We are on a food adventure, trying to use local meat and produce the majority of the time. Or at least start with what we find at our farmer’s market. Here’s the new stuff we added in the mix last week: Asparagus, strawberries (Fruit! Yes!), eggs, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini (our favorite farm grows in greenhouses), chicken, ground bison, and more basil for the garden.
This week, I didn’t get around to meal planning and never made a full trip to the grocery store, which meant several smaller grocery runs and too much going out to eat. That’s what happens when things get out of balance around here, but c’est la vie. (We used some of that stuff two Saturdays ago, which can be found in last week’s post.)
Here’s what we ate last week:
Sunday night, the kids and Jake had frozen pizza and I went out with my mom and Aunt to see the Great Gatsby. We had dinner at the restaurant nearest to the theater, On the Border. It was waaay too much food and I was disappointed that it was too hot for the leftover food to be okay in the car during the movie. Maybe next time I’ll bring a bag and some ice packs.
The fish taco was super good and something I’ll try to make at home, the enchilada was nothing to write home about.
Monday, we found ourselves post dinner time with no food close to being prepared. So we set off to find something open and local… easier said than done on Memorial Day. After driving around, we settled on Town Topic, which is THE Kansas City staple diner, though we’d never been.
Oh my goodness, it was greasy and horrible for us but was so good. They have ultra thin hamburger patties and pillowy clouds of buns. The cheese is molten as only the most processed cheese can be. The kids had grilled cheeses and won’t stop talking about them. Also? The secret to getting through a meal out with a toddler? Put him on a spinning stool. How have I never known this?
Tuesday we used the last of my Fakesgiving turkey to make
Chicken Turkey Pot Pie… sort of. I decided I didn’t feel like kneading pie crust, so I topped it with mashed potatoes and a bit of smoked paprika as if it were shepherd’s pie. That was a huge win.
Also, I made the turkey stock in the crock pot by cramming in the turkey carcass and the veggies that were stuffed in and under it. Just fill it up with water and let it cook all day and voila–homemade stock.
Wednesday my work life ate into my home life and there was no time to make dinner. So we ordered pizza from our favorite place, d’Bronx, with a big ‘ole chef salad. Have I mentioned that their Ranch dressing is the best ever?
Thursday and still no grocery store, so I said to myself, “Self, what can you do with what you’ve got?” Bison meatloaf it is. The real star was rosemary baked potatoes, which were just three red potatoes tossed with a sprig of cut up rosemary from our garden, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baked until they were golden brown on the outside. Everyone was mad that we only had three little potatoes to work with, and there was a unanimous request to fit them into the menu this week. I meant to use our farmer’s market broccoli as a side, but it went bad. Which is what frozen mixed veggies are for. And is why meal planning is important.
This week I’m most proud of my completely made up from my brain recipe for Baked Penne. I roasted zucchini and tomatoes tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them in the oven at 365 degrees for 45 minutes. I did this in the afternoon, and when I was actually ready to make dinner, I diced a yellow onion browned it in olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes. I added in a few cloves of minced garlic towards the end. I started cooking a pound of penne in boiling water. Then I used a borrowed food processor to turn the onion, zucchini, tomato, and garlic into sauce. I added in a big handful of fresh basil from our garden, salt and pepper, a teaspoon of sugar, and about a cup of water from the boiling pasta. After the sauce was smooth and the pasta was a little shy of al dente, I poured the sauce and the pasta in a 9×13 pan, mixed in some shredded parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella pearls. I baked it at 375 until the cheese was melted. So, so good. So good. Pasta sauce is an amazing way to sneak all manner of extra veggies into picky eaters, let me tell you.
Note that this was made possible by my mother, who corralled the kids while I bought groceries.
There are more photos of the process of making this in the May Day in the Life post.
Saturday was exhausting, so we went for a quick dinner at Noodles and Company (the kid’s favorite). The four of us split two bowls of mac and cheese with parmesan chicken, and we bought three pot stickers. Not that those things make any sense together. We took a nice long walk afterwards, and it was lovely.
In other food news, Jake is great at lunches.
And I’m not bad at them either. This is a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and dill. The dressing I made to go with it was not good, so next time I’m going with Italian. And it needed black olives, I think.
Jake and I went on a ten minute date to Tea Drops to solve a bickering issue. Totally worked. Thank you to my sister, who dropped by to babysit so we could get out of the house.
I also grabbed some loose leaf tea. Mango black is my favorite.
There was also an emergency coffee walk to The Filling Station when we ran out of coffee. Jonas and I had to rush over and rush back before baby Ava, whom I’m watching during the week, came over. Jonas got a walk and a poppyseed muffin out of the deal, so he didn’t even notice I had a where-the-heck-is-my-coffee grouchy thing going on. Did I mention that meal planning and grocery shopping are important?
Last thing, and this is random: OH MY GOSH, FRESH LOCAL STRAWBERRIES. We ate almost all of them at room temperature as soon as we got back from the market. Which is the way you should always eat them. They were sweet and juice dribbling down your chin amazing. The next day they weren’t as good (though still better than what we get at grocery stores), so buy some and eat them right then and there. Also, ask if you can taste one. Farmers usually let you. And don’t base your decision on what they look like. Wonky looking ones can still taste out of this world. That actually goes for all produce. I’m rambling now. Would anyone be interested in a post on how to make the most of a trip to the farmer’s market? Obviously I’ve got stuff to say. Hah!
Here’s what we’re rolling with for this week: Tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and green peppers. We didn’t have time to go to our big market, but luckily there’s a farmer selling a few things in our neighborhood on weekends.
We got some of everything he had. We’re also going to stop by our neighborhood market, which is just starting up, on Wednesday.
What have you been eating lately? Do you have any yummy recipes to share?
Check out all of the Savory Sunday posts here.