Menu of the Week: Onions

I consider onions to be a staple, along with tomatoes.  I use almost a bag of onions a week.  Onions are very healthy for you and full of fiber and of course delicious.

This week’s menu swap is hosted by Manda at Asparagus Thin so make sure you check out her menu and blog as well as all the other menu posts.  This week’s ingredient is onions.

Saturday:  Grilled wild caught Sockeye Salmon with dill and garlic and a dill horseradish yogurt sauce and creamed spinach (with onions).

Sunday:  Over at a friends for grilled leg of lamb

Monday:  On the road 🙁 for work, of course.  All these night meetings mess with my cooking routine.  Maybe I will pack a waffle turkey sandwich.  I really like using waffles for sandwich bread.

Tuesday:  Italian American

Stuffed Shells!  Finally!  I will be stuffing mine with a ricotta and Italian sausage mixture  and topping it off with marinara sauce and some fresh mozzarella.  Onions will certainly be a factor in this dinner.

Wednesday: Indian

Cardamon Chicken with garlic and onions, lemon basmati rice.  Maybe onion pakora if it isn’t too hot out.

Thursday: New Mexican

Green chile harvest!  I will roast them and make a green chile cheese tamale casserole with some red chile sauce on the side.  A side of pinto beans simmered with chipotle, jalapeno and onions sounds good too.

Friday: South American

Bolones de verde (plantains grated and made into a dough and stuffed with cheese) – a snack I had in Ecuador that is actually Colombian and hard to find a recipe so I will be tasting and creating from a memory over 15 years old!  Along with this, grilled grass fed beef ribeye steaks with chimichurri sauce (with onions,  parsley, oregano, cilantro in the sauce).  Some grilled veggies for a side dish.

Happy eating!  Next week I will be in Flagstaff AZ for work for 7 days and will be eating from a college cafeteria and therefore I will not be posting a menu.  I hope simply to survive!

i’m out

Appetizer of the week: Tuscan white bean truffle dip

This one is great as it requires no heat and no stove, just a food processor of some sort.  I always have most of the ingredients for this one on hand which makes it easy to throw together for an impromptu appetizer.  We have been asked over to dinner this eve with some friends that are grilling a leg of lamb and I thought this appetizer would go well with it.  It is sort of like Italian hummus, but high scale.

tuscan white bean truffle dip

As usual, I rarely measure anything when I make it, so I will try to be as accurate as possible.  I also use what I have on hand, so if you don’t have an ingredient or two, sub something else that is equally as tasty.  The two key ingredients are the white beans and the truffle oil.  If you don’t have any truffle oil, just take truffle out of the name of your dip.

1 can of Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained.  (or any white bean of your choice)
1/4 cup of grated or finely shredded parmeasan
1 sun dried tomato or two, depending on size – the ones packed in olive oil would be fine.  I dry my own every fall when I am tired of canning.  Then I forget to use them until I think of this app.
1 clove garlic
1-2 TBS fresh chopped chives
1-2  TBS fresh oregano, use the flower buds if you have them
dash of salt (the parm keeps it salty)
two big dashes of smoked paprika – if you don’t have smoked, use regular, but if you have both, used smoked.
lots of cracked pepper
1 TBS + of truffle oil – from one of those tiny bottles – if you have a big bottle (5 oz or  more), it is probably not as strong, so use more of it and cut back on the olive oil.  Use enough so that you can smell the truffles in the dip.  Use more if your budget allows it and cut back on olive oil.
1/4 cup Olive oil – give or take

In a small food processor, mix everything but the beans and olive oil.  Mix until everything is finely chopped.  Add the beans and some olive oil and mix until you get a nice smooth consistency.  Add more olive oil as necessary to keep the mix moving and about the thickness of hummus.

Refrigerate for a little while to let the flavors blend.  Bring the dip to room temperature before serving so that the earthy, smokey, herbiness of the ingredients comes out.  Serve with strong crackers (Glutino’s aren’t much for dipping, but are my favorites) or GF crostini.  Garnish with some fresh parsley for accent. Drizzle with more olive or truffle oil for pizazz.

Dip and enjoy!

tuscan white bean truffle dip with glutino crackers

i’m out

Tinkyada stuffed shells!!!

As discovered last night on the internets:  large shell pasta! Yippeee!  Now I can make stuffed shells – all we need is ravioli now….

Perhaps you all knew about the large shells already.  I didn’t.  We ordered a case (lifetime supply) from Amazon.  Look forward to them on the menu next week as I still have canned tomatoes from last year’s garden.

i’m out

Menu of the week: It’s peachy baby!

Unfortunately, being further North than the rest of the GF bloggers leaves MI peachless right now.  We need about one more month before they start showing up at the farmer’s markets.  I don’t have any frozen right now and I don’t care for canned peaches, so perhaps I will sub with a mango – which of course is never in season in MI.  Fruits and Veggies that are grown in MI I am trying to wait until they are ready in MI.  Stuff that will never be grown here – avocados, mangoes, limes – I just have to clear a guilty pathway to my conscience as I can go local as much as possible, but enjoy a global cuisine.  I at least reduce my “shipped from CA” footprint a little bit.  Now I feel very guilty about my mangoes that were on sale.

For some great use of peaches, check out the Gluten Free menu swap, hosted this week by the creator of the swap, Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy.  I will just take note of everyone’s recipes and hold on to those ideas for August.  I used all my frozen peaches in margaritas over the winter.

Here’s what’s cooking in Lansing MI this week, it’s a very porky menu and a very local menu this go around:


lunch: green chile cheese tamales (from our dear friend Trader Joe) with NM red chile sauce

dinner: grilled mustard marinated pork loin with a pear green peppercorn demi glaze (featuring homemade demi glaze!), wild mushroom risotto and grilled asparagus


lunch: local free range organic breakfast sausages, scrabbled egg yolks with veggies (I can’t eat egg whites)

dinner: smoked ribs from our pig pancetta (only a few pieces of pork left in the freezer 🙁 ), red cabbage slaw with a ginger, garlic, lemon dressing and chives, Michigan made potato chips and  fresh dill dip


Lunch (working from home today) Spanish style: Clam and chorizo soup with tomatoes, white wine saffron, shallots, garlic, chives and parsley.  I really have no idea how this sentence alone gave itself italics and I can’t seem to make it go away.  It was a tasty lunch though….

Dinner: Italian fusion: Maple Leaf Farm duck breasts porchetta style, stuffed with fennel seed, rosemary and garlic.  Baby new potatoes grilled with mustard and herbs.

Tuesday:  On the road and home brew club if I get back early – I brewed a GF porter on Sunday thanks to the motivation of Sally and Dan of Aprovechar – pics here and tasting soon as it is fermenting fast!

Wednesday:  Potato leek soup with local milk, farm market leeks, potatoes and some locally made German knockwurst (we just have so many great local food sources here in MI!) – lots of fresh herbs will be in the soup.

Thursday: local potato chip, Parmesan (not at all local) crusted fish, sides TBD from farmer’s market availability.

Friday Thai:  pad thai with spicy, crispy tofu and garden cilantro, spring rolls and maybe some shrimp hot and sour soup.

The menu looks just peachy to me!

i’m out

Non menu of the week: Raspberries just the same

I guess there is not much reason to post a menu this week as we just returned (Monday eve) from a long 4th of July weekend in NW MI.  We decided we needed something with some flavor, a bit of spice, and are making Jamie Oliver’s South Indian Crab curry.  As for the rest of the week, well, unfortunately, I have meetings Tues, Wed and Thurs evening and of course the days are full too (meaning no prep time)!

Just the same, go check out Gluten Free Goodness who is hosting this week’s menu and see what she and everyone else is cooking!  If I come up with a menu for Friday, I will add it to this post.

Would that I had just once thought about menu planning on our 3.5 hour trip home today.  Then I might have crock pot something for the one night I return home by 8.  At least there is Friday and we still have our friend’s smoker, so I just might have to smoke those ribs from our pig Pancetta.  We did visit our new pigs Speck and Parma just yesterday and they are growing nicely.  We brought them some overwintered apples from the cellar that needed to be eaten.  They loved them and the attention.  Pics coming soon!  Our pigs free range fencing is in the middle of a U-pick raspberry field.  So, I walked by lots of little greenish white unripe raspberries.  Hopefully people will wander over and hand feed our piggies some raspberries when the season is right.

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We also visited my brother’s organic free range chickens, ducks and turkeys.  Pheasants on the way.  We hope to put about 20 chickens away for the winter months.  We got to help schlep haying equipment around.  I almost got to drive the tractor the 5 miles to the hay field, until I reminded my dad that I hadn’t driven one in 20 years.  We were then downgraded to the pickup and haywagon.  I parked next to a wild asparagus stalk, which we fed to Speck and Parma.

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Alright, the crab curry is ready and you have heard enough of the tales of Speck and Parma for now.  Stay tuned for more tales of the North (polka, parades and strawberries on the farm), and maybe a anti pasta pasta salad recipe!

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Update:  Wednesday’s and Thursday’s evening meetings were rescheduled, so here is what we ate/are eating:

Wednesday:  Tex Mex

Unstuffed poblano peppers with grass fed ground beef and cheese

Thursday:  Pork contest

I was at an organic apple farm where they let baby pigs run through the orchard for pest management.  The pigs are Berkshires and our pig is half Berkshire half Yorkshire, so we are grilling some of both to compare.  Also on the menu, baby new potatoes sauteed in butter with garlic scapes and parsley, grilled asparagus and a fabulous appetizer: cornmeal pan fried oysters with corn tomato salsa and horseradish cream sauce.  It is loosely based on this recipe.

Friday:  Indian

I found fresh fenugreek/methi at the Asian store, so something with that, probably methi potatoes and pakora and  tikka chicken on the grill.  Need to use the purple cabbage too…..

i’m out