Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Menu Planning - February 21st to the 27th

I'm writing this from my kitchen table - how fitting. I'm currently caramelizing a bunch of giant onions for tonight's supper and about to put some red pears in the oven...

I've noticed that every time I sit down and really plan out a week's worth of meals I spend less at the grocery store (less impulse buying), use up leftovers in new dishes (there's plenty to do with roast chicken), and I don't end up with a bunch of mystery ingredients (what in the world was I planning on making with that?).

I sat down on Monday and poured over some recipes trying to figure out what I wanted to make for the week. Keeping in mind that my mother doesn't eat meat on Friday's during Lent. That's fine and dandy, I have plenty of fish dishes - but I was trying to keep from going to the store later in the week... So, here it is - semi French inspired deliciousness. Oh, and Sunday wasn't exactly planned, but I'll let you know what I made anyway.

Sunday - Delicious Beef Soft Tacos with Sweet Onion, Vine Ripened Tomato, Shredded Lettuce, and Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

Monday - Croque Monsieur with a Simple Baby Spinach and Tomato Salad

Tuesday - French Onion Soup (with two types of onion) and a Roasted Red Pear Salad with White Wine Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette

Wednesday - Herb Roasted Chicken with Creamy Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Asparagus

Thursday - Homemade Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup with Ditalini Rigati Noodles and Peas

Friday - Roasted Eggplant Lasagna with Fresh Lasagna Noodles, Red Bell Pepper, Roma Tomatoes and Caramelized Onion

Saturday - Is the night people are less likely to be around for dinner. It will either be leftover city, homemade pizza night, or Beer Braised Sausage and Warm Potato Salad.

If I don't make the Beer Braised Sausage on Saturday it will end up being dinner for Sunday of next week. I thought about flip-flopping the roasted chicken and the soup, but I wasn't sure if I'd be eating dinner alone and the soup will be great reheated. It's a shame to roast a 4 pound chicken to then sit down at a table alone.

For those of you who don't know what Croque Monsieur is - It's the best grilled ham and cheese sandwich EVER. Ham and Gruyère cheese on wonderful freshly baked bread with dijon mustard grilled up golden brown - then topped with Mornay sauce (béchamel with Gruyère and Parmesan melted into it)... The sandwich is put under the broiler for a few minutes so the cheese sauce bubbles and browns and you enjoy it with a knife and fork. A Croque Monsieur with a fried of poached egg on top is called Croque Madame. It's a classic French meal which is considered "fast-food".

Happy Cooking,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Virtual Recipe Box

Well hello there! This "Virtual Recipe Box" is something that I got inspired to make after spending half an hour printing some new recipes from beloved websites that offer wonderful meal options.

This is an ever growing list of links to recipes. Some are recipes I've already made, some I'm planning on making, some I've twisted around into something I think is even better (aka, used for inspiration), or perhaps I just think the dish sounds yummy.

Oh, so you know these are listed in no particular order...

Quick Spring Lamb and Vegetable Stew
Smoky Corn Chowder
Fennel-Crusted Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes and Pears
Poached Scallops with Leeks and Carrots
Pierogi with Sauteed Cabbage and Apples
Salmon and Fennel with Roasted-Lemon Vinaigrette
Slow-Cooker Asian Short Ribs
Roasted Chicken, Apples, and Leeks
Southwestern Beef Chili with Corn
Zesty Chicken Enchiladas
Peas and Carrots Alphabet Soup
Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Fennel
Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie
Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce
Slow-Cooker Pulled-Pork Tacos
Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
Winter Lentil Soup
Macaroni and Cheese

Food Network

Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings
Good Eats Roast Turkey (the roasting recipe I use)
Lamb with Chianti Vinaigrette

Martha Stewart

Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard
Easiest Spaghetti and Meatballs
Mini Turkey Burgers
Macaroni and Cheese
Brown-Sugar Barbecue Chicken Drumettes
Creamy Pasta with Peas

Monday, February 8, 2010

Foodbuzz and Dinner

I joined Foodbuzz the other day...  I've checked out the website a few times via links I've come across on other blogs but never actually made an account.  If you're interested in food, you should really check it out.  It's a foodie community filled with blog post links, food photographs, recipes, restaurant reviews, and a bunch of other fun things.  You can check out my Foodbuzz profile HERE.

Over the weekend I made a barbecue chicken pizza using leftover roasted chicken.  It turned out really well and was rather quick to put together because I didn't make the pizza dough (which I would prefer but it takes several hours).  It would have been even better if I used some caramelized onions on it - I'll have to plan for that next time. 

Tonight I'm making pasta with the thought of a sausage sandwich on my mind.  I'm going to make a macaroni and cheese type sauce but with some chunky tomato sauce mixed in along with Italian pork sausage, caramelized onions, my specially cooked baby portobello mushrooms, baby spinach, and red and orange bell peppers.  It should be delicious.

Happy Cooking,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Welcome to Mirepoix Maven

Hello there!

I started a food blog using the name Cait's Plate awhile back.  A friend of mine helped me pick the name and I thought it sounded great and just went for it - without Googling the name first.  It turns out that there's a restaurant out there some place with the same name.  So, every time I got updates about activity relating to my blog name (other blogger's writing about Cait's Plate) it was almost always in reference to the restaurant.  After awhile it became annoying and I stopped writing.  The problem was that my love of food and wanting to share that love didn't stop.  After some thought and fighting with Blogger to get a new blog name (all the ones I wanted were taken) I settled with Mirepoix Maven.

Mirepoix of course being a very traditional cooking staple and maven referring to being knowledgeable...  To me the name simply means that this space is filled with information about traditional cooking (and food in general).

I'm just getting this new space up and running...  I've actually been so into this new idea and wanting the blog space to look as amazing as the food I make that I've been trying to find my Dreamweaver CS4 book.  I was planning on teaching myself how to build websites awhile back, but never got around to it.  Now that I actually want to work on learning ASAP my book has got legs and ran off on me!

Ideas for this blog so far include posts about meal planning, recipe posts, favorite cookbook posts, wishlist cookbook posts, posts about trips to beloved farmers markets, posts about what's on my table (with yummy pictures), posts about favorite local restaurants, and possibly some on gardening if I get around to starting some vegetable seeds this year (I've got a love for homegrown goodness).  So, please bear with me while I get things up and running...  I'll probably be moving some of my favorite older posts over from Cait's Plate to get the ball rolling.

Oh!  I almost forgot...  I'm also planning a Virtual Recipe Box for this space too!  I already started working on that.  It will be an ever growing list of recipes that I've collected from internet sources with links to where you can find the recipe yourself.  This was inspired by the three-ring binder I have filled with printed pages from internet sites like Food Network, Real Simple, and Everyday Food

Happy cooking,