OK, so my menu last week fell apart before my very eyes. Sometimes life just happens.

I turned Thursday into baking day and my knee revolted from all the standing. Joram and Caramon whipped up pancakes instead of what was scheduled. Friday both boys ended up with a scout function. Good news is Caramon passed off his Swimming Merit Badge and Joram knows what to work on. Bad news is we had a very messed up eating schedule. Saturday we ended up a friend’s house.

So you see, nothing went as planned. That’s OK. It happens. I like having a menu plan, but I also know I need to be flexible. That is one of the many reasons that I like having a stockpile of various things. Maybe we just want something different, maybe life throws us a curveball, you just never know.

The bright side of things is that my menu plan looks good for all of April and most of May. Not too bad, right? If you followed yesterday’s blog, you’ll know some of our meals to come!

We did get to do a little more Culinary Adventures. Two I will share via guest blogger over the next couple of weeks. My friend, Kate, has a blog called Around the World in 80 Plates. This year she plans to “travel” to 80 countries via their special dishes. This weekend she got both the Philippians and Italy. I hope you will enjoy those entries as much as you hopefully enjoy mine.

For now, I’ll entertain you with our trip to France and then list out our meals for this week.

Kate’s adventures are definitely interesting. Having many international friends growing up, I love the dishes of the nation. Unfortunately for me, that doesn’t really work well into my husband’s eating habits. With trying to teach the boys how to cook and sharing Kate’s adventures, I’ve managed to guilt him into allowing us a little more leeway with our meals.

He’s been dubious, but last night he requested more of that German soup. So that’s good, right? Another meal he’ll eat!

We still have potatoes that need eaten, so I tried out Coach DS for myself. There’s a great search button and I told it, “I’ve got potatoes, what can I make?” One of the meals looked so scrumptious I knew I must make it.

Besides, it came from France. I love France! I started studying French in 6th grade. By the time I stopped partway through my 11th grade, I could read quite well. I’d wanted to go to France, but that has yet to happen. I used my not as great French skills to attempt to butcher the language and translate when Canadians would come into the KFC where I worked. I know it sounds strange, but we did have quite a few French Canadians stroll in each week. Go figure. Let me tell you, it’s about as much like Parisian French as Mexico’s language is to Spain’s. But, if you know one, you can try to muddle through – or so my boss thought.

One of the great things I love about France is cheese. The softer cheeses don’t give me near as much distress as harder cheeses. Many know that my body and cow products are not the most happy of friends.

My husband? Not so much. The fancy French cheeses could probably stay in France as far as he’s concerned. He’s a simple man with simple tastes. Cheddar, Mozzarella, those are the cheeses for him. He thinks he’s fancy if he gets Muenster.

Time for some culture… of the dairy sort. I picked Tartiflette for dinner on Sunday night. Comprising this dish you have cheese, potatoes, onion, and some bacon. Yeah, that’s about it.

My recipe called for Reblochon. I couldn’t even get this into my head. For whatever reason I kept thinking “Toblerone”… guess my sweet tooth was acting up? At any rate, I searched high and low for this darn cheese. Thank goodness Coach DS gave me a shopping list since I couldn’t ever keep that name in my head.

I finally turned to the handy dandy internet. Oh goodie – it’s hard to find in America. Even in the greater DC area, I guess. Sheesh. Thank goodness, I read the cheese was a lot like brie. Ok, so not exactly the same, but if you think “brie” you can kind of get the idea. Coach DS recommended subbing in Camembert. My Giant happened to be sold out, but I found some at another one. (Actually Kate saw it first and I grabbed it!)

I set the kids to slicing potatoes, onions, and cheese. Now, came the age old question: To rind or not to rind. Consider me gauche, but I just think the rind on Camembert as too thick. I can handle it on brie, but not Camembert. I googled, quickly, but it seemed like people were really torn on this and I made an executive decision. Off with its rind!

Mock me if you will, I don’t care. It’s the way I like it. It’s probably like bread crust here in the States. Some do it, some don’t. I’m sure someone in France chops the rind off their Camembert as well.

Here’s my cheese, sliced – and I think that mouse is trying to steal some!

Doesn’t that cheese look wonderful?

There wasn’t much to this meal. You just saute some onions, toss in a few slices of sliced bacon, add in a sliced potato that’s been boiled… not too hard. You then put that into a baking dish, top with cheese and bake away.

When it’s done, it looks like this:

I pulled this out of the oven and my stomach started rumbling. I dished it up and we dove in like we hadn’t eaten all day. Within minutes our plates were empty. It wasn’t enough for a meal in of itself, but don’t worry about us.

The verdict from Sir Megabyte was: I like this. He LIKES it??? Oh yes he does, he said so! TWICE! Not only that, he decided making up some eggs would be a perfect touch to round out a future meal of Tartiflette!

That’s right. You read it here. Not only did he enjoy a meal, he said he liked it, and he’s planning for us to have it again! YAY!

Let’s return to the States, at least for a time, and talk about some menu plans for this week! I am personally hoping for a more calm week. My potatoes really need to be finished up, so I’m going to attempt my meals finally!

Monday: Pizza Hut Book It – yay for reading and pizza!
Tuesday: Spanish Tortilla (Duh, Spain)
Wednesday: Scavenging Scouts Night
Thursday: Beef Hash (Scandinavia)
Friday: Beef and Pasta Gratin (Another French meal)
Saturday: Spaghetti (yay I can try the new sauce recipe!)
Sunday: Mexican “Un”Stuffed Shells (yay for trying my other new freezer meal!)

Happy Eating!

–Lady O