It’s time for me to get back into make-ahead meals mode. Summer has been great since I don’t have to plan ahead quite as much. I can visit the farmer’s market on a whim to grab some fresh fruits and veggies to serve with dinner. Preparing the food while my daughter naps is a breeze. Now that’s all coming to an end. This week I have back to school inservices on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That means I need some easy meals to pop in the oven and get dinner on the table quickly. Here’s the menu I planned for this week.
Since I don’t have inservice on Monday, I am going to have more time to make dinner that night. I picked up some cod filets that were on sale at the grocery store. I also had a coupon for pre-cut vegetables at Giant. They had a nice package of zoodles (zucchini noodles). I bought them and decided to make the Cod with Zucchini Noodles from Mary Ellen at Recipes, Food, and Cooking. I think my kids will enjoy the zucchini noodles since they like regular zucchini. This is just a fun new way to eat them. I will update with a picture as soon as I make this tomorrow night. (Update: Not only did this meal look delicious, it also tasted very yummy! My kids ate all the zoodles.)
For the last day before the craziness begins, I’m going to make one of my family’s favorites – chicken wings. I always use C.S. Alexis’s recipe for chicken wings at Delishably. The way she prepares the wings makes them nice and crunchy on the outside. Yum! In the past I’ve used store-bought barbeque sauce and mild wing sauce. This time I want to try to make my own wing sauce. Every time we order wings at a restaurant, my husband gets Parmesan Peppercorn sauce. I found a recipe for it from Meghan at Allrecipes. I’ll let you know how it turns out and add a picture Tuesday night. (Update: These wings were delicious as always. The sauce put them over the top! It was nice and thick and coated the wings perfectly. The picture is pre-sauce. I wanted you to see how crispy they get.)
The farmer’s market was having a huge sale this weekend. I got two huge eggplants and three big zucchinis all for $1. I decided to make ratatouille. However, as I searched on Pinterest, I found recipes where everything was perfectly cut and the veggies were perfectly arranged in a casserole dish. I didn’t have time for food art so I kept searching. Finally, I found Jamie Oliver’s ratatouille recipe on his website. I was a little bit confused by the ingredient list at first, but I quickly figured out the aubergines are eggplants and courgettes are zucchinis. I left out the onions because they are the one food I won’t eat. The rest of the recipe was followed exactly, and it made a huge batch. I think I’m going to have some left over to freeze for later. We even had a little sample today since there is plenty. My kids wanted cheese on theirs. It was delicious!
Thursday night is going to be a crazy night. After inservices, we are going to meet my son’s first grade teacher at the school’s open house. Dinner is going to have to be ready really quickly. I decided to switch pizza night to Thursday this week instead of Friday. I bought a big loaf of Italian bread from the bakery at the grocery store. To make the pizza, I cut it in half and drizzle it with olive oil and garlic powder. Then, I top it with sliced mozzarella and tomatoes. I broil it for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are getting browned. Finally, I add some fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This is one of my family’s favorite pizzas. I’ll post a pic Thursday night.
Miss M is currently obsessed with meatballs. Every night for dinner she wants meatballs and noodles. The rest of us are a little tired of meatballs since I’ve been making them almost weekly for her all summer. I decided to try something new that maybe will pass as a “giant meatball.” I found the recipe for mini turkey meatloaves from Marie at Make and Takes. They are so cute, and I think Miss M will love them. Since the recipe says to use your favorite meatloaf recipe, I went to the turkey meatloaf I always make from Andie Mitchell’s website. They do cook for 40 minutes, but we don’t have anything planned for Friday night. The baking time will let me play with my kids since they will miss me after three full days away.
I searched on Pinterest for an easy dessert recipe since I’m going to need something sweet to get me through this week. I found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Brownie Tarts from Jess and Frank at Inquiring Chef. My family loves chocolate chip cookies and brownies so this seemed like a perfect choice. They were really easy to make, and I was amazed by how easily they came out of the mini muffin cups. Usually my recipes get stuck in them even though I grease them. J had to sample these as soon as they were cool enough to touch. He said they were delicious. I’m saving mine for later in the week as a special treat during my inservice meetings.
I can’t wait to try the cod and mini turkey meatloaves from this week’s menu. I’m also excited to eat the chocolate chip brownie bites. Which recipe sounds the best to you?