Yesterday I popped into Trader Joe’s to do the bulk of my shopping, and they were out of coconut milk. I much prefer their light coconut milk to other varieties – it has zero additives,  which for that matter, why is it that every brand of coconut milk at Whole Foods must contain guar gum? Because they were out, I decided that I’d just push my shopping trip to the next morning, thinking that they’d have restocked by then.

Alas, the scene at Trader Joe’s today was grim. Already a day behind on my grocery shopping, and after a late morning start, I turned into the parking lot to a five minute line to find a parking space. Ah, Sunday shopping, how you delight me! There were more people in the store than a downtown Manhattan Trader Joe’s at 5pm, and incidentally, the trucks had failed to arrive because of the snow storm, and the shelves were barren. There was no coconut milk. There was also no chicken. Nor canned tomatoes, cucumbers….

After several hours, and another two stores, I came home with very little on my main shopping list, so my week of braises and stews (that I really only have time to cook on the weekend) was foiled, and I had to scrap my meal plan completely. This is what I’ve come up with to replace it, but I’m feeling a little bit non-committal – gone are the Moroccan cardamom and apricot laced braises, the Thai fish curry, and the chili I was planning. At least we have enough cabbage in the house to last us a week.

Week of December 28th– 

Saturday: originally we had planned to go out on Friday night, but because of the storm, we pushed back our date night to Saturday. And then Saturday came around, and neither of us felt like leaving the house, so we had saladschicken soup, and a bowl of fruit.

Sunday: this was supposed to be a warm beef braise, but after my shopping debacle, I opted to make Kapuska (braised cabbage with lamb) – a mish-mash of a recipe I have for the traditional Turkish dish, and another for Marcella Hazan’s smothered cabbage. (Inspired by this.)

Monday: roasted pork tenderloin with apples, garlic cauliflower mash. I steam the cauliflower and garlic, and then make a puree with my immersion blender. You could probably trick someone into thinking it was a potato puree, but I love it for what it is!

Tuesday: Whole Foods hot bar. Yep, I’m weak. After two false starts shopping this weekend, and leaving with only vegetables and no real protein options, I’m guessing that I’m going to be tired and cranky on Tuesday and want seven little tastes of hot bar instead of a lovingly home cooked meal. Plus, their zucchini with tomatoes and garlic is always a winner.

Wednesday: mini burgers, roasted broccoli and sweet potato fries with aioli. The Cottage restaurant in Wellesley has this absurdly good paprika aioli, that I can’t come close to replicating. But I can try.

Thursday: seared scallops with Brussels sprouts and pancetta. This might be a different type of fish. Or it might not be fish at all. Or it might be something totally different. Are we seeing a theme here?

Friday: Out!

While I didn’t have the ingredients to make my braises, I did get a head start on the week of breakfasts, and baked a big frittata. Looking forward to a low key Monday to ease us back into the five day work week. Happy new year everyone!

–– Sam