It’s been one heck of a week!

Michael’s mother’s “two or three day” stay in the hospital stretched into a full week. Needless to say, my menu plan went to pot.  We managed to avoid eating out anyway, just by switching things around a bit.
I had planned to serve the Forth of July’s leftover Smoked Ribs on Sunday. That didn’t happen.  We didn’t have time to celebrate the holiday, let alone smoke the ribs.  Instead, Pulled Pork Barbecue came from the freezer, as did  sides to go with the sandwiches.
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Our homegrown Big Beef tomatoes were wonderful on some quick bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for a late night meal on Monday. Nothing beats a true summer tomato fresh from the garden. The tomatoes are coming ripe now, and you have to deal with them pretty much as soon as that happens. I spent most of my hospital break on Monday and again Tuesday morning cooking down a couple batches of Pizza Sauce. It’s a simple recipe to prepare, and a good volume of tomatoes are reduced to a smaller quantity, waiting to provide fresh flavor to a fall football pizza. It’s nothing like the junk that comes in a jar.
Tuesday we were supposed to have Chicken Stuffed Shells, but again time ran short. I doctored up a package of meat sauce by adding fresh mushrooms and zucchini instead, and served it over spaghetti.
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Wednesday night’s dinner was very, very late. In fact, we were almost too tired to eat. Krystal Style Sliders were about the best we could manage.
By Thursday things started to return to normal, but I still relied on my freezer to fix those Spinach and Chicken Stuffed Shells that we were supposed to have Tuesday. I used the filling for Chicken and Spinach Manicotti with Two Sauces, but saved time by boiling jumbo pasta shells instead of rolling manicotti. I also saved time by eliminating the two sauces. Instead, I added some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to Cooking Light’s Brown Rice Cream for an Alfredo style topping sauce. It made a fast, satisfying, and healthy dinner.
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Along with the shells, we had a House Salad for the first time in a week.  That salad had been sorely missed!
Michael picked the first of the blueberries this week. The first picking was only about a cup, but I used those, along with strawberries and angel food cake, to make fresh fruit parfaits. The parfaits were layered with Vanilla Cornstarch Pudding. That pudding recipe is the quickest and simplest light dessert recipe I have. It pairs beautifully with fresh fruit or your favorite chocolate sauce.
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That about does it for the week, although I may make another Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Bake for the weekend. Since there are only two of us it will provide breakfast well into the week.
Be thankful for what life gives you.

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