A couple of weeks ago, we lucked into spending a stormy weekend at Pacific Beach, WA. By lucked into, I mean that we made reservations months ago for the middle hooligan’s birthday weekend, and, happily, one of the worst September storms ever arrived the same day we did. It’s a quirk of our family that we enjoy visiting places in the off season, and the worse the weather, the better. For our first anniversary (in January), the hubs and I spent a week in Yellowstone…we had to leave our truck at the park entrance and go in via Snowcats. For our second anniversary, we went to Niagara Falls. In January. We had the place entirely to ourselves.
But I digress. The lightning and thunder crashed, the gale force winds howled, and the waves pounded the shore…and we loved it! The power was out for a couple of hours, but we had books to read and board games to play, so it was all good. We were in a house on the bluff overlooking the ocean, so were in no danger of flooding, in case you’re concerned. We were quite thankful, however, when the power came back on and I could reheat the soup I’d brought along for dinner.
Since then, our weather has not improved a lot…it’s fall in the Pacific Northwest, after all! I’ve been making a lot of soups, stews, and chilis, either in the slow cooker or quick recipes in the evening. Today I’m sharing some of our favorites, along with the week’s menu. These all happen to be quick soups (as long as you bake potatoes the night before!) rather than slow cooker ones, but none take more than 45 minutes to be ready to serve…and the hands on time is much less than that!
And for the week’s menu:
- Monday: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Kale Chips
- Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Fresh Pineapple and Pretzel Rolls
- Wednesday: Tamale Pie with Kale Salad (a mix from Costco)
- Thursday: Cheesy Butternut Squash Cavatappi Bake and Apple Slices
- Friday: Make Your Own Pizza
For the BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, just pour your favorite sauce over boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cook on low 5-6 hours or high 3-4 hours, then shred and place on buns. We used pretzel buns and made sliders, because for some reason the hooligans will eat more that way.
Everyone loved the Cheesy Butternut Squash Cavatappi, but it did take a full hour from start to finish and I had a whole sinkful of dishes to wash. It was perfect comfort food, though, and would be great for a Sunday night dinner, when I make it again!