Menu Monday

Week 4 of my new Menu making habit!  I’m finding I get excited about putting my menu together and our meals have been much better. I definitely am feeling  more “with it” when meal time comes around, which is a great benefit of this exercise.

It’s Halloween Week and I wanted to incorporate some fun “Halloweeny” dishes.    My favorite is to make a meatloaf and wrap it in lasagna noodles, but I had meatloaf last week and I’m now gluten free.  UGH!  Another famous Halloween special that I’ve made in the past is “Kitty Litter Cake“.  I made it about 8 years ago and there was much “grossing out” as it really did look like kitty littler.  My children remind me EVERY year not to make the kitty litter cake.  Giggles…I think that means they WANT me to make it again.  Maybe I’ll have to figure out a gluten free version.  I’m laughing just thinking about it.

I guess I’ll just have to be creative with some new meals.  I could make my Pumpkin Burgers into finger shapes and have “Finger” Sandwiches on Monday.  My Spaghetti zoodles make great “brains”  And the Chicken Cacciatore is, well, quite gruesome looking all on it’s own.  I’ll let my kiddos tell me what it is.

Monday:  Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Avocado Salad, Iced Tea

Tuesday:  Spice Rubbed Pork TenderloinMaple Glazed Carrots,  Salad, Water

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, Tomato and Onion salad, Iced Tea

Thursday:  Spaghetti with zoodles, Salad, GF breadsticks, Iced Tea

Friday:  We generally have a potluck meal that we share with friends on Halloween night.  We will contribute Chili, Cornbread and hot apple cider.

Saturday:  Left Overs or Eat out

Sunday:  Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa, Candied Sweet Potatoes, Tea

Carolyn’s Meatloaf


  • Small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oatmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • catsup
  1. Move oven rack to center position and Preheat oven to 375° F
  2. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
  3. Shape and place in loaf pan
  4. Bake in oven until done, about 1 hour 15 minutes.  Loaf is done when internal temperature reaches 160° F
  5. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. Serve with catsup on top.

GF Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe

Last weeks menu had a recipe for pumpkin cornbread.  I could not use the exact recipe because I am gluten intolerant.  My plan was to substitute gluten free flours for the recipe.    While walking through my local Aldi’s I noticed they now have several GF mixes.  I thought about trying one of the cakes.  I noticed that one of the mixes was for cornbread so I grabbed it and used it to make the pumpkin cornbread.  The results were fabulous!

Carolyn’s Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe (adapted from Recipe Girl)


  • 1 liveGfree Cornbread Mix (15 oz box)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin (puree, not pie filling)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses (I use Grandma’s. )


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  I put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mixed, just until all ingredients were well blended.  Be careful not to over mix.  Poor mixture into a greased 8 X 8 pan and bake for 30 minutes or until done. (It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.)


The adults LOVED this bread.  The kids were not as enthusiastic about it.  They prefer Jiffy Cornbread.  ;-)

Menu Monday

I’m excited.  They say it takes 3 weeks to create habit.  Here it is! This is week three.  Now, the true test will come when the holidays are here.  That will be the most important time to keep up this new habit.  I know from experience how quickly it can get out of control.  Can I do it?  I believe I can!

Sunday dinner includes a recipe that I am dying to try.  My anticipation is so high, I may have to try it before then.  When I was growing up, my Aunt Vivian made a pound cake that EVERYONE talked about.  I have been craving it.  Gluten free eating has been a goal now for over a year.  I decided to go on a web hunt for a pound cake recipe that I thought looked like it had a chance of rivaling Aunt Vivian’s Pound Cake.  I read through many recipes and found this one.  Generally, I use Jeanne’s Flour Mix for my recipes.  I’m going to sub out the flour mixture in this recipe with Jeanne’s flour mix.   The recipe is exactly the same as my aunts except for the wheat flour.  I know that often recipes do not translate tit for tat when creating a GF version, therefore it never even crossed my mind to try it.  I’ll let you know if I’m thrilled or disappointed when all is said and done.  I’ll even take pictures as I go.

Here’s my menu for this week.

Monday:  Meatloaf, fauxtaytos, peas, Iced Tea

Tuesday: Cranberry Chicken , broccoli, sweet potato, Sparkling Cranberry Juice

Wednesday:  Chicken Enchiladas with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Salad, Orange Spiced Tea

Thursday: Penne with sausage and pumpkin  (substitute zucchini for pasta), Tomato Salad, Apple Spiced Tea

Friday: Salmon Cakes (using gf bread crumbs), Acorn Squash, Spinach Salad with warm bacon dressing, Iced Tea

Saturday:   Eat Left Overs or Go out to Eat,

Sunday:  Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash Mash and Tarragon Gravy, Salad, Iced Tea, Gluten Free Sour Cream Pound Cake

Menu Monday

Week two of the renewed “organizational quest” is going well.  Woot!  Woot!  Here I am ready for my next menu and post.

This week I’d like to focus on the amount of food that I throw out.  I visited one of my favorite blogs, Nom Nom Paleo, and she had a post about wasting and shared the following video.  Her goal is to “buy what you need and eat what you buy”.

I know that I am very guilty of wasting food, paper, platics…  I also know that Americans in general are very wasteful.  This video inspired me to focus on my part in this waste cycle.   One thing I have been a part of for several years is Free Cycle.  When I have stuff that I no longer want or need, I can share them with others, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  It’s also been a great source for items for special projects in arts and crafts and  performances in band and plays at school.  This week as well as planning my meals and grocery shopping to help me save time, I’m going to focus on using what I have and eating up what I cook to save money and waste.  Some of my meals in the coming weeks may be a little odd as a result, but not only will I be feeding my family healthy options, I’ll be helping my world to be a happier and  healthier place to live in.

Continuing with the fall theme for meals this week:

Monday:  Stuffed Broccoli Leaves, Spinach salad, Iced Tea

Tuesday:  Salisbury Steaks with Cremini Mushrooms,  Braised Kale and Carrots, Smashed Sweet Potato, Iced Tea

Wednesday:  Orange Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry, with steamed snow peas and sliced carrots, Orange Tea

Thursday:  Crock Cooker Spiced Honey-Ginger Shredded Pork, serve in Romaine wraps and add a relish tray, Hot Ginger Tea

Friday:  Pumpkin Chili. Pumpkin Cornbread, Salad, Apple Tea

Saturday:  Left Overs or Dine Out

Sunday:  Roasted Chicken and Veggetables, Cole Slaw, Fall Apple Crisp, Apple Juice

Where Learning Never Ends

Happy Halloween!
Hope you get more treats than tricks!