Time’s A’Waisting!

There’s less than a week left before Christmas Day, and still so much  to do. While I’ve gotten a good start on most everything, my to-do list is still far too long. It’s times like this that I rely on my Sticky Menu Plan. I find comfort in knowing what’s on the menu for dinner each night, that the groceries are on hand, and most of all, that if something pops up to change my plans all I have to do is shift my stickies around. I’ve planned to keep it simple this week. Leftovers, soups, and freezer foods are high on the list.
Last week was a different story, though. With the exception of Wednesday, when we met my sister and her husband for a late lunch, I did some power cooking every night.
Our dogs, Bella and Lizzie, are more than a little spoiled. Because Bella has food allergies and is on a limited diet, I make their treats myself. Whenever pork loins go on sale I purchase one to dehydrate small slices for them. Fortunately, the dogs don’t mind sharing, so a portion of the pork loin I bought last weekend became our Sunday dinner. Two nice thick chops were coated in Rib Rub and refrigerated early in the day. I intended to have Michael grill them outside, but the afternoon weather made that a bad idea. Grilling them stove-top worked just fine, although they were missing that smokey flavor.
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Monday’s Szechwan Shrimp was originally planned for the previous Friday, but we changed our minds at the last minute and that sticky slid down the calendar. Since the shrimp were frozen there wasn’t any food safety issue in that. Unfortunately, Michael didn’t really care for the recipe. He’s funny about shrimp dishes. He either loves them or hates them, with little room in between. This one fell on the wrong side of the fence. I guess I’d best not make it again!
Tuesday’s dinner, Chicken Paprika, was much more warmly received. The recipe is designed to serve four, but rather than cut the whole recipe in half I just reduced the amount of chicken. We love our sauces! (Probably shouldn’t, but oh well!) I did serve whole wheat pasta so all that sauce had something to cling to. The whole wheat made the sauce healthy, right?
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Thursday’s dinner was a new recipe, Beefy Mexican Lasagna. I wrote the recipe using a whole can of refried beans, but I think half that amount would be plenty. The problem is, I hate waste. What would you do with that other half can of beans? I guess you could offer them on the side, but that would be too much as well. I did prepare my staple Mexican side, Salsa Rice and some Guacamole salad rounded the meal out nicely.
Friday’s offering was a big pot of Alabama Coast Gumbo. I’m particularly proud of this recipe. If I may pat myself on the back, I think it’s as good as any and better than most gumbos. The recipe does take some time to prepare, but the ingredients are readily available, it makes a large quantity, and freezes well. I plop a big scoop of rice into the center of a steaming bowl, then sit back and imagine myself dining on the deck, enjoying the waves.
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Enough daydreaming. Santa will be upset if he doesn’t get his cookies, and those gifts aren’t going to wrap themselves.
Be thankful for what life gives you.

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