menu planning

November 12, 2011

yeah, strangers, you read that shit right. menu. planning. i’m planning my menu. as in, my menu for the week for myself and my kid.

for my readers who have had too much wine to recall (because hello, there are two of you and you’re both lushes like i am), i got my GTFO on a while back and am now going all single mom on dallas’s ass. i have eaten at piggie pies in the last six weeks more times than i care to admit in this forum. but today, sophie and i journeyed to central market (it is now a regular occurrence because it is exactly one mile and i can justify prepared meals if i walk to get them). after she visits the sperm donor manana and i cook our proteins, we bitches are SET for the week!

monday – garlic- and pepper-crusted boneless ribeye with broccolini and baby bellas

tuesday – seared chicken breast finished in vichyssoise with mixed greens, cocktail tomatoes, and girard’s

wednesday – sliced ribeye over soba noodles with stir-fried veggies (bok choy, red peppers, carrots, sprouts)

thursday – sliced chicken breast and stir-fry veggie omelet (in toasted sesame oil, and with lots of garlic chile sauce, duh)

friday – beef bourguignonne over goat cheese mashed potatoes

breakfasts are always fruit (berries for me, bananas for sophie) and yogurt, and if i wake early enough, sometimes we fry an egg. my lunches will be leftovers (cooking for one and a half is HARD!), along with snacks of almonds, carrots, pears, and apples. if i were a more honest person, i would include the four cheeses i bought at central market today and the three bottles of wine, as i will probably make more than one cheese plate for ‘desert’ this week. oh-fucking-well.


food. and school. but mostly food.

August 31, 2011

last weekend, emily and tristan came to visit and we ate paella with seared scallops. it was so good. i did not take any pictures. then we ate an eatzi’s chicken with some tasty salad. i did not take any pictures. then i made a bread and tomato salad on sunday. i did not take any pictures.

this matters because scott won a brand new fancy digital camera (i say fancy because it is purple; i do not actually know what any of the numbers or letters on it mean) a few weeks ago, but i have been too busy (read: lazy) to use it until today. here is some rainbow chard with which i am currently obsessed.

so now that school is back in session for me, we are having several pre-made meals each week. like, a LOT of them. thank you, central market, for ruling. so here is what we’re eating this week, along with a paella recipe and my favorite breakfast foods.

monday – burgers. blech, but whatever, scott claimed he needed a ‘stress burger’ and the man works 70 hours a week.

tuesday – cm grilled salmon with hatch chile pesto, spinach and arugula salad with goat cheese and french dressing, gruyere toasts

wednesday – cm cm honey-marinated grilled flank steak over soba noodles, veggie stir-fry, beef broth

thursday – cm chicken parmesan, bread salad

friday – thai shrimp curry (if i actually clean the damn shrimp this time)

chorizo and scallop paella

1.5 cups bomba rice

7-10 saffron threads

1.5 cups water

1 yellow onion, diced

6-8 small, sweet peppers or one large yellow or red bell pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound spanish chorizo, diced

1 tablespoon butter

1 pound scallops

add your saffron threads to water and soak for an hour or more.

over medium heat, cook veggies in olive oil until they just start to soften. add in diced chorizo. stir in rice until everything is evenly coated with grease, then add saffroned water and turn down heat to low. you will totally have to add more water to this; as the rice dries, simply add a bit more to keep it moist. i love the crisp on the bottom of paella, so i leave the heat closer to medium than low and i let the water almost all cook off before adding more. after adding about an extra .5 cup of water, the rice should be finished cooking when that is gone. total cooking time for this rice is about 20 minutes, covered.

while paella is finishing, warm butter and olive oil in pan. sear scallops over medium heat, only about a minute on each side.  i HATE overcooked scallops. hate. them. season to taste with kosher salt and fresh pepper. plate paella and top with three or four seared scallops.

bread and tomato salad

3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped

6 ounces fresh mozarella, torn into chunks

1/2 bunch fresh basil, torn

2 cups day-old bread, torn into chunks

3-4 wrist-swish drizzles of balsamic vinegar

3-4 wrist-swish drizzles of olive oil

kosher salt

fresh pepper

combine all dry ingredients in a big bowl. drizzle balsamic and olive oil, then season to taste.

rainbow chard and fried eggs

2 tablespoons butter, separated

1/2 bunch rainbow chard, chopped and rinsed

soy sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

2 eggs

garlic chili sauce

over medium heat, warm butter. cover bottom of pan with greens and flavor with just a bit of soy sauce. when wilted, remove from pan and plate. pour excess water from pan and return to heat, adding second pat of butter. fry eggs to desired doneness and top greens with them. serve with garlic chili sauce. this is a really satisfying breakfast…it’s pretty big, though. really more of a brunch.

chicken thighs simmered in vichyssoise with popovers

August 22, 2011

i love every single ferrer soup i have tried. this week’s darling is their leek and parmesan vichyssoise (‘i don’t even know what that means,’ said my cheffy-chef sister. ‘it means it’s good to drink cold from the bottle,’ i told her.), and it has an even better flavor when cooked down a bit.

this is a really easy go-to dinner for me, and it goes with any sort of veggie you have around. i served it with a garden salad.

simmered chicken thighs

4 chicken thighs

kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 large yellow onion, sliced thinly

.25 cup white wine

1/2 bottle ferrer vichyssoise

in a skillet with a well-fitiing lid over medium heat, brown butter. season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and sear in butter, about three minutes on each side. pour in wine and scatter in onions; swirl to coat. pour in soup, turn heat waaaaaaaay down low, and cover. simmer for two hours. just before serving, remove chicken and thicken liquid to desired thickness with flour.


2 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp kosher salt

preheat oven to 425. divide butter into 6 sections of popover pan and heat in oven until butter begins to smoke slightly, about three minutes. quickly whisk together remaining ingredients just until smooth. pour batter into hot popover pan, filling each section no more than halfway. return to oven, set a timer for 20 minutes, and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR until that timer goes off. i mean it. you’ll regret it if you do.

remove from oven and cool on rack for five minutes. soak these guys in gravy and gobble them up.


August 22, 2011

this month’s cover recipe for bon apetit took me two days to make. it is getting relegated to the ‘special occasions only’ section of my recipe folder, and the number of dishes i had to wash before this pie was complete was RIDICULOUS, but it was totally worth it. go clicky for the recipe.

bon apetit’s lime blackberry italian meringue pie







menu planning

August 20, 2011

saturday – banh mi

sunday – shrimp, spicy capicola, and gruyere on focaccia toasts, caesar salad

monday – leftover brisket with soba noodles, shitake and enoki mushrooms, bok choy

tuesday – chicken thighs simmered in white wine and vichyssoise, garden salad

wednesday – shrimp curry, lentils

thursday – first night back to school! this probably means pizza. or a burger. or whatever scott gets on his way home because i’ll be damned if i’m cooking when i get home at 10pm.

friday – pork and leek potstickers, fried rice

brisket banh mi

August 20, 2011

let me start with a disclaimer; i know very well this is not a traditional vietnamese sandwich. first of all, it’s made with brisket instead of meatballs or pork belly or head chesse. also, there is no frenchy-type dressing.

HOWEVER. i fairly frequently claim ‘this is the best sandwich i have ever eaten’ because (1) i really like sandwiches and (2) my husband thinks it’s funny when i over exaggerate. tonight, when i claimed ‘this is the best sandwich i have ever eaten,’ it was totally true. so even if i’ve made it too american, i don’t care because it’s good.

for the brisket

1.5-2 lb brisket

4-5 tablespoons fermented soybean paste

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon hot chili oil (i used more, but i’m a heat freak)

4-5 dashes soy sauce

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1/2 cup water

heat the oils in a skillet over medium-high heat. rub the brisket with soybean paste. sear brisket in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. arrange onion sliced in a layer on the bottom of your slow cooker and place brisket in over them. place skillet back on heat, turn down to low, and pour in water with soy sauce. scrape up browned bits of soybean paste and brisket and pour mixture into slow cooker. cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

for the veggies

juliened daikon

juliened carrots

1 cup rice wine vinegar

juice of 1 lime

10 generous turns of freshly cracked black pepper

place all ingredients in a tupperware container, shake, and refrigerate for a couple of hours. drain before serving.


i served this with chopped cilantro and a generous spread of chili garlic sauce. adding fresh jalepenos to the pickled veggies would have been lovely, but my husband won’t eat them and i knew i would be just as happy with the heat from the chili garlic sauce. i also cheated and got a central market baugette; next time, i will make rebekkah’s version instead.

the caramelized onions were really, really tasty and the juice from the brisket made a nice dip; these sort of ended up being asian beef dips, and i’m not sorry. they went nicely with a cold glass of kirin ichiban.

menu planning

August 9, 2011

tuesday – grilled swordfish with artichoke and lemon sauce, spinach salad with goat cheese and almonds

wednesday – dinner date

thursday – chicken and bok choy stir-fry over fried brown rice

friday – beef stroganoff, green beans

saturday – grilled chicken over wilted spinach with bacon

sunday – sliced chicken in soy, ginger, and lime over lentils

for lunches, i made scott some tomato and basil focaccia for turkey and ham sandwiches (which will be dressed with some herbed mayo my beloved mixer, shaft, is currently emulsifying). breakfasts are egg, spinach, arugula, and chile scrambles on wednesday and friday, cinnamon rolls on thursday, and sausage and egg tacos on saturday.

sophie is sticking to bananas, squash, strawberries, lentils, and milkies this week.

saucy saucy sauce

June 1, 2011

i would post my menu for the week, but really none of it matters after the ribs i started stuffing into my face about twenty minutes ago. and ribs, as any girl who loves pork more than she should knows, are all about the sauce.

have you every been to stubbs barbeque in austin, texas? you know what, scratch that, it doesn’t matter if you have been because these ribs are better than the ones there. i don’t know how…perhaps there is some special additive in stubb’s store-bought honey pecan bbq sauce that alters the chemical makeup of pork so it more closely resembles crack. what i do know is that rich, toasty flavor roasted pecans, and the heavenly sensation of pork fat infused with that honeyed flavor melting on my tongue.

this was STUPID easy. easier than the italian dressing ribs because i didn’t have to wrap anything in foil. easier than actually going to stubbs because i didn’t have to fight the scenesters there for a show. go buy this sauce.


roach motel ribs


8 fat bone-in pork ribs

1 bottle stubb’s honey pecan bbq sauce

.5 cup chicken broth

1 yellow onion, sliced

place ribs and onion in a slow cooker. pour sauce over ribs. pour chicken broth into sauce jar, close, shake vigorously, and pour over the whole mess. set your slow cooker to ‘high’ for four hours. walk away.

if i were in a real house instead of a roach motel, i would have made joy the baker’s wheat garlic knots and a spinach salad with goat cheese and girard’s champagne dressing for this meal. instead, i just ate some extra ribs.

more menu planning

May 20, 2011

sunday – albondigas in red wine and tomato sauce, spinach salad

monday – braised leg of lamb, asparagus

tuesday – queso stuffed chicken breasts, lentils

wednesday – lamb cassoulet, green beans

thursday – chicken salad with cherries and vinnaigrette, tomato and spinach toasts

friday – leftovers

menu planning

May 19, 2011

breakfast almost every day is fiber one cereal and a banana, but hey, i need it. i’ve been packing turkey sandwich lunches for scott, but up until dinner, i really do a lot of fruit and yogurt and nut snacking instead of having a proper lunch. it’s not because i’m a pig. it’s good for me, really.

okay, i’m a bit of a pig. go fly a kite.

anywhoo, this is dinner so far and for the rest of this week. more red meat than i intended, but whatever. central market is celebrating espana until next tuesday, so when i stopped by today i spent six dollars on like four TEENY slices of jamon iberico de bellota. i also got a couple of spanish cheeses and needed a way to justify them, so tapas it is on saturday!

monday – spaghetti and meat sauce

tuesday – rib-eyes, lentils, spinach salad

wednesday – which ‘wich (don’t you look at me with those judgey eyes)

thursday – leftover steak chili (yay slowcooker and rebekah for encouraging soups!)

friday – seared mahi finished in veloute, spinach salad, lentils

saturday – tapas time! fried eggs, jamon iberico, whole wheat water crackers, almonds, seared bell pepper strips and calbaza, queso al vino, queso tetilla

sunday – albondigas in tomato and rioja sauce, spinach, almond, and queso al vino salad