Deciding on Dinner

Ahhh, such great weather for a holiday weekend! Mr. Farmer and I have been goofing around for the past couple days, starting with 9 holes of golf on Friday evening, a big shopping trip for garden materials at Home Depot yesterday, and date night watching Angels & Demons. We managed to plant two pots and beds in the front and back of the house, with a big whine from me only once when he found me in the recliner with a Diet Coke half-way through the process.

At any rate, when we got back from our honeymoon, we found ourselves with a little more time in the evenings, so we decided to start cooking rather than scavenging for food out on the town every night. Two weeks ago we hopped on Rachael Ray’s site and just went with one of her weekly dinner planners, which at the time even gave you the shopping list. (Since that time they’ve taken down that feature. Poop.)

We didn’t go in this order, but here’s what it included. And with left-overs, it lasted us two weeks.

Open-Face Pork Tacos
Spiced Grilled Chicken
Beef-and-Portobello Minestroganoff
Turkey Meatloaf Sandwiches
Vegetable Ribbon Pasta
Swordfish with Mango-Caper Relish
Strip Loin Steaks with “Pizza” Topping

The turkey meatloaf sandwiches — surprising as it might seem — were our absolutle favorite, followed by the open-face pork tacos. Those were a ton of work, though, clocking in at over an hour. The steaks were really good too, especially using the pizza topping as a bread-pudding-like side dish. Least favorite for me was the pasta, followed by the swordfish — which was technically fine, but I’m not a big fish person.

Now that the shopping list feature has disappeared on that site, I set out this morning to just find receipes from her 30-minute meals sections that looked good and made the shopping list from there. Here’s what we decided on:

Fancy Tuna Melts
Asian-Style BBQ Pork Chops and Succotash
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad
Turkey Parm Meatballs and Caesar Slaw
Millionaire Rotisserie Chicken Salad
Marinated Flank Staek with Sweet-Hot Slaw
Herb Apricot Chicken
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas (from Cooking Light)

The big question now is which item we’ll have tonight when Mamma Farmer comes over for dinner.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Annette said,

    Wow! You are ambitious! My favorite recipe sources are and that little Martha Stewart Cooking periodical. Despite what you may expect, the Martha Stewart recipes are simple and GOOD! If there is a long ingredient list, I generally tune out immediately.

  2. 2

    Heidi said,

    I am impressed at the cookery, woman! Sounds much better than scalded potato soup.

  3. 3

    A curly girl said,

    My favorite web source, which is reliable, is Williams Sonoma (

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