Menu of the Week April 26th

Spring is finally here, I mean really here and I think this time it is staying.  It seems like we are still a couple of weeks behind, but I think maybe we just always think that.  My first tulips bloomed today.  I don’t know how they are yellow as I am not a fan of yellow and wouldn’t have purchased yellow bulbs, but they are definitely yellow like butter cream.  I lean toward the very pink and purple when it comes to tulips.  These were on sale at the end of fall last year.  Lesson learned.  To prove Spring is finally in MI, here is a pic of a morel I found this week in my driveway:

morels 09

I guess I should have looked for a 2009 penny or how will you know it was taken last week?

This week’s host for the menu swap is Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness and she is seeking hosts if any of you are interested.  The ingredient this week is carob, which I don’t have any of on hand, so I will sit this ingredient out unless I run to the health food store.  We have decided to go back to planning our menu as much as possible for all 7 days so we don’t end up without a plan on the weekends and end up with spaghetti again.

Sunday: Paella with three types of chorizo, saffron, smoked paprika, tomatoes, chicken, peas and piquillo peppers from Spain.

Monday: Grilled wild sea bass, horseradish dill creme fraiche potato salad and broccoli rabe

Tuesday: Vietnamese Banh Xeo with shrimp, (our) pork and bean sprouts, a side of do cha (diakon radish and carrot pickle) and North Vietnamese style fried spring rolls

Wednesday: Grilled flank steak with Chimichurri sauce (similar to Italian salsa verde) and grilled asparagus

Thursday: Pakistani Kunna: pork braised in a yogurt sauce from Madher Jaffery’s book, along with a fresh chickpea curry with curry leaves

Friday: Black and blue grass fed burgers on the grill (Gorgonzola cheese and plenty of my homemade blackening seasoning which I will post soon – back to the rub of the month time!), fresh cut Michigan fries and a green salad (our greens hopefully, but not likely)

Saturday: Mexican tortilla soup using my brother’s organic chicken as the base and one of the last jars of canned tomatoes from the pantry. My avocado is already ripening. Maybe my cilantro will be harvestable by next Saturday….

i’m out

Menu of the Week April 18th: Rhubarb

Oh rhubarb, how I love rhubarb.  My rhubarb is just starting to gain a few leaves but is weeks away from any sort of harvest :(.  However, I do have some rhubarb that I froze last year to use during a rhubarb craving that I never had, so, time to use it.  I am thinking a nice rhubarb martini sounds tart and refreshing as well as a rhubarb crisp.  Eby doesn’t care for rhubarb (surprise) so it will have to be a mini crisp as I don’t like dessert leftovers.  Manda of Asparagus Thin is our menu swap hostess this week, so please check out her blog and all the creative rhubarb dishes being served around the country.


In an effort to eat less meat and more veggies Eby has been perusing the Moosewood Restaurant’s Simple Suppers cookbook.  I think they over do it with the tofu substitutes a bit, but never the less we are trying several of their recipes (and I will probably unsimplify some of them) this week.

We have signed up for a CSA for the first time ever and I am super excited to see what arrives in our box every week, as long as it is not beets, but they said they would keep the beets from my half thankfully.  Our pickup day will be Tuesdays, so I will probably have to leave the Monday menu swap or post a week late, as my menu plans will soon have to be from Wednesday to Wednesday and designed with what arrives in the box.  Perhaps we call all start a CSA menu swap.  That will probably go over as well as my deep fry Fridays attempt!  So, I will still be posting our menu, but it will just be out of sinc with Monday’s GF swap, unless they tell me ahead of time what is coming every week.

Since we have signed up for the CSA, I can focus our large backyard garden on items that we want to raise to can, store or freeze for the winter usage.  We will be growing lots of tomatoes, broccoli, broccoli rabe, greens (collards, kale and chard), leeks, onions, shallots and green and red chiles.  The red we dry and the green we roast and freeze.  I have about 60 tomato plants and 36 green chile plants that will be graciously delivered by my brother (on Wed) from my favorite green house at home, Plant Masters.  Lansing doesn’t offer the volume or variety that I seek. I didn’t get mine started on time, so to Plant Masters we turn.  We have a little greenhouse system set up in our dining room and in our basement to keep the plants growing and happy until we can plant them in MI – maybe around the 3rd week of May.  I will transplant them to larger containers in a few weeks.

As usual, we try to use as much local (or raised by us) produce and meat as possible.  The pork and beef in the meatloaf is all local, the chicken was raised by my brother, the potatoes are local, our garlic and shallots are local and tomatoes, although I am almost out of tomatoes and homemade tomato paste. Most of the fresh herbs I use I grow in pots in the house with the exception of the dill this week, no dill yet.  I need to get cracking on the cheese making.  My first few attempts haven’t been as successful as I had hoped.

Our menu for the week:

Sunday: Ginger’s meatloaf ( I love this recipe that I have developed over time so much I can’t event think of trying others, I should try to write it down, but I don’t measure anything)  with a tangy tomato sauce on top and a side of  roasted fennel, potatoes and saffron.

Monday:  Asian braised salmon with bok choy and soba noodles (i finally found some pure buckwheat noodles).

Tuesday: Creamy lemon fettuccine with garlic roasted broccoli.

Wednesday:  Moriarty style potato soup and a romaine salad with toasted pecans, red onion and orange wedges, homemade tarragon vinaigrette.  Our local pub makes this addicting brothy potato soup that we just love – the broth is key and I will concor it.

Thursday:  Buttermilk fried chicken, Southern cooked collard greens and maybe some smashed potatoes.  Rhubarb crisp – my bro is in town to help me eat it, wait, I don’t think he likes rhubarb either.

Friday:  Grilled lemon herb tofu with spinach artichoke risotto with dill.

i’m out

Menu Plan for April 13th: Flax seeds


I like to sneak flax seeds in whenever I bake something.  I have always liked flax, little seeds of goodness.  I have both the seeds and a bag of ground flax on hand right now, so this will be a good excuse to use it.  Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is our flax seed and menu swap host this week.  Be sure to check out all the creative flax uses that are posted on her blog and in the swap this week.

Monday: Grass fed beef tacos with shredded cabbage, TJ’s frozen guac, salsa and pico de gallo

Tuesday: Grilled salmon with a broccoli casserole or maybe bouillabaisse with fennel if I get in the mood.

Wednesday:  PF Changs for tax day to get 15% off our meal – why not?  It makes it a bit more affordable.

Thursday:  Italian Sausage and spinach stuffed lasagna using a bechamel sauce.  I might even make my own noodles, time permitting since my closest store was out of tinkyada lasagna noodles.

Friday: Indian night:  Biryani and curry.  Probably a pork (with our pork) vindaloo with a veggie oriented biryani.

Flax:  I am in a sandwich mood again (this is rare), a sorta muffaletta mood, so I will bake a loaf of bread, adding copious amounts of flax or I may attempt to make an oatmeal, millet, flax granola.  It’s about time I made my own granola.

Update on flax:  I made some fantastic flax bagels using Pamela’s bread mix.  I added about 1/2 cup of flax and they are pretty darn close to gluten bagels with the chew and crumb of the bread.  I just finished eating one.

i’m out

Menu Swap of the Week: Sides and Salads

Hosting this week’s menu swap is Wendy of Celiac in the House and she has picked favorite sides and salads as this week’s theme. I think we can work many of those in this week.  As I was typing this earlier, I hit save draft and went to go look up something.  When I came back to the page two minutes later, Word Press was asking for my password and hadn’t saved my post, even though I can see it saving it below every 2 minutes as I type.  I am sure this has happened to all of us, but it sorta takes the wind out of your blogging sails doesn’t it.  Trying to recreate the genius you had already typed below is impossible.  Easy to call it genius as it is gone now! So, lesson learned.  Always log into the dashboard, even if it doesn’t ask me to.  Enough griping and back to food.

Make sure you swing over to Wendy’s blog to see what all the other great GF cooks around the country are planning this week!

Sunday:  Steak and brats (steak for me, brats for Eby), grilled asparagus and some killer potato skins with bacon, cheese and chive sour cream.

Monday: Stuffed poblano peppers, inside out.  Instead of stuffing them, I roast them and chop them up and mix them with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, ground beef with Mexican seasoning, rice and cheese and then bake yourself into comfort food. A rice casserole with loads of my favorite veggies.

Tuesday:  Fish and chips and slaw!  Fish will be coated with an herby bread crumb mix and baked, fries will be cut with our new industrial strength french fry cutter that should arrive tomorrow and the slaw will have a lime and olive oil dressing with cilantro and green onions.  I really dislike mayo based sweet slaws, but love crunchy cabbage lightly dressed with tartness.

Wednesday: Caesar salad with a grilled chicken breast.  One of our favorite salads and if it weren’t for this week’s theme, we probably wouldn’t have thought of it.  This is the best way to enjoy romaine lettuce, I am convinced of it!

Thursday: I am having a hard time deciding what to cook on Thursday, so for now we are going with pasta carbonara with bacon and asparagus and a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.  Maybe we will just do the spinach salad.  I am leaving myself some leg room on this one.

Friday:  Turkish Doner Kabobs (made with pork) with sides of tatziki, lightly marinated cabbage, pickled red onions and maybe I will make some flatbread or pita to go with it.  Of course we need a feta cucumber salad with this too and who knows, maybe some homemade baba ganoush if I find the time. Sumac is the key to great Turkish seasoning, and oregano.

Baked good:  Lemon bars, I have to have them around Easter now, so time to bake some!

May spring be on it’s way to you!

i’m out