Shrimp, chicken cacciatore = tasty bookends

Shrimp skewers, Caesar-style
Shrimp skewers with caesar-style romaine salad and citrusy chickpeas

It’s amazing how fast good intentions for the family dinner can go sideways. All it takes is after-school sports practice in a school district two cities away, in rush hour traffic, and you have the perfect detour for the best-laid meal plan.

We started off last week with a lovely shrimp salad, Caesar-style, on Meatless Monday. By Tuesday, the notion of making beef goulash was a lost cause when we walked in the door after 7 pm. I traded pressure cooker for can opener to slam together the speediest dinner ever — beans ‘n franks. Really!

Chicken cacciatore w/pasta

Chicken cacciatore with pasta - a comforting end to the week

By Wednesday we veered back on track to prep the beef goulash that a loyal reader insisted I try some weeks ago through a comment on the DishesMenLike Facebook page.  While the dinner hour was still running late, the trusty pressure cooker saved the day. A one-pot meal — beef goulash with carrots, potatoes, green beans — was just the ticket on a day that ended with hail and biting cold winds. March is here.

Thursday was worse, time-wise. Home again after 7 pm, we resorted to take-out pizza and a frozen banana cream pie to celebrate Son #1’s 15th birthday. Ouch. This is the stuff that puts you in the Mom Hall of Despair. Chicken Cacciatore with pasta was bumped to Friday night. Another winner in the pressure cooker. A comfortable ending to a crazed week.


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