Menu Plan – April 5 -10

I have had several inquiries about my menu plans each week, so starting today, I’ll endeavor to put my menu plan online.  Hopefully, it will be useful for my Irish friends, and give my American friends an idea of the variety (or lack thereof) of food in Ireland.

Two quick notes:

1. We usually eat meat 1-2X per week, sometimes more, sometimes less.  We got in the habit of eating less meat in Austin, and continued the trend once we moved here.  Meat in general is quite expensive over here, but seafood is reasonably priced.

2.  We get a weekly delivery of fruits and vegetables from an organic delivery service.  Ireland doesn’t have many CSA-type groups.  Each week we get a box of vegetables, and like a CSA, you just never know exactly what is going to appear in the box each week.  (Well, except potatoes.  We always get potatoes…this is Ireland after all.)

In the box this week: potatoes (2kg or 4 lbs), 1 butternut squash, celery, red pepper, broccoli, leeks, and parsnips (sigh).

Menu Plan

Friday: Soft tacos with black beans, Spanish rice, and queso with chips.  For those that are curious, I make my own taco seasoning because the kind available here is bland.  I also make my own Spanish rice.  I can find canned black beans occasionally in the organic section, or at the Dublin Food Co-op.  We made queso with Velveeta that my brother brought on his last trip, and the Rotel that I found at another specialty store: Avoca.

Saturday: Quesadillas with leftover rice and beans, and raw veggies and dip.

Sunday: Roasted chicken with maple-roasted butternut squash and parsnips.

Meatless Monday: Potato leek soup.  (This week, it’s only quasi-Meatless Monday because I’ll make stock from the chicken bones from Sunday.  Making stock also uses the celery, which is great because I don’t like celery.)  Getting into a Meatless Monday routine is a great way to add a meat-free meal to your week.

Tuesday: Shepherd’s Pie. Full disclosure here: Gag!  I hate Shepherd’s Pie.  I am not a huge fan of ground beef (or lamb) unless it is in hamburgers.  Moreover, stewy-meaty casseroles are not on my favorite list either.  But…Isaac really likes Shepherd’s Pie, and we have all the ingredients except the ground lamb. He specifically requested it, so Shepherd’s Pie it is!

Wednesday: Leftover night.  The only vegetable without a specific use this week is the broccoli, but the kids love broccoli, so I’m sure we will have eaten it by Wednesday.

Thursday: We’re off to Spain for a long weekend!  ¡Vámonos!


Happy Birthday Patrick!

It would be ironic that the next post was one about the kids, but oh well!  We celebrated Patrick’s birthday last weekend.  It’s hard to believe that he is one year old now.  Time flies!

My new ride-on toy!
My new ride-on toy!

We had chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, with cupcake liners and sprinkles that were picked out by Liesl and Isaac.  Of course, their original choices were pink flower cupcake liners (Liesl – they’re my favorite color!), and Halloween sprinkles (Isaac – I like these!).  We settled on red liners and multi-colored sprinkles.  We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ on skype with Grandmother and GrandDan.  It was so much fun, we reprised it again the next night for Nana and Pops!

Birthday skype with Grandmother and GrandDan
Birthday skype with Grandmother and GrandDan

Here’s the video:

More picures from Patrick’s birthday available here.

For those awaiting a ‘Patrick walking’ video, we haven’t caught him on camera yet.  This is not for a lack of trying!  Right now, he’ll take a few steps and then drop to crawl.  And when he sees the camera, he gets so excited he drops down and crawls right over!

Blogging Break

As you may have noticed, things have gone dark here for the past 2 months. We had our trip to the US, and then once we returned, life has been flying by at 100mph (161 km/hr, if you’re metric). Work, school, travel, laundry, meetings…you know…the stuff of life that slowly fills the empty space in our days, and before we know it, we have no ‘free’ time.

More than that though, is that I was just BORED of writing about the same things, over and over again. Our life is just not that interesting!  Yes, we live in a foreign country, and there are plenty of adventures to discuss, but really, we have the same elements in our life as everyone else.  Moreover, it just seemed redundant to post about yet another trip to St. Stephen’s Green or Phoenix Park. So I have decided to make this space an area where I write about things that I’m passionate about: food, politics, and making the expat life work – especially with kids in tow. I have been working offline for several months to develop content that is more focused around those topics. Not to worry – there will still be posts about this kids. Going forward, I’ll be making changes to the blog, and I hope you’ll join me in the coming weeks!