A little bit of meal planning…

Every since I started to love cooking, I’ve been obsessed with Rachael Ray and Tiffani Thiessen (I think she dropped the Amber and I don’t like it.) I watch their shows religiously and I even get Rachael Ray’s magazine. I know, I know, who needs a magazine when you can find everything you need online. Magazines are just something I cannot give up. Plus it gives me a reason to ignore the Internet for a bit.

If you’re not familiar with “Rachael Ray Every Day”, let me fill you in. The entire thing is loaded with recipes, food pictures and all the things she loves. It’s totally drool worthy. In each magazine, there is a healthy weeknight meal kit. It includes dinner for every weeknight and (and this is the best part) a simple shopping list. So, I thought I’d give it a shot.

The list, which consisted of 15 ingredients, seemed simple enough. If you decide to try this, please note that at the bottom of the list, there is an assumed list, i.e. things you already have in your pantry and fridge. Yeah, I missed that. Anyhow, Sunday evening I made the trek to the grocery store and purchased everything on the list, which came to around $80. Not bad for five dinners plus some leftovers. I mean, come on, there are scallops on the menu. Not to mention, THE BEST scallops I’ve ever had.


Night one was Classic Mu Shu Pork. This recipe called for shredded cabbage. I have used my food processor a total of maybe 10 times, but never for shredding veggies. Did you know you put it in through the top? Fascinating. Did you also know that the blade is super sharp?IMG_8367 It’s like I always say, cooking isn’t cooking without an injury. I don’t really say this, but when I’m in the kitchen, it seems to be true. This recipe called for the hoisin sauce, which, in my opinion, is basically what is in any Asian dish, and a hell of a lot of pork. I don’t even like pork, but damn, it looked good. The whole thing was restaurant worthy and made enough for Dave to take to lunch the next day.

Monday night I went with the Mushroom, Swiss Chard & Cheddar Quesadillas. If you’ve never had chard before, its basically a tougher version of kale. You’re either going to love or hate it. These quesadillas were anything but Mexican and were loaded with veggies. IMG_8412They were served with kidney beans on the side. Weird, right? I thought so too, but like everything else my girl Rachael makes, they were good. IMG_8414

Tuesday, ohhhh Tuesday. This was the night of Seared Scallops with Orange Sauce & Napa Cabbage Salad. I don’t even like citrusy dinners or so I thought. This recipe is fantastic. Dave loved the burnt cheese, which was actually cooked orange zest. Can’t blame him for being confused. I mean, look at it. I was weary of the cabbage salad because it was also citrusy. The whole thing was light and so full of flavor.If you make this, please let me know. I want to drool with you.IMG_8427

Wednesday night I had plans, but I wasn’t going to screw up this challenge. I decided to prepare the Minestrone with Cheese Toast. I prepped as much as I could and then let Dave finish it.
IMG_8439I did everything up to the point of adding the pasta. I left him detailed instructions and asked him to please send me a picture. He overcooked the soup, which became a salty, saturated mess. And where is the cheese on the bread?!? But, he did take a picture and definitely made me laugh.IMG_8536

The final night was Pork Chops with Zesty Tomato Sauce and Swiss ChardIMG_8476This recipe was super quick and easy. Dave decided the chard is not for him, but I love it. All in all, the week was a success. I think the funniest part is him drooling in the kitchen while I perfect my pictures. It’s like foreplay with food. I learned that blades are sharp, Mu Shu Pork isn’t as gross as it sounds and Dave will never be a food photographer.

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