Sunday, November 8, 2009


I am a compulsive meal-planner. I am not sure when exactly this became a compulsion, but I do know that if I don’t start thinking about it on Saturday, I will wake up thinking about it on Sunday morning. I generally get my coffee and get back in bed with a few recipes that I know I want to make that week, my laptop and a grocery list. This week, I planned on Saturday night because I was bored and had nothing better to do. Because I am logging all my food on Sparkpeople (I logged every meal last week! Yeah me!), I tend to go with Cooking Light recipes because they provide all the nutritional info. This week's batch also includes some from Rachel Ray/ the Food Network, Bon Appetit/ Epicurious and the 101 Cookbooks Blog. The plan for this week is:
Sunday – Classic Beef Pot Roast & Warm Spinach Salad with Parmesan Toast
Monday – Broccoli-Cheddar Soup & Romaine Salad with Red Onion, Walnuts and Orange Vinaigrette
Tuesday – Cumin Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Chutney, roasted sweet potatoes & green beans sautéed with garlic
Wednesday – Italian Wedding Soup with turkey meatballs & baguette
Thursday – Cuban sandwiches, sweet potato fries & sautéed plantains

Will we actually wind up eating these exact meals? About eighty-percent of the time (or four of the five nights), yes. Do I actually follow those recipes? I never make anything where I follow the recipe exactly. I can make a pot roast without a recipe, but I wanted to have a good calorie/ carb count on what I was making so I used the Cooking Light recipe as a basis,but modified the cooking technique some and added mushrooms and extra garlic to add fiber and a lower carb option for DH.

Since it is Sunday morning and I’ve got the week figured out, that frees me up to start planning Thanksgiving dinner… Here are some of the tried and true recipes under consideration:

Cranberry, Tangerine and Crystallized-Ginger Relish - This is the relish I've been making for the last few years. We love it because it is fresh rather than cooked so is lighter and has more texture.

Baked Butternut Squash with Apples and Maple Syrup - We first made this a number of years ago (like maybe nine?) when we had Thanksgiving in Memphis with VA. Since then, it has reappeared regularly.

Green Apple and Celery Salad with Walnuts and Mustard Vinaigrette - This is similar to a salad the my sister S has made for Thanksgiving. Starting the meal with something crunchy is particularly good if your diners otherwise demand heavy (and mushy) traditional fare.

Porterfield Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Snow White Glaze - This is one of the few (possibly the only) cakes I will attempt to bake on the mountain. It is reprinted at Epicurious, but is originally published in Pie in the Sky: Successful Baking at High Altitudes.

Gingered Pumpkin Pie - I've never been a big pumpkin pie fan, but last year, B decided we needed to make one. This one is topped with a gingersnap streusel to give it some pizazz.

Chocolate and Coconut Pecan Tart
- The chocolate and pecan pie in Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking was my stand-by until I discovered this recipe a few years ago. Just go ahead and make two.

VA and I are going to chat later this evening about these and the new recipes she proposed last week to figure out what makes the short-list.


Guinnah said...

I was always a compulsive meal planner too - it just made every day seem so much easier. But now that it's just the two of us things are very loose. I've gotten pretty good at digging through the pantry and fridge and turning out something pretty decent. Although here it is - 6 pm and I don't have a clue what we'll be having tonight!

Stacey said...

I wish I was a compulsive meal planner. When I do it, the week goes by so much easier. My method is to read the recipes, mark the ones to try, set the magazine or paper aside and forget about them. I need help!

MLL said...

I vary with the meal planning. Its rarely anything elaborate though. And DH cooks much of the time, so if I do plan something I need to rememb3r to let him know. I think I will try a couple of your Thanksgiving recipes if we end up having company this year.

the mommy porch said...

We are going to need to invite some more people to help eat our Thanksgiving feast!