Back to Blogging: What We Ate This Week

It's been almost a decade since I began Egg and Twig. In 2009 I had 4 years of marriage and 3 years of parenting our first child under my belt, and homemaking blogging still felt exciting and fresh, the next logical step from the LiveJournal sort of writing I did during college days. I'm grateful Egg and Twig provided me with a place to chronicle those early days of keeping our nest. I'm also embarrassed. I would phrase many things differently now, make different recommendations, and not try so hard to drive traffic through Pinterest and link ups or to monetize through Amazon. I still reference other blogs a lot for recipes and ideas, but I'm increasingly impatient with the endless scrolling I have to do just to get to a recipe, the multiple hoops to jump through, the visual assault of advertisements. I don't want a sales pitch, I just want to make something new for dinner. It has left me feeling jaded and uninspired to write for many months.

I am fully reconciled to the fact that I am unlikely to be a celebrity chef or cookbook author. My photographs are never going to be the prettiest and my homemaking ideas are not going to revolutionize your life. I've decided that shouldn't stop me from blogging. What I can bring to the table is simply what I bring to ours--food cooked with love, gratitude for God's provision and sustaining hand, and a sense of humor that sometimes gets me in trouble. Referencing last year's pizza post while cooking for friends recently, I realized that blogging here is still worthwhile for ME, if only to collect our most used and trusted recipes in one place that's easily searchable.

WWATW (What We Ate This Week) is something new I'm going to try. The idea is to tell you, uh, what we ate this week (and next, and so on). Some meals are faster than others. Some are more healthy than others, depending on what healthy means to you. Some contain colors that your toddler might inexplicably refuse to consume one day. It happens. The point is that these are the meals that I have actually prepared and fed to our family of 6 in the last week. My hope is this series might provide some inspiration for your meal planning, and if not, at least it should eventually save me from having to reinvent the wheel next time it's 5:30, my husband is on his way home, the kids are circling in like vultures, and I haven't decided what I'm making for dinner yet.

I'll link to other blogs where appropriate, and provide recipes myself to fill in gaps sometimes.

Sunday - Baked Potato Bar

Sunday I hosted a birthday party for my mom, and I prepared a loaded baked potato bar. In the days preceding the event I made chili and pulled pork, so that the day of the party I just had to heat those things back up, bake some potatoes (a rimmed sheet pan full of russets, scrubbed clean, pierced with a fork, and rubbed with olive oil and salt took about an hour at 400 degrees F), and set out some additional toppings--butter, salt and pepper, shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, caramelized onions, green onions, and sour cream. We also had a salad. I loved this meal for serving a crowd; everyone built a potato the way they liked and it felt like a very low-stress way to entertain. Also: delicious.

Dessert was peanut butter cup cake (this chocolate cake, this frosting) covered with chocolate ganache and decorated with homemade peanut butter cups and peanut butter candy drizzle, and raspberry macarons.

Monday - Skillet Vegetables and Penne

I sauteed some onions, bell peppers, garlic, Italian chicken sausage, and broccoli in olive oil then tossed with cooked penne and a couple tablespoons of cream cheese. Added salt, black pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes to taste, and a little fresh Parmesan on top when served. We had a salad too. Easy, tasty, and fast. I neglected to take a picture. Inspired by this recipe

Tuesday - Carnitas

I had reserved half of the pulled pork I had prepared for Sunday, and on Tuesday made carnitas by carmelizing the pork with onion, garlic, spices (those suggested here), and lime. We ate it in tortillas with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, cucumbers, and rice. Guacamole is fantastic with it but I didn't have any, or avocados to make it, this week.  

Wednesday - Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls

This easy recipe has become a weeknight staple for us. I can get it on the table in about half an hour. I like to add some thinly sliced bell peppers and onions to the meat, use pepper paste in place of the flakes, and serve it with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. Korean green beans are also nice. 

Thursday - Tuna Noodle Casserole

My younger daughter asks for macaroni and cheese almost every night. Once in a while, I acquiesce. I added tuna and peas to our favorite homemade macaroni and cheese, and served steamed green beans on the side.

Friday - Risotto

On Friday I followed Mark Bittman's risotto recipe from How to Cook Everything, adding peas, carrots, and celery as suggested, and also the rest of that Italian chicken sausage. I also made a salad and sauteed zucchini and onions as sides. 

Saturday - Safaid Keema and Bandh Gobhi Ki Sabzi

Both of these dishes--ground meat with potatoes in a scented white sauce, and Indian buttered cabbage--are from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking. We also had basmati rice, cooked with a little turmeric for color. 


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