Metabolism & Menus

We’re enjoying a relaxing morning over here. We’re heading off to the beach at St. Malo in a little bit and I’ve had the 10 minutes in the tub which are required when one is going to be getting into a bathing suit. (I think it is a cruel act of nature that once you reach the age where your metabolism lessens and things start to sag, that you start getting hair in all sorts of unfortunate places. Not that I’ve reached that age or anything…)

Before we go I first have to (get out of my bathrobe) pack the cooler with lunch and snacks for everyone and get tonight’s planned supper in the crockpot: Jean Pare’s slowcooker meatloaf stew, which is meatloaf on top potatoes and carrots. It’s really good — even if it doesn’t sound the most appetizing.

You see, I’m a new woman. I’m planning my meals and making muffins and cakes and cookies from scratch (well, last night’s cake was Betty Crocker, but you get the picture). I’ve never really taken any pleasure in making meals for my family. Our fridge and freezer was always full but I never seemed to have what was needed to make good meals. I’d usually decide on supper at 4:45 and have it on the table by 5:15 — which I understand is a feat in itself, but I want to do things differently now.

So, now that we’re here and I’ve had to start over with an empty fridge and freezer and one box of things for the cupboard (besides all of the canisters of baking supplies), I’m making a month’s menu and buying the things I need for two weeks at a time. Lauralea always said I would thrive at the organization of this. And I certainly didn’t doubt her, but I just never had it in me. Now I do. And I’m really excited about it — and how thrifty I can be with everything.

Here’s a sampling:
This week: butter chicken, meatloaf stew, chicken/broccolli alfreado, pizza (every Friday is homemade pizza and (not homemade) movie night — a tradition friends of ours here in Manitoba have), stromboli

Next week: sesame chicken, shepherd’s pie, bacon & egg pasta, pizza, homemade soup & buns (Yes, I am finally going to start baking with yeast even though this may completely cancel out the fact that I am also joining the gym here.)

Following week: sweet & sour meatballs with rice, pork roast with all the fixings, chili, pork stirfry, pizza

You get the idea.

What I’m wondering if you all can do for me is leave me one recipe — of your family’s favourite/standard meal. Something that you make regularly, that everyone loves. If it is that kind of recipe, I’m assuming the recipe is probably in your head. Would you mind? I’d just like to branch out a bit and get some really good recipes, if you have a moment…

Posted in Life, Recipes | 17 Comments

17 Responses to Metabolism & Menus

  1. amber says:

    sure! this is one of our family favorites. it’s also a meal that i love bringig to other families when the opportunity arises and it’s had nothing but positive feedback. let me know if you try it!

    1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
    1 pkg Taco Seasoning
    1 can Refried Beans
    10 Tortilla Shells
    1 can Mushroom Soup
    1 tin Green Chillies
    1 cup Sour Cream

    Fry ground beef with onions, drain. Add taco seasoning & can of refried beans and mix together well. Scoop mixture into tortilla shells (about 3 heaping scoops per shell) and roll up like a burrito. Put into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Mix together the mushroom soup, green chillies & sour cream. Pour mixture over roll-ups. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake covered @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is golden brown. Serve with salsa, sour cream, lettuce & tortilla chips.

    ps – it was so great meeting you on the weekend!

  2. Ang says:

    One that our family absolutely loves is Meatball Stroganoff. I am waiting for Bill to get back to me as to whether it takes one or two cans of mushroom soup (I believe two); I can never remember without the recipe.

    Make your meatballs and brown. When they are cooked stir in 500 ml of sour cream, the mushroom soup, pepper, worchestershire sauce and cook until heated through. Serve with fettuccine. It is wonderful!

    I have lots of other ideas for you if you want – just let me know.

    Oh, by the way, welcome to the (dark) side of meal planning. Doesn’t it feel great!?

  3. Ang says:

    Amber, have you ever tried making that recipe ahead and freezing it? If yes, how did it freeze? It sounds delicious!!!

  4. sarah says:

    forget the toast cups and throw in some corn and potatos or whatever other veg suits your fancy. delicious.

  5. Randall says:

    Now that you live so near the Mennonite Mecca you should be able to connect with some good Mennonite farmer sausage. I think we were loving the Altona farmer sausage the best lately.

    Anyway, some good ole mennonite soup.

    i love it, and my family has made it for generations.
    Now Lauralea makes it, as well as any full blooded mennonite.

    As for the hair in unfortunate places, I can only assume you mean the hair just above your lips and beneath your nose, DON”T SHAVE IT! It tends to come back fuller and you’ll pass for an old greek grandma.

    Good job on the embracing your inner menu maker though.

  6. Carissa says:

    My new favorite recipe….slice up 5 chicken breats (or so!), put in a 9×13 baking dish, sprinkle grated Swiss cheese and sliced mushrooms (fresh or canned works) on top, pour over a can of undiluted chicken noodle soup (or two if you’re using lots of chicken), then sprinkle a package of stove top stuffing mix over it all, bake for an hour at 350. It’s awesome and super easy! (You could use mozza cheese too, I’m sure!). GREAT idea, Dixie! something I’ve wanted to do (plan meals and buy grocs less often but better….). Good for you! 🙂 So glad you’re doing so well! 🙂

  7. Johanna says:

    Ok, so not my favourite, but definitely my default easy-recipe because it only takes about 20 minutes for everything and I use whatever we have in the kitchen. That I can give you now, while sitting here at work.

    Pasta and Tomato Sauce!
    -onions & garlic (or powder)
    -vegetables if you have them (carrots, brocolli, tomatoes, peppers, etc)
    -meat (ground beef, chicken, stewing beef, whatever)
    -canned tomato sauce / tomato paste
    -olive oil
    -spices (oregano, basil, parsley, pepper, a pinch of dried chili pepper)

    1. Start water boiling for pasta
    2. Cut up any and all vegetables you have on hand. Onions, carrots, tomatoes, brocolli, anything. If you have nothing on hand, at least use an onion to give it some texture.
    2. Start cooking the meat if you have it (Ground beef, chicken, frying beef, whatever) If you don’t have meat on hand, fry up the onions.
    3. Get the pasta going…it should be ready to sit in boiling water by now
    4. Add to the onions (drain the meat and put to the side if you have it) all your other vegetables. Let it fry for a couple minutes then add tomato sauce and/or tomato paste. If you have fresh tomatoes you only need paste. If you don’t, you need the sauce. And you can add paste if you like. Add a good dollop of olive oil, as much as you like.
    5. Add spices (garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, pepper) and sugar to taste (start with 1 tablespoon)
    6. Once the sauce is hot add the meat and let the veggies cook
    7. Drain the pasta (should be done by now) and sprinkle it with olive oil.
    8. Set the table while the sauce finishes up.
    9. Eat it. All of it. Sometimes with frozen peas (heated up of course), or garlic toast, or whatever else you want.

    Bad instructions, I don’t write recipes for a living, but it’s super easy and quick and flexible.

  8. lyn says:

    Mac & Cheese with Chicken & Cauliflower

    Cook up a box of your favorite macaroni noodles.

    Cook up and chop a couple chicken breasts (or whatever chicken pieces you have to use up) (I fry mine up with some diced onions for extra flavour) – season with your usual seasonings while cooking (I used thyme, salt, pepper & garlic)

    Cook up half a head of cauliflower, and puree it (trust me).

    Cheese sauce:
    3 Tbsp flour
    1 Tbsp oil
    Salt & pepper
    Cayenne pepper
    Mustard powder
    (mix together in pot)
    Add chicken stock & milk (any proportion will do) to equal 3 cups liquid.
    Cook over med-high heat until mixture thickens. Add pureed cauliflower. Add as much grated cheese as you’d like.

    Mix chicken, noodles & sauce together and serve – OR put in a casserole dish & in the fridge until time to reheat for a meal (bake with extra cheese on top to reheat). Great to make the night before and just pop it in the oven an hour before supper.

  9. Jobina says:

    I think Mark makes the one thing that we ALL love…macaroni and cheese!
    boil 3-4 cups dry macaroni
    drain return to element now turned to low.
    stir in a spoon of margerine and 1/4-1/2 cup milk and gradually stir in 3-4 cups shredded cheese.
    Mine is always glom-y, his is perfect!
    (Mark and Riker are ketchup people with this, Trinity likes Salt and pepper and I’m a big fan of green onion, salmon and salt and pepper on top!)
    Serve with veggies and dip.

  10. Thanks everybody! Keep the recipes coming!!

    Also, maybe I should have kept the whole body hair out of the food post… but does any body have any waxing knowledge?

    (I can’t believe I just said that on the internet.)

  11. Danielle says:

    I love making meals that the leftovers can be made into a second different meal.

    One of my favorites is barbequeing chicken – boneless and skinless – we usually use chicken breasts, but you could use thighs. Make sure you cook a few extra pieces. On the side we make roasted vegetables which are super simple and tasty. Put in whatever you like, but we usually throw in a couple of bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic cloves (you could omit these if they would be too strong for the kids), hard green tomatoes, eggplant (etc. you get the idea). Cut all the veggies into bite size pieces. Put in a ziplock bag and pour in some olive oil (maybe a third of a cup) and spices (such as garlic plus or greek seasoning). Mix this up to distribute the oil. Pour this into a baking dish and bake at 350 until the veggies are cooked to your liking – usually 40 minutes depending on how much you have in the pan. The leftover chicken I make into quesedillas on another night and the leftover roasted veggies can be mixed into lots of different meals like spaghetti sauce or chili. The roasted veggies are also great on a homemade pizza.

  12. Bonnie says:

    I grew up on a cattle farm and ate way too much ground beef, steak and roast in my lifetime before I was 20.

    Then I marry a hunter and this past year have eaten more elk than any human being should.


    Now I’m on a chicken kick.

    First healthy recipe…HOMEMADE POPCORN CHICKEN.

    4 chicken breast cut into bite size pcs..use scissors!!
    Whole Wheat Flour
    Sea Salt
    Garlic Powder
    Butter or Margarine

    Mix up Whole Wheat Flour, Garlic Powder and Sea Salt in a ziploc bag.
    Throw chicken pcs in bag to coast with four mixture.
    Take Butter and smoosh ?? it all over the 9×13 baking pan. Throw in the chicken pcs and bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Stir halfway…the butter you smooshed in the pan will crisp up the chicken.

    Serve with dip of your choice.

    We like this with a cesear salad or a baked potatoe.

  13. Jean says:

    Brown2lbs. hamburger,In the meantime make your pasta. When the hamburger is browned, toss in onion flakes and two cans of tomoto soup. Mix thisall togetherand place in a casserole dish.Sprinkle shredded cheese over top. Place in oven,375 F and bake till done. Simple and tasty. Be generous with the cheese.

  14. Stacey says:

    I stopped by from Jobina’s blog, though I’m pretty sure I’ve been here before 🙂

    This is not your typical recipe, but it’s one that I made up that we all love.

    Creamy Curry Chicken

    Dice 3 or 4 chicken breasts. Brown in a pan with butter or oil (Whichever you like better). Then add 1/4 tsp Seasoning Salt, 1/2 tsp Tex Mex Seasoning, 1 1/2 tsp Curry Powder (or more if you like), 1-2 Tbsp Soy Sauce. Stir around, then add 1 Tbsp flour, 1 cup Cream, and 1 cup milk. Simmer it all together until it’s thick. Serve over pasta, rice, toast, or whatever else you can think of!

  15. Nicole says:

    Waxing knowledge – yes. The most important thing you should know – it will never be near as painful as your tearing during birth. I believe you might actually say, “what’s all the hype about?” in terms of the pain people talk about.

    Recipes – check out the link to Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog on my blog’s “Yummy” section if you’re looking for some yummy classics from the area. Also, we’re big fans of Butter Chicken in our house as of late – you can puchase the paste (which has the recipe on the back) at Safeway. Brand name Asian Home Gourmet.

  16. Collette says:

    waxing knowledge! I have more of that than I do family recipes. (having no kids ‘n all. well, I am actually a good cook, but I don’t make things like beef stroganoff. I make stuff like pesto stirred into rotini — I cook up some chicken sometimes and add it as well. or I saute zucchini in lots of butter, add a bit of water and powdered veggie stock, then add angel hair pasta, bite-sized cooked chicken pieces, and top it with parmesan. I’m not sure that kind of stuff is kid/family friendly. it’s certainly not what I grew up with).

    anyway, I use “Persian Cold Wax Hair Remover” that I get from Shopper’s. it’s in a grey box. it says cold wax, but I heat in the microwave a minute to make it easy to spread. not too hot or you burn yourself, though. I have two strips of cotton from old pillowcases, but you can use the strips they provide in the box. heat the wax in the microwave (lid off), smooth it on using the wooden utensil provided and smooth it in the direction the hair grows. if you do the opposite you’ll know immediately why you don’t do that – ouch! it doesn’t have to be too thick; do it as thin as you can without worrying toooooo much about it. place the strip on the waxed part and smooth it down with your hand. then, hold your skin taut and pull quickly and low to your skin. like, you kind of double back on the material. if you pull up, it will hurt more. hope that part makes sense! anyway, do that in sections (like about 2.5 inches by 5 inches, depending on what body part you’re doing). I find it doesn’t work much with my upper lip, so I use Nair there.

    or, ditch the bathing suit and wear a bikini top and board shorts. it’s cute, flattering, and you don’t have to wax! it’s what I do! (well, I wax as well to keep things under control. but I’m not one of those blond/hairless girls. my hair DEMANDS attention!)

  17. Angela Johnson says:

    Hi Dixie! I’ve been catching up on your blog today 🙂 A favourite quick meal that Scott and I often enjoy is a vegetarian version of taco salad.

    Make a green salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, peppers, etc.

    In a non-stick frying pan heat up a couple cans of mixed beans that have been rinsed off. Add about a cup of water, then add an envelope of taco seasoning. Cook that until the sauce has thickened.

    Top the salad with the spiced beans, and salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese, sour cream and of course a few taco chips (we like the lime ones).

    Scott and I steered clear of taco salad for YEARS after eating it for three months on a weekly basis for 8 summers in a row. Then a friend of ours made this for us for dinner once, and we LOVED it and have been enjoying it regularly since then 🙂

    And since you are meal-planning, if you get a bit stumped I recommend looking at Sandy Richard’s Meals for the Rushed cookbook (she has other ones, just can’t remember the names). The Looneyspoons, and Eat Shrink and Be Merry cookbooks are also good (there is also Crazy Plates by the same authors but I don’t find that one as good).

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