RSS Feed

Menu Planning Week 16

Well, I’ve been posting menu plans for 4 months now. I’m not sure its helping anyone but me, but I choose to maintain the illusion that there are people out there who are close to leaping from the bridge of family cooking, only to discover this blog, breathe a sigh of relief, perhaps say “I want to live again!” and plunge back into the fray with renewed vigor and creativity. I realize that I am all over the place – exotic and complicated recipes, homey comfort food, reduced calorie recipes from “Cooking Light,” re-purposed leftovers, but things move fast around here. Moods change, seasons change, schedules change, cookbooks arrive, waistbands tighten, requests for favorites are made…isn’t that kind of how everybody lives?

Anyway, this week I am cooking fairly “light”-ly, still working around three football practices a week, and preparing two meals that can be shared with my parents. As is ever the case, I have planned no more than two red meat meals, and at least one vegetarian meal, relying heavily on what is on sale at the grocery store. I live in a place where there is no Whole Foods, Wild Oats or Trader Joe’s, and this is the final weekend for our local Farmers’ Market, so I have learned to be grateful for the little advances, like the fact that Meijer’s Thrifty Acres has deigned to stock broccoli rabe for the first time ever this fall….

Here’s what we’re eating on Forest Street this week:


Chili-Cheese Sloppy Joes and Fruit Salad

The Sloppy Joe recipe actually comes from “Bon Appetit,” and seems to be gloopy and cheesy enough to satisfy the boys, while being interesting enough to please me. We’ll be at a college football game most of the day, so I need to make something quick and easy when we get home, and maybe’ something a little tailgate-y. Fruit Salad will probably be spinach with pears, toasted nuts and a some scallions. I’d love to add some cheese, but I really think we’ll be sufficiently arterially challenged by the main course.


Pork Chops, Baked Squash and Egg Noodles

This was actually a meal planned for last week, but we ended up eating out one night and ended up with an uneaten meal. The chops are in the freezer, and squash keeps for a while, so I’ll just defrost, marinate, and saute the chops and bake the squash cut in half with some butter and brown sugar.


Chicken Cutlets Breaded with Panko and Peanuts, Peanut Sauce,Rice Noodles and Broccoli Rabe

I’m playing with several ideas here, and this dinner could end up somewhat different depending on mood, weather, and fit of pants. The idea for breading cutlets of any poultry or pork with Panko and chopped nuts came from “Cooking Light,” and sounded good to me. It sounded like it might go nicely with my standard peanut sauce and noodles, but I may decide that the sauce is overkill and just serve the coated cutlets with noodles and broccoli. Or, I may jettison the breading, cut up the chicken, broccoli and some onions and make a stir fry with the peanut sauce and chopped peanuts sprinkled over the top…We’ll see.

Melissa’s Peanut Sauce

1. 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (smooth works too; its just a thinner sauce)
2. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3. 1 teaspoon white sugar
4. 2 drops hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco or Frank’s)
5. 1 clove garlic, minced
6. 1 inch (app.) fresh ginger, peeled and minced
7. 1/2 cup water


Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Swiss Baked Potatoes and Chunky Applesauce

Tuesday is the first day that it might possible feel like fall – it is in the 80s here, and expected to reach near 90 on Saturday. This set of recipes from the most recent issue of “Cooking Light” seemed like a good fall-ish dinner, makes good use of sale-priced pork and abundant apples, and makes a quantity that will let me share with my folks.


Brunswick Stew in Bread Bowls

Sam is in love with bread bowls, his standard choice at Panera. My father adores Brunswick Stew, and probably hasn’t had it for years. When I saw both the bread bowl instructions and the Brunswick Stew recipe in “Cooking Light,” I saw a cosmic convergence that directed me to make this meal and please two of the three most important men in my life. (Rob may not love it because the stew has lima beans in it, but I’m hoping he’ll be so swept away by the novelty of the bread bowl that he won’t be too bothered about the beans). Because I am either a very bad or a very good mother, I will buy a can of broccoli cheddar soup and put that in Sam’s bread bowl, because I’m not sure what he’ll make of the stew, and because he loves broccoli cheddar soup.


Penne with Cauliflower and Leeks and Greens

This is our vegetarian meal, and it comes from the recent all-Italian issue of “Food & Wine.” While penne, cauliflower and leeks initially sounded very, well, white to me, I was reassured by the inclusion of a hot red pepper in the recipe. I am hoping the dish will be subtle, earthy and satisfying with enough of a kick to make it interesting.


Cook’s Night Out


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

4 responses »

  1. I hope you keep posting these. I’m a pretty hardened case when it comes to lack of cooking inspiration, but you make it all sound so wonderful that it gives me hope that I’ll turn around one of these days.

  2. Claudia, thanks?! What I really want to eat is some of your lardo…..

    katiekind, its nice to know the menu plans are giving you hope. Maybe you could inspire me to do something useful like plant some flowers next spring?

  3. Mark Anthony C. Supan

    I want to see your menu plan for two weeks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: