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Menu Planning: October 12-18

Another slow week down as far as visible progress goes, but there was a lot of background plotting and planning and all sorts of minutiae that isn’t all that exciting to talk about it.

Also managed to put the next podcast to bed: Halloween-themed songs and the like, over an hour of it: Bump in the Night!

In the mean time, here’s something that I wanted to address before the book comes out, a little about what sorts of recipes aren’t included in the cookbook.

~~~oOo~~~

Balance.

It’s important in our diets, in our lives and in the time we spend in the kitchen.

If you’re making a big, showy entree you don’t want to exhaust yourself by making a complicated side-dish, as well.

In our house we eat a lot of simply steamed vegetables, usually from the freezer but that’s more because we stand to lose less fresh produce that way if we change our minds one night and don’t want to be stuck eating something just to prevent it going bad.

Basics, here: broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, green beans, chopped spinach and a lot more besides. Toss them in a microwave-steamer and cook 5 minutes then drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and some minced garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes and you’ve got a side disk for 4 without much work. Try a different seasoning, use a flavored oil or some flavored salt. But keep it simple.

That’s not to say that there are no side dish recipes in What to Feed Your Raiding Party–quite the contrary! But they are fewer than the entrees or all-in-one dishes and really go best pared with simple main dishes. Go all out with the Bacon and 3-Cheese Macaroni (nothing like what you find in a box!) when you’re popping a few steaks or chicken breasts on the grill. Candy some Sweet Potatoes while a chicken roasts. See what I mean?

Crowding your plate with a bunch of strong flavors or having everything be rich with a sauce just confuses your taste buds. Let one item shine and the rest complement it–that’s trick to making your kitchen time count and truly enjoying your meal.

~~~oOo~~~

Back to the drawing board…

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