Tag Archives: Menu Planning

Meal Plan 5/26-5/31

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I am in a great mood today for many reasons. The top three are (1) the week is halfway over, (2) we get the day off on Monday! and (3) Rami’s and my first wedding anniversary is on Monday!!!!!! It seems like just a few months ago that we were planning our wedding in Iowa. I smile every single time I see a lemon because they remind me of our marriage, and I’m planning to make some lemon bars over the weekend so we can relive that part of our wedding day. 🙂

Rami and I were talking today about whether either of us was surprised that the first year is nearly over, and while neither one of us doubted that we’d still be married after one year (whew!) we both agree that the year has gone by really quickly. It’s also a little shocking to be married for a year because that’s something that grown-ups do. Even at 26 years old, I am surprised when I have moments that define me as a grown-up.

Still, grown-up I am, and that means making a menu plan. Even on wedding anniversary week! Here’s the produce I’m working with from the Local Box:

Here is what I am planning to eat and cook:

Wednedsday: we went out to Chuy’s for dinner. Creamy Jalapeno is my friend.

Thursday: venison meatloaf, pickled beets, lettuce salad, baked sweet potato

Friday: Corn Radish Salad, Zucchini quick bread, pickled beets

Saturday: Picnic: Corn Radish Salad, Peanutty Carrot Tea Sandwiches, Beet-and-Pecan Tea Sandwiches, Basil Goat Cheese Tea Sandwiches

Sunday: Leftover Tea Sandwiches, Pesto Pasta Salad on a bed of lettuce

Monday: Blackberry Peach Cobbler, Roast Chicken with beets and carrots, Lemon Bars

Tuesday: Leftover Awareness Day!!

Breakfast: oatmeal! I am doing really well at eating breakfast at home lately. Three times this week!

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.