Have I mentioned how much I enjoy oatmeal? I was busy all morning, and didn't feel like making any real effort for my lunch. From the banana, this meal gave me protein and fibre, carbohydrates and fat, vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as a bunch of B Vitamins. The oatmeal gave me additional protein, fibre, carbohydrates, and iron. The toasted nuts and nutmeg were an added abundance of nutrition and flavour. It's easy on the budget, and warm and comforting -baby, it's cold outside! So for me, oatmeal for any meal is a win/win!
It's a long weekend for us here, in Canada- Thanksgiving! The kids get an extra, extra long weekend off- they have no school today through Monday, so while I've welcomed the break from stumbling out of bed to get them off to school, I also have a bunch of things to get done- appointments, grocery shopping, cooking and baking, and so on. They're getting fed but other then that are pretty much on their own- I think they know if they complain about nothing to do they'll be put to work!
Our local grocery store had amazing deals on produce today. I was able to pick up 10 lbs of carrots and potatoes for next to nothing, along with a large bag of naturally imperfect sweet peppers. The rest of today will be spent catching up on laundry, housework, cooking, and baking. I've got a large pot of potatoes already on to steam, followed by a pot of carrots. I have plans to make a potato, carrot, and seafood chowder this afternoon for lunches this weekend, and I'd like to bake a hazelnut eggnog loaf tomorrow. We get spoiled with Thanksgiving dinners at both my mother's homes so I'll save my turkey for another time.
It was -7*C this morning when I woke up today, which is 19.4*F for my American friends. There was frost everywhere and they are saying there is a potential for snow this weekend. It seems like the perfect weather to turn on the stove and make the house fragrant and warm.
What are your plans this weekend? I wish you the best!
There are scheduled and unscheduled meal plans, and then there are the ones that are somewhere in between. Over the past month I've fallen into the latter category. I'm not exactly unscheduled, but I'm not precisely on a schedule either. I know what we've got going on and how much time I have to cook on any given night. I know what's in our fridge, freezer, and pantry. But cooking has largely been left to deciding the day of, rather than a week or two before. It's depending largely on how well I slept the night before, how my family is feeling, what kind of leftovers we have in the fridge, what my mood is, and what sorts of meal starters are in our freezer.
This week we are down to a potato, 5 mushrooms, a bunch of onions and garlic, 3 sweet peppers, 5 good sized carrots, 2 heads of romaine, and quite a few frozen vegetables of differing variety. We also have lots of canned goods- beans and fruit, and lots of meal starters in the freezer- various cooked proteins, stocks, and wraps. We are fully stocked for raw proteins as well, but I'm trying to free up space in my freezer for a good quantity of cooked turkey I expect to have after Thanksgiving.
Another post coming this week is a conversation about iron deficiency anemia. I found out late last week that my second son has very low iron, so my meals are reflecting that. This dinner pairs vitamin C (found in the potatoes and peppers) with many sources of iron- heme, from the beef, and nonheme, from the beans. We'll talk more about that later though.
For dinner this week we are using up as much fresh food as we can so it doesn't go off, and whatever meal starters I have kicking around in the freezer and pantry will make up about half our meals.
What are you eating this week? Enjoy your kitchen, and be well, friends! I'll write more soon.
September this year seems to be firmly planted in fall. Not only are the daylight hours obviously less, but some of our morning lows have felt suspiciously chilly. As have many of our daytime highs.
This week I'm going to give you all our meal ideas, not just dinners. I won't be planning what we're eating on what specific day and when because this week is a pretty busy one and it will depend on who is home and when. We've gone grocery shopping and have all the ingredients on hand and most of these meals are quick to prepare and relatively quick to cook. The soups will be made on Tuesday morning and warmed up as needed.
Scrambled egg, pepper, and sausage wraps
Pancake, sausage, and fruit salad
Beef and Bean Chili
Baked chicken with pasta and vegetable platter
Turkey Meatball Soup
Mini Hamburgers with cheese and fresh fruit
Spring Green salad with feta, nuts, and chicken
Thai Sweet Chili Turkey Wraps
Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwiches with fresh vegetables
Beef, pepper, and onion grilled sandwiches
I'll be adding some recipes to my website this week! Check back soon for Turkey Meatball Soup (in Soups) and Scrambled Egg Wraps (in Breakfast).
I hope your Labour Day weekend was an enjoyable one!
We arrived home from our wonderful vacation to an empty fridge (which I had left empty on purpose) and a busy week. I've been stretching the hours to find enough time to buy school supplies and clothes, get back-to-school haircuts, and get a large grocery shop done.
Here's my grocery list and dinner meal plan for the week. You'll notice a few shortcuts- not just carrots, but also matchstick carrots. Frozen pastry for the tourtiere, and bottled salad dressing. We already have enough meat and fish for the week in our freezer, so most of my shopping was re-stocking up on fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy. After eating out a lot while on vacation I am most certainly happy to be back cooking in my kitchen. No more fast food! While I think my boys would happily eat hamburgers or chicken fingers and fries every day, I don't think i could have taken much more of that type of fare.
I've got a lot of photos to cull, and some stories to tell. I'm working on getting that done and have a draft post started and saved to share with you. I hope your summer was warm and wonderful, and I look forward to enjoying fall with you.
What's on your meal plan for the week?
All the best, friends.
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I know, one day is much the same in the passage of time. But somehow Friday seems to make a difference in how I perceive the day. Monday seems to start at the outer edge of a deep chasm, and it's hard, sometimes, to fathom crossing to the other side. But we start going on faith, with one step after another, and suddenly you notice a ratty rope bridge you set up for yourself a long time ago, but forgot about. And before you know it, welcome to Friday.
This weekend is off to a good start, mostly because it was hot lunch at my second son's school today, which meant I didn't have to wake up my brain enough to make his lunch before enjoying my coffee. A morning of studying, course calls, and baroque classics on Stingray, and I'm in a peaceful, happy place. The weekend stretches ahead like an oasis, blissfully unplanned and open. I know it's going to be less than idyllic because...life...but I can enjoy the illusion right this second. My picture shows the state of my mind at this moment...ahhh...
Now, what are your weekend plans? I have some grand ideas lined up for myself. I am going to cook a dozen breakfast sandwiches, to store in the freezer for breakfasts this week, as well as boil a bunch of eggs and make a pot of oatmeal. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but since coming home from my trip I've been scarfing down a hastily constructed peanut butter sandwich. Hardly the stuff of dreams.
I've also got this strong desire for blueberry and saskatoon crumble. So I think I'm going to make one of those for "now", and one of those for the freezer. I'll use this recipe, but berries instead of apples. We actually have vanilla ice cream in the freezer. It's going to be a tasty weekend.
And, we're going camping in a few weeks, so I should really be thinking ahead about what foods we're going to bring, and start cooking ahead. I like camp stove cooking, but it's got to be easy, and ingredients have to be easily packed, space being the premium it is, with all our camping equipment and supplies stuffed on the roof, in the back, and around the kids. I was going through my bookmarks and came across this Ziplock bag camping article. I thought it was worth the re-read, and so I'm sharing it with you today. I hope you enjoy it!
If you get some time, fill me in on what your weekend looks like! I can't wait to hear about your adventures, from wherever you reside on our lovely blue planet. Until next time, happy eating and drinking, and enjoy every moment.
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Home from our holidays, and back in my kitchen. Cooking for our family again, and glad of it, though I am so grateful for the break. What does your meal plan look like for the week and for our Thanksgiving weekend ahead? I'm getting spoiled this year- being hosted at 2 different dinner parties!
Last night we enjoyed a curry dish with pork meatballs, steamed green beans, and roasted sweet potatoes before I headed out to tap dance class. We found out our theme- it's going to be so much fun! If you're in the Edmonton area, you should come watch us dance at competition.
Today is a lot busier than usual- I get to go to a Chamber of Commerce lunch, and right after that when my second son gets home from school we're heading to an appointment, so tonight's dinner is leftover minestrone soup. I'm hoping there's time for yoga tonight! I've got some classes to make up after missing them last week.
Thursday is a small batch of beef and bean chili, served with steamed spinach and whole wheat rolls.
Friday is some sort of soup. I'm dragging out the crock pot, pulling leftover meat from the freezer, and throwing in some vegetables. That will serve us all weekend in between yummy thanksgiving feasts. We've got some kitchen organization to get to this weekend, too. Things need to be cleaned up and relocated to give me more counter space.
What does your week ahead look like?
Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend, friends! May you find reasons to be thankful.
I can't believe that school starts up again for us in 3 weeks. We've got a pretty spectacular fall planned. This is the first year in the last 12 that I will have no kids underfoot for the whole school day. I hope I take advantage of the alone time to get a lot of stuff done- it's been piling up for 12 years! The challenge will be balance, I just know it.
This week is the beginning of a slightly busier summer than we've had up till now. Both sons have a week for their respective sports camps, and my second son has 2 weeks of swimming lessons. There's haircuts, vision care, and doctors appointments to take care of before the bell rings too. And 40 pencils to sharpen! Seriously, who needs 20 pencils in a school year? I sure didn't think junior high would go through that many. And what is with sharpening pencils, anyway? They are the worst. Am I the only person who can't seem to sharpen them to a nice point without the leads breaking off?
This week's forecast calls for hot and sunny. I can't complain about the weather, though it has been challenging in figuring out how not to heat up the house. I'm waiting for a few cooler days to get my freezer stocked with baking for the fall. As great a shortcut as my baking jars were, when it's time to bake I still have to actually turn on the oven, and I don't want to do that with day after day of heat.
So for your inspiration, here's my meal plan for the week:
Sunday: Slow Cooker Greek Seasoned Lamb with "Roasted" Potatoes (Actifry) and Steamed Broccoli
Monday: Meatless Spaghetti Pie (stovetop)
Tuesday: BBQ'd salmon and asparagus
Wednesday: Sweet Thai Chili Pork Wraps
Friday: Seafood Chowder (the high this day is 23*C, as opposed to 29/30)
What does the end of your summer look like? Are you still in high gear and living the dream, or are you winding things up too?
All the best to you today, friends,
No soccer meals to post this week. Husband and I had date night one day this week, and the others were super simple meals- sandwiches with vegetables, fruit, and leftover meals from the freezer. It's been a busy week, full of unexpected appointments, planned mornings out, and...most anticipated of all, for the last 12 years...the delivery of my deep freezer!
This is super exciting for me. We used to have one before we moved here and had our family, but it died in the move, and up till now haven't had a place to actually put one. It's an 8.5 cubic feet (I think) tall freezer with 3 shelves and door storage. While chest freezers are more energy efficient and are easier to just throw things into, this one fits the space we have available. I've gotten so adept at packing our fridge freezer I don't think lack of space will be a problem for me. I certainly won't lose things in it! It was so exciting emptying out my fridge freezer to move some of my less-used things downstairs, such as bags of chicken stock, large packages of proteins, and frozen concentrated juice. I bought extra bread during my shopping trip this week, so I will never have to run out just to buy bread again. In our family, most of us eat toast for breakfast, and my second son eats a sandwich for lunch, so running out of bread is a small (first world) crisis.
I can now keep my fridge freezer full of wonderful other things, like homemade muffins and loaves, and frozen fruit for shakes or smoothies. I can keep my leftover main meals ready for warming up for lunch or quick buffet-style dinners. I'm excited to keep leftover cooked meats sliced and ready to go for wraps, sandwiches, and soups.
I'll post pictures when I get my new freezer stocked up and ready to show the world. It probably sounds a little ludicrous to be so excited about such a mundane thing, but this has been the number one item on my wish list for more than a decade.
To return to the subject of homemade muffins and loaves, I'm trying something new this weekend/week ahead. I don't like baking, but I'd rather the family eat homemade sweet treats then ones bought from the store. I like controlling the type of flour and the amount of sugar, fat, and salt we eat. So tomorrow morning I plan on premixing all the dry ingredients of what I want to make in containers or storage bags, label them, and have them all ready to pull out when I have a few minutes to throw something together.
So far my list looks something like this:
-2 loaves of chocolate zucchini loaf
-2 loaves of pineapple zucchini loaf
-2 loaves of hazelnut eggnog loaf
-2 dozen vanilla/pear/pecan muffins
-3 or 4 dozen mini chocolate and walnut brownie bites
If it works out well- if I find baking less of a hassle and I actually do it before we're desperate- this may be something I do to prepare for summer baking. I'm not a fan of heating up the house when it's really hot, so if I'm halfway done when the inevitable cloudy and/or rainy and/or stormy days happen, I may actually be able to get a whole lot of baking done in a short period of time.
What do you love about your deep freezer? What kinds of things do you store in your deep freezer, and what do you keep in your fridge freezer? Do you have a plan in place for cooking and baking this summer?
Enjoy your weekend, friends,
Good morning, and happy Friday!
It's a glorious day in the Edmonton area...a high temperature of 19*C (66*F for all you Americans!), lots of sunshine and blue sky, and an altogether "feel good" kind of day.
Aside from the usual housework and errands to run, I've got some baking to do for some amazing new neighbors that need some thanking. And while I'm at it, I think I'm going to try another #testkitchen sort of day. I have zero room in my freezer for the grocery shopping I need to do, but I have some ideas in my head that need trying out, so I took a few things out this morning. I'm determined to do something awesome with my black bean spaghetti noodles, and while I'm working that out my slow cooker can make some rice pudding with a bag of frozen leftover brown rice that's been waiting for inspiration, which I found this morning:
I plan on doing it a little differently, but I will definitely post the recipe if it turns out as pleasantly as I think it will. There's something about the joint flavours of bananas and nutmeg that are calling to me today.
Enjoy your day, friends, and happy weekend to you!