Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - 12/5/11

Menu Plan Monday - If ever we needed a menu plan, this is the week!   Nutcracker performances next weekend, so this week is filled with rehearsals besides all the usual activities, etc.  I didn't post before or after Thanksgiving because of travel, the holiday, too tired, you name it.  So, here we go:

Monday -  Asian Chicken Salad  This time I'm substituting the peanut butter with Sunbutter.  I made it this morning and it is yummy!

Tuesday - Calzones with spinach - something easy to wrap in foil and take on the road!

Wednesday - Beef fajitas - with leftover london broil, guacamole - early dinner, needs to be quick and easy.
Thursday - Crazy Pizza Bread, crudite - again something that can be packed up for later.

Friday - Roasted chicken, challah, roasted veggies

If you are looking for more menu ideas, please visit MPM at

Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - 11/14/11

Well, the "ick" has officially invaded the house again.  The kids started feeling sick on Thursday, and now are on the mend.  I've been feeling run-down the last week or so, but it developed into a cold for me too this weekend.  Blah!  Is all I have to say about that.  Some of the plans fell apart last week.  We did homemade chicken soup and breadsticks on Thursday and skipped soccer practice.  Stayed in all weekend.  This is the last week of soccer, so hopefully everyone will be well enough.  Trying to take it easy this week, we'll see how that goes (still have mini-real baking and dance, too)!  Just putting a plan out there, although I know it may change as the week goes on.  The only project I got done this weekend was trying my hand at homemade ravioli.  Although far from perfect, certainly something I would like to try again.  No matter how they looked, they tasted really yummy.  And hit the spot to comfort this cold. 

Sunday - Pumpkin Ravioli with sage brown butter sauce.  I made the pumpkin pasta from this recipe from Leite's Culinaria with a simple ricotta filling.  And just like Jennifer in Mamaland, I loaded up on the cheap (50 cents a piece) pie pumpkins at Kroger this year.  I've been roasting, pureeing and freezing cups and cups of pumpkin.  This weekend I also made pumpkin pancakes, which were a hit!

Monday - Meatloaf, oven-roasted sweet potato fries, broccoli

Tuesday - Leftover pasta, veggies

Wednesday - Not sure yet.  Perhaps chicken and rice bake.

Thursday - Homemade Pizza

Friday - Roasted Turkey.  I tried this recipe  for Pumpkin Challah from The Challah Blog a few weeks ago and we really liked it.  I've tweaked the recipe a bit (added oil to make 1/2 cup, not 1/4).  I'm thinking of making more this week and freezing some for Thanksgiving.  Maybe as a pan of challah pull-aparts, with cinnamon sugar, hmm.  Not sure yet.

If you are looking for more recipe and menu ideas, please visit MPM at

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Birthday Dinner

Well, I'm sure everyone is wondering what the big surprise dinner I had planned for my husband's birthday, right?  Okay, so dinner was a trio of his favorites.

Homemade Sushi

Asian Roasted Salmon

 And a restaurant re-make for The Cheesecake Factory Avocado Eggrolls, based on this recipe.

And for dessert (sorry, no picture)...Snickerdoodle Cheesecake from this recipe, except I used a traditional springform pan instead of the 8" x 8" pan in the recipe. 

Bringing in the harvest...sort of

With frost warnings for tonight, I decided to bring in the herbs, a couple of peppers, and a tomato (still green).  It's the end of the basil, no doubt (sniff).  I left a few bunches of tomatoes on the vines and hope they will keep growing.  Thankfully, the garden is not bare.  The broccoli and cabbage are starting to grow now and the other herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme and even the parsley) will last through the winter here.  I am so not ready for winter!

Monday, November 7, 2011

MPM - 11/7/11

Menu Plan Monday

Trying to get back on track this week with menu-planning even if it means that perhaps I'll need to change it as the week progresses.  Lots of after-school activities this week (Nutcracker, dance class, mini-real baking, soccer).  And my husband's birthday is this week too!  I'm not going to post my plans for his birthday here (because he occasionally reads my blog ).  Sorry no links or recipes right now, hopefully I will be able to get back to the blog again to post more later.

Monday - Grilled chicken, broccoli, rice

Tuesday - Baked pasta

Wednesday - a surprise  (updated)
Thursday - Homemade pizza

Friday - Spaghetti and Meatballs or roasted chicken?  Not sure yet.  Challah.

Looking for more menu ideas, visit MPM at

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Mini-Real Bake Shop

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my daughter wanted to open a "bake shop".  Every week at her school they set up Mini-Real (i.e. a mini version of a real community), including police, school, bank, and merchants.  They rotate through different job categories throughout the year.  Right now, Miss D is in the Merchant's Mall and decided to open a bake shop.  So, last week we made chocolate chip cookies and little ghost cookies. 

And it must have gone well because the first thing she showed me after school was the sign she had to make and told me we need to make more next week:

This week we made mini carrot cake muffins and more chocolate chip cookies. 

Can't wait to see how it goes today!   

Monday, October 31, 2011

More cars stuff...

More pictures from the party:

A couple of weeks back I made these  box-cars for the race.  

Cars sinage I found here via

I found the instructions for the Mater sandwiches here.  I used cheese slices and green apple for the sandwiches.  

Cars Birthday Cake

Here's the Cars birthday cake.  I made the bottom layer root beer cake and the top layer is vanilla white cake with a vanilla buttercream, so the end result was a root beer float cake!  I used this recipe for the root beer cake.  I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 13" x 9" x 3" pan for about 45 minutes.  For the white cake, I used this recipe, doubled and baked in the same size pan, again for about 45-50 minutes.  The "stands" were made with rice crispie treats covered in marshmallow fondant.  The cars on top were baked in this cakelette pan from Williams-Sonoma.  I only decorated Lightening McQueen and Mater, because the cakelettes were a bit more labor-intensive than I had hoped, but still cute anyway.  I had made marshmallow fondant for all the cakelette characters and perhaps I will be able to try to do them later this week.  Personally, I think the cakelettes taste just fine plain!  :)

All in all, a success!

Monday, October 24, 2011

MPM - 10/24/11

Menu Plan Monday - 10/24/11
I missed last week to post my menu.  It's been pretty busy around here.  LD's birthday later this week, party for him on Sunday and my parents are coming to visit.  I'm keeping this short and simple because I feel like I have a thousand things to do today including working out in anticipation of all the "celebrating" later in the week.  Oh, and Halloween is coming up too!  Oh, and Miss D has a school project that she needs baked goods every Wednesday.  So, "we" will be baking cookies, etc. every Tuesday until December for Mini-Real.  What else?  I know I must be forgetting something...oh, well.


Monday:  Manicotti (frozen)  with sauteed spinach.

Tuesday:  Leftover  Spaghetti and Meatballs

Wednesday:  Grilled Chicken, salad

Thursday:  Out to Dinner

Friday - no clue,???

For more menu ideas, please visit MPM at

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cars...(i.e.Project Birthday)

 Saw this cute idea for a Cars Birthday party from How Does She? on  So today's project was to finally paint the boxes that have been consuming my dining room table for the past week.  Anyway, I think they turned out pretty well.  I'm trying to hold back being too perfectionistic and critical.  The kids love them, and that's all that really matters, right?  So, what do you think? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Googly Eyes...or Candy Dots, Part 2

Googly Eyes...or Candy Dots, Part 2

Using the same recipe as the candy dots I made back in June, I colored about a third of the batch black and left the remaining white.  I plan on using some for the "Cars" cakelettes I'm baking for LD's 3rd Birthday, but the rest I think will be for some Halloween treats (TBD). 

Monday, October 10, 2011

MPM- 10/10/11

Menu Plan Monday - 10/10/11

Gearing up for Sukkot this week, "we" (i.e. my husband) was very busy building a Sukkah in the backyard.  Here's a picture (three trips to Home Depot later) of the frame, a few lights, and  Miss D dancing underneath:

I trimmed a bunch of trees/bushes yesterday to drape on top, but now we just need some "walls".  I'm thinking a trip to Big Lots is in order for the day.  Unfortunately (and fortunately), rain is in the forecast.  We desperately need it.  We've had such a long dry spell now, but what timing, huh?  I'm hoping by the end of the week we can eat some dinners outside.  We'll just have to wait and see.  I will post progress pictures later.

Anyway, the menu plan (so far):

Monday - Breakfast for dinner:  buttermilk waffles and leftovers from our Breaking the Fast meal, fruit smoothies

Tuesday - Pasta with red sauce, garlic bread, salad

Wednesday - Chicken burgers, grilled sweet potato wedges, pumpkin apple butter pie.  I'm going to try to make it in a slab-pie fashion, rather than a traditional pie plate.

Thursday - Homemade pizza (maybe on the grill?)

Friday - Roasted Chicken, veggies, Challah

Looking for more meal ideas, please visit MPM at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - 10/3/11

Menu Plan Monday - 10/3/11

October already? Need to start planning for LD's birthday at the end of the month. I hope to find time to prep some things, like the MMF and shortbread cookie dough. Years ago I read a recipe from Nigella Lawson where she described making "number" cut-out cookies for her childrens' birthday. I thought it was such a great idea, it's now OUR tradition for the kids' birthday to do "number" cookies for every birthday. (and yes, the "2" and the "5" look suspiciously similar.)

Monday - Turkey Burgers, oven roasted fries

Tuesday - Baked ravioli with spinach

Wednesday  - Shredded Beef Tacos with avocados

Thursday - Homemade Pizza

Friday - Tonkatsu Chicken (Mrs. Y's recipe), Challah, salad

Saturday (breaking the fast) - Bagels with lox, spinach frittata, cheesy grits casserole, fruit

For more recipe ideas, please visit MPM at

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - 9/26/11

Menu Plan Monday - 9/26/11 - Rosh Hashana Menu

Ok, the holidays are approaching quickly (tick-tock), so I'm just writing a quick list for the week.  A few of the recipes have links, but mostly these are the family recipes that I haven't posted on the blog.  If you are curious for a recipe, I'll try to post it for you (if I get permission to share - hehe!)

Sunday - Mojo grilled chicken and roasted cauliflower with garlic.

Monday - Baked Huevos Rancheros.  Not sure if this will be too spicy for the kids, so probably will heat up some veggie corn dogs (the Morningstar Farms ones), just in case.  Cheesy mexican rice.

Tuesday - Homemade Mac and Cheese , salad

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday  - My Rosh Hashana Dinners Menu (in no particular order as I'm not sure what I'll serve for each night, but here's the plan so far)

YomTov Challah (with honey and vanilla)
Matzo Ball Soup
Gefilte Fish/horseradish
Mock Chopped Liver (maybe?)
Roasted Eggplant Spread
Aunt Babe's Brisket
Baked Apricot Chicken
Carrot Rutabaga Puree
Potato Souffle with caramelized onions/mushrooms
Couscous with dried cranberries (w/pomegranate) and almonds
Spinach salad
Honey Date Nut Cake (first time trying this one)
Whole Wheat Apple Cake
Cookie-Dough Apple Pie
Aunt Babe's Brisket
Potato Souffle
 Carrot Rutabaga
Matzo Ball Soup
Cookie Dough Apple Pie
Looking for more menu ideas, pplease visit MPM at

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - 9/19/11

Menu Plan Monday - 9/19/11

Another busy week here with Nutcracker rehearsal, dance class, soccer practice and the first game.  Not feeling much inspiration this week.  Actually didn't even think I would post this today, but here I am.

Sunday - Baked chicken eggrolls, veggies, quinoa

Monday - Fish Tacos

Tuesday - Baked ravioli casserole

Wednesday - Asian Chicken salad and noodles. Peanut dressing on the side for us, sesame dressing for the kids.

Thursday - Homemade pizza

Friday - Chicken?? and Challah (the last "regular" batch before I start making the Yom Tov Spirals)

For more menu ideas, please visit MPM at