Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Night, March 28, 2011

Working on the pantry challenge... I'm having a hard time with this right now. I have so many little odds and ends left in the freezer that I'm not sure what to do... Right now I am focused mostly on the fridge, but I'll try to find ways to use the freezer stash as well.

Tonight, we're going to have:

Minestrone Soup (found a few small containers of leftover minestrone from other times. If it's not enough to go around, I'll add a few more veggies and  no one will be the wiser. The real question is, can I mix in the pureed cauliflower that stares me in the face every time I open the freezer?!)

Baked potatoes (actually, not sure if we really need these; maybe I'll rummage through the freezer and find something to use up! I'm afraid some of my labels rubbed off and I'm left with mystery food... does that ever happen to you?)

Cottage Cheese pancakes (we like these slightly salty. mix cottage cheese, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. cook in a skillet just like pancakes)


Let me know if you're also doing a pantry challenge. How's it going?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Night, March 28, 2011

Ok -
Quick! What's for dinner? It's a busy day and I'm sneezing my head off... and trying to stick to my pantry challenge...
Quick survey of the kitchen reveals lots of tomatoes and leftover whole wheat bread...

So I made:
Tomato Soup -  I used every shortcut I can... saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add diced, fresh, ripe tomatoes (I used about 7-8 good sized ones), cover the pot and simmer for about 10 min. over med-low heat. Add water, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon or 2 of honey. Bring to a boil, then simmer for as long as you can manage. Puree with your handy-dandy immersion blender. I also added 1/4 tsp of baking soda to cut the acid for my reflux-girl.

Grilled Cheese sandwiches

Cut veggies

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Night, March 27, 2011

Oops! The day flew by; we were doing some major clean up and organization projects! At least I can look at the playroom and know that it is organized and we threw out LOTS of junk that had accumulated. I promised myself that I will not allow the children to buy any more toys from the shekel store again! It's just destined for the garbage, so let them keep it, and let me keep my hard-earned shekels!

Anyhow, quick supper plan for tonight:
Breakfast for supper! (Can you tell this is just for me and the kids? Hubby is coming home late...)

Oatmeal - I said I had to use up the oats I have on hand!
Toast with peanut butter and jelly
Yogurt, Cheese, etc
Carrot Sticks, Cucumber sticks

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shabbat Parashat Parah (March 25-26, 2011)

I'm going to continue using up whatever I can this week!

We're mostly using stuff that's here in the house that needs to be used before Pesach, although I did buy some fresh produce...

Here's the plan:

Lentil Soup
Stew of some kind - I have no idea yet what - in the crock pot
Steamed Broccoli
Shnitzel/Other chicken that I found in the freezer
Brown Rice (made with the soup stock I made earlier this week)
Cut Vegetables
Carrot Kugel (from the freezer)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wednesday night - March 23, 2011

I'm really hoping to bake some bread in the morning on Wednesday (let's see if I can really do it this time. Every time I have planned to since our Aliyah, I have given up before getting started). So I don't want to spend much time in the kitchen in the afternoon. (I think this is a common theme. I never seem to want to spend much time cooking. Life has just gotten too busy...)

So, with that in mind, here's what we're having for supper:

Garlic Bread

Spaghetti with Roasted Vegetables (Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Onions)

Make-your-own-Salad (we have lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, purple cabbage)

Fruit Salad (my 6 year old's specialty!)

What are you making? Please join in our pantry challenge! Let us know how you're using up your pantry in preparation for Pesach.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tuesday Night, March 21, 2011

Wow! What a week it's been so far!
Things were crazy going from Shabbat to Purim, and then trying to get tons of stuff done on Monday. Of course, not enough got done, but we'll get there.
We're trying to figure out how to get ready for Pesach, and still live our lives. I jokingly told the kids we were taking the idea of living me'avdut l'cherut (from slavery to freedom) to a different level, and they would all get to feel like slaves for the next few weeks.
My 3 yr old promptly dumped out every toy in the playroom. AGAIN. sigh. (she made it very clear that she isn't playing the slave game...)

Anyhow, here's our menu for Tuesday, with an emphasis on foods in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Oh, and a focus on "easy".

Cheese "quesadillas" - really we'll just use pitot or laffahs.
Lentil soup
Salad - lettuce, purple cabbage, cucumbers, and honey-cinnamon'd oranges

Purim is over... Pesach is coming

Will you join in my  pantry challenge?
Take some time to go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry. List what you have, and let's try to use it up!
I think tonight we're finishing off the Shabbat leftovers, but after that we're up for a major pantry challenge!

Here's a partial list of things I've found:
olive oil
a few pkgs of pasta
whole wheat couscous
garbanzo beans
black beans
white beans - not sure what kind they are
green lentils
frozen phyllo dough
frozen bourekas
assorted frozen leftovers
frozen peas
frozen green beans
corn meal
oat bran
sesame seeds
sesame butter
soynut butter
peanut butter
various fruit spreads
date honey

So I'm going to try hard to use up my the stuff in the house. This is a great opportunity to make sure things get used up before they're out of date, and minimize the shopping in the weeks prior to pesach so that the pesach shopping bill doesn't feel so insane! (save money now, spend it later....)
Who's in?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shabbat Zachor

Quick Shabbat menu rundown:

(This is turning into a crazy day!)

Here's what I'm making - we'll be eating the same things for both Friday night and Shabbat lunch, just swapping Friday night's soup for the stew...

Vegetable Soup / Some random stew in the crock pot
Roast Chicken 
Broccoli-Cauliflower Kugel from the freezer
Carrot Kugel
Roast Zucchini
Salad - whatever I manage to throw together! (gotta start having the kids make the salad...)
Fruit Salad

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Night, Post-Taanit Ester

Looks like I have a feast to prepare. Several of them!

I wonder if I can double-up some of the preparation, and serve some things more than once.

Here's how we'll be breaking the fast:

Vegetable Soup (my usual, saute onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and any other soup worthy vegetables. lower the flame and cook, covered, for 10 min. then add soup stock, spices, salt and pepper. simmer until you need to serve it. the longer it cooks, the more complex the flavor...)

Broccoli Quiche - if I run out of time, this will be a crustless quiche.

Baked Potatoes

Artichokes - love those dancing children! (see Tuesday's post if you're not sure what I mean!)

Salad - right now I have tomatoes, purple cabbage, cucumbers, and red peppers. perhaps i'll throw in a sliced carrot, too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday night - March 16, 2011

It was so gorgeous out today! And we all got busy and the afternoon. So I didn't really have a supper plan.

This is what we managed to throw together:

Baguette with butter

Garden Pea Soup - this soup is so quick, easy, and yummy too. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, add frozen green peas, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Puree, and serve. Easy as pie. Actually, easier than pie!



For some reason, I couldn't push myself to make a salad tonight. It just didn't happen. At least we had the garden pea soup!

What's your favorite quick recipe?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Night, March 15, 2011

Sorry for not posting for a couple of days. Life got in the way. My computer has been turned into the telephone - it's they way we communicate with friends and family overseas - webcam and magicjack - and it's hard to find time to just write. It's been especially busy the last couple of days...

In addition, I have been feeling seriously burned out. Not just cooking burnout, just plain burnout. Sometimes life gets like that. Trying to figure out ways to recharge without actually abandoning my children...


Anyhow, here's the supper plan for tonight:

Pitot with vegetarian taco filling
Potato Bourekas (working on the freezer cleanout)
Artichokes (that's what happens when my younger 3 children accompany me to the store. they see artichokes and start dancing. isn't that nuts? not exactly frugal but they were a lot less expensive than last time I saw them - only 8NIS/kilo - so I bought them. at least they weren't begging for candy!)

A bit of a hodge-podge menu, I admit, but everyone ate happily, which was the goal. When my hubby gets back from his trip, I'll have to re-start the "organized" menus...

Have a good day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Night, March 13, 2011

As usual, the family needs to eat. Doesn't matter what's in the news, the kids remain blissfully ignorant and excited that Purim is coming...

Sunday night's supper:

Soup (leftover from Shabbat)
Various leftovers from our dairy meal on Shabbat
Pita "Toasts" - with cheese melted on them
Cherry Tomatoes

Feeling really uninspired today. What do you do when you are preoccupied, overwhelmed, and just really not in the mood to cook?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shabbat Parashat VaYikra (March 11-12)

I am working with my children to clean up and organize around the house, and in keeping with my Pre-Pesach plan, I pulled out a variety of foods from the freezer!

So here's what we're having for Shabbat:

Friday night:
Vegetable -Barley Soup
Carrot Kugel
Mushroom-Noodle Kugel
Roasted Potatoes

Shabbat Lunch:
Stew (whatever I throw together in the crockpot)
Hummus and Vegetables
Cheese Bourekas
Cauliflower Kugel
Ice Cream (my children have decided that ice cream trumps all!)

A little haphazard, I admit, but this helps with my freezer cleanout, and I don't have to cook all night or all day!

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday night - March 9, 2011

It's a rainy day! (I have been trying to teach my children that here in Israel we don't wish the rain away, as we may have in the States, instead we view it as a bracha. We need all the rain we can get! They're still not so happy about not playing outside, though.)

Rainy day, drafty house... add it up and we just HAVE to have a simple warming supper.

So, tonight we'll have:

Garlic Bread (I've been roasting fresh garlic cloves in my oven, and then spreading this on french bread... yum!)

Lentil, Barley, and Black Bean Stew - I'm putting this in my crock pot, despite the mixed reviews about energy efficiency. It warms up the kitchen a bit, and that would be good today!
This stew is made by combining diced onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, and lentils (rinsed), barley (rinsed) and black beans (pre-cooked) in the crock pot. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper if you're adventurous!  (This stew is filling and provides complete proteins because of the grain/legume combination!)

Cut Veggies with Hummus - for my children who feel the need to have a bunch of different foods on their plates!  (You can make your own hummus like this: soak 250g of chick peas, overnight. drain. Boil in fresh water for 2 hours, salting towards the end. Transfer to your food processor, reserving the cooking water. Process till smooth (you will need to add cooking water to achieve the right consistency). Add lemon juice (to taste - probably 1-2 lemons' juice), minced garlic (to taste - probably 2 cloves), 6 T. tahini (sesame paste), 2 T. olive oil. Process it all till smooth, adding more of the cooking water as necessary. Enjoy!)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tuesday Night, March 8, 2011

I'm so tired; one of my kids has a cold that is not going away on its own. I'm starting to get concerned... and it's wearing her out and wearing me out. We are not sleeping so well at night!

So, even though it feels like spring, we're still eating soup!

Here's my plan for Tuesday night:

Vegetable Soup (with extra garlic to help get rid of that cold)

Chick Pea & Tomato Salad - don't forget to soak the chickpeas overnight before cooking them! Combine cooked chick peas with diced tomatoes, olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper. (it really is worthwhile cooking the chick peas from scratch - the frozen and canned varieties cost so much more per kilo! and the cans may have BPA in them, so best to avoid them altogether...) I was considering making this a chick pea and roasted tomato salad... any idea how that would taste?

Cut Veggies (we have cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and celery)

Baked Ziti or other pasta (something without tomato sauce for the picky kids!)

Banana Bread - I bought too many bananas and now we MUST find a way to use them!

We're definitely working our way through the pantry and freezer stuff. How about you?

Monday Night, March 7, 2011

I have been a little nutty lately, and I'm afraid I'm going to find myself back in a food rut if I don't watch out. My children may be happy eating macaroni & cheese or pizza day in and day out, but I just need more variety!

(The trouble is, that also requires more time, and I'm feeling a little overtaxed right now.)

So tonight we'll be having:

Citrus fruits (we have a couple of oranges, clementimes, and grapefruits hanging out in the fridge. time to use them up!)

French toast (I just noticed the leftover challah sitting on the kitchen table, asking to be used and not thrown out...) We eat this with the crazy expensive real maple syrup I splurged on one day. I cannot bring myself to put high fructose corn syrup and food coloring on my family's plates. that just isn't food...

Scrambled Eggs or Omelettes

Carrot and Cucumber Sticks

Hopefully this will satisfy my crew, and not be too labor intensive! I'm trying to get organized so that by the time I have to clean for Pesach things will be more manageable. (Trouble is, some things came off the lift and got shoved into a corner, and never found a real home and certainly never got organized!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shabbat Parashat Pikudei (March 4-5, 2011)

So my kids convinced me that we should buy ice cream since it's so warm out. They decided ice cream is the ideal Shabbat dessert, especially considering the fact that I said I wasn't sure I was baking anything this week...

So we're doing something different. We're only having chicken Friday night. That way we can have ice cream Shabbat afternoon! (Personally, I agree with them about the ice cream in principle. But I couldn't bring myself to splurge on the good stuff, so I'm not as excited as they are.)

Here's the plan:

Friday Night
Minestrone Soup (I have a lot left from the other night, and I made it pareve on purpose)

Chicken - in a honey-mustard marinade

Carrot Kugel - from the freezer (I'll probably have to make more next week)

Pan-Fried Tofu (marinade tofu in Italian dressing, then pan-fry in EVOO)

Whatever odds and ends I pull out of the freezer

Shabbat Lunch
Split Pea Soup (Crock Pot)

Broccoli Puff (requested by 12 y.o. son)

sauteed onions and mushrooms 

Spicy Roast Potatoes

Cut Veggies

Ice Cream

Seudah shlishit
Pitot, vegetables, sliced cheese, yogurt, etc

What's on your menu?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Minestrone Follow Up

Remember I said I was going to put some cabbage in the minestrone soup and hope the kids wouldn't notice it?

Well, to my surprise, everyone loved it! They said this minestrone soup was BETTER than my usual! The two middle children, who usually complain about minestrone not being their favorite soup, even asked for seconds!

That came from kids who rarely comment when they like the food I serve, but are VERY vocal about the food they don't like.

I'm quite pleased with the results!

Wednesday night - March 2, 2011

I had a really busy day yesterday and the afternoon flew past me. So the kids and I decided together to just have pitot topped with olives and tomatoes, with cheese melted on top. I steamed some broccoli to get everyone to eat something green.

So for Wednesday, I'm planning a little better (I'm ok with my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants dinner, after all, everyone needs to just take care of other things sometimes!)...

Minestrone Soup - since I use such a variety of veggies in my minestrone soup, I think I can sneak some of that cabbage into it without being noticed. And to my son who reads this blog - please don't tell your brother and sisters!

Broccoli Puff - this is a simple mixture of chopped broccoli, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, eggs, a little flour, salt and pepper, baked up till it's golden brown on top. Yummy, a favorite in this house!

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad - my kids love mozzarella cheese, so I just slice up tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and add some chunks of mozzarella and some fresh (or dried) basil. You can keep this frugal by using small chunks of cheese, and not so much. Really tomatoes are the star of this salad!

Spicy Roasted Potatoes - Mix olive oil with mustard, garlic powder, and ground black pepper. Cut potatoes into wedges and coat with olive oil/mustard mixture. Roast in a 400 F oven till crispy, golden brown. The kids like to dip them in ketchup....