Archive for January, 2012

Dinner for the Week Ahead: January 29, 2012

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Last week we stuck to the schedule and I found we were able to do a lot more in the evenings.  I forget the days where coming home from work means coming home and having (what seemed like ) endless time to myself to do things like experiment with recipes or read a book or watch mindless television or go out with friends.   Now, once we walk in the door, the thought of leaving again is almost unbearable.  It might just be that it’s winter and so so dark so so early.  But its also about the business of running the household.  Anyway, this week we were able to go swimming multiple times after work and we never ate out (except on Friday when I had a lovely sushi dinner at Yotsuba with Danielle & Minal.  Heaven!).

This week I’m having a bit of recipe-block.  Not totally sure where I’m going to take us but here’s the plan:

If people have easy weeknight recipes that they want to share, I am all ears (or eyes, as it were).  Also, I need some advice.  I have a ginger problem (truth) and my friend Julie is an enabler.  She picked up a bottle of “Mango Ginger Chutney” for me from Trader Joe’s and I have NO IDEA what to do with it.  Thoughts?  Opinions?  Ginger is very important to me so I will cherish anything you might have to offer.   I say this as I am on my third cup of ginger tea.



Saturday, January 28th, 2012

We’ve had a marginal winter, at best.  A few dustings but no real accumulation of snow.  This morning we woke up and *surprise*…there was a little over an inch on the ground.  Our initially planned trip to the Dinosaur Museum (aka, UMICH Natural History Museum) was put on hold for a little sled action at Wurster Park with the fearless Morgan & Andre.  So fun.  A few action shots below.

Before we could go sledding, we made Bjorn shovel the driveway. He has to earn his kitty cat cookies, somehow!

Bjorn also wanted to shovel for our neighbors...

Morgan & Bjorn Choose Their Selected Sled Positions

Ready to go! (Andre is on deck for his first sled ride!)

Bjorn, Morgan & Lars taking aim at Wurster Hill

...we made him carry the sled back up the hill. Little were we to know, this would end up being his most favorite part of sledding. Weird.


Bjorn in Snow

…and here are a few videos for your viewing pleasure.


Dinner for the Week Ahead: January 22, 2012

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

This week is all about convenience. And, if you were a person who liked to sum things up, this would be when you started to tally how many times we eat Miracle Chicken Tortilla Soup in a year–because, I promise you, its not a small amount.

  • MONDAY:  Leftover Indian Food (Chicken Tikka Masala and Baingan Bartha which, let me tell you, is just awkward to order over the phone.
  • TUESDAY:  Mock Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • WEDNESDAY:  Spaghetti or Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • THURSDAY: Whatever we didn’t eat on Wednesday
  • FRIDAY:  Dare I say we may get to “eat out”….?

I feel a little ridiculous with this list.  Some weeks are going to be better than others and this is not one of them.  I will sacrifice a full on feast for the sake of spending an hour at the YMCA with my boys swimming in the pool (…and that, my friends, is the plan for tonight!).

Dinner for the Week Ahead: January 15, 2012

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

This past week I was only semi-successful at staying on schedule.  A ridiculous and grueling schedule at work [2 publications and a multi-year grant submitted], plus a sinus infection, and the start of the group projects that HBHE is infamous for and I was exhausted.  It always feels great to be productive but at the cost of my New Years Resolution?  Heavens!  I was glad to have the recipes planned out–but wasn’t able to make the spaghetti sauce.  We essentially subsisted on tacos/nachos/tostados and “grubbing it” (which is Lars’ favorite night of the week–essentially a free for all of whatever is the cupboard. Every man, woman and toddler for themselves!).

…but this week I am more optimistic about family meals and good planning.  And here is what we will eat.

  • MONDAY:  Mock BBQ Chicken Pizza (we make the pizza without the chicken)
  • TUESDAY:  Kung Pao Chicken (…not in the style of mock)
  • WEDNESDAY:  Clare’s Soup*
  • THURSDAY:  Spaghetti (…I did finally make the sauce this past weekend and it is oh so delicious a couple of days after its cooked.  The flavors are all blended together.)
  • FRIDAY:  Leftovers

*Clare is a woman who used to work with my mom in Muir Academic Advising.  A long long time ago she gave my mom a recipe for Kielbasa & Cabbage soup that we ended up making in the Laver household many times and just ended up calling it “Clare’s Soup”.  Its ridiculously easy and is wonderful with warm sourdough bread and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  We used to make it with traditional kielbasa but switched to turkey kielbasa more recently.  Delicious and makes for great lefovers.  We had it tonight (Sunday) and, as you can see, plan on having it again later in the week.

Over sharing?

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I am not sure if this is an instance where I am over sharing [I feel as though mothers may sympathize with me on this–our filters just get so out of wack talking about bodily functions all day]….but it was pretty high-larious.

I was sitting on our bed upstairs, but my back was hurting so I was kind of on my stomach stretching it out. Enter the Bjorn. He jumps up on the bed [because he is now a kid that jumps on the bed] and lifts up the back of my pants and says “DID YOU POOP MAMA? DID YOU POOP? YEAH. YOU POOPED”.

…to clarify, I did not poop.

This just reminds me that I have two lives. In one of them I do not talk about poop on a regular basis.

Dinner for the Week Ahead (and Behind): January 8, 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

You guys.  This week.  ZOMG.  No spare thoughts for blogging–they are too consumed with survey methodology and program planning (but don’t ask me what that means because my brain is so fried I would not even be able to tell you).  2012 is coming in like a lion (or so the saying goes)…

But I *DID* plan dinner this week.  Last week’s meal planning was a success–and I stuck to it even on a night when I really didn’t want to–but felt so much better about utilizing all my ingredients without wasting them.  A hallmark of success in this household is leftovers so that is reflected (probably a little too well) in the list below.  But that’s just the way I role.

Here’s our plan for this week.  Two meals.  Five days.  We can do it. 

  • MONDAY:  Tacos & Rice
  • TUESDAY:  Tostadas (because no more taco shells) & Rice (or Nachos, if you’d like to take that route.  Dinner-time decision)
  • WEDNESDAY:  Spaghetti with homemade sauce
  • THURSDAY:  Leftover Spaghetti (still with homemade sauce)
  • FRIDAY:  Tacos/Tostadas/Nachos or Spaghetti

Looking at the menu above, I am not really sure I should be blogging about it.  Le sigh.  Next week I hope to get a little  more variety into my repertoire but this week I knew was going to be a beast.  I’m blogging without shame, though.  Okay–maybe a little shame.  Four nights of tacos?!  Come on, man!

Dinner for the Week Ahead: January 1st, 2012

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Of course I want to make resolutions that coincide with the New Year.   I’m bright with the possibility of keeping them.  Soon I will filled with the remorse at losing them but on this first day of the year of two thousand and twelve, the sky is the limit.

Something I would like to start doing is planning out meals more effectively.  I always wanted to be one of those people who had the list on the fridge with Monday through Friday planned out.  It doesn’t have to be the rule of law but its good to have a plan.  I think it prevents wasting food, promotes better eating habits, and facilitates a lot less stress related to the doldrums of “good god what are we going to eat for dinner this week?!?”.   People who know Lars will not find this surprising, but we do have a shared spreadsheet that ranks meals we’ve cooked related to how much we like them and how healthy they are. Sadly, these are inversely correlated…

So without further delay, and prompted by a slew of new cookbooks from the holidays, I give to you our dinner this week.  I will try and post our dinner schedule every Sunday night.  Please someone hold me accountable for I cannot do it myself.  Does anyone else do this?  If so–what are your weekly dinner plans?

(This should also promote more posts on the food blog, Turning Paper Into Water)

I’ll put an asterisk next to those meals I am trying the first time.  This week, I’ve selected a recipe from an awesome cookbook courtesy one Minal, public health student extraordinaire, Patel.  Fair warning–you’ll probably see a lost of “leftovers” in the slots on Monday and/or Wednesday and/or Friday–those are the days I am of three hats: student, mother, employee.  Chef may not make the cut.   This is as much fair warning to Lars as it is to my “gentle” readers.

So…let’s see how this pans out.  Might be fun.  Maybe next week I’ll be back to my non-blogging ways.  I’m not ready to assign any emotional significance to it but I’d be pretty keen to see it actually work.