Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

thanksgivingdinnerCan you believe that Thanksgiving is in just two days? Time just flies this time of year. Normally, I consider Thanksgiving my favorite holiday but due to the nature of this year I’m not quite as into it as I usually am. Nevertheless, I’m doing my best to make it a good holiday.

As usual, we will be hosting at our house. I don’t find the cooking to be a chore, and honestly we really like not having to drive anywhere on Thanksgiving. (Plus, I can have an extra glass of wine — ha!) Drew’s mom and aunt will be coming up, but that’s all so it will just be seven people.

My Thanksgiving menu doesn’t change much from year to year. I keep it pretty traditional, though I’ll try a new recipe or two sometimes. Usually one of the appetizers or desserts will be something new.

Here’s my list…

Cheese ball and crackers
Devilled eggs

Roast Turkey with sausage-cranberry stuffing
Gravy
Mashed potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes
Asparagus (it happens to be on sale this week and Drew requested it)
Cornbread with cranberry honey butter (new recipe)
Tossed salad
Corn
Cranberry sauce

Sugar-free blueberry pie
Pecan pie or sugared pecan topped cheesecake

For wines I have a riesling, a vino verde, and a petit syrah. I also found a non-alcoholic black currant cordial that I thought might be nice either mixed with seltzer or kicked up with vodka. So we will try that, too! 

A couple weeks ago I made a 9-lb. chicken, so this 12.5-lb. turkey won’t be too far off! Of course, I will also have my Crock Pot ready with onions, celery, and carrots to make an overnight turkey stock. I look forward to the soup as much as the roast bird! And of course I also love a turkey sandwich on Thanksgiving night. I always like to have it on white bread with American cheese and lots of mayo. It’s one of those things from my childhood that still just makes me feel all happy and at home!

Today I also started a cranberry fluff, which we will be taking to the “feast” in my daughter’s class tomorrow. If it comes out good I’ll be sure to write about it.

What about you? Are you hosting Thanksgiving or travelling somewhere? Anything new and exciting on your menu or do you also keep things fairly simple and traditional?

Menu Plan Monday, January 7

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All right! The first full week of the year is here, and if you’re anything like me you’ve finally cleaned out the cakes, cookies, egg nog, and who knows what else is leftover from the holidays. I’m trying to use up a bunch of stuff in the freezer this week, but I think the menu came together all right.

I’m especially looking forward to Wednesday night’s dinner. Mmm… kielbasa, sauerkraut, egg noodles… I’m playing around with a recipe, so hopefully it will turn out great and I will share on Thursday. I’m not yet sure what kind of soup we’ll have on Friday. I made some creamy spinach soup for lunch today, and the husband looooved it. Maybe I’ll make that again. Or go with chicken soup? We’ll see what’s in the fridge!

  • Monday: Lemon chicken tortellini, salad
  • Tuesday: Meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli, salad
  • Wednesday: Lazy pierogis with kielbasa, steamed veggies
  • Thursday: Out
  • Friday: Soup & sandwiches/salad
  • Saturday: Crock Pot beef stew with herbed biscuits, salad

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

Back to the Grind

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I hope you all had a great weekend! Ours was fun, though busy. Although the Sheep & Wool festival was at the fairgrounds, I did my best to avoid that general area. I know, I know — I love crochet and knitting. How could I possibly not go to one of the country’s most famous fiber festivals? Honestly, I just didn’t feel like fighting the crowds. I’d rather spend a leisurely afternoon at my favorite yarn store than waiting in a line to check out a booth. But that’s just me.

So Saturday morning I worked at the library, then in the afternoon I went grocery shopping (at a store in the opposite direction, LOL). Yesterday I did a whole lot of cleaning, both inside and out. Time to get the place ready for winter! Last night D. suggested we go out since we’d busted our butts. Oh, Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster… it was so delicious! Of course, now it’s back to the grind. Here’s what I’m planning on for this week’s meal plan:

  • Sunday: Out to dinner
  • Monday: Turkey burgers, oven fries, steamed broccoli & cauliflower
  • Tuesday: Spinach & artichoke pasta, garden salad
  • Wednesday: Pot roast (slow cooker), potatoes, veggies
  • Thursday: Drew’s cooking since I have a suppertime staff meeting
  • Friday: Pizza & salad & birthday cake & whatever else I want 🙂
  • Saturday: Leftovers (assuming the kids want to eat after trick-or-treating at the mall and the town hall!)

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

On The Menu…

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Good afternoon! Monday already, is it? Wow, we had a busy weekend. I’m not even sure where we were or what we did, but it definitely sped by. I’m feeling kind of disorganized today. We’re trying to get back into a good grocery shopping rhythm and I am just finally making my list and menu plan now before I head out later this afternoon.

List making. Menu planning.

I’ve got a few new recipes to try this week. Naturally I found them on Pinterest! Actually, I had the cod dish at my parents’ (my mom got it off of my sister-in-law’s Pinterest… ha!) and it was so amazingly good that I just have to make it again.

Here’s what I plan on cooking:

I also think I’ll be making some banana bread because I’m tired of looking at the bananas in my freezer. As for soup… roasted butternut squash soup in definitely in my plan, but I’m not sure that will make it until Friday. Maybe I’ll do a tortellini soup with spinach. I’ll see what we get from the farm share this week before I make a decision. I also think I have to make another dish of peach dump cake. I am so addicted!

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

Menu Plan Monday

It’s the first full week of school here (the boys went back last Thursday), and the temperatures are making cooking an absolutely pleasure! It’s cool and fall-like and I love it. I also love the return to a clear-cut routine, so hopefully my weekly meal plans will again be posted regularly. So let’s start with this week’s, shall we?

  • Monday: Chili & garden salad
  • Tuesday: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, CSA veggies, salad
  • Wednesday: Meatballs, steamed broccoli, salad
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Pizza burgers, CSA veggies, salad
  • Saturday: Grilled steak, baked potatoes, salad

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

Menu Plan Monday, Lazy Summer Days

Oh, I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am to be done with summer camps. The boys had a blast and I’m so glad I got to volunteer (unplanned) at Cub Scout Day Camp, but those long days in the sun really wear you out. We have a pretty low-key week ahead, thank goodness! I’m heading out to dinner with a girlfriend on Wednesday night, and Saturday will be something easy because I’m going to see one of my Top 5 Favorite Authors read at a local bookstore. (So super excited about this!!!)

I also hope to stop neglecting my blog. I have to get up last week’s CSA post, still! Anyway, I’m enjoying the lack of having to be somewhere, and soon I need to get organized for the boys’ birthdays and then finally it will be back to school. Seems like a way’s away, but Labor Day will be here soon enough! August always seems to fly.

Enough of a tangent. Here’s what I’m thinking about cooking this week:

  • Sunday: Baked chicken with BBQ sauce, green beans, baked potatoes
  • Monday: Sausage & peppers, salad
  • Tuesday: Take-out
  • Wednesday: Chicken tenders or something easy (I get to eat out!)
  • Thursday: Chicken-tomatillo soup (slow cooker), salad or quesadilla
  • Friday: Burgers, salad
  • Saturday: ???

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

Meal Plan Monday: Busy, Busy, Busy


Happy Monday, everybody! I know I’m in the minority, but I really do enjoy Mondays. A brand-new week, things to look forward to… For us it’s the last week of school with full days, so basically the last “real” week. (Also, the last week of making lunches – yeah! I’m just letting the boys buy lunch next Monday and Tuesday.) We have a lot going on this week: field day for Jake, pediatrician and dentist appointments, a school event, and a Cub Scout Bridging Picnic. Whew!

After Laura’s well-visit tomorrow, I’m hoping to find the time to scoot down to Hobby Lobby to get some sewing supplies and also see what they have for drawer knobs. I’m missing a small knob on my jewelry armoire, so I think I’ll have to replace at least two if not all four. I have no idea where it rolled off to, but after months of searching, I finally give up.

Here’s what I’m planning for this week’s dinners!

  • Monday: Leftovers
  • Tuesday: Tacos/taco salads
  • Wednesday: Philly Cheesesteak stuffed peppers, salad
  • Thursday: Roast chicken thighs, baked sweet potatoes, broccoli
  • Friday: Lemon-butter shrimp over wilted spinach, baked potato, salad
  • Saturday: No cooking

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

Menu Plan Monday

OK, so last Friday I was gung-ho for this whole Whole30 thing. But as I thought about it, I began to wonder if I was setting myself up for failure.  I really think it’s an excellent program, but I know myself and if I slip up, I’m going to end up just blowing off the whole thing. The rules are very strict, and I don’t see myself reading every single label of every single condiment in my fridge. The I remembered a saying: “Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have.” That resonated with me and I decided to make a few tweaks to the Whole30 program to make it work for me.

So, for the next 30 days: No grains. No alcohol. No sugary treats. But if my ketchup or taco sauce has a bit of added sugar I’m okay with that. But if I’m OK with it, than it’s not what Whole30 sets out to be. So I’m calling it a “June Reboot.” Overall, we eat very healthy diets. I’ve just allowed myself to get lax with the bread, tortilla chips, and chocolate. My goal isn’t really weight loss because I’m happy where I am (though I wouldn’t say no to a few more digits knocked off the scale!). I will be eating tons of vegetables and protein, fruit, minimal dairy, and peanuts or beans if I really feel like it. I don’t eat a lot of those anyway. I’m going to try to stay as “Whole30”-ish as possible.

So, with all that out, go ahead and point and say “I told ya so.” I already got the “Well you gave up on that pretty quick” from Drew. Well, I’m just being honest with myself, LOL. Here’s my meal plan for the week:

  • Monday: Roast chicken drumsticks, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, salad
  • Tuesday: Meaty chili (no beans), salad
  • Wednesday: Sausage & peppers, CSA veggies, salad
  • Thursday: Baja cod with spicy slaw, roasted sweet potato spears
  • Friday: Grilled steak, sauteed CSA veggies, salad
  • Saturday: Pepper burgers topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions, broccoli, salad

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

Menu Plan Monday


How is it possible that tomorrow is the first day of May? This month really flew by. I think I need to start thinking about anniversary gifts. In a month, D & I will celebrate our 11th anniversary! So much has changed with wedding planning since then, hasn’t it? Back then, titanium wedding bands were a new thing, but now I read about them all the time. And let’s not even begin to get into photography and decorations. All you have to do is browse Pinterest. I’m actually glad I’m not planning a wedding now. Thing were much simpler back then!

Speaking of planning, time to plan out this week’s menu!

  • Sunday: Out to dinner
  • Monday: Chicken cordon blue, cous-cous, steamed broccoli
  • Tuesday: Running errands – grab something out
  • Wednesday: Crock Pot BBQ spare ribs, cole slaw, steamed veggies
  • Thursday: Grilled chicken, roasted cauliflower, salad
  • Friday: Burgers (buns optional), sweet potato fries, salad
  • Saturday: Southwestern wonton “cupcakes” (new recipe I’m working on)

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

menu plan monday – spring break!


OK, I’ll be perfectly honest. There’s not a whole lot of meal planning going on this week. I threw down some ideas, but will they stick? I don’t know. The kids are on spring break this week and D. took several days off, so we’re mostly flying by the seat of our pants.

Plus, it’s Easter weekend, so there will be a few family dinners where I am not cooking. (Which reminds me I need to finish gathering stuff for Easter baskets and make a few Easter cards. I can’t forget to sign them – imagine getting contactless cards and having no idea who they’re from!)

BUT since it never hurts to have a plan…

  • Sunday: Chili
  • Monday: Salad or sandwiches because I’m going out with a friend (though I did make a real lunch – Greek chicken with olives and zucchini, with salad on the side)
  • Tuesday: Roast chicken, broccoli, sweet potato spears
  • Wednesday: Burgers, corn on the cob, broccoli, cole slaw
  • Thursday: Thai chicken curry with vegetables, jasmine rice
  • Friday: Dinner with family
  • Saturday: Dinner with family

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