Menu Plan Monday ~ November 21st

It’s crunch time, folks! Only three days till Thanksgiving! Hopefully, those of you with frozen turkeys have already put yours in the fridge to defrost. Remember to allow one day of defrosting for every four pounds of turkey! My bird is on a sheet pan at the bottom shelf of my fridge, ready to brine on Tuesday. Yes, I go the brine route. Why? It results in juicier meat. After using Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” Roast Turkey recipe, I’ll never go back.

This will be a pretty simple week, menu plan-wise, since most of the focus will be on Thanksgiving. Tuesday will be spent doing some prep work, chopping veggies, making pie crust, that type of thing. On Wednesday, I’ll be prepping and cooking my side dishes, allowing Thursday morning free to concentrate on the turkey and gravy.

Here’s this week’s menu:

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: New York Strip Steaks, Scalloped Potatoes, Buttered Peas
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Leftovers

What’s on your menu this week?

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My Latest Toy: OXO Adjustable Potato Ricer

Say hello to my latest kitchen gadget:

After lots of thought, I finally decided to buy a potato ricer. What’s it used for? Potato ricers help you achieve the fluffiest, lump-free mashed potatoes you can imagine. You can also use it to rice potatoes to make gnocchi, which I hope to learn to do one day. The ricer shown above, made my OXO, is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma. It has an adjustable disk that allows you to switch from fine to medium to coarse settings. With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to make sure my mashed potatoes were smooth, buttery and delicious. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

Only Two Weeks Until Thanksgiving!

Image Courtesy of Free-Extras.com

 

Hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just two weeks away! This year, I started my holiday planning a lot later than intended. In fact, I haven’t even given any thought to what size turkey I’ll be roasting. Until last night, I didn’t even know whether or not we would have any guests joining us! The husband works on Thanksgiving Eve and into the following morning, so we planned on having dinner in our home. I expected my in-laws to join us that day, since we usually alternate the holiday between John’s family and mine. Last night, however, I found out they have other plans, so I’ll be making Thanksgiving dinner for me and my boys.

Since I’ll only be cooking for us three, the menu is small, but definitely not lacking! For Thanksgiving, I love to prepare a big meal and be left with plenty of leftovers. Transforming leftovers into a deliciously different dish is almost as fun as planning for the holiday itself. I know to some, that may sound utterly insane. Many people can’t wait to get the holidays over with and completely loathe spending time in the kitchen. I am definitely not one of those people! Although the madness can sometimes be overwhelming, I truly enjoy cooking for my family.

In my family, Thanksgiving dinner is eaten early, usually around one or two o’clock in the afternoon. This year’s menu will still include appetizers, just so my boys can have something to munch on while the turkey roasts. Here’s what I have planned for this Thanksgiving:

Hor D’Oeuvres:
Stuffed Mushrooms
Spinach Artichoke Dip (a request from the hubby!)

Main Course:
Roast Turkey with Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing
Green Bean and Mushroom Saute

Bread Basket:
Dinner Rolls
Popovers

Dessert:
Pecan Pie with Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce

Have you started planning for Turkey Day? What’s on your menu?

Menu Plan Monday ~ November 7th

It’s that time of year — light jackets have been swapped for down parkas and puffy coats, local restaurants have added hearty soups and stews to their menus, store windows are decorated for the holidays…and cold viruses are going around like the plague. Logan spent nearly a week battling a persistent fever that appeared with a nasty case of Strep throat. A few days ago, my husband got sick, too. Although he isn’t as ill as Logan was, he’s still pretty miserable. I spent the weekend chewing Vitamin C tablets and praying I didn’t get sick, too :-/

Sunday’s steak dinner was swapped out for soup, since Johnny is still feeling pretty miserable. I must be feeling very soup-y this week, because I have two of them on the menu, a creamy butternut squash soup and a hearty sausage and kale. With this week’s temperatures rising to only the mid 50’s, tis the season for something warm in my tummy!

Here’s what’s on the menu for this week:

Monday: Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Tuesday: Steak with Onions, White Rice, Pink Beans, Avocado Salad
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Potato and Onion Pierogies with Sausage, Side Salad
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: White Bean, Sausage and Kale Soup, Roman Bread
Sunday: Roasted Chicken with Ratatouille

What’s on your menu this week?

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 31st ~ Happy Halloween!

Those of you in the Northeast know we got slammed with a snowstorm on Saturday, leaving nearly 3 million people without power. October snowfall is rare in this region. We’re still very much in the middle of autumn and many of the trees are still sporting their foliage. The weight of the snow on the leaves was too much for many trees to bear. While driving to our local diner on Sunday morning, we spotted numerous trees leaning over from the weight of the snow. Branches littered the streets, blocking many of the side roads and causing traffic delays. We spent the entire weekend without cable, internet or cellular phone service. Luckily, our power did not go out. We heard stories from several local business owners and employees, who had to camp out in their shops because they lost power in their homes or could not make the drive up the narrow, winding roads of Litchfield County. This weekend was definitely an adventure for many. If this is any indication of the winter ahead, we’re in for a rough one!

The fridge is chock full of leftovers, so tonight we’ll be eating those up. Last week’s gnocchi got bumped up to this week and I’m looking forward to the garlic bread that will accompany it!  Here’s what’s on the menu for this week:

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Bacon and Cheese Sliders, Homemade Sweet Potato Chips, Side Salad
Wednesday: Gnocchi in Marinara Sauce, Garlic Bread with Cheese, Green Salad
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Arroz con Pollo y Longaniza (Rice with Chicken and Longaniza), Black Beans, Tostones (Fried Plantains)
Sunday: Steak Au Poivre, Crash Hot Potatoes, Buttered Green Beans
 

What’s on your menu this week?

 

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 24th

Thanks to a super crazy weekend, I totally flaked on my menu plan and Monday post! My week was filled with the usual work, errands, household chores and cooking. On Sunday, we celebrated Logan’s fourth birthday with a big party. We had a great turnout and the party was a success! Logan was so excited to see all his classmates and celebrate with them. Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for such a special day!

This week’s menu plan is going to be a simple one. Logan is feeling under the weather today and I have a feeling it’s going to be several days until he’s back to his regular self. Between taking care of my little boy and trying to recover this house from the toy tornado that just hit, I want to keep kitchen time to a minimum.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Monday: Leftover pizza from the party
Tuesday: Roasted Pork Shoulder with Potatoes, Side Salad
Wednesday: Breaded Chicken Cutlets, White Rice, Pink Beans, Tomato and Avocado Salad
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Gnocchi in Marinara Sauce, Garlic Bread, Side Salad
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Chicken and Dumplings, Green Salad
 

What’s on your menu this week?