Sunday, December 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Happy New Year!!

Christmas has come and gone; we put son #1 back on the airplane and the house is quiet (relatively speaking). We don't yet know when son #2 will get to come home on leave, but I know his request for a "Christmas" menu will be beef, not turkey!
For this week?
Sunday~ leftovers at hubby's request: turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, swiss beans, whatever else was in the fridge that looked interesting.
Monday~ Mom, sis & I are going out to dinner for our Christmas present to each other. The boys will fend for themselves.
Tuesday~ Tacos, at son #3's request.
Wednesday~ New Year's Eve... we have decided to have fondue... cheese and chocolate. YUMMMM!
Thursday~ HAPPY NEW YEAR! Lasagna, tossed salad, and garlic toast. I am a southern girl, so usually we have blackeyed peas and rice, but they are no one's favorite, so this year I decided we should pick something that everyone loves and is easy for Mom.
Friday~ Breakfast for Dinner.
Saturday~ Dad chooses a recipe from his new Bobby Flay cookbook.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Christmas edition

This Christmas, I am thankful that two of my sons are home. As I type this, I am watching one of them recline in a chair, and the other snuggle next to him as they watch a movie. They are in front of the tree, totally loving being together. The older flew in today on leave from the Marine Corps, and the youngest has anxiously been waiting for this day since Thanksgiving.

I am also sad because one of the boys is not home.... he is in the Air Force and could not get leave. This is the first Christmas in our family that we have dealt with being spread apart, and I have had to force myself to carry on with the holiday traditions for the sake of my youngest son. Because I really haven't felt like doing it.

But God is gracious, and He is so kind - my heart is full. I am truly thankful.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Week Menu Plan

Well, we survived the first CRAZY semester of school, and we've made it to vacation. Which we all need VERY badly. Son #1 comes in on Christmas Eve, and a young lady is coming to visit him (and consequently, us) the day after Christmas. Which makes for a very interesting holiday! We're excited, and a little nervous.... and we'll see how it goes. As for what we're eating? Much of it is requested by son #1. When son #2 gets leave, I guess he will dictate the menu. :)

Sunday~ Cold and rainy weather calls for Soup and Sandwiches.
Monday~ Mom is going to a party; Dad & son #3 will fend for themselves (probably go out to eat)
Tuesday~ Hubby and I are having a date. Son #3 will have pizza with the sitter.
Wednesday~ Son #1 comes in. Beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce and crescent rolls... all at his request.
Thursday~ CHRISTMAS! Roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole (with streusel topping), Swiss beans, and rolls. For dessert: pumpkin pie (ds#1's fave), pecan pie (hubby's fave), and brownies. Then we'll pass out from overeating.
Friday~ Christmas with the extended family at a local restaurant, then back to the grandparents' house for dessert and gifts.
Saturday~ not sure yet.... either something on the grill or soup. Depends on the weather and how much we've stuffed ourselves!
Be sure to celebrate the gifts in your life,
and share your menus at Laura's!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

What works for me:
Frozen Cookie Dough

This summer, when school was out and I had time on my hands (GOSH.... it is hard to remember what that is like...), I decided to make some cookie dough. A lot of it. Peanut butter, chocolate chip, ginger oatmeal (a new recipe I tried... and luckily it was a hit!). Of course, you can't get away with making cookie dough and not cookies, so I baked some cookies too, but I froze a large amount of dough. I rolled it into logs, and wrapped it in plastic wrap. Then I put it in a freezer bag and labeled it according to the type of cookie dough (along with baking instructions... because sometimes I forget. And you can guess at baking temps & times, but sometimes that can be problematic).

So this week, as I am needing treats for friends, I can pull out my HOMEMADE frozen cookie dough and bake off a fresh batch, wrap it in a cute box, and say "Merry Christmas!" With a big smile. Because one day, this summer, I was smart.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Well, I never got to posting a menu last week, but we did eat! I had been gone all weekend on a trip with my Chorus, and on Sunday, I cooked dinner... my husband said, "Ahhh... there's nothing like your cooking." It was a really elaborate meal too - turkey open-faced sandwiches with mashed potatoes (all leftovers!).
So on to the plan for this week:

Sunday~ Beef tenderloin roasted in the oven (see this post for details), roasted potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, Caesar salad
Monday~ Black'n'bleu salad (my own take on this one from O'Charley's), french bread
Tuesday~ Lemon chicken (adapted from this recipe), rice, broccoli
Wednesday~ Spaghetti (serious comfort food around here!)
Thursday~ Vegetable soup & sandwiches
Friday~ Leftovers or must-goes or pizza... we get out for Christmas vacation that day, so there's no telling!!!
Saturday~ TBA
Share your menu creations at Menu Plan Monday!

Scrumtious Sunday

My contribution is not so much a recipe, but a method. You see, we live in Florida, where we grill all year long. Even when it is cold (cold = 30s for us) or rainy. Like today. I really wanted to grill a beef tenderloin after church today, but hubby did not have charcoal for the grill.
So what's a girl to do?
I researched options for pan-roasting this here tenderloin, and I found this from Alton Brown on Food Network:
Sear roast on all sides in cast iron skillet (I just used a pan with an oven-safe handle).
Allow meat to rest, then place into 250 degree oven to roast until meat reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees (about 15-20 minutes). Allow meat to rest before carving.

And then I read directions on the packaging for said beef tenderloin.
Roast in a 325 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
Allow meat to rest before carving.

So... I get it... let the meat rest.

I decided to sear the meat in my skillet to give it some color. Then, because I already had the oven at 425 to roast some potatoes, I put the meat in there at that temp. It cooked approximately 15 minutes. I removed it from the oven, let it rest, sauteed some mushrooms and set the table, then carved the meat into very thin slices. It was pink and lovely....

So, now I know - you CAN substitute oven-roasting for grilling when you have to. ;)

Share your recipes and revelations on Scrumptious Sunday Swap at Happy To Be At Home!