Where to start?

As predicted, our lives have been totally disjointed for the last two weeks and The Sticky Menu Plan has gotten quite a workout.  For the most part, but not always, I’ve been able to stay on track. Having kept up with my calendar and noting our obligations and appointments in advance has been a big part of making the plan work, but my menu’s built in flexability has been a major factor in it’s success.  We ate a lot of home cooked “freezer food” the last two weeks, a few leftovers, and a couple of nights we just threw in the towel and went out for Mexican comfort food.  Those little stickies just flew all over the place!
Before all the craziness started we enjoyed the company of Emily, Kaij,and Kelton for dinner. The Sunday Pork Roast went over well, with very little leftover which makes me happy.
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There was just enough pork left to make a dinner of Pork Fried Rice for Michael and I later in the week.  That was a quick and easy meal.  I always keep the refrigerator produce drawer well stocked, so the only thing missing was the pre-cooked and cold brown rice. I took care of that before we set out for the day.  All that was left when we got home was a little chopping and stirring.
The next night I prepared another quick and healthy meatless meal. (Partly because I felt guilty about our previous Mexican meals out, but mostly because it fit the bill.)  More veggies and some store-bought tortellini became Tortellini Primavera in no time.
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Often I literally “dream up” a recipe.  I find myself mulling an idea over in my sleep and wake up with a plan. That happened last week with my Bay Scallop Salad.  Michael had requested one of his favorites, Bay Scallop Po’Boys, which I also enjoy, but only on occasion.  Thinking about that dish must have prompted me to dream up an alternative compromise.  We had both.
We generally eat a light breakfast during the week and save the full cooked meal for a weekend splurge. One Saturday morning dish we enjoy is a Sausage and Potato Breakfast Bowl. It doesn’t look like much, but looks aren’t everything. This is delicious, filling, and is so easy to freeze ahead in batches. Breakfast is served in minutes whenever you’re ready to eat.
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Something I do keep on hand for weekday breakfasts is a variety of muffins, frozen of course. We just wrap one in a paper towel and pop it in the microwave. Sometimes we add a smear of cream cheese or even peanut butter. Banana Oat Muffins are some of my best. Low cal(167 calories), low fat(2g), and high in fiber(3g), these are a good start.  Without the optional nuts each muffin provides about 5g of protein.  I usually have some Greek yogurt on the side.
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In the fall, Saturday is Alabama football day, and with it comes “football food”. We often have something sweet for Michael and something savory we both enjoy. This week I baked up a batch of Peanut Butter Cookies, but tried something new.  I added dark chocolate morsels to half the batter and kept the other half plain.  Michael was a bit skeptical, but those with the added chocolate didn’t hang around long.  At half time we balanced out those sweets with a plate of Roasted Eggplant and Garbanzo Spread, a vegged up cousin to Hummus.  I like to garnish the dip with a sprinkle of feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, then serve it with whole wheat pita wedges.  Who knew football food could be good for you?  After the game Michael enjoyed his game day pizza and I finished off the fried rice instead of my usual Reuben Sandwich.  I guess I saved a few calories and fat grams that time.  ROLL TIDE!
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Along with football, fall brings Baked Ham to the menu. When there are only two of you, it’s hard to consume the whole thing before it goes to waste. Kaij and Kelton were happy to come help us out with that, but there was still a lot left. Tuesday was my only non-commited day for the week.  I had a ham marathon that took me all day. We had Savory Scalloped Potatoes and Ham that night, and since scalloped potatoes don’t freeze well, the leftovers came in handy on one of the busy days later in the week. Into the freezer went two meals of Ham and Noodle Casserole and two more of Spring Time Manicotti. I know, it’s not Spring. The name comes from the fact that these manicotti feature asparagus, which used to be available only in the spring. Finally, the bone was simmered with some of the vegetable trimmings I always save to produce broth and ham pieces for a future pot of my Brunswick Stew as well as Southern Style Pinto Beans for next week.  Waste not, want not.
Gosh, until I looked back on it writing this post, I didn’t realize we had eaten as well as we did.
Be thankful for what life gives you.

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