Monday, December 30, 2013

Here comes the New Year!

Wow... 2013 is already closing and a new year is coming quickly.
It's enough to make a girl's head spin.
But the promise of a fresh start, a blank slate, draw me in.
This year has been a sweet one, in many ways, and a very bitter pill in others.  I'm looking forward to a new beginning.

In January, we always do a Pantry Challenge.  I will also be out of town for much of the first week of the new year.  I'm mapping out our month, but here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday~ Leftover roast with pan gravy, homemade bread, mashed potatoes and spinach.
Monday~ Cleaning out some leftovers: leftover steak, leftover chicken (probably turned into salads), and a little Christmas ham
Tuesday~  NYE party; we're taking layered Mexican bean dip & chips
Wednesday~ My mom's amazing lasagna (she gave us a pan as a Christmas present!), salad, Pioneer Woman's decadent Cheese Bread using Rosemary Olive Oil Bread as the foundation! For dessert, apple pie with ice cream.

Thursday~ Sticky chicken, collard greens (from last summer's garden), cheese & cracker salad (a family recipe), and maybe another veg
You can see the collards in the back - that's what they looked like when they were picked from the garden!

Friday~ lunch with my new daughter-in-law (long but exciting story), then a Mexican fiesta a la Pioneer Woman for dinner: queso, refried beans, and tacos (her menu calls for pollo asado, but if I serve my man chicken two days in a row, there may be a revolt!)
Saturday~ I'll decide after a trip to the Farmer's Market!

We'll be eating well this week, as I try to load up the fridge with food before I leave to go out of town, in hopes that my guys will eat this food instead of going out.  A girl can hope, right? :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

And Christmas is here!

When my 13 year old son said, "Mom, I can't believe how fast this year has gone," I knew that it wasn't just me.  As an adult, I expect for life to move quickly, but when a child feels it too, it gives me pause.

What can I do to slow it down?
How can I make it simpler?
What am I doing to treasure the moments as they come?

Christmas seems to have jumped on us this year with no advance notice.  I was sick on Thanksgiving weekend, which is usually when we purchase and decorate our tree and house.  The tree finally happened exactly 10 days before Christmas.  It came into the house 3 days ago.  It has two ornaments on it.

But we are happy.
Airman Son has arrived, and we have been enjoying time with him.
We will visit with family, and enjoy some quiet moments at home.
Even with the lack of decorations, I'm hoping it will be meaningful.

And what are we eating, you may ask?  :)

Sunday~ I went to the doc (AGAIN) and got big meds.  So no cooking... chicken from Publix, along with potato salad and baked beans.  I did buy a box of Annie's mac'n'cheese and made that, but that was all the cooking I did.
Monday~ the shot from the doc took effect. I feel MUCH better.  Airman Son arrives.  Beef tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, tossed green salad, rolls.
Tuesday~ going over to my parents' house to celebrate with them.  Mom's Lasagna!

Wednesday~  CHRISTMAS DAY!! Organic ham, pasta salad (hubby's request), Ellie Krieger's Maple Citrus Salad, swiss beans, crescent rolls, and chocolate cake for dessert (again, at hub's request).

Thursday~ Spaghetti.  Simple and comforting.
Friday~ Various leftovers from the week.
Saturday~ Airman Son returns to duty; I'll decide then what to cook.  Maybe some soup.

May your holiday be blessed with love and peace.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two weeks in the life

Busy, busy, busy.
I'm trying to remind myself every day to stop and savor the moments.

Last week, we did eat, and actually stuck to our plan pretty well.
I just forgot to post it.
Sunday~ red beans and rice
Monday~ tacos
Tuesday~ pizza at school before the Straight No Chaser concert.  My chorus kiddos LOVED it, and it was so much fun!
A small group of my chorus kids ready for the concert.  Woo hoo!
Wednesday~ nachos w/leftover taco meat
Thursday~ beef tips w/gravy and egg noodles
Friday~ spaghetti
Saturday~ hubs decided he wanted to grill burgers, so I made some oven-roasted potato wedges to go alongside.

This week is, of course, Thanksgiving.  My family is traveling to see my brother in Orlando, but I am desperate need of some down time to rest, so we will be staying home.  It will be the first time in our married life that we have not been with extended family for the holiday.  I'm a little sad, but I know that my body needs the time.

For this week:
Sunday~ open-faced roast beef sandwiches (homemade bread and leftover beef from Thursday)
Monday~ lasagna (made with leftover spaghetti sauce from Friday)
Tuesday~ chicken noodle soup and sandwiches (rain is in the forecast)
Wednesday~ leftovers!  Gotta get the fridge cleaned out for all the Thanksgiving goodies.
Thursday~ HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Hubs will smoke a turkey.  I will make stuffing, swiss beans, and maybe mashed potatoes (only because I know we'll eat them with leftover turkey).  We'll have pumpkin and pecan pie with homemade whipped cream, and then fall into a food coma. :)
Friday~ Thanksgiving leftovers
Saturday~ more leftovers!

And then it's is whizzing by.  Count your blessings.  Be thankful.  Be blessed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day and a Menu for a Crazy Week

Happy Veterans Day!

My husband is a former Marine, and I have two sons who are currently active duty.  My brother is also a former Marine.  I am blessed to have many vets in my family and I'm so proud of their service.  Take time today to thank one.

We have a C-R-A-Z-Y week ahead.
Doctors appointments and out-of-town performances are going to make it hectic.  But we will survive, and we've gotta eat.

Sunday~ Sub sandwiches and homemade french fries (my guys were delighted with this).  Brownies for dessert.
Monday~ Happy Veterans Day!  So thankful for my hubby...being a Marine helped shape him into the man he is today.  Ds#3 has an ortho appt today, and they warned us ahead of time that it would be heavy-duty, so soft and easy food is on the menu.  We'll have chili.
Tuesday~ Back to work. Breakfast for dinner (we didn't have it last week).  Biscuits, eggs, grits, bacon, grapefruit.
Wednesday~ Dr. appt after work means a later-than-usual dinner.  Red beans & rice with cornbread.
Thursday~ Out of town all day. Roast in the crock pot with mashed potatoes made ahead of time.
Friday~ Another day out of town.  Boys will fend for themselves in the kitchen.
Saturday~ WHEW!  We made it! I will decide then. :)

On the budget homefront, I didn't do so well with not grocery shopping.  And my husband decided on Monday night that instead of coming home to have breakfast after a long day of rehearsals, he would take us out to eat so I didn't have to cook.  That was not great, but it wasn't terrible.  Hopefully this week will be a little better.  Even though I have some late evenings, hubby is mentally prepared and dinners should be easy for him to handle without feeling the tug to go out until I get home.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Where did the month go??? November's First Menu...

October flew by.
And I'd ask where it went.... but I was there.
It was busy.  And crazy.
My baby boy turned 13.  Seriously.
And here we are....

Hubs and I have had a heart-to-heart about finances and the toll that eating out takes on ours... so we have TWO meals planned out this month.  We had one already. 
The rest of this month, I will be cooking at home, as frugally as possible, as we attempt to pay down debt.

On Saturday, hubby grilled hamburgers and Italian sausages.  I used the remnants of the ground beef to make a few meatballs to throw in Sunday's spaghetti sauce to make it a little more than just plain red sauce.  I also made chicken stock from the carcass of a chicken I roasted last week, and there was enough chicken to make BBQ chicken sandwiches for lunch on Sunday too (plus leftovers for another night!) - LOVE a "free" meal!

So here's the menu for this week:
Sunday~ Spaghetti and pasta sauce with meatballs and sausage, served with Rosemary Olive Oil bread (I made two loaves of bread - one for later in the week to go with leftovers of this meal)
Monday~ Breakfast for dinner: biscuits, eggs, grits, sausage, grapefruit from our backyard tree
Tuesday~ Leftovers from Sunday's dinner before our All County Honors Choir Concert
Wednesday~ Roast w/gravy (leftovers from a huge roast that I froze), mashed potatoes, green beans from the summer garden (from the freezer)
Thursday~ Rain in the forecast calls for Soup!  Homemade tomato soup (and I even have homemade chicken stock to use in this soup.  LOVE it when the plan comes together!), grilled cheese sandwiches on Rosemary Olive Oil Bread.  YUM!
Friday~ Leftover smorgasboard, also known as "Must-Goes" around here
Saturday~  picking up an order of beef from a local farm, along with some fresh milk... so I'll probably make something with some of that. :)  This is the only shopping I plan to do this week.  We'll see how well I can stick to it.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Plan? WHAT Plan???

Our crazy busy lovely life.
It has been absolutely insane.
And I keep making a menu plan.... and we keep NOT following it!
Oh we try again. :)

Sunday~ delicious lunch with dear friends, and none of us felt too hungry for dinner, so we munched a little and were happy.
Monday~ Spaghetti.  YUM!
Tuesday~ Hubs has a late meeting.  We will have beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and broccoli when he gets home.
Wednesday~ Hubs is bowling, so we'll have leftovers.
Thursday~ Either pancake supper, or finish up our leftovers.
Friday~ date with my dad to see Chris Tomlin in concert.  The boys are on their own. :)

What's cookin' in your casa?  Share it at Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crazy busy-ness and September's end

We had the first concert of the year last week, and it went off just fine... the favorite piece of the evening was our version of "Clouds" by Zach Sobiech.  If you've never heard it, go here.  You won't be sorry.

And we did eat.  I just forgot to post about it.

So, this week, it's no less busy.
Sunday~ Ham slices or chicken (diner's preference), collard greens, scalloped potatoes
Monday~ Mom has an out-of-town meeting.  Fend For Yourself.
Tuesday~ Mom is out-of-town, followed by Open House for everyone.  We'll probably go out.
Wednesday~ Hubby bowls, but we'll eat at home.  Chicken with mushroom gravy over egg noodles, broccoli.
Thursday~ either sandwiches or breakfast.  We'll see what we feel like. :)
Friday~ WHEW! I'm thinking nachos... tons of cheese, refried beans, salsa, YUM.  And easy.  Yes.
Saturday~ I will be out of town for most of the day, so it may be a rotisserie chicken that I pick up at the store on the way in!

What's your plan?  Share at Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The week-after-sickness menu

Last week, ds#3 was diagnosed with strep and an ear infection, and on Wednesday, hubs FINALLY consented to go to the doc and was told he has bronchitis.  YUCK!  This mama did everything possible to keep from getting sick...and so far, I've succeeded.

That said, I did not cook much of what I had planned last week, simply because my guys didn't feel like eating much.  Hubs did not bowl or go to class as scheduled, and I didn't buy a ham, because we weren't even eating the food I had already made.  There will be lots of repeats in our menu this week. :)

Sunday~ Chicken, green beans, twice-baked potatoes
Monday~ Sandwiches (bowling night)
Tuesday~ Spaghetti, tossed green salad
Wednesday~ Leftovers (hubs bowls)
Thursday~ Breakfast for dinner
Friday~ Beef tenderloin, roasted potatoes, broccoli
Saturday~ TBA

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day Menu!

We have finished the second week of school (with students) and are enjoying a long weekend.  And strep throat has arrived to help us celebrate.

So... I planned a lovely menu, but we'll have to see what hubs and ds#3 can tolerate.  Everything is subject to change.

Sunday~ Miscellaneous warm items for the throat: chicken noodle soup, cheese grits, hot tea.
Monday~ Planned burgers, baked beans, and cheese and cracker salad (a favorite family recipe).  Not sure if they're up for may be chicken noodle part 2.
Tuesday~ Roast chicken (made on Sunday), mashed potatoes & gravy, collard greens.  Keeping my fingers crossed.
Wednesday~ Hubs is scheduled to bowl.  Ds#3 & I will eat leftovers.
Thursday~ Hubs has class, but I'm cooking anyway.  Beef tenderloin, twice-baked potatoes (also made on Sunday) and tossed salad.
Friday~ Soft tacos, refried beans, salsa, Mexican Rice
Saturday~ Planning to buy a ham... so along with it, we'll have scalloped potatoes and more collards, or perhaps broccoli that I froze this spring.

This is more than I've cooked the past couple of weeks, but we've eaten out more than I'd like.  Ds#3 told me that he missed my cooking. What's a mama to do??? :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

We're baaaack!!! End of August menu

We did eat last week.
I did make a plan.
I just did not have time to post our menu on the first day of school!
I made chicken breasts in mushroom gravy with whole wheat linguine for Sunday.  On Monday, we had tacos and a layered bean dip similar to this one. Tuesday, we had beef tips with mushrooms.  Wednesday turned into a fend-for-yourself night; hubs went to bowl with some friends so ds#3 and I munched on whatever we could find in the kitchen.  Thursday and Friday, we went out to eat.
So you see, everyone has been fed.

This week, I'm attempting to plan earlier, so that it's all ready to go!
Sunday~ I made lasagna on Saturday, so we'll have it with a big tossed salad. YUM!
Monday~ Hubs & I have joined a bowling league.  I'm not sure what we'll do for dinner.
Tuesday~Breakfast for dinner.  Planned to do this last week, but it never materialized.
Wednesday~ Hubs will bowl - he is bowling on a team with some teachers from school, so they are practicing.  We'll wing it.
Thursday~ Chicken in the crockpot.  Roasted new potatoes and either green beans or broccoli from the freezer.
Friday~ Hallelujah, it's PAYDAY!!! We will probably go out to eat.
Saturday~ Hubs has been wanting to try his hand at smoking a brisket, so this will probably be the weekend to do it.

And there you have it!  The second-week-of-school and last-week-of-August menu.  Share yours at Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The End of Summer.

Sometimes life is just hard.
There's no way around it, and you just have to trudge through until you come to the other side of whatever it is.
And it gets a little easier, and the road is a little less bumpy.
And that's the way this summer has been.

I have been working hard to get myself mentally and emotionally prepared to go back to school - back to work - after the very unexpected death of my brother.
My baby brother.
The one I was always responsible for, who grew to be taller than any of us.
The one that always came up with the ideas that got us into trouble, but he got away with it because we "were older and should know better".
The one with a ready smile and a friendly hug.
He is gone...
and my heart aches for what I've lost, for what we've all lost.  What heaven has gained.  But I have lost.
My heart hurts when I see my parents struggle.
What mama should see her baby die????

Life is so hard.
I hate feeling this way, but I know that in order to get over it, I have to go through it.
And I guess that's what makes it so hard.
There is no getting around it, no short cut to take.  Oh, how I wish there was.  How I cry out that this would be a bad dream, and I could wake up.
But I wake up, and it's real, and I take a deep breath, pray for help, and go on.

I want to quit.
OH, how I want to quit.  But I can't.  I can't, for the sake of my mother, who still sobs every time she sees his baby picture.  I can't, for the sake of my twelve year old son who worries so much about me when he sees me tear up.  I can't quit.  So I take a deep breath.
I pray for help.
I go on.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting back into a routine

This summer, it seems, has been full of interruptions to any kind of routine.
Some of these, like vacation, were planned for and welcomed and anticipated.
Some, like the death of a close family member, were not.
And as much as I'd like a couple more weeks to deal with these things, I don't have them, so we've got to get ourselves back into a routine before school begins.

I was out of town for most of last week, so my guys were on their own for meals - they had plenty of food in the house to eat if they chose, but also had the freedom to go out to their favorite restaurants that I do not enjoy.  This week, we're all at home.

So, here goes!

Sunday~ hubs bought some lovely steaks that he grilled, and we had salad and green beans fresh from the garden to go with them.  Alas, the steaks were enormous and we could not eat even half of them, which brings us to...
Monday~ said steaks, along with new potatoes, tossed salad, and leftover green beans.
Tuesday~ Penne with chicken and pesto, cucumber salad.  I've got tons of basil in my garden, so I will make homemade pesto for this dish.  Yum!
Wednesday~ BBQ chicken sandwiches, grilled sausage, homemade pasta salad
Thursday~ Leftovers or some other magic I dream up...
Friday~ Pasta with sauteed veggies, tossed salad
Saturday~ Breakfast for dinner

Monday, July 22, 2013

Travelin' Woman menu

This week is more of a non-menu than anything else... I'm traveling to attend a conference from Tuesday-Saturday, which means that, for 5 days, my guys will be fending for themselves.

They enjoy this, because they go out for Chinese (which I cannot do) and 'man food'.  We have plenty of lunchmeat and cheese for sandwiches, along with spaghetti, grilled hotdogs and sausages, and a myriad of side dishes to satisfy.

Here's what we do have planned:
Sunday~ my parents are over for dinner.  Grilled burgers, mushrooms, sausages and hotdogs, along with cucumber salad, homemade baked beans, and a family recipe for Cheese & Cracker Salad.  Homemade chocolate cake (made with whole wheat flour to try to make it a little healthier!), homemade vanilla ice cream, and honey pecans for dessert.  YUM!

Monday~ out to eat for a family birthday celebration

Tuesday~ Mom's traveling, and the boys will play...

We'll see what I find when I get home on Saturday!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The week after the funeral, a menu and the Pantry Challenge

What an awful week last week.
On Monday, I received news of a devastating death in our family, so the whole plan was off.  On Monday evening, the entire family gathered at our house and I spent $50 to pull together hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, fried okra, and ice cream pie for dessert.  The rest of the week, food was delivered to our family and no one has cooked.  Which was really nice, because quite frankly, no one wanted to cook.
Flowers from the family at my brother's memorial service

So this week's menu will be lots of repeats from last week.
Sunday~ food provided for the family after the service
Monday~ probably the last family dinner with extended relatives
Tuesday~ The Pioneer Woman's simple perfect chili that I made last week and froze when it became evident we would not be eating it any time soon
Wednesday~ Roast chicken, roasted new potatoes, green beans from the garden, we also have some cucumbers in the garden that need to be used, so we'll also have cucumber salad with this meal.
Thursday~ miscellaneous leftovers that have accumulated and need to be eaten - also known as "Must-Goes"
Friday~ Breakfast for dinner
Saturday~ planning to go to the Farmer's Market and find some lovely stuff!

Take the opportunity this week to tell people you love them, to let them know that they matter in your life.  You never know how short the time will be...

Check in on the Pantry Challenge at Good Cheap Eats
Get some menu inspiration at Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fruits and veggies, oh my! July Menu #2

UPDATE on our Pantry Challenge:
This week, we returned to some semblance of normal after our almost two-week vacation.  We didn't have much in the fridge, but the pantry looked okay.  I started off the week at the grocery store and bought milk, yogurt, ricotta (I wanted to make lasagna), cheese, eggs, and some other miscellaneous items.  I spent $70.19 at Publix.

We got a freebie coupon for Coke in the mail, so I went back to Publix to buy 2 and get 2 with their sale (using my coupon, I actually bought one and got three free!).  I spent $6.82.

Saturday morning, in the pouring rain, hubs & I went to the local Farmer's Market.  We bought a dozen ears of corn ($4), a nice fat watermelon ($7), 2 pints of blackberries ($7), homemade ricotta and homemade mozzarella ($12), artisan bread ($5 - yes I know I can make this, but hubs knew the vendor and I don't feel bad supporting local business), local honey ($8), and some local bacon and sausage ($21).  Total spent at the market: $64.

Then I went back to Publix on Saturday to get things I didn't get at the Farmer's Market:  beef broth/chicken broth (B1G1), organic milk, organic cream, and organic butter.  I had some coupons for the organics and I spent $15.41.

Which brings the total spending for the week to $156.42.

I've not tracked my spending like this before (I know....yikes!) so this will be eye-opening for everybody.

We have been trying to eat fruits & veggies with every single meal, which we're not very good at.  And we ran out of fruit fast, so I tried to buy more this week.  Last week, I made lasagna on Monday, and we ate the last piece on Thursday for lunch, so I guess we stretched that!  Tuesday, we ate leftovers for dinner. Friday, we ate at a friend's birthday party so Mom didn't have to cook.  Saturday, I re-purposed leftover roast and added some mushrooms, made gravy & mashed potatoes, and green beans to go along with the meal.

Hubs has a workshop to attend all week this coming week, and he has already agreed to take his lunch, which will save us some dough.  I made the veggie tart pictured here from last week's eggplant, tomatoes from the garden, and zucchini from our friend.  I'll eat this for lunch during the week.  Ds#3 is a pasta lover, and his teeth have been sore from braces, so that's probably what he will be eating.

Breakfast is usually our time to incorporate fruit; I'm experimenting with all kinds of smoothies in my Nutri-Bullet (Mother's Day present).  I'd love to hear your successes!  I usually fix a bowl of cut-up fruit for hubs before he eats his eggs & bacon.  Ds#3 has been sleeping late, so he's been missing breakfast (but hasn't been too hungry because his teeth hurt).  I'm trying to find a smoothie he'll love so I can get some fruit in him.

And now.... for the Weekly Dinner Menu!
Sunday~ Mexican Rice Casserole, Taco Salad
Monday~ Roast chicken, roasted new potatoes, green beans or broccoli (both in the freezer, from the garden), zucchini 'fries'  edited to add: had some cucumbers in the garden that needed to be used, so we'll have cucumber salad with this meal.
Tuesday~ Breakfast: scrambled eggs, local sausage, grits, fruit
Wednesday~ Depending on how much is left, Leftover beef from Sunday's Taco Salad morphs into the Pioneer Woman's Simple Perfect Chili.  Or nachos.  Just depends on how much there is.  My guys love this.  edited to add: the verdict is chili.
Thursday~ We may have my parents over for dinner; waiting for confirmation and then I'll make a plan.
Friday~ Ds#3 goes camping for the weekend, so I'm leaving it open for Hubs & I
Saturday~ Parents Choice night (the kid's gone camping)

Join in the Pantry Challenge with Fish Mama at Good Cheap Eats.  

And jump into Menu Plan Monday at Organized Junkie.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's July, and we are home!

Where we've been:
Scenes from a luau

Dancing on the beach

Climbing a coconut tree and showering the audience with flowers

Our view, almost every day

Hawaii was beautiful and we enjoyed seeing our Marine Son, but you know there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed!  We spent a TON of money there - to eat out, it cost us twice what we would spend at home.  And on vacation, our opportunities to cook in were limited.

So this will be a belt-tightening month for us.  We're also trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our meals (I will report our progress next week). We hiked a mountain with our son in Hawaii, and it was bitterly obvious that we need to do something.  So here we go!

Sunday~ Eggplant parmesan with homemade tomato sauce and noodles.  I scored a big, beautiful eggplant at the farmer's market on Saturday for $1.50, and we've got more than half left!  I will make a roasted veggie tart with the remainder.
Monday~ Lasagna with tossed salad.  Grass-fed, locally raised ground beef, homemade tomato sauce to make lasagna healthier; tomatoes & cucumbers in the salad are from our garden.
Tuesday~ Chef salads with ham, turkey, cheese, hardboiled egg.  Off to Scouts tonight.
Wednesday~ Out to dinner with a friend for Mexican.
Thursday~ HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, USA! We are going to a local baseball game, with fireworks after.  We'll eat ballpark food. :)
Friday~ Roast chicken, roasted new potatoes, green beans, zucchini.  New potatoes & free-range chicken from farmer's market, green beans from our garden, zuke from a friend.
Saturday~ Burgers with homemade baked beans and homemade coleslaw.  Or homemade chili.  We'll have to see what I'm in the mood for. :)

For lunches this week, we'll do leftovers from dinner, sandwiches, and salads.
For breakfast, hubs eats farm eggs, bacon & fruit (right now it's pineapple and blackberries).  Ds#3 & I usually eat something a little less conventional.  I'm working on getting him to try different varieties of smoothies to try to get some fruit in him.  He's pretty picky, so if you've got any winners, I'd love to hear!
Pineapples everywhere!  Love them.

The world's biggest sno-cone.  Couldn't finish it.

Worth waking up for.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Aloha Menu

We have been in Hawaii for a week. Wow, is it beautiful!
What we've eaten so far:
Monday- we landed and ate Subway sandwiches before heading to watch our Marine play softball
Tuesday- spaghetti in our cottage; Mom cooked to save some cash!
Wednesday- burgers and hotdogs and veggies on the grill. Yum!
Thursday- leftover pizza from lunch out
Friday- again, leftovers from lunch out
Saturday- Marine Son had a bunch of friends over for a cookout: burgers, chicken, shrimp, veggies on the grill, along w roasted potatoes, corn, and homemade Mac & Cheese. Fun time had by all!
Sunday- leftovers from the cookout. Last night we'll be able to cook- it's off to a hotel in the morning.

Pics soon!
Till then, visit Menu Plan Monday for inspiration!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The week before HAWAII... and our 'use-it-up' menu

Next Monday, we will fly out to see our Marine Son who just happens to be stationed in Hawaii!!!!  We are terribly excited to see him, but also looking forward to a great adventure in a place we would otherwise never go.  So this week, we are using up all the perishable food... which will probably lead to some interesting meals.

The plan:

Sunday~ Blackeyed peas (from last year's garden), cucumber salad (cukes from a friend), zucchini fries (my son's new fave - yea for veggies!!!), fried green tomatoes
Monday~ Leftover spaghetti.  I may also make some pesto with our abundant basil, just to stretch the sauce for the pasta.  I will probably also make a Potato Torte for lunches during the week.
Tuesday~ Our 19th wedding anniversary!  Hubby & I will be enjoying a dinner out.
Wednesday~ Chili.  I have some taco meat that needs to be used up, and this is a good way to convert it into something interesting.  Plus my guys like it!
Thursday~ Breakfast for dinner.  We have a ton of farm eggs that I will use up, along with the potatoes that will not last for another 10 days.  We'll add bacon and perhaps some grits and call it dinner.
Friday~ If there are any leftovers, we will have those.  If not, I'll make sausage with peppers & onions for hubby, and ds#3 and I will probably have pasta.
Saturday~ Unless we have a bunch of ripe veggies by that time, everything should be used up.  We'll probably order pizza or go to our local Mexican fave.

Monday, June 3, 2013

We made it! School's out...

And I have not planned a menu for this week.
Because I am breathing.
And not teaching 250 middle schoolers a day.
Pause.  Think on that.
And smile.

Instead, I'm going to post what we ate each day!
Sunday~ Graduation cookout for some students of ours whose families we grew to love. Too full for anything else!
Monday~ Good use of leftovers: coleslaw (cabbage from the garden), baked beans, zucchini 'fries' (zukes from a friend) and leftover sausage and chicken.  Yum!

Tuesday~ I forgot to take a picture.  We had comforting and easy spaghetti.  Full of tomato-ey goodness, mushrooms, basil, piled on top of whole wheat pasta... yumminess in a bowl.

Wednesday~ I made salsa early this morning so it would be ready for dinner tonight.  YUM! So easy with some fresh tomatoes, spring onions, a little jalapeno, salt... you get the idea.  We had nachos/open-faced tacos tonight for dinner - top your own with ground beef, beans, cheese, sour cream, homemade salsa.  Delish!

Thursday~ We finally had Breakfast for Dinner.  Organic sausage and thick cut bacon, potatoes, scrambled eggs.  I topped my potatoes with swiss chard and feta.  Yummy!

Friday~ Caprese salad w/tomatoes & basil from the garden.  Chicken, homemade mac'n'cheese, homemade coleslaw (cabbage from the garden) and green beans (also from the garden).
I'm seeing a tomato theme emerging here.
Saturday~ Again, forgot to take a picture.  I inventoried our fridge to see what food we need to use up in the next few days... because we're going to HAWAII!!!  Tonight, we had half a package of hotdogs, so I roasted those in the oven, and made homemade french fries.

I am linking up to Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Is it JUNE already???? The last menu of the month

Well I missed posting the entire month of May.
It was ridiculously busy.
Between hubby & me, Memorial Day weekend was our first weekend of the month all at home together!
A rainbow: red and yellow cherry tomatoes, purple and green basil (all from the garden), a sprinkling of feta and a drizzle of olive oil.  Delish!

The broccoli that flowers.  It is done.  Beautiful while it lasted!
Our garden is in full swing - the lettuces are just about done, and the cherry tomatoes are beginning to ripen.  We have lots of big green tomatoes and I can't wait until they are ready - my favorite is the Cherokee Purple.  So juicy and beautiful!

This week is the final week of school for students, and boy, has it been a sprint to the finish.  Friday was our final concert of the school year - for Memorial Day - it was a success.  Great way to wrap up the year.  This week will feature Field Day, in-class Talent Shows, and Promotion Ceremony for our 8th graders.

So what will we eat?
I thought you'd never ask.
Sunday~ out to dinner with extended family to celebrate birthdays.
Monday~ HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! Please thank someone who has served, and remember those who paid for this holiday. We will grill burgers & sausage.  I'll make coleslaw with our cabbage to go with.  And for dessert, I'm making some kind of something... I haven't decided what!
The cabbage has been harvested.
Tuesday~ Scouts, and leftovers.  Fried chicken, beef tips w/gravy & egg noodles, turkey w/scalloped potatoes... certainly you can find something. :)
Wednesday~ Breakfast: eggs, bacon, grits... hopefully some blueberries from our bushes.
Thursday~ Local baseball game with some friends.  We'll enjoy some ball park food!
Friday~ LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!!!! We will celebrate by going out to dinner!
Saturday~ TBA... because I can decide then!

Monday, April 29, 2013

April and May... and the busy life menu

Time is short so I'll make this quick!
Broccoli from our garden... it's flowering!
Last week's whole roast chicken was a success!  It was beautiful - moist and juicy, and delicious to boot.  We had two meals of sliced chicken, I made stock, and we're finishing the last of it this week.

Sunday~ Leftover roast beef, mushrooms and homemade gravy, over whole wheat egg noodles with broccoli from the garden
Fresh picked!

Monday~ Last of the chicken made into bbq sandwiches, with homemade mac'n'cheese, peas from last year's garden, and greens from this year's garden!
Tuesday~ Spaghetti before we dash off to Scouts
Wednesday~ Breakfast for Dinner (we haven't had this for the past several weeks that it's been listed!)
Thursday through Saturday~ Mom's traveling, so the boys will be fending for themselves!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It doesn't slow down! April Menu #4

Life is running full steam ahead, and it isn't going to slow down until school is out at the end of May!

I've been hunting for a source of local grass fed meat, and I have found it - at our Farmers Market!  It has grown so much over the past two years, and anything that we don't grow in our garden, I can find fresh there.  Yum!

On Saturday, we made cheeseburgers with some of the beef I got at the Farmers Market.  I could definitely taste a difference.  It wasn't a good or bad difference - it was just different.  The cheeseburgers were great and we plan to have them again!

So this week?
Sunday~ Whole roast chicken (Farmers Market), roasted potatoes & green beans (in the pan with the chicken).  This is actually the first time I've *ever* roasted a whole chicken...I'm a little nervous about it!
Monday~ Tacos with our grass-fed beef.  May also try tostadas with some leftover roast that I need to get eaten.
Tuesday~ Scout night: leftover chicken with pasta, salad with lettuce from the garden
Wednesday~ Breakfast for Dinner.  We never got to it last week.
Thursday~ Leftovers, or sandwiches for supper (if there are no leftovers)
Friday~ Roast in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli from the garden
Saturday~ Leaving it open :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Full steam ahead... April Menu #3

I missed posting last week entirely-
it's been so hectic that I didn't get to it!
(No worries... we did eat.)

Our garden is in full production of all sorts of green things:

This weekend I discovered why broccoli has 'florets':
if you don't harvest and eat them in a timely manner, THEY FLOWER!
They produce pretty little yellow flowers, which are edible, but let me just say that it's pretty weird eating broccoli with flowers.  I made them into a quiche where they are somewhat disguised, but we can still eat them.

This week is full of standardized testing at school, and we will all be in need of some serious comfort when we come home at the end of the day.
Sunday~ pizza for lunch, and fend for yourself at dinnertime (no one was very hungry)
Monday~ Homemade Cheese Ravioli (made with wonton wrappers) and tomato sauce, and a tossed salad to go with (lettuce from our garden)
Tuesday~ Leftover chicken cacciatore from last week, on top of mashed potatoes
Wednesday~ Homemade whole wheat mac'n'cheese, steamed broccoli from the garden
Thursday~ Breakfast for Dinner: eggs, bacon, grapefruit, strawberries, cheese grits
Friday~ Roast beef with mushrooms over mashed potatoes, sauteed swiss chard (garden)
Saturday~ TBA :)

Share your menus at Menu Plan Monday!