Friday, June 27, 2008

Summery Meals Ahead

I finally sat down today and started writing out a list of summery meals. My goal is to get a list of 60 dinners to take us through Labor Day. That way, I can just pick and choose from the list as I make out my grocery lists and weekly menu plans. I've found that my cooking inspirations come in fits and starts, so it is VERY helpful for me to have a master list to fall back on.
So far, my list only contains ideas off the top of my head. I plan on spending some time this weekend going through recipes I've bookmarked online, blogs with recipes I love, and my favorite cookbooks to complete the list. I'll update when my list is complete. (I know this is exciting stuff, so try to contain yourselves.)
  1. Hamburgers, Parmesan oven fries, corn on the cob
  2. Barbecue chicken sandwiches, fresh corncakes, cantaloupe
  3. Bratwurst, watermelon, baked beans
  4. Monterrey chicken, onion straws, corn on the cob
  5. Asian chicken salad with peanut-ginger dressing
  6. Chicken and grape pasta salad
  7. Taco salad
  8. Pretzel chicken, crash hot potatoes, fresh green beans
  9. BLTs, homemade potato chips, honeydew melon
  10. California Club sandwiches, fruit salad
  11. Roasted red pepper and portabello mushroom quesadillas, peaches
  12. Fig, caramelized onion, and feta pizza, mixed greens salad
  13. Homemade cheese ravioli with fresh pesto
  14. Caprese bread salad, strawberries and kiwi
  15. Cucumbers and tomatoes stuffed with lentil salad and couscous salad
  16. Black bean burgers, sour cream and dill cucumbers, rosemary potatoes
  17. Spinach and fried chickpea salad with bacon, cheese, and ranch dressing
  18. Corned beef, spinach and wild rice roll-ups
  19. Herb-crusted fish (whatever is on sale), almond and apricot quinoa pilaf, oven-roasted broccoli
  20. Southwestern rotini salad with black beans, roasted red peppers and fresh corn
  21. Fresh veggie stir-fry over brown rice, grilled pineapple
  22. Chicken and potato skewers, green fruit salad with yogurt & lime dressing
  23. Nacho platter, root beer floats
  24. Stuffed artichokes and bruschetta
  25. Beef tostados, plums
  26. Coconut chicken curry
  27. Falafel and pita sandwiches, strawberry and spinach salad

I've also decided that I might try shopping once a week for the next two months. Eric and I both really want our meals to be filled with fresh fruits and veggies. We'd like to buy locally grown produce as much as possible also.

Online today I found a local organic u-pick farm that has everything. You can just call on a given day and find out what is available for picking that day. The choices include bean, peas, rhubarb, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, corn, every herb imaginable,raspberries, blueberries, and lots more. I'm really excited about this. We've looked into joining a CSA but there just isn't one close enough to make it worthwhile. This farm is only about 20 minutes away. And I would LOVE for the kids to have the opportunity to experience a farm like this, and to help us actually choose and pick the vegetables and fruit. It is also only about 10 minutes away from a raw honey farm that we've wanted to go to for a while. I can't wait!


Michele 10:49 PM  

This is fabulous!! :) I'm so excited for you to be able to get fresh produce every week. I've been going to Farmer's Markets on Saturdays, and I love it.

I'm definitely bookmarking your list of summer meal ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next 30 or so will be on your list. :)

I'll send you an e-mail tonight, after Gen's in bed.
Michele :)

Kirstin 11:24 PM  

your menus sound amazing. I hope you post some recipes.

I can't remember...did you read my post about my "crash hot potatoes"...I think you did, but I don't know (C:

Anyways, I can't wait to hear how the meals go. They sound amazing.

My daughters really like your Isabelles blog. My girls are 12 and 9.
My oldest has a blog but she doesn't do a lot on it and she certainly doesn't use many words. I'm trying to encourage her in that. Any tips or ideas?

ahorne 3:48 PM  

On the contrary, this is VERY exciting! :) I've read so much about these amazing crash hot potatoes - think I'm gonna have to break down & try 'em.

We have a farmer's market in our city, and I've been looking for a place to buy locally-grown meats. Still hunting for that.

Sounds like an adventure awaits you!

Miranda 4:31 PM  

Hey Kate,
I find this quite exciting! I wish we had a U pick farm like the one you described... how lucky!

I wanted to let you know that I nominated your site for a creative blog award. If you are interested the rules to accept are posted on my blog...

Thanks for all of your great information... keep up the good work!

Jennifer 6:20 PM  

Your list of meals looks great! How about continuing your once a month shopping, with a stop at a farmers market or the u-pick place once a week? Could that be the best of both worlds? Of course it will only work this summer and early fall. man I wish I lived in a warmer climate sometimes, the growing season is longer.

Mom2fur 7:07 PM  

Just hopped over here from Miranda's blog. You have some great dinners planned, but I gotta ask...what are onion straws?

Andie 2:08 PM  

Kate...Thank you so much for the inspiration! I'll be coming back here after our trip (hopefully the trip home with NOT include a bull!) for some ideas!


Lindsey 6:45 PM  

I recently found your blog and love this post about your summer meal ideas! I'm hoping that you'll post some recipes - specifically for the cucumbers/tomatoes stuffed with lentil and couscous, the black bean burgers, the almond and apricot quinoa pilaf, and the southwestern rotini salad. They all sound so good!

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