This week was a carnival ride!

Alternate title: Keep me away from the marked down produce bin!
Where to start? The carnival ride… I’ll explain the produce later.
I think Sunday was the only day I actually cooked what I had planned. Our favorite center cut bone in pork chops went on sale. Always looking to find a new way to cook pork, I came up with a recipe for Brined and Braised Pork Chops, a recipe I think would also work with chicken. I haven’t tested the chicken yet, but the pork was fabulous! Sometimes pork chops turn out dry, but not these. They were very moist and tender with an excellent pork flavor.  As a bonus, they were very easy to prepare.
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The best quality bone in chicken breasts also went on sale, and since my freezer inventory was low, I couldn’t pass those up, either. I’ve been on a Fresh Ricotta Cheese roll and planned to make calzones on Monday, but poaching chicken breasts just jumped in. I divided the chicken up for two of next week’s dinners and turned what was left into Chicken Salad Salads for Monday’s not so meatless meal. The waiting calzone filling went into the freezer for next Monday. I’ll try again.
I had been waiting for chuck roast to go on sale and, along with the pork chops and chicken, it did. Why do all the good sales happen all at once? I’m sure the grocery stores have some devious reason! Oh well, I’m very fortunate to be able to take advantage of several sales in the same week, so my long awaited Eight Hour Pot Roast and Vegetables went into the slow cooker on schedule Tuesday.  That does make two meals that were cooked on schedule.
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Best Beef Burgers were a good choice for Wednesday night. Why have a fast food mystery burger when these are in your freezer?
The left over pot roast was supposed to turn into pot pies for Thursday night. No way! My grocery cart had been so loaded up with all that sale priced  pork, chicken, and chuck roast that I didn’t notice a carton of chicken livers snuck in. Michael hasn’t been having a lot of fun lately, and chicken livers are a treat for him. I guess it was time to fix those livers.
Just as Monday wasn’t Meatless, Friday wasn’t Fishy. More of that fresh ricotta made an excellent base for Super Spinach Lasagna. Usually this is a meatless meal, but a little Italian sausage adds an extra depth of flavor. Does almost meatless count?
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In Alabama, fall means football, so Saturdays are devoted to what I call “football food”. Michael has his personal pizza guy at Star Market. Ben always has Michael’s take and bake pizza ready for him before the game, no order need be placed. Half time calls for a snack. This week I made Jen’s Zucchini Appetizers in mini muffin tins. That takes me back around to why I should never be allowed near the marked down produce bin.
This week I hit the jack pot! Five pounds each of yellow squash and zucchini, a few red bell peppers, and some apples, all for $.99 a bag. There wasn’t a thing wrong with any of this produce, just a few blemishes, but not one bit that was unuseable. The only problem with getting a great deal on all of this stuff is…Once you get it home you have to do something with it. Ok, here we go.
The red bell peppers were easy. I buy those for our nightly House Salad anyway. The yellow squash was easy, too. Stewed Summer Squash is one of Michael’s favorite veggies, it’s easy to cook and freezes well.
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A recipe for Blueberry Zucchini Bread was converted to Apple Zucchini Bread. That took care of most of the apples. We’ll eat the rest. As for the remaining zucchini,  after the appetizers and bread, there was only enough to make one shredded cup. Into the freezer that went. Yes, I got a real bargain on all that produce, but making use of it all kept me a little busier than I wanted to be.
So will I stay away from the marked down produce bin? Not a chance!
Be thankful for what life gives you.


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