Monday, June 15, 2009

The Plan for Food

This week I am tired. It's only Monday and I think there is a good chance I will be dragging all week. On the bright side, my husband is home after being gone for 2 weeks and if I have a food plan (AKA menu) he will help me out. God has blessed me with the most amazing man. He can cook, knows how to run the dishwasher and the washing machine and can tell my kids what to clean as well as I can-but best of all-when I am not feeling my best, he is willing to do those things. Thank you, Lord, for my loving mate.

My menu this week is nothing to brag about except that I actually sat down and made it out and there is a veggie of some kind scheduled for every night. These are all my comfort meals that are easy to prepare and generally make me happy to eat!

Monday-Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli, Garlic Bread
Tuesday-Grilled Steak and Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Basil Carrots
Wednesday-Romano Crusted Chicken Nuggets, Potato Casserole, Corn
Thursday-Roast, Mashed Potatoes & gravy, Green Beans, Whole Wheat Bread
Friday-Tacos (chicken and beef), Refried Beans, Corn
Saturday-Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Almond Green Beans, Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

At this moment, everything sounds delicious to me. There is a good chance I'll stick to the plan if I get out of the house today and do some grocery shopping!

This is my favorite bread recipe. I got it from a friend in Washington and have made it numerous times. It is super simple and all the kneading is done in my mixer, it always turns out awesome!

Whole Wheat Bread

2 ½ cups Warm water
1 ½ TBSP saf-instant yeast
6-7 cups whole wheat flour (divided)
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup oil
1 ½ TBSP dough enhancer
2 ½ tsp. salt

Combine water, yeast, and two cups of flour in a mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Allow to sponge (sit) for 15 minutes. While you are waiting, measure out remaining ingredients so they can be added quickly.
After 15 minutes, add honey, oil, dough enhancer, and salt. Using a dough hook attachment begin mixing. With mixer running, begin adding the remaining flour (4-5 cups) one cup at a time until the dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Do not let it get too stiff. It should be smooth and elastic. (I usually add right at the total of 7 cups of flour)
Knead dough 7 – 10 minutes. (I start timing after I add the last of the flour and go for about 5 minutes). Dough will be smooth and elastic.
Turn out on to a floured surface. Form two loaves and place in lightly-greased loaf pans.
Let rise 30-60 minutes or until about double in size.
***To rise, pre-heat oven to 170 degrees and turn off. Place pans in oven. (It usually takes about 45 minutes to double). When finished rising, remove bread from oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Return loaves to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool bread completely before placing in bread bags to prevent sweating and soggy crust.


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