Category Archives: Menu Plan

Keep Your BBQ Sauce Off of my Pizza

Unlike the times before it
last week’s pasta making was successful.

Given my previous attempts at making noodles
I probably should’ve started the project the day before
but lady luck stood by a few hours before the supper club
and I had beautiful strands of beet pasta swaying on clean chairbacks.

My kitchen looked festive
and I think hats and horns wouldn’t have been out of place.

I kind of wanted to put on a flapper outfit.

I was disappointed that the pasta didn’t stay magenta.
It faded into BubbleYum pink
(just like this)
which was… interesting.

I didn’t overcook the noodles;
I put them in the boiling water and the color immediately leached out.


Here’s this week’s menu plan
a little late:

Pizza with leafy green salads

Last night was movie night at the last minute, so for dinner we had frozen pizza.

When I picked up the pizza at the store I didn’t realize it had BBQ sauce on it.

There are three things that should never be on my pizza:
Cheddar Cheese
BBQ Sauce

Last night I had a salad, theend.

The unfortunate BBQ sauced pizza made me wish for homemade frozen pizzas.
I freeze pizza dough all the time but haven’t frozen a composed pizza. I’m curious to see how that would, ah ha, pan out.

Dumplings with homemade wrappers

Trevor has been off of work today and yesterday, so today I made chicken fajitas for lunch.

I hope to squeeze out enough time between kitchen remodel work and baby wrangling to make a combination of this recipe and one from The Dumpling.

I have hopes, but they are not very bright.

I need to work on my nonexistent pleating skills, too. Given the time restraints put on me by Tiny, it may end up being the seal-n-go method.

Carnitas with homemade corn tortillas and queso fresco

Trevor was in the grocery store with me last week and came across pork shoulder on sale while I was looking at something else.

He brought it over to the cart and asked if we could make carnitas.

I nearly did the moonwalk in the aisle for two reasons:
1)The man barely asks for anything other than pizza, steak, or macaroni and cheese
2) He knew that pork shoulder was for carnitas

By all means, let us do carnitas.

Kale, potato, and sausage soup

This is ripe for a blog post. My mother gave me this recipe and I’ve modified it to my liking.
I’ll negotiate with Tiny and see if he’ll let me photograph and write this week.



Ordinarily I wouldn’t do leftovers back to back, but Trevor’s schedule is crazy this week and freshly made dinners would be wasted on these days.

Mutti’s Louisiana Chicken Stew with pickled peaches

Mutti, my grandmother, made a gumbo that is one of my favorite meals. Growing up, we all called it Louisiana Chicken Stew and it wasn’t until I started playing with gumbo recipes that I realized her Louisiana Chicken Stew is a gumbo.

Now ‘gumbo’ sounds funny. Gumbo, gumbo gumbo!

She gave me her recipe for the stew and (quick) pickled peaches for my wedding
and it was my favorite present.

The leftovers are even better than the meal the first time around, as usual for stews and gumbos.

I’ve linked up to Menu Plan Monday.

Menu Plan, Menu Plan, Menu Plan All the Way

I’m listening to Christmas music
and I’m Ok with that.

I am surrounded by people who are adamant about waiting until after Thanksgiving to get the Christmas music going
but I like to multitask.

I may have Dean Martin warbling about his love keeping him warm
but on the dining room table are various dried corns, two types of wheat, teeny white pumpkins, and gourdsgourdsGOURDS.

There are also a few pumpkins on the doorstep
so I have my holidays covered until the end of the year.

I wait to break out the Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving
but music is a go after Halloween.

YOU can’t hear it
so you can’t complain.

The week’s meal planning is more fall than winter
with fresh carrots ending up in a soup I’ve never tried or eaten before.

I picked one row of carrots from the garden this weekend,
surprised that they grew so well
even though we planted them a little late.

There is still another row to come up
but there were a lot of slugs and worms in the carrot tops
so that row is ALL Trevor’s.

Escargot is not on this week’s menu
and it never will be, either.

I realized that half-way through making a meat sauce for spaghetti tonight
that I accidentally planned two pasta dishes this week.
We have a supper club that meets once a month
and this Friday happens to be a meeting with pasta as a main.

Spaghetti is Tiny and my favorite food
so it’s only Trevor who is complaining
who also had tortellini last night at work, too.

Forget decorative gourd season.
In our house, it’s pasta season.

Capellini with Meat sauce

I made my pasta sauce with 85/15 ground beef, sliced garlic, onions, fresh thyme, oregano, and parsley, garden tomatoes, and garden tomato sauce. I will sulk when we use up all of the tomato items we canned from the summer. I used Spanish onions which were a little sweet, but I liked the sliced garlic in place of the regular minced garlic.

Almost Confit” Chicken from Radically Simple
Cannellini beans
Frisee salad with piquillo peppers and balsamic vinaigrette

Through trial and error (and lots of crunchy beans) I figured out how to use my pressure cooker for dried beans. I will save so much money by eating dried beans that I will be able to buy canned beans with all the money I’ve saved!


I think I’ll throw some Parmesan rinds into the pot. I have no idea what dressing I’ll make for the salad.


We having Tiny’s one year photography session on Wednesday. I’m planning some small bites and possibly cake so I don’t want to deal with those and dinner on the same day.

Carrot soup with fried tops
Leafy salad with a lemon shallot vinaigrette from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

I think I am going to use a little bit of Heidi Swanson’s soup recipe with a garnish I saw in Rozanne Gold’s Radically Simple.

I could drink the salad dressing from ATK. I will try to restrain myself.

Beet Pasta with two sauces

This is supper club night. The theme is “favorites from childhood, kicked up.”

I haven’t narrowed down what my “two sauces” are other than one will be cream or vegetable based and one will be a meat sauce. I’ll play with The Flavor Bible and figure something out.

I’ve made mediocre pasta every time I’ve tried to make fresh pasta. I have some nerves.

Appetizers, sides, and desserts are the responsibility of the other members of the supper club.

Skirt steak with chimichurri from Seven Fires
Roasted endive from Seven Fires
Mashed potatoes

Like the salad dressing up there, I have to stop myself from tipping the little bowl of chimichurri into my mouth. What is it about condiments?!


Probably steak sandwiches or mashed potatoes with a chimichurri swirl or lemon shallot vinaigrette with a side of chimichurri.

Side projects for the week are bread, yeasted waffles one morning, melting peppers from Slow Mediterranean Kitchen, jalapeno jelly with the bushel and a peck in my refrigerator, and maybe, oh maybe, some cake for a very cute one year old.

I linked this up over at because I like seeing what other people are eating, too.

A Very Angry Wrist Pens a Menu Plan

I’ve done something to my wrist
something that made it very, very, angry.

Thankfully, it is my left hand
so my dominant right can do mostly what it needs to do
unless the left is needed to help.

You know,
I only need my left hand for things like picking up a baby
holding something while chopping
getting dressed
changing a diaper
or a million other things I need to do all day long.

Nothing of import has been completed today.
However, there is still time
so maybe I’ll lug around my useless hand and check off a few to-do boxes
counting myself lucky that my wrist is still attached to my arm.

I HAVE managed to make out my menu plan for this week.
One box checked.

On Saturday I watched snowflakes the size of dessert plates land in my backyard,
thankful I managed to save the bell peppers from the garden the night before.

some of the bell peppers

By the end of this week I may not be as thankful.
I’ve tried to wrangle green bell peppers into the menu without being too much at once
but I’ll know how well I did at the end of the week.

I think most of them will end up chopped and frozen
but we’ll eat a good amount fresh.

Like some other folks at, I menu plan on Mondays, too:

Monday: Pepper Steak with steamed rice
Tuesday: Chicken Gumbo with Pickled Peaches
Wednesday: Stuffed Bell Peppers
Thursday: Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach Quiche

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are still up in the air
(so much for checking off this box)
as one of my dearest friends is coming to visit me for a long weekend
so we’ll cook together.

I will be glad to have another hand in the kitchen this week
especially since mine is such a dud
but moreover I’m thrilled that the hand belongs to such a lovely person.

I’m leaving the weekend open for cooking and eating together
something I’ve missed doing with her for a long time.

The more I think about it
the more I am happy that the weekend is unsketched.

It will be fun to nibble on new things
figure out what is missing a taste of something
laugh, laugh, laugh when something fails specTACularly
and cook with love.

Oh, I like this week’s menu plan very much,
green bell peppers be damned.