February 1, 2010

what's cooking: last week's menu (and a whole new me)

There's a bit of a transformation taking place. What started as a simple new year's resolution to eat healthfully and make dinner every night has evolved into me really enjoying cooking. It's become more than just a means to an end. And I'm finding that the more I do it, the more confidence I carry with me into the kitchen. Like a lucky rabbit's foot in my pocket.

My Sunday nights go a little something like this: hunker down on the sofa (glass of wine optional, but likely), stacks of cookbooks teetering by my side and my trusty brown file brimming with clipped recipes perched on my knee. Pen and notebook in hand, I start planning next week's menu. I page and mark and sort and finally narrow it down to four or five entrees and sides. As the menu takes shape, I find that I'm genuinely excited to make each meal and imagining that look of happy contentment on Wade's face as he finishes his last bite and wonders aloud if there are seconds. That makes me smile. Every time.

Here's last week's...

Monday - Gingered Pumpkin Soup with Pea Pesto Crostini
Tuesday - Baked Salmon* with Green Bean & Fennel Salad and Baked Polenta Fries
Wednesday - Three Cheese Calzones and Chocolate Shortbreads
Thursday - Baked Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Bake
Friday - Leftovers

Favorite? Ooey, gooey, cheesy calzones. Heaven in a pizza dough crust. (Wade clapped. I beamed. ;)
Worst? Ginger Pumpkin Soup (aka Boring Pumpkin Water). Blech. What a waste of a good can of pumpkin. It was destined for muffins, poor pumpkin. Thank goodness the pea pesto was Awesome. (Yes, that's a capital A.)

*Why's the salmon marked, you ask? Because the intended main course seemed a little "fishy" (no pun intended) and so it went in the trash. On our plates instead? Grilled cheese sandwiches. Here's to being flexible!

I'll try to start providing links to recipes (like above), but it all depends on how much time I have to track them down since most recipes I use are hardcopy. But you've been requesting, so I'll do my best!

xo, Kristin

Three Cheese Calzones (top) and Baked Chicken with Sweet Potato Bake (bottom)


mulberry and marie said...

Wow, Kristin! Everything sounds wonderful; especially the calzone...my mouth is watering thinking about it. You are not only an excellent baker, but an excellent cook!

Jen said...

I want the recipe for the chicken and sweet potato bake! My boyfriend might actually eat that! LOL... I'm jealous that you can try so many things; I'm kinda limited by a certain picky eater I might be in love with. :-)

iheartkiwi said...

those calzones look amazing! what a wonderful resolution... it seems like it's turning into a genuine passion.

i'd better get cooking on dinner!

Minnie said...


What a lovely image I have of you planning the week's menu. I'm so happy for you that you're enjoying your culinary adventures and sharing the journey with us. These menus sound so scrumptious, though I was laughing reading about the pumpkin soup. A favorite pumpkin recipe of mine is Rachael Ray's pumpkin pasta, so easy to make yet hearty and tasty. No waste of pumpkin there. I'm totally thinking of making the calzone since your husband enjoyed it so much. It might be a hit for us too!

Minnie said...

Oh my gosh, and I see that those calzones only take 20 minutes to prepare and they are ready in 15 minutes? That sure sounds like a winner to me since I always procrastinate and start dinner too late.