Planning when you didn’t!

Yesterday I talked about how I get my ideas for recipes and eventually make delicious flavors. You can see that my nephew actually helped me tweak it even before I make the sausage, onion, and pepper dish I am planning later in the week. One of my favorite chefs to watch is Anne Burrell http://www.foodnetwork.com/anne-burrell/index.html and the reasons is this: she is always thinking. I love to hear her say “Look at me! Always thinking!” and when I am in the kitchen I often hear those words.

Even when I am not deliberately sitting and meal planning, I am thinking and planning ahead. Currently, I am in the midst of a busy week after a very busy weekend. My plans for meals have suffered for this. That being said, previous planning will save the day. Tonight I will be serving Barry a favorite that I made to taste ~ two weeks ago! In the freezer I had a healthy helping of a casserole that is one of his favorites. It is mac and cheese with broccoli and chicken, which is currently defrosting for dinner!

Now you know that is not a good choice for the carb addict. So looking again at the freezer, I have chicken breasts that I pulled out for me. And I have a half bushel of apples! There will be fried apples as a side dish. And, just because Barry asked, there will be edamame. We haven’t had it for awhile.

I had already planned some treats for Barry so I made those this morning. He loves fruit cake cookies so I had soaked the fruit and today I made the batter. It is getting firm in the fridge and I will bake the cookies tomorrow. I also tried a new treat, and again, I changed the recipe.

Yesterday I watched an episode with Giada where she made Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cookies http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-chow-mein-noodle-cookies-recipe/index.html. They looked so easy and had the flavors Barry loves ~ a mix of salty and sweet. Of course, I had to make changes. Barry likes walnuts best, so I used those instead of almonds. And he is a fan of dried apricots so I replaced mango with those. Finally, Barry is not a fan of too much heat, so a sprinkle of paprika replaced the cayenne. They are currently sitting on parchment paper. I am pretty excited about adding a new treat to his limited repertoire of favorites. I hope these are keepers.

I have much to do and an appointment to go to soon, so the moral of the story is this. When you plan ahead, your thoughtful plans will help you on the days when you are in a bind. What is your dinner plan tonight? Whatever it is, make extra for planned leftovers. If it is a soup, casserole, chili, or the like, put aside an ample helping and freeze it before you even serve. This planned leftover will delight you when you find yourself in a busy place.

Don’t worry, fried apples are coming! And many more apple treats will follow. For now, I have to go. But remember to always THINK AHEAD, PLAN YOUR MEALS, PLAN LEFTOVERS, and you will find you will always eat healthy and fresh!

Enjoy!

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