Tag Archives: simple weeknight menus

Weekly Menus: Week of 11/25/2012

Gentle Readers, the official season of eating has begun. The Practical Cook adores this time of year, until, being sweetly awakened by the Youngest with a “Santa is coming” card, she descends into a blind panic of holiday tasks! I fall for it every year, the lull that is an overabundance of carbs and pie.

Roast 'em if you've got 'em.

Roast ’em if you’ve got ’em.

This year, I’m traveling for work before the holidays, so there’s no avoiding things to the last minute. Planning is a must! The other thing I learned from Thanksgiving, the simplest things were often the most well received. Every roasted veggie in the house is gone, there’s not a single cookie left (recipe for those tomorrow), and no one commented that I didn’t make a souffle. I’ve never made a souffle actually, that’s why I’m the Practical Cook.

Nary a souffle in sight.

Nary a souffle in sight.

But I digress, and I have cards to create, laundry to fold . . . the weekly menus are as follows:

Weekly Menus: 11/25/2012

Weekly Menus: 11/25/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 11/25/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 11/25/2012

Which translates into:

Sunday: Soup and Salad
This depends on time, and may switch with Monday. We’re trying a number of the boxed soups from Trader Joe’s as part of an upcoming series. My panel is ruthless, so watch for this.

Monday: Roasted Veggie Tart
Puff pastry, meet roasted vegetables. I love these things, and want to try a few combinations to bring into the fold as dinner options with leftovers. They reheat fairly well, and pair with the aforementioned soup, too.

Tuesday: Mexican
This will either be a play on the masa cakes I had recently at Brooklyn Star or a Flying Mayan burrito.

Masa cakes with black beans, eggs, and chorizo, I think I love you. Brooklyn Star.

Masa cakes with black beans, eggs, and chorizo, I think I love you. Brooklyn Star.

Wednesday: Dine Out!
The pleasure of our company has been requested. Oh, who am I kidding, The Juniors were invited to dinner and I’m driving them. Sigh, it’s hard to be the least popular one in the family. Will it be pasta? Something Asian stir-fry? Stay tuned.

Thursday: Dal and Naan
I miss cooking Indian food, and a friend’s Twitter stream has left me craving home-cooked dal. When you choose one of the split lentils, it’s relatively quick comfort food. I’m skipping making roti this time in favor of some frozen naan I need to use anyway.

The largest, fluffiest naan I've ever seen. You can ignore the adage to not fill up on bread at Roti Boti.

The largest, fluffiest naan I’ve ever seen. You can ignore the adage to not fill up on bread at Roti Boti.

Friday: Salmon and Veg
I have a back-up option if the Juniors deny fish, but I’ve been craving salmon since I had these rather unctuous and delightful fish kebabs.

Fish kebabs from An in Cary. Very satisfying indeed.

Fish kebabs from An in Cary. Very satisfying indeed.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Chances are it will be someplace with salad, because I will be running errands like mad in preparation for a week in Vegas.

Simplicity reigns: roasted acorn squash with a maple glaze.

Simplicity reigns: roasted acorn squash with a maple glaze.

What’s your secret for surviving the holiday rush? Share your tips or words of support in the comments section!

Send your creative insights, elves, and coffee 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, Oatmeal Scotchies with Macadamia Nuts Recipe.

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Weekly Menus from The Practical Cook’s Mom, A Guest Blog of Sorts

Gentle Readers, though The Practical Cook does like to make a general eating roadmap for the week, she is all for spontaneity. Apparently this runs in the family. Perhaps you recall when I left The Practical Cook’s Mom at the helm in the kitchen a few weeks back. I had one set of menus, we conferred, keep it simple. This is what actually happened:

Weekly Menus, Courtesy of The Practical Cook's Mom

Weekly Menus, Courtesy of The Practical Cook’s Mom

So this week, as I travel one more time, I’m not planning anything. Here’s her list. I’ll run you through the highlights reel so you can follow her method. I should also note, that she brings her own cooler of food, too, so stocking up is futile pursuit.

Monday: Tacos, pintos, fried okra, lettuce and tomato
How does okra pair with tacos? This is one of the many mysteries I faced in my youth. I still don’t have an answer for you.

Wednesday: Baked ham biscuits (you know them as Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches), steamed mixed vegetables, okra/beet pickles, pinwheel pasta salad
Yes, this is enough food to feed the troops. If they were running a marathon. Leftovers are very important in meal planning!

Thursday: Fried Chicken, rice, slaw, kale, crudites
Why have one vegetable when you can serve three? Welcome to dinner from a farming family in the summer. And believe me, there were probably more veggies lurking.

The Moral Here: Make a lot of food, focusing on vegetables. Ignore any and all rules of what vegetables pair with what. Serve.

The Second Moral: My kids always eat a ton when my parents are in the house. TPC’s Mom’s food just tastes better.

Do you cook like or with your mom? Discuss by posting a comment below. My mom might show up at your house with a cooler if you do.

Send suggestions, challenges, and heaps of praise 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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On Wednesday, Three More of My Least Favorite Things, Summertime Edition.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 5/13/2012

Gentle Readers, this week’s menus come to you full of jet-lag and fond memories of the West Coast. Whatever they do to salmon there makes it taste like flowers and sunshine. But I digress. I had my traditional recovery meal upon landing and waking back up: cereal. I really miss cereal when I travel.

Recovery Cereal

Recovery Cereal

This week is a straightforward set of menus, let’s dive in, shall we? Weekly menus are as follows:

Weekly Menus: 5/13/2012

Weekly Menus: 5/13/2012

The Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/13/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/13/2012

The CSA from Brinkley Farms:

2 white stemmed boc choi

1 bag lettuce mix

1 bag arugala

1 bundle regular kale

1 bundle celery

And that all translates into:

Sunday: Leftovers!
We went out for Italian to celebrate the Youngest’s triumphant return to the ballet stage. The honoree almost fell asleep in her pesto. Many leftovers to be had.

The Juniors Celebrate Big Night Style

The Juniors Celebrate Big Night Style

Monday: Italian?
This is an exciting turn of events. Waldorf is cooking for Team Practical Cook on location. How well do I share my kitchen? Let’s find out. I suspect the cuisine will be Italian, but a full report will be issued at some point.

Tuesday: Steak and Potato
There was a lot of steak talk last week, and now I’m craving one. Problem solved.

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Probably omelet bar with either biscuits or corn cakes on the side. Potentially grits for the Youngest Practical Cook Junior.

Thursday: Salmon and Veggies
I’ll use whatever we get at the market, plus salmon. We need to eat more fish!

West Coast Salmon, Mexican Style

West Coast Salmon, Mexican Style

Friday: Beans and Rice
Don’t know the cuisine yet, but I’m feeling some comfort food in the works. Perhaps Peruvian.

Saturday: Dine Out!
There’s a spreadsheet of place I have yet to try. If it’s good, look for a restaurant review in the near future. Don’t hesitate to shout out some options. I keep a running list from anywhere and everywhere. Bacon and Fried Chicken get preferential seating, but anything you say is the “best ____ ever” will go on the list.

My Road Food Survival Kit

My Road Food Survival Kit

What food do you miss most when you are on the road? Post a comment below, or Tweet my way. I am going to brew up a spot of tea and relax for a bit longer.

Send your challenges, queries, and 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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Reviews from the Road: More Field Research from San Francisco: From Bacon to Curry and Back Again.

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