Menu Plan Monday–November 23 (Thanksgiving Week!)

We’ll be having the grandparents over for Thanksgiving on Thursday then celebrating with my sister and her family on Saturday. We usually do an “alternative” menu for our after-Thanksgiving meal: steak. Yum!

What we’re eating this week:



WednesdayBBQ sandwiches, corn on the cob, salad (quick/easy because I’ll be cooking for Thursday!) We love the BBQ from a local restaurant/caterer, Pasgetti’s. Delish!

ThursdayTurkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce (homemade), chess pie, pumpkin pie, rolls (my responsibility)

Green beans, sweet potato casserole (Linda, my mother-in-law)

Fruit/jello salad, deviled eggs (Mom)


Saturday–Steak, potato, salad at my sister’s. I’m going to take dessert: a cake, I think.

Sunday–simple supper/soup/sandwiches

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


One week from tonight, I’ll be dozing off after a day full of turkey, dressing, and gravy.

Last week, I gave you the recipe for my mother’s perfect turkey. Today, I post her dressing recipe (with a few of my tweaks). I’ll also be posting this recipe on Group Blog Thursday over at Steph in the City.

Cornbread Dressing

Make a pan of cornbread according to package directions. Allow it to cool, then cut and crumble it into bite-size pieces.

Chop one onion, two stalks of celery, and three cloves of garlic. Saute onion, celery, and garlic in 1/2 stick of melted butter.

Stir mixture into crumbled cornbread. Add salt and pepper and dried sage to taste. Add 1/2 cup of chopped parsley. Slowly add chicken or turkey broth by cupfuls until desired consistency (about 2-4 cups); we like it kind of mushy but not too watery.

Pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until the casserole is browned and bubbly.

Menu Plan Monday–November 16

I’m trying to make this week’s menu to be on Auto-Pilot. I asked Chris to help me think of easy recipes that would make enough for leftovers so that I don’t have to think much about cooking this week.

I have a big writing deadline on Friday and don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen working with elaborate recipes and trying new things. This week I need familiar, easy, and quick.

(This, of course, means my diet is kind of in limbo this week. I’ll just do the best I can as I fix things for the family and make myself some alternative sides.)

Monday–crockpot roasted chicken, rice (Uncle Ben’s wild rice), salad

Tuesday–Thai chicken (shredded from Monday’s leftovers). I use the Pad Thai packet and the Thin Rice noodles from A Taste of Thai. Then I stir in Asian frozen veggies. Veggie egg rolls.

Wednesday–Chili, baked potatoes, salad


Friday–Pork tenderloin, steamed veggies


Sunday–hamburgers, corn on the cob


Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I decided to post a series of recipes that actually did come from my mom. (I’ll post recipes for cornbread dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, and more within the days between now and Thanksgiving.)

First up: A Perfect Turkey

I promise that if you follow the directions for cooking this turkey, your turkey will turn out beautifully.

It’s a fool-proof, easy recipe.

A Perfect Turkey

one 16-pound turkey, thawed
one onion
two celery stalks
one stick of butter
1 cup of cold water
1 lemon, cut in half
kosher salt
ground black pepper
garlic powder
3-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove giblets. Rub outside of turkey with salt and sprinkle generously with pepper and garlic powder. Inside the cavity, place one peeled onion, two celery stalks, one stick of butter, one cup of cold water, lemon, and rosemary sprigs.

Wrap the whole bird in heavy aluminum foil, checking to see that it is snug and tight. Put wrapped bird in roasting pan and cover with the lid. Or, to make your own roaster, use two aluminum roasting pans to form a top and bottom.

Cook for one hour at 350 degrees. Then lower the temperature to 275 degrees. Cook for thirty minutes per pound (about eight hours for a 16-pound bird).

During the last hour (eighth hour), lower the oven to 250 degrees. At the end of that hour, turn the oven off. Allow turkey to sit in the cooling oven for about thirty minutes.

Cool turkey completely before slicing.


I know the timing can be a little tricky to figure out. Here’s a sample schedule (I’ll be doing something like this on Thanksgiving Eve):

8:00-8:30 Prep bird for baking
8:30-9:30 Cook at 350 degrees
9:30-5:30 Cook at 275 degrees

Set alarm for 4:30 to change oven temp
and go back to bed

4:30-5:30 Lower oven to 250 degrees
5:30 Turn oven off
5:30-6:00 Turkey sits in off and cooling oven

Move turkey to cool in refrigerator

11:30-11:45 Slice turkey and plate
Noon Eat Thanksgiving dinner

Menu Plan Monday–November 9

It’s Menu Plan Monday!

Monday–Baked lemon/garlic/rosemary chicken


Wednesday–Tilapia packets with veggies

Thursday–Lentil and chicken stew


Saturday–Meatloaf, green beans, mashed cauliflower (I’ll try to fool my family!)

Sunday–simple supper/leftovers/take out

Things My Mama Taught Me (and a few I learned from HGTV)

So, I didn’t learn this from my mama or HGTV; but it’s a recipe and so, it fits in with this series.

In 1998, I did my student teaching in English for twelfth grade (someday I’ll tell you the sordid tale of my journey from broadcast journalism to PR to education to publishing; quite the interesting story that it is).

I cried everyday when I came home and worked so hard just to get through the semester. The students were the “standard” class, which meant that their only goal was to pass the class so they could graduate. Period.

Yeah. They cared not one hoot about the nuances of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (and, really, I couldn’t blame them). They had no interest in expanding their vocabulary nor writing a titillating essay.

I finally made it to Christmas break. I remember the kids asked me, “What are you going to do during Christmas break?” I replied, “I’m going to sleep. And then I’m going to clean my tile bathroom floor.” They looked at me as if I were a Martian, certainly relieved to be rid of me—that crazy woman who loved semi-colons and deducted points from essays for their use of crude language and descriptions of alcohol use and evading the law.

My highlight of that semester—I kid you not—was a sweet loaf of pumpkin bread. My mentor teacher baked me a loaf and gave me the recipe, too. It’s the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever eaten, and I always get rave reviews.

That gift helped me get through that semester—and many since then.

Pumpkin Bread

In a large bowl, mix together the following:
3 1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt

Stir in:
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)

Optional additions:
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped raisins

Pour batter into 2 loaf pans (9″ x 4″).
Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

My notes: add ingredients in order as listed. Use a hand mixer to stir in the wet ingredients. I never add anything to my bread (I like it plain). Fill pans only about 1/2 to 3/4 full; filling too full will not get the bread done and the top will be gooey. Use more than 2 pans, if needed.

Menu Plan Monday for November 2

Yahoo! Kroger had an amazing sale on pork when I went shopping on Saturday! Guess what we’re eating this week?

I’m still on my new eating plan, so I’ll be eating mainly veggies. I’ll make the main dish for the family, but I’ll dine on veggies and maybe a little protein.

Here’s what we’ll have this week:

Monday-roast bbq pork
(Boston butt roasts were $.88/lb. Unbelievable! I’ll cook it in the crockpot all day then shred it and serve with Montgomery Inn bbq sauce—the BEST bbq sauce you can buy in a bottle!)


Wednesday-chicken veggie soup or chicken chili

Thursday-We’ll be dining at my daughter’s school spaghetti supper for a fund-raising event. I’m not sure how I’ll fare, since I’m not supposed to be eating pasta right now. Meat sauce and salad, I guess.

FridayMatula’s meatloaf
(As I was browsing the Montgomery Inn site, I saw this and thought it looked good. Since we love the sauce so much, I’m sure the meatloaf will be a hit.)


Sunday-simple supper/leftovers/order out

*Disclosure: Montgomery Inn has not compensated me nor sponsored this post in anyway. We simply love the product and commend it to you. 🙂

And in Other News …

My post regarding more questions on predestination and election is coming. I’m figuring out, though, that when I work on theology posts, I take a little longer than the average “here’s what my kids did today” posts. I want to be accurate and include sufficient links to back up my assertions. Thus, my delay in getting the “questions” post up. Stay tuned …


My sweet retired neighbor—”bless his heart,” as we say in the South—was vacuuming dead leaves from his yard this afternoon. If you live in Nashville and spent even 10 seconds outside today, you would conclude he is a crazy man. And you would be correct. Today, we had 30mph winds. The wind whipped and spun and slapped everything relentlessly all day long.

Dude. Vacuuming your leaves today was kinda like trying to drain the ocean with a thimble. Got news for you. As soon as you were done, your yard was covered again. With leaves from my yard. Yep. I’m positive.


I’ve been wanting to tell you all about my new lifestyle eating program (I’m trying not to use the word, diet), Transitions. It’s a low-glycemic plan that is done in stages. This week is my first, with the detox/cleanse week. All veggies and fruits. That’s it.

Well, the first of the week went well. I have added a little protein here and there, though. Today was not so great, but I aim to finish on a positive note this weekend (yes, even with Halloween candy).

I am encouraged, however, and can certainly feel the benefit of whole foods in my body. The energy levels are much more even and the satisfaction lasts longer.

It’s an adjustment because we (as a society and my family, too, and I DO cook!) rely so much on processed and convenience foods. Yuck! Really, people. There’s gross stuff in those boxes and it kinda just clogs up in your body and makes you fat and lethargic.

I’m ready to not be fat and lethargic anymore.

I’ll keep you posted.


Menu Plan Monday

October 26-November 1

This week is really unusual because I’m beginning a new eating and “lifestyle” program, Transitions. It’s a low-glycemic eating plan and the first week is a de-tox/cleanse week (more on this later). So, my eating this week is mainly fruits and veggies. I’m trying to make things that we all can eat and/or some things that I can easily supplement for the family and have a “complete” meal.

I will post recipes later, too.

Monday-Chicken Veggie Soup

(for me): mixed Italian veggies

Wednesday-Pot Roast and veggies
(for me): veggies and salad

Thursday-Chicken Fajitas, black beans
(for me): fajita veggies, salsa, salad

(for me): roasted veggies

Saturday-BBQ chicken, broc/caul/carrot medley
(for me): veggies and baked sweet potato

Sunday-out to eat

Menu Plan Monday

Trying, trying, trying to get organized.

Gonna start here with Menu Plan Mondays.

MondayEnchilada Casserole

Tuesday-Crockpot roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Wednesday-Chicken noodle soup (using leftover chicken) and salad or baked potatoes

Thursday-Steak, baked potatoes, salad (daughter’s request)

Friday-Date night out to eat

Saturday-Steak tips over rice with sauteed onions/peppers/mushrooms (extra steak cooked on Tues.)

Sunday-simple supper or take-out or leftovers

***I’ll post some of my recipes later.***