Tag Archives: dinner

What’s (been) for Dinner

What’s (been) for Dinner

Hi Sweet Friends,

It’s been a while. I talked to one of you this week and got a gentle reprimand? chiding? let’s say, “reminder” that I have not posted a menu lately. She’s right. I haven’t. Here’s why: I feel totally uninspired. Dinner just keeps rolling around. It feels to me like I’m always {have you ever notice how “always” and “never” only seem to turn up in whiny conversation?} running home, later than I meant to be, on the verge of being a hot mess instead of the gracious preparer of nutritious meals for the family. And it often feels like I am just recycling the same old meals, day after day. So I haven’t been writing about it much.

This week I tried a new recipe though! Crazy, right?!? Last night we had “Beef and Bean Burritos.” It’s another recipe from my favorite Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen. Only I made enough changes that I think it’s okay to post. So here it is. Not totally intense, stir in the clock-wise direction like ATK recipes can often be. Instead it’s more appropriate for a weeknight. So we had it last night with chips and salsa, green salad, and pineapple. Yum! Here’s the recipe…

Beef and Bean Burritos (adapted from Cook’s Country recipe)


2 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice
1/4 cup minced cilantro

Beef & Bean Filling:

1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 pound ground beef
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon salt
8 tortillas
grated cheddar
sour cream

1. Put 2 cups chicken broth in rice cooker with 1 cup rinsed rice and chopped cilantro. Follow the directions for your rice cooker.

2. Combine 1/2 cup chicken broth and half the rinsed beans. Mash with potato masher.

3. Heat oil. Add onion and cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Cook 1 minute. (Be sure to breath this amazing fragrance! Yum!) Add beef. Cook until no longer pink.

4. Mix mashed beans with meat mixture. Cook until nearly all liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining whole beans, lime juice and salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Adjust oven rack to highest slot. Preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Warm the tortillas until soft. Divide rice, meat and beans and cheddar cheese evenly. Fold and roll tightly. Transfer to sheet, seamside down.

6. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Broil and serve with a dollop of sour cream. (Think about garnishing with more chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, or a scoop of salsa/pico de gallo.

Absolutely worth the effort. It’s a keeper!


What’s for Dinner {This Month}

What’s for Dinner {This Month}

We were in Washington DC a few weeks ago. We travel with a friend and work for him in exchange for airfare and fantastic hotel digs so everybody wins! Glenn works really hard on these trips. I work hard on a couple days but always have one, blissful day with a blank schedule. I sleep in, take a super long shower, wear the fluffy hotel-robe, and meet the guys for a fancy lunch. This time around I managed to get in my “long run” on the treadmill. It’s so nice to do it without having to smash other things in around it! That was pretty much it for my self-discipline while I was there. I read, I used the clicker my very own self, I talked to Cathy on the phone. The one thing I did manage to do was plan a menu.

I took the whole month of June and scheduled five meals for every week. Lately I’ve felt like I was just presenting the same four or five meals in varying order so I wanted to take the time to plan the whole month and make sure we got a few variations. The irony is that I ended up kind of using a formula so it may still feel the same to family. Here’s what I did:

I listed four entree-type salads. Cathy calls these $10 salads because that’s what they would cost at a restaurant.

I listed four sandwich-type meals.

I listed four grilled meat with veg’ and salad meals.

I listed four bake-in-a-9×13-meals to share with my MIL.

I listed four weeknight-one-skillet-dinners.

Then I plugged them in. I moved them around so we didn’t have rice as a side dish more than once a week etc and tried to make sure we didn’t do a whole week of Mexican food followed by Asian food the next week.

Here’s what we ended up with:

June Monthly MenuThe asterisks show our meals with my MIL. You’ll see that we’ve deviated from our regular Thursday night. That’s because the Spurs are in the playoffs and she prefers to watch at home on her own larger screen TV than the little tiny one we have at home. So this week we may be swtiching the burgers and lettuce wraps depending on the outcome of tonight’s game. I’ve also switched some of the meals depending on the weather: yesterday was a lovely sunny day and the cheesy potatoes seemed ridiculous so we had the $10 salad instead.

I’ve loved having a plan. What about you? Are you embracing the freedom of a summer schedule and avoiding meal planning altogether or are you working on a crazy routine and trying to work everything in? What’s your favorite yummy easy summer meal?