What’s for Dinner? {this week} + two bonus recipes

What’s for Dinner? {this week} + two bonus recipes

Here’s the plan for dinner at our Portland home this week. And also what’s for breakfast and dessert! As always, recipes are linked from my pinterest boards too.

Breakfast: Are you an oatmeal eater? My dad and I are. The rest of the family? Not so much. That means I am not interested in making whole crock-pots full of apple cinnamon or pumpkin pie oatmeal, even if I did pin them. But I love these individual servings of “summer porridge” or cold oatmeal or refrigerator oatmeal or whatever you want to call it. So far I’ve tried the mandarin orange and apple cinnamon. All keepers. I love that they are individually portioned so that I am not tempted to overeat. Next up? Peach melba!

Dessert: Mom’s “Fair Quality” Carrot Cake. My MIL is not a cook. Nor a baker. She’s super good at organizing and writes letters by the dozen. She is thoughtful and kind and generous but a chef she is not. So anytime she needs to take food to a potluck or other function, Glenn or I try to step in. For her potluck tonight I made Mom’s “Fair Quality” Carrot Cake. I think it is exactly what a carrot cake should be: moist and spicy with cream-cheese goodness spread on top. No nuts or pineapple or raisins or strange dried fruit, just cake and carrots and cream-cheese deliciousness. It’s a standard go-to recipe for me. Pretty much no fail with no hard to find ingredients or fussy steps. When I first started working at the church I made it for a meeting I hosted at my home (because “there should always be food.”) One of my fellow staff members took a bite of his cake and declared that it was “fair quality.” When he said “fair quality,” I heard, “fair to middlin’.” As in, it’s fine, not great, not bad, fair. What he meant was, this cake is enter-in-the-county-fair-good, it’s award-winning. It’s been Mom’s “Fair Quality” Carrot Cake every since. Here’s the recipe:

Mom’s “Fair Quality” Carrot Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrot

Place all ingredients in mixer and combine. Pour into greased 9×13 and bake at 350* for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Note: Cathy made this in a bundt pan last week–even more surface for the cream cheese frosting and prettier for serving!

3 oz cream cheese (I’ve increased this to at least 4 oz usually)
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Beat remaining ingredients until smooth. Frost cooled cake.

Note: This frosting is also killer good on spice cake.

Okay. Dinners this week:

Monday: leftover potroast from last week. Sorry. No fun new recipe here, just leftovers.

Tuesday: Taco Salad. I’m looking forward to using the rest of our homemade refried bean from last week. (Which turned out great by the way!)

Wednesday: Cornish Pasties and Green Salad. This is an Austin family tradition. Pasties (pass-ty) are meat pies, originally small enough to be hand held. Legend has it that the miners in Cornwall took these for lunch in the mines, sometimes with a sweet bite in one end. Glenn’s family recipe is very simple and since it came to me through my MIL I have permission to use ready-made pie crust. I know there are those of you who making amazing pie crust but I am not one of those people. So it’s a Pillsbury Pie Crust with cubed potato and onion and beef baked inside. I always wonder about sprinkling a little onion soup mix in or adding some carrot before I seal it up but have never been willing to risk the familiarity of it for Glenn. I searched for a recipe on pinterest and found this one that seem most like the family recipe.

Thursday: Breakfast Casserole (aka Egg Bake) and Allspice Muffins with Fruit. This is the standard Breakfy Casserole except that I like to use carmelized onions and Jimmy Dean sausage instead of ham and broccoli and smoked cheddar instead of regular. These Allspice Muffins are the perfect balance of indulgent without being sticky sweet. And I’m thinking about also making this Cinnamon-Sugar Butter to go with them.

Friday: Sweet & Spicy Salmon with Green Salad and veggies. This is a yummy fool-proof salmon recipe and I’ll just add whatever fresh vegetable looks good at the grocery store.

Saturday: Beef Stoup.  (As Rachael Ray would say.) No recipe, just the usual ingredients in a yummy beef broth.

Sunday: Michelle’s LBJ Chili with Cornbread and fresh pears. Our friend Michelle makes this so-yummy chili, at least I’m hoping it is the same as she makes. I know she has told me it’s LBJ’s recipe so it seems reasonably likely that this is the right one.

That’s it for us. Enjoy!

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