Friday, December 16, 2016

Food for Thought

I had to go back to the week of November 14th to see what I'd cooked.  I passed a lot of blank pages where recipes should be.

The week of Thanksgiving I was just trying to clear out my 'fridge because of the prep I was doing, and the leftovers to come (which turned out to be minimal, and we plowed through them in just a couple days.)

The week following that was a lot of simple, but easy-to-eat-whenever recipes, they were also things I'd posted about before:  Cheesy Ravioli Bake, Sausage Skillet Dinner, Pineapple Cranberry Ham.  That brings us to the first full week of December and hubby was out of town.  So if you thought the simple week was simple, well. . .tacos, pizza and baked potatoes topped the menu that week.

And now here we are.  Friday and no real menu to work from.  I've slacked completely.  I'm a potato.  Prick me with a fork, I'm done.

With my father-in-law recovered enough to begin driving again, we restarted our twice a week dinners with them.  I had expected that while he and my mother-in-law were still at their daughter's house convalescing, we wouldn't be doing dinner with them until they moved back home, so I was not prepared.  I pawed through my pantry and found some sweet potatoes and that was all I needed to search my Pins for sweet potato recipes.  We ended up having Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili.  Besides being super colorful, it was tasty, too.  The roasted tomatoes gave a slightly sweet tang to the chili.  We topped ours with cheese, sour cream and avocados.  If you go for cheese, look for something with a bit of "bite" to stand up in the chili.  Something like a sharp white cheddar.

I made this Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf a couple weeks ago when I had a craving for some throw-back comfort food.  It was tasty and I liked the sauce on top.  The meat was a little wet prior to cooking, so it was a bit crumbly when it came out.  I used panko, but I'm not sure that was the problem, but stuffing would have given it a better binder.  I didn't use the called for one and half pounds of beef, but I can't remember if I went with two pounds or one.  It was still good, and reheated well.

This week we had something every night.  Monday, in-law dinner.  Tuesday, 3rd Grade Christmas program.  Wednesday, hockey practice followed by the 18 y.o.'s Guitar concert.  Thursday, 18 y.o.'s interview with his Blue and Gold Officers for the Naval Academy.  With the interview here at the house, I needed something that could sit and be eaten when we weren't interrupting.  This Crock Pot Pizza Bake was the ticket.  I turned off the cooker to keep the sauce from burning - it was nicely caramelized and crunchy where it oozed through the biscuits.  I made this Red Sauce, which is my go-to pizza sauce - it's got a great consistency and is super fast.  I also used Italian sausage instead of ground beef, quartered some pepperoni, left out the mushrooms, and used yellow pepper instead of green.  It was quite good.  My seven quart cooker got the job done in about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

I have no shopping done and thus nothing is wrapped, dinner again tonight (but no menu), a 3rd grade Christmas party and hockey today.  I need to figure out when I am doing our annual cookie exchange, send an email and find recipes.  Family starts arriving next week.  The only positive, so far, is the house is semi-pulled together and decorating is complete.  Oh!  and the Girlie pulled off a great grade in her Anatomy class.  Woot.

Happy Friday,

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