Archive for the ‘Menu Plan Monday’ Category

Menu Plan Monday – February 3, 2014

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Is anyone besides me just tired of being cold? Okay, I guess not if you are living in Australia. On to Menu Plan Monday!

This will be a week of comforting casseroles.

First on the menu, Shepherd’s Pie. One of my husband’s favorites. I made my mashed potatoes from scratch with Yukon Golds.

I had a great crop of zucchini this Summer. So much that even I got tired of it and I love zucchini. So a lot went into the freezer. Being February, it seemed about time to pull some out and cook it up. (The zucchini has been making a few appearances in minestrone, but not as a main dish.) I looked at some recipes online and did my own variation. Zucchini with white sauce and herbed bread stuffing. Simple and basic.

Eggplant with cheese (just for me since my husband is not an eggplant fan) and plain old pasta with sauce round things out. And since I need (really, I need soup in the winter!) to have a soup for the week, Tortilla Soup is on the menu as well. Instead of the chicken I see in many recipes, I use sliced Quorn cutlets.

Wow! That’s a lot of food!

What’s on your menu?


P.S. If you just come to read the blog, check out the Valentine’s Fun at Bry-Back Manor!

I’m Loving My New Kitchen!

Monday, January 27th, 2014

A long over due post, assuming that there is anyone out there still reading this. Yikes!

We are moved into the Victorian house and living with a wonderful kitchen and a wonderful bathroom and a construction zone. If moving is supposed to be a stressful event, then moving into a place that is still under construction is more so. And moving via  UHaul Moving Help didn’t (don’t get me started!). On top of that, one of my cats got out an uncovered hole and was lost for three weeks (but found again!).

So we are settled in as best as possible and the kitchen being the warmest place in the house in this ridiculously cold fall and winter I have been cooking up a fuss.

So on with a Menu Plan Monday!

The week before last we had an oodles of noodles week with pad thai AND soba noodles with peanut sauce. Bonus was lentil soup and home made pizza with Yves Pepperoni.

Last week was a rice is nice week with curry and basmati rice and bibimbap. Enchiladas with sweet potatoes and black beans made an appearance on the menu as well.

This week will be souper (and super cold – again)! Zoup is on the menu. Also some tortellini with homemade marinara from the freezer. I went a little wild and ordered a pizza stone which is supposed to be delivered this week – I will be trying that out. And if we eat all the Zoup (or just get tired of it) I will be making some Black Bean soup which is one of my husband’s favorites. (Is it Spring yet?)

A big hit recently was Cereal Cookies (I have been baking way more than I should). I have no idea where I got this recipe – it is written on an “ancient” recipe card – but I will share it because it is a yummy oatmeal cookie variation.

Cereal Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
1 and 1/2 cups corn flakes
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add baking powder and baking soda. Add the rest of ingredients. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly brown.



P.S. If you just come to read the blog, check out the Picture Recipes Page at Bry-Back Manor!

P.P.S. I just noticed my Zoup recipe didn’t have water included! Just fill a pot with water enough to completely cover the ingredients.

Gardening With Mini Furniture, Printables, and More

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

I’ve been gardening up a storm, lately, working up slowly to my edible landscape vision. I found these child size furniture pieces and thought they would add a bit of whimsy doubling as pot holders in my mini garden.

Of course, I had to have some “scare cats” for my small plot of corn.

I can’t wait to get this space terraced so that I can expand through out the entire yard!

How about another printable? Some so very seventies wallpaper. Be sure to click to save the full size image.

I’ve added my link on Jazzi’s Mini Link Party!

And, of course it’s Monday, so why not some Menu Plan Monday?

Sadly, my fridge is on the fritz, so we are literally eating out of the freezer (which, oddly enough, is working just fine.) On the menu will be:

Frozen Lasagna
Grillers/Fries/Onion Rings
Frozen Mac and Cheese
Frozen Lentil Soup
And, frankly, whatever else comes to mind until the fridge is repaired.

Have a great week!


P.S. This is a bit embarassing and I’m surprised no one called me on it. Apparently, my last post about avocado plants contained an error. I have have two chestnut trees in the making and one avocado. The chestnuts completely fooled me. The seeds are large and I thought they were avocados. Dern those squirrels!

P P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the goodies at Bry-Back Manor!
Tis the season for Graduation Clipart and Summer Garden Fun!

Menu Plan Monday, Avocados, and Cicadas

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Menu Plan Monday!

This week we will be eating:

Cajun Style Red Beans and Rice
Baked Tofu in Barbeque Sauce w/ Mashed Potatoes

I also made some vegan chocolate chip bars. These were going to be regular chocolate chip bars, but I put them in the oven right before Call the Midwife last night. Big mistake. Don’t bake during a good tv drama. So that left me with not enough eggs for bars and tempura, hence vegan chocolate chip bars.

Growing season is on us and that always gets me excited about fresh herbs and other garden goodies. This year I was surprised to see that three avocado seeds I had stuck in random pot actually sprouted! Now I need to find out if I can get avocados from them. (Maybe that’s too ambitious for Virginia.)

So much for the quiet of country life. Do you have any of these guys where you live?

There is currently a steady hum all day long of frisky cicadas. And at night, the frogs are partying it up. Holy Cow!

Have a great week!


P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the goodies at Bry-Back Manor!
Tis the season for Graduation Clipart!

Renovating, Garage Cleaning, and Concord Miniatures Barbie Style

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

This post is way overdue because of some nasty WordPress hackers.

During the last couple of weeks my husband I have finally gotten back into renovating mode. He has been working on getting us together a bathroom in the new house and I have been gutting the old kitchen to make ready for new drywall and a new ceiling. My husband was not sure at first that tearing down the ceiling was necessary, but, boy oh boy, I am so glad I did. Resting in their final repose above our heads was a mummified squirrel, some mummified mice, a mummified snake (I think?), and a not so mummified deceased bird. Can you say nasty yucky gross?

I took the weekend and did some things I consider fun. Planting flowers, herbs, and seeds on Saturday. Cleaning out the garage on Sunday. Wait! Cleaning the garage is fun? Well, in this case it is. The garage cleaning is at the Victorian house. The house used to be owned by a preschool teacher (and serious packrat) and I made the mistake of purchasing the contents. Most of the stuff is just plain junk, but occasionally there is a surprise. I’ve uncovered an old record player cabinet, some vintage Barbies, a Brownie (as in Girl Scouts) doll, Lincoln logs, an old chair with potential, and a child size chifferobe. The chifferobe and a lot of the preschool furnishings went to a neighbor who loves to repurpose old furniture.

In the course of packing, I rediscovered some old Concord furniture I had tucked away. Back in the nineties, I think it was, Concord came out with a line of furniture that was 1/6 scale/Playscale. I snapped up some for my daughter to counteract all that Barbie pink. Unfortunately, at the time funds were tight (still are!) and I could only get some of the pieces available. You can see a real Ethan Allen Colonial influence here.

Not sure if I want to keep it or sell it. When it comes to Barbie, I prefer 1960s vintage.

A quick Menu Plan Monday!

Yes, I know it is Wednesday and I actually cooked Tuesday this week, but what the hey.

Pasta with Pesto
Cheesy Brown Rice and Broccoli
Falafel and Pita Bread
Chickpea and Feta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I don’t know why, but I have never made chickpeas from dried before. I did this week and it will be my new thing to do. Super easy (as in soak and boil) and cheaper than canned.

Have a great week!


P.S. Still have snow when it should be Spring? Check out all the Spring Flowers Clipart over at Bry-Back Manor!

Mini Cats, Fiestaware, and Random Blogging

Monday, March 18th, 2013

My posts are pretty random these days, both in frequency and content. That is the way my life is at the moment.

Still packing and moving things to the new house, also pretty randomly due to things like snow!

(I would much rather be seeing more of these:

and less of the wet white stuff.)

In the course of moving so many things at different times, I am unpacking and reusing a lot of my boxes. I now have one room that looks a lot like this:

Of course, pottery is not the only thing I seem to collect, I rounded all the cats up (minus the black and white ones in the Fascination Station house) for a family photo.

A few days after I took that photo, I found a surprise, or I should say three surprises, spread around the living room floor.

Apparently, the stray cat I took in a little while ago was expecting. Silly me. I had just mentioned to my husband a few days earlier that she looked a little bloated. We were wondering if she was eating too much or had worms. Oops!

Sadly, mom was not at all interested in taking care of these guys and while I tried to feed them things just didn’t work out and they only survived two days. Sigh.

On a slightly happier note, it’s Menu Plan Monday!

I usually go on a cooking binge on Mondays to restock the fridge, but this week I think we will be primarily eating leftovers from the freezer. We will have:

Broccoli and Tofu Stir Fry (not from the freezer)

Yummy stuff and hardly any work – not too shabby.

Have a great week!


P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the Springtime Fun and Easter Fun over at Bry-Back Manor!

The Thornhill Tool Cabinet, The Sad Lives Of Past Mini Projects, And More

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Some time ago I saw on someone’s blog (I wish I remembered whose!) about a creative soul that had repurposed an old dollhouse and used it to store laundry supplies (I think it was laundry supplies!). Well, I guess I am also good at repurposing. See my Thornhill tool cabinet:

Okay, I confess, it’s just plain sad. I bought this kit sometime in the 1990’s after completing the Beacon Hill Greenleaf kit (which is now covered in cobwebs – haunted mansion anyone?).

I had high hopes for doing a proper 18th Century Virginia house. Then I raised children and dogs and cats and there you go. Sometimes I think about selling it. But it is not really a kit nor is it a full house. Yikes.

Am I the only one that has dollhouses around that got neglected  for new and more exciting projects?

The weather has been a bit gloomy here of late so I was tickled to see this little flower on an impatiens plant I brought in to overwinter in the house.

A little shout out to Menu Plan Monday. What we are eating this week:

Potato and Gimme Lean Breakfast Sausage Casserole
Pasta and Pesto
Tortilla Soup
Ratatouille w/ Cannellini Beans

Extras for this week:

Baked Corn Tortilla Strips
Herb Bread
Berry Medley Crunch Dessert

Have a great week!


P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the Springtime Fun and Easter Fun over at Bry-Back Manor!

The Contemporary Ranch Kitchen, An African Safari, and More

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Still sorting and packing which sounds really boring, but it actually feels good to see the progress. My dish cabinet in the kitchen now looks like this:

The flaw here is the my “less is more” husband stated that he really liked the cabinets like this. Oops!

Before I packed it up, I just had to try out the 70’s kitchen in the Contemporary Ranch.

Okay, picture it with some accessories and flowered wallpaper. Generally, I’m thinking it works. But, and it is a fairly large but, who puts the fridge in front of the window?

I love the outside look of the Contemporary Ranch, but I think if I did it over again, I would have kit bashed a little more to enlarge the rooms and have the windows make more sense. The odds of this really happening are pretty remote, however. It’s always on to the next project!

While sorting, I found some more of these little guys:

I found the antelope before and even put it in the Fascination Station house. It was exciting to see that I had a few more tucked away. African Safari anyone?

Since it is Monday I need to add a little Menu Plan Monday in here.

This week we will be eating:

Macaroni and Cheese
Shepherd’s Pie
Lentil Soup
Beans and Tofu Weinies

So many of my menus of late have been simple, cheap, and straight forward that I got a wild hair and made some Empanadas last week with a dough from scratch and everything. I used the Fantastic Foods Taco Mix for a base adding in all sorts of other goodies and it was a big hit! The one flaw is that now I have the song “Girl From Ipanema” in my head. One thing has nothing to do with the other, but there you go.


P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the Valentine’s Day Fun over at Bry-Back Manor, including Valentine Clipart for those last minute cards!

I Have A New One! (And Other Tidbits)

Monday, February 4th, 2013

No, not a new dollhouse. A new cat! (Not that I especially need a new one of either right now.) I finally caught the little gray girl who I had been feeding since last Spring. I had been hoping to woo her into voluntarily coming in the house, but it wasn’t happening. So, I took the plunge just before a cold spell and here she is:

The picture is not the best because, frankly, I am only allowed to get but so close before she bolts under the bed. But, overall, she is adapting to the household and not just hiding in a closet (like the formerly feral cat I caught some years ago).

My packing is still moving (no pun intended) along. I now have many empty cabinets and shelves and many full boxes. (I thought to take a picture of my empty shelves, but who the heck wants to see that.)

Kudos to all the Creatin’ Contest winners over at Miniatures.Com! I am in awe. I am always impressed when folks find the time to start AND finish their entries. I did manage to finish the Fascination Station house, just a month or so AFTER the contest was over. And here is my unfinished entry for the Spring Fling of 2010 (alas, sitting sadly ignored for the last two years):

Maybe some day…

Because it’s Menu Plan Monday, here’s what we are eating this week:

Spaghetti with Morningstar Farms Meatballs
Can Can Chili
Baked Tofu w/ Barbecue Sauce and Roasted Veggies
Bonus items – Egg Salad and Brownies

Have a great week!


P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the Valentine’s Day Fun over at Bry-Back Manor!

My Life Is Filled With Little Things

Monday, January 14th, 2013

As I continue to pack and purge, I’ve discovered that our house is packed with little things.

Of course, there is the obvious – the drawers (and boxes and tubs and tubs and tubs) of my miniatures collection.

And the pile of houses I’ve already moved to the new place. (That wallpaper, by the way, is not my doing!)

But, I’ve been discovering little things everywhere. I found tiny toys that belonged to my kids stored in tubs. I see in our three desks containers of paperclips, push pins, and rubber bands. I open small metal storage boxes and find screws or nails or pennies. I dump out the “toss things in to be put away” baskets and find buttons and beads (or more screws, nails, or pennies). And so it goes in a house I’ve lived in for 30 years.

What is not little is the pile of stuff to get rid of and it continues to grow each day.

Since my kitchen also had some small things to purge (rubberbands and twist ties, for example), I thought I would go ahead and do a Menu Plan Monday.

This week we are eating:

Lentil Soup
Fried Rice with Broccoli
Penne with Quorn Tenders, Peas, and Alfredo Sauce (A comfort food for me.)
Ratatouille (If we run out of the above goodies before the end of the week.)

And more on the subject of little things, we have had unusually warm January weather and I saw this when I looked outside this morning. Yes, a crocus in mid January!

P.S. If you come just for the blog, please check out all the Winter Activity Pages and Snowman clipart over at Bry-Back Manor!