Monday, June 13, 2011

Grocery Bag Returns

This week marks the return of Grocery Bag for the first time since Baby Bear's arrival eight weeks ago!  I can't believe it has been almost two months.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have an army of angelic family and friends to thank for providing all of the meals and support that has enabled me to take so much time off from meal planning.  We are a blessed family!  May God help us to give as we have received.

Its time to start planning again, however, as summer is in full swing, our move approaches, and I have to start confronting our pantry.  Here are some new favorites for our week!

Day One
This recipe is fabulous and fabulously simple.  I use half the oil called for in the recipe.  It comes out lovely, tender and delicious every time.

Recipe and photo from

Day Two
Pasta with mushroom cream sauce from The Culinary Chronicles
with strawberry and spinach salad
I have not attempted the homemade gnocchi that is part of this recipe, but the homemade mushroom cream sauce is simple and wonderful with any pasta.  

Photo and recipe from The Culinary Chronicles

Day Three
Shrimp Korma from Cooking Light Magazine 
with basmati rice
I chop up the shrimp and veggies into tiny pieces for recipes like this.  Fewer shrimp go further, cook faster and the kids are more willing to eat them that way.

Photo and recipe from

Day Four
"Black and White" lentil couscous salad
with garlic ginger carrots from Cooking Light Magazine
and whole wheat tortillas from Finding Joy in My Kitchen
I have been experimenting with all different kinds of lentils since T gave me an Indian cookbook for my birthday.   Here we used black lentils and israeli couscous, and it turned into a hearty, delicious vegetarian meal.

"Black and White" Lentil Couscous Salad
by Happily Ever Johnson

1 cup dried black lentils
5 1/4 cup water, divided
1 cup dried israeli couscous
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup craisins
1/3 cup finely chopped cucumber (optional)
1/2 tsp chopped dill
grated zest of one lemon
juice of one large lemon (about 3 Tbs)
2-3 Tbs olive oil
pepper to taste

1. Rinse lentils with cold water; drain. Place lentils and 4 cups water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20-30 minutes or until tender. Add frozen peas during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.  Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
2. Bring remaining 1 ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook 8-10 minutes. Combine lentils, peas, couscous, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Serve immediately or chilled.

Day Five
Chicken pesto mozzarella pizza
This is one of our favorite pizzas.  If we want dinner to go, I fold the pizza dough over and make two large calzones.  This is our favorite dough recipe.  Yum!   

Pizza/Calzone Dough
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp rapid rise yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp regular yeast)

Mix together in a standing mixer or add to bread maker on the "dough" setting.

 Blessings on your kitchen this week!


Anonymous said...


I came over here from Building Cathedrals and tried to post a comment, so I apologize if this appears twice. Can you give a little "behind the scenes" info on your meal planning and preparation? This is an area of weakness for me and I'm very impressed by your skills. When do you prepare meals? What do your children do during this time? Do you typically prepare just enough for your family to eat or are there also leftovers? If there are leftovers, how do you factor those into your meal plan? Are your children willing to try new foods? Thanks so much for any insight you can offer! I'd love to know more so that I can perhaps improve my own meal planning/preparation. --K

Queen B said...

K, I will certainly post the details behind my meal planning. I can't promise any magic answers or grand revelations, but I am happy to share the "behind the scenes" of our weekly meals! If I can do it, anyone can!
~Queen B

Anonymous said...

Thank you! That would be so helpful. --K