Monday Menu and Recipe Review

My Facebook feed was filled with photos of friends picking apples this weekend. As the lucky recipient of an entire trunk full of apples, I skipped the apple picking and moved straight on to the peeling, coring and applesauce making.

Though I peeled and chopped nearly 20 cups of apples, I barely made a dent in the apple supply in my basement. I made one small batch of Apple Almond Honey Conserve from Food in Jarswhich tastes like fall when spread on homemade bread (see my breakfast, above). I also made one batch of chunky applesauce in the slow cooker. My goal is to process a bag of apples every couple days, so that maybe I’ll be finished sometime next week.

I’m going to need more jars.

This week

Last week

  • Cheese and Chicken Quesadilla PieBig hit with the kids, and definitely a 30-minute meal (most of it is baking time).
  • Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices, rice. I’ll be using brown lentils, and following the suggestions to streamline the recipe. My new favorite lentil soup–don’t forget the squeeze of lime. So glad there was enough to freeze for another meal!
  • Yogurt-Marinated Shrimp, pita, some kind of fruit salad. Mmm…shrimp. The marinade (Iemon-garlic), plus leaving the shells on, kept the shrimp from drying out under the broiler.
  • Black Bean Burgers, roasted potatoes, salad. In a reverse-vegan move, I replaced the flax seed with an egg. My only complaint is that these turned out a little crumbly–maybe I will make thicker patties next time.
  • Tortellini Soup. This is strictly for lunchbox thermoses. Quick enough to cook during breakfast and ladle into thermoses. Two out of three kids ate it up, and I had some for lunch, too. Homemade broth is the key, even if you have dried tortellini (I like the Trader Joe’s brand).
  • Maple-Bourbon Banana Pudding CakeThe Hub made this Saturday night, and it was superb. It only takes one overripe banana, and the rest you probably have in your pantry. Regular granulated sugar and 2% milk work just fine.

What are you eating this week?

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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.