Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week In A Day

If I am home at the right time, or scrolling through channels at the right time, I stumble upon the Cooking Channel. I admit, I am still in favor of the Food Network - I tend to like the shows better.
On Cooking Channel, Rachael Ray has a show called Week in A Day - where she basically preps/cooks all the meals for the week in about an hour or so. This appealed to me because weeknights for me are generally stressful. I drive 30 minutes to get Logan, and by the time I get home I am trying to play with him while getting dinner going. It's basically impossible.

First up I tried and actual episode:

Make It Work
Recipe Review:
Chicken with Fennel Cream Sauce and Penned - it was ok. Wouldn't make it again
Minestrone Soup - meh. Again, just ok.
Mushroom and Marsala casserole - awful. took 2 bites and threw it out. We had turkey sandwiches instead.
Pulled Chicken with Bourbon BBQ - i had forgotten an ingredient and didn't make this one.
Spaghetti with Bacon and Beef Sauce - this one was good but I prefer my regular spaghetti.

So all in all, it was a BUST. However, I could see how if we had liked all the food it would have been a wonderful time savings in the evenings.

I decided this week to try again.

This time I sat down and pulled recipes and tried to get some common ingredients. I also tried to think in terms of left overs.

First of all, I bought this during the week:
 I chose the Chicken Enchiladas and a Honey-Plum chicken recipe.

First, I started a whole chicken in a pot of water and then marinated chicken thighs in wine. Once the thighs had sat about 30 minutes, I put them in a dutch oven to brown:

Once the thighs were done, I mixed apricot preserves (i couldn't find plum), soy sauce, and honey and poured that over the top and let it simmer for an hour and a half.
The cookbook
The simmering chicken.
On the night we want the honey chicken, I just have to heat this back up and boil some egg noodles. Whala!

In the meantime I let the chicken cool and pulled it apart. Then started the chaos.

I had 2 skillets going. One for Enchiladas and one for chicken spaghetti.
I used half the pulled chicken for each.

Not your traditional chicken spaghetti. This one is better

Enchilada filling

Once I was finished making the spaghetti and getting it into a casserole, I assembled the enchiladas. Then everything had to find a home in the fridge:

That was... not easy.

Then I am done!

Oh wait...

There's this:


Here is the plan:

Sunday Night: Enchiladas
Monday: Chicken Spaghetti
Tuesday: Honey Chicken
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: We have a work event but Donald is watching Logan and there are hopefully still some leftovers.
Friday: We always go out.

This makes the week nights much easier. Basically walk in the back door and turn on the oven or boil some water.

It's worth the time it took me to clean up, I suppose... :)

What do you do to make your week easier?