Yes I know, the weekly menus have been MIA all summer long. Sorry about that folks. After having my month long vacation, I just never managed to get back into it. So, for those of you that look forward to seeing it, sorry for the absence. Now that summer is coming to and end, fall will soon be settling in and the routines back to normal, the menus will resume!
If you have been following the past menus, you will notice that they have changed somewhat. I now include a full 7 day meal plan along with a dessert option. Let's face it, who doesn’t like dessert! These are all merely suggestions to help the weekly cooking feel less like a chore. I always find one of the biggest challenges in cooking is knowing what to cook. Once you got that sorted out, it is all downhill!
This week we got warming casseroles, salads, soups and even dessert. So, a bit of everything to think about as we are moving away from summer and back into a busy season ahead!
Summer is winding down and most of us are looking forward to warming food, cosy fires, hot chocolate and fuzzy pyjamas. My life is a complete contradiction, because although I am longing for winter, well Spanish winter. I know that come mid January, I will be praying for the endless days of summer, barbecues, sun dresses and sangria. Like I said, a complete contradiction. But it's still 35 degrees outside my front door, so that is just going to have to wait for now. In the meantime, I have a delicious quinoa salad here.
Note: Recipe has been adapted from Ottolenghi Red Rice and Quinoa Salad with Orange and Pistachios
When you add ginger, limes and coconut to anything, you have the recipe for a great tasting dish. I absolutely love those flavours together and this dish was not a disappointment.
After having my strike from cooking, I seem to have climbed back on the horse and now there is no stopping me! Well, at least for the meantime. Next week it could be back to frozen pizza. For now I am taking the cooking as it comes. Mind you, because of the heat, dishes like this are usually cooked at the crack of dawn. No joke. At the moment, whatever happens in the kitchen, happens at day break. As the day wears on, it just gets hotter and I lose complete enthusiasm for anything chop, peel, sautee, boil and so on. So yesterday, like the days before, I set foot in the kitchen at 7 am to start this dish that we would eat for a 8:30 pm dinner.
The beauty of dishes like these, is that they are actually better hours after they are cooked. So, it benefits from my early morning cooking.
Note: If you sauce has not thickened add a little bit of a cornflour mixture to the sauce. Do this by mixing together one tablespoon of cornflour and two tablespoon of water. Stir until there are no lumps. Slowly pour into your dish while it is very hot, almost boiling. Stir vigorously for about 30 seconds until it thickens. It will not take away from the flavour.
We have been on a bit of a crepe bender lately. I don't know if it's because of the lazy days of summer, having more time in the morning, or just craving them. The kids are asking for them at least twice a week at the moment and they love them with chocolate. I know it isn't the most healthy breakfast going. But sometimes (like often), us moms need a break from being told what we are feeding our kids is bad! When we grew up in the 70s it was Pop Tarts, Eggos and Captain Crunch! Guess what? We survived to tell the world all about it. Some days, I really want to go back to that place and live all that freedom over again.
In the meantime, it's 2016 and it all gluten free, vegan, nut friendly, low carb, low fat, low sugar, oh and I almost forgot paleo. I know I missed a million and one other categories, but who's counting. I don't think I really have a point because I like to try my very best to eat as healthily as I can. But at the end of the day, we are all just trying our best one meal at a time.
Today, we are getting by with crepes. So, enjoy folks!
Macaroni & Cheese is a old time favourite that so many of us grew up with. In our house it was a staple and I remember it being one of the dishes I looked forward to the most. There was nothing better on a cold winters day, than Macaroni & Cheese. The recipe I remember, used layers of short cut macaroni with cheddar cheese. Then topped with extra cheese and bread crumbs. Milk was directly poured into the baking dish and then it was baked. No sauce was made and no herbs of any kind were used. But boy oh boy was it delicious! My mom made it the best and I can still taste it.
Since growing up and moving on in life I haven't given this dish much thought and hardly ever made it for my own kids until recent years. I have made my childhood version for them and, very disappointedly, they didn't like it! I was in dismay and shock. How could they not love it as I did all those years ago?
So, I came up with a "new" version to try and tickle their taste buds. This version is made with bechamal, a few herbs, some leeks and a bit of garlic. The result is that they always look forward to it and gobble up two plates full. I am on the fence if I prefer my childhood dish or this new age one. Either way, you just can't go wrong with super creamy, delicious to dive into Macaroni & Cheese. Even if it is still August and a zillion degrees.