Hi, my name is Abby and I’m in a cooking rut. Summer is actually a pretty great time to be in a cooking rut in New England. The produce is so gorgeous that no one really complains if you have a tomato salad three nights in a row or have nothing but sweet, sliced peaches for dessert night after night. Add a newborn baby to the mix and the fact that I was making the same four or five meals in rotation didn’t seem all that boring or unreasonable all things considered. Now that the weather is starting to turn colder and the fog of a brand new baby is lifting, I’m ready to get back into the kitchen and mix things up a bit.
Experimenting with new recipes and meals used to be a snap. A quiet afternoon in the shop meant I had plenty of time to flip through cookbooks and look for something that piqued my interest for dinner that very night. Living in the South End meant that when I closed up shop I could simply walk out the front door with my new recipe in hand and find everything I needed to make it within a few blocks of the shop and our house. If I’m being honest, that’s one of the things I miss most about living in the city.
Life looks a little different now. Living in the suburbs with a brand new baby means that my days of daily grocery shopping and cooking on a whim are pretty much gone. Everything, including grocery shopping, takes a bit more planning. Rather than fight this new reality (because it ain’t changing folks) I’m embracing it. And hence, Menu Mondays has been born.
Menu Mondays is simple. Each Monday I’ll be posting our dinner menus for the coming week. The vast majority of the recipes I’ll be trying will be ones I’ve never made before. I have stacks of cookbooks and magazines I’ve been meaning to dive into and this is giving me the inspiration I need to do just that. I’ll give you my warts and all assessment of each recipe. I’m hoping to find a few new recipes worthy of making into our regular rotation but mostly I’m just excited to try a few new things and see if I can’t get a little of my kitchen mojo back.
Our new recipes this week are courtesy of Melissa Clark's cookbook Dinner: Changing the Game.
It’s always a good sign when I have a dozen or so recipes flagged on my first pass through a book. Here is what the week has in store for us:
Monday: Eggplant Gratin with Tomato and Goat Cheese
Tuesday: Ginger Pork Meatballs with Coconut Rice and Smashed Sichuan Cucumber Salad
Wednesday: Georgian Lamb Kebabs with Dill Sauce
Thursday: Peachy Pork with Pomegranate Molasses and Charred Onion
Friday: Fusilli with Burst Cherry Tomatoes, Mint and Burrata
Saturday: Classic Roasted Chicken Salad with Green Aioli and Chicken Skin Croutons
Sunday: Harissa Chicken with Leeks Potatoes and Yogurt
I’ll be posting pics and updates on Instagram (@farmandfable if you don’t already follow me) and then a little wrap up this weekend. And if you've had the chance to try any of these recipes let me know what you think in the comments!