watch out blue apron

A new Stop & Shop opened about 2 miles from my house. What makes this extra appealing isn’t just a new grocery store in suburbia, but it has a drive-thru Starbucks too! Yes, we are living the mom dreams over here in the Metro-west. And to make this sell even more desirable, the first kiosk when you enter the pristine grocer is a section of curated dinner preps. It is exactly like those meal delivery services like plated, one potato, and blue apron minus all that packaging waste! One bag filled with all the ingredients needed to prepare a quick, delicious home cooked dinner. Just grab the bag and head home and have dinner prepped and ready in approximately 20-30 minutes. As a working mamma, this is life-saving. A habit has recently formed in which this “meal kit” dinner is our Tuesday night cuisine.

Tuesdays are a bit of a hustle. It is after Monday which is always tough. Anyone else feel more tired on Tuesday than Monday? I guess Monday I run on adrenaline but Tuesday my body is like, “Oh hey we have to do this again?” And then after getting home from my hour long, traffic-filled commute it is time to get dinner on the table before I sneak off to pottery class. In an attempt to not only eat pizza quesadillas or frozen chicken fingers,  this Stop and Shop “kit thing” has been awesome! And David liked it so much he requested it join the dinner rotation and therefore, it is appearing here on the blog for posterity, since unless I log it, I will forget all about how to make it (and of course I threw out the recipe card because I am such a purger!).

Pork Chops and Sweet Potato Hash

2 bone in pork chops (or more if needed)

Salt and pepper

1 sweet potato

1 gala or honey crisp apple

thyme

honey

chicken broth (about a 1/2 cup)

3 strips of bacon

red onion

You will need two pan on the stovetop for this. In one pan, add some olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork and cook each side in the pan for about 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the chop. Once the pork is cooked remove from the pan and add in the chicken broth, some thyme, and honey. Stir and let simmer until reduced by half. This will become a nice deglaze sauce for the chops.  In the second pan, add some olive oil and diced bacon, apples, sweet potato, and red onion, and some more thyme. Cook for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Plate together and enjoy! Super simple, flavorful, and delicious.

Chorizo Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have gotten into a groove. It is a weird pattern though but it seems to work for us right now. Henry likes to eat dinner around 5/5:20PM. An early bird to the dinner table causing the rest of us to join the little man earlier than we might like for our family dinner. The turn around time then from when I get home from work and when Henry wants to eat dinner is too narrow for me to cook a hot meal. So how do I solve this problem?  I cook dinner the night before!  Yup, so on Sunday night at 6:30PM, I cook dinner for Monday night. Then on Monday when we get home, we just warm it up and enjoy a family dinner.  This helps me from buying take-out and eating junky foods, and lets us all get in a nutritious meal in our narrow window. Then Henry goes to sleep and I can take my time cooking dinner for Tuesday, etc. etc. And of course snack on it to make sure it is good.

What have we been noshing on? Some super simple and delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash.

acorn squashes (about 1 1/2 pounds each), halved and seeded

1/2 cup bulgur

ounces manchego or Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)

ounces cured chorizo, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 450. Place the squash halves cut-side down in a baking dish, add ¼ inch water, and bake until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Prepare the bulgur as instructions. In a medium bowl, combine the bulgur, manchego, chorizo, parsley, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. When the squash is done stuff with the bowl mixture. Place back in the over for 5-8 minutes to melt cheese and warm it all up. ENJOY!

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embracing his inner italian

Henry is a pretty good eater. We are lucky to have a kiddo who isn’t too picky and usually eats his meals with gusto. And, he enjoys a variety of delectables from beets to applesauce and kale salad to steak. He will mostly try everything at least once and then make his choice about whether or not to go for it again. And, worse case scenario, if he isn’t a huge fan of the main course prepared, he will usually enjoy some side dish of sweet potato or avocado that is readily available. But alas, one delicious food remained untouched day after day on the little dude’s plate: pasta!

No matter the shape of the noodle or sauce that we tried, Henry looked skeptically at the pasta before him and defiantly said no to the spaghetti! And those offending noodles had to be removed completely from his sight! How dare they remain on his tray even for a moment. The Italian mama in me was so sad. I tried over and over again to demonstrate the deliciousness of this complex carb, but Henry would not have any of it.

Then a break through! After months of this Italian pasta stand-off, a thawing in negotiations was mediated at the lunch table between Henry and Mema. Henry brought one noodle to his mouth and magically partook of the entire plate offered! WHAT!?!?  Huzzah!  We have a pasta man at last. Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 1.41.50 PM

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