Quarantine Week 35

I feel like I’m tired of saying “well, we are still here,” but we are. The week before Thanksgiving normally involves a lot of shopping and a lot of planning for me. There is also some making ahead of dishes that can be. I guess this year was easier in that respect. I’ll post a separate blog on Thanksgiving, but we chose to follow the guidelines of our state and local health officials and not have an in-person get-together this year. So this is just gonna be a mostly normal weekly rundown of dishes.

Thursday (11/19) – As with many weeks, we had leftovers. I had just made so much of that chicken and fiesta rice dish!

Friday (11/20) – I made white bean au vin, a recipe from NYT Cooking. It was in their weekly recipe email, and I happened to have just gotten cannellini beans in our grocery delivery box. I had actually printed the recipe over a year ago and just never tried it out. I had all the stuff, so I decided to give it a try. It was delicious. I even ate most of the carrots without cringing because the sauce had so much flavor. And the kiddo ate it up, too!

Saturday (11/21) – We had tortellini primavera. No, I didn’t make homemade tortellini. I had some of the refrigerated kind you buy at the grocery store. I cooked it with some carrots, bell peppers and zucchini. The goal was to get my husband to try zucchini again, as I am on a quest to get him to see that some of his most hated foods might have been how they were served to him. He actually said the zucchini was not terrible. And later, he chose this dish over another he really likes when eating leftovers for lunch, so I know it was good! I then spoke with my daughter and discovered she, being 22, was financially strapped, so I offered to make her some meals for the week and drop them on her porch. I made Lebanese rice and lentils, minestrone soup, refried black beans, some rolls, and some cookies for her.

Sunday (11/22) – We started the day with a potato and gruyere galette. In hind sight, I would put the potatoes on during the initial baking of the pie crust and bake it slightly longer before adding the eggs and cheese. But it was pretty good. For dinner, I made fried chicken thighs and mashed potatoes. I found a copycat recipe for KFC fried chicken. I altered it a bit, cause you know, that’s what I do, and it came out terrific. I’ll be keeping that one handy.

Monday (11/23) – I made stuffed shells in the instant pot. They were delicious, and the dish came out beautifully. I have discovered that with the instant pot, I can stuff the shells without cooking them first, which is so much easier. And we love stuffed shells because the kiddo eats them up. It’s a great way to get more protein and vitamins in her diet, because I stuff them with a mixture of two cheeses, spinach and egg. Also, I got to use up the pizza sauce I had made the week before by just thinning it into a marinara sauce.

Tuesday (11/24) – Tuesdays are generally a meat night. I did a braised pork shank and potatoes using the leftover red wine from the white beans au vin. One large pork shank was enough to feed us both, and we still had potatoes left over. I’ll resist going into my rant on how underrated pork shanks are, but you’d get it if you tried this dish. I also made up a batch of my Brandy-orange cranberry sauce. I love this stuff. I once made it from a recipe I found years ago. The past few years, I’ve modified it to my own liking. This year, I made it in the instant pot. I’ll post that one cause it is just so good and easy to do.

Wednesday (11/25) – We had leftovers. We still had some of the stuffed shells and some of the tortellini. However, I spent most of the day cooking. I’ll detail it in a separate post, but I prepared a vegan Thanksgiving and some vegan bierocks for my daughter and her roommates.

We did leftovers for dinner twice this week, and I still managed to cooking two whole weeks worth of separate meals. I call that a bit impressive. It was actually pretty great for me. I love cooking, and I love sharing my food. My daughter’s financial struggles will end some day, and I’m gonna have to find someone else to cook for or I don’t know how I’ll get by. Well, at least we have three daughters, so I think it’ll be a while before there’s no one to cook for.

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