Monday, June 27, 2011

Update Dinner Challenge

The family sat down to dinner last night and all you heard was mmm, mmm, nom, nom, nom, chew, slurp, swallow "more!". Even from the picky eater!

I turned to my husband and said:

"Is everything tasting so much better and a "keeper recipe" because we have been doing the same 5 meals over and over for the last 3 months are are we just rocking this dinner challenge?"

I didn't understand his response but it was something like nom, nom mmm so good, nom nom...

So yeah, it's not as crazy as we thought and it's going great! So this week I'm going to highlight some of our recipes. But first, lets recap last week's menu:

Sunday was father's day so he got to choose and he made ribs (not from the challenge) because they're his favorite.

Monday: Stuffed Peppers
We have actually made these several time and they are a favorite among the adults. We used Italian sausage (on sale!) instead of the chicken sausage the recipe called for so it's not as light, but just as tasty.

My son loved it, minus the pepper because he only eats them raw. My picky eater...well no mater how many times we tell her couscous is noodles she acts like she is gagging. However she did pick all the sausage out and eat that!

1309045160041Tuesday: Braised Chicken with Mushrooms with Oven-Baked Creamy Polenta

Can you believe my whole family ate this? Even me! I have never liked polenta but my husband actually followed the recipe this time, actually measuring the salt (as opposed to using his hand) and mixed with the chicken it was so tasty!

No one but my husband likes mushrooms, I like the flavor but not the actual thing. So everyone ate everything except the mushrooms. Oh except for the picky eater, she only ate the chicken after thoroughly wiping it off on a napkin.

 Wednesday: Tortilla Soup

Another win in the soup column from a non-soup lover! This is a super mild recipe with hardly anything in it, you make it what you want my dressing it up with toppings which makes it a great family friendly dinner! The kids just had tortillas and cheese on theirs while we added peppers, lime, onions, to ours and my husband spiced his up with some hot jalapeƱo cheese.

I need to remember this recipe the next time we have stale tortillas (you make your own chips!) and it will definitely be something we use our leftover chicken for! Our picky eater should have eaten this as she like tortilla chips, cheese and chicken and there was maybe 3 drops of broth in her bowl. However being a picky eater she is unpredictable and wouldn't eat it because the chicken was wet. Yes wet. sigh.

Wednesday: Cod with Leeks

This was so far out of my comfort zone it was in another state. I'm still iffy on fish that is not a steak, I don't like mushy greens or my other food to touch my fish juice. This was the whole dinner, served with some rustic bread.

It was YUMMY. Seriously, I even ate the leeks!

The kids loved the fish, even my picky eater (it may have had a little to do with the box of mac and cheese sitting in front of her that I promised she could have for lunch if she ate), yes my picky eater at cod and tried a leek!

Are you tired of hearing me gush yet?

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe
So yummmy.

First, Broccoli Rabe is near impossible to find in the suburbs of the Midwest at the start of growing season. After checking a millions (or four stores) we substitute with Brocolini/Baby Broccoli which is broccoli crossed with Chines Kale...I think it's similar.

Rule #1 with a picky eater, don't change the name! I am sure if we told her it was broccoli (a similar dish we make frequently) she would have devoured it. We did have ti fight to get her to try the broccoli tops, but she did it all the noodles, three helpings worth. This was just barely enough for two adults and two kids, we will need to double the recipe when the third starts eating.

We did make the strawberry oatmeal (post coming), and strawberry shortcake was pushed to Monday.

This week we are running out of main courses in this books so we need to move up to July (it's also hot the cooking needs to move outdoors!) but my July 2003  book is in pieces so we are moving to July 2004 to supplement:

Monday: Salmon with Scallion relish with Smashed Peas
Strawberry Shortcake
Tuesday: (I have a doctors appointment, I have no idea, probably frozen pizza)
Wednesday:  Macaroni and Cheese with Ham Steak
Thursday: Grilled chicken and squash
Friday: skirt steak with paprika rub
Saturday: BBQ pork and apple kebabs

If you're on Pinterest all these recipes are collected on the board YUM (if you're not on Pinterest and want an invite leave your email in the comments!)

What's on your menu this week?

All photos from except the braised chicken, I am trying to remember to take pics, even it's just with my phone!


Robin said...

This post had me on the floor laughing. It all rang true with my kids and it just made my night. As soon as I finish this comment, I am passing the laptop over to my husband so he can read, because he will die laughing, too.

sarah said...

Hey Melissa! I know we dont know each other but I just love your blog and I just awarded you over on mine! Please dont feel like you have to do it, but I just wanted to spread your name and blog bc its so great!! love to you!!

Barbara said...

These look so delicious!!

Lenae said...

Well, chica, you weren't lying -- holy resources, Batman! :) I think I'll try... all of it :D

This Heavenly Life said...

Haha, Lenae :)

Oh, and Haha picky eater M :) Chicken being wet or sauce-covered would flummox us, too!

But Melissa, I CANNOT believe you tried cod and leeks...and lived to tell the tale! I'm really bad with fish -- there are a few kinds I'll tolerate, but really, the wetness of this dish makes me squirmy. My fish must be dryyyyy.

So, M and I have a lot in common :)

Thank you so much for these recipes, though! I'm definitely snagging a few!