Tag Archives: using leftovers

Weekly Menus: Week of 4/15/2012

Gentle Readers, is there anything more exciting than the first CSA of the season? Answer: No. I just gleefully sent in my request, and I’m already plotting what to do with the fantastic eggs and bok choy that are coming my way. Spring is here, complete with p0llen, and I’m looking forward to more vegetable goodness.

Sunflower Yellow Egg Yolk from Farm Fresh Egg

Sunflower Yellow Egg Yolk from Farm Fresh Egg

We are in the process of finishing up our inventory reduction here at The Practical Cook kitchen. You may be forcefully invited to dinner to help out. Thanks in advance.

Light golden-brown biscuits!

Light golden-brown biscuits!

So here’s what you could be eating, from this week’s Weekly Menus:

Weekly Menus: 4/15/2012

Weekly Menus: 4/15/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 4/15/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 4/15/2012

Which translates into:

Sunday: Burgers and Fries
These may be veggie or beef, TBD, but the fries will be sweet potato. (Though the Eldest informed me that TPC’s Mom made an excellent regular potato fry, with a mildly raised eyebrow at me. Le sigh, the age-old competition for the hearts and stomachs of one’s offspring rages on.)

Monday: Salmon Cakes plus veg
We need to eat more fish, and this is a great way to do it. I’ve got some frozen leftover mashed potatoes to use up for the binder, and some butter beans that will pair nicely.

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Just because it’s Tuesday. I need to make some biscuits as practice for an upcoming challenge.

Blackberry Salad with Sweet Pecans and Mozzarella Cheese

Blackberry Salad with Sweet Pecans and Mozzarella Cheese

Wednesday: Pasta and Salad
The pasta bar was a huge hit last week, especially the creamy ham and pea. The salad was a blackberry number. Delightful, let’s do it again.

Creamy ham and pea pasta toss. (Look, a wagon wheel!)

Creamy ham and pea pasta toss. (Look, a wagon wheel!)

Thursday: Sandwich night!
I have some bread to use up, and what better time to make grilled cheese, pressed sandwiches, or whatever else we can dream up?

Friday: Freezer Surprise
Because I do adore a challenge. And a cleaner freezer.

Saturday: Dine Out!
This continues to be a fun event, as we expand our list of places and determine each time whether they’re worthy of a return visit. I am proud to be raising kids with diverse food interests, who enjoy both the comfort of a familiar place and the excitement of a new one. As spring weather arrives, don’t forget the power of the picnic. It’s a magical experience to grab food and eat it outside somewhere. Especially if it’s cold fried chicken.

Summer Picnic Platter Featuring Cold Fried Chicken

Summer Picnic Platter Featuring Cold Fried Chicken

What’s in your picnic basket these days? I won’t tell, though I may borrow your suggestion. Post a comment below, I can hear you out there.

Send menu suggestions, burning questions, and strokes of brilliance 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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Up next, An Ode to Mood Lighting.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 3/11/2012 (with bonus recipe: Savory Bread Pudding)

Gentle Readers, it is  confession time here once more. The Practical Cook is guilty of the sin of wishful thinking. I often wish for more time/energy/counterspace. If only (fill in the blank), I say, then I would (fill in the blank). In the month of March, I’m resolving to do more and wish less. To that end, the inventory clean-up continues. Yes, I really had that much food stockpiled.

Savory Bread Pudding with Rosemary and Onions

Savory Bread Pudding with Rosemary and Onions

The bonus recipe below reflects that, something I sold to The Practical Cooks Junior as savory bread pudding. The Eldest loved it, the Youngest liked it, TPC’s Mom enjoyed it.

So more simplicity, and meals I can make in advance. This week I’ll be prepping for a very special event, as the Eldest celebrates a birthday soon. There will be cake, she will be very specific, I must be prepared.

So for this week’s Weekly Menus, we have:

Weekly Menus: 3/11/2012

Weekly Menus: 3/11/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery List:

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 3/11/2011

Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 3/11/2011

Which translates into:

Sunday: Pita Pizzas and Salad
Nothing better than a pita pizza bar for picky eaters. Have it your way. And I can divest myself of some cooked mushrooms and spinach at the same time. Score.

Monday: Breakfast for Dinner
Yes, there’s more leftover bacon to be eaten. And I really crave biscuits right now.

Tuesday: Soup and Sammies
It’s hard for us to eat a whole loaf of bread, but we need it for school lunch. Thus this staple supper.

Wednesday: Pasta Bake
Read: like lasagna, made in advance. If I don’t get rid of all of the spinach and mushrooms, they’ll appear here. If I need to offload some butternut squash and greens, I’ll do more of a white lasagna thing. I’ll be sure to report back in.

Thursday: Leftovers
See above, that pasta bake will be large and in charge. Add a different salad, call it done.

Friday: Sausage and Greens
Served with either pierogie or gnocchi, as the Youngest has declared she does not like mashed potatoes. I know, she is slightly unamerican for saying it, but doesn’t fear swimming upstream.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Current plan is to stalk some food trucks!

What are you serving these days? Post a comment and share the inspiration!

Bonus Recipe: Savory Bread Pudding

Let’s be honest, this is really what I call chicken dressing, just altered to make it beefy. Goes great with leftover beef stew, tomato gravy, mushrooms, or as a light lunch with garlicky greens.

A little carby goodness to go with a big pile of chard.

A little carby goodness to go with a big pile of chard.

several slices stale, leftover bread, broken into pieces (to make about 4 to 6 cups of chunks)
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
~8 cups of beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons butter

1. Break up the leftover bread into chunks, which should almost fill your large mixing bowl. Add the rosemary and onion to the bowl. NOTE: I keep my stale bread in the freezer, and I don’t even bother to defrost for this recipe, because of the next step.

Rosemary for the win!

Rosemary for the win!

2. Meanwhile, bring the beef broth to a boil.

3. When the broth is boiling, add it slowly to the bread mixture, stirring and checking for consistency as you go. The brothier you make the pudding, the wetter it will be. I like some extra broth in the bowl, but not bread soup.

Mix the bread, the onions, and the rosemary.

Mix the bread, the onions, and the rosemary.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When it’s to your liking, add the egg, mix well.

5. While the bread mixtures sits a minute, butter a large glass or ceramic baking dish. Toss the extra butter into the bread mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees on the bottom rack for 10 minutes, and then another 30 to 45 on the middle rack at 325.

Enjoy!

Email questions, pictures, and strokes of brilliance 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 on Wednesday, One Ingredient, Three Ways: Salad Edition.

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