This week’s menu plan, a round-up of interesting links from last week including the Eat Well, Spend Less questions, and a bit of bickering.
Really, there’s no bickering. I don’t think.
I like to read. Have we talked about this little piece of information? I feel like we should talk about this. If I had my way, life would be made up of reading, writing, good food, music (both the kind I play and the live and recorded listening variety), and maybe a few hours a month devoted to television (only the shows worth watching) and a movie to make you think. There would be a few trips to the library, the bookstore, the coffee shop, and museums (never enough museums), and hiking in the middle of a nowhere that is somewhere. All the extra time would be spent going on adventures, whether in my mind or in real life. You know what wouldn’t be included in this? Cleaning, laundry, dishes, temper tantrum mediation.
I read a lot to my kids, which means I have a schoolgirl crush on Oliver Jeffers and Dr. Seuss, and ever since my eldest has grown into her fins and is exploring the pond on her own, I read a lot of what she is reading. The remaining reading time is spent on some random mix of fiction and nonfiction that interest me or rereading my favorites. I joined Goodreads a few months ago if you want to watch the random mix of books float through. I just cracked into Gone Girl last night after it sat on my shelf for a good many months.
In an effort to make my dreams reality I spent the weekend finishing one book, starting another (see above), purchasing two more, editing photos, redesigning this site, going to see a rock band with strings perform, eating, and watching my kids scrub the floor. Somehow we arrived at Monday, which means it’s time to cook and write. I’m starting the week by participating in a Twitter chat called Foods Night In tonight March 4, 2013 at 4pm to 5:30pm EST/1:00pm to 2:30pm PST with Good Cook. Sign up to attend and win one of three $100 product giveaways, and follow the TweetGrid for #FNIchat and #GoodCookKitchenExprt.
Monday – Mediterranean-Style Brown Rice Bake
Tuesday – Spaghetti Squash with 5-Minute Tomato Sauce (add browned beef for a meat sauce)
Wednesday – Black Bean Soup
Thursday – Loaded Nachos
Friday – Winter Caprese Pizza
The Preparation Shortcuts:
1. Use the sun-dried tomatoes and basil in both the brown rice bake and on the pizza.
2. The extra 5-minute tomato sauce can take a rest in the refrigerator for pizza night, too, and everyone can create their own pizzas with leftover odds and ends…and eggs.
3. Brown extra meat on Tuesday for both the meat sauce and the taco meat. Just split and season, and then it can take a load off as it waits for Thursday to roll around. Tip: Bake chips, meat, and cheese on sheet pans in the oven to get even cheese melting goodness. Everyone can grab a pile of cheese-clumped chips and top on their own plate.
4. Cut extra ingredients while you’re making your black bean soup (extra onion, bell peppers, set aside a bowl of beans) to add to nacho night.
We tried something new for Eat Well, Spend Less this month where each of us came up with a question to ask the other participants. It was nice to break from the norm and get a different perspective on a few real food and frugal issues. I asked about feeding your kids, naturally.
- Aimee asked, “Which homemade substitute of a grocery staple is saving you the most money in your kitchen right now? What is one pantry purchase you’d like to eliminate and make from scratch this year?”
- Carrie asked, “What item(s) tend to go to waste in your kitchen? Is there a food item that you are particularly proud of using every last little bit/never wasting?”
- Jessica asked, “What budget meal is a sure fire hit with everyone in your family?”
- Katie asked, “What’s the single most important frugal thing you do in the kitchen, the one thing you’d never drop? Conversely, what’s the biggest splurge item that you prioritize?”
- Mandi asked, “What is your favorite resource when you’re unsure how to do something? What resources to do you recommend to friends/family/blog readers who are looking for cooking how-tos?”
More of me:
:: Winter Caprese Pizza | Food Fanatic
:: Honey-Sweetened Coconut Macaroons | Food.YourWay
:: Snuggle Bunny Cupcakes | I SEE ME!
Incidentally, books make great gifts, and personalized books for my kids are always a hit. Check out the cupcake recipe above to see what we made to go along with Magnus’ personalized Snuggle Bunny book!