Jennifer Maiser writes about locally and sustainably grown food. The Cooking with a Friend series chronicles her cooking and menu planning adventures with her neighbor, J.


A week in Southern California turned into nearly two. By the time I returned to San Francisco I was worried that J. had moved on and was ready to break-up with our little cooking project. After discussing this over drinks the night I returned, we realized that we were both as excited as ever to continue cooking together.

I drove the majority of the menu plan this week. I'm desperately waiting for tomatoes to get to the market (it will be about another month before I start purchasing them), and expect our menu to become much more summer vegetable-driven pretty quickly. In the meantime, we had a fairly basic menu this week:

Final Menu, Week 9

  • Grilled chicken salad with spinach, feta and green beans
  • Oil and vinegar potato salad
  • Roasted duck fried rice
  • Hot cranberry beans with green garlic
  • Corned beef and fresh bread

Cost: $26 each

Both of us remarked on the inexpensive week. Part of this is the magic of making this a long-term project. The cranberry beans and bread ingredients had all been purchased a few weeks back and didn't go into this week's cost. Of the $52 spent, approximately $30 of it was spent on meats: chicken, duck and corned beef.

The menu this week took some prep, but once we began actively cooking it was relatively quick to put together. On Saturday, I prepped the bread to rise overnight, cooked the white rice, and soaked the dry cranberry beans. We had purchased a prepared corned beef from a local butcher and that went into the slow cooker on Sunday morning. I baked the bread right before J. got to my apartment, and we were well on our way to a quick cooking day.

This week I'm including a recipe for roasted duck fried rice. We purchased the duck from a Chinese market in San Francisco, and having a pre-roasted duck adds to the simplicity of the dish. It tastes delicious and I've been eating it for breakfast all week.

Check out the recipe: Roasted Duck Fried Rice

About the author: About the author: Jennifer Maiser is the founder and editor of the Eat Local Challenge website and writes at Life Begins at 30, her personal weblog.


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