Friday, January 25, 2013

30 Days and 30 Dinners...Almost

30 Days and 30 Dinners. I stole this idea from my new favorite blog, "Dinner: A Love Story". The seemingly lovely author has a new cookbook (which I also love) by the same name. She makes it all sound so easy. Even for the busy family. Well, miss perfect cookbook and blog author, you clearly don't know my family. The only way my family will dine together for 30 days in a row is if we are inexplicably snowbound (which is not likely to happen in the mid-South) or held hostage in our home. But I AM trying, okay? 

I'm checking in with myself after 25 days into the experiment. My notes indicate that I have prepared meals on 18 of 25 nights. Not bad! More importantly, I am learning something through this process. Since our days of after-school activity craziness is a couple of years behind us, our son is now living in his own apartment, and our “I’m a senior in high school” daughter is often working in the evenings at her part-time job, I am preparing for the empty nest. Mostly, it's just me and the mister at the dinner table. Yes, eating out would be so much easier, but I still think of eating out as a "special occasion" and I don't want to ruin that. This experiment is good practice. We are learning to pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, dig in, and chat. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I have to say that I’ve enjoyed the 18 out of 25 days of domesticity. (Dear Gloria Marie Steinem, you are still my hero.)

Oh, and as an aside, I have been keeping track of each meal along with my grocery lists, so I am sharing them (recipes, not grocery lists) with you (along with source of recipe in parentheses).

December 31: Baked Shrimp with Feta (Dinner: A Love Story (DALS))
January 1: Turkey "Chili for a Crowd" (Silver Palate Cookbook)
January 2: Turkey burgers with oven fries (DALS)
January 3: Yogurt marinated chicken with rice and salad (DALS)
January 4: Not sure what we did for dinner...I didn't write it down
January 5: Penne pasta with Italian sausage, kale, and butternut squash (from the freezer)
January 6: Pork ribs with sweet potato gratin and homemade bread (see post on No Knead bread) (Recipes from various websites)
January 7: Baked chicken sausages with apples and onion, served with salad (DALS)
January 8: out to dinner
January 9: out with girlfriends for dinner
January 10: Homemade pizzas (1-onion, mushroom, bacon: 2) pepperoni, roasted red pepper) and salad (DALS)
January 11: Out to dinner
January 12: Chicken and pink lentil soup (back of lentil package)
January 13: Morrocan chicken with olives and lemon, couscous with dried fruit, Greek salad (Mediterranean: Food of the Sun)
January 14: Chicken with mac and cheese, sautéed veggies (no recipe needed)
January 15: Homemade meatballs with penne and marinara, salad (DALS)-Note: meatballs really need more cheese and parsley for moisture
January 16: Baked flounder with onion and lemon (saw on Pinterest but they used salmon..I give it a 1 star--boring)
January 17: Quiche with bacon, onion, and gouda (no recipe needed)
January 18: out to dinner (it IS Friday night after all)
January 19: okay, out to dinner again
January 20: Kluski (noodles, onion, and cabbage) and sausages, green beans (my hair stylist told me about this, so I looked it up online)
January 21: Linguine with clam sauce and salad (from the blog www.thepioneerwoman.com)
January 22: out to dinner....I'm losing steam
January 23: Steak, potato, salad...boring!
January 24: Thai shrimp with jasmine rice and veggies (adapted from DALS--she used salmon)
TODAY, January 25: Pork ragu with pappardelle and salad (DALS)

 

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