Weeknight meals

It’s been a busy few days here in the Grand Valley. I am always amazed by people with children; I hardly seem to find time to do the things that they do while taking care of 2 or 3 kids at the same time! In any case, I did find time to get some meals on the table this week…

First, there was the Veggie Veggie soup. Or Veggie x 2…or souper duper veggie soup…anyway, here’s a quick summary: I had crushed tomatoes and leftover canned tomato soup in the fridge. I was in the mood for soup. So…I used those and about 3 cups of chicken broth as the “soup” part and started chopping…actually, I did that in the opposite order:

A few nights later I created a Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole. This was your basic chicken breasts, rice and cream of mushroom soup with a twist: I added about 1/2 cup of salsa and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese to the mix. Baked everything at 350 for about 1 hr or until the chicken is done and the rice is cooked. To go with it I made a salad with homemade ranch dressing. This isn’t quite your typical recipe, but it’s tasty. Here’s the cast of characters:

By the way, I hate these photos. I’m not the Pioneer Woman and I cannot set up shots like she does. Anyway, here’s what goes into my dressing: 1 1/2 cups mayo, 1 cup of milk, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 1/2 tsps dried parsley and 1 1/2 tsps dried chives. 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard. Whisk everything together. Add about 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, or to taste. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before using. Use within a week or it’ll get super thin.

Ok, last thing. We had a giant box of clementines. It’s towards the end of clementine season so some were tart, some were dry, blah blah blah. I decided to take the majority of them and juice them. I used the handy-dandy squeezer with a measuring cup attached that my sister got me for Christmas. I ended up with 3/4 cup of clementine juice. With which I created…clementine honey sorbet!

I have a great little electric ice cream maker. I think it’s a Cuisinart. So first I put the clementine juice in the fridge overnight. You don’t have to do this, but it should be cold when you get ready to use it. I made a simple syrup next. I’ve been trying to cut back on refined white sugar so instead of using 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water I used: 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup raw sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar. I added 1 cup water, brought it to a boil, stirred and then when everything was dissolved I turned off the heat. I put the simple syrup in the freezer to cool. When the syrup was cold, I added in the clementine juice and about 1 tbsp lemon zest. I put it in the ice cream maker and let ‘er rip! The honey and raw sugar added a really great flavor to the sorbet. I will definitely make simple syrups that way from now on.

Phew! Tonight I have to make a chess pie for a fundraiser tomorrow. If it turns out well, I’ll post the recipe!

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