Renovation, Week Five: Dinners and Creatures
Let’s break this week’s renovation update down day by day. I updated my four-week menu plan to carry us through the rest of the project, the installations are still on schedule, and it’s remarkably nice weather still outside. I want you to understand that while my posts may make this whole process appear to be coated in sugary fairy dust, let me be clear… I’m stressed. I’m hungry. I ran out of coffee filters. And I really hate snakes.
MONDAY: Dinner– french onion soup in the crock pot. Crock Pot Caramelized Onions are the best and easiest thing you should be making once a month, at least. I had two great electricians and a city inspector in the house today. We’ve got a gazillion new outlets installed in order to pass county code and now I can plug my crock pots in anywhere and everywhere. Very cool. What is uncool?? The crazy freaking snake that the electrician met in my crawl space and killed with a crow bar. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t in the contract, but I could not be more grateful to him for taking care of it!
TUESDAY: Dinner– Microwaveable tacos that my kids can heat up themselves. Why? Because I spent the afternoon with the pest control company checking my house for undesirable creatures. Want to know something terrifying?? If you have snake(s) in your crawl space, the first place they check for snakes is the ATTIC. If you have a rodent problem in the attic, there is a potential likelihood that the snakes enter through the crawl space and then wiggle through your walls to get to the attic for the mouse buffet. (I may never sleep again if they ever find something up there!) Luckily, no mice were found. No snakes either. After a full house inspection, the only culprit was the one in the crawl space. After all the anxiety over slithery slimy snakes, this mama had a crazy migraine and went straight to bed before dinner. Hence the reason that the kids made their own dinners!
WEDNESDAY: Dinner– Macaroni and cheese, fresh blueberries, grape tomatoes. Ramen noodles and steamed sticky buns for the grown ups. No workers today in the house so I used my time to get out and run errands, get groceries, etc. I feel a little guilty for feeding my kids so much processed stuff during the renovation, so I combat that concern by trying to include fresh produce as much as possible.
By the way, about the sticky buns… I buy them at the asian market’s freezer section. Then, they go in my rice cooker on “STEAM” for about 10 minutes. Makes a great quick lunch or dinner. I highly recommend using your small appliances for more than just their primary purpose, I love using my rice cooker as a steamer as well!
THURSDAY: Dinner– Stuffed zucchini in the crock pot. This dish takes my favorite pork meatball recipe and puts it inside a vegetable… clearly meaning that this is good for me, right?! Probably need to include a little more of that fresh fruit into dinner tonight, just to be sure it all cancels out. Ha! Electricians are here today finishing up the wiring so that hopefully the inspector comes tomorrow to sign off on everything so far.
Here’s the recipe for tonight’s dinner.
It’s so quick, I’m not even going to write it up in a separate post:
1 lb ground pork or pork sausage for more flavor. 1 c. pancake mix. 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese. Mix all three ingredients. Take two zucchini, cut lengthwise and scoop out the insides. Fill the “boats” with the sausage mixture. Cook on low in the crock pot for 4 hours.
(To do these as just meatballs, roll into golf balls and then bake in the oven– they get a really nice crispiness to the outside.)
FRIDAY: Dinner– sushi rolls. Back to the rice cooker I go. I’m keeping it simple and just doing spicy tuna rolls tonight (drained canned tuna, a little mayo, and enough sriracha to make the mixture orange). The kids will eat the rice, some steamed edamame, and cut-up mango. Sometimes simple is just so good. Have you tried making sushi before? Once you learn to roll, it’s really easy, and you can use a crazy variety of fillings! First you need these mats. I keep mine clean by putting them in a gallon-sized ziplock baggie before rolling. Then just spread the rice thin, lay the toppings in the first 1/3 of the seaweed sheet and then roll it tight! Once my kitchen it back together, I’ll make a video for you on making sushi rolls.
Oh, and the kitchen work?? The electric inspection was passed! And cabinets started going in! (insert happy dance here!)