Menu Plan - There's Something In The Air!

It happened Saturday.  We left home in fog and heavy humid air and when we came out of synagogue a nice breeze was playing about with the sun and clouds and rushing the humidity away.  It felt...different, somehow.    And when we got up yesterday morning, it was cooler, breezy, never went much over 80 all day long.  This morning was cooler still, breezy again.  The turkey foot Oak tree outside the breakfast room window has turned fully red in the past two days. 

Say what you will, I predict a much earlier than usual Fall this year. 

This sort of weather makes the dogs all happy and frisky.  It makes me all happy and frisky, too. I want to get outdoors and play about in the flower beds, work on projects, go off on long drives with the windows down, maybe carry along a picnic dinner to enjoy, take day trips and go rummage about in dusty antique stores and junky little markets and eat al fresco at sidewalk cafes.  It's just my time of year and that's the truth!

Well, I've been busy making some favorite meals and the weather is so kind to come along and cooperate so that they taste just fine instead of being too heavy and too hot to enjoy.  Here's what I've made or am planning to make this week.

Corned Beef Brisket, Steamed Cabbage, Potato Salad
I bought the Corned Beef on Thursday and promised John I'd make it for dinner on Friday instead of following last week's menu plan.  I put the brisket in the crockpot on High for just 3 hours.  It was the most tender thing.  I have to share that unaware of brand but I got it at Aldi, the second one I've bought there (the first was back around St. Patrick's Day) and I am just as impressed the second time around.  I'll be buying a couple more to put in the freezer as I see them, because this brisket sliced so thin and nice, just perfect for sandwiches which we had Saturday evening. 
When I cook the corned beef, I put in the crockpot with just enough water to cover and the pickling spices that come along with it.  I do rinse the meat off as I dislike the scum that forms with the jelly like substance that covers the meat from the brining process.  I remove when it's cooked, mix brown sugar and plain yellow mustard and spread over the meat and put in a hot oven.  It's quite yummy that way, but I'm going to see if I can figure out how to make pastrami from the meat, too.

Roasted Whole Chicken with Rosemary and Smoked Salt, Wild Rice Pilaf, Tossed Salad, Hawaiian Rolls, and Blueberry Cobbler
A proper Sunday-ish sort of dinner...Only because Sam was coming down to do a mechanic job for us on the car and his payment rules are simple: a couple of home cooked meals.  Well he missed breakfast yesterday which he's normally here in time to eat, but I tried to make up for it with a good dinner.  I seemed to have done it rather well too. 
John and I had a deep chuckle after dinner yesterday.  Samuel was in the kitchen picking at the chicken and I asked him to bring the cobbler and some bowls to the table.  When he sat the bowls down, John and I looked up at each other and just smiled.  I think Samuel was anticipating COBBLER...Here's a photo of the bowls I meant him to bring (on the left) beside the ones he brought to the table.  And yes, I did send him back for the ones I'd meant to use, lol, but I did promise he could have seconds if he felt in need of them.

Italian Turkey Sausages with Grilled Onions on Rolls, Oven Fries,  Harvest Coleslaw, Cobbler leftovers
I slept late this morning...late breakfast means late dinner, means late or no supper (for me, not for John)...I blame it on the cool morning.  It was right about 70F in the house when I woke this morning and after pulling up the freshly washed and line dried quilt (sigh...IS there a better smell?) I went right back off to sleep, hence my being so late.  I had to fight to wake myself up and decided it wasn't the morning to shower right away but to drink coffee first and foremost.
I admit the sight of that red leafed tree outdoors made me just long for a Fall-ish sort of dish, and my favorite is Harvest Slaw.  I diced a crisp Gala apple into the slaw today along with a grated carrot.  Other days I might add cranberries or top with toasted walnuts.

Macaroni and Cheese, Sliced Tomato Salad, Green Beans
I never did make the mac and cheese casserole a few weeks ago. I'll make a full recipe, and then put half in the freezer for another meal.  I find that undercooking the macaroni is key to avoid gumminess.

 Chili with Rice, Cornbread, Green Salad with Apples and Craisins with French dressing
This is another meal I usually double up on and freeze portions for future meals.  I serve with rice to cut down on the spiciness and to eliminate the need of having too much meat in the chili, it's  more a seasoning the body  of the dish.

Fancy Pants Burgers, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas, Lettuce Salad
I've been wanting to make this dish ever since I saw the ads in those vintage magazines for September!  Here's my chance while it's a little cooler.  These are just thin burgers, with cheese slices on top of one patty and then the other patty is put on top and the edges sealed.  It's seasoned simply with salt and pepper and then an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce poured over the top after the patties are browned.  Very tasty and simple at the same time.

Fried Chicken, Squash Casserole, Beans and Potatoes, Apple Pie a la mode
This meal was specially requested, at least the chicken was.  I've yet to make a cake this month...I seem to be stuck on cobblers and pies.  Oh well, a good apple pie is hard to beat! 

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