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,

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