Home > Category: What We Eat

Viewing the 'What We Eat' Category

Thai Basil Chicken

July 4th, 2020 at 03:03 pm

Thai Basil Chicken

Text is and Link is

I have never attempted to make any Thai food before.
O.M.G. So Good!

Traditionally this is a very spicy dish. MH literally only picked up one pepper. ??? I don't know. As I have learned from Indian cooking, just throw in a little extra cayenne, seems the easiest way to spice up these type dishes. We had discussed ahead of time we would obviously need more than one pepper, but he forgot. So I would like to try again with more peppers, and will work on dialing up the spice. But this recipe was flavorful and mild.

P.S. We only used one pound of ground chicken. I am going to have to double this recipe for my household.

Chicken Fajita Sandwiches

July 4th, 2020 at 02:47 pm

Chicken Fajita Subs

Text is and Link is

MH worked full-time during May (for the first time in 18 years...). He did all the grocery shopping for us (doing one trip mid-month) but I brainstormed a lot of the meals because I (and the kids) were going to be doing all the cooking.

Mostly, I would pat myself on the back. It seemed *very* overwhelming, but we kept everyone fed and it was easier than I imagined it would be. Especially because this is probably the hardest time of all to keep my boys fed. So... They were happy and fed, and by some miracle I kept them satiated. (I can't take much credit at all. MH has a good system and so we might actually survive if anything ever happens to him).

Then... MH stepped back in and as he keeps making some of our meals I am just, "Duh, why didn't I think of that!?" & he has a weird recipe system anyway, so I am making an effort to print out my favorite recipes for my recipe book. So that I can remember and find said recipes. I feel a million times more prepared if I ever have to take over meal planning again.

This recipe is *so good*. By itself I don't know if it's that exciting, but the mix of the cheese and the mayo and the chicken just makes it amazing.

Butter Chicken Recipe

July 4th, 2020 at 02:18 pm

I realized that I don't think I shared this recipe:

Butter Chicken

Text is and Link is

I tried this recipe, and DL (my budding chef) recommended adding 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and 1 tsp of cumin. It was so close to our favorite Indian cafe's recipe I can't believe it.

I was intrigued by the meatball take on butter chicken, but in the end we abandoned the meatballs and it tasted better with just crumbled meat.

Finding this recipe around the time the quarantine started, is maybe a reason I currently feel somewhat "meh" if we ever eat out again during 2020.

Meatloaf Recipe

May 12th, 2020 at 03:32 pm

Meatloaf recipe:

Text is and Link is

It was easy to find online. Phew!

Quarantine Life

May 10th, 2020 at 03:36 pm

My initial feelings on lockdown, posted over a month ago:
I am just so buried at work, life continues on as it has. We are homebodies and try to generally limit unnecessary errands, always eat our meals at home, etc. so it's been a small change for us at this point.

I only leave the house to go to the office. MH only leaves the house to go to the grocery store.

At 8 weeks of lockdown, I'd say not much has changed for us. One-income living has prepared us for "quarantine life". I am still buried at work. MH and the kids have their slow "summer schedule" (no school/work). It's all in some realm of normalcy for us.

{This was true through the end of April. Now MM and MH are both working, more info below}.

I commented in another blog that we aren't experiencing any +/- in our spending. A lot of it is having a bare bones budget to begin with. We are clearly using a lot less cell data (on wifi 100% now) but that might save us $4 this month ($1 per line). My commute has decreased a little bit, so my electric fuel spending might be $20 instead of $25. It's just stuff like that.

I am waiting for several windfalls, none have materialized yet: refi, stimulus, unemployment. Crickets, crickets, crickets.

Except for one surprise "windfall". My boss called me up a few weeks ago and offered MM(16) a job. He received a 50% raise (over last summer) and it sounded like he was about to offer him use of a car, we are so desperate for help at the office. That was a sudden turn of events. The night before we had literally discussed how MM probably wouldn't be working at all this year. (The seasonal summer job he had gotten would have started yesterday, but is on hold indefinitely. We had discussed that even if they do open it wouldn't be worth being exposed to hundreds of people every day. Going to the same office I go to, with a whole whopping 5 other people... Talk about night and day).

I am still digging out of my hole. It's a million times better than it ever was in 2018 or 2019, I am very well aware. But last last weekend I was catching up on taxes (for relatives) and this past weekend I finished up my professional education for the (entire) year. Phew!

By itself, I may literally have crossed everything (non-work) off of my to-do list and can maybe realistically experience a May with "nothing on my plate." {I know a lot of people are home and bored. It's just not anything I can even begin to fathom right now; have not been able to fathom "boredom" for a few years}.

But... MH has been called back to work. From part-time to full-time. He hasn't worked full-time since 2002 (before kids). Ugh! It's very in line with my current years-long jinx. Every time I think I turn a corner, something else crazy is thrown at my feet. So technically last Sunday was my first peaceful/quiet day in as long as I can even remember. But then... I was thrown head first into the domestic side of things. But I think it will be a good thing. It's always good to walk in someone's shoes for a while. It should just be for a month. Whenever I try to help at all, MH refuses. & he's already a control freak in the kitchen so just isn't good with delegating anything "kitchen" to anyone. He admits it will be good to get out of his comfort zone and this will force us to have more teamwork in the kitchen, regarding both dishes and meals. We are mostly delegating to DL(14) who literally has nothing on his plate. The schedule and responsibility would obviously be good for him; he's already told us he feels better than he has in weeks. (We've given the kids full kitchen duty in the past, but it's just never stuck).

Thursday night I did make our favorite spinach manicotti recipe. We couldn't find any manicotti, so turned it into a lasagna instead. MH was nervous about it and hovering over me in the kitchen. I agreed to cook because DL(14) does not like this dinner. We asked him to make rice for leftovers, as his chore for the day. Anyway, I could tell the lasagna had cooked through and was fine, but MH was driving me crazy. Honestly, it was a much simpler way to make it. MH might prefer the manicotti, but I think I am sold on the lasagna. It will be interesting what meal modifications endure this time. I think we are long practiced in "creativity" and "making do", but are just flexing those muscles more than usual.

Week 1 went really well. It was definitely a team effort.

Last Sunday MH did a big grocery run for 2-3 weeks. He is being protective and refuses to let anyone else in the house go to any store whatsoever. So his plan was just to do a big grocery stock-up before he was back at work and super busy. We probably hadn't gone to the grocery store on a weekend in a couple of months. Things have settled down considerably. We were able (for the first time) to find more than a roll of toilet paper.

{I think we honestly have food for a solid 3 weeks, not counting "emergency reserves" like extra meat and rice. It feels we barely put a dent in the groceries this week}.

In the end, we realized that all the green onions we had, had gone bad. So we already need green onions though clearly we could survive without. But MH didn't really have room on his grocery cart to stock up on more cat food, and he got me some stuff for a recipe (that I found recently) but didn't know I needed tomato paste. & I later remembered a couple of other recipe ingredients I had forgotten. So... On a whim Friday I looked if I could do a grocery pick up. MH was talking about doing a run to get these things. Which is confusing to me because he's been so much otherwise, "Once every two weeks at the most, JUST ME." So it's confusing to me when he's kind of, "Oh well, will go to the store just to pick up green onions". So I ran it past him Friday and asked if he needed anything else. I just did a quick pickup; they delivered to my car. (I have more work flexibility, so it fell on me). The personal shoppers are free at our store (and they don't accept tips). For smaller orders it isn't free, but I guess the first 3 times are free. I think this is more of a "MH is working and it's chaos" thing that anything else. MH was a little skeptical about using for such a small pickup, but I pointed out it's always free on a $100+ pick up. Not hard to do $100 for a family of 4. In fact, on the way out the door MH told me "granola bars are on sale, get some of those." & then he ran in a minute later and told me to check the sales ads, there was some good deals. So I ended up spending $60. That was the quick/small grocery run. My conclusion is that this worked out really well. I got lucky, they didn't have to omit or substitute anything in my order. I didn't bother with things that I *knew* were not as well stocked. But still, I figured I'd end up with a different brand or something or other. (I indicated most things I would not accept substitutes ~ all the sales items. But if I had to get a different brand of tomato paste instead of just the generic, or of had to pay a little more for organic onions, whatever).

I think mostly our personalities are, "Meh, it's easier/better to just do things ourselves". We've been doing some Target grocery deliveries to our house (regular shipping), but is nothing I foresee doing once things normalize.

Our menu this week:

Monday: mini meatloaves and roasted potatoes (we have the most amazing recipe, horseradish and chili sauce are the secret ingredients). MH has discovered red potatoes during quarantine so asked us to roast some red potatoes, versus our usual mashed potatoes with this dinner. Just remembering a change that will endure. MM(16) and I cooked dinner.

Tuesday: Burritos (simple/old family recipe) - prepared by DL(14)

Wednesday: South of the Border Wraps (black bean and salsa burritos with green onions and cilantro; simple but divine) - prepared by DL(14)

Thursday: Spinach lasagna - prepared by Moi, with a hovering MH

Friday: Thai chicken (noodles) - prepared by DL(14)

DL(14) has also made a couple of batches of hummus this week.

I share because my kids can cook. 😉

MH is cooking this weekend. Phew! On the menu still (ingredients on hand): Sesame chicken (a new recipe to try), pasta with chickpeas and garlic sauce, Fiesta chicken (crockpot recipe, spicy shredded chicken that we eat with tortillas), salisbury steak, sloppy joes, zuppa toscano, pasta meatball soup, Kashari, Indian butter chicken with jasmine rice, Spicy Stir-Fried tofu & Coconut Rice. This menu is heavy on some of our easier meals. I think MH has another couple of recipes to make next weekend and so we probably won't need another grocery store run for another two weeks. Which feels like a miracle with two teen boys to feed. (MM is still running 8 miles per day; DL has reverted to the home workouts he had been doing for many years before we recently joined the gym. So I am not getting a break with "school sports" retired. Caloric needs continue to be completely absurd. But MM is getting fed some at my job, which helps *a lot*). Will see how I feel about it next weekend...


January 19th, 2017 at 01:42 pm

**MH got called into work next week, but then gets two weeks off.

This works out for the best. I don't think he could have worked much this week. This week DL(11) has finals. CRAZY schedule.

We are going to have to take DL out to celebrate. He easily gets all As, without much effort. But... this semester I think he was lucky to pass all of his classes. PHEW! I know he's never had to work so hard. I am just feeling so much *relief* that we made it. The year started out very rocky. He's really done exceptional, given all he has had to deal with.

**MH's birthday is this week. I almost forgot in the work chaos.

We don't exchange gifts. I discussed with the kids, and they just wanted to give their daddy HUGS and home-made fudge. I said I thought that sounded perfect.

He already bought himself a sous vide (precision cooker). It's a long story, but he bought one for his parents for Christmas, and ended up with two. Was supposed to return the other one to Amazon but he seems to have a hang up about paying $10 postage to get a $40 refund. Don't ask me! He is way smarter than that.

I think *I* realized he wasn't going to return it before he did. He was struggling subconsciously with it. & he kept trying to make justifications to keep it. I finally said, "Happy Birthday". Moving on...

That was weeks ago, and he has yet to use it. (Still having some internal struggle about it). Thankfully some meat went on sale and he gave it a try this week. We've been eating like KINGS. I'd say we are accomplished cooks and eat very well, but probably limit ourselves on the meat side to the cheap cuts we grew up with and are familiar with. So this is expanding our horizons considerably. (MH has been salivating over this contraption since his friend cooked him dinner with one several years ago).

He made some seared tuna earlier this week. It turned out more cooked than he preferred. & he generally doesn't eat fish, but I guess is just more picky about it. He told us he over-cooked it. I said if it was any less cooked I'd be putting mine in the microwave. But maybe he will refine us a bit. Wink I thought it was *perfect*

Last night we had pork chops. I don't even know if I have ever had pork chops before. But it was *perfection*

I could get used to this. & it's nice to mix it up a bit and to try new things.

**In other fanciness, we went to the movies on Tuesday night. We got a new theater with the fancy reclining seats. The tickets are $6.50 on Tuesdays. I think our theater bumped up their tickets to $6.25 on Tuesday nights (cheap night) so there isn't any big difference.

MH had been a few times, and I just told him I wanted to check it out.

We agreed that Tuesday night is our movie night. At this theater. From now on! Used to be weekend matinees. Or you can stand in line and get there early on Tuesday nights (by our house). Or... you can just reserve your seats online and show up after the commercials/previews ,and sit in luxury. For an extra quarter per ticket. SOLD!

(MH had seen Star Wars at this theater on opening night. It's the first time he didn't have to wait in line for a Star Wars movie. Worked out because the weather was bad that night. He just reasoned he'd rather just reserve seats ahead of time. Few seemed to think of the option, but the new theater had just opened. Next time might not be quite so easy).

Back to School

August 21st, 2015 at 08:44 pm

I took last week off work. I really didn't do much of anything. It's probably been a while since I have had such a relaxing vacation. Aaaaaahhhhhh... & we leave for San Diego soon and then Hawaii not long after that!

One thing I did was work through some recipes. I've been wanting to try baking a wider variety of vegetables. That was when I stumbled upon the most amazing cauliflower recipe (see last post).

I also found another website that was very much my style. I salivate just looking at the blog. Definitely will be trying many of this site's recipes. Anyway, it all *looked* good, but we tried the first recipe last night. It was simple and delicious.

Balsamic Chicken:

Text is and Link is

This weekend I am going to make Teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream sauce, also from the same website. (Dh doesn't eat fish, so why I frequently make salmon. Dh cooks most the rest).

I will probably also make the cauliflower again (the most of it is the smoky paprika to spice it up). It was one of those recipes we have everything on hand usually.


Back to school. A big change up in schedule this year since both kids will be together at other campus and no more walking to school. I am sure dh is delighting in being able to sleep in every day, for the first time since having kids. !! The only big change is for LM, who has to leave an hour early (with BM and I). We are early birds so it's not been a big deal. Our calm mornings remain calm. I think a lot of it is honestly that we don't use alarm clocks. I was never a morning person in the slightest before we ditched the alarm clocks. (Admittedly, I was never a night owl either).

Dh and I have been working on getting walks in the evening, since dh is losing his 2 miles a day or whatever of walking. We haven't been consistent, but walk once in a while. It will be easier when it gets a little cooler. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. It cooled off before we went outside, and we saw a breathtaking sunset.

BM has been a challenge on the lunch side of things this year. He is not generally picky, but has gotten awfully picky about his lunch. Firstly, he refuses to buy lunch any more. Thankfully LM seems to like the food at this campus and he's just been buying more to offset BM. As school starts, BM will only eat a PBJ sandwich. That is it. ??? I decided he should just pack a snack on Wednesdays because they get out of school super early. Then he can eat a full meal when he gets home. Then Dh bought him a thermos so he could take hot leftovers. I can't tell you how genius that is. Dh is always good for solutions like that. Between the two of us I think we figured it out.


So with all the school stuff going on our little "end of summer" celebration was mostly postponed. We had decided to go to the big pool (inflatable obstacle courses) on the first day of school since they got out of school before they opened. But then I saw that was the first day they closed the inflatables for week days. (Or maybe the day before they had closed it down). UGH! So we planned to go on the weekend and were resigned to more crowds.

On Sunday, dh mentions to me that it was supposed to be 105F degrees. OMG. We both would have preferred to postpone, but the kids were pretty set on going and I couldn't push it off any more. (In any other situation it would have been an INDOOR day). In the end, I am glad we went. The facility was really nice and the kids had a blast. We got there early enough to secure a comfortable shady spot. & there was even a breeze so it wasn't half as bad as I imagined. The water was also really cool, which helps. (Could have been cold simply because the air was so hot).

I told the kids we could go again this weekend. It should be much more pleasant. Unfortunately, it is about 30 miles away, as these places always are. It will be the last time for this year.

P.S. I'd share pictures if they worked!


Oh, and we had the most amazing dinner the other night.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Beer Sauce

Text is and Link is

O.M.G. So Good!