Sunday, March 13, 2011

menu for two

Want to know the funny thing that happened when I started writing about our menu? I stopped being motivated to make a menu! Weird, right? So I've been feeling very stifled and uninspired and disinterested about dinner lately which isn't good for us (this sort of thing eventually evolves into ice cream meals and Greek chips for breakfast).

So this will be my last menu for two. If you're using the menus or finding them helpful and don't want them to go, I could definitely figure out an alternative. Let me know in the comments!

This week was asian-style cuisine week as I was on my own until Friday.

{the menu}
tuesday: vegetable spring rolls with leftover peanut butter dressing for dipping
wednesday: stir-fried chicken with ketchup and quinoa
thursday: mushroom ichiban
friday: ginger beef and rice
saturday: gyros and all the fixings
sunday: baked hotdogs and a salad

what really happened

{monday} This was so good and tasted like the real thing -- only fresher and better cuz it's homemade. The only thing I really did differently was the omission of the sherry and addition of some chopped almonds. I was reading about cashews in the comments, and I thought that would be good, but alas. I only had almonds. I was really worried about the broccoli being undercooked, but it turned out so right. Not raw, not soggy, just right.
{tuesday} I wanted to get some extra vegetables for these, so I walked over to Save-On foods, and got what I needed for veg and then I remembered there was something else I wanted for my wraps. I wandered around trying to think of it, but I just couldn't. Agonizing. I figured it must not have been that important, so I trudged back home. While I was making them, I remembered that it was shrimp or fake crab or some sort of seafood I wanted just to round out the meal. So basically, I had carrot and cucumber sticks wrapped up in rice paper (I even forgot about adding noodles!) for dinner which I dipped into the leftover dressing from Sunday (I prefer this a lot more than the hoisin dipping sauce. Hoisin makes me queasy after a while). And after eating my veggie wraps (I had six of them!) I was still so hungry, I had two bowls of rice krispie cereal and some dates and almonds and then (not surprisingly) I felt completely sick all night. Smooth.
{wednesday} I was originally going to make an orange chicken recipe I found, but I realized I didn't have any oranges or orange juice on account of Idle Husband not being here and me not thinking to buy that stuff cuz he's not here. So I decided to guinea pig myself and go with this strange concoction. For some odd reason, I went into the recipe thinking there would be something more than ketchup to make the ketchup not taste like ketchup and when there was nothing else, I thought I'd ruined some pretty nice looking chicken. But no! Ketchup fried chicken was so. friggin. amazing. If I had more, I would eat it right now while typing this. I would spread the sauce on sandwiches. I would dip chicken fingers into it. I would serve it as a side to steak. The ketchup morphed from that typical ketchup taste and turned into something magical. And don't get me wrong. I love the taste of ketchup. I once had a roommate from the states and that's all she ever joked about. Oh you Canadians and your ketchup. But I don't think I'm as extreme as some. Blech to ketchup chips (yes; those exist) and never to ketchup on chicken. Well. Consider me converted. And did you think the quinoa was a weird addition? So did I while I was making it, but it worked surprisingly well. The quinoa bits coated each chicken piece, making them feel a little more substantial and it tasted great with the sauce mixed in. And since quinoa is so filling, I was really satisfied and full afterwards (and I had less chicken than the recipe called for). I'll definitely make this again especially since this whole meal took about 15 minutes to prepare and would easily make anyone think you'd been marinating and combining ingredients all day.
{thursday} This was good and all, but I probably won't do it again. I just didn't love it. I used dry mushrooms, washed them, and softened them in hot water which gave me a mushroom broth. And I used that along with water to cook the noodles. It was filling, but nothing to write about. Needed more salt.
{friday} Idle Husband's back for dinner. Good thing we've already established that he likes ginger beef! This was actually pretty darned close to real ginger beef. Unfortunately, mine was sweet with no hint of spice like proper ginger beef should have. I guess I really have to buy some chili pepper flakes. It's starting to get desperate. There's also a LOT of sugar in this recipe (I realized as making it), so I probably would cut down on that so it's slightly less sweet and I'd have liked the sauce to be thicker. It was like water which bugged me. Presentation-wise, this looked exactly like ginger beef. And aside for my addition of snow peas instead of peppers and red wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar and optional wine, I followed everything else to the letter and served it over rice. Oh and it took a long time to cook all of the meat, but I was going in with everything partially frozen so that probably had something to do with it.
{saturday} Gyros! God. I made this recipe back on January 30th and we're still eating it. This is the fourth and last meal we'll get. Pretty good, I think.
{sunday} I just wanted to get the last of the hotdogs and buns out of the freezer and gone. The baked hotdog excitement is starting to wear off, honestly. Probably because we never have tried it with proper chili and because last night I realized we didn't have an ounce of cheese in the house. I used Cheez Whiz (we bought a tiny jar one time when I found out Idle Husband had never had it before) and it just wasn't the same. Plus I overcooked them slightly, so the buns were like crunchy croutons.

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