Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week Plan Wednesday

Wow, we've got a lot of candy.  Just saying.

On a related note, let me tell you about my silly problem.  The Munchkin has been turning up his nose at cooked vegetables for about 3 weeks now.  Before that, he was an eager eater.  I've been reading a blog called It's Not About Nutrition for a while now, so I've got a bunch of techniques for dealing with this sudden selectiveness.  My most important tool has been "taste and describe."  He has to put every item served for a meal in his mouth and chew it (although not swallow), and then he has to give me 3-6 words describing it.  Taste, texture, similarities to other foods, smell, whatever.  Just taste and describe.  He doesn't have to eat anything he doesn't want to eat.

The problem, though, is when the main thing for a meal is a cooked vegetable dish, he has been tasting dinner, and then being "done."  Now, I don't have a problem with him being hungry before the next meal, but I DO have a problem with him whining all afternoon because he elected not to eat any of the beet soup I served for lunch.  Especially when that's happening more days than not.

Ready for my solution?  Cut tomorrow's vegetables today or save extra veggies from the main dish and serve them raw as a side dish.  Seriously!  He still eats raw vegetables, and he goes along with "taste and describe."  Why did I think this was such a big problem?  Still, hopefully he outgrows this weird phase sooner rather than later.

This week I'm cooking out of "The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors" by Jeff Smith.  If you spot a copy in your local secondhand store, pick it up.  It's good reading and some lovely recipes.

Wednesday- Hungarian Cabbage Rolls.  Bread.  Sliced cabbage (see above).

Thursday- Grandma is bringing dinner.  It will be a surprise!

Friday- Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas.  Sauteed green beans and raw green beans (what a great side dish(es)!)

Saturday- Irish Colcannon.  Raw beets (in advance of Monday, so probably I won't prep all of them).

Sunday- Next Phase dinner.  Noodle Pudding.  The Munchkin keeps asking what noodle pudding is, as it features prominently in one of his books.  I have no idea what to serve with this, and as Next Phase is potluck style, that'll be just fine. 

Monday- Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup with Hot Potato Garnish. 

Tuesday- Youth group.  Bread, as that's all they eat anyway.  Cambodian Sweet and Sour Soup.  Sliced peppers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Week Plan Wednesday

Wednesday- Roasted potatoes.  Spaghetti squash with chopping board cilantro and pepita pesto.  We had some friends over for dinner.  They're odd to cook for, as Mom doesn't really enjoy any vegetables but she loves meat, and Daughter #1 is a "vegetarian" who tries her best not to eat vegetables.  Also, The Munchkin has been refusing all foods "mushy" for about 2 weeks, which means pretty much everything around here except sandwiches and frozen peas (still frozen, because they're mushy when they thaw).  Everyone enjoyed the potatoes.  I enjoyed the squash.

Thursday- Sauteed Italian vegetables over whole wheat pasta.  Pumpkin swirl brownies. 

Friday- Crock pot stew with pork and all of the pretty, pretty root veggies I couldn't resist at the grocery store.

Saturday- Caramelized Fennel and Onion Pizza.  Roasted cauliflower.  Sliced peppers.

Sunday- Going out for dinner.

Monday- Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant & Tomatoes.  I may do chick peas instead of chicken, depending how full the freezer is and whatnot.  Brown Rice.

Tuesday- Cream of potato soup.  Bread.  Grated Carrot Salad (you know, the one from every 1970's church potluck with the raisins in it).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Week Plan Wednesday (or, you know, whenever)

I realized this morning that I completely neglected to do a meal plan yesterday.  And as I missed last week, I knew I had to do one this week or risk a concerned message from one of my loyal readers.  My excuse for last week is that I was at the American Music Therapy Association's National conference.  It was a fantastic weekend of reconnecting with friends in the field, networking, learning, and secretly taking a mini vacation from my charming family.  It was a lot of fun and gave me some great ideas to percolate in my head.

The Baby was awfully confused by my repeated and prolonged absences, resulting in her taking forever to fall asleep every night since the end of the conference.  However, after she finally dozes off, she's putting in a 3-4 hour stretch.  So I guess that's worth it?


Wednesday- Baked potatoes topped with homemade chili and cheese.  Cauliflower, raw at the request of The Munchkin and The SIL.

Thursday- Greek Islands Risotto.  Because The Hubby has a cold, I went with strong flavors: onion, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, smoked paprika, lemon, olives, and feta.  Good, although I used two lemons, and I'd go for just one next time.

Friday- Cream of Broccoli soup.  Bread.

Saturday- Eggplant Parmesan, Pasta with red sauce.

Sunday- Roasted beets, roasted potatoes, fried eggs.

Monday- green beans, veggie fried rice, cilantro and green onion salad.

Tuesday- Youth group night!  Cauliflower gratin (which the students most likely will not eat).  Bread (which they will).  Peas (because The Munchkin loves them so).  Wine (but only after the students leave).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Totally Not Jewish Sukkot

Happy Sukkot!  Which you probably don't celebrate, because even most Jews don't make a big deal out of this Jewish holiday.  However, Sukkot is definitely my favorite holiday, so I'm going to fill you in on it!  As you know, I am totally an expert on things and stuff, so you can totally trust me, despite the fact that I have never actually talked to anyone Jewish about Sukkot.  I did read a lot of websites and probably 5 or 6 books, though. 

First, the pilgrims probably based the first Thanksgiving on the holiday of Sukkot, so that's historically interesting.  A better place to start eh discussion, though, is with Passover.  I know a lot of churches are celebrating Passover these days, and the same way that Passover is analogous to Christ's death, Sukkot is analogous to His birth.  When Paul talks about Christ coming to "dwell" with us, he uses the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for "dwelling," the noun form of which is the word sukkah.  A physical place for dwelling.  Christ came, Paul tells us, to sukkah with us. 

Why do I think you should get in on the Sukkot celebrating thing?  First, you may be well enough aware that Christmas and its various trappings are rooted in paganism, so celebrating a nice traditional Christmas doesn't do much to explain the continuity of God's story over generations of human history.  Now, I'm not suggesting that you get rid of all of the fun of Christmas.  We love our holidays around here, no matter where they grew from.  But if you are interested in the arc of God's story over the course of history, Sukkot helps tell the narrative in a way Christmas doesn't.

Aside from the relevance to everyone interested in Christ as the Messiah, Sukkot is a good time.  Imagine all the good parts of Christmas, without the pressure of gifts or expectations.  Imagine a holiday that lasts a week, so you can celebrate with your mom's side today, your dad's side tomorrow, his parents the next day,  just your kids the day after that, and your friends on the weekend.  Nobody's feelings are hurt!  Also, remember that nobody expects you to be celebrating anyway, so they won't be offended if you skip them.

So how do you get started?  Build a sukkahThen decorate it!  Think of it as your Christmas tree, only you picnic and camp inside of it. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week Plan Wednesday

Wednesday- Eggplant Parmesan.  Rice.  I'm not going to lie, the rice is just because I already had the oven on and I wanted it to go with yesterday's amazing (and amazingly spicy) curry.  The naan got devoured, though.

Thursday- Green beans and mushrooms sauteed with garlic and white wine.  Bread, if I've got enough yeast to manage it.  Would you believe neither of the two grocery stores I went to on Wednesday morning had yeast? 

Friday-  White bean and dark green soup.  Sounds snazzy!  I'll mashup a few Tuscan white bean soup recipes and use 50-50 kale and spinach.  Make ahead corn bread for tomorrow. 

Saturday-  Our annual Sukkot party!  I was going to do turkey, but apparently you can't find them until 2 weeks before Thanksgiving.  SO!  Tequila-Lime roast chicken, pan gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with chili in adobo, jalapeno cornbread stuffing,

Sunday- Leftovers.  In sandwich form.  Yum.

Monday- Stir fry with broccoli.  Rice. 

Tuesday- Youth group night.  Chicken noodle soup.  And, yes, bread.  I never tire of soup and bread.