Meal plan: week of September 17, 2018

Meal plan: week of September 17, 2018

I had a very busy week and weekend in the kitchen, and I enjoyed it immensely. Except my feet hurt. I don’t know what these floors are made of, but ow. We are debating flooring in the kitchen at our house, and I was relieved to hear that concrete wasn’t a good option. I wear indoor shoes all the time, but even those aren’t helping much these days. Strange.

Anyway, my kitchen time. The little fella and I made granola together on his morning off from preschool, the first time we’ve made it in the new apartment, and it made this place smell like home. It also reminded me how quick and easy it is to throw together, and has eliminated my excuses for whipping it up every few weeks.

Raisin pecan granola bake

I had my first successful sourdough bake in a while, with two lovely boules to tote along to a party. I baked another round earlier in the week, but it had been so long since I made bread that I fully forgot to score the loaves before popping them into the oven. They didn’t rip open, they just emerged like weird little bald heads. They tasted ok, but it was a rather disappointing re-entry, so when I lifted the lids off these beauties: glory!

Sourdough boules

Yesterday I made a smashingly successful pea, mint, and quinoa salad from the brilliant Aussie cookbook Community by Hetty McKinnon – I toted this to the same party and gleefully accepted many compliments on the fantastic dish, which of course I can take very little credit for, as all I did was follow the beautiful recipe to a T.

I also made Smitten Kitchen’s olive oil chocolate and rosemary shortbread (from Smitten Kitchen Every Day) last week for a friend who joined for dinner; it wasn’t my favorite, but to be fair, I skipped the rosemary. I think it was too olive-oily for my taste, which may just be a function of the Costco/Kirkland brand EVOO that I use on the regular (hey, if it’s good enough for Samin Nosrat, it’s good enough for me). But, it reignited my interest in shortbread, and I should be posting a rather tasty new recipe in the next few days. Very exciting!

This morning, with rain looming and kiddos wiggling, we undertook a smashingly successful baking project: BAGELS! Oh goodness, they were very tasty, a verdict confirmed by a native New Yorker. We used the recipe from the brilliant Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, by Jennifer Reese, and Holy Hannah by the Pump, they are so good. My next challenge is adapting the recipe to use sourdough starter rather than commercial yeast. You will absolutely hear about it.

Homemade bagels cooling

I tell you what, starting last week armed with a grocery list and a dinner meal plan made the kitchen feel so much less daunting – and just look at how productive I was! So sitting down today and plotting out a meal plan for the week felt like an investment in my future happiness.

Monday. We’re going to have Smitten Kitchen’s takeout peanut sesame noodles, but we’ll add tofu into the mix. And some julienned carrots. We’ve had home-cooked food every evening for the last week and a bit, and I’m going to see how long I can keep that stretch running. But this will give us a little taste of take-out.

Tuesday. Indian tonight, with dal and rice in Potsy and Madhur Jaffrey’s quick broccoli. We always have yogurt and chutney on the side, and sometimes something eggy if I can muster the enthusiasm.

Wednesday. The kids start climbing class this week, and the gym is close to a very good fish market, so I think we’ll start doing fish fairly regularly on Wednesday evenings. The problem is – the truth is – I don’t think I actually like fish nearly as much as I thought I did when I started eating it in Thailand and abandoned my properly vegetarian ways. My enthusiasm for anything other than salmon has dramatically waned, and I think I have developed a mild allergy to shellfish…anyway, it all means even if we have fish, it’s not in a starring role. So we’ll have some fish or another but served with a chargrilled zucchini and pearl barley salad from the aforementioned Community, with whipped feta and dill. Yum. I can just skip the fish altogether!

Thursday. This will be week two for the kiddo cooking, and she wants to make Spanish tortilla and a salad. Lots of tasks she can do here, I’ll just handle the hot stuff. But she’ll have to start veg prep as soon as she walks into the house, a lesson learned from last week when time dwindled and tempers flared.

Friday. Back Pocket Pasta day! Seriously. You need this book. I’ll make her Tuscan kale caesar pasta and we will all end the week happy as can be.

What’s on your menu this week?

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