28 November 2012

This week's menu planning post - powered by Jelly Babies

Red Plum & Pomegranate Clafouti
I started this post yesterday and failed miserably, to the point of deleting it and starting again, so goodness knows how I'll get on today.

I know!  I'll have a jelly baby - that might help.  Jelly babies help in all kinds of situations where everything else has failed.

I didn't write up last week's menu plan because, well, I thought it was unlikely that any of it would be worth blogging.  However, it just goes to show that once you start blogging, it is very hard to stop.

We were extremely busy last week, ferrying son & heir to his various musical commitments - he was singing with the school choir in the evenings as well as his normal bass guitar lessons and choir rehearsals.  For that reason along with the fact that I've got no end of unblogged recipes waiting to go, I thought we could have a week off from making bloggable recipes.

Jelly babies - small delicious saviours of blog posts
It seems as though that didn't stop us from posting photographs of several of the yummier meals to the Rhubarb & Ginger Facebook page, nor did it stop me from making a Plum & Pomegranate Clafouti, which will appear on the blog some time in the future.

This week should (note the "should") be a lot quieter, so we're back with a menu plan which consists of five bloggable recipes - not counting anything we might encounter on the way!

So, what's for dinner this week then?

Tues : Cheddar stuffed chicken with rice, peas & asparagus
Weds : Creole chicken with rice
Thurs : Woodman's Cassoulet
Fri : Fish & chips
Sat : Pesto whiting with minted pearl potatoes, cherry tomatoes & courgette ribbons
Sun : Spanish meatballs and rice
Mon : Pasties, hash browns & baked beans.

Add to that the Christmas Puddings - for which I have now developed a recipe, incorporating my Nanna's old recipe, my Mum's not-so-old recipe and snippets of recipes from the internet.

I'm aiming to make them on Thursday during the day, then I can cook them in the slow cooker for 12 hours each, finishing some time on Friday.  Hopefully, then I can take the one for my brother's family over with us when we take my Dad's birthday present, at the weekend.  He can either pick it up from there, or they can drop it in when they're passing.  Job done.


Now, this Cheddar stuffed chicken is a bit more interesting than just chicken stuffed with cheddar cheese.  You do, indeed, stuff your chicken breast with small pieces of cheddar, but you also make a pretty darned yummy sauce involving apples, sage, bacon and cream.

The recipe originated with Recipe Girl and the minute I saw it, I knew it would be a winner.  The sheer fact that it made my mouth water was a bit of a giveaway!  So that one is going on the blog very soon.

Might look like this ...
Wednesday's Creole Chicken with rice is one of hubby's creations.  I have never had any creole or cajun food that I've really liked - so he's up against it with this one!  I have always found the spices to be almost coarse in flavour, really quite harsh, so he's going to attempt to put a chicken dish together that is spiced Creole-style, but in a way that I'll like it.  He's going to be using yellow capsicum pepper, pineapple, tomatoes, mushrooms and okra - all of which I really like - along with the chicken, so I'm hopeful.

Thursday's Woodman's Cassoulet is a "made up on the spot" recipe that is designed to make use of two pork steaks that have been roosting in the freezer.  Along with the steak, I'll be using some Polish Hunter's Sausage and two types of bean in a tomato-based sauce with large cheesy croutons on top - much like you get on French Onion soup.  Fingers crossed, it should be rich, thick and tasty - and contain all the vegetables in the one pot.

Friday is fish & chip day.  Well, I think we deserve a day off!

Hubby's back in the kitchen on Saturday, buoyed by his success with the Baked Cod dish he created recently, he's going to be tackling some Whiting fillets.

Quite cod-like, I understand
We heard someone knocking on the door one evening and, upon investigation, discovered our neighbour Frank - brandishing two packs of fresh Whiting fillets.  He'd been out fishing that day and they were surplus to requirements, so they very kindly sent them our way!  Yum!

Hubby's planning on combining them with a green pesto and baking some cherry tomatoes to go with little minted pearl potatoes and some courgette ribbons in a vinaigrette.  It all sounds very acceptable indeed.

Sunday's Spanish Meatballs were inspired by a photograph posted to the "Good Food - Good People" Facebook page.  One of the chaps there had gone to a tapas bar, where one of the dishes served were these amazing-looking meatballs in a rich tomato sauce.  The look of them just (again) made my mouth water and I resolved to make some very soon.

So, when hubby mentioned that we had a pack and a half of mince in the freezer - immediately I thought of these meatballs.  I knew that one pack wouldn't be enough - so the added bonus of a half pack that was looking for a home just clinched the deal.

Albondigas (apparently) - except I want a thicker sauce
I've put rice on the menu to go with these meatballs, but I'm pondering on changing that to a spicy couscous.  Watch this space!

Well, after all that creativity in action, a day of a simple pasty, hash browns and baked beans dinner seems perfectly in order.  We're hoping to get three of the big Cornish Pasties from Rowe's the bakers some time during the day.  I had one for an emergency lunch the other day and it was so fabulous, that it'd be well worth the effort of getting them!

Oh look - I'm at the end of the post!  Who'd have thought that Jelly Babies would be so good at clearing a touch of writer's block.  I only managed to eat five ....

Five of these?  Well, I'd give it a go .... lol

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