Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hiatus

No, the blog isn't going anywhere, and neither am I. But I wanted to put a placeholder post here since I am doing more and more of my meal planning on the back of an envelope and less and less online.

This blog will stay here for the links on the side and my recipe notes, and if I get back in to the spirit of the thing, for posts when I think of it. To my eleven readers: it's been fun cooking with you, and I hope I stay in your feedly or whatever for the times I return.

Meanwhile, I wish you happy meals with your families and thank you for your inspirations for mine.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Summer Recap into Fall

We are off and running in to our final year with two in the same school. I will miss these days! But I am thrilled I won't have to miss them yet. And a fun new twist this year: they are old enough to bike to school! (School's rules, not ours.) They have really enjoyed doing that and we love that they get the exercise and fun time with friends. We still go with them because of traffic; sadly we trust our kids more than the grownups on the route. But I think later in the year, once we get them across the one major dangerous intersection, they will be able to take it themselves the rest of the way.

Because of the home renovations earlier this year, we did not get to go anywhere or do anything extravagant this summer but it was a great one nonetheless. The kids' camp moved to the school building a block from our house and the kids loved walking and biking to camp for all five weeks. Then after a week off, it was two weeks in the mountains--a little long for my homebody but how lucky we were to have the time with Grandmother and cousins! Then the last two weeks had lots of pool time and day trips...it worked out well. Summer 2014 in a list:

Summer 2014 

Make milkshakes at home
Explore college woods
Yogurtland 
Oreo soak in half and half lay on wax paper freeze 1hour for mini ice cream sandwich 
Popsicles
Franklin Institute
$1 movies
1000 lap tshirts
Write to C
Write to E
Camden Aquarium pref with friends
Beach beach beach
Try Joe's pizza

Not on list but did it anyway

Bobby's Burger Palace
Ice bucket challenge
Lots of books (for 3 of us at least)
scientific study subjects (earned $40 each!)

Did not do:

go see Philadelphia Freedoms play
McFaul's/Baltimore 
Hardy boys
Make a video game
Dog elevator

Added in August: did not do but move to next year/days off:

Diggerland 
Zoo

This week: we met our new academic advisee; he is 13!!! I cannot imagine being brave enough to send my child away at age 13 though of course I know it has been done for years. Snuggling up my boys a little tighter and welcoming this one even more warmly.

Today: picnic for the new students. I am bringing the Giada orzo and Greek dip.

Monday: pulled pork sandwiches, mashed potatoes, green beans

Tuesday: Tacos

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: pulled pork (might make it bbq), sweet potatoes, cucumber salad

Friday: We will see but I am leaning to the sausage bake.

This was the week the freezer finally left. I miss it but only a little. I am working hard on clearing out the decently sized freezer we have in the kitchen to make it more...realistic. Some of the things in there--pie crusts, mixes for drinks no one in our house consumes--are a waste for us. We can do better. But right now, it's time to enjoy the gorgeous day. Wishing you a great week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Every New Beginning

Happy September! And happy 9th birthday to my little guy! I am so happy for him that he has this one last day of summer on his birthday, but so begins the rocket ride of a school year.

Monday: Olive Garden (birthday choice)

Tuesday: Lego build after the first day of school--woo! So we will eat in the mall.

Wednesday: spaghetti, of course

Thursday: tacos

Friday: leftovers, I hope, for the picnic at the kids' school to celebrate the new playground equipment

This is the last year (for a bit) that I get to talk about the kids' school! They are starting 3rd and 5th grades, so starting next year, they are apart again. I dread this more than they do, though maybe it will be a good thing? Once they get through this year, they will be apart four of the next five school years. Then I get a last two years of high school. Yikes.

Have a great start to September!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Coming in to the Finish Line

Ah, August. Can you ever end too soon? Or too quickly?

We were in the mountains for two weeks, but I pretty much stuck to the meal plan, only with a ton more peaches. I have had the overnight oatmeal with a variety of dried and fresh fruits (fresh: mostly peaches. And blueberries! But really peaches). And we are now just fitting in the last of the realistic summer goals, treading water until my paychecks begin again (thank you Lord, and not a moment too soon).

The other recipes I tried lately were Smitten Kitchen irresistables: her easy dill pickles, and the farro tomato one-pot meal. Both were, predictably, delicious. The pickles were crazy easy and good--I think I chopped five of the Trader Joe's Persian cucumbers and ate two right off the bat. Prep time was minimal and since I used the ziplock bag trick, even though I wasn't around to shake them, they all settled in and brined nicely. Nom nom nom nom.  The other was totally worth buying the farro for. Trader Joe's sells it in neat little bags, though there is way more than a cup in there. Also I over salted but for me--that is not a problem. It was fabulous and a great way to use up some CSA tomatoes of a variety that I'd have a hard time using otherwise.

We lucked into a friend's CSA this week, which you will see a little bit of reflected this week...

This week:

Sunday: Armagnac chicken (with Old Grand Dad--why I even have OGD in the house, I do not know) augmented with Crazy Jane's, scalloped tomatoes (heaven in a dish), and green beans.

Monday: out with friends--I think to an actual restaurant, otherwise I will bring Greek dip and ... something.

Tuesday: tacos, or ALS fundraiser at Chik-Fil-A

Wednesday: spaghetti (I have been making sausage sauce with Trader Joe's chicken sausages for my husband, who is very happy about that)

Thursday: tacos probably, but there is also an open house that will probably have food. Either way--I will be taco ready.

Friday: believe it or not, I have book group this night. I can't wait. No idea what the boys will eat. Hopefully leftover chicken.

And there it is--the Labor Day weekend approaches. We are just about ready for the school year to begin, though I am sad to see this summer go. There were lots of sleepovers, home and away, lots of goals met (I will go over the list next week), and lots of books read. So--here's to the last week! Wishign you a good one.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Time is...fleeting....

Sing it with me: madness....takes its toll.

No time warp here but I just cannot believe that we are in the final throes of August. In some ways: I am totally 100% grateful because entertaining the boys without just throwing the Kindles at them is wiping me out. On the other hand--I love love love being with them. And I am soaking in these days for the ones when we are scattered to school and jobs and I am grateful I have this time.

So another week of uninspired but super-easy meals on tap:

Monday: Joanne's pork tenderloin, veggies

Tuesday: tacos

Wednesday: spaghetti

Thursday: grilling. Probably a London Broil (found one in the freezer) and maybe I'll make potatoes to go with it.

Friday: leftovers. I will be sure to grill enough to have some!

Keeping it short because there's not much to tell. It's summer, is all. Reading, swimming, trying to keep the dog cool...Enjoy your week!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Augusta Wind


You know that old joke, If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? One version is (of course) Pilgrims, but my friend had her own schtick: May flowers bring June bugs! And June bugs bring Julilacs. And Julilacs bring Augusta wind. Which is to say--happy August!

I know it is time for the month to change because my boys are starting to have school anxiety again, worrying about who will be in their classes and other school related issues. Summer projects are perking along--one of my favorite moments of the summer (year!) was when my older son got his 1000 lap t-shirt. What an accomplishment! He is the first in the family to do it and I couldn't be prouder.

On a far more mundane note, I have been trying to crunch my way through some recipes. I have been looking to recreate the sour cream cucumber salad my mother used to make, and this recipe came pretty close. Naturally my mother's recipe would have had a ton more of the dressing (and none of the low-fat stuff), so I adjusted a bit but overall I did like it very much. The kids would not touch it, which takes away part of the joy of the cucumber (the one veggie Mr. Picky will eat, though under duress). But I liked making it and my dill in the hanging basket is going crazy (my husband's great idea to save the herbs from slugs; verdict--awesome for dill, less so [mysteriously] for basil) so it was good to trim that back a bit.

Anyway. This week:

Monday: Crazy Jane's chicken, summer veggies (whatever looks good!)

Tuesday: taco Tuesday (we do not interrupt this for summer veggies)

Wednesday: spaghetti (Young Mr. Picky still eats with butter and cheese but my husband has been whipping up awesome fresh tomato sauces for the grownups...yum)

Thursday: leftovers (chicken, etc.) I want to make a quiche for the mister and me but I know it will not be popular with the under-five-foot crowd.

Friday: maybe out, maybe a freezer meal--I just found some pulled pork, yum!

Tap dancing (not really, but hey! there's an idea) as fast as I can to keep the boys entertained. Last week was library camp and Apple camp...this week...all activities appear to cease. This is giving me agita so keep us in your happy thoughts. Happy week!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Transitions

Oh, the melancholy end of camp. The kids had a great year, and especially in the traditional (non-sports) camp, they really let out all the stops for the last week (Carnival Day! Pony rides! Tattoos! Science show with explosions!). Alas, it just makes life at home look Even More Boring by comparison. But I'm working on it.

And this weekend was not boring--it was feverish. Instead of competing in the A-champs, my little guy was battling a fever that peaked at 104.1. I hate those. Fortunately he seems to be just about over it but it was loathsome while it stayed.

So, this week:

Sunday: grillin'. And corn because summer.

Monday: farmer's chicken (didn't get to it last week)

Tuesday: taco Tuesday

Wednesday: Wednesday spaghetti

Thursday: leftovers, I hope, freezer meal if not

Friday: out!

Have a great week!