I love my cullinary life!

Ok, it’s not perfect, nobody’s is, but all in all my life is great. Here’s why…
I’ve always thought that my idea of being truly rich would be having the ability to go to the grocery store and buy whatever I’d like (within reason). I can do that! I don’t have to ration my purchases. If I dream up a recipe, (even in my sleep, which I very often do), I can allow myself the luxury of buying whatever ingredients are needed to create that recipe. That doesn’t mean I’m not frugal. I hate waste. I even save the vegetable trimmings to add to my homemade broths, but if I see an item on sale that inspires an idea you can bet it’s going to fall into my cart! This week’s item of inspiration was lobster tails, but more on that later.
I try not to cook much on Saturdays, but this past week I had an idea I wanted to try with the leftover corned beef from St. Patricks Day. My Corned Beef Cabbage Rolls were the result. Both Michael and I enjoy the occasional Slow Cooker Corned Beef Dinner, but the leftovers can be boring. These cabbage rolls were a nice change. The only thing that’s difficult is the pre-planning. I had to pull the first large leaves off the head of cabbage and save them for this dish before the rest went into the slow cooker. Ah well, that’s what a menu plan is for.
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Sunday’s dinner was a delight! I rarely see New York Strips of beef in roast form, usually just cut into steaks, but these roasts were one of the featured items at the grocery this week and I took full advantage of that. My recipe for Slow-Roasted Beef Eye of Round worked well for this roast. I had the butcher custom cut a roast that weighed just over two pounds and that was perfect for two meals. Some of the weight is lost in cooking and some is trimmed off. I used those trimmings to make Au Jus, which I served along side the roast as well as a dipping sauce for my Redneck Cheesesteak Subs on Wednesday night.  Gosh were those subs messy, but worth every drippy bite!
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I’ve jumped ahead of myself a bit here… Along with the roast on Sunday I tried a new recipe for Parmesan Baked Potatoes. I wasn’t thrilled. I didn’t think that just halving the potatoes exposed enough of the flesh to the Parmesan cheese and butter. The cheese formed a tough crust, too. I think I’ll try to modify that recipe by cubing the potatoes and tossing them in the Parm/butter mixture a few times as they roast.
I’ve been surfing around on WordPress.com lately, looking at other food blogs. One blog that I’ve taken an interest in comes from a girl in Scotland, weebluemixer. She had been looking at my recipes here and reminded me of the one for Chiles Rellenos Casserole, which I haven’t baked in a while. Thanks to her prompting my memory, that was made for this Meatless Monday’s dinner. Half of the recipe was just a little too much for the two of us, but it sure was good. I sometimes forget certain recipes and need to look back through my collections more often.
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Another recipe that had fallen by the menu planning wayside was Tuesday night’s fare, good old Spaghetti and Meatballs in Homemade Marinara Sauce. I nearly always keep a stash of meatballs in the freezer. They are so versatile. I freeze them on trays and then divide and package them into meal sized batches. Homemade Marinara comes from the freezer, too. I went into a panic when I realized I was using my last batch of that this week. It’s going to be a long time before the garden is producing this summer’s tomato crop. I guess I’ll have to resort to using canned tomatoes, and it’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that!  Good Friday is supposed to be planting day.  Four tomato plants went in; two San Marzano’s for cooking and two Big Beef for slicing.  I sure hope I get a better yield than last year.
Thursday night’s dinner was another drippy delicious mess. The chicken on our Chicken and Bacon Hoagies kept trying to slide off the buns. I guess with the tomatoes on the bottom and sauteed spinach on top that poor chicken cutlet just couldn’t keep any traction. Maybe I should try stacking the ingredients in a different order.
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I have a new to me (healthy, but don’t tell) recipe catagory to explore. It’s Chia Seed Puddings. My first attempt was Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding and it turned out well, kind of like tapioca. I became interrested in chia pudding because of weebluemixer’s posts and am playing with recipes for that now. More later.
OK, Fishy Friday didn’t happen, either. I don’t know if Michael is afraid of my second attempt at Lobster Mac and Cheese or if he just needed a Mexican food fix, but that’s what we did. Rosie’s Mexican Cantina. Twist my arm.
Sunday will be Easter, and that calls for a big dinner!  Ham based in our house. Here’s the menu plan, but check back to see what really happens.

Basic Deviled Eggs (Emily)
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Baked Ham
UnPotato Salad
Roasted Asparagus
Freezer Corn
Strawberry Cupcakes

Seems to be a little heavy on the strawberry side.  Oh well!
Got ham?  Next week I’ll explore how to make the most of it…all the way down to the last little bits.
Be thankful for what life gives you.



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