Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Last week I tried another recipe from the five dollar mom cookbook and this mom's kids must have no taste buds or maybe they're English and like their food really really bland, because this recipe had no flavor at all. None.

The recipe was for oven baked macaroni and cheese, and how can you go wrong with macaroni and cheese anyway? Apparently you can. The recipe was easy, you boil up the macaroni elbows which I substituted with whole wheat shells, put them in a baking pan after they are done, make a white sauce with milk, butter and flour, melt a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese into the white sauce, pour the white sauce over the macaroni, add another cup of shredded cheese on top and bake. Well, the white sauce with one cup of cheese in it had no flavor at all so I added another cup of cheese to it, then baked with the third cup of cheese on top. It looked okay but had zip zero nada absolutely no flavor at all.

I'm going to give this woman one more chance and then in the recycle bin this book will go.

I did make up a menu plan for this week because let me tell you, if you go to the store without a menu plan you'll spend tons of money but you still won't have anything to eat after you get home. I even checked the cupboards and freezer to see what we already have and was able to incorporate some of the stuff into the plan.

Here is what we are eating this week:

Eggplant Parmesan with green beans. I've never had or cooked eggplant parmesan before but found a recipe in a magazine (here we go again with the recipes) that sounds good and easy and on the cheap side. I hope I find out that I like eggplant parmesan.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup with some biscuits or something like that. I have a recipe that makes the most delicious soup ever but it's loaded with things like butter and cream so it's not very healthy. It is cheap and makes enough for two dinners or lunch the next day or whatever, though.

Chicken Parmesan with green beans. I'm craving green beans for some reason. With almonds on top. Yes, two parmesan dishes in one week, but what the heck. This recipe came from the same magazine as the eggplant parmesan. I'm crossing my fingers that these will taste good.

Maple Beans and Sausage. Beans, beans, the musical fruit! This recipe is easy and good, it's just cans of baked beans and pinto beans with some maple syrup (in my case, sugar free breakfast syrup, they can't call it maple syrup because there is no real maple anything in it) some spices and mustard, and chopped up low fat turkey keilbasa. Throw it all together in a pan and bake.

Sauteed pork chops, onion potatoes, and some sort of vegetable, maybe acorn squash. The pork chops are coated in a flour/parmesan cheese mixture (yummy) and the onion potatoes are a Lipton onion soup recipe where you dice up the potatoes, put them in a bag with onion soup mix and some oil, squish them around in the bag, then bake in a dish. They come out a little crispy on top and really tasty.

And, finally, oven baked beef stew. Easy peasy recipe where everything goes in a big dish, you mix up tomato juice with tapioca and pour over the top, then bake. Best beef stew ever and so easy.

I've tried doing a two week menu but I think one week at a time works a little better, ingredients stay fresher and it's not quite so taxing on my brain only having to think of one week at a time.

We got the shopping done this morning, only straying from our list a little bit. We got some snack pack puddings, sugar free for me. I don't understand why these puddings don't need to be refrigerated, though, probably because there is no real food in them at all, just chemicals made to taste like chocolate pudding.

I also went to the Goodwill bookstore this morning, I was running out of books to read, was starting to panic, and needed a fix. I spent the most ever there today, a whole $16.10 for three bags of books. Shameful.


CapriciousCat said...

For the mac & cheese, you need to add something like cayenne pepper to the sauce--just not too much--to give it a bit of a kick. And if the cheese isn't sharp enough, it really does taste blah.

Good luck with the rest of the meals. I'm jealous--it sounds so ambitious...and delicious!

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

Hey, I haven't turned in to Mom afterall! I have turned in to YOU!
I did the same thing this week - planned out meals and shopped accordingly.
Only using a $5 crockpot cookbook I bought.
We are having (last night was burgers), tonight - Cajun chicken with red beans & rice that I am making in the crockpot today.
Then, taco salad, creamy chicken salsa (crockpot), Santa Fe Stew (crockpot) and Thursday Russian chicken (crockpot). Friday Jim can take me out.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, all those meals sound awesome! I'm coming over!!