Jul 30, 2011

food for the month

Usually every week I create a menu for us to follow for dinner but this week I'm trying something different.  I subscribe to the Rachael Ray magazine...sometimes I'm inspired other times I'm a little annoyed with the issues because they are SO wordy.  This month, however I actually spent two days looking at it from front to back- even making mental notes on what sounded good.  I shared my ideas with Travis and he said go for it.

So today I went to HEB, grabbed the necessary ingredients and got to cooking.  I even had help from my favorite little red head...he is great at squeezing lemons! 

So here's what I bought:

4 lb chicken thighs
4 lb chicken breast (bone in)
10 lb pork shoulder/butt
8 lemons
1 bottle Kitchen Sink white wine (to cook with and drink)
fresh paprika (heb health/organic aisle)
fresh thyme (heb health/organic aisle)
1 jar salsa verde
whole wheat buns
Hawaiian buns
pepper jack cheese
taco shells

So.....when I got home I prepped my pans by placing parchment paper on them (easier clean up). I placed the thighs on one sheet and breasts on the other.  Set your oven to 400 and move your racks to the highest and lowest settings.  Squeeze the juice from two lemons on all of the chicken. Dirzzle 2 tbs of EVOO. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of paprika and 1 tsp of thyme. Season with Salt and Pepper.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Check for doneness.  Cool for 15 minutes and then pull the meat from the bones.  Shredding and chopping as you go- or when you are done pulling the meat from the bone.  Then pull out 5 baggies.  Fill each baggie with 1 1/2 cups of chicken. Squeeze out the air and seal.  Place all baggies in a larger freezer bag and seal.  Now you should have 12 cups of chicken to pull and use through out the month/week. 

So for the first meal I used 2 cups of shredded chicken and 1 jar of salsa verde (I bought the cheap kind and it was awesome).  Put that over a low flame until heated through.  Then using a hearty wheat bun (get a good brand - HEB brand ended up a little soggy by the end of the meal) spoon a good sized amount of chicken on to the bun.  Place a slice of pepper jack cheese on top and put in the oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted.   On the top bun spread mayo and a smashed avocado and sprinkle a few leaves of cilantro and a slice of tomato.  Then put the two together and enjoy.....

This makes enough for 4 sandwiches.

Now with the other 10 cups of chicken I'm planning on making: chicken tortilla soup, shredded chicken tacos, and chicken spaghetti...and I'm sure I'll have enough to make a few more things....

The pork is cooking now... at 325.  I have 1/2 cup white wine, 6 cloves of garlic and the zest of 2 lemons with it in a roasting pan. It smells awesome! I'm squirting the juice over the meat every hour.  Once it's done
I'll do the same process with pulling the meat and then bagging it up.  I'll make pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, fried rice and several other things....

My house smells amazing right now!

Suggestions:  make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to cook.  Extra hands are a bonus.  Clean as you go.  Make sure you have baggies- all sizes. Pour a glass of wine when you start the whole process.

Have fun!

Jul 28, 2011

Gotta joke for ya

So, yesterday Cade out of the blue asks, "what does a snowman eat for breakfast?" Me, thinking this was a normal everyday question, looked at him with a blank stare.  He follows up with, "frosted flakes!" 

That was his first official joke. 

I was so impressed I had him tell Nana, Granddad and his Juty.

They were all equally impressed.

Today started off with a trip to Target.  I swear they have the whole toy department on clearance. Definitely going to make another run through tomorrow before the weekend crowd hits it.  We picked up a birthday gift, Christmas present and a rubber frog for under $10. nice, huh?

We ran to Gymnastics and then came home to spend about an hour with Travis before he had to leave for work this afternoon. Once he left  I had the W   H   O   L  E afternoon to play, play and play.

We played, Hi Ho Cherry Oh, twice.  Candyland.  Retold 3 Billy Goat Gruff (with Calypso Joe the Caribbean Troll) about 6 times....it really is a cute book though.  We built 2 towers out of mega blocks.  Read a Library book. Downloaded a new game on ipod. Watched an epidsode of Barney.  Took a bath. Ate dinner. Played in the tent and then finally it was time for the gym.

I'm hooked on a new class- yoga-lates.  20%yoga 80%pilates put to awesome music... no waterfall, butterfly music here.  Tonight we heard: ice, ice baby, willie nelson, coldplay, sugarland, journey.... the instructor is fabulous.  She is inspirational.... one class is all it takes and you'll be hooked!

Crap.  I better go be a good daughter in law and wish my mother in law a very happy birthday!    We're seeing her tomorrow after my gym class......