Monday, September 22, 2008

Five Days, Five Meals

Confession time, people. We eat take-out food way too much. And by "we," I don't mean the royal we of civilization as a whole (however true it may be), I mean "we" as in yours truly and the hubby.

Now, while this was not a problem when I was younger and working on my feet 8 hours a day as a waitress, it has increasingly become a problem in my older, desk-job days. (And I use increasingly in the most literal way.)

My October copy of Everyday Food came in the mail last week, and I was flipping through it on Saturday, stopping occasionally to show Steven a picture and ask, "Would you eat that?" (I got several nods from Steven; however, he was watching the baseball game, so I'm not sure if he was nodding at my question or nodding at Blyleven's commentary...)

I wrote down the ingredients for several of the meals and checked our fridge to see what I might need to get from the grocery store.



My fridge has nothing but bottled water and yellow mustard in it. Awesome.

Two hours and one very long receipt later, I was the proud owner of a week's worth of food and a five-day meal schedule. I promised myself I'd eat the leftovers for lunch each day at work, thereby achieving approximately 17 total meals from one rather pricey grocery trip.

My goal (and you people have to hold me to this) is to cook dinner every night this week. Every single night. (PS - I'm considering a "week" to consist only of the weekdays. I can cook on the weekend, no problem. Its those getting-home-at-seven-and-we're-starving-let's-go-to-Arby's nights that kill me.)

So... how have we done thus far?

Sunday's dinner was sort-of cheating. It didn't come from the magazine, and it was mostly an afterthought. As I was finishing up my grocery shopping, I realized it was 6:30 PM and I would come home to a starving husband with no Sunday dinner plan. As I had this thought, I was walking through the "international foods" aisle, wherein one might find such international delicacies as the Old El Paso Dinner Kit. (Yesss.) Ground beef, sour cream, and one bag of shredded mexican-blend cheese later, Sunday dinner was achieved. (There were no pictures. I barely escaped with my fingers intact, we were so hungry.)

Monday's dinner was straight out of Everyday Food - a dish called "Lighter General Tso's Chicken."


While it was not the most amazing thing I've ever tasted, the pictures also do not do it justice.


It was also the first time I worked with fresh ginger. I wasn't entirely sure how to go about peeling it, so I basically just cut a big whack of it in half and sliced off some of the outside skin, then ran it back and forth across a cheese grater. My motto for kitchen devices is basically: Is it clean? Yes? Great, then you can use it however you want.

(It is at this point that the combined executive staff of Williams Sonoma and Pampered Chef simultaneously shudder. Sorry guys. I adore your products but sometimes sloshing an egg yolk back and forth between the broken shells to get at the egg white is so much more tactile and pleasing than using your sixteen-dollar Egg Separator with its Durable Stainless Steel and Soft-Touch Handle. Having said that, I will fight you if you try to take away my KitchenAid mixer.)

So, day one of Five Days, Five Meals was relatively successful. (We are ignoring the enormous sink full of dishes right now. These aren't the dishes you're looking for....[waves hand]...)

I have the whole week sketched out, complete with a tupperware container full of homemade trail mix for Steven to snack on whilst I fumble around the kitchen.

What's next on the menu?

Come on, I won't tip my hand that easily... stay tuned.


Jaimy and Bret said...

I'm going to be paying attention, FYI. Bret and I have been having the same thought about our eating out habits. We have class every night of the week, Tuesdays and Thursdays until 10, so let me know what you find that is quick, as well.

strictlyforpleasure said...

Actually, the back of a spoon (stainless steel or - shhhh! - plastic) works wonders for peeling ginger. The skin comes right off.