COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 21

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 21

What is that bright thing in the sky?! It’s THE SUN!!! Yay!!! Oh, how I’ve missed you, sun!

We did the school work, we did the work work, we did the laundry, we created a giant mess in the house, we went outside and made a giant mess in the yard… I think our work here is done for the day.

Oh! I learned something valuable today. You all will be so proud. You can shop all of the items in Bullseye’s Dollar Spot on the Target app and have it shipped to you. No, I’m not kidding. Don’t tell your husbands, ladies… you’re welcome.

Mustard-Maple Roasted Salmon

Mustard-Maple Roasted Salmon

I love the versatility of salmon. It can be savory, it can be a little sweet, and you can pair it with so many sides. I love this recipe because it has a hint of sweetness from maple syrup, but dijon mustard gives it a lot of flavor. This is hands down my favorite salmon recipe for a busy night! I usually have all of the ingredients on hand and I actually prefer dried cilantro in this recipe to fresh.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found a long time ago from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillets (any amount will do-this recipe stretches far for a large amount and is also great for a thick coating on a small amount)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro (fresh is great, but I use dried cilantro all the time to avoid a grocer trip only for cilantro!)
  • 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up later.
  2. Mix the mustard, 1 Tbsp of the cilantro (save the rest for garnish), mayonnaise, and maple syrup in a bowl.
  3. Place salmon fillets in the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spread the mustard mixture evenly over each fillet and bake until cooked through. For larger, thicker fillets, start with 10-15 minutes and bake longer in 5 minute increments until cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cilantro and serve.
COVID-19 Quarantine – Day… whatever… it’s been a while…

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day… whatever… it’s been a while…

And your recipe of the day is frozen pizza, folks! Want my recipe tips? Add a little shredded mozzarella before you pop that baby in the oven. It gives it that homemade touch. Extra credit if you preheat your Pampered Chef pizza stone before “baking” your pizza. I’m a culinary expert.

So, I’ve lost all sense of time. I know it’s somewhere near the beginning of the week because I’ve only worked a few days, so there’s that. Now, the season on the other hand… I think it’s supposed to be spring, but definitely feels more like winter. The kids’s little calendar chart says spring, so we’ll go with that. I’m sure they’re keeping track.

Day 17? Maybe? Who cares… I’m pretty sure I skipped a day… or two. We made an awesome fort yesterday, so there’s that. I’d say that’s a win!

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 15

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 15

I have officially lost all sense of time and had no idea what today was. I knew it was a weekend day because I wasn’t working, but has to find my previous post to even remember what day I am on.

Cleaned out a giant bed of weeds that was previously a garden and planted starter zucchini and tomato plants for later. Wish I had a before and after picture, but I just have the after.

If these torrential downpours and storms don’t stop I may just lose my mind. This dog won’t sleep with storms and drives me insane!

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 14

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 14

A new day, a new recipe!  Typical Friday of painting rocks with the tiny people, lots and LOTS of laundry, a lot of work while the tiniest napped, and the daily making of the dinner.

Oh!  I did decide to order a box from Misfits Market, but it’s now delayed 😦  Rona, you are a fun sucker!  BUT, if you’re interested and want to try it out they provide us with a code for 25% off (COOKWME-UD0VIL), so I can at least share that with you!  If you’ve never heard of Misfits Market, I’ll fill you in.  They send you an assortment of “imperfect” produce in a smaller or larger box (your choice!) weekly, biweekly, or any timeframe you choose.  You can cancel at any time or even skip deliveries if you don’t happen to need it on a scheduled delivery.  You can choose your day of delivery and can change your subscription at any time.  I’ll let you know how it goes when I get my first order!

I also finally broke down and ordered new outdoor furniture after realizing ours was so bad I didn’t even want to sit on it yesterday.  well, it was $250 and I bought it when we moved into our house, so I’d say over 8 years of use is pretty good for $250!

On to the most important part of the day… dinner!  Tonight’s dinner was Tomato Basil Meatloaf.  This is a great recipe that I usually prepare in large batches, freeze it, then pull it out to thaw if I know we have a busy week ahead of us.  I typically make 3 loafs since the recipe uses ground pork and ground beef.  I’ve found that most of our local grocery stores only carry ground pork in 1 1/2 lb packages, which stinks when your recipe only calls for 1 lb.  So, I buy the 3 lb lean ground beef and 2 packages of the 1 1/2 lbs of ground pork to maximize the ingredients.  I make the three batches at once, wrap each loaf in saran wrap, then a layer of Reynold’s Wrap foil, then put it in a sealed freezer back and add the baking instructions in Sharpie.

Keep hanging in there, everyone!  We’ll get through this… eventually!

Tomato-Basil Meatloaf (Freezer Friendly Recipe!)

Tomato-Basil Meatloaf (Freezer Friendly Recipe!)

I love this recipe because I can make several loaves and freeze them for the next time I need them.  This is a Pillsbury recipe that I have adapted over time when I figured out what ingredients worked best for our busy family.

I make three loaves and freeze them because ground pork comes in 1 1/2 lb packages, which makes the recipe a little challenging when it only calls for 1 lb of pork and 1 lb of ground beef.  I buy a 3 lb package of lean ground beef (bonus: it’s cheaper to purchase this way anyways!) and make three loaves, freeze them, then they’re ready for later!  If you do freeze these, the best way I’ve found to freeze them is to wrap the loaf in saran wrap, then wrap in foil, then place in a sealed Ziploc freezer bag.

If you’re not a fan of ground pork, 2 lbs of ground beef works or you can even just use 1 lb of beef and halve the entire recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (or use regular diced tomatoes and substitute your own herbs
  • 1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
  • 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • shredded fresh basil leaves (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with foil. Place broiler pan rack or metal cooling rack in pan.  For this part I usually just use a broiler pan to let any drippings go to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Place diced tomatoes in blender or food processor. Cover; blend on high speed about 5 seconds or until tomatoes are still slightly chunky. In large bowl, mix beef and pork. Stir in tomatoes, marinara sauce, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper just until combined. Shape mixture into 9×5-inch loaf. Place loaf on rack in pan.
  3. Bake 1 hour. Top with cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer or until no longer pink in center and meat thermometer inserted in center of loaf reads 160°F. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with plum tomatoes and basil (optional).
COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 13

COVID-19 Quarantine – Day 13

Lucky number 13… said no one ever. Today was a beautiful day and I was able to do some yard work outside with Liam, but man. Today was kind of rough in every other aspect.

Being stuck at home almost feels claustrophobic in a different sort of way. Yeah, you can try to do all of the things you should do like stick to your regular schedule (hah! Kids… there is schedule with kids…), try to eat well, try to make sure you stay active, try to do the millions of activities they tell you to do with your kids, and the list goes on and on, but today has worn on me.

Working from home is rough. Not because I can’t see people, but because people communicate VERY differently through technology and unfortunately, some don’t communicate at all. This makes everyone’s job that much more challenging and adds a whole other level of uncertainty to this entire situation.

I do love being able to stay home and enjoy the kids, though because it’s their favorite thing to do-stay home and play with mom and dad. This also adds a challenge, though. When mom and dad have to get things down to either pay the bills or make sure the house doesn’t need to be condemned, I feel so much guilt. I would so rather be playing with them.

Hopefully everyone else is having a wonderful day and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Hang in there, everyone… we’re all in the same boat!