You can probably guess how nice it is each weekend by how late in the weekend I post my blog. This weekend has been super nice I haven’t even wanted to sit down at my computer! And since yesterday was Tazzie’s 2nd birthday, she’s Stella’s Irish twin after all, we spent most of the weekend outside finding places for her to swim, run and play. But I digress. Onto more important things: recipe organization. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I organize my recipes and sort through them each week to pick out our menu. Right now I am working with a super old-school system that includes a giant stainless steel 3-ring binder with recipes I’ve torn out of magazines over the years. I also have a 13-page recipe index I created over the years of all the Eating Well recipes I’ve made or ever wanted to make. Instead of keeping all the magazines, which I did for a while until they took over our cookbook bookshelf, I just type them into a super organized list, shocker I know, and flip through it to find recipes for the week. This confession should give you a full picture into my super organization/ODC tendencies. But as ridiculous as it is to have such a cumbersome and old-fashion system there are a few things that I like about it that I am not sure how to duplicate if I were to switch to an electronic system. I obviously have the recipes organized by type of dish (i.e. chicken, fish, vegetarian, soups, etc.) but I also have the month, or issue, the recipe came from which helps me pick more seasonal recipes. So in March I scan through and find all the recipes from the Feb/March issues and can easily make a menu that feels more appropriate to the weather and is easier to shop for seasonally. Even though I know transferring all of my recipes to an electronic system would take a lot of work, I think it would be worth it in the long run since I use my computer to menu plan, make a list, and as my cookbook when I am making dinner. So if anyone has a suggestion or recommendation for online recipe organization systems that would be a step-up from my current system, not super hard to do, please pass them on! This lady needs some help. Meal Plan & Grocery List
Monday: Beef Tacos with Green Salad
- It has taken me longer than I’d like to admit to figure this out, but I need quick meals for Monday night. Stella and I go to the grocery store Monday afternoon so by the time we get home and unload everything I usually have a hangry toddler on my hands and no dinner. This week’s meal was perfect for that.
- I browned 2 onions and added a lot more seasoning (1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp each of cumin and paprika).
- I skipped the step where you add water and wait 15 minutes and just browned the meat more.
- Since I never put enough lettuce on my tacos to count as any sort of vegetable I just skipped it and made a side salad, serving our tacos with salsa and avocado instead.
Tuesday: Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickepeas & Crème Fraiche and Green Salad
- I never thought I would hear Travis, or myself for that matter, rave about roasted carrots but seriously. These were delicious. They take a lot longer than I would expect, but it was totally worth it.
- I also roasted some asparagus (10-15 minutes) as well and served everything with a green salad.
- I did not add anything to my crème fraiche since it is already completely delicious on its own.
- I wish I had doubled everything so we’d had leftovers for lunch, but that is always a good problem to have.
- I used 1 lb of penne and doubled all the seasonings and water.
- Instead of mushrooms I used frozen peas that I added towards the end.
- Kind of like the broccoli and quinoa casserole last week I roasted the Brussels sprouts and added them at the end to keep everything from feeling too mushy.
- Since I wasn’t sure if things would thicken up enough I mixed a heaping tablespoon of flour with some water towards the end and added it to the pot.
- I love this kind of dish and am always impressed when we have more than enough for the two of us for dinner and lunch the next day. Success!
Thursday: Shrimp Curry with Chickepea & Cauliflower and Brown Rice
- I never would have thought to add fennel to this but since I found it at the store I took a chance. I am not always wild about fennel so I was a little nervous, but it was not too overpowering and was super tasty.
- I unfortunately couldn’t find shrimp paste so I added more curry paste to make sure the sauce would have enough flavor.
- I added the cauliflower once the sauce came to a boil and let it cook while the sauce thickened.
- I also added some bok choy with the shrimp and chickpeas for more color and flavor. Most of the steps I took were to shortened the cooking time so I don’t think we got as much flavor out of the lemongrass, but it was totally worth it.
Friday: Veggie Chili with Cornbread
- I prepped all the veggies during Stella’s nap so I could just toss them into the pan to brown while I whipped up the cornbread and then let everything cook. Pretty quick and easy.
- I used the other half of the fennel bulb from Thursday nights dinner and kidney beans instead of the second can of black beans.
- Stella can pound some cornbread so I used half white whole-wheat flour and half all purpose. Along with the whole grain cornmeal I feel better about her eating that and only that for dinner.