The demise of plans is what I'm using to blame my lack of cooking meals this week; I just didn't have it in me. It works in my head, but I don't think the family is buying it. I had a plan. And a shopping list. I just never made it out of the house. . .except to make a run to Taco Bell on a night when the chicken that was being smoked, didn't appear as though it would be done for dinner. I made the off-hand comment, as I left to get tacos, "Watch, it'll climb the last 20 degrees and be done when I get back." Truer words were never spoke. Two of those stupid birds were indeed done by the time I set the bag of tacos and burritos on the kitchen counter. We had the chicken the next night - it was fabulous.
I did make a couple things, however.
Sunday, I set up a brine for the chickens that would be smoked on Tuesday. I used my Favorite Brine, but instead of orange rind, I used lemon (goes well with chicken) and added some thyme. I should have cut back on the rosemary, but didn't. Not that it was bad, I love rosemary, but I wanted more thyme to pair with the lemon. The chicken was amazing - moist, a touch of sweet. I now have a four more chickens to break-down for pre-cooked chicken recipes and bones to cook down into broth. Something perfect for this rainy-waiting-for-snow day.
I still had those two pints of this 5-minute Enchilada Sauce to use up. I opted to make smothered burritos for In-Law Dinner on Monday. I used this Taco Spice, mixed in refried beans, rolled 'em up and smothered them. Boom. Done.
I found two containers of left-over pumpkin stuffed way in the back of the fridge, so when I needed a dessert, I decided to find something to use it up. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins to the rescue. These were really good, very moist, nice warm seasonings. I liked the cream cheese, but I think I may have been overzealous in my swirling - next time I'll cut back on that. Still, there was a nice layer of the cream cheese. Here, at altitude, they took longer to bake, but stayed moist despite the longer cook-time. The moistness, actually, makes storing them difficult. Put them in a sealed container and they get wet. . .You can actually leave the top loose, or store them in the 'fridge.
I needed a side for the burritos. I always have black beans on hand, so this Southwestern Black Bean Salad worked for me. We used it as a salsa with chips. It was good, with a nice tang from the lime juice. It would have been a good topper on the burritos. It would also work as a non-meat filling for burritos or tacos. I can see it on top of a bed of lettuce, as well.
I may not have put much, or any, effort into meals this week, but what I did do, used up some languishing items. So that's a bonus.
We're expecting a snow storm, or we were 12 hours ago, I'll need to check the weather to see if they're sticking to that story. So maybe, we'll enjoy a weekend with us at home, sort of a stay-cation, instead.