Hello, blogworld, we are finally all recovered from the flu and trying to recapture life as we know it around here. Eventually it got me in a big way too, and so we really had two rough weeks around here foodwise. The house is showing it too. Laundry got cleaned, and then made itself at home on the sofa. My kids discovered parts of the house they never go in usually because I was too woozy to get up to redirect them, so all kinds of things are Not Where They Belong (even more than normal, that is). And with the Phillies in full swing....well, we're not really firing on all cylinders here.
I hope you had a happy Mother's Day. This was the first one I didn't hate in a long time. That was progress. I did the breast cancer Race for the Cure this morning, alone, which was a little lonely but great. It was very nice to be among many others thinking about the same thing but without having to interact, or watch my kids, or worry about my pace. It was a great walk through the city I love, and it was a good way to start the day. Then we had brunch with my husband's parents and sisters, and then came home and did yardwork, which wasn't fun but was long overdue and it felt great to have it done.
This is another crazy week; May is very complex anymore. We have a confirmation, some meetings, all kinds of things going on. So my meals are a little on the dull side, but it's just nice to be having them at all.
Monday: chicken, asparagus (based on the Ad Hoc recipe, we'll see how that goes), lemony smashed potatoes
Tuesday: Dinner A'Fare Bombay Burgers, curried rice, broccoli
Wednesday: Dinner A'Fare chicken saltimboca, mashed potatoes, spinach
Thursday: spaghetti night!
Friday: leftovers for the kids; my (gulp) 20th college reunion for the grownups. That should be fascinating....!
In the "experimental" file over the last weeks was "Poolside Soup," from a new-to-me food blog that was mentioned in the Cool Mom Picks newsletter. I am crazy about cold summer soups and even though the ingredients sounded bizarre, it also sounded like something I'd love. I was right. It was crazy and I adored it. No one else in the house would touch the green slurry but that just meant more for me and I tucked it away.
Clearly I'm "transitioning" to my "summer foods" list because the other thing I had to try right away was the Smitten Kitchen avocado salad with carrot-ginger dressing (besides, it justified buying the bag of avocados at Trader Joe's). Where I used to work, there was a moderately ok Korean/sushi place that I don't miss much at all--except for their amazing salad, and this was my effort to recreate that for myself so I don't have to buy a whole bento to get it. It totally worked. I loved using the miso and being able to control how much sesame oil I used (not as much as the recipe called for). I also cut back to 1/8 cup of oil but even that could have been a little less, I think.
In the same summer-prep mode: The Bitten Word's guacamole chicken salad. This was a little bland for me, but it still didn't work for the kids. Next time, I'll skip the oil, and add more cumin, some scallions instead of the chives, and maybe a sprinkle of chili powder. It would be fabulous to take on a picnic to stuff in soft taco wraps. And me being me, I would like some black beans in there but then that might make me the only person to eat it, alas.
I also rediscovered an old email address, and with it, my Food52 subscription. With all the leftover veggies in the drawer from The Week When No One Ate, I decided to try the Asparagus Soup with Yogurt and Tarragon first. I had to fudge the quantities a little but it was still good. (I had only a pound of asparagus and so only used 2 cups of chicken broth, which seemed to work, and I probably overdid the yogurt but wanted to finish the container.) It was terrific, and I have to say, after I strained it--I ate what was in the strainer with my lunch. It was that good. And it really did make the soup like something I'd get in a restaurant, instead of something I'd make at home--it's one of those fussy little steps I rarely bother with but here--totally worth it.
Right now, I'm listening to my husband read "Trashytown" to my boys and hearing them yell "NO!" back to him every time he asks "Is the trash truck full yet?" and it is about the nicest sound I've heard this week. I'm so glad we're all feeling better and are all together. Wishing you a week full of whatever soothes your soul. And if menu planning works for you, check out I'm An Organizing Junkie for the best menus on the web!