Category Archives: Weekly Menu

Tapas experiment

tapas shopping

My family and I suspect most Americans don’t spend enough time eating. Oh my we get enough FOOD to eat, but seem to spend very little time enjoying the experience.  We’ve been working at adding more variety to our diet in the form of organ meats, sea food and vegetables, to my dear husbands meat-and-potato-loving horror.  I noticed a while back that in order to get my family to eat a wider variety of food, we needed to do it more like a restaurant would, in courses. First a salad, then maybe a nice cup of soup, and finally the main course (don’t forget dessert!)

So last night I was watching a Tony Bourdain marathon (I know! W00t!) and his Spain and Venice episodes really brought the eating more slowly and with great gusto idea home for me. Even Tony was waxing poteic at sitting at the table with a family eating and conversing, drinking wine and enjoying the company. I want that! No more TV on the news while we eat from TV trays! No more throwing together a plate of food and horching it down so  can get back to whatever busywork task or internet BS I am currently involved in (doom-watching takes a lotta time, ya know?!?) At least we eat together, in the same room. But we can do better.

The clips I am referring to are embedded above.The meat of the matter starts at about the 7 minute mark in the first clip.

[youtube id=WpEmxIrprik] [youtube id=yYyJbcGawjE]

So, the new phase in our expansion of food choices: tapas. From our good friend Wikipedia (bold is mine):

Tapas (IPA: [ˈtaˌpas]) is the name of a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as puntillitas, which are battered, fried baby squid).

In North America and the United Kingdom, as well as in select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine. In these countries, patrons of tapas restaurants can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal.

The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them.[citation needed] Also, in some countries it is customary for diners to stand and move about while eating tapas.

Conversation? During a hillbilly meal? Impossible you say. The hard part will be in getting the Old Man to turn off the news. Fortunately the local news recycles their BS at the top of every hour so if we eat promptly at 5 pm, the preferred time in these here hills, we can catch the news at 6 and not miss a darned thing. I have a nifty table that can be raised and lowered and has leaves, so we can drag it out and set it up quickly to eat then put it away.

The tapas recipes I am going to try are already loaded into the recipe section of the site, and I will get up pictures as I go along.

The highlights:

Bacon wrapped shrimp, stuffed artichoke croquettes, ham or shrimp croquettes, Russian Salad, garlic mushrooms, meatballs in tomato sauce, roasted spicy almonds, skewered chorizo and shrimp, and Mediterranean eggs. These are all items made with familiar items but put together in ways that my family might not have tried previously. As you can see, I did not get terribly adventurous for the first week. As they get used to it, however: whammo! out comes the fried octopus or liver bits. Blam. I modified all these recipes from the originals to make them WAPF friendly.

We might put together a video if I am feeling ambitious. The pic up top? It’s from my grocery shopping today. I’ve noticed a lot of my favorite food bloggers are following the lead of that article that showed a pictorial of what people eat for a week. The items in the pic are all I needed to round out what I already have in the hillbilly larder. I think it looks nice 😉

The Blahs

I am feeling tired and out of sorts today; did not get enough sleep last night. I should exercise but I am not going to do it.

I made baked oatmeal today, starting with soaking Scottish-cut oatmeal overnight in whey from yogurt. It turned out well. The recipe came from Kelly the Kitchen Kop. I will be eating this for breakfast off and on the next several days, alternating it with eggs I added dried cranberries to it this morning for extra zing.
baked oatmeal

We are making carnitas today from the Homesick Texan recipe. I have made this several times and it is phenomenally good! The pork simmers slowly in it’s own lard, and the rich fat gives it a toothsomeness that can’t be beat. The OJ works well for caramelizing as well, and adds additional depth to the flavor

carnitas

pork roast
Food list:

B: baked oatmeal

L: pizza again (leftovers)

D: carnitas, beans, mexican rice, copped veg, home made tortillas

Movin’ to the country, gonna eat me a lot of peaches

No!  No peaches!  Dang it, they are soo sweet and good.  I have beautiful glistening jars that I canned this year…must…not….eat…

I REALLY need to do something about my carb-loading these days.  I ssit at work in front of a computer monitor and eat Kettle chips and stress out over all the things I need to get done. Oy, what a mess.

So, I am going to get rid of all the bad snax at work and replace them with “good” snax.  Some of it will come from home, some of it will come from the store;)

On my list of snax that will help me dump some of the darned carbs:

hard boiled eggs (oh, how I love thee)

Kimchee and sauerkraut

good Bubbies Kosher dills

cheese

homemade beef jerky

pickled veg from the garden

berries

more cheese

did I mention cheese?

I might grind some wheat this afternoon soak it, and make crackers with coconut oil.   I have that darned recipe around here somewhere; they are carby but  will be better than store-bought chips and go very well with the cheese.  Oh, cheese.  If only I were Shakespeare to write a sonnet about my love for cheese…

POTUS: Peaches

What’s for dinner this week?

In no particular order:

Lots of pickled veg, fresh from the garden: onion, cukes, peppers, carrots and cabbage (bought those two); sliced marinated tomatoes from the garden, salads with different lettuces and pickled veg (as in lacto fermented).

rib eye steaks with heavy cream and pepper sauce, grilled, with fresh squash and cornmeal fritters (that’s up tonight, I just decided;

a pot of beans that have been sprouted and have a lovely ham hock in ’em, along with hot southern cornbread and cultured butter;

baked chicken drizzled in butter and rosemary from the garden, with the cavity stuffed with onion and sprinkled in sea salt and nice new potatoes and veg again!

pork  chops smothered in a heavy cream/coconut milk based sauce, with mushrooms and onions; mashed potatoes with garlic and cream, more garden veg or salad and “no knead” bread that has soured longer than 24 hours (makes AWESOMe lunch bread with spreads);

“sneaky bastard” meatloaf with hidden organ meats (heart and a touch o’liver) and garlicky mashed potatoes with cream and butter, more veg from the garden;

Sausages galore, grilled with sourdough bread (along with liverwurst and braunschweiger and sauerkraut, yum!);

deep fried squash from the garden with herbs and cornmeal in the batter;

ham and cheese omelets with potato latkes and toast from no-knead bread;

watermelon and cantaloupe by the bowl;

blackberry cobbler, with blackberries straight from the back yard;

a pot roast and veg cooked in the crock pot from the “Full Moon Feast” cookbook recipe, which is one of the best I have ever had;

and finally, copious amounts of beer, which I will review as I go along.

It is going to be a delish week!

Weekly menu

This week’s Menu

Breakfast:

oatmeal, smoothies, or eggs

(depends on the person low carbing or not)

your choice, request before 7am.

Lunch:

Three soups:

Cream of Veg, Chicken Noodle, Cream of Broccoli

Salad, veggies and dip, salami, cream cheese, kimchee, yogurt, cheese sticks, crackers, leftovers

Dinner: (no particular order)

Beef Stir Fry

Noodles and Veggies

Beef Shanks

Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Broccoli, Salad

Fajitas

Beans, Chips, Salsa, Green Garnish

Meat Loaf

Mashed Potatoes, Salad, Corn, Rolls

Mystery Casserole

Green Salad, Corn Bread

Steak

Coconut Shrimp, Veggies, Bread

Desserts:

To Be Announced

I deserve a beer for working this hard! I don’t eat the “carby”food but the old man and son do.  I just add another veg for myself.

I got the recipe for the beef flanks from an older Wise Traditions. The flanks are pan seared and slow simmered in a stock pot with veggies.

My fajitas are cooked in beer and spices, and I serve them with lots of veggies, raw cheese, and crème fraiche. The meatloaf has organ meat hidden in it, so the family won’t know and complain, and the “mystery” in the casserole is what kind of meat I thaw, which will probably be chicken.
I got the coconut shrimp recipe from “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” (Fallon/Enig) and they are pretty darned tasty. I will post a version of it later today.
I want to talk about supplements in the future, as I am getting ready to start using acerola, dolemite powder, and have been using HV CLO and HV Butter oil for a while, along with ConcenTrace mineral drops. I really don’t like liver, and may try desiccated liver capsules soon.
I went to the doctor for a full check up and had amazing blood work and results. I will work up a post about the whole experience later and will give a thorough run-down.  My health is on the mend!

Weeks o’food!

I have been working diligently on getting together a week’s worth of food based on menus so I can relax a bit about cooking. I work very long hours, and NT-style eating tends to be labor intensive. Very often what happens is, I work 9 or 10 hours both in the building and at home online (and when I say work, I do not just mean my trad job, but also websites, Ran’s forum, blogs, etc.  It’s ALL work, baybee!) the spouse works the usual eight plus commute, kids come home hungry (if they bother to come home, often unannounced, hungry, and with friends) and what do we do? Go out to dinner. Argh. Total point-blower.
So, I have come up with a system that works for me, in getting ready to feed all of us for the week without going into full blow stress mode. I have to use “cheater” ingredients to do this, but since our diet is healthier even WITH the “cheaters”, I stopped stressing about it.
Here is a sample of a week’s meals:

Breakfast:
either presoaked Scottish oatmeal form Bob’s Red Mill or
bacon and eggs or
a coconut milk/kefir/yogurt based smoothie.

Lunch: I make three soups every Sunday, and package them in single serving containers and freeze them. The night before, I thaw them, then heat the soup up in a pan and pour into thermoses for all. We also pack small packages of “odds and ends” like salami, raw cheese, veggies and dip, homemade crackers, cream cheese, crispy nuts, fruit, yogurt, whatever each person likes. It helps to keep a variety of stuff on hand. I make small batches of mild kimchee every couple of weeks, and take a bit every day with me in a small container. I also pack salads if I have enough greens.

Dinner: for this week, I picked:

Beef and cheese enchiladas in sour cream/coconut milk green sauce,
Lasagna with meat sauce,
Beef stroganoff with sour cream and egg noodles,
Steak and baked potatoes
Roast chicken and veggies
smothered pork chops and potatoes

The soups this week are:
Cream of Chicken
Mushroom
Tortilla Soup

That is Mon-Sat, with Sunday a day we buy and make something special after shopping for the week’s meals. Tonight we are having ribs and chicken wings. Yum!
NOTE: I keep on hand a roughly 3 month food supply, between dry goods, canned goods, and frozen goods. I am lucky to be a part of an organic food co-op, and get most of my food from there. I buy Rocky’s chickens, and Creekstone Farms meats, and that is what I have available this year. A lot of my meals are structured around what I have stored.

Much of the meat comes straight out of the freezer, since I tend to buy the same cuts over and over, based on price. To defrost them, I soak the cuts in a brine in a big bowl (each type of meat separate: beef/pork/chicken)
After 24 hours of brining/soaking, I transfer the cuts to type-specific containers for soaking in buttermilk/kefir/yogurt or whatever I have on hand (usually all three). The containers are Tupperware, and stack on top of each other in the fridge for space saving. They can sit like that in the fridge for up to two weeks, as long as they get turned at least once a day and the smell stays fresh.
I like to do all of this on Sat-Sun. Some cuts of meat I buy fresh and send straight to the kefir.
If all goes well on Sat, I have a lot of the ingredients I need to start getting meals together. I have premade the enchiladas already, using high quality organic, thick corn tortillas that have nothing in them but corn, salt and lime from the soaking (got them from Trader Joe’s). I buy organic green sauce, use raw cheese, and shredded beef that I popped in the slow cooker. I like to layer the tortillas and ingredients flat, like a casserole. I have the lasagna ready too. This week I used bottled organic marinara sauce, as I ran out of home canned tomatoes. I cheat and use the “no boil” sheets and layer the casserole with zucchini squash as well as cheese and ricotta with parmigiana, egg and garlic. Two of the soups are done, as I save stock from making it about once a month so I can whomp up the mushroom and chicken quickly. Today, for the tortilla soup, I am boiling meaty rib bones for the base. This will take a while, but while all this is going on, I am sitting on my butt blogging, so it can’t be that hard! The meat for the stroganoff is soaking, and I will cut it up the morning I cook it and throw the whole kit-and-caboodle in the crock pot.
The chicken, steaks and chops are defrosting in brine, and will be transferred tomorrow to containers for soaking. The chops will be smothered in some of the cream of mushroom soup I made, with extra sliced onions and baked golden brown. That is one of my favorites. I make two kinds of veggies with each meal for sides, not counting potatoes or noodles if they are served. We seldom have bread but if we do, it is either whole wheat sourdough or sprouted wheat bread. (on special occasions I make soaked white-flour rolls.)

All of this activity makes for a busy weekend, but I find if I do this, I can come home and pop something into the oven or into a pan, then put on my jammies and be a bum for the rest of the evening!