Let’s use this thread to share concise weekly dinner menus for each week in August. It’s helpful if you can include your location and how many people you are feeding. Links to recipes are always appreciated, and sources help.
Planning ahead makes for calmer days. And saves energy (despite the extra cooling of the cook), not standing wistfully by an open freezer or refrigerator door awaiting inspiration or the dinner djinn.
Are you making skillet meals and salad suppers? Are you focusing on quick cooking so you can get on with outdoor or vacation activities? Or using summertime’s longer days and a bit more relaxed schedules to “play” in the kitchen, learning new techniques or challenging yourself with new recipes? What end-of-Summer produce in your area makes August meals special? I’m especially looking forward to local sweet corn and Colorado peaches.
We all know plans can change, so it’s fine (practically expected) when your week gets rearranged from your posted plan. You may choose to report actuals for the prior week to share ideas with others.
Reminder – Keep your comments menu / food related. And in the interest of faster viewing times, please use the Knife&Fork “like” under a comment to indicate you liked it or want to echo what was said by another, rather than posting a separate comment.
Here’s my rough plan with several recipes carried over from last time around. I’m flexible (also sometimes too tired/lazy to cook something elaborate). These are roughly in the order I intend to cook them for us three in Asheville, North Carolina.
Celebrating our summer garden and cooking for two adults in the PNW.
FRI: Chicken-zucchini meatballs with orzo, carrots and scallions. Cucumbers in vinaigrette.
SAT: Pan-roasted salmon. Potato kugel. Cucumbers in a sour cream-dill dressing.
SUN: Epicurious’s Better Than Take-out Noodles (cabbage, carrot and scallion stir-fry with ground pork).
MON: Teriyaki chicken. Steamed rice. Cucumbers in an Asian vinaigrette.
TUE: Asian peanut-noodle salad with scallions, carrots and cukes. Will add shredded, poached chicken breast.
WED: DH cooking wings on the gas grill. I’ll make coleslaw and ATK’s blueberry cornbread.
THUR: I’ll make summer pasta-primavera with garden veg. DH to grill a steak on the barbie for sharing.
Guests coming for a wrap-around weekend (Fri-Mon). So excited!
Tonight: hoping for halibut at the fishmonger - fish Vera Cruz, yellow rice, green beans, Farmers Market salad with lots of frisée and arugula + avocados.
Saturday night: steaks on the grill (he is an excellent griller), black bean-corn-crunchy veg-cherry tomato-avocado salad, roasted broccolini w miso or Parm or something, garlic bread.
Sunday night: mixed sausage grill (whatever I find at posh butcher today), huge mashup “Greek salad meets panzanella”’, potato salad using baby golden potatoes from the farm with a caper shallot vinaigrette.
Monday and beyond, leftovers. He is happiest when served huge meals although he only eats normal amounts so I have learned to make food that works well as leftovers and we are all happy. Other than tonight’s green salad, which I will keep small, everything else will keep and reappear once they are gone.
Fretting about breakfasts which I rarely eat…
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Everything sounds really delicious.
Enjoy the visit! Menu sounds delicious, especially all the sides!
Maybe do a cook- / prep-ahead like an egg bake of some sort (quiche / strata / french toast casserole), or stock a few things people can help themselves to – pastries, toast, boiled eggs, bagels and fixings, cereal?
Definitely the RecipeTin Eats crustless quiche, various muffins and breads, jams, yogurts. ETA: Lots of good farm eggs and bacon in stock too.
Hello everyone and happy Friday. I am now gearing up for a weekend where I am determined to go out and enjoy myself. The bills have been paid and I emptied my change purse and have enough money for a couple of dinners out over the next few days and maybe a movie too. I am getting a bumper crop of veggies in my CSA these days so I am enjoying a lot of salads and stirfries. And one of my favourite near-the-office restaurants has moved closer to home - lucky me! They had to make some changes to their menu since they don’t have a full kitchen anymore so there are no more fish and chips on Fridays. But they have some new sandwiches and some old favourites. Apparently all of their cakes and cookies are made in-house and they look really good so I must go back for dessert and coffee sometime. I went over to pick up lunch today with the intention of ordering a schnitzel sandwich but when I arrived, two men that were dining in were eating Polish toasties (I believe the proper name is Zapiekanka) and they looked really good so that’s what I ordered. So I am now eating a Zapiekanka topped with sausage, mushrooms, fried onions, and cheese and enjoying it very much. Onto my menus for this week for a solo diner in Ottawa, Canada:
Today: Zapiekanka for lunch so I will have the usual salad for dinner.
Saturday: There is a night market in the Byward Market (our downtown market) tonight so I thought I’d take it in. Apparently they have street food and beverages there so I will find out what it’s like when I get there.
Sunday: I have a matinee movie (“Close to Vermeer”) pencilled in and dinner is pencilled in too. The movie starts at 1:00 so I usually get popcorn for lunch! But the movie is under new ownership now and although they have made some nice changes to the snack bar they don’t have any extra small popcorn anymore and even the small popcorn is huge. I am contemplating smuggling in snacks in my purse so I can have an appetite by dinner time. At the moment I plan on having a basa fillet poached in a marinara sauce with rice and spring mix on the side.
Monday: The last serving of peanut soup.
Tuesday: Off to a gallery visit with a friend then an Indian meal after.
Wednesday: Peanut butter noodles with cucumbers.
Thursday: Better Than Take-out Udon from epicurious.
Have a nice week everyone.
I love popcorn, and I understand everything you’re saying about the situation. Good luck.
For your “Greek salad meets panzanella mash-up” may I suggest the SK recipe for grilled pepper panzanella? I double the peppers because we love them - and I think a Greek vinaigrette would work really well here.
I had to look up zapienkaka: it sounds delicious!
Well, it’s been another almost-fortnight of food coma with visiting relatives. Actually just one: my uncle was in town after almost a decade, and so of course my mom made sure we fed him All The Things.
Except that in his case, All The Things is a very wide sweep, because it includes the full regional Indian vegetarian canon they grew up with, plus our (nuclear) family’s non-vegetarian canon that was also a regular part of his life. It’s been interesting how we have hit almost every one of Dad’s favorite things to eat and to feed people, because while we had Aging Dad for many years, my uncle’s meal requests were all Peak Dad, and brought back the best of memories and flavors.
Some of what we ate (some pics are on WFD):
- Farewell dinner (tonight): Dad’s signature shrimp and peas (with jumbo shrimp my dad would definitely have approved of), dal, and rice. (Mom had some of the peas in masala plus leftover paneer curry.)
- Crab curry and rice: Mom’s signature, my favorite dish (as in “last meal” favorite), and a standard Sunday lunch when we were growing up, eaten at uncle’s request so I had to thank him because the last time we made this was… a year ago? maybe two? The crabs were absolutely delicious, and loaded with sweet meat. (Mom had paneer in the same curry.)
- Fried fish, dal, and rice: Fish was fabulously fresh pomfret, family fave. (I made Mom masala cheesetoast and vegetable soup.)
- Goan Pork Chilli Fry: Another Dad signature, and one we haven’t eaten in years, actually. Mom gave me the outline of ingredients and I tried to recreate it from taste memory. (I baked a tiny focaccia for mom which she had with asparagus soup and an assortment of cheese.)
- Lamb Breast (ribs) and Chops: Oof. Another Dad special, and a rare one at that. Can’t remember the last time we ate this. (Mom had some leftovers.)
- Prawn curry (with potatoes) and rice. (Mom had squash and cauliflower in the same curry.)
- Parsi Mutton Dhansak with ALL the fixings (kababs, fried dried bombay duck, papad, kachumbar).
- Chicken Curry: Our simple fallback and family favorite, and the first dinner home for my uncle. (Mom had cheesetoast and soup.)
Lunches were a cornucopia of Indian vegetarian delights that I am too full from and too tired to list. Maybe we should fast for a few days. Seems unlikely though
I also baked after a long time: the aforementioned tiny focaccia (with olives) for mom, and a tiny orange olive oil cake for the rest of us.
Next week plans (you might notice that we are feeling massively Asian food-deprived at the moment):
- Indian Chinese: hakka noodles, chilli chicken & paneer.
- Sushi bowls! (Maybe I’ll crisp up the rice a la COTM Recipe Tin Eats’ Nobu copycat)
Oyako Donburi OR Salmon & Mushroom Pot Rice
- Thai green curry (chicken for us, mixed veg & paneer for mom)
- Viet Garlic Umami Noodles with cabbage, lemongrass-brined chicken (cherry bombe via @sallyt), mom protein tbd
- Bulgogi bowls (beef, garlic spinach, sesame carrots, gochujang) and/or Japchae
- Spanish tortilla, chorizo, alioli (pasta for mom)… yup, this keeps on keeping on my list
I love how those peak Dad things were able to bring back memories. And everything sounds delicious.
I had never heard of it either. The restaurant I went to has mostly standard North American fare - wraps, salads, etc. But the owner is Polish so she periodically throws in a Polish dish on the menu. She works at the cash (someone else does the cooking) and she is quite chatty. She told me that zapiekanka is a Polish street food and she told me how to eat it. Apparently you’re supposed to hold it in your hands and eat it as you would a pizza slice but it was too awkward for me so I used a knife and fork.
This looked so good in WFD! Would you share your method or point to a recipe that is similar?
Another very busy week ahead. I really planned my summer poorly.
For two adults in San Diego:
This week’s breakfasts: Starting off with challah purchased from a favorite bakery. Toasted with Nutella or jam.
S: (tonight) - takeout - Chinese food
Su: TJs turkey meatballs in red sauce with spinach and cheese, served with garlic bread
M: Inspired by https://www.howsweeteats.com/2018/05/cheeseburger-salad/: Cheeseburger salad topped with crispy hash browns I’ll probably add a bit of ketchup to the dressing, though, and change the ratios up a bit. - salad
T: Tuna melts served with fruit - seafood
W: TJ’s spinach tortellini with spinach in a garlic cream sauce - vegetarian
Th: TJ’s tikka vegetables and chicken w/ garlic naan
F: Chicken cordon bleu (from freezer stash) and spinach, served with toasted sourdough.
Have a good week!
Sure! It’s a simple masala base – onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, sauteed well till the oil starts to separate. More garlic here because seafood. Add chillies – whole red give better flavor, but you can use powdered chilli powder if you don’t have them, or even a slit serrano or thai. Add some water and the peas, cover and cook till the peas are almost done.
Before you start, though, mix the shrimp with turmeric, salt, and chilli powder. Then when the masala and the peas are done, turn up the heat, add the shrimp, and mix gently but well till just cooked. Finish with cilantro. Easy peasy!
Goes great with pretty much everything – chapatis / parathas, soft dinner rolls, crusty bread, rice If you can add a simple dal on the side, it’s a perfect pairing. (The simplest yellow moong dal is what we make with this, but red masoor works as well – pressure cook or don’t because both cook fast, but keep the tempering simple with just cumin and some crushed garlic.)
Cooking for two adults and a teen in the Boston burbs. This week promises to be interesting, but not entirely the good kind: DS will be a “coach in training” at a local sports camp, herding young’uns, and getting paid for it. I get to work at home again since DS’s theater program is over*, but not until Tues as I have to report for jury duty tomorrow. DH is back to his non-summer schedule so mostly back in the office. And we need to have the plumber come fix the boiler - no hot water again for the second time this summer - and chase down the contractors who are supposed to be doing post-flooding repairs in the basement!
*the final performances were a showcase of various solo, small group, and big group musical numbers. DS performed a solo - I’m so proud of him… I might have gotten a bit teary.
Sun: bbq-spiced pork chops, cheese grits, green beans. I also made a batch of granola but I used honey rather than maple syrup and the other oven (we have 2.5) and it sorta burned, so I’ll be eating extra-toasty granola for breakfast this week.
Mon: baked ziti using last week’s leftover bolognese sauce
Tues: pepper steak with red not green peppers. I found the GF sauce on a recent Costco or BJ’s run so I’m excited to try this.
Weds: meatball subs, sort of. Meatballs from Dinner in One but when we made this in garlic bread, we all felt it was structurally flawed. So the guys will have meatball subs on sub rolls baked separately. I have some pao de queijo in the freezer that I’ll use for sort-of-sliders. Roasted broccoli on the side.
Thurs: chipotle-honey chicken tacos (NYT) in the instant pot, beans on the side.