week of dinners, may 16-22

yikes!  i have failed myself and all of you, once again, by taking an eternity to post a weekly dinner menu with recipes!  we have been cooking up a storm and all three of us are enjoying delicious fresh and local food from moore farms and friends, so i have absolutely no excuse! after the long absence, i have decided to approach the "week of dinners"  a bit differently.  since i am now cooking for a little one, i thought i would include my inspiration for him in the posts as well.  so, in addition to a weekly dinner menu for grown-up eaters with recipes, and sometimes pictures, i will also add some babyfood recipes, and sometimes pictures, for the week.  i would like to transform my menus to be useful for both a single eater or for an entire family, while continuing to, hopefully, inspire fresh, seasonal, and thoughtful cooking by you for your personal table!

weekly mid-spring dinner menu for may 16 - may 22

sunday supper: grilled beef burgers (our beef comes from riverview farms and it is amazing!) on grilled seasame seed buns, topped with fresh tomato slices and leaves of crisp basil.  served with boiled green cabbage seasoned with a splash of olive oil and a bit of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.

for the babe: set aside some of the boiled cabbage.  puree until very thin, no chunks.  serve alone, if your baby will eat it, or swirled with mashed potatoes.  it creates a very pretty spring green color.  just a warning...this is NOT one of jack's favorite foods, but he will eat it.

a toast to the start of the work week:  i love creating a special dinner on monday nights.  it makes the start of the work week seem special.  the sweetness of baked sweet potatoes and an orange and black olive salad pairs well with the spicy blackened fresh, gulf amberjack.  this is one of our new favorite dinners!

cut 1 pound of amberjack fillets into 2 equal pieces. combine 1  tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon onion salt, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1  teaspoon dried italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2  teaspoon ground red pepper in a small bowl; stir well. dredge fish in spice mixture; let stand 5 minutes.

coat a large cast-iron skillet with cooking spray; place over high heat until very hot. add fish, and cook 3 minutes. turn fish, and cook 3 to 4 additional minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  the fish should look charred. (just as a warning, this procedure will produce a small amount of smoke)

for the orange and olive salad:

cut an orange (1 per person) into segments and plate.  top with 6-8 kalamata olives and drizzle with a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

for the babe: babies, from my experience, love sweet potatoes.  bake sweet potatoes for about an hour and a half and then squeeze the potato out of its skin into the food processor.  puree until very smooth.  sweet potatoes freeze very well so bake 2 at one time.  this amount typically makes 16 cubes (one cube = one ounce) for us.

tuesday night: spaghetti made with mom's homemade spaghetti sauce and a tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad.  place sliced roma tomatoes on a plate, cover with coarsely choped basil, and top with gernerous slices of good quality, fresh mozarella cheese.  drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt...fresh, simple, and delicious!

middle of the week dinner:  homemade fried rice:

cook rice one day before.  saute spring onions, celery, and edamame in a skillet.  add 2 eggs and scramble.  then, add pre-cooked rice to the skillet and stir fry.  season with soy sauce, salt, and seasame oil.

thursday "ode to the farm" dinner: thursday are the days we pick-up our weekly farm order, so i try to use a lot of the fresh produce that night that i don't plan to actually cook.  this means, we often have a big salad with yummy bread and some farm fresh cheeses.  this week's salad features butter lettuce, cucumbers, easter radishes, celery, and chive seasoned goat cheese.  i dressed the salad with a simple vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, a touch of spicy dijon mustard, dried oregano, pepper, and coarse salt.

happy friday dinner: spring vegetable pasta:

wash, trim and chop a 1/2 pound of kale, 1 pint of grape tomatoes, 1/2 of a bunch of green onions (tops included), 1 small green pepper, and 2-3 ribs of celery including their greens.

prepare pasta of your choice, we use penne.

warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  add the onions, pepper, and celery and cook stirring often until softened.  next, add the kale, cover and steam for 5-10 minutes.  finally, add the sliced tomatoes and stir.  continue cooking uncovered for 10-15 minutes stirring often. season with salt and pepper.

toss the vegetables with cooked pasta.  try not to eat it all in one sitting, because the leftovers are also divine!

saturday: order pizza, crack open a bottle of wine, and kick your feet up!