Menu Plan Monday ~ 3 January

Happy New Year!!

My menu planning is back on track this week. I took the two weeks of holiday vacation off – mostly because we had so much going on I wasn’t sure which nights I would be cooking and which ones I wouldn’t.  Add to that a very nasty cold that I developed right before Christmas, and my cooking was way off track for most of the holidays.

But, I’m feeling better (thank goodness!) and ready to get my family back into our normal groove. I think they are, too, even if they don’t verbalize it.

Here’s what I have on tap for this week’s dinners:

  • Mama’s Meatloaf with roasted vegetables
  • Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes & gravy
    (this was actually our New Year's day dinner)
  • Crock pot roast with rice and veggies
  • Sloppy Joes with homemade fries
  • Salmon croquettes with cheese grits
  • Crock pot chicken parmesan with pasta
    (This was Sunday dinner with the leftover chicken from New Year's Day) 
  • Taco night

I will figure something out to re-invent the leftover roast (there are always leftovers of that) – maybe toss it into a stew or soup. 

I’ll share the recipes for a couple of the other dinner items later this week – so stay tuned…

Join us over at for more menu planning ideas… and share yours!

Another one for the crock pot!

crockpotWe tried another new crock pot recipe this week.  It turned out very, very well.  Even the littlest of the household proclaimed it “yummy.”

I am really enjoying this new habit I’ve accidentally started. We’re trying out a new crock pot recipe every week. 

And you know what I am really loving about it? The fact that my kids come home from school and the house is filled with the smell of whatever is cooking in the crock pot. They are already hungry and they start asking what's for dinner right away. By the time dinner is ready, they've been smelling it for 2 or 3 hours and they can't wait to dive in!

It works great for luring picky eaters into trying something new. Hee hee.

I’ll continue to share with you the recipes that make the cut in the house.  The ones we reject, I will save you from. How does that sound?

And, since I’m going to be doing this, I am going to have to get better about remembering to keep my camera close by so that I can take pictures of the dish as I go.  I totally forgot again yesterday. Oops.  So, you will have to trust me when I tell you this turned out really well. I’ll do better next time, I promise.

Since I'm so slack, I scanned the picture from my cookbook so you would at least have an idea of what it looked like. I am not one to try a recipe if I haven't seen a picture, so I figure this is better than nothing. It's a little grainy, but you get the idea.

Pork roast
Here is the recipe:

Slow-Cooked Pork Loin

1 boneless whole pork loin roast (3-4 lbs)
1 tbs canola oil (I used olive)
1 med onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 c water
1 c unsweetened apple juice
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Houston House Seasoning

  1. Cut roast in half (I didn’t do this, mine was already in two pieces)
  2. In a large skillet, brown roast in oil.
  3. In the same skillet, sauté onion and celery until tender.
  4. Add roast and vegetables to slow cooker.
  5. In a small bowl, combine gravy mix & water.
  6. Stir in other ingredients and pour into crock pot.
  7. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  8. Skim fat from cooking juices; thicken if desired (I didn’t)

And here are the few things I did differently than the recipe.

  • I generously seasoned the roast with House seasoning before browning and again after I added everything to the crock pot.
  • I used 3 celery ribs. One seemed like it would be lonely in the crock.
  • I have a big giant thing of brown gravy mix (thanks Costco!) and so I used 2 tbs in what I made.
  • I poured a little of the gravy into the skillet to cook off the fond on the pan and then poured that into the crock
  • I poured the gravy onto each serving of meat as I fixed each plate. It was so good!
  • We served with mashed potatoes and veggies.

I am looking forward to “repurposing” the leftovers. Wondering if it would do well in some BBQ or maybe Brunswick Stew.  SuperMan has an awesome Brunswick Stew recipe. Maybe one day I will sweet-talk him into letting me share it here.

Ok, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoy!