Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Monday

Before the holidays, I had gotten very lax with cooking dinner.  We got in a bad habit of eating out or picking up stuff.  When I would cook, I typically just threw something together.  The main reason was that I dreaded the process of actually figuring out what to cook.  I'd ask Keith and he typically didn't have a suggestion either. Ugh....

I knew with my family coming to stay for a week though that I needed some sort of game plan.  With Christmas Day and doing a couple of sight seeing things, we couldn't be going to the grocery store every other day like I had been doing.  I read Southern Living on the plane back from Michigan and found a few recipes that sounded great.  It is really hard to go wrong with a SL recipe.  I headed over to the website and found some more.  I made my list and went shopping.  It was really nice to have everything all ready to go.

We did eat 3 great meals out at Villa-O, Sfuzzi, and Agave Azul but the rest I cooked.  I cooked  2 super easy but delicious meals of Chicken and Dumplings and Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream.  For Christmas morning I made Egg and Sausage Strata and the cinnamon-rolls that I blogged about here.

The real treat was Christmas dinner though.  For the last few years, my mother has been making a standing rib roast that has been amazing.  I decided to stay with something similar so I made the following:

Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream
Green Beans
Sweet Potato Cran-Apple Gratin that I found on this blog
Mystery Rolls
Sea-Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecans Bars for dessert from this blog

It was all absolutely delicious.  To top it off we made homemade Baileys.  This is the recipe.  So much better than the store bought stuff.  This is a real sipping drink, but makes coffee and hot chocolate really to die for.

Homemade Baileys
4 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 T chocolate syrup
1 T vanilla extract
1 T hot water
1 cup Crown Royal
1 pint heavy cream
1 T instant express  if you can find it.

Blend eggs and milk. Add chocolate syrup, vanilla extract and water and blend.  Add Crown, cream and expresso and blend.   Keeps 2 weeks (but you will have finished it long before then)

Well as you can tell we really ate well for the past few weeks, but being the New Year it was time for resolutions.  I loved having a weeks worth of food in the house and some sort of idea behind what I was going to fix, but we also wanted to start eating healthier and hopefully lose some weight.  I still didn't really enjoy the menu planning though.   I had looked into some meal planning sites earlier in the fall so I signed up for one.

Relish is the one that I chose.  I liked that it seemed to be all fresh produce and meats in the recipes unlike some of the other sites that I looked at.  It also would let me choose each week how many servings I wanted to make.  Each Thursday they have 15 new meals and 1 dessert and once a month they post 10 freezer meals.  Everything is coded to be kid friendly, low calorie, simply gourmet, vegetarian, or crock pot.  They even post the new Weight Watchers points plus amounts with the meals.  If you don't find enough that you like from that week, you can search past weeks to develop your weeks menu.  The site will take what you picked and create a customized grocery shopping list organized by aisle.  And they had an iphone app.

This is just week 2, but we've really enjoyed it so far.  Recipes have been easy but delicious.  I love to cook, but with Grace I don't really have a lot of time to make dinners that take hours anymore.

This is our menu for the week.

Mon - Simple Teriyaki Salmon with Edamame Salad
Tues - Slow cooker French Onion Soup with Beef - I will be out for dinner so this is just for Keith
Wed - Flank Steak with Molasses Drizzle and Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar
Thurs - Chili Cheese Turkey Sloppy Joes with Sweet Potato and Green Onion Hash
Fri - dinner with Friends
Sat - Raisin and Apple Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Green Beans

Thankfully I did our grocery shopping this week on Saturday in anticipation of the snow.  We didn't get nearly as much as they did in Atlanta and our roads are absolutely fine, but decided that it was a good excuse to stay inside and keep warm.  Grace and I lounged all cozy today in fleece pants.  Here she is on the go.  Now that she is crawling she is in perpetual motion (excuse the red mark on her cheek - I think she napped on her paci)

1 comment:

  1. Yum, I want to come to your house for dinner!!! I admire your drive to cook those great meals, Jon is the cook in our house and we also have found that if we don't plan ahead and shop with the plan in mind, we either end up getting take out as there is no time to figure it out when we both get home from work starving, or we end up going to the store every other day, ugh.