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Monday Musings: 02.06.2012 Edition February 6, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in random stuff.


Remember how I bought two big bags of (dog) bones at the market last week?  Well, this weekend, I pulled out about a dozen of the meatiest of them, added them to some beef shanks I picked up at the butcher shop, and we’re making beef stock.

Oh, don’t worry, though – the Jar still have plenty of nice bones to keep him busy!

But let me tell you!  Making beef stock is a LOT bigger production than chicken stock!  I sure hope this is going to be worth it.



So I’ve been having some fun repurposing leftovers into breakfast.  Last week, we had a fantastic pork tenderloin with gravy – and this weekend, I made a sort of pork benedict – toast, reheated pork, scrambled eggs, and gravy over the whole thing.

You know, it seems to be a little known fact that gravy on scrambled eggs is pretty darned good.



I stopped at the liquor store the other day with my mother-in-law, and I saw this Tuscan red wine called “gertrude” – a wine developed to highlight (are you ready for this?) Italian pork.

We have several Italian pork recipes that we would be happy to highlight – and some of our favorite wines are Italian reds.  Plus, I could not resist the little pink piggy!



Even though we have several reusable grocery bags, usually when we go to the supermarket, we opt for the plastic bags.  Why?

Dog walking, of course!

Unfortunately, they don’t make disposable grocery bags like they used to, and we have to check each one to make sure they’re, well that they don’t have holes.

So. . .  about half of the bags we bring into the house are, essentially, unusable.

Or are they. . . ?  I’m working on a project to recycle the bags that don’t measure up.  Stay tuned!



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.   We’ve got (another) busy week ahead, so we’re trying to keep the menus as simple as we can, and to get as much done ahead as we can, especially for later in the week – when we’re more tired and less inclined to want to fuss too much.

Monday – It’s early in the week, and Peeps is off that day, so he’s going to make one of our old favorites – cider-glazed pork chops.  THIS recipe is the main reason we started buying fresh cider in the fall to stash in quart jars in the freezer!  And, since we’ve got the cider on hand anyway, and I’ve got all the other veggie on hand, a side of the homely vegetables will be nice, won’t it?  Probably some broccoli, too, or sweet potatoes – both should be used pretty soon.

Tuesday – So I subscribe to the vegetarian blog in my Google Reader, Lukas Volger.  A while back, he posted a recipe for Parsnip Risotto which sounded interesting, though I think I’ll skip the spinach in this recipe and do a bit of fiddling with it.

Wednesday –  By Wednesday, we’re starting to wind down and not want to put too much effort into dinner. That’s a good time to just reheat a pot of soup, I’d say – this week it’s Black Bean Soup.  I bought “fresh” dried black beans at the market, and this will be the perfect showcase for  and if we’re feeling ambitious at all, we’ve got a few corn tortillas that could be fried (or baked), and, if not, well, bread is always good with soup.

Thursday – Thursday is the Boy‘s day off, and we do encourage him to be home for dinner.   And by “encourage” I mean, try to serve something he’s going to want to be home for.  I’m hoping a Belgian Beef Stew will intrigue him.

Friday – And again, yay for pizza night!  We’re going to try the Buffalo wing pizza – I’ll let you know how it goes.  I’ve got  ranch dressing on hand  – I just can’t handle the bleu, though the guys are fine with it.  I’ve got some high hopes. . .

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.





1. Cristina - February 6, 2012

I agree with you on the plastic bags. We use ours to scoop into when we clean the litter box, and we find ourselves rejecting more and more plastic bags every time we need to do that. Disappointing.

And ohh, that Belgian beef stew looks good!

I know, right? I’ve considered just buying a case of bags and being done with it, but that’s kind of counter-productive, isn’t it?

And yes, the taste I had of the stew yesterday before stashing it in the fridge – it was not bad at all. Come ON Thursday! 😆

2. Pary Moppins - February 6, 2012

I can’t wait to hear about your grocery bag upcycling. Are you crocheting a bag with it? That’s on my project to do list. Parsnip Risotto sounds yummy.

I’m going to try! We’ve been stuffing hole-y bags into empty Kleenex boxes for months, to keep them separate from the “good” bags (the ones we use to pick up poo!), and got most of them cut into strips (found a box I missed the other day 🙄 ) and about half of them rolled into a ball, ready to start work. I need to finish either the socks I’ve got on one set of needles, or the scarf I’ve got on the other, before I want to start something else!

3. sjbraun - February 6, 2012

I wish I lived closer. I could keep you supplied with bags! The black bean soup sounds yummy. I love beans, and soup, and black beans are my favorite.

We do go through those bags around here! Two a day for the dog, plus one a week for the cat, plus several for trash baskets. . . I’ve even resorted to grabbing some out of the bag recycling bins in the front of the supermarkets – I figure I’m recycling them, right?

4. judy - February 7, 2012

Will have to jump on the bag bandwagon. I have way too many even though I go through 2 a day with the cats but they over flow the bag I keep the bags in! Bags everywhere.

How did the beef stock turn out? How long did it take?

Oh, gosh, Judy, it turned out fantastic! We kept it on a super-low heat for most of the day – roasted the bones for about an hour, then just let everything simmer until, oh, dinner time – 5:30 or so, I guess. After dinner we strained it and stuck it out on the deck (covered and weighted, of course!) to cool overnight. We ended up with 7 and a half quarts of stock PLUS a quart container of carrots and beef scraps for the pets. You should just SEE that cat – bold as anything, climbing all over me to get a hunk of beef – with the dog no more than a whisker’s length away! 😆

judy - February 7, 2012

Now that got a big laugh from me as I can just “see” that picture as clear as can be! Success all around. jud

so far so good. . . he’s even looking at her, and she just sort of says “HEY WHERE’S THE BEEF?” 😆

5. Tammy - February 7, 2012

Yes, I end up with more plastic bags after my 2 reusable bags are filled. I also place mine in my mini trashcans in the bathroom. I haven’t bought those little trash bags in 12 years.
I love your Jar!

Thanks, we’re pretty fond of him ourselves – even when he’s being a big jerky-face. 🙂

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