Last week, we spent a couple of days prepping and cooking for Saturday. We had some favorite people over as Aisa’s leaving for a 10-week internship in Michigan, Paco’s leaving for 7 (though he’ll be home on the weekends) and Migi will be gone for 3. We prepared so much food that our fridge is still full of goodies that we snack on and base our main meals on. It’s so relaxing to be able to just pull things out and not worry about cooking every single day. It’s so freeing, that I’m putting the whole menu here, and I’ll try to keep up a routine of 2x a week cooking all summer. I know some moms who do once a month cooking, but 2x a week is already a VAST improvement for me.

1. Filipino barbecued pork, which Aisa broke down from a whole Boston Butt Roast — marinated and skewered and grilled.
2. Chicken thighs, marinated and grilled.
3. Mussels, steamed and marinated in remoulade.
4. Shrimp, poached in Pernod, optionally tossed in pesto.
5. A white bean-kalamata-goat cheese spread that Aisa put together, with/without zucchini. Very nice on allergy-free bread from Schar (which we will try to copy).
6. Blanched green beans tossed with an almond-butter-soy-sesame dressing.
7. Blanched cauliflower tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and shichimi togarashi.
8. Boiled eggs, aioli optional.
9. Pickled carrot sticks.
10. Pickled zucchini sticks.
11. Quick-pickled cucumber slices.
12. Boiled chickpeas tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, sesame seeds, and salt and pepper.
13. Peter Reinhart’s pizza crust, my half-whole-wheat version, rolled out and ready to use.
14. Various toppings for pizza, e.g., fresh arugula from the garden, nitrite-free salami, mozzarella (on the list of to-dos for the summer), and my favorite no-cook pizza sauce.
15. Lemon bars. (need to make an allergy-free version)
16. Cream cheese brownies. (need to make an allergy-free version)
17. Thai tea in the pitcher and thai tea ice in ziploc bags. (thinking of a healthier rooibos-almond-vanilla-star-anise version)
18. Green-tea-mango concentrate in the pitcher, more as ice cubes in ziploc bags.
19. Yena’s fabulous apple tart.
20. My finally-successful cioccolato gelato.
21. Jiaozi made with ground turkey instead of pork, and of course the accompanying sauce.
22. Raw mushroom salad.
23. Berry sorbet.
24. Aisa’s beer sorbet.
25. Aisa’s chocolate sorbet.

(It helps to have daughters who love to cook.)

The fridge is finally starting to get empty again, so tomorrow I’m making our edamame, maybe tossed with the same almond-butter dressing that I used on the green beans, a carrot soup with fried sage leaves for topping, turkey meatloaf, our favorite lentil salad, and some spicy broccoli. Those plus the leftovers from up top should be good for 3 days or so. And then I’ll start another cycle.