Monday, September 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Bob's accident and, while we didn't actually celebrate it, I do feel as though we have good reason to acknowledge the passing of time. Bob is doing well. He found out Friday that he probably won't need to have surgery on his knee. A year ago we honestly didn't have any idea how extensive his injuries were or how long it would take him to heal but it's obvious now that this was truly a life changing event. However, we try to see this as positive, I think we are benefiting from the stark reality of how precious and fragile our lives are, and how lucky we are to have each other. We have also seen the truth of how hard life is when one partner is hobbled with pain and we both are trying to take better care of ourselves so that we can actually enjoy being old together rather than spend our retirement dragging each other to the doctor. So we are eating healthier, driving more carefully, riding our bikes more often... little changes that will hopefully help a lot. Now I'm sounding like an infomercial...

On to the menu!

In our CSA box this week we have:

1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes
2# slicing tomatoes
2# fingerling potatoes (Austrian Crescent)
1 rutabaga
1 head broccoli
1 bunch pink beauty radishes
1 bunch carrots
1 shallot
1 bunch rainbow chard
1 bunch arugula
1# Liberty apples
1# Asian pears

I have to admit I am happy that we didn't get any green beans this week. I have found that I would rather eat Kale than green beans lately... it's very weird to see what happens when you have a surplus of fresh vegetables! The Rutabaga will be a challenge though.

Monday - Tortilla Casserole with Rainbow Chard, Fajita Beef, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Guacamole
Tuesday - Spaghetti, Meatballs or Beanballs, Broccoli
Wednesday - Shredded Beef Soup, Bean Chili, Tortillas, Corn and Avocado Salsa
Thursday - Baked Chicken or Chik'n, Roasted Root Vegetables, Biscuits
Friday - Timberline Football - Sandwiches or Hot Dogs
Saturday - Make your own Pizza
Sunday - Teriyaki Beef or Tofu Skewers, Rice, Steamed Carrots, Asian Pickle

The weather man is saying that today our lovely sunshiny fall weather will end as a rainy system blows down from Alaska. I'm going to miss the sun! I'm also going to have to figure out what to do with the hundreds of green sungold tomatoes in my backyard. I've only managed to harvest a couple of pints and now it's going to freeze before the majority of the fruit is ripe. Darn it! Lessons for next year I guess... I probably won't plant tomatoes again.

For more menu ideas check out the list at . Have a good week!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Too Late Tuesday...

Where did Monday go? I know it was just here. Maybe it's hiding behind that huge stack of paperwork that the schools NEED me to fill out again this year even though it's the same stack I filled out last year, and the year before, and the year before.. and nothing has changed? Oh well. Anyway... I guess I've lost Monday so today will have to be Menu Plan Tuesday. It doesn't matter much though because last week I failed to cook even one meal on my list. Honestly, I only cooked three meals all week! It was that kind of week... and then it got worse. This week will have to be better.

Our CSA share this week...

1# green beans
3 ears of sweet corn
1 bunch white carrots
1# slicing tomatoes
2# red potatoes
1 fennel bulb (plus two more that I snagged from the give away box... apparently some people really don't like fennel)
1# tomatillos
1 onion
1 cucumber
2 peppers (1 green and 1 sweet Kappelo)
6 jalapenos
1 bunch arugula
1 bunch cilantro
1 bag basil

  • Monday - Spicy Tofu or Beef, Mung Bean Noodles and Vegetables

  • Tuesday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches, TVP Sloppy Joes, Waffle Fries, Tomatoes and Cucumbers

  • Wednesday - Chicken and Fennel made with Chicken or Quorn Chik'n and Couscous

  • Thursday - Lasagna - Back to School night at the high school so this will be in the oven

  • Friday - I will be at the Portland Bead Fest so it's leftovers, sandwiches or pizza

  • Saturday - Shrimp Tacos, Pink Beans, Sauteed Peppers, Guacamole, Tortillas

  • Sunday - Bob grills something

Today is apparently the first day of Autumn but we have absolutely gorgeous weather so I'm going to stick the pork in the crockpot and then get on my bike and go for a ride. Have a great week everyone!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Another Monday morning and I'm struggling to commit to a menu for the week. I'm torn between my need to use up all of the vegetables in my refrigerator and our unbelievably busy schedule this week. This is the first full week back to school and we have two band meetings (elementary and high school), two gymnastics lessons, tennis team every day, two (I think) tennis matches, and Pep band at the football game. Plus, knowing how last minute the high school planning is, I expect the kids to come home today with a notice that back to school night will be Thursday. It would be easiest to have fast food a couple of times this coming week but I simply can't do that to my kids. It's been so long since McDonalds was a regular supplier of meals to my family that everyone got sick the last time we ate there. In a weird way this is very good news.

Our CSA box this week looked like this:

3# Purple Majesty potatoes
1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes
1# slicing tomatoes
1 eggplant
2# green beans
3 green peppers
1 bunch carrots
5 cucumbers
1 bunch cipollini onions
1 onion
1 bag basil
1. 5# Asian pears

Now I have to admit that my family really does not like the Purple Potatoes. They taste pretty much like regular potatoes but the color just freaks everyone out. So far the only thing they have liked were purple waffle fries. This week I'm going to try hiding them in a spicy stew and then hiding the stew in tortillas! My other admission is that I've never cooked eggplant and I'm a little afraid of it. So I'm going to be bad and start with a fairly high fat recipe that looks really tasty. My theory is that if I can get the kids hooked on something extra yummy with eggplant then they may be willing to try something a little more simplistic with eggplant the next time. We will see... So the menu, so far, looks like this. Wish me luck.

  • Monday - Asian Grilled Pork Chops, Spicy Tofu, Rice Noodles and Vegetable Stirfry

  • Tuesday - Eggplant Lasagna Tart, Italian Sausage, Pasta Marinara

  • Wednesday - Turkey or TVP Gyros, Pita Bread, Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • Thursday - Shredded Beef and Purple Potato Soup, Pink Beans, Tortillas, Shredded Cheddar and Salad

  • Friday - Leftovers or Sandwiches

  • Saturday - Make your own Pizza

  • Sunday - Roast Beef, Lentil Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

I hope everyone has a great week! For more menus check out

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The first day of school

Today was my last first day.

For sixteen years I have enjoyed the excitement of the first day of elementary school. I love watching it all.. from confident sixth graders strutting on to the playground, reveling in the role of the oldest kids in school, to the timid first graders who light up when they see friends from last year. It's great to see the familiar faces in the crowd and the mothers of kindergarteners hiding their tears. But this is my last year. Next year my baby will move on to Middle School.

Who would have thought sixteen years could go so fast?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Angry bananas

For the last few months my doctor and I have been on a quest for the ideal way to control my blood pressure. This is not as easy as it sounds because apparently my body is a bit weird (like I didn't already know that?) and can be counted on to react negatively to most drugs. If the possible side effects of a drug are something like rash, dizziness, and night sweats, I am sure to develop all of them.. and invent a few new ones too. So far the various drugs have made my lips and tongue swell, given me multiple rashes, and caused severe joint pain.. and none of them have made any difference in my blood pressure readings.

I was pretty happy when this month's experiment in modern chemistry actually started working. Within a few days of starting the new medication my blood pressure was completely normal. But, of course, everything good comes with a price and in this case the price seems to be my body's store of potassium. I asked the dr. if I couldn't just eat a few bananas but apparently that wouldn't do. Instead she prescribed huge, banana yellow, tablets. Great, now I'm on a medication to fix the problems that the medication that's supposed to make me well is causing. What's worse? The potassium supplement makes me nauseous and I'm miserable all day. So for the last few days I've taken the medication at night... which has created a whole new interesting symptom... vivid angry dreams. Night after night I've been fighting with my children and friends in my dreams and waking up in the middle of the night upset and unable to go back to sleep. But as unpleasant as it has been for me I think it's been worse for my poor husband who is trying to sleep next to me while I battle my way through the night. This morning I actually HIT him while dreaming! Not just thrashed about and knocked into him.. no.. I punched him and then woke up when he said "OW!"

I guess it's time to call the dr. again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

School starts Wednesday and I think we are just about ready. Bob will be out of town so this week will be mostly vegetarian and fairly easy. Tonight, however, we are celebrating the end of summer with a mexican fiesta.

Here's the list of goodies that were in our CSA share on Thursday.

1. 5# Asian pears
1# slicing tomatoes
1 pin Sungold cherry tomatoes
1# Roma beans
1. 5# red potatoes
1# summer squash
1 bunch carrots
2 green peppers
2 cucumbers
2 onions
1# tomatillos
2 jalapenos
1 bunch cilantro
1 bag basil

And this is what we'll be making with them!

Monday - Chile Verde, Tortillas, Beans, sauteed peppers and onions, salad

Tuesday - Potato soup, and Grilled Cheese. I'm debating about this recipe.. it's potato, pear and pecorino cheese. Sounds yummy but will the kids eat it?

Wednesday - Spaghetti with Sungold Tomatoes, french bread

Thursday - Omelets, Country potatoes, Pancakes

Friday - Make your own pizza

Saturday - Maybe a movie and dinner out.. or something easy

Sunday - Bob grills something

For more menus visit