What’s on the menu this week?

Last week our CSA started.  We are splitting one share three ways.  I wanted to try a CSA out to see what it is like and get a little more variety of vegetables than I typically grow.  We have a huge garden, but most of that is produce that I can or freeze for winter, tomatoes, hot peppers, broccoli, leeks.  The broccoli rabe bolted in a day and is not coming back.  I need a warmer climate variety that can take 30 degree swings in a day more easily.

Our CSA kindly sends out an email on Sunday letting us know what we might expect on Tuesday.   It looks like this week we will have lettuce, spinach, bok choy, pea greens, greens greens and garlic scapes.  At least those are the items I am choosing.  I am passing on kohlrabi as I just can’t seem to love it.

Our new chicken coop arrives sometime this week!  Will post pics once it arrives and is in place.

Esther of the Lilac Kitchen is hosting this week’s menu swap and the ingredient this week is black currants, which are not yet in season here, but hard to find, but if I do, I will use them somehow.

What we are eating this week:

Sunday:  grilled ribs from our pig, grilled asparagus, brussel sprouts with lemon and parm and tomato cucumber salad

Monday:  On the road but back in time for a late quickie supper: pierogies  – Contes GF brand for me to try and a locally made brand for Eby to try.  Maybe a grilled sausage on the side.  Will be trying this recipe for the pierogie sauce as I love tomatoes and dill.

Tuesday: From Robert Landolphi’s new book Gluten Free Everyday: Hazelnut Encrusted Salmon with cilantro lime creme and a spinach salad with pea greens.  I am really interested in his dusting and encrusting techniques and will be blogging about my findings.  Will be making a batch of his Parmesan Popover bites too as we have plenty of eggs right now.

Wednesday:  Family and a friend in town staying at Hotel EbyHagen.  New guest policy: strip the sheets when you leave unless you are back in a week.  Not sure if folks are in town for dinner or arriving after dinner, so I am leaving this eve un-obligated.   If no one is here for dinner, we will do burgers on the grill, salad greens from the CSA.

Thursday: Thai Pad Thai with tofu and pork and a bok choy stir fry with garlic scapes.

Friday:  Heading to Bellaire for a wedding on the edge of Torch Lake.  Staying at a friend’s cottage.  We will pack for cooking up there and for pontooning.

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.

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


February 16th: Comfort Food, a menu and a plan

flank steak

It’s Mid-February.  Is there a better time for comfort foods?  Probably not.  The winter doldrums have not been as dark this month.  The earth must have tilted or perhaps it is global warming, but we have had far more sunlight than any winter I have spent in Lansing.  It really lifts the snow spirits.  But it’s not sunny everywhere and even if it is, comfort foods will always be something we turn to.  Comfort foods can be so many things and below I have listed what they are this week for us.  Wendy of Celiacs in the House is the gf menu swap host this week and comfort foods are the theme.  This week I am drawing from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, The Breath of a Wok, Fish Without a Doubt, imagination and memory.  Libraries are terrific resources for cook books!

On a side note I feel very guilty for not actually posting anything but my menus lately.  So look forward to a couple of recipes this week, I promise.  I am hoping to revamp this blog and actually have a link for recipes eventually.  Currently they are not easy to find on here when I do post them.  My IT guy is in charge of the blog lift.  As usual, any pork, tomatoes, dry beans, garlic or potatoes featured in the menu below are local.  I am anxiously awaiting my own greens and veggies from the garden, but until then, we are breaking our rules and splurging a bit on asparagus.  Don’t hate me.  At least it is from California, not Peru.

Sunday:  Enchiladas Verdes with chicken and cheese, Frijoles de Olla, guacamole with red onion and cilantro, locally made corn tortilla chips, salsa

Monday: Grilled flank steak with a salsa verde and wilted escarole bread salad, grilled asparagus.

Tuesday:  Georgian Pork stew with cornmeal pudding and roasted brussel sprouts (comfort food for Georgians I’m told)

Wednesday:  Poached Salmon with scallop mousse, sauteed broccoli rabe and purple potatoes roasted with duck fat and rosemary.

Thursday:  Sichuan YuXiang Pork with wood ears mushrooms, water chestnuts and bamboo,  rice and maybe some shrimp toast.  Shrimp toast is definitely comfort food.  I am not sure who invented it, but I would like to thank them. Any thing spicy is comfort food to me come to think of it.

Friday: Italian sausage sauteed with broccoli rabe tossed with penne and shaved Parmesan, then drizzled with a tomato vodka sauce.  The store had broccoli rabe this week, so we stocked up on it as I love it!

Lunches this week: Beans and greens with escarole, hopefully a Rueben sandwich or two with Karina’s rye bread and out for Thai food or sushi one day.  I love weeks when I don’t have to be on the road most days!

Happy eating!

i’m out

Menu of the week Feb 9th: Chocolate!

Ah Chocolate!  You either crave it all the time, or not so much.  I am in the not so much category, but I do like my chocolate, it just has to be good chocolate.  I don’t crave it.  I am more of a salt than sweet tooth.  If there is any week to like chocolate, this is the one.  Since this week includes Valentine’s Day, I will embrace chocolate in souffle form and pair it with raspberry (chocolate is better with raspberry don’t you think?), but I am also using chocolate in a savory dish.  As long as we are on the chocolate topic, if you haven’t seen Like Water for Chocolate, you really, really must (esp if you like cooking and Mexico) and see it in the undubbed original Spanish version with subtitles.  Do not watch the dubbed version, you lose everything.

chocolate souffle

Our host for the menu swap this week is M-Elle of Cooking and Uncooking .  I am certain there will be some great gluten free chocolate desserts posted this week, so check them out.

Sunday:  Smokey pork (our pork) on the charcoal grill, low and slow in the sunshine. Potatoes Dauphiniose with both sweet and local potatoes plus Gruyere and grilled asparagus.  I am using my Mexi rub and added  cocoa powder, coriander and brown sugar to the rub.

Monday: Homemade pizza!  Deep dish or thin crust, to be determined.  Using our canned tomatoes and our frozen tomato paste and herbs from the indoor garden for the sauce.  No homemade mozzarella yet, but soon!

Tuesday:  Vietnamese crab and tofu soup with a Vietnamese cabbage salad and maybe attempting scallion pancakes.

Wednesday: Pesto Risotto and grilled salmon with spicy black butter

Thursday: Gumbo with okra, tomatoes, andouille sausage and chicken over rice (maybe dirty rice maybe not)

Friday: Indian, pork kofta curry balls (based on the linked recipe), rice, dal and maybe I can work a cabbage potato curry dish in there too.  I recently had a great one at our local Indian restaurant, the potatoes were tangy with lots of cilantro and black mustard seeds in the dish.

Saturday (Valentine’s Day): Cheese fondue appetizer with Whole Foods Sourdough GF  bread and apples for dunking,  Scallops (for me, fish for Eby) with beurre blanc sauce and angel hair pasta, green salad with sustainably raised hearts of palm, tangerine supremes, red onion and a dijon viniagrette , chocolate souffle with raspberry eau de vie whipped cream Going to eat the Trader Joes GF flourless chocolate cake I forgot I had in the freezer for emergency dessert needs when traveling.  We made a raspberry puree with a bit of Grand Mariner to go with it.  L.Mawby Sparkling wine from Leelanau County. Martini’s and cocktails instead of wine.

Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Menu of the Week Jan 26th: fennel/anise

Sunday was Robbie Burns’ birthday.  If you have never been to a Robbie Burns party, you really should go, or host one.  I have done both.  Make sure you have lots of scotch, kilts and people willing to read poems and get sappy.  We didn’t have one to go to this year, and I didn’t remember in time, so I will do an honorary Robbie Burns night sometime this week to celebrate Scotland’s most beloved poet and my Scottish heritage at the same time.  This picture is just before I found out I had Celiac about 3 years ago.

Ginger at robbie burns

Chinese New Year!  That starts at midnight on the 26th, and well, it seems worthy of a couple of meals since we couldn’t pick just one.  I don’t have any Chinese friends here in town, strangely enough as we have so many students from China at Michigan State Univ down the road.  Korean and Thai (aquaintances) we have covered, but no Chinese.  Will make that a goal for the new year. So we are branching out on our own for the festival and going the extra mile for some of the dishes.

Just as a reminder, Mardi Gras starts soon too, as long as we are festing.  I love a fest.

This week the menu swap’s lovely host is Manda of Asparagus Thin and the theme she has chosen is licorice flavor or fennel/anise.  Ironically I hate anything with a licorice flavor, including the Greek liquor whose name escapes me at the moment.  However, I love fennel, both the seeds and the bulb and really enjoy anise when used in small background quantities, like in Vietnamese Pho.

Menu this week:

Saturday: Italian: Center cut pork roast rubbed in fennel, rosemary, garlic and sage with lemon asparagus risotto (Jamie Oliver’s risotto recipe, we actually have 5 of his cookbooks home from the library right now)

Sunday: Localvore meal: Chicken Chile Verde with organic chicken from my bro, canned green zebra tomatoes from the garden, frozen roasted green chiles from the garden and Michigan Great Northern Beans, garlic was local too, but not the onions or cilantro.

Monday: Chinese New Year: Hong Shao Ji and it has anise in it as an added bonus and is red, a good luck color for the New Year.  Fried spring rolls will also make an appearance as well as 100 Flower Blossoms using Jaden’s mom’s recipe (including crab) at Steamy Kitchen.  I just love Jaden’s sense of humor, photography, recipes and her blog.

Tuesday:  Chinese New Year continued: Spicy Lacquered Duck using duck breasts unless duck is on sale at the store.  Rice and Baby Bok Choy with shrimp from Rasa Malaysia to accompany.  Rasa Malaysia is another great go to Asian cooking blog with beautiful food porn shots too.

Wednesday:  Robbie Burns night at home: “Oat Cuisine” (har har) Horseradish crusted salmon with whole grain mustard cream sauce I guess we will need some braised leeks to go with the salmon.

Thursday: Pasta night: spinach ravioli (we hope) from the forgotten freezer stock with a chunky tomato sauce with loads of fresh basil from the basement greenhouse pots.  They might be filled with meat and cheese too.  Hopefully they thaw properly and don’t stick to each other. That will teach me to cryovack my pasta.

Friday: Ethiopian:  Sik Sik Wat with pork instead of beef and some Misr Wot and collard greens, feeling in a spicy mood and need to use up the batch of Berbere I made last summer.

Happy eating and Happy Chinese New Year and happy new US administration.  Lots to be happy about this week.  Don’t think about the snow.

i’m out