Weeks 14 & 15, 2022

Yeah, so week 14 doesn’t get its own post because it looked like this:

One day of easy sautéed shrimp with air-fried polenta [from an old Trader Joe’s cookbook] and a simple arugula salad side, one day of the-restaurant-we-planned-to-go-to-during-Hampton’s-tech-week-before-my-rehearsal-is-closed-so-let’s-go-to-the-food-hall-for-the-second-time-in-three-days, one day of not even homemade pizza, but Domino’s, and then….?

The highlight of the week ended up being Saturday where I meant to go out, but then threw together a pasta with stuff in the fridge between a band rehearsal [add this to the list of things I haven’t talked about yet] and Hampton’s show like a Mary Higgins Clark heroine. Mainly inspired by this.

That recipe was possible because Hampton had grabbed some ingredients to have on hand before he was off work for four days, even though we didn’t know when we were going to cook or what that might look like. Apparently our house staples are:

  • Baby Bella mushrooms
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Fennel
  • Chicken thighs
  • Lemons
  • Dutch baby potatoes
  • Coleslaw mix

Of course, this doesn’t count all the stuff we already had like pasta, a whole cheese drawer, and baby carrots I kept forgetting to pack for lunch… But the veg were hearty, the chicken thighs had a decent best by date, and we knew *somehow* it would all work.

Hampton’s show closed and I somehow got a bunch of days off of rehearsal, so this past week was a little better.

Monday’s creamy fennel broth was a dang revelation. Will be revisiting a lot, I predict.

The rest was a lot of using things up. We had the end of a jar of curtido, a Salvadoran slaw Hampton made, so we added some Latin flair to our Smoke City Meats steakhouse grind burgers and Trader Joe’s Everything But The Elote seasoning and cotija cheese to frozen fries.

For Wednesday, one leftover roll was perfect to use up with a refrigerator-stable pack of mussels, and Hampton made homemade Caesar for a grilled romaine salad. This is his new favorite party game.

Hampton then wanted to try making schnitzel again on Thursday, and since we had three mushrooms to use up, I found a recipe that would use those, too, along with the last potatoes and hearty greens.

I was supposed to have rehearsal Friday, then didn’t, and a friend was in town house hunting, so we threw together this fun meal. We tossed some romaine on the grill (yes, again. ‘Tis the season.) with TJ’s Chili Lime seasoning, added some slaw mix to a grill pan with the Elote seasoning, and made frozen roasted corn (also a TJ’s staple). The charred veg was topped with Smoke City ribeye and a tequila-lime-honey dressing. So much better than the sum of its parts.

Leftover anchovies from the homemade Caesar Wednesday meant a puttanesca on Saturday. With part of one of the two open bags of frozen shrimp in the freezer. Oops.

For Easter, we did our first not-pre-seasoned rack of lamb, thanks to the fact that Hampton swung by Costco for paper towels earlier in the week and saw it there and *lightbulb*. We used this recipe with the mint sauce from this other very similar recipe. The risotto was inspired from here, since we had some random artichoke hearts in the fridge to use up, only first I cooked down the bulb of fennel hanging out in the fridge. This meal was extra fun because right before we started cooking, a childhood friend of Hampton’s texted she was passing though. Angela is a vegetarian, well, usually vegan, and often gluten-free, but she is also very Of The Moment and zen and 100% did not expect us to cook for her, so she was happy to accept risotto with chicken stock (well, Better Than Bouillon). I asked if I should leave out parmesan and she said, “well, it’s a necessary ingredient, right??” Other vegheads: take note.

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