Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30 - December 4

I think that life will get crazier before it gets saner, at least for the next few weeks.  Our strategy this week is to make two big pots of yummy food that we can eat all week long...  'cause we have no idea when we'll be where, or where we'll be when.  And so, this week we'll be eating:

With lovely homemade stock...  I rescued the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving dinner and will simmer stock today.   It's pretty easy -- just turkey bones, a whole bunch of water in a big pot, get it boiling, add some celery, carrots, a couple onions cut in half (keep the skins on -- they give good color) maybe a little garlic, some parsley, peppercorns, thyme.  Simmer for a good long time until the stock is reduced by 1/4 to 1/2.  Cool and strain everything out through cheesecloth.  Put it in the fridge, and use it tomorrow.  When it's cool, sometimes you can pull some fat off the top if you want to go low-fat.  Or just heat all that fatty goodness back in.

2.  Spaghetti.  This isn't my recipe -- it's Phil's creation.  I don't know what he puts in it, but it takes all day long and is spicy and sometimes has meatballs and is quite wonderful.  So, I can't offer any more than that.  But I bet there will be garlic bread, and we'll probably have a vegetable too. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 24 - 28

Sorry, we're slacking this week!  This is a week of staying late at work (sometimes), visiting family (sometimes), shopping (sometimes) and just general unplanningness.  We're not hosting Thanksgiving, therefore I'm taking the week off from planning food.  Probably means that, when we do happen to be home, we'll eat PBJ.  But I love PBJ.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 16 - 20

It's cold and rainy and I want to stay in my pajamas and drink coffee all day.  That has nothing to do with dinner, but it needed to be said.  And, looking back, it might have influenced my choices for this week.  Lots of roasting, lots of comfort-food-in-a-big-pot sorts of things.  Yum.

Sunday, November 16

It's Jambalaya time!  

I'll also be making soup today to serve at school tomorrow.  The teachers are taking turns making lunch for each other, then we pay five bucks to eat, and all the money goes to United Way.  We get to do a fundraiser and eat well, too.  I'm making Pasta Fagioli soup, and my friend Elizabeth is bringing bread and a lovely dessert.

Monday, November 17

Salmon with bourbon glaze:  Mix up some brown sugar, bourbon, water and soy sauce.  Put some salmon (wild-caught, please -- the farmed stuff's bad for the environment and you) on a pan covered with tin foil.  Put the oven on about 400 or 425 (this is my standard temperature for everything, I think) and brush the sauce on.  After about 5 minutes, brush some more.  Cooking time depends on how big the salmon pieces are -- I think usually between 8 and 12 minutes, so I'll do one more brush a few minutes before pulling it.  Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper.

We're also having oven-roasted fingerling potatoes (picked these up on my giant farmers' market adventure a few weeks back and haven't had a chance to use them yet) -- coat lightly in olive oil, salt and pepper, roast for about 25 - 40 minutes.  So obviously, put them in before the salmon.

And broccoli.  We'll have that too.

Tuesday, November 18

Wednesday, November 19

Pasta with crumbled turkey sausage, veggies and homemade tomato sauce.

Thursday, November 20

Let's-Pretend-We're-Tailgating Sandwiches:
Take half a loaf of lovely multigrain bread, unsliced.  Cut it in half the long way, separating top from bottom (like a giant hamburger bun).  Saute onions, mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini, press into the bottom slice of bread.  A layer of cheese (I'm thinking provelone) on top of the veggies.  Some ham (or other deli meat) on the cheese, then some honey mustard and mayo.  Press the top of the bread on.  Wrap the whole thing in tin foil, put on a pan and into the oven (400, probably) for 15 - 20 minutes.  Slice in thin slices.  The name comes from the fact that we make these when we tailgate for Lions games, and we cook them on the grill.  

Also, sweet potato oven fries:  slice a sweet potato, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and fun spices (maybe some ancho chile powder, maybe just Lawry's...).  Put parchment on a cookie sheet, spread potato slices in a single layer.  Bake for 25 - 40 minutes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 9 - 14

Sunday, November 9

We're going to the Lions game, but we're gonna skip the tailgating this time, as 40 degrees and sleet is too much for this fair-weather fan.  Therefore, we might actually be hungry for dinner tonight, and so I've made a plan:

Roasted brussels sprouts (toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, pop 'em in a pan in the oven for about 30 - 40 minutes, on 400 or 425 -- can you tell I believe in exact measurements? -- and sprinkle some parmesan on for the last 5 or so minutes.  Lovely.)

Monday, November 10

Lasagna!  It's Phil's sister's recipe:
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
uncooked lasagna noodles
3 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c chopped onions
28 oz. can tomatoes
24 oz. cottage cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
garlic, oregano, Italian spices
(and sometimes I add chopped/shredded zucchini)

1.  Chop onions 
2.  Brown beef and onion
3.  Drain and remove from heat
4.  Add sauce, undrained tomatoes and spices
5.  In 13 x 9 glass dish, layer a bit of sauce, then:
3 noodles,
1/3 cottage cheese,
1/3 sauce mixture
1/3 mozzarella
6.  Repeat until ingredients are gone or the pan is overflowing.  Top with parm. cheese.
7.  Cover and refrigerate 8 - 24 hours
8.  Put in cold oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes.

We're also having broccoli.

Tuesday, November 11

Tomato Garlic Soup with Tortellini (from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)
I love this soup!

Make garlic broth:  
8 c. vegetable stock
3 T minced garlic
2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp. paprika
sage, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper

You'll also need 2 c. undrained canned tomatoes and 9 oz. fresh or frozen cheese-filled tortellini as well as some Pecorino or Parmesan for sprinkling when the soup is done.

Boil stock.  In another pan, gently saute garlic in olive oil until golden -- not brown.  Add boiling stock, spices.  Simmer for 15 - 30 minutes.

Add tomatoes.  Simmer for 10 - 15 min.   

In a separate pot, cook tortellini.  Drain.  Put some in a bowl, pour tomato garlic broth over the top.

Wednesday, November 12

Grilled or roasted salmon (depends on the weather)
Oven-roasted sweet potato -- cut it in chunks, toss in oil, salt and pepper, spread out on parchment on a cookie sheet and cook for about 30 min. on 400 or 425.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 3 - 9

So I hit the farmer's market on Saturday morning and, as usual, bought way more than we needed for the week.  Just doing my part to support the local economy, I guess (though I use that as an excuse every time I buy something that isn't online).  And now I've got to figure out how to use all the stuff that will probably go bad if I wait too long (the squash can sit, the bok choy, not so much).  And I bought lemongrass, because I'm forever seeing it in recipes.  And now I have to find recipes for it.  And so, our lemongrass-inspired menu for the week:

Sunday, November 2

We're gonna roast something.  Maybe a chicken, maybe lamb chops.  Whatever looks good at the store.  This dinner's all about the side dishes:

Roasted beast
Savory butternut squash:  cube 1 butternut squash, toss in oil, season with salt and pepper.   Place in single layer on jelly-roll pan.  Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes or until tender.   Remove from oven, toss with golden raisins, 2 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp curry powder, 1T minced cilantro.
Roasted brussels sprouts:  Cut the big ones in half, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper.  Roast in oven (400 degrees-ish) until edges brown.  Maybe put some garlic in.  

Monday, November 3

Drunken Stir-Fried Beef with Green Beans

Tuesday, November 4
Happy Election Day!

Wednesday, November 5

Leftovers or sandwiches

Thursday, November 6

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