meal planning · Uncategorized

Weekly meal plan – 4/16/17

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We have a new range! It was installed Friday. The first thing I cooked? Hard-boiled eggs. Actually, I wanted to see how long it would take to boil water (our old stove took forever) and I figured I might as well boil some eggs while I was at it. Then, I decided to make Pickled Turmeric Eggs. I tried one after they were in the fridge overnight and they are gooooood. (It took exactly 4 minutes for a simmer, 6 minutes for a rolling boil. That’s so much faster than the old oven.)

Here’s what is on the menu this week:

Sunday was Easter and I meant to post this before that, but life, so this is what we had Sunday: Asparagus & Prosciutto Bundles, Roasted sweet potatoes, Crab cakes and Drop biscuits

Maybe it’s the warmer weather, or maybe it’s my body, but I’m feeling the need to eat lighter. So for this week’s meals (besides Easter), I’m aiming for mostly vegetarian, vegan if possible, meals. That means I think I’m going to try walnut taco “meat” or chickpea “beef.”

I got The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook from the library, and I plan to make a couple of recipes from that this week. A lot of Cook’s Illustrated recipes aren’t available online, but I found a link to Moroccan-Style Quinoa and Kale with Raisins and Pine Nuts.

And that Sesame Soba and Ribbed Omelet Salad that I didn’t get to make a couple of weeks ago will make the menu this week.

I don’t like mushrooms, but I really want to try this recipe for Baked Mushroom Curry (it’s the mango chutney that sold me), so I’m going to attempt it with zucchini. It may be a disaster, but we’ll see. EDIT: I just read that eggplant is a good substitute for mushrooms, so I think I’ll try eggplant.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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My clicks

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Now that I’m spending more time with a little one around, who is always saying “Let me see” and “Let me help” in the kitchen, I want to make things she can help with. I think she’s going to love this Caramel Apple Bar. I think we’re going to love them, too, honestly.

I find it fascinating to see What Kids Around the World Eat for Breakfast. Now, I want to eat what the kids in Istanbul are eating, but I’m sure as a kid, I would have loved breakfast in Amsterdam.

You know how we talked about tonics and healthy things to drink last week? Well this Ginger & Turmeric Honey Bomb Is definitely in the rotation. I love this stuff!

I need to make this Apple Peel Bourbon pronto and then start making Indian Summers with it.

Thanks for reading.

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My clicks

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I don’t hate to cook. I still found An Argument for Never Cooking Again to be a really good read.

I’m getting into health tonics. This time of year, my allergies are the worst. I’m pretty much medicated 24 hours a day. Elderberry syrup has nothing to do with allergies, but it may help us fight the upcoming cold and flu season. I recently bought a bottle, but the next step is to make it.

Speaking of confronting cold and flu season head on, and health tonics, I made fire cider about 6 weeks ago (it has to steep for 4 weeks) and we’re pretty addicted to it. If addicted is the right word. This stuff is pungent, but it will grow on you. That’s a shining endorsement.

All the comments on every recipe blog made me laugh and roll my eyes. They’re all so true. What is wrong with people?

Thanks for reading.

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Eating in season

I don’t like raw tomatoes. If I order a sandwich, I always say hold the tomato or I pick it off and throw it away. If there are tomatoes in my salad, I always pick them out and give them away or just leave them on the plate. I never eat a Caprese salad.

Except in the summer.

In the summer, I pop cherry tomatoes like they’re cherries. I eat panzanella until I think I will explode. I can’t get enough of anything with the word Caprese as the description.

Why?

Because tomatoes in the summer, in season, are a completely different food from tomatoes in February.

When you buy an item in season, and locally, there’s nothing that tastes better. A peach. A melon. Corn. Tomatoes. Butternut squash. These foods are meant to have a shelf life. They’re meant to be enjoyed for a short time. We’ve gotten away from eating what’s fresh and bountiful around us because now everything is bountiful at all times of the year. There’s merit in that, too. I don’t want to imply that there isn’t. I just want to remind you to enjoy those local peaches. And that seasonal corn. And to eat all the fresh, seasonal tomatoes that you can handle.

This Seasonal Ingredient Map from epicurious.com is a good place to find out what is available in your area.

And this Panzanella recipe from Ina Garten is a favorite of mine. I make it at least once every summer and it’s perfect.

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Organics – Food for thought

I buy and eat organic fruits and vegetables when I can, but I’m not diligent about it. Should I be?

One of my favorite essays recently on organic food come from The Little Red House blog. I think the writer, Sheena, explains organics in a way that’s easy to grasp without being preachy and/or sanctimonious.

What and how a person eats and feeds their family is a personal decision. I believe that most of us are doing the best we can. Of course, we all can do better, but what ‘better’ means is a vast and sometimes touchy topic.

I promise not to tell you what, when or how to eat. I’ll share tips and recipes that work for me. What and how I eat is always in transition as I learn more about food and nutrition. It’s confusing, at times, but it’s also fun and exciting to learn more and weed through the plethora of available information and find what’s valid and what’s bologna.

So thanks for stopping by my little corner of the Internet. I hope you find something you like.

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Why I cook

Why do I cook?

I cook because I like to eat.

I cook because I get excited about food. I read cookbooks like they’re novels. I take cooking magazines to bed with me. I lose track of time most days devouring food blogs. I’m at bit obsessive about planning menus and bookmarking new recipes to try.

I cook because it lets me be creative. Adding a dash of cumin to a dish changes the outcome. Substituting one grain for another can change the depth. Broiling vegetables instead of boiling them for a soup totally changes the taste of the soup.

I cook because I like the routine. Changing an ingredient or adding an ingredient can be exciting, but the familiar can be exciting, too. Think back to your favorite meals of all time. It’s probably something that your mom, or dad, or grandma perfected over many years. And if that recipe is passed down to you, you can continue to share. The routine of peeling potatoes for your mom’s potato salad, or shelling peas for your grandma’s bean soup is comforting and familiar.

I cook because I like to know what I’m eating. I love going to restaurants and trying their best offerings. I love going to a friend’s house and enjoying a meal prepared with me in mind. But I also love going home, standing in the kitchen and preparing meals. Going to the supermarket and/or the farmer’s market and picking ingredients, standing in front of the pantry and seeing what kind of grains I have, peering at the spice rack and wondering what will satisfy me today – these things bring me joy. I know that every ingredient in my soup or lasagna has been picked by me.

I cook because of that look someone gets when they enjoy something you’ve made. Or that sound they make when the food hits their tongue.

I cook because it makes me, and hopefully those I feed, happy.