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Monday Musings: 12.02.2013 Edition December 2, 2013

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

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Wow, the public market was quiet this weekend!  I’m not surprised, though – not really.  After all, it was Thanksgiving weekend, and not only were several of the vendors on vacation, many customers were also probably either out of town themselves, or entertaining a houseful of family.

And it looks like we’re now firmly in “winter produce” mode – onions, potatoes, broccoli – the hardier veggies.  It’s all good, though!


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I trust our readers enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving – we drove to my parents’ house and spent the day with all of my family – two brothers, one sister, seven nieces and nephews, and, of course, the three dogs (our one and my parents’s two).

Along with a sweet potato casserole and lots and lots of rolls (we always bring too many!), we also baked a trio of pies – apple, grape and peach.  I’m pleased to report that they all came out pretty darned good, if I do say so myself!


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When we were at the market Saturday, Peeps pointed out, at the meat market’s stall, one of Jar’s new favorite treats – chicken feet!

Pretty creepy, huh?

However, they’re chock full of doggy goodness –  besides protein, cartilage  and bones, they’re loaded with collagen and chondroitin – both of which are exactly what the Jar, with his poor, sad joints, needs.

Plus it just cracks me up to “toss him the bird.”  What can I say? – I’m easily amused!

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We decided, since we had a bit of down time this weekend, to try making caramels – we both love them, and neither of us had ever actually made them before.

Well, it turns out they’re not difficult at all – though the whole boiling sugar then adding liquid part felt a little harrowing!

However, all in all, I might even say they’re almost too easy. That stuff is addicting!

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We picked out our holiday wreath to hang on the front porch this weekend, too – isn’t it lovely?

We always buy them from this nice couple who makes them themselves, and they really do know their trees.  This year, we went with mixed greens, including a bit of holly, and there are a few berries in there, too, along the colorful balls.

Even just driving home, it made the car smell like Christmas!



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  Unlike most of the rest of the country (it seems!) we don’t have piles of Thanksgiving leftovers to worry about – while I’ll admit that I’ll miss leftover turkey sandwiches (both hot and cold!), it’s probably for the best! Two people (and one dog) can eat but so much turkey, right?  Besides, we did pick up a couple of birds on sale to divide up and roast later on, so all is not lost!

Monday – We’ve got some of last week’s pork roast left – we’ll roast some sweet potatoes and probably some pan-roasted broccoli to go with it.

Tuesday – I saw this recipe for baked fish with almonds, lemon, and bread crumbs and it looked GOOD!  It should go nicely with green beans and maybe rice.

Wednesday – We may not have turkey leftovers, but we’re going to have roast chicken!  I stumbled on this ginger roast chicken recipe that just sounded . . . intriguing.   I listen to the Splendid Table podcast every week – they have some of the most interesting recipes!

Thursday – Now that Thanksgiving’s done, we’re back to Minimal Effort Thursday!  This week, we’ve made a quick corn chowder that will just need reheating – a couple of slices of bacon, browned, then removed from the pan and set aside, then an onion and a clove of garlic sauteed in the rendered bacon fat.  Add about a cup of frozen corn, half a cup of corn stock (or vegetable or chicken stock) and enough cream (or half and half or milk) to cover, plus maybe a tablespoon of chili powder, pinch of salt, and bring to a simmer, then puree.  Add a couple of sweet potatoes and a regular potato (I used Yukon gold), diced, and another 3-1/2 cups of stock (the rest of the quart), and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.   Add another 2 or 3 cups of corn, return the bacon, and bring back to a simmer, check for seasoning, and you’re done.

Friday – And again with pizza night – we’ll enjoy our pizza in front of the TV, and Jar will enjoy his Kong – it’s a nice, quiet end to the work week!

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




1. judy - December 5, 2013

What happened here? I knew I had not responded to this and then I got a new computer AND had to update to the new version of Yahoo mail and I have been an unhappy camper trying all the new stuff and you got left behind. AND that is not acceptable. I enjoyed this, the market was cold then and I can only wonder how cold you are now? At this moment (6:44 p.m.) it is down to 21 here and still sliding and a lot of that white, wet stuff around. BRRR. Catch you all later..:)

Toy Lady - December 8, 2013

Oh, no, Judy, don’t lose us! 🙂 I know how frustrating (annoying!) it can be to change machines – everything just isn’t where it’s supposed to be!

It’s definitely chilly here – though, from what I hear, we’ve got it a lot better than a lot of other places, which is something, anyway. But still – we’re drinking hot tea around here. 😉

2. kayatthekeyboard - December 8, 2013

Well, too late to suggest something for your pork roast and sweet potatoes, but try this next time: Peel and dice, or slice, your sweet potatoes; season them with some dry barbecue rub, fry them in a little neutral oil until they’re tender. Toss shredded pork in the skillet, add a little more dry rub, and stir-fry until it’s hot. Top it with a squeeze of the barbecue sauce of your choice. Barbecue hash!

Toy Lady - December 8, 2013

Oh, sounds fantastic, Kay! And we’ve got plenty of sweet potatoes on hand, and there’s always smoked pork knocking around in the freezer. 🙂 Thanks for the idea!

kayatthekeyboard - December 8, 2013

Even better with an over easy egg on top!

Toy Lady - December 8, 2013

Well of course – what wouldn’t be?

3. Monday Musings: 12.09.2013 Edition | Dark Side of the Fridge - December 9, 2013

[…] It’s Minimal Effort Thursday, and I have been DYING for my chili – every time I make this, I always feel so proud of myself.  It’s a DARNED good bowl […]

4. Lesley Snow - December 9, 2013

So I made my way over here tempted by a ‘darned good chili recipe’. I don’t have one and was going to swipe yours but I can’t find it. *pout* I’ve been duped 😉

Toy Lady - December 10, 2013

Duped? Perish the thought!

The recipe originally came from Cook’s Illustrated, but I’ve changed it and scribbled on it and noted it – seriously, there are circles and arrows and notes on the back – there’s even a coffee ring on my “original.” 😉

Here’s the link to, basically, how I make it – RIGHT HERE – be prepared to spend the better part of the day, but it’s totally worth it.

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