Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shopping, Meal Planning and Cooking

Has this week been super busy for everyone else?  I will be honest, I am very excited about a three day weekend.  I am ready NOW.

My evening was very busy last night.  It was grocery store night, so as soon as I got home yesterday I quickly switched into cooking mode and made dinner so I could get to the store.  On the table last night: pork chops, green beans, and potatoes.

You have possibly heard me mention Allegro marinade (more about it in this post) I used it combined with Dijon mustard last night to marinate the pork chops.  It was delicious!  The pork marinated for about 30 minutes or so while I prepped everything else.  If you are way ahead of schedule you can marinate the meat the night before, I am sure the flavor would have been even better, but I didn't get my pork thawed until the morning, so I was going with what time I had.  I added a little garlic salt to the chops before tossing them into the grill pan.  The Dijon mustard and allegro worked very well together.  I will definitely do this again.

My favorite part of the meal was the potatoes.  The pork chops were good, but the potatoes were awesome.

I used what was left of my olive oil dip from the weekend, so the olive oil was nice and garlicky.  I added more spices (that were already in the olive oil dip, but since I was seasoning a pan of potatoes I needed more).  Here is what I did:
  • 4 medium new potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • seasoned olive oil (about 2 tbsp)
  • garlic salt
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh cracked pepper
Yes, the only thing I have measurements for are the potatoes and the olive oil...the rest I just eye ball and go on taste.  Toss seasonings with potatoes and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until desired crispiness.  I stir the potatoes every 10 minutes or so.  This made 4 servings.

After dinner I was off to the store.  In order to stay on track and have on hand what I need for the week I make a meal plan before I make my grocery list.  This helps me know exactly what I need to have in the pantry/fridge and means I am prepared so I don't have evenings where trying to figure out what's for dinner turns into a call for delivery.  I use Pinterest and Weight Watchers online to keep lists of my favorite recipes and of course I have plenty of hard copy recipes at home.  To make my meal plan I peruse my recipes...I usually try a new one each week and we evaluate it as to whether it is a "keeper" or not.  The husband and I also discuss what we can do with the seasoning to make it are just suggestions you know.  :)  This week's menu includes:

The enchilada zucchini boats and the black bean quinoa are the new recipes I am trying this week.  I will let you know how they are.  The enchiladas will be tonight and the quinoa will be a side for our barbeque on Labor Day.

My one other tip for the grocery store...arrange your list like the store is arranged.  It really helps you go through the store and your list without having to do a whole lot of back tracking because you missed items.

After my marathon at the grocery store, I settled in with my book.

I'm not very far into The Lost Symbol, but it already has me hooked!  I picked it up again this morning during my extra coffee time.  I definitely be reading tonight!

Do you have any tips for meal planning and conquering the grocery store?

What are you reading?

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