*Blearily Blinks Eyes*

Hello, internet friends!

I cannot believe it is mid-September, I really can’t. The weeks zoom by, the children’s limbs shoot out, and I occasionally look up from my computer screen and go outside for a walk before returning to my billing.  It was lovely weather for a walk here in NOLA for a few days, though now it’s back to boiling hot again. Nothing more offensive than boiling hot September weather.

I had a major filing yesterday and it was one of those high-stress, nail-biter kind of days, leaving me fairly exhausted even still this morning. We all went to a friend’s fortieth birthday party last night, and I was just so wiped. Friday nights all I want to do is flop on the couch, and especially so after a Filing Day. I love these friends so I womaned up and left work at 6:30, swung by the grocery to grab some yellow roses and wine for her gift, then headed to the house to meet the Prof and the boys. These friends own an old blow up waterslide (one of those huge ones that you usually rent, they bought secondhand an old ripped up one and then painstakingly patched it together). The kids played on that (in the dark!), while I sat on a couch and stared into space, holding a beer and hoping nobody would talk to me. We left on the early side, shoved the children into bed, and went immediately to sleep.

Now it’s Saturday morning and College Game Day is on the tv, the boys are playing Legos upstairs, I billed just a handful of minutes (cleaning up the email inbox, mostly), and now I’m doing a meal plan and grocery list. I have high hopes that there will be time this afternoon for a nap. I definitely am feeling the need for a siesta, after a series of 50-60 hour weeks.

I’ve been buying Christmas presents little by little, which means we’re going super cheap with meals and barely eating out right now. However, we have had friends over three weekends in a row and fed them on a Saturday or Sunday night while our children play upstairs – mostly grilling out salmon, occasionally burgers. We had the neighbors across the street come over for Labor Day, our former landlords and close friends came over the weekend after, and last weekend some of the Prof’s colleagues who just moved around the corner from us. This weekend is taken up with Boy Scout stuff, so we are taking a weekend break from cooking out for friends, but it’s been fun to have guests and introduce them to the amazing salmon that LagLiv introduced ME to, and also letting the Prof dust off the charcoal and be a Manly Grilling Man.

This week’s meals will be nothing fancy. We’re getting the boys hair cut today and the haircut place is by Trader Joe’s, so I’m going to swing by there and see what I see – it may change the menu a bit. For now, this is what I’m planning –

  • Tuna noodle casserole. The Prof HATES this, but it is so easy to make and so cheap and we have all the ingredients so SORRY CHARLIE. I do try to fancy it up by topping with breadcrumbs, mixed with melted butter and oregano, so it has a nice crispy topping.
  • Pork chops and potatoes. The kitchn’s perfect pork chop is pretty much the only way I do it – so good.
  • Chicken Bakobs – as my niece calls them!  (Kabobs! or Kebabs, if you’re English.) I’ll buy some sauce from Trader Joes and mix them with red onion, chicken chunks, and red bell peppers. Possibly skipping the sticks and just broiling.
  • One pan Mediterranean halibut with baked vegetables – this is a new one, we’ll give it a try.
  • Lasagna. I just make it up, usually with ricotta (mixed with one egg and a sprinkle of nutmeg), wilted spinach, mozzarella, and sausage but no ground meat, but we’ll see what’s in the freezer.
  • Spicy Korean beef and quinoa bowl. Another new one – doesn’t this look divine?

As a quinoa addict, and having found quinoa for sale at Costco that does not cost its weight in gold, I am going to wade my way through every one of these recipes that I haven’t already tried. Except the shrimp ones, sigh (my oldest has as shrimp allergy).  This one looks pretty good, too, but the kids will be less into it and I’m not feeling up for a dinnertime fight this week.


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