I know we are already halfway through February (which is both shocking and thrilling, considering Edith asks every morning “Mom, is it summer yet?”), but I wanted to record some of our eats from January. One of my goals for this year has been Sunday lunch. It is really the only daytime meal in a whole week that we eat, all four (five) of us, sitting down, together, and I wanted to make it substantial and nice. It is always simple, but a treat when compared to our other lunches throughout the week.
Here are some of my Sunday lunch offerings so far:
Smitten Kitchen Lazy Pizza Dough + Pizza: I used Deb’s recipe, made it on Saturday night, and then shaped the pizzas the next day. I wasn’t perfectly happy with the dough, but it was my first time using that recipe (I usually use Alton Brown’s recipe), but I already know a few things I would do differently, starting with weighing my flour, something I have learned makes a big difference in all attempts at making anything that requires a dough. Instead of margherita pizza, I did a quick homemade pizza sauce with canned tomatoes from my mom’s pantry (we are down to two jars left and I will mourn their passing), some mozzarella, and Italian sausage. Simple, delicious, a treat for lunch.
Another Sunday lunch favorite was this Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, broccoli, and bacon. It is simple and easy, but also delicious and feels like a special meal. I have also enjoyed putting together a big salad and eating that with homemade bread or grilled cheese. Another Sunday I made a loaf of bread and served chicken noodle soup (this is the basic recipe I use… the lemon juice sauteed mushrooms are the best part) and all of those have felt like a treat.
January has been a lot of simple, repeat meals as I made a big piece of this Chile-Rubbed Braised Beef, froze it in meal-sized portions, and have been eating it weekly. It is great as tacos or just on top of some rice (ideally cooked in bone broth for the extra flavor). I love serving it with garlicky green beans from Salt Fat Acid Heat.
We do a lot of brussels sprouts in the winter and while cooking them with bacon and maple syrup is my go-to, these roasted brussels sprouts with a warm honey glaze are really delicious and add a nice variety to the meal plans. I serve brussels weekly and weekly John Henry sits down with a look of profound concern on his face when he sees brussels sprouts. He gets two on his plate and has to be convinced that he is a brave boy before being willing to eat them. I am pretty certain he is always surprised by how small a trial they actually are.
Finally, my latest foray into the world of bread was cinnamon raisin bread from The Bread Bible. I love this book, love this recipe, and have been very pleased with the results. The bread is a two-day process, but always worth it for some nice toast for breakfast. I accidentally discovered that if I bake the bread after dinner and then leave the loaves out on the cooling rack under a clean dish towel overnight, they don’t get stale, cool perfectly, and get a lovely crust. I am going to do this with every loaf of bread I bake now.