Fall Weather = Comfort Food

Friday, September 25, 2015

As I confessed in my "About" section, when B and I got married I didn't even know how to thaw chicken. I'm learning bit by bit how to cook and am willing to try (and fail) with pretty much anything.

Just like every other family, the weekdays are crazy around here and it's just the two of us! Between BSF, meetings, coaching, the gym, etc. neither of us really have time to make dinner when we get home. Or we're too hungry to make anything healthy. We figured out a system that works really well for us. Over the weekend we make ALL of our meals. When I'm really on my game, it's all pre-portioned out too!

In addition to any of the meals I make, we usually get a couple pounds of fresh chicken breasts from Harris Teeter every week for $1.99/ pound. We cut each breast in half and marinade them in Italian salad dressing. Most of the time we'll just cut the grilled chicken and put it on a salad for another option during the week.

I'm going off my meal plan* a little this week because I'm ready for fall weather and some comfort food. For meals this week I made a Quinoa and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole, Grandma's Old Fashioned Meatloaf and Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

On Pinterest, I pin yummy recipes to my board "Delicioso". After I've made them I re-pin them to my board "Made That" and add tips for the next time I make it. I found all three of the following recipes on Pinterest. You can tell from the pics below why I pinned them!

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole
From "Kristine's Kitchen" Blog

This would be good for anyone who does "Meatless Mondays." I was worried my husband would shun it because there was no meat, but he loved it anyway!

Notes: Instead of making the sauce, I just bought a 15 oz can of green enchilada sauce. One less thing to do.

Confession: When it said to "Cook the Sweet Potatoes" - I didn't even know how to steam veggies. . . B had to help me. Lesson learned!

Grandma's Old Fashioned Meatloaf
From "The Kitchen Whisperer" Blog

Meatloaf always makes me think of my childhood. We used to always have it with mashed potatoes and green beans. This was the first thing my sister learned to cook and started making it for us when she was in middle school. (She's about 20 years ahead of me in the kitchen.)

Notes: Parchment paper was a nice touch. Made clean up very easy! Also, I didn't add the leftover tomato sauce on top. I didn't grow up with anything on top so I went without.  The meatloaf was really good, but I thought it was a bit soggy from the oats. My husband thought it was just perfect. Next time, I think I'm going to try breadcrumbs to see what I like better.

Confession - I didn't use the Montreal Steak Seasoning. I thought I bought it at the store, but it was the wrong thing. I bought the dry seasoning, apparently there's a liquid one. (?) Remember, I'm new at this.

Slow Cooker Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes
From "Creme de la Crumb" Blog

Mashed potatoes are the perfect sidekick for meatloaf!!

Notes: I cooked my potatoes on high for two hours, which I thought was the perfect time. Apparently I didn't do the "fork test" correctly. (Oops!) Next time I'll let them cook more for 2.5-3 hours.

Confession: I started using the hand mixer in the slow cooker, but the milk I just mixed in started flying everywhere. User error I'm sure. I switched over to my hand masher and that worked just fine. Then I had a mess to clean up.

Since it's just the two of us, these meals lasted for dinner all week. All I had to do was re-heat what we wanted, set the table, open some wine and voilá!

* For more info on my meal plan, see this post from Thursday.

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