to it.  It paired wonderfully with the chicken.

It was warm this week - with 70's or near enough - that I shouldn't have wanted a pasta comfort dish, but I did and the fact that it was a one pot meal, just made it all the better.  This Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta came together fast and was another one that held up well for a meal we weren't able to enjoy all together.  The Ro-Tel gave it a good kick.  Because we are at altitude I should have simmered it just a bit longer, but hubby thought a bit of cream would thickened up the excess liquid and been a good addition.  It also might have cut some of the heat.  I also served five, instead of four, with about a serving leftover.

The warmer weather did give me cravings for burgers, so these Greek Turkey Burgers were meant to satisfy that.  And they did.  They were flavorful and really moist.  I used fresh spinach, well chopped, about 1/3 to 1/2 cup, instead of frozen.  I don't mind cooking with frozen, but I had fresh.  I loved the pops of feta, as well.  I made my 40 Minute Hamburger Buns.  I got eight decent sized patties out of the recipe, as opposed to six, so I'm not sure how larger her patties were, but I'm sure leftovers will be awesome.

It's a quiet day of prep.  Prep for dinner.  Prep for the storm.  Prep for a relaxing weekend where I might get time to do my own thing.  Or not, because we'll all be trapped inside and there will be messes to pick up and arguments to referee.

Happy Friday,

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