Tag Archives: butterbeans

Weekly Menus: Week of 3/4/2012 (bonus recipe)

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.

Sing with me: "You're the inspiration!" (Bread, I Love You.)

Sing with me: "You're the inspiration!" (Bread, I Love You.)

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.

Farmer's Market = Potential, my equivalent of mainlining

Farmer's Market = Potential, my equivalent of mainlining

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:

Weekly Menus: 3/4/2012

Weekly Menus: 3/4/2012

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):

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 3/4/3012

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 3/4/3012

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.

Breakfast for Dinner: I almost forgot, I bought more grits too.

Breakfast for Dinner: I almost forgot, I bought more grits too.

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)
dried cherries
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!

Send salad suggestions, vegetarian challenges, and lucrative book contracts 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!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

For Wednesday, we’ll be testing one more round of M&Ms: Pretzel vs Peanut!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Weekly Menus

Summer Thanksgiving on a Sunday Night

The Practical Cook adores a challenge, especially a vegetable challenge. When life gives you a bountiful harvest, why not have a Thanksgiving feast? Sunday Dinner went vegetarian with Complicated Veggie and her crew on board. If you want to test your culinary skills, invite them over, they earned the moniker from being vegetarians who all dislike different things, sometimes all at once. Don’t even think of waving a shitake at CV.

But I digress. Special thanks to CV Tall for coming up with the name Summer Thanksgiving, which captured the feeling of the event very nicely. Vegetables were cooked, and we got out of the way of their flavor. I was also inspired by two Algonquin Books cookbooks (Bill Smith’s fantastic Seasoned in the South and Dori Sander’s cookbook) and two from Workman (Crescent Dragonwagon’s awesome The Cornbread Gospels and Cheap.Fast.Good! from Alicia Ross and Beverly Mills). So there was much inspiration around this table.

Here’s the menu:

Cucumbers and Onions: I opted not to grind black pepper in them this time, due to the low spice tolerance of the audience.

Cucumbers and Onions

Cucumbers and Onions

Sliced Tomatoes: Home-grown, purple cherokees, and sungolds, with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil, mayo on the side.

Sliced Tomatoes with a Dab of Mayo

Sliced Tomatoes with a Dab of Mayo

Black-Eyed Peas: Home-grown, picked and shelled by The Practical Cooks Junior, with an assist from TPC’s Mom.

Black-Eyed Peas in the RInse Cycle

Black-Eyed Peas in the RInse Cycle

Butterbeans: The trick is a LOT of butter. Thanks to the waiter at Acme in Carrboro who tipped me off to that one.

Butterbeans Before the Butter

Butterbeans Before the Butter

Fried Okra: Medium high heat, medium heat with a cover, and a final sizzle. Perfect for the non-battered non-deep-frying home cook. And no potatoes in my fried okra, thank you very much. I never could abide by that.

Fried Okra, Dori Sanders Style

Fried Okra, Dori Sanders Style

Corn on the Cob: Pulled and shucked by The Practical Cooks Junior, with much pride and little oversight. Rock on you two.

Fresh Corn!

Fresh Corn!

Tractor Cornbread: This is, shhhh, one of the “Northern Cornbread” recipes from The Cornbread Gospels, very sweet and cakelike. I wanted a sure bet and a larger recipe to fill up the tractor pan.

Tractor Cornbread, Just Because I Can

Tractor Cornbread, Just Because I Can

Mashed Potatoes: They were late to the table and eaten fast, but I promise they looked good and tasted delish.

Freshly Dug by The Practical Cooks Junior

Freshly Dug by The Practical Cooks Junior

Squash Casserole (with a Soda Cracker and Parmesan Crust): I love squash casserole, but my crew does not. Of course, Team CV did, so it was a victory lap for me.

Simmer Simmer Squash Casserole Pot

Simmer Simmer Squash Casserole Pot

Squash Casserole with Soda Cracker and Parmesan Topping

Squash Casserole with Soda Cracker and Parmesan Topping

I’m sort of tired just typing this up, much less making it. I’m a pretty efficient cook, but this took some effort. However, the leftovers rocked out, and the company was well worth it. Next time I send out a call for help in eating up vegetables, you’ll know I’m not kidding! And, everyone left the table full, with just enough room for chocolate ice cream in a cone outside with the fireflies.

Summer Thanksgiving Feast

Summer Thanksgiving Feast

What do you cook for a crowd in the summer? Post your ideas here, or as a video response on YouTube.

Send your vegetable request and recipes 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!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Up next, the antithesis of vegetarianism, Foie Gras Tasting from the top of Las Vegas.

Leave a comment

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, On the Table