Special Treats

IMG_1542Saturday we celebrated the 4th of July with hamburgers and our favorite summer salad, finished with homemade cherry pie and raspberry galette with fruit picked the day before!  Wow, that was good!

Sunday we watched the Women’s World Cup game and ate teriyaki chicken wings, hush puppies and spinach salad.   And, ate the rest of the pie.  A night of mixed emotions (happy for the US win, sad for the end of the sour cherry pie).

Monday I made a quickie quiche – cook Italian sausage, steam broccoli, throw in a baking dish with some roasted red peppers and swiss cheese.  Mix eggs and cream (I think I used 6 eggs and a pint of cream), salt and pepper.  Pour over baking dish.  Bake for about 40 minutes.  Serve with green salad.  Alex also made broccoli soup with the broccoli stems and homemade chicken stock, and a little black bean paste for flavor.  Super yummy!

Tuesday was this linguine with zucchini and yellow squash.  I was looking for a recipe that combined summer squash/zucchini and pasta.  This one wasn’t great… it certainly could have had more flavor, but it wasn’t bad either.  Luckily, the chicken had a lot of flavor – rubbed with Alex’s homemade BBQ rub (salt, pepper, chipotle powder, cayenne), grilled and then tossed with our favorite BBQ sauce.

Wednesday I made fried rice, using this recipe as my base.  I started the brown rice as soon as I got home from work, then spread it out on a sheet pan to cool it.  Sautéed onion and garlic, added green beans, corn (I used frozen veggies this time) and carrots, cook til not frozen anymore.  Added some sesame oil and diced ham, then threw in the cooked brown rice and mixed it all together.  Added a couple beaten eggs, stirred it up so that the eggs coat the rice, and cooked for 3 minutes or so til the eggs are cooked.  Finish with tamari or soy sauce and chopped scallions.

Thursday I planned a special treat, because I thought it was going to be just me and Alex eating dinner:  shrimp salad.  Turns out, it was me and Alex, and four kids.  So I picked up a steak on my way home from work (sirloin on sale at WFM last week), steamed some red potatoes and threw together a green salad for everyone.  I sort of ad-libbed the shrimp recipe, too.  I served it over baby spinach and didn’t use the wheat berries.  I didn’t have all the fresh herbs the recipe called for either, so I just used parsley and thyme.

Friday Isabel and I had the usual clean-out-the-fridge salad.  Mine was baby kale with roasted beets (also picked fresh last week), avocado and herbed goat cheese.  Not a bad way to end the week!

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What’s next?  We seem to eat a lot of burgers in the summer.  This week it will be turkey burgers (mix it up a bit by combining equal parts ground turkey and turkey Italian sausage for added flavor) one night and black bean burgers later in the week.  Fried chicken was on the cover of the latest Fine Cooking magazine, so it’s definitely on our Sunday night menu.  Seriously, who can resist some good old-fashioned fried chicken in the summer?  We have a basket full of rainbow chard from the garden, so maybe this as a side dish, and this or this as a main dish?

And, lest you think we’re all-healthy-food and no fun-and-cheating around here, I’ll share pics of two of my secret sugar bomb treats, both of which happened this week:

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Yes, that’s a dozen donuts from the Donut Shack, and an iced 2-pump mocha with coconut milk.  I hope your week is filled with sweet treats, too!  xox  M.

Special Treats

Weeknights at the grocery store

This week started out pretty good – the lamb kibbe with yogurt sauce was fantastic (I used 1 pound ground lamb and 1 pound ground beef); the chocolate cake looked great (I overbaked it so it was a little dry, but the brandy in the ganache made up for that flaw); the blueberry pie was soupy but it was the most beautiful pie I’ve ever made (egg yolk and heavy cream brushed on the crust before baking did the trick!).

lamb cake pie\

Three nights this week I did something I hate to do (and the reason I write this blog is to prevent myself and you from doing it)…  I went to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner on the way home from work.  We ate well, but I really dislike those weekday trips to the store.  One night was BBQ chicken with fresh corn and tomato salad, another night was linguine with red peppers and leftover chicken, then grilled Italian sausages with leftover linguine and salad.  I just couldn’t seem to get my act together to plan ahead.

Last night we had hamburgers with baked beans and stuff (arugula, avocado, tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese).  Here’s what Alex’s finished product looked like:


And here’s my hamburger plate:


Notice a difference?  🙂

It’s a holiday weekend coming up, so I’ll be sure to get some good food planning, shopping and eating in.  I’ll keep you posted.

xo M.

Weeknights at the grocery store