Always room to improve

I’m making sure to get my blogging done before the day begins.  Tis the holiday season and life is hectic … concerts, recitals, parties, family visits, decorating, gift shopping, and cleaning. Phew, just a bit stressful.  This week for dinner I wanted to keep is simple with some of our comfort food favorites, before my family arrives on Monday – most of our meals will be at restaurants, our bellies need some normalcy for now 😉

Monday
Chicken Bombs + baked beans + stuffed jalapeno peppers

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I’ve made chicken bombs before but this time around they were even better. Being familiar with the recipe things just went better in my kitchen; I also prepped them maybe 4 hours before its cooking time so the BBQ sauce could really soak in the meat. I splurged a bit on the bacon and purchased organic/natural/no nasty things added … honestly, I tasted a HUGE difference.  Plus it wasn’t greasy like the “normal” bacon you’d buy.  Spend a few extra $$ and get the ‘healthier’ version, it’s totally worth it – the slices are even bigger.

With the leftover cream cheese mixture for the “bombs”, I stuffed jalapenos and wrapped them in the remaining bacon. My husband loved them; I loved them too! Again, with the less greasy bacon the ‘poppers’ weren’t a slimy mess.  Add some classic baked beans for another side and you have a complete meal.

Tuesday
Spaghetti + pork/quinoa meatballs + garlic knots (store bought/frozen aisle)

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Yet another simple meal but I am constantly on the hunt for yummy spaghetti sauce. Well, I don’t have to look any further; I finally found one that my husband and I really like (as of last night!). There were HUGE chunks of green peppers and the flavors of Italian sausage really came through strong. I know it seems silly but I couldn’t figure out how my mom made spaghetti … it always tasted soooooo good. People joke “surely you can cook spaghetti” and while it is meant to poke fun at non-cookers, I felt like I belonged in that group! How could my spaghetti never be “that good”? I mean, it wasn’t horrible – I was just never happy with the flavors. I don’t have any intentions of making my own sauce, seriously I don’t have time for that. I will be happy using this new sauce and can be content that while my spaghetti still doesn’t taste the same as my mom’s, I am pleased knowing it’s now a close 2nd.

I digress; my point with this dish is that even with it being so easy, find sauces and spices that you really like to make the dish stand out from being “just another night of spaghetti”.  Class it up a bit more and make fancy meatballs. They take 20 minutes (prep to dinner table), so half way through you can start the spaghetti and everything finishes at the same time.  The garlic knots don’t take long; while I let the meatballs cool I popped in the knots and bingo-bango, 5 minutes later dinner is all set!

2 nights of successful dinners that a) didn’t break the bank; b) didn’t stretch our waists; c) were healthy and satisfying

Hooray for a normal blog finally!!! 🙂

 

 

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