Monday, March 27, 2017

My Husband Cooked for a Month

Since he finished studying for and taking his bar exam about a month ago, and is still unemployed, he volunteered to plan meals and cook them. And he did a great job, which shouldn't be a surprise, but which is still a delight to discover for sure. Plus, every man should learn how to make pizza dough from scratch. I could get used to this...

It was also helpful to know, in a few instances, which of my recipes are still a little hard to decipher for a slightly less-experienced cook. But overall, one of my biggest gripes when someone else cooks is how much I have to be on hand to answer questions and generally be extra-reassuring, and I'm very gratified that we're past that annoying stage after this past month of Hubby Menus.

But today I decided to put my oar in again, so here are some Monday menus so you wouldn't miss me too much.

Monday: A Moroccan sweet potato-pork stew.
Tuesday: Falafel from a mix. (After a number of failures over the years, I've decided to try again. We'll see.)
Wednesday: Pasta with a choice of sauces, cooked spinach.
Thursday: Salmon burgers, carrots.
Friday: Leftovers for the girls, S. and I are going to be fed by our teenage son and his peers at the church. How much do you want to bet it's pasta?
Saturday: Scalloped potatoes, broccoli.
Sunday: In the morning, our favorite Conference-weekend treat, cottage cheese croissants. Then Cuban black beans for dinner.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Monday: Tuna melts
Tuesday: Chef's salad
Wednesday: Chicken cacciatore
Thursday: Caldo verde
Friday: Pizza, green beans
Saturday: Fried potatoes/peppers, eggs
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, bacon

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Monday: Boxed mac n' cheese and canned corn (I'm so proud)
Tuesday: Fish sticks, rice, cooked carrots
Wednesday: Red beans and sausage
Thursday: Carrot soup
Friday: Quiche, cooked greens
Saturday: Shrimp curry or sweet and sour shrimp
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, eggs

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Menus

Monday: Sesame noodles (noodles with carrots, cucumbers, and homemade Thai peanut sauce)
Tuesday: Valentine's Day! Planning some fried meat-filled potato croquettes and a cheesecake-baked-in-a-cake
Wednesday: Pupusas, salad
Thursday: Baked beans, rice, beets
Friday: Pizza, carrot and celery sticks
Saturday: Niçoise salad
Sunday: Pancakes and applesauce, the usual

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Menus

Monday: Leftover homemade potstickers from our Chinese New Year dinner yesterday

I used a new recipe and the dough was disappointingly gooey.
But the end result was one of our most delicious yet.

Tuesday: Dhal makhani. I'll be using up the last urad beans I brought with us from before our move, I'll have to look for a new local source.
Wednesday: Corn chowder
Thursday: Pasta with pesto, peas
Friday: Salmon burgers, butternut squash
Saturday: Chef's salad
Sunday: Pancakes with strawberry sauce, applesauce, bacon

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Behind the Scenes

This little blurb incidentally features cooking dinner, but also highlights the unvarnished struggles behind so many of the pretty pictures on blogs, Facebook, Instagram, you-name-it.

Because they need to be out there too.

Mom is wrapped in a blanket, sitting listlessly on a couch as kids walk in the door from school. She’s dressed at least, not in pajamas (she always manages that). But it’s a busy day and she obviously hasn’t started any of the necessary tasks that are now looming, and there are visible tear streaks on her face. One child, the oldest, looks briefly at her and asks if he can do anything for her. She shrugs a dull negative, and he settles in on a couch nearby with thick textbooks and an intent expression, quickly absorbed in pressing homework. Another child comes and gives a hug, then disappears into the bathroom. When she comes out there follow conversations about a contest she won that day, mostly one-sided, aided by her brother pitching in a few comments and details. She wanders off to homework as well.

An hour later two more kids arrive home. Mom has at this point managed to drag herself up to stand in the kitchen and start the dinner that will need to be nearly-finished (ready to throw together and heat after some activities) within fifteen minutes. She has a pot of rice on one back burner and a skillet of some butter and vegetables she is stirring. A couple of cans wait to be opened on the counter. Her next daughter, who has just arrived home, also won something at school, a drawing for tickets to a favorite author’s presentation. All the kids are excited about their generally lucky day. Mom tries to keep out of their way, to minimize eye contact. It’s good they have such events to be happy about.

The last child is the one with the looming activity. Mom leaves the prepped dinner on the stove and drives over to the church with the youngest daughter. She brings some printed papers she has cut into slips and a box of spoons; she’s in charge of the activity. It goes neither horribly well nor horribly badly, except that said daughter spends most of the time in deep distress and sobs because she thinks she missed an answer and isn’t good enough. It’s hard to be 9 and have hormones; this happens sometimes. But it also makes Mom droop as she comments, in ongoing apology to the disrupted group, that ‘she gets it from me’.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Menus

Monday: Scalloped potatoes, salad
Tuesday: Quiche, baked sweet potatoes
Wednesday: Tuna rice casserole, carrots
Thursday: Cuban black beans
Friday: Pizza, spinach
Saturday: Extended family gathering, I hear we're having Hawaiian haystacks
Sunday: Sourdough pancakes, applesauce, scrambled eggs

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Menus

I did half of our Yorkshire pudding in muffin tins, just like this.
They looked the same except for the perfectly cute napkin.
Monday: Yorkshire pudding, sausage gravy, carrots
Tuesday: Niçoise salad
Wednesday: Pasta with pesto, canned corn
Thursday: Shepherd's pie
Friday: Mulligatawny stew
Saturday: Blackeyed peas, collards
Sunday: Pancakes, including some of the batter cooked as ebelskivers since a certain recent Christmas gift to my husband

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday: Pork tacos (with leftovers of Sunday's special anniversary pork), corn
Tuesday: Sesame noodles
Wednesday: Niçoise salad
Thursday: Carrot soup
Friday: Baked beans, rice, beets
Saturday: Polenta pizza, green beans
Sunday: Pancakes, etc.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Menus

Monday: Chef's salad
Tuesday: Curried potatoes, green beans
Wednesday: Tuna-noodle casserole, carrots
Thursday: Chili, cornbread
Friday: Stir-fry with cashews and bamboo shoots
Saturday: Out to dinner with the kids for our 'family birthday'
(Generous friends unknowingly both gave us gift cards to the Olive Garden, so we'll be combining those and enjoying a special occasion with everyone!)
Sunday: For our actual anniversary, island pork roast and a fruity green salad

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Menus (Am I Back? We'll See)

Monday: Pasta with pesto, carrots
Tuesday: Breaded fish fillets, green beans
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Asian chicken salad
Friday: Christmas party fare, we're bringing mashed potatoes and veggies/dip
Saturday: Cuban black beans
Sunday: Pancakes, applesauce, bacon

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Menus, Belated

Our first CSA pickup was last Thursday, and we're never going to manage to eat all these greens! It was a huge amount, and more coming tomorrow...but, we're valiantly trying, and it's a good kind of challenge. Local organic kale, lettuce, and spinach is not a bad thing to have in overabundance, even if it requires some creativity. (Though truthfully, the green onion overabundance has me rather stumped.)

Gorgeous 'Skyphos' lettuce -- it was almost too beautiful to eat. Almost...

Monday: Refried potatoes, butter lettuce (*picture above) salad bar, oyster mushrooms
Tuesday: Bean/kale/potato soup with sausages, cornbread
Wednesday: Tuna-noodle-spinach casserole
Thursday: Stir-fry with baby bok choy, pea pods, and garlic scapes
Friday: Pizza, kale chips
Saturday: Pupusas, salad
Sunday: The Usual

White Russian kale
Lacinato or Dinosaur kale

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Menus

Today: Polenta with cheese and tomato sauce, peas
Tuesday: Cuban black beans
Wednesday: Curried potatoes, corn
Thursday: Asian chicken salad
Friday: Pizza, some kind of fresh farm veggies for a side -- our first CSA pickup is Thursday!!
(CSA stands for community-supported agriculture, or in other words a weekly share of the season's goodies from a local farm.)
Saturday: Lovely pre-packaged, seasoned wild salmon (thanks, Costco!), rice, and cooked carrots
Sunday: Sourdough pancakes and waffles, applesauce, syrup, and bacon

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Menus

Today: I have a gigantic bag of tortilla chips, an avocado with no particular purpose, some experimental homemade salsa verde, a jar of regular store salsa, and some leftover Mexican crema from Cinco de Mayo. Oh, and there are tomatoes and lettuce in the house, and probably I can find a can of refried beans in the cupboard. Sounds like dinner-ish stuff to me, right? Sure.

Tuesday: Chef's salad
Wednesday: Tuna noodle casserole, carrots
Thursday: Potato salad, maybe some cooked spinach or some such on the side
Friday: Pork chop-rice bake, corn
Saturday: Baked beans, beets, bread or biscuits
Sunday: The Usual

Monday, May 16, 2016

Really Good Food Weekend

Besides the (impromptu) fancy pizza in the post below, last weekend had especially good food. Check out this honey-pecan shrimp for our brand new 16-year-old:

And then this black forest masterpiece for his cake (S. did the outer whipped icing, due credit for an awesome job):

Though shocking trivia, there's only a cup or so of flour in this whole thing.

Last year it was good as a double-decker with your goopy pie-filling in the layers; this year I went for the whole triple-decker it called for (using a springform cheesecake pan as a fill-in for a third cake pan), AND soaked it in cherry juice a whole day before serving it. We were all in such heaven!

Finally, for Mother's Day, my wonderful hubby made me cheddar-jalapeño waffles with sausages and peppers on top. 
It was the kind of weekend that definitely did damage to the waistline -- and we don't regret it a bit! 
Though I think we're all cooked out for a while.

Monday Menus

Monday: Probiotic ramen galore
Tuesday: Mulligatawny stew
Wednesday: Cauliflower gratin, baked sweet potatoes
Thursday: Dhal makhani
Friday: Pizza, chips and dip, lemonade
Saturday: Niçoise salad
Sunday: The Usual pancakes

A little note, I got fancier than usual with my pizza last week. I used a loaf's worth of my ooh-la-la artisanal bread dough for the crust, after reading about a related type of technique, and it turned out deliciously. If I started with an artisanal recipe meant for pizza, the result might even end up being mind-blowing. But it was one of those pleasant experiments that turned out pretty well the first time through. We all definitely noticed an increase in tastiness.

Until next week!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Menus

Today: Pasta parma rosa, green beans
Tuesday: Mung bean and coconut curry, rice
Wednesday: Roasted potatoes, salad, peas
Thursday: Chicken chilaquiles, refried beans
Friday: Pizza, carrot and celery sticks
Saturday: A big ol' 16th birthday boy is having honey-walnut shrimp, black forest cake, and peanut butter ice cream
Sunday: Mother's Day, so I'm guessing some kind of breakfast in bed and goodies in general

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I missed last week's menus...I worked over 13 hours at my part-time farm job, plus travel time, so it cut into luxury pursuits like blogging!

But here's for this week.

Monday: Scones, vegetables au gratin
Tuesday: Stir-fry
Wednesday: Fish sticks, pasta with pesto
Thursday: Carrot soup
Friday: I'll try cooking that dopiaza I mentioned a couple weeks ago, along with a salad
Saturday: Baked beans, rice, beets
Sunday: Pancakes and waffles, applesauce, eggs
(Though, our electric griddle is out of commission since we lent it out and it came back with the wrong cord. We haven't yet been able to track down where the correct cord might have ended up, so we're using a frying pan in the meantime. Less elegant and efficient.)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Menus

Chicken dopiaza

Mango lassi
We had a really delicious lunch on Saturday with a friend who showed me how to cook some of her excellent native Indian dishes. A basic urud dhal, a crumbled paneer dish, and chicken dopiaza, all with rice and roti, and mango lassi as dessert. It sounds all fancy-exotic, and it was in its way, but it was also earthy and flavorful and right up my alley. I had never cooked with paneer before, and probably would never have dared use such copious amounts of fresh ginger if I hadn't watched her do it and tasted the result; but there weren't really any ingredients there that I had never worked with otherwise. (Well, there was a specialty pepper or two, but they were sorta optional...)

So, I'm excited to try myself sometime soon. Even having spent two hours in the kitchen helping her, those first bites were really magical -- I couldn't believe those ingredients became that amazing food. As a side note, I'm proud of my kids too, they all dug in and loved the food, and it was really a fun time with the two families eating together. We were all very full when we went home.

So, tonight we get to enjoy some awesome leftovers she sent home with us.

Today: Leftovers
Tuesday: Sesame noodles
Wednesday: Baked potato bar
Thursday: My husband's fortieth! He requested 'something delicious with vegetables, especially eggplant', and blitz torte. So I'll go with ratatouille and poached eggs, and possibly a kale salad mix from the store.
Friday: Ramen for the kids, while S. and I are going out for another guy's surprise 40th birthday party. Pretty sure he won't read this blog and ruin the surprise. :)
Saturday: Baked sweet potatoes, fish sticks
Sunday: The Usual, but with bacon instead of scrambled eggs

We also tried these really cool little Indian candies, local to our friends' childhood home, that are apparently not in US stores anywhere.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday Menus

Today: Chef's salad
Tuesday: Cuban black beans
Wednesday: Corn chowder
Thursday: Lasagna
Friday: Sesame noodles
Saturday: Salmon burgers, roasted carrots, salad
Sunday: The Usual