Gentle Readers, with life’s hectic pace, and the winter months upon us, The Practical Cook must confess she did not go to the Farmer’s Market for a long time. Yesterday, driven by a cause (bacon), she went with the Juniors. Hog wild barely describes the scene. And that was just the Juniors. We came, we saw, we tasted and bought. We also learned.
If you haven’t located or visited your local Farmer’s Market lately, make a point of doing so. Interesting things are starting to happen again in most climates, and the baked goods are not to be missed. In fact, I’m so inspired, I’m making bread tomorrow. I have a partner in crime, though she doesn’t know it yet. Thanks CV Tall in advance.
I’ve included my Farmer’s Market purchases on the grocery list, though retroactive, as proof that I don’t exist solely on bacon. Especially since, irony of ironies, I’ve gotten multiple requests for veggie recipes lately: salad, grains, etc. I am here for you. Look to the bottom of the post for the bonus recipe inspired by today’s shopping trip.
Without further delay, here is this week’s Weekly Menus:
And the Four-Square Grocery List (still very spartan, still trying to eat down my unfreakingbelievably large pantry warehouse + my assault on the Farmer’s Market = fresh veggie overload):
Which translates into:
Sunday:Salmon and kale
I think I’ll do something orange-ish, as I have a few oranges lingering in the crisper drawer, and pair it with Quinoa or couscous salad (recipe research!)
Monday: Butterbeans, cornbread, and beets, et al TBD
I’m looking to do a serious veggie meal, as the Juniors are developing a bacon withdrawal problem.
Wednesday: Sausage and Chard
Of course, then we’ll eat more pig, but as part of a cassoulet-like dish, with white beans.
Thursday: Bacon and Egg Sammies with Salad
Maybe I’ll have nailed the homemade bread by this point . . .
Friday: Soup and Sammies!
I’ve got some beef stock I need to use, so it may be time for a French Onion soup of some stripe.
Saturday: Dine Out!
Field research is so necessary. I’m scoping some new spots, let’s see if I can gather a research team. Volunteers? Mission: Chinese.
Bonus Recipe: Spinach Salad with Cherries, Pecans, and Goat Cheese
This is too obnoxiously easy to be a true recipe, but it permits me to lecture on what to keep in your pantry/fridge, so you’re salad-ready at all times.
baby spinach (don’t be without this, for real)
chopped pecans, lightly toasted
goat cheese, fresh is best and way less goaty
good quality Balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Combine in portions that work for you. My Youngest, a notoriously picky salad eater, literally wiped the plate with her spinach leaf. She would walk on hot rocks to get to goat cheese, so I crumbled a heftier portion on her salad. The basics here are sweet, crunchy, and salty. Spinach is a good salad back-up. It stays fresh longer in the fridge, is less bitter than some greens, and packs a serious nutritional punch. Keep dried fruit always. Raisins are good, but red dried fruit (cherries and cranberries) look more festive in salads. Nuts or seeds, also keep on hand. Of course, if you’re me or have a nut allergy, you can sub bacon bits. And though I’ve got both feta and goat cheese in the house, I find goat is way more versatile. If you hate it, go with feta, but you want creamy/salty here. It melds with the oil and vinegar. End of lecture. Salad on!
What are you eating between seasons? Post a comment with your meals or your cravings!
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For Wednesday, we’ll be testing one more round of M&Ms: Pretzel vs Peanut!