Family Dinner Plan: Apples and recipes

From our Mariquita Farms and Happy Child CSA boxes, we have a lot of apples around our house these days, and since I am newly endowed with braces, I am not eating them out of hand as before. Besides sliced in lunches, I found a few other recipes last week that were quite tasty:

Do you have any other apple recipes to recommend? Since the season is just getting started, I am still in collection mode.

(I realize the picture above is a bit of a non sequitur, since it has pears and not apples, but it was the picture I took this week and the one I am sharing. The pears all came from Happy Child CSA and include Warren, Bosc and Seckle pears. Now is the time to renew/begin a subscription for weekly fruit from Happy Child, visit their CSA page for more details.)

Last week’s menu was successful – since DH was out of town, I focused on basic foods that I know the kids like, such as soup and grilled cheese, tacos and pasta with pesto. Then I livened it up for my palate with different flavors and seasonings. The spicy chicken tacos were very good, with chicken thighs in the slow cooker which kept the moisture in nicely. And as predicted, the baked pesto chicken was easy and well received, especially with a side of whole grain pasta.

This summer, I bought a Cuisinart 12Qt stainless pasta/steamer set and once I figured out how to store this immense pot, have been using it regularly for pasta and large soups. Last week, I used the steamer basket on top of the boiling pasta to steam our cauliflower at the same time. Once it was al dente, I took it off the pot and tossed it in a hot pan with a little olive oil and salt until crispy. Very tasty.

Our box from Mariquita Farms had a large basket of Tomatoes, as well as Acorn Squash, Strawberries, Mixed Sweet Peppers, Escarole, Purple Cauliflower, Potatoes and Dill.

Annie was asking about what to do with Escarole, and besides fresh in salad or braised lightly, Foodily has good recipes for escarole. I am intrigued by the Escarole with Cannellini Beans, and Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs. Do you have any escarole recipes you especially enjoy?

Menu Plan for the week of October 23:

Cookie of the week: Classic Chocolate Chip from back of Ghirardhelli Semi-Sweet Chips bag

Sunday: Peperonata with Potatoes from Frog Commissary Cookbook, grilled sausages, apple and escarole salad

(Meatless) Monday: Crepes with leftover stuffings (peperonata is particularly good, especially with a little cheese), cherry tomatoes

Tuesday: Meatballs (made a double batch last time, froze the extra) in marinara with pasta, carrots and ranch

Wednesday: Chicken Lemon and Dill with Orzo (cheese served on the side), salad with fennel

Thursday: Pork chops, roasted acorn squash (probably brushed with honey or maple syrup), spaetzle, escarole salad

Friday: TGIF with TTVATO (Trashy TV and Take Out)

What is on your menu plan this week?