Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week 1...

My husband has missed most of this week's meals. He has worked four 12 hour shifts since Thursday and doesn't really care what's being made. On Friday, when I made my Bean and Portabella Mushroom Enchiladas (recipe to follow), he politely asked for some cheese sandwiches and microwave popcorn to take to work. Hmm.

So far I like this menu planning. We'll see if I get sick of eating the same thing every week. Every. E-V-E-R-Y. Doesn't that word look weird?? It doesn't seem right. You know how if you focus too long on how a word is spelled and sounds it starts to sound and look funny. Say it with me - every. Every. Every. Every. E-very. "ee" "vary"???? I know I'm off track - THIS IS HOW MY BRAIN WORKS PEOPLE.

Right now, I'm chomping on some leftover meatloaf and potatoes from last night. Yummy.

I stuck to the plan all week and forced myself to cook meals (as planned) even on nights when I did NOT feel like cooking, or cleaning up the kitchen to cook for that matter. The only night I skipped was tonight. Seeing all the leftovers in the fridge made me think better than to add another log to the fire. Maybe I'll have to incorporate a "leftover night" in next month's menu.

Pros and Cons from this week.


  • Cooking this often has forced me to do dishes more often, therefore resulting in (slightly) cleaner kitchen
  • Making a menu and planning ahead has made me think more about what we're eating
  • Planning necessitates organization


  • Cooking this often has forced me to do dishes more often, therefore resulting in (slightly) cleaner kitchen
  • Making a menu and planning ahead has made me think more about what we're eating
  • Planning necessitates organization

Yes, I realize the same thing is on both lists. I did that on purpose. It's supposed to be funny. No, I'm not nuts.

Ok, a real con - Cutting corners by using some processed foods to save time ('cause I got a baby and a toddler, not to mention more kids) has caused an interesting smell to creep into our home. Namely, flatulence. Really yucky, stinky-smelling, everyone-thinks-Dad-did-it-but-he's-at-work, flatulence. We are all laughing right now.

Doing extra dishes does kind of suck, but it's kind of nice too. Another pro is not thinking about "what's for dinner?" I hate doing that and this eliminates that issue.

My last big goal for this week is going to be to make an inventory list of my kitchen that I can print and fill out each week before I go shopping to see what I already have vs. what I need.

Recipe, as promised:

Bean and Portabella Mushroom Enchiladas

1 can refried beans (15 oz.-ish)

1 can enchilada sauce (15 oz.-ish, I like Old El Paso)

6 flour or corn tortillas, 6 inch

1 8 oz bag shredded cheese (we like Kraft "Taco" cheese, it's got seasonings in it, and probably some MSG, but hey, it's good)

2-3 Portabella Mushroom Caps (these I found regular priced for $2.49 for 14 oz. at the big city's grocery store!! the 2-3 were leftover from the strogonoff I made on Wednesday, the original plan was just bean enchiladas)

Oven 350

Slice portabellas to thickness you like. Spread beans, sprinkle cheese, lay mushrooms, and spoon enchilada sauce into the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in 8x8 baking pan. Pour remaining sauce (about 1/2 the can should be left) over enchiladas. Sprinkle insane ample amount of cheese over sauce. Bake for 20 minutes OR cover with plastic/foil/lid and put in freezer (which is what I did) for another night. Take out in the morning to thaw and then put in 350 oven for 25 minutes.

Inhale Eat enchiladas at leisure.

Double recipe for 9x13 pan.

Goes great with my step-mother's authentic Mexican Rice -

1 small white or yellow onion

4 on-the-vine tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato boullion (yes it has MSG, yes it's delicious, no I don't think about it)

2 cups medium grain white rice (I like Goya)

2-3 tablespoons corn oil (must be corn oil, it gives it some of it's flavor)

4 cups VERY HOT water

In a large-ish, high sided, 12 inch (or bigger) frying-type pan (can I be a little more indistinct??) heat oil and uncooked rice over medium high heat, stirring constantly until rice is a beautiful golden brown. DO NOT skip this step. It is boring, but it makes your rice taste awesome. Meanwhile ('cause you've got 4 hands, right?), wash the tomatoes (T-O-M-A-T-O, this one's wrong too, tomato, to-mat-o). Cut into quarters and place in food processor OR blender. Peel and quarter the onion. Put onion and tomato boullion in the food processor OR blender. If using food processor, let 'er rip. If using a blender, add about half of the VERY HOT water and let 'er rip. Turn the heat down on the pan. FP - pour contents into pan at the same time as VERY HOT water. B - pour contents in and add the rest of the VERY HOT water. Turn heat up to high & bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over very low heat for about 1/2 hour, or until all the water is absorbed, stirring once or twice during cooking. It will be hot, hot, hot so let it sit for about 10 minutes with the lid off away from heat before you dig in or you'll scorch your tongue.



Aubrey said...

I just started meal planning but I do it by week since our family schedule is so fluid. I always leave Saturday open for left overs and if there aren't any, then it's spaghetti!

I wish I would have started this sooner; it's keeping me sane!

In A Sea Of Boys said...

Thanks for the Spanish Rice recipe. I know I've asked for it a couple times, but I always forget it. Now I have it and I can substitute brown rice.