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Menu Planning 2008: 1

This will be a strange eating week on Forest Street. First off, Sam’s birthday is Sunday, and so on Saturday we will be refereeing enduring hiding from entertaining him and 9 of his closest friends. They will dine on (cheap) pizza and “sleep” all over the living room floor; in the morning they will be served frozen waffles with fake syrup. The milk will be real. They don’t care, and frankly, it is not my job to reform the little buggers into fans of Escoffier. For Family Birthday Dinner he has requested, as always, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn. These will be prepared from scratch and with my usual standard of care.

A sad thing about Sam’s birthday, is that despite the fact that his mother is a pretty bangin’ cook most of the time, I make neither of his cakes, at his request. For his “kid party” he has a doughnut cake. It started as a joke, but has become so popular and wildly anticipated that instead of standing lovingly by the KitchenAid and making him a cake from the heart, I go to the Krispy Kreme drive through and buy two boxes of plain glazed. For his “family party” he gets an ice cream cake. Where did I go wrong?


Anyway, the rest of the week will be fairly prosaic because I am still under the weather, and I have decided to conserve energy for a bit. I am also trying to eat healthier in the sense of getting enough fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy because I think I’ve been lax in that area and that it may have contributed to my general feelings of blah. (It won’t hurt anybody else around here, either). Here’s what we’re eating on Forest Street this week:


Bad Pizza, Good Salad, Wine for Mom


Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Corn

I have never (that I recall) actually made the kind of fried chicken that is deep fried, but I have a couple of good recipes. I’m thinking of a sort of buttermilk bath, flour dredge and fry procedure. If you are reading this and you have a sure-fire/bangup and/or heirloom fried chicken recipe, please shoot it my way.


Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Apples with Raisins and Green Salad

The mac and cheese I make all the time is not unhealthy unless eaten in huge quantities, and I’ll make the baked apples with Splenda instead of sugar. If I’m feeling magnanimous, the salad will include avocado, red onion and oranges.


Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes and Peas

If you let most of the fat drip off (and don’t wrap it in bacon), a slice of meatloaf is just fine. Add a baked potato with Smart Balance and some unbuttered peas, and you have a veritable festival of hominess and health. (I should be writing ad copy for the Beef Council).


Sauteed Chicken with Mushrooms, Rice and Carrots

A pan sauce with white wine, broth and some creminis will make these chicken breasts less medicinal, and I’ll probably make brown rice or barley for myself.


Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Broccoli and Green Salad

This is my standard use-up-the-leftover-meatloaf-in-the-sauce maneuver, and I’ll use one of the new “smart” pastas (I think Barilla makes the one I like) that has some fiber but is not detectably fiberous in a way that raises suspicion in the audience.


Baked Hot Wings, Oven-Fried Potatoes and Cole Slaw

I can tell you that I will be making this recipe up, but I’m feeling confident, here. I have made Bad Wings (yum) by deep frying or pan frying and then coating in a mix of butter and hot sauce; I think I can work with baking and basting wings in hot sauce and Smart Balance. Of course, if Rob reads this before Friday, all bets are off. Shhhh.


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).

7 responses »

  1. love love LOVE the donut cake! you can bet when september rolls around again, that’s what i want! (but maybe with boston creams instead of glazed)
    imagine! all those creamy filled chocolate topped morsels of goodness *insert maniacal laughter here* and they’ll be mine! all MINE!

    oops! got a little carried away there!
    but i really do think it’s a great idea! high fives and happy birthday to sam!

  2. jayedee, you have to SHARE the doughnuts with the other kids! As for me, I have key lime pie on my birthday, but if I were going to have a doughnut cake I would a) have squash cake doughnuts and b) not have my age highlighted in big candles. Thanks for the good wishes for Sam; you’d like him if you knew him. 🙂

  3. I have a good recipe for St. Louis Hot Wings that are broiled. If you want it, email me.

  4. Hey Annie,

    Thanks for the message on my blog (and belated Happy New Year!). I’m just now catching up on my blog reading (and responding to comments).

    The donut cake does look intriguing. But can we make it “old-fashioned” (ie, dense cakelike) donuts instead? Believe it or not, Krispy Kreme opened here in Toronto a few years ago and went bust within a year–Canadians, it seems, like their donuts heavier and with less fat/sugar (but don’t worry, we have just as high an obesity rate as the US, anyway!).

    Hmmm. . . what was under the gift wrap? Hope Sam had a great B-day.

  5. Ricki, I hate those doughnuts. If it were MY birthday they would be cake doughnuts. And yes, it could certainly be done with cake doughnuts…or hockey pucks, for that matter. You have lots of those in Canada, eh?

  6. C’mon, are you SURE you don’t have some Canadian ancestry in there, somewhere, eh? (Oh, pardonnez-moi. I mean, “huh?”).

  7. Ricki, je pense-que non. (Un peu rusty en francais). Je suis simplement une hunkie-anglaise.


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