While I am not a teacher in the traditional sense, I do feel the hustle and bustle of the end of the school year. Getting the remaining work done, getting extra work done, administering SOLs...it gets hectic! And the teachers are as ready to be done with the year as the students. That's the time of year it is for me right now. I finished up with one student yesterday and will finish with my other one the beginning of next week. I do have to say that regardless, I really enjoy what I do and we are very lucky that I am able to work part time and make decent money while not having to use daycare. Now, if you know me, then you know I don't have a problem with daycare. There are people that don't want to stay at home with their kids, and they shouldn't. You will be a much better parent if you are happy in what you are doing and if staying at home doesn't work for you, then go to work and use a daycare! There are also parents out there that don't have a choice but to work full time. That's what they're there for, so please don't feel like I think working is the "wrong" thing to do. I'll come back from my sidebar now. :)
Because my schedule has been super tight, I've been making more casseroles and freezer meals. But really, about all of my meals you can freeze right now because I'm not at home to cook in the evenings. Richelle turned me onto skinnytaste.com so I've been trying some meals from there this week. We had the Skinny Italian Spinach Meatballs at the beginning of the week. Not my best effort. If I had done everything as written I'm betting they would have been better. I didn't think to thaw my spinach and was out of time, so I thawed it partially in the microwave then put it in the meat. Didn't take any of the water out of it. I also was out of parmesan cheese, so there was no cheese in them at all. I probably didn't use enough garlic either because I was running low on it. (This is what happens at the end of the school year!) I also didn't buy anything special for this. I used the bread I had on hand, which I believe is 1 point a slice. I (we) am (are) lucky in the fact that my parents buy their meat from a butcher in Bassett and they bring us meat when they visit, so we have really good meat. I will tell you without hesitation that I am a meat snob. My grandfather was a butcher and I refuse to buy meat in a typical grocery store. I will buy it on occasion from Costco, and will buy from Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Fresh Market, but not the other big chain grocery stores.
Back to the menu. I also made Chicken Divan, Lightened Up which Jefferson served with rice. Again, I went with what I had. For some reason I didn't make my grocery list very well even though I had the recipes in front of me. While there's 5 of us, I didn't use 1 1/2 lbs of broccoli or 24 oz of chicken. I used about a pound of chicken and about 12 oz of broccoli. I cut the cheese in half and didn't put any on top simply because I only had sliced swiss. Jefferson gets swiss on his sandwiches for work, so I almost always have light swiss slices. I omitted the sherry because I'm too cheap to open a bottle of white wine for 2 oz and made chicken broth using Better than Bouillon, though I don't pay nearly that amount for it because I buy it at Costco. I was totally out of parmesan still so I didn't use that either. Regardless of the changes I made, it was really good. There wasn't much left for me to eat when I got home. :)
Speaking of not much left, dinner from Wednesday night was a hit. So much of one that Jefferson told me when I was on my way home to stop and get dinner because there wasn't any left for me. Cheeseburger Casserole. I didn't think that would be the best dinner ever, but apparently it is. I added some more noodles because I thought it could use more and split it into two dishes for two meals. Maybe I'll get some of the other one. :)
I did make a meal that was a blast from my past last weekend. Its what we call Daddy Bob's Stuff, named after my grandfather. The girls ate it like no other, so it will definitely be going into the rotation.
Daddy Bob's Stuff
1. Peel, slice, and boil 3-4 good sized potatoes.
2. Brown 1 lb ground chuck.
3. Make a cream soup (I use this recipe.)
4. Add about 1/2 C additional milk to thin the soup out a bit.
5. Layer 1/2 the potatoes, 1/2 the meat, 1/2 the soup mixture, then repeat. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese then bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
Really simple and really yummy. Even Jefferson said he liked it this time, which he usually doesn't care for it. I guess it really is the difference in cooking from scratch.
Until next time....