Saturday, March 31, 2012

this week's menu

I've been very bad about meal planning the last few weeks so hopefully, I'll get back on track this week.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lisa: Jackfruit

New food experience recently: jackfruit

I was amazed at the size of the fruit - like a large watermelon, but spiky on the outside and filled with gooey fibers that surround the edible part. Fortunately, I did not have to extract the fruit myself from the sticky mess. Extremely delicious. Apparently, they grow on tall trees. One of the people who shared the fruit with me used to climb the trees barefoot as a child to harvest at a farm in Vietnam.

Lisa: What We're Eating

We took a vacation, so it's an abbreviated week. The crock-pot is getting some use for dinner:

-Slow-cooked chicken, shredded, and used for chile verde enchiladas (for adults) and tacos (for kids - they rejected the chile verde sauce).

-Crock-pot corned beef with red potatoes, carrots and cabbage (making up for being away for St. Patrick's Day)

Lunching and snacking on:
-Cold San Jose Tofu (very soft!) with soy sauce and nori
-Still more blood oranges and Cara Caras
-Raw sugar snap peas, cucumbers and hummus
-Trying out sprouted wheat bread from TJs this week. Usually eat Beckmann's whole wheat, but didn't make it to the right store this week, so we're trying something new.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Frothy Frozen Bananas

Wow! Tonight we put frozen banana chunks in the food processor until they were frothy and creamy. We made one round with a little bit of vanilla, then put three tablespoons of Penzey's cocoa mix in the second batch. It was a big hit all around. I had to be restrained from more helpings after my third bowl. Excuse me as I'm rolled into bed to sleep it off.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Late Sunday Dinner

Tonight we were out too late running errands, so dinner had to be quick. While the boys vacuumed out the minivan and the toddler "unloaded" groceries, I pulled together one of the unused recipes from last week. Red bell pepper slices, cubed hamsteak, garlic, pine nuts and frozen spinach went in the frypan, and I put water on to boil for orzo. My little chef came in halfway through and helped me put the spinach in the pan. Then the kids cleared and set the table. Everything was ready within 45 minutes, perilously close to bedtime. But all was well, especially when Little Miss discovered the ham.

Notes for next time:
-Serve the orzo separately, perhaps with the pine nuts or other flavorful somethings
-Or skip the orzo and try rice, quinoa, or couscous
-double the spinach and add yellow or orange peppers as well
-figure out a way to get a salad on the table, or another vegetable

Someday this won't be such a struggle for me. Probably when we hire our live-in chef.


This week I am single parenting, so I plan to have easy meals for me and the little meeps.
I forsee:
frittatas/ mini crustless quiches
homemade banana bread
homemade donuts
homemade cookies
homemade english muffin bread.

and some other things if I can get myself in gear. Mostly the kids want to bake and cooking will take my mind of off being a single parent.

Regarding the banana bread, I am working out a recipe that uses a lot of bananas for sweetness, some unusual grains like teff and a little maple syrup. Also toasted walnuts will be featured.
I tend to find a recipe and then alter is until it's nearly unrecognizable from the original. I guess I could call it my own. Stay tuned for lots of these bastardized recipies, they will feature healthier options (like whole grains and no sugar, but other kinds of sweeteners) and fun other things!

Tiffanie: this week's menu

We're going on vacation starting on Wednesday, so this is a very short week, aimed at using up perishable vegetables, simple meals, and no leftovers by the end.

Sunday: tacos with mushrooms, leftover cabbage/beet/carrot salad.
Monday: vegetable and tofu curry (the brown curry from a box), rice, sauteed baby broccoli.
Tuesday: butternut squash ravioli, green salad, perhaps some bread?

Sunday Afternoon Meal Planning

It's Sunday afternoon, and I am about look over this week's calendar and take stock of the fridge and panty. My husband and I have a couple of standing events we attend every week, and some that occur monthly, so my menu for the week has to reflect that. I love writing down my meals in a little red moleskin planner but always end up transcribing them to the iCal calendar my husband and I share. If I don't do that he deviates from the plan and I find myself short ingredients later on, or overloaded with something he neglected to use. Right now I try to cook at least twice a week, on his busiest nights, but sometimes that goes awry as well. You can see for yourself in last week's plan:

• Monday: Chicken wrapped in bacon with greens, changed to BBQ chicken with warm german potato salad due miscommunication
• Tuesday: Pulled pork sandwiches and warm german potato salad
• Wednesday: Steak, beans and broccoli; changed to mac and cheese with edamame because I forgot to soak the beans
• Thursday: Slow cooker vegetable soup in bread bowls
• Friday: Ham steak, orzo, bell peppers, spinach; changed to slow cooker vegetable soup due to unexpectedly high amounts of soup (one danger of deviating from the recipe!)

Maybe this week we can stick to the plan. Unlikely, but possible.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Candice: Introduction

Greetings, internets. I am a mother of two, suburban housewife, sometime graphic designer, occasional artist, and easily-amused cynic. I also fully support the Oxford comma. Cooking is something I do under duress. That task usually falls to my husband, though I find myself in the kitchen more and more in an attempt to streamline our evenings and make up for the residual guilt I feel for handing him the morning and evening routines with the children.

My son is four and loves helping in the kitchen, so much so that he asks for cookbooks at bedtime. He has a severe peanut allergy so we keep a peanut-free home. I am even harder to feed, though: sensitive to soy, loath seafood and cheese, fraught with texture issues. When I had children and we instituted the "no thank you bite" I joined in, but I still don't like peas. At 20 months, my daughter's tastes are still forming. She inhaled gorgonzola-stuffed dates recently, and I was delighted until I had to clean her up. My husband, thank goodness, is a human trash compactor with an iron stomach.

We are haphazard meal planners who try to buy everything organic, as it takes away the pressure I feel to be an informed consumer. We believe in real butter and full fat dairy, buy sprouted-grain bread in an attempt to offset my son's toast habit, and hide vegetables in all the lame ways you already know about. I try not to offer the same things every week. But sometimes you just have to give in to Nacho Night and let the children eat sour cream by the spoonful. The Cook's Illustrated iPhone app is the only cookbook I use anymore, although they do pretend slow cookers don't exist—sacrilege!

Bernadette: Introduction

Hi, all,

I'm Bernadette. I like to eat, cook, and write. I'm a mom of a three year old girl and I have another baby on the way. As a mom, I focus on helping my toddler to eat balanced meals (some days are great and other days are a struggle and some days it's hard to accomplish this even for myself) and I try to expose her to a wide variety of cuisines. And of course, I am also trying to eat healthfully and well during my pregnancy.

I not only like cooking and eating but I also like the stories connected to food. There are a lot of stories behind family recipes as they get passed down from one generation to the next, and I like learning about different cultures through food. I am Filipina and my husband is Jewish, so I'll most likely focus on Filipino and Jewish recipes, particularly since I've had a hankering for comfort food - which is Filipino food for me - and Passover is coming up so seder food is soon to be on the menu. I think food links us to cultural traditions - it's one of the easiest ways to share it - and I want my children to feel connected to their heritage.

That's about all I have to say for now, but hopefully, I'll be back soon with a recipe for empanadas....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CSA Box this week

Salad Mix (4 different baby lettuces)
Carnival Squash
Red Russian Kale
Bunched Chantenay Carrots
Celery root
Broccoli di Cicco

My CSA, High Ground Organics, just started up their spring session last week. They give me a box of whatever is ready for harvest, so it's always different and interesting. I enjoy the challenge of using random vegetables, so I've stuck with them for four or five years now.

Possible plans for this box: the salad mix will probably become salad. The squash will either be a soup or roasted. Maybe stuffed? The kale may become a raw salad, it's been a while since the last one. Carrots get into soups and are eaten raw. The fennel is tough for me, I'm not a fan of it. I may just chop it up and use it in a soup, same with the celery root. I have some good winter root vegetable soups in Clean Food, they're very healthy! I'm assuming this is broccoli (not sure what the di Cicco means), so I may put it into a tofu stir fry or make it into a side dish salad.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves!

I just had to share this recipe, since I made it again today and still love it.

Check it out, make it into muffins if you don't have a mini loaf pan.

It's a new technique for me, using a nut butter instead of oil, and also using boiling water... presumably to make the nut butter pliable enough to emulsify?

Lisa: What We're Eating

Not a full menu for the week, but here are some things we've been eating:

Grillled pork tenderloin, quinoa and broccoli
Oyako Donburi (eggs, chicken, green onions, teriyaki-type sauce) over rice
Braised tofu and veggies with rice
Grilled salmon, grilled asparagus with lemon and sea salt, baked home fries

Cara Cara navel oranges
Blood oranges
Dates with walnuts inside
Banana-kale smoothies

Monday, March 19, 2012


This is my stash from the SF Farmer's Market. I'm going to use some of either Eye of the Goat or Good Mother Stallard for my Smoky Chipotle Beans with Masa Dumplings and Greens.

I love how the Vaquero beans look like holstein cows. :-)  All the heirloom beans were gorgeous... it was so hard to keep it to three pounds.

Deadra: Introduction

Hi foodies!
Over the past few years since I've had children I've really started to focus on what I prepare for my family to put in their bodies. Some would say that my interest on what they eat and how it's grown, raised and prepared is just on this side of an obsession, but I think I am doing what I can to ensure the health of my family and of the environment.
I think if you had to pin down what my food philosophy is, I think it would be whole, traditional foods. Think homemade breads, homemade yogurt, homemade everything.
I've dabbled in fermenting with wonderful results. I've even ground my own grains. I love to experiment with food, and this year my goal is to make better use of my extensive spice collection, (I <3 Penzeys) and to learn more Mexican dishes, since they seem to be a favourite of my family.
My lovely Grannie mostly taught me to cook, but she had a very English style, augmented heavily by the Depression, so everything was cooked to death, and we always make excellent use of leftovers. There was little seasoning, other than love, and dinner was always served promptly at five to coincide with the evening news. Then after living in Korea my palate changed significantly, and I prefer Asian flavours. Now that we live in California, where I am able to have fresh organic local everything, I do my best to stick to local ingredients, but that doesn't mean I won't use that amazing Madagascar Vanilla I have sitting in my cupboard!
I do eat meat, but we buy our meat by the beast. I have sourced out a lovely farm where the animals are treated right, which satisfies my desire to make sure that the animals I eat are the healthiest for my family, the environment and for themselves!
I shop less than you would think, instead making use of CSAs for fruits and veggies and more recently raw milk and eggs. I buy maple syrup by the gallon and yeast by the pound. I can't wait to share my menus and food tid bits with everyone!
Happy eating!

Today's bread

I'm not getting the height on these breads lately. They are delicious and the texture is perfect, but they aren't tall. Time for some research into what may be keeping the bread from rising more...

Tiffanie: Introduction

I love to eat and I love making food for my friends and family. My family is largely vegan (the kids are vegetarian at the moment), so my posts will often be about the huge variety of consumables that do not include meat or dairy or eggs. :-)

We've only been vegan for a little over five years, so I have a lifetime of cooking experience with meat and dairy, but since the last five years have been an intensive and purposeful learning time, I'd guess half my cooking life experience is now vegan.

Our family has French and Chinese roots, and living in California, we have fantastic ethnic restaurants, so my cooking draws from many cultures. I find it easy to pull from Indian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine, since they have strong vegan traditions.

Happy eating to all of you!

Tiffanie: this week's menu

  • Leek and Potato Soup (Julia Child's recipe from Julia and Jacques at Home), homemade bread (Cook's Illustrated No-Knead Bread 2.0).
  • Sesame Tofu over Greens (Moosewood Simple Suppers). Maybe some noodles on the side, and roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Spaghetti and Beanballs (Veganomicon), Cabbage/Beet/Carrot slaw salad.
  • Lal Dal over jasmine rice, leftover cabbage salad or fresh green salad.
  • Smoky Beans with Masa Dumplings and Greens (Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate at a Time, I think)
This is probably in order, Monday through Friday, but sometimes I rearrange at the last minute. These are all quick dishes, except for making the bread and cooking the beans (I'll use a slow cooker).

Sunday, March 18, 2012


First post! After our discussion this morning at Samovar Tea Lounge, I did some research and Blogger seemed like a good choice for a shared blog. Easy interface, we're all already familiar with Google, etc.

This is entirely up for more discussion, but I'm envisioning a space where we can throw up anything about food that is going on in our lives. The weekly menu planning is our starting point, certainly!

Oh, and we need a name! That is a placeholder up there in the brackets. :-)

Happy Eating!