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A Quick Chicken Recipe from a “Chopped” Judge

I had planned to grill today, but the weather just isn’t cooperating here in New York. It’s been cloudy and rainy for almost four days now, so there hasn’t been any cooking outside for me. So here I was, stuck with all these chicken pieces and not a thought on how to cook them. I decided to turn to Twitter and see what some famous chefs could come up with for me. America’s Test Kitchen suggested chicken and dumplings or a chicken pot pie, Geoffrey Zakarian suggested a stir fry, but Scott Conant suggested a method that stood out best to me so I decided to go with it, with some slight alteration on my part.

Simple Chicken and Potatoes

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges

1/2 onion, cut into wedges

1 teaspoon paprika

2-3 pounds chicken parts (legs, breasts, thighs, wings, whatever you have to use)

 Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme (about 2 sprigs)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the potatoes and onions with the paprika, salt and pepper and a teaspoon of the olive oil. Heat a large skillet over high heat until it’s very hot (Scott Conant actually said “screaming hot” so make it very hot!). Add the remaining olive oil and heat until smoking. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, onions and chicken, skin side down to the skillet. Season with thyme, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Sear the chicken until the skin side is well browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over, stirring the potatoes and onions also, and place the skillet in the oven. Bake the chicken until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece reads 165 degrees, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

Scott actually suggested leaving the whole thing on the stove, covered and cooking for 45 minutes until crispy but I thought it would turn out better in the oven so I threw it in there and it finished crisping up better and the meat was juicy, so it worked for me. I served it along with some fresh green beans, and that was it.

So a big thank you to Scoot Conant for helping me out today with dinner. I plan to do my week’s shopping tomorrow with Sean’s help, so we’ll see what kind of recipes I can come up with for next week. Check back and see what we come up with. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Poultry

 

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Back to the Kitchen For Some Fried Chicken

Hectic schedules, homework, late work days, you name it and it has a way of interfering with life in general, including cooking dinner. We ended up having leftovers the last 2 nights because of crazy schedules, doctor’s appointments and everyday life, but today I am going to get back in the kitchen and I am going to make some fried chicken.

I don’t make fried chicken too often, and when I do I usually oven fry it to cut down on the mess and all the oil needed, but tonight I think I am going to really fry it. I could use the deep fryer, but I am going to do it on the stove this time, and I am going to try a different recipe tonight, one I got from America’s Test Kitchen.

Fried Chicken

1 quart buttermilk

3 tablespoons salt

4 pounds bone in chicken pieces (halved split breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks)

5 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

5 to 6 cups vegetable oil

Whisk 3 1/4 cups of the buttermilk and the salt together in a large bowl until the salt dissolves. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (Don’t let the chicken soak much longer or it will become too salty).

Whisk the flour, baking powder, thyme, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak and then coat thoroughly with the flour mixture and lay it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour 1 inch of the oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add half of the chicken, skin-side down. Cover and cook until deep golden brown on the first side, about 10 minutes (After the first 4 minutes, re-arrange the pieces if some are browning faster than others).

Turn the chicken pieces over. Continue to fry, uncovered and maintaining an oil temperature of 315 degrees, until the chicken pieces are a deep golden on the second side, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain for 5 minutes, then lay on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Add additional oil to the pot as needed to maintain a depth of 1 inch and return it to 375 degrees before frying the remaining chicken.

With the fried chicken, I am going to serve mashed potatoes and gravy. I have made mashed potatoes many times in the meal plan, and if you would like to see the method I use for the potatoes, you can check an earlier blog posting here. You definitely need to have some gravy with this one as well. I have posted a quick chicken gravy recipe before, but since I don’t have any pan drippings to use, I am going to use the all purpose gravy recipe that I have used in the past.

All Purpose Gravy

3 tablespoons butter

1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine

1 rib celery, chopped fine

1 onion, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth 

2 cups beef broth

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

5 whole black peppercorns

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until softened and well browned, about 9 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broths and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20-25 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.

Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer (or gravy separator) into a clean saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.

I’ll be serving all this with some simple steamed green beans. It’s just a pound of green beans (stem ends trimmed) in a steaming rack in a large pot of boiling water just touching the rack. I cover and steam the green beans for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the beans are crisp-tender.

If there are any leftovers, there’s nothing like some cold fried chicken with some potato salad for a nice lunch or dinner the next day. Tomorrow is Friday, which means we’ll be having fish. I picked up some tilapia this morning so we’ll be having a nice simple baked tilapia with some brown rice and asparagus tomorrow.   Check out the blog tomorrow so you can see how it goes. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!


 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Potatoes, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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A Quick Post on Quesadillas For Dinner

Tonight’s dinner is super easy and simple. I am making Bacon-Chicken Ranch Quesadillas, kind of a take one the ones you find at Chili’s Restaurant. They are very easy to make, and even easier if you already have some cooked chicken on hand. If not, all you need is to bake or saute 2 boneless chicken breasts before hand and you’re half the way home.

Bacon-Chicken Ranch Quesadillas

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and thinly sliced

1/2 pound bacon, diced

1 yellow or red bell pepper, cored and seeded, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 – 3 cups shredded cheese ( I am using cheddar, but use whatever you  would like)

Ranch dressing

1 tomato, seeded and diced

8 tortillas

Butter for cooking

Cook the bacon in a skillet until desired crispness. Remove to drain with a slotted spoon. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Add the pepper and onions to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, until crisp-tender.Add a handful of cheese to the tops to 4 tortillas. Top each with chicken and bacon, then lightly drizzle some ranch dressing over that. Top each tortilla with the cooked peppers and onions, then add the tomato and remaining cheese on top of each pile.

Top each tortilla with the remaining four tortillas. Melt a little butter in a large skillet and cook the tortilla stacks one at a time over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and cheese is melted. Add more butter to the skillet as needed. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with extra ranch for dipping, if desired.

I am serving the leftover mango pineapple salsa, cabbage slaw, black beans and rice and guacamole with this dinner as well to round things out. You can see the recipes for all of these from Sunday’s blog, or just click here and go right to them to check them out.

This is a fast, simple dinner that is a great kid dinner as well. Sean loves quesadillas and this was a good way for us to serve them (having bacon in them doesn’t hurt in getting the kids to like them either, if your child is anything like mine and loves bacon). I told you it was a quick post today! Tomorrow is a good stir fry dinner, Sesame Chicken with Fried Rice and steamed vegetables. It promises to be a good one, so please come back and check it out. Enjoy your evening and your day!

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry

 

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A Mighty Nice Chicken Rice Soup

It’s been kind of a hectic Monday so far, so I am glad that tonight’s dinner is something of a simple one to make. Chicken rice soup is very easy to make and doesn’t take long to cook at all. The other nice thing about it is that you can add lots of different things to it to make it more interesting (it can be a great way to empty out the fridge).

Chicken Rice Soup

6 cups chicken stock (I am using homemade. If you want my method, check it out here.)

1/2 cup white rice

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

1 cup raw or cooked chopped boneless, skinless chicken, or more

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Put the stock in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When it is just about boiling, turn the heat down so it bubbles, but not too vigorously. Stir in the rice, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are all tendered, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the chicken. If it is raw, cook until it is cooked through, another 5 to 8 minutes.  If it is cooked, cook 2 or 3 minutes, until it is hot. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.

It’s a very simple soup to make. I am adding some leftover vegetables we have to the pot, but some good ones to add might be onion, zucchini, parsnips,potato,sliced mushrooms, corn kernels, peas, thinly shredded cabbage or other greens. You could make it Chinese style by adding some garlic and ginger when you add the chicken and then add some peas and sliced mushrooms, and season with a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce. Other things that might be good to add would be any fresh herbs, or spices, croutons for a garnish, barley or quinoa instead of rice, cooked tortellini or other small pasta or add  some small pieces of rind from Parmesan cheese (along with the stock) or grated cheese for garnish.

You could just leave this as a one pot dish, but I’ve decided to add some biscuits to dinner. You can always buy some and just heat them up, or use Pillsbury or Bisquick and make some, or you could try this quick and easy recipe and have some homemade in 30 minutes.

Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the cream with a wooden spoon until the dough forms, about 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gather together into a ball. Knead the dough briefly until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick circle. Cut the biscuits into rounds using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or 8 wedges using a knife. Place the biscuits on the parchment-lined baking sheet. (The baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.) Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

The key to these biscuits, like any quick bread, muffin or scone, is to not overwork the dough. The more you mix the dough. the more you develop protein in the flour and the tougher the biscuit will become.

That’s the meal for tonight. You could add this one to the quick and easy column for the meals we have made. Tomorrow will not be so quick and easy. We’re going to make a nice French-inspired, romantic meal for Valentine’s Day tomorrow. We’ll start off with some Riesling Onion Soup with Herbed Croutons, then have some Ribeye Steak with Shallot-Red Wine Sauce, Sauteed Spinach and Pine Nuts, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Warm Molten Chocolate Cakes. It’s going to be a great meal, and it really isn’t as much work as you may think. As always, if you have any questions, comments or recipes, feel free to leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you. Enjoy your soup and have a great night!

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Biscuits, Breads, Poultry, Rice

 

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(Stir) Frying Up Some Chicken

Since this is going to be the week of one pot meals, and since Sean picked the meals, it is going to be mostly stir fry dinners this week, with the exception of the soups we will be making. Stir fries are fun and easy to do. I like doing them because you can really put anything you want in a stir fry. It’s a great way to get rid of leftovers in any form, whether they are chicken, meat, fish or vegetables, and they only take about 20 minutes to make, which makes them ideal for weeknight dinners when things can get hectic.

I would just like to mention a few things about stir frying. I always have a few Asian ingredients on hand in case we feel like making a stir fry. I always have soy sauce, five-spice powder, fresh ginger, hoisin sauce, mirin, rice vinegar and oyster sauce. They can all be found in your local supermarket and if you have them around, you can do all kinds of Asian and stir fry cooking. Next, I have a wok, but I don’t use it for stir frying anymore. Wok’s aren’t designed to be used on a flat stove top and don’t really provide the high heat you need to do a good stir fry. A large, non-stick skillet works a lot better makes better use of a horizontal heat source. Lastly, if you want restaurant-style sauces for your stir fry, add a little cornstarch to your pan juices and you’ll get that glossy sauce that you get with your take-out. Today’s dinner is Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables with White Rice.

Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables

2 cups broccoli or cauliflower florets and stems, cut into bite size pieces

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 pepper (any color), seeded and sliced into strips

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 medium onion, sliced

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/2-inch wide strips

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 cup chicken stock, white wine or water (your choice, I am using stock)

Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add half the oil, swirl it around and immediately add half the garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and pepper and cook over high heat until the vegetables are tender but not at all mushy, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium and remove the vegetables. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then the remaining garlic and ginger. Stir, then add the chicken. Raise the heat to high, stir the chicken once, then let it sit for 1 minute before stirring again. Cook stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color, 3 to 5 minutes.

Return the vegetables to the pan and toss once or twice. Add the sugar, then the soy sauce; toss again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the liquid. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly and you’ve scraped up all the bits of chicken, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice.

There are so many other things you can add or change about this recipe. Throw in some mushrooms, bean sprouts, shallot, snow peas, baby corn or any other vegetable you might like to have. Toss the chicken chunks with the five-spice powder before cooking (1 tablespoon is plenty), add a tablespoon of hoisin, oyster or plum sauce to the soy sauce, use beef, pork, shrimp, scallops or any other fish instead of the chicken, the list can go on. You could even add some cashews or peanuts right at the add for some added crunch. Have fun with it and make it what you want.

I have done the white rice recipe a few times here, so you can see how I make it if you like. On Wednesday, when we have the next stir fry, we’ll be making fried rice, so I’ll post the recipe for that when we get to it. A simple, healthy meal with easy clean up, and Sean picked it out! It can’t get much better than that! Tomorrow, we will be making Rustic Vegetable and Polenta soup. It is our meat-free meal of the week, and Sean will help with this one too. He’s a little reluctant to try this one, but we’re going to give it a whirl anyway. It’s very basic as far as ingredients, so hopefully it will go over well. Check it out tomorrow to see the recipe. As always, if you have any questions, comments or anything at all to add, please feel free to leave a comment. I am more than happy to respond. Now it’s back to work for me. Have a great evening and see you tomorrow!

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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Simple Saturday Roast Chicken and Vegetables

A busy day of laundry, errands and ordering new glasses for Sean kept me from writing earlier in the day, but the meal is still simple if you want to use it for another day. I love a roasted chicken. Nice crispy skin, moist chicken and nicely roasted vegetables make a great meal, and the best part is you can cook the whole thing in one roasting pan, cutting down on the pots and dishes to clean after the meal.

A couple of things about roasting. if you have the time to do it, a container large enough and the refrigerator space, brine the chicken the night before you roast it. Brining really can bring out the flavor and tenderness of not only chicken, but turkey and pork as well. As the meat soaks in the brine it absorbs it, and then retains it during cooking, resulting in very juicy and excellent tasting meat. It’s not essential to do it before roasting, but it can really add to a roasted meal. For 4 pounds of chicken (either a whole bird or pieces) use 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of sugar dissolved in water in a container or bowl large enough to hold the brine and the meat. Then submerge the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Remove the meat from the brine, rinse and pat dry with paper towels, and that’s it, your good to go. The second thing I recommend is using a roasting pan with a rack in it. Chicken roasts better when it’s not resting on the bottom of the roasting pan. If air can circulate up and around the bird, the meat will cook more evenly and the skin will be crisper. If you don’t have a roasting pan with a V-shaped rack, you can use a flat rack inside the roasting pan. if you don’t have that either, you can always use a bed of chopped onions, carrots and celery to raise the chicken off the bottom of the pan and then use these vegetables later on for gravy.

Roast Chicken and Vegetables

1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken, brined if desired

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 tablespoon minced parsley

Salt and pepper

6 garlic cloves, peeled

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

2 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters

2 ribs celery, cut into chunks

8-10 small red-skinned potatoes (or other potatoes you have, just halve or quarter them)

2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup water

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix 2 tablespoons of the butter, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together. Spread the butter under the skin over the breast of the chicken. Season the chicken with additional salt and pepper all over. Toss the garlic, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes and parsnips in a large bowl with the oil until well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the bottom of the roasting pan. If using a V-rack, they can go under the rack. If using a flat rack or no rack, form a nest around the edge of the pan and then place the chicken in the center of the vegetables, breast side up. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and brush it over the chicken. Pour the water into the roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 40 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees, rotate the position of the pan in the oven, and continue to roast the chicken until the thickest portion of the breast registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes longer. Tip the chicken so that the juice from the cavity runs into the roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes before carving. Turn the oven temperature back down to 350 degrees and continue roasting the vegetables if you want to brown them some more while the chicken rests. If not, you can re-heat the vegetables on the stove top before serving over medium heat in the roasting pan for about 5 minutes.

After you remove the vegetables, you may want to use the pan drippings to make a quick gravy for your chicken. it’s a very simple recipe and easy to do, just watch out, because the pan drippings may be salty.

Quick Chicken Gravy

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, minced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced

Salt and pepper

While the roasted chicken rests, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add 1 cup of broth to the roasting pan and scrape up any drippings. Pour into a large measuring cup and spoon any fat off the top. Add the remaining broth as needed to measure 3 cups.

Slowly whisk the measured broth into the saucepan. Add the bay leaves and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it, the whole meal is done, and you have two pots to clean (1 if you used a foil pan you can throw away). Don’t throw away that chicken carcass either. Save it in a storage bag or throw it in a pot of water right away and make some homemade stock with it. One carrot, one onion, one stalk of celery, 2 bay leaves, and enough water to cover the carcass is all you need. Let it come to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for a few hours. Strain out the carcass and vegetables and you have plenty of your own stock to use in various recipes. Trust me, it tastes so much better than what comes in a can.

And we have another meal in the books. Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, so I won’t be cooking anything but the snack foods we talked about on Thursday, but I will be writing about something; I just haven’t decided what that will be yet. Any suggestions? I’d love to hear if you have any ideas of things you might like to see or topics to tackle. Leave a comment and let me know. Two final notes: First, the Fish and Chips from last night turned out great! The fish was crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside and not greasy at all, and the fries were awesome! I recommend the recipe and we’ll certainly have it again one day. Secondly, I made a trip to Williams-Sonoma today and bought a new 12-inch skillet, a flat rack for a roasting pan or baking sheet, a new gravy separator (Sean dropped the other one and shattered it, accidents happen!) and a cake mix for a lemon bundt cake they have that tastes really good and we can never find (I know, I should make it from scratch, but I’m lazy when it comes to baking). I am sure we could have bought more, but we tried to limit our spending for the day and had a coupon to use. It was a good trip and I am sure we’ll go back again. I hope everyone has a great night and get ready for the game tomorrow!

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Potatoes, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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Planning Your Meals This Week (and Some School Lunches Too)

I didn’t cook today, but we did do our shopping for this week’s meal plan I really do find that the plan helps me in staying on budget as far as shopping. Sure, there are still impulse buys now and then (who can resist a treat now and then) and I do have to buy household items once in a while (garbage bags, storage bags, toothpaste, etc.), but for the most part we really do only buy what we need to make the meals for the week. We do a lot of our shopping at BJ’s Warehouse Club, so we do get essentials that last us for a while, but I have found we can also get good deals on things we use a lot of, like diced tomatoes, pasta and rice, but we also get good deals on meat and poultry and produce. I can buy ground beef or london broil and get enough to freeze for several more meals. The same can be said of poultry. I buy the larger packs of boneless chicken breasts and whole chickens there and we get many meals out of it and also use the chicken carcass to make stock later on for soups. I then supplement that with a short trip to the supermarket for things I can’t get at BJ’s (which isn’t too much) and a trip to Adam’s Farms in Newburgh, where I get our fish for the week and some local produce.

Anyway, for this coming week, this is the meal plan:

Monday – Turkey Meatball with sauce, baked potatoes, broccoli (this was Sean’s choice this week)

Tuesday – Baked Potato Soup (this was Michelle’s pick, and is our meatless meal of the week)

Wednesday – Fish. I didn’t get to the fish market today, but I will go Wednesday morning and pick something out after I see what looks good.

Thursday – Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes and corn (this one was my pick)

Friday – Warm Chicken Salad (Michelle picked this one)

Saturday – Peppered Steak, White Rice, Cauliflower and carrots (Michelle picked this one too)

None of the meals are difficult this week and all can be made in a short amount of time. As a matter of fact, we are making the potato soup tonight and refrigerating it for Tuesday. I didn’t have to buy anything out of the ordinary this week other than leeks that we are using in the soup and the peppers for the peppered steak. I bought meat loaf mix of beef, pork and veal that I buy either for meatloaf or meatballs. The London broil was 2 large steaks that I quartered and froze so I’ll only need one piece when I make the peppered steak on Saturday. The ground turkey I bought will be used for meatballs and a portion frozen to be used later on either for chili or turkey sausage (I do make my own for breakfast sausage; it tastes really good and I will be posting that recipe at some point when we make a “breakfast for dinner” one night). Other than that, the rest of the ingredients we will use this week are things we already have in the house, refrigerator or freezer.

Now that dinners are planned for the week, I thought I would spend a little bit of time writing about school lunches. School lunches can be a problem sometimes. Sean buys lunch from school about once a week or less often, mainly because the choices that they have for lunch are, well, less than desirable. It’s pretty rare that when I ask Sean if he wants to buy that he says yes, but I am sure he gets tired of eating either a cheese sandwich or peanut butter and jelly every day. We have thought about doing warm lunches for him in a thermos, but he eats lunch so late in the day that even the thermos wouldn’t keep it warm for him. For others of you, however, warm lunches may be a good option. There is a good blog out there right now called “The Mom With Moxie” by Bree Glenn and she has a good posting on some ideas for school lunch planning. Here is the blog if you want to check it out:http://www.themomwithmoxie.com/2011/11/04/8-resources-for-healthy-fun-school-lunch-box-planning/. She offers up a great list of sites here for some good school lunch ideas. I was able to pull a few ideas off of Good Housekeeping’s website from here also, but if you want to go to Good Housekeeping directly, here is their link:http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/healthy/ideas-kids-school-lunches. I thought the ideas of Turkey Meatball Pitas, Ham and Cheese Pitas, Chicken Noodle Soup and the Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich were all good ideas for lunches. There are several other great links on Bree Glenn’s blog about the school lunches that I think will be very helpful in getting some ideas for things to pack for the kids. If anyone has any other great ideas for school lunches, please pass them along and comment here. I am always looking for something new to offer Sean and I am sure plenty of other Moms and Dads could use some ideas as well.

I think that covers everything for today. I hope to go into greater detail on school lunches and some good recipes of my own in a later blog. I want to do a little more research and try out some recipes with Sean first before I put anything up here for you to try. Tomorrow will be the recipes for Turkey Meatballs with sauce, Baked  Potatoes and broccoli. I know, we seem to eat a lot of broccoli, but Sean really likes it so he seems to pick that one all the time. I need to find a few more recipes to find some more interesting ways to cook it. If you have any thoughts on that, feel free to share! Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, and if you’re watching the Giants-49ers game, enjoy the game! (what will you be snacking on during the game? I already plan to post some things as we get closer to Super Bowl Sunday)

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Lunch, School Lunches

 

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Jennifer Probst

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