Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mike's Macaroni Salad

This recipe is a family favorite, and a holiday or large party standard. It is a recipe that originated from a TV show on the Food Network, though I don't remember which one.

My DH immediately started playing with the recipe and it is pretty different from the original now. It is delicious because of the way the spices play together with the ingredients, and that is mostly the same as the original recipe. Most of the work is in chopping up ingredients. Yes, it takes more than a day to make correctly, but it is worth it.

Mike's Macaroni Salad

1 (16-ounce) package salad macaroni (or ditali pasta)
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup yellow or white onion, diced
1 cup medium cheddar, diced
1 cup Swiss cheese, diced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano
1 cup sweet pickles, diced (bread 'n butter work well)
1 cup ham diced
1 can drained sweet peas

1 to 2 tablespoons Lowry's garlic salt
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise/miracle whip (a 50/50 mixture is best)

Add 2 quarts of water to a medium stockpot and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until it is al dente, approximately 9 minutes. Do not overcook the pasta or it will fall apart when the salad is tossed together. Rinse macaroni until cool. Drain well and let it dry out slightly.

Add pasta to a large bowl. Carefully fold in celery, onion, cheddar, Swiss cheese, Parmesan, pickles, ham, and sweet peas. Refrigerate the mixture, uncovered, overnight (the flavors are much better if overnight) (refrigerate at least 2 hours).

Mix the garlic salt, minced garlic, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard and celery salt together. Add to salad. Fold in 1 cup of mayo/miracle whip mixture to start. Add up to a 1/2 cup more of mayo/miracle whip if needed. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

We almost always double the recipe for a party, to make sure there are adequate leftovers. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Coconut Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes

I found the original version of this recipe in the coupon inserts a few years ago. It was fabulous. It is a simple and fast dinner, nutritious and fun to make! Serve with rice, or whatever else you like to have with curry.

I decided this time to try and adjust it to a slow cooker recipe for easy prep in the morning, and it worked out wonderfully with very little modification.

Coconut Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound chicken breast tenders
2 large shallots, finely sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
2-1/2 teaspoons Curry Powder
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/2-inch piece size)
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper; sauté in Dutch oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until center is no longer pink. Remove chicken and cover.

Add remaining oil to Dutch oven. Sauté shallots and red onion for 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle in curry powder, crushed red pepper and sea salt. Add sweet potatoes and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes.

While sweet potatoes are simmering, dice cooked chicken.

Add chicken to sweet potatoes; simmer an additional 5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apple Chestnut Soup

From "The Flexitarian Table" comes this wonderful soup that is to be paired with the penne with beets. It was delicious, once I was finally able to obtain chestnuts and do the whole roasting thing. I will be making it again, or some variation of it, like this one.

Trying this soup was reminiscent of the first time I had a good butternut squash soup. It was an eye opening experience. The seasonings and flavors of this apple chestnut soup really make it an experience not to be forgotten. Yum.

Apple Chestnut Soup

1 lb chestnuts in shell (3 cups), scored and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
4 Tblsp unsalted butter
2 c. finely chopped onions
2 tsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp chopped peeled fresh ginger
Sea salt
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large apple, such as mutsu, winesap, gala, or golden delicious, peeled, cored & chopped
4.5-5 cups stock or water
2/3 c half-n-half or heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper
maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread soaked chestnuts on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the shells crack open and you can easily peel away the skins, 45-60 minutes. Wrap in a clean towel and steam until cool enough to handle, 5-10 minutes. Pull away the shells, then the skins, briefly return to the oven any that are difficult.

In 4-5 quart dutch oven or other heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat and let it cook until it has turned golden and ceased to sputter, about 5 minutes. Add onions, sage, ginger and 1/2 tsp salt, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, and adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the onions from browning, until the onions are golden and meltingly tender, about 15 minutes.

Add potatoes, parsnips, apple, chestnuts, and stock or water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, simmer until vegetables are tender enough to crush against side of pot, 25-30 minutes.

Using immersion blender, or working in batches with regular blender, puree soup until smooth. Blend in cream if using and thin with more stock or water if desired. Transfer to saucepan and reheat, seasoning with salt & pepper and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weekend Cookbook Challenge Week in Review

This was an interesting week. I never did make the chestnut soup or the coconut curried chicken, they got pushed into the next week. But contrary to my belief, there weren't so many leftovers that it was nuts, and it was actually nice to have a good dinner each night.

It was also nice to have a plan for breakfast, it made mornings easier. I never had to run to the store all week, I had everything I needed, thanks to the time I had put into planning. Hopefully I can get faster at that planning, it is worth it.

What I really take away from this week is that it is okay to spend $100+ a week on my family groceries, when I have a plan. I am still coming away from student land where we ate spaghetti most nights to keep costs under $50 a week. This was about having abundance, but with a plan, so that it wasn't excessive or expensive, and it was wonderful.

What I actually cooked/served each day this past week: (compare with my original plan).

B: German Pancakes
L: Leftovers
D: Swiss & Mushroom Quiche (Moosewood Cookbook)
Des: Chocolate cream sandwiches cookies

B: oatmeal porridge
L: Sandwiches
D: Beet penne pasta (The Flexitarian Table) & Slow cooker apple pork roast
Des: Slow cooker Chocolate Almond Cheesecake (Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker)

B: Cranberry orange muffins
L: Sandwiches
D: ate out at Cheddars (due to melting rice cooker)
Des: leftovers

B: banana sour cream muffins
L: leftovers
D:Slow Cooker stuffed peppers
Des: Chocolate souffle

B: Oatmeal porridge
L: Sandwiches
D: Slow Cooker Corn Chowder & breadsticks
Des: leftover cookies

B: apples & breadsticks
L: Leftovers
D: Homemade Margherita Pizza
Des: Grapefruit Ice cream

B: pancakes
L: leftovers
D: leftovers

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chocolate Souffle

Attempt #1 at this month's Chocolate Therapy challenge happened on Wednesday night with the stuffed peppers. I didn't make the creme anglaise sauce to go with it and I think it might of made a difference, I will be trying them again with it.

(Note that the photo is a minute or so after taking them out of the oven, they had already started to fall.)

The chocolate flavor was very light, the texture of the souffles was light and airy, (except for the parts that seem to have fallen, I think I needed to cook them longer. My ramekins are bigger and I have 4, so I thought I'd just make the recipe that way, but was getting nervous when the signs of readiness were finally showing at 38 minutes. They probably needed a few MORE minutes of cooking. (And the sauce.)

And I used the Hershey's Dark chocolate bars instead of a bittersweet baking chocolate and maybe thats part of the barely there chocolate flavor. So many variables. They were still good, but not as good as the chocolate cakes with liquid centers I have been making for several years for a good, easy but fancy looking, chocolate dessert.

Dark Chocolate Souffles

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks

5 large egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Place chocolate and butter in medium bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in small bowl. Bring milk and vanilla to boil in heavy small saucepan. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into sugar mixture to blend. Return mixture to same saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until thick paste forms, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Scrape mixture into bowl with chocolate and butter; stir until chocolate is melted (mixture may look curdled). Add egg yolks and whisk until mixture looks shiny and creamy. (Soufflé base can be prepared 1 day ahead. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface and refrigerate. Bring soufflé base to room temperature before continuing.)

Butter eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups; dust with sugar. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. With mixer running, gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, then salt; beat just until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whites into soufflé base until well combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites just to blend (some white streaks may remain). Divide batter among prepared dishes. Place dishes on rimmed baking sheet. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake soufflés until puffed above rim of dish, tops are flat, and edges are set, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Grapefruit Ice Cream

Ever buy something in bulk at a bulk store, and then realize at home that you did NOT need that much of it? I bought a big old bag of grapefruit last week, and then realized that I would never eat all that grapefruit! So I needed some good recipes to use it.

In August, Desert Candy did her Ice Cream challenge, and one of the flavors she did was Grapefruit. She did it with poppy seeds, and with half-n-half, so I guess I made a few changes.

Flavor of this ice cream is pretty good. It's sweet and then tart. Different! Great texture, stays soft for days for easy scooping. Not my favorite, but still good.

Grapefruit Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grapefruit juice (pulpy is good)
1 tsp grapefruit zest
1 cup sugar

1. Place the grapefruit juice, zest, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occaisionally to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture simmer over medium heat until it reduces by about a third and is slightly syruppy, about 7-10 minutes. You should have about 2/3 of a cup of syrup. Let syrup cool completely.
2. Stir the half-and-half into the cooled syrup. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least 3 hours please), then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Add any desired additions, at the end of churning. Pack into containers and store in the freezer.

Slow Cooker Corn Chowder

This is a family favorite/standard for me. Simple soup I can make in the slow cooker and finish up right before dinner with great flavor. The coriander really gives it something I think.

I forgot to take a picture, probably because I was so hungry and its a standard recipe to cook. Ooops!

Easy Corn Chowder

2 cans (14 ½ ounces each) chicken or veggie broth or equivalent

1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn kernels

3 small potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 rib celery, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

½ cup heavy cream (optional)

Bacon or bacon bits for topping (optional)

1. Place broth, corn, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, celery, salt, black pepper and coriander into slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours.

2. Partially mash soup mixture with potato masher to thicken. (Or use immersion blender in parts). Stir in cream if desired, cook on HIGH, uncovered, until hot. Adjust seasonings, if desired, Garnish with bacon if desired

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

I love stuffed Peppers. Love them. I'm not sure why, as my family doesn't. They like the filling, but not the container. Me, I love eating the container of my food. What fun! This recipe was a great twist on stuffed peppers and I had to try it.

Tuesday I started prepping it and put some wild rice in my microwave rice cooker to cook for it. Instead I ended up with this melted mess of plastic and rice, and an almost fire in my kitchen. So we went out to eat on Tuesday and Wednesday, after spending most of the day cleaning up, finally had the stuffed peppers.

These were really great. The filling was awesomely delicious. I really appreciated that they were a combo of rice, beans & meat instead of an all meat based filling.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers
(from Kalyn)

6 large red, yellow, orange, or green peppers
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
(less than 10% fat)
1-2 tsp. olive oil if needed
1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes and juice
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles with juice (Anaheim chiles, not jalapenos)
1 tsp. Ancho chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups cooked white rice
1 1/2 cups grated cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In large frying pan, brown ground beef well and drain off fat. Push ground beef to the side, add a bit of olive oil if pan seems dry and saute onion 3-4 minutes, until well softened. Add rinsed black beans, tomatoes and juice, green chiles and juice, chile powder, and cumin. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

While mixture simmers, cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the bottom of each pepper so peppers are flat on the bottom and will stand upright. (Some peppers might not need this.)

When mixture in pan seems dry, turn off heat. Let cool about 5 minutes, then mix in cooked rice and cheese. Stuff each pepper with the meat/rice mixture, pushing it down so peppers are tightly filled.
Place peppers in a dish small enough to hold them compactly and cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 10-20 minutes more, until tops are slightly browned and pepper skin can be pierced easily with a fork. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Penne with Beets, Beet Greens, Goat Cheese & Walnuts

The Flexitarian Table is a beautiful cookbook, organized by seasonal recipes. For fall, the beautiful meal of Chestnut Apple Soup & Penne with Beets, Beet Greens, Goat Cheese and Walnuts stood out to me. There were some speed bumps, as I couldn't find the chestnuts (not at stores here yet), so I'll make the soup later this week. I made the Penne with the pork roast on Monday, and it was a great meal.

One of the fun parts of this dish for me was roasting the beets. I had never even heard of beets before my DH introduced them to me. He grew up eating them. Purple, and looking like they've been candied or something when they are cooked, the fact that they looked like an overgrown radish and turned into the candied appearance had me confused. But this recipe had me buy them raw and roast and peel them. How much fun! I like beets now for sure, my kids loved the "purple macaroni" and the beet greens actually tasted great in this wonderfully flavored dish. It was very fall appropriate.

I did omit the walnuts, DH is allergic, I'm sure they would have been good though. I also roasted & peeled the beets and prepped the greens the day before, making it a quicker, toss together recipe.

Penne with Beets, Beet Greens, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts
It says that this serves 4, but it made a HUGE amount. I would half it next time for my family.

Look for beets with healthy greens (limp, torn leaves won't make for good eating.) If nice beet greens are not available, use 12 ounces of swiss chard or spinach in their place. Pecans can be substituted for the walnuts.

2 bunches beets w/greens (about 2 pounds), trimmed, greens reserved, and beets scrubbed
Sea salt or kosher salt
8 oz whole wheat penne
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsley chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, wrap beets in foil and place on baking sheet, roast until they can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, about 45 minutes.

Wash and drain the beet greens, cut into 1/2 inch wide ribbons and set aside.

Unwrap the beets, transfer to a colander, and cool under cold water. Slip off skins and discard. Trim ends off the beets, and slice 1/2 inch thick. Stack sliced and cut into 1/2 inch wide sticks.

Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook until al dente, about 8 min.

In a large skillet, (I recommend a dutch oven size!) heat oil over medium heat until it shimmers, Add garlic, tarragon, and pepper flakes, cook stirring until garlic is lightly colored, 1-2 min. Add beets and greens, cook, stirring, until greens have wilted, 1-2 min.

Drain pasta, add to pan. Stir in goat cheese and cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately sprinkled w/ walnuts.

Easy Apple Pork Roast

The perfect way to eat pork...baked with apples. Add a slow cooker and you have an amazingly simple recipe for yummy food.

I left it on 10 hours (gone all day), and it was still fine, I just smushed the baked apples on my meat to help with moisture. Yum.

Apple Pork Roast
1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 4-6 pieces or 6 boneless pork loin chops
4 medium apples, sliced (sweet, not sour apples, yellow delicious, gala, etc.)
3 Tblsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Place pork in slow cooker, cover in apples

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in bowl, sprinkle over apples. Cover, cook on LOW 6-8 hours.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Chocolate cream sandwich cookies

My friend at Create Cakes posted a chocolate recipe every day of Chocolate week recently. Very delicious. One stood out as a must try soon for me, and it was these cookies.

What's not to love about homemade oreo type cookies? Mmmmm.

The only speed bump was in flattening the cookies for baking. The recommended cup was NOT working for me, and neither was a spoon. I ended up using the heel of my hand and it worked the best.
Chocolate cream sandwich cookies
makes about 40 sandwiches

2 ½ C Flour
1 tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
1 C plus 2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp water
2 C (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips melted

Sift flour and baking soda together, set aside. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 min. Add the eggs and water ad beat on medium speed until blended, about 20 sec. Add melted chocolate and mix until blended, about 5 sec. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed for 15 sec. Scoop rounded tsp of batter on greased cookie sheets (or parchment paper). Using the bottom of a glass press each cookie. Bake at 350 until firm to the touch, about 15 min. Cool them completely on wire racks.

Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla
2-2 ½ C powdered sugar

Beat cheese, butter and vanilla until blended. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Spread a rounded tsp of filling on the bottom of half the cookies. Then top with the remaining cookies. Allow them to set for 2-3 hours in the refrigerators.

Worth the wait Chocolate Almond Cheesecake

I LOVE cheesecake. It is the best. I borrowed a fun cookbook from a friend, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow cooker, mostly because of this recipe. A cheesecake in a slow cooker? I had to try it.

Guess what? It was awesome. Great texture, great flavor - if you like almonds...which DH doesn't. Very cool recipe.

Worth-the-Wait Chocolate-Almond Cheesecake

Boiling water
1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafers
1/4 cup butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz melted semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tsp pure almond extract
pinch of salt

Place a rack or trivet in a 6-quart slow cooker, Poor about 1/2 inch of boiling water in the bottom of the cooker, cover, and turn the heat setting to High. Lightly oil a 7-inch springform pan. (I used an 8-inch cake pan.)

To make the crust, combine the crumbs and butter in a mixing bowl, stirring with a fork. Spread the crumb mixture in the pan, and press evenly in the bottom/up the sides.

Beat the cream cheese and tofu together until smooth. Add sugar, chocolate, cornstarch, almond extract, and salt and blend until smooth. Pour evenly in pan. Cover w/ foil, making holds in foil for steam to escape. Place pan on the rack, cover and cook on High for 2.5 - 3 hours, until firm.

Take pan out of cooker, remove the foil and let stand until cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. chill completely before removing from pan.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Swiss Cheese & Mushroom Quiche

When I was a vegetarian, one of the best cookbooks I found was the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. I'm not a strict vegetarian anymore, more a flexitarian, but I still love this cookbook.

Quiche is such a great dinner. I was going to make it yesterday, but instead made it today, and we had leftovers last night. This is a great quiche recipe, or "egg pie" as we call it in our house (makes it more palatable to kids I think.)

I was so hungry that I didn't take a picture of the whole thing, but started dinner and ate 2 slices before remembering to take pictures. Great flavor, delicate texture, good pie.

Swiss Cheese & Mushroom Quiche

1 10-inch pie crust (I use Martha Stewart's pate brisee for all my pie crusts.), pressed into a pie pan or tart pan
1 tsp butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced or minced
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
pinch of thyme
1/2 tsp dry mustard
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbs. flour
1 1/2 cups (packed) grated swiss cheese

(variations: try other cheese, use fresh tomato slices or fresh herbs in place of mushrooms or in addition to them.)

Preheat oven to 375.

Melt butter in small pan, Add onions, saute over medium heat, when they have started to soften, add mushrooms, salt, pepper, thyme, mustard. Saute about 5 minutes more and remove from heat.

Combine eggs, milk, flour in blender or food processor, beat well.

Spread grated cheese over bottom of crust, spread onion, mushroom mixture on top. pour in custard and sprinkle top with paprika.

Bake 35-45 minutes, until solid in center. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

(Makes awesome lunch leftovers too!)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

November Weekend Cookbook Challenge

I have been watching the weekend cookbook challenge for a few months and wanted to participate last month but forgot. This month's challenge was right up my alley and I decided to go ahead and do it now. The Weekend Cookbook challenge for November is being hosted by Cady at $40 a week. The challenge is to plan a week of menus for your family at $40 per person for the week. That is a huge $160 budget for me, way more than I am used to spending.

Just a few months ago while we were still a student family, our budget was $60 a week for the whole family. That being said, I significantly upped the budget when we moved to TX and got a real job, and the budget has been $100 a week. I decided that since my boys are still pretty young, I'd half that amount for them and set a $120 budget for the week.

I usually plan meals for a week at a time, but have lately fallen out of the habit. I also have never planned the breakfasts, lunches and desserts, just the dinners. So part of the challenge here for me was to plan these too. In truth, I really need to, since I have been skipping them lately. (And I'm a pretty big breakfast advocate, but I don't eat cereal anymore, and its been an adjustment).

I sat down and thought about what the week held for me and what I needed to successfully cook dinner every day for a week. (Another challenge for me, as I usually only cook 2-3 times a week and we eat leftovers the rest of the time.)

Then I made the shopping list. Planning the meals and making the list took several hours and I did not want to face the grocery store with kids after that, so I put it off until Saturday when DH was home. I first went to the local butcher (I love local butchers) and then the grocery store. I was feeling pretty good and only had a few things left on my list. I headed to Sams Club, needing a few bulk goods and figuring I could get the last few things there. Nope, not all of them. Plus I bought extra things (like I usually do). A bit depressed, I headed to Target hoping they would have the last few things. They had 2 things, but I was still missing 2. Arrggh! 4 stores, and I still didn't have all my things. Very irritating. I should have gone to Central Market after the butcher, and been done with it. I love Central Market, it is foodie heaven here, but it is also further from where I live. I went home and later that day convinced DH to go with me and the kids so I wasn't trekking to a 5th store alone. And we got gelato as a bonus. Yum!

The thing I noticed was all the voices in my head telling me I was spending too much money, or that I wasn't going to be able to do this. And yet, I felt empowered, knowing I had a weeks worth of meals at home, that would work with our busy week to come. I will be posting about each day's foods, here is my meal plan:

B: German Pancakes
L: Sandwiches
D: Beet penne pasta & Apple chestnut soup (The Flexitarian Table)
Des: Slow cooker Chocolate Almond Cheesecake (Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker)

B: oatmeal porridge
L: sandwiches
D: Slow cooker apple pork roast
Des: Leftover cheesecake

B: breakfast pilaf
L: Sandwiches
D: Slow Cooker stuffed peppers
Des: Apple Cranberry crisp

B: Cranberry orange muffins
L: leftovers
D: Coconut curried chicken & applesauce
Des: Chocolate souffle

B: Oatmeal porridge
L: Sandwiches
D: Slow Cooker Corn Chowder
Des: Leftover souffle

B: Pancakes
L: Leftovers
D: Homemade Margherita Pizza
Des: Grapefruit Ice cream

B: Waffles
L: Leftovers
D: Swiss & Mushroom Quiche (Moosewood Cookbook)
Des: Chocolate cream sandwiches cookies


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