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Menu Planning: April 13-19

Holy Cats! I’ve been cooking up a storm! Here’s what has been through the test kitchen in the past couple of weeks:


  • Oysters Flori-nay (mix of Florentine and Mornay, a bit deconstructed)
  • Herbed White Bean Dip with Garlic Pita Crisps
  • Veggie Nachos (these were SO good and so simple, too!)
  • Hot Wing Crackers (but I want to try this one again: the flavor was good, the crunch was lacking)

Side Dishes:

  • Potato Salad (packed with colorful veggies, gorgeous and tasty!)
  • Roasted Dijon Cauliflower (another simple but tasty)
  • Rosemary Risotto (worth the effort)
  • Garlicy Green Beans (spicy and sweet and yum!)
  • Fried Corn (not too spicy, just enough for flavor)
  • Refried Beans (yes, you can make them at home!)


  • Russian Stew (based on a  medieval Borscht, it’s so much more than beet soup)
  • Lamp and Fennel kebabs (the surprise ingredient: plums!)
  • Monte Frisco’s (like a Monte Cristo but not fried–all the flavor with less fat!)
  • Baked Chicken and Rice (mmmm saffron!)
  • Shepard’s Pie (an old favorite and perfect for a crowd)
  • Shrimp-Stuffed Mirliton (prepare to meet the Chayote Squash!)
  • Chicken Enchila-sagna (originally meant to be Chicken Enchilada Casserole but after testing it I think a layered lasagna treatment might work better for portions and serving–see, this is why I test things!)


  • Strawberry Dumplings (works with other fruits, too, fresh or frozen and is excellent with ice cream… mmmm!)

So, yeah, 18 recipes tested over 2 weeks. And I just finished making some really good chocolate chocolate-chip muffins that might have to make it in, too! So we’ll say 19 and be nearly halfway through the testing! Woot!

So, since I’m not cooking this week, what will I be working on?

  • Script the next comic story.
  • Test my top 3 contenders for the nutritional analysis software.
  • Work on the sponsorship pages.

Yes, it’s a short list this week but I’m still dealing with the craziness and trying to figure out where projects fall in the priority list. No worries, this one’s way high up there, it’s just getting a working plan together that is taking time 🙂

And, because I promised pictures before and haven’t posted any yet, here’s one to whet your appetite.

Stuffed Mirliton

This is that mysterious Stuffed Mirliton that you may not have heard of before. Mirliton is another name for Chayote Squash aka Chayote Pear aka Vegetable Pear and so on and so forth. It’s got a lot of names but it’s a part of the squash family and is kind of difficult to describe–a little cucumberish in taste and pear/squash in texture. When prepared well it’s very tasty and loaded with Vitamin C and all sorts of other yummy stuff. Speaking of stuff, the stuffing in onions, celery, garlic and shrimp! Add in some breadcrumbs and cheese and… mmmmm! Can’t find Chayote? This stuffing would be great in other types of squash, in bell peppers or even in eggplant!

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