Menu Plan Monday March 24/25

March 25th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

And yes, I know it’s Tuesday. But yesterday I was over at the old house painting all day and not cooking. This painting thing is very slow. Primer and multiple coats of paint to cover up the old colors on the walls and trim. (Who paints with all those bright colors anyway? Oops, me I guess. And trim work with dentils? Oops, me again.)

On the menu this week is “Meat” Loaf (which I managed to make last night.)

And Pasta with Marinara Sauce (using up the last of the frozen tomatoes from last Summer’s garden).

And General Tso’s Tofu and Rice.

As a bonus, I made a lot of croutons over the weekend. We like our homemade better than store bought. They are not so darn hard and we like the flavor of rye bread or multi grain bread or whole wheat bread better than plain old white.

What’s on your menu?


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

Is It Spring Yet? Menu Plan Monday March 17

March 17th, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (I am ready for more green and less snow! This is Central Virginia – enough already!)

And Happy Menu Plan Monday!

Did I fix anything special for Saint Patrick’s? No, I’m afraid not. It seems I just did seitan corned beef recently (and so I am out of seitan) and my husband is not a cooked cabbage fan and there you go.

This is what we will be eating this week.

Chana Dal

The Apple Chutney I made last week will go well with this.

Macaroni and Cheese

And a big pot of Can Can Chili

Not overly exciting, but we will be back to house fixing if the snow ever melts and if it ever gets warm again (which it is SUPPOSED to do later in the week.)

I’ve been picking out paint colors to freshen up the walls. It has been an interesting experience. Not because I haven’t picked out paint colors before, but because I have to pick out NEUTRAL paint colors. I am so not a neutrals kind of gal. I semi cheated and went with what were labeled as Most Popular Colors at the Home Depot. And lots of plain white trim work. When the painting is finished, the house won’t look like we lived there any more and I think that will be a good thing.

What’s on your menu?


P.S. I know it will get here eventually. Check out some Spring Goodies at Bry-Back Manor.

Menu Plan Monday March 10 – My Go To Menu

March 10th, 2014

Menu Plan Monday!

The Go To Menu Plan.

Every cook has some go to recipes. These are recipes that have made so often that they are almost mindless. Good for when the cook is indisposed, just plain tired, ridiculously busy, or three sheets to the wind. (Does anyone use that expression any more?)

I’m not trying to compete with the Drunken Kitchen this week. I just know that I need to do a lot of painting in the old house to prep it for sale and that the weather is finally cooperating with all that painting.

So my go to menu:

Enchiladas (plain old refried beans and cheese with canned sauce)

Scalloped Potatoes and Broccoli

Pasta and Alfredo with Quorn Tenders and Peas (yes! canned!)

Bonus Stuff if I am in the mood; pimento cheese (Okay, I was already in the mood Saturday and made some. Half plain and half with Chipotle Peppers – yum.)

And, since I really need to use up some apples wanting to go south, Apple Chutney.

What’s on your menu?


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

P.P.S. If my pictures seem a little dark this week it may be because I took them Sunday night – no natural light.

Menu Plan Monday March 3

March 3rd, 2014

Here in Virginia we are getting more snow and extreme (I know it doesn’t compare to Minnesota) cold. Seriously? I am so ready for warm and sun and flowers and digging dirt and planting seeds and running the fans because I am too hot.

On this Menu Plan Monday I prepared not one but two soups for the week ahead. When it is this cold we want soup. So Lentil Soup and Minestrone are ready for us.

In case we get souped out, there’s Tofurkey Italian sausage with peppers, onions, and rigatoni.

For the sweet tooth – carrot cake (half of which will probably end up in the freezer for a future dessert).

Short and sweet today. What’s on your menu?


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

Hey! Isn’t This Supposed to be a Miniatures Blog?

February 27th, 2014

Why, yes. Yes it is.

I have only been nibbling at the edges of miniatures with the move and such. I got a few new things like this super nifty Halloween chair from Kris Compass:

See how nicely it matches the stuff on my kitchen counters!

And Patie over at Minisx2 had a sale – bless her heart – so I was able to get this chair and table set I have been wanting for a while:

I also had a momentary lapse and got the Miniatures.Com contest kit. Maybe, just maybe, I will actually get something completed in time for the contest entry? I didn’t wait until November like I did with the Fascination Station. But, I am making no guarantees.

And I spent some time over this snowy winter (for us) trying to make some sense out of the room that will ultimately be my dollhouse/craft room. This is in the crudest of organizational states.

I am hoping to get it to some fancier place at some point in the future (after the living room, dining room, bedroom, laundry room, etc.). I even have a very rough Live Interior sketch:

A built-in platform for dollhouses with storage underneath, shelves, and a work spot. I have a plan at least.

So, I haven’t completely neglected minis.


Menu Plan Monday February 24

February 24th, 2014

Happy Menu Plan Monday!

This week’s menu started with a trip to the Oriental Market. I went for some sesame oil and for some fried wheat gluten in a jar (that is just yummy in spite of what it sounds like). If I have the time, and I did last Friday afternoon, I like to just window shop. How I missed this before I don’t know, but there was a great big aisle full of all sorts of  (not expensive) dal.

Now, I usually shop at the Food Lion or Kroger, neither of which is known for an extensive Indian food section (at least where we live). So I grabbed a bag of masoor dal and a bag of chana dal to add to my purchases. Next step – find out what to do with them. After some googling and a lot of “ooh! that’s sounds good” I had a great big bunch of recipes to try. Then I got real and paired it down to just a few for this week.

So on the menu is:

Masoor Dal with Spinach (palak)


Cucumber Raita (no picture – it basically looked like yogurt with green bits – my husband loved it)

Aloo Paneer

And, not Indian “Chicken” Noodle Soup

I followed the recipe here to make the paneer myself. I didn’t have cheesecloth and tried using two yogurt containers to weigh down the paneer to form cubes. Didn’t work for me and I ended up using a kitchen towel and some fiesta ware and bags of beans. So my paneer was a little crumbly (note to self – get cheesecloth). Still tasty.

What’s on your menu?


P.S. Is it too early for St. Patrick’s Day goodies?

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy – Menu Plan Monday February 17

February 18th, 2014

Okay, no Shoo Fly Pie, but I did make Apple Pan Dowdy.

I’m really excited about getting a grow light set up – finally. I used to try to start seeds indoors, but they always got leggy even in a sunny window. Thanks to Amazon, I purchased a grow light for this year and I’m hoping it works as advertised. My less than planned garden did well last year and I hope to do even better this year with some planning.

On with the rest of Menu Plan Monday.

The yummies for this week are Black Bean Soup (made with scrap stock), Reuban Casserole, and Kung Pao “Chicken” made with Quorn Tenders.

I like to make the Quorn into Tempura Bits for Kung Pao. This is also great in Sweet and Sour “Chicken” or just by itself.

My Reuban Recipe calls for TVP chunks. I didn’t have any on hand, so I made Corned Beef Seitan. (I found a lot of recipes online and combined a few to get what I thought corned beef should taste like.) Yes, it’s more work, but it was well worth the trouble. So much better in flavor and texture. I highly recommend trying it.

That’s it for this week.

What’s on your menu?


P.S. If you’re tired of snow, warm up with some Spring Flowers Clipart at Bry-Back Manor!

Menu Plan Monday – February 10 2014

February 11th, 2014

This is what people do when they live in a place where they know the wall will be torn down.

Conan or Dr. Who with a fez? You decide.

Now on to Menu Plan Monday.

No theme this week – just (hopefully) good eats.

I tried this week to use what I have. So I made a a Spinach Lasagna dish with tofu instead of Ricotta.

My husband received a Broccoli Soup Mix from someone at his school. I made it a little heartier with Potatoes and Leeks.

Some extra Leeks as a snack for me. Yum!

Last, I made Arroz Rojo which basically turned out to be some tasty Spanish Rice with Red Beans and Achiote Paste. I got the Achiote Paste when I was in my wild crazy Mole ingredient buying mode and found a recipe online that sounded interesting. I was surprised to find that it was not as spicy as I had expected it to be. Something tasty and different though.

That’s it for this week.

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!

P.P.S. Hey! I actually posted this on a Monday!

Menu Plan Monday – February 3, 2014

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!

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.