Tag Archives: Meal Plans

Meal Plan 6/9 – 6/14

Is there anything sadder than tossing a slimy, spoiled head of lettuce into the trash? Of course there is, but that’s not keeping me from wallowing in culinary pity. I forgot my cooking at home last week because of all the food blogging activities in Austin (ironic, right?) and now I’m  dreading cleaning the uneaten, spoiled food out of my kitchen. Last week’s peaches on the counter are more brown than peach, and I can’t tell whether the beets in my crisper have farm dirt on them or something else. I’m procrastinating the monumental food-toss-clean-out by listening to music by The Moldy Peaches, and by looking forward to the week ahead.

We’ve got new, non-moldy peaches, blueberries, and two kinds of tomatoes in the kitchen, and I’ll be able to get cooking with those just as soon as I make a little room. Here’s what’s in the Local Box this week. Thanks to Stephanie for putting all the hyperlinks for the farm websites.

Peaches – Caskey Orchards
Blueberries – Berry Best
Yellow Onion – Gundermann Acres
French Carrots – Gundermann Acres
Large Cucumbers – Acadian Family Farm
Valley Girl Tomatoes – Fruitful Hill Farm
Golden Cherry Tomatoes – Acadian Family Farm OR Tecolote Farm
New Potatoes – Gundermann Acres
Red Beet Bunch – Acadian Family Farm

Here’s what I’m planning to cook:

Thursday: Homemade tortillas with picadillo, a traditional South American hash made with venison, onions, peppers and squash.

Friday: Potato Chickpea Curry, Rice, Carrot Halwa

Saturday: Picnic! We’re having our favorite tomato sandwiches, potato salad, icebox pickles, and molasses cookies. Hopefully Rami will make sun tea. He learned how a few weeks ago and since then our large mason jar has had a new flavor of sun tea in it every few days!

Sunday: An informal group of food bloggers and tweeters, including me, are meeting at SWAD on north Lamar for a late lunch at 2 PM. There’s no invitation or formal guest list, so please join us if you want to! There are 8-10 of us planning to go so far.

Monday: Vegetarian Borscht, beer bread, peach crisp

Tuesday: Leftover Awareness Night!

Menu Plan 2/23-3/1

Photo: Liz Love

Woohoo! I’m finally feeling better. I missed making a menu plan last week because I was sick, so I’m extra enthusiastic with this week’s menu preparations. It helps that we’re getting our first round of local strawberries this week. All the vitamin C in the strawberries will chase away any lingering ickies for sure. And although every time I buy strawberries I want to make popsicles (see above), I’m going to use this week’s haul in a very responsible and healthy spinach salad. Here’s what we’re getting in our Local Box:

Strawberries – Gunderman Farm
Avocado – G&S Grove
Spinach – Orange Blossom
Planting Onions – Orange Blossom
Collard Greens – Gunderman Farm
Fennel – J&B Farm
Mushrooms – Kitchen Pride
Bok Choy – Gunderman Farm
Grapefruits – G&S Grove
Meyer Lemons – G&S Grove
Multicolored Carrots – Animal Farm

Here’s what I’m making! Note the large amounts of social activities coming up this week. Basically all of March will be a marathon of SXSW-related food fun, so I’m considering this week a ramp up.

Wednesday: Avocado Soup
Thursday: Gluten Free Pizza Party!!
Friday: Boiled collard greens, cornbread
Saturday: Strawberry Spinach Salad , roasted fennel
Sunday: Oscar party! Eating pizza with my friends. Making greyhounds and salty dogs with our grapefruits.
Monday: ATX Food swap! I’m using my Meyer lemons for these cookies and also taking a few sweet potato pound cakes and some ground wild venison from my family’s farm in Iowa to the swap. There will be plenty of noms for dinner there, too.
Tuesday: Bok choy with mushroom sauce
Breakfasts: Sweet Potato casserole with oatmeal strudel. (Probably healthier than McOatmeal, but not by much. At least my eggs, sweet potatoes and pecans are local and organic.)

Meal Plan 2/9-2/15

Oh, happy day. My Greenling Local Box arrived today just like clockwork, even though I didn’t get home from work until 7:30 tonight.  The next few nights are very hectic here in the El-Farrah/Hutchison home, so I’m aiming for super quick and easy suppers until this weekend, when I’ll have a little more time to cook. Monday’s Valentine’s Day Dinner is a surprise. Top Secret. My lips are sealed. But there may be some chocolate. And also garlic…

Here’s what’s in the Local Box:

Bibb Lettuce – Bella Verdi
Leaf Lettuce – Acadian
Microgreens – Bella Verdi
Collard Greens – Gunderman
Fennel – J&B Farm
Portabella Caps – Kitchen Pride
Multicolored Carrots – Animal Farm
Grapefruit – G&S Grove
Tangerines – Orange Blossom
Beets & Carrot Juicing Bag – My Father’s Farm
Sweet Potatoes – Naegelin

Here’s what I’m making:

Wednesday: We ate takeout tonight since I was a day late with the meal plan.
Thursday: Lettuce salad & microgreen salad with carrots and shallot & grapefruit dressing
Friday: Beer braised bratwurst and collard greens
Saturday: Portabella pizzas, lettuce salad with shallot and grapefruit dressing
Sunday: Roasted fennel and carrots, pita bread with beet hummus
Monday: TOP SECRET VALENTINE’S DINNER FOR RELFARRAH!
Tuesday: Leftover awareness day!

A Bookish Baby Shower


Last weekend my mom and I co-hosted a book-themed baby shower for my sister Beth. The party was a big hit, and I had a blast putting together the menu: dishes based on foods from popular children’s books.  We carried the book theme through other aspects of the party, too, by writing a nursery rhyme-themed game for everyone to play, and by asking folks to bring Beth a copy of their favorite children’s book instead of a greeting card. We were amazed that with about 15 guests at the party, there were no duplicate books.  Everyone has a different favorite baby book!

Here’s the menu I prepared for the party, along with the books that inspired each dish.  Many thanks to my twitter friends for helping me to brainstorm the book-menu pairings in the weeks leading up to the party!

  • Plain Water and Fancy Pink Lemonade, inspired by Olivia’s Opposites by Ian Falconer.  “Plain” and “fancy” are one pair of opposites featured in the book, so we set out a pitcher of raspberry lemonade and another of plain tap water.
  • Spinach Deviled Eggs with Bacon, inspired by Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  I mixed some spinach and bacon in with the traditional deviled egg seasonings for this dish, and topped the finished eggs with bacon.
  • Bacon Wrapped Dates, inspired by Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. Amelia Bedelia tries to make a date cake in this story, using “literal dates” by cutting a calendar into the cake batter.  We used fruit dates– not calendar dates– for this easy appetizer.
    Bacon Wrapped Dates
  • Apple Rosemary Pizza with Brie, inspired by Ten Apples Up on Top! by Dr. Seuss.

  • Peter Rabbit’s Garden Vegetables with Spicy Radish Dip, inspired by The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. I used French Breakfast radishes to make the dip, so it turned out pale pink.

  • Assorted Cheeses & Crackers, inspired by Anatole by Eve Titus. This book is less well known than others on this list, but it’s a wonderful story about high quality  cheeses with French phrases sprinkled throughout.
  • Yucky Hot Sauce & Tortilla Chips inspired by Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli.  This hilarious book teaches toddlers what not to put in their mouths, and it describes hot sauce as “yucky.” We served Kelli Jo’s delicious salsa straight from the farmer’s market, along with Gardener’s Feast Tortilla chips.
  • Jam Tarts, inspired by Jamberry by Bruce Degen. Filled with raspberry jam, of course.
  • Butter Bars with Coffee Frosting, inspired by The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. These crunchy shortbread cookies with coffee frosting, from my mom’s recipe, are Beth’s favorite holiday treats. We make them every year together.
  • Mini Cherry Pies, inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. My aunt makes sweet cherry jam from the cherry trees in her backyard in Iowa; I filled these mini pies with a jar of her famous jam.
  • Fancy Nancy’s Delectable Cupcakes, inspired by Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes by Jane O’Connor. I outsourced these and purchased a few dozen cupcakes from Hill Country Cupcakes. They were great!

I’m planning to blog separately the individual recipes, several of which are gluten & dairy free and which feature locally sourced ingredients.

A Crock of Chick, Meal Plan 9/1-9/7

School at AISD and UT is officially underway, which means less experimenting in the kitchen and more quick, easy, reliable, filling recipes. This week we’re getting lots of familiar food in the box, thank goodness.

  • Red Potatoes – Naegelin
  • Yellow Onions – Naegelin
  • Grape Tomatoes – Pedernales Valley
  • Basil – Various
  • Summer Squash – Texas Natural
  • Watermelon or Canary Melon- Various
  • Gala Apples
  • Cucumbers – My Father’s Farm
  • Arugula or Sorrel- Bluebonnet or Tecolote

I’m cooking a whole, 3.5 lb. chicken from Richardson Farms in our crock pot today, which will create 3 meals’ worth of delicious, juicy protein for my husband and me, plus several cups of delicious seasoned broth for later.  Here’s what I’m doing with the rest of our food:

Wednesday: Lazy chicken, broccoli (cooked w/ crock pot chicken broth), melon
Thursday: Local fresh pasta with roasted grape tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and chicken
Friday:  Lazy chicken, lemony cucumbers, melon
Saturday: Grilled cream cheese and tomato sandwich, arugula salad, melon
Sunday: Leftover pasta, summer squash bread
Monday: Curried apple and leek soup (made w/crock pot chicken broth), latkes
Tuesday: Leftover soup, leftover summer squash