Sunday, August 28, 2011

Meal Plan #13: Favourite Summer Recipes

It will be an interesting week in the Amazon Kitchen. Among preschool executive meetings and preparing for a long weekend visit to my parents' farm, I am hosting a work party for my husband where I will be demonstrating how to make apple liqueur, since their office lunch room has been inundated with bags of apples from co-workers' trees. I've just spent the evening researching potential snacks to go with apple liqueur drinks. More on that, later.

My poor garden has been partially decimated by sparrows, who apparently have a great appetite for Swiss chard, strawberries and green peas. We're still doing well with zucchini, green beans and kohlrabi, and I managed to steal some Swiss chard from my sister-in-law's garden this weekend, so that will also be factored into our meal plan.

Monday (before I rush out to the preschool executive meeting)
Roast chicken on the bbq (we'll see how this goes, since it's a BIG chicken. Too big to be roasted on a beer can, and too big for our crappy little bbq rotisserie. I'll be experimenting with indirect heat roasting. I can't bring myself to roast a chicken in the house when it's going to be 27 degrees.)
Dolmathes (from the gigantic can we opened a while back—don't worry, they were packed in oil so they're still well preserved, and they're no longer in the can)
Steamed green beans
Roasted cauliflower (an amazing way to eat cauliflower—just toss florets with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roast until tender and browned). I usually roast it in the oven, but for the same reasons the chicken is going outside, the cauliflower will go into my new bbq grill pan to get roasted there.

Checking off my list of favourite summer recipes (we're running out of time!!):
White bean salad with Swiss chard, olives and capers (recipe to come Tuesday)
Simplified roasted vegetable salad with goat cheese (the one I like to make calls for piles of vegetables, including eggplant, asparagus and cherry tomatoes as well as zucchini, peppers, onion, green onion. I'm going to use what I have: zucchini, onion, mushrooms and a red pepper. I'm pretty sure it will still rock our world, since melty goat cheese on warm roasted vegetables is soooo good.)
Tuesday I'll also be doing some simplified prep work for our Wednesday event (making little pork meatballs and apple brandy applesauce)

Work party:
Liqueur making demonstration, including three drink recipes, and an appetizer platter of pork mini-meatballs, apple slices, smoked cheddar and fried sage, with apple brandy applesauce for dipping. I'm excited! I LOVE doing this sort of thing.

Herbed Beef and Rice Noodle Salad (can't wrap up summer without serving this, one of my all-time favourite recipes, packed with fresh herbs from my garden!)

Friday: off to the farm
I am trying something new in my efforts to streamline our road trips. The trip to the farm, which takes about three hours, always overlaps the supper hour if we want to leave right after my husband is done work. We have tried stopping part way to have a sit-down meal in a restaurant, but I noted on our recent road trip that our efforts to give the kids a break where they sit down and eat something fails on all counts. D is free! He wants to run around! Running around is a much higher priority than eating! Our efforts to corral him and get him to sit down only draw out the experience and reduces the enjoyment of our own meals. The second he's strapped into his carseat again, he says, "I want to eat something!"

So this weekend, I've decided, perhaps later than most parents would have, that we should eat on the road. I will pack salmon sandwiches, a kid favourite, and pass them back when requested. We will drive straight through, getting there before bedtime, well-fed, less frazzled, and hopefully happier.

Will it work? I'll keep you posted.

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