The first week of Real Simple's Easy Meal Plans went very well.  Very happy to report that all meals were successes in the house, and with only a few future plans for modifications (ugh, those oranges). 

We went shopping Saturday morning for the ingredients for week two (plus a few non-plan items).  This bill was under $200, a little more on the affordable side.  Still a lot of fresh produce, which did my heart good.  This week I think the big kids in this house can't wait for the steak, cognac sauce, and bleu cheese salad night.  We did manage to reign ourselves in and started with the suggested night one meal. 

A BIG note to all of you out there who, like me, were previous Minute Rice people: the wild rice blend that we purchased was DELICIOUS, but it also takes AN HOUR TO COOK.  Therefore, those of you coming home and relaxing briefly before starting your weeknight dinners might want to get this pot on the stove and going before putting your feet up!  Evie had her Daddy confused for a bit over it as well.

Evie: "Daddy! We're having crazy rice tonight!"
Mark looks at Mommy for help
Mommy: "Yes, Daddy, it's the WILD rice blend"

I hated making this meal, I wasn't feeling well, it's all of a sudden hot and humid again around here, and this meal felt like a thousand things at once going.  However, the end result was so good, I've decided to take back the "hate" and go with "much dislike."  I'm not sure how this would have gone after a long day at work, truth be told, but perhaps the more experienced cook would not have as many timing issues.  My sous chefs were immense help as well. 

Pulling the thyme leaves off of the stems

Seriously, are they not the cutest?!

The green beans were supposed to be steamed according to the recipe, but the bottom pot to my little steamer was being used by the rice and I didn't feel like pulling out my mega-Williams-Sonoma multi-pot.  Therefore, we did the saute pan, olive oil and kosher salt bit. 


The Peanut's plate

Best quote of the night "Mommy, this chicken is so good that I can't stop eating it!!"  Good enough for me!  Not only did she devour her chicken, but she ate over half of her wild rice, two of the grapes, and most of her green beans. 


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