Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day!

In celebration of a day of relaxation and utter spoilage, I hereby dedicate this post to all the moms and moms-to-be, grandmoms, great grandmoms, step moms, mom wannabes, and even to the dads and kids that make us moms who we are.

Motherhood is the hardest job anyone could ever love. It's exhausting, frustrating, worrisome, and challenging. It's also rewarding, fulfilling, enriching, educational, hilarious and ego-boosting. My kids think I am the best and worst thing that ever happened to them, depending on the moment.

My mom is a great mom: strong, independent, wise, funny, and beautiful, encouraging and supportive, and everything I try to be every day. And though she didn't (doesn't) like to cook, she put tasty, healthy meals on the table most every night. (And, admittedly, I wasn't the best of eaters at that time! Uh, sorry Mom.)

To that end, here's a week of meals designed to make the cook's (whomever it may be) week easier. The planning is done. The rest is easy. Eat up and save your strength; you're likely to need it, for all the aforementioned reasons.

Monday: One of our favorites: Blender Pancakes, Fresh Fruit Salad, Scrambled Eggs

My all time favorite fruit salad:

2 cups fresh cut pineapple chunks
3 kiwis, peeled and cut into chunks
2 lbs strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pint blueberries, washed
2-3 cups green or red seedless grapes, washed
1 T. raw sugar
1 T. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. Feel free to add watermelon if you can afford it! (It's not watermelon season here yet!)

Here it is again: breakfast for dinner on a sports night. It's so easy and tasty, and it goes over so well with the kids, that it feels like cheating. Well, hey. So be it! And, pass the syrup.

Tuesday: Fajitas

Someday I will make my own tortillas from my own home-milled flour. My friend does this, and swears they are better than, well, better than something very very good. But for now, I buy the cardboard-tasting ones at the grocery store.

Wednesday: Meal Swap Meal. It's another busy sports night, and I have a wonderful freezer full of homemade meals, thanks to my swappers. If you're not swapping, try: Slow-Cooker Macaroni and Beef. The time invested in the morning will pay off in the evening. No time in the morning? Assemble it Tuesday night, store it in a tupperware container, and dump it in the slow cooker Wed. morning. Use precooked beef or even Morning Star Meal Starters for an even quicker prep.

Thursday: Stuffed Peppers

Confession time: I totally cheat on Stuffed Peppers. I use Morning Star Meal Starters, commercially bottled spaghetti sauce, and whole wheat orzo. Cheat cheat cheat! I won't tell if you won't.

(pay no attention to the picture on the link. It appears Betty had a senior moment. She is getting up there ya know.)

Friday: Asparagus and Chicken Carbonara, Grilled Garlic Bread, Spinach Salad

Saturday: Pizza

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meal Swap Resumed!

After a brief (?) hiatus, our neighborhood meal swap has resumed. YAY! I'm looking forward to it, I mean, it's one whole night a week I don't have to cook, and more importantly, one whole night a week I don't have to CLEAN.

I am making Chicken Pot Pie because it looks relatively easy to make in a big batch, and also from the reviews looks like a crowd pleaser.

I missed posting this yesterday because I was too tired from running the OKC Memorial Marathon, in which I only ran a half marathon. (I've always said it's dumb to call it half of anything, since we're running a FULL 13.1 miles, and to say something is half is to imply it only takes half the effort and should only require half credit. It's hard to run that far and I want FULL credit, dang it!) So when I say only, I mean I didn't run 26.2 miles... because I'm only half insane. So far.

Monday: Grilled Shrimp, Steamed Brown Rice, Steamed Veggies

Tuesday: Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Wednesday: Easy French Toast Casserole, Fresh Cut Pineapple

I'm always looking for easy sports night meals, and breakfast for dinner is certainly one of our favorites! This one is high carb, but it still beats the drive thru!

Thursday: Indonesian Pork Tenderloin, Hot Sesame Spaghetti, Fresh Orange Wedges

Hot Sesame Spaghetti

Cooking Spray
2 t. hot chile oil, divided
2 1/2 c. coarsely chopped broccoli florets
1 c. diced red pepper
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1 1/2 t. minced garlic
8 oz spaghetti, uncooked
1 T. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1/2 t. salt

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; add 1 t. oil. Place over med-high heat until hot. Add broccoli and next 3 ingredients; saute' until veggies are tender crisp.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Toss with remaining 1 t. oil. Add broccoli mixture, sesame seeds, and salt; toss well.

Friday: Salmon Burgers, home fries, raw carrots

Saturday: Fontina, Caramelized-Onion, and Pancetta Pizza

I don't know why but I've been craving caramelized onions. Maybe this will help.