Menu Monday Feed

Menu Monday

(It's Tuesday, I know, but I'm rolling with it!)

So here are this week's dinner menus, which are subject to change because Mama has a head cold ...


Monday, October 12th (Columbus Day)

lasagna, salad, garlic bread


Tuesday, October 13th

chicken cacciatore (crockpot) over leftover rice, butter leaf salad, toasted rolls


Wednesday, October 14th

grilled turkey cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, apple coleslaw


Thursday, October 15th

butternut squash pasta with alfredo sauce, grilled apple-chicken sausages, mixed greens salad (from today's farm share)


Friday, October 16th

homemade pizzas, caesar salad, apple cobbler


Saturday, October 17th

nitrate-free hot dogs, baked beans, roasted autumn vegetables, brown bread


Sunday, October 18th (St. Luke)

chicken fajitas, Spanish rice, virgin sangria, autumn fruit & caramel dipping sauce




Now, most of the lasagna went back to BC with our Bookworm - but there was plenty left behind to serve as an easy lunch for the boys today. And the chicken is doing its thing in the crockpot - smells amazing! - which is quite nice. 

What are you cooking today?

Well my friends, I hope your week is going smoothly so far and that you are all feeling healthy and well. Both Earlybird and I are down-for-the-count with a head cold, and I am reminded that being prepared (with home remedies) and taking precautions (with hyper-hygiene and immunity boosting) at this time of year is a really smart idea. Time to revisit THAT section of my planner ...

Speaking of planners, I'd like to remind you all that I am still asking for comments and emails ahead of Friday's Party - and I am so pleased that many of you have already left/sent your comments/thoughts/pics! Every submission is appreciated so much!


Email can be sent to bysunandcandle AT gmail DOT com

(Before Thursday evening, if you please.)

And now I'm off to sit with my little one and coax him to sleep ... a rapidly cooling cup of tea at my side and maybe a few citrus drops ... a rainy morning has turned into a mild and mostly sunny afternoon. There's a soft breeze coming through the crack in my window ... smells of foliage and earth ... and those wet golden leaves are just sparkling in the slanted light ...

Fall is truly a beautiful time of year - head colds and all!

See you again very soon!

Menu Monday: October 5-11

Good Sunday evening, my friends!

I hope you've all enjoyed your weekend! It was very chilly here in New England - a taste of what's to come, I think. And boy, is our foliage turning - now that our temperatures have dropped!

Well, I wanted to post this evening while I had a few minutes, to share my meal plan for next week. Tonight we are having a revised "Italian" dinner in honor of St. Francis. (Stuffed peppers will wait until our college boy is home!) We are having some potato gnocchi, simple breaded chicken, romaine salad and - rather randomly - corn on the cob, since it's been sitting in our fridge since Friday's farm pickup. I was also able to get a box of our favorite Italian cookies from a local bakery - yum!

Ok, but enough about tonight - let's look at next week:

Monday, October 5th, 2015

crockpot picadillo, served over brown rice, salad, banana bread

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Fair food or leftovers

(Our fair visit got bumped from last week due to rain, so we're going to try to squeeze in a visit sometime this week.)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 (OL of the Rosary)

turkey kielbasa with roasted autumn vegetables, popovers

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

homemade pizzas/calzones, salad

Friday, October 9th, 2015 (Leif Erikson Day)

fish sticks, tater tots, peas, homemade brownies

Saturday, October 10th, 2015 (Bookworm home for the Columbus Day weekend)

grilled balsamic steak, rosemary-garlic smashed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

lasagna, farmstand salad, garlic bread, apple pie


I'd love to hear what you're making this week! Anything new or maybe a favorite family dish?What do you love cooking this month?

Enjoy your evening, my friends - I'm excited for a whole lotta PBS tonight! I will be back sometime tomorrow with a "Masterpiece Monday" post so we can talk about what we saw ...

So ... what's for supper?

Apples for applesauce

Recently I was talking with my good friend Debbie (one of the best home cooks I know) and she reminded me how, for a while there, I was really consistent about posting our family's supper menus. And it's true - back in the day, I was very good about planning out weekly supper menus and then sharing them here with my readers. And what a time that was, too ... I shopped wisely, we ate well, and I felt a bit more on top of things all week. When the boys asked me what was for supper (as they tend to do, at least eight times before noon), I had a ready answer - and it was usually well received. None of this: Hmm, I'm not sure ... or ... Well, we'll see what Dad says ... or (and this is always a hit) ... Your guess is as good as mine!

So yes, things have been hectic here for a while, but slowly we are returning to a familiar routine and I am feeling the urge to be more organized in our dining habits. I'd also like to spend less money at the supermarket - a pitfall of not planning ahead!

So this weekend I sat down and made myself plan out this week's suppers ... typically I would be doing this on Weds-Thurs because I generally do shopping on Saturday. (That's something else I need to work on - getting back to my weekly routine.)

{Side note - do you say supper or dinner? I'm thinking it might be a regional thing ... Supper, to us, is generally a weeknight meal whereas dinner is a more formal affair - on Sunday afternoons or holidays, for instance.)

But back to the menu at hand ... here is what I've planned for this week !

Monday, September 28th

Harvest Moon soup, Vermonter panini, low-fat crinkle fries with sea salt

(Butternut squash soup which is the color of the Harvest Moon and VT cheddar and ham grilled cheese sandwiches - with sliced garden tomatoes, Alexia reduced-fat fries.)

Tuesday, September 29th (Feast Day: Michaelmas)

baked dijon chicken, roasted carrots & potatoes, dragon's eye bread, apple-blackberry crumble (perhaps with vanilla frozen yogurt), Michaelmas Punch

(This is a rich menu, but this is one of our favorite feast days all year! Dragon's Eye bread is just spiral rolls filled with green pesto and chopped roasted peppers, and the punch is a fruit juice blend mixed with seltzer and blackberry-filled ice cubes. The crumble is a wonderful English dessert, and blackberries are traditional at Michaelmas. According to British folklore, the devil, having been thrown out of Heaven by Michael, landed in a blackberry bush and promptly spat upon it rendering it unfit after the feast day. No word on when it's safe to eat them once again. We also have blackberry jam on our English muffins for breakfast.)

Wednesday, September 30th

baked ziti, green salad, crescent rolls

(Baked ziti is perhaps the easiest meal I make: throw a box of ziti into a 9 x 13 baking dish, along with a jar of marinara sauce and a nearly full jar (to the shoulder) of water, stir, cover in tin foil, bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, cover with shredded cheese and bake another 10-15 minutes till cheese is browned and bubbly. My boys inhale this ... and sometimes I serve meatballs on the side. The salad is simple and the rolls are Immaculate.)

Thursday, October 1st (Feast Day: Saint Therese)

meatloaf, butternut squash, rice, mini eclairs

(St. Therese was Bill's grandmother's patron saint ... and this was the first meal Grammie made for us when we visited as a newly engaged couple. :) There was also asparagus covered in hollandaise sauce, but since it's not in season, we'll stick with the squash. Eclairs, as I understand, were a favorite treat of St. Therese.)

Friday, October 2nd (Feast Day: Guardian Angels)

fairground supper OR leftovers, angel kisses for teatime

(My grandmother's favorite prayer was the Guardian Angel prayer, so on this feast day, I think of my Gram. We may be heading to a local country fair - weather willing - so dinner might be a bit up in the air. But for teatime I'll make "angel kisses" which are simple vanilla meringue cookies.)

Saturday, October 3rd

pizza takeout

(A special treat for Earlybird who can't do the fair on Friday.)

Sunday, October 4th (Feast Day: Saint Francis)

stuffed peppers, garlic bread, Italian cookies, autumn sangria

(I love serving stuffed, roasted peppers on this feast day, and our favorite Italian cookies from a local bakery. If I were more ambitious I might make tiramisu, but that's not looking good this year. Autumn sangria will be for the grownups ... *wink*)


Now, most weeks are not so full of feast days! But this is a really fun week for my family and I look forward to treating them to some special meals. What are you serving this week at your house? Do you have a plan in the works? Are you good about planning or do you, like me, fall of the meal planning wagon from time to time? Please let me know in the comments below, if you have the time!

And I will see you here again very soon!

Lenten Meal Planning

Good Friday morning, my friends!

Lent specials in circular

Some of you saw this picture on my Facebook page last night, but I'm sharing it here, too ... because it just makes me so happy to see Lenten specials in my grocery store circular! For one thing it reminds me - it's that time of year again! - and for another, it's nice to think that even a giant supermarket chain is aware of certain faith traditions. Here we have delicious treats for Mardi Gras (or Shrove Tuesday as I like to call it), and plenty of seafood specials for "Fishstick Fridays."

But anyway, it reminded me that Ash Wednesday is but a few days away! And during Lent, we abstain from meat on Fridays (some folks do so all year), so my weekly menus must be adjusted. But I'm a bit compromised in that Bill is not a fan of fish - so fish sticks are served at weekday lunch only!

I was wondering, then, if I might ask you all about your favorite meatless meals? 

Also, if you observe Lent in your home, do you have some specialties you always look forward to through the season?

For me that would be a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday, corned beef on St. Patrick's Day, baked donuts on St. Joseph's Day, homemade custard on Rose Sunday and a lovely brunch on Palm Sunday ... etc.

Here's an old post about this very subject, one I plan to read over later today, but I think it's always good to revisit a topic when it's timely. Happily, there are always new thoughts to share ... as well as new voices to share them!


In the meantime, it's a bitterly cold day here - highs in the teens - and there's another snowstorm arriving tomorrow evening. Happy Valentine's, indeed! I have no idea where we'll put another foot of snow, but I guess we'll need to figure that out!

(Needless to say, Spring seems an awfully long way away ...)

Enjoy your Friday, my friends ... see you here again very soon!

A Milestone and a Menu Plan

First the milestone: Little Bear laughed for the very first time today! And I mean, full-on, eye-crinkling, belly-laughed! I have no idea what set him off, other than my face, lol. I had him in the Baby Bjorn and was making a cheese quesadilla for Earlybird (one handed, mind) when he just started cracking up! Oh my goodness, was he ever so cute!


Now, for the menu plan ... it's very simple but at least it's a plan!


crockpot chicken cacciatore with linguine, crusty bread


(Crackerjack's Birthday *and* Braces-Off Day!)

popcorn, corn-on-the-cob, salad, take out pizza, Nana's fudge-topped birthday cake


taco beef-topped baked potatoes


(Assumption Day)

roasted turkey kielbasa and summer vegetables, rice pilaf, berry crisp w/whipped cream


(CJ's "Friends Sleepover" Party)

grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, macaroni & cheese, veggies & dip, assorted chips, birthday cake & ice cream from a local stand




homemade pizzas or panini sandwiches


Well, my friends, hope your week's off to a great start! Thanks so much for stopping by ... I'll be back here again very soon!

Our Easter Menu this Year

Good (Holy) Thursday, my friends!

Easter lily

Well, we're getting ready for the big day here - just a few days to go! And I'm trying to balance all the "outer bustle and busy-ness" with an "inner awareness and peace." Balance is always a tricky thing, but never more so at the holidays.

All this "bustle" of course is in preparation for our big family dinner ~ we're hosting it here at our house and expecting 20 people this year! I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying the holiday together. :)

Here is the menu I've organized with my mum:

Appetizers & Cocktails

sparkling peach sippers


a simple punch for the kids

hot artichoke dip

shrimp dip

salsa & tortilla chips

fresh veggies & spinach dip



baked ham and smoked turkey

hot fruit compote

roasted potatoes with onions



roasted asparagus

Annie's mac and cheese (per Earlybird's request)

assorted condiments

soft rolls and biscuits



pineapple upside down cake

lemon cake


chocolate coconut "nest" cupcakes

salted caramel Easter popcorn

assorted candies



Weather permitting, there'll be an egg hunt for the kids, and maybe a little walk down the bike trail. The weather for Sunday is still looking good: highs around 50, sun giving way to clouds with perhaps a late day shower. I can live with that, especially now that he snow has all melted!

So early this Holy Thursday we're washing china and wine glasses, cleaning out the fridge, organizing table linens and neatening the boys' rooms. Meanwhile, Crackerjack is fighting a virus and Bookworm has a couple of classes to get to ... and this evening I have my echocardiogram. I'll keep you all posted on how that goes.

So, there's lots going on ... but I do have my quiet moments planned.


Have a great Thursday, my friends ... see you here again sometime soon!


Menu Monday ~ Holy Week

Easter egg pink sunrise

Wasn't this morning's sunrise just lovely? It was in our neck of the woods, anyway. We call this "Easter Egg Pink."


Our Holy Week Dinner Menus

Monday, March 25th (Holy Monday)

bbq beef biscuit cups, corn, tater tots

*leftovers instead - using up food from the weekend*

Tuesday, March 26th (Holy Tuesday)

homemade calzones, salads

Wednesday, March 27th (Spy Wednesday)

silver dollar pancakes, roasted kielbasa/potatoes/vegetables

Thursday, March 28th (Holy or "Green" Thursday)

spinach salad, roast beef & radish subs, lime sorbet

Friday, March 29th (Good Friday)

*hot cross buns in the morning*

baked potatoes, soup

Saturday, March 30th (Holy Saturday)


Sunday, March 31st (Easter Sunday)

Easter Dinner!

(separate post tomorrow)


(You may have noticed I'm not listing desserts this week - aside from Holy Thursday - because we're keeping things simple in preparation for Easter feasting.)

So this is the last "Menu Monday" for a while, my friends ... next week I'll put up a "Masterpiece Monday" so we can chat about the first episode of the new season of Call the Midwife!

Have a great day, everyone ... thanks so much for stopping by!


Menu Monday ~ updated with recipe links!

Good Morning, everyone! I hope you all had a nice weekend ...


A bit pressed for time this morning, so without further ado, here are my dinner menus for the week ahead: 

Monday, March 18th

parmesan turkey cutlets, rice pilaf, sauteed spinach

leftover shamrock cookies

Tuesday, March 19th (St. Joseph's Day, Papal Inauguration)

sloppy joe empanadas, corn, salad

brownies w/dulce de leche ice cream

Wednesday, March 20th (Vernal Equinox)

pasta primavera, popovers

lemon souffle w/strawberry sauce

Thursday, March 21st

homemade pizzas, simple salads

fruit compote w/gingersnaps

Friday, March 22nd

spicy shrimp wraps

tropical fruit smoothies

Saturday, March 23rd


Sunday, March 24th (Palm Sunday)

roast, potatoes, asparagus, herb bread

Palm Sunday Cake


Before I go, a quick "programming" note ~ posting might be slow for a bit because I'm feeling very slow myself these days! I am 30 weeks pregnant today ... though honestly, it feels more like 30 months! Lol. Not so much in time - which seems to be flying - more in physicality! Goodness, I forgot what 7 months pregnant feels like! Also, may I ask for your prayers? I'm having an ekg tomorrow and although I am sure (as is my midwife) that all is well, I'm still a bit nervous. Just hoping the rest of the pregnancy is smooth sailing for the wee babe and me!

Have a wonderful week, my friends ... see you here again sometime soon.


Menu Monday

Good morning, my friends!


Well, I hope you all weathered the time change, and that your week's off to a great start. Anyone else having Downton withdrawals? Counting the Sundays till the Midwives return? Anyone catch last night's Once Upon a Time? What an ending!

Anyhoo ... here are my menus for this week. Tonight's meal may be tweaked, as I have a couple of sickies in the house - nothing severe, just moderate head colds - and that usually requires a simpler supper. But doesn't the Spanish chicken roast sound yummy?


Monday March 11th

Spanish chicken and potato roast, soft breadsticks

sorbet/ice cream and raspberry sauce

Tuesday, March 12th

takeout pizza (friend coming for supper*)

*postponed from last Friday due to storm

chocolate chip pan cookies

Wednesday, March 13th

baked ziti, turkey meatballs, garlic bread

winter fruit salad

Thursday, March 14th (National Pi Day)

beef pot pie, rice pilaf, roasted asparagus

pumpkin pie with whipped cream diagrams :)

Friday, March 15th

grilled cheese/carmelized onion panini, shamrock soup, tater tots

black and white banana cake

Saturday, March 16th

refrigerator smorgasbord - aka leftovers!

Sunday, March 17th (St. Patrick's Day)

slowcooker corned beef and cabbage, buttermilk mashed potatoes, maple glazed carrots, Irish brown bread

apple-blackberry crumble


 How are your menus shaping us this week? Are you trying anything new? Planning a little Pi Day or St. Patrick's Day fun?

(p.s. Speaking of St. Patrick's Day, here's a link to the Gooseberry Patch's "Luck o' the Irish" Pinterest page. Lots of neat ideas over there!)

Have a great day, everyone ... see you here again sometime soon!


Menu Monday (& CJ's Mexican Feast!)

Good morning, my friends! Today I'll be posting our weekly dinner menus, but I first wanted to share pictures from Crackerjack's Spanish class presentation. His group is focusing on "Las Posadas," that wonderful Mexican Advent celebration, and his duty was to bring in some special fiesta foods.

So here he is this morning (all sleepy-eyed and cowlicky, lol) holding a platter of freshly made "corn masa cakes."

Fiesta jack 1

A closer look at those cakes:

Fiesta 3


And here they are in the griddle:

Fiesta 1

The recipe can be found here. Very quick and easy to make - we used frozen corn but these would be so fantastic made with fresh corn in the summer ... ooh, and garden fresh salsa! (Fyi, I found the masa harina at Whole Foods in the ethnic foods aisle.)

CJ is also bringing homemade pineapple salsa to serve with the cakes:

Fiesta 2

He's not a fan of tomato-based salsa, and his presentation is taking place early in the day, so we opted for this sweet fruity blend. This is especially delicious with baked cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips - something we like to make on the feast of OL Guadalupe. :)

And finally, a Virgin sangria punch:

Fiesta 4

A simple blend of grape, apple, lemon and orange juices with lots of fresh, sliced fruit. (Wouldn't this be nice on the Assumption, with ripe summer berries?) Bill helped CJ assemble this (as well as the salsa) last night so the flavors would have time to "steep." CJ and I made the corn cakes at six this morning!


 Now, about that dinner menu plan for this week ...

Monday, March 4th

chicken parmesan with angel hair pasta, roasted asparagus, rolls

TJ's peanut butter cookies

Tuesday, March 5th

taco baked potatoes (seasoned ground turkey & veggies, usual toppings)

leftover "sangria punch" popsicles

Wednesday, March 6th

grilled ham & cheddar panini, butternut squash soup, steak fries

oatmeal-apricot cookies

Thursday, March 7th

baked ziti, crusty bread, roasted Italian veggies

lemon/berry sorbet

Friday, March 8th

(the boys have a friend coming to supper)

takeout pizza & garden salad

chocolate-chip pan cookies

Saturday, March 9th

refrigerator smorgasbord - aka leftovers

Sunday, March 10th (Laetare or "Rose" Sunday)

slowcooker pork roast with sweet potatoes and onions, brown bread

maple egg custards with whipped cream


This looks to be a pretty busy week with several evening activities planned, so I kept the menus fairly simple. :)

What are you serving your family this week? Are you trying anything new? Where do you get your recipes - from friends, family, books, tv, magazines, online? I guess I get my recipes from all over - but boy, are they disorganized! I spent a good deal of time this weekend weeding out old piles of clipped and collected recipes - mostly from magazines, some photocopies and printouts. I love to cook and I love to try new (especially seasonal) foods, but I'm truly in need of a better system!

Well, I hope you all have a nice Monday ... and thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in my day!

See you here again very soon ...


Menu Monday

Happy Monday, my friends! And "cheers" to a brand new week!

Menu tab 1

Since "Masterpice Mondays" will be on hold until 3/31 (when Call the Midwife returns) I thought, for a bit, we might talk "menu planning" on Mondays ...

So to start, here's my dinner menu plan for this week:

Monday, February 25th

meatloaf, roasted winter veg, buttermilk biscuits

pound cake with warmed fruit

Tuesday, February 26th

toasted meatball subs, steak fries, salad

Wednesday, February 27th

roasted chicken thighs, diced sweet poatoes, rice

carrot cupcakes with maple-cream cheese glaze

Thursday, February 28th

leftovers OR

baked ziti, parmesan broccoli, garlic bread

Friday, March 1st (St. David's Day)

leek & potato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches

daffodil cake

Saturday, March 2nd (Dr. Seuss)

spinach and ham quiche (green eggs & ham!), salad

letter cookies

Sunday, March 3rd

grilled chicken fajitas, Mexican potatoes

ice cream with "sangria" fruit sauce


Now I must confess, this all looks pretty good on paper. ;) And I really do enjoy making up menu plans - going by what's in season and any special days on the calendar - but it almost never works out quite the way I designed. Some days I just scrap the plan and we eat homemade pizzas or leftovers or whatever else seems easy enough to get on the table. Then the chicken or beef goes in the freezer for another day ...

But I find it always helps to have a plan, and I try to get my plan worked out the Thursday before the weekend so I can purchase any necessary ingredients during my Saturday shop. Having a plan and the ingredients on hand is half the battle - making time (and finding energy) each day the for actual dinner prep is the next hurdle!

So what are you serving your family this week? Do you try to go by a plan or do you like to wing it? Please leave a comment below if you have thoughts to share and the time to share them!


Have a great Monday, my friends!