This was another great week for spinach. It’s been on sale recently, and I’ve been trying to serve at least one salad during the week, so I’ve been doubling up on those big 10-ounce containers. We can get through two of them in a week and a half, so it works. This was also a good week for homemade components to dinners: pie crust, pizza crust, and pierogies were all carefully crafted by hand. I could have done the hamburger buns too, but I still haven’t cracked the code for soft buns, so I cheated and bought them. I’m just thankful at least one company (Orowheat) doesn’t put high-fructose corn syrup in their buns. But I’m still not giving up on making my own soft buns. Someday!

Roasted Chicken for Les Paresseux with Lemon-Steamed Spinach (from Around My French Table)


Easiest roast chicken ever. There’s a reason it’s called “roasted chicken for lazy people.” All you do is throw everything into a Dutch oven and stick it in the oven. Done. Really, the only problem we had was that I over-cooked the chicken just a bit (it probably could have used 15 minutes less). I tend to buy smaller chickens, something I need to keep in mind when roasting them. But still, this was delicious. The meat didn’t take on a strong flavor of the seasonings, which makes it very nice for using in leftovers. The roasted veg were also pretty awesome. Did I mention how simple this was? This could easily become our go-to roasted chicken recipe. Anyone could do this.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tart (from Cooking Season by Season)


I’ve come to learn that when a recipe suggests a certain amount of cooked spinach, I should just go ahead and double that amount. Not that this tart wasn’t tasty – it was delicious. But it definitely needed more spinach. Or maybe some artichoke. Or asparagus. It just needed more. Except not more cheese and not more pine nuts. There were plenty of those two ingredients, and that was awesome. I tend to serve tarts/quiches all on their own though, so I like a little more veg packed into them. Still, I’m not going to complain about this one. Very yummy. Geordie added some leftover Cornish hen to his plate and absolutely devoured it. Definitely a win!

Chicken Enchilada Pizza (from Gimme Some Oven)


We really enjoyed this. The homemade enchilada sauce brought so much flavor to the pizza. It was terrific, and because I replaced some of the chili powder with chipotle powder, it had a lovely smokiness to it. It is spicy, that’s for certain! You get even more spicy sensation from the chicken tossed with more enchilada sauce, plus for half of the cheese, I used a three-pepper Jack that had plenty of heat on its own. To add some lightness, I sprinkled on some chopped tomato before adding the cheese, and I served it with avocado and sour cream. Everything worked quite well together, and neither of us had anything to complain about. For this batch of pizza dough, I used a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flours, which was a nice combination. I’m thinking that’s something I’ll continue to do in the future.

Pierogies with Pork & Apple (from the Great Meat Cookbook) and spinach salad with roasted garlic vinaigrette


I like pierogies, but I don’t like to buy them pre-made, because they almost always have onions in them. The obvious solution to this is to make them myself. So I did. It was a bit of work, but it did pay off. I used the King Arthur Flour pierogie recipe for the dough, and I’m not entirely sold on it. I’d like to try another version or two before settling on my go-to recipe. And I will be making these again. Perhaps not with this filling, but certainly with others. Supposedly, they freeze really well, and then all you have to do is drop them in boiling water and cook ’em up. That would make for a fantastic quick meal should we ever need it. And since the fillings are all customizable, it’ll be easy to make kid-friendly ones in the future. I served these with a little maple syrup and sour cream, and Geordie tried a little BBQ sauce and said it was alright. The pork got a little dry from over-cooking, I think, but it was still pretty tasty. Next time, I’ll know to not let them boil too long. I can easily see these little babies becoming new family favorites, though!

Hamburgers and Sweet Potato Fries (from Mama’s Table to Mine)


Well, you know. It’s a hamburger. Nothing too special. We bought these pre-made with our bulk meat purchase and are working our way through them. This is how I usually eat hamburgers: open-faced, with ketchup (preferably jazzed up with some chipotle powder), tomato, avocado, and pickles. Although I do love mayo and cheese on a burger, I figure there’s enough indulgence going on here. But it’s simple indulgence, so we’re all good. Let’s talk about the sweet potato fries. There is a secret to making homemade crispy sweet potato fries. I’ve done it before, but I can’t remember how I did it. These fries, from Bobby Deen’s newest cookbook, taste great but fail completely at being crispy. I’m going to have to try a different recipe. I get the feeling that’s going to be an ongoing project for me.