Monday Menu and Recipe Review

After a good long stretch of Indian summer, fall is finally really here. We’re getting out the sweaters, taking the wool coats to the cleaners, and thinking about Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to more soups for dinner and cups of tea in the afternoon. (I can’t be the only one falling asleep at 2 p.m. Or noon.) I even bought three little pie pumpkins so the kids can enter the “decorate a pumpkin like your favorite character from a book” contest at school. Miss Eight has already decorated hers to look like Fancy Nancy, but I’m kind of hoping the boys will just let me roast their pumpkins and make pie.

This week

  • Easy SlidersMy dinner swap pal Jen has been making these for parties, and now people expect them and descend on the hot tray like so many vultures. If you don’t have onion soup mix (I sure don’t), just toss together a homemade substitute. I’ll make them early in the day and have Mr. Ten put them in the oven while I’m shuttling his siblings to piano lessons. (The little pretzel rolls are key!)
  • Seco de chancho (Ecuadorian pork stew), yellow rice. I’ll use cubed pork shoulder and no beer in the sauce. (Swap with Jen)
  • Slow Cooker Stuffed PeppersI really don’t know whether any of the kids will eat these, but I think they’ll like the filling. I might make some apple crumble to motivate them to try the peppers!
  • Sesame noodles, stir-fried garlic green beans.

Last week

  • Mexican Pizza, salad. Very good! Next time I’ll dial down the chile powder just a bit, and maybe have some more toppings on hand–guacamole!
  • Salmon with herbs, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Finally! Everybody ate salmon! Don’t leave out the sauce on the side–garlic mayonnaise, or a lemony-herb yogurt sauce.
  • Quiche (I’ll use this crust, but the filling will probably be caramelized onions and bacon), salad. Make this crust. Don’t pre-bake it. Quiche can be a weeknight meal! (Also breakfast and lunch the next day.)
  • Winter squash soup with croutonsThe kids still aren’t squash lovers, but they’ll tolerate this soup because of its savory spices. Roast the squash and add a little more cream than called for to make it more soupy than baby food.

Monday Menu: the grilling edition

Summertime was made for grilling. Keep the heat out of the kitchen and outside where it belongs, right? I’ve been trying to grill as often as possible, so I decided to center this week’s menu around the grill. I like how quickly things cook and how few pots and pans there are left to wash!

It’s taken me a few years to gain confidence at the grill. I’m certainly no Grill Master yet, but I’ve learned a few tricks (if only where the hot spots are on our gas grill). I have two pieces of advice to anyone hesitant about their grilling skills. 1) Don’t walk away from the grill! It’s easy to get distracted by other kitchen tasks, and before you know it, your burgers are hockey pucks. 2) Get a grill basket! Now you can cook all sorts of things (especially vegetables) alongside your meat.

Monday: Southwest turkey burgers (add crushed tortilla chips, salsa, cumin, etc. to ground turkey–serve with cheese, avocado slices and more salsa), corn on the cob (grill that, too!), green salad

Tuesday: Grilled salmon, Asian cabbage salad, grilled pineapple slices

Wednesday: Yogurt-marinated grilled chicken, grilled veggies (asparagus, fennel, onions, zucchini…toss with olive oil, salt & pepper and toss them in a grill basket)

Thursday: Take a break! Leftover cabbage salad with strips of leftover grilled chicken. Grill up some toast! (Or just bask in the A/C.)

Friday: Pizza on the grill (leftover grilled veggies make a wonderful pizza topping)


Last week on Home Baked

Cleaning carseats

Kids’ travel neck pillows

TGIF (Or, Happy Hour at Home)


What’s your favorite grilling standby?