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.
- 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.
What was for dinner at your house this week?
I pity the people who don’t like leftovers! Some things taste so much better the next night plus so easy!
I totally agree. I never understand those people who say that they don’t eat leftovers. Why? They are extra meals, and I can’t fathom just throwing them away. Besides, it makes lunch planning so easy.
I went to the market and picked up enough for maybe three dinners plus lunches. Maybe. I have three potlucks I committed to so somehow, I managed to find one dish I could bring to all, baked mac and cheese, so you and I were on the right track with that.
I have to stop and think each day what is going on the next day because it’s packed this week and I feel like I am forgetting something.
That is how I have been for the past year. Last week, it was like I woke up and realized that a little planning went a long way. I made sure I had meals that I knew were easy to prepare so I wouldn’t put them off because I was too tired. I also planned to make three of the seven meals with leftovers rounding out the rest of the week’s meals. That way, I still have all of the ingredients for this week’s meals. I am pretty excited about this. The question remains how long this enthusiasm and organized planning will last.
Sometimes I just crave peanut butter and jelly. Nothing wrong with that! I’m glad you’re bringing these posts back!! I have gotten lots of great meal ideas from you.
So happy to hear that Connor is having fun at college.
I was just so happy I had an honest-to-goodness meal plan that I was excited to use that I had to share it with others. It has been a long time since I felt motivated to stay on top of dinners for the family.