Weekly Menu — 4/27/2013

Week of April 27th

Saturday night is my husband’s 40th birthday bash and we are hosting a dinner & game party for 16 — whew. 🙂 I am going with an Asian theme per my dear husband’s request so expect to see a large menu for Saturday. I am trying to stick with simple dishes that can be made ahead of time so I can play with our friends rather than be stuck in the kitchen. So what’s on tap for the remainder of the week? An easy and tentative menu based on any party leftovers and how much (or how little) I feel like being in the kitchen.

  • Asian summer rolls with peanut sauce: I won’t easily part with my peanut sauce recipe. In fact, I am not going to. I have spent years perfecting this sauce and could eat it with a spoon. YUM. So, you’ll have to bribe me, feed me, ply me with good wine or tempt me with jewelry (I don’t say no to diamonds or Tiffany’s) to get my spicy peanut sauce recipe. I will confess, however, that although I have made my own spring rolls many times, I am not going to go to the trouble for this party. We are getting a platter from our favorite Vietnamese restaurant instead. I’ll just swap out their peanut sauce for my own. 
  • Roasted red pepper dip with rice crackers & crudites: This is a fast, easy and delicious appetizer. I don’t bother with the white bread the recipe calls for as it really doesn’t need it. I also sometimes add feta for a creamier dip or hot pepper flakes or harissa for a spicy kick. Or both! Make it your own. Leftovers are great on sandwiches. 
  • Chinese BBQ pork loin with garlic dipping sauce: This dish always gets gobbled up. It’s great for parties as it’s even better at room temperature, so make it ahead and enjoy your guests. 
  • Thai spicy ground chicken with toasted rice
  • Coconut rice: Simply toss freshly steamed rice with toasted coconut flakes and chopped cilantro. You can even simmer the rice in coconut milk instead of water if you wish. 
  • Soba noodle salad: Toss cooled noodles with peanut sauce (thinned with soy sauce and lime juice) and any slivered or julienned vegetables you have on hand. I like to add colorful bell peppers, carrots and sugar snap peas. Toss in fresh Thai basil, cilantro and mint just before serving and top with chopped peanuts. Delicious cold or at room temp. 
  • Spicy cabbage salad with garlic & lime
  • Dessert — thankfully, somebody else offered to bring this


  • Farmer’s market menu: basically whatever looks delicious this morning at the farmer’s market. Something simple. 


  • Chicken-tortilla soup with all the fixings: My friend and fellow cook and dirty martini drinker Eryn passed this recipe along to me. She recommends adding more spice, but says it’s definitely worth a re-make and makes great lunches the next day. Cheers Eryn! 
  • Simple green salad


  • Party leftovers, hopefully


  • Poached eggs over roasted mushrooms
  • Green salad


  • Leftover tortilla soup


  • Date night — out to dinner we go!

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