Weekly Menu Planning – November 2022

Actuals for the past week, cooking for 2 in MN.

Mon - Meatballs in BBQ sauce over cheesy grits, green beans. Delighted we got 5 youngsters at the door for Trick or Treat – families with kids are in our neighborhood again.
Tues - Chili, cornbread (also lunches the rest of the week)
Wed - BAKED Lightning cake” (Joy of Cooking) to have with fresh strawberries
Evening - Egg Roll soup (ground chicken) – this was better the next day from “The Big Book of Jo’s Quick and Easy Meals”, Joanna Cismaru. Noting that “quick” is a flexible term since most of the recipes that appealed to me were 1 - 4 hours.
Thurs - reheat Egg Roll soup, topped with Parm cheese, Club crackers. Strawberries, cake & vanilla ice cream
Fri - BAKED – apple crisp, turnovers, cheese straws (my freezer still has puff pastry overstock). Evening - Salmon, salad, butternut squash ravioli. Apple crisp w/ whipped cream.
Sat - noon - Awesone Hot ham & Swiss sandwiches, tomato soup, chips. Evening -
Schwan’s frozen skillet meal Shrimp Paella (added more shrimp)- this was VERY good.
Sun (today) - noon - Reheat Shrimp Paella meal. Evening - (from freezer) Pulled Pork, Rotel/rice/black beans


I’ve made this several times and it is great although skin on boneless chicken breasts are hard to find. The lemon orzo is the star of the meal around here


Fortunately my DH is willing to do the butchering for this one. I agree, the orzo is as good as the chicken.


Ooh, keeping this one for the future. Thanks!

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Greetings, People.

Keeping both the stove and the oven warm this week with a lot of our fall and winter favorites. Where possible, making big batches and counting on plenty of leftovers for breakfasts and lunches.

Cooking for two adults in the PNW:

FRI: Leftover spiced lamb meatballs in leftover lentil soup. Pita (store-bought and edible, but just awful).

SAT: Leftover North African lamb meatballs. Couscous with fruit and nuts. Pita (more of the same awfulness).

SUN: Beef on the grill. Potatoes gratin. Caesar salad.

MON: Ina Garten’s pan-roasted chicken breasts. Potato wedges or lemony orzo.

TUE: Ottolenghi’s fish cakes in tomato sauce from the cookbook Jerusalem – I’ll use halibut here. Steamed rice.

WED: Pan-roasted pork chops and roast harvest veg: squash or pumpkin, spuds, green beans, carrots, and onions. Homemade applesauce on the side.

THUR: Nigella’s Spanish chicken and sausages tray bake – it wouldn’t be winter without it.


Hi, all! Cooking for 2 in Chattanooga, where apparently we’re going straight to winter weather starting tomorrow…
Saturday, November 12: Meatball tagine from Milk Street, couscous, carrot salad
Sunday: Almond-crusted chicken breasts, garlic-rosemary potatoes, green beans, cream puffs and éclairs from the King Arthur class I’ll be taking at noon
Monday: Grits with broccoli
Tuesday: Takeout/scrounge
Wednesday: Bourbon steak tips with sweet potatoes
Thursday: TBD
Friday: Dinner in Nashville with friends before picking up Boston-based DD and her BF at the airport, yay! We’ll be eating lots of squash next weekend because DH will be away at a conference: he hates it, she loves it :slight_smile:
Have a great week, everyone! Happy cooking!


Cooking for 1 at the Jersey Shore

Saturday: vegetable lasagna
Sunday: roasted turkey breast, stuffing, baby carrots roasted with thyme, mashed potatoes (I don’t even know why when Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks)
Monday: Saturday leftovers
Tuesday: Sunday leftovers
Wednesday: cottage pie with filling from the freezer and leftover mashed potatoes
Thursday: linguine carbonara
Friday: Pizza Hut-style pepperoni deep dish pizza https://www.seriouseats.com/foolproof-pan-pizza-recipe


Now I want the pizza. :yum:


Not much planning given serial travel and then lots of meals out with visitors.

Also, insane weather with 25 degree temperature drops and rises have me almost-sick – but I’m fighting it!

Actuals from last week, and some thoughts for the coming week:

Sat - In DC with friends – my train got in late, so we got pizza and pasta somewhere nearby.

Sun - Still in DC, Balkan food which was so-so, and the tiniest portions I’ve seen in a while.

Mon - The worst Amtrak ride I have taken in a long, long time, delayed by over an hour with no communication, shutting off electricity (air!) for a good chunk of that, and more. Dinner was a stuffed paratha from the freezer when I FINALLY got home.

Tues - Dinner with my best friend from college who lives too far away. We see each other in person only every 5-10 years so it’s a bit surreal when we do. In-person hugs after 8 years this time.

Wed - Happy hour and dinner at the bar with my visiting friend at my favorite neighborhood Turkish place. Yummy food, and our first heart to heart in a long time. The owner chuckled when we finally left: “you had some very happy HOURS!”

Thurs - NYC Onions got together for a fun dinner in Chinatown. I went down early to do some grocery shopping as I usually do.

Fri - Home after my visiting friend changed her mind about dinner. Duck broth, and sorta-Hainanese chicken and rice. Baked all evening as I forgot the oil in the first cake :woman_facepalming:t2:

Sat (tonight) - Dinner at a friend’s whose parents are visiting from India. I have vivid memories from 20 years ago of his mom feeding us all (him, his wife, me) hot breakfast at 7am before we left for work (I stayed with them for a couple of weeks when there was an issue in my apartment). I’ve made my Rasmalai Cake for them, fingers crossed it’s a good version!

Ideas for next week (very Asian-skewing given the Chinatown groceries):

  • Steamed buns with duck, steamed greens
  • Wonton soup using homemade duck broth, frozen chicken gyoza, and greens
  • (Beef) Chow fun using fresh rice noodles and greens
  • Yakitori-style king oyster mushrooms, greens, rice (I may also add a couple of the tsukune I froze a while back)
  • Pizza – I still haven’t made any in my post-pandemic countertop oven with the baby pizza stone, and the dough I tried last week needs repeating!
  • Gnudi – to finish up the ricotta I bought for cake, unless I think of something more interesting for the ricotta
  • Mustard salmon, greens, rice or mashed potatoes

I love this pizza recipe.

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You could always use the ricotta as a pizza topping - it goes well with meatballs or sausage, and might work with spinach and fresh tomato?


Feeding two adults and a tween in the Boston burbs.

I baked DS a chocolate cake yesterday as a bribe/reward for not complaining about flu and Covid shots in the last few weeks. It looked pretty but was just… meh, which was disappointing and surprising as we’ve made it before. (I posted pictures in the monthly baking thread.) I’m planning to roast some vegetables (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, asparagus), make a batch of farro, and make a maple-tahini dressing so I have lunches for the week.

Sat: burgers, chips, raw veggies

Sun: going to see Black Panther in the afternoon. Dinner will be pork chops and mashed potatoes (https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/03/cornmeal-fried-pork-chops-goat-cheese-smashed-potatoes/) but no goat cheese. Something green to go with.

Mon: meatball/orzo soup https://smittenkitchen.com/2008/02/greens-orzo-meatball-soup/ and maybe some rolls

Tues: black bean and cheese quesadillas (improvised). Make stew for Weds since I have to go into the office. But as I write this, I may decide to swap plans for these two days…

Weds: Guinness beef stew with carrots and parsnips (old Epicurious recipe, adapted over the years), maybe rolls

Thurs: leftovers


This has been a really rough semester. Nobody is in a good place - students, faculty, staff… These past few years are exacting a toll. deep breath Pushing through, then we’ll have a week off for Thanksgiving. Hope all of you are doing okay.

For two adults in San Diego:

This week’s breakfasts: More scones? Probably more scones.

S: (tonight) takeout - pizza

Su: TJ’s Santa Maria tri-tip with chipotle sweet potatoes

M: TJ’s spinach tortellini with fresh tomato sauce and spinach - vegetarian

T: Leftover tri-tip sandwiches with onions, peppers, cheese, and avocado

W: Beans and greens with chicken andouille

Th: Chicken yakisoba

F: Shrimp tacos - seafood

Have a good week!


Hi everyone! Finally feeling like a new season here, after warm and balmy days. LLD has just left to buy things for tonight’s dinner, and based on some comments, I think it might be chili. I hope it is. He got back from Scotland on Monday, and I had to go back to DC for my permanent crown. Spent 2 nights there and took myself out to old favorites both nights. It was wonderful, aside from the dental work.

11/3: chickpeas with harissa, feta, capers (I Dream of Dinner, COTM), salad, roll

11/4: burritos

11/5: chickpeas in garlicky yogurt dressing with za’atar walnuts (COTM), salad

11/6: black beans with tomatillos, sour cream (COTM), tortilla chips

11/7: carry out

Dental trip

11/10: bagels with smoked salmon, etc.

11/12: shrimp with shishitos and glass noodles (COTM). My least favorite recipe I’ve tried from the book so far.

11/13: carry out

Just want to give a shout out to this month’s COTM. Most of what I’ve made from it is delicious and easy, and pantry friendly. Useful. I’m grateful for all the ideas i get on these posts, and the camaraderie.


Actuals for last week, cooking for 2 in MN where winter has arrived. And I’m again looking at possible (warmer but not too hot…) states for us to move to within a year. Tennessee, recommended by my husband’s cousin, is a contender. But in the next month, the goal is to clear enough freezer space for early-December cookie-baking results. I’ve tried several more recipes from Jo Cismaru this week. The Chicken Stroganoff is a winner, the others were OK and likely won’t be repeated.

Mon: Pulled pork, Rotel/rice/black beans
Tues: After voting and before the (not a Victory) evening gathering with candidate for whom I volunteered - (Bag ) lemon Caesar salad, Pumpkin sausage pasta
Wed : OUT (consolation dinner, with chocolate dessert - my kind husband’s expression of sympathy)
Thurs: noon - Chicken stroganoff over noodles and peas
Evening - OUT – after a successful Craigslist purchase trip across town, avoiding rush hour. Local diner chosen based on reviews had very good food. Burger, walleye fish sandwich, onion rings, coleslaw
Fri: Stir fry veggies, wild rice & eggrolls. Pumpkin cake roll with butter-pecan ice cream
Sat: Salmon, puff pastry parm breadsticks, side of chickpeas/spinach/tomatoes/India-ish spices
(Rachel Ray magazine recipe from 2007- can be served over rice as a vegetarian main, but we most often have it as a side for salmon or shrimp)
Sun: (today) Beef Stroganoff Soup
with fresh spinach salad and Kings Hawaiian dinner rolls. Warm fruit compote over vanillla cake


My cousin and his wife live in Knoxville, where winter is colder than where I am on the west coast, but of course, nothing like the Upper Midwest. Just based on weather, they can’t imagine returning to live in their native Wisconsin.


Greetings, people.

Gearing up for the holidays! While we focus on gratitude for all things good in our lives (so much to be thankful for), Thanksgiving week also marks a kick-off to the holiday season. Yesterday we took our biggest cooler to Big Boxville and made our annual shopping trip for seasonal goodies. Among other things, we picked up some scallops – a treat for us - to start this week off right.

At home we’re making preps to throw the switch on the outdoor Christmas lights: ladders strewn about the yard and occasional cursing can be heard. Making gifts and holiday baking will be in full swing by the weekend after Turkey Day. Dinners this week are kept simple to leave more time for fun and creativity.

Cooking for two adults in the PNW:

FRI: Scallops of some sort.

SAT: Scallops of some sort.

SUN: The NYT version of beans and greens alla vodka. Italian sausages.

MON: Pork chops and roasted harvest veg (rolled from last week).

TUE: Hamburger soup from the freezer. Toasted bread for dunking.

WED: Cabbage and kielbasa soup from the freezer. Toasted bread for dunking.

THUR: Turkey Day! Our alternative Thanksgiving dinner for two will feature turkey-breast, bacon and Swiss cheese sandwiches on cranberry-walnut bread (gravy optional). Crispy potato wedges. Carrot salad. Pickled green beans. Fruit or berry shrubs to drink. Pumpkin ice cream for dessert (and possibly a cider donut cake).

Happy Holiday!


It all sounds lovely–happy Thanksgiving!


Hello everyone winter has finally arrived in Ottawa. After a springlike fall this year it snowed for the first time earlier this week and temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark which I believe is normal for this time of year. And now people are complaining how cold it is. I’m not sure what they will do in January when it is -40 out… Nothing special planned for this weekend since tomorrow is fridge and freezer cleanout day and Sunday is the Grey Cup game (football championship). Life will return to normal in December so I hope to go on some museum visits next month. Dinners this week for a singleton in Ottawa, Canada looks like this:

Today: Take out lunch is butter chicken and rice from a local Indian company that sells prepared meals which are available at many stores around Ottawa. I’m not sure if they have a storefront operation but there is a nearby health food store that has their butter chicken and various curries available for sale so today it’s butter chicken. Tonight I will have a salad.

Saturday: Chicken again! Good thing I like it 😉 I will be having chicken cacciatore for dinner. Probably rice on the side since I’ve been eating a lot of noodle based dishes these days.

Sunday: Grey Cup Sunday. Go Winnipeg Blue Bombers! Kickoff is at 6:30 so I will have ample time to do my grocery shopping in the afternoon and I will pick up dinner while I am out and about. So far it’s a toss up between steak and spaghetti and meatballs.

Monday: The last serving of cauliflower curry. Served with either rice or udon noodles.

Tuesday: Liver, potato, corn.

Wednesday: Dinner out with my dinner club. Tonight we are going to a Greek Retaurant.

Thursday: fettucine al pesto and a salad on the side.

Lunches this week will alternate between a composed salad (potatoes, beets, corn and chickpeas) and a couscous vegetable salad.

Have a nice week everyone. And a happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating!


Hi, all! Cooking for 4 in Chattanooga. California-based DD is struggling with long Covid fatigue so can’t come for Thanksgiving, which is sad because it’s “our” holiday. We’ll still have fun with the Boston-based daughter, though!
Breakfast: Whole wheat buttermilk waffles from the Breakfast Book
Saturday, November 19: Squash soup, cabbage and grapefruit slaw, olive quick bread/muffins
Sunday: Root vegetable tagine, apple honey cake
Monday: “Mexican pizza” with salsa, beans, and corn, loosely based on an old Bon Appétit recipe
Tuesday: Roasted squash bowl
Wednesday: TBD: probably takeout due to T-day prep
Thursday: Turkey day! Just 5 of us with a giant bird, yikes! Bread stuffing loosely based on a lot of recipes, mashed potatoes, 2 kinds of gravy, roasted sweet potatoes, fennel and orange salad, maybe spicy green beans?, pumpkin and pecan pies.
Friday: DD and BF go back to Boston; we eat leftovers. I have the feeling I’ll be using my vacuum seal machine quite a bit and doing research on turkey recipes…
Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating! Happy cooking!