I've been in something of a cooking rut lately. Actually, I've been pretty lazy about cooking - I haven't been doing too much of it. When I look back at my dinner calendar, I had a couple of weeks where our dinner was SCAVENGE, meaning it's a fend-for-yourself, find-what-you-can night. I don't feel about about scavenge nights if I've been cooking and we have leftovers, but during a particular week, I don't think I even went to the grocery store and we were truly scavenging the cupboards and digging up whatever could be found in the fridge. I just wasn't into the cooking thing.
I did a little better this week. My goal is to cook three or four times a week. We can eat out one night and scavenge a couple of times. When I cook I try to make enough so there will be extra for lunch and scavenger night. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It depends on how good the meal is and how hungry the boys are.
What did we have this week? On Sunday night, which was Oscar night, we ordered in pizza which tasted absolutely delicious. We hadn't had pizza for awhile, so that probably had something to do with how much we all enjoyed it. On Monday night I didn't feel well (a cold), so the boys scavenged and I ate toast. On Tuesday I still wasn't feeling great, so more scavenging. Wednesday I made Trader Joe's Mandarin orange chicken and rice. No leftovers there. T loves that stuff. I did cook last night. I made this chicken enchilada skillet. I've made it before and we really liked it. It's quick and easy and tasty. Tonight we just had scrambled eggs.
Maybe you can't call making the TJ's orange chicken cooking since all I did was open a bag and put the chicken in the oven. It's good to have those kind of quickie meals on hand, though, I think. It's probably better and cheaper than going to Panda Express and getting their orange chicken. Not sure T would agree with the better part of that statement, but it's certainly less expensive.
As with most worthwhile things, it takes time to plan meals and shop for ingredients and cook. I like to set aside some time on Saturday to think about the week ahead and plan what to cook. In a perfect world, I choose one new recipe that I'd like to try, I choose one tried-and-true favorite, and I ask the boys what they would like to have. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.
One thing that I have done a couple of times that worked really well and that MT and I both liked was a breakfast bake. We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Sometimes, though, I just can't bring myself to fix something in the morning, so I found a recipe for a "breakfast bake" pretty much like this one. I used Simply Potatoes southwest seasoned hash browns, bulk sausage, six eggs and some cheese. The seasoning on the potatoes gave the dish a nice slightly spicy flavor. I made it on Sunday evening and put it in the fridge. It only took a minute to warm up in the microwave in the morning and it was very satisfying. It would be a good thing to add some veggies to it, like maybe spinach and or peppers. I really need to figure out a way to get more veggies into my daily foods.
Now here it is, Friday night, and I'm already feeling pressure to find something delicious to cook for may family next week. :) Wish me luck!