menu plan monday ~ november 24, 2014

We have been very busy around here with Christmas decorating. My sister Genny was down again this weekend, and on Sunday, our son David and his family came to help, as well. Thanks to all of you! I feel like we made great progress! I failed to get any pictures. We’ve been so busy!

Here’s the menu for the week.

Monday
Fridge Food

Tuesday
Chicken and Dumplings
Apple Crisp and Vanilla Ice Cream

Wednesday
Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas
Avocado Sour Cream

Thursday
Happy Thanksgiving!
Turkey and Stuffing
Oyster Stuffing
Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with Mushroom Sauce
Fresh Cranberry Salad
Corn Casserole
Sweet Potatoes
Homemade Rolls
Garden Salad
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Chips
Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Pie

Friday
Fridge Food

Saturday
Smoked Ham Shank with Beans
Cornbread

Sunday
Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce
Garden Salad
Garlic Bread with Cheese

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

menu plan monday ~ november 17, 2014

Monday sure rolls around quickly. This past week, I made Date Balls (one of my personal favorites!),

Date Balls

Raspberry Truffles,

Raspberry Truffles

and Elfin Bites (shortbread)

Elfin Bites

They are stored away in the freezer, awaiting the big day! In the meantime, here’s the menu for this week.

Monday
Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Steamed Broccoli
Homemade Biscuits

Tuesday
Chicken and Black Bean Rice Casserole
Garden Salad

Wednesday
Cheeseburgers
Homemade Buns
Pretzels

Thursday
Heat Free Chili

Friday
Fridge Food

Saturday
Spicy Shredded Pork
Homemade Buns
Veggies and Dip

Sunday
Chicken Tortillini Soup
Cornbread

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ november 10, 2014

We had a fun weekend. Genny came to help with Christmas decorating. We put up the tree in the craft room that holds my Christmas Notebook exchange ornaments. We also finished the glass tree in the upstairs guest room. Genny started on the chalkboard tree.

Here’s the chalkboard tree in 2012.

Finished.

And 2013.

12 Days of Christmas

This year, we’re doing a nativity theme. I drew patterns and Genny worked on the angels.

chalk angels

The twins and their family came Sunday afternoon for lunch and a birthday celebration. The girls turned seven last week. Growing faster all the time!

7th birthday

My daughter-in-law put up the nativity. She also cleaned out my fridge, which is a huge gift in my book. One of my least favorite housekeeping chores.

nativity

I’m a day late getting the menu out, but I finished it today.

Monday
Spicy Shrimp
Rice
Sauted Cabbage

Tuesday
Chicken and Barley Soup
I used chicken stock instead of water and chicken bouillon.

Wednesday
Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Carrots

Thursday
Cheeseburgers
Homemade Buns
Garden Salad

Friday
Pan Seared Tilapia
Asparagus
Fried Potatoes

Saturday
BBQ Shredded Chicken
Homemade Buns
Coleslaw

Sunday
Tortellini Alfredo
Garden Salad
Garlic Bread

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda

Christmas card shadow box class

Wednesday I had the honor of hosting a Christmas card shadow box class for five young ladies and their Moms. We had a great time and they all finished at least one box.

Christmas card shadow box class

It was a lot of fun to walk them through the process. It was also fun to see how each one placed her own stamp on her box, making something that reflected her own tastes and talents.

Christmas card shadow box class

We may plan another craft day, and try another Christmas ornament. Thanks, girls and Moms, for a fun day!

Christmas card shadow box class

~~Rhonda

cherry fudge truffles

I have a board on Pinterest that is just for truffle recipes. I pin other recipes there, too, that I think might work for truffles. This recipe for Cherry Fudge is one of those recipes. The picture on the web site ShugarySweets.com was so inviting. They looked delicious. Here’s what I ended up with.

Cherry Fudge Truffles

Cherry Fudge Truffles

  • 2 1/2 cup white chocolate, chipped into small pieces
  • 7-oz jar marshmallow cream
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp cherry flavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped finely

For dipping:

  • 16 oz. dark chocolate or candy wafers, melted

Snow White gave me a little help with chipping the white chocolate bars.

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Place white chocolate and marshmallow cream in a mixing bowl. No need to stir it at this point.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with sugar, cream and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Add cherry gelatin and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour hot mixture over the chocolate and marshmallow cream and beat with whisk attachment until smooth and creamy. When all chocolate is melted, fold in dried cherries.

Adding dried cherries.

Pour in a greased 9-inch pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

The fudge will be too stiff to use a scoop. I used a baby spoon and broke off small pieces.

Cherry Fudge Truffles

Wearing gloves, I rolled the pieces into balls. It worked well.

Cherry Fudge Truffles

Dip the truffles into melted chocolate. Top with a pink design or sprinkles. I used white candy coating tinted with pink gel food coloring to make the pink topping.

Cherry Fudge Truffles

If you have dipping chocolate left over, spread it on a piece of aluminum foil. When it hardens, break it into chunks and store it in a jar or a zippered plastic bag. Mark it with the date so you know how old it is when you pull it from the pantry one day. This chocolate can be chipped and put into cookies, melted and used for dipping, or cut into squares that are perfect for S’mores.

This recipe is a keeper. When I made it this first time, I did not chop the dried cherries. Next time I will. It was in the fridge for about 24 hours. Too hard to scoop, but it worked fine for rolling. Next time, I think I’ll try it after an hour or two in the fridge and see if it can be scooped at that point.

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ november 3, 2014

We had a busy weekend with Christmas decorating and Christmas cooking going on. Our daughter-in-law came over on Sunday with the grands to help out. Our middle daughter and oldest grand-daughter put up the Three Kings Tree in the library. I made three kinds of truffles and enjoyed having the company.

We also found a puppy in our garage this weekend. It’s a ten week old pit bull mix, according to the vet. DD took the puppy to the vet’s office this morning to see if it has an ID chip. No ID, and a bit underweight, but healthy. We are waiting to see if an owner shows up. If not, the puppy has had several offers for a new home, though our daughters are doing some major lobbying/begging to keep the dog here. After playing Sunday afternoon with Snow White and Rose Red, Puppy was worn out and fell blissfully asleep.

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With all three daughters home at the same time this afternoon, we opted for their favorite take-out for supper. The menu for the rest of the week follows:

Monday
Pizza

Tuesday
Roast Beef sandwiches
or Leftover Chicken Taco Chili
Leftover Cornbread

Wednesday
Chicken and Rice
Garden Salad

Thursday
Pork Chops in the Crock Pot
Green Beans
Baked Apples

Friday
That Potato and Hamburger Soup with the French Onion Dip in it that Mom Used to Make

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Lasagna
Homemade Rolls
Broccoli
Green Salad

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday. The site also contains a lot of help for setting up your own weekly menu plans.

~~Rhonda

two truffles dipped and done

Yesterday I made Peanut Butter Truffles and also dipped the Chocolate Cream Truffle centers that I made earlier this week. I had planned to freeze the Chocolate Cream centers and dip them in candy coating a few days before the party. But DH found a container of various truffles from last Christmas in the freezer and they looked great (and tasted great!), so I decided to go ahead and dip the Chocolate Creams now.

Chocolate Cream Truffle

The Peanut Butter Balls/Truffles make very soft centers. I put them in the fridge to firm up after scooping the portions, but they were still sticky.

Peanut Butter Truffle centers

I decided to dip them in powdered sugar before rolling them into balls and that worked very well.

Peanut Butter Truffles

Peanut Butter Truffles

Click this link for the recipe for Peanut Butter Truffles.

Click this link for the recipe for Chocolate Creams.

~~Rhonda

two cookie recipes and a truffle in the freezer

The past few days, I made several recipes for the freezer in prep for our annual Christmas Open House.

Daniel’s Cookie Bar Bites are a favorite. A few days before the party, I will thaw the cut cookie bars and dip them in chocolate, then decorate them with a variety of sprinkles.

Cookie bar bites

Until then, the edges are cut away (free for all with the edges) and the cookie bars are cut into one inch squares.

Daniel's Cookie Bar Bites

Then they’re packed between waxed paper sheets in plastic containers and stored in the freezer.

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Nutmeg Logs aren’t for everyone, but those who enjoy the nutmeg flavor love these cookies. They are a favorite of several of our guests. Easy to make. I roll them thin for a crisp cookie, then cute them with a pastry wheel for a fancy edge. Rolling them thicker will result in a softer cookie. Also good!

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Then a little time to cool…

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Then a powdered sugar glaze and a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

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Chocolate Cream Truffles…how can you go wrong with chocolate? These contain a pound of semi-sweet chocolate, a pound of unsweetened chocolate and a cup of heavy whipping cream. The recipe makes about 100 truffles, but the number will vary depending on how large your scoop is (and how many of the centers you eat before they go into the freezer).

Chocolate Cream Truffles

I use a small cookie scoop to make the balls. I think the scoop is 1.25 inches across. I try to keep each scoop on the skimpy side. A one inch scoop would be better. The coating will make them bigger and I like to keep the Open House treats small, if possible, so guests can sample a variety.

Chocolate Cream Truffles

After they’re scooped, I don food gloves and roll them into smooth balls. After the truffle centers have hardened a bit, I pack them between waxed paper sheets in a plastic container and store them in the freezer.

Chocolate Cream Truffles

A few days before the party, I’ll thaw them and they will be dipped in white candy coating and sprinkled with chocolate jimmies. They could be dipped in chocolate, but I like the contrast of the dark, dark chocolate against the white when they are opened.

chocolate creams

We have a lot more recipes to go and a couple of new ones I want to try, as well. I’ll keep you posted!

cookies

Click this link for Daniel’s Cookie Bar Bites.

This one takes you to Nutmeg Logs.

Click this one for Chocolate Creams.

~~Rhonda

macadamia nut shortbread cookies 2014

Yesterday, I made the delicious Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies that I like so much. They are already packed and put away in the freezer for the Christmas Open House.

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I used to roll them into logs, refrigerate, then slice to bake. Last year, I scooped and then rolled each portion into a ball and rolled it in sanding sugar. I like the results so much that I did it that way this year, as well.

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Rolled in sugar on the left, scooped and ready to roll on the right.

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I chipped white chocolate bars with my handy dandy chocolate chipper and added those to the cookies, too.

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I doubled the recipe and it made about 100 cookies…not counting the ones we ate…

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This is a rich, buttery cookie. Even richer with the addition of white chocolate. You could leave the coating of sugar off, but I think they need that sparkle for the party!

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They freeze well. While a little fragile fresh from the oven, they firm up as they cool and pack well in plastic freezer containers between waxed paper sheets.

Recipe: Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ october 27, 2014

Sunday, I made the Brownie Biscotti for the Christmas Open House. It is now in the freezer, awaiting the big day!

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You can see the recipe at this link: Brownie Biscotti

Monday
Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
Rice

Tuesday
Rosemary Ranch Chicken
Sauteed Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Baby Baked Potatoes

Wednesday
Pan Seared Tilapia
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
Sliced Tomatoes

Thursday
Smoked Pork Shank with Beans
Cornbread

Friday
Chicken Taco Chili
Cornbread

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Roast Beef with Carrots/Potatoes
Garden Salad
Steamed Green Beans

You’ll find more menu and recipe ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

~~Rhonda