By the time Labor Day rolls around, I am so ready for school to start. Not that I don't love having my boys around, but it gets really tiring to figure out 3 meals a day for 13 weeks! Once we get to September, I am done with cooking. Breakfasts, which began with fun smoothies, breakfast burritos, and the like, are now reduced to cereal or toaster waffles. Lunch is down to PB&J. I am serious. Total kitchen ennui, people. Lately, we've been eating soups that I'd frozen months ago. Soup is not exactly "seasonal" for August (at least not hot soups), but I am past caring.
Labor Day found me wanting to spend even less time in the kitchen. So it's kind of awesome that we have a gourmet grocery store near us with fabulous meats. The Wine'ing Butcher has all sorts of interesting stuff, but it's the meats that draw us. Normally we get their steaks or sausage, but we had an Amazon Local coupon for some of their marinated meats. Now, I'm a little leery of buying already-marinated meats because I can make my own damn marinades, thank you very much. BUT, as I learned when I talked to one of the staff there (they were selling me hard, but not in an obnoxious way, more in an enthusiastic-about-their-product way), they vacuum-seal the meats with the marinades, which lets the flavors to penetrate the meat better and makes it very, very tender!
I'm telling you, people, the folks at the Wine'ing Butcher in Ashburn did not steer me wrong! Even the kids liked everything...and they don't usually like steak/beef.
We got the Key West marinated chicken, the Smoke House steak tips, and the Steak House steak tips. All were delicious! Personally, I thought the Smoke House marinade was a little on the sweet side, but everyone else said those tips were their favorites. We also got the red bliss potato salad and the coleslaw. To round out the meal, I made a quick cherry tomato-cucumber salad (just cut cherry tomatoes in half, cut a cucumber in bite-sized chunks and toss with salt, pepper and a balsamic vinaigrette -- homemade or store-bought -- I won't judge), grilled mushrooms (clean some mushrooms, toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper, then grill along with your meats), and some corn on the cob (with butter, of course). Super easy, pretty healthy, as far as dinners go, and we had some great leftovers to make steak salads the next day!
Just as a side note: before you think I've totally gone off the deep end and eschewing the kitchen and decent food entirely, below is a picture of a dinner from last week, with butternut squash soup (I used apple juice instead of cream or milk) from the freezer, thick slices of home made honey wheat bread, and a salad with mixed greens, walnuts, figs, bleu cheese and a drizzle of lime olive oil and ginger/honey balsamic vinegar).
With all the things already made (mostly), the entire meal took about 15 minutes to put together. This is why I implore you to double your soup recipes when you're making them and freeze the leftovers, because they come in so handy on those days you're just not up to cooking. Believe me, it DOES happen. :-)