Weekly Menu Planning – August 2022

Hi Everyone, we’re back from vacation. We had a wonderful week in Puerto Rico. I expected things to return to normal this week, but Lulu ended up having two meals away, plus we had a Bulls game, so plans were changed. I may need to contemplate that this is the new normal. I’m fine with it, but advance warning would be much appreciated and save us from wasting food. So far this is falling on deaf ears. Anyway, I only cooked twice this week:

Sunday: LLD made seared salmon, roasted potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts

Tuesday: beef and broccoli lo mein

Wednesday: roasted cauliflower and chickpea curry with basmati and raita

Hoping to do a bit more cooking next week and try to get back in the swing of things. Hoping everyone is enjoying their summers!


Welcome back LLM! Hope your new normal leads to some great menus. Or at least easy pivots.
Any memorable meals in PR?


Thank you Rasam. I’m trying to keep in mind that changes are bound to happen, and have one of the planned meals be easily held off for a few days. Wish me luck.

We found an absolutely wonderful place in PR. The chef/owner has all sorts of fancy experience, so it could have gone either way (sometimes they let the resume fill seats), but it ended up being great. The place is called Santaella, if you or anyone else makes it to the San Juan area. We liked it so much the first time that we made reservations again later in the week. Both meals were completely made up of appetizers/starters.


Cooking for 1 at the Jersey Shore

Saturday: beer cheese soup from New Midwestern Table made without the red pepper
Sunday: weeknight chicken parm from Comfort In An Instant served over zoodles
Monday: leftover turkey meatloaf, baked sweet potato, pickled carrots
Tuesday: leftover beer cheese soup
Wednesday: leftover chicken parm and zoodles
Thursday: farfelle with pesto ricotta cream sauce from the freezer
Friday: leftover farfelle

Ugh. Cooking for 1 is difficult for me since I was used to cooking for 2–but I’m Italian so you know that means like cooking for 10.


Hello to everyone from the Twin Cities of MN, where we finally got some much needed rain. Of course rain produces mosquitos . . so my evening stargazing on the patio left me with some itchy bites last night. We are a month out from the start of destruction for our Reno so reality is sinking in: I have to empty out the house into a small apartment in less than 4 weeks! GAH! Mr Autumm will be traveling for work this week and I am soooo excited cause I can work and make all the noise and get some progress made.

Actuals and plans for 2 adults focusing on emptying out the freezer/pantry and staying ahead of the CSA produce:

Thurs 11: Both kiddos skated back to back. Mr Autumm heated up freezer ravioli with store bought pesto. Cherry tomatoes (CSA) Corn on the cob (CSA)

Fri 12: Fancy cheese night. Made the double chocolate zucchini bread from Sally’s baking addiction so there are no unused zucchini or summer squash in the fridge. Hooray (the bread is pretty good too)

Sat 13: Our 17th Anniversary; Scallops (freezer) something with baby potatoes TBD, pea pods (CSA) and corn on the cob (CSA)

Sun 14: Possibly take out otherwise freezer dive.

Mon 15: No Swimming lessons as they ended last week! BLTs? tomatoes CSA, more CSA corn on the cob. Get the keys to our apartment.

Tues 16: Big kiddo skates and CSA pick up: Cuban pot roast (freezer), black beans/rice veggie TBD

17-19: Mr Autumm in TX. Use up freezer odds and ends and kiddo favorites. See what the CSA haul is.

Take care everyone!


Hi, all! Cooking for 4 in the East Bay and trying to be very flexible to fit others’ plans and tastes…I’ll probably shop for one meal at a time!
It’s lovely to be here but also emotionally rough as I visit with friends and family who very likely won’t be around the next time I come…
Anyway, rough plans:
Saturday, August 13: shrimp pasta mash-up between one of my mom’s recipe clippings and Dorie Greenspan’s recipe in today’s newsletter
Sunday: dinner at my aunt’s house. I’m going to bring a cake and maybe a tomato salad
Monday: Mushroom bisque from Cook’s Illustrated
Tuesday: out in Oakland after picking my sister up from the airport. DD and I plan to do some fun food touring/shopping beforehand
Wednesday: Adjaruli khachapuri (Ottolenghi) and mango-jicama slaw. This is the one I’m most excited about
Thursday: Dad’s birthday, TBD
Friday: trip to 99 Ranch Market and then pad gra prow from Cook’s Country with rice
That’s the plan anyway, we’ll see how it goes! Have a good week, everyone, and happy cooking!


I am deeply taking in your opening paragraph!! Thank you for posting such sage advice. And I’m sorry about the emotionally tough time you’re having.

The shrimp pasta mash up sounds intriguing.


Reporting back on the bbq meatballs: they had an odd gummy texture… could be from using 90% lean beef and/or panko instead of regular bread crumbs and/or steaming them (which is basically what the IP method did). I think if I make them again, I’ll just bake them in the oven.


I’m so excited for your renovation!


Happy Anniversary!! Your meals sound terrific, especially the corn – jealous of your CSA.


Happy anniversary!

Glad to see the review of the chocolate zucchini bread. I’m kinda tempted.

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One more week of working from home before the semester starts on 8/22. I’ll still have some online students that deserve a lot of attention, so it’ll be 8-14 hour days, 6 days per week till Thanksgiving break. Whee? COMFORT FOOD is necessary.

For two adults in San Diego:

This week’s breakfasts: The rest of the double chocolate chip muffins from the freezer. Who doesn’t need warm cake with melted chocolate in the morning, hmm?

S: (tonight) takeout - Pizza

Su: Having lunch with friends at a midway point between San Diego and Los Angeles, so between the eating and the driving, we’ll be individually foraging for dinner. Probably leftover pizza. Maybe ice cream. :wink:

M: I have tomatoes and Boursin cheese to finish up before shopping again, so pasta with tomatoes, spinach and Boursin - vegetarian

T: TJs chicken Italian sausage, onions, peppers, cheese on good rolls from a favorite bakery

W: TJ’s chicken shawarma with sautéed carrots and perhaps this: https://www.budgetbytes.com/spinach-rice-with-feta/

Th: Lobster ravioli (purchased) with garlicky spinach and parm - seafood

F: Shawarma tacos (hummus, onions, peppers, feta)

Have a good week!


Ridiculously delicious week.


Actuals for August 8 week, cooking for 2 in MN. Where we’re enjoying the Colorado peaches, and my cooking-mojo shifted temporarily to breakfasts, inspired by a make-ahead video by Julia Pacheco. Monday & Friday breakfasts were great and made enough to fuel this week’s mornings, plus some to freeze. I also baked the last of last-year’s frozen shredded zucchini into a cake and am ready to say “YES!” if any free garden zucchini get offered by friends & neighbors.

Mon - Breakfast bake - Sheet pan omelette https://www.juliapacheco.com/sheet-pan-breakfast-omelette/ Dinner - Turkey potato hotdish (from freezer stash), corn on the cob, Colorado peaches, red grapes
Tues - Tortellini mozzarella and pepperoni salad with a terrific dressing, green grapes, crackers https://scratchpantry.com/recipes/2022/7/tortellini-salad
Wed -Salmon, peas, sweet potato, fresh pineapple, fresh cherries
Thurs - Appetizer: avocado/spinach dip with cubed Hawaiian bread & pita chips. Frozen pizza
Fri - BAKED – breakfast blueberry French toast cups https://www.juliapacheco.com/blueberry-french-toast-cups/
Dinner - OUT - Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Surf and Surf (Salmon and shrimp, with rice & broccoli) Dessert at home – Chocolate zucchini swirl “bread” made & frozen a year ago, topped with chocolate sauce & ice cream. The not-sweet recipe (thus the chocolate sauce topping) was transcribed from a “Healthy Meals in Minutes” card image posted on the old CH.
Sat - Orange chicken using grocery deli Chicken tenders / orange sauce (Julia Pacheco recipe) & brown rice, beside Schwans egg rolls, salad
NOTE – online recipe has typo in cornstarch amount for sauce
BAKED – Snacking Cakes cookbook Chocolate Zucchini cake, using the optional poppyseeds (for me these were undetectable in the cake) and the suggested swap-in of half-cup whole wheat flour.
Sun - (today) -Chicken spaghetti with Rotel/cream cheese sauce asparagus, red grapes Recipe from Our Tribe of Many video – recipe text is in video description. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGS8X3jjmiY


I made a double batch to use up all the zucchini I had and used 4 mini loaf pans. I subbed ricotta for the yogurt cause that needed to be used up. I did half AP and half whole wheat flour. I also cut the sugar by a third- but I put sprinkles on top as the kiddos like that.

I like the mini-loaf size as it bakes faster and easier to defrost from the freezer.


Thank you!

Greetings from the Greater Boston area, where I have about a week and a half left before I return to school and the kids come back! We’re trying to make the most of what I have left for summer vacation. Saturday, we went to Boston Comic Con, which was fun, although very crowded and with far fewer mask wearing individuals than I’d have preferred. We got to meet the cast of Clerks 3 though, so that was neat! Here is what we’ve eaten so far in the past week, for two adults and 1 small cat:

Sat. (8/14) - Breakfast sandwich in the morning from Leo’s here in town (omelet for BF). Then into Boston for the comic convention. Dinner at Row 34 in Seaport. It was ok. The host stand didn’t have itself together and reversed itself on the possibility of a patio seat after initially saying it was possible. After getting mixed messages about the possibility of bar seating, we were then offered a table next to the servers’ station unless we were willing to wait a half hour. The food was good; the vibe was not. I might give their Burlington location a shot, but I doubt I’ll be back to the Boston one.

Sun. (8/15) - Local pizza delivery for lunch. Dinner was tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese, and salsa with beverages while we did a double feature of Clerks and Clerks 2, a nice cap to the weekend.

Mon. (8/16) - Tried the crustless vegetable tart with saffron aioli from At Home In The Kitchen by David Kinch. It was a little labor intensive, but good. You caramelize onions, garlic, and thyme to be the “crust”. Those are bedded in a 9" pie tin and then you overlap thinly sliced tomato, zucchini, and eggplant over the top. Season and drizzle with olive oil and bake until the vegetables are pretty well roasted (about 45 minutes). I cheated on the aioli and added some saffron I’d bloomed in hot water to some storebought mayo with a little lemon juice. Rounding out the plate was pasta salad with mushrooms (BF’s request) and some rainbow trout from our monthly fish subscription.

Tues. (8/17) - Leftover pasta salad and vegetable tart. I added some goat cheese to the pasta salad. Realizing the previous Saturday that we were more spent from walking around the convention center than we expected to be, we took a walk before dinner after BF finished work.

Wed. (8/18) - BF was feeling somewhat inspired by Kevin Smith’s weight loss, so was more than happy to left me take a run at a bean chili for dinner tonight instead of a meat based one. It has been cooking in various stages all day. I am using a tomato base, but also a five chile blend of pasilla, guajillo, morita, and ancho, along with freshly toasted and ground black pepper, cloves, coriander seed, and cumin seed (and Mexican oregano). Today’s bean of choice is pinto. So far, everything smells and tastes great! This is going to make way more than what two people need, but leftovers should freeze ok. I will have rice, cheese, and sour cream available for bowls, along with fresh tomatoes, radish, scallions, and cilantro. All this and I even found time for the exercise bike and a load of laundry. Go me!

Thurs. (8/19) - At least one night of leftovers from the chili.

Fri. (8/20) - Might do chili one more night. Otherwise, we have an assortment of crackers, cheeses, and sausage in the pantry/cheese drawer. There’s also salmon roe and Boursin. I will see what mood we’re in when BF finishes for the day.

Sat. (8/21) - We’re probably in for the day, so dinner is whichever thing we didn’t do that seems appealing. Or, delivery!

Projecting into next week, I still have lots of fish in the freezer. There will be shrimp for one or two nights most likely. Then I will see how we feel.


Greetings, People.

It’s still summer here! Enjoying fresh cukes and tomatoes, but still waiting on our favorite peaches and wild blackberries.

Cooking for two adults in the PNW:

FRI: Better Than Takeout noodles with cabbage and pork.

SAT: A repeat of the zucchini pizza – so good!

SUN: Fish tacos with cabbage slaw.

MON: Hot wings on the grill with veggie sticks and ranch.

TUE: Halibut and shrimp cioppino.

WED: Crying Tiger beef with Jaew sauce. Cucumber and tomato salad.

THUR: Greek-style pork tenderloin on the grill (thanks to @linguafood). Greek potatoes. Greek salad.


I’d love a report on these, they have been on my list for months.

@ GretchenS

I’ve made this recipe many times - we love it. Fast, cheap, easy. I got the referral from another poster on CH/HO.

I use spaghetti noodles and shred the cabbage. I like to add some grated carrots to the mix, also. I’ll usually do 4 oz. noodles with 4 oz. ground pork for the two of us.