Mom's Kitchen Handbook

My Week in Food


Best dinner all week: creamy polenta with wild mushrooms (you can find the recipe here). I cut the olive oil and butter in half, used about 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche in place of half & half (that was what I had on hand), and added a squeeze of lemon juice to the mushrooms at the very end. If 3 pounds of wild mushrooms are a budget deal breaker, you can sub in cremini mushrooms instead. It will still be plenty delicious.


Virginia asked if we could whip up a  dark chocolate cream pie for a class party, a request that gave me pause since 1)I’d never made it before 2)We lacked a number of the ingredients  3) I wondered how wise it would be to get a classroom of kids all hopped up on sugar and caffeine 4) Her request came at 8:00 at night (that’s nearing my bedtime, people).

SO….I said, “how about some popcorn instead.”

Pause.

“Ok, how about Parmesan popcorn instead.”

Deal.

Doing my best to make extra at dinner so we have plenty for school lunch. Here a chopped salad with feta and chick peas fed three hungry school girls the next day. I topped the lunch salads with leftover shredded chicken.

A “just for fun” maiden voyage into gluten-free baking with a Cranberry Coffee Cake. Stole the recipe off the package of Pamela’s baking mix, which you can find here . I made three changes: 1) added about 1 1/4 cups chopped cranberries to the batter 2) Use the walnut/brown sugar filling as a topping instead  (without the currants) 3) Eliminated the glaze. Excellent.

Gotta put a little love into those lunch boxes.

My kids deem my obsession with yuba strips uniformly “weird,” which means I get them all to myself. Yuba is the “skin” that forms on the top of soy milk. It’s cut into strips that look like wide, flat noodles that are a little chewy and strangely compelling.

I mixed them with piles of steamed vegetables, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and toasted peanuts for at least three lunches at home this week. The yuba trend is taking off, so keep your eyes out for it in specialty shops and organic grocery stores.

Used some of the puree from my pumpkin experiment to make these Pumpkin Parmesan Quinoa Cakes…a combination of cooked quinoa, eggs, breadcrumbs, diced onions, pumpkin, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. It was deemed both, “good” and “needs a little work.” How handy to have a jury of critics living in my own home.

With Hanukkah bumping right into Thanksgiving next week, lots of folks have got latkes on the brain. Here’s a recipe for crispy golden potato pancakes from Florence and Isabelle, a new blog on the scene that brings together Jewish tradition with modern living and good taste. Check it out.

I was over-the-top honored this week when my stepsister, Meagan, hosted a fund-raising lunch at Spruce where my book got to play a starring role. Look at the pretty place settings with my Coconut Granola Bark as party favors.

Stay tuned, recipe for these luscious eggs coming your way next week.

How was your Week in Food? What are you busy planning and prepping for Thanksgiving?