Menu of the Week: Avocados

Green butter, that’s what they are, avocados. When I was traveling on a budget through Ecuador, we ate them daily. We spread them on bread. When I am in Mexico, not a day goes by with out some avocado consumption. So this week I will be happy to utilize them in a couple of dishes, yes, very happy.

I have 3 avocado plants growing in my house from pits that I planted long ago. No sign of an avocado growing yet, but they are nice plants. I have this week off to use up some comp time and clean the house, experiment with cooking, blog, garden and so on. I plan to experiment a bit with my lunches and am not sure what I will be doing yet, but I have a whole week to cook, so expect some perfecting of dosa’s, injera if I can find light teff flour and maybe some GF potsticker’s and who knows what else.

This week’s menu swap is hosted by Cooking and Uncooking so visit her site and check out all the menus everyone is cooking.

Sunday: Brunch: Sindu’s for the Indian buffet – more chaat and dosas!

Dinner: Mac and cheese with a green salad full of garden herbs. I finally made perfect mac and cheese, no need to improve upon this recipe ever. Luckily I wrote it down. I think it has 4 cheeses in it. I made a batch a while back and froze 1/2 of it unbaked in a casserole dish. Saucy and cheesy with a nice cheesy crust. I will post this one.

Monday: Korean – out to dinner Champung: A spicy seafood soup, mine will be with rice noodles. A friend of a friend cooks at one of our local Korean restaurants on Monday nights and we are finally going in when he is working. He can specialize my soup, kick it up and make sure that it is gluten free. I just have to bring my own GF oyster sauce.

Tuesday: Beer club (well, cider for me) Our host makes veggie sloppy joes with soy and they are gluten free. Bonfire on the lake. Perhaps I will bake some GF cookies to bring along.

Wednesday: Lunch: Subject to change but for now a green salad with avocado (I need a couple of days for my avocado to ripen), dried cherries and smoked turkey. Or I might try making an avocado dressing with lime.

Dinner: Turkish : Turkish pide – well I hope. Pide is sort of like a pita/calzone of the Turkish variety. Turkish style salad and yogurt sauce to accompany. I think I might try Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s Lavash style bread for this.

Edited to change to Mexican Guacamole, carnitas, Slaw, salsa, beans and rice. I love carnitas! I will be making this with our own home grown pig share pork – from Pancetta – that was her name.


Thursday: We are hitting the road one day early now, so I am making GF Gobsmacked wraps with turkey, provolone and avocado for the road along with some hummus and carrots. Then off to Leelanau county for Memorial Weekend. I can’t wait to get to the farm, see my niece and nephew, the rest of the friends and family and this year’s batch of chickens and pheasants. Of course I will go morel hunting and harvest a boatload of wild leeks.

Friday: Dinner with friends in someone’s backyard.

i’m out

Menu of the week April 14th: Cornmeal Appetizer of the week: smoked salmon blinis

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

This week’s menu of the week is hosted by Karen at Glutenfreesoxfan and the secret ingredient is cornmeal. She is trying to make polenta for the first time. It is one of my staples as it can be seasoned in so many ways, but this week the polenta will take a back seat to corn muffins, cornbread and tortilla chips on this menu.  In addition to my cocktail of the week feature, I am adding a new feature this week:  appetizer of the week.  I usually try to have one a week or so and rarely mention them as they are rarely planned ahead.  I am the queen of quick appetizers and have friends over for cocktails and apps at least once a week.  This week I am featuring a appetizer (buckwheat blini’s) from Ina Garten.  She always has a cocktail and an appetizer ready for her honey when he arrives home for the weekend.  I think it is a nice touch and a great way to kick off any meal.

Saturday: Chicago style
Deep Dish pizza made in my cast iron pans.

Lunch: Local Indian restaurant – GF Idly and dosa , goat vindaloo and chaat masala! Tasty!
Dinner: French

Appetizer of the Week: Buckwheat Blinis with smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche – I am going to try to use only buckwheat for my blinis if it doesn’t make them too heavy.
Scallops Provencal (using frozen bay scallops) with asparagus and a seafood risotto and for dessert: blackberry sour cream cornmeal muffins (these are in the oven right now)

Monday: Northern Indian
Keema and aloo gosht from Madhur Jaffery’s book Climbing the Mango Trees , this a great book!

Tuesday: Vietnamese
Vietnamese crepes Banh Xeo with pork and soup or spring rolls

Wednesday: Ethnic theme still under work
Twice baked stuffed potatoes with grilled chicken thighs and green beans (potatoes and chicken will be seasoned up according to theme chosen)

Thursday: Cajun
Spicy Okra Gumbo with andouille sausage and creole cornbread (maybe on the cornbread)

Friday: Mexican
Tortilla soup, queso fundido and chips and salsa

i’m out and still waiting for spring!

Holidaze and birthdaze and santa’s reindeer are in my trunk

I feel like I am in a haze more so than a daze. I just want to take 2 weeks off and blog, cook, and knit.

This desire might come from the fact that I have over 90 hours of compensatory time racked up and am at my annual leave cap. Yet the work just keeps on coming. I am grateful to have a job, esp here in Michigan in the Natural Resources/Ag field. I really am grateful that our boss found a way to keep us all going despite crazy budget cuts. How did he do this? Brace your self for the unexpected. My boss is good at finding money, however, this time, we might all go insane. With new money of course comes new tasks. Somehow even when the new money goes away, the tasks still stay. I haven’t minded them until now. Now, I might mind, I am not sure yet. New task: drive around my 11 county region and visit captive cervidae farms/ranches (deer farms) and pick up dead deer, elk and reindeer heads, tag them, fill out a bunch of paperwork and drive these frozen (hopefully) deer heads to a lab for testing for Chronic Wasting Disease. We don’t have CWD, but Wisconsin does and we share a forested border with them. My department and others want to be prepared for when it hits.

The real challenge in this is tagging a deer head that has been “caped”, ie the skin and ears are gone as this deer has gone to the taxidermist for putting on someone’s wall. So, I guess I will be tying a wire to their teeth. That is a moment I am not looking forward to, a skinnless deer head with eyes staring at me and baring it’s teeth. I will be picking up my first deer and reindeer heads on Wednesday this week. We put them in garbage bags in the trunk of the car. I sure hope I don’t get pulled over. Strangely enough, I have to go pick up several at the Detroit Zoo. This is a “voluntary” program for those places that raise deer. Whenever one dies (old age or unknown reasons) we test the head. If they are just culling (thinning out their herd) we only pick up 25% of those, phew. This is one method of how your state government protects the population from disease.

So, a different division had no staff (hiring freeze) but had money, and we have staff and no money…can you see the connection now? I am pretty sure I am going to have nightmares from this one. We have 7 staff around the state doing this and in our moments of deer head bonding, we think we need some Tshirts with humorous slogans to get us through. Any ideas out there? Will do anything for a buck has already come up.

Ok, back to cooking, or just eating.

I had a birthday last week. A big one. My tenth thirtieth. I didn’t want to cook for my own party this time, so we went to Villegas. There I had some fabulous cream of potato and bacon soup. It was gluten free. How often do you get to eat soup in a restaurant if you are gluten free? Let me count. Twice now. I had the hardest time eating a creamed soup – it was a psychological battle and it was delish! Mashed potatoes thinned with heavy cream and bacon, the kicker was the nutmeg. Then I had seared scallops on a bed of mozzarella polenta and broccoli rabe. I love scallops! Love them! To top it off, Chocolate pot de creme that was so thick and so rich I had to share it with 2 other friends. Martini’s were 1/2 off that night so I had a couple of those too. Happy happy happy. We drank some grapefruit mimosas before departing for the restaurant too. I am so glad that Villegas was happy to accommodate my gluten free dining needs. Those items were straight off the menu and required no alteration whatsoever.

Ok, dinner’s ready, more later. Really, I do still exist. Blog more, work less.

i’m out