This week’s #dinner menu. Sliced #tomatoes come along for the ride pretty much every night.

This week’s #dinner menu. Sliced #tomatoes come along for the ride pretty much every night.

This week’s #dinner menu. Summer=finding ways to eat well but spend less time in the kitchen.

This week’s #dinner menu. Summer=finding ways to eat well but spend less time in the kitchen.

Tags: dinner

We’re back! And trying not to turn on the oven. #summereats

We’re back! And trying not to turn on the oven. #summereats

Tags: summereats

Bow ties, lemony cilantro pesto, garden lettuce. #summereats

Bow ties, lemony cilantro pesto, garden lettuce. #summereats

Tags: summereats

This week’s #dinner #menu was all about #vegetable maintenance in a beat the clock sorta way.

This week’s #dinner #menu was all about #vegetable maintenance in a beat the clock sorta way.

Lovely #chard from @farmerstoyou. That plus Woody Guthrie. #inthekitchen

Lovely #chard from @farmerstoyou. That plus Woody Guthrie. #inthekitchen

Seasonless staples
We do a lot of repeat meals and ingredients, but my cooking would be out of sorts without changing seasons and local food. Right? Looking at you, Chilean produce. Now it’s June, and there’s more good green stuff (chard, asparagus, spinach ) in the middle of the plate, a welcome change from the very non-local cukes and peppers we slice and eat in the winter and spring to keep up the habit of eating fresh veggies. 
But there is something that doesn’t change when the seasons do. No matter what time of year it is, carrots and potatoes appear week after week. I forgot to change my Farmers to You order last week and needed to work through five pounds of potatoes in a week as a result. 
So…I sliced and boiled them all at once. Then I divided them into three batches.
I turned the first batch into potato gratin. Layered them in a baking dish with garlic-mustard white sauce and Swiss cheese and baked, cooled, and nibbled at the gratin, but it was to hot for gratin that day so I portioned it out for the freezer and work lunches. 
Second serving of potatoes were buttered and stuck under steamed clams (No mussels at the store this week - we switched to clams steamed in hard cider.)
The last batch got doused with white wine vinegar, covered and transferred to the fridge for the week. On Friday I turned it into potato salad with an overabundance of bacon. 
You can’t really debate the versatility of potatoes. But you can question whether you actually want to eat them three times a week. This menu plan kept them from seeming too repetitive - and cut down on active cooking time during the week, too. 

 

Seasonless staples

We do a lot of repeat meals and ingredients, but my cooking would be out of sorts without changing seasons and local food. Right? Looking at you, Chilean produce. Now it’s June, and there’s more good green stuff (chard, asparagus, spinach ) in the middle of the plate, a welcome change from the very non-local cukes and peppers we slice and eat in the winter and spring to keep up the habit of eating fresh veggies. 

But there is something that doesn’t change when the seasons do. No matter what time of year it is, carrots and potatoes appear week after week. I forgot to change my Farmers to You order last week and needed to work through five pounds of potatoes in a week as a result. 

So…I sliced and boiled them all at once. Then I divided them into three batches.

I turned the first batch into potato gratin. Layered them in a baking dish with garlic-mustard white sauce and Swiss cheese and baked, cooled, and nibbled at the gratin, but it was to hot for gratin that day so I portioned it out for the freezer and work lunches. 

Second serving of potatoes were buttered and stuck under steamed clams (No mussels at the store this week - we switched to clams steamed in hard cider.)

The last batch got doused with white wine vinegar, covered and transferred to the fridge for the week. On Friday I turned it into potato salad with an overabundance of bacon. 

You can’t really debate the versatility of potatoes. But you can question whether you actually want to eat them three times a week. This menu plan kept them from seeming too repetitive - and cut down on active cooking time during the week, too. 

 

Why we plan. 
When the menu is as plain-Jane as it was last week, I feel silly posting it: who cares about our grilled cheese and stir-fry and boiled potatoes? 
But that’s the thing. Not every dinner plan involves artichoke frittata and crespelles, although I remember that week fondly (maybe because my husband made the plan and did most of the cooking). And not every weeknight is made for a labor-intensive meal. Most aren’t. 
But regardless of whether we’re leaning into the meal planning or coasting on the standbys, a plan helps us get through the week by streamlining the one thing that’s not really negotiable day-to-day: eating. 
On Wednesdays, we always get home late after picking up our Farmers to You order. If it’s nice out we loiter at the playground before heading home with our fine bag of grub.
I try and keep dinner simple on those nights, but also treat us to some of the awesome FTY food. Grilled farmstead cheese on whole wheat sourdough. Spinach salad. It sounds like lunch but who cares? It takes 15 minutes. 
On Thursdays we have swimming class until 6:15 so we need something that can come together fast when we get home from the Y. Stir-fry works for that - rice can get cooked in the afternoon during rest time, and if I’m really feeling ambitious, veggies prepped, too. Another 15-minute execution and we’re done with dinner by 7 pm, with vegetables for all. 
It takes some time over the weekend to think through the coming week: what nights are we all together, what nights is only one parent home, where do the kids need to be and when - but when the week gets moving, it’s nice to have one element in place, even if it’s boring. 
This week’s big hit: Asparagus, which was purchased and eaten before it could get up on the board. 
This week’s big miss: Boy, this menu is dull. 



 

Why we plan. 

When the menu is as plain-Jane as it was last week, I feel silly posting it: who cares about our grilled cheese and stir-fry and boiled potatoes? 

But that’s the thing. Not every dinner plan involves artichoke frittata and crespelles, although I remember that week fondly (maybe because my husband made the plan and did most of the cooking). And not every weeknight is made for a labor-intensive meal. Most aren’t. 

But regardless of whether we’re leaning into the meal planning or coasting on the standbys, a plan helps us get through the week by streamlining the one thing that’s not really negotiable day-to-day: eating. 

On Wednesdays, we always get home late after picking up our Farmers to You order. If it’s nice out we loiter at the playground before heading home with our fine bag of grub.

I try and keep dinner simple on those nights, but also treat us to some of the awesome FTY food. Grilled farmstead cheese on whole wheat sourdough. Spinach salad. It sounds like lunch but who cares? It takes 15 minutes. 

On Thursdays we have swimming class until 6:15 so we need something that can come together fast when we get home from the Y. Stir-fry works for that - rice can get cooked in the afternoon during rest time, and if I’m really feeling ambitious, veggies prepped, too. Another 15-minute execution and we’re done with dinner by 7 pm, with vegetables for all. 

It takes some time over the weekend to think through the coming week: what nights are we all together, what nights is only one parent home, where do the kids need to be and when - but when the week gets moving, it’s nice to have one element in place, even if it’s boring. 

This week’s big hit: Asparagus, which was purchased and eaten before it could get up on the board. 

This week’s big miss: Boy, this menu is dull. 

 

Last week’s menu, a little late. But a good week. Everything underlined is from @farmerstoyou so that’s awesome. And #fish twice!

Last week’s menu, a little late. But a good week. Everything underlined is from @farmerstoyou so that’s awesome. And #fish twice!

Tags: fish

This week’s dinner menu. Learning how to be more #kid #friendly.

This week’s dinner menu. Learning how to be more #kid #friendly.

Tags: friendly kid