A springtime menu and a few inspirational links that will get you in the “face the week” frame of mind. Plus, as always, there are a few tips on making the menu plan run as smoothly as possible.
I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. This may have to do with the undeniable fact that I went to bed feeling salty. It’s hard to start the week off right when your weekend wasn’t relaxing. There was no rest and recovery stage, and so hitting the ground running just feels forced. I have no choice in the matter. I have buried myself in a landslide of emails after spending more than a few days enjoying the San Francisco weather for IACP last week.
I’m not complaining, or perhaps I am, but I need a bit of a jump start this Monday morning. I’m starting by sharing a few things worth reading, worth gazing at, and worth the time it takes to get through your lunch hour. Plus, there are muffins over on Attune Foods [you remember, I work for them] that are genuinely worth mixing up as you start spring cleaning your kitchen if you are so lucky to be experiencing spring right now. These are kitchen sink cereal muffins to use up any odds and ends you have around. I ended up with a dark-chocolate–cherry combination and a blueberry-hazelnut with a sprinkle of cardamom (because I am cardamom obsessed still).
- Joy made a hot fudge milkshake for happy hour. The video is sweet and playful, and wouldn’t a milkshake make your hour happy?
- Kristen simmered a pot of lemongrass simple syrup that she used in strawberry daiquiris. The perfect springtime treat, and I can’t help but consider all the other options for cocktails and desserts with lemongrass simple syrup.
- The new Hunger Games Catching Fire trailer premiered yesterday. Oh yes it did. I’ll be riding out the day on that. /booknerd
- KitchenAid added a recipe tab on Facebook that’s pretty cool. It matches up their appliances with recipes for them, which makes wondering what you’re going to use that new shiny stand mixer or food processor on an easier decision. I adore my 7-quart mixer. I’d be lost without it.
- This is not a new article, but it is one worth reading. This New York Times piece on Christopher Kimball has several elements of why I started this site, and it was great to be reminded as a gut check to myself.
Monday – Roasted Asparagus and Spinach Quinoa Salad
Tuesday – Roast Chicken with Spring Orzo Pasta Salad
Wednesday – Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast with Homemade Ricotta
Thursday – Chicken Fajitas
Friday – Spinach Ricotta Lasagna
The Preparation Shortcuts:
1. Spring is good for spinach. You’ll find plenty of uses for a giant clamshell or a massive armload of bundles from the market or even the largest CSA share ever from the salad on Monday to the toast on Wednesday to Friday’s lasagna.
2. Use leftover roast asparagus (or make a few extra) to toss into the pasta salad for Tuesday. You can even whip up the entire salad and let it marinate overnight. This is one thing that gets better with age.
3. Make the ricotta on Wednesday. When sautéing the spinach, reserve some and refrigerate to mix with ricotta and eggs for the lasagna.
4. Season your roast chicken like you would for fajitas. Save the leftovers for fajita night, and just add a bit of extra seasoning and refresh in the pan after cooking the vegetables. It’s the easy, cheater way to get fajitas.
UPDATE: This post was published just before the news from the Boston Marathon today. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families, as well as the entire city of Boston as they deal with the event and the after effects.