Stovetop macaroni and cheese

stovetop-macaroni-and-cheese

One of my favorite comfort meals is macaroni and cheese, especially when it’s cold. It’s one of my favorite winter meals, right up there with chili and broccoli soup. Although it’s not winter yet, it’s starting to feel like it. Today it rained fairly hard and it was windy too. That doesn’t happen too much around Southern California, so when it does it’s a big deal. We’re wimps, I know.

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Meal plan vs. reality

snack plate dinner

Sleep hasn’t gotten any better. I have been thinking of doing sleep training with Maggie but I’m not sure how. I don’t know if certain methods would work for us. I hate to hear her cry. But I also want to teach her to fall asleep on her own eventually and not have to hold her until she falls back to sleep 4 times a night.

We had simple meals this week because of the poor sleeping habits. My favorite meal was the barbacoa meat made in the crockpot using the Gimme Some Lovin’ recipe. The meat turned out perfectly seasoned and tender

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Cranberry pecan spinach salad

This salad is made with a baby spinach and greens mix, pecans, cranberries, and a triple berry balsamic dressing. I was inspired to make the dressing when I came across my cousin Laura’s recipe for Triple Berry Spinach Salad in our family cookbook.

I think this salad would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving table. It feels like a fall or winter dish because of the cranberries and pecans. You could also eat this the day after a holiday get together with the addition of leftover turkey or chicken.

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Meal plan vs. reality

This week mostly went according to the plan. I planned very simple things so that’s probably why. We ate dinner out Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Sunday being homemade food at my mom’s house. I feel lucky that I didn’t have to wash as much dishes.

I ordered groceries from InstaCart on Friday. I didn’t order any fresh meat this time for a few reasons. Last week I accidentally let some ground beef go bad because I didn’t get to cooking it in time. I didn’t want that to happen again.

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Skillet chicken with orzo pasta

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My mom used to make this skillet chicken with orzo pasta when I was growing up. I loved it and started making it myself when I moved in with Paul a few years ago. It’s pretty easy and very satisfying. She got it from a newspaper column that I think was in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

This meal is good for weeknights, especially because there are very few dishes involved. The fewer dishes, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s great for lunches the next day too. I can’t remember for sure, but I think my mom packed this in my lunchbox when I was in junior high or high school. It’s funny to me that I can’t remember high school as well as I used to. It was 10 years ago now, so of course.

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Meal plan vs. reality

This week has been a bit hard. I think I left the pozole out for too long after dinner. I didn’t think about it and still ate it for lunch on Tuesday. I had food poisoning starting around midnight. I took it easy on Wednesday and Paul’s mom came over to help.

Maggie skipped her afternoon nap on Friday and Saturday, which resulted in tired parents in the evening onward and more frequent night wakings. Not to mention, without the nap I didn’t really have time to clean or cook. But Sunday, Paul’s mom and sister came over to help with Maggie and housework. It was so, so nice.

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Chicken pozole rojo

Chicken pozole rojo

This recipe is based off a recipe on The Kitchn called 30-minute chicken pozole. Let me just tell you, it used to take me about 30 minutes back in the pre-kid days but this time it took longer. I have made this several times and it has always been easy and turned out amazing.

It’s a great weeknight meal. I used to make this when I would come home from work sometimes. I also like that it makes a lot of servings, so for some families there would be leftovers the next day.

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A realistic meal plan

Chili Verde Enchiladas

I have been so tired lately. Well, story of my life. Or at least since I became a mom. Even though I’m a stay-at-home mom, not working, and sort of creating my own schedule during the day, I’m just tired. I sort of create my own schedule but it’s a collaboration between myself and my child.

Lately Maggie sleeps great during the day and I actually can get things done during her naps. I can cook dinner, wash dishes, fold laundry, take a nap. But at night, I can’t sleep. Even if she sleeps better than normal, I find myself waking up at 1 am and again at 3 am out of sheer habit. Perhaps she’s waking up out of habit at this point too.

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Beer braised beef short ribs in a Dutch oven

Braised short rib with couscous

For this short rib recipe, jalapeño, onion, garlic, beer, and rosemary all come together to make a savory and slightly spicy braise. I love that the liquid imparts a lot of flavor on the short ribs in the long cooking process.

I should probably mention that you should plan on getting started on this about 3 hours before you would like to eat dinner. It takes about 1/2 an hour to prep and sear the meat and then it cooks in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. It is so worth all that time in the oven though. The meat becomes very tender and pulls completely away from the bone.

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