Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving on Wheels: the aftermath

I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving!

Ours was pretty quiet, with just my in-laws at their house, but it was a nice day. I cooked the turkey, stuffing, bread, apple pie and turnips here. Everything was packed in coolers to take to my in-laws' house. I had the potatoes all peeled and in a tupperware full of ice water. Then there were cans of gravy, cranberry sauce and corn, and a bag of frozen green beans. A pretty basic meal. When we got there I put the foil pans of cooked food in the oven on warm (with some chicken broth added to the turkey and stuffing to keep them moist.) I cooked all the other food as usual. The only thing that didn't work well was the turnips. I don't know if it was the foil pan or the extra steaming/baking time, but they didn't come out well. However, I'm the only one who really eats them so no one else missed it.

All in all it was not too terrible to bring the dinner with us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It appears that I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner after all. AND transporting it 75 miles.

I'll be posting a menu and timetable for Thanksgiving-on-the-go as I work it out.

Menu Plan November 23-29, 2008

SUNDAY: Beef Paysanne, Spanish Country Bread

MONDAY: Tacos, homemade mac & cheese

TUESDAY: Chicken & dumplings with peas and carrots

WEDNESDAY: meatball sandwiches on homemade Italian rolls

THURSDAY: Thanksgiving dinner! I'm bringing bread, as requested by the hostess

FRIDAY: Salmon burgers, Lidia's Italian Potatoes

SATURDAY: Chicken Fajita Soup, tortilla chips

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Salmon Burgers

Makes 4 burgers.

1 can (15 oz) red or pink water-packed salmon, rinsed & drained (about 2 cups flaked salmon)
8 saltines, crushed
1/4 cup seeded, diced red bell pepper
3 TBL miracle whip*
1 tsp lemon juice
4 drops tabasco

Remove skin from salmon and flake with a fork. Mash or remove bones. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Shape into 4 patties.
Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil. Place patties on oiled pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 until golden brown.

*To sub for miracle whip, add the same amount of mayo and 1/8 tsp EACH garlic powder, mustard powder, & paprika.

This is based on a recipe in Lickety-Split Meals by Zonya Foco. However, I sub for the miracle whip and bake these rather than frying.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Frugal Grocery Shopping

I had to laugh when I read this article just now: Does Your Frugality Drive Everyone Nuts?

An hour ago, I finished up my grocery shopping at my favorite local supermarket. I had a pretty full cart, and wound up with 10 canvas grocery bags full of food. I got 50 cents back for using 10 reusable bags, by the way! Those bags I bought last January have more than paid for themselves.

Anyway, I had a big stack of coupons with my order, plus my "free" turkey (you get a free turkey each November if you spend over $300 during a certain time period. They calculate this BEFORE coupons--works for me!)

The two men behind me in line rolled their eyes when they saw the coupons sitting there waiting to be redeemed. And because I had a new-to-the-job checker, it took a little longer than usual.

But hey, guys behind me in line--I saved $71.98 in coupons and store savings--I only had to pay $131.46 for $202 worth of food. Not bad for a few minutes of coupon clipping and careful list-making.

Sorry if my frugal ways cost you an extra few minutes this morning. Next time, pick another line.

My husband thinks that ShopRite is going to stop letting me in if I continue to shop like this. But we're enjoying it while it lasts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan November 16-22, 2008

Last Friday I used one of the homemade pizza crusts that I had prepared and frozen. Great option for a fast pizza, along with homemade sauce and some shredded Italian-blend cheese.

SUNDAY: We went to Chinese Buffet.

MONDAY: Spicy Orange Chicken, rice, vegetable

TUESDAY: Ham, eggs and home fries

WEDNESDAY: Tacos, corn, homemade mac & cheese

THURSDAY: Ravioli with meatballs

FRIDAY: Salmon burgers (sides to be determined)

SATURDAY: Beef paysanne, noodles, vegetable

Kitchen Tip of the Day

Microplane zesters are great for getting super-tiny bits of citrus zest that you can use in cooking or baking. But don't use your microplane zester over a tiny bowl (like the one shown in this picture) unless you WANT a big mess and a pile of wasted citrus zest.

Instead, lay the zester on a dinner plate. All the zest will land in the plate, not on your countertop.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lidia's Italian Potatoes

I got the idea for these from the Lidia's Chicken and Potatoes posted at Barbara's blog. The potato idea looked so good, it seemed a shame to limit it to serving with chicken.

These were definitely a hit. The only problem was that I didn't make enough! I had no idea they'd be this good. Next time, I'll make a bigger batch. They require a little "babysitting" but they're worth it!

2 or 3 small potatoes per person
2 tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp rosemary

Rinse and dry potatoes. Leave skins on. Cut potatoes in quarters.
Toss potatoes in a bowl with olive oil and salt.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat until it is hot. Pour in potatoes and scrape all the extra oil out of the bowl. Don't turn potatoes for the first 5 minutes.
Stir potatoes and cook another 5 minutes.
Add rosemary and turn potatoes.
Cover and cook 7 minutes.
Stir, cover and cook another 7 minutes.
Stir, cover and cook 10 more minutes.
Stir and cook 10 minutes UNCOVERED.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Menu Plan November 9-15, 2008

SUNDAY: Hawaiian chicken, rice, green beans

MONDAY: Pork roast, either with caramelized onions or Hoisin-Molasses sauce; Lidia's Italian Potatoes (from Barbara's recipe, but without the chicken), vegetable

TUESDAY: Pot roast, noodles, gravy, corn

WEDNESDAY: Chicken piccata, rice, vegetable

THURSDAY: Spaghetti

FRIDAY: Undecided--possibly the baked whiting that we didn't have this past week

SATURDAY: we'll be celebrating my dad's birthday. Mom's planning to serve Ham and Cabbage (boiled smoked ham, butt half)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Menu Plan November 3, 2008

SUNDAY: Mexican Steak on the grill, Alfredo noodles, skillet corn

MONDAY: Roast chicken, baked potatoes, mixed vegetables

TUESDAY: Tacos (choice of hard or soft shell), macaroni and cheese

WEDNESDAY: Swiss Chicken Melt, rice, green beans with almonds

THURSDAY: Spaghetti, of course!

FRIDAY: Baked whiting, sides "to be announced"

SATURDAY: We hope to have friends over for dinner; not sure yet what we will serve.


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