Canadians don't celebrate Thanksgiving on the same date (it's in October) so my husband's cousins and uncle were working on Thursday and Friday. We did not mind because there are a lot of things to see in Ottawa, even with young children, and even when temperatures start to feel really cold.
Since we were "home" on Thursday afternoon, we had offered to cook dinner for the whole family. On our menu that evening (while most of you were having turkey...), we had a curried sweet potatoes soup (recipe to come soon), a boeuf bourguignon over pasta, and a tarte tatin for dessert (recipe to come as well). We cooked more than we needed so that Friday lunch/Sunday dinner were also taken care of! I felt that the least we could do was to help out with meal planning while we were adding extra chaos to an already-full life!
W's cousin is a physician and we talked about how she manages to balance her professional life with her family life (3 daughters, 2 of which are on a hectic gymnastics schedule; a one-year-old who is a real picky eater; a busy husband). One key element was meal planning. C. felt that if she did not plan meals ahead, then the whole week was going to be even more crazy! Having a meal plan was a relief in a way because she knew that all the grocery was already done accordingly (no last-minute trips to the supermarket), she knew that it was overall balanced... and that if a crisis was going to take place, she could always improvise an emergency dinner without damaging the overall balance of the diet! Since she works some week-ends and evenings, she knows that on those days, her husband (who is half-Italian) is going to cook pasta/pizza... so she knows that her meal plan has to offer more vegetarian dishes to balance out. Because she is the one making the veggies-dishes, her daughter always tell her "how much better dad's cooking is!" Unfair in a way because by making her husband's cooking/feeding life easier, she is actually making hers more difficult! Does it matter? Well, at this stage it does in a way because the girls give her a hard time... but hopes are that, in the future, when her daughters realize that the reason why they can still fit in skinny jeans is because they had a great diet all along, they'd be grateful to both their parents! That's what I hope for too when I serve Brussels sprouts to my family... (Okay, Brussel sprouts is maybe a little bit extreme, no?) Bonne Cuisine!
Weekly Menu - Week 15
- If you make your own yogurt, prepare a batch for the week.
- You have to make the Moussaka. It requires a little bit of planning and is not an emergency dinner!
- Make more than you think you would need because it can be frozen.
- You have cook the brown rice and make the fruit salad
- Start by making the rice and veggies; while it cooks, you'll have time to make the dessert.
- You have to make both the soup and the gougeres
- Start with the soup.
- While the soup is cooking, you have time to make the gougeres.
- You only have to cook the scallops and leeks dish.
- Start by cleaning the leeks (if not using frozen ones). Assemble with the scallops
- While the scallops are cooking, make the orzo
- If you are feeling zealous, make the ratatouille for Friday evening and/or the cupcakes.
- Relax, it's Friday!
- Depending on what you prepared on Thursday, you'll have either to make both the ratatouille and the cupcakes or just one of them.
- If you need to make both, start by pealing all the veggies to make the ratatouille. While the ratatouille is cooking you can prepare the cupcakes
- While the cupcakes are cooking, you can make the quinoa.