Friday, January 14, 2011


We are trying to get back into the habit of shopping for a week of meals, rather than going by the seat of our pants.

An extended move, nearly a week of Thanksgiving celebration, and three weeks of Christmas travel and celebration ... well, our meal planning and shopping has limped along since we came to Houston, but it was really derailed in November and December.  We are trying to get back on track now.

There are lots of reasons to plan (not the least of which being that I am a planner and thrive on order!).  I am convinced that having a plan (although one that is flexible enough to weather last minute invitations on occasion) will save us money and calories and stress.  I am hopeful also that it will help us accumulate a freezer stock of go-to meals for those times when work or illness or travel make our 'plan-shop-cook' program a bit more difficult to follow.

We have made four of our planned meals in order to get our veg processed and to afford us several ready to heat up meals for this week.

Sweet potato and leek gratin.  It smells tasty but seems like more of a side than the veggie meal the recipe advertised.  (Also, there was an absence of cream and cheese.  I like cream and cheese.)  It is waiting in our freezer for the oven to be fixed.  (Yeah, the broken oven makes cooking a touch more challenging...)

Chicken tortilla soup.  It should be pretty tasty.  And, its just a touch nippy outside, so soup should hit the spot.

'Chicken gumbo.'   Now the ingredients were good, and the smells from the brew were fragrant, but I don't think this is gumbo.  It is really thick veggie soup with chicken and andouille sausage.  There is no okra, and the roux is questionable.  Also it is heavier on tomato than most gumbos I've seen.  I am not a gumbo expert, but I have some friends from Louisiana who - I am certain - would cringe if I served this as gumbo.

King Ranch Chicken.  This old favorite relies on a few handy cans of soup, which I generally try to avoid, but it is a standby.  This is also in the freezer.

We're very pleased to have a menu planned and prepared and ready to go!

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