Monday Menu and Recipe Review

It’s strangely quiet in the house this morning. No chattering television, no rattle of marbles or crash of Hotwheels on the hardwood floor. I can hear the cat snoring on the back of the couch and the clocks ticking. Little Five is taking a “vacation” at Grandma and Papa’s house this week, and I just sent the older kids off to school. In about an hour, I will sneak into the school assembly and applaud as Mr. Ten receives a Student of the Month award. After that, I’ll have FIVE hours in which to contemplate my overly ambitious to-do list and possibly cross a few things off. And then four more days of the same!

Miss Seven’s First Communion party was a great success: a happy girl, beautiful weather, lots of family and friends, and plenty of food left over. We didn’t cook again all weekend. And the cake–oh, the cake! I made the S’more Layer Cake from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Miss Seven picked it out, and it seemed to go well with the BBQ theme (ribs, slaw, mac-n-cheese, green beans, cornbread). The recipe is really perfect, though I scaled it up by 50% to make it a 10-inch cake. I also used a slightly different frosting method (Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Light Italian Meringue, from The Cake Bible), because I know how to make it in the stand mixer and I was confident that it would hold up nicely if I made it the night before. As you can see, it held up beautifully. The cake didn’t last the weekend, so no worries about deflated meringue after that!

This week

Monday: Indian Butter Chicken curry, roasted cauliflower, spinach salad (never got around to making it last week)

Tuesday: Chickpea and Artichoke Heart Stew, bread (swap with Jen)

Wednesday: Lazy Spanakopita

Thursday: Cumin and Smoked Paprika Chicken with Potatoes (from Jen)

Friday: Kitchen Closed!

Last week

Monday: Spaghetti with cheese and black pepper

Little Five and I were suffering from a stomach virus, so this spaghetti was quick and easy to make from pantry staples, and comforting as well.

Tuesday: Meatballs and polenta, broccoli with lemon zest and olive oil

I love this lazy meatball and sauce recipe. I doubled it and stashed the extra in the freezer for another busy day.

Wednesday: Sesame Noodles, edamame, potstickers (swap with Jen)

A stand-by. We eat this at least once a month. Frozen potstickers (gyoza) from Trader Joe’s are our favorite convenience freezer food.

Thursday: Asian Chicken Sandwiches, fruit salad (from Jen)

Such tender, juicy chicken! Kids ate it dipped in ketchup, but the adults had it with a tangy slaw on a whole wheat bun–yum.

Friday: Tabbouleh with garlicky pan-fried shrimp

SO GOOD. The shrimp turned the tabbouleh into a main course, but it would also be a great side for a summer barbeque. We’ve been eating the leftovers for lunch.

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