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What We’re Eating: 4/24 – 4/29

A few weeks ago, we cleaned all of the clutter off the front of our refrigerator. It’s amazing how big of a difference that makes in our small kitchen! The only downside is that I ditched the dry-erase board that I used to write down our weekly menu, and not having a menu board seems to be derailing my dinner plans. So, in an attempt to get organized again, I figured it was time for me to put a menu together.

Monday 4/24 – Italian Pot Pies and salad
Tuesday 4/25 – Mexican Quinoa (I was going to make this on Monday, but when I checked the pantry shelves this morning, we were all out of black beans. How does that even happen? Guess it’s time for a run to Aldi.)
Wednesday 4/26 – Pork chops and roasted beets
Thursday 4/27 – Chicken bruschetta bake (I’m making this to share with a friend who just had a baby, so I plan to make enough for us to enjoy as well.)
Friday 4/28 – Egg & Bacon Sandwiches on English Muffins
Saturday 4/29 – Carnitas! I typically don’t plan meals for the weekend, but we plan to spend Saturday evening with some friends. Kelsey and I are going to experiment with her Instant Pot, and carnitas seemed to be a good place to start. (I’m skeptical about the entire instant-pot process, so we’ll see if this changes my mind.) I still need to come up with a dessert for us to enjoy as well.

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What We’re Eating: 3/13 – 3/17

Happy Monday! It’s been a while since I shared a meal plan post, so I figured that would be a good way to kick off the week. (Plus, I haven’t had time to finish writing about any of the things I’ve been baking lately.)

Monday 3/13 – Roasted red pepper penne with sausage and salad
Tuesday 3/14 – Black bean and cheese quesadillas (I know it’s pi day, but we are finally going to see Hidden Figures that night, which means no time for baking.)
Wednesday 3/15 – Salmon, asparagus and couscous with cilantro and carrots
Thursday 3/16 – Chicken bruschetta bake, salad, applesauce and dessert (We’re having some new friends over for dinner, and this is my go-to “first time” meal. It’s easy, and almost everyone loves it.)
Friday 3/17 – Homemade pizza! I have been using my discarded sourdough starter to make pizza crust, and I recently discovered that I can throw the pizza dough in the freezer. Now I have a steady supply of pizza crust on hand, which is perfect for lazy Friday nights. I just have to decide if we’ll have BBQ chicken or pepperoni and sausage pizza.

In other food news, I baked a chocolate stout cake for a friend’s 30th birthday last week, and it was incredible. It was a dark, moist chocolate cake with delicious, stouty (is that even a thing?) undertones. It’s definitely a keeper. Of course, we were too busy having fun to take any pictures of the cake, so it’ll be a while before it appears here.

I’m still enjoying the sourdough adventure. Sourdough pancakes are becoming one of my new favorite things with the starter. King Arthur Flour has become my go-to source for new sourdough ideas, and I haven’t had a recipe fail me yet.

I’m working on cooking from cookbook closet more often as well. I pulled at least one new recipe this week from my Everyday Food archives, and I have a couple more bookmarked for next week.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What We’re Eating: 1/30 – 2/4

January has been unusually busy for me this year. Between a work trip to Florida and a wedding in Ohio, I spent a lot of time NOT cooking this month.

I’ve been trying to make up for lost time over the last week or so though. I finally got the ball rolling with my sourdough starter (which we’re affectionately referring to as “Fester”), and it seems to be growing nicely. Last night was the first time I had to discard some of the starter as part of the feeding process, and I decided to use the discarded portion to make some cinnamon raisin bread. It’s rising now, and I can’t wait to see if it’s a keeper. Andy came home from work, observed the bread-making process and declared this sourdough adventure a “good thing.” 😀

We also celebrated Andy’s birthday this past week, and he wanted to stay in, rather than go out, so we invited Andy, Bethany, Judah and Sadie over for birthday burgers. I made the fried onion burgers from Cook it in Cast Iron, and we finished off the meal with the monkey bread from Bread Illustrated and vanilla bean ice cream. (The monkey bread, by the way, was incredible. I will never make monkey bread any other way again.) 

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Monday 1/30 – Ham and cheese pie and salad
Tuesday 1/31 – Salmon and root vegetable gratin  (I actually made this in November and froze half of it. I figure now’s as good a time as any to eat the second half!) 
Wednesday 2/1 – Pasta e Fagioli (New recipe for the week!) 
Thursday 2/2 – Chipotle chicken tacos
Friday 2 /3 – Homemade pizza (It’s Friday, after all!) 

It’s safe to say that I’m glad to be back in the kitchen again. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What We’re Eating 3/7 -3/11*

*We could also title this week’s menu “Cooking with Cast Iron.” The library let me borrow a copy of Cook It In Cast Iron, and I cannot wait to start trying some of the dishes. I tend to be a ‘try before you buy’ girl when it comes to cookbooks, since I don’t want to overrun the house with impulse buys, but this one is definitely moving up on my birthday wish list. (Are you listening, Andy?) Three out of my five meals are from the book, and I am hoping to have some time next weekend to try a couple of the desserts and breads as well. I mean, hot fudge pudding cake? Rosemary focaccia bread? Be still my beating heart.

cookincastiron
Anyway. Let’s focus on what we’ll actually be eating, rather than my mile-long dessert bucket list. 😉

Monday 3/7 – Corn and potato chowder with biscuits. This isn’t seasonal at all, but I have corn AND corn cobs in the freezer, so it’s the next best thing. (I figured that saving corn cobs for soup was just like saving chicken bones for stock.) And just like I did with the great garlic soup, I added spinach to make it a one-pot meal.
Tuesday 3/8 – Chipotle chicken tacos – CIICI #1!
Wednesday 3/9 – Skillet macaroni and cheese with salad – CIICI #2!
Thursday 3/10 – Blackened chicken with pineapple cucumber salsa and rice – CIICI #3!
Friday 3/11 – Breakfast for dinner! I’m going to try these chai-spiced waffles with some fruit. I may make some bacon to go with this as well, but if I was feeling really ambitious, I’d try the homemade breakfast sausage patties from the cookbook too.

And there you have it! .

 

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Friendsgiving!

FriendsgivingI’ve said it before, but somethings are worth repeating: I have amazing friends. You know the saying “friends are the family you get to choose”? That’s how I feel about these people. No matter what we’re doing, two things are certain: We will laugh until our sides hurt or until we cry (sometimes both), and we will eat good food.

Last year we had our first “Friendsgiving,” and it was such a success that we decided to repeat it this year. I had the privilege of hosting this year’s event, and I used it as an excuse to break out all of my serving dishes and the never-used, real silverware!

I also had the honor of making the turkey and gravy. This was only the second or third time I’d ever made a turkey in my life, and I am glad to report that it was a success! I used a new recipe, and while the flavor was good, wrestling a 16 pound bird in and out of roasting bags full of two gallons of brine was kind of a hassle. It sloshed brine/raw turkey juice on Andy twice, leaving him to declare war. “I WILL CUT YOU,” he threatened at one point.

I tried a new gravy recipe too, which ended up being pretty salty thanks to our brined drippings. I added some water and extra apple cider to balance it out though, and now I’m hoarding the leftovers.

One of the best things about this dinner is the fact that everyone brought part of the meal, so no one was overloaded. (Overloaded with work, that is. We were all overloaded post-dinner.) 

The rest of our menu included:

Stuffing (made by Bethany of guest-blogging fame)
Green bean casserole (homemade, courtesy of Jackie)
Mashed potato puffs (thanks to Lacey)
Spinach salad (from Emily, the brains behind our cooking club nights)
Cranberry sauce (also from Jackie. This ended up being Andy’s favorite item. He literally ate it by the spoonful.) 
Sweet potatoes (I tried a crockpot recipe from Southern Living, and oh my goodness, it was AMAZING. I will make it again for sure.) 
Rolls (brought by Lacey, and the perfect vehicle for the herbed butter I made) 
French onion soup (Jackie’s husband, also an Andy, MADE HIS OWN BEEF STOCK/BROTH for this soup. AWESOME.) 
Chocolate cream pie 
Vanilla bean ice cream
Cranberry margaritas (Another brilliant Emily idea. I kind of wanted to drink the entire pitcher.) 
Apple cider (Thanks to Bethany for introducing us to another local beverage!) 

Of course, I was so busy having a good time that I didn’t take pictures of the food or the event, and of course, we forgot to get a picture of all of us (AGAIN!), but that’s OK.

I am so thankful for these friends and the investment that they’ve made in our lives. I really do love them like family. 🙂 I’m already looking forward to Friendsgiving 2016!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2015: Week 18

Sing it with me: “It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

OK, maybe “end of the world” is a little over dramatic. It is, however, the end of our regular season shares from Olden Produce. Sadness. The season always seems to go way too fast. (We do have a late season share coming next month, and I’m hoping for things like Brussels sprouts and broccoli.) 

CSA 2015 week 18

Here’s what week 18 brought us:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 3 onions
  • 3 eggplant
  • 1 bag of mixed greens
  • 1 bag of Asian greens
  • 1 bunch of pea shoots
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 radishes
  • 2 sunspot squash
  • 1 head of Chinese cabbage

The broccoli was gone almost instantly. (Roasted with salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic, and then doused with lemon juice. My favorite. I could seriously eat pans of the stuff.) It’s hard to say where exactly the onions went, since we use them in almost everything. (Seriously. Is there a better smell than onions sauteing in butter?) We had grilled chicken salads with the first bag of greens, and I cooked most of the Chinese cabbage in some bacon grease for a vegetable side dish last Friday night.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the sunspot squash, or the eggplant (especially since I forgot about them in our crisper drawer until yesterday… whoops). I will probably saute the pea shoots with some garlic and serve them with dinner tomorrow night.

Speaking of dinner, let’s talk about what I’m making this week. We have a lot of fun things going on, and I am swamped at work, so I’m trying to make things as easy as possible:

Monday 10/26 – Pot roast with potatoes and carrots in the crockpot
Tuesday 10/27 – Salmon with stir-fried pea shoots and Asian greens and corn (Making this one up as I go along…) 
Wednesday 10/28 – Black bean ragout in the crockpot (I made this in my Dutch oven last winter, and we loved it. This time, I’m using the crockpot so Andy can make it to Bible study at church by 6:30.) 
Thursday 10/29 – Dinner out! We’re double-dating it with some of our favorite people and going to Oktoberfest at a local brewpub. Super pumped for this one. 😀
Friday 10/30 – Chili and caramel apple night with some more friends! I’ve been nominated to bring dessert…. currently leaning toward brownies and ice cream. You can’t go wrong with something like that, can you?

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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We’re Back! CSA 2015: Weeks 14 & 15, Plus What We’re Eating

Hello everyone!

We are back from vacation, and I am sort of caught up with real life, at least at home. We won’t talk about the massive piles on my desk at work. Two weeks off is totally worth it though. A big thanks to Bethany for picking up our CSA (and writing about it for you all!) while we were in Wyoming. I’m so glad she could use our veggies so they wouldn’t go to waste. She and her Andy are pretty much the best. They filled our fridge with some “welcome home” groceries so we would have something to eat when we rolled in late Sunday evening, and left us fun notes to come home to. Everyone should have friends this good. 😀

As great as vacation was, I will be the first to admit that I was glad to get home and back to my kitchen. There’s nothing like two weeks in the woods to make you appreciate things like running water, dishwashers and fresh produce. Not that we ate poorly on vacation – quite the opposite, in fact. Andy’s brother, Dan, and his family joined us for the second week, and let me tell you, Dan and Kim make a mean London broil. Seriously amazing. I’m surprised the bears didn’t come lick the fire grate after we went to bed. I may have to let them guest blog about it sometime!

Andy was gone the first weekend after we returned from vacation, so I had some time to play in the kitchen as well. I made jam (using blueberries that I froze in July) and another loaf of no-knead bread (adding Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary to the loaf). I also had time to MAKE CHEESE. Yes. Real ricotta cheese, from my very own kitchen. It was amazing.

CSA 2015 Week 14

Week 14:

  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 2 summer squash
  • Sweet peppers
  • Kohlrabi
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes (including more of those indigo kumquat tomatoes that Bethany sampled for us!) 
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers

 

CSA 2015 week 15

Week 15

  • Green tomatoes (which are ripening nicely for us) 
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers (10 OF THEM! HOLY HOT PEPPERS, BATMAN!) 
  • 4 ears of sweet corn (last of the season, and still tasty!) 
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Watermelon

So, what did I do with all of this? The first batch of sweet corn got added to our zucchini fritters, which I would definitely recommend. The eggplant and summer squash made their way into this salad, which I took to a church potluck last week. Six of the jalapenos went into popper dip, which Andy gladly let me take to work. The sweet peppers are finding their way into lots of things, from snacks to pizzas.

Finally, here’s the menu for this week. This is the first week I’ve actually made a meal plan in at least six weeks.

Monday 9/28 – BLTs on jalapeno biscuits and sweet corn (The latest issue of Southern Living included a recipe for jalapeno biscuits, and since I have a few laying around, it seemed like a good idea.) 😉
Tuesday 9/29 – Apricot chicken pasta and green beans
Wednesday 9/30 – Butternut squash soup and leftover biscuits
Thursday 10/1 – Salmon, roasted potatoes and a TBD vegetable
Friday 10/2 – Steak, potatoes and carrots. This one is special. We’re taking a short backpacking trip, so this is a campfire dinner. (It’s my first backpacking trip, so here’s hoping I love it as much as Andy does.)

Whew. I think that brings up to the present. Now maybe I’ll start taking pictures of things again so I have something to write about.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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