Monday Menu and Recipe Review

June is the new Rainy Season, it seems. Our backyard is so marshy that we can’t mow it, which of course only makes it marshier. A pair of ducks visits regularly. We ate all of our radishes and I’m going to have to pull on my wellies to wade out and plant some more, along with the mint and lemon balm I bought at the local garden club plant sale on Saturday.

Although it’s too cold for the pool, I did blend up a batch of strawberry watermelon ice pops this morning. The watermelon was so sweet, I skipped the sugar. Tomorrow I have big plans to take the kids for free lunch at Ikea, where I might pick up another popsicle mold. Miss Seven and Little Five have tired of smoothies, but are happy to slurp them down in ice pop form. It’s a good start to the day if I can say, “Popsicles for breakfast!”

This week I also tried my hand at homemade yogurt. I always thought making yogurt would be a little fussy, but boy, was I wrong. Last night I heated the milk while making dinner, and then left the jar–swaddled in a dish towel and stuffed into a tea cozy–to ferment overnight in the oven, which held some residual warmth from when I had roasted some beets. I’m going to get Mr. Ten to make the next batch–he ought to enjoy monitoring the candy thermometer. I used organic whole milk, and the resulting yogurt is creamy and gorgeous. I want to drizzle it on everything. Even Miss Seven liked it with her granola, and she usually turns up her nose at plain yogurt.

This week

Monday: Salad Nicoise

Tuesday: Thai-style ground pork, coconut rice, edamame

Wednesday: Waldorf Chicken wraps, fruit salad

Thursday: Creamy Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Pasta (swap with Jen)

Friday: Italian Turkey Meatball Soup (from Jen)

Last week

Tuesday: Ceylonese Cashew Coconut Chicken, basmati rice (doubled to swap with Jen)

This chicken was delicious, but needed to be spicier (though the kids liked it as is). I’m looking forward to making it again and adjusting the heat.

Wednesday: Tomato Soup, grilled cheese (with roasted garlic Amish cheese from Shipshewana, Indiana), green salad (from the garden)

Miles better than canned soup and American cheese on white bread, and it doesn’t take much longer too make. I used a loaf of crusty whole wheat bread for the sandwiches.

Thursday: Spontaneous night out at Wok’n Fire to celebrate some excellent report cards. Sushi, pad thai, basil beef, wrinkled green beans. Happy eaters all around.

Friday: Chicken Basil Sausage, Kale and Caramelized Onion Lasagna (from Jen)

I especially liked the caramelized onions in this lasagna, and Jen substituted a white sauce for the ricotta, which made it lush and creamy. The kids picked out most of the kale, but were otherwise much more polite because they knew Jen made dinner!

Saturday: Ramp Pizza and Meatball Pizza

For the first time, I tried some ready-made pizza dough because I got so busy I forgot to make the dough ahead of time. It was fine, but I missed the flavor of homemade dough that has aged a few days in the refrigerator. The ramps were excellent, though next time I’d add even more to the pizza. I found a small container of two meatballs plus their sauce in the freezer–just enough for topping a single pizza for the kids.

Sunday:  Wheat berry salad with roasted beets and feta, grilled Italian sausages, broccoli

I dressed the cooked wheat berries with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and stirred in a big pile of chopped scallions–it’s my new favorite way to eat grains, warm or cold.

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