After my brief post-holiday let down (what holiday wouldn’t be complete without that?) I’ve set about preparing for the onslaught of even more holiday celebrations, festivities and feasts. Winter is really a time for me to look inward. I stay home more. I cook more. I definitely bake more. And that spring cleaning business everyone talks about come March? Well, that’s me now. Since I love being outside but despise the cold, winter is a perfect time for me to stay in, organize, clean and cook.
Of course I’ve been coming up with a creative way to use leftovers this week, but I’ve also been baking a lot of bread lately. I’ve been making mostly sandwich loaves (a departure from my typical European loaves) mainly because they are great sliced, toasted and slathered with some butter for quick breakfasts, or even better, I can use my homemade (nut-free) bread for school lunches, since schools these days kindly request no nuts of any kind, not even a trace. Since I know that Gabe’s favorite lunchtime companion is severely allergic to nuts, it is especially important to me that his food has not a trace. So, I’ve been fiddling around with different bread recipes, my starting point being the litmus test of loaves: the white sandwich loaf. So far, I’ve added some wheat bran flakes, oats, honey, milk and all-purpose flour, of course. After yesterday’s successful Oat Loaf, I think I’ll be using that recipe as my jumping off point, adding molasses, buttermilk or even whole groats soaked overnight to see if I can tweak the texture of the bread to perfection. Needless to say, it’s nice to be at home right now. With fresh bread everyday and a seemingly endless supply of leftovers, we’re certainly healing with food right now, especially given the fact that my sweet husband is very sick (and has been for days).
This week’s menu?
Soup, soup, soup. Served with bread and more bread.
It’s going to be a mighty basic week, but after a week of heavy cooking and planning, I’m looking forward to the break. Whenever we have big holiday meals, I always save the leftover bones to make stock. Lucky for me, when we end up smoking a turkey, chicken or duck, the smoky flavor really comes through in the stock. It’s one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers without getting tired of the same old flavors.
Monday Smoked Turkey Curry Salad, Pimento-Celery Bites tossed with Butter Lettuce and Blue Cheese Crumbles
Tuesday Navy Soup with Smoked Turkey Broth, Steamed Collard Ribbons
Wednesday Black Beans & Rice with Avocado-Chipotle Sauce, Cucumber-Cilantro Salad, Misato Winter Radish Relish
Thursday Fresh Hummus, Venison Kefta, Yogurt Sauce, Cucumber-Parsley Salad & Saffron Rice
Friday Cheese Night: an awesome Cheese Spread with an Olive Oil-Lentil Salad, White Anchovies, Preserved Lemons and Fermented Okra, Thinly-Sliced Salami, French Crusty Bread
Saturday/Sunday Soup Leftovers, Crispy Smoked Duck0