Touch of Nectar

{December 26, 2011}   Down to the Wire! Last Menu of 2011

Whew!! Project 365 really has been a project! I’ve learned a lot. And we’ve eaten a ton of great food this year. I’m a little tired of my cookbooks though… And there’s a few that are not going to be staying on the shelves.  And I’ve discovered a handful of new books that I’ll be adding to the collection in 2012. Yes, I have a problem. lol. 

I am looking forward to being able to cook whatever I want, without the pressure of having it “count” toward the project.  We’ve found a lot of new favorites. I think about half or more of the recipes that we tried I will be making again.

I did a RIDICULOUS amount of cooking for Christmas… I was at 21 recipes and 9 days to go. Panic!!  Now I’m at 354/365, so 11 to go and 6 days to to it. I can DO IT.  Problem is… I have a refrigerator full of yummy leftovers!

So this week’s menu is things that can be stored for awhile (salad dressings) and some things that can be frozen. AND recipes that use up leftovers in creative ways.  As usual, these are in no particular order.  There’s more than 11 recipes here to finish, but I predict that I will not get to all of them.

There’s a Lichi Martini recipe I want to try and I bought vodka for xmas. I need to find which book it is in. Yum!

Rounding the dinners out are leftover vegetables and crackers with a big variety of dips and cheeses. It will be fun to have “appetizers” before dinner every night.

Mon 26: Shrimp with Green Beans, Tomato and Feta – 365 One Dish

Tue 27: Polish Noodles and Cabbage – Frugal Gourmet Ancient Ancestors
Leftover Prime Rib, SunDried Tomato and Goat Cheese Dressing – 1001 Low Fat

Wed 28: CORN/Leftovers night

Thurs 29: Beef (leftover) with Red Wine Tarragon Sauce – Cooking Light 2003
leftover twice baked potatoes, salad

Fri 30: Parmesan Vinaigrette (salad) – 1001 More Low Fat

Sat 31: Happy New Year!  Cioppino – 1001 More Low Fat
Maple Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins – Xmas Kitchen

Sun 1: I ain’t cooking nothin! 

Lunches: Orange Cabbage Salad – Bento Boxes
Crunchy Cabbage and Carrots – Bento Boxes
Orzo with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Mushrooms – 1001 More Low Fat

Other: Beef and Barley Soup (leftover beef) – 365 One Dish (eat one for lunch, freeze rest)
Carrot Raisin Nut Bread – Xmas Kitchen (freeze in small portions for lunches)
Korean Style Honey Marinade – Xmas Kitchen (freeze)


{November 12, 2011}   Marching On

Okay as of this morning Project 365 sits at 297 recipes done. Gonna have to double up quite a bit to finish on time. At least I have the holidays (I host) and Christmas baking coming up. I’ve been working on creative new ideas for bento lunches.  We’ve had enough leftovers lately, so I’ve worked in two leftovers night. I will likely run the bread machine again this week too. Both hubby and the kidling like having bread with dinner.

There are grapes and satsumas in the fridge, so those will be heavily featured in the bentos this week.

Here’s this week’s menu…

Sat 12: Navy Bean Soup with Ham – 1001 Slow Cooker, Mini Corn Muffins with Prosciutto – 365 Appetizers

Sun 13: Chuckwagon Beef and Beans – 365 One Dish

Mon 14: Ravioli in Butter and Sage Sauce – From Asparagus to Zucchini, Pickletini – Food Fest

Tue 15: Leftovers

Wed 16: Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp and Spinach – Cooking Light 2004

Thurs 17: Knitting group night. Leftovers

Fri 18: Chicken Vegetable Pesto Stir Fry – 365 One Dish, Hasselback Potatoes – 300 Great Potato Recipes

Lunches: I have a variety of chicken salads picked out (using up leftover chicken),  Curried Lemon Mayo – 365 Appetizers (to be served with carrot and celery sticks), Sage Roasted Squash – From Asparagus to Zucchini

Other: Banana Oat Energy Bars – Trail Food (for the kidling’s 2nd breakfasts), Oatmeal Nut Waffles – Food Fest 365, Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cones – Food Fest 365.

{October 30, 2011}   More on 365

Since we are talking about my (ahem, extensive) cookbook collection I thought I’d share one more with y’all.

Food Fest 365 – The Officially Fun Food Holiday Cookbook By Yvoun D. Lemoine © 2010

I got this fun book as a surprise present from a friend. So far, for Project 365, I have only made one recipe. Blueberry Popovers.


This book lists national food holidays with a corresponding recipe for each day. They are listed in chronological order, starting with January 1st. Each calendar date and recipe has a little food fact or history note to go along with it. This appeals greatly to my nerdy side. The author obviously has a quirky sense of humor. She includes food origins and political history relating to various dishes.

It is such a fun book. I started looking at specific personal dates to see what foods were listed for them. My birthday is Apple Dumpling Day. My daughter’s is Chocolate Cake Day. Our wedding anniversary is Raspberry Tart Day.

Then I skimmed to find some of my favorite foods. June 19th is Dry Martini Day, but she uses gin, not vodka. Okay, just use the stuff in the blue bottle!

Some other fun examples: January 19th is Popcorn Day. It is one of the oldest snacks. It became the official movie snack during the depression. The recipe she includes is for Salted Caramel Popcorn.

February 6th is Nutella Day – Nutella and Banana Crepes (yoooo hooo! Spindle, this one’s for you!)

April 30th is Raisin Day – Carrot Raisin Salad The book is interspersed with gorgeous photos of yummy food. Some of the recipes are the author’s family recipes, some are very simple and some are classic dishes with a new twist.

Who knew we needed an Escargot Day. May 24th. The recipe is for Escargot Hush Puppies and Pesto Mayo. I don’t know that I’ll be trying that any time soon, but it’s still fun.

May 27th is Grape Popsicle Day. I can’t think of a better excuse to turn my tongue purple, can you?

If you can’t decide what to cook today, check the date in the book and see what the theme of the day is. Fun!

Just for the record, today, October 30th is Buy a Doughnut Day and the Recipe is for Classic Cake Doughnuts with Maple Bacon Glaze. (Hey Pickle Gulch friends! Think LameBeaver would make this for us next year to go with the Bacon Martinis? I think he needs to. Yes, yes he does.)

The Menu this Week. April 16-22 2011

As usual, these are not in the order that I will make them. Fruit/dessert on the menu this week is pineapple, bananas, pears and oranges.  Do you see a theme with this week’s menu? Hubby brought the barbecue back from our property. It is one way I can get him to help me cook dinner. Shhh… don’t tell him I said that!

I’m super excited because the farmer’s market near my house is now open. You can expect to see lots of fresh fruit and veggies in the upcoming menus. I have asparagus to use but I haven’t decided what I want to make yet. Maybe a white bean and asparagus salad?

I bought half a ham for the kebabs, and only need a small portion of it, so I will make a ham and bean soup in the crock pot to freeze. I will also freeze a portion of diced ham for quick omelets or quiches. I love having a well-stocked freezer!

Sat – CORN/Leftovers Night

Sun – Olympic Burgers #   from 365 Grilling Recipes

Mon – Ham and Pineapple Kebabs #445833 from 365 Grilling Recipes

Tues – Chicken Sandwich with Lemon Basil Mayo #451586 from Eat Well Stay Well

Wed – Pork chops (TBD),  Dijon Parsley Potatoes from George Foreman

Thurs – Grilled Chicken Fajitas from 365 20 Minutes Meals (make double and freeze half), Salsa Fresca Mexicana from 365 Mexican Recipes, Rice

Fri – Watercress and Cucumber Salad with Fresh Tuna from George Foreman, sliced tomatoes

Breakfasts – Sunday, unless we go out to breakfast. Almond Pancakes from Beyond the Moon (didn’t get made last week) and fresh fruit
Muffins (TBD)

Lunches – (smaller portions of the recipes) Grilled Pear Salad with Parmesan from 365 Grilling Recipes
Shredded Carrot Salad # from 365 Grilling Recipes
Dessert – Applesauce Cake #451271 from Spices of the World (didn’t get made last week)

{April 13, 2011}   Delicious Easy Lunch

Blackeyed Pea Salad
Serves 6-8

2 cups dried blackeyed peas
¾ cup diced red onion
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 T soy sauce
¾ t salt

Soak the blackeyed peas in 6 cups water for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Drain the beans, put them in a pot with 6 cups fresh water, and bring them to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 20-25 minutes, just until tender.

Drain the beans, and transfer them to a medium bowl. Stir in the red onion and garlic.

When the peas are cool, stir in the red pepper, scallions and parsley.

Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, tamari and salt. Stir the dressing into the salad and serve at room temperature.

This recipe comes from my Beyond the Moon cookbook.

And since I can’t ever follow directions… Here is what I did.

I used one can of blackeyed peas and one jar of red/yellow roasted bell peppers, drained and rinsed. I chopped the bell pepper and tossed it with the peas in a bowl.

I omitted the red onion and salt completely. I mixed the garlic, parsley, vinegar, olive oil and soy sauce together (eyeballing the measurements) in a small bowl before tossing with the salad.

I agree, this is best at room temperature. Yum! And healthy too.

Bell peppers and parsley are both high in vitamins A and C. Parsley also contains calcium and potassium. Green onions are high in antioxidants.

Blackeyed peas are rich in fiber and potassium. They also contain zinc and iron.

The Menu this Week. April 9-15 2011

As usual, these are not in the order that I will make them. Fruit/dessert on the menu this week is pineapple and cantaloupe. I’ve already messed up the menu, but tonight will be the Rigatoni. And I have some watercress to use… I’ll have to find a recipe for that.

Sat – Going hiking with the kidling, so I need a fast and easy dinner.

Sun – Chicken Athenos #330056 from 1001 More Low Fat

Mon – Pizza Burgers #445820 from 365 Grill (make double and freeze?)

Tues – Pineapple Rum Turkey Kabobs #231845 from Low Carb, Rice and Snow Peas

Wed – Lemon Herb Swordfish Steaks #452353 from Low Carb

Thurs – Rigatoni with Escarole and Italian Sausage (sausage from freezer) #334597 from 1001 Low Fat

Fri – PCT Movie night. Leftovers or pizza.

Breakfasts – Sunday, unless we go out to breakfast. Almond Pancakes from Beyond the Moon

Lunches – Blackeyed Pea Salad from Beyond the Moon

Dessert – Applesauce Cake #451271 from Spices of the World

et cetera