Monday, March 14, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Isn’t that the most commonly asked question in families? 

And the pressure to come up with something, time and again, that everyone likes, can be challenging.

Monday rolls around all too quickly and suddenly it’s time to plan the weekly menu AGAIN!

Meal choices can sometimes get boring and moms and dads can run out of ideas pretty quickly.

Like in our house, my one daughter loves tacos, my son loves his sisters rice bowl, my fiancée loves cheeseburgers and I love weird stuff like sushi (it’s weird to them). We usually rotate at least one of these every week, except for Sushi... (maybe when they get older).

While these choices are liked by all of us, they can still get old. We will occasionally opt to have breakfast-for -dinner, complete with bacon or sausage, just to have a change. But, over the years I’ve had to use other things to drum up variety; and with much success.

I'd like to share a few:

Heinens (which is a local grocer in our neighborhood) has an email program where you can receive a weekly Email recipe when you are a rewards member. On their website they also have a recipe section where you can preview a new recipe complete with a check-off list of ingredients. (It views like a simple recipe card.)
With a click of a button you can add those ingredients to an online shopping list, then add your own items to it, print it or email it to a friend, making life a little simpler and more efficient. 

Hint for the tech savvy: Email the list to your hubby or wife! (This makes meal planning fun for grownups. If one plans the meal and he other shops for it, the communication is helpful, and no one can forget the list at home if you both have it online or in your smart phone!)

Recipes.com  has good variety:

DisneyFamilyFun.com  offers recipes for families including holiday desserts, like St. Patrick’s Day Pie or Yogurt Covered St. Patrick Day Pretzels!

Betty Crocker. She taught me how to cook when I was out of my parent’s house and on my own. It’s where I learned how to cook meat properly, choose better cuts, make homemade salad dressing and BBQ sauce, and homemade wheat waffles, when I was pregnant or nursing.  I still have my 3 cookbook set from when I was younger. Betty Crocker never goes out of style.

And now you can have Betty on the web! Where you can see Betty Crocker's editors’ pick of the day, the cookie of the day (yum!) and can search by product/brand, main ingredient, prep time, ethnicity, and more!

Other places to get good recipes:
  • ·         Friends.
  • ·         Church cookbooks have a great collaboration of recipes (many of which are old-school -hand-  me-downs-from-Grandma).
  • ·         Woman’s organizations cookbooks that they put together and sell for fundraising
  • ·         The backs of food boxes (who hasn’t tried one of those recipes-Hello?-Can you say Rice-Krispie Treats?)
But you know as well as I do, your family has a household favorite. One that, if given the chance, would be chosen over any other meal available-and it’s one that never gets old.

Ours is my fiancée’s homemade pot pie. And like many favorite recipes, he’s not too sure exactly where it originated, but we love it so much we wanted to share it with you.


Chicken Pot pie
2 ½ -2 c shredded cooked chicken
2/3 c milk
1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
1/3 c flour
1/3 c butter (equals about ¾ of a stick, but we use 1 whole stick)
1 pie crust (top and bottom)
1 ½ c cooked, chopped potatoes
1 small can corn
1 small can peas and carrots mixed
Salt & pepper to taste (approx. 1 tsp)
Onion powder

Directions: Melt butter in large pot on stove, add onion, salt & flour. Stir till bubbly. Remove from heat. Add broth & Milk. Boil for 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Add cooked, shredded chicken & veggies. Pour into crust. Bake in oven on 425 degrees for 35 minutes or until light brown.
NOTE:A deeper pie dish than your usual dessert pie pan is necessary. (Pampered chef has a terrific ceramic one.)

If you like pot pie, you will love this recipe! Enjoy! 
And yes, this is what we are having for dinner tonight!

 

Truly,
Amber

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