Sunday, February 13, 2011

menu for two

{the menu}
monday: meat pies and salad
tuesday: mushroom risotto
wednesday: salt and pepper pork chops
thursday: chicken fingers and fries
friday: gyro
saturday: steak and salad

what really happened

This week, I was so uninspired and bored with food, I honestly didn't write up the menu past Tuesday and only jumped into it again on Friday.

{monday} I don't know where the time went, but I was doing a bunch of stuff around the house and taking pictures and washing dishes and cleaning when all of a sudden, I noticed it was 5 and I hadn't started preparing the dough yet. I could have done it, but I didn't have enough rising time including making and kneading time, so I decided to scrap it. I made hamburgers with a tiny bit of leftover ricotta cheese mixed in and cut up a potato for fries. We couldn't really taste the ricotta, but boy those burgers were juicy.
{tuesday} I made all that stock last week, so I was excited to make something with it. But around noon, I realized I'd forgotten to take the stock out of the freezer to thaw and so I scrapped this one, too. I thought about it all day and decided that brinner could be pretty good -- I could make fancier pancakes or something -- but Idle Husband had to unexpectedly work late past dinner, and I found myself lost for what to make just for myself. I ended up trying the quinoa that's been in the cupboard forever. I didn't know what to do with it before and honestly, I still don't. I first tried cooking it, and when that turned out ok, I searched quickly for some ideas. I couldn't find anything interesting enough aside from salads and using it as rice, so I just did what I could remember from this article about quick caramelized onions (which I really didn't finish all the way as I was getting too hungry and tired) and added some mushrooms. It was pretty good. I love the texture of quinoa. Anything that reminds me of tapioca is a-okay in my book. I'll have to do something better with it next time.
{wednesday} It's turning into a pretty glamourous menu this week. I completely threw something together for this night. Pork chops with salt and pepper on them, cooked in the toaster oven. Salad and the leftover quinoa. Admittedly, I ate all the quinoa almost before Idle Husband got home. For some reason, having quinoa cold and straight out of the tupperware with some vegetable seasoning on it made it so super delicious, I couldn't stop.
{thursday} I was out all day and apparently, Idle Husband had no idea I was going to be out in the first place. I told him in advance, plus he saw me up and dressed appropriately for going out, and it honestly never occured to me to retell him where I was going to be all day. That meant an entire day of him wondering where I was, eventually worrying so much he thought I'd thrown my back out at the old house and was just lying there crumpled on the floor. So he left work at 4:30 to come find me and checked home, checked the old house, and I arrived home when he was on his way back, so technically we got home at the same time. I certainly couldn't make some mushroom/pasta/risotto/non-meat thing for him after all of that now, could I? I didn't have any bread, so I couldn't go for grilled cheese, so yes. We ate the store-bought chicken fingers and fries again. Those are turning out to be mighty handy.
{friday} I made bread and flatbread, so I took out six pieces of the previously made gyro meat and unthawed them. Then Idle Husband had to unexpectedly work late again, so I had a gyro by myself with some sliced tomatoes and cucumber (not done up greek-salad style). It was good (as usual), and I saved the rest for Idle Husband when he got home.
{saturday} I'd been experimenting with dragon age donuts in the kitchen, so I just quickly cooked a couple steaks in the toaster oven with salt and pepper and whipped up a salad. Ho hum.
{sunday} I like this recipe for chicken parmasan because it's so easy and fast and I don't have to dirty a frying pan. I always cut it in half (two chicken breasts fill us up just fine), and this was the first time I've made it without making bread crumbs. I used panko instead (for quickness and due to lazyness) which worked well (like, when doesn't panko work? It's the best). I did manage to make my favourite tomato sauce as usual. Just some notes on the sauce:
I don't ever measure the butter in this sauce anymore and I almost never use butter anymore. I'll use softened margarine, and I'll just grab a scoop with my wooden spoon. I'm sure it never amounts to 5 tablespoons; it's always less. I seriously hate it when butter is measured in tablespoons. WTF is with that? Does American butter come with tablespoon measurements on the wrapping? Cuz ours does not. I really hate digging into butter (or margarine) with my tablespoon and scooping it out with my finger. The tablespoon is always still covered in a ton of butter that I can't get off and my finger is covered in butter, everything covered in butter. I hate washing grease off of things. I'd like to take my butter out of the fridge, cut off what I need with a knife, and throw it in the pot. It's less messy and definitely easier that way. Maybe one day, when I have a bunch of softened butter, I'll work out what a tablespoon weighs (warm and cold), but when I'm normally confronted with this irritation, I figure out how many millilitres (ml) that is (there's 15 ml in one tablespoon) and use the measures that come printed straight on the butter wrapping to get it into cups (I actually tore off the ruler from a Crisco box at one time, and I use that. It's got a more accurate ml measurement on it). And please don't throw out the onions in this sauce recipe if you try it. That's my favourite part! I usually eat them as soon as they're cool enough to touch.
I ran out of fresh tomatoes for our usual salad which is why I decided to go with caesar salad (that was actually the initial prompting for chicken parmasan in the first place). I always make the salad completely as instructed (save for the romaine leaves. I chop them up like a normal salad), but I decided to skip making the garlic bread croutons since I still had some store-bought croutons left from the one time I bought them for a stuffing recipe. So I skipped that step and added the minced garlic directly to the dressing. I think I added a touch too much lemon juice. The salad turned out with a little more tang than usual, but it was still good.

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