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The Gift of Food • Week 1

April 5, 2012 by Joan Nova in "Foodie" Activities, Fish/Seafood, Italian, Meat, Menu Planning, Mexican + Southwestern, Pasta, Poultry | 26 Comments

I gave the gift of Food. And Love. And Time. Theirs. Mine.

It’s dinner delivery four nights a week (M-TH) for the month of April to a hard-working couple of newlyweds who arrive home really late from their jobs. It’s difficult for them to keep a healthy and versatile diet and impossible for them to have any discretionary free time after work.

Think about it? How much time do you spend a week — food shopping? Prepping? Cooking? Cleaning up?

Since I won’t have much time to develop other recipes and posts for FOODalogue during this period, I decided to chronicle the experience. So, once a week you’ll see my version of Meals on Wheels. Perhaps it’ll give you some ideas for your own menu planning. And, it’ll definitely keep me on my toes to keep it versatile and healthy-ish.

We skipped one day the first week because of a calendar conflict.

Day 1

Bone-in pork chops were browned and slow braised with red cabbage, onions, carrots, bacon, Granny Smith apple, cider vinegar, Pinot Noir, chicken broth and appropriate spices. Served with roasted organic baby sweet potatoes.

Day 2

Salmon was poached in a bath of white wine, orange and lime juice, onions, tomatoes, celery and garlic. Cooked brown rice was baked with fresh corn niblets, chopped tomato, scallions, sour cream and topped with chipotle cheese. Served with a salad of charred corn, avocado, sweet peppers, red onion, and tomatoes dressed with evoo and lime juice.

Day 3

Whole chicken roasted with chopped tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, onions, carrots, exotic mushrooms, sweet peppers, olives, capers, sweet vermouth. Served with pasta and sauteed zucchini shoestrings which I instructed them to toss with the pasta before eating.

Come back next week to see what’s cooking!

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Towber says:

    What a lucky couple to have you cook for them – every night.
    Do I know them?

  2. What a lovely thing to do, Joan. I’m sure they really appreciate it and love being spoiled!
    the wicked noodle recently posted..the best deviled eggs {pastel-striped for easter}My Profile

  3. Liz says:

    It’s always nice to help out.

  4. Arlene says:

    What a fabulous gift! That couple really hit the jackpot. I can’t wait to see what else you prepare for them.
    Arlene recently posted..Five Spice Pork Stir-fryMy Profile

  5. Katie says:

    The gift that keeps on giving! Who wouldn’t want to be spoiled with an entire month of your cooking? What a lucky couple. :)
    Katie recently posted..Butternut Squash and Ricotta Gnocchi, Two Ways | Ñoquis de Zapallo y Ricota, Servido de Dos ManerasMy Profile

  6. bellini says:

    This really is an innovative gift Joan and would be appreciated by the happy couple and so many. Don’t forget there is always FedEx and they ship to Canada..wink.

  7. Buela says:

    I suspect I might know that very adorable and hard working couple.
    Great idea and no one deserves it more.

  8. Love this idea Joan and give you a lot of credit for making this huge effort. I’m sure they will appreciate it. Looking forward to keeping up with your posts.
    Patricia Durr recently posted..A Frosted Taralli, Charmel are an Easter SpecialtyMy Profile

  9. What a lovely way to give the true gift of love–via your inspired food and your hard work as well. You inspired!
    Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Chimichurri Part II: The PorkMy Profile

  10. Ben says:

    What an interesting project! How did you get involve in that?
    Ben recently posted..Baked Figs in Rompope SauceMy Profile

  11. Your such a good person…Do you deliver to Manhattan….
    Platanos, Mangoes and Me! recently posted..PIŇA COLADA UPSIDE DOWN PANCAKES + COCONUT RIMMED PINEAPPLE MIMOSAMy Profile

  12. That is one of the coolest gifts ever. Nice variety!

  13. Jim says:

    It’s been great! This is the best gift.

  14. sippitysup says:

    I wish I were a newlywed. I’d love some of your love. “I gave the gift of Food. And Love. And Time. Theirs. Mine”. GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..You Know My Mom’s Savory Clafouti is Definitely Going In My CookbookMy Profile

  15. Patty says:

    The menus look very good, do you deliver to Nor Cal? Probably not.
    I’m going to be your newest subscriber so I don’t miss a post;-) Have a very Happy Easter;-)

  16. Liz says:

    What a marvelous gift! And I love how you listed the name of the dish AND the ingredients…I will start doing this, too.

  17. What a lovely thing you are doing Joan. These are gifts of love.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Oh So Good Dutch Baby with Lemon Sugar – Lemony Goodness for a Spring Time BreakfastMy Profile

  18. susan mathew says:

    That is one of the coolest gifts ever.

  19. Lori Lynn says:

    You are so sweet Joan. Such a fabulous gift! And with your cooking skills, I bet this couple is over-the-moon!
    Lori Lynn recently posted..Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, MintMy Profile

  20. Ivy says:

    What a kind and selfless gesture. They are really lucky to have you.
    Ivy recently posted..Melenios Halvas Bananas (Honey flavoured Banana Halvas)My Profile

  21. What a wonderful thing to do! They must be so excited…lovely dishes as well :)

  22. Nuria says:

    That’s a wonderful project/gift Joan! You are awesome dear :D and those dishes look so good. Bravo to you!
    Nuria recently posted..Juicy Bean and Blood Sausage OmeletMy Profile

  23. Robin Sue says:

    This is a lovely gift Joan. Such a great idea! The gift of food and time- nothing could be better. Bravo!

  24. Now I have another reason to regret not being your neighbor…!
    I need to be spoilt like that!!!

  25. Can I be YOUR best friend. What a lovely idea. I sometimes bring a meal to a neighbor and it’s a lot of work (and stress). I can’t imagine just how blessed this couple is. Wow!
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Hazelnut Crusted Ahi Tuna with Tagliatelle in Olive Anchovy SauceMy Profile

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