Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I was sitting here making my shopping list and planning meals for the week when I thought, why hoard all these ideas for myself. Why not share them with you?

Today, if all goes as planned, will be a busy day in the kitchen. After I make Holiday Baked Oatmeal with Cranberries, Apples, and Orange from Apple a Day, I’ll have breakfast for the week. Then, I’ll make this Holiday Bundt Cake, a Dorie Greenspan recipe with autumn spices, pumpkin, pecans, apples, cranberries and a maple syrup icing. I’ve made it before, it’s fabulous. I love the flavors of fall!

I’m intrigued by the idea of a sweet potato smoothie. I can base it on my Pumpkin Smoothie recipe but use roasted sweet potato cubes instead of pumpkin purée. Did I tell you I have twenty pounds of sweet potatoes in the guest room?

For dinner tomorrow, we’re having Skinnytaste’s Fig Balsamic Roasted Pork Tenderloin using fig butter from Trader Joe’s. My other ideas for dinners this week are:

Slow Roasted Salmon with Cabbage, Bacon and Dill

Slow Roasted Salmon with Cabbage, Bacon and Dill

Tomorrow I’m making a Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin recipe that I adapted from Saveur along with Maple Glazed Carrots from Little Dairy on the Prairie. I will probably use less brown sugar and add thyme to the carrots.

Also on the sides menu this week:

  • Butternut Squash and Poblano Gratin that I adapted from one of Elly Says Opa’s recipes.
  • This Arugula, Pecorino, Pine Nut, and Pear Salad from Saveur might be a refreshing accompaniment to the Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake.
  • I’m sure our CSA share will include some greens. Now that I think about it, I still have a kohlrabi (and its greens) and bok choy in the refrigerator. What to do, what to do…

I’m tempted to make these Five-Minute Single Serving Apple Crisps from Pinch of Yum.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a white bean dip. I remember being surprised by how much I liked this recipe. Made my own pita chips too – easy! I’m going to compare my recipe to Mark Bittman’s on The Kitchn. He always has lots to teach us and I’m a willing student.

If you want to see what other dishes grab my attention, check out my Pinterest boards.


The Holiday Baked Oatmeal with Cranberries, Apples, and Orange was really good. Next time I make it, I might try cooking the cranberries first for a little while in a sugar (maybe maple sugar) syrup. They were just a wee bit tart for me.

I wrote about the Holiday Bundt Cake and the Kale and Sweet Potato Gratin after making them — both winners.

Loved the Fig Balsamic Pork Tenderloin  and Maple Glazed Carrots and will make them again.

Of course, my plans were more ambitious than reality allowed, so I didn’t make the sweet potato smoothie, slow-roasted salmon with cabbage, mushroom alfredo pasta bake, arugula salad, apple crisp, or white bean dip. What was I thinking?

4 thoughts on “On the Menu: 11.16.14

  1. Louise says:

    Hi Deirdre:)
    Thanks for finding me on Pinterest! Don’t you just love it, lol…Looks like you have some tasty week planned. I always say I’m going to plan my menu. With the exception of company coming, I never do, lol…You now have me intrigued by that Sweet Potato Smoothie. I may just need to give it a try, any old day of course, lol…

    Thanks for sharing…

  2. deirdrereid says:

    Hi Louise, your blog is so fun! I love planning meals, but I always overplan. There will be leftovers which means I probably won’t have to make all those things, but they’ll hang around on the list for next week, or maybe get replaced by whatever catches my attention between now and then.

  3. Glad you found my Maple Glazed Carrots! Definitely reduce the sugar if you don’t want them to taste like candy! Looks like you have lots of yummy recipes to try!

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I made them last night, Amy, they were delicious! I only had a small handful of carrots from the CSA so I decreased the sauce ingredients. We gobbled them up! Once I make them again with a normal amount of carrots, I’ll post my version of the recipe and link to you again.

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