I need a plan. Things are always better with one, right? At least I will have a direction, a goal, an idea of what the heck is supposed to come next. Though I am referring to the bigger picture, a plan for my dinners the next few nights wouldn't hurt either. Take last night, for example. A plan would have helped me get something edible, if not delicious, on the table. But after driving up and down the freeway for two straight hours, dropping and dropping and retrieving and retrieving little boys from baseball practice, all I could do was pour myself a bottle of wine...I mean a glass (or two). The kids ate quesadillas with hunks of watermelon (again) and we ate, though I am deeply ashamed to admit it, Panda Express, which wasn't half bad (I must have been really hungry).
So this morning, in between getting a filling re-filled (popcorn kernel incident) and walking my stinky, but adorable, shaggy dog, I will make a menu and grocery list, just like the organized and responsible housewife I'm supposed to be. If you like printable lists to help you stay on track, check here. Or if you are like me, maybe you just scratch a list out on the back of your kid's old homework page (reduce, reuse, recycle). Gotta do what works for you, right? Just make sure you have a chance to use that list before you recycle it...not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.
When all is said and done, here is what my menu plan for the weekend is shaping up to be.
Thursday: Grilled chicken and sesame noodle salad
Friday: Pizza of some sort, maybe on the grill if it's too hot to heat my oven
Saturday: Grilled sausages that my dad is bringing from a little butcher near his house in northern California, broccoli salad and pasta salad
Sunday: Fresh pasta with fresh f.m. veggies
Four day's worth of meals is about all I have in me. Plus, hopefully I will be inspired by my purchases at the farmers' market on Sunday morning...that is, if I can make it. My son has a baseball playoff game that starts at 8 a.m. which is highly disturbing to say the least. Drive-thru Starbucks here I come.
Tonight's sesame noodle salad is perfect for a hot evening. There is just the right amount of creamy peanut flavor to temper the heat of the chilis, and the fresh veggies keep it light and fresh. It will be perfect with our grilled chicken (that has a soy balsamic marinade...I'll share that another time).
Sesame Noodle Salad
1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1 head broccoli, separated into small florets
12 oz. sugar snaps, de-stringed and cut in half
5 scallions, cut diagonally
1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C red wine or rice wine vinegar
1/4 C soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
1 t chili garlic paste
1 T freshly grated ginger
1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
1 T toasted sesame seeds
1/4 C hot water from pasta pot
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Meanwhile whisk peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
When pasta is finished cooking, drain in a colander. Add broccoli to boiling pasta water and cook until crisp tender (about 1-2 minutes). Remove and set aside. Add snap peas and cook for one minute. Remove and set aside. Toss pasta with peanut sauce in a large bowl. Add veggies and toss well. Sprinkle top with sliced scallions and sesame seeds. If pasta seems very sticky, add up to 1/4 C of hot water from pasta pot. Toss again. Let cool to room temp and serve.