This post is a comedy of errors. 1. I’ve had the meal plan done ( in my Kitchen notebook), but lost said notebook last week while grocery shopping. I am about to put it on a milk carton. I still haven’t found it. I’m having palpitations. So… I had to list everything out from what I remembered and what I was able to discern from the groceries I bought. 2. Our newest puppy chewed through my laptop power cord. Certainly, I could go to the Apple store and spend $75 on a new one, but I’m too cheap for that. The new one hadn’t arrived yet, so I finally gave in and I’m typing this on my iPad. That means I won’t be linking recipes on this post until I have computer access again. And it took me a whole day to remember my password to log in to post it in the first place! Sometimes, I swear I can’t get out of my own way. That said, almost everything here is a recipe we’ve had before. The crockpot sweet and sour chicken is new (took me forever to find chile paste and a recipe that didn’t have bell peppers in it), the Asian spaghetti and meatballs is a riff on the Chinese pork burgers already on the site. 3. Broiled haddock with lemon 4. Hot dogs 5. Salisbury steak 6. Asian spaghetti and meatballs 7. Pizza night: margherita 8. Chicken Parmesan 9. Turkey sloppy joes 10. BBQ turkey melts 11. BFD: omelettes and toast 12. Chicken croquettes 13. Beans & cornbread 14. Sweet and sour crockpot chicken (NEW!)
We are continually being buried by snowstorms. We may never dig out. Braving the grocery store today between storms…wish me luck.
Testing out a few cook once, eat twice sort of meals this meal plan (the roast chicken, grilled salmon, and baked turkey). So we’ll see how that goes.
16. polenta with chicken sausage, tomatoes and spinach (NEW!)
17. crockpot beef stroganoff
18. grilled salmon
19. roast chicken
20. BFD: salmon benedict for us, eggs and english muffins for kiddos
21. chicken curry (NEW!)
22. parmesan crusted chicken tenders. Having some friends and kids over and this one is great for a crowd!
23. baked turkey breast
24. FFY- I have an exam on Tuesday.
25. turkey tetrazzini (NEW!)
26. TBD: kids at a birthday party.
27. FFY buffet
28. BFD: banana pancakes & bacon
a few new recipes here, and I know i’m way behind on posting the ones I’ve tried recently. I’m trying, I promise…January was complete craziness. I did take pictures of several of them and i’m working on a new gallery widget for the site, too. Lest you think I am just being lazy…
I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes research on more marathon freezer cooking as well. Lots of paging through “Once a Month Cooking” sort of things, but it’s tempered by some other projects I am working on (how to completely remove deli meat from our household, decreasing the sodium usage, moving away from processed foods), so I find that a lot of things need modifications. And that’s assuming everyone likes the vegetables and textures involved (Yes, Boo, I’m talking about you). So, it’s a work in progress. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the results soon.
But, we still have to eat while I figure out how we’re going to go forward. Here’s the first part of February.
1. slow cooker chipotle-maple shredded beef with smashed sweet potatoes (NEW!)
2. lasagna flowers (Kids in the Kitchen! NEW!)
3. FFY Buffet…I have an exam the next day.
4. comfort food night…hot dogs and homemade baked beans (NEW!)
5. butternut squash & arugula salad (NEW!)
6. BFD: omelettes & toast
7. chicken lettuce wraps (NEW!)
8. FFY Buffet
9. maui marinated london broil
10. maple dijon pork tenderloin
11. chicken wraps & fries
12. BFD: biscuits & gravy! (a good reference minus gravy recipe…here.)
13. teriyaki salmon
14. Happy Valentine’s Day! We’re having heart shaped whole wheat banana pancakes and bacon. Because nothing says love like bacon.
15. mac and cheese for kids…suitNtie and are out for Valentine’s Day dinner.
16. cheese & cracker chicken (NEW!)
17. pizza night
18. tortellini alfredo
19. GO PATS! game food: sweet chile hot wings, baked black beans & chorizo, potato skins, chicken skewers…yum.
20. FFY buffet
21. cashew chicken stir fry (NEW!)
22. mongolian beef (NEW!)
23. quick chicken & dumplings
24. pork cutlets with apples
25. BFD: frittatas
26. FFY buffet
27. black beans & sausage
28. pesto chicken pasta (NEW!)
29. chicken club sammies
30. shredded beef tacos
31. slow cooker paella (NEW!)
Happy New Year!!! (in a few days)
Starting off 2014 with a challenge. suitNtie will be in charge of the Kitchen for a whole week (gasp). Looking forward to seeing how this goes.
more to come later in the month with regards to goals for 2014 in the Kitchen.
1. FFY Buffet of the second best kind: chinese.
2. turkey clubs with french fries
3. tortellini en brodo
4. lazy tasty crockpot pot roast
5. chicken noodle casserole
6. BFD: waffles & sausage
7. quesadilla bar
8. chicken & apples
9. hot dogs, baked beans & oven fries
10. Dad’s night off TBD!
11. English muffin pizzas
13. pulled chicken wraps
14. baked haddock with broccoli & rice pilaf
15. peanut butter pork tenderloin
The mad dash to the holidays and then the New Year.
16. chicken & cheese quesadillas
17. tortellini alfredo
18. taco bar!
19. grilled chicken salads
20. FFY Buffet
21. spaghetti & meatballs, garlic bread, salad…holiday celebration with my family!
22. BFD: bacon, eggs, pancakes.
23. hot dogs with Annie’s macaroni and cheese. It’s totes a comfort food day.
24. Feast of Seven Fishes! Tons of yummy things, including my contribution of Christmas Eve haddock and of course, strawberry grand mariner cheesecakes.
25. Merry Christmas! Beef Wellingtons with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes, the Captain’s caprese, dessert TBD.
26. recovery day. Grilled cheeses. With leftover veggies if I can convince the kids to eat it.
27. chicken noodle casserole
28. celebrating a birthday with good friends. TBD.
29. pizza night: margherita
30. Nana’s chicken soup
31. probably taking the kids out to a kid friendly restaurant celebration.
16. tacos and rice
17. FFY- I am gone all day today
18. grilled corn cakes with crispy ham
19. BFD: ham and spinach hash with eggs
20. turkey club sammies
21. Happy Birthday, Moo! Moo’s choice.
22. FFY Buffet
23. Moo’s birthday party…leftover bits from the party.
24. quick chicken and dumplings
25. crockpot beef stroganoff
26. BFD: waffles and sausage
27. grilled cheeses
28. Happy Thanksgiving! Roast turkey with pan gravy and all the trimmings (sage stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash, green beans with bacon and scallions, roasted pearl onions, buttery bread machine rolls and hot mulled cider. My mom brings apple pie, chocolate cream pie, banana bread and date nut bread. My mother in law brings roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
29. The Most Obvious FFY Buffet Day of the Year. I am busy shopping and then sleeping like crazy.
30. Harvest Turkey Salad with cranberries and roasted butternut squash (NEW!)
the best laid plans…how many times have I typed that one out here.
I ran out of some much needed supplies during the last menu plan, so we had some changes. A few new things were tried (black beans and sausage, lemony garlic crockpot chicken, etc.), and those posts will come, so bear with me if you see similar items on this menu plan. I am a bit behind on making posts for the new things I’ve tried, but they’re coming! November is going to be an extremely busy month; i’m beginning some training for work that will be 5-9pm Monday through Friday until Thanksgiving. Obviously this throws a huge wrench into dinner plans. Let’s see what happens…
I tend to go straight to pork tenderloin 9/10 times that I’m thinking about making pork. And the blame for that can go to two recipes that I think ruined me for all other pork preparations: this and this. They’re both just so damn good. Why try something else? Right?
yeah, well… I was itching to try something fruity. And I came across this recipe. I’m a sucker for a really simple crockpot recipe. i’m almost guaranteed to try it. So, this happened.
1 4 lb. pork loin, fat trimmed
10 oz. apricot preserves
1 small onion, diced
1 can chicken broth (low sodium, low fat, please, if you can’t provide your own pre-made)
~2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. chicken & pork seasoning
put the pork into your crockpot, and mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over. Cook on low for about 5 hours. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not open it, baste it, stir it. Just leave it.
Then you can eat it. We had ours with rice pilaf and carrots. Yum.
That’s it. Nice and easy! Inspired by Prevention, and my dad.
21. baked turkey breast with carrots and green beans
22. FFY Buffet
23. Apricot glazed pork loin (NEW!)
24. Italian beef sammiches (NEW!)
25. Cleopatra Chicken (NEW!)
26. Taking Boo to a hockey game, and we’ll have lunch there. suitNtie and Moo will figure something out.
27. kielbasa and potato skillet
28. spaghetti carbonara (made before, but haven’t done the post yet)
29. BFD: bacon and eggs
30. FFY Buffet.
31. Happy Halloween!!! Grilled cheeses and oven fries before trick or treating.
MGCK started as a New Year's resolution for 2009. I wanted to start trying menu planning, a concept that I had stumbled across while looking for dinner ideas online. I dove into it with energy and saw success immediately. The success only made me more interested in how I could improve, what new recipes I could find, etc. I started using my family blog for menu planning posts and it kind of started to take over. So, I decided to give my culinary fumblings their own home- and MGCK was born.
Why "my grand central kitchen?" Well, I have two young children (one in preschool and one in first grade). I am working on a master's degree and I work part time from home. Cooking is a hobby for me. So you could say that aside from the playroom, the kitchen is the busiest room in my house and usually looks it, especially with the way my home is designed...you have to go through it to get anywhere! It feels a bit like Grand Central, especially between 4 and 7 pm.
There's four of us eating in the Kitchen, and we all have different tastes and preferences. One of the kids has some sensory food issues that we're working through, which throws a bigger wrench into an already challenging menu plan preparation. But every week, we're making progress. And some nights, I'm not on duty. Leftovers are always worked in! And PB&Js or grilled cheeses DO happen. I'm not trying to be Martha Stewart, here. I can't be.
I hope that this blog gives me even more inspiration for my own home and the ability to inspire others in the kitchen, as well. I'll be posting not just menu planning and recipe links, but also interesting things I find online, things on my wishlist and recommendations, when I have the time. And who knows where it might go from there...
I certainly hope you enjoy the read.