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Menu Planning: 5/11-5/17

The script that would not die is fighting a loosing battle. Sure, I had made it to page 10 and my computer stalled mid-save (oh, yes) and I lost 5 pages. Yes, I’d been saving all afternoon but it seems not to have taken. Resorted to daily save-as files to try and prevent that happening again. Still, I rewrote the missing pages and I’m pretty sure I got all the important parts in. Still, had that not happened, I like to think I would have been able to finish the script last night and finally get that off the to-do list.

I’ve got an actual menu, as I’m cooking this week, at least until we leave for MobiCon. Tonight I made a yummy and fairly quick pasta dish with sliced ham and little green peas. Did this one for a party last summer and it was so good, it holds well on a buffet as well as freezes well if you’ve got leftovers. Tuesday will be a chicken piccata with pesto turnip “fries” and Wednesday will be Pork with apples and creamed spinach. Another 5 recipes for the book? Yes, please and thank you!

It’s funny, I was so proud a couple of weeks ago realizing that I’d hit the halfway point only to be a wee bit discouraged at just how much there is left to test and figure out. Obviously my concept of production time on this project was wildly unrealistic–I’ve heard some folks easily spend 3 years per cookbook and this is their full-time job! No worries, though, this will not take 3 years (it better not!).

Getting ready for the convention this weekend, though, meant a slightly different shopping list. I might have only had 3 dinners to cook before we leave but we still needed provisions for the con, itself. Like most folks, we’re not crazy about paying inflated food prices from vendors whose quality may not exactly warrant said inflation. When we went to MegaCon I decided to bring along items that we could have with us for lunches (hotels with even basic continental breakfasts help, too) and snacks, saving us quite a bit in the process:

  • Preserved meats like summer sausage, hard salami or jerky (if you want to step it up a notch you can make your own, of course)
  • Small, wax-wrapped cheeses (like the Baby-Bell brand)
  • Cereal or granola bars
  • Crackers
  • Cookies, trail mix
  • Dried fruit, apple chips, etc.

I packed small portions of what we’d brought into some recycled to-go containers and they made a pretty perfect lunch/afternoon snack combo. I also brought along my own caramel syrup and shelf-stable milk and used the provided coffee maker to make my morning not-quite-lattes (no foaming the milk, though I suppose I could pack a frother and get closer–if I were that concerned).

Looking at that list I’m a tad ashamed we didn’t also bring veggies along, but I’m not going to worry overmuch. We’re pretty good about eating green things at dinner and all. Remember that veggies grow outside, frequently in dirt or the open air. A few hours out of refrigeration will not hurt them as long as they are kept dry.

If your hotel has a fridge you can expand into other items that would benefit from colder storage (of course, those convention halls tend to stay pretty chilly, but just because it feels like a meat-locker, doesn’t mean it’s as safe as one, food temperature-wise).

Want to get more creative with your evening meals at Con but don’t have a hotplate in your hotel room? Check out The Storm Gourmet for recipes based on power-outage “cooking.” NPR did a story on this book a few years ago and I tried theĀ  Salad Nicoise they share on the site–pretty good from being almost all from cans!

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Are you the cupcake type? I was fortunate enough to be able to review and host a giveaway of the book What’s New, Cupcake? over as part of my guest-blogger duties with Circle of Food. Check out the post and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for one of the two signed books. Winner will be randomly chosen at the end of the month!

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