Menu Plan Monday: Back to school time

It has been a busy day, just like last week was a busy week, and that sometimes throws my menu plan off balance. My trout fishing experience pushed back last Tuesday's planned dinner, and an extra busy Friday resulted in take-out Chinese food instead of a homemade meal. No one complained (except my groaning budget).

Tomorrow marks the first day back to school for the boys, something that is causing mixed feelings here. My oldest is thrilled to be going back, misses his friends and has had enough of being home (and dealing with me requiring a reasonably clean room.) My youngest is not at all looking forward to going back and gets quite grumpy any time anyone mentions it to him.

Unless they are talking about lunches to him, then he cheers up. So to soften the blow of going back, I just pulled out a batch of brownies from the oven, ones that I have upped the fun factor to by sprinkling on some toffee chips.

My house smells very nice right now, warm and chocolaty.

On to the menu plan!

Sunday: Stew with mashed potatoes. By request of the Hubby. It was chilly and rainy.

Monday: Thick pork chops with apples and raisins. From last week's plan.

Tuesday: Homemade pizza. It will be a make your own pizza party at the end of the first school day.

Wednesday: Chicken Paillard with salad. Otherwise known as flat and fancy chicken fingers.

Thursday: Shrimp something. My husband would be thrilled if I made jambalaya for him, so my short list for this shrimp involves jambalaya or a curry of some kind with rice noodles.

Friday: Homemade hamburgers with salad and homemade fries.

I've been late the last few week's posting to Menu Plan Monday, so by the time I post, there are usually over 250 other menu planners on the list already. So there is lots to look at and be inspired by if you are looking to start menu planning!

Tyler Florence Friday: Megan's August Challenge

I knew from the moment that Megan posted this months optional Tyler Florence Fridays recipe, Avocado, Cilantro and White Onion Salad, that I would be eating this alone. The kids wouldn't touch it. And while it is basically a deconstructed guacamole without the heat, too much avocado would not appeal to the husband.

I, on the other hand, would enjoy the melting softness of the avocado, the tang of the onion and that wonderful flavor that is cilantro. Bring it on!

Aside from significantly reducing the recipe (what is on this plate is what I made, plus some left over dressing), I changed the onion from white to red. I like red onions and can eat them raw. White onions I can eat cooked but that's it.

I'm actually eating the salad as I write this, paired with a fillet of salmon that I pan fried and let get chilled. The saltiness of my salmon is balanced by the refreshness of the onion and avocado, and I never say no to cilantro. I do think the salad needs something to accompany it though, as otherwise it would be too much.

So pretty, easy to make, and good for company. Provided they like avocado and cilantro.

I'm not going to post the recipe for this one, it is available at Tyler Florence Friday's, where you will shortly see this post listed with a bunch of others for this week's edition of Tyler Florence Fridays.

We interupt this regularly scheduled menu plan

Silly me, when I planned for the week, I forgot that I was going to be taking the boys to a local trout farm, Thistle Springs Trout Farm, to do some fishing with them on Tuesday. The rule at the farm is that you have to keep everything you catch, so fresh caught trout was going to be on the menu for dinner this week!

Boy my boys have been learning to fish from their Uncle B, who is a good fisherman. I'm not, so going to a trout farm, where you are basically guaranteed to catch something, is a good solution. My oldest boy was our fisherman expert, putting his own bobbers on the borrowed lines, helping to teach both myself and my girlfriend how to cast (Or trying, anyways - I caught a tree, the same tree, twice.)

My little guy quickly lost patience and decided to spend some time taking pictures with my DSLR instead. He is a very patient photographer, and a flexible one too, since he managed to take his own picture to show off his lovely new grin.

After no luck at a regular pond, we moved to a tank area where I managed to catch my first ever fish! He may be little, but the rule is, no throwing them back in, so home for dinner this little guy was destined.

When I called a halt to the fishing, my oldest and I had caught 5 between us. While I didn't catch the biggest fish in our bucket, I didn't catch the smallest one either.

And while I wasn't required to clean and gut our fish myself (Thistle Springs will do it for you for a small donation to the local children's hospital), it is a skill that I thought would be good for me to know, so they showed me how to do it and I cleaned the catch, while 3 boys (my two and their friend Bambam) looked on and Bambam's Mom took pictures.

Surprisingly, seeing the insides of the fish, its organs, did not bother the boys. Seeing the piece of corn the fish had eaten off the hook, that bothered them.

For their first trout, I decided to go with simple, pan frying them after coating them in a mixture of flour and cornmeal with some seasonings. Cooked with the heads and tails still on.

The boys were warned: Any fish we catch comes home with us and is dinner. This isn't catch and release like you do with Uncle B. You have to try the fish.

(Their Dad, who is not a fan of fish at all, and didn't come with us, was not held to this rule - he had a pork chop for dinner.)

It isn't a pretty dinner. But it is a tasty one. Both boys ate the fish, with my oldest, the fisherman among us, eating the smallest one, and my youngest, who didn't even catch anything, eating one and a half fish.

Before eating dinner last night, both boys wanted to go back when it was bit cooler and try to catch some larger fish. I think I'll wait a week or so before asking them if they still feel that way.

Menu Plan Monday: Plan then shop or shop then plan?

I actually did a little of both for this week's plan. I did some shopping yesterday, after camping, and a bit more today. Somewhere in between, I made a menu plan.

It is the last week before school resumes, and I have alot going on this week. But it is my goal to not buy take out pizza once this week. Ambitious, but doable.

So here we go.....

Sunday: Homemade honey garlic chicken wings, caesar salad and veggies with dip. (I should have doubled this as they were so good and would have been great for lunch today.)

Monday: Pasta with tomatoes and sausages, and garlic bread.

Tuesday: Pot roast style tacos.

Wednesday: Herb and Lemon roasted chicken with smashed garlic broccoli.

Thursday: Pork chops with apples and raisins, with mashed potatoes.

Friday: Homemade pizza, probably make your own style.

Now let's see if I can stick with all of this!

Be sure to see Menu Plan Monday for more menus and inspiration.

TFF: Cheese plus bacon

Nice cheesy bubbles, aren't they? Kind of draws you in, calls to you: I am high carb, high fat, and will comfort you.....

Did I mention it was 34C, before the humidity, when I made this? Okay, so sometimes I'm not so bright. But I was in the 'need' for a comfort food and Tyler's Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Cheese was calling out to me. I couldn't help it.

I wasn't sure how the kids would feel about the topping of crispy bacon, onions and garlic on their cheese (I totally forgot to add the fresh thyme in), so I put it in a bowl and let them each choose for themselves. Both tried it, but my youngest waited until he was done his pasta and then tried a bit, separate.

The bacon added a nice saltiness to the mac and cheese, as well as a good crunch.

I admit, this tasted better two days afterwards, when it seemed to be cheesier and gooeyer. I like gooey mac and cheese. Now I like gooey mac and cheese with bacon on it.

This is this week's entry for Tyler Florence Fridays, where we pick any Tyler recipe we want and make of it what we will.

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Cheese
from Tyler Florence

Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni (I used whole wheat
4 cups milk
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided (Uhm Tyler, where do the other two go? I just used all 4 here)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar (my cheese was orange and old cheddar, not sharp white, so I added in some Parmesan as well.)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (skipped this, didn't have any)
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme (oops, forgot this)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

While that bakes, heat a saute pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.

The library, breakfast and Dorie

This breakfast started at our local library. I know, odd place to start a breakfast.

Actually, now that I think about it, it really started right here, on my computer, while I searched the library database for books.

You see, the little area that I live in doesn't have much. It has a convenience store. A bar. A cemetery and a little church. And a tiny branch of the City of Ottawa library, build inside an old, old church. So I can't buy more than bread, milk, or a beer here, but I can get a good read from the library.

If you've read my blog for awhile, you know I like Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours. I was even part of Tuesday's with Dorie for awhile (but could not keep up with one extra sweet recipe a week on top of what I was already making for the family.) Dorie's cookbook is one of my most favored and used books - if I could only grab one cookbook from my house (aside from my grandmother's hand written notes), it would be this one.

Dorie has other books too, but oddly, I have never seen any of them in any book store. I've looked. New or used, I've looked.

So I went to the library and found one, Pancakes from From Morning to Midnight.

I admit, I also ordered a bunch of other cookbooks, so Pancakes has not gotten my full attention yet. I have looked at it long enough to make one recipe though, Oatmeal-Raisin Pancakes with Cinnamon Sour Cream.

Quick to put together, I assembled the dry ingredients while my sous chef measured the raisins. Then he put together the Cinnamon Sour Cream (we used plain yogurt as I had no sour cream on hand,) while I assembled the wet ingredients and finished up the pancakes.

My little sous chef is having an 'I don't like raisins this week' thing right now, which is actually not like him at all, so while he liked the 'sauce' he objected to the raisins inside the pancakes and has requested I make them again with blueberries. This brother, however, went back for seconds (this picture is my plate, with 3 little pancakes - his brother ate 5 that morning, after a bowl of cereal, and finished off the last 3 this morning.) So I'd say they were a hit.

Oatmeal-Raisin Pancakes with Cinnamon Sour Cream
from Dorie Greenspan's Pancakes From Morning to Midnight

1 cup old-fashion oats
1 cup all - purpose flour
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 2/3 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup plump raisins

Cinnamon Sour Cream (recipe to follow)
maple syrup

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients to blend thoroughly. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and mix gently with the whisk, just until combined. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the raisins.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat (to 350F if using an electric griddle) and lightly butter, oil or spray the surface.

Spoon the batter, 1/4 cup at a time, onto the griddle for each pancake. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to light spread the batter into rounds. Flip when the undersides of the pancakes are golden and the tops are speckled with bubbles that have popped. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side has been browned.

Serve immediately or keep in an oven that has been preheated to 200F.

Cinnamon Sour Cream

1 cup sour cream, full or nonfat (we used plain yogurt as it is what we had)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Mix together in a small bowl until well combined. Store covered in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Menu Plan Monday: Camping and meal planning

At the risk of jinxing things, summer seems to finally have arrived and it is HOT HOT HOT! Despite this, my menu has some heavier items on it for this week. Some of it is by request, some is to use up items that we have on hand. That, and my bbq has still not been repaired/replaced, and chances are, it won't be happening any time soon.

Don't worry, though, I get to grill things this weekend when we go camping with my husbands sister and her family. Which doesn't excuse me from menu planning. It is even more important to plan a menu while camping - no one likes to have to leave the campground to find a grocery store, or even worse, to pay the highly inflated prices of things found at a campground convenience store.

Sunday: Greekfest! I usually try to get to Greekfest at least once during its two week run. I love getting fresh Gyro's and pita, and homemade Tzatziki. Yum. Alot pricier this year, however, so I likely won't be making a return trip.

Monday: Mac and Cheese, from scratch. Just because.

Tuesday: Sheppard's pie. I know, this is a cold weather dish. But I have left over mashed potatoes, alot of them, left over corn, again, alot, and want to try out some local ground beef I just purchased. Plus it was requested.

Wednesday: Butter chicken with Naan and rice. (Come back later for more about this.)

Thursday: Salad and fresh bread. I hope to make it to the Stittsville Farmer's Market and will choose what goes on the salad based on what is available.

Friday: Camping time. Grilled sausages, baked potatoes, salad. Smores. And Doritos.

Saturday: More camping. Hamburgers and hot dogs, grilled corn on the cobb. Smores.

Be sure to check out all the other menu plans over at Menu Plan Monday, where there are over 250 menu plans to browse and be inspired by.

TFF: Quick and simple

My picture looks nothing like Tyler's. His shrimp scampi looks visually appealing. Mine doesn't.

Which doesn't meat it wasn't good and tasty. It was. My little shrimp monster and I enjoyed it, my other two boys liked it, but prefer regular spaghetti sauce over shrimp on their pasta.

Oh well, I can't please everyone with every meal.

This is this week's entry for Tyler Florence Fridays.

Shrimp Scampi with Linguini
by Tyler Florence, as found on Food Network

1 pound linguini (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

Menu Plan Monday: A work in progress

Here it is, late Monday night, and I still haven't gotten a completed menu plan. And it hasn't been for lack of trying.

For the sake of at least having something ready, let's try this:

Sunday: Chicken Caesar salad.

Monday: Pork tenderloin with roasted farmer's market carrots, sauted rainbow chard and cucumbers.

Tuesday: Take out, likely pizza. It is cashew-challenge day here, which means a very early departure time for the down town allergists office, followed by work.

Wednesday: Crispy chicken drum sticks with corn on the cobb and mashed potatoes

Thursday: Salad. Not sure what kind, but know it will include grapefruit, by request.

Friday: Fish. Don't know what kind. Don't know how, but I think fish. Or shrimp. Or steak. Or whatever falls out of my freezer. (Or fajitas. I suddenly feel like eating fajitas this week.)

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Be sure to check out some of the other menu plans there, likely over 200.


I'm not a professional when it comes to food. I haven't gone to culinary school, or pastry school. Food is not my job, though I wouldn't object to it being my job.

Food is my hobby. I like to make it, I like to eat it, I like to take pictures of it, I like to talk about it.... You get the point, I'm sure.

Based on this, it was completely appropriate that for my recent birthday, my husband took me out to dinner to Atelier, a restaurant I had been wanting to try for quite some time. I'd met Chef Marc Lepine before, had tried his food, and had been eagerly looking forward to having the opportunity to try his restaurant for myself.

And I had high expectations going into Atelier. Perhaps not fair of me, but I did.

And I was not disappointed.

Atelier is a small restaurant, seating 20 people, with a minimum 12 course tasting menu. All items served are prepared using molecular gastronomy, so your meal is not just food, it is a dinning experience. Be prepared to be there for awhile, as it takes time to enjoy those courses. (And it will take time for me to go through them all, so sit back and relax, you will be here awhile!)

We went with good friends and were immediately seated upon entry. We were offered a choice of still water or made on the premises sparkling water while the sommelier brought us a wine list. Now, none of us are wine drinkers at all, so while we declined any wine, I was fascinated by how they provided the list: on one column there were the wines available, should you decided you wanted to go "blind" and choose your own wines. In the other column was a wine tasting, chosen to match the menu for that evening. If I were a lover of wines, I would have been pleased with the $55 price for the wine tasting suggested that evening.

Before the first course was served, we were presented with some freshly made bread, made on the premises. From my previous experience with Chef Marc, I knew that the restaurant enjoyed making breads flavored on potato chips, so I was not suprised when our bread was BBQ flavored, with powdered butter. I don't like BBQ chips but I enjoyed the flavors of the bread, especially the salty crunch on top.

Here are the courses served to us that night. (My apologies for anything I got wrong in my descriptions.)

Pretzel Pop

A dijon mustard cream sauce, with diluted honey, created using an anti-griddle, coated in crushed pretzels.

46 Degree Salmon

Wild pacific salmon, cooked sous-vide to a temperature of 46 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Served with a zucchini and shallot salsa, orange pepper gel (the straight line), a red pepper and curry puree (the circle), with lemon balm.


The Scallop

Pan seared scallop (using a magnetic induction cooktop), with a Star Anise and citrus vinnigrette, jeruselem artichoke puree and a warm bacon and asparagus salad.

Tuna Breakfast

Albacore tuna with a sliced, black truffle, sauted coffee mushrooms on a truffle oil pancake, a lemon verbina mayonnaise, egg yolk ribbon and a dehydrated leek.

This custom made spoon was provided for the next course, a soup course. The handle contains a test tube, stoppered by a cork, inside of which was toasted, crushed pistachios.

Souped up Cheese Plate

A pear, honey and goat cheese soup, with frozen grapes, and grape slices on goat cheese shards, with pink peppercorns, served cold, with an optional sprinkling of the toasted pistachios.

Tomatotrix Reloaded

Fresh Ontario tomato base (the first time served on the menu), with, starting from the right side, rainbow chard leaf, a soft Quebec Sauvagean (I'm sure that is spelt wrong, sorry) cheese, lambs quarter leaf, radish blossom and radish, eggplant paper on fennel cream, with Nasturshium leaf (again, spelling probably bad) and a powdered balsamic vinagrette.

This was my husbands favorite dish.

Fire and Ice

The custom spoon clip held a shard of cinnamon, lit up to provide the scent of cinnamon while you ate a strawberry-rhubarb foam, frozen with liquid nitrogen, on a maple syrup brittle and a cinnamon custard. Best eaten by placing the entire spoon in your mouth at once.

Caramel Apple Boar

Wild boar belly, cooked sous vide for 9 hours to 82 degrees, with a cubed purple potato, sauted snow pea, green apple relish with lime and jalapeno, a golden appricot gel and a caramel sauce.

Duck Choco-latte

Sous vide duck breast (1 hour to 58 degrees), triangular potato cooked in duck fat, with creamed cauliflower, beet puree, unopened Day Lily blossom, some date leather, and expresso foam and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs.

Yes, Deer

Venison, cooked sous vide to 54 degrees for 20 minutes, with corn juice gel, a corn powder (in the center), popcorn, Tank house ale gel (the darker gel), shisho leaves, cap mushrooms, a molasses powder (the darker powder to the right of the plate), caramalized onion paper and freeze dried peas.

Beer and Nachos

On the left: Nacho cheesecake with a tortilla shortbread crust, aged cheddar cheese on top, served with a salsa meringue.

On the right: Jalapeno and sour cream ice cream, Bo's beer foam, crushed tortilla chips, avacado puree, dehydrated black olives.

Optionally, a jalapeno powder was included at the corner of the plate for those who like their nachos a bit spicier.

Cherry Bomb

Starting left: dark cherry gel, cherry sorbet with crushed pistachios, Dr. Pepper foam and Dr. Pepper meringue (the little white "blobs" along the plate), chocolate brownies, pistachio brittle (green crunchie item along the plate), cherry leather, aerated cherry foam, crumbled chocolate strussel, dehydrated cherry foam puree, and a cherry bomb truffle with liquid cherry center.

Phew, say that 3 times fast!

I will add in right here that I would happily be Pastry Chef Michael Holland's personal slave for awhile to learn how to make his brownies. I make some good brownies but those were simply divine.

Birthday treat, Atelier style

Vanilla cupcake with vanilla butter cream, dropped into a sliver bucket containing liquid nitrogen, stirred, removed, then crushed. Served in a specially prepared bowl that said 'Happy Birthday' on it.

The Elvis Truffle

Peanut butter ganache, banana, covered in white chocolate, with bacon bits.

Are you still hungry? We weren't.

I can't say what my favorite course was, though I can say which was my least favorite (sorry Elvis, I don't like peanut butter at all, but I did eat it.) There were some item that I didn't completely understand or enjoy on their own (like the beer gel in Yes, Deer) but taken together with other items on the plate, they were wonderful. Even the peanut butter seriously benefited from the banana and bacon.

The service was exquisite and seamless. The staff wonderful, answering any and all questions. Had I not brought a note book and pen, they would have been happy to supply it.

The meal ended with a signed copy of the menu and a tour of the kitchen area (which is tiny).

A wonderful way to spend my belated birthday. I would highly recommend spending an evening with Chef Marc and his staff.

Reservations can be made by phone but can also be made through the website,

Oops! "Technical" difficulties

I'd planned to have my visit to Atelier up a few days ago. I had all my pictures and the menu names of each course on my computer and was bringing my computer out of town with me.

Arrived safe and sound in Toronto, managed to meet up with Creampuff briefly, and see everyone else I needed to see. Even found myself with a tiny bit of extra time and a Williams-Sonoma and Crate and Barrel nearby.

But I left my note book with all the details of each course sitting in Ottawa.

I'm home now, tired and need to do some laundry, buy some groceries, but my notes and I have been re-united, so my review will get up very soon.

TFF: I see a trend happening here

Me. Tyler. Deep frying.


A trend.

I decided one day to make Tyler's Tempura Green Beans with Chili, Garlic and Seasame Aioli.

But I couldn't let it go with just green beans, which were great, btw.

So I doubled the tempura...

And made tempura carrots.

Then sweet potatoes. (Oh my these were so good!)

Then I made Talapia fingers, which the kids inhaled. I didn't even get to try this.

But the scallops were so good. Even cold the next day.

And the shrimp.... What a combination, me, Tyler, a deep fryer, and shrimp. Oh boy, oh boy, it was soooo good.

You can find the recipe for this in Tyler's book, Stirring the Pot, on page 146.

Aside from the obvious change, the only other one I made was to reduce the sesame oil in the aioli, part from choice, part from necessity. I didn't have 1/4 cup of oil left, only about a tablespoon, and knew from past experience that I would not enjoy that much seasame oil in the aioli, I find it a bit too strong.

This is my selection for this week's Tyler Florence Fridays.

Menu Plan Monday: Happy Holiday Monday

My hubby is on vacation this week, taking advantage of his compressed work week and today being a civic holiday. Ironically, his week off coincides with my days away: I am going away for a couple of days, meeting up with my Mom for a day, and then spending an extra day away to visit with some old friends. Gives hubby and the boys some quality time together, to go hiking, to ride their bikes, to be silly together without me.

Because I will be away, this weeks' menu plan looks rather incomplete, but it really isn't. I just am not planning the meals my husband makes while I'm gone. Sure, I could throw myself into the kitchen and premake a bunch of things for them, set them out a menu plan, but that is alot more work for me and I think I would rather enjoy today instead. While the sun is still shinning and there is no rain.

Sunday: Spaghetti. Not what I'd initially planned, but we went cross border shopping yesterday and by the time we got home, it was late and this was quick.

Monday: Tacos. My oldest is making dinner and this is what he likes to make us.

Tuesday: Pork chops with chunky apple sauce and green beans.

Wednesday: I'm in Toronto. Hubby is in charge.

Thursday: I'm still in Toronto. Hubby is still in charge.

Friday: Hmmm not sure, will depend on what time I get home. And if I need to go straight to work or not.

As I said, not much of a plan this week, but we will survive.

A brief note before I go off and do today's activities (more on that in a later post):

I have been a Daring Baker for over 3 years now, time I have never regretted. I've made breads and caramels and layered cakes and cream puffs. I've shared in the joys of creation and the frustration of nothing going right. I've made many a friend as a result of being part of the Daring Bakers, some of whom I've even met, some of whom I can't wait to meet.

Did you notice, however, that there was not a Daring Baker creation from me last month? No chocolate covered marshmallow cookies or milans? Well that is because I didn't make any.

At first I was simply distracted by my work on the wedding cake. Not only did I make a 3 tiered cake, but I also made a practice cake (which was only 2 tiers), so there was alot of cake and icing going on in my house. Then I realized I'd missed the date again, looked at the recipe, saw how it would be simple to make and still, even then, did not get the enthusiasm to jump into the kitchen to bake the cookies.

Nothing against our hostesses or their choice, the dulldrums came from me and only me.

So I'm taking a break from the Daring Baker's for a bit. If I feel enthusiastic, I might jump in and make this months challenge, or next month's challenge. Who knows?

Now don't forget to go visit Menu Plan Monday and add your on menu plan in. (Oops, I forgot we had a guest host this week, Toni at The Happy Housewife. Go check her out - plus she has a giveaway going right now to help if you are new to menu planning (or even if you are an experienced menu planner and want a bit of a break.)