Third week of April weekly menu

Such beautiful days we have had recently, it is hard to believe the weather forecast when it tells us that Wednesday there will be MORE SNOW !!!

. . . it’s ok, we will be prepared with warm comforting food :-)

Monday, the kids have pizza at school, it’s a great way to start the week for us because we just prepare vegetables and fruit for their lunch ! And our dinner will be pork tenderloin medallions wrapped in bacon and pan seared, then deglazed with balsamic vinegar . . .  mmmmm.

Pork Medallions

Tuesday lunch will be a turkey breast sandwich with lots of lettuce inside and many vegetables . . .  and maybe I’ll bake some cupcakes and add them to the lunch box today. Dinner tonight is Salmon Filet en papillotte ( salmon filet cooked in a pouch made with parchment or tinfoil – absolutely delicious !!).

Salmon filet en papillotte

Wednesday is an other pizza day at school, and a swimming lessons day in the evening, we get home at 8:00 so I want dinner ready! I will make a potato gateau: mashed potatoes all dressed up with egg, milk and cheese, then layered with ham and mozzarella, and baked until cooked and crunchy on top.

Thursday I’ll make a rice salad for the children and for us . . .  steamed basmati rice, dressed with chopped bell peppers, cucumbes, cherry tomatoes, some kalamata olives, strips of ham and cheese. Our dinner tonight will be pasta alla Amatriciana – and ancient italian recipe made with onion, pancetta ( cooked in some olive oil) and a good tomato sauce. I’ll make spaghetti, and top them with a nice dusting of romano cheese.

Friday: one of the best thing about potato gateau, is that it tastes excellent the next day ( if it lasts !) so the children are home from school and can have the potato  gateau and a salad. And dinner will be spare ribs, baked at 160* C for 4 hours . . . . melt in your mouth !!

Saturday lunch will be one of our favourites: grilled cheese sandwiches ( quick, easy, and not too much thinking !!) and dinner will be a nice home made pizza !!!

Lunch on Sunday is hopefully sunny so we can BBQ some hamburgers outside for lunch. Keeping ourselves light for dinner, have some friends over to celebrate Easter, eat my famous lasagna. I make it ALL  from scratch, the meat sauce simmers for hours while I prepare the white sauce that let’s everything blend together, and the lasagna sheets . . .  just eggs and flour. Delicious !

Lasagna

 

This dishes available to order this week are: asparagus and ricotta bundles, ragu sauce, meatballs, potato gateau, amatriciana sauce, pork medallions, and lasagne.
With 24 hour notice I can also have Tuscan bread, sandwich bread, and hamburger buns available.

Hamburger buns – 5 ingredients !!

hamburger bunSince we have moved to Canada, one of the things that we noticed is that there are soooooo many ingredients in the food !!

The one that surprises me the most is bread ! In tuscany we make our bread with 3 ingredients: flour, water, yeast ( here is my recipe for tuscan bread) !

I have decided to bake my own !

I’ve tried many ricipes from the web, some are very elaborate, some are too quick ( in the sense that they use baking powder instead of yeast) and some just didn’t taste great.

My source is often a website called vivalafocaccia.com – I love the recipes and the way they are explained in an easy and simple way.

The recipe for the “panini al latte” is on video here 

Panini al latte

I will write the recipe as I have made a few changes, and the original is only in italian!

Ingredients:

  • 200g milk or water (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) warm - I used water
  • 400 g flour ( 2 3/4 cups) I used half all purpouse and half Manitoba flour
  • 25g yeast if fresh or 8 g if dry (4 tsp of dry yeast)
  • 14 g sugar (3 tsp) I only used 1 1/2
  • 8 g salt ( 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 30 g of shortening or butter ( 1/4 cup) – optional . . . I used shortening
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 2 egg yolks to make them shiny

Procedure:

  • In your mixer bowl melt the yeast and sugar with the water and add 3/4 of the flour, the egg whites and the shortening
  • Mix for about 3 minutes
  • then add the remaining flour with the salt
  • Mix for 10 or 12 minutes
  • then dump onto a clean floured work surface and fold it on itself once or twice
  • lightly grease a container with olive oil and set dough into it, gently rub a couple of drops of oil on dough, cover the container and set aside to rise ( if using right away, you can set the container inside your oven which will be turned off but with JUST the light on).
  • Recipe calls for 1 hour at least of rising.
  • What I did at this point is, since I wanted to bake the buns the next day, I put the covered container in the refrigerator over night.
  • Next morining I followed the instructions on the video:
  • I dumped the dough on the work surface and folded it in 3 ( like puff pastry), and in 3 again ( to make a square) – my dough for some reason was more sticky than the one on the video
  • I let it rest for 15 minutes instead of 10
  • then cut the dough into 8 balls ( each about 100 g) and followed the instructions for rolling the buns out.
  • Then I let it rest for 1  hour instead of 30 minutes – the dough was still chilly from the fridge
  • I brushed the buns with egg yolk ( that I had beat with a tsp of water and a pinch of salt) and sprinkled them with some seseme seeds
  • Buns were cooked in the hot oven for almost 30 minutes ( a bit more than the recipe calls for)

They were delicious !!!

Thank you Vittorio from Vivalafocaccia.com !!

cut hamburger bun

Menu for second week of April

Pasta with Broccoli

So the second week of April begins . . . and the snow is almost all melted :-D

The children’s spring sports activities have started and are going well.

My new job at the Beild House B&B  is great and having my family weekly menu plan is so handy !!!

Here is this week’s menu:

Monday:  pizza at school for lunch, and for dinner . . . Arista: a typical Tuscan dish. Arista pork boneless roast cooked on the stove top with rosemary, sage, garlic and red wine . . . we all love it with roasted potatoes !

Tuesday: Lunch will be quinoa salad with a whole bunch of fresh veggies in it. Dinner will be pasta with my specialty ( or I should say . . . one of my specialties) Ragu sauce. My ragu sauce is made with lean ground beef, and is cooked slowly for many hours, you can really taste the deepness of the flavours . . .  with just the right amount of tomato !

Wednesday is Pizza again for lunch ( we all love it !) – dinner is Basmati rice pilaph with shrimp and peas. With one dish we have all the categories we need: carbohydrate, vegetable and protein – and it is Gluten Free !

Thursday – A wrap with Chicken breast and romaine lettuce and other crunchy vegetables will be great for lunch. And for dinner I’ll make Pasta with broccoli. The blanched broccoli will be stir fried in olive oil, garlic and a touch of anchovy paste, the pasta will be cooked in the same cooking water as the broccoli, and will then be added to the pan with the broccoli and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delicious !

Friday – Lunch will be Pasta with pesto for the kids, and the usual carrots, celery, cucumber, grapes or kiwi or apple . . . depending on what is available in the refrigerator – Dinner tonight will be my famous Meatballs – here is the recipe for my Polpette

Saturday – We will make a nice Frittata for lunch . . . maybe with zucchini, or onions, or with potatoes, or onions and potatoes . . .   For dinner I’ll make one of my husband’s favourite dishes: pasta with chickpeas.

Sunday – I think it will be a beautiful sunny day, and we will make Hot Dogs on the BBQ for lunch . . . maybe I’ll have time to bake home made hot dog buns . . .  Dinner tonight will be Mushroom risotto.

Risotto with mushrooms

This week, the ragu, the meatballs, and the frittata will be available to order, and I will also have involtini and tuna meatballs available if you wish

 

Polpette . . . aka Meatballs !

Meatballs in tomato sauceThese meatballs are so tasty . . . . delicious !

Ingredients:

  • 60 g old bread
  • 60 ml milk
  • 500 g ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp granular stock
  • parsley – finely chopped
  • 20 g finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • breadcrumbs

Procedure:

  • crumble bread and soak in milk
  • chop onion and put in cold water to purge
  • put meat, egg, parmesan, stock, wine, parsley in large bowl and mix together
  • add drained onion and soaked bread after squeezing the excess milk out
  • mix well then form little balls (I use an icecream scoop to form them)
  • roll balls in breadcrumbs
  • cook in frying pan with oil
Tips:
When I make these I usually use about 1 kg of ground beef. I freeze the meatballs so when I know I’ll be home late for dinner, all I have to do is thaw them during the day and they are ready after a few minutes in the frying pan  !
How do you make your meatballs ? why don’t you send me your recipe?

Menu for the first week of April

Here we start with the menu for the first week of april:

Monday March 31, children have pizza for lunch at school, so today I will prepare some carrot sticks, sliced cucumber and kiwi for them to snack on. Dinner tonight will be Asparagus and Ricotta bundles.

Asparagus and Ricotta Bundles

Tuesday April 1, I will make a ham and cheese sandwich for the kids, with vegetables and fruit for snacks. I will be working untill late tonight, so dinner will be easy to get together, Penne with fresh pesto and cherry tomatoes.

Wednesday April 2, an other pizza day at school, and just like monday I’ll chop up some vegetables for the kids lunch. Dinner tonight will be late as the kids have swimming untill 7.30 . . .  I think that involtini would be a great solution.

Thursday April 3, lunch for kids and adults will be a nice BLT and chopped fresh vegetables and fruit. And a nice and easy dinner will be Tuna Fish Meatballs.

Tuna Fish Meatballs

Friday April 4, I will make pasta with tomato sauce for the children’s lunch . . .  along with the usual fresh vegetables and fruit. Dinner tonight will be mashed potatoes and sausage.

Saturday April 5, Lunch will be at home, and we will make some ricotta and spinaci ravioli and dress them with butter and sage. Dinner tonight will be out  :-)

Sunday April 6 - sunday is a relax day . . .  we will eat left overs for lunch and have breakfast for dinner :-)

I hope this menu will give you some ideas for your dinners, if you would like to a meal, this is what can be ordered:

  • Asparagus and Ricotta Bundles – home made lasagna sheets folded in a bundle and filled with asparagus and ricotta
  • Involtini – Veal cutlets filled with ham and cheese and cooked in a butter and sage sauce
  • Tuna Fish Meatballs – “meatballs” made with tuna, ricotta, and a scent of lemon. Here you can find the recipe for the Tuna Fish Meatballs

 

Tuna fish “Meatballs”

Tuna meatballsThese little “meatballs” are really easy . . . you can make them ahead of time and freeze them after they’ve been cooked – when ready thaw them at room temperture and heat them up in the oven !!

Ingredients x 4

Canned tuna in oil 300 g, Ricotta cheese 200 g, parsley, garlic, grated parmesan, anchovy paste, 1 egg, lemon rind, baby onion, bread crumbs.

Directions:

- Finely chop baby onion, garlic and parsley

- With a fork or with your hand held beater mix all the ingredients except the bread crumbs.

- With an ice cream scoop make little balls with the tuna mixture and roll them in the bread crumbs

- Cook in a hot oven for 15 / 20 minutes

Weekly Menu planner

Set table

First week of April is just around the corner . . .  lets get organized and start the Weekly Menu Planner !

Don’t worry, it is not a joke . . . not an “April Fools” :-)

Spring is coming, and our schedules are changing once again . . .  this means that sometimes getting dinner on the table can be a challenge !

I have decided that every Monday I will post my weekly menu.

You may wonder why . . . . well, for several reasons, the first is that I try to plan my menu every week so that I don’t have to think about it again for the rest of the week, the second is that maybe you would like to start a weekly menu planner, and need some ideas, the third is that . . .  I like posting things on my blog :-)

Here you can download a PDF of my Weekly Meal Plan

Some suggestions on how to use this planner are to print one for each week of the month and repeat them every month, so the menu in the first week of April will be the same as the first week of May. The column called “remember” is for me to remember if there are any activities that might end late ( ie. Wednesday swimming ends at 6.30 – you want to have dinner ready when you get home). An other thing that I do is to fill the programmed meals first . . .  my kids have pizza day at school on Monday and Wednesday.

So, keep your eyes open for my menu on Monday if you are looking for ideas for dinner,  or if you are in the Collingwood Ontario area and want to order some of the food I’m preparing . . . I will make some for you too.Jogurt and Muesli