The Second Lunch header image 1

The Weekly Meal Plan

November 23rd, 2014 · Meal Planning

Rotisserie Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

I got back in the pool today. It’s been a while, my arms were feeling it. My strokes were terrible, and I was *very* slow. But I got in the pool today! I got in about 1500 yards, warm up, a 10×100 set, and a cool down – to test my baseline 100 meters before I dive headfirst into my winter training plan. Next summer my triathlons are going to get kicked up a notch!

The weekend was low key. A dinner party with old friends, some headway with Jo Nesbø’s ‘The Bat’ – the first in the Harry Hole series. Reading my way through two gorgeous new cookbooks: Aarti Parti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul, and Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East and Beyond. There’s not much I like more in life than curling up on my couch with a mug of coffee and a new cookbook. Many bookmarks in each so far.

I picked up a few new products at Trader Joe’s worth mentioning – a honey trio sampler, the Sicilian single varietal extra virgin olive oil collection, uncured turkey cranberry apple sausagespumpkin pie mochi, and a jar of sambal matah, an Indonesian condiment with shallots, lemongrass, and peppers. I served it tonight with the chicken – that red shmear – and it was hot, punchy, and good! What can I say? I’m a sucker for new Trader Joe’s products (and by sucker I mean… they are almost always great.) Do you have any current Trader Joe’s favorites I can’t miss?


Week of November 22nd

Thanksgiving week! Boy, am I looking forward to all of the eating. We’ll see if I manage to get a Turkey Trot in there, too. Things to use up in my kitchen: pretty much the same as last week – polenta, eggplant, onion, turkey cranberry sausage (cook for breakfasts), feta, goat cheese, eggs, sweet potatoes, cabbage, a whole mess of herbs, a little bit of applesauce, and bacon.

Saturday: a dinner party! We headed out to my friend Kevin’s house to have a little dinner party with him and his girlfriend, and another couple. I’ve known Kevin now for almost 18 years! It was all very civilized. We ate mushroom turnovers (yep, I brought Trader Joe’s to a dinner party), a garlicky kale salad, a winter fennel salad that I made, and butternut squash risotto. Dessert was apple crumble, coffee, and scotch.

Sunday: rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes I know that I’m going to need to eat more green vegetables, but I got in a massive fill at the party last night, and all I wanted was Whole Foods hot bar.

Monday: rotisserie chicken and christmas lima stew. When one has a rotisserie chicken for dinner, there are leftovers. Fortunately, I had a crockpot of christmas lima’s going in some broth this afternoon – a perfect vehicle for leftover chicken.

Tuesday: pork tenderloin, brussels sprouts, and sweet potato. These two sweet potatoes have been sitting in my house  for weeks, and I’ve set out some pork from my meat share to defrost in the fridge. I also have a dearth of bacon, so it might be pork on pork to jazz up this dinner.

Wednesday: egg night. At least I think that’s what’s going to happen. I try to make one night a week egg night, because it’s super easy, and also because I always have a few dozen eggs in the house that need eating.

Thursday: Thanksgiving Linner! We used to go to an antiseptic banquet hall for Thanksgiving every year, until a good part of the family staged a coup. Now we’ll be heading to my aunt’s house, and I know it’s going to be good.

Friday: out! Or more likely…a large pile of greens and some restorative broth.

What are you eating this week?

–– Sam

→ No CommentsTags: ·


November 21st, 2014 · Ingredients, Local stores

Now that you’re hopefully gorging yourselves on Kringle, here’s another holiday treat worth going out on a hunt for – Panforte. I noticed that there were a stack of these when I stopped by Formaggio Kitchen this morning, but these are photos are from the one I ate last year (before I learned how to focus my lens, apparently,) and I’ll be picking up a new one in the next few days. The Panforte is similar to a fruitcake – a dense round of candied fruit and nuts that is heavily aromatic with warming spices.

I have a history of hiding food that is just too good to share – my mom and I famously rationed a jar of crunchy Biscoff spread  for months by hiding it in the lid of our couscoussière and eating it by the single spoonful – and this is one of those foods that you consider hoarding to yourself and not sharing with anyone. It’s worth sharing however, because even selfishly, you’ll make friends with this treat.

The Panforte di Siena from Formaggio comes with it’s own little powdered sugar packet. If you can’t find a round of this, you can make your own: I’ve had this recipe from David Lebovitz bookmarked for the past two years.

I’d say that this is too rich to eat more than a little slice at a time, but I’d be lying – it’s rich, certainly, but left to my own devices I could polish this thing off over the course of a long afternoon.

Other similar seasonal treats I’d like to try making:

Melissa Clark’s Moist and Boozy Fruit Cake

Laurie Colwin’s West Indian Black Cake

Do you have any favorite holiday spiced cakes?

→ No CommentsTags: ·

From Thursday Evening

November 20th, 2014 · Tea

Trader Joes Harvest Blend Tea

Another cup of this tea tonight – grab it if you see it at Trader Joe’s! (It’s caffeine free, and herbal, and the ingredients listed are: Cinnamon, Ginger, Hibiscus, Natural Cinnamon and Apple Flavors with Other Natural Flavors, Chamomile, Roasted Chicory, Orange Peel.) My usual herbal tea drink is verbena leaves, but I got this box from my friend Alexann, and now I need to stock up on more.

Now I’m off to forage the fridge. Tonight’s dinner consisted of a killer cranberry upside down cake, cannoli, slices of cheese, and some sort of iced custard cake with Wellesley folks, but I haven’t yet eaten a meal, and it’s nearing 11 pm.

→ 2 CommentsTags: ·

Walden Local Meat November Meat Share

November 19th, 2014 · Meat

Table of November Walden Local Meat Share

For the past few months I’ve been looking forward to meat share day – my delivery of my Walden Local Meat CSA. Here’s a look at today’s haul. I get the 10-12 pound share, and supplement it with a few extra pounds of ground beef,  two dozen pastured eggs, and occasionally a few extra goodies. This month I got a couple of pounds of beef bones for bone broth.

Walden Local Meat Share November

Walden Local Lamb

Walden Local Ground Beef

Walden Local Beef Stew Meat

Meat Bones for Stock

This month’s share had: a large Boston Butt (pork), ground pork, ground beef, breakfast sausage, beef stew meat, bratwurst, Lamb round chops, and a boneless strip steak. (Each share is different, and you mark your preferences in a monthly survey they send out. You can customize, add on, and cut out things you don’t like. They also provided some of their home made beef sticks to try out.

So many great meals to look forward to!

Walden Local Meat Co.

→ No CommentsTags: ··

Thoughts from Tuesday

November 18th, 2014 · Uncategorized

Anne Was Here Frenchie Mug

Last night I waved a coworker off wishing her a great weekend. On a Monday. It’s safe to say that this week is already feeling long. The temperature has dipped to almost freezing, and every time I come back to the house, I’m reluctant to leave again. Life would be better in some form of hibernation over the winter, and while I’m not a bear, I’m doing my best to replicate the cozy cave thing here on my couch. Tonight I’ve been curled up, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, drinking the Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend Herbal Tea (thank you, Alexann!) in the brand new mug that Devon gave me.

Can we speak about this mug for a moment? When I came home from my race, it was waiting for me – not only is it one of my favorite colors, but the Frenchie looks suspiciously like our RunKeeper office dog @frenchiedijon. Yes, we’ve become those people. Totally lusting after the dogs of coworkers and friends. Dijon’s mom already knows that if he goes missing she should probably call me.

The mug was part of a two part wonderfully thoughtful gift – the second box was filled with two special bags of coffee from Blue Bottle, which means that my mornings for the next week or two are going to be stellar.

Blue Bottle Coffee

So about this gift giving business. I’m notoriously bad at it. But because I’ve resigned myself to the holiday season being here, I’ve been putting together a Pinterest board of food gifts so I don’t forget about all the things that I’d like to acquire. (Mostly for myself.) I’ll be adding to it over the next few weeks. Take a look!

Follow Sam’s board Foodie Gift Guide on Pinterest.

What’s on your wish list? 

→ No CommentsTags: ····