Daily Archives: February 17, 2014

let’s eat: on the menu

Last week turned out to be a lot more challenging than I first thought when I sat down to plan the menu. We ended up shifting our plans a lot last week to accommodate our schedules, but even then everything felt a bit squeezed. I was busy making five batches of homemade ice cream and two dozen multi-step cupcakes. Looking back on the week, I think I should have planned a few easier meals – this week I certainly will since I’m baking cookies for a weekend event.

Sunday afternoon I assembled our final meal from Blue Apron, the Roasted Kale and Heirloom Carrot Salad. We were both pleasantly surprised at how warm and filling this dish was – I’d certainly make it again. It used a lot of ingredients that we incorporate into many of our meals, so there was a familiarity about it. I really liked the combination of roasted kale and raw kale – a nice balance of textures and saltiness.

M was in the mood for a good grilled cheese sandwich, so we made Smitten Kitchen’s Emmentaler on Rye with Sweet and Sour Onions – a favorite of ours. Neither of us are big rye fans, but if you can find rye without the caraway seeds, it’s much milder. I wanted a nice potato side to it, and I flipped a few pages over in the cookbook and decided to make the Tarragon Oven Fries – they were perfection. Cole Slaw also seemed like a good fit – but I know better than to balance three separate recipes on a Monday evening, so I picked up a small container from the Whole Foods counter, and F polished it off. (I guess next time I’ll get more.)

Tuesday was a wash – I had an evening meeting I’d forgotten about, and so I skipped dinner, and M and the girls grabbed a bite to eat awhile taking care of a few errands. I came home and started cupcakes and some roasted cherries in the oven around nine o’clock, and started questioning my sanity.

E’s request for her half birthday dinner was a generous stack of Buttermilk Pancakes from Super Natural Every Day – they are the only pancakes we make anymore, and once you get over the fact that you have to have three separate flours for this recipe, you’ll thank me. E helped with the marshmallow icing for the birthday cupcakes, and churned up graham cracker crumbs and assembled her final desserts. 

Both Wednesday and Thursday were complete doozies at work, and so by the time I arrived home Thursday night I was so ready to crash. Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini Onions from Smitten Kitchen was on the menu, and other than the quick boil then ice bath for the onions (followed by a easy peel), this recipe doesn’t get much easier. It roasts for a long time, which gave me a moment to clean the kitchen up and prep things for some more ice cream making. I was like a machine that night – wrapping everything up before eleven and then collapsing.

Friday night’s dinner was supposed to be a Valentine one featuring Heart Beet Patties with Pecorino Garlic Butter and Beet Greens Pesto, but we all agreed we couldn’t face the kitchen (covered in all the remnants of three batches of ice cream from the night before). So I cleared a large enough space on the countertop to assemble a tray, and I filled it with all the finger foods I could find before sitting down for some serious Olympics catching up. We ended up making them Saturday night – I thought they were gorgeous, and pretty tasty, but a whole lot of work for weeknight (or even a Saturday night). I do love beets though – such a total mess, but so very, very pretty.

We decided to catch an afternoon movie on Sunday, and so we had a late dinner of Acorn Squash Quesadillas with a homemade salsa verde, and a side of Mexican Street Corn (off the cob). I cobbled that last recipe together from several, trying to get something close to the side dish we love at Mission Taco. We needed a small amount of mayo, and I didn’t realize we had none until the very end of my dinner preparations, so M looked up a quick recipe ratio, and we made some from scratch – 12 minutes of whisking. (There was a bit of shift work in there!) The quesadillas are fabulous – I highly recommend them. You could seriously cut down the salsa portion – it yields a large bowl that will take us ages to get through.

Whew – what a week! Here’s hoping for an easier one this go round – and some warmer temps would be nice as well. I’m getting pretty tired of waking up to the sounds of ice scraping on car windshields out my window. Hope you had a nice weekend – if you made anything fabulous, do share.