Well, we have had a whirlwind of guests and meals the last two weeks. The past weekend, my in-laws made the long drive down to visit us and it was so fun and relaxing. We were able to enjoy things unique to California - the perfect weather, Napa Valley and a local tomato festival! I also really enjoyed cooking for them, too; it is always easy to cook for such an appreciative audience! We made quite a variety of dishes - both new and old favorites (chicken tikka masala and blackened salmon, respectively), a brand new recipe (French Dip au jus sandwiches) and some reheated frozen leftovers (Minestrone soup).
Needless to say, we have LOVED the visits so far and are hoping for many more!
Knowing we'd be having guests over the weekend, I actually wrote up this week's menu plan well in advance. I typically write them on Thursday or Friday but doing it earlier, I could get it out of the way (I was going to call menu planning a chore but truth is, I really like it!) and be able to fully enjoy their visit. Also, I was still fully prepared with my grocery list at the farmers market on Saturday. However, I've now realized that we have some extra food in the fridge so I've changed my original plan in order to do a bit of fridge-cleaning. I absolutely hate wasting food so we might have to get a bit creative to make sure we use everything up.
Week's Menu Plan
Monday: leftover Chicago style pizza dough with leftover homemade marinara and sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions
Tuesday: baked panko chicken tenders with basil aioli with sauteed zucchini
Wednesday: lentilles de puy with my husband's rosemary boule bread (which he plans to blog about!)
Thursday: BBQ chicken pineapple quesadillas
Friday: depends on how bare the fridge is...but baked coconut shrimp is a strong possibility
Also, because I couldn't leave you without a recipe, here is a quick recipe of a delicious bean salad we had for lunch one day. Perfect for a light summer lunch (or a great side dish!), this black eyed pea salad is incredibly healthy thanks to all the vegetables plus fiber- and protein-rich beans.
Black Eyed Pea Salad
Taken from: A Hint of Honey
- 3 cups of cooked dried beans (my post on cooking dried beans is here. However, you could also use 2 cans of drained and rinsed black-eyed peas instead.)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1/2 large red onion, diced
- 1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 tsp. sugar (you could also try honey)
- salt and pepper
-In a separate small bowl, dissolve sugar in vinegar. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
-Pour dressing over bean mixture. Toss to coat. Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve (the longer it sits the better the flavor will be).