Monday, December 14, 2015

Meal plan: pot roast, soup, veggie burgers

Monday: pot roast, pressure cooked in the instant pot while we were at the neighbor's cookie decorating party Sunday evening.
Tuesday: kale and cranberry bean soup (recipe from many moons ago!)
Wednesday: leftovers/freezer cleanout
Thursday: Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers on English muffins with balsamic-thyme roasted carrots
Friday: TBD/takeout. I've got a bao bao craving creeping up on me, but we'll see if there's room in the budget for takeout.

Weekend food recap, 2x toddler party edition!

Weekend recap! Saturday we had chicken wings, which Adam LOVED and Josie enjoyed and I thought were just ok. I overcooked them a bit, I think. Also Trader Joe's kale yogurt dip, which is their "reduced guilt" version of spinach artichoke that doesn't actually contain any spinach or artichoke. It's delicious.


Sunday we went to the neighbor's house for a cookie decorating party with a bunch of toddlers. It mostly turned into a cookie eating party, but not till we ate more delicious chicken wings and some Mexican lasagna casserole thingy that was really tasty.


Tonight we'll have pot roast that I pressure cooked in the instant pot yesterday, plus leftover hash from brunch. Oh! Right! We had friends over for brunch.


I made the cinnamon-toast French toast from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook (divine!) plus whipped cream, blueberries and maple syrup, and Adam made a hash of brussels sprouts, potatoes, and chicken sausage, which was really really excellent. Of course we also #putaneggonit. I didn't get any good photos of the food, but I couldn't believe how well the kids table thing actually worked. We put it in between the living and dining rooms, and the girls sat! and ate! long enough for the grownups to also sit and eat! Then they wandered around the room playing and there's some french toast in my rug but WHO CARES it was so fun.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Meal plan post: ragu, reubens, roasted tofu

Sunday: penne al ragu


Monday: rice and beans


Tuesday: Roasted tofu and delicata squash, sauteed spinach. That's what Adam and Josie had. I taught a class till 9, then got home and ate half of this, plus a large glass of wine: 


Wednesday: Reuben sandwiches - leftover stuff from the class I taught on Tuesday night, except on the anadama bread I made last week instead of rye, because #makeitwork. Also the end of the spinach, sauteed. Whoops, no picture!

Thursday: Leftover scrounge, rolled up into a burrito.

Friday: MIT Chemical Engineering Holiday Party! Catered by S&S deli, Josie ate a roll and gave Santa some serious side-eye.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Meal plan: the week *after* Thanksgiving

So. much. turkey.

Sunday: gutton and turkey dumplings, cranberry soy dipping sauce

French Canadian meat spread with a hard-to-spell name (we pronounce it guh-tahn), plus chopped turkey, plus sauteed onion, garlic, ginger and mirin to deglaze the pan.

Monday: turkey soup! duh.

Tuesday: tex mex sweet potatoes with chopped turkey

Josie enjoys this meal, especially when I let her lick the sour cream spoon. Homegirl is DOWN with dairy.

Wednesday: I went out to a new Korean joint with some friends, Adam and Josie went next door and had chicken and sweet potatoes. Josie refused food due to excitement of neighbor's toys, ate a pouch and pounded some milk before a late bedtime. #winning

Thursday: MORE LEFTOVERS no I am not kidding. (But the last of them, I suspect)

I made these "potato puffs" based on a recipe on The Kitchn, but I veered wildly off script since... that's what I do. Mixed up the 2ish cups of leftover potatoes, the 1/2 cup of sweet potato and maybe 1 cup of stuffing with 3 beaten eggs and like 3/4 cup of cheddar, mini-muffined, and baked at 375 for about 25 minutes. We are still eating these, hoping to finish them tonight. Josie LOVES them, so that's a nice win.

Friday: Granny's bringing food for herself and the baby, Mommy and Papa are going out for dinner!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sweet Potato Pie, y'all!


Guys, guys, guys, guys! I made this pie. (Pictured before whipped cream). YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS PIE. Pecan CRUST. Pecans in the crust! The whole thing is just killer. Plus you're probably already roasting sweet potatoes at some point this week, just throw another one in there. You can use buckwheat flour in the crust and make it gluten-free, too. DO IT.

Meal Plan, Thanksgiving Week 2015

Meal planning for a holiday week is like woooooo what's in the fridge?

Sunday: chicken and orzo with lemon and olives

Monday: leftover kale/polenta stew, Josie will eat the end of the orzo from Sunday and probably a meatball or two from the freezer, or, like, peanut butter on a cracker? She's unpredictable these days.

Tuesday: Mac and cheese maybe? Something quick and easy and pasta focused for speed; I'll throw in some veggies. We have a bunch of sauteed mizuna in the fridge, plus kale, broccoli raab and peas in the freezer. Josie will not like the vegetables, but will enjoy the clementine for dessert.

Wednesday: sandwiches in the car. Josie gets to eat a real dinner at dinner time, but it's probably going to be a highlight real of favorites (citrus fruit! cheese stick! kwak-uhs!) just to get some calories in her before the drive to Maine during which she will (fingers crossed!) sleeeeeep.

Thursday: Turkey, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry relish, STUFFING, gravy.

Friday: sandwich with almost all of the above plus mayonnaise and lettuce (I don't tend to put green bean casserole on my sandwich, but you do what you feel, dude).

Here's a picture of my big kid, taken by our friend Fredo last weekend:

Josie so big

Chicken and Orzo with Lemon and Olives


Followed this recipe. It was delicious, and I'll definitely make it again. Used a cut up chicken because that's what we have, and it worked beautifully, but I think my chickens are extra fatty and the orzo was maybe a touch greasy. Since I cook stuff like this in a cast iron-ish dutch oven I bet I could skip the oil next time and just brown the chicken in it's own rendered fat. It wasn't quite up to temp (poultry to 165 for safety, kids!) after 35 mins in the oven, so I took the lid off and left it in there another 10 minutes, which helped with the crispy skin situation. Side of roasted broccoli was thoroughly enjoyed by grownups and ignored by willful toddler. Whatever kid, more for me!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sloppy Josies (Vegetarian Sloppy Joes)


My friend Liz (who calls these Sloppy Junes after her toddler) recommended this Eating Well recipe, and since I already had a bunch of pinto-ish beans cooked (I think they're actually tiger's eye beans?), I made a non-slow-cooker version. I started by sauteeing an onion, a pepper, some garlic, and two carrots, then adding 1 tbsp chili powder, 8 oz tomato sauce, a blorp of tomato paste, 1-2 tbsp soy sauce, some molasses, some honey, and maybe a tablespoon of dijon mustard (I was pretty proud of this one: I swished some water in an almost empty mustard container to get the very last bits out *and* add the water to the recipe). I also added the end of a cabbage, thinly sliced, which I really enjoyed, plus the last 2-3 cups of cooked beans, and the last cup of roasted butternut squash. I simmered it all together for like half an hour and added some more seasoning in the form of soy sauce. I wish I had thought to add worcestershire, but that would have rendered these not-vegetarian, and also I forgot. Served over some old sub rolls I unearthed from the depths of the freezer. Josie ate beans beans beans and also some of the bread.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Buckwheat Crepes


I made these regular old crepes into buckwheat crepes (which means they're *fancy* and have a nice dark color) by using half buckwheat flour. I am clearly a culinary genius. We wrapped them around some roasted butternut squash, wilted arugula, and fontina cheese. Josie wants you to have some.

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

2 eggs
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2-3 tbsp butter, melted
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

Mix it all up in a blender, rest at least an hour (or overnight). It will look too thin; resist the urge to add additional flour. Gently mix it up with a spoon before cooking if it's been resting overnight. Cook in a crepe pan (duh) in butter, adding a ladleful of batter to a hot buttered pan and swirling it to make an approximate circle. Flip when the surface looks dry. Serve wrapped around other tasty stuff.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Savory Oatmeal


Just a friendly reminder that savory oatmeal is a thing (cheddar, thyme, roasted cherry tomatoes from the freezer), and is delicious. And you can #putaneggonit. Pictured here before hot sauce.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pre-Thanksgiving Week Meal Plan

Here's the plan on this last full week before Turkey Day Travel!

Sunday: salmon curry, oven fries
Monday: steeeeaaaaaak, cauliflower salad
Tuesday: crepes with roasted butternut squash, fontina cheese, and arugula
Wednesday: miso polenta kale soup
Thursday: beans from the crockpot
Friday: TBD, maybe takeout from Tasty Momo because all my neighbors have been ordering it and it looks freaking delicious. Hooray for dumplings!


Last night I made a simple salmon curry following this recipe, more or less. It's... fine. I mean, it's tasty, and I love the salmon pieces from the farmer's market because they're SO CHEAP: $4/8oz. But I wish I knew a little more about Indian cooking so I could improvise. After polling my mama friends, I learned that this is a very basic North Indian curry, but I'll increase the spices and play around a little more next time. I also didn't have any curry  leaves, but I threw in some curry powder, which I know isn't even remotely the same thing.


HOWEVER. I also made these oven "fries" and holy hot damn they are so delicious. It is a very very good thing that they take 45 mins to make, because otherwise I would want them all the time. Next time I will cut them a little thinner.

Here's the whole plate, with a side of yogurt. We enjoyed the Citizen Cider (hopped!) Full Nelson along side.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chicken and Dumplings


One of my all time favorites for leftover roasted chicken! I use the basic White Lily recipe to start, but always add veggies. More or less as follows:

Sautee a couple of leeks or a small onion and a carrot or two in butter till just soft. I didn't have any celery, but use it if I do. Add another blob of butter, then add a quarter cup of flour, cook for a minute, add 5.5 cups chicken stock (or a mix of stock and water). Bring to a simmer.

For the dumplings, mix two cups of self rising flour (or two cups AP flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp kosher salt) with 1/2 cup chicken stock or water, knead just to bring together. Flatten into a disc on a floured surface, cut into strips. It's really tasty to add chopped herbs if you have extra.

Put dumplings on top of liquid, cover, and cook 15 mins or until dumplings are cooked through. Add half a bag of frozen peas, leftover chicken, half a cup of milk, and plenty of pepper, and stir. Takes a few minutes for the peas and chicken to warm up, but it's always way too hot to eat immediately anyway.

Monday, November 2, 2015

It's cottage pie week! (Meal Plan Post)


Here's the fridge as of yesterday mid-naptime! I hadn't yet cooked the cabbage for Wednesday night but it's done now. This week we are having:

Sunday: dinner out with family at the Marliave (I had prosciutto wrapped rabbit, Adam had pan seared trout, and Josie had.... french fries. And bread. Sigh.)
Monday: cottage pie (shepherd's pie but made with beef instead of lamb) for A+J, I have a work dinner
Tuesday: Peter Berley's lemon-thyme tofu, farro with peas and parmesan, roasted kuri squash
Wednesday: lamb chops, cabbage sauteed with horseradish and caraway seeds, roasted beets (and let's be honest, I'mma cover the whole mess with sour cream
Thursday: fridge clean out/leftovers/soup from the freezer if need be because

....ahem. We're going to a wedding! It's gonna be fun.


Here are my two cottage pies - I made two because we had friends move in next door (hooraaaaay!) and I was being neighborly. I had thought we'd eat ours Saturday but we went to a different neighbor's early afternoon halloween party and gorged on cheese and crackers and pudding cups. It is more veg than meat, but: sauteed (in batches) 2 onions, 4 big carrots, 3 medium turnips, 2 packages cremini mushrooms, then 2 lbs ground beef, seasoned with worcestershire sauce, s+p. Spread in baking dish, cover with (total 5lbs) mashed potatoes. Topped with a little (not enough) shredded cheddar. Easy enough and food for days!


This is my friend Elana's favorite lemon thyme tofu, a recipe from Peter Berley's "The Flexitarian Table" that I cribbed from here. I snagged a couple peaces for QC before it got packed into the fridge and I like it but think it may warrant a sauce of some sort. We'll see.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hahvest Taht and the Rest of The Plan

Meal plan for the week of October 26th!

Sunday: Harvest Tart, kale salad, broiled cod
Monday: big salads (leftover beans from Friday for protein power)
Tuesday: Tex Mex Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday: TBD/Adam cooks
Thursday: Shepherd's pie
Friday: TBD/pasta something or other


On Sunday I made this Harvest Tart from NYT cooking with red kuri squash (couldn't find "cheese pumpkin" and I get bored of butternut), two half-green, half-yellow peppers, an onion, sweet paprika, thyme, and olives. Josie loved it, but Adam and I ate too much at the Moms of Camberville Halloween Shindig in the late afternoon so we had a popcorn for dinner action movie* night. I figure I'll just bump all the dinner plans back by a day.  Also I was too tired after a great dinner party Chez Durand Saturday night to do much cooking on Sunday so tonight is my big prep night. I plan to:

roast the sweet potatoes
cook some chicken breasts w/ adobo sauce to shred for the tex mex meal
make mashed potatoes for the shepherd's pie
cut up aromatics for shepherd's pie
maybe? cut up veg for big salads tomorrow

Back to the tart: it looks like it was baked by Georgia O'Keefe and my crust is oddly patchy but the flavor is excellent. You grate and salt the squash and it rests in the fridge a while before you mix up the rest of the filling. I was expecting it to let out a lot of water but it didn't at all, so I pressed on it and got like a tablespoon or two. I don't know that I'd skip the step necessarily because it definitely softened the squash shreds, but maybe red kuri squash is denser than the recommended ones? Anyway it's delicious. And vegan! Though I might add feta or goat cheese next time.

*Brick Mansions, Paul Walker's last movie before he died - not much for a plot but it co-stars David Belle, the inventor of Parkour, so the fight scenes are really beautifully choreographed and watching that guy move was a treat throughout the whole movie.

Pizza! Beef Stew! Takeout! (Last Week's Meal Plan)

Meal plan for the week of October 19th!

Sunday - pizza night, kale salad
Monday - beef stew (made Sunday)
Tuesday - takeout
Wednesday - sausage, greens (washed the greens on Sunday, added potato wedges because I had time to make them Tuesday night)
Thursday - tomato soup (made Sunday), roasted delicata squash (made Sunday), broiled zucchini and cheesy garlic bread
Friday - beans and egg sandwiches (slow cooker beans, Adam made the egg sandos)


Sunday was pizza night: I used the crust from Vegetarian Cooking for everyone that I make with 50% white whole wheat flour, but instead of making two thin crust pizzas I just put the whole blob of dough on a sheet pan and made a focaccia style pie with red sauce, mozz, and parm. Also kale salad. Delicious, but thick crust pizza doesn't reheat very well.


Beef stew: I made it on Sunday afternoon, we ate it over farro on Monday. Tasty. Provided lunches for most of the week. Here is a picture of Sad Josie Pondering Stew. She had a rough day.


Takeout! Adam had to go to North Carolina for work, so while he enjoyed BBQ (and then had to work overnight, poor guy), Josie and I ordered take out from the South American joint around the corner. I say South American because the menu is vaguely Brazilian, but also Salvadorean and Mexican. ANYWAY that horchata was so on point. I want to be drinking more of it right. now. Chipotle Milanesa (essentially a fried chicken) sandwich, YUM, Josie coveted but I foisted the mediocre tostones off on her instead (mean mommy!). Coxinhas (croquettes with chicken and cheese) were delicious but sat heavily in my tummy. Good beef empanada, meh vegetable side ordered out of guilt. I want to try the tamales.


Sausages, greens, and potato wedges: exactly what it sounds like. I made the potato wedges the night before and Adam just reheated them, plus TJ's chicken sausages and some sauteed broccoli raab. A solid and reliable meal.


Tomato soup, roasted delicata squash (surprising toddler hit!), broiled zucchini (sorry, mommy, still not interested in green foods). Last minute addition of cheesy garlic bread was appreciated by all. Tomato soup was approximately: 1 onion, sweated in butter, a couple garlic cloves, diced red pepper, and a can of tomatoes. Simmered for ten mins and blitzed with the immersion blender. Seasoned it with some Bragg's aminos, salt and pepper. It was fine, but if I had any cream it could have used a lick to round out the acidity some. I always forget how much red pepper comes forward in a soup.


Friday beans and egg sandos! True confessions: this was my second egg sandwich that day. I regret nothing.


On Sunday I also made this pasta "pie" in a greased springform pan: leftovers, layered into the pan with shredded mozz and topped with parm, baked at 375 till brown on top (like 20-30 mins). Fun to eat!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Balsamic Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard from Slow Cooker Revolution


Not bad. I only had a whole chicken, so I cut that up and used all the pieces, but it definitely would have been better with just thighs - the breasts got a little dried out in their 5 hr braise. Wish I had served it over polenta, but I needed a cup of cooked quinoa for Thursday's dinner, so just did it all last night.

Also, NB: quinoa expands more than rice and therefore WILL over flow the rice cooker. Oops.

Finished at the table with more salt and a little Condimento drizzle (balsamic-ish, but less expensive!). Someday I'll learn how much salt to put in the slow cooker, but when I'm only going to reheat half a dish (cooked this Monday, reheated half on Tuesday for dinner, the rest was packed up for Wednesday lunches), I'm never sure how heavily to season.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Meal Planning for Sanity

Hey y'all. Cool if I post here again, occasionally? Sweet, thanks.

I got a new job last month. We moved into our new house five days before I started. It was a little crazy. It's STILL a little crazy and probably will be for a while. I leave earlier and get home later, now, which means if I don't have a meal plan for the week, we end up scrounging for meal-of-snacks or ordering out, which is not so nice for our grocery budget.

I keep track of our plan in a google doc, but I thought it might be nice to keep track of it here, too. A few of the latest hits:


Olga's broiled tofu. I changed up the vegetables (romanesco, green beans, brussels sprouts) and forgot to use the gorgeous farmer's market shiitakes I had purchased specifically for this meal, but this is a perennial favorite at our house. I've learned to double the sauce and double the tofu if we want leftovers.


Black bean chili from ATK's Slow Cooker Revolution. Any excuse for sour cream, am I right? I was out of chipotles in adobo and this was still good, though hard to photograph.


Mac and cheese with more veg than cheese. Sauteed 5 gorgeous leeks in butter, added three small shredded zucchini, another knob of butter, 3 tbsp flour, 3 cups whole milk, and 6 oz gruyere cheese. Added a peeled, seeded, diced (huge) tomato once the veggieful bechamel was cooked, just to heat through. Plus a pound of cooked cavatappi. Fully toddler approved.


Fail with a silver lining: I had every intention of making miso glazed salmon from the NYT. It took longer than I anticipated, Josie was hangry, She ate a meal of snacks and then Adam and I made onigiri after baby bed time. We really make an effort to eat together as a family despite the absurdity of trying to get dinner on the table 15 mins after getting home, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Making something more complicated and taking our time with it was a nice way to spin a scheduling fail.

This week's plan is as follows:
Monday 10/12: leftovers/clean out the fridge. Was kind of a weird day because of the holiday and we all ate at different times.
Tuesday 10/13: balsamic braised chicken with swiss chard from Slow Cooker Revolution. Served over quinoa or millet, whichever one I grab first from the cabinet when I get home. Experimenting with making other grains in my rice cooker. Reserve a cup for Thursday!
Wednesday 10/14: Adam cooks! taco night. Need to pull the beef from the freezer and maybe figure out a spice blend tonight?
Thursday 10/15: quinoa and white bean burgers using quinoa (or millet) cooked Tuesday and a can of white beans. Recipe from Food52.
Friday 10/16: pasta... orrechiette with peas and chicken sausage and maybe cream? Or maybe takeout. TBD.