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Monday Musings: 12.30.2013 Edition December 30, 2013

Posted by Toy Lady in Food, meal plan monday, Musings.

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Well, it’s been a long busy week around here – as I’m sure it has pretty much everywhere!

Our bi-weekly trip to the Public Market was fairly quiet – not as many people as usual, and I think a lot of the vendors were out enjoying the holiday season, as well.

No worries, though, we got the important stuff – a couple of dozen eggs, coffee, and a great deal on Tabasco!  Add in some cauliflower and a couple of blood oranges, and we’re all set for another couple of weeks!


Although I took most of last week as vacation, there was an awful lot of holiday preparation to be done – wow, what a lot of work it is to prepare Christmas dinner for a dozen people (actually, 13)!

Speaking of  Christmas dinner, it went very well.  The food all turned out perfect (though the roasted Brussels sprouts were close to cold by the time the roast was sliced), and a good time – and a good meal – was had by all.

And can you believe that I managed to finish knitting something for every member of my family?  Socks, hats, mittens, scarves – everyone had something handmade under the tree from me.


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We had a bit of a scare, though, on the way home Christmas night.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, my car started acting funny, and the “check engine” light came on.  We made it home safely, and I was took it over to see my mechanic the very next day.

You will recall how thrilled I was when I bought the Volvo a few years ago – it’s such a great ride.  But alas, after only 4 years (and several thousand dollars in repairs) my mechanic’s official diagnosis is “customer advised to trade car in.”

So. . . I’ve spent the better part of the weekend car-shopping.

And I’ve learned a painful lesson – no more expensive European cars.  Besides the fact that they’re expensive to maintain, dog hair and slobber don’t do them any good, either.



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  A while back, we declared one week a month to be a “no shopping week” – we eat completely from the freezer and pantry and save the grocery money.  (That’s how we financed prime rib for 13 for Christmas!)  So anyway, while we’d probably also be well-served by declaring a “no eating week” after the past week (seriously!), this week is it – we’re eating from the pantry this week.

Monday –  We caught America’s Test Kitchen this weekend and were reminded of one of our favorite pasta dishes – Spaghetti al Limone.  Since we have just enough heavy cream on hand (left over from making creme fraiche last week), well, how could we not?

Tuesday –  On New Year’s Eve, we always shovel a path to the grill (if necessary) and we grill a couple of steaks.  This year, Peeps claimed a hunk of the Christmas prime rib, so we’ll slice that in half and slap it on the grill like a rib-eye.  It’s already cooked (to medium-rare), so it’ll just be a quick matter of heating it through and getting some nice grill marks going, that’s all.  We’ve also got some leftover cheesy mashed potato casserole, and I think a nice tossed salad will finish the meal nicely.  Well, that and whatever champagne/sparkling wine we have downstairs, of course.

Wednesday – New Years Day, and we’ve got nothing too exciting planned – we pulled some chicken out of the freezer and realized that we hadn’t done our dijon chicken in quite a long time.  That will go very nicely with roasted Brussels sprouts (yes, I overbought for last week) and probably some rice.

Thursday –  Keeping it simple for Minimal Effort Thursday – we pulled some smoked pork out of the freezer, which will go with some mashed potatoes (leftovers if there are any, or can probably make some more) and something green – salad, steamed green beans, sauteed kale, something.

Friday – Life is so much easier when we have one night where dinner is carved in stone – and for us it’s pizza night.  I don’t have to think about it worry about it – maybe I’ll mix up my pizza topping now and then, but that’s about it.

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




1. kerihouchin - December 30, 2013

I love your no-spend week idea. I think I’m going to try doing that this year. I’m pretty good at sticking to my budget, but we do end up throwing out more leftovers that we should.

Toy Lady - December 30, 2013

It’s amazing what a difference it’s made – especially since we’ve switched the dog to raw food – there’s actual room in the freezer now for dog food!

2. Angela - December 30, 2013

I *just* had a conversation with my hubby about doing a pizza night! Our issue in the past has been a good crust – he is pretty picky about it. Might give yours a whirl!

Toy Lady - December 30, 2013

I hear that, Angela. If you have sourdough starter, or can get your hands on some, it’s definitely worth it!

3. judy - January 4, 2014

Had to ask how the grilling on New Year’s Eve went. Was it just totally COLD? Did you decide on a car? I am interested in what you got. I am going to steal your investigating and give it to my daughter. I am a following friend! 🙂 Happy New Year!

Toy Lady - January 5, 2014

Hey, Judy! We ended up, for the first time in I don’t know how long, NOT grilling on NYE! Wow, it was just nasty that evening, wasn’t it? By the time it was dinner time, it was dark and cold and just . . . not gonna happen.

I can’t say I’ve done much car investigating at this point – I’ve just pretty much settled for the time being.

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