This Week’s Menu, December 17, 2017

Menu for the week of December 17, 2017

Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
Early Dinner: It’s the Zannini Christmas Fiesta!

Breakfast: Toast and juice
Early Dinner: Leftovers from Sunday’s party

Breakfast: Steak and eggs
Early Dinner: Enchiladas (recipe)

Breakfast: Bagels with a schmear
Early Dinner: Panninis with warm pasta salad

Breakfast: Breakfast burritos
Early Dinner: Meatloaf (recipe)

Breakfast: Sausage kolaches
Early Dinner: Shrimp pasta

Breakfast: Bagels with a schmear
Early Dinner: Leftover meatloaf

The house is as clean as I can get it. I wanted to rake leaves, but they’re still falling. For now I’ll just rake them off the paths. Dogs are washed and huggably clean.

Everyone has offered to bring something to the party, but I want to supply the main food. Greg is in charge of beer and wine.

For myself, I planned on chicken satay, Korean BBQ mini ribs, and crab cakes. I should do some dessert, but my neighbors do desserts much better than I do. One person is bringing deli meats and cheese. Another is bringing soft drinks and one is bringing a dessert. I might add some cookies or candy just to spread the sweets.

You know my biggest fear about throwing parties? I’m usually so tired getting prepared that I’m half asleep within a couple of hours. I’m not good at small talk either. There are only so many times you can talk about the weather or scorpions.

Speaking of weather, it’s going to dip to freezing (at night) right around Christmas–and there’s a chance of rain, which means we might have a chance at snow. Snow is so rare down here it’s always a big deal. I sense a crackling fire and some old classic films for next week.

Two more weeks until the end of the year! That was fast.


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  1. I always ask people at Christmas parties to share their favorite holiday memory (or most memorable disaster); you get some fun stories either way. What plans they’re making to have fun next year is also a good one. My perpetual trick is always to get the other person to talk about themselves so I don’t have to be interesting. People love to talk about themselves. 🙂

    Fresh fruit salad is healthy, inexpensive dessert if you want something for backup. I put mine in one bowl that I place in another, larger bowl lined with crushed ice to keep it cold. Chocolate-dipped strawberries in white and dark chocolate are usually also a hit, and easy enough to make. If you’re having spicy dishes fruit will also be a cool-off finish to the meal.

    • Lynn: When I saw your idea for the chocolate covered strawberries I immediately made a run for the grocery store for fresh strawberries and chocolate chips. Somewhere we went wrong though. The chocolate wouldn’t melt to a smooth stage. Greg tried first and then I took over. The best method I found (since I had no double boiler) was to put a bowl over a pan of boiling water–after I had turned off the heat. The chocolate melted, but not enough to dip the strawberries smoothly.

      Any hints? I followed a recipe from ALLRecipes and added two teaspoons of shortening to no avail.

      At least there were strawberries. 🙂

      • Oh, I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I should have offered more details.

        I’ve never used a recipe, and I don’t have a double-boiler. I microwave chopped-up chunks of semi-sweet bar chocolate (Baker’s brand, in the baking aisle where they have the chocolate chips) 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time I check it.

        Once it’s melted I dip the strawberries — which must be dry for the chocolate to stick — and put them on a waxed-paper lined plate. Then I pop them in the fridge to set. For white chocolate dips I use the melt wafers they sell in a bag at JoAnn in the cake decorating section, but it’s the same method to melt and dip the strawberries in them.

        • Lynn: I think the trouble was too many cooks over the pot. 🙂 Greg started it on the stove top, but I wanted to do it in the microwave like I normally do my fudge. I was busy so I let him do it. He was ready to call it done but it was way too thick for dipping. I scraped it into a bowl and put it in the microwave only I think it was heated way too long from the stove because it started to crystalize and get gritty.

          With company only a few hours away I abandoned it. Next time I’ll start directly from the microwave. Thanks for writing back and clarifying!

  2. betty

    I bet your party went well and it was a success with the food as well as the company! I can’t believe how fast this year went! We had a great dinner tonight. I found a recipe for Mexican shredded beef. It calls for 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, 1 (7 ounce) can diced green chiles (I couldn’t find 7 ounce can so I got two 4 ounce cans), 1 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 tablespoons chili powder (I only had about 1 tablespoon and the recipe still was tasty and child friendly considering I was feeding 2 children), 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 cloves garlic minced, salt and pepper to taste. You can cook this in the oven or crock pot. You basically mix all the ingredients together and put the roast on a piece of aluminium foil big enough so you can wrap the roast. You rub the mixture on all sides of the roast, wrap it up in the aluminium foil and then double wrap it with foil. For the oven you cook it 4-1/2 to 5 hours at 300 degrees. In the crock pot 8-10 hours. Then you shred the meat. We used it for burritos with the usual fixings, rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole, salsa, etc. The meat was so very tasty; what you would get at a Mexican restaurant. A hit for all, even my grandson who never eats meat at my home, LOL (his dad made him like a quesadilla with cheese and meat on a tortilla shell). Definitely a keeper recipe here, especially for the summer when we can make it in the crock pot and not heat up the house (we did make it in the crock pot this time). Yum!


    • Betty: This is similar to the recipe I use for burritos and tacos. The nice thing too is that you can use up a big roast and then freeze them into meal sized portions.

      Try it with pork too. I like it better for tacos.

      Also the next time you slow cook a beef roast, try not adding the chiles or cumin during the slow cook time. This way you can use half the beef for Italian beef sandwiches by adding sauteed bell pepper, onion and canned tomatoes (in a frying pan) and use the other half for Mexican dishes using the chiles and cumin.

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