Sunday, January 31, 2010

MPM--The Longest Month

Maybe where you live, February is 28 days of sunny spring-like weather. Not here. This is usually our slushiest month and the one that feels like 49 days, whatever the calendar says. As I was planning the week, it was 19 degrees in the height of the afternoon with "flurries" that turned in to an actual couple of unexpected inches. But I am trying to take advantage of the weather to try a few more dishes that strike me as definite winter meals. That's one advantage of these sub-freezing days. And I am tremendously grateful that this hasn't been a wet winter--nothing makes me seize with driving dread like ice.

So, with that, my winter-centric (and what's-on-sale-and-in-my-freezer-centric) week of menus, and some reviews from last week at the end.

This week, I'll be making a big pot of soup for lunches for myself. It will either be the red lentil soup from Moosewood Cooks at Home or the Wednesday Chef's intriguingly could-be-great-could-be-awful Leek Soup with Peas and Sauerkraut. I have ingredients for both so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday: Total splurge on the beef tenderloin from my freezer (I'll do the pink peppercorn thing again--why mess with perfection?), crispy roasted potatoes, and brussels sprouts.

Monday: This bolognese sauce from, via the Well Read Hostess. She throws some great Wednesday Spaghettis so I figured I'd have to try it. Glad I did. I used the food processor to avoid the chopping forever part, and my butcher has "meatloaf mix" which is beef, pork, and veal, so that's what I used. And she was right: two cans of tomato paste are better than one here. And it smelled fabulous simmering away on a snowy day.

Tuesday: Roasted chicken wrapped in bacon from The Frugal Foodies Cookbook. Stuffing (not from inside the bird). baked potatoes (or leftovers), Smitten Kitchen's caramelized shallots, and, of course, a salad.

Wednesday: Leftovers.

Thursday: Catherine Newman's pork recipe, rice, or the dal recipe I didn't get to, and broccoli.

Friday: Probably back to our pizza place, and I hope stargazing at night. Bliss.

As to last week, it was a good week. I ran out of mojo and had an emergency pizza run but otherwise a good week. The teriyaki chicken was very good, but I did the cheat and didn't baste (too many small kids running around here this day to open and shut the oven that many times). I think it would be much better with the baste rather than the dump, but it was good anyway. The kids even ate it.

I'm sad to report my first Smitten Kitchen fail, or at least first SK "meh." The tomato sauce with butter was fine, but not the sublime experience it was advertised to be. And I kind of fouled up the pork roast too. I thought it was a little small for my slow cooker so I used the inverted bowl trick...but somehow the cranberry sauce all worked its way under the bowl, leaving the bit that was around the pork not enough liquid, so it overcooked, which was nasty. But the pork itself was great.

For better hints, try I'm an Organizing Junkie!


Anjali said...

Oh, could you PLEASE email me that recipe for red lentil soup? I've had red lentil sitting in my pantry for ages. I bought them because I thought they were pretty... But I don't know what to do with them!

MemeGRL said...

Anjali, it's on its way. Do check the dal link too. I'm not sure if your family makes dal and how authentic (or not) it is but it also looks great.
I did the same thing with the red lentils. Here's hoping we like them!

Mom24 said...

I'll have to check out the Frugal Foodies, that sounds delicious. Thanks for the links. I can handle February I think because it's so short, but January takes a lot out of me.

Have a good week.

Domestic Goddess said...

Mmmm...the red lentil soup sounds yummers. Love leeks, not in soups because the flavor boils out of them and they are chewy. Most of the time.

love kraut, however.

Kelly at Student of the Year said...

Must try the bolognese. (Although I've been inadvertently soured on the whole meat-sauce concept killer stomach bug last winter that hit following a leftover turkey bolognese lunch.

Perhaps enough time has passed....