Small victories and a recipe request

Things are coming along around here.

We have a dining room that is reasonably apportioned.

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Our towels and sheets have their own shelves in a linen closet!

Various things like tea and lentils and potato peelers are starting to be organized, and sometimes I open the right drawer or cabinet on the first try.

These are the victories of moving.

The pregnancy rolls along. This baby is a thumper. And for the first time in the past couple of weeks, strangers are asking when I’m due. I love that. Really. It’s so affirming to get outside recognition for the fact that I really am, all day every day, growing and carrying another person.

I’ve had an inspiring freelance video project to work on. Have I mentioned that I’m a video director and editor and that I love it? Well, I am. And I do. Especially when, as happened this morning, I open my email to see if my client received the revised cut of the video I sent, and see these replies:

Oh my god!!, it’s soooooo gooood!
O my gosh, it made me cry!
You’re wonderful!

What a gift it was to get these notes. The uplift of that affirmation is stunning, as I wade through the daily overwhelm of being J’s mother, moving into the first house we’ve ever owned, trying to find renters for our back house, (Did I mention we bought a duplex? Well, we did. And 2 weeks ago our renters gave notice.) and then try to carve out 15 hours of work a week towards a video deadline. There are times in the last week when I’ve wondered if it’s worth it–when there’s no food ready or even prepped for dinner at 7 pm, when I have to field renters stopping by and husbands staying home sick in the midst of my “focussed work time,” that blessed 4 hour window of paid childcare.

Sometimes, the demands of my life press in so close and heavy that even the smallest movement requires a huge grunt of strength and motivation.

So it’s particularly rejuvenating under those conditions to be able to accomplish something, from start to finish, to have it be valued and to get paid for it. Chalk one up in the victory column.

And now, I need some help. In the midst of this home-owning, landlording, pre-natal, part-time work blur, I’ve been lamenting how challenging it is to buy and make enough food for 3 people every day. Apparently, I need to start buying those industrial size tubs of yogurt and 2 dozen eggs at a time. And I could also start thinking about dinner before its 6pm. Perhaps I could even talk with A about some sort of dinner or shopping schedule in which he reliably participates. These are all reasonable ideas.

Today, I took some time to go through a decades worth of crumpled, food-stained recipes I’ve torn out of magazines. I methodically reviewed, cut out, taped them onto recipe cards and filed them away. Part of me wondered if I’d be better off taking pictures and making a file on my computer. But there is something romantic and simple about having a recipe card on the counter, collecting dribbles of sauce and flour over the course of an evening in the kitchen.

As I looked through my newly fluffed collection of recipes just now, I realize that I want more options for things that I can make heaps of and have stashed away in the fridge so I’m not just eating granola all day long.

This is where you come in: what are the recipes you go back to, again and again, when you know its a crazy week ahead and you need to whip up a whole bunch of something and eat off of it happily all week?

Thank you in advance!

11 thoughts on “Small victories and a recipe request

  1. I am 17 weeks pregnant with twins (my first) so I too am prepping and trying to find recipes that last at least 2-3 days. I made this earlier in the week and my husband and I ate it for 3 days – 2 dinners and a lunch. I added mushrooms bc I love them and used light sour cream to make it a little lighter. Really easy and delicious as leftovers. Chicken with paprika sauce: http://www.marthastewart.com/314138/chicken-with-paprika-sauce

  2. roasted vegetables! you just have to cut them up, drizzle in olive oil, season, and stick them in the oven. turn half way through. bonus if your oven is big. also, you can walk away, which is nice. i’m also trying to simplify food-making, and just finished a batch for the coming week…also, soup keeps really well and can be made in large quantities. hummus is a good snack with veggie sticks, and i blend big batches of fruit into juice at the beginning of the week and mix smoothies from them in the morning or whenever i want something light. leave hard boiled eggs in the fridge too. but i’m much better at snacking than eating meals! even when i try to make big batches, i end up short because i guess my perception is just that of a person who prefers to snack 🙂 we’re gluten and processed food free, so it takes some effort, but i think it’s worth it. good luck, and congratulations on the pregnancy!!

  3. I need help w/ the same thing. I would willing shop and cook if I could just PLAN a freakin list of stuff to make… I hope you’ll share. ❤

  4. We are all about the cous cous at the moment.
    Cook a load of cous cous ( soaked it veg stock so it tastes of something already), chop up ( nice and chunky) a red onion, pepper, fennel( essential in my opinion), courgette and roast for about 20 mins, then for the final 5 mins chuck in chopped chilli and garlic ( plenty of) cherry toms and crumbled feta. Mix with all roasted goodies with cous cous and mix together with a dressing consisting of olive oil, whole grain mustard, lemon juice and loads of seasoning. Eat it warm and fresh then stick it in the fridge and it makes good cold lunches for a few days. Yum yum pigs bum.

  5. Frontera marinades/sauces from the grocery store. They are made of good stuff and are delicious and thus make anything else taste delicious too. Our go-to fast, healthy meal (ie, what we cooked tonight) is defrosted tilapia filets cooked in a skillet with Frontera sauce for fish and served over rice (we use bulk rice, but honestly, Minute Rice is FINE and is so incredibly easy). Grab some salad from a bulk mix, toss it with some olive oil and soy sauce and BOOM, dinner.

  6. This is one of the many things I do for a living – help people meal plan around the resources and priorities they already have. There are TONS (so many, in fact, that I won’t be able to list them all here!) of different ideas for either making recipes in bulk so you have dinner at your fingertips or having lots of stuff already made around for you to make quick breakfasts and lunches daily. For example, make a big batch of your favorite grain on the weekend when you have the time and then you can morph that grain into several meals just by adding a protein and veggie/fruit. Or make a list of your family’s favorite meals and make sure you always have the ingredients on hand to make those meals any day of the week. Think about how your family really loves to eat and then work towards realizing that with every day meals, i.e. if your family really responds to simple, fresh cooking then devote your grocery budget to produce, fresh herbs and proteins so meal prep revolves around easy (oftentimes one pot) and simple prep and cooking so meals are about the ingredients, not the process. I’d love to help more if you can give me an idea of your specific needs, or feel free to email me if you’d like! This is one of my absolute passions, I could talk food (and everything having to do with food) all day long without even trying… 🙂

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