Sunday, August 21, 2011

MPM--Summer's End...Almost

And just like that, we're in the waning days of August. I bit the bullet and put the boys in soccer camp. In some ways, I hated to do it; we had SO MANY THINGS we wanted to do this summer! But in other ways, it preps them well for the fall, which is so close. So we're having some big lunches, and tucking them in bed closer to school-year times this week. I hope.

Monday: We'll see what the CSA fairy brings, and add some meat. Probably a pork tenderloin. Or, to be honest, I'm jonesing for some macaroni-shrimp salad. (Macaroni, celery chopped small, salt, pepper, cooked shrimp, and a dressing of mayo mixed with vinegar--white, if presentation matters, or red, if you don't mind pinkish dressing, which I do not). It is 1970s comfort food at its finest for me. I am not sure anyone else in the house will eat it but that may not matter to me. The jones is strong. On a similar note, this is my week to try this egg salad, which has been knocking around my list for ages. I never heard of curry as a child, but this seems like a good update--old favorite, adult twist. I also know I want to make this bean and celery salad from The Bitten Word, because as you might have figured out by now, vinegar and mustard are members of the inner circle of my culinary happy place.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday. I have to tell you: I really love this anchor of my week. And I love it more in summer, when the tomatoes are so good I can just lightly sprinkle everything else in there and have a mostly tomato and cheese taco.

Wednesday: Cheesy Zucchini Pizza, and maybe a ricotta tomato pie, if I'm not tired of it yet. The Co-op was selling them last week and I could not stay away. It was just exactly the kind of summer food I was looking for, except for the jillion-calorie part. I'm sulking because they moved on but I am hoping that this version is similar.

Thursday: I have book group, for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, so something southern. The boys will have something boys like, probably nachos from leftovers from taco night.

Friday: Moms' Movie Night--woohoo! Can't even tell you the last time I did something like this...we're going to see The Help, which we read for book group (like 87% of all book groups in the last few years...) so quick and easy from the freezer for the boys. I'm saving my calories for popcorn and a soda.

Last week I got back to my stove for a bit of a reunion. I made some old favorites and tried some new.

New: the cold asparagus sauce from Dinner: A Love Story. I love every ingredient in this and yet still was not thrilled with the final result. It was a little bitter. I used seedy mustard, and I'm wondering if that did it, or if there was too much lemon (I used about 1/3 of a small one). I did actually chill it, and had the chicken at room temperature. I finished it, because I love asparagus, but it wasn't as yummy as I was hoping. I might try again with a slightly different combo, because I really, really WANT to like this.

A zillion years ago, when I read Glamour, there were two different recipe pages I pulled out as a not-really-experienced-in-the-kitchen 20-something. One was for oven-roasted tomato sauce. The other was for nine different pasta toppings. I've made most of the 9 at some point (lemon cream, ricotta walnut...yum) but a continual favorite is the tomato-eggplant-mozzarella. It's so easy; take an eggplant; cube. (If you have time and feel fancy, salt, let sit, and rinse. If not--skip.) Heat some olive oil, and throw the eggplant in there with a minced garlic clove. Add either a bunch of cut up tomatoes and juice, or a can of crushed tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes, and before serving, toss with little mozzarella balls and basil. I just love this sauce and am so happy it's eggplant season again.

And for those of you who caught Lora's comment about crab fries--I had to laugh, and really, when push came to shove, I couldn't spend $7.75 on fries. I just couldn't. In fact, we did an upside down day that day and I made a hot(ish) lunch (it's summer, nothing too hot) and packed sandwiches, popcorn, applesauce pouches, and fruit leathers for dinner. So still "fun" food but for literally 1/10th the price of what we would have spent at the park. I'm sure the opportunity to got to Chickie's and Pete's will happen organically someday, and I'll try them then. But the ballpark versions of food are usually not as good as the original--and if the original isn't something to get excited about...just as well to skip it.

We double-checked-off another summer thing this weekend too: I made waffles for the boys on a pajama'd weekend morning. The older one wanted to skip soccer, and we let him. He's gone just about all summer and has more practices coming up, so I was happy to let him stay in PJs and play with Legos. He got his teacher assignment this week and I'm steeling myself for the havoc social interactions take on his psyche. In doing so, I paid attention: mom's waffle recipe makes 4 or 5 waffles, depending on how good you are at covering the maker. So now I know.

Check out I'm An Organizing Junkie for more late summer meal plans!

1 comment:

Anjali said...

Yea for Taco Tuesdays! (We might have to do something similar.) And yea for the end of summer, if that also means the end to 90 degree-plus temps down here!