Sunday, December 16, 2012

pork and udon soup recipe and this week's meals

I haven't posted lately but I have been cooking - although nothing worth writing about, mostly old standbys like spaghetti, breakfast for dinner, or turkey tacos, etc. However, this weekend, I did manage to make a new recipe: pork and udon soup.

It's a meal that you need to make in two steps. I did it over two days.

Day one: I roasted the pork. Very easy but it required about 3.5 hours in the oven.
Day two: I chopped the veggies and threw the veggies and pork in broth to simmer for a half hour to make the soup. I also boiled the noodles separately. I didn't have any udon so I used somen and that worked fine.

Overall, I would say that the broth is not as rich or complex as ones made from scratch but the soup was very filling and good for about 40 minutes cooking time - much of that time was made up of leaving the soup to simmer on the stove rather than active time.  The soup seemed much less Japanese as the udon in the recipe would suggest but tasted more like pho especially since the recipe recommends garnishing with bean sprouts, cilantro, and lime. The toddler picked at it since she didn't like the look of the shitake, cabbage, or carrots, but she ate the noodles. The husband gave the soup an "A."

This week's meal plan (although I'm not sure I'll get around to cooking the sinigang):

  • spinach and cheese lasagna rolls
  • matzoh ball soup, latkes, and smoked salmon and mache salad (I made the soup last week but never got around to making the latkes during Hannukah)
  • slow cooker beef and black bean chili
  • sinigang na baboy (a pork and tamarind soup with napa cabbage, taro root, green beans, tomatoes, and onions)

Tiffanie: what are you making for holiday dinners?

Tempted though I am to just make desserts and get take out Chinese food, I may just cook a real holiday dinner. What are you doing?

Tiffanie: this week's menu

That white bean escarole soup with orzo was really delicious! I never made the pumpkin soup, so it's on the plan again this week. I'm also snack parent for preschool on Thursday, so I have planning around that, too.

The plans:

  • linguine with sauteed chard and Field Roast sausage
  • pumpkin soup, homemade bread with cherries and walnuts, wild rice pilaf
  • vegetable chili, corn bread, roasted sweet potatoes. This will be for two dinners; a different side vegetable, maybe some cabbage salad or avocados.
It's a CSA box week, so I'll know soon what I'm getting on Wednesday. That'll inform the meal for the rest of the week, since there will be greens in it.

For the preschoolers and parents... I'm thinking I'll be progressive and make a big batch of the pumpkin soup. It is very simple, just onions and a bit of ginger sauteed in olive oil, then you add broth, some cut up potatoes and squash, and a bay leaf, and simmer until soft. Then puree and add soy milk. I can serve this to both the preschoolers and the parents. For the kids, I think I'll also offer bagels and cream cheese.  For the parents... a baguette sliced up, maybe a baked oatmeal? I do love baked oatmeal. I should really make it for home sometimes. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

After all that rain, the weather is now sunny and cool. I'm craving warm food!

The plan:

  • taco night, as usual, with mushrooms. Also going to make Mexican rice, the type with tomatoes. Love that!
  • my old favorite, tofu mushroom potato stew with miso gravy. This is a two-meal dish, so one night will be over rice, with roasted brussels sprouts. Another night will be over pasta, with a green salad or sauteed chard.
  • mapo tofu, with rice, and onion pancakes, and roasted seaweed. I need to visit Ranch 99 for my onion pancakes and silken tofu...
  • pumpkin ginger soup... I have two red kabocha squash on my counter, so this will use one of them. I may even make my first loaf of bread for the winter, perhaps with cherries and walnuts in it. 
  • if I can find some escarole, I'd love to make a slow cooker white bean soup, with some orzo and escarole stirred in at the end. Such a fantastic thick soup... perhaps I'll get some Field Roast sausage to fry up alongside.
Today I made a batch of dough for St Lucia buns, from the King Arthur Flour recipe on the web. It's a yellow dough, with lots of milk and butter and eggs. You roll bits of dough into a snake, then shape a compact S. Two golden raisins are tucked into the folds, then brushed with egg white and sprinkled with coarse sugar. The kindergarten class will be making these tomorrow, and I felt I needed a practice run. I'm happy to announce they are good -- slightly sweet, fairly dense, very pretty color. The original recipe uses 1/4 tsp of saffron to add color to the milk, but as I ran out of saffron, I decided to try 1/8 tsp of turmeric. It worked very well; the turmeric is not detectable by scent or taste. Just a lovely yellow color!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jolene: this week's menu

Last night, I made "Tilapia en Papillote" - meaning something (tilapia) cooked in parchment paper.  It took about 4x as long to cook I think because I used a hybrid - aluminum/parchment paper mix. Turned out pretty good with sliced tomatoes, yellow squash, zuchinni, a sprinkle of salt and Penzeys "Mural of Color" seasoning, and feta cheese. Also, steamed some brussel sprouts as a side.

Made a friend of a friend's recipe of mac n' cheese. It called for a stick of butter, 8 cups of cheese (cheddar and mozzarella), evaporated milk, and elbow pasta. I think the box stuff has got to be healthier than this concoction, but it sure tastes good.

I have makings for vegetable lasagne tonight, which I haven't started... Boca burgers as back-up and some frozen TJs fettucini alfredo meal, too. Not feeling food inspired at the moment. May make "Silician style halibut" later this week. More later...

p.s. Bought the Cuisinart waffle maker at a sale last week, but also have the Caphalon version on its way -- will be returning one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jolene: this week's menu

Thanks for the invite, Tiffanie! This is my first official blog. I haven't really been much of a meal planner (lately, or ever?) -- more like a meal forager -- searching the fridge and cabinets to scramble up a last minute dinner. I confess, I'm also a short-order cook for the kids -- which makes for more work (I know, I'd like to phase this out).

Anyhow, this week I am planing on:
  • Veggie burgers with garlic aioli
  • Creamy polenta with meatless ragu
  • Some sort of tofu veggie stir-fry with Penzeys "Sate" & "Trinidad" seasonings w/brown rice topped with (a newly discovered fav) rice seasoning -- Nori Komi Furikake
  • Baked sweet potato w/yogurt chipotle topper
Rainy weather may (hopefully) inspire some soups and/or baked goods...we'll see....

p.s Searching for the ideal belgian waffle maker...any recommendations?

Happy cooking!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Skipped last week due to lots of restaurant eating during a family visit. The CSA season is over, and the winter season doesn't start until next week, so I've got a chance to empty my fridge, yay!

Plans for this week:

  • cabbage vegetable soup (lots of white wine!), baguette.
  • baja tempeh tacos with fried mushrooms and fixings.
  • massur dal and carrot soup, bread, roasted brussels sprouts.
  • broccoli tofu stir fry, onion pancakes, rice. Smoothies?
  • black eyed peas with collard greens, over noodles, plus leftover Field Roast chipotle sausage.
  • popcorn balls, with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cranberries, currants.
  • musubi... trying to figure out what to fill it with. My Vegan Lunch Box cookbook says either pickled plum or peanut butter.
  • pumpkin cranberry scones
  • kale sauteed with red onion
  • roasted cauliflower
  • quick pickled fennel
I actually planned on Saturday, so I'm actually a bit short on meals for the week, as I've done the cabbage soup and the black eyed peas already. Tonight will be the tacos... the soup is probably a two-nighter, but I need to plan more meals. Maybe a breakfast for dinner, with biscuits and gravy, or pancakes. And rosemary roasted potatoes, of course.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Hooray, Sunday night and I'm writing my week's entry!

I've been drooling over Home Made and Home Made Winter, which have lovely photos and drawings of the British Isles and food. So this week I'm trying out a few recipes in their honor (besides the 3 minute sticky chocolate cake in a mug). Also, using the vegetables from my CSA box!

Planned meals:

  • a cauliflower gruyere risotto dish, that is baked with bread crumbs on top. Not vegan, but decided to try it as it seems kid friendly and delicious.
  • a sweet potato cabbage parsnip mash (this is my Scottish heritage speaking up), with cornbread and Field Roast sausages on the side.
  • a soup of sweet potatoes and chickpeas and leeks, with buttered cashews on top. Can't resist dishes with cashews on top... Also, a nice loaf of rosemary olive bread I picked up today at Whole Foods.
I haven't figured out what desserty things are due. Maybe a chocolate chocolate-chip walnut cookie?

My in-laws are visiting for nearly a week, starting Friday, so we'll be doing a bit of eating out. And I've decreed Thanksgiving to be Chinese food, either take-out or restaurant. Kids don't appreciate my food enough for me to cook for three hours so they can be done in ten minutes. Liberation!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Late again, writing this up!

Plan for this week:

  • polenta with sauteed swiss chard and pumpkin seeds, with some Field Roast sausages. Sliced tomatoes.
  • Spaghetti and beanballs, roasted seaweed, cantaloupe.
  • lentils and potatoes and spinach and sausage stew, cantaloupe.
  • corn chowder with sweet potatoes and kale, bread.
  • peanut noodles, baked tofu, onion pancakes, cabbage salad.
Sauerkraut turned out well, onwards to kimchi! Also need to make granola for our breakfast habit...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oops, Wednesday already! Well, we had a lovely cabbage vegetable soup with lots of white wine in it, and a vegan Irish soda bread with currants and millet. Still eating the bread, actually (and happily). It is great toasted with jam.

I'm trying to really use my CSA veggies up each week, both to minimize waste (40% of food waste is at the consumer end, I blame the kiddos) and to minimize grocery bills. And because I don't play enough games and need an optimization problem to play with. :-)

Plans for this week:

  • it's Halloween tonight, so a quick and easy dinner of pasta for the kids, and red wine braised kale on baguette rafts (perhaps with an egg on top for me). Also roasted cauliflower for everyone.
  • butternut squash with sage, with cajun hoppin' jean on the side, and some sauteed greens. The cajun hoppin jean will be with pinto beans, for a change.
  • a corn chowder soup with sweet potatoes and kale. I am sure bread will be served alongside.
  • if I still have chard (quite likely, since I have a lot growing outside), some garlic sauteed chard over polenta with toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted brussels sprouts.
On the extra food front, I need to make more granola, my sauerkraut is probably done and should be harvested and stored in the fridge, and dear friend Dea gave me a couple of pounds of raw green olives to cure. I may have the kids hit them with hammers to start the process (you break the skin with a knife or a hammer, and soak them for a couple of weeks in water until they aren't bitter anymore, then put them in brine with herbs. I wonder if I should get more olives? We go through them so very quickly... I also need to pickle some fennel that I will never eat otherwise.

The King Arthur Flour catalog came today, and goodness but they have a lovely chocolate section. I ordered the Guittard dark chocolate wafers last year when I was making peppermint bark, and I used the leftovers in my dark chocolate cherry mini loaves... so very good. They also sell chunks, which might be even better?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

The rainy season starts this week, so I'm going for stews and pot pies.

My plans:

  • mushroom taco night
  • tofu potato mushroom stew with miso gravy. Roasted delicata squash.
  • cauliflower pot pie with olive biscuit crust. Roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.
  • Field Roast Italian sausages fried with onions and peppers, in sandwich rolls. Potato salad of some variety.
I've got two built in sets of leftovers, with the stew and pot pie. I may also make a soup, perhaps a carrot soup? I need to use up a bunch of green beans somehow this week. I've got kale; I found a lovely red wine braised kale recipe -- you put it on toasted baguette rubbed with garlic, with an egg on top. That will be a lunch for me! 

I still have four little roasted beets which will get eaten in a salad, too. And two older fennel bulbs I think I will pickle, as they taste pretty good that way. 

I am fermenting about three pounds of cabbage, starting today, so perhaps it will be ready for some sampling by the time we get to the sausages.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Lots of leftovers from last week in the mix! I am really tired of chili; I froze a good portion of it finally. It was good, however -- Cooks Illustrated wins again! The pumpkin soup never happened last week, so it pushed into this week.

My plans this week:

  • pumpkin ginger soup, sourdough baguettes rubbed with garlic
  • leftover chili and rice, roasted zucchini and sweet potatoes. Grilled cheese for the kids.
  • leftover pumpkin soup, date and almond rice pilaf, roasted brussels sprouts. 
  • bok choy chickpea saute with cashews, onion pancakes.
  • lal dal (red lentil curry). Sauteed swiss chard with garlic. Pita bread.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It's a busy week, with me and the kids going solo at least three evenings and over the weekend. So, easy food!

My plans:

  • taco night (our usual Sunday)
  • vegetable and tofu curry (Japanese brown curry), rice, roasted seaweed, onion pancakes
  • butternut squash ravioli, beet salad
  • pumpkin ginger soup, possibly with potato frittata. 
  • vegetarian chili, from the recipe in the latest Cooks Illustrated. Uses bulgur wheat, and some dried shiitake mushrooms (ground up) for umami. This should be a multi day dish. Cornbread will be made! And maybe a pilaf. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I did plan my meals over the weekend, but then I forgot to share them with you. :-)

Here it is:

  • taco night
  • peanut noodles, sesame crusted tofu on a bed of spinach, roasted seaweed, ice cream.
  • pasta with broccoli and edamame and walnuts, fruit smoothies, banana splits.
  • cajun hoppin' jean (a spicy bean/rice/tomato dish), with chips and roasted sweet potatoes, strawberries.
  • red bean, potato, and arugula soup. 
I am going to make a ricotta chocolate pudding, mostly for the kids. Trying to get some fat on them before winter. :-D

Of the meals above, the kids ate the tacos, the peanut noodles wrapped in seaweed and some tofu, pasta with olive oil and cheese (did not like the broccoli!), the fruit smoothies (made with tofu). They don't like spicy yet, so they ate sweet potatoes and chips with beans and cheese on them instead of the cajun hoppin' jean. Tonight is the soup night, and I imagine they'll eat a cheese omelet or a potato frittata. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

this week's meal plan

I'm back in the kitchen after having been away so long. I didn't make a formal meal plan this week and am winging it, but this is what I decided to make while food shopping:
  • Ginger Teriyaki Chicken, Roasted Asparagus, and Steamed Rice (the toddler was served dumplings)
  • Steak (not sure yet what seasonings), Roasted Squash and Assorted Veggies
  • Spaghetti with Meatballs
  • Leftover Veggie Lasagna from last week and taco fixings to go into a taco salad
  • Sandwiches, Pumpkin Bolani, Orzo salad, and assorted fruit for lunch and snacks
Friday, the husband and I dine out (hurray for babysitters!) so the toddler may get mac and cheese that night.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

My plans this week:

  • burrito night, with mushrooms and sauteed chard, plus regular fixings
  • roasted tomato basil soup. Thinking of trying some stuffed peppers, with a rice and hummus filling I read about. Also garlic bread. Green salad.
  • mapo tofu, rice, onion pancakes, chinese cabbage salad.
  • a fried potato, onion, and pepper mess. French toast (vegan) for the less discerning small people.
  • biscuits and gravy (vegan style, with tempeh sausage crumbles). Fruit, or maybe a smoothie.
What are you making this week?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I've been slacking due to illness, but here I am again!

Plans for this week:

  • broccoli tofu stir fry, with rice and onion pancakes
  • potato and kale enchiladas with pepitas
  • kale and tofu scramble with chipotle jam sauce, probably over rice with roasted sweet potatoes
  • spaghetti and beanballs, green and tomato salad
Last week I made a carrot ginger soup, which had oats and miso in it. Really tasty. I've been thinking of making a pureed soup during the winter to have on hand for snacks -- just microwave a mug of it! I always get so many winter squashes from my CSA, and the occasional carrot or potato soup would add variety.

I also made a new granola/muesli mix -- oats, millet (soaked first), pistachios, coconut flakes, raisins (or cranberries), maple syrup/honey, coconut oil, and salt. Everything but the dried fruit is mixed together (the sweetener and oil are heated first), then baked at 325 until golden. It's attractive (love those millet grains!), and potentially gluten free.

The enchiladas I'm making this week are a lot of work, but they do last at least two meals, and I miss eating them. They're vegan, but packed with flavor and texture. You make a spicy tomato sauce first, steam the kale, boil the potatoes and make a lime flavored chunky mashed potatoes. Then you assemble everything (the toasted pumpkin seeds are in there somewhere). Delicious!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I've been sick, so last week was pretty boring. This week I'm trying to use what I have in the fridge and garden, and I'm mostly using the Clean Food cookbook.

My plans:

  • a bean barley chard soup; our CSA box this week had a bag of fresh beans, either cranberry or Tongues of Fire. We have lots of chard in the backyard garden, so I'll pick enough leaves to add to the soup. Might add some zucchini, too. Roasted cauliflower on the side.
  • a carrot ginger soup. I have some hope that the kids will like this. Either cornbread or grilled cheese pesto sandwiches on the side. Probably both, as soups tend to be for two meals.
  • a walnut lentil loaf. Going full vegan here. It's a good recipe that I've made before, sort of like a meatloaf. Has lots of veggies and good things in it, and a tasty sauce on the top. This will last at least two meals. Roasted sweet potatoes would be good, also cabbage salad, tomato salad, green salad...
This takes me though Thursday night, which is all I'm planning for this week. Going camping on Friday! I may also make some baked tofu this week, perhaps with the carrot ginger soup. 

I need to figure out what to take on the camping trip for a vegan and three vegetarians that is easy and reheatable...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tiffanie: healthy snacks reference

I'm a big fan of Culinate, and they have a useful article about healthy snacks for the whole family.

Do you do all of these already? Popcorn fell off my radar while the kids were little, but I could bring that back now. I've never done the sweet potato halves as a snack, so I'll have to try that. Cups of pureed soups are awesome, I'm glad it's easing into autumn and I can start making soups every week. I love making bread and soup for meals a couple times a week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lisa: Taste of Summer

Wow, summer flew by. Here's a glimpse of what we've been eating. I love all of the fresh, bright colors of summer fruits and vegetables. Salads and wraps became standard fare for a stretch, and I got to try some interesting desserts at picnics. Finally, we grew some of our own produce and indulged in some icy homemade treats.

Romaine salad with carrots, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries,
yellow bell pepper, slivered almonds, carrots and grapes.

Chicken lettuce wraps with salsa and yellow bell peppers,
sugar snap peas on the side

Ricotta and spinach ravioli with marinara,
steamed broccoli, roasted red and yellow beats with goat cheese
par-baked french bread baked just in time for dinner

Grilled salmon (sorry, I mangled it taking it off the serving plate),
Japanese rice with furikake (seaweed and sesame seasoning),
caprese of heirloom tomatoes, mini mozzarella, basil,
green beans goma ae (sesame-soy dressing),
and strawberries

Spinach and jack cheese crepe

I did not make these, but tried them at a picnic:
chocolate-peanut butter-rice crisp bars
with graham cracker crust

My cousin made these:
"Watermelon" Rice Krispies treats
with chocolate chip "seeds"
Made in a round pan and cut in wedges
Massive blackberry!

Watermelon growing in our yard. We later harvested several.
Tasty, but had a tough time figuring out
when they were ripe.

Cantaloupes growing in our yard

Blackberries and strawberries
picked at a local farm
Kale-berry-banana smoothie
popsicle in shape of ladybug

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Evenings are busy with week, with babysitting, school meetings, anniversary dinner, and general busy start-up husband.

 My meal plans this week:

  • mushroom taco night, this time with chipotle Field Roast sausages. Spicy!
  • leek potato soup, with grilled cheese sandwiches
  • red wine braised cabbage with carrots, apples, potatoes, and Italian Field Roast sausages.
  • tofu kale scramble with raspberry chipotle sauce, over yellow rice. Plus seaweed.
  • baked eggs over sauteed zucchini and onions (a lunch for me)
The tomatoes in the back yard are really coming in, so I might also make a roasted tomato soup with basil. Best tomato soup I've ever had, at least of the non-creamy variety.

On the dessert front, I'm going to experiment with vegan rice crispy treats, and also make a strawberry rhubarb crumble. I hope to make it not-too-sweet, as I prefer the tart crumble right now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

First week of kindergarten! Plus one husband who wants to experiment with the vegan paleo diet. I shall bang my head against the fridge a few times now.

Menu plans for the week (ignoring the husband, mostly):

  • mushroom tacos and fixings, corn tortillas
  • veggie burgers and tater tots, watermelon, macaron cookies
  • bok choy and chickpea saute with toasted cashew nuts, quinoa pilaf with currants and almonds
  • peanut noodles, baked marinated tofu, beet salad
  • millet spinach polenta with sun dried tomato pesto, some sort of salad (more beets?), roasted veggies if I have time
For Mr. Paleo, I purchased some extra items: Field Roast chipotle sausages (vegan), Yves sandwich meats (vegan), Field Roast lentil sage loaf (vegan), brazil nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds. 

My CSA box this week: 
  • Strawberries
  • Scotch Kale
  • Red Cabbage
  • Leeks
  • Green Oak Lettuce
  • Green Filet Beans or Potatoes
  • Mystery (Tomatoes, Summer Squash or Green Bell Peppers)
  • Dill
I'm going to have to trade that dill for something else. The strawberries will go the first night. The kale may go into a tofu scramble with chipotle jam. The cabbage would be good in this recipe for Red Wine Braised Cabbage with Apples -- you add some Field Roast sausages on top and it's really hearty.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Turkey Curry

The meals being donated are coming in fast and furious. Still I feel I must honor my oath to cook for my family. This led, as all paths do, to curry. 

I made Turkey Curry.

It was underwhelming but good.

Recipes are a lot easier the second time you make them. The recipe called for "six turkey cutlets". I ended up with twice the amount of turkey needed. It was in three steps. But the last step had six steps. Is that legal? It made what I thought was a 20 minutes recipe take more like 50 minutes. Luckily the audience was patient, but I felt like I had egg on my face. 

Despite the confusions dinner was a success. I never made curry before and when I added the yogurt it was an "aha" moment.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

My CSA box had a big bunch of broccoli, and spinach, so I'm working off of those.

My planned meals this week:

  • broccoli tofu stir fry. Easy and delicious, and the kids eat it. Win! Will serve with rice and maybe onion pancakes.
  • spinach chickpea curry from Vegan with a Vengeance. Super flavor. I doubt the kids will eat this. Perhaps some roasted cauliflower and sweet potato on the side.
  • tofu mushroom potato stew with miso gravy, also from Vegan with a Vengeance. Not summery, but I have a craving. I might make some Irish Soda Bread to go with it, or baking powder biscuits.
I still need to roast beets for salad, and also make some cabbage slaw. The husband has requested that I investigate making fermented cabbage. He's reading The Four Hour Body (and is waiting for me to read it too) and it promotes the fermented foods.

The stew is a two-day dish, so I'm up to four dinners here. I'll see what Wednesday's CSA box brings me and work with that to finish out the week.

I'm baking a marbled banana bread right now (pics later). Snack time will be good today!

Friday, August 10, 2012

FoodNoob: BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I selected several recipes and asked my wife which one she wanted. She asked for the BBQ chicken pizza. I picked this one for two reasons. The first is that I thought it would be very fast and easy. The second is that it required a rotisserie chicken and I know my wife will eat any unused portions of the bird.

The recipe was overall satisfactory. It required 3 cups of shredded chicken and only two was needed. Also they could have doubled the BBQ sauce amount.

Other than that my wife loved it, my daughter said "yum! yum!" and my baby sitter stayed to eat a few slices.

There were no left overs.

FoodNoob: Munificence

I often hear how the world is going to hell in a handbasket. People say that no one exercises compassion anymore. Yesterday I received evidence to the contrary.

#1 Delivered Home Cooking

In two days three different families have delivered home cooked meals to our home. Some are friends we have known for a while. One is a neighbor we have known for less than two months. The list of food is sumptuous: goulash, peanut butter bars, pasta filled with pasta (has to be seen to be believed), vegetable soup, raisin bread, polenta and more.

#2 The Omaha Steak Trunk

My aunt lives in Long Island. She is enough of a character to inspire six books and a movie trilogy. She has been sending us clothes for the baby non-stop. Then she realized we may need help with the food. She was unaware of my new endeavor. In any case on our doorstep today was a styrofoam box the size of an army footlocker. It was from Omaha Steaks. It contained the largest collection of frozen food I have seen in ages. And since this was my aunt it was half desserts and half dinners. Lasagna, cod, green beans, potatoes, tiramisu, cheesecake and more are now stored in the freezer. We have enough food for a week from Omaha.

#3 Cook Books

In the deep wilds of Illinois lives Aaron. After reading the food blog he sent me two books:

These are great books for beginners. They are very specific and make easy good tasting food. Thanks Aaron.

Shortly after reading them I picked four or five recipes, entered the ingredients into the Our Groceries SW and went to the store. There I purchased more produce than I ever had before. It took about an hour to collect everything. When I arrived at home I was relaxed for the first time in ages as I know I don't just have food in the fridge but I have a food plan for a week.

This is all a new experience for me.

Deadra: Hiatus!

Oh my word!  It's been a long time!
In the past few months I've been delinquent on my writing, cooking and thereby writing about cooking!
My wee family and I sold our quaint townhome and bought a much larger house complete with a giant yard and a giant kitchen.  I'm mostly settled into the kitchen, but I'm still sorting out the best arrangements for my vast assortment of everything.  I was pretty spoiled in the old place with the giant pantry we had custom built.  I have about the same amount of storage now, but it's arranged differently, but I'm sorting it out.
In the meantime I've been doing some cooking, lots of baking projects with my posse, and recovering from vacation food and eating out for many weeks since we sold the other house.
We're on the hunt for a natural gas BBQ and I'm excited to hone my grilling skills.  Adam is excited that he'll get to reap the rewards of having a BBQ and a wife excited to char some vittles for him.
Also with the new house I plan to reconfigure the front yard into a giant front yard garden.  I hope to chatter about my ongoings with that here, to share what I have coming up and perhaps let you know when harvest is, since I expect I will have much of everything, because I have a giant front yard and I am determined to not have just grass out there.  In the mean time, if you want some lemons, I have plenty!
Oh it's nice to be back!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

FoodNoob: Bison Meat & Too much fire

Today the meals were interesting. And after the meals we had more excitement with an unplanned fire.

Meal #7 - Oatmeal

In any relationship there is the eternal conversation. It's not heavy such as "What is life all about?" It's just "What do YOU want to eat?" I have been having this conversation with friends and family for years. This morning I had it with my 3 year old daughter.

Daughter: Daddy wake up!
Me: Please don't jump on Daddy.
Daughter: I'm hungry!

<we run to the kitchen. OK she runs.>

Me: Do you want cheerios?
Daughter: No.
Me: Eggs?
Daughter: No.
Me: What do you want?
Daughter: I don't know. I'm Hungry!
Me: Oatmeal?
Daughter: Yay!

So we had oatmeal.

Meal #8 - SafeWay Hot Chicken Tortilla

As discussed in the last blog entry, I invented a whole new form of food. It's a hot sauce chicken wrap with all the ingredients supplied by Safeway. My wife read the blog (hi honey!) and she got a hankering.

So we ate that.

Meal #9  - Bison vs. Beef

I got the grill working yesterday. It was time to make hamburgers. But I wanted to do it right. So I went to the Safeway at 1AM last night.

Never go to Safeway at 1AM. It' is like the John Hughes movie time forgot. It is not cool. It is not romantic. People are working hard in the aisles to set up for tomorrow. You do not belong in their space. 

The scene screams "You should not be here. College is over. Get a life" Midnight is fine for some reason. But after 1AM it's just depressing.

I found grass-fed beef. I love this stuff. The corn-fed beef just doesn't taste right. Bonus points to any reader who knows what tim allen movie has him complimenting his hosts on the grass fed beef from iowa.

Right next to it was bison meat. Dinner would include a taste test to see if there is a difference between beef or bison.

The next day we did hamburgers for dinner. I fried up apple smoked bacon, got fresh lettuce, gourmet mustard and heinz ketchup. I toasted buns. Sparkling pink lemonade was served to the beautiful wife. Domestic swiss cheese was applied to the burgers on the grill. The grill cooked each patty to 160 degrees as dictated by the FDA.

My daughter ate pasta for the third night running. One day I will come home and discover she has turned into a piece of linguini.

The meal took over an hour to prepare start to finish but was a success! I was at a twitter with anticipation when my wife tried her first bite. A new sensation.

We could all taste the difference between Bison Burger vs Beef Burgers and we like the Bison ones better.

Adventure - Grill catches fire

On another scary note. My grill caught fire and is now half melted. So my luck with cooking holds.

The grill is over ten years old. It's a portable weber. We have not used it in at least three years. We recently moved. The grill was relatively clean thanks to a friend from Illinois.

After the burgers were finished I left it on low for three minutes just to burn off the excess grease. When I returned to the grill to turn it off it was smoking quite a bit. There were flames in the grill area much stronger than I had left it. Also the dial that controls the gas flow and connects the grill to the propane tank was on fire.

I am not a grill expert but this did not seem good.

I used the quick release valve to remove the tank and drag it far from the grill.
Then I grabbed the garden hose and put out the fire.

Time to buy a new grill.

Monday, August 6, 2012

FoodNoob: Meals 4-6

Meal #4 - The Usual Breakfast

Today we cheated a bit. Breakfast was again Cheerios and Yogurt.

Meal #5 - Sushi Part Two

Yesterday I took my daughter, a three year old, to lunch at a sushi place. She ordered an apple juice but did not finish it. The staff was a bit taken with her. As we left she said she wanted to take the apple juice home. Since they had no take out cups they let us leave with the restaurant's glass covered in tight saran wrap.

Today we had to return the glass and my wife was curious about the sushi joint. So we ate sushi!

Meal #6 - Leftovers

The third meal was leftovers from the day before. Chicken Apple Sausage Sandwich.

Bonus Meal - The Safeway Hot Chicken Tortilla

Since this post has been so dull I will write about the meal we ate two days ago. The one dish I ever invented myself. It is called HOT CHICKEN TORTILLA!

You can buy all the ingredients at Safeway. In fact you must buy all of them from Safeway. Otherwise you end up with some other Hot Chicken Tortilla.


  • Fried chicken strips (preferably from Safeway where it's more breading than meat)
  • Spinach leaves
  • Knotted spicy cheese (I generally find it on the top shelf)
  • Tortilla
  • Hot sauce
  • Toothpicks
  • Microwave
  1. Warm Up Microwave
  2. Chop up chicken strips
  3. Chop up cheese
  4. Lay chicken in tortilla
  5. Lay cheese among chicken pieces
  6. Apply Hot Sauce
  7. Apply more Hot Sauce
  8. Lay down some spinach leaves on chicken and cheese 
  9. Roll up tortilla and use toothpick to keep it rolled up
  10. Heat in microwave for one minute until cheese melts and bubbles

I made this dish about five years ago. Since then I think I have "cooked" it two times.

It's good!

Tiffanie: this week's menu

We're all healthy again, and I'm behind on my CSA box again...

My planning is weak, here's what I've got:

  • a stir fry involving snow peas, cabbage, carrots, tomato, and zucchini, over rice. And baked tofu.
  • a breakfast for dinner, with white bean-tempeh sausage, home fries with rosemary, pancakes, and fruit.
  • a bok choy and chickpea saute with toasted cashews, over rice. With onion pancakes.
Ok, that's three. Not quite the five or six I need... after a cookbook perusal, here's what I'm adding:
  • a tofu salad that is substantial -- think chicken salad. It has celery, and grape halves, and roasted red pepper. I've made it before, it's surprisingly tasty. Not sure what to serve it with yet... bagels? A potato frittata? Watermelon!
  • Southwestern corn pudding, with cornbread (perhaps overkill, but it'll be good), and lots of roasted veggies and a green salad. For roasting: the rest of the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, squash, maybe mushrooms.
I still want to make the sprouted quinoa tabbouleh. It requires that I soak the quinoa for a full day, so I will likely do that tonight. I should also roast some beets and make a cabbage slaw. So much cabbage...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

FoodNoob: Meals 1-3

While not really day #1. It's when I was invited to the blog. So let's start counting meals here. Remember each one counts.

Meal #1 - Cheerios & Eggs!

The day began with cheerios! Breakfast of champions. It was served up to my daughter. We also served up some eggs. Scrambled. You can make them very easily. 

Step #1: Crack eggs!
Step #2 Drop in pan. 
Crap! There is a step before #1. OK step #0
Step #0: Heat pan and apply some fat like oil or butter. Then wait.
Step #3: Stir eggs and wait till yellow and fluffy

My daughter normally loves them.

Meal #2 - Sandwiches!

I went to the supermarket. They have a deli. I love delis. I can handle a deli. I am from the east coast. So deli's are like home. I ordered some smoked ham sliced super thin. Then blazing hot chicken. It was not blazing but those cold cuts were hot. And I surprised my wife with prosciutto. Some imported swiss cheese and a loaf of bread. 

Then came the mustard. I love mustard. I mean love it. I had some ingerhoffer, some honey hot and sweet. No goddamn guldens' I have standards.

The bread was a problem. I bought to much and it got stale quickly. Damn french loaf. I was raised in germany and I miss the bakeries every at ten feet intervals there. 

Yesterday we all ate sandwiches. Today my wife ate the sandwich. The food was left over. 

My daughter and I cheated today and ate sushi at a restaurant while doing errands. 

Meal #3 - Sausages.
I bought some chicken apple sausage. And then some hot ones. I forgot what they were. Maybe italian. They were red. They brought back bad memories for me. And I could not touch them. What memories?

When I was five my dad hated to cook. He still does. He could make hot dogs and pretty much nothing else. One day he told us that hot dogs were made of pig tushie, knuckles and poop. Ever since I cannot eat hot dogs or sausages that remind me of hotdogs. Also my dad never had to cook for us again. Genius.

Then I had to get the grill working. I have not turned it on for years. I went to the store to get the right propane cable. I bought one. It was not the right one. I went to another store. It was the right one! I turned on the grill. It did not turn on. I fiddled with things while wondering if this was going to be my last living moments. Then it worked!

Next I found cauliflower in the fridge and I fried it up. I poured some oil in the pan (after heating) and then chopped up some ginger. How does anyone get the goddamn skin off the ginger and still get ginger? It's like frikkin impossible. Hell no one noticed there was some ginger skin in the pan. I threw in the cauliflower. And then poured some dark sauce that was in the fridge. I have no idea what it was but it was like soy sauce. 

It turned out great!

I served it in the back yard, and got my wife a lemonade. 

My daughter ate the cauliflower plus some pata I made for her with "sprinkle cheese". This is a cheese my wife has that I grated as she did. My daughter loves it. I cut my fingers but no blood got in the cheese.


My daughter liked the cauliflower and the pasta! All were white color and that is what she likes to eat. White colored food.

My wife liked the sausages! She told me the real way to cook cauliflower. It involves an oven which scares the bejeezus out of me. All I know about ovens is that Sylvia Plath died in one.

I am now searching for recipes and will hate safeway around 1AM to buy the next set of groceries.

FoodNoob: 100 meals

I have not made a meal in about five years. I used to cook in college but it was routinely breakfast. I took a french class once and learned how to make creme brulee.  But usually I depend on restaurants, frozen food and the kindness of others. This has allowed me to live about 40 years.

My wife is both beautiful and a fantastic cook. Over the 15 years we have been together I have occasionally made grand gestures such as:

"I will cook, one night a week!"

This has yet to happen.

I am pretty uncomfortable in the kitchen.

I have had problems boiling water.
I have had challenges cleaning a non-stick pan.
When I cut carrots my wife takes the knife away from me. For my own safety.

Last week we had a baby. Our second baby. Two things occurred at once.

1) I was given 6 weeks off work for "baby bonding" time.
2) My wife informed me I am in charge of all meals (except the new baby's).

That is over 100 meals. Including food planning and grocery shopping.

I will try to document every meal as we go starting today.

Let the tale of 100 meals begin!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

The stomach flu is visiting our house this week, so I'm not putting much effort into food. So far just the littlest one is ill...

Meals this week:

  • lentil soup from the Barefoot Contessa. I need to use up celery, leeks, and carrots! At least two meals worth here.
  • beans sauteed with onion and garlic, with greens (Swiss Chard), and fried sausage rounds (Field Roast). Another use of leftover sausage and CSA greens.
  • avocado sushi. Saving this for when the little one can eat again; she loves avocado.
  • falafel. Probably will serve in pita or tortillas, with hummus and avocado. 
  • tacos with mushrooms. Another easy popular dinner.
I'm also going to make some sprouted quinoa tabbouleh (Clean Food cookbook) to use up CSA parsley, and will do more sauteed grated zucchini with baked eggs for lunch. Today I also made a salad nicoise of a sort, based around blanched green and yellow beans and potatoes. Yummy!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I'm trying to plan early this week -- it's only Saturday!! Tonight I'm making a tofu and broccoli stir fry (per last week's menu plan), and the cauliflower is all roasted and eaten. Still have plenty of potatoes, kale, herbs, and squash!

I've got two evenings with little time to cook this week, so I must plan very easy (i.e. leftovers) meals or ones I can cook early in the day. I also have five avocados ripening!

This week:

  • raw kale and avocado salad, as a side
  • breakfast for dinner: pancakes, hash browns, fruit salad
  • corn chowder (2 meals worth)
  • pineapple fried rice
  • tostadas, perhaps with beer-chile marinated tempeh and lots of mushrooms
  • avocado sushi rolls

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

The deadline slog continues, though my partner is home for most dinners this week (then departs immediately for more work).

Meals this week:

  • leftover lal dal
  • broccoli and tofu stir fry
  • spaghetti and beanballs (again, but I still crave more!)
  • mushroom tacos
I'm falling behind on the CSA box... I've got the following haunting me in my fridge:
  • purple cauliflower
  • at least two cabbages
  • two fennel
  • lots of potatoes
  • little green beans
  • some radishes
  • summer squash
  • basil
  • parsley
  • lettuce
  • kale
I think the cauliflower will be roasted in olive oil. Some of the cabbage will be slaw, as I am loving raw cabbage lately. The radishes go into that or are eaten alone. The squash will be roasted or grated and sauteed for my egg bake dinner-alone favorite. The kale is the flat variety, so maybe I'll turn it into chips... that soup last week with the Rancho Gordo flageolet beans was incredible, but I want to use a huge bunch of kale for that. Deadra suggested an apple and fennel salad... it's that or some sort of healthful root vegetable soup, or roasting them.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Yet another week of just me and the kids for dinner....

My plans for meals:

I roasted seven beets the other day, so I really need to start eating them. Beet salad! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Meal Plan/Freezer Friendly Meals

I'm finally getting back into the rhythm of cooking again now that we don't have any guests to entertain, but I seem only to be able to plan three meals in advance or I stray from the plan.

The next few meals on our list:
These are all pretty hearty, meat heavy dishes, which is what crops up when I search the web for "freezer friendly meals" but I figure they're a good start for loading up the fridge with meals I can just stick in the oven. I'm stocking the freezer since the baby is due to arrive in the next 4 weeks, so half the portions will be frozen for consumption post-birth. I'm also hoping that we'll have our act together enough to make it to the grocery store (or use Safeway delivery) to get ingredients for simple veggie sides since I remember craving a lot of vegetables after the birth of my first baby.

A neighbor was also kind enough to drop by yesterday with a crate of strawberries. We've been eating as many as we can but I'm also washing, cutting and freezing them. Strawberry smoothies!

If I get these three dishes done this weekend, I plan to make brisket, spinach pie, and empanadas next. If anyone has freezer friendly recipes to share, I would love them!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil

I haven't posted in quite awhile. Mostly, we've been surviving on quick meals like spaghetti and meatballs or breakfast for dinner type dishes. However, I did stumble on one pasta dish that I thought I would share because it was very easy and a nice simple dish if you're in the mood for carbs.

Spaghetti with Lemon and Olive Oil.

I thought it was a little bland although the lemon flavor came through but the husband and toddler approved so I'll probably make it again since it was so easy. The toddler asked for seconds then thirds. I served the pasta with chili lime roasted chicken and roasted asparagus.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

The start-up slog continues, so the meals are mostly just for the kids and myself. Leftovers much appreciated by the husband, of course.

I'm a little behind on my CSA produce -- I've got the most delicate little green and yellow filet beans, beets, squash, cabbages, way too much lettuce, and a lot of spinach.

I'm going to make a Provencal style salad with the green beans, something like this recipe, but I think I'll add some boiled potatoes, maybe go non-vegan and add hard boiled eggs and some sardines.

The spinach will go nicely into a millet spinach polenta with sun dried tomato pesto. Recipe is in Vegan with a Vengeance, and it is just awesome. Some roasted sweet potatoes and squash would be good with it.

Ok, I think I've got some menu planned!

This week:

  • Millet spinach polenta with sun dried tomato pesto, roasted sweet potatoes and squash. Chocolate pudding for dessert (a new recipe I'm trying from Clean Food; it uses bananas, silken tofu, and chocolate chips...).
  • Provencal salad. This is probably just for me, as I doubt the kids will like any of it. Smoothies for them!
  • Peanut noodles, onion pancakes, baked tofu, cabbage slaw.
  • Tamale shepherd's pie. I've been wanting to try this one for a while, and it looks like a good source of leftovers. :-)  I'm also making some cashew cream cilantro smother sauce, which would taste good on this dish.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Candice: Boo-ya! Kale Chips!

Kale chips have long eluded me. Each effort to make my own (and there have been too many to admit) yielded soggy, greasy leaves or blackened carbon bits. After my friends informed me this blog is still active—hello, vast readership!—Lisa's post inspired me to try making kale chips again. So. I bought two bunches of flat kale at the farmers market on Saturday and tonight I tried once more…and thanks to a drastic decrease in cooking time, the results are edible. Perhaps a bit too greasy, but still less scary than past attempts. A success, I have decided. Woo.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tiffanie: Cocoa Applesauce Cake

I made this cake this week, and it is very good. Not too sweet, chocolately but spicy, with an undertone of nuttiness from the ground walnuts, not too dense or fluffy. Just a good eating cake. :-D

Surprisingly, the kids like it!

I meant to take pictures, but I forgot... the picture in the recipe is accurate, however.

I partially veganized the recipe, by using soy yogurt, and a mixture of margarine and canola oil to replace the butter. I did leave the two eggs in, as I had two on hand from our preschool chickens.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lisa: Father's Day Treats

My husband and I cooked a simple dinner together (for us, his dad, and his family) for Father's Day, and he made his own treats and grilled all the steaks (his idea).

Here's what we enjoyed:
Steak (grilled on the barbecue)
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes (I love these)
Haricots Verts
Home made chocolate ice cream (Bi-Rite Creamery's Smooth and Mellow Chocolate Cocoa Ice Cream Recipe) topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries
Banana Bread with Nutty Streusel (Miette cookbook recipe)
Fresh-squeezed lemonade

Miette Recipe:
Banana Bread with Nutty Streusel

Bi-Rite Creamery Recipe:
Smooth and Mellow Chocolate Cocoa Ice Cream
with Freshly Whipped Cream and Fresh Raspberries
Chilled, Freshly-Squeezed Lemonade

Also made banana, strawberry, spinach green smoothie earlier in the day, which the kids drank.

Happy Father's Day!

Lisa: Kale Chips

It has been years leading up to this point, and the day finally arrived. I got some Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale (in my produce box) and made kale chips. I had heard this type of kale is great for chips since it is flatter than the curly varieties. Seasoned with sesame oil and salt, 10 minutes in the oven. The kids and I both loved it and ate most of it right away. Probably, this is because it is actually similar to nori (seaweed sheets).

Note: Do not believe the recipes that say to leave in the oven for 20 minutes. If I had not checked at 10 minutes, I would've ended up with a bunch of burned chips. 

Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale: Before

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

The kids are in an afternoon swim class for two weeks, so I'm not getting home until 5pm. As we usually eat dinner around 5:30 or 6pm, this means my menus need to be extra easy for the last minute or good to do early in the day.

My plans:

  • pasta with marinara sauce and fried Field Roast sausage (vegan), with sesame bagels and butter lettuce and carrot salad.
  • turnip curry, rice, raw kale salad with pine nuts
  • slow cooker beans (my Eye of the Goat Rancho Gordo find), cornbread, roasted sweet potatoes
  • leftover beans, served a new way, perhaps with the other two Field Roast sausages
  • perhaps a breakfast dinner, with hash browns and smoothies and pancakes.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lisa: What We're Eating: June 2012

Been busy eating and not posting.

I had the chance to get two free weeks of produce/grocery delivery from a new service in our area, so have been enjoying trying it out.

Here's what we've been eating.

-Crock-pot pulled pork on toasted French rolls with barbecue sauce
-Roasted carrots
-Roasted Yukon Gold potatoes
-Grilled Salmon (a weekly standard), cous cous and broccoli
-Pan-fried Pork Chops with Gravy - This comes together in less than 30 minutes with minimal prep, so it's a regular in the meal rotation.
-Sugar snap peas
-Roasted zucchini "coins" sprinkled cheese and broiled (per kids' request)
-Yogurt, fruit and granola "banana split"
-Home made granola with slivered almonds, pepitas, pecans, coconut oil, chia and shredded coconut
-Kale chips - first time making these, did it with sesame oil and salt, and kids loved them (as did I)
-Broccoli-cheese mini-quiches
-Strawberry-banana-spinach and strawberry-banana-kale green smoothies
-Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, pluots, tangerines
-Strawberry agua-fresca
-Fresh guacamole
-Roasted beets with goat cheese
-Baby squash
-French toast, pancakes, crepes, dutch baby

Organic Grocery Delivery Box, Week 1:
Broccoli, avocados, white nectarines, blueberries, carrots,
Yukon Gold potatoes,  green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, Super Rich peaches,
Valencia oranges, Zee Fire nectarines, strawberries

Grocery Delivery Box Part 1, Week 2:
Peaches, carrots, baby golden beets, Valencia oranges,
zucchini, Gold Nugget mandarins, Zee Fire nectarines,
blueberries, strawberries, Lacinato kale, Romaine lettuce

Grocery Delivery Box Part 2, Week 2:
Pastured eggs, Strauss cream top organic milk, spinach

Pastured eggs. Kids loved how they were all different.

Roasted Carrots

Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

Crock-Pot Pulled Pork Dinner

Brunch: Scrambled Eggs with salsa and fresh guacamole,  Valencia oranges

Lunch: Israeli cous cous salad with mozzarella, tomatoes,
basil, cucumbers and balsamic dressing; broccoli cheese mini quiche,
strawberries and grapes
French toast topped with cottage cheese,
strawberries and blueberries

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tiffanie: working through the CSA box

I bought a flat of strawberries from my CSA today. I didn't really think through how to use them all, so I've been trying out things today. I made a batch of freezer jam, sliced some up with sugar and vanilla and maple syrup to spoon over cake, and started a batch of strawberry shrub (an acidic fruit syrup, to mix with sparkling water or wine). I'll taste the jam in the morning and decide whether to buy more pectin and make a few more batches right off.

My fridge is completely full, to the point that it looks dark when I open it. I need to get some of the bulkier items out! So this post is to brainstorm how to use the box quickly.

In the box this week: blueberries (yay!), turnips, cauliflower (huge!), red butter lettuce, red onions, squash, kale, carrots.

The blueberries will be gone tomorrow, probably sprinkled on cereal and yogurt.

The cauliflower will pair nicely with the tarragon in a pot pie, with mushrooms and an olive biscuit crust. I love that dish! Now that the weather is cooling down it won't seem inappropriate. It may be too big to use entirely, but I can roast what remains.

The CSA newsletter came with an ayurvedic recipe for turnip curry. It sounds pretty good -- it has some onion, a lot of turnips, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, garlic, and salt and maple syrup. It makes a very large amount (it uses 8 cups of cubed turnips!), so I'll halve it to try it out.

The butter lettuce is gorgeous, it would be a crime to not eat it quickly. So I'll just have to make salads every night. I made a batch of balsamic vinaigrette today, so that should be easy. Some grated carrots would go nicely on it.

I'm starting to have so many carrots on hand that I should make a grated carrot salad, and perhaps also a carrot soup.

The kale... I don't really need more salads, but a raw kale salad would be tasty and healthy. I'm eating a tad bit more cake than I should these days, so a balance is welcome.

The squash is also becoming a problem. I still need to make my baked egg nestled in zucchini. I guess it'll have to be for lunch tomorrow. The kids aren't interested in roasted zucchini as much anymore, but I'll keep making it (I like it!). I suppose I could make another cake?

I foolishly bought a bunch of broccoli to make a stir fry with tofu, and that is taking a lot of room. I still have most of a bag of fantastic wild arugula; I marinated mushrooms with balsamic vinaigrette and put that on the arugula with toasted chopped almonds, and it was delicious. Perhaps I should keep doing that...

So, to summarize:

  • Thursday: make a raw kale salad. Process lots of strawberries into jam, assuming it tastes good. Eat the blueberries (assuming the kids let me eat any). For lunch, use some zucchini to make the baked egg dish. For dinner, make a cauliflower mushroom pot pie. Make some salad.
  • Friday: make the turnip curry for lunch. Make the broccoli stir fry for dinner.
  • this weekend: try to consume all the leftovers...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It's going to be a hot week, plus my husband is going to miss most dinners to get more work done. Ah, the joys of the start-up widow! So I'm going to focus on some basics, and lots of salads. Perhaps I can finally tame all the CSA veggies still in my fridge...

Some ideas/plans for the week:

  • I still haven't made the fava bean salad.
  • Arugula with balsamic marinated mushrooms. Yes, I have a big bag of wild arugula to eat!
  • taco night, of course. I love Sundays. :-)
  • I am starting a pizza night (with homemade dough). I did that yesterday, and it was easy and delicious. I have a good recipe for a tofu ricotta, though the kids still prefer mozzarella. The tempeh crumbles I made this week were really good. I'll likely use the leftovers in tacos or at breakfast.
  • I want to make a big slow cooker pot of beans (one of my Rancho Gordo finds!). I can stretch that out all week, with rice and toppings, with cornbread, in quesadillas, with roasted veggies.
  • I never made a potato frittata, so that's still going to happen. Maybe I can sneak in some garlic and parsley at a low enough threshold that the kids will like it...
  • My strawberry infused vodka is ready for drinks, so I need to mash up some strawberries and sugar and ice and lemonade...
  • We're all in the mood for a curry this week -- one of the Golden Curry boxes. I chop up lots of carrots, potatoes, tofu, onions and whatever else needs eating, and it is so satisfying. Maybe some onion pancakes on the side...
  • I have a big bunch of tarragon from my box this week. I will probably freeze it, but I might put some in a jar with vinegar to infuse it. I have a great recipe for a mushroom cauliflower pot pie that uses lots of tarragon, so it'll eventually go there, once I get a cauliflower.
  • I have so much summer squash, so I will definitely grate and salt a bunch of them, saute them with something, add some cheese, and make a nest for an egg, and bake the whole thing. I really need to find the recipe I used last year, it was so good...
I ran out of fennel making that tempeh sausage crumble, so I should probably go visit Penzeys soon. Perhaps taking the kids will be fun? Heh, the last time I was pretty miserable, but perhaps this time will be easier...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

A bit late this week!

I've made or am planning to make:

  • Baja style tempeh tacos
  • Lentils and basmati rice with caramelized onions and spiced pita crisps, with a green salad
  • collard greens and black eyed peas, with baked tofu and roasted zucchini
  • roasted beet salad
  • fava bean and arugula salad (with more quickles!)
  • lots of green salads -- perhaps adding an assortment of cold cooked veggies (like a salad nicoise). 
  • baked eggs in zucchini (a recipe kind of like this). I can't find the recipe I used last year, but it was ever so good. I think there was a bit of cheese mixed into the grated zucchini.
  • chocolate and zucchini cake! How I adore this cake. And it's a fine way to use up zucchini. I did manage to veganize it last summer, so I'll try that again.
  • perhaps another potato frittata. Not vegan (though I did find a good vegan frittata recipe that uses silken tofu), but the kids will eat it. Reminds me of my childhood; my mom would make a big potato frittata (with loads of garlic and parsley) and salad nearly every week. Looking back, she was probably tired of meal planning. :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lisa: Dinner for Rainy Day in June

It rained and got cool after days if warm summery weather, foiling plans for an outdoor preschool picnic. So, I had to throw together an unplanned dinner for six since grandparents were around today, too.

It was a good opportunity to try a new recipe for cheesy chicken pot pie. Not bad, but I still prefer the Joy of Cooking recipe even though it is not the healthiest. Still, a comforting meal finished with leftover fruit salad from a potluck earlier today.

Happy summer!

Lisa: Last Day of Preschool Treat

4-year-old finished preschool for the year today, and asked to make this treat. A healthier version of a banana split with yogurt, fruit, and granola. She assembled it herself.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lisa: Today's Luxury: Fresh Mint Tea

I had fresh mint left over from mint lemonade. Surprisingly, it stayed fresh in the refrigerator for over a week in a small cup of water covered with plastic.

I inherited some simple syrup from my mother-in-law, so it was the perfect opportunity for fresh mint tea.

I boiled the whole bunch for around 6 minutes, cooled a little and stirred in some simple syrup. The house smells lovely and refreshing, and I am enjoying an afternoon tea with leftovers for later, perhaps iced and with lemon...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I'm feeling like doing some healthy eating, and staying on top of my CSA box, so here are my plans for dinner this week:

  • weekly taco night on Sunday
  • curried split pea soup, chickpea rosemary pancake, green salad
  • swiss chard with golden beets and peas, couscous
  • wild rice pilaf and leftover soup
  • chickpea cutlets, roasted squash and potatoes, mustard sauce
  • lentils and rice and caramelized onions, spiced pita bread, braised greens
  • cajun hoppin' jean, corn chips
There will be some desserts in there, too, I hope. :-)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I'm making good progress on the veggies in the fridge; we've knocked off the kale, half the zucchini, the bok choy, some lettuce, the fava beans, the spring onions (made quickles!)...

I'm planning to make:

  • mapo tofu, rice, onion pancakes, sauteed kohlrabi, roasted zucchini
  • baked potatoes with chili, sauteed swiss chard, etc.
  • mushroom tofu potato stew with miso gravy. This is a big stew, so it'll be eaten over two days, with rice or pasta. I bought a parsnip to throw in, as I love parsnips. And I'll roast sweet potatoes on the side. Cabbage salad, perhaps with toasted almonds and bits of ramen noodles.
I hope that my fridge will be emptied out pretty well by Wednesday, for the next CSA box. :-)

The fava bean salad I made last week was excellent -- I recommend it highly. It was labor intensive -- the fava beans have to be shelled, then blanched, then peeled, and there is a hidden step of making quickles (quick pickled spring onions). The quickles are easy, and very yummy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lisa: Mother's Day Strawberry Goodness

My husband cooked Mother's Day dinner for both sides of the family this past weekend. We had a simple and excellent meal of grilled wild-caught local salmon, mixed grains cooked in chicken stock, green beans and French bread.

We also got some enormous organic strawberries and mint at the farmer's market. I decided to make strawberry-mint limeade for everyone to drink. Delicious! Also, fun to muddle the strawberries and mint together.

Strawberry-Mint Limeade

My husband baked shortcake, and we topped with some freshly-whipped cream, strawberries and fresh mint.

Strawberry Shortcake with Freshly-Whipped Cream and Mint