Hey, hey! Regarding last week… We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with “Shamrock Shakes” made green with spinach, because
I’m MEAN I wanted to sneak in some veggies! The smoothies were fine, but I think I will add a bit of green food coloring next year in addition to the leafy greens. The spinach did turn the smoothies green, but it was kind of a muddy not-so-festive green. The boys turned their glasses of apple juice green with the magic words, “I love being Irish!”, and we read a giant stack of St. Patrick’s Day-themed books. My favorite one was the very last book the boys chose to read: Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco. It is a sweet story that touches upon hard times in Ireland, immigration, and the Great Chicago Fire. The hardcover also happens to be on mega-sale right now on Amazon, so you can bet I snapped up a copy for our library. I also enjoyed reading about Ireland’s St. Brigid. (If Dan and I had ever had a girl, her name would have been Brigid or Bridget. I’m sure you were just dying to know that!) We were all totally okay abstaining from meat! I should admit that I ending up having a lovely dinner at HuHot with my neighbor from our previous house, although the “krab” and mussels were no substitute for chicken!
Did my corned beef and cabbage in the Instant Pot turn out as horribly as my pot roast? It <drumroll> was a success! One of the benefits of waiting a day after St. Patrick’s Day to make your Irish meal is that you can troll around the Instant Pot forums and learn from other people’s successes and failures. The corned beef was tender and moist (score!), and the veggies were flavorful and perfectly cooked. (I think my ill-fated pot roast had not been cooked in the Instant Pot long enough. It seems as though tough meat is a sign of not being cooked long enough, and dry meat is a sign of being cooked too long.) I’m still not sure how I feel about the Instant Pot when it comes to making meals. It takes forever to come up to pressure, so the “Instant” part of its name is very misleading. I still maintain that it’s worth it for the hard-boiled eggs alone though!
On to this week’s meal plan! We came in underbudget in both our grocery and dining-out expenses for February. (Yay!) Because of this, we relaxed a bit in March, and now we’re getting kicked in the pants. (Boo!) In an attempt to save some dinero, I dug through our freezer and pantry to figure out which meals I could make with ingredients we already have. As a result, Beans & Rice is hitting our table this week, as well as a lot of rice in general. I’m also trying to use up frozen chicken that’s a year old (eh, I’ll try it) and a big ol’ bag of broccoli.
Here’s what we’re having for dinner this week!
Slow-Cooker Chinese Chicken Ramen Soup and Pork Egg Rolls (freezer section at the grocery store)
I borrowed America’s Test Kitchen Slow-Cooker Revolution cookbook from the library and asked Dan to pick out one of the “Easy Prep” meals. This is the one that he picked! It has some ingredients I’m not used to working with (Napa cabbage and star anise), so it will be interesting to see how it turns out!
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, King’s Hawaiian Rolls, Salad
Cheese Stuffed Shells, Salad
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole (freeze half of it)
Leftovers/If we don’t have enough leftovers, PC&A (Popcorn, Cheese and Apples)
With all my thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day, I totally forgot that Tuesday was “Pi Day.” Welp. It’s on the calendar for 2018! Do you have any fun Pi Day or St. Patrick’s Day traditions? Have a blessed week, friends!