Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Menu Plan + bonus recipe: Greek Sauce

Yep, I know it's Wednesday. but I've been finding that it is helpful to look back at past menu plans to draw ideas for new ones, so I'll add this one to the pot.

I fired up the grill last night and grilled 2 steaks, 5 pork chops, 1 chicken breast, and four huge smoked sausages. From that, we'll have meals for most of the week.

Pasta salad with grilled chicken and LOTS of veggies

Grilled Pork chops finished with Greek-style sauce
Roasted Potatoes with golden garlic chips (also finished with Greek sauce)
Butter-braised fresh green beans

Greek sauce: 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp dried oregano, 1 tsp. garlic powder OR 1 clove garlic, grated, kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Whisk together the lemon juice, butter, oregano, and garlic powder. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking briskly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over finished pork chops or roasted potatoes. MMMMM!

Pan-fried homemade egg rolls
Maple-sesame bacon fried rice

Naan sandwiches (filling to be determined--maybe thinly sliced steak that I grilled last night, with onions, mozzarella cheese and peppers for me; sliced chicken, spinach, cheese, and tomatoes for the kids; sliced steak, cheese, spinach and spicy mayo for hubs)
Corn on the Cob

Grilled Smoked Sausage
Sauteed Vidalia Onions
Potato Salad


Takeout or leftovers (if we still have some)

MONDAY! Memorial Day!
Baked Beans?
Corn on the cob?
Oven Fries or Potato Packets?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Plan

Greetings, all four of you! Back again. It's supposed to warm up this week, and my garden will be the better for it, I'm sure. You'll see a number of Turkey entries this week--we're using up the Turkey I roasted last week. Also, we just bottled maple syrup with my husband's folks, so you'll see maple a couple of times this week, too. Mmmmm good.

Let's get cooking!

Sweet Italian Sausage w/sauteed onions and peppers
Potato-Cheddar Pierogies
Roasted Green Beans

Turkey Pot Pie
Broccoli Slaw

Maple-Sesame Bacon Fried Rice (with veggies)

Chinese Turkey Salad with Fried Wonton Crisps and Sesame Seeds

Cuban Sandwiches
Saffron Rice with Peas

School Carnival, Going Away Party


Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu Plan

Ah, Monday. You present all sorts of challenges, don't you? My current dilemma is of the What Are We Gonna Eat nature. I figure I'll start by letting you know what we had last week. Maybe that will get my creative juices flowing for this week's menu.

Also coming up--a post about homemade salad dressing. I started making my own about a year ago, and we hardly use any bottled dressing any more. It's easy to make, and it's CHEAP! It also tastes a lot fresher, and there's the added benefit of being able to tailor the dressing to personal tastes. I may post that yet today, but I will post it by tomorrow at the latest.


Baked Ziti

Grilled Pork Steak
Cacio e Pepe Roasted Potatoes (Roasted potatoes tossed with freshly grated Parmesano-Reggiano cheese and liberal amounts of freshly cracked black pepper immediately before serving)
Roasted Corn on the Cob

Wednesday-Cinco de Mayo!
Barbacoa Burritos with black beans, cilantro-lime rice, fresh roasted corn and roasted jalapeno salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream
Homemade tortilla chips
Fresh Guacamole

Scrambled Eggs
Hash Browns
Sausage Links

Out to eat. I had Asian Lettuce Wraps, Abe had a Bacon and Bleu Cheese Burger, and the kids had Mac and cheese and Pizza

Linguine with Roasted Garlic Pesto Alfredo
Grilled Romaine Salad

Sunday-Mother's Day!
Out for pizza. The kids had a cheese pizza, and Abe and I had pizza with alfredo, roasted chicken, bacon, mushrooms, feta, and mozzarella, sprinkled with oregano and parmesan cheese. Wowsers. It was GOOD!


Tacos w/home-fried shells, onions, peppers, leftover barbacoa, salsa, and cheese
Yellow Rice

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad--loaded with peas, carrots, romaine, peppers, cucumbers...

Roasted Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Stir-fried garlic veggie blend (sugar snap peas, red peppers, mushrooms, water chestnuts)

Grilled Pork Loin
Sauteed Vidalias
Jasmine Rice Pilaf

Chinese Turkey Salad (or leftovers)

Junk food at the baseball game

DEFINITELY leftovers...we'll have plenty, I'm sure!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

You know, I love Thanksgiving. I love the Turkey and stuffing and the green bean casserole and the pies and the hours of thankful indulgence. And I love the 4th of July, a day which begs for a menu of juicy smoked-this and grilled-that and heaps of pasta salads, potato salads, baked beans, corn, and ice cream. Independence and a cookout. What's not to love? And there's Easter, with its savory ham. And Christmas, with its crumbly, sugary cookies and decadent baked sweets. I know holidays weren't created with food in mind, but when holidays roll around, food is always on my mind.

That's why I will welcome any holiday that demands I prepare a menu of more food than we could possibly eat. Cinco de Mayo (The 5th Of May) commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. Not super relevant to my every day life. But oh, how I love south-of-the-border food. And yes, I'm fully aware that many of the items we call "Mexican food" are not, in fact, Mexican. I'm okay with that. Because at the end of the day, Cinco de Mayo encourages me to use lots of cilantro and limes and spicy peppers and guacamole, and that's always a reason to celebrate.

I started LOVING Mexican food about 10 years ago. I've always liked it, but growing up, I just usually ate Taco Bell-type interpretations. Good, but MEH. Then I went to a restaurant called Maggie's Kitchen, which served authentic Mexican food cooked by actual Mexicans. Then I went to Nina's Taqueria, which, again, served real Mexican food prepared by people who know it. And I went to those places again and again, all the while discovering a deep fondness for Barbacoa. And for cilantro. And that beautiful, slightly-tomatoey, slightly-spicy rice. And refried beans that aren't pink and don't come out of a can. And real, honest-to-goodness pico de gallo and salsa verde and and and and....

So when it came time to have my own kitchen in my own house where I get to do all of the shopping and the cooking and the meal planning, I decided to make room in our calendar for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Our menu is fairly standard; last year, it was fajitas, this year, burritos, but mostly, it is the same stuff. This year, it will be my own version of Barbacoa (because I don't have access to a whole sheep, a pit lined with volcanic rock and mesquite, and leaves of a maguey cactus, I'm using chuck roast and a crock pot) to serve in gigantic burritos stuffed with black beans and cilantro-lime rice, sour cream, shredded cheese, and homemade salsa with roasted corn, tomatoes, and jalapenos. On the side, we'll have Mexican rice (like they serve at Nina's Taqueria), fresh guacamole, and fresh, home-fried tortilla chips. To top it off, we'll drink Lime Jarritos soda.

So it's not my holiday. So what? I will still eat myself silly celebrating it. Viva Cinco de Mayo!! Next up: Bastille Day!