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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Monday Menu

This week marks the beginning of Lent, and in our house, that means being more deliberate about planning meatless meals. Is giving up meat really a sacrifice in this day and age? Not usually–and replacing it with fish often feels like more of a splurge for a seafood lover like me. But I view the tradition as an opportunity to be mindful about how we consume our food resources, as well as a weekly reminder of the season. The kids made Lenten promises in religious ed on Sunday, and I was pleased to hear that they didn’t give up candy or dessert. The eldest gave up Nintendo (a real sacrifice, I assure you), and the youngest promised to “help Dad take out the trash.” Miss Seven hasn’t divulged her promise yet–she’s still thinking about it. I’m still thinking about it, too.

In the meantime, I’ve planned two meatless meals this week, both quick and easy for busy weeknights.

Monday: Hamburgers and oven fries

Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu, rice pilaf with thyme, green beans

Wednesday: Pasta with tuna sauce, salad

Thursday: Brioche with Prosciutto, Gruyere and Egg (and some variation for the kids)

Friday: Black bean crispy tacos, guacamole, salad

 

Do you regularly plan meatless meals in your house?