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Menu Plan Monday

Well I have had a great week off, I have been incredibly lazy, so today I am making up for it! But that’s ok, I needed the break. Even though I am sad to return to work tomorrow, I only have 3 weeks until my Christmas vacation! I think I can handle it! 🙂

I start my holiday truffle/treat making today and will post my plan this week! I am making ganache today and will probably do my caramels next weekend. The following weekend is baking and packaging. Making molded truffles takes a long time, so I like to have my ganache sitting in the fridge so I can mold 2 – 3 nights during the week. It saves me from getting overwhelmed by trying to mold in a couple of days. One recipe makes about s60 truffle (depending on the mold), which sounds like a lot but when you package up 20 – 30 goodie boxes for teachers, coworkers, etc; plus trays to take to friends and family parties you need quite a bit.

I also am doing a baby shower cake for Sunday. So I am making chocolate marshmallow fondant today to get ready. I will bake my cakes on Friday fill and cover and decorate on Saturday. My sister is hosting the shower and I promised to help her out on Sunday, so I want to make sure I get my part done. Her husband is leaving for China on business that day, so she needs the extra set of hands.

Here is my menu for the week:

Butternut Squash Lasagna (didn’t get to this last week) – plus one for the freezer!!
Monday: Pot Roast with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans
Tuesday: Bacon Wrapped Pork Medallions, spicy sweet potato fries, broccoli gratin
Wednesday: Shredded Beef Tacos (from the leftover pot roast), Salad
Thursday: Cajun Chicken Stroganoff, salad, leftover broccoli
Friday: Pizza out!


Well the thing I am thankful for this year besides the usual family, friends, health and employment is to have this next week off! It has been a busy fall (I can’t believe I have to order holiday cards and start buying gifts) and I need some time to catch up at home and prepare for the holiday season! Also to prepare for surviving the holiday season . . . it is hard to accomplish everything and still get the day to day stuff like getting dinner on the table! So I am going to use this week to get ahead to ensure that I am still able to provide homemade healthy meals everyday. Also being home means lunches and more elaborate breakfasts.

This Week’s Menu

Brunch: Breakfast Puffs, eggs, bacon
Dinner: Steak Diane, risotto and broccoli

Thanksgiving Prep: shopping, make ganache

Breakfast: Leftover puffs
Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Spicy Tomato Soup
Dinner: Smoky Marinara Butternut Squash Lasagna ( I add turkey italian sausage and puree the butternut squash), caesar salad
Making 2 small (8×8 pan size) versions of this and freezing 1!

Thanksgiving Prep: Dip and mold truffles

Breakfast: Toast, Cereal
Lunch: Leftover soup and salami sandwiches
Dinner: Meatloaf Muffins, smashed potatoes, green beans

Thanksgiving Prep: make tart dough, sun dried tomato pesto palmiers and freeze

Breakfast: English muffin breakfast sandwiches
Lunch: Leftovers/sandwiches
Dinner: Leftovers
Thanksgiving Prep: Pumpkin Cake for the roulade, and make filling, make tart (evening so it is chilled but delicious for the next day), parker house roll dough, cheese stuff for celery, wash and prep celery

Turkey Day!!! We generally eat around 3pm, for breakfast I will be making abelskivers (a danish pancake puff) this is our traditional holiday fare!

Finish Thanksgiving Prep: Fill roulade, bake off one tray of rolls, prepare stuffed mushrooms, bake palmiers. I don’t stuff the celery till I get there, it is too messy to transport.

Breakfast: Cereal, toast or any left over abelskivers
We will be attending a show that night, so I will be making a late lunch early dinner.
Lunch/Dinner: Chipotle Taco Salad – I like to make something totally different from a traditional thanksgiving dinner the night before (also something a little light!) I will be substituting turkey taco meat for the roast chicken cooking extra to prep a freezer meal tomorrow.

French Toast, turkey sausage
Freezer Meal: Crockpot Taco Soup

Yes, I am actually talking about “rolls” but I think in every family around the holiday we each fulfill a “role” in the holiday meal creation. In my family at Thanksgiving, my Grandma is the turkey, stuffing, potatoes core of the meal chef. She used to do everything, but now we all contribute which I think makes it fun and adventurous. My sister, mom and I really enjoy experimenting with new recipes.

In the last few years I have typically contributed appetizers and some kind of non-traditional dessert. This year I have also been tapped to make my Great-Grandmother’s Parker House Rolls. Buttery, white bread yumminess that often get mostly eaten up before dinner starts. They were an annual favorite, but a few years ago my Grandma stopped making them because they are a bit of work. My mom was inspired to bring them back, but since her first time working with yeast was a few weeks ago making pizza dough and I have my trusty mixer, I volunteered to try my hand at making them. Of course then I remembered that my cousins can eat an unlimited amount of rolls, so I will definitely have my work cut out for me.

The other tradition is stuffed celery . . . I hate to even discuss this because you may think less of me! This is a recipe my Nana (my mom’s mom) created, probably in the 50’s! It consists of Velveeta cheese, mayo, pimento, green onions and garlic powder and pepper. Yes velveeta and mayo . . . weird, dated and heart attack inducing but my family requires it at Thanksgiving! They usually are eating it faster than I can get it stuffed and loaded on the plate. Don’t try it, you may like it and then be forced to ask the clerk at your store where the cheese is located, and that is an embarrassment I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (if I had one!).

My mom usually brings a homemade cranberry sauce, an alternative sweet potato (to the marshmallow one!) and often spoonbread (a southern corn casserole). My sister has the job of attending two Thanksgiving dinners and therefore does double duty bringing traditional pies (pumpkin, apple, pecan) to both our celebration and her in-laws. Every year we all sit around the living room patting our full bellies and watch them pack up the kids and head for dinner #2 in amazement.

This year as you will see by my menu below, we have all resumed our roles. My aunt is coming down for the week to help my Grandma with the standard fare and to spend some time with us as they are going to my other aunt and uncle’s in Idaho for Christmas.

I am very glad I took the whole week off to enjoy some time in the kitchen and with my family. The month of November has gone so fast! I need this time to get in the mood for the Christmas holidays, because as of today I am not at all in the mood to start preparation, shopping and goodie making!

I will do my best next week to post my recipes and experiences. Plus I will be featuring my holiday treat making and even a couple of upcoming decorated cakes for a baby shower and a few holiday parties. What fun!

Thanksgiving Recipes

  • Pumpkin Roulade
    Was going to do a different one, but then saw the dessert special hosted by Ina Garten on Food Network tonight. It was filled with a marscopone filling. . yum!
  • Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Caramel Tart
  • Parker House Rolls
  • Stuffed Celery
  • Stuffed Mushrooms

I will post as I go along so look for recipes and pics next week!

I am home and exhausted! But craving a homemade meal! This menu is for the rest of the week . . . I am just going to hit the store once for this week and next so I went ahead and included next week as well! (getting ahead of the game)

Snacks, Breakfasts, etc
Cinnamon Apple Cake
Leftover waffles (I love leftover Saturday waffles toasted midweek)

Thursday: Sausage and Peppers Spaghetti and spinach salad
Friday: Steak Quesadillas and chips and salsa
Saturday:Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry with Cashew Rice
Sunday: Crockpot Chicken, crash hot potatoes
Monday: Northern Bean and Sausage Soup with bread
Tuesday: Crockpot Pork Chops with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday: Chicken Carbonnara, salad
Thursday: Leftovers!!

Next weeks menu will include making dessert, appetizers and rolls for Thanksgiving. I have the week of Thanksgiving off from work (yeah!). My intention is to do some cooking, baking and cleaning projects. I am so excited for the time off and looking forward to the extra clean house in preparation for the holiday season!

I will also be creating and posting my holiday goodies making schedule and recipes during Thanksgiving break. It will be a great record of what I am making and also help keep me on schedule so I don’t end up giving up a whole weekend trying to get it all done. Plus I have a couple of cakes I am making for friends parties . .. all in all a busy blogging and cooking month and a half. Hopefully, I won’t forget to take a break and buy gifts!!

I have been lurking over at Menu Plan Monday for weeks. I am a newbie to menu planning and although I have been not been actively blogging now for 6 weeks (crazy life!), I decided to re-emerge with MPM. Why? Mainly because I have been menu planning for months and even on a bad week when I only end up cooking once, I still do better than I used to. Anyways, I am going to try and be more consistent with blogging and start by posting my menus!

This week is busy with work, school and leaving town this weekend. The weird thing about beginning posting this week is my DS is leaving to see his dad on Friday, and I leave Saturday morning for a conference in Houston not to return until Wednesday night. So next week’s menu will be very short! Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter when you start, but that you get off your duff and do it. Plus, I think the trip is good timing, I have extreme election addiction and this will break the cycle!!

Menu November 2 – 6
Breakfast: Raspberry Best Muffins Ever, toast, frozen waffle/breakfast stuff
Snacks: Praline Nut Crunch
Game Hens, Rice Pilaf, Spicy Broccoli

Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, Salad, roasted pumpkin

Italian Meatloaf, leftover potatoes, sugar snap peas

Leftovers night


Steak Quesadillas, chips with salsa and guacamole

Friday, Saturday
Out of town!