Is this a trick or a treat?

As I write this, it is 5 PM and the thermometer on the back porch registers 91 degrees! That’s in the shade, too. Personally, I’m a warm weather girl and I’m not complaining, not even a bit, but this weather is kind of messing with my menu rotation. Beef stew at ninety degrees is something of a disconnect, but that’s what we are going to have. It’s in the oven heating up the kitchen now.
This past Sunday’s pork roast was some kind of failure. I rubbed down a couple of pork tenderloins according to the recipe, but when I retrieved them at dinnertime the pork had turned a very unappetizing shade of “don’t cook me”. Although the package was within date and the pork didn’t have an off odor when I opened it, I chose to heed the warning, and the tenderloins went into the trash. Fortunately, pork chops cook quickly, even from the frozen state! Mashed potatoes are the mandatory side, just waiting for a green veggie to fill out the plate.
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Vegan Red Beans and Rice are a staple for Meatless Monday. The recipe makes quite a bit, and since there are only two of us for dinner, I almost always freeze some. When I have no better plan, red beans and rice fills the Meatless Monday menu.
New York strip steaks were on sale this week and they are the cut of choice for my Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry. Just one steak is perfect for two servings. Broccoli crowns were on sale as well, so Tuesday’s dinner was a welcomed economy.  Besides being easy on the wallet, beef and broccoli is easy on the waist line , too, and I just love it.  Come to think of it, with all that going for it, why don’t I make that homemade version of Chinese take out more often?
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Wednesday it was back to chicken. (Cluck, cluck!)  This time Chicken Rosa Maria. I didn’t realize it until I started looking at the photos, but that recipe is very similar to the Spinach and Mushroom Smothered Chicken I fixed not long ago. Gosh, I’m in a rut and didn’t even realize it!  Well, that doesn’t really matter because we enjoyed our dinner and that’s what counts.
It’s probably a good thing that Wednesday’s chicken was relatively healthy, because Thursday we tipped the scale the other way for sure! We went to Kelton’s last fall baseball game and that required a quick and early dinner of our own fast food. Chili Dogs were the simple solution.  We like to dress our dogs up with a little chopped onion and grated cheese, followed by a breath mint chaser.
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I’m still missing the beach, and Friday’s supper just couldn’t compete with our dinners there. Artichoke, Shrimp, and Mushroom Casserole doesn’t even pretend to be beach food, so it was perfect for this week. Not every store carries the frozen artichoke hearts that are essential for this recipe. I wouldn’t want to try to start with whole artichokes, so if you want to try this recipe be sure to look for the frozen artichokes first.  This recipe calls for a quarter cup of dry sherry and Michael though that flavor was too pronounced.  I must say I agree, although I don’t recall having gotten the same impression the last time I prepared this recipe.  Next time I may reduce the amount of sherry or just use my regular white wine instead.  We’ll see.  That’s the thing about recipes…they’re just a guide line. Cook the way you like and make each recipe your own.
Be thankful for what life gives you.

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