Sunday, 8 February 2015

How I Did: February 1-7

I enjoyed having a menu plan much more than I thought I would. I felt able to plan a day or two in advance, which left me with a bit of extra time for blogging and sewing (two of my goals this year). We are very flexible, which helps when you have children and live in the country--trips to town pop up and/or get delayed and it is best to just roll with it :) It is easy for me to say that because my kids are not in any extra activities, but that will change when they start swimming lessons in town on February 17. I may be whistling a different tune by then ;)

So how did last week's plan go?

Off the top, I posted the plan without consulting a calendar, so ended up with the wrong dates for the days of the week--off to a great start as usual! 

Sunday: I made 2 loaves of bread (froze 1). Made 2 dozen buns (froze 1 doz). I got company and forgot to make the pear crisp, so I made it Monday night instead. Used up the remainder of a bag of pears that would have been composted.

Monday: All went according to plan.

Tuesday: All went according to plan.

Wednesday: We made an unscheduled trip to town. I improvised a new recipe for fish cakes and used up leftovers from the fridge. I thawed the roast that I had planned to have Thursday, but because I bought some reduced avocados that needed eaten I switched to...

Thursday: Taco night. Also pre-roasted Friday night's roast and made buns for...

Friday: Pulled beef on homemade buns. Seriously, how have I never made this before? As the daughter of cattle ranchers, with limitless beef roasts over my lifetime...I shall be making up for lost time with this one. Really, really good. An upcoming post on this, I'm sure!

Saturday: While I had planned to use up some frozen drumsticks, I ended up adding some chicken breasts and hosting my parents' 45th anniversary supper. It was only 4 extra adults, and I did make too much, but homemade fries and pasta salad, plus a green salad, peas, and buns made for a finger lickin' good time ;)

I have found a new recipe for dinner rolls. I confess to being inept at rolling them into nice balls, hence the misshapen and odd-sized buns that we have been eating all these years. My stand mixer has made such a difference in my bread making endeavors. I stubbornly resisted buying one (cost and I really wanted to make the food my granny did with just her bare hands). Alas, they don't make 'em like they used to and I could never get it right. The mixer gets it right, though. Now to figure out how to make the rolls look purty....I'm getting better, but still a ways to go ;)

Most pictures of the food in my kitchen are from directly above--less clearing of counter tops necessary that way!

Good bye store-bought, expensive, disappointing gravy mixes! Growing up, flour and water was sufficient to thicken roast drippings into gravy. At some point we became hooked on adding a package of gravy mix, or to making gravy when there are no drippings (ie. fries, dressing and gravy mmmmm). A little digging around on the internet and I am now in business making my own self-thickening gravy mix. I'll post on it soon!

When I planned Saturday's meal, I meant to use up the cream cheese that is in my fridge in some kind of wonderful dessert. I forgot, but cream cheese never goes to waste (in fact, I can't believe it has survived til February...WTH?) This is a great recipe from America's Test Kitchen, a fluffy yellow cake with chocolate icing. I made it because the brother that came loves it; he ate so much supper he skipped dessert in spite of my encouragement...really, you better have a piece!

So that was the week. I feel happy with my results. I don't pressure myself to stick too rigidly to any kind of schedule. While my kids are young and free, we just roll with whatever is happening. At the same time, it is easy to have the day-to-day chores take up all of my day and I don't find the time for my own interests. I felt that the meal plan helped me accomplish extra baking/cooking on certain days which freed up time for some sewing and blogging, and of course more time playing with my kids. Have you tried anything new in the kitchen lately?

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