I have committed to participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) 07, which involves writing a post every day during the month of November. It is the lazy person’s version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which one commits to writing a novel during the month of November. I aspire to the latter, but in the meantime I am already struggling with the former; I have only 55 minutes left to write something or I will have failed on the first day.
This week’s menu is partly based on my realization that I have, in fact, become an “ingredient snob.” Barbara on BlessUsOLord suggested the possibility that I might be leaning in that direction, and I immediately responded that I was not. Two days ago, however, I made a pot roast that called for both canned soup and onion soup mix and I must confess that the results slapped me silly with a wave of chemicals, salt and whatever is the opposite of subtlety. Blatantness? On the other hand, I made Barbara’s Pumpkin Upside Down Cake and loved it. Maybe baking-related convenience foods taste better?
Anyway, I find myself craving the complex (and natural) flavors I began to create in the summer, and so our menu this week reflects a little more sophistication than those of recent weeks. As always, I am basing my plans on what is seasonal, what is on sale, and a mix of no more than 2 red meat and at least one vegetarian entrees. Here’s what we’re eating on Forest Street this week:
Buccatini All’Amatriciana, Bread, Salad with Oil and Vinegar
I watched Lidia Bastianich make this on PBS last week, and have been craving it ever since. Its her recipe, and if it is as lovely as I anticipate it will be, I’ll share.
Yankee Pot Roast
This is a “Cooking Light” recipe and it includes not only the roast but rutabagas, parsnips, carrots and potatoes. I am hoping that it will erase the flavor of this week’s Pot Roast Debacle from my sense memory.
About which I have no comment other than to wonder what, exactly, they are feeding us for $5.00 per person.
Porcini-Dusted Chicken Scallopine, Risotto and Roasted Carrots
This should make up for whatever they give us for dinner Monday night. Sam doesn’t like mushrooms, so I will probably reserve one un-dusted piece of chicken for him.
Vegetable Lasagne and Italian Bread
This is another from “Cooking Light,” and it sounds divine from the homemade marinara to the blend of red and yellow peppers, zucchini and cremini mushrooms. The only issue is how to disguise the mushrooms – do I leave them big so Sam can pick them out, or chop them fine and commit a sin of omission a la Jessica Seinfeld?
Marinated, Braised Chicken Breasts and Winter Squash Casserole
I am crossing my fingers that the casserole will be well-received; its a “Cooking Light” recipe that is mostly made from Butternut Squash. I may make some noodles, too, so that if the boys hate the casserole they can just eat chicken and noodles.
Chili, Chips and Toppings
I make Great Lakes Standard Chili: ground beef, kidney beans, Ro-Tel, a diced chile or two and a pinch of brown sugar. I serve it on a bed of tortilla chips with diced avocado, shredded Monterey Jack, diced sweet onion and sour cream as toppings. It isn’t glamorous or authentic, but its good.