Posts tagged ‘menu planning’

Menu Plan Monay for November 19 – 23

Thanksgiving week is here!

I can’t wait to see all my family! Well, my immediate family that is. We don’t really do Thanksgiving with all the relatives in my family, because we all simply live too far away.

We’re all meeting up in Austin this year. My parents will be driving down from Oklahoma, and Hisa and I will be driving there from Houston. We’re going to head over there on Wednesday, and we’ll come back home on Sunday, so we have a whole four and a half days to spend with my family. I’m pumped!

Because of that, however, I don’t have much of a menu plan this week. I’m just cooking Monday and Tuesday, and then we’re all in charge of fixing something for Thanksgiving dinner. I certainly don’t mind the break though! It’s nice every now and then.

So without further ado, here’s this week’s (short) menu plan!

Menu Plan for Nov. 19 – 23:

Mon: Spinach quiche and roasted acorn squash and sweet potato soup

Tues: Smoked ham, roasted asparagus, and scalloped potatoes

Wed: No idea! Dinner in Austin!

Thur: Thanksgiving dinner – Roast turkey, cranberry sauce, biscuit and cornbread dressing, roasted maple sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, pea salad, brussels sprouts, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie.

Fri: Dinner in Austin


November 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for November 12 – 16

My brother and sister-in-law came to visit us in Houston last Thursday evening and stayed through Sunday. We had a great time showing them around and taking them to the sites they wanted to visit. We went to The Museum of Natural Science, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Rothko Chapel, The Museum of Printing History, the beach closest to our place, our favorite German restaurant, our favorite Japanese restaurant, and our favorite Thai restaurant. I have museum overload right now.

They had a lot of other places they wanted to visit, but there’s only so much you can do in three days. It just leaves something to look forward to doing on future visits though.

I was hoping they would want to go to the Renaissance Festival so I could go again, but they were more interested in the museums this time. Darn! Maybe next year.
It was really great having them here though. Fortunately, we’ll see them and the rest of my family in a couple weeks when we go to Austin for Thanksgiving. Yaaay! My first Thanksgiving with family in five years! Yaaaaay! I can’t wait! Bring on the turkey!

That being said, where is winter? Or even fall for that matter!
Every time we have a cool front come through I think, maybe this time it will stay cool and be fall, but then it warms back up to the 80’s. I assume it will cool off and stay cool eventually, but heck, it’s already November people! Cool down already! I guess this is just typical Houston, but I’m soooo not used to it. It seems unnatural to me. I want to stop wearing t-shirts and flip flops and wear sweaters and boots. And I want my hair to stop frizzing from the humidity, but that’s another problem altogether…

I suppose I’ll get used to it eventually…maybe…



Menu Plan for November 12 – 16:

Mon: Japanese tofu hamburger steak, chestnut rice, miso soup, and sesame green beans (I ended up not making this last week, as we went out with my brother and sister-in-law instead)

Tues: Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) soup and fresh bread

Wed:  leftovers

Thurs: Walnut crusted dijon salmon, baked sweet potatoes, and green beans almondine

Fri: Pasta with meat sauce and tossed salad

November 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for November 5 – 9

I forgot about the time change yesterday.

They don’t do daylight savings time in Japan, so I haven’t really had to worry about changing my clocks in four years.

That’s my excuse for forgetting at least, hehe.

So although I thought I was waking up at 7 am Sunday morning, I actually woke up at 6 am. Too early.
I’m actually excited about this time change though, as I think it will make getting up at 6:15 am on the weekdays easier. Anything that makes getting up that early easier is worth getting excited about. At least I think so.

By the way, how was everyone’s Halloween? Hisa and I stayed home and watched Mel Brook’s “Dracula Dead and Loving It” with Leslie Nielsen. I’ve loved that movie ever since I was a kid. It’s funny as it is, but if you’ve seen the old black and white Dracula movie (which it makes fun of) it’s absolutely hilarious. I recommend it.

As for trick-or-treaters, we got a total of two the whole evening. I bought this big bag of candy and everything. Now I have, well, still a big bag of candy that I’m trying to figure out what to do with besides eat (although the temptation is there, which is why I must figure out what to do with it before I succumb to temptation…).

It’s been unusually warm, even for Houston (according the news weather guys at least), the past week, so I’m really hoping it cools off soon. Temperatures in the 80’s in November is just weird and abnormal. It’s not right I tell you!
So here’s hoping it cools off a little this week!




Menu Plan for November 4 – 9:

Mon: White Chicken Chili and cornbread

Tues: Puff Pastry Pie

Wed: Either leftovers or quiche

Thurs: Grilled fish tacos with avocado cilantro cream sauce

Fri: Japanese tofu hamburger steaks with grated daikon, steamed rice, miso soup, and sesame asparagus

November 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for Oct. 29 – Nov. 2

What a weekend it was here!

Because….(dare I say it? Do I even dare?!)…

…It was COLD here in Houston!

I know! Right?!

It’s been awesome! It finally feels like fall!

Hisa and I were so excited about the cool weather Saturday, that we went to the Armand Bayou Nature Center in south-east Houston to hike around on some of the trails there. We’d heard a lot about the place, but never been there, so since the weather was so wonderful we thought we’d finally check it out.

It was a really nice place too! It’s not huge, but there are three really pretty trails, each about a mile and a half long with bayou overlooks every so often. It was much more wooded than I thought it would be, which was great, because I love hiking in forests with a lot of shade.

One of the bayou overlooks.

We saw quite a bit of wildlife while we were there too. We saw deer four different times, and we also saw some turtles, herons, and jumping fish. There’s supposed to be alligators at the bayou as well, but I think it was too cool out for them, because they weren’t out when we were there (or we just didn’t see them…creepy…).

Here’s Hisa pretending to look at something in the woods.

And here’s me pretending to be hanging from a tree…that I’m obviously not hanging from.
What a cool couple we are, right?

It was a beautiful place, and a fun way to enjoy the great weather. I’m sure we’ll go back again sometime to hike the one trail we missed this time around.

Menu Plan Monday for Oct. 29 – Nov. 2:

Mon: Ham and asparagus strata and tossed salad

Tues: Chicken and butternut squash stew and country wheat bread

Wed: Spaghetti alla puttanesca and tossed salad

Thurs: Slow cooker beef tacos

Fri: Leftovers


October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday for October 22 – 26

Saturday, Hisa and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival. Supposedly it’s the largest Renaissance festival in the world, so I was super excited to go. When I was a kid, my family would usually go to the Medieval Fair in the city of Norman in Oklahoma. We always loved going, and I even dressed up once or twice as a kid. It was one of those things we kids would look forward to for months beforehand, so you can imagine how pumped I was about going Saturday.

I have to say, this festival has forever ruined me on Oklahoma’s medieval fair. It was so amazing, and big! Rather than a festival, it was more like a city. Instead of the vendors all being in tents, they were all in these amazing buildings. I felt like I was on the set of Lord of the Rings. There were also a huge number of people dressed up in really great costumes. You could just sit and watch people walk by all day, and it would be extremely entertaining.

There were so many crafts vendors and food vendors, performances and demonstrating artists. It really was impossible to see everything in one day. Hisa and I were there for 5 hours, and we only went inside a handful of the shops, saw 4 of the 47 shows being performed, and ate food from 1 of the 31 food vendors there. I really want to go again just to see more of it. I would also love to dress up next year. Of course in order to that, I’ll need to acquire amazing sewing skills between now and then, which may be difficult…

One other great thing. We went to see the jousting in “The Arena” while we were at the festival. They had these amazing horn players and a drummer there who played music throughout the jousting. Before it started when people were gathering and finding seats, they started playing the horn music from Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail. And they played it perfectly. That just made my day. It was awesome.

Menu Plan for Oct. 22 – 26:

Mon: Beef stroganoff and steamed broccoli

Tues: Japanese curry rice and salad

Wed: Baked fish with tartar sauce, baked sweet potatoes, and tossed salad

Thurs: Chicken and butternut squash stew and fresh bread

Fri: Chicken and spinach enchiladas and tossed salad

October 22, 2012 at 11:55 am 2 comments

Menu Plan Monday for October 15 – 19

I can’t believe October is already half over!

When did that happen?

As Halloween grows steadily closer, however, I find myself starting to look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas more and more. Not so much that I’m not somewhat horrified to already see the huge section of Christmas decorations at Walmart, but enough that I’m starting to think about what I’m going to get people for Christmas, and I’m looking forward to the little family traditions we and mainly seeing my family.

Are you ready for the holiday season?

Yesterday, Hisa and I decided to go see a farmer’s market that one of is co-workers told us about. It was about a 45 minute drive to a little town south of Houston.
It was a really nice farmer’s market. More than a multiple farmers selling things, however, it was basically a market on one family’s farm that mainly sold their stuff, but also some local stuff from other farms nearby. These people had it down to a science. First of all, their vegetables looked amazing. I’ve never seen such fresh, lovely looking vegetables. Also the sheer variety of things they grow and sell on the farm was amazing. A huge number of vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, grains, etc. They also sold several varieties of sausage, all made on the farm. Everything was also a really good deal. I was like a kid in a candy store. It was great.

Menu Plan for October 15 – 19:

Mon: Meatloaf, fried potatoes, corn on the cob

Tues: Pinto beans, cornbread, collard greens

Wed: Broccoli and pesto fettuccine

Thurs: Spanish chickpea and chorizo soup and multi-grain batter bread

Fri: Walnut crusted dijon salmon, fried okra, green beans almondine


October 15, 2012 at 11:55 am 2 comments

Menu Plan Monday for October 8 – 12

I don’t know how the weather was this weekend where you are, but here in Houston, the weather yesterday was fabulous!

In the morning it was in the low 50’s and overcast, and it never got higher than the low 70’s. I got to wear my knee-high boots, a jacket, and a light scarf for the first time since last winter. It was awesome.

Today is another beautiful fall day. Not quite as cool as yesterday, but still lovely. Ah, I know this fall weather is rare in Houston this time of year, but I’m absolutely loving it. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I only hope it lasts for awhile. Personally, I’m fine not having anymore days in the 80’s. 70’s and below from here on out would be great in my books.

Besides, the falls weather is a great excuse (as if I ever needed an excuse) to cook wonderful fall foods! I made my menu plan for this week, and then realized that I’d put two different comfort soups on it (three if you count Thai green curry). Still, it’s a refreshing change from summer foods.

I also have another pumpkin dish on the menu for this week (of course). This week I’m going to try making pumpkin flan. I’ve never made flan before (although I’ve eaten plenty of it! Japan has great flan!), but I’ve heard it’s pretty easy to make, so I’m going to give it a go this week.

Yesterday morning, I made pumpkin French toast for breakfast. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing, as I had some leftover pumpkin puree, and some bread to use up, but it was a very yummy spur of the moment thing. I was sleepy and not quite awake though, so I didn’t measure anything or take any pictures (if you haven’t picked up on this yet, I’m not a morning person), plus this was sort of a test go, but next time I’ll be sure to measure things and take pictures. Pumpkin French toast. Very tasty.

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather this week if you have it! If you don’t, it’s something to look forward to!

The scones will be plain this time, however, chocolate and walnuts are always a welcome addition…

Behold, the love child of burgers and burritos… Mexican Burger Burritos! Delicious.

Good ‘ol tomato soup. You never let me down. Especially when I’m dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into you.


Menu Plan for October 8 – 12:

  • Mon: Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (comfort food to the max!)
  • Tues: Thai green curry  and steamed Jasmine rice (a comfort food from my adulthood!)
  • Wed: Mexican burger burritos
  • Thurs: Fish chowder and plain scones (comfort food from my childhood!)
  • Fri: Chinese chicken and egg noodle stir-fry and spicy and sour shrimp soup
  • extras: pumpkin flan

October 8, 2012 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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