Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for November 24

A chilly, overcast day here in northern New England for the most part, although the sun has appeared sporadically. Here's my menu plan:

MONDAY: Salmon Chowder, Multigrain Biscuits

TUESDAY: Sausage-Sweet Potato Bake, Coleslaw

WEDNESDAY: Pizza, Vegetarian Vegetable Soup (homemade)

THURSDAY: Thanksgiving: Turkey/Stuffing/Gravy, Squash, Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Creamed Onions, Cranberry-Cherry Sauce with Ginger and Lime, Tossed Salad, Rolls, Assorted Pies, Mulled Cider (Don't worry, I'm not cooking all of this. There will be 3 couples and we are sharing the cooking responsibilities.)

FRIDAY: Three Cheese Enchiladas, Southwestern Rice Bake

SATURDAY: Apple Puff Pancake, Homemade Sausage

SUNDAY: Leftovers from Thanksgiving

If you would like to see menus which others have shared, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out the links. Usually close to 300 people -- sometimes more! -- share links to their weekly menus. You'll find some great ideas and often recipes too.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Favorite Ingredients Friday for November 21


3 frozen beef sandwich steaks
1 onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup (or more, to taste) diced or sliced green bell pepper
1/4 cup flour
3 cups beef broth
1 cup milk (or more, to taste)
Salt & pepper to taste
8 ounces Velveeta-type cheese, cubed

Cut the steaks in strips. Cook steak strips, stirring, in a Dutch oven
over medium heat until most of the pink is gone. Add onion, mushrooms, and green peppers. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in flour. Remove from heat; gradually add broth and milk. Return to heat; cook, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese and continue to cook until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste; if soup is too thick for your taste, add milk until it is the consistency you like.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

My family loves steak and cheese sub sandwiches, so I invented this
yummy soup full of the same flavors. A bowl full will warm you up on the chilliest winter night!

To see what others have shared for Favorite Ingredients Friday, head on over to Overwhelmed with Joy and check out the links.

Show & Tell Friday for November 21

For Show & Tell today, I thought I would share some of my green and white dishes. I have several different partial sets of dishes in this color scheme.

When I was growing up, the family summer cottage kitchen was furnished with a complete set of "Colonial Homestead" dinnerware. It had everything from the usual plates, cups and saucers, etc. to tumblers, butter dishes, salt & pepper shakers, and even trivets for hot dishes. I loved those dishes and always wished for a set. The different pictures on the various pieces were deeply fascinating to me. (And now that I think about it, I think that the very completeness of the set had its own fascination.)

One day, as an adult, I was at another lady's home for a tea party and noticed she had some teacups in this pattern. I mentioned how much I had always liked these dishes and how I had never seen any, other than in the cottage of my childhood. From that time on, this dear lady kept an eye out whenever she was anywhere old dishes might be -- thrift stores, yard sales ... even the town dump. And slowly but surely my cupboard began to hold quite a respectable assortment of "Colonial Homestead" pieces. And also -- one day, my mother-in-law called to offer me some old vegetable dishes she thought might look nice in my kitchen. Yes, they also are "Colonial Homestead"! Here is the sugar bowl and creamer from the set:

And here is one side of a teacup -- a cameo. There's a cameo of a colonial gentleman too.

Here is the other side of the teacup -- a "God Bless Our Home" sampler.

In her search for these dishes, my friend began to find a few other green and white pieces which looked as if they might be "Colonial Homestead" but turned out not to be. So I have a few pieces from a set called "The Old Curiosity Shop". This creamer is one I found at a yard sale, but I also have a few odd saucers, a bread plate or two, and some dinner plates.

As I was looking over the teacups in my cupboard, I also noticed a couple of other green and white ones. These are from a set called "Pastoral" and I have also some saucers, some bread plates, and some cereal bowls in this pattern. The one side of the teacup (I apologize for the blurry photo) shows a man driving a horse and wagon.

The other side of the "Pastoral" teacup shows a house and barn. The different pieces all feature various scenes from rural life.

So that is my Show & Tell for today!

To see what others have shared for Show & Tell this week, go visit visit There is No Place Like Home
and check out the links. It’s so much fun to see what others have to share!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday for November 17

I've been on vacation, but it's time to get back to menu planning now. You may notice quite a few more meatless meals this week -- I'm trying hard to be more frugal. Here is this week's menu:

MONDAY: Greek Spinach PIe, Three-Bean Salad

TUESDAY: Wintery Day Bean Soup, Cornbread

WEDNESDAY: Macaroni & Cheese, Green Beans, Applesauce

THURSDAY: Swiss & Crabmeat Quiche, Asparagus Stir-fry Vegetables

FRIDAY: Three Cheese Enchiladas, Southwestern Rice Bake

SATURDAY: Apple Puff Pancake, Homemade Sausage

SUNDAY: Italian Wedding Soup, Focaccia Bread

If you would like to see menus which others have shared, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie and check out the links. Usually close to 200 people -- sometimes many more! -- share links to their weekly menus. You'll find some great ideas and often recipes too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quote for today

This paragraph was a huge blessing to me in my quiet time this morning. Maybe it will encourage you, too.

"God knows that you can stand that trial; He would not give it to you if you could not. It is His trust in you that explains the trials of life, however bitter they may be. God knows our strength, and He measures it to the last inch; and a trial was never given to any man that was greater than that man's strength, through God, to bear it."
-- from Streams in the Desert, the reading for November 13

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back from vacation!

It has surely been quite some time since I've blogged. One of the major reasons I haven't was a two-week vacation out West. Our primary reason for the visit was to spend time with our daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren out there -- one of them a seven-month-old baby girl we had never yet met. So we didn't intend to do much actual sightseeing on this vacation. Our focus was to be on spending time with our family and helping them out where we could.

Still, some sightseeing was done on each end of the trip as we flew in and out of Salt Lake City, several hours from our daughter and son-in-law's home. The photo above shows a fall display at Gardner Village, a fantastic assemblage of shops converted from old buildings moved to the site. Of the shops, my favorite was a quilting/needlework shop called Pine Needles.

I'll be back in the coming days to share more about our trip.