Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Menus

Tonight: The stir fry I cooked Saturday but we never needed to eat after all
Tuesday: Cuban black beans
Wednesday: Noodles with pesto, carrots
Thursday: Hamburgers, potato salad, melon
Friday: Fish sticks, zucchini, cornbread
Saturday: Baked beans, green salad, sourdough bread
Sunday: Buckwheat pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Menus

Monday: Frijoles, zucchini, cornbread
Tuesday: Crusty potato cake, green beans
Wednesday: Tuna noodle casserole, salad
Thursday: Pizza, carrot sticks
Friday: Pasta salad
Saturday: Chicken-and-veggie stir fry
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Photos: Redwall Feast, Pickled Eggs, and More

Crusty Potato Cake, as listed in my menus of July 27th

Our 2015 Redwall Feast, one of our best yet! Menu was posted here, though Harvestberry Sunset Pudd never did happen. In particular, though, the Deeper 'n Ever [etc.] pie in the foreground was definitely the crowd favorite. I'm going to have to start growing turnips now. Seriously, I just bought some seeds.

Homemade marshmallows getting coated with graham cracker crumbs. later to be doused with melted chocolate. Didn't work incredibly well, I found out later the reverse (chocolate, then crumbs) would have been better, but was still a success for a daughter's birthday party.
Fridge-pickled beets along with some hard-boiled eggs thrown into the brine. Delightful on our Niçoise salad one night.


Monday: Caldo verde
Tuesday: Chef's salad
Wednesday: Stir fry (peppers, carrots, meat of some kind)
Thursday: Pasta parma rosa, green beans
Friday: Pizza, salad
Saturday: Flounder, pan potatoes, roasted carrots
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Yesterday: Niçoise salad
Tuesday: Black bean burritos
Wednesday: Teriyaki chicken, green beans
Thursday: Noodles with pesto, salad
Friday: Probably leftovers/scrounging, topped off with lots of brownies and crackers at our daughter's baptism
Saturday: Quiche, zucchini
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Menus and Tempura

I'm back, and it 'only' took me about 48 hours to really regain my own self-ness again! My week at camp with my daughter (and 6 or 7 other girls I supervised directly) was rewarding, but I didn't quite realize how tired I was until I came home and crashed.

But, I'm happy to report that hubby did just fine on his own. From all I can tell, the family ate well and cheaply and enjoyed themselves. S. even got most of our master bath taped and painted. So, other than the random uncovered pots with small amounts of dry leftovers all over the fridge, we'll call it a mightily successful endeavor!

Last night we decided that we needed to use up the piles of green beans, zucchini, and shishito peppers that we had harvested from the garden; plus, there was the lushly gorgeous eggplant I had bought at the farm before I even left, which also badly needed eating at this point. Someone thought of tempura, and I wondered if that would work in our fondue pot. Happily, it worked so brilliantly that we'll definitely repeat it sometime. Unhappily, frying individually-battered vegetable pieces is such a slow process that we didn't make much headway into the pile. Which is why we'll be eating stir-fry tonight...

This week:

Monday -- Stir-fry with green beans, zucchini, shishito peppers, eggplant, and beef.
Tuesday -- Tuna melts, beets
Wednesday -- Pasta salad
Thursday -- Crusty potato cake, another zucchini frittata
Friday -- Cuban black beans
Saturday -- Polenta 'pizza'
Sunday -- Pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Monday, July 20, 2015

Heading to Girls Camp

Hubby is in charge this whole week while I'm gone at camp with my oldest daughter -- and for the first time, I'm not leaving him ANY instructions or half-begun meals. Because he can totally handle it, and I want him to have the leeway to find his own comfort zone. I'll be excited to come home and hear all about it...

Though, he did mention one thing that's given me food for thought -- he said the only thing that worries him is that I'm a capable, competent woman and yet I make it look hard. Hmmm. Maybe I play it up too much for appreciation? Or maybe I'm really biting off more than I should? It was an interesting comment, and I'll be doubly curious on his take this coming weekend as we respectively recover (collapse?) after our tasks.

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dinner, Fresh and Simple

I just ate an itty-bitty, beautifully luscious wineberry tart my 10-year-old daughter made for me.

Then I sat down to a zucchini frittata and 
noodles tossed with pesto.

(Dessert first is good.)

The squash, basil (in the pesto) and wineberries all procured recently, locally, and best of all, for free.

Summer dinner from the land is divine.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Menus, a Feast, and a Cucumber

Today: Island pork and peppers on main-dish salad, biscuits
Tuesday: Redwall Feast! 
   Mole's Favorite Deeper 'n Ever Tater 'n Beetroot Pie
   Stones Inna Swamp
   Rubbadeedubb Pudd
   Harvestberry Sunset Pudd
Wednesday: Tuna noodle casserole, zucchini
Thursday: Pizza, green beans
Friday: Hot dogs, chips, birthday cake, ice cream
Saturday: Beans and rice
Sunday: Sourdough pancakes, scrambled eggs, applesauce

Also, move over English seedless: make way for Armenian!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Menus-and-Garden

Our garden currently seems to be just in that perfect balance of producing a nice variety, but without overwhelming-and-tiring amounts of any one vegetable. We've recently had baked flounder covered in abundant homegrown parsley, dill, and green onions; a parmesan/ricotta pasta with tons of shelled peas as well as sugar snap pods and a zucchini; and a head of lettuce every few days. We've also had good meal-sized harvests of beets, with more to come, and green beans are just starting.

I just hope my tomatoes and peppers get a little more on 'em, my pepper plants are huge and leafy but not really fruiting, while my tomatoes are rather sad and spindly-looking. I take care of about 180 tomato plants for my farm job and they're going like gangbusters, so I'm not sure what the exact difference is, they've been on the same timeline and have the same care.

In any case, here are our meal plans for this week:

Today: Curried potatoes, salad
Tuesday: Rice pilaf with coconut milk and peas
Wednesday: Chimichangas, canned corn
Thursday: Salmon burgers, fresh fridge pickles (made today with the dozen 'picklebush' cukes we've harvested as yet)
Friday: Pizza, zucchini
Saturday: Island pork roast, veggie TBD
Sunday: Salad with sweet peppers and leftover pork, biscuits

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Long Trip

If you've wondered where I've been, I was getting ready for, and going on, and recovering from, what was probably our family's longest camping trip yet. 

It was my husband's itinerary this year and since he's an explorer-type, we went further afield and crammed more in than I might have done. Plus, it was our first trip into true bear country. On the upside, since he wanted to visit two National Parks neither of which offered campgrounds with showers, we've made some progress in terms of learning what amenities we can survive without. [Background: our pact has always been that he's willing to camp in the dirty, messy outdoors as long as there are showers. I'm less picky, which isn't necessarily a compliment to me...]

Next ambition, a family backpacking trip! But I digress. Back to this year's trip, I'll tell you a little about our best camping meals.

One that we've repeated a few times is a dutch oven recipe for breakfast, called Almost Pumpkin Pie. It's not foolproof, though, especially if weather intervenes and makes coals impossible. Also, we didn't think through the fact that cooking overnight wouldn't really jive with bear restrictions. But, through a combination of luck and finagling, we enjoyed it again this year and it's becoming a tradition.

Another camping meal that is becoming a real go-to staple for us is chilaquiles. A bag of tortilla chips, a can of enchilada sauce, a jar of roasted red peppers, a can or two of chicken, some kind of fresh diced veggie (tomato or zucchini, for example), and a bag of Mexican cheese makes for a one-pot wonder. It was originally (a few years ago) planned as a dutch oven meal, but met with the usual fate of pouring rain that night, so I made do with a skillet. Since then I've honed it a little - stirring it in a mixing bowl before putting it into a well-greased skillet, then adding the cheese on top -- and it really hits the spot. Its other point of recommendation is that, aside from the cheese, nothing needs to be kept in the cold box. I have some kids that pick out the peppers and such, but so be it, they're still getting the benefit of the flavor.

Our other unexpected favorite this year was the sandwiches on our long, long drive home. We splurged on deli salami, havarti, and provolone, knowing that we'd have used up most of the goodwill of our week by then; and since we happened to be doing the longest drive on a Sunday, we couldn't plan on our usual treat of stopping for fast food to cap off the trip. Salami is a popular rarity here anyway, but I had also chanced upon a hearty sandwich loaf of king's Hawaiian bread, and putting the two together was fantabulous. Mmm, I'm happy right now just remembering it.


Of course, the whole expedition had far more highlights than the food -- that wasn't the main point of the trip! -- but since this is mostly a food blog, I hope you enjoyed the images and ideas of camping and eating in the beautiful wide-open world.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Menus (Let Garden Season Begin!)

Monday: Chicken cashew stir-fry (bok choi from our garden, along with white chard and spinach from our neighbor's)
Tuesday: Panzanella salad (lettuce and the first basil from our garden)
Wednesday: Potato and sweet potato wedges, cooked spinach (from the neighbor's garden again)
Thursday: Greek salad, buttered pasta (garden lettuce, spring onions from the farm I recently started working at)
Friday: Pizza, frozen veggies
Saturday: Chili, cornbread
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Monday: Hot dogs, corn on the cob, fresh sweet potato chips 
(with a few scary moments when my inexperience at frying caused a grease fire)
Tuesday: Cuban black beans
Wednesday: Pasta salad
Thursday: Baked potatoes, Brussels sprouts
Friday: Pizza, frozen mixed veggies
Saturday: Asian chicken salad, popcorn
Sunday (it's my birthday!): Seven-layer dip, spumoni ice cream 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Menus

Look! Menus actually up on Monday! I always feel better when I'm not floundering my way along at the beginning of the week.

Tonight: Mexican rice, corn on the cob
Tuesday: Caldo verde
Wednesday: Quiche lorraine, roasted carrots
Thursday: Polenta with marinara sauce, salad
Friday: Shepherd's pie
Saturday: Niçoise salad
Sunday: Pancakes, waffles, applesauce

Friday, May 15, 2015

Soaking and Sprouting

I've mentioned before that I really try to grind my own grains and soak whole, dry, grains and beans. I posted some of the scientific/nutrition reasons about two years ago, but I had a hard time finding more solid and clear information to share.

Well, I found some today! I ran across a wonderful blog I'd like to share, called weedemandreap, which I think is a delightful name. The image below is a link to a comprehensive, illustrated, just plain happy article on soaking and sprouting. I highly recommend reading it, just to get thinking about it, even if you don't plan on implementing a sudden change.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Flourishing: Mother's Day Prayers

I often pray for specific people I know, who happen to be mothers in many cases; but a really tender prayer I keep in my heart is for mothers generally, everywhere. I've read enough, and served enough, and let's face it, just plain lived enough to know that some of the most important effects in the whole world come through mothers -- and not just the obvious sentimental ones. 

So these are the people I pray for:

Mothers who have lost a baby or young child to death
Mothers who go home to abuse every day
Mothers looking for a mentor but can't find one
Women whose own mothers have passed on
Mothers who are completely exhausted and stretched to the breaking point
Mothers who have children lost to addiction or other harmful habits
Mothers mourning their lost selves
Mothers trying to respond with thought and kindness to difficult toddlers, teenagers, or anyone treating them rudely
Mothers who desperately want children but can't overcome the obstacles of infertility, or singlehood, or simply of husbands who refuse
Mothers facing sickness themselves while continually giving care to those around them
Women who wish to know the qualities of Heavenly Mother and are told that's taboo
Mothers who live surrounded by violence
Women whose own mothers have abused and belittled them
Mothers making life look abundant when there's actually not enough
Mothers with no education
Mothers who don't know how to ask for help
Mothers struggling with deep depression and anxiety
Mothers seeking answers to prayer
Mothers who feel invisible

Do you know any of these people that you can pray for? Are you one of these people sometimes, or often? You are not alone.

Monday Menus

Last week included a few big food days, including my son's birthday and Mother's Day. 

The birthday boy requested honey walnut shrimp (a first for us) and a black forest cake, which turned out so beautifully from-scratch with layers that actually stayed together! 

Mother's Day included huevos rancheros, potato waffles with smoked salmon, sour cream and chives, roasted brussels sprouts, and a lemon meringue pie. S. is really learning how to chef it! Maybe there are some pictures on the camera I'll be able to dig up soon.

Meanwhile, here are the menus for this week.

Today: Mexican rice and frijoles
Tuesday: Spaghetti, frozen veggies
Wednesday: Harira, salad
Thursday: Fish chowder, green beans
Friday: Pizza, fresh veggie tray
Saturday: Invited to a barbecue
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Menus

Today: Vegetable-cashew stir fry
Tuesday: Spaghetti, salad
Wednesday: Potato salad, broccoli-slaw, baked beans
Thursday: Tuna melts, tomato soup, carrots
Friday: Chili, cornbread
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: Chicken divan

A Few Numbers, Just for the Heck of It

20% of Americans are at church on a given week, though 40% report weekly attendance. There are roughly 300,000 individual religious congregations in the U.S.

Though a vast majority polled think fast food is not healthy to eat, still, nearly half (47%) of Americans are eating it at least weekly. There are 160,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S.

The number of children born every year stands at just under 4 million, with a lifetime childbearing rate of 1.9 per woman. 40% of children are born without married parents, and almost exactly a third of babies are now born via C-section.

The number of U.S. babies dying in their first day of life is the highest among industrialized nations, in fact higher than all the others combined. The number of mothers dying due to pregnancy and childbirth is high and getting higher, with America being one of only 8 countries in the world (this time, including non-industrialized nations) losing ground on maternal mortality.

Somewhere around 3-5% of Americans are vegetarian or vegan; but an additional 10% are former vegetarians who have gone back to eating meat. (Et tu, bacon?) According to surveys, an American non-vegetarian is a lot more likely to be interested in vegetarian options nowadays, but still eats an average of nearly 6 ounces of meat per day.

While 30% of Americans aren't getting any physical activity whatsoever, about half are exercising regularly, at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes a pop. We're more likely to put on those workout clothes in spring and summer when it's nicest weather.

And on that note, I need to finish this post and get out for a little jog myself!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Menus

Today: Basmati rice pilaf (see recipe)
Tuesday: Buckwheat pasta with sausage and peppers, green beans
Wednesday: Fish sticks, curried potatoes, green salad
Thursday: Minestrone
Friday: Vegetarian tamale pie
Saturday: Asian chicken salad
Sunday: Pancakes, strawberry sauce, scrambled eggs