Friday, August 25, 2017

Food for Thought

Ready for the weekend?  

It'll be quiet. . .or quieter around here.  Always is when you take one child out of the mix.  The 18 y.o. is with his girlfriend as she moves into school down at University of Northern Arizona.  It'll be a long ride back for him.

Hubby is thinking of going fishing and (hopefully) taking one or more of the remaining boys with him.

As for my daughter, I'm not sure.  She had shifted her schedule to weekends to accommodate going back to school, but I'm not sure the powers-that-be have provided her the requested hours.

If your weekend plans include prepping for the coming week and getting your menu down, then I can help with the following.

I'm still playing catch-up with all the un-posted meals.  That includes this Pink Lemonade Sheet Cake, which was awesome.  The moist vanilla base and the just-right lemon sweet/tartness of the icing. I think I'm becoming obsessed with sheet-pan anythings. . .there have been quite a few of them popping up here lately.

Hello!  It says "Snickers."  So the Snickers Slab Pie was a must do.  I was a touch worried it might be too sweet and/or heavy, but it was all just right.  A whipped peanut butter filling, topped with all things caramel and chocolate.  It was actually a really light dessert.  I used Snickers Bites (found in the baking aisle at my grocer), which I also chopped, rather than full-sized candy bars.

If you're gonna open with two desserts, it better get healthy quick.  And it does.  With another sheet pan recipe - Crispy Sheet Pan Lemon Parmesan Garlic Chicken and Veggies.  Now, a couple things, I doubled this recipe (it was Parents-for-Dinner night) and I barely had room on my sheet pans for the chicken, let along the veggies.  I'm not sure this can be a one-pan meal, and not just because of the amount of food required on a pan (doubled recipe or not) - read on.  In the end this was really good.  However, in reading through the recipe I wondered how the chicken would brown and crisp in a half-cup of butter.  And yeah, it didn't - the breading got soggy.  I ended up pouring off some of the juices and broiling the pans for a couple minutes before serving just to get crispier tops.  The veggies were great, crisp-tender and seasoned well.  I think in the future, even if I'm cooking for just the six of us, I'll do two pans, one for the chicken and the other for the veggies.  I will use a small amount of butter mix in the chicken pan (lined with parchment - things get crispier for me that way), but I think two pans is gonna have to be the way to go.  I suppose I could reduce the amount of butter, but there's just so much on one pan that I think the steam created only adds to the soggy breading issue.

I know it was hot when I planned this Poppy Seed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad.  On hot days, even boiling pasta will ignite the inferno that is my kitchen in the summer, but this one was worth it. It was simple and easy to pull together.  The dressing was light and I love grapes in a chicken salad - those bright pops of summer.  It was a "feed yourself when you're ready" night and I had one child go out of his way to say how much he liked it.  Score!

If I'm lucky enough to be home alone this weekend, I'll need to find something crafty to do.  My soul is in need.

Happy Friday,


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