From my kitchen

 

Today is my crazy busy day – for work and for the girls.  Both of them have dance class and I have an afternoon of back-to-back conference calls. It makes for one tired mommy in the evening, that’s for sure.

To combat that, I try to do a little prep work ahead of time in the morning – preparing something yummy & healthy for dinner and planning out whatever else I need to for the rest of the day. It just saves my sanity and helps me to enjoy being with my kids more rather than stressing out and being cranky.

Today, I changed up my planned dinner. Usually, Thursdays are leftover nights (because it is easier to warm things up than cook from scratch when you’re running back and forth between school & the dance studio. can I get an amen?)

But today, I was thinking about the jumbo pack of mini-sub rolls I got at the warehouse store the other day… the same mini-sub rolls I just knew the girls would love for cute little sandwiches for lunch.  And the very same mini-sub rolls they most definitely do not like for their lunches – as evidenced by the returned, uneaten sandwiches two days this week. Sigh.

So, I was trying to figure out how I was going to use those rolls before they became a science experiment on my counter.  I don’t eat (much) bread and SuperMan is trying to cut back… which leaves quite the dilemma. Until you start to think about things like… garlic bread!

So, once my mind went to garlic bread, I decided to try out this new recipe I’d found on Pinterest – it’s for a crock pot ravioli casserole.  Perfect! And because I’m-a good-a little-a Italian girl, I have all the ingredients on  hand. (wink, wink)img_1962

With dinner planned out, I decided to tackle another looming kitchen problem. Bread.  I have gotten back on the wagon of making my own bread; partly to help Big Girl’s tummy issues and partly because it’s just so darn good.  But the problem is that Little Bit doesn’t like it and SuperMan isn’t wild about it (he’ll eat it, but I think he only does it because he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings).  They say it is too dense. Which, ironically, is what Big Girl and I love about it.

ANYWAY – I rummaged around and found an old bread recipe and decided to whip up another batch to see if I could make a lighter loaf.

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I made one as a cinnamon raisin bread and the other plain.  They’re cooling on the counter now, so we will see what the troops think when they return home tonight.img_1968

They sure SMELL GOOD – between the garlic and the bread, my house smells SO GOOD right now.

And speaking of garlic – here’s another fallen soldier:img_1967

I am going to have to start counting how many of these I go through in a year. I think I open a new one about every 2 months.

No vampire problems here, that’s for sure.

So, what’s going on in your kitchen this week?

 

Menu Plan Monday ~ 14 November 11

Wow!

Can you believe it? Only one more week and it’s Thanksgiving!

And then, we’re rushing headlong into Christmas…

I can hardly believe we are here already.  Seriously. Where has the last year gone?

I think we need to add another month in the calendar… something between Halloween and November that will allow us to get a little leg up on holiday preparations.  It’s almost too much to jump out of our Halloween costumes, straight into Turkey Day and before you know it, we’re drinking eggnog and singing carols.

Somebody slow down the merry-go-round!

All this holiday craziness, added to some big work projects (for SuperMan and me) means that I’ve got to get my act together… menu planning becomes even more important. I don’t want to be caught unprepared and not knowing what to cook – that will just mean added (unnecessary) stress and angst and I have enough of that without going looking for more!

I’m working on something my mom told me to do a long time ago (and I’ve actually been working on it for a while now) – I’m compiling a list of all the different dinner ideas I have – things I know my family likes and that I can refer to when I’m at a loss as to what to cook (or feel like I’m stuck in a rut)

I’m not doing anything fancy with it (although the temptation to make a cutesy little list is there) – I’m just keeping a running list on index cards for right now.  But, I’m finding it really helpful in coming up with some variety in our dinner planning. Especially when I’m cooking from the pantry and want to see what I can come up with based on what I have (and avoid a shopping trip!)

So, after referring to my ever-growing list, here’s what’s on tap for this week:

That’s the week!  What are you planning?  Anything yummy?

You can check out more menu ideas over at orgjunkie.com.