Monday, June 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I wrote this up last night and then forgot to publish it!

's pretty easy to plan out my meals when I do it ahead of time, but pretty difficult if I wait until Sunday or Monday. This week's menu I wrote out middle of last week some time when I was thinking about my upcoming OAMC day. My freezer is about half empty right now, but after a day of OAM cooking this weekend and a new quarter of beef next weekend space is going to be tight. My single largest space hog is a frozen turkey from last Thanksgiving's turkey sale. It's on the OAMC menu to make room for more beef.

Monday - tuna casserole, salad, fruit

Tuesday - chicken and corn quesadillas, green veg

Wednesday - firecracker chicken, green veg, pasta/rice side from a box

Thursday - taco joes, green veg, pierogies and cheese

Friday - grill night - ranch chicken kabob salad, garlic bread, fruit

Saturday - 4th of July cookout - Take the awesome
FLO'S ROASTED POTATO SALAD. Roasted garlic, bacon...need I say more? (Btw, I've made the brats and cabbage recipe too, but they're only so-so whereas the potato salad was a keeper).

Sunday - OAMC Day - Joe will grill the whole turkey for me to use

Do you know what you're eating this week? If you would like some menu plan inspiration, be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to see what others are having!

Zucchini Pineapple Cake

Sunday was the first CSA potluck of the year at the Sippel Family Farm. The potlucks are open to CSA members and their families. Members are supposed to bring a large enough dish along to feed everyone in their party (Grumble grumble vanload of rude people who don't) as well as table service for their party.

Typically the agenda is like this:

3 pm people start arriving
4 pm eat
5 pm farm tour
6 pm leave

The time's aren't set in stone or anything, but that's the general idea. Some months there will be something available for picking. Some members pick before the meal and others pick afterwards.

This month there were sugar snap peas. Peas are not my favorite veggie, but Joe likes them a lot. They're ok as a side dish, but a must in tuna casserole. Canned are gross. Fresh or frozen are fine. I don't care for the pods.

After we finished eating, Joe and I skipped out on the tour and headed off to the pea field with Samantha and reusable grocery bags in hand. I found a row and started picking away, not discriminating against any pod size. Joe carried Samantha until she whined and wanted down. Samantha happened to pick a good spot that wasn't picked-over yet. He also did not discriminate against small pods until he discovered that some pods were very full with large peas. I grew tired of stooping over the low-lying plants and headed over to see his bounty. He wasn't ready to stop, so I kept picking large pods as I headed back to the beginning of the row. We headed back to the house. We each had our bags half full of pea pods. That's a lot of peas.

We stood around talking and didn't leave the farm until 7. By 8, Samantha was in her jammies and we were out on the deck shelling peas. Around 9:30 it was too dark to see, so we came inside and put the girl to bed. Shelling was finished at 11. There were 4 Tupperware Thatsa Bowls of pods that hit the compost bin and just 5 lb 7 oz of peas for eating. Joe went to bed and I continued with blanching the peas for freezing. I was in the bed at midnight with 7 pint bags of peas in the freezer.

Thursday night I decided what to make for the potluck during a power outage. I try to take a dish using fresh produce and/or dessert. In our share that day we got lettuce, garlic scapes, yellow and green summer squash, beets and carrots. In my garden I also have new potatoes that I could use. I wasn't expecting the squash yet (it's nearly July but feels too early), so that was a pleasant surprise. I thought about it a while in the dark and remembered Pineapple Zucchini Cake. I dug out the recipe and was happy that I had all the ingredients on hand.

My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. This was our standard zucchini bread recipe for me growing up rather than the typical spiced version. I only remember Mom making one other zucchini bread recipe and it wasn't as good. It was a Weight Watcher recipe that made a single 8"x8" pan. The following recipe is far too point-y to be WW-friendly.

For the potluck I used my 9"x13"x1" pan plus a mini loaf pan. I took the 9x13 and stashed the loaf in the freezer. Good thing, too, because there were no leftovers to take home.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was when Joe tried it and liked it. He ate 3 pieces!

Zucchini Pineapple Cake

Makes: two 9x5 loaves OR two 8x8 pans OR one 9x13x2 pan OR one 9x13x1 pan plus one mini loaf OR 30 muffins

3 eggs
2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c oil
2 c grated and drained zucchini, unpeeled (or yellow squash)
3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 c raisins
1 c chopped nuts (my favorite is pecans, but I used almonds for the potluck and toasted them)
1 c crushed pineapple, drained (from a 20 oz can)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour (or use non-stick spray) baking pans.

Beat eggs until fluffy. Add sugar, vanilla, oil and zucchini.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into wet mixture until just blended. Stir in raisins, nuts and pineapple.

Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake until nicely browned and toothpick in center comes out clean. For 9x5 loaves, 8x8 pans, 9x13x2 pan that's about an hour with pyrex dishes. Metal 9x13x1 pans and mini loaf pans take about 50 minutes. Muffins take about 35 minutes.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

If desired, loaves can be frozen. Wrap loaves in plastic wrap first before wrapping in foil. The acidity of the pineapple will eat through aluminum foil and that's not a good thing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It was a busy weekend around here.

We had a yard sale, my first as an adult. Profit of $130 after buying price stickers. It was a neighborhood sale, so I didn't bother placing an ad in the paper. I could have made a killing if I had sold Samantha's baby clothes and toys, but I'm holding on to those just in case we should need them again in the future. I cringe thinking about having to pay full retail for baby related items. I did sell her bathtub, but it was a gift and not the one we would have asked for.

Yesterday I made four batches of strawberry jam for a total of 38 jars. I only make jams from locally grown produce. To do otherwise would just be wrong. I'd rather buy a jar of Smucker's (a fine product I admit) than use store-bought berries. Homemade jams made with sugar will keep forever even though most recipes say they only keep 12 months. I don't care for low-sugar and no-sugar homemade jams because they turn gray and ugly quickly and keep no more than 12 months. On a good year I jam a lot. On a bad year I miss the harvest window and don't jam anything. Strawberry season is only 2-3 weeks and it started last week. Next week I will be on vacation. We ran out of 2005 jam about six months ago, I couldn't take any chances. The time to jam was here, so jamming I did. I expect this year's strawberry jam to keep me until the 2011 or 2012 season depending on how many jars I give away.

As I mentioned last week, I already had this week's menu planned out. As predicted, last week's version had to be modified.

Monday - we had baked ziti, garlic bread and strawberry radish spinach salads. The ziti was supposed to be yesterday. The garlic bread was a deal from Kroger's triple coupon sale over the weekend. The strawberries, radishes and spinach were all picked from the garden today.

Tuesday - taco joes, french fries, spinach something

Wednesday - chicken taco wraps, green veg

Thursday - ranch chicken kabob salad (maybe, depends on the CSA share this week)

Friday - pizza night, green veg, clean out the fridge

Saturday - Vacation!

Do you know what you're eating this week? If you would like some menu plan inspiration, be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to see what others are having!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday again so that means it's time to plan out the week's menu. I actually did this yesterday afternoon when Samantha was sleeping. I laid out a menu for this week and next right up until we leave for vacation, but I'll leave you hanging on next week's food. Besides nothing works out exactly as planned, so I bet I'll revise the menu before we eat.

Monday - tuna casserole, spinach, jell-o

Tuesday - farmer's casserole, something from the CSA share, biscuits

Wednesday - Velveeta taco mac and cheese using grilled turkey, green veg

Thursday - buffalo chicken spaghetti, salad

Friday - pizza night (BBQ chicken filling was supposed to be for pitas, but I haven't bought any yet), salad

Saturday - grilled firecracker chicken, hash brown casserole, green veg

Sunday - baked ziti, garlic bread, green veg

Do you know what you're eating this week? If you would like some menu plan inspiration, be sure to check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to see what others are having!