After a Long Silence…

Well, all those questions from my last post remain unanswered, because in the intervening months we packed up, picked up, and moved from Sugar Land, Tx to Blacksburg, Va. more on that later

Looks like we're Hokie's now!

Looks like we’re Hokie’s now!

Now the kids are back to school, Tim has started work, I have found Jazzercise, the library, and an awesome writing desk, and the dog has (mostly) stopped freaking out. We still have some unpacking and arranging to do, but our routines have kicked in. It’s been a long summer with a lot of eating out, microwave cooking in hotel rooms, and a week of voluteering at a summer camp where three times a day food “magically” appeared in the dining hall. Now it’s up to me again. We tried “Hello Fresh” for one week while Jane was at camp and it went over well, so we’ll try it again at the end of this week. I like that it’s only 3 meals and we usually don’t have leftovers. Plus, I found the recipes were not difficult, usually something I hadn’t tried, but always something I felt confident I could recreate.

Until that order arrives, I needed a plan for 5 meals. And since it’s a new house and new kitchen, we were really starting from scratch. In the interest of delicious convenience, I turned to one of my favorites, Mark Bittman.


He supplied four recipes and the fifth came from an old favorite: onepot

I found this one-pot meal book at the Sugar Land library and liked the dishes I made so well that I bought my own copy. It’s out-of-print, but available second-hand quite cheaply.

This week’s meal plan:

  1. BLT Salad (Bittman p. 120)
  2. Baked Chicken Tenders (Bittman p. 674) w/Seared Broccoli (p. 925) &Corn on the Cob
  3. Tuna Noodle Casseole (1pot meals p. 198) & Peas w/Bacon & Onion (Bittman p. 934)
  4. Coucous Gratin (Bittman p. 390)
  5. Spaghetti & Drop Meatballs (Bittman p. 320)
  6. Bonus: Orange-Ricotta Pancakes (Bittman p. 868)

Shopping list looked like this:

Center aisles: flour/baking soda/bay leaves/rosemary/chicken broth/egg noodles/7oz water packed tuna/couscous/2×28 oz canned diced tomato

Dairy: gruyere (8oz), parmesan (8 oz), milk (this may be for a recipe, but I also pick some up everytime I go to the store. Same with bread & apples), ricotta (1c), sour cream (1c)

Produce: leeks (4), corn on cob, parsley, onions (2), tomatoes (6), boston lettuce, sliced mushrooms (8 oz), broccoli, 1 orange

Meat: chicken tenders (1.5 lbs), ground beef (12 oz), bacon (12 slices)

Freezer: peas were the only thing needed from the freezer section…so I forgot them and had to pick them up another day.

We loved the BLT salad. I served it with toasted sourdough and both Tim and Ben treated it like a sandwich filling. Jane’s favorite part (of course) was the B.


Last night the chicken tenders were also a hit. Instead of dipping and rolling and whatnot, you make fresh breadcrumbs and scatter them on top of the chicken tenders. The parmesan/crumb/olive oil combo was rich, but it was cut nicely with the lemon juice we sprinkled on top. chicken

I liked the excess crumbs mixed with the bitter charred broccoli. broccoli

And I bake the corn in the husk as described here. So easy and delicious!


Tonight is Tuna casserole that I’m prepping in advance, in between unpacking boxes and writing/revising the novel.

Never a dull moment!

Where is my plate?

Where is my plate?

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