Saturday, December 17, 2016

A lovely Saturday & a menu plan for the rest of December

I got up early this morning & went to my free 7:00 am yoga class. My first time in an actual studio. It was amazing, & so, so hard! I loved it. I'll have to see if there's a way to regularly fit it into my budget, because it definitely started my day on a very high note. I came home & made an egg & cheese burrito, and added a grilled tomato that was lingering in the fridge. Reducing food waste always makes me feel good!

I'm in the middle of making our family holiday cardamom bread & waiting for it to rise. I've had trouble with the bread not properly rising the last couple of years, so I bought fresh yeast. Hopefully this year will be the year that I have gloriously high loaves! :-)

The weather here is clear, but chilly. It was in the 30s when I went to yoga this morning. And, I have one little boy with a bit of a cold. M is taking the kids to get haircuts for the holidays, and going to Costco today. Other than that, we're going to get things down around the house, relax, and then M & I are having our December date night tonight! We'll keep it reasonably frugal (it's really not, because it's dinner out + a sitter) by bringing our own wine to our favorite restaurant.

And, in an attempt to stay on track with our menu planning for the rest of the month, despite our crazy schedule, I've put together a rough meal plan. I'll chat with my mom this weekend & finalize our meals once we're at our vacation house, as they will be joining us for a couple of the days.

  • Friday - 12/16 - grilled burgers & pasta
  • Saturday - 12/17 - date night! I'll make the boys chicken & pasta before we leave
  • Sunday - 12/18 - We're opening our gifts from the boys that are under the tree, so we don't need to pack them. I think I'll do pumpkin soup + goat cheese crostini
  • Monday - 12/19 - tacos (meat from the freezer) + chips & guacamole
  • Tuesday - 12/20 - fish sticks & tortellini
  • Wednesday - 12/21 - spaghetti & meatballs
  • Thursday - 12/22 - leftovers. If there are no easy leftovers, then potstickers & chicken. Both from the freezer
  • Friday - 12/23 - flying to Portland. We'll be eating out with my family. 
  • Saturday - 12/24 - Christmas Eve! We are having festive pizza & pomegranate martinis. ;-)
  • Sunday - 12/25 - Christmas with the family. We have a microbrew tasting + appetizers.
  • Monday - 12/26  - we will be at our vacation house, so I'll inventory the freezer, but we typically eat very easy things. I won't sign up for anything too hard, so I'll go with pasta & meatballs.
  • Tuesday - 12/27 - grilled chicken & rice 
  • Wednesday - 12/28 - we will likely have guests, so risotto
  • Thursday - 12/29 - I'm thinking soup and appetizers
  • Friday - 12/30 - we are flying back from Portland this day & are arriving in the evening, so either Chipotle on our way home, or something super easy from the freezer.
  • Saturday - 12/31 - I need to survey the boys on what they want, but I'm thinking steak & appetizers. 
  • Sunday - 1/1 - maybe Thai food delivery or homemade pizza

Two questions for you. What are you up to this Saturday, and what do you typically do for food on New Year's Eve/Day? Looking for inspiration!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Oh the cardamon bread sounds delicious. I think it is such an underused spice.
    About the NYE/Day question. We live in the south and have the same thing every single New Years Day: Collard greens, black eyed peas cooked with hog jowl (the only time of the year it is ever bought) ham, cornbread and coleslaw. Supposedly it is for health wealth and happiness for the coming year. I bow to traditions enough that we have searched for restaurants in different cities we might be visiting over the holiday just to make certain we have it. (Plus just to be on the safe side I have packed a can of both collard greens and canned black eyed peas)

    1. Love that it's such a special tradition for you! No need to tempt fate, after all of these years. :-) I posted the cardamom bread recipe today - if you give it a try, let me know what you think.

  2. Ooh, yes! I would also like to see your bread recipe it sounds so much more special than regular old home baked bread. I'll do a big pot of soup or chili with bread sticks for Saturday lunch with the five of us-DS get in late Friday night, so I'll probably have pulled chicken or some hot sandwich that he can heat up, so leftovers with the soup as well. We do appetizers at my sisters Saturday night, with a few kinds of meats and buns for sandwiches and a sister does beer cheese soup. I'm on ham duty, plus apps. New Year's eve is either another get together with my sisters and their spouses and any one else that wants to join. We've been known to host, on occasion, usually figuring it out Christmas eve night who wants to. Usually food is snacks and pizza, card playing, and a bottle of champagne at midnight. Not fancy, but very enjoyable. New Years day we often treat ourselves to a big breakfast or lunch out, and then just pick at food the rest of the day-whatever anyone feels like eating. We're not real into the college bowl games, so more likely to pop popcorn and watch movies.

    1. Ooh, I like your chili/bread stick plan. My dad makes an amazing red chili, but his white bean chili is incredible. Maybe I'll ask him to make some while I'm home this year.

      Sounds like you have lots of opportunities for family get togethers - very fun & festive. Just what the holidays are about! We don't do college bowl games either, although my Alma Mater is playing Alabama on NYE. I may tune in for a short bit!

      On New Year's Day, we typically do a family fun run/5K, so that's always a good way to kick off the year.

  3. Today we were iced in so I have been baking and doing laundry. Right now I am on my couch with a sick boy-- Ben decided to start throwing up a little bit ago. :-(

    As for New Years eve, we just do a dinner of appetizer foods served on our fancy china with candles, etc. New Years day is typically pork chops, mashed potatoes and green beans. Mkst of the time we just stay home and relax.

  4. when my kids were young, I made subway type sandwiches for NYE and then we'd watch old movies. For some reason it was always Abbot and Costello's Frankenstein ? not sure why, but that's what we did. Christmas eve is always cheese fondue and Christmas dinner lasagna. I'd love the bread recipe too!

    1. Oooh, love that idea. We used to have cheese fondue with my parents - I may ask to bring that one back. And, love sub sandwiches, and I think it would be very kid friendly. Very unusual movie choice - I love that it's a tradition! :-)

      I posted the recipe today. Hope you like it.

  5. Trying to hold things together here this Saturday and take care of Gimpy Hubs.
    Sometimes on NY Day we have a big family meal and have BIL and Nephew over too and it includes BEPs. NYE we just have a snack-type dinner and a glass of adult beverage at midnight(IF we stay up that late lol).

    1. Hope your husband is on the mend! I'm not very patient (my husband would be frantically nodding in agreement, if he was reading this :)), so I'm not the best caretaker. I'm a huge fan of the snack/appetizer dinners with adult beverages. We have them early, because I haven't stayed up until midnight in A LONG time, unless I'm traveling.

  6. As for Saturday plans: working frantically to get all the Christmas cards out.

    Food on New Years... wow, we have absolutely no tradition.

    "Hopefully this year will be the year that I have gloriously high loaves! :-)" Haha, what a fun sentence! For real, it made me smile. I hope your bread is awesome this year. I bet fresh yeast will help a lot. I mean, yeast is living after all.

    1. Really laughed when I read your comment. I posted the recipe, and the status of my glorious loaves. ;-)

      The yeast made a HUGE difference, of course. How did I miss that in prior years. Also, I took your advice & had Nick make some cards for the family. Seriously - they are amazing. He free cut snowmen & they look great. Perfect idea. Hope you got your cards finished!!