Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day One:The “What’s for Dinner? " Solution Blogger Project

Often, I either receive emails, or hear of opportunities, from authors or companies asking if I will review and endorse their product. A couple years ago, I heard of Kathi Lipp from her agent who posted the question on Twitter: Anyone interested in reviewing this book -- The Marriage Project.

I jumped all over the opportunity even though I didn't know what to expect. Since then, Kathi has written 2 more books (The Me Project and her latest, the What's for Dinner Solution).

I have enjoyed Kathi's books because she has a conversationalist style about her writing that has me quickly turning the pages to read more-and-more.

In her latest book, What's for Dinner Solution, I have to admit, I wasn't sure what she could teach me. According to the book's jacket cover, What's for Dinner Solution "provides a full-kitchen approach for getting dinner on the table every night. After putting her 21-day plan into action, women will:

- save time—with bulk shopping and cooking
- save money—no more last-minute phone calls to the delivery pizza place; and
- save their sanity—forget the last-minute scramble every night and know what they’re having for dinner.

The book includes real recipes from real women, a quick guide to planning meals for a month, the best shopping strategies for saving time and money, and tips on the best ways to use a slow cooker, freezer, and pantry. With Kathi’s book in hand, there’s no more need to hit the panic button."

Hmmmmm.... I was curious because I'm a person who shops by the flyer and uses coupons religiously. Hubby and I are on a tight budget and leftovers are not considered a dirty word in our home. But Kathi, asked if I'd be willing to take on her 5 day challenge. Translation: Not just read and review the book, but put it into action.

For 5 days, I am going to give you a breakdown of what hubby and I are eating this week (I should explain, I didn't menu plan until yesterday, but have started shutting down my computer on Mondays so I'm a day late on today's post). I will also take some pictures, remember to finally write down my brussel sprout recipe for a friend I've promised it to for over 2 years, and create a LOOP meal (Left Overs On Purpose) which, I have to admit, stumped me. Typically, we just cook more than enough and reheat the same meal for our next night's dinner(have I not mentioned, leftovers are loved in our home).

Another day I'm going to share some of my kitchen tips, favorite family meals (with pics) and share with you some of my favorite go-to gadgets. I also have to confess, I have been a big slacker with meal planning and cooking decent meals since the holidays and thought this was the push I needed to get back on track. [Note: I openly admit I learned 2 important things from my 1st marriage that I try to adhere to in my marriage to Bill. 1) Eat dinner together when possible at the dinner table, no t.v. on, background music and catch up day's events; and 2) try to go to bed together. - Sounds small, but trust me, it's not]

Oh yeah, at the end of this project, I will be sending one lucky reader, who wants one, a copy of the book (I'll be using random.org - so no clever comments are needed).

This Week's Menu:

Monday: Zitti with Browned Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and Hot Red Pepper Flakes. Because I doubled up on the broccoli rabe (one of hubby's favorites) I saw no need to make a salad or find a second veggie to serve with this. We served it with garlic bread.

Tuesday: Roasted Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and my Brussel Sprout recipe with bacon, onion, chicken stock and dried cranberries (I will be taking pictures and posting it tomorrow because I'm using the leftover chicken for Thursday's LOOP meal - chicken pot pie). The brussel sprout recipe is very tasty and, if my friend Poncho Girl reads AND comments that she wants this recipe, I'll finally take the time to write it out for her. No comment, no recipe.

Wednesday: Venison Osso Bucco. This is a family favorite (also my recipe). I will be serving it with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach (I looked in my freezer and saw an unusual amount of boxes of frozen creamed spinach, not sure why, but it's on the menu).

Thursday: Chicken Pot Pie. Recipe from "One Dish Meals" from the Culinary Institute of America with one minor change -- I use Pillsbury's Grand Biscuits as my topping for the individual pie's crusts. I can't be bothered with phyllo dough. Too much work and one biscuit rolled out covers one pie perfectly (the recipe and dishes I use, make 6 pot pies).

Friday: Pan Roasted Rosemary Pork Chops with a Dijon Mustard Sauce (making recipe up when I make it on Friday, but it'll have wine, onions and dijon mustard in it). I'll be serving with rice (Martha Stewart's recipe which is still my go-to recipe after making it a couple years back) and collard greens (not sure how I plan on cooking them yet).

Author Bio

Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker of The Husband Project: 21 Days to Loving Your Man—on Purpose and with a Plan, The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter, and The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted. She is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and dozens of other radio programs.

Church leaders and women’s ministry directors rely on Kathi to help women move from living out of obligation to enjoying godly passion. She speaks to thousands of women across the US and Canada every year.

Kathi and her husband, Roger, are the parents of four young adults and live in San Jose, California.


Brian Miller said...

dang so are you making enough for all of us to come over? smiles...sounds delicious to me...smiles.

P said...

The venison sounds amazing!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Brian - I will have a lot of venison osso bucco leftover (we love, but most of my friends go ewww when I mention I'm having venison).

P - IT IS!!!!!

Ponchogirl said...

Ponchogirl here. It is true? Are you offering to give out the coveted brussel sprouts recipe? My mouth is watering! Will you be sharing with others?

Little Ms Blogger said...

@PonchoGirl - it's not as easy as you think to stop & write down measurements, timing, etc... I weighed the sprouts for you AND measured them -- I don't know...should I make it public or private. All I know is this: you left a comment, you get the recipe!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

You are so ambitious with that menu plan, and it all sounds truly delicious!

It'll be interesting to hear your take on everything after you implement some of her tips and strategies!

Little Ms Blogger said...

@Liz - I totally forgot that my husband and I had a bet, he won and he doesn't have to do any dishes during this week of cooking. I'll be writing about the bet because he helped me sell some Pampered Chef items at my first show as a consultant. He was a stitch.

DB said...

I made yummy brussel sprout slaw yesterday, and roasted them as well in a marinade of olive oil, dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Totally yummy.

And when I read "family meals", I thought I was going to be reading your blogger thoughts on some of your fave meals (not) from childhood. Cod fish cakes. Glob. Potatoes and cheese soup and hot dogs.

SillyStud said...

so... ummm... no brussell sprout recipe and no day 2-5???

SillyStud said...

...and does a man have anything to gain from reading this book?

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La La La Leah said...

HEY you still blog! I miss you! I started another blog. Hope all is well.

lacochran's evil twin said...

So how goes the experiment?