Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Rest of the Story

So, what I didn't mention last week: I had no right to be melancholy. My husband took the kids to the mountains for the weekend over Memorial Day because I had to work. Not much--only an hour on Sunday afternoon--but it was really in the middle of everything, so I stayed home for the first time (? I think) in 20 years. It was so quiet. I loved it but it was instructive--even with 2 of the 3 leading mess-makers out of the house (I am definitely in the top 2), it took ages to get the house looking the way other people seem to keep theirs.

I cooked a ton--mac and cheese for a family party in two weeks, the soup from last week, and some recipes I was interested in but no one else would be. Case in point: the Provencal Tuna Salad from How to Cook Supper. I had the dill, I had the will, and I was ready to go. And I loved it. Not a single other soul in the house would have eaten it but I was delighted to have it to myself anyway. Also, meet my new summer breakfast, the peanut butter and banana smoothie. So good, so easy. I used regular milk since that's what I had but now that I know I will make this again (and again and again) I will get some almond milk and less sugar-based peanut butter. I was also inspired to try the brain power smoothie since that was so good. This was more of a traditional fruit smoothie and I loved it too (even though I didn't have 2 C blueberries, and I did skip the chia--I can't get through that texture). Only downside to this is that I don't usually have pomegranate juice in the house. But if it's on sale...this is a good one.

While I had my blender out, I made detox soup because I love it so, and also tried this avolantro-lime dressing for the super-cute salads-in-the-jars-I-am-resisting-purchasing. I liked it, but didn't love it; I think part of it is that if it has avocado and cilantro, it should be detox soup. And I never add enough olive oil because I am aghast at what I do add, so it's not very dressing-y. But it was good on tacos and with beans and salsa for the cute salad-in-a-cheap-tupperware-from-the-market.

For an impromptu Memorial Day gathering (well, impromptu for me, my friends had been planning for a while I am sure), I made a mashup of the Giada orzo salad (on sidebar) and this minted orzo salad with chickpeas and feta--but with the rather large adjustment that I didn't have mint. So, a few more veggies than Giada's version, and I was afraid the garlic would make the dressing too sharp (at least with the garlic I have right now), so a little of this, a little of that, some basil, and poof--a salad ready to take, and was well received.

I also made another Pinterest find--Barefoot Contessa sautéed tomatoes. I found it took way more than 7 minutes to get them all collapse-y. I think I like them oven roasted better but this way was easier (no cutting, just herb chopping). A worthy experiment but one I probably won't repeat.

For my own dining pleasure, I tried the Persian chicken salad suggested by the Tipsy Baker. I loved it and will make it again when I have the things on hand. I toasted extra spices and kept them aside.

And I had to laugh at the comment about tzatziki as a salad--it usually is a topping rather than a side, but it doesn't always work that way here, so we count it as a side salad if I don't over shred the cukes. That recipe from last week was very good but not amazing so the search continues.

So. That brings me to this week.

Monday: turkey breast (which I didn't make last week), zucchini, stuffing for glutenous people

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday or pizza at the baseball field, depending how many family members are coming to the 6pm game

Wednesday: Wednesday Spaghetti

Thursday: Tacos or turkey, depending on how Tuesday went

Friday: out for a graduation celebration with family

Have a happy week, everyone!

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