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Monday, February 13, 2012

menu of the week

(image via Martha Stewart)

So this is technically last week's menu that I'm posting this week because I thought it would be more useful. This way when I try new recipes I can let you know how they work out. See Tuesday night's meal for a perfect example.

beef, cheddar, and potato pie - How can anything be bad when it has cheddar in it? That's right, it can't. Well, maybe in rare instances but this pie certainly isn't one of them. The prep involves chopping veggies and browning ground been, and the crust is puff pastry which makes everything extra yummy. It's comfort food, for sure, and we like it so much I usually make two and freeze one for a day when we need something warm and tasty stat. Important: do skip the step involving the slotted spoon or your pie will be greasy and gross. Also, we don't have beer so I substitute beef broth.

honey sage sweet potato pasta with shallots - This recipe is from the cookbook The Cleaner Plate Club which I borrowed from the library (I  heart Ocean State Libraries) last week. In addition to lots of recipes I can't wait to try, the book has loads of information about food and cooking in general (knife skills illustrations, articles on why GMOs are bad for you, thoughts on stealth cooking for children and why not to try it), so it might be a cookbook I add to my own library. Oh, and the pasta? It was delicious. But then anything with sweet potato and sage is. My only complaint was that it was a little on the dry side, so next time I would reserve some of the cooking water to moisten the pasta. Also, I used Pecorino Romano instead of Parmigiano Reggiano.

anasazi beans and riceMatt used to hate beans. Now Matt loves beans, so he requested beans and rice one night last week. I kept things simple and used a recipe from the back of Bob's Red Mill package. Peppers, onions, Monterey Jack, and you're done.

French onion soup - While I don't necessarily enjoy thinly slicing three pounds of onions while tears stream from my eyes, I do enjoy the aroma of said onions as they carmelize. And I definitely enjoy them when they're simmered in beef broth and then smothered in Gruy√®re which is broiled to a crispy brown. In addition to not having any beer, we don't have any sherry. I just skipped it and the soup turned out just dandy. If your husband isn't obsessed with making bread like mine is, buy a loaf at your local artisan bakery. If you live in Rhode Island, I recommend Olga's Cup + Saucer or Seven Stars.

cheesy spinach and pepper calzones - We used a pound of Matt's dough (frozen for convenience and great on a Friday night) and filled the calzones to bursting with peppers, spinach, and cheese (I'm seeing a theme here, are you?), and twenty minutes later we had a steaming hot supper. I served it with my homemade tomato sauce (gravy for you Cranston Italians) and we finished every last bite.

As usual, we had green & red lettuce salad almost every night with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, red win vinegar, brown mustard, and freshly ground salt and pepper. Some nights I added sliced peppers or cucumbers, but most nights we kept it simple. Still stumped? See more menu ideas here.

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