Eggstraordinary!

Tiffany at Eat at Home is hosting her Ingredient Spotlight once again. She’s so smart! What a great idea.

Today’s ingredient (as if you couldn’t guess): Eggs!

If you know me at all, you know I love eggs.

I mean – hello! – I’m the girl with a yard full of backyard little egg-laying wonders!

I am so all about how completely incredible and superb fresh eggs are awesome for you! (Did you know that they are the perfect protein delivery when fully cooked? Really! It’s true!)

Well – not only that – they taste amazing, too.

So – I’ll follow Tiffany’s example and give you a few of my favorite egg-centric recipes to peruse:

Aioli – a post about this recipe here.
The Best Egg Salad Ever – a post regarding this recipe here.
Lemon Bar Cookies
The Perfect Omelette Every Time
Tortilla de Patata – a post featuring this recipe here.
Yellow Angel Food Cake – and a post about the recipe here.

Enjoy!

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Squash Pie

As I’ve mentioned before, my great-grandmother – referred to as GG – was a pretty amazing cook and baker. I love it that I’ve found most of her recipes that have been passed down. Today, when I was thumbing through them I stumbled across one I’m pretty sure I’ve never noticed before.

Squash Pie

I actually laughed out loud. I thought, “Is this a joke?”

I mean – who ever heard of Squash Pie?

Right?

Not me.

You’d think they’d have covered that in baking school – for historicity if nothing else!

But nope – this one is totally new for me.

And just because it’s unique.

And old.

And it’s that time of year when folks have squash nearly coming out their ears.

And in my GG’s own hand, I want to share it with you.

Like most of her recipes – there’s no verbosity going on here. What you see is what you get. Do with it what you will!

GG’s Squash Pie

Ingredients
1 Unbaked pie crust
2 cups Squash, cooked, strained
3/4 cups Granulated or brown sugar
2 cups Heavy whipping cream
3 large Eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Mixed spices
  1. Mix the above and fill pie crust.
  2. Bake.

Notes:

This is one of my Great-Grandmother’s recipes.

Seriously – that’s all she wrote!

Obviously – she knew what she used to do and just jotted down some basic info. For the less accustomed to what was the norm of her day – I’m gonna give a whirl at what I think was supposed to be conveyed here.

I would bake off that pie crust. Here’s how:

  • To avoid a soggy, still-raw bottom crust, bake the crust before pouring in the filling.
  • Line the pie crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and enough dry beans, rice or pie weights to come most of the way up the sides.
  • Bake at 450 F until the edges are lightly browned and the walls of the crust have lost their raw look, from 8 to 12 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the crust. 
  • Remove the pie shell from the oven, and carefully remove the paper or foil full of beans. 
  • Prick with fork to avoid air bubbles. 
  • Use an egg wash to create a seal: lightly beat an egg with a tablespoon of cold water or milk, and brush the sides and bottom of the crust with the egg wash.
  • Return the crust to the oven and bake an additional two to three minutes, until the egg wash is dry and golden.

A nice insider tip is that custard-y type pies often turn out a bit better (and less weepy) if the custard is made the night before and allowed to set – covered – in the refrigerator. With a squash flavor at play here, I’m thinking I’d skip that idea!

Using the whip attachment on my mixer, I’d start by mixing that squash until it was a fine puree. Still debating whether or not to peel those squash before cooking or not – but I think I would. It’s the whole color thing… I guess that’s a personal call kinda thing. Next, I’d add the sugar and beat it until the sugar as dissolved. Next, add the eggs, beating until they are well incorporated.

About those spices… I’d throw in some cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe a little allspice. But honestly – you could go wild here, couldn’t you? Add the spices and the salt.

Then, gradually add the heavy whipping cream. The idea here is to let it build some body – incorporating air as you go.

When everything is all together, pour the custard mixture into the pie shell. An option? Try adding a layer of cookie crumbs in the bottom of the pre-baked crust – it adds delicious flavor–and the crumbs can also absorb extra moisture in the finished pie.

Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

You may well need to protect the pie crust edges from becoming too browned with a pie crust shield. (There are some nice silicone ones out on the market now.)

Finishing: There are a few options. You could add some marshmallows to the top in the last half of the baking time. Or top it with some whipping cream – adding a bit of almond extract or vanilla extract to give it some depth of flavor.

What’s Your Plan? Week 8

It’s that time again – time to share what we’ve got planned for our menu for the coming week…

Here’s the plan: Every Saturday (okay, and occasionally it won’t happen until Sunday!), I’m going to publish our menu for the week here – on this blog – as a means of accountability. I’ll try to give links to recipes whenever possible. I’ll share links to resources as I come across them. And if you want to join in – and please do! – leave a comment in the comments section here telling us what YOU are planning for your dinner menus for the week. Maybe if we all join in – we’ll get inspired to try something new and different – or just maybe forgotten for a while!

Life is a little nutty. I’ve got this project going on. You can read about it here. What it means is that there’s lots of running from here, there, to just about everywhere. Lots of amazing people I’ve met – and have the great privilege of partnering with. Honestly – it’s been really cool. But it keeps me busy – and means we need meals that are simple to prepare – and yummy.

Today John and I sat down and strategized out the next couple of weeks – of course, always pending adjustment given life being – well, life. 🙂 So – here’s what we’ve got going!

For the week beginning today, Monday, September 27th through Sunday, October 2, 2010 our plan is….

Monday – Spanish Rice con Carne. This is the recipe that Jonathan’s dad taught me how to make years and years ago. I really need to write it down. It’s easy to do, super yummy, and full of wonderful flavors.

Tuesday – Spaghetti. Which really means John, Jonathan, and I will eat Spaghetti. I’ll break down and crack open a store-bought bottle of alfredo sauce for William to pair up with some cooked chicken that’s in the freezer over whatever noodle he chooses.

Wednesday – Beef & Potato Soup. This is a William request item. It’s pretty much beef stock, beef seasoned with onion, celery, and garlic salt, and diced potatoes. It’s super plain – which is exactly why he loves it so.

Thursday – Chicken Fried Rice. We’re trying out a new recipe. If it’s any good – we’ll let you know! 🙂

FridayPapparadelle Bolognese. This is in my Williams-Sonoma Slow Cooker cookbook that I got when I got my All-Clad slow cooker (which I absolutely adore, by the way). I’ve been wanting to try this for ages. A day with two YarnFest events is a good reason to pull out the slow cooker, don’t you think?

SaturdayDina’s World Famous Lasagna. It’s pretty close to the traditional stuff, but this is what I came up with after hanging out with my friends on the cooking side of the culinary school. I like to make it up in two smaller disposable-type tin foil pans, freezing one before baking for future use.

Sunday – Ham & White Bean Soup with Cornbread. I love this soup. It’s creamy, and warm, and yummy, and good for you. Awesome! And the cornbread – well, it’s a must-have with this soup!

How about you?

What’s Your Plan?

I’d love to know!

Jam Round-Up

::steph chows:: hosted her 2nd Annual Jam Exchange – announcing back in July.

I think I signed up shortly thereafter.

àWhere, pray tell, did the summer go? July? I don’t even remember July now! What? Summer’s over? Wait! Did we have summer? ‘Cause I’m not thinking we did!ß

Okay – sorry – random thoughts going on here and there!

Today is the Round Up – be sure to go over and peek at the amazing exchanges that went on!

Steph was kind enough to match me up with Lori – who lives wwaaaayyyy over on the East Coast. Cool, huh? East Coast girl. West Coast girl. I like that.

Lori, I have this deep suspicion, is a far more with it and organized girl than I. In seemingly no time I received two beautiful jars of amazing jam!

Pear Cranberry on the left and Rhubarb Ginger on the right.

Dang!

The girl’s got some great taste pairings going on there, right?!

We were so excited to open them up and give them a try.

Lori – you rock!

Thanks so much for being so kind as to gift us with these lovely jars of jam! Honestly, I think the family was relieved that it was something kinda fun and different! 🙂

On the very last day possible – in my classic fashion – I sent Lori a jar of Blueberry Jelly and a jar of Marionberry Jam – both of which were made from fruits that we picked and processed on the same day. We had so much fun that day!

Just in case you didn’t know – Marionberries are pretty much an “Oregon thing” and much loved. We had quite a discussion trying to decide which to send Lori – and it finally came down to, “Well, hello! Send something Oregon!” You gotta love teenagers – they are pretty darn smart!

So – really glad to have been a part of the Jam Exchange and to have been fortunate enough to be paired up with Lori. And definitely gonna sign up again next year… I’ve already started pondering what to make up next year to send! 🙂

Thanks Steph!

What’s Your Plan? Week 7

It’s that time again – time to share what we’ve got planned for our menu for the coming week…

Here’s the plan: Every Saturday (okay, and occasionally it won’t happen until Sunday!), I’m going to publish our menu for the week here – on this blog – as a means of accountability. I’ll try to give links to recipes whenever possible. I’ll share links to resources as I come across them. And if you want to join in – and please do! – leave a comment in the comments section here telling us what YOU are planning for your dinner menus for the week. Maybe if we all join in – we’ll get inspired to try something new and different – or just maybe forgotten for a while!

I’m feeling a little – well – frazzled.

I’ve done it again.

Jumped feet first into a HUGE project. It’s something I’m passionate about. It’s something I feel God is calling me to do. And I honestly could devote my time 24/7 to seeing it to completion and not have enough time. It’s gonna take a miracle – and I’m really feeling it right now!

So my menu planning for the week reflects the necessities of trying to use my time wisely!

For the week beginning today, Monday, September 20 through Sunday, September 26, 2010 our plan is….

Monday – Pizza Night. We’ve got a great coupon for pizza – and the boys love pizza – so, pizza night it is!

Tuesday – Beef Stew with Homemade Dinner Rolls. I’ve got to get this recipe written down and posted. I do! Honestly, I’m gonna. But maybe not this week… so much to do… so little time!

Wednesday – Chicken Stir-Fry. The boys adore yakisoba noodles, so these are always served with this meal. Lately, we’re pretty much just buying a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies and seasoning with the various sauces we have on hand. It’s such an easy meal – and comes together quickly.

ThursdayChili con Carne. Detecting a theme here? Quick and easy meals? You seeing that yet? It’s high on the list of priorities in my life right now! LOL!

Friday – Shepherd’s Pie. This is another recipe that I’m supposed to write down and post. Yeah – not happening this week!

Saturday – Burgers on the Grill. The forecast says sunny and upper 70’s. We’d better grill while we can!

Sunday – Roasted Chicken. To be honest, this is not on the boys’ list of favorites. They tolerate it. But the inside scoop is that I really need to make chicken stock, so roasted chicken is on the menu!

My big insider tip for this week is that it always pays to subscribe to your favorite grocery store or restaurant’s email notifications. More and more of them have blogs, too – oftentimes giving you a discount or buy one get one offer for subscribing.

When I subscribe to things like this I make sure to set up a rule in Outlook to direct said email notifications to the appropriate folder – i.e., I have a Restaurant folder and a Shopping folder and a folder for the RSS feed updates for New Season’s, etc. This way I get heads’ up warning if a fabulous sale is heading my way.

How about you?

And of course…

What’s Your Plan?

I’d love to know!

What we think we know…

This post is part of the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, hosted by the beautiful, talented, incredibly intelligent, and all-around fabulous Diana!

There’s a really interesting – sad, sort of telling, but really – bottom line – very pathetic – conversation happening over on our PDX Backyard Chickens Yahoo Group.

A member of our group (and one of my own fabulous neighbors!) gifted a loved-one with fresh – just laid, probably not been out of the chicken more than hours fresh – eggs from her backyard flock of chickens.

The loved one – suspicious of the thick shell and brightly colored yolks – threw said gifted eggs in the trash – sure that they were not as safe as the factory farmed eggs she was accustomed to purchasing for a song at the local grocery store. Yeah – you know – those eggs. Eggs like those half a BILLION that were recalled of late due to a very real risk of salmonella poisoning.

How have we – as a society – strayed so far from real food?

From knowing what a real egg from an actual healthy chicken looks, feels, and tastes like?

How can it be that a local teacher has informed her students that backyard chickens are at higher risk for salmonella – which she, I’m assuming emphasized for dramatic effect for her high school aged students, would quite potentially kill the consumers thereof.

UGH!

It makes me mad.

But maybe more than that – it makes me sad.

Remember this?

Do you see the reference to the date there? 1918.

My Grammy was 6 years old then.

For her – growing up in town in Booneville, Arkansas – it was normal, matter-of-fact, routine that they would have a flock of backyard chickens. Some for meat. Some for eggs. In fact, she told a hilarious story about how one day she was left in charge – as a teenager – to prepare a meal for her Father and Grandfather (both of whom worked on the railroad) and would be home for their noonday meal – expecting a roasted chicken dinner. Both men came home to a squawking – beakless – young roo voicing his outrage around their yard – and a vegetarian meal! She’d tried – she’d seen her Mom harvest a chicken several times a week her entire life – but her aim was not what her Mother’s was! (Her Papa came to the rescue, and roasted chicken was on the menu for the evening meal that evening!) She said when word of it got out pretty much everyone in town had a good laugh – with her, of course, but at her too – because – hello!? – who doesn’t know how to take a chicken from the backyard and get it to the table?!

Um – nowadays – pretty much everyone.

Not only can we not harvest a chicken that has been healthfully raised (as opposed to what is the norm – warning this video is graphic).

I’m always amazed when I take Americans to Spain and give them a tour through the Central Market – sort of like an indoor farmer’s market for those who have never been fortunate enough to experience this.

Sights like this:

and this…

are the norm.

Americans are shocked to see animals being butchered – in plain sight – and more times than not – really don’t know how to handle it.

I’ve had grown adults break out in tears – because they’d never put two and two together that the cute picture of the little farm animal in the advertisement had anything to do with the item that ended up on their plate.

How have we gotten to this point?

What can we do to change it?

I – for one – want to make sure my children know and understand that their food comes at a price – and not just financial.

I want them to respect the process that goes into raising healthy food – be it animal or vegetable.

And I’ll continue on – committed to healthy, local, organic, sustainably grown REAL food.

…and pasturing the girls, and keeping them happy, healthy, and hilarious!

Fresh Apple Cake

I’m pulling this post – with a great and easy to throw together recipe in it – out from the dusty archives – and reposting. Tiffany over at Eat at Home is hosting an apple-themed blog hop and I thought this post would fit right in!

Of course – great cause for rejoicing in that when this post was written I was about hip deep in my year of illness and trying to get well by all sorts of methods – now – I’m well. Still recovering – my stamina and energy in general – but no more leaks, no more infection, no more NPO, no more TPN, no more IV antibiotics, no more hospitalizations, no more surgeries.

🙂

It’s good to go back and reflect on the blessings you’ve been the recipient of, huh?!

So here’s the Fresh Apple Cake recipe – enjoy!

—————————

It’s been particularly interesting – this whole food thing – during this season of my life when I’m allowed to eat or drink NOTHING. The fact of the matter is this: I love food. I also love drinking – my big addiction? Tea. I drink – normally, anyway – a boatload of tea daily. Mostly green tea – it’s a wonder Starbucks and Tazo haven’t folded during this six week NPO venture of mine!

At first it was pretty difficult for me to even be near the end of the house where cooking and eating was going on. But now that I’m four and a half weeks into my NPO experience, I’ve found some – well, I guess it’s relief – in getting into the kitchen and preparing things for my family.

A couple of weeks ago was when I got my feet wet with this. We had a family birthday party at our house, and being that we’re flat broke it was determined that we would make desserts for the event. Not like I can’t do that – I do have a degree as a professional baker, after all! It’s just that I don’t bake all that much anymore. I really do enjoy it when I finally break down and do it – but honestly, I love cooking – hands down – exponentially more.

One of the desserts that we prepared for that family birthday party is one that my Mom made for years and years. She would only make it when the new crop of apples came in – so it was always a fall treat. I think as a kid I thought it must be really hard to make since she only made it on rare occasion – but the truth of the matter is that it’s a total breeze to throw together – and the result is so wonderful, it’s a little bit criminal to restrict making it to just one season!

So let’s get baking!

Here’s what you’ll need: apples (these are from my uncle’s hunting partner, whose family owns a farm in Hood River – we are the fortunate recipient of apples, pears, plums – all sorts of wonderful fruit from their farm!), I’m using pecans this time cause it’s what I have on hand, sugar, eggs, oil, baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon. That’s about it.

You need 4 cups of diced apples. Being the lazy girl that I am, I pulled out my handy dandy apple corer/peeler and went at it. I love this thing – it’s a total breeze to process apples in no time at all.

Dice the apples and put them in a medium sized bowl.

Now, dump the sugar on top – yep – all 2 cups worth.

And then mix it in thoroughly – you want every last little bit of apple coated. It’ll look something like this:

Okay – so set those apples aside. The next part I do in my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup.

I should just interject here that I’m a really lazy baker. I almost always use my stand mixer for everything. I’m just not into doing a whole lot without it. But this recipe is so easy; it’s a waste of effort to pull out the stand mixer.

Okay, crack the two large eggs into the 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup, using a fork beat them well – you want them pretty well blended. And yes, this is the same measuring cup that I measured my apples into – so you do see some apple residue on the side of the measuring cup. But who cares, right?!

Now I rough chop the pecans – I don’t want any huge chunks in there, this is pretty much what they’ll look like:

Add them to the egg and mix thoroughly. (Aren’t those eggs beautiful? The color on them is just gorgeous – our girls are such great layers – it’s just so fun to cook and bake with their eggs, because stuff is just so much better with them!)

Now add the 1/2 cup of oil and vanilla. By the way, I prefer the Safflower oil – it’s got a really neutral taste, and is so much better for you! Now blend everything together thoroughly.

Okay – now that you’ve got that all together, you’re gonna dump this on top of the apples. And, of course, you’ll want to mix it completely.

Here’s what it’ll look like when it’s all mixed in.

Okay – so just set the apple mixture aside.

Now it’s time to sift together the dry ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons each of baking soda and cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of salt. When I have to sift salt I opt for sea salt as opposed to Kosher – the Kosher won’t fit through the sifter. I always sift using a strainer and over one of my flexible cutting boards. They’re great for this sort of thing!

Once you have everything sifted together, transfer the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Now add the apple mixture to the dry ingredients.

Mix thoroughly – but don’t overdo it. Everything will be moistened and incorporated, but you don’t need to beat it or anything. Takes maybe a minute to get it to just perfect.

I’ve decided today to bake these as muffins and mini loaves. I’m putting together a thank you package for C., my very generous nurse who gifted me with access to genealogy research a couple of weeks ago. She’s coming today to change my PICC line dressing, draw labs, and do a check-up. I figured I owe her big time! J

Note where my very favorite muffin pans came from! Yep! Sur La Table! I’m totally serious when I say they are the BEST pans I’ve got – anything that comes from Sur La Table.

Of course, grease and flour your pans. I cheat and buy Baker’s Joy spray. Love that stuff!

Here they are all portioned out:

And…

Baking at 350° F – for these, it takes about 25 minutes to get them baked through. If you bake the batter in a 9″x13″ glass dish, it’s going to take closer to an hour. Watch it that last ten minutes, though – because of all of the sugars it can go from done to slightly burnt pretty quickly.

I turn them upside down when they’re cooling. They’re so tender and moist; the top is actually the safest place to have against the rack.

You can serve them as is. Sometimes I sprinkle them with a little powdered sugar. But honestly, they’re great just plain.

Enjoy!

Fresh Apple Cake

Ingredients

4 cups

Apples, diced

2 cups

Granulated sugar

1/2 cup

Safflower or sunflower oil

1 cup

Nuts, your preference

2

Eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons

Vanilla extract

2 cups

All-purpose flour

2 teaspoons

Baking soda

2 teaspoons

Cinnamon

1 teaspoon

salt

Preheat oven to 350° F.

  1. Combine apples and sugar, set aside.
  2. Mix together oil, eggs, nuts, and vanilla. Add to apple mixture.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to the other ingredients, mixing thoroughly, but not over mixing.
  4. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13″ pan. Bake for about 1 hour – until a cake tester comes out clean from the center. Allow to cool before serving.

Notes:

This always turns out better when baked in a glass baking dish. If you bake it in anything else be prepared for it to turn out VERY dark. It’s just the sugar caramelizing, of course, but if you use glass – not so dark!

You can use pretty much any kind or mixture of different kinds of apples to vary the taste and texture of this cake. They’re all delicious! It has one character with walnuts added, another entirely with slivered almonds, and yet another with pecans. There’s lots of room for experimentation here!

What’s Your Plan? Week 6

It’s that time again – time to share what we’ve got planned for our menu for the coming week…

Here’s the plan: Every Saturday (okay, and occasionally it won’t happen until Sunday!), I’m going to publish our menu for the week here – on this blog – as a means of accountability. I’ll try to give links to recipes whenever possible. I’ll share links to resources as I come across them. And if you want to join in – and please do! – leave a comment in the comments section here telling us what YOU are planning for your dinner menus for the week. Maybe if we all join in – we’ll get inspired to try something new and different – or just maybe forgotten for a while!

Okay – so it was a way better week than the one previous. BUT – still complex. Lots of doctor’s appointments. Lots of dealing with kids in pain. Lots of having to adjust life to accommodate special needs. And I worked Tuesday through Saturday – and well – I’m bushed.

I don’t know that this week will be any easier. There are still lots of doctor’s appointments. There are still lots of things to juggle. But – from the looks of things at the moment – I likely won’t have hours to work this week. While we’ll miss the income – frankly – I need the breather! Technically – I’m still recovering from all of the nuttiness of earlier this year.

So… here we go. Late again. Sorry.

For the week beginning today, Monday, September 13 through Sunday, Month 19, 2010 our plan is….

Monday – French Dip Sandwiches with Au Jus. The guys love this meal. It’s a total breeze to throw together, and makes for an easy evening both prep and clean-up wise.

Tuesday – Fresh True Cod with Shells and White Cheddar. Yep. Again. Yep, we liked it that much. Plus, the cod is on sale at New Seasons through Tuesday. Hard to pass up!

Wednesday – Tacos! The boys’ favorite. And probably the first time Jonathan will be able to eat something this “crunchy” since his “incident.” Here’s hoping it goes well.

ThursdaySkillet Lasagna. It got bumped last week – one doctor’s appointment too many! So – this is take two on this one.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday – John and I will be away Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. This happens very infrequently, and well – we’re ready! The boys will likely get as much pizza, nachos, and quesadillas in as is conceivable. ::shudder:: They’re thankful that when we’re away they get razzed much less about eating vegetables!

My big insider tip for this week is it’s okay to repeat a meal if you like it that well. Kinda like how John and I are pretty much gonna be eating squash every night as long as the squash holds out. Just like the True Cod that’s on sale at New Season’s. When it’s that good – and fresh and wonderful – well, there’s no rule written in stone that you can’t do a repeat.

How about you? Got any insider tips? Or a meal that you like enough to eat weekly?

And of course…

What’s Your Plan?

I’d love to know!

What’s Your Plan? Week 5

It’s that time again – time to share what we’ve got planned for our menu for the coming week…

Here’s the plan: Every Saturday (okay, and chances are it won’t happen until Sunday!), I’m going to publish our menu for the week here – on this blog – as a means of accountability. I’ll try to give links to recipes whenever possible. I’ll share links to resources as I come across them. And if you want to join in – and please do! – leave a comment in the comments section here telling us what YOU are planning for your dinner menus for the week. If you think we should make it a blog hop – hey, say the word! Maybe if we all join in – we’ll get inspired to try something new and different – or just maybe forgotten for a while!

But – I just gotta say… Do you ever just have one of those weeks? You know, the kind where you come to the conclusion of the week, look back and think… “Really?! Seriously?!” Yeah, we had one of those weeks. I worked more than I have in a while. William had pre-ops at Shriner’s on Wednesday, then surgery on Thursday. Then Thursday evening Jonathan was assaulted by an adult bystander at a basketball game (who mistakenly thought Jonathan had punched his family member) – knocking him unconscious, breaking several facial/sinus bones, sending us to the ER with him twice through the night, and leaving the poor kid in utter misery. Yeah. One of those kinds of weeks. So – yes, we had a dinner menu planned for the week last week. And for the most part, we followed it. But there are those instances when you just gotta adjust when life gets a little unruly. You know?

Okay – back to the topic at hand… For the week beginning today, Monday, September 6 through Sunday, September 12, 2010 our plan is…. (Yes, it’s true – we’ve adjusted a bit. We decided we just do better when we play Monday through Sunday – shopping and mental energy wise!)

MondayAbondigas Soup. Jonathan has been asking for this, and we think we’ve finally found a recipe that will come closest to what he’s wanting. Being that his jaw is so out of whack from the events of the week, soup is high on the list of things that go down well for him. Poor kid.

TuesdaySkillet Lasagna. It’s quick, it’s easy, and quite possibly – better than the bigger production version of the same. What’s not to love? Plus – soft food – another bonus! It’s also the first day of school, so a good way to start the school year off!

Wednesday – DIY night. John & I have a meeting to go to. We’ll probably end up fixing something low key for the boys – who are still in that semi-hibernation mode of recovery.

Thursday – Chicken Parmigiana. This is kinda a “cheater” meal – in that it’s super easy, yummy, and popular with the kids. Simply: breaded chicken tenders cooked until just done, cover with a layer of shredded mozzarella, put back in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes, tops. While all of this is going on, we typically pull extra spaghetti sauce out of the freezer, defrost, and heat. Cook angel hair spaghetti noodles, and it all comes together at about the same time. We serve it with the angel hair mixed in with the spaghetti sauce and the chicken on the side. Voila. Simple meal.

Friday – Baked Fish and Shells with White Cheddar. This is a fave all around. The fish is so quick and easy to prepare (and yummy, too!). And the S&WC provides a lovely white sauce to accompany the fish. What could be better?

SaturdayJohn’s Amazing Enchiladas. I love having a husband who is easily as good or better a cook than I am. Especially when that means he makes enchiladas. ‘Cause they’re amazing. Seriously amazing.

Sunday – Beef Stew with Homemade Dinner Rolls. This is my Mom’s Beef Stew recipe – that has never been written down, and darn it – I’m gonna do it! I’ll have to make it first and take notes as I do, though. I promise to post it when I’m done.

My big insider tip for this week is simply: be prepared to adjust if life throws you a curve ball. Whether that means putting enough egg money aside to order pizza one night, or have something ready to pull out of the freezer to reheat as a back-up plan, or even to preparing an extra “something” to have available for snacks and alternatives in the fridge each week. Whatever it is – sometimes – even though planning is commendable and a good thing to do – just being willing to take a moment to adjust – rather than ditch the whole plan altogehter – is a good thing.

How about you? Any contingency plans at your house?

And of course…

What’s Your Plan?

I’d love to know!