Our COVID adventures continue into week 2 of 2023, where our youngest daughter caught the virus, and our son is still testing positive despite being back to his usual charming nature. He has no symptoms whatsoever, has been enjoying a week of binge-watching his favorite movies, and was hanging out with me while I was working from home.
Our oldest daughter returned to Florida early Sunday morning after completing her Paxlovid treatment and testing negative Friday and Saturday. So, back to university life in the warm beach city. Life is tough!
The youngest Viking offspring, who has been running around the house like a proper Berserker Viking, showing no symptoms, gave COVID the middle finger multiple times during Christmas.
Karma caught up with her, and she tested positive Saturday evening. We knew it would hit the entire family at some point, and she was the last person. Thankfully her symptoms are mild, and she appears to be more enthusiastic about staying home from school.
Yet, to console her “terrible” diagnosis, I prepared a typical American pancake breakfast for her, with extra large and fluffy buttermilk pancakes. Some with chocolate chips, a few plains, and a stack of blueberry pancakes. Suddenly COVID wasn’t so bad after all, as she munched down on a stack of pancakes covered with corn syrup.
Cooking for the masses
We had the pleasure of attending a surprise party for a friend’s son who was home on leave from the airforce. It was an excellent opportunity to hear some funny stories from his training, but more importantly, share our appreciation for his service. And they had brought in a caterer for some great food, and one of the family members had baked the cake. A wonderful afternoon with friends celebrating a young man.
But there’s no rest for the wicked, especially as I continue to create, prepare and share my meal plans.
I’m well aware that my food photography skills are limited, and my creations look homemade, but at least it is real food from a person who is not a trained chef or photographer. Most dishes will look similar in your kitchen 🙂
I cannot make the meals look like on Instagram or when seeing professional chefs cook online. My dishes are homemade, a bit messy at times, but damn delicious.
Part of me really hopes it is making a difference for at least one person reading my posts. My mission is to encourage one person to plan, prepare, and cook more for the family. In the long run, to ensure you eat healthier, have less waste, reduce cost, and perhaps get to eat more together as a family.
One of the goals of meal plans is to minimize waste by optimizing the use of all the produce, meat, and other ingredients to help manage the weekly cost of groceries. And, thanks to our useless politicians, the cost of some (most) goods is increasing significantly. I cannot believe the cost of eggs for one!
My meal planning starts on Saturday morning when I have my first cup of Black Rifle coffee while preparing a hearty breakfast for my son. We are both early risers. Him more so because he loves food and knows I’ll cook for him.
I quickly explore what ingredients, groceries, and products we have in the fridge, which helps me determine what needs to be incorporated into the upcoming meal plan. For example, I had a lot of mushrooms in the refrigerator; hence I decided to make a wild mushroom quiche for the quiche fiesta dinner.
Sometimes my daughter will provide some ideas of what she likes for school lunches, but I sometimes incorporate that into my dinner selection to reuse any food for the kids’ lunches. Hence you see the meatballs, pasta lunch, and the taco bowl – both are leftovers from dinners.
I try to mix n match fish, beef, pork, and vegetables when cooking, as it is healthy to vary your food intake. A healthy balance of poultry, seafood, and meat is good for giving you a wide variety of nutrition.
This week we will dapple with chicken, long/slow-cooked beef, cod, and a quiche party attempting to explore a vegetarian option. Most meals were relatively fast, although a few dishes required a lot of prep.
- I slow-cook the meatballs for a couple of hours.
- Baguettes are made over 24 hours – most of the time spent sitting
- I make my pizza dough
- Barbacoa is slow-cooked (simmered) for 6 hours to get super tender
- I prepare the quiche crusts from scratch
Once I have created the meal plan for the coming week, I prepare the grocery shopping list and head to the local supermarket, butcher, and farmers market to get the necessary ingredients.
The fun part of meal planning, for me at least, is prepping and cooking all the meals. I turn on my favorite music playlist for the week and hum along to the tunes, all while I complete one task at a time.
Before you know it, you’ve easily spent 3-5 hours in the kitchen, and your kitchen is full of fantastic flavors. The aroma travels through the house, and your family (and dogs) start to drool and beg for samples.
|Monday||Italian Viking meatballs with pasta||Chicken with asparagus, spinach, and half-half|
|Tuesday||Pizza; mozzarella & tomato||Taco Tuesday with beef barbacoa and red cabbage slaw|
|Wednesday||Taco bowl with rice and slaw||Alaskan cod and catfish chowder|
|Thursday||Pizza; grated cheese||Quiche party; wild mushroom and cream ham & cheese|
|Friday||Baquette with salami, tomato and mozzarella||Fish n Chips (from scratch)|
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 much easier to make food in advance, although you must invest several hours preparing meals during the weekend.
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