Sunday, May 16, 2010

MPM--Invisible Progress

Did you ever have one of those weeks where you worked your tail off for absolutely no discernable result? That's invisible progress. I tore out half the ivy in the back yard. Operative word: half. Gained lots more lawn, but it's hard to tell that anything was done, ergo: invisible progress. Cleaned out a cabinet so it looks the way it should have looked all along: invisible progress. That was my week--all running to stand still. But I did get to try some new recipes...look beyond the week for the reviews.

We're in a bit of recovery mode here; last week was school orientation, a confirmation two states away, and my college reunion, so this week, we're still taking it easy. We had a major score with a coupon at Omaha Steaks so here's hoping there's lots of good grilling nights! Otherwise, I'm still working down the Dinner A'Fare dinners, so I will at least have the main dishes taken care of. (The reunion, btw, has spoiled me on cooking for the week. They had some amazing caterers this weekend.)

Monday: Vegas Chicken, salad, rice

Tuesday: trying brined pork chops on the grill if the weather is nice, something else if it isn't; miso sweet potatoes (see below), spinach

Wednesday: Mojito skewers with cherry barbeque sauce (DAF), broccoli, quinoa salad

Thursday: leftovers, or Bombay burgers (didn't get to them last week), quinoa salad, something green

Friday: baseball game--phew.

When I was recovering from flu, thanks to Raising Foodies, I found a new-to-me website called Dinner: A Love Story, written by the former food writer for Cookie magazine. I loved reading Cookie, though I am so many income brackets below their target, I shouldn't even have cracked the spine. But it was fun to see how the other half lives, and they had awesome culture suggestions (ie, kids' music that was enjoyable for grownups too, awesome new books, etc.). I also enjoyed the food section, so it's nice to see the next iteration of the editor's career. The first thing I tried from her site was the lemony smashed potatoes, with some Yukon golds I had from before the flu. I wasn't sure how I'd like lemon and potatoes, and I'm still not entirely convinced. Maybe I might feel differently with red potatoes. But my older son tucked these away like he'd waited his whole life for them, so they are new in the rotation.

The other thing I tried from there was the miso-butter sweet potato. I'm on a little miso kick and this was awesome. Easy, yummy, a total winner.

I also rediscovered an old email address that was still subscribed to Food52, a foodie website with weekly email blasts. I didn't have time to catch up with 50 of the 52 but I did look at the most recent and was sucked in by the asparagus recipes. I had to try the Absurdly Addictive Asparagus--how could you not with that awesome name?! That, and I had leeks and everything else but the pancetta in the fridge already. So one short trip to Trader Joe's later and we were in business. My husband loved this. He considered it complex without being overwhelming, and I just liked how it used up so much stuff in my veggie drawer. And while it supposedly serves four, we polished it off in one night easily. I can see me making this and taking it for lunch if I ever go back to work.

Another recipe that had been hanging around was the Leek Soup with Peas and Sauerkraut from the Wednesday Chef. It was another so-strange-I-just-might-like-it kind of thing, and I did. I'd never even heard of fresh sauerkraut when I read the recipe, just that stuff in the bulging plastic bag. But then the next week our Co-op had local fresh sauerkraut for sale and it seemed like a sign. We had some very chilly spring days this week and it was a great way to remind myself it was spring (with the flavors) while warming myself up with a bowl of soup. I went with the chicken stock, and I did find it surprisingly easy to eat for such a simple little soup. The pop of the peas and the tang of the sauerkraut were surprisingly appealing But this is yet another thing that the rest of my family won't eat, so it's mine, all mine, and that might be a lot for me. We'll see. Still, it was a great way to use what I had in the fridge and the cabinets, and kept me warm on chilly chilly days.

For more inspiration, don't miss I'm an Organizing Junkie!

1 comment:

Mom24 said...

Hope you had lots of fun at your reunion. Invisible progress describes my whole life I think. Laundry, cleaning--all invisible progress. Raising kids, if you do it right, much of it is invisible progress. Slightly depressing. :)

The brined pork chops sound wonderful, and I'm checking out the Cookie site.