Tag Archives: easy summer menus

Weekly Menus: Week of 8/11/2013

Gentle Readers, another week, another road trip. One of the biggest challenges is coming home to an empty kitchen. So I try to shop and plan accordingly. I’ve been stocking the pantry with healthy snacks, and we’ve got fruit in the fridge that can last a bit longer.

Peaches: I'm addicted to you.

Peaches: I’m addicted to you.

I’m eating peaches and nectarines like it’s my part-time job, so no waste there. Quesadilla fixings hold for a bit, so that’s also at the ready. And eggs, which I waxed on about last time, are always there.

So the very light Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: milk, bread, eggs, fruit. On hand, Almond Bars, cereal, pasta. I can live a long time on these things. It’s like shopping for a snowstorm, only add fresh items. I am Southern you know.

Southern Survival: Milk, Bread, Eggs

Southern Survival: Milk, Bread, Eggs

The weekly menus:

Sunday: Dine Out!
Otherwise, rotisserie chicken would be my dinner weapon of choice.

Speedy Salad: Strawberries, rotisserie chicken, almonds, goat cheese, greens.

Speedy Salad: Strawberries, rotisserie chicken, almonds, goat cheese, greens.

Monday: Frozen Pizza
That’s what it’s there for. Just add salad and fruit, welcome home.

Tuesday: Open-Faced Sammies
This has been a real break-through this summer. We’ve done tomato, tuna, egg salad, and more. I think the “stuff to bread” ratio is much better, and we fill in the blank with celery, carrots, salad, fruit. It’s working for us.

Some nice person gave me a canteloupe at the car wash. It's a hybrid of canteloupe and honeydew. Delightful.

Some nice person gave me a canteloupe at the car wash. It’s a hybrid of canteloupe and honeydew. Delightful.

Wednesday: Spinach Quesadillas
This is podcast night, and I need to make food efficiently so I can get on air. Making anything in a cast-iron skillet makes it feel like homemade to me.

Thursday: Pasta Primavera
We got a garden-load of veggies from TPCs Parents. Looking forward to some combo tossed with pasta. Simple and to the point.

Friday: Stir-Fry
I have some frozen rice leftover, eggs, and more vegetable bits. Add soy and ketchup, steam some edamame, break out the chopsticks.

Leftover Fried Rice

Leftover Fried Rice

Saturday: Dine Out!
More field research! Another country, perhaps Malaysia? 😉

Send your dinner inspiration my way! It’s almost time for school again, so we’re warming up the lunchboxes. What are you cooking? Post a comment below!

Send bugspray, sharp cheddar, and your cooking secrets 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: The Big Easy in Review: Eating in New Orleans

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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: Picnic Edition (with Bonus Car Food Thoughts)

Gentle Readers, the weekly menus are going seriously al fresco this week. Is there a better place to eat than beside a waterfall? No, I do not think so. With this in mind, I did minimal shopping this week, focusing on the car food.

Apple Snack Tray with Peanut Butter and Maple Butter

Apple Snack Tray with Peanut Butter and Maple Butter

Years ago I concluded that the worst possible use of time for The Practical Cooks Junior was to sit quietly in a restaurant during the few precious minutes we stopped on road trips. Stops are a time to move around, yell, stretch, and generally get out all kinks. Public dining in our time is not the same as the stops of ye olde England when such carrying on was undoubtedly more commonplace.

So it’s more sensible to eat in the car for us. I could care less if food gets everywhere, but I don’t want to amp everyone up to the point that sitting still is not possible (thus a limiting of fast food options). Solution: peanut butter banana sandwiches. Elvis, the original road warrior, knew what time it was. I make stacks of them, cut them into quarters, roll.

The Key Ingredient, Labeled for Clarity (Not my label, by the way)

The Key Ingredient, Labeled for Clarity (Not my label, by the way)

I pack my travel trail mix, which does contain chocolate, and I do break any number of personal shopping rules and pack Poptarts and cereal bars for AM drive time. However, I also bring fresh fruit, nuts, and jerky. Car rides can be boring, and eating can be entertaining. So we snack, sing, chat, and sleep (well, me not so much that part).

Trail Mix Melted and Reformed = Trail Bark (Yum)

Trail Mix Melted and Reformed = Trail Bark (Yum)

I’m raising a couple of road warriors, and they are truly remarkable. They can pack their own bags without missing a beat, and take each new adventure in stride. How many people can say that about their summer vacation partners?

The Road Warriors

The Road Warriors

So this week’s menus will look somewhat like this:

Sunday: Vegetarian Dinner Out! (More on this soon!)

Monday: Meat, cheese, fruit, baby carrots, lake

Tuesday: Sandwiches and granola bars, waterfall

Wednesday: Chinese Take-Out (our recovery food)

Thursday: Business Dinner for me, Pasta and Veg for Jrs.

Friday: Cold Fried Chicken (because)

Cold Fried Chicken: My Summer Picnic Fuel

Cold Fried Chicken: My Summer Picnic Fuel (from Crook’s Corner)

Saturday: Picnic + Concert!
For this I will probably go tomato sandwich with a side of pesto pasta or something in that vein. Or perhaps more quinoa because I currently cannot consume enough of the stuff.

Send your junk food, food confessions, and wacky food 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!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

On Wednesday: How to Throw an Impromptu Cookout and Why You Should.

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