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.

rhubarb

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 of the Week Jan 5th: soup!

Vietnamese crab and squid soup

I love soup.  I could eat it more frequently than I do.  Eby really doesn’t care for soup unless it is full of meat and has almost no broth, or it must be more stew like.  Since that is the case, I will typically cook soups for my lunches if I am working from home that day.  Last week I was craving beans and greens (this week too).  This week I am craving a spicy Asian style noodle soup, like the one above, Vietnamese crab and squid soup.  I would make it, but I don’t think I wrote the recipe down or else I got it from a cook book long returned to the library.  Lessons learned.  Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s swap, so if you need some soup ideas, click on over check out all the menus this week, even if you don’t need soup ideas you should check out the menus.  If you haven’t posted your menu before, why not try it this week?  It is really easy once you get the swing of it and helps with grocery shopping as well as meal planning organization.  I have posted one every week since last Feb.  As a result, I can look back over old menus and get new inspiration.  Inspiration also comes from many cookbooks, magazines, fellow food bloggers and internet recipe sources.  Try it for a couple of weeks, you’ll see.

On to the menu.  I used the soup idea to clean out a few items from the freezer yesterday.  Soup is good for that.  It’s sunny, snowy and cold in MI today, and I wish I had some of last night’s soup left, sort of (see below). I have been trying hard to not have many leftovers and it is working finally.  I always want to cook something new the next day and can’t easily take leftovers on the road with me.  It looks to be a pork and chicken week, so I will work some extra veggies and seafood into my lunches (soups I hope).

Sunday: South American veggie and pork soup. This soup celebrates many of the ingredients that came to us via South America: potatoes, tomatoes, corn, chile peppers and would have been even better had I not scorched it while playing on Facebook. We topped it off with cilantro. Tomatoes and potatoes were local or from the garden, garlic too.

Monday: Roast 1/2 organic free range local chicken on a bed of onions, portabella mushrooms (on sale!) celery and parsley. Gluten free waffle stuffing (getting it’s own post tomorrow) with sage, thyme, parsley and garlic, rice (to go with the gravy I hope happens) and roasted brussel sprouts.

Tuesday: Hue (Vietnamese) style fried rice with lemongrass and black pepper or lemon grass chicken or tofu. Some of those pork spring rolls I froze last week will go nicely with this too. I wish you guys could taste them. If I posted the recipe, you probably could. Will work on that.

Wednesday: Company in town, spice him up! My dad is visiting for a meeting. Living two miles from Michigan State University gives us lots of opportunities to entertain out of town guests with meetings on campus. We like reasons to entertain. We are grilling some of our own pork center cut loin on the rotisserie and making risotto along with either broccoli or green beans in some form of healthy casserole, or just steamed. We will use the Fennel Fusion spice rub, oh how I love that stuff.

Thursday:  I am in Chicago for work, but won’t have a lot of opportunity to go out except in the near vicinity of the Sheraton by O’Hare.  Eby is on his own for dinner, which likely means dinner at Arbor Brewing Company, along with some beers.

Friday: Truffade and Pounti ala Auverge region of France and Saveur mag.  Eby picked these out to make.  I already bought the prunes so no turning back now.  Pork and potatoes are from us, green beans or broccoli are not.

Saturday:  Lunch Vietnamese crab soup with tomatoes.  Every since I posted that pic today, I have been searching for a similar recipe and have found 4.  Now I have to cook it again right?

Stop by here again next week and send me your menu swaps as I will be hosting.  The ingredient is “local”.  Source out at least one local ingredient, anything from your garden (fresh, frozen or canned this time of year) certainly counts.  If you need ideas of how to find something local, leave me a comment or email me.  Consider swinging into your local food co-op if you have one near by and those of you in warmer climates probably still have farmer’s markets to visit.  Local anything counts, cheese, meat, tofu, veggies, let your tastebuds and imagination do the cooking!

i’m out

Menu Swap Monday October 20th: Squash

Squash.  It has such a great sounding name and it can make a nice squish when you eat it.  Food that sounds like it is.  Kim of Gluten Free is Life is hosting this week’s swap.  I do have two pumpkins that I will attempt to carve this week in honor of squash and their lovely seeds.  It is really all about the seeds for me.  I do like butternut squash soup and some nicely roasted acorn squash.  I am squashless at the moment, with the exception of our pumpkins, so those will have to do.  I forgot to check the ingredient before we went grocery shopping yesterday. We have a heavily Italian country oriented menu this week due to Eby picking out some dishes and making his way through some more Italian cook books.  They all sounded good to me too.

Sunday: Hunters stew with rabbit and smashed potatoes.  It took me a while to get over the concept of rabbit, even though most of the world eats them if they have rabbits running around.  It was tasty.  Eby made it, but I had to cut it up for him.  If it hadn’t been for recent work events that gross me out worse, I might not have made it through.

Monday: Pork cutlets with prosciutto, parmeasan and Marsala wine with a pesto risotto

Tuesday: Rice and Cabbage soup with pancetta – the recipe looks better than the title, trust me.

Wednesday: Turkey tenderloins stuffed with spinach or stuffed porchetta style and roasted.

Thursday: On the road and back late: Ragu Bolonese with noodles.  I did a crock pot full of grass fed beef short ribs recently and froze the meat to use in a ragu.  It was already slow cooked so shouldn’t take much time to throw together along with a spinach salad.

Friday:  Chicken ala Diavola with potatoes chianti – this didn’t happen a couple of weeks ago and now we have chicken again from my brother.  Lots of smoked paprika and lemon zest in this dish!

Saturday: Grass fed burgers on the grill, tator tots with salad

Sunday:  Down to Eby’s parents for dinner.  Their first time cooking a gluten free meal and Eby has been coaching them 🙂

i’m out

Menu of the week Sept 22: Apples!

apple orchard

This week’s menu swap is hosted by M-Elle of Cooking and UNcooking and she has chosen Apples as the ingredient of the week.  I just ate a nice ripe Ginger Gold apple from the farm.  I tend to really only eat apples in season and store the rest and when I (or the farm) run out, then no more apples.  I think I am so spoiled by fresh local apples that I can’t stand the thought of one of those tasteless Washington red delicious apples that they ship over here.  I am sure all the good Washington apples are eaten up by the Washington locals.  Michigan is a fairly large producer of apples, for the fresh market, juice and processed apples.  My favorite is the Honey Crisp and thankfully my Dad raises lots of them and they are ripe right about now.  I will load up on my next trip to Leelanau.

I think I might just start listing my menu, but not by day, as sometimes I swap a Tuesday for Thursday depending on what is thawed and the time I have.  We are still making our way through at least a dozen cook books and it’s what is inspiring us again this week.

chipped apples waiting to be pressed

This week we are having:

French: Pork Medallions with a dijon green peppercorn cream sauce

Indian: Batata Vada and Methi Murgh.  Batata Vada’s look to be the same thing as samosas, but with a besan/chickpea batter on them instead of pastry.  Since I adore samosas and don’t want to make a Gluten free pastry for samosas, I think this option sounds great! Murgh is chicken and methi is fenugreek leaves – which are so tasty!

Thai: Green curry with chicken, basil and  bamboo shoots, fried spring rolls with pork and crab (from the freezer stock)

Potluck (Tuesday night work gathering):  crock pot pulled pork with a mid Carolina mustard mop

Chinese:  Cilantro Chicken with cabbage (instead of bean sprouts) from Martin Yan’s quick and tasty book

Mexican:  Pulled pork tamale casserole (from Rick Bayless) (pulled from the crock pot prior to “mopping” it)

Italian: Risotto with grilled halibut (or a grass fed beef steak, depending on mood – both are in the freezer) marinated with garlic, lime zest and parsley, broccoli with lemon

Baked good:  Apple Crisp of course!

To do:  Harvest and roast all the green chiles and smoke the jalapenos.  My tomato harvest is finished, due to chilly weather and blight.

apples apple semi with 96 boxes of apples apples

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:

Saturday:

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

Sunday:

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

Monday:

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