Anyone else experiencing an intense urge to bake all the time?
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Mid-April Meal Plan

Well, we just had a couple of virtual Passovers, and you might be heading into your virtual Easter. We opened the door for Elijah, too, but then remembered he was sheltering in place.
It’s just all so weird. I just wiped down my Lysol spray with a Clorox wipe, and had to take a moment as the oddity of that action sunk in. And enough with the phrase “the new normal.” There is nothing normal about anything that is happening. If one more person says it to me, I might smack them with a can of beans. Remember when buying toilet paper wasn’t like hunting for truffles? Remember saying things to each other like, “Are you in the mood to go out or stay in?”  
Bright spots this week:
A *surprise* virtual birthday party for a good friend, attended by guests from all over the world. Sure, we all wish it had been an actual party, but because it was virtual, all of her far-flung relatives and friends got to be there.
Playing Scattergories with my guys via Zoom every night (I’m still quarantined in NYC after being very cautious post–City Harvest volunteering stint), watching Airplane with my mother via Zoom. 
As you read this I will finally be on my way to reunite with my family after a four-week separation (two weeks of volunteering, two weeks of self-isolation). I am going to hug each of them so freaking hard I might break something. And then I am going to cook as hard as I can.
Here’s what I’m thinking of making:
These generously stuffed quesadillas turn a small amount of ground beef and whatever vegetables you have around into a perfect cheesy dinner.

Click here for the recipe.

Yes, economical. Yes, pantry-centric. But this was actually one of Charlie’s favorite dishes long before we all started eating more beans out of necessity rather than cravings. In fact, this is the dish Charlie asks for as his first dinner every year when he gets back from camp (in August, which is weird, I’ll give you that).

Click here for the recipe.

Knowing how to make a basic pan sauce is a kitchen skill that has helped me turn a package of chicken breasts into a real dinner more times than I can count. The best part is that you can make a pan sauce from just about anything you have on hand, combining things like white wine, broth, mustard, herbs (dried or fresh), anchovies, capers, hot sauce . . . All of those little jars that are lurking in the pantry and fridge? Put them to work.

Click here for the recipe.

This is a staple in our house. Eye of round is a very economical cut and can be found for less than $3 per pound, which is very budget friendly. And cooking it in the slow cooker means you will get very tender meat from a cut that can be tough if not cooked properly. Freeze some in bags or containers for dinners later in the month.

Click here for the recipe.

I made a double batch of this batter, cooked half in a loaf pan, half in a mini loaf pan, and distributed it to my neighbors. Okay, I kept some. I’m a sharer, not a saint.
Click here for the recipe.
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If you have meal-planning gripes, questions, or things you want to suggest, come hang out with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

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