Savory Sunday at the Nerd Nest

Welcome to the past week in food! We are on a food adventure, trying to use local meat and produce the majority of the time (though we didn’t do quite as well with that this week). Here’s the new stuff we added in the mix last week: Eggs, apple pork sausage, pork ribs, rainbow chard (my herb guy gave them to me as a bonus!), green onions, morel mushrooms (!!!), asparagus, market blend coffee from City Market Coffee House, chocolate chip cookies, basil, cilantro, and marigolds. And, of course, the stuff we have stocked up from previous weeks.

Sunday was Cinco de Mayo, so we had to have mexican food, of course. We ate the guacamole I made a few days prior. I froze it in a plastic ziplock bag right after I made it fresh, and I thawed the bag in a bowl of warm water for this dinner. Avocados fade fast, so I do this even if I’m planning on eating the leftovers the very next day.

The main event was Mexican Chicken, which is a sort of casserole my grandma used to make. This recipe was a great follow up to the chicken tacos we made last week, because it has pretty much the same ingredients. Why have leftovers and eat the same thing when you can use them to make something new? I made a few alterations to the recipe: I subbed my homemade salsa for rotel and added in red kidney beans, because we had them. I’m going to do that every time now (though it will be way better when I can add fresh chilis into the salsa too!).

Kitchen sinks + asparagus

Monday we made Kitchen Sinks with asparagus. Kitchen sinks are inspired by a local restaurant we love, Succotash. They’re a little different every time we make them, but this time it was red potatoes, spinach, morel mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, italian sausage, munster cheese, over easy eggs, all topped with homemade country gravy. I love all the flavors piled up on top of each other. Also, I’m never buying sausage from a grocery store again. It was SO DANG FLAVORFUL. Lots of sage. Good stuff, for sure.

Cookin'

Chicken tikka masala night!

Tuesday we had my signature Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s my very favorite food. This isn’t exactly a home grown recipe, I need to figure out how to local it up by making my own tomato sauce and yogurt.

My big recommendation for this spice heavy dish is to try and find a place locally that sells bulk spices. When you’re buying spices from the grocery store, you’re usually paying for the jar it comes in more than you are the spices inside. Our place for spices in Kansas City is Al Habashi Mart, where you can buy a very wide range of spices for a dollar or two for a giant scoop. It’s a steal. If you can find a place like this near you, it’s worth the search!

We keep ours in DIY chalkboard spice jars.

Rainbow chard is so pretty!

Braised pork ribs with rainbow chard and couscous! Recipe from @rachaelraymag

Wednesday we tried Braised pork ribs with bok choy and couscous (except we used rainbow chard) from Rachel Ray Everyday for the first time. I was a little skeptical about the dish, because I’ve never had ribs cooked in a crock pot before and it smelled really strongly like soy sauce (I was scared that would be the only flavor that came through). But it was wonderful. So, so good. The rainbow chard worked really well as a sub for the bok choy (isn’t it so pretty?) and was a good way to sneak some greens into the kids.

P.S. Jonas switched off the crock pot without me noticing for who knows how long, so I just put it on high instead of low for the last hour and hoped for the best. It worked out.

Jonas needed some "fwaffle"

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Jonas and I had the buffet at Jerusalem Bakery on Thursday because he really wanted some “fwaffle.” We love being able to walk to that place.

Dinner had to be quick and thrown together on Thursday because we took Eliza to a birthday party. We were craving Velveeta mac and cheese with some frozen peas and leftover italian sausage from the kitchen sinks thrown in. We’re not always fancy and anti-boxed food, obviously, because that’s about as processed as it gets.

Yummy things are about to happen!

Yes.

Friday Jake had to work late, and the kids were starting to mutiny. I was totally planning on cooking, but I was too tired and Jake got home too late to take the cooking reigns from me. So we went out. We headed to Grinders, home of the chili cheese bomb. In the middle of New York style pizza. And the cheese on those tots? Melted cheese wiz. It’s pure carb heaven.

Saturday we had dinner with my family for my nephew Nathan’s second birthday. He’s the cutest.

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Reece ain't got nothin' on me.

Usually I don’t make a lot of desserts, but we came up with a good one this week. We had a ton of strawberries from Trader Joe’s (fresh fruit hasn’t shown up at the farmer’s market yet for us) and I wanted the kids to eat them up before they went bad. So we had some impromptu fondu action. I just melted some milk chocolate chips and peanut butter in a tiny crock pot. And the strawberries were gone in about five minutes.

I made too much of the chocolate-peanut butter mixture, so in a stroke of brilliance I decided to make peanut butter cups. I broke out the mini-muffin tin, spooned half of the chocolate-peanut butter into four of the spots, threw a dalup of peanut butter into each of the four chocolate pools, and topped ‘em with the remaining chocolate. I threw them in the fridge, and a few hours later we popped them out and voila! Peanut butter cups. The other ones turned out way prettier, of course I only remembered to take a picture when we were down to the wonky one. Anyway, it was super easy and I can see myself doing it on a larger scale for a party.

All in all, a pretty amazing week in food.

Today's market haul: ground beef, brisket, asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, peas, and celosias.

Here’s what we’re rolling with for this week: Ground beef, brisket, asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, peas, and celosias. And also, the first tomatoes from our garden!!!

What have you been eating lately? Do you have any yummy recipes to share?

Check out all of the Savory Sunday posts here.