Archive for the ‘Menu Plan Monday’ Category

Menu Plan Monday – August 25

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday! or Tuesday!

We are coming down the home stretch at last in fixing up our old house to sell. Every fix or new paint job made something else stand out that could be improved and on it went until you just scream “enough!”.

The garden really did well this year and from mid July through mid August I was harvesting a lot of veggies.

Corn! (Some of the corn in the pot was not so very nice field corn that the squirrels planted – back to wild creatures it went.)


Carrots! (and, yes, those are purple carrots)

I was pickling and freezing to beat the band. And then my fridge went on the fritz! Yikes! Fortunately we still have the spare fridge that was left here, but it doesn’t have a lot of freezer space. A mandatory refrigerator fix or deep freezer purchase is definitely in order for this week.

Fortunately, too, the bean beetles are taking out the beans and the squash borers have started to show up. Can you be relieved that pests have finally arrived?

This week more very vegetable meals.

Cheesy Green Beans
Tomato Cobbler

I have had an excellent green pepper year compared to last year of barely any. My husband ate a lot of snacking peppers last year, so I planted quite a few. This year he just can’t keep up. So I came up with a recipe for stuffed mini peppers that he really loved.

Stuffed Mexican Style Snacking Peppers

About 10 mini peppers
1/2 package soy taco mix
2 slices of bread
cheddar cheese

Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the seeds. Depending on the shape of your peppers, you may want to cut a tiny slice off the bottom so they sit flat.

I steamed the peppers until tender but not falling apart in the microwave. Soften the taco mix according to box instructions and make some crumbs with the bread. Mix this together with a little cheese (about 2 tablespoons) Stuff the peppers and top with more cheese. Back into the microwave about 2 or 3 minutes or until the peppers are hot and the cheese is melted and done.

My husband ate these for dinner, but I think they would make a nice appetizer or party snack. Instead of finishing in the microwave, they could certainly be baked in the oven for a nice little brown on the top.


What’s on your menu?


P.S. Can you believe it? It’s time for Back To School!

Menu Plan Monday July 14

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

Just as I predicted, we are full of beans!

Italian (Roma) beans:

More beans:

And other goodies like these banana peppers:

On our menu this week:

Far East Beef Casserole (with beans!)
Potatoes and something from the freezer (veggie riblets? burgers?)

I guess I don’t have an overwhelming amount planned this week since we are eating a lot of what is ready in the garden and it is too hot to cook a lot and I think I have reached a cooking lull. It seems I get all enthusiastic about cooking everything in the Fall and Winter and Spring, but Summer comes in full force and that enthusiasm goes out the window except in small fits of inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, I was trying to figure out a way to get my husband to eat some of the summer squash bounty (he doesn’t share my fondness for the veggie) so I put together a squash casserole that he actually ate.

Squash and Sausage Casserole

1 package Gimme Lean Breakfast sausage
A goodly amount of Summer Squash
Cheese Sauce
Bread Crumbs (I like fresh ones)

Fry up the Gimme Lean in bite size pieces with some olive oil.

Cut up the squash in rounds and steam in the microwave until tender (how long this takes depends on the amount of squash).

Put together a cheese sauce: 1/4 cup margarine, 1/4 cup flour, 2 cups milk, an 8 ounce package a shredded cheese – standard mac and cheese sauce.

Layer everything in a casserole dish – sausage, then squash, then sauce. Top with a goodly amount of bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bread crumbs look nicely toasted. Yum!

What’s on your menu?


P.S. Happy Bastille Day!

Menu Plan Monday June 30 2014

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

This week are menus are very veggiecentric due to the goodies coming from the garden.


Summer Squash!

On the menu:

Summer Squash and Tomatoes – Add Cheese – Yum!
The last of the Snow Peas with Carrots and Chik’n Strips
Beets – Okay, my husband already had this for breakfast this morning. Yes, beets and the beets greens.
Gnocchi with Alfredo Sauce
Cucumber Salad with the last of the Radishes

I’m hoping for Green Beans by the end of the week.

From the Recipe “Vault”

Cheesey Italian Green Beans

Cook 1 small package of Italian Green Beans (or use fresh, of course) in 1/2 cup water and a teaspoon of instant onion broth.

Put this in a casserole dish.

Top with 3 tomatoes sliced, 1 teaspoon dried minced onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 2 ounces (or more) shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Enjoy!

What’s on your menu?


P.S. Enjoy some Fourth Of July Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday June 24

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

Yet again on a Tuesday and I actually cooked Sunday and there you go.

This week features some of the garden goodies:

Bow Tie Pasta with Broccoli Raab and Onions
Lentils with Swiss Chard
Reuban Casserole

I talk a lot about my veggie garden, but I have some beautiful Butterfly Bushes in my front yard this year.

They even work as advertised – see the butterfly!

And the pansies I planted last Fall are still hanging in there.

From the Recipe “Vault” this week – Rhubarb Kuchen

I just planted my rhubarb this year so I won’t be making this until next year (hopefully!).

Rhubarb Kuchen

1 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
Mix ingredients to form crumbs. Pat 1/2 into a pan. (Oh No! I have no note about what size. I’m thinking 7×11 or 9×13.)

Cover with a mix of – 4 cups sliced rhubarb, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 3 ounce package strawberry jello.

Cover with the remaining crumbs. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

What’s on your menu?


P.S. Enjoy some Ocean Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday June 16

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

The peas have come to an end for this year, in part due to an infestation of pea aphids which I didn’t catch soon enough (the peas were so thick). I wanted to deal with the aphids before they spread to other plants. I was still very happy with the harvest and have a goodly amount put up in the freezer for future use.

The radishes are over for the Spring as well. It’s just too hot for those guys now.

On the way are beans, tomatoes, peppers, and my three sisters garden.

I’ve never planted a three sisters garden before so I am curious to see if it works out.

On the menu this week:

Tortellini and Pesto
Noodles with Peanut Sauce for my husband and Pad Thai for me with Tofu and Snow Peas
Lentils with Tomatoes and Broccoli Raab

From the Recipe “Vault” – Hello Dolly Cookies

I don’t know if this was supposed to be a tribute to the Broadway show in 1964 or the film in 1969 or just to the Louis Armstrong song. They are yummy if you like coconut.

Hello Dolly Cookies
Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt 1/2 cup butter – mix with 1 cup graham crackers crumbs. Pat into pan.
Cover with – 1 cup coconut, 1 cup chocolate chips,1 cup chopped nuts. Do not mix! Pour on 1 can of sweetened condensed milk.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Eat.

(Maybe this was the precursor to Magic Cookie Bars?)

What’s on your menu?


P.S. Enjoy some Ocean Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday June 9

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

Isn’t it always the way of gardening? First, oh wow, we have peas! Then, just look at all these peas! Then, okay, I think we have enough peas! (substitute beans, zucchini, etc.) So the peas are starting to go into the freezer and all the old peas from last year and the old beans from last year have gone to the compost pile.

A new highlight – Swiss Chard. This variety is Bright Lights and I just think it is gorgeous. At least it is in this picture before I harvested some.

This week’s menus:

Meatloaf and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Aloo Paneer with the above mentioned Swiss Chard
Falafel and Hummus

I also have a banana pepper on the way. It really looks a little silly on such a tiny plant, but I am hoping for better as the season progresses.

A little something from the recipe “vault”:

Mystery Mocha

Mix –

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
dash salt

Melt –

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 square unsweetened chocolate

Add this to dry ingredients.

Then add –

1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour into an 8 inch square pan. (oops, no mention of greased or ungreased – I think ungreased)

Mix –

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa

Spread this on top of batter. Pour 1 cup strong coffee over the top of all of this.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

The “mystery” of this mocha cake is that you end up with a layer of cake on the top and a layer of pudding on the bottom. Very good served warm with ice cream.

And since there are no eggs involved, I think this could be veganized pretty easily.

That’s it. What’s on your menu?


P.S. If you just come to read the blog, get ready for the end of school with some Graduation Clipart at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday May 2 (or 3)

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

Written on a Tuesday, I had a busy day yesterday.

This week we’ll be having:

Tortilla Soup
Fajitas (made with Chik’n Strips and Peppers and Onions)
Sesame Salad (with garden pea pods)

A Bonus this week is an Angel Food cake topped to be served with Strawberries.

My garden is producing yummy goodies for us!


And Peas!

The variety of peas I planted this year is Norli – a snow pod pea. I am so far impressed with how prolific this pea is – much more so than the Oregon Supar Pod Peas I usually plant. Of course, it may have helped that I covered everything with netting this year. Last year, I actually had birds nibbling my pea plants.

And with all these peas and radishes, I just had to look and see if there were any recipes online that included both. Of course there were! Some salad combos that I just might try while I am waiting for my lettuce to get bigger.

That’s it for today. Back to painting – again.

What’s on your menu?


P.S. If you just come to read the blog, enjoy some Frog Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday May 26 – Sesame Cucumber Salad and Four Layer Delight

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

A week of eating (and cooking) simply.

Potato and Leek Casserole
Rice with Twin Oaks Chorizo Sausage
Veggie Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

No pictures today, but I do have two recipes for you.

I have been a bit excited to finally get a wee harvest of radishes. No lettuce, just radishes. So what do can you do with radishes? Sesame Cucumber and Radish salad (which my husband has been thoroughly enjoying.

The recipe – more or less:

Two Cucumbers – peel the cucumbers, slice in half long wise, scoop out the seeds and then slice the halves short wise into thin pieces

Radishes – cut into thin slices

Dressing – 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2/3 cup sesame oil, 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar, sprinkle of salt. Whisk together and pour over cucumbers and radishes. Let sit overnight.

Another recipe from “the vault” that is my recipe box. This is a good dessert for warmer weather (or a Memorial Day BBQ).

Four Layer Delight

This all goes into a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Layer 1 – Mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, and 1/2 cup oleo (margarine). Pat into pan and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool.

Layer 2 – Mix 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese with 1 cup powdered sugar. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping (9 ounce, er, 8 ounce container).

Layer 3 – Make 2 packages of instant vanilla pudding (the recipe calls for French Vanilla – do they make that any more?) with 3 cups of milk. Pour over cream cheese layer.

Layer 4 – Top with the remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.


What’s on your menu?


Menu Plan Monday May 19

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

This week I decided to make a big old batch of rice and a variety of goodies to go on top.

Kung Pao “Chicken”
“Beef” Chow Mein
General Tso’s Tofu

And for lunches some Lentil Soup.

I also went on a bit of a pie crazy. I thought it was time to use of some of the pumpkin in the freezer (that I grew) so it didn’t languish there until I got the new batch of pumpkins for this year. I also made (since I got some whipped topping for the pumpkin pie) some Easy Lemon Pie.

Easy Lemon Pie really is.

The official recipe is:

1 – 6 ounce can frozen lemonade
1 – 13 ounce can evaporated milk
1 – 9 ounce container of whipped topping
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 drops of yellow food coloring

Mix everything together and place into a graham cracker crust. Chill overnight.

Now the funny thing about this recipe I have (yes, it’s that old) is that I can no longer find 6 ounce cans of lemonade and the evaporated milk is now 12 ounces and the whipped topping is 8 ounces. So the adapted recipe would be:

a little less than half a 12 ounce can frozen lemonade
1 – 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 – 8 ounce container whipped topping

And then I tend to forget to get a lemon so I skip that and I also skip the food coloring. The thing that can not be skipped is the graham cracker crust. The secret to this pie is that it becomes pie like because the extra juice gets soaked into the crust. I highly recommend it, gentle lemon flavor and tastes like Summertime.

(By the way, you can use this basic recipe and fill in other frozen concentrate juices for variety – lime and orange are good, too.)

My main occupation this May, aside from painting painting painting has been getting in a raised bed garden. I am pretty pleased with the start of things and it is still a work in progress. Some warmer weather veggies are stumbling with the ups and downs in the temperature, but I have high hopes that Summer will indeed come.

My peas have done very well.

The raised beds keep things containerized <grin>. Here’s my strawberry bed.

The big piles in the background are from cleaning out the bottom of the garage for some additional, temporary storage space.

Can you see the toy tractor in background? I found that under the garage and decided it would fun to have it as a garden ornament.

That’s it for this week. What’s on your menu?


P.S. If you just come to read the blog, get ready for the end of school with some Graduation Clip Art at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday – Cinco De Mayo Version

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Painting. Painting. And more painting.

That’s what I have been doing and doing and doing.

How’s this for neutral – Oat Straw. (I keep calling it Oatmeal to my husband by accident.)

Still, I didn’t want to completely miss Menu Plan Monday even thought this is a very short post.

This week was an ode to Cinco De Mayo with:

Taco Casserole

And to change it up a little, Zoup. (Remember to add water to the Zoup!)

I’m looking forward to finally getting some vegetables into the ground in the actual out of doors this week. Hooray for warmer weather!

What’s on your menu?


P.S. Mother’s Day is May 11. An emergency Mother’s Day Card and another emergency Mother’s Day Card at Bry-Back Manor!