Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Menu Madness

I know there haven’t been any menu posts in a while.  I’ve been in something of a blue funk and have wanted to neither cook nor blog.  About anything.  Generally speaking, I’m not one who thinks you can just “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” out of everything, but it’s worth a try in this case as I can’t tell if the situation is self-induced or the result of other factors.  Regardless, a little positive effort never hurt.

As I mentioned earlier, meals and menu planning have been low voltage these days, but I did spend a little time yesterday thinking about grocery shopping and menu planning and then Angharad and I went out to a couple downtown shops to hunt for local produce (I was not up for all the rigmaroles of the local farmers’ markets – and there are tons of them) which yielded some great tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches.

Sunday – Pan-seared rosemary/garlic lamb chops; Nectarines with Arugula & Burrata Cheese (I’m going to make mine with fresh mozzarella because I’m too fatigued to hunt down Burrata – so it won’t be quite so delish – oh well…)

Monday – This absofreakinlutely delicious Lettuce Salad with Hot Beef Dressing.  I know it sounds weird, but trust me – it’s amazing and you’re going to want to make it every night of the week.  I used my very favorite Loriva Roasted Peanut Oil and also added some crushed red pepper flakes.  You definitely need the crunch of romaine, but this time I think I may also add some shredded cabbage.  Good Grief – I’m drooling all over the keyboard just thinking about it.  I also recommend doubling the recipe; the original might feed 2 – and I say “might” with some degree of measure – it would not feed only 2 of this family.

Tuesday – Pork tenderloin sliders with Jicama Slaw; roasted radishes and baby potatoes.  This slaw is killer and super easy to make.  I use a Memphis BBQ sauce which adds a really lovely sweet note to the whole thing.  I love using the pork tenderloins – which I COOK IN THE MICROWAVE, keeping them tender and juicy; then slice thin, pile on slider buns, drizzle with the BBQ sauce and top with the slaw.  Of course, you could grill your tenderloins – I probably would, too, it I wasn’t the one who had to grill them.

Wednesday – Sautéed Chicken Paillards with Caprese Tartines – just a fancy way of saying sauté thin sliced chicken breasts in olive oil; serve with open faced tomato-basil-mozzarella-drizzled-with-olive-oil on toasted French bread sandwiches.  Need I say more?

Thursday – Cold Pasta Salad of spaghetti, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, tomatoes and brie.  Here’s how I make it.  Cook the pasta according to package directions in well-salted water; while the pasta cooks, I warm up some good olive oil; add the red pepper flakes, several cloves of sliced garlic and cook gently until the garlic is soft – and watch that it doesn’t brown.  Once the pasta cooks, I drain it and combine with the olive oil. Refrigerate until cold.  Then before serving, I tear some brie and add some chopped tomatoes.  Sometimes I need to add a little more olive oil – it’s a matter of taste.  Olives are a nice addition as well.  You can eat this hot and it’s excellent that way too.

Friday – It’s July 4th and I have plans.  My contribution – Strawberry & Peach Shortcakes (I know it’s actually the 3rd….).

So, that’s the plan for the week.  I’m actually looking forward to either cooking these meals myself, or relaxing while the minions conduct the preparations.  What’s cooking at your place?

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So….How About Some Menu?

Erm.  Yes.  I’ve been dink on the whole posting thing. But we have been eating – nothing inspiring, mind you.  Actually, I’m still not all that inspired, but  here goes anyway…

Monday – Roast Pork, Saffron Rice, Cuban Black Beans

Tuesday – Grilled Sirloin,  Israeli Salad, Steamed Lentils

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Thursday – Try a New Recipe – Lettuce Salad with Hot Beef Dressing

Friday – Everyone does their own thing and I have dinner plans with friends

In other random news…

I went through something of a reading dry spell.  I bought a bunch of books, but then couldn’t bring myself to read.  Am wondering if it has to do with the medium; I spend all day staring at a computer screen; then I look at the Nook or Kindle and think to myself, “stare at screen some more?”  It’s just not moving me.  Does anyone else miss paper? Nevertheless, last week (I think – maybe it was the week before), I picked up Amanda DeWees’ “Sea of Secrets” (a Victorian Romantic Suspense – along the lines of a Gothic, but just this side of “not”) and to my delight, discovered something of a tribute to the Bard of Avon!  No, I won’t tell you which one – read it yourself and find out.  This sort of pulled me out of my funk – well, that and the announcement of a new theatre production of Hamlet which will ALSO be filmed and then distributed worldwide on 15 October for National Theatre Live.  Now, I may no be able to get myself all the way to London to see the production, but your can bet your sweet bippee I’ll find a way to watch it on screen somewhere stateside.

From the world of cooking – Nigella Lawson is coming out with a new cookbook “Simply Nigella” which will be out on 03 November 15 (Dear Santa, I want this).  I own several of her cookbooks (How to be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella Feast, Nigella Express) and they’re terrific.  So even though I’m about to go through another culling of the cookbooks, hers will stay.

On the home front – my office declutter project is nearly complete.  I can’t quite bring myself to reveal how many years’ of old paperwork I went through and pitched.  After wearing out the motor on a new shredder, I decided that the best thing was to just take advantage of a shredding service.  Best $20 I ever spent.  There’s still a  bit more to go through, but at least I can file my stuff and put my hands on critical documents.  It’s a really good feeling.

Iseult has her first summer job – she babysits a toddler and 4 year old in the morning and then a couple days a week she works at the local parish school summer camp.  Everyday she comes home from babysitting with a slightly shell shocked look which amuses me to no end.

I’ll try and do better next week – maybe even have a more inspired menu.  With that, what’s cooking at your house?

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