Keeping up the trend…

Just posting this for the record.  No Earth-shattering developments in the weekly dinner front, but it’s a way to keep myself “honest” in my meal-planning and my posting.  Here’s what’s been on our plates.  What’s the best thing that’s been on yours? I could use a little inspiration! 🙂

  • Monday: Labor Day–burgers on the grill and green beans.  I had grander plans, but Little Miss was having a tired, fussy night so we waited to cook our dinner until she went to bed. And then the grill took forever. And then it was 9:00 and we were just sitting down to eat…that’s never a good sign.  The burgers were great, though!
  • Tuesday: Raid-the-fridge leftover night (told you it wasn’t an exciting menu!)
  • Wednesday: Fish with zucchini, black bean, and rice skillet (we made a few adjustments this time that really made this recipe shine–some herbs, vegetable broth instead of water, and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes instead of plain)
  • Thursday: Basil, chicken, and vegetable curry (more on this one later)
  • Friday: Mushroom and fontina ravioli with a vegetable (probably green beans…we had so many of them.)

 

  • Monday: Pizza
  • Tuesday: Peach-balsamic pork with sweet potatoes and asparagus
  • Wednesday: Raid-the-fridge leftover night, since I had Open House at the middle school and wasn’t home for dinner
  • Thursday: Mushroom, asparagus, and white cheddar quiche
  • Friday: Meatloaf (thanks, mom!), frozen vegetable medley with potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and baby corn

 

 

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Two Busy Weeks

We’ve been getting back into the swing of things here, which have made for a few busier weeks.  Since I measure years by the school calendar rather than by January through December, I’ve got a few food resolutions for my year.  One is to be better about finding good meals that can be made quickly. I need to focus on prepping things the night before and finding shortcuts in the kitchen so I can spend time in the afternoons with Little Miss. The second, which seems to run contrary to the first, is that I want to be better about trying new recipes during the school year. I’m setting my goal for one new recipe a month. We’ll see how that goes.  For now, here’s what we’ve been eating:

Last week:

  • Monday: Mexican chopped salad with chicken, cornbread
  • Tuesday: Farmers’ market pasta (ravioli with roasted red pepper pasta filled with smoked mozzarella), salad
  • Wednesday: Asian sesame tuna, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob
  • Thursday: Pecan-crusted pork (this is the recipe, but without the whole sauce and crostini thing), peach-mango chutney, sauteed squash, mashed potatoes
  • Friday: Chicken tikka masala, rice, broccoli

This week:

 

  • Monday: Roasted red pepper pasta with sauteed squash, red pepper, mushrooms, and corn, in an herb butter
  • Tuesday: Trying a new recipe! Kheema matar (an Indian dish of spiced ground beef and peas) with rice and roasted carrots
  • Wednesday: Little Miss’s summer party at daycare!
  • Thursday: Sesame-pecan chicken strips with sweet potatoes and green beans
  • Friday: Pork barbeque with skillet potatoes and broccoli slaw

 

Summer Lunching Out on the Porch

In honor of the first day of in-service work at my school, here’s a pic from last week of my favorite summer lunch: sweet, crispy corn fritters and fresh tomatoes. (The only thing that would make them better would be if they were home-grown. But I guess locally grown is the next best thing.) Added bonus: a cool enough day to enjoy my lunch on the porch with a book and the Fuzz.

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Coming Full Circle

I had a little help in the kitchen while making last night’s dinner.

Okay, I had “help,” and then I had help. My fuzzy “helper” was trying to eat all the green beans that she could as soon as she thought I wasn’t looking.

My other little helper, while only slightly more coordinated, was very interested in green beans. As long as I kept a pile in front of her (with the ends already snapped off–she didn’t have the dexterity or understanding to snap ends, throw the ends out, and keep the good parts), she was happy to snap them into small pieces and put them in the pot for me.  When she ran out of beans in her pile, she got up, walked around to the other side of me where I had the colander of unsnapped beans, and got herself another handful.

All to end up with a pot of very unevenly snapped, but very lovingly prepared, green beans for dinner.

Suzy snapping beans photo

Cheating with Butternut Squash Soup

Just a quick little post with a quick little suggestion.  We’ve always looking for new lunch ideas that are warm, quick, and somewhat healthy, and we came up with a pretty decent concoction yesterday.

I’ve had V8’s Golden Butternut Squash soup before, and it was pretty decent.  I seem to remember attacking it with an immersion blender to make it a little smoother, but it was a decent soup.  I think I was able to elevate it a bit yesterday for lunch with the following preparation.  It cut back on the richness a little bit and gave it some more substance, which Chris and I appreciated.  And it was still relatively quick and simple–certainly better that starting from scratch with a whole squash!

3 handfuls uncooked ditalini pasta
vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
minced onion, to taste
1 carton V8 Golden Butternut Squash soup
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 small chicken breast, cooked and shredded

Cook the ditalini pasta.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery, and onion.  Cook until tender and slightly translucent.

Combine soup and chicken stock in a medium saucepan.  Cooking, stirring frequently, over medium heat until soup is just beginning to steam.  Add the cooked pasta, celery and carrots, and cooked chicken.  Continue cooking until all ingredients are hot.  Serve and enjoy!

It’s Christmas Time in the City!

Yesterday morning was a wonderful foodie adventure in holiday shopping and city living.  Chris and I headed down to the Strip to take care of the bulk of our holiday shopping–for our friends, family, and even for each other.  I wish I had some pictures, but as I said to Chris, this was a business trip–no room for slinging cameras around my neck, I planned on bringing back as much loot as I could carry.

And we pretty much did.  I insisted on finding the Enrico Biscotti company’s stand outside and getting some biscotti and a nut roll for the holidays, and we bought lots of other goodies for the people on our list.  We got lunch at the Pittsburgh Public Market, which was bustling with activity and holiday shopping.  I got a wonderful grilled cheese and spinach-pine nut-feta soup from Soup Nancy’s, and it was the perfect lunch on a snowy winter day.  The soup was thick, with hints of spinach and potato and perhaps some basil, and the sharpness of the feta and crunch of pine nuts were pleasant surprises along the way.  Chris got a jerk chicken sandwich, which he said was good but a little spicier than he expected.  He also got some pierogies, fried up with some onion.  A nice little treat!  (I’d list the other goodies we got, but you never know who might be reading.  No Christmas gift secrets here today, folks! 🙂 )

We finished our evening with sandwiches and beer at Blue Dust.  (Avery Brewing Company’s Old Jubilation for me–a well-balanced but fairly malty offering.  A little nutty, few spices, quite drinkable.  Especially with artichoke dip to start and their brisket sandwich for a main course, some of my favorite offerings.)  We closed with the new Muppet Movie, which was a wonderful romp through song, dance, and old-fashioned muppet zaniness.  All in all, a pretty successful day!

A Sign of Things to Come–Thoughts on a Chilly Labor Day

Summer’s drawing to a close.  Today was rainy all day, with a definite chill in the air.  I wore long pajama pants and curled into my cup of hot coffee. And by afternoon, when the rain showed no signs of slowing, it was such a crummy day, I needed to bake.  I made a half a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, half a batch of oatmeal-raisin-walnut.  They filled the house with wonderful smells and helped lighten the gloominess of the day.

But we’re not ready to give summer up just yet.  We defied the weather, ate our burgers and deviled eggs on the porch, though it required me to don jeans and a long-sleeve shirt in order to do so.  We huddled around the grill, savoring the licks of flames and the warmth of the coals as I toasted marshmallows.  September is a month on the edge–starts off summer, ends up autumn.  For now–I’m still stuck in the grey area in between.

What You’ve Missed…

Since LIFE happened and things got crazy-busy over the past two or three months, here’s the photo-recap of what we’ve been cooking–and growing.  We’ve made a new attempt on a German classic, an attempt at an Indian restaurant favorite, and some beginnings of summer grilling goodness (with a homebrew for good measure).  We’ve planted a serious garden, with peppers and basil and sweet potatoes and asparagus–and of course, tomatoes.  The tomatoes are my pride and joy, and they’ve just taken off in the past couple of weeks; soon I hope to have red and striped and black cherry tomatoes for lunch!

So, here’s too good eating and drinking and gardening, even in the busiest of times.  Prost!

Apologies!

Okay, loyal readers.  Here’s the time when I officially throw in the towel with the “write regularly” resolution.  I was doing decently until the spring play hit, and I haven’t recovered since.  And in the next 5 weeks, I have an online class with a fair amount of reading and responding, the end of the school year, alllll the grading that I’ve been putting off, getting the annotated bibliographies for my exam at the end of the year, and a little thing called a Masters thesis.  So, while I have wonderful things that I want to write about, they will have to wait!  Next year, without Pitt classes, maybe I can be better.  But I’m officially signing off for a few weeks.

Things to look forward to:

  • Maybe I’ll actually get to post some pictures from food we’ve made from March to now.
  • My darling little vegetable garden is growing!  There will be pictures and proud updates.
  • I’m growing little strawbabies!  They’re too tiny to be strawberries yet, but we’re working on it.
  • We made a second batch of beer that should be ready for consumption in the next week or two.
So check back later in June, and after I can find some time to breath, we can talk about food again.  In the meantime, eat well and enjoy the joys of spring!