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Sunday, November 22, 2009

MPM and a successful recipe week!

I am constantly fighting the battle of food inertia in my home.

My kids and my hubby like certain things that I make.. a LOT.
And, they would be quite satisfied if I stuck to those 10 to 15 items.

On the other hand, I get B-O-R-E-D with the same food selections
week after week, month after month.
I want some variety!

That said, new foods brought to the table tend to be regarded with not three
but FOUR suspicious pair of eyes.
After making the effort to fix a new dish,
that reaction can be pretty darn off-putting.

But, this week I pulled up my big-girl panties
and prepared FOUR new recipes.
Here are the links to them, with reviews of each.

I knew Rob wouldn't like this much, so I served it on a night he was working late. The kids and I all enjoyed it very much. It was easy to make, also. All three kids had it for leftovers last night and there is still a bit left to freeze or for me to have for lunch over the next day or two.

This was a hit and miss recipe.
The good: I used five chicken leg and thigh quarters and ALL the chicken was eaten. This is very unusual for our family. I doubled the gravy and it would have had a nice flavor.
HOWEVER, The bad: I used Jasmine rice and that was a huge FAIL! The rice was wet and gloppy and just UGH. I love rice and even I couldn't eat it. Next time I will prepare the rice separately and then just spoon the gravy over the rice. Also, I recommend seasoning the chicken. I used garlic powder and black pepper.

This was a hit, although it didn't taste much different to me than my teriyaki chicken recipe. The whole family really liked it, however. I served it over brown rice. I did use about a tablespoon of corn starch to thicken the sauce just before serving. Very good served with broccoli and pineapple.

4. Meatloaf

Now, I have always used Adolph's seasoning packets for my meatloaf. However, I always worry when I am that dependent on any one item- what if it becomes unavailable? And what exactly is IN it? So, I pulled out my Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen cookbook by Trisha Yearwood and gave her recipe a try.

It was quite delicious. I made one loaf, as opposed to her recipe calling for two smaller loaves. I also devised a glaze for the top using ketchup and a hint of brown sugar. Next time I would add more glaze, since we like it with a little more kick. But otherwise, it was a big thumbs up. I just had a slice for lunch today and it was just as good reheated!

Here is the recipe as it is written in the book:
(this recipe courtesy of Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen by Trisha Yearwood. I highly recommend this cookbook- and so do the other 81 reviewers, as evidenced by its five-star rating!)

2 lbs lean ground beef
20 Saltine crackers, crumbled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup ketchup
1 TB yellow mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped (I used 1/2 onion)

Preheat the oven to 350*.
Gently mix all ingredients until blended. Shape the mixture into two loaves and place side by side crosswise in a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan. Bake the loaves for 1 hour or until browned. Transfer to a platter immediately and allow to cool slightly and firm up before slicing.

Hint: I baked my loaf on a wire cookie-cooling sheet, placed on top of a foil lined cookie sheet. That way, the fat dripped off the meat on to the cookie sheet below.

Here is my menu plan for THIS week!
I have Thanksgiving to look forward to, and my Mother-in-Law's FABULOUS cooking.
It is so good.
Marlene, if you are reading this, please make enough for leftovers!!

Sunday: Dinner at a friend's house.
Monday: salsa chicken, saffron rice, peas
Tuesday: grilled cheese and soup, fruit
Wednesday: Breakfast supper and/or leftovers
Friday: baked orange roughy (new recipe), baked potatoes, mixed veggies
Saturday: Thanksgiving leftovers (hopefully!)


jen@odbt said...

Good for you trying new recipes. I feel like we're in a rut too.

Ginaagain said...

I love your detailed analysis of last week's menu! I've had that gloppy mess trouble with jasmine rice too. I find that good old medium grain rice is best in cassaroles.