Category Archives: Menu Mondays

Menu Monday: Our Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is almost here you guys! I’m lucky enough to only have to work today and tomorrow this week.

Today’s Menu Monday is all about what I’ll be making on Wednesday and Thursday.

First up, the turkey: I’ll be making a traditional turkey with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. I’ll stuff the cavity not with stuffing, but with onions, celery and lemon.

Then, the sides: my mother’s baked mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes (and probably a quick gravy from the turkey drippings), sweet potato risotto, sauteed green beans, and homemade Sister Schubert rolls.

Finally, dessert: Pumpkin pie! Libby’s recipe, of course.

I have also promised my husband two fresh loaves of homemade bread for leftover turkey sandwiches.

A lot of food for three people, but I’m excited about it!


Menu Monday: Pork Problems

So, my family eats a lot of chicken. It is probably the number one protein we consume (especially if you also count eggs. Baby Girl can tear through some eggs.) But I like to break up the monotony sometimes with other stuff – like sausage, or beef, or even some ground turkey. Occasionally we might even have a meatless meal.

Enter pork. Specifically loin or chops, though any actual cut (as opposed to ground) tends to be a problem. We just don’t like pork very much, but it can be fairly inexpensive and I don’t like to write off a whole category of meat just like that. So, I’ve been trying to find new ways to use it, that might get us a little more excited about it.

I’ve found that honestly the best way to use pork is to make Asian-inspired dishes. So far our family favorites are this Korean-style BBQ (which I make a double batch of and then use half for this pork fried rice later) and sweet and sour pork. I use the breading and sauce from this dish that originally called for chicken and then toss it with some stir fry veggies for a dish that honestly made everyone much happier than I expected. My husband did ask that I cut the pork into slightly smaller pieces next time, though. Not sure if that was  because they were actually too large or because he wanted more breading, but I’m not opposed to implementing his suggestion.

That all being said, I did try out this pork souvlaki dish, just because my husband and I love Greek food, and it was not too bad at all.

What do you do with pork (if you eat it at all)?

Menu Monday: My Enchilada Recipe 

I haven’t been writing Menu Mondays posts because lately I haven’t made anything terribly exciting or different. Sure, I’ve made a few of my family’s favorites, but how many times do I need to tell you guy to go make shawarma? (Seriously, go make it.)

Today, though, I thought, instead of putting up another kind of lame Motivation Monday post, I would dig into my recipe stores and came up with a recipe that I don’t think I’ve ever talked about here, and I certainly have never posted to Butter and Whisky.

I am talking about my cheesy chicken enchilada recipe. This recipe is the one I have used for going on 9 years now, since I found it in a batch of free magazines I hauled away from a used book sale.  My husband loves it; pretty much everyone I know who has had the opportunity to have it, loves it. I’ve edited it from the original slightly; the original recipe calls for cooking split chicken breasts and using the cooking liquid – I’ve substituted cooked chicken breast (or sometimes turkey – it makes great Thanksgiving leftovers!) and chicken broth/stock to allow for skipping that somewhat time-consuming step.

Head over to Butter and Whiskey for the recipe!



Menu Monday: Snickerdoodle Crepes!

Today’s Menu Monday is all about a sweet and surprisingly easy breakfast recipe I cobbled together yesterday!  Head over to my blog Butter and Whisky for the recipe for Snickerdoodle Crepes!

Menu Monday: International Babies Gotta Eat

This week among the usual meals we would have, we’re making Chicken Shawarma!

What is Chicken Shawarma? It’s a flavorful, spice laden dish from the Middle East served on flatbread. At my house we also put sautéed onions and garlic aioli on it and serve it with a side of couscous! I like grilled veggies, too, but my husband is part of the anti-veggie brigade, so I don’t do that as much as I should.

The best part of this? Baby Girl will eat the ever lovin’ heck out of it. She loves chicken shawarma as much as my husband and I do! I was surprised the first time she ate it… but then I realized, international babies gotta eat, too, and now she has tried lots of different dishes!

Here is my favorite recipe for shawarma. Try it out and then impress your coworkers with how “adventurous” your family is!

Menu Monday: Another Holiday Weekend

My family does not travel for Labor Day -though I do get today off, I don’t relish the idea of leaving Friday after work and trying to squeeze everything in so I can get back in time to rest before I have to be at work again; we leave our travel to my unfettered Christmastime or summer vacations.

That being said, I did take advantage of the extra day off! Yesterday, I roasted a chicken, and today, I am making stock in my crockpot.

For my roast chicken, I use a very simple rub of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, in equal parts, rubbed under the skin of the chicken. You can remember the herbs easily if you know that old Simon and Garfunkel song. In the cavity, I stick a lemon (cut in half), an onion (quartered), and a couple of cloves of garlic. If I have it lying around and there’s room, I’ll also stick some celery in, but that’s optional. I use this website for roasting times and temperatures. I usually roast it with carrots and potatoes, but that’s just my personal preference. You can easily roast the chicken by itself.

When everything is done and dinner is eaten, I pick the chicken clean (with my small family, we have dinner and leftovers of the chicken and vegetables, plus usually enough chicken for a batch of enchiladas and a small amount of chicken salad.) Then I stick the bones – and the celery, onion and garlic in the cavity – in my crockpot. I fill up the crockpot with water and set it on high for 6 hours. I spice it with the same herbs from the roast chicken, plus a little bit extra garlic, and salt and pepper.

Depending on the size of your chicken and your crockpot, you may want to freeze the bones and do this when you have two.

When it’s done, you can remove all the waste (bones and such) and boil the remainder if you’re nervous about germs, but I generally don’t bother. Boiling it can also concentrate the flavor if you find it to be on the weak side. Cool the stock and skim the fat if you wish, and then divide it up into ziploc bags for freezing – laying them flat makes it easier to thaw later, if you have room in your freezer.

This stock should not be canned, because it does not contain an appropriate amount of salt.

Menu Monday: Trying not to Repeat!

First of all, let me apologize to any of you who were waiting with bated  breath for my Sunday Savings post. I forgot, until it was dinner time, and then by the time we were done with dinner, I had forgotten again. I was so sure of my topic and what I was going to write that my brain convinced me I had written it already when I had not. Unfortunately, you all are just going to have to wait until next week to see what I would have written about.

Now, on to today’s post.

I like a lot of variety in the recipes I plan and meals I eat, so I’m always on the look out for new ideas. I have a very robust Pinterest account that can attest to this. I’m also not one to shy away from a challenge when it comes to ingredients or technique, so between the two of these things, my menus tend to be quite varied.

Unfortunately, these two things are actually converging to be a problem for me right now. As we’ve talked about before, I have to work late on Wednesday nights for the foreseeable future. This means I have to make a crockpot meal or something that is easy to make ahead and reheat. My husband is a man of many talents, but cooking  isn’t one of them (and he freely admits this.) I don’t really have a lot of easy meals like that saved, because I like to cook. And most of the ones that I made for the new baby freezer meals were fairly tame – or had way too many vegetables for my husband. He is a quintessential meat and potatoes guy. I tried some of them out again last time I had a schedule conflict at work, and he wasn’t thrilled.

I already feel like I’m repeating myself because my crockpot/make ahead meals tend to be so similar. This week’s Wednesday night meal came down to pizza bombs or chicken taco bowls, when we’ve already had homemade pizza and chicken fajitas.

The taco bowls won a narrow victory because my husband wanted more Mexican food. But this conundrum means I am going to have to use some of my precious free time this week coming up with new, unique meals for Wednesday night.

Wish me luck!