On Sunday afternoon, I put one of my favorite West Wing
episodes on and started meal planning. The cupboards weren't bare since I had just gone to Plevna and Amboy markets on Saturday, but we had almost no milk, no yogurt, no bananas, and no tissues. This normally signifies that my two weeks are up, and I need to go back to the store.
For the record, if I truly was planning well, I would have made my dinner in the crockpot before leaving the house; but our last 24 hours have included presenting our ministry with CEF at a local church, a Superbowl party, and 4 hours in the ER. I'm flying by the seat of my pants a bit more than usual.
Here's my Week at a Glance! Schedule's on top. Meals are on the bottom. This is incredibly helpful to me because I definitely don't need to plan a 5-course feast for the day that I'll be out of the house until 4:30 p.m. This week's planning is pretty simple since we're going out to eat a couple of times (a rarity for us!), but my birthday is on Friday and our SWEET college gals are giving us a date night on Thursday. Here's what's cooking at my house
Monday: Corn Chowder & Honey Bran Muffins
Tuesday: Creamy Veggie Chowder & Italian Herb Bread
Wednesday: Leftovers night (I have church, and Teacher Man does all of his lesson planning this night.)
Thursday: Chili and Cornbread (We're going out, but the kids gotta eat!)
Friday: My birthday.... sooooo not cooking.
Saturday: Family Christmas (I know we're way behind, but my mom just got back from Michigan and we have a lot to celebrate.)
Sunday: Frozen Lasagna & Garlic Bread
I know I'm doing a week with a crazy number of soups. Here's why:
1. Friends have been asking for my soup recipes.
2. I don't remember how I actually make a recipe if I haven't done it recently.
3. We are going to eat a ridiculous amount of calories when we eat out and at my parents' home. It's a great week for filling soups and whole-grain breads.
You'll notice that Sunday has frozen lasagna. A pan of lasagna feeds an army so I always freeze a couple of boxes full when I make a batch. Cooking on Sunday is sacrilegious, right? I'll be using my handy dandy microwave when we get back from church to make a hot tasty meal. Just in case you want my lasagna recipe, that's coming next week.
Tomorrow will be cookie baking day as well. I'm hiding garbanzo beans in their chocolate chip cookies. This makes me feel like a good mom... and like I'm pulling one over on them when they beg for one of these. I'm okay with both of these feelings.
Today's cooking was super easy. I've got the Honey Bran Muffins almost memorized. These are delicious, moist, and da dada daaaa..... fat-free. Pretty awesome, right? Be forewarned. These are super dense, but the super yumminess makes up for it. Here's the recipe if you're ready to venture into the world of whole grains:
Honey Bran Muffins
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1/2 cup very hot water
1/3 cup honey
1 cup buttermilk (I use 1 T apple cider vinegar with 1 cup milk as a substitute.)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon (if desired)
1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray pan. If you use muffin papers, spray the papers.
2. Mix bran and hot water and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
3. Mix egg, honey, and buttermilk. Add bran mixture.
4. Stir in flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon until completely mixed.
5. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
Also, we tried this take on Sue Gregg's Corn Chowder tonight for the first time. Ready for easy?
4 cups frozen corn (1 16 oz. bag)
4 cups lowfat milk
1 small onion, diced
1 large potato, shredded
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 T dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 T butter
1. Puree 3 cups of frozen corn with 2 cups of milk.
2. Mix pureed corn and milk with all other ingredients in dutch oven.
3. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until corn and potatoes are tender.
Serving whole foods doesn't have to be hard. The muffins took about 10 minutes to prep. The soup took about 15 minutes. It probably wouldn't have taken that long if I didn't have a baby crying at my ankles. Speaking of which, I'm being paged in the nursery. If you give either of these a try, let me know how they turned out. Love variations!