October Update & Monday’s Menu

So, after three years of posting almost every Monday about our weekly menu and whatever fun things I wanted to share with you all, it was a little bit of a withdrawal to take the whole month of October off so that I could post every day about thrift store transformations.

Yes, I whined a little about that chore last week, but in the midst of all that I still had time to miss the Monday post. I seriously wondered what to do with myself on Sunday afternoons – even one time actually starting a post about our annual apple pressing day before I realized I didn’t have any time to publish it!

Ha! I suppose I just gave away my secret of writing the day before a post is scheduled…sigh. I’ve never gotten the hang of writing things way in advance. Oh well, it seems to work for me {wink}.

So as a way of a quick catch-up, here’s a collage I made of a few things that got preserved during October:


Yep, one of the things that made the 31 Days challenge so crazy is that I continued to have buckets of garden produce to process. Oh, there were some looooong days. In addition to lots of frozen Roasted Tomato Sauce, canned pizza sauce, diced tomatoes and plain sauce I also put up these:

  1. Tomato Paste for the freezer. I used this super easy recipe from Saveur and while I don’t think I’ll ever make as much as we need for an entire year, I can see myself making a batch each fall.
  2. Chopped red, yellow, and orange peppers for the freezer. The pepper house took off in October and we were RICH in lovely, ripe, fully colored sweet peppers – yum!
  3. Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Broth/Stock for the freezer to get ready for all those wonderful winter soups.
  4. A couple more quarts of Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil – our daughter was most excited about this and wants me to make White Bean-Dried Tomato Dip asap!
  5. Canned a few more jars of the copy-cat Rotel tomatoes I posted at the end of September. We love the spicy flavor this adds to tomato based soups and stews.

The full list of what ended up being preserved during the 2012 season can be found in the sidebar. Are you guys all finished with “putting up” for the season, too?

monday-menu-bannerAs for our menu this week, I’m doing something kinda fun (which I can’t believe I haven’t done before…) – I’m picking a week from our free Autumn Dinners Menu ebooklet to shop for and make.

I chose Week Four and as I was putting it together I realized I needed to change a couple of things – I switched a couple of the menus because of things happening in the evenings and substituted Friday’s menu of Parmesan Baked Fish with a taco salad because we just ate the parmesan fish last Friday (it’s one of our favorite ways to fix fish!) and we have a bunch of tortilla chip shards that can be used up in a salad.

Being flexible like this with the menus and adapting them to your life and schedule, though, is what I hoped would happen. I used the planned week’s menu as a starting point, but I also considered our schedule and what we already have in our pantry. Now I’ll just update the shopping list with my changes and what we already have, so I should be left with a list of only the items I need to buy for the week.

Here’s what our “week four” of the Autumn Dinner Menus looks like, then:

MondayCurried Red Lentil Soup with Chard (that’s what I’ve got in the garden), Quick & Easy Breadsticks, and I’m adding cut up carrots and peppers with that White Bean-Dried Tomato Dip my daughter requested.

TuesdayCajun Beef on Spiced Potatoes, Orange-Almond Salad

WednesdaySlow Cooker Chicken with Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes, Caesar Salad with homemade Caesar dressing, Individual Berry Crisps

ThursdayCurry Sub-Jee Vegetables served in tortillas with Jack cheese, chopped tomatoes, and sour cream

Friday– Taco Salad

SaturdayHomemade Italian Sausage Pizza (with sliced fresh tomatoes)

Sunday– Leftovers

Are you using one of the Autumn menus this week, too? {click to comment}


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