Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What’s Cooking in the Kitchen?

My cooking routine has definitely changed since adding a new little one to the household and going back to work full-time and graduate school part-time. Now that we have a little eater, meals have to be quick to prepare and appealing to both adults and kid!

Pre-baby, we rarely ate out on weeknights. I cooked 3-4 nights a week, often trying out new recipes and techniques. Sometimes dinner wasn’t ready until 7:30 or 8:00 pm but we didn’t mind. With a little one, our weeknight schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of heavy duty cooking and we don’t want to do take-out. So over the past year I’ve slowly adjusted the routine, bringing us to our current schedule:

Thursday or Friday night: Menu planning and grocery list writing.
Saturday or Sunday morning (around 8 am): Grocery shopping.
Saturday morning (10 or 11 am): Weekly family trip to the farmers market to stock up on produce and our favorite bagels, meats, cheeses, and every so often a nice bottle of wine.
Sunday afternoon: Prep for the week! Wash, chop, cook, organize.
Weeknights: Assemble, reheat and eat! Make lunches and get organized for breakfast.

I try to cook everything we need for the week on Sunday and leave only a few things to cook during the week. If I cook during the week, it is usually something that goes in after the little guy’s bedtime. Here is a look at what we’ve had cooking recently! I’m sorry I have limited pictures – these days it’s more about getting dinner on the table for these guys.

Pot Roast in Many Ways
I cook for the week, but sometimes it can get a little boring to eat the same meal over and over again. Instead of the creativity of cooking something new each night I am having fun making variations with the original dish. This pot roast kept us well fed for many nights.

Pot Roast Take #1: Slow Cooker Top Round Roast with Vegetables
3ish pounds Top Round Roast – From Charlton Orchards (Wayland Winter Farmers Market)
16 oz sliced mushrooms
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into 4 inch pieces (basically cutting in half)
About 10 small roasting potatoes (I used a mix of red, purple and Yukon gold)
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1-1.5 cups water + beef base or beef broth/stock
Bay leaf
Splash of red wine

Salt the pot roast
Brown the pot roast on each side, for extra flavor (I skipped the step this time)
Add pot roast to the slow cooker and arrange vegetables around the sides of the pot roast
Add broth, wine, and bay leaf
Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours (check after 4 hours to see how tender the meat is)
Remove bay leaf and serve

Pot Roast Take #2: Pot Roast Quesadillas with Sharp Cheddar
Flour tortillas
Shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (I use Cabot Extra Sharp or Seriously Sharp)
Leftover pot roast, carrots, and onions – chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Layout tortillas on a foil-lined baking sheet
Spread a thin layer of cheese on half of the tortilla
Top with chopped pot roast and vegetables
Sprinkle another thin layer of cheese on top of pot roast
Fold tortilla over
Bake for 5-8 minutes, until cheese is melted and tortilla is a lightly golden
Cut into wedges and serve

Pot Roast Take #3: Pot Roast Hash with Root Vegetables
Leftover pot roast, carrots, onions, and potatoes - chopped
Leftover roasted sweet potatoes and beets
Vegetable oil

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
Add chopped pot roast and vegetables in a single layer
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until heated through
Press down with the back of a spatula and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes until the bottom is nice and crispy
Serve with a fried or poached egg on top – and a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce!

We served ours with scrambled eggs - I wanted to make sure the eggs were cooked through for the little guy.

What is your favorite way to repurpose food in the refrigerator? I am having a blast doing it!


Related Posts with Thumbnails