The Best Laid Plans - Learning To Cook Blog at - 299014

Learning To Cook

The Best Laid Plans 
Mar. 12, 2013 9:26 am 
Updated: Mar. 14, 2013 11:30 am
This moving stuff can be a pain in the neck. I had planned on doing another Faceless Friday, but weekend house showings got in the way. I couldn't even move it to Saturday or Sunday because there were showings both days, which is a great thing, but as the result was no sale and no feedback that I could do anything about, I call it a loss.

Now I have a refrigerator and freezer full of stuff that I won't be making until this weekend, unless we have more showings. If I were more ambitious, I could probably do this, but a five course meal is a bit of an undertaking along with cleaning the house twice in  the course of the day. I don't know how you all manage to do 15 or so recipes in a weekend without dropping dead!

I guess I just have to be flexible and do Faceless Fridays as I can and otherwise just make a faceless recipe here and there during the week. It's too bad, because I really like the concept of doing the Faceless Friday. However, my kids had a great point. It's just too much food. Unless you're serving five courses of straw the calories mount quickly. Even putting together "healthy" menus, five courses seems to contain an average of 1200 to 1400 calories per meal. That is considering the accuracy of the nutritional statement. I have a feeling that the serving sizes listed in recipes may be very generous causing the calories per serving to be quite high. When I make a recipe for 4, we generally have two to three servings left over, even with me eating.

I had reached out for some help the other day, on the Buzz, to find ways of putting together a more or less vegetarian menu. This was prompted by my kids, who were prompted by their foods teacher in high school. She must be challenging them to go one week as vegetarians, and they want to take up the challenge regardless of how the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer feels about it. As I said on the Buzz, "I should talk to that woman." A little warning would be nice! Maybe a little buy in as well. As Lara (Did I get your name right?)stated, "huge bowl of Cheetos with brownies as dessert (ok, now wouldn't THAT just serve that teacher right!)." To which I responded in the affirmative, "Ok kiddos! Here's your bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, double fudge brownies and a 2 liter bottle of Yahoo! Mountian Dew for breakfast. I got ya each a case of Twinkies for lunch! Now off to school with ya! *veryevilgrin*"

So this is the new plan. It isn't a faceless one, though a few of the recipes you all kindly gave me were faceless. Next week will be a vegetarian week. It won't be vegan. I'm also going to ask the teacher to devote one week to being a meatatarian. Maybe I'll allow a paleo diet, but it will have to be heavy in meats.

The reason I am willingly doing this vegetarian week is that I do want my kids to explore options. And I want them to understand that they can choose a varied diet. I am actually glad for this because my own options were too self limited. My menus, even with new recipes added in all the time, were actually quite similar to each other. I think I will call it the Meat and Potatoes Syndrome. I can see my kids influence has actually been sneaking up on me ever since their foods class started. My youngest whisks the food off of the table before I can grab seconds. They both started asking to add in vegetarian dishes into the standard rotation. Both of them have cut in half the portion I prepare for them. Now, don't make the mistake of thinking they are diet angels. You wouldn't think that if you saw what they eat if left to their own devices, or if you saw how they snacked when they got home! They eat mostly healthy snacks, but the amounts! Holy cow!

I'm still going to take a stab at doing a Faceless Friday this week. I will have to assess the perishables. The only thing I am worried about are the mangos. I don't use a lot of them, and would hate to have to throw these two out. Maybe I should make some chutney with them and buy a couple new ones for Friday! I have another idea that ties in with the faceless recipes in which I would tweak the faceless recipes to either reduce the calories, improve the flavor or to achieve both if possible.

As I think about it, perhaps I should thank my girls' foods teacher along with suggesting she follow a strict meatatarian diet for a week. Who knows? Maybe she'll thank me in return!
Mar. 12, 2013 12:03 pm
Faceless Friday doesn't have to be 5 courses. Anything without meat is vegetarian. I just put a face to a recipe you might like to try. Green Bean Supreme. It is a very good take on green bean casserole. I went heavy on garlic because we like garlic. Also I don't use canned soup so I used a cream mixture I made up with sour cream and vegetable broth and mushrooms.
Mar. 12, 2013 12:34 pm
Doc bake some cookies just before that open house for that down home aroma. As for those Flamin' Hot Cheetos try this one It'll have the kids scratching their heads and maybe the teacher too.
Mar. 12, 2013 12:35 pm
Oh and leave out those cookies for the prospective buyers.
Mar. 12, 2013 4:12 pm
If you don't have the time or inclination to bake cookies, simmer a few cinnamon sticks in water, almost as good as the cookie smell...... Mangoes can be cubed and frozen so they don't have to go to waste......How did Faceless Fridays translate to five courses? Even high brow restaurants allow a la carte orders.....Good luck with the house showings, that can be very stressful.
Mar. 12, 2013 5:40 pm
My neighbor from the last house told me to bury a small statue of St. Joseph head down in the yard. The house sold in seven days! Worth a try. You never know!
Mar. 12, 2013 8:08 pm
Lol you got the name right Doc. Gosh I really love your open mindedness when it comes to life and cooking. Seems like every time I read something from you I come out a better person on the other end. I understand the struggle to find good vegetarian foods. While I do eat some fish, it can still be hard at times to find satisfying meals. BTW Joey Joan is right, no food with meat in it, but also keep an eye out for broths (90%of soups have meat broth or flavoring in them) and lard (I.e. some flour tortillas, refried beans, etc.). They hide the stuff in everything. :) Except Flamin' Hot Cheetos. I checked.
Mar. 13, 2013 8:44 am
Faceless Friday Fives? Seriously, it's just a way of making five things in one day.
Mar. 13, 2013 8:45 am
Leaving something for the house shoppers is a tradition that I have mostly ignored, but perhaps I need to leave out some mini-candy bars and also set a bit of clove, cinnamon and orange rind out to boil!
Mar. 13, 2013 8:47 am
How in the world does threatening the earthly father of Jesus with a morbid burial help!?!?!? :) My neighbor suggested this and gave me the appropriate statue. I'm currently waiting for higher levels of desperation!
Mar. 13, 2013 8:52 am
I would hesitate to call it being open minded. I'm just a big fat fatty and I like food! I'm already finalizing my will which states that I must be buried with several baguettes, wheels of parm and aged cheddar, a leg of prosciutto, or Spanish ham, dried fruits and several bottles of good, Italian red wines.
Mar. 13, 2013 3:00 pm
I wanna be buried next to you! Parrrrrr-Tay!
Mar. 14, 2013 11:30 am
There is a lot to be said for a plant based diet but I am with you, I am a meat eater. In addition to some advanced warning! As for the faceless recipes, I rarely make the full recipe. Use the calculate feature and scale the recipes back to a reasonable size. Good luck!
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Doc Simonson

Home Town
St. Peter, Minnesota, USA

Member Since
Jan. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Gourmet

Gardening, Camping, Hunting, Reading Books

Go Pro!

In Season

Christmas Appetizers
Christmas Appetizers

Dozens and dozens of appetizers perfect for the winter season.

The Season’s Best Sides
The Season’s Best Sides

Complete the meal with your favorite holiday side dishes.

Special Holiday Offer!
Special Holiday Offer!

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $5!

About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States