Monday, November 30, 2009

Back in the Blogging Saddle Again

Thanksgiving is just past us, and I'm going to try this blogging thing again.

Thanksgiving is a great time to talk about food. After all, food is one of the three "F's" of Thanksgiving: food, football, and family. This year, I managed to get 2 of the 3 F's and am still lamenting the lack of football.

We spent Thanksgiving dinner with our cousins. There were many of what I call the traditional fixings as well as some unique ones. Turkey - yum. Cranberry sauce - two kinds and yum. Vegetables galore - mixed veggies, creamed onions, sweet potato yumminess, winter squash casserole. Stuffing - two kinds and more yum. Salad with homemade dressing - yum (and I'm not a salad fan!). For dessert, there were chocolates, cookies, 2 kinds of pumpkin pie, apple pie, cranberry-walnut bread, and pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Lots more yum.

This year's Thanksgiving included a kids' table! Much happiness from this addition. I feared that Caleb would not eat, but he just chose to eat mostly the raw veggies on the kid table instead of the food I brought him from the main spread. And by mostly raw veggies, I mean he chomped happily on bell peppers, carrots, and celery in rather obscenely large quantities. As Aaron tells me, you do not complain when your kid eats vegetables. He did munch a bit on his plate of traditional fixings, and he apparently likes the winter squash casserole I make. Ellie also noshed on a variety of the foods, but her favorite was the cranberry sauce - actually the canned stuff to be more precise. I was delighted to find an organic canned cranberry jelly this year since I refuse to buy the kind with high fructose corn syrup yet I need cranberry jelly for it to feel like Thanksgiving.

I've thought a bit about how my kids ate this weekend because holidays are often times when we all eat less healthfully than we might otherwise choose. My kids had more dessert options available, but I don't feel like they overindulged. Caleb asked for a second cookie at Thanksgiving dessert. When I saw he was talking about a 1-2 inch cookie, I agreed. He didn't ask for any more cookies. He ate a bit of pumpkin bread about an hour later. Besides the Thanksgiving desserts, I also made a sinfully delicious chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate glaze. We all enjoyed it immensely on Saturday, and my kids strangely have not been begging for it since.

I wonder how my kids manage to regulate themselves or not crave the sweet stuff like I do. Certainly they don't eat it as much as I do. I've been thinking that I would be much healthier (and weigh a lot less) if I ate like my kids do.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Food Inventory

Since I got rather stuck in my menu planning (see previous post!), I decided to think about the foods which need to get used this week. I'm taking inventory to see what comes of it.
  • Squash: several delicata squash, 3 butternut squash (though one should go to my neighbor), 2 zucchini, 1 spaghetti squash, 1 carnival squash, and 1 unknown (looks like delicata but with orange stripes instead of green).
  • Red bell peppers (a few), 1 small purple bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • Lots of pumpkin puree
  • Lots of apples
OK, so squash = roasting and soup and bread. Not sure about the spaghetti squash as my memory of spaghetti squash is mixed. Bell peppers = enchiladas, chili, or scrambled eggs/quiche. Carrots = soup, salad, snacks. I find carrots to be uninspired. I should try to change my opinion of them. As for the pumpkin, maybe that should be my soup this week? And apples, yes we still have apples after all this time. I must figure out apple oatmeal cookies and probably will end up making more applesauce in addition to apple bread. Ooh... I wonder whether I can remember how I made apple zucchini raisin nut bread. That was tasty.

At least now I have some more ideas. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts about menu planning or those foods that you bought because "this will be great" and then you don't know what to do with them.

We need a menu here!

Shopping day came and went. I didn't have a menu for the week. The weekend came and went. I didn't make a menu for the week.

What are we going to feed the kids (and supposedly ourselves)?

Tuesday November 3
Oven chicken fingers made with panko breadcrumbs.
Sides: roasted delicata squash, applesauce

Wednesday November 4
NO IDEA - I'm out that night working. Aaron might do something with pasta or leftovers.

Thursday November 5
Aaron and I like to have pizza night after the kids go to bed. Still, what to feed the kids. I vote for pasta or even something ready to eat from Trader Joe's because it's quick and easy. Sides might include green peas or beans.

Friday November 6
Fish, green veggie, more squash, brown rice, challah. This is our traditional Friday night dinner. Last week I made our challah rather than using the very yummy store-bought. I *might* try again for a better texture and shape.

Saturday November 7
I really want something that screams fall, regardless of temperature. Soup comes to mind. Soup with yummy bread.

Sunday November 8
I teach in the morning and do teaching prep after that. Cooking dinner is hard on Sundays. I'll have to think this one over some more.

Monday November 9
Classic macaroni and cheese WITH vegetables. I think I'll use this as my starting point.