Sunday, June 12, 2011

MPM--Summer Already

Ah, summer. Nothing like an early heat wave in June to throw off the end of the school year. When is the last time you heard a seven year old say it's too hot to go to the pool? And he was right.

Thankfully, this week looks cooler than last, so we'll have a few more food choices than hoagies from somewhere else and Anything Frozen on a Stick. But--last week the miracle occurred--Little Mr. Picky tried TWO new foods and liked them both! I honestly wept with relief. Clearly I'm too emotionally invested in this for either of our own goods. Foods shared below the meals for next week...

Monday: Such a nerd--I'm psyched that the fruit share starts with my CSA this week. Applesauce is one of the items so I'll make slow cooker pork, lemony smashed potatoes (also from the CSA; see sidebar for link), and a salad. (See below for my new dressing obsession.)

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, and then Rita's Water Ice for all! It's School Spirit Night fundraiser there and I am already looking forward to it.

Wednesday: Last day of school! And, by some coincidence, Margarita Night for my moms' group. Hmm. Someone planned well. Splash party at the pool. And if they are not serving hot dogs, we'll order pizza for delivery.

Thursday: I'm hoping to take the boys to the St. Anthony's Festival for some awesome Italian food. Otherwise, leftovers.

Friday: Probably leftovers, and then off to co-ed soccer. It's been going on for a month, but we've barely been able to go (insert dramatic hand-to-forehead here) because of one party or another. So it really feels like the start of the summer season.

Shockingly, the first food he tried was...not with me present. (Uh...noted.) And it was (drum roll please): the mushroom-truffle flatbread from Trader Joe's. When he told me the next morning, I didn't believe him. He can't deal with a different (organic) milk, but mushroom-truffle flatbread is accepted?! Of course I am sure this is to tick off his brother, who could happily consume an entire one. But if you don't think I'm clearing out the TJ's freezer tomorrow, you have not been paying attention. Whee! Food the whole family eats! Yay!

And the second one--I cannot believe I put it off for this long, but they both LOVED the Heidi Swanson/101 Cookbooks/Super Natural Every Day orzo with broccoli pesto. I took a page from Dinner: A Love Story and pulled out some orzo (not whole wheat, just used what I had, will cross that rubicon next time) and just put the broccoli pesto on it. Smart Little Picky tasted it and said, "It reminds me of hummus! Can I have some hummus?" (So that came back too... I made him a hummus sandwich and was delighted that it's returned from banishment. Can sweet potatoes be far behind?) But smart boy, to make that link. I was very pleased. And it wasn't that hard...I will be playing with this some more over the next few weeks because it was really great and the whole family enjoyed it. I can hardly believe it's two weeks in a row with 4/4 rated recipes! And in other news...

So, as I said, the heat waves have started...or alas, continued, here in our part of the country, so last week was light on cooking and heavy on things that didn't need heat to make. First up: Cup and Table's lemon vinaigrette. I had lots of CSA parsley to use and am a sucker for lemons (ha ha) and it just looked perfect for a salad on the curly endive that came in the box. (Not to be confused with the torpedo-like "ohn-deeve" that the Barefoot Contessa just loves. This looks more like kale and was, believe it or not, one of my favorite salads when I was little. Then it kind of fell out of favor, and it's been fun to rediscover.) It was excellent, though a little sharp, even for my acid-seeking tastes. It also jazzed up my other favorite kale salad enough that my husband finished his serving, which was a nice surprise.

Monday was a dinner fail; I tried to make the outrageously good creamy mustard sauce on chicken instead of pork. I even flattened my chicken with a rolling pin, which I never do, with my fear of microscopic droplets of disease spraying my kitchen from the raw flesh. But I did it, and it was nice to just saute them up without agonizing about how done the middle was. And then I poured in the cream and...curdle city. My nice new farm-fresh cream was not so fresh. But! The kids, of course, enjoy a plain chicken breast, so they weren't much of a problem. And the Dinner: A Love Story post on Asparagus Ketchup reminded me: I had chimichurri in the fridge. Chimichurri is an Argentinian condiment to put on meat, and while this isn't my total favorite ever (somehow the originator's version is better), it's quite good and an excellent use of parsley. I first had it at a tailgate with some grilled sausages, and it was equally yummy on chicken breast. Apparently it can be used as a marinade too, but you know me: experimentation is not what I am looking for. I like clear directions that are followed with ease. But we'll see how this goes.

Recipe courtesy of a friend, and passing along to you:

Chimichurri, aka CHIMI!
Step 1: SALMUERA. Boil one cup of water, add 1 Tablespoon kosher or sea salt and mix until dissolved, take off heat and set aside to cool.
Step 2: CHOP. I hand chop although you can use a food processor. Just make sure that you keep the ingredients on the rough side, not too fine.
1 head garlic
1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup fresh oregano (I often replace this with 1/2 cup dried)
Step 3: MIX put your chopped herbs in a mixing bowl and add:
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
the Salmuera; mix well.
Put into an airtight jar and refrigerate.
The chimi is best after 24 hours and can be used as a marinade or a sauce.
I try never to finish the chimi and always add new to what I have.
Most of you have had it with chorizos, as a marinade it works great with entana or a shell steak.
Buen Apetito

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1 comment:

brandy101 said...

Ha, my daughter also loves that mushroom-truffle flatbread. I find I can only enjoy it with certain wines, but she just gobbles it up!