What’s For Dinner Wednesdays – Easy(er) Spaghetti

  What’s For Dinner Wednesdays aren’t fancy recipes… they’re actually not recipes at all.  They are easy-to-make-from-your-head family meals that you can put together on a weeknight in a flash.  Because around here, there’s no time to follow a recipe on a Wednesday night…that’s weekend business. Okay, so spaghetti isn’t exactly a toughy.  It’s the perfect, make from your head weeknight meal.  But even super easy needs to get a little easier around here on Wednesday nights.  After school I take my daughter to dance class.  An hour away.  And yes, that makes me a crazy dance mom, but that’s for another post.  So, my husband is left to take care of our three littles, feed them dinner and get our house ready for our small group Bible study that we host exactly 13 minutes after I arrive home with our daughter from dance. Here’s one way I make a homemade meal work on these nights.  At some point in the day, I brown ground turkey or ground beef with onions and garlic.  I then put them in a crock pot and mix in whatever tomato-like products we have.  This time it was a jar of spaghetti sauce and a can of diced tomatoes.  I then added some Italian seasoning and a pinch of sugar.  You can add grated carrots for sweetness, mushrooms or any other veggies you like in your spaghetti sauce too.  Set to low and let it go. Then, I leave a pot of water, ready to boil on the stove.  This way, my husband just has to boil the noodles (I like half regular, half...

What’s For Dinner Wednesday – Mexican(ish) Crock Pot

What’s For Dinner Wednesdays aren’t fancy recipes… they’re actually not recipes at all.  They are easy-to-make-from-your-head family meals that you can put together on a weeknight in a flash.  Because around here, there’s no time to follow a recipe on a Wednesday night…that’s weekend business. Mexican(ish) Crock Pot So, today is the first day of second grade for my eldest.  Oh, and she has dance class tonight.  So, it’s a throw whatever I can find in the crock pot kinda day.  Here’s what I did… you can adjust this to whatever you have in the house.  Put chicken breasts (or whatever meat you have) in the bottom of the crock pot and season with salt and pepper.   Add any ingredients you have that go well in Mexican-type dishes.  I added some frozen corn, a can of black beans, a diced onion, some minced garlic and some chopped up tomatoes I had in the fridge.  You could also add canned tomatoes, canned green chilies or anything else that sounds good to you. I threw in all the Mexican-y spices I could find in my pantry.  Here’s what goes well in Mexican dishes:  cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder (if you don’t have fresh garlic), onion powder (if you don’t have an actual onion) and paprika. I cooked it on high for 4-5 hours because I didn’t get started until lunchtime.  Put it on low if you get going earlier than I did. Thirty minutes before dinner, cook up some rice and add some cream cheese to the crock pot.  Once the cream cheese is melted, stir it in and season...

What’s For Dinner Wednesdays – Asian(ish) Trout & Veggie Pasta

Welcome to my first installment of What’s For Dinner Wednesdays!  These aren’t fancy schmancy recipes.  They are easy-to-make-from-your-head family meals that you can put together on a weeknight in a flash.  Because around here, there’s no time to follow a recipe on a Wednesday night… that’s weekend business. Asian(ish) Steelhead and Pasta with Veggies This is a meal I’ve watched my sister throw together on many occasions so we gave it a go and it was a hit.  Season a filet of steelhead trout or salmon with a little salt and pepper.  Then, top with some butter, soy sauce and honey.  Bake or broil it however your family likes.  (I baked it at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes) While the fish is baking, boil a bag of pasta.  When there’s about three minutes left to al dente, add a bag of fresh veggies.  I used the pre-cut stir-fry mix from HEB.  When the pasta is cooked, drain it all together and return to the pot.  Toss with sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste.   Easy peasy meal and a happy...

Psuedoscience and the Internet Mom Force – Part 1

Shampoo commercials are my favorites. You know, the ones that start with the model with a head full of crazy, tangled hair looking so frustrated with a brush in one hand and a straightening iron in the other? Then, the commercial shows a close-up graphic of what her poor damaged hair actually looks like. Then, my favorite part, the mysterious shampoo beads float into the screen, swirl around her hair follicle, their DNA-double-helix-looking-tails trailing behind them, and magically her computerized hair is smooth and shiny. Pan back out from her digital hair and suddenly the same model is shown with perfect, smooth, silky hair. No need for her brush or straightener anymore. And, thanks to the shampoo, we all know she will be happy, have a beautiful marraige and perfect kids with heads of hair that are shiny with nary a tangle. My favorite parts are the pseudoscience graphics. You know, the ones that show us what we would see the magic hair beads doing if we had microscopes in our showers. People must believe anything that shows computer generated things that look like molecules performing miraculous tasks because they’re all over commercials. Probiotic commercials where tiny dots ease constipation, dog food commercials where magic meat molecules rush into a dog’s body, strengthen his muscles and improve his Frisbee catching abilities and mouthwash commercials where fuzzy white foam molecules strip away computer generated plaque on digital teeth. If I could go back to school, I would drop this whole nutrition gig and get a degree in pseudoscience graphic design. Is that a thing? The more I think about it,...