The week in suppers: last of the cold cellar

sweet potato soup

**Monday’s menu** Split-pea soup (crockpot). Baked squash. Homemade garlic bread.
**Cold cellar** Monday saw me heading to the cold cellar on a mission: use up what’s left, and quickly. The warm snap was not good for the rotting veg factor, therefore, roasted squash. I also delivered several pounds of garlic to friends this week; it had become suddenly rather redolent — not spoiled, mind you, just hinting toward The End. I’d stored too much for our family to use before time ran out. Must make note and remember this for next season’s garlic order …

**Tuesday’s menu** Sweet potato soup (crockpot). Steamed broccoli. Baguette and cheese.
**Cold cellar** Used leftover roasted squash in soup, combined with sweet potatoes. And made such an enormous batch that I froze the leftovers for another supper.

**Wednesday’s menu** CJ’s birthday party supper, one day early: Black beans, rice, fried hamburger, tamales, tortillas, tortilla chips, avocado salad, spinach salad, peppers, cilantro, green onions, various cheeses and salsas and toppings. Birthday cake/cupcakes and ice cream for dessert (of course).
**Party fare** I love serving this meal to a crowd. It can be served buffet-style, and happily feeds a variety of tastes and dietary needs — vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc., etc. The other advantage to this meal is the ease with which much of it can be prepared in advance. Sure, it took the better part of my afternoon to chop, mix up dressings (with loads of garlic), etc., but I was able to serve this meal to 18 people within half an hour of getting home from the girls’ piano lessons.
**Cheating** The cake/cupcakes were out of a box. The little kids and I baked them the night before. I would not object to making party cake from scratch, but have yet to discover a simple and successful cake recipe that compares to a boxed mix. Maybe you have one?

**Thursday’s menu** Gallo pinto (beans fried with rice). Leftover fixings.
**Because** Nothing’s easier. Always insanely and unexpectedly good.

**Friday’s menu** Church supper.
**Because** Thank you, God, we made it to Friday night.


**Weekend kitchen accomplishments** Four loaves of bread.

**Cooking with kids** AppleApple’s menu. Greek theme. See chalkboard, above.

March12 719
“I think they like olives and lemons in Greece.”

Be kind
"I stalk her on the internet"


  1. Ellen

    I really need to work on new recipes. I’m thinking that your posting your menu puts my mind to work….what to fix tonight?

  2. Nath

    Life is too short for box cakes.

    Seriously, if you’re going to be eating that many calories, they may as well be really good ones. With a few exceptions, like chiffon and angel food cakes where you have to whip the egg whites first, it really doesn’t take that much longer to make a cake from scratch. About the amount of time it takes for your oven to heat up. The part that takes the longest is greasing and flouring the pans, which I loathe, and you have to do that for box cakes anyway. You’ll have a few more dishes to do, sure, but the end result is worth it!

    My favourite cake recipe is the Martha Stewart One-bowl chocolate cake. It takes less than 10 minutes to put together (except for pan greasing…). It’s on my blog here:

    I have her Baking Handbook, and most of the cakes in there are fairly easy, if chocolate isn’t your thing. You can borrow it anytime!!

    Frosting is a whole other story. It’s definitely way faster to use that ready-made stuff. But the extra time it takes to make it at home is far outweighed by the deliciousness of it.

  3. Carrie Snyder

    But I have a chocolate-hater in the house, Nath! So I need a good white/vanilla cake recipe. Do you have a recipe for that? Also, I use organic mixes which have a very short list of ingredients, all recognizable. I think they’re okay … and I haven’t made one better myself. Maybe cake is not my forte.

  4. Carrie Snyder

    Tonight I’m planning to make fresh pesto, Ellen. 🙂

  5. Nath

    I forgot all about your chocolate hater! And it was his birthday cake, so that wouldn’t work for you. But I do have white and yellow cake recipes. I’ll dig them up and send them to you. And I have another one that’s really yummy but a little more involved as you need to use vanilla pods. But it’s so good!

  6. Carrie Snyder

    I would love those recipes. I actually go searching through my cookbooks every birthday, only to be reminded that none I’ve tried have been successful, or that the recipe calls for an ingredient not on hand, or that it requires separating yolks from whites and beating with cream of tartar — one step too many for me!

  7. m

    I have a great chocolate cake recipe, but it sounds like you don’t need that one. Also, my go-to cake is a lemon chiffon, which is fantastic. I can email that to you if you want. But if you’re looking for vanilla, I recently discovered this one:

    I’ve used it for two birthdays in a row and I think it’s going to be my standard vanilla cake. Haven’t tried it as cupcakes, though. It’s not too dense, but also not too fluffy. Perfect for decorating with icing and whatnot.

  8. Margo

    I think cakes are my weakest dessert, unless they’re really sturdy cakes with fruit in them. And we do like chocolate a lot, so my go-to cake is the Depression-era Wacky Cake.

    My daughter asked for carrot cake one birthday – that wasn’t too hard. We like gingerbread too – also an excellent way to use up sour milk.


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