Tag Archives: vegetarians

How Skim Is Your Milk?

Gentle Readers, what color is your milk bottle cap? For years I have been a skim milk person, though I’m not sure how I fell into the habit. Tall decaf nonfat latte is a matter of routine at this point. (Withhold any comments on the decaf part unless you want to take full responsibility for a caffeinated me.)

Cafe con leche: Breakfast of champions

Cafe con leche: Breakfast of champions

Then I saw an article much like this one, if not this one, about skim milk making people fat. As a rule, I am not a low-fat fan, and my Fried exploits are well-documented. I buy into the idea that fat is not the enemy, it makes you full.

Very respectable fried pickles to be found at Carolina Ale House.

Very respectable fried pickles to be found at Carolina Ale House.

With both of The Practical Cooks Junior declaring vegetarianism, more fat in the diet is not a bad thing. So I switched to 2%. Results have included much richer and more delicious faux bechamel sauces and a lack of obese children in my home.

Pasta two ways with a side of fruit.

Pasta two ways with a side of fruit.

Yes, moving from the light blue to the dark blue cap (and this is a big deal in Tarheel country) did not set the world aflame. I run. I workout. Eating all vegetables has frankly left me hungry on more than one occasion. I am happy for the extra fat myself.

Milk Bottles Old, New, and Buttermoo

Milk Bottles Old, New, and Buttermoo

Perhaps it was the lusciousness of the cafe con leches I consumed in Barcelona, but it was time. I think this change will stick. So what color is your milk bottle cap? Post a comment below, tweet my direction, or chat with your cow. I look forward to hearing from you!

Send your questions, queries, and quips 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 Sunday, Weekly Menus, Gangnam Style.

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School Lunches, Revisted

Gentle Readers, multiple times a week, The Practical Cook faces the ultimate challenge: prepping two lunches that are portable, healthy, vegetarian, and able to be consumed in 15 minutes or less. Now, the joy of raising the Juniors as foodies is immeasurable. Conversely, they are incredibly adept food critics.

The ultimate leftover compliment.

The ultimate leftover compliment.

So here are a few tricks we’ve pulled out in the last few weeks. Also for the record, since both Practical Cooks Junior have converted to vegetarianism, we really haven’t partaken of the cafeteria lunch.

School Lunches, Revisited

1. Cheese and Crackers. Serve this with fruit and make everything bite-sized. The Whole Foods bits and pieces bin is a great value for trying new cheeses. It keeps lunch interesting to try different flavors.

Two cheese are better than one. From the bits and pieces bin at Whole Foods, Parmesan and Romano.

Two cheese are better than one. From the bits and pieces bin at Whole Foods, Parmesan and Romano.

2. Hummus and Mini Pitas. Just add baby carrots, celery sticks, or cucumbers. Throw in a fruit leather if you feel crazy.

3. Bagels with Cream Cheese. Half a bagel with cream cheese has been the perfect serving size. Serve with a side of nuts and some raisins.

The Jrs' First New York Bagel

The Jrs’ First New York Bagel

4. Yogurt with Fruit and Granola. The key here is including the toppings separately. Mixing your lunch is very satisfying. I often serve this with nuts or a side of fruit as well.

Apple Walnut Parfait!

Apple Walnut Parfait!

5. Pumpkin Butter and Cream Cheese on Bread. Tis the season! Pumpkin butter is a great peanut butter alternative. Served with kale chips or dried seaweed for balance.

What’s in your lunchbox these days? Post a comment below!

Send your quips, brownies, and good ideas 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 Friday, How Skim Is Your Milk?

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Weekly Menus for a Crazy Week: Week of 11/4/2012

Gentle Readers, thank goodness for the extra hour. At least that’s how The Practical Cook looks at the fall time change. I blissfully ignore that it doesn’t mean an extra hour. Another conference happening this week, this time locally, means another week of forward meal planning. Simplicity is key.

The most requested dish by the Juniors right now? Polenta. If my other experiment fails on Friday, Polenta is my back-up option. Several people have asked me about this dish, and yeah, it’s that good. Easy too, just not something that can be prepped in advance.

Which leads me nicely to this week’s menus:

Weekly Menus: 11/4/2012

Weekly Menus: 11/4/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping list:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 11/4/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 11/4/2012

Which translates into:

Sunday: Burgers and Fries
Odd as it seems, I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat, this is one of the easiest meals to serve to both vegetarians and meat eaters. Whether you opt to do turkey, beef, tuna, salmon, etc burger, it’s very little extra effort to offer a portobella or veggie burger of some stripe as the alternative. Food on bun. Repeat. The fries will be sweet potato.

Monday: Pasta and Salad
Our plans on this day are up in the air, so I’m going to lean on pantry staples if the original meal plan doesn’t happen.

Tuesday: Leftovers
Somehow we always make more than we can eat. Plan for a day of reintroducing the food if you don’t eat it for lunches.

Wednesday: Spinach Quesadillas and Beans
A tried and true favorite, full of iron and packed with protein, the speed on this dish can not be beat. If yours can’t abide spinach, try adding something else to avoid being just cheesetarians.

Thursday: Baked Mac and Cheese with Squash and Veg
I’m determined to make at least one casserole this week to leave for the Juniors. It is fall, the happy casserole time. I feel a savory bread pudding in the not too distant future as well.

Friday: Beans and Rice OR Vegetable Pastry Puff
This is in response to a good idea/poor execution dish I experienced earlier this week. I can do better, and I’ve got the puff pastry to prove it.

Saturday: Dine Out!
We have been traveling so much, it will be exciting to do a bit of exploration in our own backyard.

What’s on tap for you this week? I would love to hear some of your make-ahead selections, particularly vegetarian adaptable ones! Post a comment below. I don’t bite.

Send your good ideas, kitchen questions, and lattes 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, School Lunches, Revisited.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 10/28/2012

Gentle Readers, it promised to be another action-packed week here for Team Practical Cook. Leading off, Halloween. As the parent of two trick-or-treaters, I have optimize for last-minute costume prep AND a meal that will offset the sugar bomb that is to come.

This week is pretty straightforward due to pending travel. Our job will be to dutifully report on it. Game on.

Here’s how it’s shaking out, with this week’s Weekly Menus:

Weekly Menus: 10/28/2012

Weekly Menus: 10/28/2012

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 10/28/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 10/28/2012

Which all means:

Sunday: Dine Out
Field Research in Progress!

Monday: Dine Out
I already know this will be the Whole Foods takeout meal. Nothing is easier while still taking a swing at healthy.

Tuesday: Salad for Dinner
I will transform Monday’s meal to sit atop the family salad that comes with.

Wednesday: Faux Nuggets and Broccoli
Vegetarian junk food and the vegetable they always eat. Some padding for the sugar bomb that is to come. Assuming we all still have power after the storm of the century. Again.

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Eggs work. We made some beautiful omelets last week. Well not at all beautiful, but stuffed full of vegetables, and that is attractive by itself.

Friday: Burgers
Learning that burger night is ideal to feed omnivores and veggies at the same time. Just put something different on each bun! Of course, the Juniors have gone crazy for Portobella Mushroom caps right now. Try them out if you haven’t. They work.

Saturday: Dine Out

What do you serve on Halloween to prevent sugar shock? Post your ideas in the comments section below!

Send leftovers, decorative gourds, and peanut butter cups 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, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancake Mix Reviewed! (And a recipe.)

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The Art of Leftover Surprise

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook celebrates leftovers. Yes, even the tiny bits. There’s always soup or some complex reintroduction, but there’s also a bowl, a tortilla, and some imagination. After a travel week, there’s inevitably more food in my house than when I left (looking at you TPC’s Mom).

Summer Thanksgiving Feast

Summer Thanksgiving Feast

You see, I am Southern. Culturally, this means my mother has to feed the Juniors as if they were on the brink of starvation at all times. Fortunately for my newly minted vegetarian, I am from a farming family, so this means approximately 20 vegetables are served at any given meal. This may sound a bit exaggerated, but it really is not.

Cucumbers and Onions

Cucumbers and Onions

So I return from trips to find various bits and pieces. I’ve learned to accept this, even as my OCD self yearns to see the back of my fridge. With an extreme case of jet-lag and “event kennel cough” (my new favorite term, not one I coined myself), complex repackaging of food was not in the cards.

A lot of little leftovers can add up to a whole meal.

A lot of little leftovers can add up to a whole meal.

I opened the fridge, laid out the dishes, offered some tips, and let the Juniors put together meals. There were beans of different stripes, rice, tomatoes, cheese, tortillas, cooked apples, bagged salad. The Eldest went Mexican, using her tortilla like a chapati to pick up her food. We made a quick Mexican salad dressing to toss on the salad (salsa verde, juice of 1/2 lime, couple teaspoons of sour cream, stir), and she was set.

Mexican Salad Dressing: Simple and Tangy

Mexican Salad Dressing: Simple and Tangy

The Youngest made Hoppin’ John from black-eyed peas, rice, corn, tomatoes, and cheese. She dipped her cucumbers into the Mexican salad dressing.

The lesson: kids don’t have some preconceived notion of what should and should not be paired, or what constitutes a “real” meal. What a gift, to be without boundaries on your culinary creativity. If the combo tastes bad, don’t eat it again. Simple really.

Leftover corn mixed with a diced roasted yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes, and a fresh sweet pepper.

Leftover corn mixed with a diced roasted yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes, and a fresh sweet pepper.

And there was enough corn leftover to turn into a simple topping for the salmon the next night. Genius. Lunch, solved. The kids, happy and full of vegetables. My fridge, clean. How do you manage small bits and pieces of leftovers? Post a comment below today! I’m waiting.

Questions, quips, and winning lottery tickets may be sent 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 Friday, The Tower of Bacon.

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Filed under Can this supper be saved?, Punt!, Recipes

Weekly Menus: Week of 9/2/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is barely able to recognize her own kitchen. It seems like I haven’t seen it all summer. But school is in, time for school lunch prep, class snack, and quick dinners.

Don't overlook the afterschool snack!

Don’t overlook the afterschool snack!

One quick note. Don’t overlook the power of the post-school snack. I remember well my Granny leaving out a snack every day when I came home from school. It’s a time to unwind, relax, reconnect. Take the time to put something out, or use that time to finish what didn’t get eaten in the lunchbox.

And now, Weekly Menus for this week:

Weekly Menus: 9/2/2012

Weekly Menus: 9/2/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/2/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/2/2012

Which translates into:

Sunday: Indian Food
We shall see what this is. Probably a simple dal and rice. Potentially some bread or a green.

Monday: Salmon and Greens
Not sure if the Eldest will eat fish, but the Youngest is a fan. Working through how to serve this as a single meal without becoming a short-order cook.

Tuesday: Soup and Salad
Lots of small leftovers. I can make soup for lunchboxes too!

Wednesday: Eggy Pasta
We’ve been relying on pasta with some form of protein added in. The favorite is eggy pasta, a riff on carbonara. I know the purists will shoot me down for the lack of bacon, but so be it.

Thursday: Burritos
Sweet potatoes, black beans, and the inevitable bit of leftover rice.

Friday: Pork Chops, Pierogies, Greens
Theory here is the pierogies and greens (plus applesauce) will be enough of a meal without the pork chop for the Eldest. To be determined.

Saturday: Dine Out!

What’s your go-to weeknight meal? Any vegetarian favorites? Share your comments below!

Send your bacon, your wit, and your legitimate questions 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, The Art of Leftover Surprise.

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A Little Vegetarian

Gentle Readers, the most important part of developing a functional weekly meal plan is acknowledging that things may go completely off the rails. Sometimes, for instance, one’s amazingly thoughtful seven-year-old will quietly decide to become a vegetarian before dinner.

The Eldest Practical Cook Junior reads labels to the Youngest.

The Eldest Practical Cook Junior reads labels to the Youngest.

That’s right, The Eldest Practical Cook Junior, after consideration, told me she simply preferred animals walking around. There is no agenda she’s promoting, no gotcha, just an expression of a pure heart unencumbered by years of food marketing or cultural training. So how does a mom respond to this, much less one who is on record as a bacon fan?

Nutritious snacks, no problem. Nuts are your friend.

Nutritious snacks, no problem. Nuts are your friend.

Simple really. I thanked her for letting me know, I assured her that I would help her eat a balanced diet. And I promised her that I would wait for her to tell me if she changed her mind instead of constantly offering meat, and would respect her decision either way. This was Sunday, and the resolution has held.

Vegetarian Enchiladas at a local Mexican Restaurant (fresh spinach and potatoes, nice!)

Vegetarian Enchiladas at a local Mexican Restaurant (fresh spinach and potatoes, nice!)

But do lean in close Gentle Readers, I have a confession. You see, I was a vegetarian for 7 years. I returned to omnivorous eating for a number of reasons, not all of them good ones, and we still eat a lot of beans, rice, tofu, and cheese in this household. We are probably meatless over 50% of the time.

Free form Mexican Meal made with The Jrs. Squash, guacomole, beans and rice, chips.

Free form Mexican Meal made with The Jrs. Squash, guacomole, beans and rice, chips.

I feel very confident in my ability to feed her nutritious meals, and as a family we’re having ongoing conversations about food, culture, animals, and the environment. Additionally, both the Juniors are adventurous eaters, so we’ll be trying all sorts of international delights.

Stone pot bibimbap is available with or without beef!

Stone pot bibimbap is available with or without beef!

The Eldest is not doing this for attention or publicity, she is simply living by her convictions. What a beautiful thing. Here’s to the little vegetarian. I’m honored to have the privilege of knowing you, much less raising you.

How many of you are or have been vegetarians? Share you story in the comments below.

Send your tofu and veggies 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 Sunday: Weekly Menus, Vegetarian/Travel Edition!

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For the Love of a $4 Tomato: A Guest Blog of Epic Proportions

Gentle Readers, today’s guest blog post is truly a work of pure genius. Have you ever selected a tomato at the Farmer’s Market, only to find it costs somewhere between an arm and a leg? Me too. And sometimes, that tomato takes on a life of its own. Without further adieu, I give you the real-life story of Lindsey McGuirk .

It all started with those dreamy bedroom eyes. They call to me every Wednesday at our local farmers market. The handsome farmer with his wares. I couldn’t think of a good way to strike up a conversation with him, so I grabbed the closest thing to me: a tomato.

“Beautiful day, isn’t it?” I say as I hand the almost too-ripe fruit to him. “Yeah. It’s amazing out,” he replies as he sets the tomato on the scale. “That will be $4.” We look into each others eyes, his registering the shock that I’m doing a terrible job at hiding. $4! For a tomato?! I reach into my wallet, and pull out my money, reluctantly handing it over to him. I could’ve told him I didn’t want the tomato. That I actually wanted the radishes. Yes, the radishes. That’s right! I’d put them in my salad instead of the tomato. But it was too late. He hands me the change from my $5 bill, as well as my tomato. My stupid $4 tomato. Those stupid dreamy bedroom eyes.

I take my $4 tomato home. “You better be good, $4 Tomato,” I say, glaring at it. It remains silent.

The next day, I go to work, still unsettled that I had spent 4 bucks on a tomato. I mean, that’s two pastor tacos from the taco truck. The damage had already been done and now all I could do was move past it. I mean, it wasn’t $4 tomato’s fault that it was $4. I didn’t know any better. Right?

When I get home that day, I’m stopped dead in my tracks. It seems that $4 Tomato not only knows better, it knows exactly how much better it is.

"Bow down to me." --$4 Tomato

“Bow down to me.” –$4 Tomato

“Bow down to me.”

I couldn’t believe it. $4 Tomato sat on its little royal throne, donning its tiny crown (where the heck did it even find these things?)  I rip the tiny crown off its head and dethrone $4 Tomato. “No, $4 Tomato. I will not bow down to you.”  Stunned, I put it back in my fridge.

I start making dinner and can’t find myself able to put $4 Tomato to use. Seeing it on that throne really creeped me out and the thought of ingesting it turns my stomach. “It’s ok, Lindsey,” I think. “It’s just a tomato who let its hefty price go to its head.”

Dinner prepared, I carry my plate to my dining room table and am struck by a humiliating sight.

Seriously, $4 Tomato?

Seriously, $4 Tomato?

Seriously, $4 Tomato?!

Where it even got the book, I have no idea (I swear!) I grab the book and throw it across the room. “$4 Tomato, you’re pushing my buttons.” It just stares at me.

My appetite thoroughly spoiled, I carry my plate back into the kitchen. As I start cleaning up, I hear music faintly moving toward me. “What in the world?” I walk into my living room, and there sits $4 Tomato at my piano, playing “Chopsticks.”

"I'm a little Mozart." --$4 Tomato

“I’m a little Mozart.” –$4 Tomato

“I’m a little Mozart.”

Okay, that is cute. I had to give it that. I plop down on the couch to enjoy the concert. It finishes the song and starts playing another round of “Chopsticks.” “Know anything else, $4 Tomato?” I ask. It stops, turns to me, and continues playing. “Okay,” I think, “I’ll listen to another round.” When the song is over, I wait to hear another. Instead, “Chopsticks” rings from the piano again. “Okay, $4 Tomato. I think concert time is over,” I say, but it keeps playing. “Seriously, $4 Tomato. That’s enough.” Rather than stopping, though, $4 Tomato starts banging out the notes, furiously. Enraged, I grab it and return it to the fridge, slamming the door. “I need to get out of here,” I think.

I grab my purse and storm out to my car. I reach into my purse for my keys, but can’t find them.

Vroom vroom! --$4 Tomato

Vroom vroom! –$4 Tomato

Vroom vroom!

“Not cool, $4 Tomato! Give me my keys.” The engine comes to life. “Oh no you don’t,” I shout, turning the keys in the ignition and pulling them out. “Back into the fridge you go!” I walk $4 Tomato inside, throwing it into the vegetable drawer. Satisfied with that extra precaution, I leave to meet a friend.

After a couple of hours, I return home, fully recovered from the day’s events. I decide that I need to sit down with $4 Tomato. That yes, we’d gotten off to a bad start, but we could repair the damage. I walk into my place, throw my keys onto my table, and head toward the kitchen to retrieve $4 Tomato from the fridge. All the patience I’d convinced myself to have drains away from me.

Glug glug. --$4 Tomato Gone Wild

Glug glug. –$4 Tomato Gone Wild

Glug glug.

“Are you kidding me, $4 Tomato?! I was only gone a couple hours. Get your loser friends out of here!” As I watch all the tomatoes scatter, something in me snaps. I can’t take anymore of the havoc $4 Tomato has created in my life. I grab the overpriced fruit and scowl at it. “We’re done, $4 Tomato.” Again, it remains silent, which infuriates me even more. I know the time has come, know exactly what I need to do.

And so, as quickly as $4 Tomato had entered my life, $4 Tomato entered my belly.

Nom nom. --$4 Tomato a Love Story

Nom nom. –$4 Tomato a Love Story

Nom nom.

A small part of me misses that little guy. But I have another $4 burning a hole in my pocket for those dreamy bedroom eyes.

Lindsey McGuirk knows she’s a hot tomato, because her mommy told her so. She lives & breathes naps, white chocolate mochas, and books. You can snoop around her reading pleasures here: http://www.villagebooks.com/village-books-lindseys-picks

I have not stopped laughing since I first saw the $4 Tomato don the crown. Have a story to share? Post a comment below. Let us know about your adventures in the farmer’s market and beyond! Thank you Lindsey, the next sammie is on me.

Send your overpriced produce, kitchen secrets, and 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!)

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Coming up Friday: Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes with a Side of Bacon.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 5/20/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook simply adores the internet. Where else can one go and find quality chicken and waffles suggestions with a simple question or two? Yes, it’s time to take the quest on the road again, I’m heading to Vegas for work, and conveniently pairing my love of chicken and waffles with my day job, which is getting people to eat chicken and waffles as an integrated stack. (Forgive the pun, for those of you who know “work me.”)

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame’s. Wow.

But I digress, this is what the home team will be eating while I’m away. Thanks again to The Practical Cook’s Mom, who ran roughshod over my initial meal suggestions. And will bring an arsenal of ingredients no matter what. So here’s what may or  may not be eaten next week:

Weekly Menus: 5/20/2012

Weekly Menus: 5/20/2012

And the Four Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/20/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/20/2012

The CSA will be delayed a week for simplicity’s sake.

Which all translates to:

Sunday: Pizza?
We’re hosting some Complicated Vegetarians, so the menu is TBD. Pizza is always a good choice in this situation, as is pasta bar.

Monday: Beans and Rice (Burritos) or Spinach Pie
There were some artistic differences here. I was suggesting one thing, TPC’s Mom will cook another. Do I really have anything to say about it? No. Will my kids pick her dish over mine? Every time.

Tuesday: Sammies
A plate of sammies cut into quarters is a great meal. Cut off the crusts and call it high tea.

Sandwiches, fruit, and brownies on a fancy tiered platter.

Sandwiches, fruit, and brownies on a fancy tiered platter.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Salad
A meal of my youth, with meat sauce. Of course we typically had it with black-eyed peas or some other prominent Italian vegetable. (We were fusion before it was cool.)

Thursday: Sausage and Bok Choy or some green veg
The bok choy experiment may wait till my return. I’ve been working with recipes to improve bok choy consumption here at Chez Practical Cook. Next up, pork fat.

Friday: Leftover surprise!
Again, because my mom imports more food than most small countries, I feel certain there will be something of interest for me to create into something new. After a week of life in Sin City, with two dinners per day, I will need the detox challenge.

Saturday: Dine Out!
I plan to scope something new out with TPC’s Junior. We shall see if they are up to the adventure!

What’s your favorite chicken and waffles place? I’m gathering  a list for Las Vegas and for San Diego.  Post a comment below, or Tweet! And a special thanks to my mom, who I love to tease, but taught me everything important I needed to know.

Send your chicken and waffles 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, Bacon on the Hoof! Follow the Bacon Bacon Truck in SF, where even the vegetarian option has bacon on it.

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How to Dress a Simple Salad

Gentle Readers, today will be a simple post, like the topic itself. When life gives you extremely fresh lettuce, make a basic vinaigrette. The Practical Cooks Junior have become urban farmers, and they are eating more salad than we can produce on our land. Thankfully we are supplementing with the CSA.

Beautiful lettuces all in a row at the Farmer's Market.

Beautiful lettuces all in a row at the Farmer's Market.

There is little that is more fun than eating what you’ve grown. If you’ve never tried, consider a box of lettuce on your deck. Even one salad down the hatch of one’s offspring makes it worthwhile. But I digress.

Simple Salad with Basic Vinaigrette

Simple Salad with Basic Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette for Very Very Fresh Lettuce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white Balsamic vinegar
small pinch of salt
small pinch of sugar
2 or 3 teaspoons of olive oil
1 scallion, sliced thin

Mix the mustard, vinegar, salt and sugar till the salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in the oil and whisk until the dressing thickens. Stir in the scallion. Dress the lettuce. Do be sure to cut it and wash it first. There is such a thing as too fresh.

The Lettuce Harvest!

The Lettuce Harvest!

Top with quartered grape tomatoes if you so choose.

Welcome to springtime. Do you love salad? Shout out in the comments section below. This request sometimes feels like the EULA, important but unread. 🙂 Feel free to Tweet at me as well, I am listening.

Send your lettuces, challenges (will accept if it won’t kill me), and legit questions 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 Sunday, Weekly Menus with Bonus Recipe!

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