Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Plan: Week of April 21

Last week 

Last week Sonny D was on spring break and he spend most of the time with husband Jeff's parents. The weather was kinda cool and rainy, but they had a good time.
And he had another successful swimming lesson.  It worked out well that I took Sonny D after his lesson and washed him up in the larger women's changing room, so we'll continue that. 

Friday was Me & D night, instead of going out to do something, we stayed home and baked. We modified a pumpkin cookie recipe I've made before to make pillowy banana cookies with chocolate chips. They turned out great but I should have let them sit to cool a bit longer.  I wanted to go to bed so I put them away a bit earlier than I should have so they ended up the tiniest bit soggy. They still taste really good though.  And they're actually really low in calories.  I didn't calculate the calories for this new version, but the original pumpkin recipe is about 45 calories per cookie. 
Banana cookies with chocolate chips and icing

Saturday was Food Camp, I completely loved it.  This was my second year attending. The organization that puts it on is dedicated to food for everyone that is good, clean, and fair; their objective counters fast food and a fast life. Food camp is an all-day set of hour-long food seminars on various topics, what you might call "homesteader" topics like making your own bacon, foraging for mushrooms, raising chickens in your backyard, or composting. 

I went to the following seminars
  • fermented breakfast cereal
  • mindful eating
  • fermented vegetables: pickles, kraut, and kimchi
  • shrubs and other drinking vinegars (infused vinegars to use as flavored mixers)
  • preserving the bounty (dehydrating, freezing, and canning)
  • beekeeping for bees
The fermented cereal class was cool.  It focuses on fermenting grains to neutralize the phytic acid in them.  Phytic acid locks up the vitamins and minerals in the grains and prevents you from absorbing them, so by removing it, you'll get those vitamins and minerals.  And the fermentation helps you digest the grains better.  It inspired me to mix up a sourdough starter to use to ferment my oatmeal. I'm bummed that it takes about four days to get your starter really going so I won't be able to use it for a while, but I'm curious to see if it'll feel different after eating my morning bowl of oatmeal.
Food Camp seminar about fermented vegetables by Dan O'Brien.
I've wanted to make quick pickles for several so it was good to check out the pickle class.  I really want to make sauerkraut since homemade is a thousand times better than store-bought, but that's the most advanced of the simple fermented vegetables since it takes much longer, so I think I'll start with the quick pickles and once I get comfortable with them I'll work my way up.

Sunday was Easter, we had beautiful weather for an Easter egg hunt and great meal at my Mom's house. I brought home lots of leftovers, check the photo -- starting at 1 o'clock we've got green bean casserole, ham juice, orange-tarragon carrots, French onion bread, Mexican cornbread (has woven bacon on top!), and beef gravy.  I had already planned our meals for the week by the time I got these, but I figured out ways to incorporate them.
Easter leftovers  

On Sunday afternoon I raked in the yard while Husband Jeff worked on a second hoop house for his garden and Sonny D helped both of us.  Later we cleaned out part of our home office after being inspired by the decluttering article I posted about the other day.  We actually got rid of quite a few things and put a bunch of stuff in piles for Goodwill and Sonny D's preschool.
Original hoop house raised garden bed on the left, new hoop house framework on the right.

This Week

  • Monday - coconut-curry noodle soup served with leftover Easter green bean casserole and orange-tarragon carrots. I will probably be the only one eating the green bean casserole and carrots. 
  • Tuesday - Canadian bacon and egg sandwiches with fruit and then I've got cardio dance fitness class in the evening. 
  • Wednesday - Today is Husband Jeff's birthday so I invited his parents over and we're having a special Asian-Korean birthday dinner, finished off with an utterly American dessert of Dairy Queen ice cream cake since it's Husband Jeff's favorite. 
  • Thursday - I've got cardio dance fitness right after work so I'm leaving the guys to fend for dinner by themselves.  My only idea is cheese quesadillas using the awesome big tomato-basil wraps I bought a while ago, but there will probably be a bunch of leftovers from the birthday dinner, so maybe they'll have that instead. 
  • Friday - I'm planning we'll go to Dobhan (Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Tibetan) for dinner to use my last discounted restaurant gift certificate.  Then we'll be all out and I can lift my self-imposed ban and finally buy more!
  • Saturday - Parent work day at Sonny D's preschool.  Since we're new there, I have no idea what that means, but I'm imagining doing cleanup of the play yards, maybe some painting and fixing inside.  For dinner I'm going to use the leftover Easter ham juice and beef gravy to make porcupine meatballs and sweet potato-chickpea salad. I've never had porcupine meatballs (meatballs baked with rice inside) so I'm interested to try them out.  I've got a recipe that uses brown rice and they cook in the slow cooker, so hopefully that works out.  
  • Sunday - We're having our friends Chuck and Buddha (the other two members of our Breakfast Club) over for brunch for burrito breakfast bowls, fruit, savory quick bread, bloody marys, and truffle brownies.  For dinner I want to make roasted tofu with noodles in peanut sauce since I figure Sonny D will really like the peanut sauce.  He typically really likes dry-roasted tofu too.

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!