We are car-less. It is a state of mind as well as a state of being that has the most visible effect when dealing with planning the menu and stocking the pantry. It has become both easier and more difficult to shop. Easier to grab fresh ingredients on the way home, harder because I am use to shopping in bulk. I do not know for how long this state will remain, but I am trying to celebrate it rather than suffer through it. For each problem I have found a solution:

  • save money (yay),
  • buy less (easier to carry),
  • diversify my menu (making use of what I have & what I can find).

We’re walking more and the weather (when clement) has become as much a motivator as an aggravation. But then, we chose our newest residence based on its adjacency to the butcher, grocery stores, and of course the mall. We are a few scant minutes from several bus lines, including the buses required to get me and him to work and the subway.

This week’s menu has several of my favorite recipes; most all of them quick and simple. I’m also going to try and bake a bit more than usual this week; the goal is to get back into practice of baking on weeknights. I have not found much time or energy to bake on the weekends; and baking season is upon us.

I’m surprised to realize that I don’t have a recipe for apple pie. I use Mark Bittman’s recipe; I make a double pie crust with butter and my filling is predominantly apples with a scant coating of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. When I’m feeling fancy I make a streusel topping instead of a second layer of crust.

Hamburger helper is my attempt at recreating the box classic. Sometimes I use the box mix, sometimes I use my own concoction with beef and egg noodles. I rarely add much, preferring to either make salad or steam some frozen vegetables (a staple in my house).

For leftovers this week – there will be a ton of navy beans (cooked on Sunday) in tomato sauce. Unsweetened with a touch of mustard, these are perfect for remaking into patties (replacing the black beans in Wednesday’s recipe), and probably adding to a soup on Friday. I’m a bit shy on broth, having used most of the leftover broth from the last batch to make the beans; but that can be easily remedied as I always have a bag of carrot peels, celery tops, onions bits,  and garlic ends in the freezer. I have sweet potatoes in my pantry (some of which were supposed to be used to make sweet potato fries last week); so this recipe for vegetable biryani might feature some night this week (or Saturday).

Mashed Potatoes Gratin
The best and simplest green salad
Basic Sautéed Chicken Cutlets
Apple pie
The best and simplest green salad
Hamburger helper
Sweet potato fries
Basmati rice
Black Bean Cakes with Fried Eggs
Twice baked sweet potatoes (v)
Apple cake
The best and simplest green salad
Mac and Cheese (V)
Leftover buffet
Shopping extravaganza