Jingle, jingle. (food, week of 9.9.13)

Starry nights

There are 108 days between now and Christmas, I learned today as I was mindlessly surfing the internet, my last-resort procrastination tactic on this, day three of avoiding preparing this week’s weekly food plan.

I have been completely and totally uninspired, staring blankly at an empty page in the Tiffany blue Martha Stewart notebook I bought at Staples when I started this weekly menu planning deal (good office supplies always make the job more exciting). I cleaned the whole house, changed the sheets, wiped the baseboards, listened to music, caught up on a year’s worth of Fast Company magazines sitting on a shelf, and painted my toenails.

Then, there is was: 108 days until Christmas. That means 115 days left in the year, which means I’ve been holding to this weekly meal planning for 250 days, with the exception of one week in early August when I just could not get anything right and had to take a nap.

Is that a finish line ahead of me, or just a fresh, blank calendar waiting. Not sure. But I am sure that just the thought of it got me out of my funk and back into the program.

This week we’ll have a few ultra simple meals (ravioli, corned beef) and one new experiment: Det Burgers. It’s sort of hard to go wrong with a burger in general, but how could I resist one that has green chile mixed in and is steamed in beer? We’ll also have Bernard’s special Chicken Cordon Bleu, prepared in muffin tins and really, really good. Maybe he’ll even cook.

Happy week.

jennyslark food plan september 9 2013


| Week of September 9| 2013

green beans

Cheese Ravioli | Mache & Cucumber SaladMy children prefer the Contadina cheese ravioli; I like the ones from Costco. Whichever we have, I’ll not be preparing dough and stuffing ravioli at home. Will toss with butter or pesto (likely the latter). Will buy the triple washed mache rosettes from Whole Foods and tossing with fresh sliced cucumber and a light dressing. Dinner will be ready in less than 20 minutes.


Couscous Salad | WatermelonThis couscous salad, similar to the one in The New Basics cookbook, tastes great warm or cold. Prepare 1 ½ c. couscous per directions, tossing with olive oil instead of butter and salting to taste. In a large bowl combine warm couscous with finely chopped carrots (about 1 c. baby carrots), 1 bunch scallions, chopped (white & light green parts), 1 small bell pepper, chopped, and about ¼ c. dried cranberries. Optional: stir in crumbled Feta or bleu cheese. Serve on lettuce with side of watermelon.

roast chicken, the usual way

Bernard’s Chicken Cordon Bleu | Spinach SaladPound boneless, skinless chicken breast until thin. Top each breast with a slice of Swiss cheese and thin slice of ham. Butter the cups of a muffin tin. Roll chicken and fold together so it makes a ball (sort of). Place in muffin cup and brush with butter. Bake about 50 minutes at 350°. Serve with spinach salad (red onion and mandarin oranges).


Corned Beef | Cabbage | Pumpernickel BreadCorned beef tastes pretty good prepared according to the directions that typically come on the package. This recipe from the New Basics cookbook is a great alternative, and even tastier. I will make it in the slow cooker instead of the oven, just because that’s the way we roll these days.

burger joint

Det BurgersWe’re always looking for new twists on the super-basics, and I stumbled upon this recipe when I was searching for an online link to Sheila Lukins’/Julie Rosso’s corned beef and cabbage. We’ll probably make two batches, one with chile and one without, and we’ll take the chef’s advice and serve with oven fries.