Oh the possibilities! Planless #20141013

This week, I am planning to be menu-plan-less. Does that even make sense? It does! Here is how.

My dear friend Eleanor Nerbly (name only slightly changed) is going to be my house guest this week, as she visits the Great State of Minnesota. She did a lot of her growing up here, and moved away to further her education, work, and generally make the world a more awesome place. She’s currently a fiercely proud citizen of Detroit, but because she has family and a good number of friends here I get have her for nearly an entire week. Wahoo!

Eleanor Nerbly is one of my favorite people in the entire universe, and we both cook up a mean dinner. And we drink copious amounts of tea. And  we love eating together. And we love going out to explore new places or old haunts. And sometimes we can make an entire meal out of apples, cheese, and bread. So! That means I am *not* planning out all of our meals during her visit.

I have stocked my fridge with Chuck Roasts, Chicken Thighs, and Smoked Turkey legs, and we’ll just have to wait and see what comes of it. The possibilities are (nearly) endless! Here are some ideas I had:

  • Beef stew over rice– simply because my boys love it, and I don’t think it would hurt her feelings. I cut stew sized pieces out of a chuck roast, season them robustly, brown them, and cook slowly in water/seasonings/with at least one bay leaf until tender. When it’s nearly time to eat, I slice, dice, and cook til tender: onions, celery, carrots, and rutabaga. The veg gets combined with the meat and broth, additional seasoning takes place, and the whole thing get thickened up. Serve over rice with a side of some kinda green veggie
  • Cheesy chicken and broccoli– Exactly what it sounds like. Chicken thighs are seasoned and browned, then removed from the pan. Add equal parts butter and flour to make a roux, then deglaze with broth, add sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, seasoned salt, and pepper. Add in chicken and steamed broccoli. Serve with baked potatoes, rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles.
  • Shredded beef sandwiches– on homemade buns because they taste amazing and are less expensive. Side could be corn. Or collards with smoked turkey. Or garlicky broccoli. Or whatever!
  • Chicken curry with veg. Or chicken lettuce wraps. Or beef lettuce wraps. Or chicken taco bowls. Or beef taco bowls.
  • Maybe stuffed shells! Maybe something with roasted squash!
  • Something with apples, because we’re going to the orchard on Saturday!

There are so very many possibilities. I’m going to stop now before I explode.  Have a great week you guys!

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