Tag Archives: beans and rice

Weekly Menus: Birthday Edition, Week of 6/9/2013

Gentle Reader, what a week. I didn’t think it was possible to overdo on Challah French Toast, but it is. After an amazing trip to NYC, fueled by sampling some of the oddest things I’ve ever tasted, I just wanted to eat cereal for breakfast. Also, I discovered that my Challah French Toast easily bested any I had in New York. Thank you Cook’s Illustrated.

Challah French Toast from Grey Dog.

Challah French Toast from Grey Dog.

For the extreme tasting, may I introduce you to balut. Things to note, I do not always pay enough attention to the fine print. I heard “duck egg” and at a Filipino restaurant, “not containing shellfish.” What I missed, “fertilized.”

Thanks to @lynxbat for this before picture. Duck eggs, looking innocent. Balut @ Jeepney.

Thanks to @lynxbat for this before picture. Duck eggs, looking innocent. Balut @ Jeepney.

I will do a full review of Jeepney soon (really amazing experience, great food), but meanwhile, special thanks to my partner in crime, @Lynxbat, who offered to name our appetizer halfway through. It was the highlight of the trip, though I only managed three bites before I backed down.

The whole patio stopped to watch. I have not yet realized what I've signed on for.

The whole patio stopped to watch. I have not yet realized what I’ve signed on for.

So this week features a return to normal, with cake for The Youngest Practical Cook Jr. The weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 6/9/2013

Weekly Menus: 6/9/2013

The Four-Square Grocery List (note that The Youngest TPC Jr added “pairs” as a request, in the right place even!):

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/9/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/9/2013

Which all means:

Sunday: Ribs and Cornbread
We are planning ahead, and have a big day. So simple and easy is best–we bought ribs prepared, and we’re going to add something green plus cornbread for The Youngest’s celebratory birthday meal. There will be travel, soccer, and swimming in this as well, and one of two cakes (Birthday Carrot Cake!) plus ice cream, so easy wins.

Real Vanilla Beans: The key to an amazing cream cheese frosting

Real Vanilla Beans: The key to an amazing cream cheese frosting

Monday: Pizza
We have leftovers, add a salad, and call it a day. I love summer.

Tuesday: Veggie Quesadillas
Whatever is left in the fridge will be chopped and roasted, slapped into a tortilla, covered with cheese, and served. Sliced avocados make it fancy.

Wednesday: Salmon and Quinoa
What can I say, we’re fans of the high-protein light meal. Add broccoli and everyone’s happy.

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Thursday: Beans and Rice
This will probably be just black beans and rice, optional tortilla. A favorite and easy to take outside.

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Friday: Leftover delight!
I suspect this will involve eggs to stretch the bits and pieces of the week.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Currently seeking the best chicken and waffles, and new and different pork offerings. I may be traveling to discover this. Woot!

The Youngest TPC Wrote and Illustrated a Story about NYC: I love this

The Youngest TPC Wrote and Illustrated a Story about NYC: I love this

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Post a comment, send a tweet, share a condolence or two. I’m listening.

Send your extra birthday wishes, questions, and chicken and waffle suggestions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Cereal in Review: Chocolate Almond Granola from Trader Joe’s

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Weekly Menus: Week of 2/17/2013

Gentle Readers, three cheers for The Practical Cooks Junior. Not only have they mastered several breakfast items, they are now taking on school lunch, snack, and meal planning with great enthusiasm. This is a great help in not having to guess what they want.

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

The flipside, I’m raising two strong-willed women with advanced and particular palates. Please send help.

Without further adieu, and before they make additional editorial changes, here are this week’s menus:

Weekly Menus: 2/17/2013

Weekly Menus: 2/17/2013

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/17/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 2/17/2013

Which translates to:

Sunday: Fish and Chips
The Eldest opted to have a slice of bacon at dinner the other night. It’s unclear if this is a change or a one-off. We shall see. Meanwhile, I’m going to try homemade fish and chips again.

Monday: Beans and Rice
Love this meal for simplicity and creating possibility through leftovers.

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Black Beans and Rice: Simple and Satisfying for Dinner

Tuesday: Rustic Veggie Tart
This rustic tart will be caramelized onions, sweet potato, and goat cheese.

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Sweet Potato and Bacon Rustic Tart with Goat Cheese

Wednesday: Pasta and Salad
Probably cheese tortellini, but potentially spaghetti and veggie meatballs.

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
This is so simple and variable I struggle not to serve it daily. Never fails to please the crowd.

Grits go with everything. Especially breakfast for dinner.

Grits go with everything. Especially breakfast for dinner.

Friday: Leftovers
I am thinking either soup or burritos based on the week’s bounty.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Getting ready to travel again, so one last celebration on the way. Probably over a salad. 🙂

Eat the rainbow (salad)!

Eat the rainbow (salad)!

How does your crew feel about cheese sticks/pre-cut cheese? TPCs Jr are firmly against, and have started a movement to make our own. Discuss.

Send inspiration, desperation, and chocolate to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Sour Cherries on Top: One Ingredient, Three Ways

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Weekly Menus for a Crazy Week: Week of 11/4/2012

Gentle Readers, thank goodness for the extra hour. At least that’s how The Practical Cook looks at the fall time change. I blissfully ignore that it doesn’t mean an extra hour. Another conference happening this week, this time locally, means another week of forward meal planning. Simplicity is key.

The most requested dish by the Juniors right now? Polenta. If my other experiment fails on Friday, Polenta is my back-up option. Several people have asked me about this dish, and yeah, it’s that good. Easy too, just not something that can be prepped in advance.

Which leads me nicely to this week’s menus:

Weekly Menus: 11/4/2012

Weekly Menus: 11/4/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping list:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 11/4/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 11/4/2012

Which translates into:

Sunday: Burgers and Fries
Odd as it seems, I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat, this is one of the easiest meals to serve to both vegetarians and meat eaters. Whether you opt to do turkey, beef, tuna, salmon, etc burger, it’s very little extra effort to offer a portobella or veggie burger of some stripe as the alternative. Food on bun. Repeat. The fries will be sweet potato.

Monday: Pasta and Salad
Our plans on this day are up in the air, so I’m going to lean on pantry staples if the original meal plan doesn’t happen.

Tuesday: Leftovers
Somehow we always make more than we can eat. Plan for a day of reintroducing the food if you don’t eat it for lunches.

Wednesday: Spinach Quesadillas and Beans
A tried and true favorite, full of iron and packed with protein, the speed on this dish can not be beat. If yours can’t abide spinach, try adding something else to avoid being just cheesetarians.

Thursday: Baked Mac and Cheese with Squash and Veg
I’m determined to make at least one casserole this week to leave for the Juniors. It is fall, the happy casserole time. I feel a savory bread pudding in the not too distant future as well.

Friday: Beans and Rice OR Vegetable Pastry Puff
This is in response to a good idea/poor execution dish I experienced earlier this week. I can do better, and I’ve got the puff pastry to prove it.

Saturday: Dine Out!
We have been traveling so much, it will be exciting to do a bit of exploration in our own backyard.

What’s on tap for you this week? I would love to hear some of your make-ahead selections, particularly vegetarian adaptable ones! Post a comment below. I don’t bite.

Send your good ideas, kitchen questions, and lattes to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Wednesday, School Lunches, Revisited.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 10/21/2012

Gentle Readers, fall has arrived. It’s a little bit cool, and everything has turned to pumpkin, including beer, which makes me shudder in horror, but I digress. However, it’s also time for persimmon pudding, which I must encourage you to try if you haven’t. The taste is something like a spunky pumpkin bread pudding, and it is the childhood smell of autumn for me.

Persimmon Pudding from Crook's Corner. Almost as good as TPC's Mom makes.

Persimmon Pudding from Crook’s Corner. Almost as good as TPC’s Mom makes.

Let all of this add up to say, I’ve been in the kitchen, and feel inspired for having done so. So inspired that I challenged a professional cook to a sausage gravy battle. That might have been unwise, particularly because he makes biscuits at scale, but go big or go home I say. I’ve got a cast iron skillet and I’m not afraid to use it.

Which means the menus for the week are as follows:

Weekly Menus: 10/21/2012

Weekly Menus: 10/21/2012

The four-square grocery shopping list:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 10/21/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 10/21/2012

Which all adds up to:

Sunday: Beans and Rice with Avocado
We tend to like a simple Sunday meal. Though we may top it off with dessert and Wii at our favorite gastropub. The Juniors are popular, and their social schedule often requires creative booking.

Monday: Omelet Bar
Spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and good cheese. Some bread from Le Farm, some preserves purchased at the state fair, call it a win.

Tuesday: Pork chops with spatzle
It’s fall, and time to cook some apples and sear some pork chops, that’s what I say.

Wednesday: Polenta, pasta, or dine out?
We’re hosting a very special guest from the West Coast this evening, so we’ll have to do additional recon and agree on this meal. Something simple to accommodate the demands for attention that are surely going to ensue.

Thursday: Frozen Pizza and Salad
I’ve got a business obligation, so it’s time to break out the Punt! dinner.

Friday: Biryani
I’m going to try this for it’s ability to be vegetarian and meat-filled without much hassle. We shall see.

Saturday: Dine out!
Time for some field research. Details pending!

Where do you stand in the Great Pumpkin debate? Do you like it in your coffee? Your beer? Make your voice hear today. The comments section is open for business. Your vote counts. 😉

Send your pre-carved pumpkins, persimmons, and excess Halloween candy to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Monday: Polenta with Egg, Mushrooms, and Spinach

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Weekly Menus: Week of 9/30/2012

Gentle Readers, it is yet one more week of high-paced excitement for Team Practical Cook. However, times like these I’m even more protective of our time in the kitchen and at our meals. For us, it is a time to share, confess, console, and laugh. Sometimes we manage to eat a few green veggies too.

The Practical Cooks Junior are becoming more like kitchen staff than patrons, and they are also more clear about their likes and dislikes. Full respect for their ability to state this clearly and politely. Wednesday’s blog is based on their reviews.

But I digress, on to the week. Our weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 9/30/2012

Weekly Menus: 9/30/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List is:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/30/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/30/2012

Which all means:

Sunday: Thai Tofu
This got bumped from last week, and I’m actively looking forward to it. We’ll be offloading some veggies and trying out a commercial red curry paste.

Monday: Beans and Rice
Comfort food here. Probably black beans and rice, potentially Indian though, a simple dal.

Tuesday: Leftovers
Travel week coming up, so we’re eating up the supplies.

Wednesday: Omelets
This may change too, but it’s a good stand-by. If I can work it out, I’ve got a foodie Tweetup to attend.

Thursday: Burgers and Fries
The best thing about this meal is that everyone can have it their way. I’m working on a homemade veggie burger, but we’ve got frozen and beef on hand too. Fairly easy to serve veg and non with this meal, believe it or not.

Friday: Dine Out!
On the road again. More details pending.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Manchego, hold the eels. That is all I will say for now. 😉

What’s in your kitchen these days? I would love to hear your go-to meals for busy times. Post a comment below!

Send your bright ideas, your food cravings, and your kitchen confessions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Next up on Wednesday: Cereal Review: The Loser’s Bracket.

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Weekly Menus: Summer Style, Week of 7/15/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is once more happily ensconced in the test kitchen. The joy of summer is more gathering than hunting I think, so many vegetables, so little time. My philosophy of finding something good and interesting and getting out of the way still holds.

Tomato Watermelon Salad from Crook's Corner

Tomato Watermelon Salad from Crook’s Corner

My favorite moment with The Eldest Practical Cook Junior, when hearing that okra was one of the most loathed veggies,  she suggested we take it or another vegetable and prepare it multiple ways, then invite people over to see if we could convert them. Brilliant. I’m actually going to do that soon, a One Ingredient Three Ways thing. Please feel free to suggest the vegetable. I’ve taken on okra and Brussels sprouts, I’m not afraid.

Non-horsey Okra Pods

Non-horsey Okra Pods

But I digress, and there’s so much food to eat. Here are the Weekly Menus:

Weekly Menus: 7/15/2012

Weekly Menus: 7/15/2012

And the light-weight Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 7/15/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 7/15/2012

Because the CSA is tripled from my absences:

1 dozen eggs
1 pk bacon
1 regular bratwurst
1 cantaloupe
1 1 lb bag shelled butterbeans
lb filet beans
1 lb heirloom tomatoes
1 pt yellow cherry tomatoes

Which all translates into:

Sunday: Leftover fried rice
This was inspiration from yesterday. It was leftover plain rice with lots of egg, a stray piece of ham, ginger, ketchup, and soy sauce. Toss it with a few stir-fried veggies and go. I’m going to add edamame to the mix for round two.

Leftover Fried Rice

Leftover Fried Rice

Monday: Beans and Rice
This will probably be Indian food. I’ve been craving, and we haven’t made dal in a while. Nothing better than spicy vegetables in the summer. Seriously. (See Some Like It Hot for my diatribe.)

Tuesday: Sammie Platter
Because I can eat my weight in tomato sandwiches, let’s just go ahead and call it dinner.

Sandwich Platter Piled High!

Sandwich Platter Piled High!

Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner
It’s biscuit time again, per the Juniors. We’re still hammering out our favorite recipe, having had a worthy contender at the Early Girl Eatery in Asheville, NC.

Fresh-Squeezed OJ for the win!

Fresh-Squeezed OJ for the win!

Thursday: Take me out to the ballgame.
Hot dogs, burritos, I say yes. We are stepping out this evening, and I expect an eating marathon.

Friday: Beef!
I’ve been craving it. Probably meatloaf. Though I am omnivorous, I lean toward my vegetarian roots (pun intended) in the summer. Sometimes I have to toss some iron into the mix.

Saturday: Dine Out!
I have to check some items off the growing recommendation list. If you haven’t, please check out the RTP Restaurants page and let me know what you think!

Have you stepped out of the kitchen this summer? Perhaps to the grill, or simply because you’re cutting things up and serving rather than turning on the stove? Share your summer cooking strategies in the comments below, or Tweet my way!

Send your heirloom tomatoes, questions, and kitchen challenges to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Next on Wednesday, 5 Wines Under $10 from Trader Joe’s.

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Weekly Menus, Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook wishes you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Here’s hoping you’re getting to take some time off and be outside somewhere. Preferably with watermelon. Without it, I don’t think one can fully celebrate. But I am deeply Southern that way.

Watermelon is key to celebrating Memorial Day. As important as the white shoes rule.

Watermelon is key to celebrating Memorial Day. As important as the white shoes rule.

I digress, as usual. This week, I’m actually in my own kitchen, cooking. Wow, what a concept! However, I have several upcoming guest blog posts. I have been out eating other people’s food, and talking to anyone and everyone about food. I know, it’s not an easy task, but someone must do it. I am here for you.

Rainbow Jell-O in order! Not mine, but I plan to tell you all about it.

Rainbow Jell-O in order! Not mine, but I plan to tell you all about it.

Worry not, at least one guest post will be dedicated to bacon. Bacon on bacon. I shall say no more for now, but I hope that guest poster is reading this and making a bacon lattice as we speak.

On to the Weekly Menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 5/27/2012

Weekly Menus: 5/27/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery List: 5/27/2012

The Four-Square Grocery List: 5/27/2012

My CSA from Brinkley Farms:

1 dozen eggs
1 pk pork chops
1 bundle rainbow carrots
1 lb cucumbers
1 qt. yukon gold potatoes
2 lbs zucchini

Which all translates into:

Sunday: Chicken, veggie, TJ’s brown rice medley, and fruit
We’re having guests, I’m craving comfort food, and half the people present could eat their weight in fruit. Thus the detailed listing.

Monday: Dine Out!
We’re eating out a couple of times in order to cover requests made by each of the Juniors. This is what compromise looks like in a foodie family.

Chinese Tapas, the phrase coined by the Eldest as she calmly ordered half the appetizers.

Chinese Tapas, the phrase coined by the Eldest as she calmly ordered half the appetizers.

Tuesday: Leftovers!
Because I will die under the weight of them if I don’t serve them regularly.

Wednesday: Ham and Cheese Sammies with Sweet Potato Chips
This is a recipe TPC’s Mom made growing up, and she fed it to my kids last week. Now they’re hooked, and we’re blogging it.

Thursday: Beans and Rice, Mexican Style
I’m overrun with tortillas, and I am pro any reason to eat avocado.

Friday: Beef and Bok Choy
I just like the sounds of it. This will be experimental in an attempt to convince the Jrs to eat both.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Though I may advocate for staying home and eating leftovers, or a salad. Road food is killing me softly.

Send kitchen challenges, kind words, and charming anecdotes to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Wednesday, Peach Blueberry Crisp Bars Recipe. It’s like a crisp, in bar form.

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