Monday Menu and Recipe Review

Ah, Columbus Day. The kids are home from school, and Mr. Ten is playing with the junior high marching band in Chicago’s Columbus Day Parade. We’re excited to watch them on television this afternoon. In the meantime, I have big plans to buy foam for a headboard DIY (taking advantage of those Columbus Day sales), if we can all get dressed and turn off Hannah Montana for a minute. Miss Eight would like to invite a friend over or go to the pet store to buy a hamster. Little Five would like to remain in his pajamas and play Super Mario Bros. all day. My magic eight ball says that someone is going to be disappointed.

This week

  • Fried green tomato BLTs with fennel mayonnaise, fruit salad. We’re making this up as we go.
  • Chili, cornbread, salad (swap with Jen). The cornbread recipe on the Quaker cornmeal box is pretty good, especially if you add some corn kernels to the batter.
  • Lentil salad, hummus, pita, cucumber and tomato salad
  • Split pea soup, croutons, roasted carrots

Last week

  • Easy Sliders. Mr. Ten saw me getting out the pretzel rolls, gave me hug, and said, “Thank you for making these!” I only assembled 12 sliders, which was plenty for dinner and lunch the next day (for a lunchbox, cut the sliders in half and heat them wrapped in foil, then stuff the hot foil packet into a warmed thermos jar). The rest of the meat mixture went into the stuffed peppers.
  • Seco de chancho (Ecuadorian pork stew), yellow rice. This sauce is great no matter what meat you use, and the leftovers are good in tacos or stirred into scrambled eggs.
  • Slow Cooker Stuffed PeppersI used leftover meat from the sliders, rice and a can of tomato sauce for the filling. I didn’t plan ahead, so I baked them at 350 with a little water in the bottom of the baking dish. The kids ate them!
  • Sesame noodles, stir-fried garlic green beans.
  • Garlic and Thyme Roasted Chicken with Mustard CroutonsDeeeeelicious. There’s your Sunday dinner plan, right there.

Just today, this little blog made it to 200 followers! Thank you for reading–your support means a lot. We’ll have to celebrate!


Monday Menu

It’s President’s Day today, so the kids are home from school. At 7 a.m. I thought, foolishly, that I could slip out of bed and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and maybe a quarter of an hour to write. Instead, two out of three hungry children were already downstairs watching tv and waiting for some breakfast. I have been banished to the living room with my laptop while Curious George and Honey Nut Cheerios have taken over the kitchen. Fortunately, Mr. Ten, the late riser, is willing and able to gather his own breakfast.

The Hub spent the better part of the weekend in the kitchen, turning out two full dinners, a cake and a pie. He also made pesto from the herbs withering the crisper drawer. So in addition to eating well all weekend, we’re covered for a couple more nights while I run off to extra chorus rehearsals this week. I thought I might finish painting the bathroom today, but I’ve scaled back my ambitions to catching up on the laundry, some general tidying up, and nagging (I mean encouraging) people to do their homework and practice their instruments. Tomorrow when they’re back in school, I’ll paint in peace.

Monday: Pasta Pesto, salad

Tuesday: Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Celery Root Mashed Potatoes (left over from the weekend)

Wednesday: Middle Eastern meatballs (loosely seasoned like these, but with ground beef), pita, tzatziki, hummus

Thursday: Split pea soup

Friday: Spanish tortilla, salad


Share what you’re cooking and eating this week!


Monday Menu

We got through last week relatively unscathed…on time to all activities, dinner on the table every night. Homework was done, bedtime was reasonable. As a bonus, we watched a couple episodes of Mad Men on Netflix and I kept the desk in the kitchen clear enough for homework (Miss Seven likes working at the desk; Mr. Nine moves between the kitchen island and the dining room table). Cue the applause.

I thought I’d share three things I learned last week about fitting home-cooked meals into a busy evening schedule.

  • Any prep you do ahead of time is a good thing. Even if you’re just making a quick pasta pesto, if you fill up the pot with water, set out the pasta and the food processor, and set the table earlier in the day, it makes an enormous difference in how smoothly the dinner hour goes.
  • It may seem obvious, but save your most labor-intensive meal for a night you’re staying home. Less obvious (at the planning stage) is the possibility that you’ll be exhausted and feel less like making an effort on an evening that ought to be more relaxed. Give yourself permission to plan something simple for leisurely nights, too, or at least have an easy backup pantry meal.
  • Do all the dishes. Every night. Don’t slow down the next day’s meal prep with dirty dishes to clean up first.

Monday: Split pea soup, tomato salad

Tuesday: Pork soft tacos (still working our way through pulled pork in the freezer)

Wednesday: Stuffed cabbage, mashed potatoes (this will be a new one for the kids!)

Thursday: Chicken and mushroom skillet meal (if you need a recipe, use the method in the link–mine will have shallots, cremini mushrooms and red wine), egg noodles, pan roasted asparagus

Friday: Lasagna (from the freezer), salad


Last week on Home Baked

Musical chairs and Hidden Treasure (cleaning out the jewelry box)

Monday Menu


What’s your biggest stumbling block to getting dinner on the table?