Monday, November 17, 2014

Menu Monday ~ November 17, 2014

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Monday:
  • potatoes/onions/peppers/sausage bake
  • salad
  • green beans (leftovers)

Tuesday:
  • baked ziti (made with leftover spaghetti sauce)
  • salad
  • garlic bread
Wednesday:
  • Mexican rice casserole
  • salad
  • chips and salsa
Thursday:
Dinner at local Italian restaurant. We have a Happyland Music Alliance show from 7-10.

Friday:
  • crockpot roast with potatoes, carrots and onions
  • salad
  • French bread or rolls
Saturday:
  • vegetable beef soup with parmesan dumplings
Sunday:
Family Dinner and Game Night
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • homemade chicken noodle soup
~~~~~

What's cooking at your house this week?

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Giving Thanks


This year is just zipping along, isn't it? I can't believe we are only 12 days away from Thanksgiving. Our extended family will be celebrating together the evening of Thanksgiving. One of my cousins generously opens her home for this gathering almost every year. There are quite a few of our usual group who will be out of town this year yet we are still expecting around 35. Fortunately our family has always done holiday meals as a potluck. A couple of years ago I found the website Perfect Potluck which makes it really easy to cover all our bases and make sure we don't end up with four pans of sweet potatoes and no cranberry sauce.

Speaking of cranberry sauce, that's one of the items I signed up to bring. I grew up on the canned stuff but several years ago I made some from scratch and was astounded by how easy it is to make. And so much better! Here is the link to how I make mine:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I will also be bringing a big pan of homemade dressing. I've made this in a variety of ways, largely because I keep forgetting what recipe I used the year before. It's always been good, though. We have some people in the family who actually like Stove Top Stuffing and someone usually brings some of that, too. Personally, I prefer the real stuff. This year I will try to remember to photograph the finished product and write a recipe post. If you have a favorite recipe I'd love to see it. Leave me a comment.

Chances are I'll end up bringing something else, too. Maybe I'll try this recipe for Sweet Potato Creme Brulee.

In addition to the big family gathering I will also host a Thanksgiving meal in my home. I don't know yet when that will take place or just who will be here. I'll make sure it's a time when our kids can be here and my niece and her boyfriend, as well. Hopefully my parents will be able to join us, too. It can be a lot of work to pull off a big Thanksgiving meal but spending time with my family is important. Besides, the leftovers make it all worthwhile!

Here are the links to some of my usual holiday recipes:
So, what are your Thanksgiving plans this year? Do you have any favorite holiday recipes you'd like to share? 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Menu Monday ~ November 10, 2014

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Monday:
  • black bean enchiladas
  • Mexican rice
  • salad
Tuesday:
  • broccoli cheese soup
  • sourdough bread
Wednesday:
Lisa (my daughter) and I will be doing our monthly grocery shopping in the city. Our guys are on their own and we will eat up there. 

Thursday:
Dinner at local Italian restaurant while watching one of our bands perform. 

Friday:
Saturday:
  • chicken and dumplings
Sunday:
Family dinner and game night
  • spaghetti and meatballs
  • salad
  • garlic bread
~~~~~

Don't forget that I love to share your recipes as guest posts. If you have a favorite you'd like to share, take a look at the easy guidelines here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Menu Monday ~ November 3, 2014

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Well, we made it back from our trip to Paris. Oh, my! We had a marvelous time and the food was divine. Really, truly spectacular. I'll be sharing more about that later this week but for now, how about a weekly menu?

Monday:
David came home with a cold and the weather has turned chilly so a big bowl of steaming hot soup sounds like a perfect choice for tonight. Plus I haven't been to the store other than picking up bread at Whole Foods in Dallas on our way home and milk and lettuce at our local Braum's. I'll chop and sauté an onion in some butter, add a carton of organic chicken broth and then start tossing in whatever I find that looks like a soup ingredient. 
  • Freezer/pantry soup
  • baguette (from Whole Foods)
Tuesday:
I can make this meal from ingredients on hand and put off grocery shopping awhile longer. 
  • lentil rice casserole
  • tortillas (from freezer)
  • salad
  • chips and salsa
Wednesday:
I'm driving my mom to the city this afternoon to pick up my aunt at the airport. She gets in late afternoon so the three of us will probably stop somewhere for dinner on our way home. There will be leftovers from Tuesday or David can eat at Rib Crib where our musicians have a gig that night. 

Thursday:
Unless plans change I will have my parents and my aunt over for dinner on Thursday. My aunt is extremely allergic to dairy so I've planned a meal that will work for her and hopefully be delicious for all of us. I haven't decided what to do for dessert, though. Any suggestions for something that doesn't use milk or butter?
  • Beef Bourguignon 
  • salad
  • French bread
Friday:
If there are Beef Bourguignon leftovers I will make shepherds pie with them. If not? Well, I'll come up with something. 
  • shepherds pie 
  • peas
Saturday:
One of our bands is a Battle of the Bands finals in Oklahoma City on Saturday and we plan to go. We'll eat up there. 

Sunday:
We didn't have our usual "family dinner" yesterday because of David's cold. We'll try again this week.
  • spaghetti and meatballs
  • French bread
  • salad
  • homemade cookies

~~~~~

So, what's cooking at your house this week? Are you transitioning to fall/winter foods yet?


Monday, October 13, 2014

Menu Monday ~ October 13, 2014

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Monday:
  • baked ziti
  • salad
  • French bread
Tuesday:
David will be in Houston on a business trip most of this week so I'll have leftovers or a salad.
Wednesday:
Salad at home before I go check on our show at Rib Crib and pay the musician.

Thursday:
We have a show at Papa Gjorgjo's so I'll eat something there. 
 
Friday:
David will be back. I keep putting this meal on my menu and for one reason or another we still haven't had it. Maybe this week!
  • whole roasted chicken
  • mashed potatoes
  • whiskey glazed carrots
  • salad
Saturday:
  • planned leftovers from Friday's dinner
Sunday:
Family dinner and game night - 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Guest Post Friday ~ Iced Pumpkin Cookies


Iced Pumpkin Cookies
by Aaron Rumley


So my girlfriend loves pumpkin. Doesn't matter what, if it has pumpkin in it, she's probably going to love it. Naturally, fall is the heyday for her adored flavor. It's not exactly fall weather yet, but that didn't stop her from getting a serious craving for something pumpkin-y a few days ago. We agreed it was too early in the year for a pie, and a cake would be too much temptation just lying around, looking all delicious and such. So we agreed on cookies, small portions, easy to make, and easier to give away before we ate them all for dinner.

Ingredients: 

  • 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.


A few notes on my personal experience with this particular recipe: I'm not sure where I got off on my mixes, but 15 to 20 minutes was not enough to get them completely done. I didn't keep track of all the “few more minutes” they were put back in for, but it probably came out to more around 35-40 minutes. And I'm sure the drizzle-by-fork method of applying icing would be fine, but I chose to use an empty clear condiment bottle to squeeze it out from, which gave them a nice cross-hatched design. The end result was still a little doughy, but I'm a fan of chewy, doughy cookies anyway, and they still managed to satiate the lady's craving, so I'm calling it a win.

~~~~~

Aaron Rumley is a good friend who enjoys hanging out with us listening to live music AND bakes pumpkin cookies for his girlfriend. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Menu Monday ~ September 29, 2014

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Monday:
I had roast left over from Friday so stroganoff sounded like a good plan.
  • stroganoff
  • egg noodles
  • salad

Tuesday:
Our little town of Ada happens to be Blake Shelton's hometown and Tuesday is the release of his new album which features the Ada water tower on the cover. Ada is throwing him a block party and our company, Happyland Music Alliance, is in charge of the Blake Shelton Showdown singing contest. The event is from 5-8 p.m. and there will be several food vendors there. Guess where we will be eating? 

Wednesday:
I have a piano lesson at 3:30 and one of our musicians performs at Ada Rib Crib at 5:30 so we will eat there. Then I have choir rehearsal at 6:45. Apparently this will be our usual Wednesday routine for awhile. 

Thursday:
Another night of HMA music, this time on the patio of Papa Gjorgjo's North Lounge. Last night was barbecue and tonight will be Italian food. At least we get some variety in our dinners out!

Friday:
The music doesn't start until 9 p.m. so I can cook at home. Yay!
  • artichokes as an appetizer
  • roasted chicken
  • broccoli
  • salad

Saturday:
More music - this one starts at 8 p.m. so we still have time to eat at home.
  • homemade broccoli cheese soup
  • crackers

Sunday:
We didn't do "Family Dinner and Game Night" this past Sunday because I had spent a few hours in the E.R. Saturday afternoon (sans definitive diagnosis) and needed to rest Sunday. So we'll try last week's menu again.
  • chicken and noodles
  • salad
  • Challah bread (I am making some for our church World Communion Sunday and my recipe makes two large loaves.)