7.30.2011

Goodbye, Granny Franny & Hello, Meal Planning


Today Ethan said goodbye to his Granny Franny (who is technically his great-aunt but that doesn't have the same cutesy ring to it, does it?) before we dropped her at the airport to catch her flight back to Pennsylvania. As always, it was sad to see her go! It's always been sad to see her go, but it felt especially said that Ethan was having to see her go. A great deal of my childhood memories involve spending invaluable time with my aunt Fran and my Bubbie. When my Bubbie passed away after a tough nearly decade-long battle with Alzheimer's, it was beyond heartbreaking to think that my children would never know her. Yet I knew my children would always have my aunt Fran -- their Granny Franny (I'm determined to make that stick, by the way) -- to have the same great childhood memories. I was lucky enough for her to have been a fellow Floridian during my childhood, thus giving me the lasting memories of making chocolates, doing arts and crafts, eating ice-cream on the couch while watching movies and kitschy old television shows and so many others.

While she was here, she got to spend a great deal of time with Ethan and resume the role of a loving, baby-hogging grandparent. (A kid can never have too many grandparents. I was obsessed with mine growing up, so I stand by this statement.) We tried to convince her that she really didn't have to go back up north but, alas, she had to. I tried all of the guilt that I had in me but she boarded that plane and made her way back up north. I'm glad Ethan got to spend the week with his Granny Franny and I'm sure he's already looking forward to her visits in the future. Soon he, too, will run to greet her at the front door when she comes to visit (before tearing open her suitcase and rummaging for the freshly baked cookies that are inevitably packed inside!).


Also something new I've tried to adapt would be weekly meal planning. I absolutely love cooking but am guilty of running to the grocery store in the middle of the afternoon when I discover a recipe I want to try for dinner. I'm trying to be a little more efficient than that by making grocery lists with all of the ingredients for dinners for the week that I sat down and pre-selected. My husband will be going back to work soon after a long paternity leave and this means that I absolutely won't have the luxury of running to the grocery store in the middle of the afternoon like I used to now that I'll be home with Ethan.

This is my second week meal planning and I'm actually pleased with how much less stressful it makes dinner. I feel prepared and organized!


Tonight for dinner I made Skinny Taste's Carne Bistec (recipe here) paired with a recipe I had saved for a while now called "Imitation Patatas Bravas." (If you like spicy, this entire meal is for you.)

Here's how you make the potatoes:
  • fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • black pepper
  • clover honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. Mexican-style chili pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop fingerling potatoes into chunks and lay across baking sheet.
- In a small prep bowl, mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, cumin, paprika, chili pepper and garlic. Brush mixture onto potatoes with basting brush.
- Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper over potatoes to taste.
- Top with a drizzle of honey.
- Bake potatoes at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, taking sheet out at 15 minutes to baste in another coat of seasoned olive oil mixture and toss.

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