Ahh.  Sitting in my car with my laptop...taking a few moments to catch up on menu planning while my youngest is having soccer practice.  I'm loving the fact that I can use my smart phone to connect my laptop to the internet and can sit in my car eating a granola bar while I work.  Whoever thought this technology stuff up gets a gold star in my book. 

Soccer season is gearing up which means quick weeknight dinners are in season.  Most of my menu takes only 30 minutes to throw together or can go in the crockpot.    Here's what is cooking.


Homemade Granola, smoothies or oatmeal


Homemade Burgers and Fries (Veggie burgers for a few of us)
Alla Checca (sounds weird but it's just a fancy name for a fresh veggie and pasta dish)
Veggie Stir Fry with noodles
Seven Layer Tortilla Pie
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minnestrone
Leftover Buffet
Dinner with Family
If you were a fly on my wall this is what you would see....

A woman who planned her menu and did all the shopping last week.  She took the picture, protected the receipt so it wouldn't get lost and then got sidetracked with life and forgot to post it. 

....and then didn't cook even ONE single meal last week. 

A women who's family project of owning a vintage/repurposed/herbs & Oils/collectables store....just ratcheted up a notch and may actually open this week. 

And a crazy PMS'ing woman who's exquisite timing has placed all this busy-ness smack dab in the middle of the mountainous piles of paperwork required to get her two oldest kids into college next year. 

They passed their entrance exams by the way (woohoo) which was a total pat on the back that all these years homeschooling....I actually DID know what I was doing.  (I questioned myself plenty over the years.) 

So, um, yeah.....

I'm fried. 

Menu   Schmenu.

This might be week two of no cooking.
I think I've probably tried every meat substitute known to man....TVP, tofu, seitan..to name a few.  I've just never been overjoyed with the finished product.  But this week I'm going to try and give it another go with a Tofu recipe that looks yummy. 

We shall see.

In other news, It's Easter this weekend and the women in my family have decided not to cook.  HORRORS!   We are ordering pizza (maybe making some homemade pies) and focusing most of the attention on the Easter Egg Hunt.  I'm all for dispelling the myth that Mom's have to work their fingers to the bone (think...CHRISTMAS especially)  making a magical, memorable holiday for the kids.  Half the time they only remember the stuff that you DIDN'T kill yourself trying to make "special" anyway. 

Burn-out isn't my favorite. 

So with a unanimous vote from kids and adults alike....we're having Pizza.

Here's what's cooking the rest of the week.


Choices for the week are....
Fruit (and sneaky greens) smoothies
Vanilla Scones
Fruit or Oatmeal


Tofu Parmigiana
Lentil Soup ala Alton Brown with homemade bread
Black Bean Burgers and french fries
Four Cheese Stuffed Shells with Smoky Mariniara
Rosti Casserole with Baked Eggs
Leftover Buffet
I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting about my shopping trips.   I keep getting feedback that some of you out there miss those posts.  Do you like to see the prices or the content or is it something else?  I'd love to hear what appeals to you about the shopping trip. 

Anyway, I have a freezer partially full of meat that I'm trying to use up and plenty of milk and cheese, beans and pasta, bread and fruit.  Just had to get a few things this week.

Green beans $4.98
Celery $.99
frozen peas $.78
2 cans olives $1.76
2 cans vegetarian refried beans $1.96
2 cans vegetarian chili $1.72
2 bags salsa ensalada $4.96
asian salad mix $2.78
red pepper $.98
apples $2.65
minced garlic $2.18
feta cheese $3.38
cauliflower $3.00
bananas $1.42
dry white beans $2.19
2 yellow grape tomatoes $3.96

Grand Total $39.69

I'm eating a more vegetarian diet lately which pleases my long-time vegetarian daughter immensely.  Although I do have several carnivores in the family, they are getting used to my dietary changes.    But as I transition, I find that I have a freezer full of meat that I need to use up.  There's hamburger and beef and a whole turkey in there and being as frugal as I am, there's no way I'm throwing that stuff away.  So the 4 hungry men (and boys) in my house are going to be overjoyed to see a meat dish on the menu. 

Here's what is cooking at our house this week...

Breakfast:  Choice of ....

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Banana Bread Muffins
Fruit or Smoothies


Healthy Bean and Kale Soup with baguette bread (this soup is so pretty and tastes like minestrone)
Grilled Cheese with fresh fruit and veggies
Shredded Beef Burrito Bar
Baked Potatoes with Broccoli Cauliflower Topping
Tomato Ricotta Spaghetti and garlic green beans. 
Creamy Vegetable Chowder
Leftover Buffet

I'm not normally a big fan of Asparagus but I'm trying to improve my eating habits and learning to try new things so when I was at the grocery store last time I threw a bunch of asparagus in my cart.    Most of the time this vegetable gets steamed and I've only tasted slimy and bitter but HOLY MOLY!   Try it this way and it's a whole new experience.

Roasted Asparagus

1 lb asparagus
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon regular table salt)

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Cut off the woody bottom part of the asparagus spears and discard. With a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin on the bottom 2-3 inches of the spears.  Place asparagus on foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt.

It's a busy day today with sports, a birthday party and school meetings.  If all goes according to plan I will have two kids in college next fall in an early high school to college program.  I'm frantically preparing transcripts (they were homeschooled) and scheduling testing and going to meetings.  We are excited though.  I also had another birthday last week that dug me even deeper into the 40's.  You know those spikes that mountain climbers wear on the bottoms of their shoes to dig into the mountain as they climb?  I'm the mountain and my birthday was those shoes.  Ouch. 

Anyway....we are eating this week.  I found a few cookbooks at the library that I'm using for some fresh inspiration. 


Oatmeal, smoothies or pancakes


Came mostly from this book.....

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil (Herbivoracious)
Crispy Polenta cakes with white beans and morels (Herbivoracious)
Buckwheat Buttermilk Pancakes (Herbivoracious)
Linguine with Mushrooms (Herbivoracious)
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Tortellini and Spinach Bake
Leftover Buffet
I had some odds and ends of veggies that I needed to use up so I thought it would be a good time to make some veggie broth for the freezer. Homemade broth is a great thing to have on hand for soups, stews, or anytime a recipe calls for a canned version. I use it in place of water when I cook rice too.

Today I got out my crockpot and added some celery that had lost its crispness, leaves and all. I chopped a few carrots unpeeled into big chunks. Cut the top off a bulb of garlic and threw the skins and all in. I quartered an onion and threw the last 5 Brussels sprouts I had left in there. In the back of the fridge I found some fresh rosemary, parsley and thyme and to finish it off I added about a teaspoon of salt and some peppercorns. The last step is to fill the crock with water, set it on high and walk away for the rest of the day. Tonight I will strain it and put it in the freezer. It took me about 5 minutes and my house is going to smell amazing all day.

It's a great way to get some immune building nutrition into your cooking!
The last few weeks have been bonkers.  My Mom, Sister and I rented a retail space and have been spending most of our time ripping up carpet, tearing out old store fixtures, painting and making dump runs.  My good menu intentions have been going out the window since, by the time I get home, I don't want to cook.  We've been skating by on sandwiches and quick soup.  So the first few days of this week I've been cooking the recipes I've been skipping from the previous week.  And they were some good ones.  But today starts some new recipes for the week.  Since this is Wednesday, I'll only post for the rest of the week so you won't see as many dinners as usual. 

Here's what's cooking...


Fruit, Smoothies or Magnolia Cafe Oatmeal Muffins
Somehow I stumbled upon a site that had issued a 30 day Green Smoothie Challenge.  We are already a smoothie family but greens are always a challenge to sneak into food so I thought this would be a perfect thing for the willing members of my family to try.   So Hubs, Vegetarian Daughter and I are all trying the challenge from Young and Raw.  So far I've been shocked to find that I can put all these strange veggies together and it actually tastes sweet and good.  Not like I was expecting.  So If you are interested you can go check out their facebook page and see how other people are doing with the challenge.