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Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Week of (Mostly) Homemade Lunches From My Mom... With a Helping Hand from Costco

I am blessed to have a mother who not only watches my son and helps me when things get too hectic, but who also brings me food! She knows that between working full-time and having my husband in school four nights a week, cooking is pretty much out of the question for me.

So when she cooks something delicious, she usually loads up our refrigerator. This week she was a cooking machine, which means I have amassed a smorgasbord - no peanut-butter sandwiches or Lean Cuisines for this lucky girl!

Day One. We watched the Super Bowl at my mom's Sunday night, so instead of chicken wings and potato chips, we feasted on homemade ham and (not-homemade but delicious and available at Costco) scalloped potatoes! (My husband even broke away from the -granted, pretty boring - game to eat at the table.) Monday's lunch: leftovers!

Day Two. My mom's famous homemade chili. She's been making it for as long as I can remember, and whenever I bring it out people start coming around, sniffing the air and asking for the recipe. The recipe is actually from a 1973 edition of Good Housekeeping. I don't have a link for where to purchase that, but she did send me a picture of the recipe page. And yes, it is as good as it smells!

Day Three. There is nothing homemade about this one, but it is 100% delicious! Oven-baked chicken penne alfredo, also sold at Costco. (Can you tell we shop there a lot? Hey, I have a kid in diapers, remember? I buy in bulk. Or, on super-lucky weeks like this one, my mom buys in bulk and shares.) When you heat this stuff up the alfredo sauce honestly melts in your mouth. Bonus: my Costco diaper-clad little guy eats it like it's his job, even on pickier days.

Day Four. We tried some ravioli from Trader Joe's. Now, I've been buying a delicious spinach ravioli from Costco that feeds my family three times from one bag. This ravioli is amazing, easy to prepare, and filling. I have actually eaten it cold on occasion (it's that good).

This week we tried the Trader Joe's ravioli, pictured here:

Mom and I agree: it was bland! I tried dressing it with olive oil and parmesan and then dousing it with pasta sauce, but the filling just wasn't good. If you want ravioli, go with the spinach stuff pictured above. It comes with two packets of flavored seasoning and we use pasta sauce for the third serving.
Day Five. My grandmother was such a good cook, we used to beg my mom to fix her recipes. We only got Grandma's cooking when we went to visit her in St. Louis. If my mom cooked something and we wouldn't eat it, she lied and told us it was "Grandma's recipe." So I was thrilled when part of this week's deliciousness included Grandma's famous meatloaf (yes, we were a little heavy on the pasta and ground beef this week).

Now I like spicy food as much as any Arizonan, and this meatloaf is Midwestern through and through: no surprises. But something magical happens when these ingredients come together. My mom says she's pretty sure this recipe came from the back of a Lipton box, and I want to give credit where credit is due. Anyway, it's a pretty simple recipe and I recommend it to anyone!
I'm grateful for my mom every day, and this week she made my life even easier than usual. I hope some of these recipes and foods make your life a little easier too!

1 comment:

  1. Meatloaf: Sounds like our recipe minus the glutenCrumbs and add in 1 cup of italian medium spice sausage. :-) yummer. hugs!