Friday, September 19, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Days 18 and 19 - Quick Meals

The past two nights have been busy, so the meals were pre-packaged quick meals.  These meals are lifesavers, so I always buy a couple to keep in the freezer.  I try to choose meals that still need some cooking beyond just microwaving.

On Thursday night (Day 18), I went to my South Jersey Writers' Group meeting, so my husband and kids had Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli's from Trader Joe's.  My husband heated them up in a pan and added more marinara sauce to the dish.  I, on the other hand, kinda-sorta cheated when I had one and a half crab stuffed mushrooms at the bar after the meeting.

Tonight (Day 19) was a DiGiorno's Pizza night.  Our neighborhood is having a multi-family yard sale tomorrow, so we were busy hunting through the house and pricing the stuff to be sold.  So we popped into the oven their Supreme and Three Meat Original Rising Crust pizzas.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Day 17 - Beef Pares with Egg Noodles

The kids stayed home yesterday because of all-around achey-ness, sniffles and coughs.  Thank goodness it's not the nasty one (Enterovirus D68) that's been going around the country.  A day of rest and mommy-care hopefully did the trick.

Last night we had a Filipino street food-type dish called "Beef Pares" with egg noodles.  It's actually a sweet soy braised beef, usually served with a side of steamed white rice.  I used beef chuck and opted to use Chinese-style wide wonton noodles. I thought it would pair well with the braising liquid thickened into a sauce with a  a corn starch slurry. 

In the Philippines, this dish is typically found in side street eateries.  They say it was developed to find way to use the firmer, less desirable cuts of beef.  A cheap, hearty meal for the everyday working man.

I also made these last night.  They're going to my friend, Janice Wilson, who won our writers' group Summer Word War.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Day 16 - Sick Day

Our kids are feeling under the weather, so they had some chicken noodle soup, recycled from last night's leftovers.

My husband and I had a Honey Dijon Baked Salmon with a chopped garden salad.  The recipe for the salmon is below:

Honey Dijon Baked Salmon
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes

2 filets Atlantic Salmon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon reduced fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey (We used Agave syrup instead)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. On a foil lined baking sheet, lay out the salmon filets and season with some salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, and dill.  This will be your topping for the fish.
  4. Slather a generous layer of the topping over the each filet.
  5. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese on each filet.
  6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with a garden salad on the side.

We used Ken's Lite Raspberry Walnut dressing on our salad.

Monday, September 15, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Day 15 - Nilagang Manok

We're a the halfway mark of the challenge!

Tonight, we had a traditional Filipino soup, Nilagang Manok.  The direct translation is "boiled chicken."  This chicken soup is flavored with ginger and a mix of vegetables like chayote, green beans and baby bok choy.

The temperature dropped to about the mid-sixties today.  The warmth and comfort this soup brought was the perfect way to end the first of many colder days to come.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Days 13 and 14

On Day 13, we were invited to a birthday party at the home of a family friend.  Yay for free passes!

Today was Day 14, and a Sunday, which meant a special dinner for the family. We had Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura.

Now that we're about to cross the halfway mark on the challenge, we can safely say that resisting the temptation to eat out is now much easier.  We've managed to get through some hectic nights this week and still have a home cooked meal.
About a week ago, an article in Slate came out denouncing "romanticizing the home cooked meal." (I am not providing the link here because it exemplifies "clickbait" in every sense of that made-up word.) In its simplest essence, the article decries the benefits of preparing home cooked meals when matched against the burden related to it. 

Yes, cooking meals for your family is a burden, and can often times be frustrating if your family doesn't enjoy the meal.  (Luckily, I haven't felt frustrated yet during these last two weeks.) However, this a burden we are willing to bear for our family.  This cross is much lighter than those on other people's shoulders.

Inspiration Sunday

This photograph is shown here with explicit permission from Aisha Bello.  

This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.

Friday, September 12, 2014

#30MealsAtHome - Day 12 - Spaghetti Bolognese

The perfect end to a busy work week is a yummy bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese. 

Our family recipe is a very simple mix of lean ground beef, onions, garlic, and a can of Don Pepino Spaghetti Sauce.  Some salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, rounds off the dish.  Our preferred brand of pasta is Barilla.

It's the perfect comfort food for our family and we have it quite often.  Every one in the family enjoys this meal. Sometimes if we're feeling fancy, we'll use freshly shaved parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil.  Tonight, we all just wanted a good old staple.