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Monday Musings: 01.07.2013 Edition January 7, 2013

Posted by Toy Lady in meal plan monday, Musings, random stuff.


I don’t know about anyone else, but we’ve had a bit of winter in our parts lately!

It’s always kind of pretty to see the way the ice melts and re-freezes, isn’t it?  Of course, it’s much nicer to be inside looking at it than, say, to be driving in it.  Or, even worse, walking in it!

The Jar and I have had some mighty careful morning walks around the neighborhood lately, let me tell you!



Our Jarly is starting to show his age – while sometimes he thinks he’s a silly puppy, he’s really not.  And we do our best to look out for him and keep him comfortable in his old age!

I was thrilled when we saw a Serta “Perfect Sleeper” memory foam dog bed at Sam’s Club at a very reasonable price – if anyone ought to have a Perfect Sleeper, it’s our Jar!


I guess it could be a little bigger, but I’ve noticed that in the winter especially, he likes to sleep curled up in a ball, so I think this will do just fine for him.

And he seems to agree, wouldn’t you say?



You know one of the GOOD things about winter?

I have the use of my Backup Green Refrigeration System, otherwise known as the deck full of snow!

I made a big pot of chicken stock over the weekend, and Peeps set it out ON the snowbank before we went to bed (covered and with a cast iron lid to weigh the top down and keep marauding kitties out).


By morning, the pot full of hot stock had melted the surrounding snow, all the way to bare wood, and the now-chilled stock was sitting nicely in a functional ice bath.

And all I had to do was skim the fat off the top and bring the stock up to the boiling point, and we had 17 pints of fresh chicken stock, ready for the canner.




And oh my gosh, can you believe this?

There’s the dog, settled in for his afternoon snooze, and that old kitty’s just meandering around the house like there’s no dog at all – she was practically sitting in his lap!  (Well, by her standards, anyway.)

I guess our daily puppy-kitty treat-time is starting to pay off.

It’s almost like we have normal pets!



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  You know, more than ever, when we’re still recovering from the holidays, and we’re tired and cold and don’t feel like doing anything, that’s when our weekly meal plan saves us!  First, because we don’t have to “figure out” what we’re going to eat every day – it’s already decided!  And second, we like to spend a couple of hours on the weekend preparing as much as we can ahead of time, so not only do we know what we’re doing for dinner, we usually have most of the work done – I can’t tell you how helpful that is!

Monday –  You know what we haven’t had in ages?  Pork tenderloin.  With that in mind, we  picked some up on sale this weekend and will try Spiced Pork with Bourbon Reduction Sauce – the pork is already seasoned and ready to cook.  We’ll serve that with steamed broccoli and some sort of grain – rice or barley or something.

Tuesday – Surprisingly, I’ve got a lot of recipes in the archives from Vegetarian Times – including this Indian Samosa Casserole.  That will make a nice change, don’t you think?  Peeps put the pie casserole together while I was painting, so it’s all set to just pop in the oven.  How simple is that?

Wednesday – For some reason, we seem to have an awful lot of corn in the freezer – I guess, even buying it 4 or 6  (or 8 or 12) ears at a time, it does start to add up, doesn’t it?  I’d initially planned to make a corn chowder with bacon, but I went with a a lentil and corn soup loosely based on this roasted red pepper soup – I also used some of our corn stock and emptied a bag of corn – look at us getting stuff out of the freezer!

Thursday – Careful readers will have noticed at this point that we’ve planned not one, but TWO meatless meals this week – and right in a row!  Before anyone thinks we’ve gone all vegetarian or anything, we’re going to roast a chicken!  I’ve got some fingerling potatoes and plenty of squash, so it’ll be a basic roasted chicken dinner, with lots of leftover chicken for a meal or two next week.

Friday – We always look forward to pizza night – Peeps’s mom joins us, and we eat our dinner in front of the TV while the dog enjoys a Kong toy – what could be better than that?

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





1. sjbraun - January 7, 2013

Ha – love your green refrigeration option; I do that too! I also love the icicles on your light, although I agree that winter already is getting a bit old. I can’t bear to think of 2 more months at least of this … love the serta bed for Jar! I think kitty wants one too! Have a wonderful week 🙂

Toy Lady - January 8, 2013

Aw, the kitty does okay for herself! She’s got a fuzzy liner for her bed that’s supposed to reflect her body heat back to her or something. I don’t know, but she sure seems to like it! 😀

2. Anne - January 7, 2013

Awww, comfy puppy. I just restuffed our dog’s bed, she thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. And she’s old enough to be Jar’s grandma. Twelve, near as we can guess.

Nice lampcicles. You may keep them for your very own. We’re looking at 75 on Sunday. It’s January, dag nabbit!!

Toy Lady - January 8, 2013

Harrumph. We’re looking at maybe 40s this week I think.

But the cool thing about that is that we get into the melty zone during the day, then back into the freezy temps at night. Makes for an adventurous morning walk. 😕

3. judy norton - January 7, 2013

Great food ideas, great dog and cat, beautiful icicles around your light. Chicken stock overwhelming. And painting. What more could you ever dream of? 🙂 Have a super week.

Toy Lady - January 8, 2013

Well, ya know, Judy, a vacation would be nice. . . 🙂

SEriously, though, I can’t even tell you how pleased I am with the cat-dog thing!

4. judy norton - January 8, 2013

Try working as hard on a getting a “vacation” as you do with everything else and you will make it happen. Make it the priority. I know, I know, getting off work for both of you at the same time, animal care, house care, etc., etc., Maybe the Boy could house/animal sit? It is early in the year – go for it. 🙂

Toy Lady - January 9, 2013


Judy, you make it sound so EASY! 😉

mazco34 - January 10, 2013

Leaving the Boy as House/Pet sitter might not the best idea.
Just saying……

judy norton - January 10, 2013

ok… just a thought. sorry

Toy Lady - January 11, 2013

And Judy, I’m taking today off to . . . do nothing! 😆 Actually, though, I may start stripping some woodwork, though. It just never ends!

Toy Lady - January 11, 2013

Eh, he did okay when Peeps and I drove down to NJ last year. I don’t think he was thrilled with getting up to feed the kitty, but she didn’t starve. 😀

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