Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Menu Plan - 8/27 to 9/02

We are all switching from summer mode to normal mode, kicking off a new school year, and so very ready for cool weather to arrive.  And while everyone is wrapping up another month, in my kitchen I'm beginning anew. My 'menu month' usually begins the last weekend before the first of the month.

That means I spent Thursday evening taking inventory in the pantry, cupboards and freezer. Friday was spent in town, stocking up. This month it also meant that Gabe was my shopping buddy (he is always sure to find the best deals for me, he's a numbers guy!) and coffee with a great friend (thanks, Deb!). A full, but very pleasant day.

You know what Saturday meant, don't you? Absolutely - it was Cooking Day. This month it was my own custom-big-batch-once-a-month cooking-day. Rather than getting my 25-30 meals actually assembled and in the freezer, I did some basic chopping, cooking, combining - basically, any meal-prep possible, but not as many fully assembled meals. And, as always, I made a list of my planned meals. It's going to be a five-week month for me, so I have to have a plan in place to make things stretch. My master list sure does help me stay on track.

Because the day went so smoothly and I still had plenty of energy left in me, I told the kids I'd make homemade fries for supper (usually I start a pot of beans in the a.m. and everyone has to dig in and help themselves, adding chips and taco toppings). I came across a great deal on potatoes --  50# for $11.50. For red potatoes! Just look at these beauties, waiting happily in the cellar. You can just imagine what we'll be eating day in and day out this month, eh? How many different ways can you serve potatoes, anyhow? But, I digress - back to homemade french fries.

The news was so well-received, I even had extra volunteers in the kitchen when it came time to fix up those potatoes. Esther brought an armload up from downstairs, Bekah helped peel a few, and Luke offered to cut them into strips, while I dropped them into the fryer. After a bit, I noticed the pile of raw potato strips was dwindling, but there were still some potatoes to be cooked up, and Mr. Potato Man was all hunched up over the cutting board.

 What was he up to? How long does it take to slice through a few more potatoes? Well, that all depends. Not long for most of us. But, if you are budding woodcarver, well, then. . .

you wouldn't want to pass up on an opportunity to display your skill and . . .

 . . . art.  Now, how many of you have had french-fried links to go with your burgers?

Now for this week's menu, which I'll be linking up over at Menu Plan Monday and Tasty Tuesday:

Lunch -- Veg/Beef Soup 
(broth and beef cooked on Saturday, throw in veggies and you have a quick and easy lunch)
Supper -- Tacos 
(Mexican Monday is tradition around here)

Lunch -- Hot Dogs 
(a kid favorite, and easy for Mom)
Supper -- Chicken Giardino 
(my own version of my favorite Olive Garden dish, which they sadly no longer have on the menu)

Lunch -- Mac and Cheese 
(Mom prefers homemade, kids would rather have easy/schmeasy Kraft-type -- we'll see)
Supper -- Smothered Venison
(a good old stand-by crockpot meal)

Lunch -- Tuna Salad
(love this with hard-boiled eggs, my own relish added, served on fresh ww bread toasted) 
Supper -- Tator Tot Casserole
(date night for Mom and Dad, so this kid-friendly-pop-it-in-the-oven dish is perfect)

Lunch -- Quesadillas
(a little cheese, a little cooked chicken,  2 flour tortillas, heated on an iron skillet)
Supper -- Pizza Night
(of course!!!)

Lunch --  LeftOvers
(everything mus'go!)
Supper -- Hamburgers
(Luke my GrillMaster is cooking)

Lunch -- Taco Salad
(Basket Dinner at church -- need to have some dessert ready, also)
popcorn, apples, and get-your-own for Sunday night

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Simple Woman's Day Book

Outside my window... Bright Summer Sunshine

I am thinking...
Does God allow the extremes, like this drought, so we will turn our attention to Him?

I am thankful...
my mother-in-law, who happily transports the younger guys to the summer library program each week.
In the kitchen... breakfast dishes, the smell of freshly baked bread, and tomatoes ready salsa-making.

I am wearing...
a comfy jersey knit skirt and a heather-colored top, and my well-worn apron, of course!

I am creating...
a quilt for a niece's wedding gift, crocheted baby blankets for future grandbabies and crochet/beaded candle toppers for a friend.

I am going...
wherever the Lord leads. First, to the stove to preserve some of the bounty of our garden. And then once the work is done, a roadtrip south will be just the thing.

I am wondering...
why do some have so much energy and get so much done, while I do not.

I am reading...
Galatians; 28 Days to Hope for Your Home; Grace for the Good Girl; Smooth and Easy Days

I am hoping...
rain will return soon.

I am looking forward to...
the return of our daughter and her family, and the chance to have ALL my children together in the same place at the same time again.

I am learning...
yes, always learning, to stay out of the way and allow my children to learn some of life's lessons on their own.

Around the house...
it is very quiet here (thank you Grandma, for taking the kids this morning!) and so I have time to ponder and sing and pray while mopping up spilled lemonade.

I am pondering...
will I ever truly be ready for my chick-a-dees to fly the coup? It gets easier, but is still a hard thing.

One of my favorite things...
the imagination of my 6-year old, who just this morning dressed a 2 1/2 foot tall dinosaur in cowboy boots and a wrist watch to keep guard over the snack bin.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
  salsa-making, list-making, shopping trip, packing

A peek into my day...
several phone calls to make, garden produce to put up, water the garden (again!), Bible Study tonight

Did I mention the imagination of my 6 year old?

this post is written in participation with Simple Woman's Daybook

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