I’m sort of loving the idea of hibernating until spring. I leave the house for work, and we even left yesterday to go see a movie. But cabin fever hasn’t hit me yet, and until it does, I’m digging in my heels and burrowing deeper into the couch. I cleaned out the baking/dry goods (you know, beans and rice and stuff) pantry this week and found some ingredients I had forgotten about, which turned into tonight’s dinner. It got me thinking about other overlooked ingredient treasures, and I’m going to try to use a few of them up soon — my version of pre-spring cleaning.
Sunday: Bean soup with arugula salad and baguette. For Christmas, my mom always gets us a bag of farmers’ market goodies — soup mixes and handmade soaps and maple syrup and lovely stuff like that. I’m not sure if the bean mix is from this Christmas, or last year (or maybe before???), but the beans are rehydrating nicely so I’m okay with it. I’ll simmer the beans with some ham hocks, a jar of tomatoes, and some other chopped veggies (carrots, celery, onion, garlic — and I’m wondering about jalapeno?) until the beans are tender. We’ll pull out the ham hocks, shred any meat on them back into the pot, and season with salt and pepper.
Monday: This is a surprise to me — Phil is totally in charge of dinner tonight, and I don’t know what he’s planning yet. This is a day when I get to do one of my favorite/most exhausting parts of my job pretty much nonstop all day, and so I hope to slump on the couch and be served lovely food when I get home. 🙂
Tuesday: Taco(ish) Tuesday… tonight’s version is venison fajitas. We eat lots of food encased in corn tortillas. While the protein might change (thin-sliced venison steaks tonight), the approach is roughly the same — lots of yummy sliced veggies, warm corn tortillas, guac, and tonight, venison steak seasoned with taco-ish spices (chile powder — ancho or chipotle or whatever one we see first in the spice rack, cumin, salt, garlic).
Wednesday: From my cookbook challenge (trying all the recipes in a book I received for Christmas in an acknowledgement that I own way too many cookbooks and use them far too rarely, so let’s start getting to know them a whole lot better one book at a time), a veggie bowl with poached eggs. The book calls it something like “carb buster” (I’ll check when I find the link to the recipe) but really, it’s a bowl of sauteed veggies with a poached egg on top and a slice of delicious cheese on the side.
Thursday: Spaghetti squash casserole. True confession: we planned on having spaghetti squash stuffed with chicken and tomatoes and other goodies last week. But I had an ice day on that day, and got to stay home. The idea of just popping a previously-made quick dinner in the oven for a 20 minute reheat on a day when I could linger over some more luxurious meal prep didn’t appeal, so we tossed it in the freezer and made a lovely flank steak, redskin potato, and roasted veggie dinner instead. I don’t want to lose it to leftovers-in-the-freezer purgatory (where I optimistically freeze leftovers, saying to myself, “This will be PERFECT for a day when we’re too busy to cook!” and then I forget all about it until I clean out the freezer two years later), so I’m putting it back in the rotation right away. Also, I put it in a new casserole dish I got for Christmas, and I want it back.
Friday: Venison burgers with bacon jam, oven fries, lemon-garlic roasted broccoli salad. A ‘lingering ingredient’ I keep moving around the fridge is the last of the bacon jam — it’s delicious, but I never think to use it, and so the jar just keeps getting shoved around the fridge. Doing some pre-spring cleaning and eating this bacon jam. It’s a win-win.
Saturday: Sweet potato waffles, Beautiful Roasted Veggies — I love the idea of savory waffles, and sometimes they work, and sometimes they’re a big mess. But I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and I really really want to try it. The veggie recipe comes from my cookbook challenge (see Wednesday), and it sounds pretty close to the way I already roast veggies, but in the spirit of trying them all out, I’ll stick to this plan and see if I learn any new tricks!
Have a great week, stay warm, and drink lots of tea! 🙂