Monday, September 24, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Monday!

This morning I pulled myself out of bed at 5 a.m. to finish making the homemade (buttery, flaky, warm, soft, heavenly) croissants that I started on Saturday night.

That means I've had approximately 18 cups of coffee before 8 a.m., which is probably too many.  But that also means that I'll probably have an incredibly productive day.  Or at least until I nose dive straight into a nap around 2 this afternoon.  But until then...productivity machine.

Oh, did I mention that I love nothing more than grabbing a cup of coffee, rolling out homemade croissants, and watching the sun come up?  Seriously.  How can I make that part of my daily routine?

Speaking of...does anyone have a bakery?  Can I come live there?

Moving forward.

Yesterday, I got to spend a good part of my afternoon enjoying this gorgeous New England fall weather at an apple orchard with some friends.  And it was lovely, despite the fact that it was an absolute madhouse and technically we didn't get to pick the apples off of the trees because of the unbelievably long lines...  Either way, I was able to pick up some apples, acorn squash, a sugar pumpkin, and some apple cider.  All of which drove me to find these recipes.

At this point, my devotion to fall recipes can't be stopped.  And I will take no shame in providing a bombardment of fall flavored recipes from this point forward.  After Thanksgiving I will do my best to pull in the reigns and switch to a different kind of winter fare...maybe laying off the squash and pumpkin for a little while.

But until then...


Can we all say "yum" together?  Yummm.  I haven't cooked with fennel since the night I attempted to slice my finger off with the mandolin slicer.  And that's a shame really because fennel is pretty darn good.  A little strange yes, but it makes for some killer flavor combinations.  Like this one.  To me the combination of fennel and thyme screams fall while lemon and olives are still holding on to summer.  Making it perfect for late September.
 Fennel and Thyme Roasted Cod with Lemon, Olives, and Black Forbidden Rice


Alright.  I hate to jump on the bandwagon but soup served in a pumpkin?  Freaking adorable.  If I had the lavish kitchen and dining room of my dreams I would be hosting dinner parties nightly and serving soup in some sort of round fall vegetable on a regular basis.  But...I don't have said lavish kitchen and dining room set up.  I guess I'll have to settle for making it for the select few who are in my apartment at the time.  Lucky them, right?
 Spicy Acorn Squash and Apple Soup
-from Muy Bueno


I recently received a comment on a reallllly old shrimp gumbo post.  It reminded me that 1) I needed to make gumbo again and 2) I needed to make real gumbo.  There are gumbo recipes galore out there but I went with this one because it's filled to the brim with seafood while most are sporting chicken and sausage (yummy yes, but not for me).
 Seafood Gumbo


Fall/Winter makes me forget about salads.  And I love salads.  This one is littered with all sorts of delicious things including chickpeas, quinoa, pine nuts and tomatoes.  And then topped with a garlicky balsamic roasted batch of tofu.  Yes, please.  However...I do think I'll make one change...drop the olive oil and balsamic in the salad and add...
High Protein Salad with Balsamic Roasted Tofu

...this dressing.  How could I pass up making "The Best French Vinaigrette You'll Ever Have"?  Plus, it just looks fun to make...there is a mortar and pestle involved for goodness sake.  By the way, do you read A Cup of Jo?  No?  Because you should.  She's fabulous.  Especially when she says things like this..."I like a masochistic salad with bitter greens and an assertive dressing. I like to know I'm eating salad, damn it, and that the dressing is my master."  Well said.
The Best French Vinaigrette You'll Ever Have


As I was searching around for recipes I had an overwhelming need for scallops.  I love scallops.  I love scallops a lot.  But I rarely make them at home.  Which is sad.  Especially when they could be prepared with a mustard miso sauce.  And then those scallops along with the mustard miso sauce and maybe some rice could be in my tummy.
Scallops with Mustard Miso Sauce

and a few more just because a fall breakfast is so cozy and delicious...  
and I might have been craving breakfast food.

 Roasted Squash Quiche with Gorgonzola and Sage

 Hot Buttered Apple Cider

Pumpkin Ginger Waffles

 Spiced Oatmeal Smoothie

 Honey-Scented Yogurt with Figs and Granola

 Sweet Potato Breakfast Biscuits

 Pumpkin Spice Bagels with Whipped Cinnamon Honey Butter

Fall Root Vegetable and Quinoa Hash with Poached Egg

P.S. - I'm working on a little blog makeover.  And I would like your help!
Is there anything you would like to see on here?
Do you have any suggestions?
Are there things that could make navigating around easier?
Do you have fabulous color palette ideas?
Leave a comment and let me know!  I would love to hear from you on this!

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