Weekly Menu Planning - June 2022

Joyfully Organic. But I also get a small box delivered from Thames River Melons because they have the best fruit.

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I’ve made a few—maybe 8 or so? The new eggplant parm recipe will forever be my go to. It is just soooooo good. I’ve made it 4 or 5 times, once 3 times in the same summer. But I also really dislike her tone in the head notes. It’s weirdly cranky and judgmental, in a very unappealing way.

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Thanks! That recipe looks good.

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They are kind of all over the place (back and forth) on what proteins (or other food) they will eat. We usually will give them a deconstructed version of what we’re having so they can decide (except for nights like tonight when I know the sausages will be too spicy for them, but I need to cook them because I’m trying to clear out my freezer, so they are getting chicken nuggets). Anyway, I anticipate they will eat the rice, plain, the cucumbers, and some avocado (which I plan to add to the recipe). One kid might try the salmon. I don’t even know if WE will like the canned salmon in this application (we usually have it in fritter form) but I wanted leftover rice for Sunday, and I want to use up things we have rather than buying more, so I kind of landed on this idea that would take care of all my little trivial concerns. :rofl: :sweat_smile: :rofl:

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I know I’m late to the party, but I just got Eat Your Books for this very reason!

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Ah! They are still at the Nathan Phillips Square farmers markets, which is sadly depleted. I am in the office that day…

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I think you’ll really enjoy using EYB. I use it several times every week. I’m always amazed at what I find, and I also get a huge push to “deaccession” some/many of my 345 cookbooks. I also use the feature to import online recipes from the EYB “library” to my bookshelf. Some of the links disappear but it’s still very useful.

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Greetings, People.

Just returned from two glorious days in Victoria, BC – doing touristy things whilst shopping, eating and just enjoying the beautiful ambiance. This was our first trip back to Canada since just before the pandemic. We’ve sorely missed visiting there. British Columbia, practically in our backyard, is one of our favorite stomping grounds. Vancouver Island is just a few short hours away.

Back home, it’s another crunch week as we prepare to move my 94-y.o. father out of rehab – and also out of his apartment -into assisted living. It’s been a long five weeks, but we’re finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Cooking for two trailing-edge boomers in the PNW.

FRI: Nachos (pushed from last week) with homemade Ama chorizo and all the works. Inspired by a NYT version calling for pickled peppers, I’ll be using pickled scallions, as that is what I have. I think I’ll make myself a Margarita.

SAT: Beef on the grill with the last of this year’s asparagus crop.

SUN: David Lebovitz’s Moroccan spiced chicken kebabs. Couscous. Mediterranean salad.

MON: Pan-roasted salmon. Dorie Greenspan’s Quick Cornbread (BCOTM). Green salad

TUE: Serious Eats pan pizza. Green salad.

WED: Pasta with garden pesto, Italian sausage, and sun-dried tomato. Green salad.

THUR: Budget Bytes chicken and cabbage stir fry, assuming my cabbage is big enough to pick.

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Sending good thoughts for the situation with your dad–never easy. A getaway and a margarita (and all that good food!) sound like great ways to decompress!

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Greetings from the Greater Boston area! School is over this week, although I have been still going in to the building for odds and ends a few days. Home today though. The bathroom renovation that began in March continues to drag on. They were supposed to be done four weeks ago. Supposedly they are coming today to do the last of everything, but we have yet to lay eyes on anyone. I’m just past angry. BF is supposed to be leaving for business stuff next Tuesday and I don’t want to have to deal with this in what should be my first “real” week of vacation. On the upside, everything they’ve done looks absolutely, seriously absolutely, beautiful. It’s just not…done.

We’ve been eating a lot more fish and vegetables in the past two months since I started the subscription box from Wulf’s Fish and discovered that you can get a CSA style bag from Stillman’s Farm through a delivery service without committing to doing a whole CSA subscription. Since there are only two of us to cook for, it makes more sense. So, while I have had moment of panic (“how will I use up all this lettuce!?!?” “what even is this root type vegetable?!”), it has been pretty fun and a nice distraction from everything else. I’m using the grocery store mostly for paper goods, carbonated drinks (someday we’ll get more stuff for the Soda Stream back in the house!), and everyday items (pantry good that need to be replenished) at this point. We still have quite a bit of chicken/pork/beef in the freezer, so I will use that up here and there for now. Here’s what we had over the last week for 2 adults and 1 small cat:

Sun. (6/19) - BF wanted chicken, for a change of pace. I defrosted a package of chicken thighs and made the Thai style Cashew Chicken from Pailin’s Kitchen - https://hot-thai-kitchen.com/cashew-chicken/

Mon. (6/20) - Soy Sauce Butter Pasta With Shrimp and Shiitakes from The Woks of Life - https://thewoksoflife.com/soy-sauce-butter-pasta-shrimp-shiitakes/ I also added sugar snap peas that came in the CSA bag.

Tues. (6/21) - Boneless, skinless chicken breast I found in the freezer that got roasted with just a bit of oil and a sprinkling of Lawry’s along with tater tots. I had a small head of butter lettuce that needed to get used up, so I made a pretty epic wedge salad with radishes, tomato, and a lonely cooked slice of bacon that needed to be used up.

Wed. and Thurs. (6/22-6/23) - Brown Rice Congee with Shiitakes and Greens from The Kitchn - https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-brown-rice-congee-with-shiitake-mushrooms-and-greens-recipes-from-the-kitchn-185837 and Pickled Cucumbers from The Woks of Life - https://thewoksoflife.com/chinese-pickled-cucumbers/ . The congee got CSA bok choy and radish greens from a bunch that came with the order. I didn’t have enough cucumbers for the recipe, so I divided the dressing across one large cucumber and some white turnips and kohlrabi that came in the CSA bag that I’d roasted (I am learning that with root vegetables that need to get used - when in doubt, roast and hold). I added roasted green beans (supermarket impulse purchase) to the leftovers on Thursday.

So, that leaves me with something that I’m pretty sure is a sweet potato, some assorted radishes, a thing I’m pretty sure is a rutabaga, a bunch of garlic scapes, 2 apples, half a bag of mesclun mix, and a pint of strawberries. The strawberries have been turned into chutney (I am not a dessert person and BF is, only if chocolate is involved) - https://www.archanaskitchen.com/sweet-and-spicy-strawberry-chutney . I added several grinds of coarse pepper, but otherwise followed the directions as written. I will add the methi leaves when I serve it. Today’s dinner is highly dependent on the contractors, who are now two hours into being late. I want to turn the apples into a sabzi - https://www.seriouseats.com/apple-sabzi-indian-vegetarian-side-recipe and the garlic scapes into a chutney - https://recipes.timesofindia.com/us/recipes/garlic-chives-chutney/rs58855243.cms to have with some of the roasted root vegetables and paneer that has been waiting patiently in the fridge to be used. But we’ll see. If things get scuttled, it’ll be delivery pizza. Looking forward, a whole dorade came in the fish subscription box. Tentative plans to make that on Sunday using the whole braised fish recipe with spicy bean paste in Land of Plenty.

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Hope the contractor comes through for you!! Love how you’re making use of that random produce!

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The CSA bag sounds like fun!

I am intrigued by the indian recipes…

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I’ve been toying with the idea of trying a meal kit again, just for the variety and not needing to come up with ideas oneself… the Marleyspoon recipes sound interesting.

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The strawberry chutney and the apple sabzi were the standouts last night. I was worried about too much sweetness in both, but it turned out not to be the case. I also was pleasantly surprised how well the coconut worked with the apple. I subbed unsweetened, desiccated coconut for the fresh called for. I rehydrated it in warm water for about 30 minutes, drained it well, and then just used it where called for. The water left over from the rehydration was used in place of the water in the recipe too.

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I have never tried a meal kit service but someone gifted me a free box of four meals. 3/4 meals were hits - I sometimes make liberal changes or additions. Asian recipes are definitely oversimplified, but there’s nothing stopping you from using traditional techniques and ingredients instead. My friend who subscribes to lots of kits says MarleySpoon are the best. I’m trying Everyplate next - it’s pitch is being coat effective, and I can see from the ingredient selection and “add on” model that is the case. Trying to keep an open mind.

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Someone sent me a HelloFresh trial a few years ago and it was fine, I just wasn’t too excited by the available options the week I tried it.

Cooking mostly for 1, I always think about how many components I need to buy and how else I’ll be able to use them so as not to waste, and that often deters certain meals, so I like that they’ll send just what’s needed. But - the packaging…

Still, have been lacking inspiration so it may be worth another trial of something…

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The contractor/work team never showed up! :weary: But dinner turned out great at least!

And I discovered that Whispering Angel rose goes very well with dishes that have cumin! There was much Whispering Angel to soothe my mood last night.

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I’m not big into sweet and savory (that’s an understatement), but aside from that I’ve rarely seen sweet main meal components - they’re usually chutneys or pickles (the indian kind). So it was unusual to see apples applied as a vegetable. Learn something every day!

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The recipe’s author was similarly surprised by the apple too (in the article she mentioned trying it at a restaurant first). I am not entirely sure what kind of apples the CSA bag contained, but they had enough tartness to hold up in a savory dish, Honeycrisp or Empire maybe. I would definitely use something like a Granny Smith, left to my own devices and just buying ones at the supermarket. The red onion definitely helped pull it over into the savory arena and the coconut provided a really neat textural component.

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Hi everyone and happy saturday! (I’m trying to mood shift out of a deep, dark place… let’s see…)

Last week’s plan got derailed by my home food craving upon returning from the long weekend… made way too much chicken curry and so had to eat it for several meals. But, it was tasty and homey so not a bad thing.

Some actuals and then a plan (mostly time-shifted from the past two weeks):

Tues - Home-style chicken curry with potatoes, rice, roasted cauliflower.

Wed - Capellini cacio e pepe to take a break from the chicken (which I had for lunch), roasted cauliflower.

Thurs - Last of the Mujadara, then a bit of chicken curry with chapatis because I was still hungry.

Fri - Last of the chicken curry (finally), chapatis, rice.

Sat (tonight) - Vietnamese grilled pork chop, broccoli slaw, rice.

Sun - Maybe out to meet friends, otherwise Vietnamese leftovers.

Mon - Out at a charity gala / awards ceremony - after almost 3 years. Looking forward to dressing up (though not the food).

Tues - HO-down / group dinner in Chinatown (my first of these types of gatherings, looking forward to meeting online friends in person)

Wed - I bought some breaded barramundi on sale, thinking of taking inspiration from the fish bharta a few weeks ago, but instead of mashing the fish up I’ll make the broccoli slaw with the mustard and seasonings and have that alongside the fish. Very appropriate, as barramundi aka hilsa is a quintessentially Bengali fish and often eaten as fish fingers :smiley:

Thurs - Leftovers or freezer dive.

Fri - Possibly out, otherwise Char siu pork (using country “ribs”), garlic broccoli, and rice.

Weekend - TBD. Still waiting to make the larb recipe from COTM Simple Thai Cooking… maybe I’ll finally get around to it!

I made a batch of cauliflower soup for lunch after ages. Used up the stub of a roll for croutons as a treat, plus pumpkin seeds on top for some texture.

I think I’ll start doing this (ie a vegetable puree) regularly because it’s a delicious and easy way to stay healthy at lunchtime without much thought. Also, filling. And there are a lot of tasty options to rotate through. Next up maybe Chrissy Teigen’s carrot soup, which I’ve been thinking about lately.

Finally replenished flour for baking… thinking about orange olive oil cake for my friend’s son who’s home from college (he was the recipient of a series of recipe trials on this a few years ago :joy: — and he left last weekend with the entire pan of brownies I baked a day after I got there, so I know he’s good for it :rofl:), and maybe a small focaccia to go with soup lunches or a small boule, let’s see.

Wish you all a better weekend than the week that was.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr