What’s for Dinner? – Week Starting 14 October 2017

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I cooked this week! And since I haven’t done one of these posts in well over a year, I thought I would celebrate my success by sharing what I made. It also gives you a glimpse into my evenings. You would think they would be easier with only one child at home, and in some ways they are. Then again, I lost my other chauffeur, so in some ways our evenings are crazier than ever.

  • Saturday: The highlight of my week was eating dinner with my boy. He was exhausted and sweaty after wearing his band uniform and playing for almost twelve hours but he was so excited to tell us about life as a college student. Dinner was his choice. He was craving wings, so we hit Buffalo Wild Wings. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to sit there and listen to him. He’s grown quite a bit and yet still my little boy. Most importantly, he is so happy and having so much fun. That is all Jim and I ever hoped.
  • Sunday: After our whirlwind trip to Ames, Iowa and back again, all three of us were exhausted. Plus, Tallulah was fighting an infection, so we all were highly unmotivated to do anything more than make a sandwich for dinner.
  • Monday: Since I didn’t do anything over the weekend, I hit the grocery store and got the ingredients for seven different meals. I feel so accomplished when I go to the store with a plan! I even managed to make dinner tonight after shopping. Tonight’s dinner was a very simple chicken and rice dish with cream of mushroom soup. It is not sexy or fancy in any regards, but there is something about the soup with the rice that screams comfort to me.
  • Tuesday: Tuesday nights are the only nights Holly does not have dance, so I always try to plan a vegetarian meal she can eat during our one night of family dinner. Tonight’s was a recipe that is fast becoming a staple at our house – cheesy brown rice casserole with broccoli and mushrooms. It is slightly labor-intensive, and I always substitute full-fat ingredients for the low-fat garbage it calls for in the recipe. I also never use a Mexican cheese blend but a combination of a good sharp cheddar, monterey jack, and mozzarella. The whole family enjoys it, and with Connor gone, Holly has enough for leftovers for several post-dance meals this week.
  • Wednesday: If Tuesday is the one night Holly has no dance, Wednesday is her long, long day. She is at the bus stop at 6:40 each morning. Wednesdays, she has to stay after school for newspaper meetings; one of us picks her up around 4. By the time we get home, she has about 15 minutes to eat something and get ready because she also has dance for four hours starting at 5 PM. It makes for a quiet house, and we get a good idea what it will be like when Holly is also away at college. Tonight, I pulled out a recipe I made several times, loved, and promptly forgot about making again. Mac and Cheese with Chorizo, Cotija, and Aged English Cheddar is from my beloved Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese cookbook. This book has forever spoiled me for cheese and pasta combinations. Some of them are extremely time-consuming, but we have yet to try a bad recipe from the book. This one is easy and delicious and it is a great example of how ingredients make a recipe successful.

Mac and Cheese with Chorizo, Cotija, and Aged English Cheddar

  • Thursday: Holly only has two hours of dance on Thursdays, but her new studio is just far enough away that it disrupts mealtimes. I have been leaving Thursdays for leftover night because there is just no way I could make anything and have time to eat it in the relatively short period between dropping her off and having to pick her back up again. Thankfully, my mac and cheese made last night makes for fantastic leftovers.
  • Friday: As if being busy during the week is not enough, Holly usually has dance on Fridays too. However, tonight she has to decorate for, work, and clean up after the first middle school dance hosted by the student council. Even though she did not win, she is still an officer and therefore has to work the three dances. She has been looking forward to working them since she first put her name in for student council president. This means that Jim and I are alone for dinner yet again. With my girlfriend’s bridal shower tomorrow, I have decorations to prep and pack up for the party, so dinner is Jim’s choice: leftovers/sandwiches. When it has been a long week, sometimes it is easier to stay home and make something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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What was for dinner at your house this week?

Fabulous Friday – 20 October 2017

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We should always find ways to celebrate the little things in life. What better day to celebrate these little things than the best day of the week? So, here are the things that make this a Fabulous Friday for me this week. ******************** BRIDAL SHOWER – One of my closest friends is getting married in November, so…

Don’t bother with Where the Light Falls

Where the Light Falls by Allison Pataki, Owen Pataki

Genre: Historical Fiction Publication Date: 11 July 2017 Source: Publisher via NetGalley Synopsis from the Publisher: “Three years after the storming of the Bastille, the streets of Paris are roiling with revolution. The citizens of France are enlivened by the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette has been dismantled—with the…

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 16 October 2017

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Hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. To learn more about each book, just click on the book cover! Thank goodness for road trips. The long, boring drive to and from…

Fabulous Friday – 13 October 2017

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We should always find ways to celebrate the little things in life. What better day to celebrate these little things than the best day of the week? So, here are the things that make this a Fabulous Friday for me this week. ******************** MY BOY – After Holly’s dance classes tonight, we are heading to Ames to…

Fierce Kingdom hits hard

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Genre: Suspense & Thriller Publication Date: 25 July 2017 Source: Publisher via Edelweiss Synopsis from the Publisher: “An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him. The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of…

Applause for Get Well Soon

Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright

Genre: Nonfiction Publication Date: 7 February 2017 Source: Mine. All mine. Synopsis from the Publisher: “A witty, irreverent tour of history’s worst plagues―from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio―and a celebration of the heroes who fought them In 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced until she was…

Beware The Glass Spare

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult Publication Date: 24 October 2017 Source: Publisher via Edelweiss Synopsis from the Publisher: “Wilhelmina Heidle, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his…

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 9 October 2017

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Hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. To learn more about each book, just click on the book cover! FINISHED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE: Gin Phillips’ latest novel was wonderful and difficult…

Sunday Reflections – 8 October 2017

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Happy Sunday! The week did not start out well. Waking up to news about the largest mass shooting on US soil was both horrifying and disheartening. Horrifying because it happened and disheartening because I knew it meant listening to those in DC saying their thoughts and prayers were with the victims but not doing a…