Whats Cookin' Mama: A community blog

Follow Kristi Ondo's adventures feeding her little family! Neither Kristi nor her husband are chefs, but they enjoy cooking fun new recipes and raising their daughter.

Meal Plan: Week One, Day One

Written by Kristi Ondo, Community blogger | Oct 8, 2012 7:11 PM

I mentioned previously, and some may remember these posts from my personal blog a year ago, that we were about to start up Real Simple Magazine's One Month of Dinners again.  Each year, the magazine includes four weeks of weeknight meals in their October issue.  The first year we did a pick and choose method, last year we vowed to make all 20, no cheating.  This year we are trying the later approach again.  Things could get interesting around here because just reading some of the recipe titles out loud elicited some interesting reactions.  Tofu?!  Eggplant?!  "Ew!!!"  I am sure we'll all survive...  One of the best parts of this plan are the tear out shopping lists for each week.  It is broken up into things you might already have in your pantry and things you'll most likely need to purchase.  The meals then are organized so that the most perishable items are used earlier in the week.  To think.  They actually used to teach meal planning like this in schools.  Thankfully, my mother taught me a lot, and then trial and error took care of the rest...until Real Simple comes along each year and makes one month of cooking for a family a lot easier!

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Getting all the ingredients together for night one!...ignore the cookies off the side, those were our day-off project and then dessert!


Tonight's dinner was a hit at least, but really, how can you go wrong with pasta?  The meal was Beef and Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle.  It was quite tasty, and pretty simple to make.  Even though today was a day off for all of us, we were running around and taking care of chores, so it simulated a busy day capped off by cooking dinner.  Two pots, minimal prep, and even with breaks to take blog pictures, dinner was ready in about 20 minutes.  One pot for cooking the pasta, the saute pan for the rest of the ingredients.  We used grass fed, organic ground beef, which I find not only healthier, but easier to work with...it is more finely ground, so it cooked up easier.  The mushrooms we used were baby buttons, everything else was as listed in the recipe.

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Starting out with mushrooms, garlic, and onion in the saute pan

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Ground beef, tomato paste, white wine, diced onions added

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What cooked pappardelle looks like (we didn't know until today)

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Finished product! (I should have cleaned the plate rim...shame!)

This was a good beginning to this year's go around with the meal plan.  It turned out delicious, it was very filling, and I am feeling a little better about the rest of the recipes (but I'm still scared to work with tofu tomorrow).

The link to today's recipe was above, and can be found here again: Ragu Recipe

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