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Monday Musings – 04.27.2009 April 27, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.

There once was a puppster named Jarly
Whose attitude sometimes gets gnarly
A walk we can take
Or a trip to the lake
And a tired dog’s mellow like Marley.

I just came up with that on (guess what) one of our morning walks.  🙄

PhotobucketWe did, in fact, go to the beach again over the weekend, though I didn’t bring the camera – suffice it to say that, while fun was had by all, the most fun of all was had by one.  😆

Also, if you’ll look at the Fatty Update Bar to your right, you’ll see that I’ve finally passed 35 pounds lost.  Let me just say . . . that’s a lot of morning walks.  😯


PhotobucketWasn’t the weather last week gorgeous?  At least here in the northeast, anyway.  Hey, it’s our turn.

So Peeps smoked a pork butt Friday, and apparently, there’s an unwritten rule that when you’re doing BBQ, you have to have a beer.

But we were out of beer, except for a couple of singletons he’d picked up at Beers of the World in the past and was afraid to try.  😳

Turns out that He Brew isn’t so bad after all.  And it’s Kosher, besides.  😆


We went to the public market this weekend, and this week’s mystery produce is ramps.  Neither of us had ever tried them, or even heard of them until late last spring – right after they were done for the year.


Ramps are wild leeks. Sort of.  I mean, they’re more bulb-like (like onion) than leek-like (like scallions).

They have a somewhat onion-y flavor, but it’s mild.  Subtle, almost sweet.

Oh, and they’re only available for a couple of weeks a year.

This should be interesting fun.


Oh, look at that.  Here it was Earth Day a lovely spring day last week, and we planted  a tree.  😯


The timing was purely coincidental, I assure you.

Remember when we bought the wee little potted spruce for a Christmas Tree last year?  Well, I didn’t manage to kill it, although it is still looking a little sad.  😥

We decided to plant the little guy in the front yard.  Who knows, properly trimmed, it may become the cornerstone of my Thing #16 Flower Garden.  😀


PhotobucketAnother excellent thing we found at the public market this weekend – packages of baby artichokes for a buck.  I checked at the supermarket, and they’re currently retailing for $3.49.

Since I’ll be be discarding the outer leaves anyway, these are perfect!  I love artichokes – big ones, small ones, it doesn’t matter.

Dude.  A buck.  If I knew how to freeze them, I’d have gotten more.  Lots more.  Even though I’d have had to find make room in the freezer.    😯


PhotobucketCheckerboard lilies.

How cool are these guys?  I’m not sure if they’re actual lilies or not  – they kind of seem to grow more like tulips, but what do I know.

But what’s really cool about them is their nifty checkerboard pattern.  Seriously.  Flowers with checks.

Yeah, they’re only around for a few days, but they’re super cool, aren’t they?  😆


Why, hello.  😀


Look who’s decided to join us for a few moments of glaring at a peacock feather while the dog is out walking. . . we’re getting there.  Any day now, we’ll find her curled up taking a nap with the puppy. . . hey, a girl can dream, right?  🙄


PhotobucketI defy anyone – anyone – to, week after week, remain strong against a bakery that’s offering – nay flaunting – such baked goods as 3 oversized croissants for $1.25, a marble cheesecake for $2.50, napoleons for $2.00, personal sized cheesecakes for $1.00.

I’m telling you, it’s hard.  Sooner or later, you’ve just got to give in.  At least a little.

And when we saw the mini chocolate-caramel cake for $2.00. . . well, I ask you, how much can I reasonably be expected to take?

I know, I know.  Shame on me.  🙄


While we tend to prefer drier wines, every now and then, a nice riesling just hits the spot.


We picked up this nifty Fünf wine to use in a recipe a while back, and we only needed ½ cup.  That left almost a whole bottle for us to shove in the fridge for a later date.  That later date was last Saturday, after working in the yard and garden during our first 80+ degree day.

This perfectly chilled, light, barely-sweet white wine was just what we needed.  That, and it was Fün.  😆

And besides, you’ve gotta love the smiley-face “U”, right?  😆


Boy, we’ve had a busy week – and weekend, haven’t we?  Finally, it’s time for Menu Plan Monday – where we gather out thoughts and figure out what the heck we’re going to eat this week. . . 😉


Monday – It all start Monday.  As you’ll recall, Peeps did some smoking last week, so we’ll be enjoying the fruits of those labors – my brother will be joining us for dinner, and we’ll all be enjoying BBQ’ed pork, mashed potatoes, and finishing up the salad in the fridge.  And as an aside – Peeps smoked a 9-pound pork butt last week, and, in addition to Monday’s dinner, he was able to freeze five 1-pound packages of smoked pork to enjoy later on.  Yay!

Tuesday – In the spirit of Eating Down our Freezer, we’re going to make a big dent in a 2-pound bag of frozen shrimp – we’re going to try a Cook’s Country magazine recipe for New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp.  We’ll be serving that with rice (of course!) and some sauteéd mustard greens.

Wednesday – Here’s where we really get to see our mystery produce – ramps – shine!  Initially, I was planning to do a sausage and fennel risotto, until we happened on the ramps.  But since I’ve got my little heart set on risotto, and the weather forecast is “cold and rainy” – we’ll still do risotto, but fennel is out, ramps are in.  We’ll probably work from Bon Appetit‘s recipe for Ramp and Sausage Risotto and use the last of of Peep’s homemade Italian sausage from last fall.  I’m guessing you could probably use scallions if you can’t find ramps, though the flavor would be altogether different.  Not bad, just different.  😯

Thursday – By Thursday, the weather is supposed to clear up and get warm again, so we’ll be grilling. . . we’re going to use Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe for Beef Gyros, but with ground turkey instead of the beef, which was originally instead of lamb.  We actually prefer Alton Brown’s tzatziki recipe, so there’s no reason not to mix and match, is there?  We picked up pocketless pitas at the market, along with the requisite cucumbers and tomatoes, and, of course, I’ve always got plain yogurt on hand.

Friday – As always, pizza night. This week, though, we’ve got a couple of interesting additions – we’ll have some cooked sausage left over from Wednesday’s risotto, which is always welcome on pizza.  I’m going to do something like Food & Wine’s Pizza with Ramps – I don’t know if Peeps is gonna want to commit to it for his pizza, though I have no doubt he’ll try a bite of mine.  😮

Saturday – I know, I don’t usually plan for Saturday meals – this is an exception.  Keeping us all on our toes, I am!  😆

I had decided last week that, with the surplus of canned tuna I “discovered” in the pantry, this week I wanted to actually use some of it. You see, what with all the leftovers we usually have, I almost never simply pack a sandwich for lunch.  And when I do pack a sandwich, while I don’t hate tuna salad, it’s never my first choice, either.  Hence, several cans of tuna just lying around.

So this weekend, we’ll be trying something other than tuna casserole as a tuna entree – how’s Linguine with Tuna, Walnuts, Lemon and Herbs sound to you?  I think it sounds pretty darned tasty, myself?  😆

Be sure to check out Org Junkie’s blog for many, many more menu plans!



1. Kim - April 27, 2009

My boys love tuna so I’m always looking for new things to do with it. I looked at the Linguine with Tuna, Walnuts, Lemon and Herbs – it may be something that they would enjoy. I’ll have to give it a try.

Toy Lady - April 27, 2009

Hi, Kim, thanks for stopping! 😀

I think that tuna dish sounds promising, too – and best of all, it’s stuff we always have on hand anyway, especially now with the herb garden waking up for the summer!

2. Melinda - April 27, 2009

artichokes, you bad bad person you have me craving artichokes at 7 in the morning!!!! a friend of ours does a crawfish boil ever year and OMG he throws in artichokes and mushrooms the guy is from some little hick town in LA this is the real stuff and again OMG the boil is in the Saturday after Mothers day so now i have to wait to have some, tried to watch and learn but it does no good i think it just taste better when some one else does it
i think i am going to try the tuna but it has to be when James is out out town he HATES tuna. i guess that is what happens when you grow up in a family of ten that is very Catholic and eat nothing but tuna every Friday. once when we first started living together i made a tuna casserole and discovered the truth which hurt because i not growing up in a catholic household did not realize how much he HATES tuna
Jimmy is coming home for jury duty so i will try it then thanks
yea you on the weight loss!!! that is a really big deal so a bit of the cheese cake for celebration will not hurt all things in moderation 15lb mark is really great

Toy Lady - April 27, 2009

Melinda – I’m already regretting not bringing the rest of the ‘chokes for my lunch today! Wow, they were good last night! 🙂

See, I’m jealous of your crawfish boiling friend – Peeps especially loves loves loves “N’Awlins” and I know he’d love to do a crawfish boil! But you’re probably right – I’m sure it does taste better when someone else does it, doesn’t it? 😀

Surly Boy’s dad had “issues” with stuff that he was forced to eat as a kid, too – one of his problems was with peanut butter! 😯

And the chocolate cake was quite nice – fortunately, it was tiny (just 4 inches across), so it’s not sitting around anymore – Peeps and I shared it!

3. judy - April 28, 2009

Wow.. a super week of blogging girl. The freeze is gone and the sap is beginning to rise. I can feel your renewed energy.. Happy B-day or adoption day to the Jarly and THANK YOU for a pic of my true love, Stupor Kitty who is getting braver with every ounce in weight she has lost. DOG best to look out…… one of these days! 🙂

Have a great week and keep working on all that LOVE.


Toy Lady - April 28, 2009

Jude, you’re right! 😆

One of these days, she’s going to swat him right in the snout – then he won’t know what to do with himself!

4. Ramping Up For Spring « Dark Side of the Fridge - April 30, 2009

[…] now, after last week’s trip to the public market, we bring you Spring in the form of ramps – wild leeks – spring onions – whatever you want to call […]

5. Monday Musings - 05.04.2009 « Dark Side of the Fridge - May 4, 2009

[…] I mentioned above, both the baby artichokes and the ramps were huge hits last week!  I was particularly happy with last week’s sausage risotto with ramps; look forward to a […]

6. I guess you could call it tuna casserole « Dark Side of the Fridge - May 7, 2009

[…] a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled on a Food & Wine recipe for Linguine with Tuna and Other Stuff and decided to try […]

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