I was craving fettuccine alfredo, but wanted something a little lighter, so opted for pesto (store-bought) and added a microwaveable bag of steamed broccoli instead. Not much to this meal…we just grilled up a few chicken breasts, cooked a pound of pasta (have you noticed they’ve started making pot-sized pasta now? genius!), stirred in the pesto, and added the cooked broccoli. This was enough to feed three of us for two nights (plus some), so I’m definitely going to keep it in mind for workweek lunches in the future.
Periodically Hy-Vee has crazy Fuel Saver points on their Italian food, so we usually stock up on pizzas and lasagnas and then go get ourselves some really cheap gas. It’s a win-win because we (obviously) save on gas, plus their pizzas are actually pretty good, and freeze really well, so are great to have on hand for busy weeknights. This thin-crust canadian bacon and pineapple one is a new favorite.
We got done with our run later than usual on this night, so needed something quick. It was also cold and misty out, so a comforting meal of grilled cheese and veggie soup fit the bill perfectly. This seems like a kind of lame dinner but grilled cheese is my favorite food of all time so I feel no shame here. Also, check out those classy paper plates.
this week: Last week was a little hectic and we ate out more than usual, so I’m looking forward to lots of simple, low-key dinners using whatever we’ve got lying around in the cabinets and freezer. Thinking brisket tacos for a couple of nights, and maybe another Hy-Vee pizza appearance.
a few thoughts: I’ve been posting weekly meals now for 12 weeks / nearly one-quarter of a year, so it seems like a good time for some initial reflections.
- Generally, I really like doing these posts. Having this set weekly post has helped me blog regularly, and because I’m more “in the groove” of blogging, has inspired me to post more often than I was last year.
- It’s kept us more accountable to cooking at home. We don’t do great every single week, but we do pretty well most weeks, and after a week when we don’t, I’m inspired to get back in the kitchen and make the next week better.
- It’s helped with keeping our dinner diary. Because I’m taking a photo of every meal we eat, and also documenting it on the blog, I can easily go back and fill in our dinner diary with each night’s meals if I get behind. I’m not sure why, but I find great joy in having a record of what we’ve eaten (and if nothing else, it’s a good source of inspiration for meal planning).
- We’re using cookbooks more often. I’m notoriously bad at following recipes verbatim, but we’ve been turning to our rather large collection of cookbooks for inspiration more often these last few months, often combining techniques or ingredients across multiple dishes to mold them into something new. While I have absolutely no shame about my cookbook-hoarding tendencies, it does make me feel better when they get some real use.
- Lastly, I like the idea that I might be inspiring others to cook more at home, too, or to try something new. I have found and used and tweaked so many recipes from so many blogs over the years, so this is my tiny little way of paying it forward to whoever might read this looking for dinner ideas from other real-life busy people.