Smaller group than usual this week (“only” 9) and we hadn’t had a beef main dish in quite sometime so I started with that and worked around it.
Hartford Election Cake – link provides some history
In addition to varying the main dish ingredient (chicken, pork, beef, sometimes lamb or turkey) I also try to vary the primary side dish every week. Really I’m trying to avoid the too easy trap of mashed potatoes with everything. Sure they are easy but variety is important. I also try to not have similar colored vegetables so if we are having asparagus I won’t also serve peas. Green veg present the most difficulty for me because there are so many.
I didn’t realize I was out of dried shitake mushrooms when I went grocery shopping so I left the mushrooms out of the Orzo Pilaf and in place of the 2 cups of mushroom reconstituting liquid I substituted 2 cups of veggie broth made with Vegetable Base by Better Than Bouillon. I think I found it at Price Chopper. Quite useful for adding flavor to rice, soup, stuffing, etc.
Hartford Election Cake is a recipe my husband and I learned in a yeast bread class at the Culinary Underground. It is a lightly sweetened bread with candied fruit bits incorporated in the dough and a simple glaze on top. Very nice.