menu plan monday, 1.30-2.5

Another week, another snow and ice storm on the way! So I am planning a week of family favorites. I am anticipating a snow day on Wednesday, and probably an early dismissal on Tuesday, so I want to make things easy for myself. The only new recipe I’m making this week is the slow cooker Gyros from A Year of Slow Cooking. I’m a little skeptical, but I’ve read quite a few good reviews. We still can’t find a great gyro around here, so if this is at least as good as the local places it will be a winner.

Last Friday, on  a whim, I decided to make this copycat version of Chili’s Green Chili & Chicken Soup. While I wouldn’t say it tasted exactly like the restaurant recipe, the soup was delicious in and of itself. If you like the original version, this one is certainly worth trying. What’s on your menu this week?

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature


<a href=””>Gyros</a>

delicious surprise

Tonight I was switching purses back to one I’d used last week and found a very welcome surprise inside: a bottle of diet peach tea Snapple! I bought it when I was having a bad day and somehow I’d forgotten about it.

This is my all-time favorite Snapple flavor. Granted, it’s not like sitting in a rocking chair on a warm day next to a window with interior plantation shutters, feeling the breeze and sipping on iced tea. But you know what? It’s close enough for me tonight! I think my big Friday night plans include soaking in the tub once the kids are all in bed, watching some brainless television, and savoring every last sip of my diet peach tea 🙂

in need of some sun

Are you tired of the gray weather? I could deal with the snow and cold if only the sun would shine for more than five minutes. I need to start remembering to take my Vitamin D and my multivitamin. (There are so many different brands out there — maybe I should research the best vitamins for women and see if I’m taking the wrong brand, LOL!)

Well, on the bright side I’m going to visit one of my best friends tomorrow and I am super excited about that! One of these days we’ll be able to have a visit without all of our kids running around, but the kids are excited too. They have a great time playing together. It’ll be the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

snow. and more snow.

Ahh, the white stuff is gently falling as I type this. I just came back from a trip to the grocery store and on the way there I saw a car that had driven off the road and ended up in a culvert. How it happened, I can only guess. It wasn’t slippery, though it was on a turn. Somehow I bet a cell phone was involved. I think the car was OK, but the owner might want to look around for a cheap auto insurance quote, just in case! You’d think that with all the snow we’ve had so far this winter people would be used to driving in it. Clearly they’re not!

bows for the big game

Honestly, we are not football fans around here, but I know many people who get really into it. And since not everyone can be in Texas for it (oh, to be sipping iced tea while sitting underneath ceiling fans instead of warming my hands around a cup of tea while sitting in front of the wood stove!), parties are super popular. My friend Anita is probably the biggest Steelers fan I know, so I decided to make a bow for her daughter using the team’s colors. And then I figured I’d make a couple more (and I couldn’t leave out the Packers) and list them in my Etsy shop. Check ’em out:

super bowl-inspired bows

If your team didn’t make it this year, there’s always next year, right? And don’t forget that I take custom orders. If you have a favorite sports team let me know — I can make any kind of bow you want so even the littlest of fans can cheer ’em on!

bath goodies for 50% off

I know you all love nice bath stuff (who doesn’t?) and saw that today Groupon has a great deal for the Bath & Body Works online store: you can get $20 worth of products for $10 or $30 worth of products for $15*. This is only good for online shopping and does not include tax or shipping. You also have to spend the entire amount in one order or you lose the balance.

Not a bad way to treat yourself to a little something to get rid of the mid-winter blahs!

* This is an affiliate link.

waiting on the snow


Just a quick view of my back deck. I’m here waiting for the snow to start falling. This morning two local school districts announced early dismissals and though I was sure ours would follow, they did not. And I’m happy about that because here were are, nearly at dismissal time and nary a flake in the sky. As a precaution they did cancel all after school activities and postponed one event until tomorrow. I think that was probably the right call.

I’m trying so hard to be tolerant of this weather. It’s winter in the Northeast after all. It’s going to be cold. It’s going to snow. But would it be too much to as for  a little bit of January thaw? Maybe just a day when temperatures soar into the 50s and I could open up the windows? Instead, I’m here wishing I had hand dryers installed in our bathrooms so I could quickly warm up my hands, which seem to be freezing all the time.

Anyway, we’ll see how much snow we actually get with this storm. How many days until Spring?

cookbook review: the indian slow cooker by anupy singla

While searching for Indian recipes last December, I stumbled upon a new book entitled The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla. Anupy is the author of the blog Indian as Apple Pie. I’d never read her blog before, but as I looked through it I became more and more interested in this book. As you know, I love Indian food. I craved it constantly when I was pregnant with Laura (who incidentally loves it as well), and I make quite a few Indian and Indian-inspired recipes in my kitchen.

But putting my slow cooker to use to make mouth-watering Indian dishes — and healthy ones at that — seemed almost too good to be true! No, there’s no need for diet pills when you’re cooking with fresh veggies, beans, and heart-healthy oils.

The first recipe I made was “Dhuli Moong Dal – Simplest of Simple Yellow Lentils” (p. 55). Being new to cooking lentils, they still weren’t simple enough for me at first! I followed the recipe and let it cook for several hours. When I checked on my dal, I saw that the lentils weren’t cooking down at all. They were still quite hard. After doing a little research, I attribute this to adding salt at the start of cooking. So I poured out my lentils into a large pot and cranked the heat on the stove. This quick-fix worked quite well and my dish was saved! The result was delicious. Per the author’s suggestion, I topped it with a bit of butter, which made the dish extra-delicious. Don’t you want a bowl of this?

Dhuli Moong Dal - Simplest of Simple Yellow Lentils

Sunday I decided to try making her recipe for “Aloo Gobi – Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes” (p. 91). I halved the recipe and it turned out perfect! In an ideal world with extra time, I would probably saute the potatoes first to give them a little more texture, but even without doing so it was delicious. And the whole point of the book is simplifying cooking: chop, drop, and go.

Aloo Gobi - Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

Laura gobbled up both these dishes. She absolutely loves rice and lentils, so that didn’t surprise me. But the aloo gobi was quite spicy and she still devoured a dish. I’m really looking forward tor trying out more of these recipes, especially the Split Chickpea Curry, Dry Spiced Dal, Goan Black-Eyed Peas, Spicy Punjabi Eggplant with Potatoes, Minced Lamb with Peas, and Lamb Biryani.

I wish that the book had the nutritional information for the dishes, but it’s not that hard to figure it out. The book was tough to find when I was originally looking for it. It was out of stock at my local Barnes & Noble and Amazon didn’t have it, either. Thank goodness for Oblong Books! I checked their inventory online and was able to drive over that night and buy it. I don’t purchase a lot of cookbooks, but this is one I’m happy to have in my library.

menu plan monday, 1.23-1.29

Well, like everyone else in the Northeast, my daily schedule was thrown off last week by two snow days and one 2-hour delay. The soup never happened. Neither did the steak au poivre, and I don’t think we ate anything at all in the order I’d intended. But that’s OK. Having a plan still made things easier. I did some baking last week, too. Nothing like winter weather to make you realize that despite your best intentions, quick weight loss will not be happening until the weather warms up! I’m too obsessed with comfort foods at the moment.

This week will be similar. There’s the threat of more snow so who knows how my meal plan will be thrown off this week?

  • Sunday: Chicken vindaloo, aloo gobi, basamati rice, yogurt
  • Monday: Baked breaded chicken breasts, roasted cauliflower, cranberry sauce, cole slaw
  • Tuesday: Take-out
  • Wednesday: Steak fajitas, rice and beans
  • Thursday: Fish sandwiches, fries, cole slaw
  • Friday: Roasted red pepper and tomato soup, beer bread, salad (held over from last week)
  • Saturday: Pizza and salad

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature