Meal Plan: Feb 28-March 5

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.

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I don’t know how I ate as much as I did last week, but that is my hand grabbing more candied bacon

February 28-March 5

Josh had to travel for work all last week, so we made the last minute decision that I should go spend the week in Nashville and soak in some long overdue time with friends and family.  Also, copious amounts of biscuits. Sometimes that’s just what you need.

All of Josh’s travel and less than stellar eating has manifested itself in a nasty cold, which isn’t altogether surprising. I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup  last night for dinner (in the  pressure cooker!), and it will be on repeat again tonight. All other recipes for the week either don’t contain dairy or the dairy will be omitted. You have to take care of yourself. Phlegm is a jerk.

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

  • Bananas

Dinner

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes With Beer Buttercream Frosting

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Not the prettiest, but possibly the tastiest

A couple of weeks ago, a friend decided that someone in our circle needed to make cupcakes featuring the fantastic (and seasonal) Rubus Cacao beer from MadTree, our favorite local brewery. Considering how much this friend loves my cooking, it came as no surprise that he nominated me. Rubus Cacao is brewed with raspberry and cocoa nibs, so it was pretty much made for dessert. Honestly, this was the perfect scenario. I love to bake, but I don’t have a huge sweet tooth and never need a whole batch of some baked good just hanging out in my kitchen. A commissioned dessert to share with friends? Bingo.

I spent a few days reading up on recipes for beer cupcakes, of which there are a lot, but the recipe I kept coming back to was from Smitten Kitchen. For starters, I always know I can count on Deb’s recipes to be accurate and delicious. For another thing, she has so many followers that the comment section can be a goldmine for recipe tips, just to confirm that the recipe does work and to see how people have successfully modified it. I love to experiment with baking, but baking is also chemistry, and you need to know that you aren’t messing around with something that could greatly change the outcome (and create a kitchen disaster). Luckily, switching out a dark beer for another dark beer was about as easy at it gets.

For our Super Bowl party, I pretty much followed Deb’s recipe exactly, just subbing in the Rubus Cacao whenever she called for any booze in the recipe for the cupcakes and the buttercream frosting. I did skip the ganache recipe entirely though. I wanted to keep these a little more simple and let the flavor of the beer really shine, which it did. The raspberry flavor in particular came through beautifully. Also, this was just a really stellar cupcake recipe in general, and I can definitely see myself using it again in the future, with or without the booze.

In terms of what kinds of beer you can use, since I used a local brew, pretty much any beer that you’d enjoy drinking with a slice of chocolate cake would be fantastic.

For the complete recipe and a great comment section, head over to the Smitten Kitchen website. Let me know if you try it and what kind of beer you used!

 

Meal Plan: February 7-February 13

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.

Nashville now has an L&L! We obviously need to go back soon for a visit
Nashville now has an L&L! We obviously need to go back soon for a visit

February 7-February 13

Happy post Super Bowl day! I wasn’t rooting for any team, so I feel very comfortable stating that Bruno Mars won the whole game. Also a winner? The beer cupcakes I worked on for a friend. I’ll have to post the recipe soon because they were incredibly delicious.

Josh made a huge jar of kimchi using the Momofuku cookbook, and it’s been fermenting for two weeks, so a lot of our meals this week are based around that beautiful jar.

Breakfast

  • Scrambled eggs and avocado
  • Steel cut oats and bananas

Lunch

Snack

  • Bananas

Dinner

Meal Plan: January 31-February 6

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.

Such an asian cart at Jungle Jim's
Such an asian cart at Jungle Jim’s

January 31-February 6

January has come and gone, and over all, it was a pretty great month. I cooked quite a few recipes from actual cookbooks, which is something I’ve been wanting to do more, and I did a great 30 Days of Yoga routine from Yoga with Adrienne, who has become a favorite of mine. I’m not really into resolutions, but I love a chance to learn more and feel better, and January just happened to be the right time to dig in to my yoga practice this year.

My goal for February is based on a friend’s request for me to make some cupcakes using the MadTree Rubus Cacao beer, which is a seasonal beer from our favorite local brewery. This one is brewed with raspberries and cocoa nibs, and is totally delicious, so I’m thinking a chocolate cupcake with a can of the beer in the batter, and then maybe topped with a chocolate ganache, also flavored with the beer? We’ll see. I’m not a big fan of buttercream frosting, so ganache is totally the way I’m leaning. Will report back with the results.

This week has two carryover dinner from last week, because the unexpected batch of bolognese wound up being stretched for multiple dinners. SO GOOD.

Breakfast

  • Black bean and avocado bowl with pressure cooker cuban black beans
  • Oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon
  • Ultimate breakfast sandwich-This was Sunday morning’s breakfast, and it was delicious. The hash brown patties from Trader Joe’s might be our new favorite breakfast food

Lunch

  • Cobb Salad- lettuce, turkey, avocado, sprouts, sunflower seeds, croutons all with caesar vinaigrette

Snack

  • Apples, carrots sticks, and cucumber slices

Dinner