September 21st, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu



Grilled Pork Chops with Roasted Grapes & Garlic  |  Roasted Baby Potatoes  |  Broiled French Beans


Roasted Corn, Poblano & Onion Quesadillas


Tomato Soup  with  Salt & Vinegar Roasted Chickpea Croutons  |  Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette


Curried Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Cardamom & Coconut Milk  |  Long Grain Basmati Rice


Baked Honey, Lemon & Garlic Chicken Wings  |  Spinach Salad with Manchego Vinaigrette



9-20-14 Farmers Market 2 Collage

“[T]hat old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page:  there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”  ~  Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose


For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, fall arrives tomorrow, September 22nd, 2014, at exactly 10:29pm EDT.  Many frown upon this seasonal transition, mourning the end of long days, balmy {if not steamy} temperatures, and ever bourgeoning gardens, but I rather welcome the change {especially this year}.  Autumn has always been my favorite season, where everything {gardens, dinner plates, even fashion} seems to be punctuated with jewel tones bathed in a wonderful golden light.  Warm afternoons surrender more quickly to cooler evenings and our attention is drawn inside.  The carefree days of summer have been tamed by the routine the school year brings and we settle in to a rhythm.  

This summer was marked by an emotional series of “good-byes” caught up in the swift and powerful tide more commonly known as “growing up” and “moving on”.  Mid~May saw our beloved “Dancer” {the pony who taught both Madison and Mallory how to ride, among many other things} leave our care and head to his new home and family, with three very small children {who desperately wanted a pony of their own to love and pamper} where he will be charged with teaching a new generation of aspiring Olympic hopefuls.  In June, Madison graduated high school and in July she and her horse, “King”, set off on a gap year adventure on the East coast before she begins college next fall.  Unfortunately, the reality of King’s age, as well as the wear and tear on his body from years of competing, contributed to a painful decision which needed to be faced sooner than anticipated and last week King moved on to his new family with a lovely young girl {the same age that Maddie was when we got him} who will bring him through the upper ranks of pony club.  Days of sobbing have been tempered by photos of King in his new pasture, with his new girl…and, just like Dancer, happy,  with a job that suits him.

The events of this summer were always, knowingly, on the horizon…little girls outgrow their ponies, teenage girls grow up and head off to college, horses reach their peak and deserve an easy, healthy, retirement…but their realization leaves us a bit more sensitive with a yearning for the comfort of quieter days, settling in to a new routine.  Turning the page and beginning the next chapter.

At this week’s farmers’ market, it is evident that the seasons are moving along as well…the abundance of peaches are giving way to the season’s first small apples {I picked up some “Cinnamon Spice” apples from the Philo Apple Farm and, just like their name suggests, the fruit tastes like apple pie with each bite}, plums and pluots are everywhere, and I spotted the first sugar pie pumpkins in all their bright orange glory.

A few notes on this week’s menu…

SUNDAY:  I made these Grilled Pork Chops with Grapes last week and they were so phenomenal that this became our Sunday dinner this week.  So easy, and the brine ensures moist, succulent meat off the grill.  Last week I used Fantasy grapes but tonight I am going all the way with super sweet Concord grapes. I will let you know if there is any difference when I post this recipe this week. Check out my Instagram to see how these pork chops turned out tonight.

MONDAY:  Poblano peppers are a shining star at the farmers’ market and when I saw this recipe I knew it would be a winner.  I made these quesadillas last Monday for lunch when the children had a day off from school and I couldn’t help but think they could be improved with sweet, roasted corn.  The corn in our neck of the woods just can’t get any better at this point in the season and I am looking for places to tuck those sweet, succulent kernels anywhere I can.

TUESDAY:  I have my favorite Slow~Cooker Tomato Soup but, at this point in the season, I can’t help but entertain a recipe that uses fresh tomatoes, as well as soaked cashews for creaminess in place of dairy, for a new twist on a classic.  These Roasted Chickpeas were a hit when I made them last week for an afternoon snack and tonight I will sprinkle a few over our finished soup.  A spinach salad tossed with this Warm Bacon Vinaigrette will accompany the soup.

WEDNESDAY:  We adore curries in this family, as well as eggplant, so when I came across this recipe recently I knew I had to give it a try.  I will be trading off that recipe with the original from Nigel Slater in his book Tender to come up with  my own version, appropriately spiced for my family’s taste.  As is the case with most curries, i will be preparing this dish {minus the rice} a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to settle down.  Michael is traveling out of town tonight so having the curry prepared in advance works to my advantage as I manage the children’s afternoon activities on my own this evening.

THURSDAY:  Chicken wings are a family favorite and these Baked Honey, Lemon & Garlic Wings rank at the top of our list.  Tonight I will be substituting spinach in place of the now out~of~season radicchio {chicory} in this salad.  I will be roasting extra wings so Mallory and I can take the surplus on our horsey adventure tomorrow.


FRIDAY:  Mallory and I leave at the crack of dawn to attend a cross~country schooling clinic in Fresno, returning Saturday evening.  Michael will manage things here at home while I am gone, including Max’s Friday night football game and subsequent team dinner.  Can’t wait to be home…


Have a wonderful week everyone!

K Medium

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