weekly menu 2

Is anybody else super annoyed that all the good tv shows are ending? Omg we must have had 5 shows that have wrapped up for the summer, and I am feeling so sad and lost without them! We don’t watch a lot of tv through the week, but we record a few shows which we look forward to watching on our Friday night date nights, which basically consists of pyjamas the moment the girls are in bed, a bottle of wine, and all of our shows. Super fancy. Grey’s Anatomy finished a few weeks ago and I am still freaking out over the last episode. I thought I was going to pass out watching it! At one point I was holding my face, and my breath, when Alex told me to calm down. Oh man, I don’t know if I can handle the wait until it comes back! Then we had to watch the end of Blue Bloods, Revenge (oh my word!!! What in the H was that for a season finale? I can’t take it. Alex had a moment of excitement the other night when he thought we had Revenge. Then he remembered it is over. It was a sad moment.), and The Following. I know there have been more, but I just cannot focus. Now we are waiting for Game of Thrones to end this week (what the what happened last week? I gasped out loud more than once.), Modern Family, and The Middle. I hate summer. Boo. But, we have started watching Hannibal. Anyone else? Or better yet anyone else have an idea what is going on?!? It is so crazy and freakishly confusing. We are loving it! Only Hannibal can make eating people look so delectable and civilized.

So weekly menu 2 (no people eating involved here). I love to cook. A lot. But like everyone, I have weeks where I just do not want to feed all these people. This was one of those weeks. I have been feeling tired, lazy, and just not very creative so our menu is full of quick and easy meals to make things a little easier on this momma. I do our shopping on a Thursday which is why our menu runs from Thursday-Wednesday.

Thursday: Fish sandwiches with coleslaw. Birdseye just came out with fish burgers, which are really yummy. We had them on a bun with mayo, lettuce, and a cheese slice ala McDonalds. I also make my coleslaw. Shred up cabbage, carrots, and onion. Make your dressing using 1/4c light mayo, 2tbs vinegar (i like apple cider vinegar for this), a squeeze of lemon, 2tsp of sugar, salt and pepper to taste. The key is to use your hands to squeeze the coleslaw as you mix. This helps to release the juices and really get the flavour going. I suggest making this first so it has time to sit in the fridge and get all yummy.

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Friday: Nothing! The girls went to stay at Papa’s as we had an engagement party to go to. Awesome.

Saturday: pizza. Yep, just the frozen kind. As I said, we went to a party the night before. Enough said.

Sunday: turkey meatballs with spaghetti. I make my meatballs just like the turkey meatloaf. Just add some basil, oregano, and italian seasoning to the mix. Shape into balls and drop into your sauce to cook. My sauce was super easy. Sauté some onions in olive oil, add garlic, and my secret is a spoon full of caramelised onion chutney. The sweetness helps with the tartness of tinned tomatoes so there is no need to add sugar. Dump in 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, season with basil, oregano, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Thin out with a little chicken broth as needed. As mine bubbled away for over an hour, I added a bit of broth twice. Just to make sure it didn’t end up to thick.

Monday: roasted chicken thighs with mashed potatoes. I just coated my chicken with olive oil and used the left over seasoning from my chicken kebabs. Then I covered with foil and baked for 45 min. Take the foil off and cook a further 15 min to crisp up the skin. Have you seen the new stir in Philadelphia sauces? They are on sale for £1 right now and I had bought the garlic and herb one to try with fish. I used a little in my mashed potatoes though, and oh my that was a good idea.

Tuesday: ravioli and salad. Finally Tesco carries frozen ravioli. In the states it is common place to get it frozen, and it tastes amazing. I find all other ravioli to mushy and or slimy. Not good. But this? Oh this is amazing. It is four cheese ravioli, cooks in 3 minutes, and it has the perfect texture you would expect from well cooked pasta. Dump on some sauce and call it a meal. It is also only £2 and one bag is more than enough for us as it is very filling. I paired this with a salad and used our new favourite dressing. This stuff is amazing. We have made two batches and I need to make a third. The vinegar is just enough for my tastes (as I usually like it quite strong) and the girls also love it! Score. Please try it! I used an old jar to make mine for easy shaking and storing in my fridge. Also I just used whatever mustard we had to hand which was Coleman’s american style mustard. Very close to a dijon with a hint of spice.

Wednesday: oven baked fish with new potatoes. We love basa fish from Tesco. You get four large white fish fillets and it is usually on deal 2 for £6 which is a great deal for good fish. It does not taste fishy at all, and it also has a more meaty texture which I prefer in a fish. Usually I would just squeeze over a lemon and bake, then serve with salsa on top and rice on the side. But, today is quite chilly and rainy so I want it a little more comforting. As I mentioned I got the new Philadelphia stir in sauce in garlic and herb. I am going to squeeze a lemon over my fish, bake for 10-15 minutes, add the garlic and herb sauce, and then bake a further 10-15 minutes. Just boil some potatoes, toss in a little butter and steam some broccoli. Sorted.

What are you guys eating this week? Trying any new recipes or enjoying any old favourites? I would love to hear any new ideas!

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shredded beef tacos with pico de gallo and guacamole

My two favorite foods are Italian and Mexican  Unfortunately, I live in a place that does not provide me with my required intake of Mexican food. Not edible Mexican food anyway. So I make my own. Luckily Alex is fairly easy going and has grown to love Mexican food even though he had never had any before meeting me. Say what?!? Both of my girls love Mexican food too as I started them young chowing down on avocados and quesadillas. Yummo.

Let’s get started! I prefer fresh Baja style Mexican food to your sauce and cheese laden enchiladas and whatnots. And this is what this is. Fresh and perfect for summer.

I started with some beef casserole and some homemade taco seasoning using this recipe. Make your own seasoning. It takes two minutes and the flavor is amazing. This amount lasts me a few months and there is nothing like it on the market here in Scotland. This is the way to go! However make sure you use good chili powder. I once got the cheap value chili powder substitute sent in my grocery order and it was not a good batch. I always use Schwartz and I use the entire jar as it is 1/4c exactly which is what you need!

shredded beef tacos

Turn your slow cooker on high and add your beef. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the cooker and then sprinkle on your seasoning. I used 1.5 tablespoons. Cover and cook for a few hours. Every slow cooker is different so just check on it every now and then. I cooked mine 5.5 hours. You could use any cut of meat you would like. You could also use steaks, rub taco seasoning and olive oil on, then grill. This would also be great with chicken! Just a few other options. However you do it, use this seasoning and cook your meat.

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While your beef is in the hot tub with his Mexican friend, make your toppings! Gather your ingredients for the salsa, or pico de gallo if you want to tap into your senorita side.

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Not pictured is salt and pepper cause I am a goober. Now chop chop chop. I also take out the seeds and insides from the tomatoes. Nobody wants watery salsa. Nuhuh.

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Tada! Sprinkle in salt and pepper and mix mix mix. And squirt on half that lime and a drizzle of juice from your jalapenos. *put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up* excuse me while I sing. Top prize to who can name the movie that song is in!

*side note about the jalapenos. Usually you would add a chili to your salsa. However, I feed little people who do not appreciate a chunk of chili in their little mouths. Also I never cook with chilies so I always forget to buy one. But! I always have a jar of jalapenos. So what I do for the salsa is add a splash of the juice. This gives a bit of heat without any chunks of peppers or chilies in my mix. I usually chop up some jalapenos to then add to the tacos later if I want more heat. Do what works for you. Chop and add to the salsa if you want heat or add to the tacos if you have picky eaters or kiddies joining your feast.

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Now look at  that beauty. Fresh pico de gallo. You can feel free to eat this like salsa with some tortilla chips or even sprinkled on a salad for a nice twist. Now for Mr. Guacamole to join the party. Start by slicing your avocados open around the stone and twist to open. If they are really ripe you can usually use a spoon to pop the stone out. If not, using the blade of your knife hit the stone and it will pop out on your knife. Scoop out the gorgeous green amazingness then mash it all with a fork.

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Season with salt and pepper then add in some of your salsa you just made! Another squirt of lime and give it a good mix. Make them be friends.

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A tip to keep your guacamole from going brown! Wet a bit of kitchen roll (paper towel) just until damp. Wring it out and cover your guacamole pressing down to seal it up. This prevents air from getting in and your avocados oxidizing and turning brown. We don’t want no funky brown guacamole. No sir.

When you feel your beef is fork tender take it out and shred it up. It should fall apart easily. Then add it back into your slow cooker and mix it in with all the yummy sauce that will have created like magic in the bottom. I usually put the lid back on and turn my cooker off at this point as it would be close to dinner time and the pot is still lava hot. If you have a while to go before chow time then just turn it down to low or warm.

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Taco time! Shred up some cheddar and get out your sour cream if you so desire. Heat up a large frying pan and warm your tortillas one at a time. When they begin to make little bubbles, flip. Take your warm tortilla out and add some beef, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and a drop of sour cream. Oh my.

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Another drizzle of lime and you are good to go!

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Shout out to my momma who taught me how to make this salsa and guacamole when I was about 13. She still makes it the same way. It is a keeper.

Enjoy! 🙂

Pico de Gallo

4 good sized tomatoes (if using salad tomatoes, you will need more)

half of a lime

1/4 red onion

handfull of corriander

salt and pepper to taste

jalapenos/juice *see note above

Chop your tomatoes, taking out the insides and seeds. Chop your onion and coriander and mix all three in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle as much jalapeno juice as you prefer and squeeze in half of a lime. Mix and refrigerate until needed. This makes enough to make guacamole and have left overs for 6 tacos. Adjust the recipe if you are feeding a crowd. Always double if you are serving as salsa with tortilla chips.

Guacamole

4-5 small avocados or 3 large

pico de gallo *above

salt and pepper to taste

lime

Scoop out your avocados and mash with a fork. Add in some pico de gallo to taste. I use about half a cup. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime. Cover with a damp piece of kitchen roll (paper towel) and refrigerate until needed.