Archive for February, 2012

Dinner for the Week Ahead: February 26, 2012

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

As mentioned in the previous post, we are a bit off schedule this week due to a fabulous trip “Up North” to Glen Arbor.  More on that later (and I’m not even joking here–the blog post is written–we’re just waiting for Lars to get up photos so we can sync our posts.  GEEK ALERT).   Well, it turns out that the biggest obstacle to keeping us on track this week is actually not our snow vacation, but a sick child. 

On the way home from Glen Arbor, we happened to pass Rick Santorum’s bus while he was barnstorming in the fertile republican territory of the west side of the state.  Bjorn also happened to throw up all over himself on our ride home.  I realize this is not a statistically significant event–but the correlation between the two can only make me believe that Bjorn’s dose-response for pure evil is very low.  He’s still feeling the effects of his brush with the dark side as we had some residual side effects (vomit, fever, etc).  That coupled with the fact that a sick child equals a clingy child makes dinner prep (and shopping!) very difficult.  We’re sticking to some old recipes this week–but two that have not made appearances on this blog.  A little of this will be retrospective in nature, given that its already Wednesday–forgive me. 

So there’s our plan and we’re hopefully sticking to it.  

And can I tell you–this winter has been a tease.  Nothing truly epic has happened at all and we’ve gotten all of one, maybe two, good snow storms.  It has me thinking about spring–like its right around the corner and its still February!  That said, I saw asparagus in the grocery store last night and started getting pretty excited.  I loves me some spring vegetables.  I see a risotto in my future.  One with lemon zest, parmesan, peas and asparagus. 


Dinner for the Week Ahead: February 19, 2012

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Last week was a hot mess.  I didn’t make ANYTHING on my “planned list”.  It was not a time to experiment with things that are not tried and true.  I still want to make that Winter Squash Gratin (because doesn’t the name Winter Squash Gratin sound delightful?)…but its not going to happen at least until I get past some obstacles in my health, work and school.

This week–we are pretty much all set already.  And its Sunday night.  Huzzah!  It will be based around the meat that we made for tacos but we have some other nice leftover like things in the fridge.  Its not really worth spelling out day by day only because we’ll probably just come home and pick which of the options there is to eat and then eat it.  Those options will consist of:  Tacos, BBQ Pizza and Tacos.  I repeat, this month has not been one to experiment with dinners. I did make a “new” cookie recipe tonight…would you believe I have never made a Peanut Butter Blossom before?   I wanted to thank Lars for all the Bjorn watching he’s done the past couple of days–with me being sick and having school and hard deadlines at work, its been so so hard to be a mom.   There have been a couple nights of tears…not because I’m sad or angry…its just too much at certain times. And the tears…they just cometh. Anyway–we made Peanut Butter Blossoms tonight.  We tried to get Bjorn involved in the cooking. This was met with marginal success but mostly failure.  He mainly just wanted to eat the cookie dough (who wouldn’t) and he mainly DID just eat the Hershey’s kisses (smart kid).  So…there you go.  But it was a fun time and everyone was involved in some regard or another.  I will tell you one thing–it is never a good sign to hear “oops” come from your husband when he’s cracking an egg into your cookie batter.


Next week is Michigan’s spring break and  we are headed up to the wilds of Glen Arbor so dinner planning may be off-beat again…but it is a risk I am willing to take for some much needed family time with my boys.

…things I want to try in the upcoming weeks (besides Winter Squash Gratin)…

  • Kelly’s Pancetta Linguine With Poppy Seeds
  • Slow Cooker White Bean Soup
  • A vegetarian version of White Lightning Chili
  • Another yet to be determined recipe from the lovely book Minal got me for Christmas with a bunch of one-pot meals.  There is a Jamaican Jerk Chicken Chili that Lars has inquired about on more than one occasion.
  • …something with lemon? Or citrus.  Something…





North & South [Or My New Obsession with Richard Armitage]…

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Holy crap, you guys.

Not since my obsession with Val Kilmer as Batman in Batman Forever (yes.) have I been so in love with a character from a feature film.  We are talking swoon.  We are talking DOUBLE swoon. I do not understand how this lovely gentleman is not more widely known.  He will be portraying Thorin Oakenshield in the upcoming Hobbit movies–but he is not nearly as glorious looking in those as he is in the period piece of North & South playing John Thornton, the mill owner from the north of England, who falls in love with Margaret Hale, a minister’s daughter from the south of England.  (This is apparently a big deal).

Four hours of romantic BBC tension later and you have possibly THE BEST ending.  Ever.  OH GOD, I SWOON.

The soundtrack to this BBC miniseries is also amazing.

I might be Downton Abbey crazy right now which is why I post about Richard Armitage.   BONUS–Brendan Coyle, who plays “Bates” in DA is also in North & South as a key mill worker in the town of Milton in the North.

Dinner for the Week Ahead: February 12, 2012

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

We had an amazingly fun and chaotic weekend in Frankenmuth (Michigan’s Little Bavaria) at “Zehnder’s Splash Village”–which is a hotel/indoor waterpark double trouble combo.  I feel like this may have been (intentionally or not) the motivation for us to get Bjorn into the pool at the YMCA at the start of the year.  We had planned this trip with the Mudie’s since forever ago (November)…and we knew we had to get Bjorn a little more adjusted to being comfortable in the pool.  And, as luck would have it, he has loved every moment he’s been in the water, thus far.

…a couple trips down the giant waterslide; a sojourn in the lazy river; and running a-muck in general…and we were happily exhausted and on the way home.

I thought a little bit about what we would have for dinner this week on the ride back home to Ann Arbor.   Help me world, but I kept coming back to Chicken Tortilla Soup…and this week I’m going to avoid it because, if anything, this exercise in documenting meals is keeping me honest about the inconceivable amounts of Tortilla Soup are consumed in the Jensen household.   Also–I wanted to try something new and easy this week because its fun to experiment and then to actually be successful. So here is our menu:

MONDAY:  Leftover Spaghetti (I made a double batch from last week and know I won’t have time to get to the grocery store until Tuesday). Activate defrost!

TUESDAY:  Winter Vegetable Gratin (NEW!)

WEDNESDAY:  Mock BBQ Chicken Pizza

THURSDAY:  Kung Pao Chicken

FRIDAY:  All bets are off.

…you would be surprised at how hard it is to coordinate taking photos at a water park.  The logistics are a little overwhelming.  That said, we did get a few photos of Bjorn and his buddy Ian with a little help of the underwater camera.  The water was a little blurry/opaque.  ….And maybe now is not the best time to think about how the public health inspector for Washtenaw County says she has no problem with eating in local restaurants but cannot get into a public pool given her knowledge of the inspection reports….so I just wont’ think about it and know that I had a nice long shower when I got home.



…April 28, 2008…

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Why oh why am I so tired?

I haven’t done anything to deserve being tired. In fact, I was oddly at peace last night (Sunday) and I notoriously can’t sleep on Sunday night.
Maybe I’m coming down with something. Maybe I’m just tired?
It seriously doesn’t make any sense to me 🙁
Even after my huge giant coffee–it didn’t do any good. Fuzzy, watery eyes, tired.

This was a poem.

e.e. cummings eat your HEART out (period)

Dinner for the Week Ahead: February 5, 2012

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Nothing new this week. But well planned out and I was even able to shop at a Trader Joe’s in a record 15 minutes while Lars and Bjorn waited in the car.  The only casualty was zucchini for Tortilla Soup (which, I might add, was on the VERY TOP of my list but somehow I missed it).

  • MONDAY:  Tortilla Soup
  • TUESDAY:  Tofu Tikka Masala Stir Fry
  • WEDNESDAY:  Spaghetti
  • THURSDAY : Leftovers
  • FRIDAY:  Wild card

Next weekend we are going to Frankenmuth with the intrepid Mudies to spend a couple of days at an indoor waterpark in Michigan’s Little Bavaria.  Are you jealous?  You should be.  Have you seen Bjorn in goggles?  Yeah–it is reason enough to go to a water park just to have him wear goggles for a majority of the daylight hours.  A-dorable.