Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Menu Planning – Weeks #5 & 6

Friends.  We.  Are.  Getting there!  As of today, we're on week #7 of this stinkin' class that has taken my Tues/Thurs dinners hostage.  And bent my brain trying to make the week tasty.  But let me not skip ahead... 

Week # 5,  I made a ham!  My first ham!  And it really couldn't have been easier.  Or tastier.  Once I got it in my head, I was on the hunt for  a small ham at the Krogers.  (And had my fingers crossed because I had no Plan B.)  The prices weren't bad for the big ones.  But that was a LOT of meat.  I mean, I like ham, but shoooot.  After some meat-shifting, I found a smaller one for $11.87 and knew it would be mine.  (And seriously?!  Cooking like this made me feel fab when I thought about how many meals we'd get out of that $12.)

Sunday late afternoon, I got to cooking and basting, low & slow.  I used this recipe marinade and this recipe for general cook time/tips.  Perfect timing because Kroger was running a .99 pineapple sale and I basted that baby up!  But the real star was the broiling at the end was for the lovely crispy skin.

Hey, you
Yeah.  You.
I carved it thick for some good sammie sliders (on Hawaiian rolls, of course) and to go on top salads.  Or just by itself.  I love me some big thick ham!

While the ham was cooking, I tried my hand at my first quesadilla "bar".  I figured this would be perfect for lunches or quick meals on the go.

The players.
 I made combinations that included:
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Sauteed  onions & peppers
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Cast iron crusty-cooked skinless chicken breasts
  • Mexican cheese
  • Wheat tortillas
Mo cheesy for Hubs.  Mo veggie (aka mushrooms!) for me.  I put some different combos together, browned them on the ole Foreman Grill (which re-earned the space it was taking up for another year), wrapped them in wax paper and labeled them.


All in all, it was a very good week.  The 'dillas were perfect for lunch and the ham was guh-reat for dinner.  Week #5 success!

Week #6...  Well, my brain got tired.  When your brain gets tired, whaddya need?  Well, tired brain, you need spaghetti.  What's more comfy and happy then spaghetti?  Angel hair + some doctored-up Ragu.  (Doctored up with ground turkey & sauteed onions with garlic.) 

And a tired brain likes chicken too.  Look, my cast iron makes chicken crusty and delicious.  It's not fancy.  But it's good.  I seasoned up some thighs with kosher salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.  Smoked up kitchen and BOOM.

Nice thighs.
Ok!  So that's the last couple weeks.  Being creative can be hard cooking like this.  Especially when you try to be - fairly - healthy and end up get all pork-centric.  But it's the other white meat so it's basically chicken breast right?  No?  Yes?  YES?

Only a couple weeks to go.   Hurrah!  I've been less casserole/slow cooker-y than I initially anticipated.  But still a couple weeks to go!

~And, on a different note, congratulations to UConn.  I'm over the whole Coach Cal thing.  Finally.   But  I'd like to quote what someone said afterwards (a someone that I wish I could give credit here) - "At least Kentucky lost so they won't have to vacate the win in a couple years."  Bwahahahaaaa!  It's funny cuz its true.

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