Monday, June 20, 2011

Dinner This Week Using New Pressure Cooker

Excited about my recent purchase of a stovetop pressure cooker, Fagor 8-quart Pressure Cooker, I have planned a couple of meals that involve this new purchase.  I have purchased two pressure cookbooks recently, and I've been reading them non-stop. 

I have done the important "Test Drive" of my pressure cooker which gave me some confidence.  This involves boiling some water and then keeping it under pressure for ten minutes.  Then, I tried making one chicken dish which was a bomb and went to the trash.  (Did you see my confidence just go out the window?)  Although it probably would have tasted good, I was using some admittedly freezer burned chicken, and then I had some difficulty deciding if the pressure cooker was up to pressure.  As a result, the chicken was grossly overcooked. 

Ever hopeful, I'm going to give my pressure cooker another try.  It's one of my many culinary goals for the summer.  I may even try making my own hummus again, this time starting out with dried chickpeas cooked in the pressure cooker.

This Week's Dinners

Monday - Porcupine Meatballs with Egg Noodles (pressure cooker recipe from Miss Vickie's Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes)

Tuesday - BBQ Ribs and Rice (pressure cooker recipe from Lorna Sass:  Pressure Perfect)

Wednesday - Grilled chicken with Orzo & Feta Salad.  I'll marinate the chicken in lemon juice, olive oil, and a little basil and oregano.

Thursday - Grilled Mini Pizzas * see below
* Pizza with Watercress and Fig Jam (for me)
* Pizza with Cheddar, Granny Smith Apple, and Bacon (for DB)
* Pepperoni Pizza (for son Griffin)
* Pineapple Pizza (for daughter Julia)

If the pressure cooker recipes come out well, I'll post the recipe.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dinner This Week

Do you know what you're having for dinner this week?  A couple of years ago, I started writing down what I plan to serve for dinner in the upcoming week every Sunday morning.  Then I hit the grocery store.

There are so many great reasons why I do this bit of extra work.  Most importantly,  it allows me to feel more "in control" of my life.  I no longer find myself feeling panicked because I don't have anything defrosted and nothing sounds good to me.  My kids no longer ask, "What Are We Having For Dinner?" because it's already written down. 

Just because I'm writing it down doesn't mean I'm cooking more elaborate dinners, please note.  Even if I'm making sandwiches for dinner, the decision's been made.  I don't have any indecisiveness to bring me down during the already busy work week.

I also save money by doing this.  I only buy the food I need to create this dinners.  No longer do I find myself throwing something in the cart because it looks good, only to realize I didn't get around to cooking it and then it's thrown into the freezer.  In addition, by planning ahead I have everything I need to make each dinner because I made my grocery list while sitting calmly in my kitchen.  If I'm unsure about whether or not I have an ingredient, I just open the refrigerator and cabinets and look.  No more purchasing something I already had!

This week's dinners are extra plain and unhealthy due to our schedule.  It's the last week of school and I'm feeling a bit uninspired.


Sunday:  Turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, salad
Monday:  Sweet and sour chicken, rice, salad (I almost bought bottled sweet and sour sauce, but I'm just going to make my own with pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and vinegar)
Tuesday:  Omelets, fried Spam, toast, and sliced strawberries
Wednesday:  BLT sandwiches on the beach, potato chips
Thursday:  Hot dogs, Shoestring fries