Menu Monday #35

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Heather says:

It’s. Hot.

We’re having record setting temperatures which means we pretty much do our best imitation of lizards by the neighborhood pool in the afternoons. We tried walking around Target once to just enjoy their cooler AC, but that ended up fairly expensive, so we won’t be doing that any more. (Nothing was truly an impulse buy, it was just all of the little we’ve been meaning to gets added up)

The good news is the spaghetti squash will keep a little longer in the refrigerator. I’m hoping until after this heatwave breaks.


I made this year’s first Tomato Pie. I’m still finessing the gluten free crust. Well, to be more accurate I’m finessing how to get the gluten-free crust from the pastry mat to the pie.  Hopefully we’ll have a morning or evening cool enough to turn the oven on to make a more photogenic tomato pie. Looking at the forecast though, it’s an if wishes were horses dream.

I’m trying to be a little better about turning off my computer when I’m “off” work. I’m not good at that, but last week helped a bit with perspective.

We’ll see if it sticks.

If you are just getting started with menu planning, feel free to ask questions, I love playing virtual Iron Chef. If you have a couple of items you are comfortable cooking, I can help you come up with a more varied menu based on that skillset.

Send me a challenge: and put Menu Help in the subject line. It could be fun. . . I will need to know if you have any allergies you’re adjusting for and any strong aversions. I’m not going to try to make you like cilantro if it tastes like soap, but I might nudge you a little if you tell me all vegetables are evil.

Menu Plan Monday

What are you cooking? Have you been affected by this heat or are you in a region still hoping for summer to show up?

Do you need a printable menu planner?

  • Monday – Grilled Eggplant over Wilted Spinach Salad – I won’t be candying the bacon, but the dressing remains the same.
  • Tueseday – Stuffed Poblanos, I’ll stuff a couple of bell peppers for the fussier two, refried beans
  • Wednesday – Andouille Sausage, Peppers, and Onions over Dirty Rice – putting a Cajun spin on the normally Italian fare – the sausage and vegetables will be done on the grill.
  • Thursday – Lentil Burgers – hoping to get the wheat free version on the site this week – and grilled vegetables
  • Friday – Oven Fried Monkfish (or grilled if it’s too hot), cabbage slaw, Chipotle Sour Cream, and tortillas
  • Saturday – Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Garlic Sauce Salads-oh we’ll be kidless however did you guess
  • Peppered Pork Tenderloin with Sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese over salad


This post is linked up at for Menu Plan Monday. The link-up host, Laura, is also the author of the book Clutter Rehab: 101 Tips and Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It!

Menu Monday #34 – Nary a Cute Title or Pun in Sight

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Last week I had a 50 : 50 success rate with following the menu plan. We did have bolognese, but it was over a half-hearted ratatouille that I nearly ruined because I was sneaking an episode of Orange is the New Black on my tablet.

Hot weather is here for the duration and we’ve got near triple digits and high humidity until further notice. I’m going to try to work more salads into the rotation, but I hate making salads. That’s a first world problem if you’ve ever heard one, right?

There’s a place around here called Verde, thankfully neither location is on my regular routine or I’d be in a lot of financial trouble. I think I’ll be working my way through their menu over the next few weeks. Their salads are amazing and they use this nifty tool that looks like a couple of conjoined pizza cutters to speed up the chopped salad process. I’ve heard the version they use is at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, so I’ll hold off on ordering the OXO version until I confirm this.

I also know it sounds crazy to put a soup on the menu when the temperature is high, but you have to try it. (I’ll get it posted later this week). We’ve been dealing with some sinus stuff around here and there’s nothing quite like hot peppers to clear your head, at least temporarily.

What are you making this week? Do you need a menu planning printable to get started?

Menu Plan Monday

  • Monday –  Tuna Patties – I’m still searching for exactly how to make this wheat-free. Everything is either paleo (read that as way too involved or on the opposite end of the spectrum just tear up a piece of white bread – also not an option) and BLT salads
  • Tuesday – Roasted Butternut and Squash with Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles work just fine, testing a recipe that caught my eye)
  • Wednesday – Jalapeno Corn Chowder
  • Thursday – Bulgogi, rice, whatever vegetables are suitable for stir frying from the CSA
  • Friday – Grilled Chicken over a Southwestern Chopped Salad
  • Saturday – Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak  over grilled vegetables or salad – this will depend on the CSA contents
  • Sunday – We’ll be taking full advantage of the neighborhood pool all. day. long. Hotdogs or brats with sweet potato fries or zucchini / squash fries.

I have a couple of reader questions in my inbox this weekend, so it won’t be all food all the time this week.


Menu Monday – Summer Break Style

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Heather says:

I didn’t get around to posting last week’s menu, but I assure you we ate, several times a day even.

We are definitely using the grill much more often and the foil wrapped vegetable packs are an incredibly handy way to use up the CSA’s bounty without putting in a ton of work. I just adjust the seasonings to match the protein we’re going to have. If you like blue cheese try a splash of balsamic vinegar and top with the cheese after the veg are done. If you are serving fish, a squeeze of lemon and some rosemary or basil would be fantastic. If you want shish ka bob flavor without the effort some teriyaki, soy sauce, and ginger. Don’t be scared to experiment, the worst thing that will happen is you’ll know better next time. (You can even just try your experimental seasoning on a mini packet before trying it on the whole batch)

This week promises more squash and if we get any more cabbage, I’ll have to try my hand at sauerkraut. Theoretically it’s not hard, finding the room to make a batch is an issue all in itself.

This week I do hope to finally take pictures and share how we do fish tacos.

I’m also glad that I finally nailed down a version of gluten-free zucchini bread that I’m proud to share.

What are you serving this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Monday Memorial Day 2015

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Heather says

It’s Memorial Day once again.

Many of you will be celebrating with picnics and cookouts. If you haven’t figured out what to pack yet, here’s a list of picnic possibilities  and if you’re looking to easily feed a crowd Lowcountry Boil is always a good option. Don’t forget as host / hostess of an event it’s your job to make sure food safety guidelines are observed, as no one wants to spend tonight curled up on their bathroom floor.

I’m currently trying really hard to relax. I’m not good at relaxing, I find it takes a lot of effort and restraint and here I am breaking my promise to not work this weekend. (Home Ec 101 never really feels like work anyhow, so don’t tattle, please.)Steak over grilled vegetables Photo credit: Ray Bergman

Last night’s dinner was a quick, use lots of vegetables because more are coming, dinner. I made Easy Foil Veggies with a splash of balsamic in the packets,  and marinated a chuck steak in balsamic, olive oil, and Chef Prudhomme’s Redfish Magic. I the vegetables got a headstart on the grill. After the steak was flipped, I topped it with blue cheese. Not too bad for a let’s use what we have kind of meal.

While it is a holiday, people around here are still going to expect to be fed throughout the week, so here’s this week’s Menu Monday.

Menu Plan Monday

Saturday / Sunday are to be determined based on produce and protein on sale this week.

What are you making this week? Did you try anything new?

Back to Life, Back to the Menu Plan

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Heather says:

Back to life, back to reality, not the whole song, just that one line is on repeat in my head. In the last 45 days I’ve been all over the country attending work events, conferences, meeting bloggers for my day job, and visiting family. While I had some fantastic meals (and wine) on these work trips, I am ready to eat a bit healthier. Currently in the fridge I have almost half a box of produce to use up and more to pick up tomorrow.

Last night I made a sausage and squash soup, it was quite possibly the ugliest thing I have ever eaten, but it tasted good. I am just glad that everyone trusted me to just try it, don’t look at it. I am quite certain that soup will be the butt of jokes for years to come.

It happens.

Menu Plan Monday

After a long couple of years, I’m finally in a place where I have good lighting, a nice kitchen set-up, and I have some mental bandwidth to spare. I’m excited to break out my camera and seriously begin shooting pictures again. As I’m able, these recipes will be linked to the versions I use for this site. In the interim, I’m linking to my starting points.

  • Monday -Squash and Zucchini Carbonara: Place holder Carbonara Sauce Recipe  I’ll be tossing the sauce with the sauteed vegetables
  • Tuesday – Chicken tacos in lettuce wraps with a radish slaw – lime, honey, and cilantro in place of the normal shredded lettuce
  • Wednesday – Lentil burgers with tzatziki, vegetables marinated in homemade Italian dressing
  • Thursday – Vegetable fajitas – don’t tell the kids, I’m just not going to add any meat – guacamole 
  • Friday – Hamburgers and sweet potato fries
  • Saturday – Some kind of grilled meat on skewers, over rice, with lots of vegetables… I’ll get it figured out
  • Sunday – Clean Out Refrigerator Night

What are you having this week?

Do you need a printable to start planning your menu?

Have you tried anything new lately? How did it turn out? More interestingly, have you had any failures? What did you learn?

Do I ever stop asking questions?

Why would I?