Meal Plan: August 30-September 4

Every week we make a meal plan for the week ahead. The plan accounts for 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches (plus fruit or vegetables), 4 snacks, and 5 dinners each for the two of us. Lunches are typically a double batch of whatever the recipe calls for. We make the lunches and do other prep work on Sunday. Nearly all items are purchased from either our local farmers market or Whole Foods. We live in Cincinnati, OH.

Mmm…. blood pudding
Mmm…. blood pudding

August 30-September 4

Pictured above is one of our greatest discoveries in Cincinnati, found at Jungle Jim’s, aka the most insane grocery store you will ever step foot inside of. Think of a normal grocery store, multiply it by ten, then add a wide variety of very legit of international markets and more beer and booze than you’ve ever imagine, and add (fake) jungle animals. Now you’re getting close.

One of the international sections is Great Britain, and while snagging some Tim Tams from the Australia section right next to it, I looked in the freezer and behold, there was blood pudding, one of our favorite and much missed breakfast foods from our honeymoon in Scotland. We grabbed a roll just to see how it compared to our memories and, I will confess, it then sat in our freezer for many months. I think we both felt a little trepidation, since blood pudding can be amazing (one place we stayed in Scotland got their’s from the same place that that Queen gets hers), but it can also just be scary. Last week, before Josh left for a work trip, I finally busted it out and made fried eggs and blood sausage for breakfast, and it was SO GOOD. Maybe not quite as great as what the Queen eats, but pretty dang good for frozen blood pudding found in Ohio.

Moral of this story? No clue. Just try things.

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon, bananas, and maple syrup
  • Avocado toast

Lunch

  • Vegetable tacos- poblano peppers, fresh corn, black beans, charred zucchini, tossed with lime juice, spices, and a little mayo

Snack

  • Lemon mint hummus with carrots and cucumbers

Dinner

Meal Plan: August 23-August 29

Every week we make a meal plan for the week ahead. The plan accounts for 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches (plus fruit or vegetables), 4 snacks, and 5 dinners each for the two of us. Lunches are typically a double batch of whatever the recipe calls for. We make the lunches and do other prep work on Sunday. Nearly all items are purchased from either our local farmers market or Whole Foods. We live in Cincinnati, OH.

Just hanging out with Roger
Just hanging out with Roger

August 23-August 29

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Josh managed to get free tickets through work to the ATP World Tour tennis match here Friday night, and we certainly couldn’t complain about the seats. I will now expect third row seats every year. The rest of the weekend was spent running errands, trying on jeans that were all too short, and eating as much as possible.

The good life. Except for the jeans, curse them all.

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

  • Lemon mint hummus with carrots and cucumbers

Dinner

Meal Plan: August 16-August 22

Every week we make a meal plan for the week ahead. The plan accounts for 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches (plus fruit or vegetables), 4 snacks, and 5 dinners each for the two of us. Lunches are typically a double batch of whatever the recipe calls for. We make the lunches and do other prep work on Sunday. Nearly all items are purchased from either our local farmers market or Whole Foods. We live in Cincinnati, OH.

IMG_1495

August 16-August 22

In my quest to conquer my fear of working with flour (outside of the usual cakes/brownies), I can now check off another category, the galette. The dough was easy and delicious, and the perfect way to showcase August’s heirloom tomatoes. I had even contemplated making pasta this week, but it turns out that the pasta machines from Josh’s grandmother don’t fit on our counters, so we’ll see what happens. Now I’m thinking about modifying the galette dough instead to make a sweet version with some of the peaches in my freezer… again, we’ll see what happens. Josh is going to try to recreate a couple of dishes we ate from Poi Dog when in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, so it’ll be a week of experiments!

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Meal Plan: August 9-August 15

Every week we make a meal plan for the week ahead. The plan accounts for 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches (plus fruit or vegetables), 4 snacks, and 5 dinners each for the two of us. Lunches are typically a double batch of whatever the recipe calls for. We make the lunches and do other prep work on Sunday. Nearly all items are purchased from either our local farmers market or Whole Foods. We live in Cincinnati, OH.

Do you see Rocky?
Do you see Rocky?

August 9-August 15

Last week we snuck away to Philadelphia, a city that I had never been to before. Josh had a store to open and one of my sisters and her husband moved there just days before we arrived, so I tagged along and had so much fun and walked enough to develop some good sized blisters. Oh, city life.

We also celebrated our 4th anniversary while we were there. Hooray! Last year we were in Hawaii to celebrate, and this year we hunted down a Hawaiian food truck and stood in the street eating and soaking in the general happiness of being together. Celebrating in extravagant ways is so fun and I’m glad when we can, but being together and eating out of styrofoam bowls is a thing of beauty as well. This was a year with no big anniversary presents, just lots of talking and dreaming about the future, and a bouquet of flowers bought while running errands this weekend. My heart is full.

While looking up recipes for this week, I stumbled across our plan for almost this same exact week last year, and apparently I have a lot of similar cravings each August, which makes me laugh. If it ain’t broke…

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Roasted Cherries With Maple and Cinnamon

IMG_1417

 

We’ve been topping our morning oatmeal with various fresh and frozen fruits to keep things interesting, so I knew that cherries would be a winner when we bought a big bag of them on Sunday. That night, I chopped up a handful, stirred in a little sugar, and let them macerate in the fridge before mixing them into our oatmeal the next morning. They were delicious and fresh, but I knew I needed to try them roasted too. I wanted a concentrated sweetness and flavor, plus I liked the thought of them breaking down a little texturally as well. Also, pitting raw cherries is a big mess if you don’t have a cherry pitter. Much easier to smash soft cherries and pick those pits out with ease.

After eating them this morning, I’m so glad I went with the roasting. Now all I can think of is everything else these would be good on. Yogurt, ice cream… excuse me while I make a new grocery list.

Roasted Cherries With Maple and Cinnamon

  • Roughly 3+ handfuls of cherries, stems removed but otherwise left intact
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (I always use grade B)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425.

Place your cherries in a small baking dish. I used a pie plate, and that seemed to work well and kept the juices together, which in turn helped the cherries stay juicier. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon and stir well to combine and get every cherry coated and glistening.

Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. I think I let mine go for about 35 minutes, but it depends on how soft you want them to be. The maple syrup started to lightly burn a bit around the edges of the pan, but the cherries were more than fine.

Remove from oven and let cool a little before lightly mashing to remove the pits. Put them on everything or eat them straight out of a spoon. Your choice.

Meal Plan: July 26-August 1

Every week we make a meal plan for the week ahead. The plan accounts for 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches (plus fruit or vegetables), 4 snacks, and 5 dinners each for the two of us. Lunches are typically a double batch of whatever the recipe calls for. We make the lunches and do other prep work on Sunday. Nearly all items are purchased from either our local farmers market or Whole Foods. We live in Cincinnati, OH.

Josh getting his sushi roll on
Josh getting his sushi roll on

July 26-August 1

Happy Monday! We had a great weekend, with the right balance of business and relaxation. We took a sushi rolling class on Saturday that was so much fun. I don’t know how often we’ll do it at home (spring rolls are way easier), but I love knowing that I can and having all the right tools! The class was led by the chef from Fusian, which is a local sushi chain that allows you to pick and choose your fillings/toppings and have it assembled in front of you, Chipotle style. Best sushi ever? Nope. However, it’s good and fun, and we’ve enjoyed having a location nearby this year.

We’re so happy to see tomatoes at the market, and will eat them as much as we can until the season is over (which also translates to baskets of cherry tomatoes on hand for snacking, as well as any used for cooking).

Breakfast

Snack

Lunch

Dinner

Portugal: Sintra, Cascais, and Cabo da Roca

IMG_1378

Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes, in variegated maze of mount and glen.

-Lord Byron

When someone like Lord Byron feels that strongly about the beauty of a place, you know it’s going to be gorgeous, and Sintra more than lived up to the hype. Sintra is the only spot we visited that I really regret not spending more time in, because it would take days to see it all, and we just didn’t spend as much time there as necessary. Next time!

We, who never ever go on tour group excursions, actually used a fantastic company called We Hate Tourism Tours for our trip that day, and got driven around, fed, had a glass of wine that seemed bottomless during lunch, were shown a variety of spots in the region, and were told so much about Lisbon and Portugal by people who love it dearly. There were only 7 of us on the tour, including a couple from Croatia, a couple from Germany, and a woman from Italy, so it wound up feeling like a day with friends by the end (the Croatians in particular were lovely).

Our guides bypassed the bigger, more touristy palaces (which I would love to see one day) and took us straight to Palacio and Parque de Monserrate, a much smaller but still beautiful palace surrounded by acres of gardens. We wandered there for hours, and saw very few people, which only added to the romantic atmosphere. After that, we went to Cabo da Roca, which is the westernmost point of Europe. The cliffs were gorgeous, and if you squinted hard, you could almost see New Jersey (not really). Our tour ended on the beach in beautiful Cascais, which feels like the Riviera, and Josh and I wound up back there for our last day in Portugal, just being beach bums, drinking beer from plastic cups and eating spicy grilled chicken and fries out of a plastic bag as we soaked in the sun and stayed out of the freezing cold water.

Favorite spots in Cascais:

  • Restaurante Dom Manolo– Piri piri chicken and fries. Cheap and spicy. Say yes to the sauce, and eat it on the beach.
  • Santini– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: best gelato ever. I miss the passion fruit every day.

Portugal, we love you and miss you.

Our tips for Lisbon and Porto

IMG_1398 IMG_1399 IMG_1400 IMG_1379 IMG_1380 IMG_1381 IMG_1382 IMG_1383 IMG_1384 IMG_1385 IMG_1386 IMG_1387 IMG_1388 IMG_1389 IMG_1391 IMG_1392 IMG_1393IMG_1396-2IMG_1395 IMG_1397-2