Monday, April 27, 2015

menu plan april iv

We are deep into the stormy, confused weather of April.  Hot, cold, and when they intersect too rapidly - tornadoes.

Neither here nor there - but I found this at Hobby Lobby and really want to hang it in my living room!

Our winter CSA has wrapped up, and I have to say I'm a bit relieved.  Toward the end of each CSA season, I get a little bit of fatigue as I try to deal with the regular stream of produce coming into my home.  In the summer, it's easier to can and freeze extras.  Winter produce keeps longer at room temperature, but I have some pumpkins that have been staring at me for months from the dining room table!  We are down to just onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, turnips, radishes, and a couple horseradish roots (that might be too dry to even mess with at this point).  Oh, and those pumpkins.  :)

The spring CSA will start in late May, so I have from now until then to work through what's left on the counter and in the fridge and freezer.  It's kind of a fun time to get inventive.

This week is pretty quiet in terms of events, meetings, and traveling, so let's get on with the food!

-- breakfast:  scrambled eggs, bacon, sourdough toast with honey, coffee + milk
-- lunch:  barbecue chicken drumsticks, green beans, macaroni and cheese, fruit, crescent rolls
-- supper:  Family Dinner!  We are bringing a chocolate meringue pie.  Basically you take my pudding recipe, put it in a pie crust, and top with meringue from the leftover egg whites.

-- breakfast:  Todd and I totally ate leftover chocolate meringue pie for breakfast.  With coffee and milk, so it was a balanced meal, obviously.
-- lunch:  a couple of grass-fed jerky sticks, leftover couscous with sauteed carrots and sweet potatoes
-- supper: lentil soup (I'm going to do the roasted garlic version!), sourdough bread

-- breakfast:  soaked oatmeal with home-canned apples, honey, crispy walnuts, and coconut cream.  Coffee + milk.
-- lunch:  black beans and salsa on corn tortillas with cheese, kombucha
-- supper:  cheeseburgers on sourdough buns with ketchup, pickles, onions.  Sweet potato fries.

-- breakfast:  scrambled eggs, bacon, sourdough toast with honey, satsumas coffee + milk.
-- lunch:  leftover lentil soup and bread
-- supper:  soy-sesame salmon fillets, Asian slaw, steamed rice with scallions

-- breakfast:  soaked granola with milk and raisins, coffee + milk, satsumas
-- lunch:  Vicki and I are going on a Field Trip to TPAC!  We are seeing a play with her Encore class, and then we will lunch like ladies somewhere downtown.  I'm really excited.  She will probably want pizza.
-- supper:  leftover ham salad on sourdough toast, sliced radishes with butter and salt

-- breakfast:  oatmeal and fruit
-- lunch:  steamed rice topped with steamed pumpkin and green beans
-- supper:  no supper.  I'm doing a gallbladder cleanse.  Don't even ask. Just don't.

-- no breakfast
-- lunch:  pumpkin soup (thinking something like that link, but without the chestnuts!) with soaked crackers and cheese
-- supper:  we are having a BBQ potluck honoring our intern at church, who will be leaving to take on his own congregation this summer in Kentucky!  I'm bringing whatever he says his favorite dessert is.  :)  (I'm secretly hoping it's another chocolate meringue pie!)

What's up with y'all?  Any good eats?  Or just interesting happenings?

[This post submitted to Menu Plan Monday 4/27/15.]

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Asian slaw

I wrote in my last menu plan that I needed to finally get this recipe out into the ether.  I make this Asian slaw probably once a month, usually for a potluck situation.  My mother-in-law requested that I bring it to the family Easter dinner yesterday.  I love bringing it because:  cabbage.  It feeds an army for like fifty cents.  This whole salad probably costs $5 to put together, and it feeds 12 as a side dish, easily.  I also love it because you can make all the three elements in advance (salad base, dressing, crunchy toppings), and just put it all together right before serving.  So, without further ado, please have my recipe for Asian slaw!

Asian Cabbage Slaw

1 small head cabbage, finely shredded
1 carrot, shredded on a box grater
4-5 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 C dried cherries
4 oz sliced almonds
1 package Oriental flavored Ramen noodles
1/4 C sugar (I used sucanat here)
1/4 C rice vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 T sesame oil

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, toss together the shredded cabbage and carrot, green onions, and dried cherries.

Crush the Ramen noodles inside the package, using the back of a knife or a mallet.  Open the package, remove the seasoning packet, and spread the noodles on a baking sheet, along with the sliced almonds.

Toast the Ramen noodles and almonds for about 5 minutes - watch closely because they will burn fast!

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, and the seasoning packet from the Ramen noodles in a small mason jar.

Shake shake shake!  Dressing is done.

Pull the noodles and almonds from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  Toss them with the cabbage/carrot/onion/cherry mixture.  Dress it all liberally and serve!

(If I make this ahead of time, I dress the salad mix with about half the dressing, and reserve the rest.  I also pack up the noodles and almonds separately so they stay crunchy.  Combine it all at the last minute and serve!)

Serves 8-12 as a side dish.

Monday, April 20, 2015

menu plan april iii

I'm back!  DC was amazing.  I really enjoy it, as a city.  It's like a nice compromise between New York and Nashville - large enough to not really need a car, but not quite so dense.  The Metro is like a happy little miniature subway (although the Brutalist architecture can be a little overwhelming).  Also, I had some really great food.  Highlights:

Republic:  local, great seafood (had oysters), sustainable, beautiful inventive drink menu (Takoma Park).
Matchbox:  wood-fired pizza, great salads, oysters were also lovely (14th Street).
Ted's Bulletin:  adult milk shakes, homemade pop tarts.  Need I say more?  (14th Street).
ShopHouse:  think Chipotle but with Thai/Vietnamese food.  Ridiculously good, cheap, fast.  Nashville needs one of these stat.  (Chinatown, but there are tons of locations).

Wonderful friends and colleagues pretending to listen to me tell some story.  ;)

After all that beautiful food and fellowship (and learning), I was ready to get back to some of my home cooking.  And my kids - I like them too.

Here's what's up in the kitchen this week:

-- breakfast:  soaked oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, home-canned apples, and honey; coffee + milk
-- lunch:  pork ribs with barbecue sauce, ravioli, salad, rolls
-- supper:  breakfast for dinner night with my Family Dinner peeps!  We brought sweet potato hash.  Soooo much good food:  waffles, eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit salad, and the hash.

-- breakfast:  we were in a rush!  Granola, yogurt, honey.  Coffee + milk.
-- lunch:  I'm still pondering.  Do I grab something while out visiting?  Or do I eat the leftover chicken and rice with lentils that I brought?
-- supper:  this bulgur wheat salad, I think.  I will add roasted cherry tomatoes I froze last summer, and some soaked and cooked chickpeas for heft.

-- breakfast:  scrambled eggs, bacon, sourdough toast, jam, satsumas, coffee + milk
-- lunch:  leftover bulgur salad, kombucha
-- supper:  Korean beef with broccoli, rice, kimchi

-- breakfast:  scrambled eggs, bacon, sourdough toast, jam, satsumas, coffee + milk
-- lunch:  leftover Korean beef and rice, water kefir
-- supper:  Shrimp Fra Diavolo (recipe coming soon!), fettuccine, green beans

-- breakfast:  soaked pancakes with butter and maple syrup, home-canned apples, sausage patties, coffee + milk
-- lunch:  out somewhere between two Bible studies - probably Panera for a big salad?
-- supper:  grilled bratwurst on sourdough buns with mustard and sauerkraut, sweet potato fries

-- breakfast:  blackberry-banana-yogurt smoothies, crispy walnuts and chocolate chips, coffee + milk
-- lunch:  leftovers of whatever
-- supper:  we are cooking out at the home of one of my great friends from my clergy covenant group!  Can't wait to get all the families and kids together.  I'm bringing a German potato salad.

-- breakfast:  I'm positive Vicki will want pancakes.  :)
-- lunch:  pumpkin soup, crackers, cheese, pickles, kombucha
-- supper:  this will be the wedding I'm doing for my dear friend and brother-in-law Chase, and his fiance Carly.  So excited for us to be a part of it!  Vicki will be a flower girl, too.

So, what's up with y'all?  What are you doing?  Or eating?

[This post submitted to Menu Plan Monday 4/20/15.]

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

menu plan april ii

Heyo!  This week feels like a bit of a cheat, because I'm going to be out of town for most of it!  I have the final meeting of my Lewis Fellows cohort in DC.  I'm hoping and praying that my children won't be too insane as their father, grandmother, and great-grandmother take care of them this week.  And that I can get some quality sleep in a hotel and not miss them too much.  And not get bedbugs.  Ya know - normal stuff.

On Saturday we had Vicki Jo's fourth birthday party.  It was so fun.  We had a pinata, good times in the backyard, and chocolate raspberry cupcakes (her request).  I love all the spring birthdays that me and my children have.  It makes for such lovely outdoor parties, as long as it's not pouring.

Birthday cupcakes!!  Chocolate raspberry cupcakes with raspberry buttercream.  It was my first time making buttercream, and it turned out a little grainy.  But I didn't hear any complaints!
Okay:  the food.  Like I said, this week is a bit of a cop-out, as I'm traveling.  Wish me luck with that!

-- breakfast:  soaked oatmeal with hemp seeds, dried cherries, bananas, and honey
-- lunch:  pork tenderloin, roasted sweet potatoes, green beans with bacon ends
-- supper:  Family Dinner!!  It was Sean's birthday choice this week.  He wanted burgers, and we delivered!  Grass-fed goodness for all, plus cheddar, mustard, mayo, lettuce, and onions.

-- breakfast:  gonna try to have something quick-fast before I have to be at the airport by 5:40!  In fact, I'm thinking I may just pack trail mix with crispy walnuts, dried cherries, and chocolate chips to munch on once I get through security.
-- lunch:  in DC somewhere!  I'm meeting my best friend's sister Maria for a happy lunch - unless her overdue baby comes first.  :)
-- supper will be with the cohort.

Tuesday & Wednesday
Meals are provided as part of my program, and we will go out Wednesday evening somewhere awesome in the area!  (I have received a zillion recommendations from friends!  Oyamel, Jaleo, Luke's Lobster . . .)

Breakfast is with the cohort, and then lunch will once again be somewhere between Silver Spring Metro and Reagan National Metro.  Supper I'm still undecided about.  My flight leaves at 5:30 and arrives at 6:35, so I might just have a snack on hand and then wait until I get back to Nashville to eat.

-- breakfast:  soaked oatmeal with coconut cream, raisins, canned apples, and honey
-- lunch:  probably just a big old salad from somewhere like Panera
-- supper:  Pizza Night!  I'm thinking it will just be pepperoni and mozzarella.  I will try to make a sauce from scratch with some canned tomatoes, but the rest of my game will be off from having been gone all week.  :)

-- breakfast:  soaked oatmeal with coconut cream, raisins, canned pears, and honey
-- lunch:  carrot-ginger soup, raw cheese, sourdough toast
-- supper:  roast chicken, mashed potatoes, turnip greens, radishes with butter & salt

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

vicki jo: 4 years!!!

Oh, my sweet girl.  Can it be four years ago that we went to the hospital in a terrified frenzy after falling down the stairs?  Can it be four years since I held you the first time and could only say "My baby! My baby!" over and over again?

In honor of four years, I have posted four videos, one from each of the years of her life.  I hope all these links work.  :)

Posted by Emily Reeves Grammer on Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting closer!
Posted by Emily Reeves Grammer on Sunday, August 5, 2012

Me McGregor & Peter Rabbit
Posted by Zan Starnes Martin on Saturday, March 8, 2014

So how cute are these two little ones? A little play time after fish fry fundraiser for our church youth
Posted by Zan Starnes Martin on Sunday, March 22, 2015