my best advice for a happy table: light a candle and linger. lighting a candle creates a moment of contemplation: we are here, blessedly, together. the golden light gathers us.
well, that was a longer than anticipated break between posts! last time i wrote about Spicy Southwest Chicken–our favorite recipe from Jessica Fisher’s Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. but i forgot to mention that i used this same recipe for fish that we marinated and cooked for Baja fish tacos. amazing!
here are a few of our other favorites:
- meatballs + meatloaf… i replaced the bread crumbs with oatmeal because that’s what i had on hand. the meatloaf was more popular than the meatballs even though they come from the same recipe. go figure! i had to sell the meatballs by calling them Viking Meatballs and serving them with lingonberry jam.
- Soy-Ginger Pork yummy with green beans and rice. the marinade + juice cook up just enough to make a touch of sauce for the rice.
- ultimate freezer guide…from Life As Mom. there is so much good, helpful info here!
:: handsome painting outside The Chicken Pie Shop ::
like i said yesterday, most of the recipes that we have tried from Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook by Jessica Fisher are basically marinade for meat. at first i was thrown off because it didn’t seem like all that much of a help. and the cooking instructions were to grill the meat. i know that Jessica lives in Southern California where it’s always grill weather, but for those of us who live in less sunny places, grilling is certainly a seasonal event. but these recipes work great as a slow simmer on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.
our favorite, most versatile recipe is Spicy Southwest Chicken. all winter i’ve use fire-roasted canned tomatoes, but am looking forward to fresh this summer. we also cheat on the jalapeno, preferring to add our heat individually. this dish can go southwest or it can go Italian–very flexible.
and like i said yesterday, the flavors of each marinade are the inspiration for the rest of the side dishes. it has made meal planning much easier. we’ve even started eating move vegetables because it’s easy for me to imagine how they coordinate with the meal and i have the energy to fix them!
:: mother’s day pretty with pictures of my mom and AP’s mom ::
we’ve all heard how very important eating together is. i think it’s less true for a homeschooling family because we spend so much time together anyway. but meals together are important. some time ago i read some suggestions on making dinner more leisurely. and though the exact suggestions didn’t really fit my season of life, the vision that it cast–of people truly gathered–has stuck with me.
at our house, far and away the most important change in this regard has come from freezer cooking, using Jessica Fisher’s excellent book Not-Your-Mother’s-Make-Ahead-and-Freeze Cookbook as a guide. i have made two complete batches of 20 dinners and 2 additional batches of 10 meals. her work is different from other freezer meal plans. you aren’t making and freezing 30 casseroles. most of the recipes that i chose are simple meat marinades that create a flavor profile to build around–black beans + polenta to pair with Spicy Southwest Chicken or green beans and rice to pair with Soy-Ginger Pork.
with some planning and a little extra work up front, my freezer has become my friend! and it got me a few steps closer to a leisurely dinner hour! over the next week, i’ll share the recipes that have been most successful at our place.
and guess what?! you can win a copy of Jessica’s book for your kitchen! details and an entry form can be found at her site Life As Mom. woot!