Meal Plan; 21-25 February

Schools are on winter break, at least in the North East. We are kicking off the week with President’s Day sales. Many offices are closed, except where I work!

The weather is “warming” up slightly, enough for our lawn to show some sign of life – at least the grass is visible and no longer covered by ice and snow. Now it is “just” littered with small piles of frozen poo that are starting to melt, and that were covered by layers of snow.

Very similar to what we are seeing with the permafrost that is suddenly revealing ancient and prehistoric animal remains. However, our discoveries are created by various dog food brands, and absolutely nothing remotely interesting in these turds!

The struggle is real

For years I have been teasing my wife and daughters about their glasses, especially when they open the oven or remove the lid from a boiling pot of water. A steam cloud erupts from the hot area and fogs up their glasses, leaving them paralyzed.

Reminds me of Tina Turner and ‘steamy windows’ – the struggle is real!

As a bystander, it is hilarious to witness their sudden shock and paralysis. They stand there like a mime person, waiting for the fog to disperse and to regain visibility.

Some time ago, I encountered a stage of old age that requires me to use glasses. Only for reading and using the computer, which leaves me in a bind when grocery shopping as I can’t always read the bloody tiny font on the food packaging.

I’ve caught myself taking a picture of the label, only to enhance it on the screen so I can actually read all the poison the producers have included. I’m mainly focusing on sodium/salt quantities.

Anyway, I use glasses when I prepare meals for the coming week. The kitchen counter has recipes laid out from magazines, books, and computers. In order to get the measurements and ingredients right, I wear my glasses.

Tina Turner created and performed a song about this struggle, although she didn’t wear glasses. I’m nowhere near as hot as Tina, but my glasses are still steamy!

Getting glasses at this stage in life sucks. It’s a realization that you are getting old and it can be a hard pill to swallow.

Even harder when the optician trainee, probably the same age as niece (early twenties) calm reminds you that you can enable certain accessibility features on the mobile phone, increasing the font size!

Wow, that was harsh, which my best friend encountered during his recent visit. Great story, but a smack in spectacles!

As part of my involvement with Towns 4 Troops, I’m in charge of our cookie events. It means packing and sending cookies around NY state to various units or units stationed abroad.

We have an excellent cookie brigade that cranks out delicious cookies. Once I get delivery of the cookies, I recruit my daughters to pack cookies + sweets, and then it gets shipped off.

Last two weeks they packed 250 bags of cookies and sweets, attached a bag of hot chocolate powder, and hand-crafted cards of appreciation thanks to the local girl scout troops.

I’ve been told that the troops really enjoy getting these bags, especially as the cookies are homemade. Who wouldn’t appreciate a bag full of delicious homemade cookies?

This week in food

Buy it on Amazon

I continue to explore Dennis Prescott’s cookbook for recipes.

Two family dinners are from his book; pan-seared pork chops and butter chicken.

The beauty of his book is that the ingredients are easy to find locally, and the steps are straightforward.

His pizza dough is fantastic, and I’ve made pizza for the kids’ lunch and created my mozzarella and tomato stuffed pizza balls. In addition, I baked some delicious pigs in blankets, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and topped with grated cheese.

My problem is, I take lousy pictures of my food creations. I’m not overly worried about the final look, but more focused on the taste.

If I ever want to write and publish a cookbook, then I have to seriously improve my photography skills. Anything is doable.

Fire up the Traeger. Ready your Dutch oven. Go shopping, and let’s start cooking—another Sunday in the Kitchen with music on the magical Demerbox and wonderful aromas filling the room.

MondayBruschetta pizza; tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil leavesPork chops with maple sage peaches and cauliflower mash
TuesdayPigs in blankets, with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and sesame seedsMushroom and wild rice soup
WednesdayHomemade mozzarella and tomato pizza buns (miniature calzone) Baked Rigatoni
ThursdayGrilled chicken saladButter chicken with Basmati rice and homemade naan
FridayImprovized lunch with the familyUndecided – spending some time with the kids and will likely eat out

One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!

Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is so much easier to make food in advance, although you need to invest several hours in preparing the meals during the weekend.

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