What’s for dinner at the White house? (Week of Jan. 30)

So after a week of trying desperately to use cabbage everywhere we could, we still had to throw out a lot of it.  When I was in grad school and only cooked once a week I got used to eating the same thing for a week straight.  But, when it comes to cabbage, even I couldn’t stomach much more of it!  I think we gave it our best shot, and, needless to say, you won’t find any cabbage on our plan for this week.

Chris loves to bake bread (aren’t I super lucky?!?), but one of the harder things about making artisan loaves is transferring them from where they proof (rise) onto a blazing hot pizza stone in the oven.  We had a pizza peel that I had gotten for free with a sub-par  baking stone.  However, no matter how well we floured or corn mealed it the dough always stuck and got mangled on the way to the oven.

It didn’t affect the taste at all.  But, it always flustered Chris and kind of bummed him out.  He was ok using parchment paper to make the transfer easier, but the hot temperatures often left that charred and smelly.  So, for his birthday I decided to get him a new peel.  After some research I came across the superpeel.  Novel idea, highly rated by Cook’s Illustrated and local to upstate NY!

I usually NEVER let people cheat, but I was too excited about this and gave it to Chris 3 weeks early!  But, after the best pizza we’ve ever made and an awesome french loaf  I can definitely say cheating was worth it.  The superpeel is everything it claims and Chris likes that it takes the pressure off of getting it just right.

I was more than happy to fit bread into our meal plan for this week so Chris could try it out. (c:

  • Potato broccoli soup and french bread – Chris really wanted some soup to go with his french bread, and I had read about this earlier this week.  I’ve been on a corn kick and Chris loves broccoli so I figured we couldn’t go wrong!  We added some onion and garlic powders, and would probably add the real deal next time we make it.
  • Ham melts/paninis – I needed some inspiration for menu planning this week and Chris delivered.  He’s a fan (as am I) of the ham melts I created the summer I worked at Smith.  Bread from the bread machine, sprouts, cheddar cheese, ham and just a bit of mayo.  Yum.  Plus it gives us the chance to use our panini press.
  • Chicken riggies and mustard greens- A long time ago I got to try chicken riggies made by a Utica native.  I’ve often wanted to try to make our own, but there were too many variations out there to even begin.  I nearly yelped (ok, maybe I did) when the last issue of Cook’s Country included a recipe for this random Upstate NY dish.  Cook’s always puts out a good recipe to start with, and I can always tweak it the next round to make it more like I remember.
  • Pecan and kidney bean burgers with homemade tortillas and salsa- Saw these featured on FoodPress a while back and thought they’d be worth a try.  Since they’re a Weight Watchers recipe, maybe, just maybe, they’ll offset some of our other meals this week.
  • Butternut squash risotto with spinach – I had a hankering for risotto this week, and I thought this no meat version was worth a shot before the winter squash disappear.
  • Spaghetti and fried eggs – In honor of Bittman discontinuing his NYT column, The Minimalist, I thought we’d put this one into the rotation.  I’m not convinced, but he says it’s one of his faves.  Who am I to argue with Mark Bittman?
  • Boston creme cupcakes – We made these last year for Chris’ mom’s bday, and she’s mentioned them several times since.  Thought we might surprise her with them again.

Side note on our chicken – Chris is brave enough to try to hack apart a whole chicken for our riggies this week.  Actually two!  We figure it’s a cheaper way to get the good chicken breasts that we need.  Plus we get bonus thighs and legs that we can freeze for later use, and the wings, etc. can be used to make stock.  I’m not sure how it’ll go, but if he’s up for it (and I don’t have to do anything) I’m willing to try!

Posted in meal plan

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