Monday, October 7, 2013

Great Dinner Experiment :: This Week in Food


The Great Dinner Experiment is alive and hopping. September killed it. October is shaping up quite nicely herself. It takes a bit of work on the front end, but that work pays dividends when I wake my groggy, sleep-deprived self up and already know what's on the docket. I know if I need to thaw meat, do any heavy mixing or chopping, run to the store, or chuck it all because it's one of the nights where we have other plans for dinner. (Going to Cory's parents' house, church, eating out, etc...)

I'm pinning all available GDE recipes right here, where I share any changes I made and give general feedback. I'll be honest, there have been a few duds. But we've also found some newbies that will soon be regulars in the rotation.

This BBQ Chicken Pizza will be made over and over again by yours truly. It was divine and pretty simple to throw together. I added chopped avocado (duh!) and subbed store-bought pizza crush for this homemade crust (my go-to). But now I'm just bragging.

It's strangely enjoyable to force myself to try a bunch of the recipes I've been tearing out of magazines for, oh, a decade or so. Because, you know, once something is written on proper notebook paper, in ink, it's the equivalent of a pinky promise or that Blood Sister thing that I was always too chicken to actually do. It's practically legally binding. I write down "Tilapia Tacos with Roasted Pineapple-Black Bean Salsa" and just like magic, I follow through and cook it, surprising everyone, but mostly myself. (Apparently, I'm the kind of girl who benefits from the occasional kick in the pants, when it comes to things like time management and breaking out of routine. Who knew??)

I'm easing up a bit in October, relying on some of our tried-and-trues. But I'll still be welcoming plenty of newcomers to the party.

This week's Low-Down:
Monday: One Pot Wonder pasta, Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Jenna's Mexican Pizza and Spanish rice
Wednesday: (Eat at church)
Thursday: Stuffed Pepper Soup, Autumn Chopped Salad, biscuits
Friday: $5 Little Caesars!
Saturday: Curried Chicken with Coconut Rice
Sunday: Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki

Snacks:
Bacon and avocado toasts
Apples and homemade dip

Incidentally, this girl (far right) is my new favorite food pinner. She's a perfect mix of fresh, clean eats and decadent desserts.Could there be a better combo?

While I'm at it: I miss these ladies. All for different reasons. We got swept into a whirlwind together and now it's all a memory and parts of hearts are still far away. I wish we could all go for tea and chocolate croissants every Wednesday at 9.

*sigh*

So, tell me what I need to know about food and dinner and gooey desserts. What am I missing? In what ways does my world need to be rocked?

Happy Brand New Week, Homies.

Luv,
FPFG

21 comments:

  1. Shannon, if you have freezer space, you might like trying some make ahead freezer meals. I have a lot of recipes on my Pinterest board under that same title. All of them that we've tried were really good. I think the thing I enjoy about doing them (other than the obvious ease of it all) is how much money it saves at the market!

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  2. Admittedly, this is not an original recipe of mine. Credit goes to Pip & Ebby. But, I reworked it according to ingredients I had on hand, and now it is a family fav. Although, the family is not as crazy about the leftovers -- which totally breaks my heart (not) because I can hardly wait long enough to HEAT it to eat the leftovers! [Yes, it's yummy cold...] So... it's all good. Literally. Hope you'll try & LOVE it. xo ~Sal

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  3. What I have found out is that it's ok to experiment and substitute. Some of my best recipes happened because I was too lazy to run out for one or two things to "do it right".

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  4. The one pot pasta WAS great and SOOOO easy!

    As to desserts....my favorite part of the meal....and so many recipes that I could share. BUT, one of the favorites is to throw different things in to brownie mix....chopped reeses PB cups and snickers, Andes Mint chips, blobs of nutella.....and then bake (in my oven) for 28 minutes!

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  5. My favorite recipe site is http://www.ourbestbites.com/. I like everything I've ever made from there, and so does my family. And, it's easy to make things. Win win! I highly recommend the Rockin' Italian meatloaf, the nachitoches (though I put them in pizza dough, calzone style, rather than in pie dough) and the Italian Chicken Sandwiches with red pepper sauce to get you started. Also, have you ever tried lasagna soup? It's the best! http://peggyunderpressure.com/2012/12/deconstructed-lasagna-soup-electric-pressure-cooker-recipe/

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    1. Sweet! Will take a gander.
      And lasagna soup is on the docket for next week. :)

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  6. The one pot wonder is AWESOME! I've made it a couple of times now. I changed it up a bit: I use the whole box of pasta and instead of water I use organic chicken broth (4 cups) + 1 cup water. I also use more garlic cloves then the recipe says and I cut the red pepper flakes to 1/4 tsp. , my family is wimpy that way. Hope you like it!
    Brandi N.

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  7. Hi, if you have some sweet potatoes put some in your curry chicken. The curry with the coconut with the sweet potatoes... It is soooo good.

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    1. ABR~ Is that red curry or green? I just bought a bag of sweet potatoes and little jar of green curry paste, to be used is separate recipes but your got me curious. Thanks, Roberta :)

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    2. Hi Roberta, I have never made it with green curry but regular white potatoes with green curry is good so sweet potatoes would probably be good with it too.
      My preferred curry is the jamaican style curry powder which can sometimes be a bit spicy but the spicy is offset by the coconut milk. sooooo good. And try a Jasmine rice. Yum Yum Yum. My 18 month old always asks for "mo pease" whenever I make this.

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  8. You had me at bacon and avocado toast...

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    1. Your life will be forever changed. Cory and I are addicted.
      The lime is a MUST!

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  9. Oh darling. Tis the season for pumpkin. Do yourself a favor and try this as soon as you possibly can:
    http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-brown-sugar-glaze/
    Except i made it without the walnuts because my kiddos don't like them. But this is the best fall dessert i know!

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  10. oh i didn't know you were doing something like this! i have just implemented one for october. i missed cooking so much. working like a dog from morning till night was doing that part of my life in but no more! i made a whole menu with shopping list for october and we are going rotate new recipes in each week..month. deleting the ones we don't like...may i join you? you inspire me:) now i am off to check out your girl that loves decadent desserts...me too!
    love ya on a tuesday...xo

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  11. oh..i forgot to tell you. i am making the grilled cheese pull apart rolls and tomato soup this week...found it on YOUR pinterest board...ha! tried them?

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  12. loving the GDE...and YES- Little Caesar's on Friday. We do it every. single. Friday.

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  13. You must check out Iowa Girl Eats. I think she would be right up your alley. Everything I've tried is delicious and usually easy!

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  14. I'm pretty sure you won't need any other recipe than this one: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/creamy-chicken-enchiladas.html It's a favorite around here! The rotel is a bit spicy for my girls so I usually use a can of petite diced tomatoes in its place and I use chihuahua cheese if I have it on hand. Hope you love it too!

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  15. I'm pretty sure you won't need any other recipe than this one: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/creamy-chicken-enchiladas.html It's a favorite around here! The rotel is a bit spicy for my girls so I usually use a can of petite diced tomatoes in its place and I use chihuahua cheese if I have it on hand. Hope you love it too!

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  16. Tried the spanish rice and also the apple dip recipes this week to rave reviews. Pretty fun that the same blog that gets my heart pumping more like the Father's is also a place that gives me a way to get bonus points in the kitchen from my family.

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