Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family Sunday Pancakes

These pancakes have become a tradition in our family. I make them every single Sunday morning. They are a hit with everyone, every last morsel is eaten every single week.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 T sugar
1 3/4 t double-acting baking powder

1 or 2 slightly beaten whole eggs
3 T melted butter
1-1 1/4 cups milk.

Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients. When griddle or pan is hot enough, pour from the tip of a spoon into pan. When bubbles appear on the surface, lift with a spatula to see if they are ready to turn. Flip when ready.

One variation I usually add is some ground flaxseed - it makes them healthier and no one in my family has yet to notice the difference. Chocolate chips are a decadent treat, and fresh berries mixed right into the batter are delightful in the summer time.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Week of September 28, 2008

I'm proud to say we had some success with our menu last week! I was on the ball for once and actually made everything. The Sour Cream Noodle Bake was delicious - we all gobbled it up (except for Thing 1, who literally eats nothing most nights . . . he is our uber-picky child). It was not hard to make and I doubled the recipe, which afforded me the luxury of putting several containers of it in my freezer. We will definitely be having this again.

The Spicy Chickpeas and Beef were another hit - delicious and simple. If I make it again (which I will) I may double up on the spices since the husband and I are real lovers of hot, spicy food. I served it with warm pita bread because it was mentioned on the blog I got the recipe from - and was all I had lying around that day. When we have some of the freezer stash, I'll likely try it over rice or something like that. Not being an expert meal planner yet, I probably wouldn't plan two heavy ground beef meals in the same week again. But a good and tasty learning experience, nonetheless.

My downside this week was that the weather was unseasonable warm and sunny. I pick up Thing 1 from the school bus every afternoon at 3:15, then we have a quick snack and drink and we head to the park across the street at about 3:45. We often stay until 5:15 or so, because the other neighbourhood kids are also there after school and Thing 1 and Thing 2 have really taken to playing with them. Plus, there is always some young girl there who falls in love with Thing 3 and insists on pushing her in the swing for most of the afternoon. OK by me, I get to relax and potentially chat with another grown up human. The problem lies in the fact that when I get home so late, it's hard to throw together dinner. I've been good about making it early in the morning, or when Thing 1 is at school, but I found this week I was tired and out of time most days, so side dishes were non-existent. No side dishes usually meant little or no veggies. Ugggh. That is not good news. One of my short term goals is to find quick and easy recipes for veggies and salads that all four of us will like.

The Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula was so easy and tasty that we're having it again this week. Mostly because I received arugula in my organic delivery basket on Friday, so I want to use it up and we loved this last week. We also received what I assume might be one of the last rounds of fresh, local corn, so we need to use this up too.

Sunday: Corn on the Cob, Crispy Mashed Potato Pancakes (we received a lot of potatoes this week, too, so I may give these pancakes a try to zest up our usual potato fare)
Monday: Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula
Tuesday: Savoury Waffles
Wednesday: Eggplant Con Queso
Thursday: Hurried Goulash with Egg Noodles
Friday: Spaghetti with meat sauce (from our freezer)
Saturday: Take-out or pizza

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Week of September 21, 2008

I'm very sad to say that two items from last week's menu were total flops. The Broccoli and Pork Stir-Fry was simply "average". To be honest, I liked it but my husband didn't. Therefore . . . I won't be making it again. Thing 2 had a few bits, but Thing 1 wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. My mother-in-law said she enjoyed it, but she is a very lovely and polite woman, and I doubt very much she would come for dinner at our house and then tell me she didn't like the meal :-)

The Bruschetta Chicken Bake was - I would go as far to say - BELOW average. Not a favourite here one little bit, but I totally got sucked into the picture on the front cover of the Kraft magazine. Kudos to the marketing geniuses over at Kraft (except I didn't use Kraft cheese, so HA!).

Our one saving grace was the Capellini Caprese - it was a hit across the board here. The husband and Thing 2 LOVED it and Thing 1 even put a few bits in his mouth (a success in my book, b/c he is such a picky eater).

So this week's meals look like this:

Sunday: Out at company picnic and BBQ
Monday: Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula and roasted mini potatoes
Tuesday: Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Wednesday: Cherry Tomato Cucumber and Feta Salad and Sandwiches
Thursday: Spicy, Sauteed Chickpeas, Beef and Cilantro
Friday: Leftovers (I'm assuming we will have lots . . . )
Saturday: Out at a birthday party and BBQ

I really like Beth's idea of Quesadillas as a quick and cost-efficient meal. We haven't had them in a while, and they are an easy favourite around here. I'm going to keep this in mind when I need a last minute meal one hectic evening.

With all the fresh, local apples we have now, I may try a recipe I found in my Everyday Food magazine for Apple-Cinnamon Strudel. The site is down now, so I can't post a link, but if it goes well I will take photos and share.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week of September 14, 2008

Now that life is starting to quiet down *a bit*, I'm back to planning meals again. It's funny, when we were so busy and I was not planning what we eat, we tended to eat less healthy. Getting something quickly is not easy for me, someone who thrives on at least some sort of organization and order. I'm excited to get back in the swing of things.

Sunday: Curry at Granny's house!
Monday: Broccoli and Pork Stir-Fry
Tuesday: Capellini Caprese
Wednesday: Roasted Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese
Thursday: Potato Leek Soup
Friday: Bruschetta Chicken Bake (not sure how I feel about this yet, I may substitute some of the ingredients they suggest, but it looked delicious in the picture!)
Saturday: Take-Out or order pizza

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 medium zucchini, cut into chunks
1 small red onion, cut
2 T olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 small head Boston lettuce
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss carrots, zucchini and onion with 1 T oil, season with salt and pepper.
2. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, 20 minutes or so. Toss once.
3. In a serving bowl, whisk together vinegar and remaining oil, season with salt and pepper. Add lettuce and toss. Top with roasted veggies and goat cheese.

* This recipe is for 1-2 people, I will likely add a few more veggies in. I may grill the veggies on the barbecue too, and see how that works.