Menu Monday - A Return to Routine

Well here we are again, sliding right back into routine days.  I'd personally like a cross balance.  John home all the time (with a steady income too, lol) and routine days with a few days vacation now and then.  However, this is the life we have at present, and why wish it away?  It was nice to take a vacation from our normal routine.

With no real plans in place this vacation, I discovered a thing or two about me.  I need some structure or I get terribly antsy, snarky and impatient.  I didn't expect we'd spend every single day taking a day trip...Goodness but that would have gotten old very quickly and been as tedious as working every single day.  But I do need some sort of routine, some task to accomplish each day or I tend to be cranky as can be as the day drags on.  Once I realized this, it was easy enough to make the sort of plans that could also be set aside if John decided he wanted to go someplace...and he usually did if I'd made plans, lol.  In the end, I'd say it was a good vacation. I tend to think we relax initially more if we actually leave home for at least 3 days and get completely away from routine/work/family/etc and will champion this cause the next time we have a full month together, which should be around October 2012.

That's jumping ahead into the future...  Let's stick to the present and make out a menu for this week.  That's far enough into the future for me at present!

Monday:  out with Mama

Tuesday:  French Bread Pizza, Green Salad
I made spaghetti this past Friday and there was a quart of sauce leftover.  It should be excellent atop French bread halves and topped with gooey Italian cheese.  Also simple meal to make after a day spent shopping.  I can assemble and bake while I unload groceries.  And leftovers will make a nice snack for John when he comes in from work.

Wednesday:  Cider Braised Chicken and Onions, Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts
This is my version of a recipe I watched a cook make yesterday morning.  She used a dark beer and fennel in her dish.  Sounds yummy but I'm not sure I can afford fennel.  I do have a single lonely bottle of pale beer in the fridge but I'm longing for cider and this gives me a great excuse to buy at least a half gallon.

Thursday:  Pasta with Spinach and Artichoke Sauce, Sliced Tomatoes, Garlic Bread Loaf
An idea that blew into my mind the other night when I should have been sleeping...The basis of this is a casserole recipe for Spinach and artichoke hearts in a cream cheese base.  It's a very rich side dish and delicious but I seldom serve it because, well it's very rich.  But on pasta...well it should be just delicious and I can't wait to try it.

Friday:  Tacos with Corn Tortillas, Yellow Rice, Chili Spiced Beans
A dual purpose meal...While I'm making tacos I'll be combining a portion of the browned ground beef with some of the beans to make chili for tomorrow's Oneg dinner of Tamale Casserole.

Saturday:  Tamale Casserole, Green Salad with Orange Slices, Black Olives and Vidalia Onion Dressing, Brownie Trifle
A layer of chili with some frozen corn kernels, topped with cornbread mix and baked.  Brownie trifle is a layered dish of brownie chunks,  chocolate pudding and topped with whipped cream.  I'll be using some of the cookies made last week and frozen.  They should be most excellent if I prepare the trifle on Friday morning.

Sunday:  Hamburgers on Grill, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickle slices, Chips, Ice Cream Cones
Our long promised cook out for Mama.  We planned this in late Spring about the time Granny fell and went to hospital and then to nursing home...Well let's just say a lot happened in those three months, then it was just plain too hot to think about grilling.  It took a lot of coordinating but Mama and Samuel will be here for this cookout this day.  We may have a church service that Chance will do worship for (still up in the air even at this late time) so I'll do what I can before we leave if it proves to be fact.  Then we'll just start grill and cook burgers when we're back home.
   

Blogs, Articles of Interest and Other Such Items

So much time to read...NOT!  But you know how much I do love to read.  Like many I have a list of blogs...I have TWO one on Internet Explorer and one on Mozilla...and I take a few minutes here and an hour there each day to read through a few.  I am almost always adding and deleting blogs, keeping just a handful as constants in my busiest times.  I've also been collecting links for various things I thought you might enjoy.  Here's a sampling of what I've been reading and enjoying lately.

A heartwarming story:
http://www.parade.com/news/2011/10/a-chance-encounter-a-lasting-bond.html


I love to visit Happy Miscellany now and then.  I found this 'coffee sack' logo on her blog which she has kindly shared.  Print off on transferable paper and then put on your own fabric...This product is very easy to use by the way whether you get the iron on type or the adhesive type.  Katie did t-shirts earlier this spring for herself and friends with the adhesive type and  they looked fantastic.

http://ahappymiscellany.typepad.com/a_happy_miscellany/2011/10/heres-another-one.html

I couldn't help but think of V and her recent cold when I saw this post this week.

http://darlingdoodles.blogspot.com/2011/09/cough-carry-caddy.html

I think this is a brilliant idea, don't you?  And it's so cute.  Best idea of all?  The emergency sustenance.

Loved reading through this series of posts:
http://howtobechic.blogspot.com/2011/09/chic-september.html

How do you feel about recipes?  These sounded good to me:
http://cottageatthecrossroads.com/broccoli-cornbread/

http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken

This recipe is for a homemade 'Ade' type drink, as in Gatorade/Powerade.  I sent this to my daughter in law who dislikes water and has had trouble being dehydrated with this pregnancy.  I think it would be great to have on hand if colds and flu are roaming around in a household, too.
http://thecardamomspod.com/2009/05/homemade-laborade/

Now for just general perusing, why not look into these blogs?

http://www.parisiennefarmgirl.com/

http://thriftystyleatsixty.blogspot.com/

http://www.anoregoncottage.com/
http://www.anoregoncottage.com/
http://thegardenerscottage.blogspot.com/
http://thegardenerscottage.blogspot.com/
http://betterafter.blogspot.com/

Gumbo Lily

Young House Love - One young family + one old house = love.

 Susan Branch - Heart of the Home Main Page 
This link always says the page can't be found.  Just click on HOME and the page will come right up.

The English Kitchen

Lazy Bee Farm

Afternoon Coffee Chat: Weathering the Storm

Hello dears...Do come in.  I've a fresh pot of coffee and though it's hot outdoors, I confess that after my day in the kitchen t...