Friday, January 29, 2016

Food for Thought

It was a lovely, productive week for me and, as a result, I feel really good.  Today alone, I started dealing with 25+ years of crap in our store room.  I'm pretty happy with what I got done, but I'm also pretty sure nobody will notice a thing.  I mean, it's 25 years of marriage and babies and hobbies and collections and stuff, but I notice the holes and spaces where stuff no longer lives and I'm good with that.  I may go back and do some more, but I told myself I was going to play with paper and baby pictures before I decided that.

Our weekend starts with an early sports date, which hasn't happened in years and years.  We hit the ice at 7:45 am for week three of camp.  Then we're off to First Reconciliation for the 7 y.o.  Hubby's brother is coming into town for some skiing, but we'll enjoy his company for a day before he heads up into the hills.  Sunday, the long awaiting Pinewood Derby.

It's a weekend that needs easy meals, especially if I want to get back to my photos.  If you've got a busy weekend, or you're looking to plan for the upcoming week, check out the recipes below.

I've made Pioneer Woman's Sherried Tomato Soup before.  It is my go-to for tomato soup, though I've yet to add sherry to it; I sub in chicken broth.  This time I opted to use dried basil, about a tablespoon, and fresh parsley.  The flavor was great, as always, and I love the chunky feel of the tomatoes in the soup.  If you like it smooth, use the blender (cover the lid to prevent getting hot soup all over you) or use an immersion blender.

I've served the above soup with basic garlic bread or rolls, Olive Cheese Bread (which for my kids' sake I make one side of the bread olive-less), Ham and Cheese Sliders, Grilled Pimento and Cheese Sandwiches - all good, but this time I opted for Homemade Pizza Rolls.  I had planned to use the tube pizza crusts, but the grocery store was wiped out from the Bronco's play-off game the day before, so I made my Quick Bread and it was probably even better.

I had Kielbasa, it's a staple in my freezer, but I opted to use some other brats I had on hand for these Hawaiian Kielbasa Sandwiches.  I like them, and I'm sure the Kielbasa would have been amazing as well.  I used regular hot dog buns, which were crazy-marked-down after the Bronco game.  Super easy, super good.  You could probably serve them bun-less and do up rice instead.

These Apple Pie Dumplings are two ingredients.  Can it get much easier?  They were good, but the recipe didn't make enough.  If I made it again, I'd use and 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan, and it could almost use two cans of apples.  That or add ice cream.  While it was good, I have other recipes to try, plus ones that I've tried and liked better.

Canned pie filling is pricey, so when I saw the link to this Quick Apple Pie Filling in the above Dumpling recipe I thought I'd give it shot.  Super simple.  So simple, I will use it whenever I need canned apple pie filling.  I used a couple different apples - Granny and Macintosh - and the only thing I'd do different is slice the a little thicker; a personal preference.  If using medium apples, it make the equivalent of a 21 oz. can.

I have to say I was skeptical when I pinned this Cheeseburger Soup.  I thought it looked good, and reading the recipe sounded good, but didn't think it would pack a flavor-punch.  Was I wrong.  It was flavorful, creamy, filling.  It was a do-again, for sure.

New year, means new (or a return to forgotten) goals.  One meatless meal a week, plus Lent coming up in a couple weeks, means fish is starting to stock my freezer.  Enter Maple Glazed Salmon.  The glaze was simple, and tasty and we always enjoy salmon.

I made Dill Potato Wedges to go with the salmon.  I chose not to spend the money on the packaged red potatoes, instead I bought fresh red potatoes and boiled them earlier in the day, and then followed the recipe.  If you choose to do the same, cook them just a bit al dente, since you'll cook them again.  You could use another potato, but red potatoes will hold up better to the cooking.

I was scrounging my pantry for dessert on Monday, and found a Cake Mix with a cookie recipe on the side.  These Chunky Chocolate Cookies filled my need for a cookie for lunches for the week, plus they are really good.  Instead of nuts, I used chopped dried cherries.  My boys can't leave them alone.  Since I'm trying to move away from store-bought cake mixes, I will make them again using a homemade cake mix.

Time to decide - scrapbook or continue in the basement.  I tell you, when I'm on a cleaning/purging roll, just get out of my way.  It's hard for me to not keep going.  I'm not the only one like this, am I?

Happy Friday,

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