Spring Break is over and I’m not sure that there has ever been a time when I was happier to send my kids back to school. We went on a short vacation to Memphis for the first half of the week and for the remainder of their break all they wanted to do was lie around on the couch and play on their devices or watch TV. You would have thought that I made them trek through the Amazon with 100 lb. packs on their backs instead of taking them on vacation for three days.
They were SO E – X – H – A – U – S – T – E – D!!
I have never had to nag so much to get them to perform the tiniest of tasks (like getting dressed or brushing their hair). Hopefully once we’re back on a real schedule, things will get back to normal, starting with a menu for the week.
Monday: Wilted spinach salad with grilled chicken. Yesterday was National Spinach day (which we missed, oops) so today I’ll cook up some bacon in a skillet and use some of the grease along with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar to make a warm dressing for spinach, mushrooms, and red onions. I’ll top the salad with boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, and grilled chicken to complete the meal. My girls love this salad!
Tuesday: Pork chops, pierogies with onions, peppers, green beans, and mushrooms, and “fried” apples. This is one of my family’s favorite meals and super simple to make with frozen pierogies. Steam the green beans in a large skillet then remove and sauté mushrooms, onions, and peppers and add to green beans. Add a little more oil to skillet and place pierogies in pan, cover with lid and steam until warmed through then remove lid and lightly brown on both sides. When pierogies are done, add vegetables back to skillet to warm through and serve pierogies and vegetables together on a large platter. Season pork chops with your favorite seasoning (we like Penzey’s Turkish seasoning) and grill or pan fry. Sauté sliced apples in butter, sugar, and cinnamon and serve on the side.
Wednesday: Ribeye steaks, baked potatoes, with butter and sour cream, and roasted asparagus. I don’t know about you, but I am starving for a piece of red meat. So I’m giving in today since our schedule is pretty light. With this meal simple is better. Buy two good ribeyes, season with salt and pepper and grill (but not too long, you don’t want to dry them out). Rub potatoes in oil and salt and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (don’t mess with microwaved potatoes, yuck!). Asparagus goes on a baking sheet and is tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper; roast at 375 for about 15 minutes after the potatoes are done. I have a new Penzey’s seasoning to try called Shallot-Pepper. I think it’s going to be great on the asparagus.
Thursday: Thai spiced ground turkey and blistered green beans over rice. I actually use ground venison in this recipe but you have to double the sauce ingredients. You’ll never guess the “secret” ingredient, dill pickle. Sounds weird, I know, but trust me this dish is delicious. The green beans get tossed in oil, salt, and sugar and broil until blistered. I’ll share this recipe later in the week.
Friday: Tilapia Po’boy sandwiches with roasted potato wedges, and pickled cucumber and carrot salad. Simply pan-fry your fish (seasoned with your favorite seasoning, we like Cajun seasoning for this sandwich) and place on a toasted bun with homemade tartar sauce, lettuce, and pickles. Yum! Potato wedges tossed in oil, salt, and paprika then roasted at 375 degrees until crispy (about 30 minutes, turning once), are delicious with a little Parmesan cheese grated over them as soon as they are removed from the oven (My girls ask for these by name: “Potatoes with Stinky Cheese!”) Use a mandolin to slice your carrots thinly and mix with sliced cucumbers, salt, and seasoned rice vinegar for a quick salad (this one tastes better if it marinates in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving).