Weekly Eats: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Planning our menu is one of my favorite things to do. I love looking at the grocery store ad to see what's on sale, and then scouring my "What's for Dinner" Pinterest board to see what recipes I want to try. I try to do a combination of old favorites and new recipes, but any time there's something new involved there's always a risk of it turning out disastrously. Most of the time I know our tastes well enough to know what we'll like, but on occasion I try something that's a big fat fail. That was the case this week.

weekly eats dinner menu

Clockwise from top right: 

1. Cornmeal-fried pork chops with smashed potatoes from Smitten Kitchen. Smitten Kitchen is one of the first food blogs I started reading, and her recipes always sound impeccable. I try not to make too many fried dinners, but this one looked too good not to try. The cornmeal crust was nice and crispy (mine got a little too crispy, whoops) but the inside was tender and juicy. The potatoes called for goat cheese, but I had some feta I needed to use so I threw that in there instead. Yum. I tried to balance it out a little by serving some roasted broccoli along side. 

2. Sausage and Pesto Stuffed Baked Shells. I was in the mood for stuffed shells and was trying to find a recipe, then I remembered that I had made a version I really liked a few years ago. Thank goodness for archives--I never could find the written-down version of this recipe! The stuffing is a combination of Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, and pesto. The shells are covered in marinara sauce and cheese and then baked in the oven. Mmmm. 

3. Lemon Pepper Chicken and Quinoa Rice with Lemony Green Beans with Breadcrumbs. Okay, this one was so pretty, and so easy, but you know what, it was terrible. I think the culprit was the lemon pepper. It's anyone's guess how long that lemon pepper had been in our spice cabinet, so I think that was the reason why this one just tasted, well, bad. Or, maybe I just don't love lemon pepper. However, I think if I tried another spice I would really like this, and the concept is fantastic--layer rice, quinoa (just a little), chicken, chicken broth, and seasoning in a pan, then bake in the oven. That's it! What other spice would be good, do you think? All wasn't lost, at least the green beans were good! 

Have you had any kitchen fails lately? 


From the archives: 

17 comments:

  1. That's too bad that the Lemon Pepper Chicken was a fail! My mom has a good Lemon Pepper chicken recipe, but it can be a strong flavor. The cornmeal fried pork chops look super yummy, I will have to try those soon!

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  2. You know, I'm not a big fan of lemon in my dinners either. (Lemon in my pies, cakes or cookies is a whole 'nother story). That entire pork meal sounds amazing.

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  3. I think a sage or even Italina spices would be good! I love how organized you are when it comes to cooking. I literally see what's in the fridge after work every night and throw something together based on that!

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  4. Okay, all of this looks amazing! Yum!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  5. Thanks Beth! The pork chops were good! Yeah, the lemon pepper was so strong, maybe I just used too much. I don't know, but it was pretty bad...

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  6. Thanks Megan, it was good! I normally like lemon in savory dishes (actually I'm the opposite--I don't like lemon desserts!) but I think it was the lemon pepper I didn't like. I guess. It wasn't good. : /

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  7. Thanks! Ooh yes, I think italian spices would be so good, or yes, sage too! Good ideas! I sometimes wish I were more spur-of-the-moment; I have a hard time being flexible when my husband says he's not in the mood for what's on the "menu". I'm like--but that's what's PLANNED. #typeAproblems

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  8. Thanks Melanie! Most of it was really good! :)

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  9. Aw it's too bad that you weren't into the chicken! Sometimes lemon is hard to do and overdoing it really doesn't work. I've overdone it on the lemon juice for scampi and it was gross :P But I'm sure it was probably much better than the college food I eat! Glad everything else was good though :)
    Olivia | http://hernamewascelebration.com

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  10. Thanks Olivia :) Yeah, lemon can be easy to overdo I think. Oh well!

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  11. goat cheese (or feta) mashed potatoes sound divine.

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  12. looks are deceiving bc the lemon pepper one looks great!! i'd give it a whirl.

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  13. They were really good! I would have preferred goat but my husband isn't a goat cheese fan (for shame!).

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  14. Thanks Elle--yeah, it was so pretty I had to include it. But no, it was terrible. I think it was our lemon pepper though, I'm pretty sure it was expired.

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  15. I guess I'm hungry, because your food posts are jumping out at me!!! I just found some ricotta cheese in my fridge that needs using this week...I contemplated stuffed shells, but I hadn't thought about using italian sausage! Thanks for the inspiration!!! :)


    Also...That pork chop dinner looks really really good!

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  16. Thanks Victoria!! I love the sausage + ricotta combo, it's so good. Ricotta is sometimes one of those things that I use for one thing then I forget I have.

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I really appreciate hearing from you!