Jan 13, 2012

Week 1: Easy Peasy

The first week of the experiment was pretty easy.

I had visiting teaching on this day, so Dad made dinner. He made his famous macaroni and cheese. To complete the meal, we added frozen peas and home canned pears. Here's the recipe for our mac and cheese:

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups macaroni
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c milk
1 tsp dry onion
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, cubed

Cook macaroni. Combine other ingredients and mis with macaroni. Put in greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. OR (and we did this because of time) you can cook it in the microwave for about 10 minutes. We like the oven better because then you get crispy cheese, but in a time crunch, the microwave works well.

Dad had a work dinner, so I cooked some frozen tortellini and put some canned mushroom al fredo on it. Not the best, but it works. I fully intended to make it a meal by eating an apple, but that didn't happen.

Dad cooked again! Twice in one week! We had sloppy joes, with potato chips and finger jell-0.

Sloppy Joes
2 lbs hamburger, cooked (we had some already cooked in the freezer)
1 can chicken gumbo soup
1.2 onion sliced (OR 2 T dry onion)

Brown hamburger and onion. Pour off grease. Then add:
2 T mustard
1/2 c ketchup (or catsup, whatever you prefer)
1/2 tsp. chili powder (so, Dad couldn't find the chili powder, so he used chipotle instead. It was quite a bit spicy than we are used too!)
salt and pepper

Cook until consistency desired.

And then to make finger jell-o:

1 package jell-o
1 package knox gelatin
stir, then add
1 cup boiling water, stir until dissolved
1 cup cold water

chill until set.

I'm in love . . . with my crock pot! Seriously, this thing is fabulous! I put it all together the night before, stuck it in the fridge overnight, plugged it in before I left for work, and it's done when I get home! It's like it does the work for you. Amazing! (And the house smelled awesome when I got home.) So, I made crock pot cordon bleu. I used 3 chicken breasts from the freezer instead of 6 because they were humongous. If I ever make this again, I would cut up the chicken (not too small) to cover the entire bottom of the crock pot, probably double the amount of soup and milk, and pour the soup over the stuffing, otherwise the stuffing was a bit dry. Also, it was a little bit overdone because I'm gone 10 hours out of the day and the slow cooker I used didn't have a "warm" setting. I'd probably make it on a Sunday or something like that where I could make sure it didn't go way over the cooking time. We filled out the meal with a green salad and the left over jell-o from Thursday (we were going to have oranges, but I changed my mind)

Tomorrow we're going to have spaghetti and meatballs. This is super easy because the last time Mom made meatballs, she made enough to freeze, and Dad made a whole bunch of homemade spaghetti sauce from the plethora of tomatoes we got during "harvest." We're going to have a salad and french bread baked with parmesan cheese and salad supreme.

Well, one week down, 7 more to go. Right now I'm having a hard time planning the meals, but I'm hoping that maybe that will get easier? (Who am I kidding, I'm going to run out of things to make in three weeks!) I just put the shopping list together and by some magic about three things I need to buy were on sale (the big things too)! It's like fate! Or something. So, keep a look out for next week's recipes!

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