Green Bean Eater!

Wanna know why we got almost NONE of the THREE huge plantings of green beans we planted this year?

She’s a triplet.

I get it.

Hungry kids.

Honestly – our boys are probably rejoicing that there were virtually no green beans this year.

Certainly not enough to can.

I have a sneaking suspicion they’ve given the fawns the insider scoop on how to get to the green beans!

This little one has a particular fondness for the pears that have fallen.

She stuck around long enough and was loving the pears and the clover enough to let me get quite close.

I hope when she’s a Mommy she doesn’t bring her kids here to eat!

Ingredient Spotlight: Soy Sauce

Once again, Tiffany over at Eat at Home is featuring the Ingredient Spotlight blog hop. (Okay – I know – I’m a day late. But I was offline for a while, and so I’m playing catch up!)

When she said soy sauce, I thought, “Um… do I have any recipes with soy sauce in them?!”

And then I realized I did. And some that we like a lot!

Asian Pasta and Veggie Salad

Chinese Pepper Steak

Dina’s No Fail Stir Fry

LeeAnn’s Killer Teriyaki Wings

Mom’s Fabulous BBQ Beef

By the way – Cook’s Illustrated did a comparison on soy sauce, and the results were interesting! Enough so that I decided to shop around a bit – and found a new favorite!


Ingredient Spotlight: Canned Tomatoes

Tiffany, over at Eat at Home, is once again doing her Ingredient Spotlight blog hop. This week? It’s canned tomatoes.

Ideally, I wish every year were like this:

Years when my pantry has row upon row of home canned tomatoes.

Yeah, that was 2008 – decidedly NOT the garden of 2010!

And – because there are years with garden’s like this year’s, store-bought canned tomatoes are a life saver!

As I was going over my posted recipes I realized how few of my recipes that have this wonderful ingredient featured are even posted! (Bad me!) Honestly – I use canned tomatoes a ton! I’m going to have to get my act together and get them typed up and posted!

In lieu of that, here are recipes that use canned tomatoes that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Dina’s World Famous Lasagna
John & Dina’s Chili con Carne
Skillet Lasagna
Dina’s Italian Wedding Soup
Taco Soup – okay, this one doesn’t SAY canned tomatoes, but the truth of the matter is that I always throw them in!

Honestly – if there aren’t at least a dozen cans of diced tomatoes on the shelf in the pantry, I get a little worried! They’re indispensible! They are one of the best ways possible to deglaze a pan, leaving an amazing melding of flavors in their wake!


What’s Your Plan? Week 10

It’s that time again – time to share what we’ve got planned for our menu for the coming week…

Here’s the plan: Every Saturday (okay, and occasionally it won’t happen until Sunday!), I’m going to publish our menu for the week here – on this blog – as a means of accountability. I’ll try to give links to recipes whenever possible. I’ll share links to resources as I come across them. And if you want to join in – and please do! – leave a comment in the comments section here telling us what YOU are planning for your dinner menus for the week. Maybe if we all join in – we’ll get inspired to try something new and different – or just maybe forgotten for a while!

I’ve been a bad blogger. Not such a bad menu planner, just a bad blogger. I had my menu all planned for last week – even pretty much followed the plan. I just got busy (ended up working more than I had been), and well – the menu never got posted. Sorry!

John and I sat down tonight and got this week planned out. So, for the week beginning today, Monday, October 11th through Sunday, October 17th, 2010 our plan is….

Monday – Chicken Fetuccini. Made a new alfredo sauce today – pretty much the same as we normally make, only this time I added a tempered egg yolk to it. Amazing what a difference that made! Smooth, velvety, fabulous! Will decidedly do it this way from now on!

TuesdaySpaghetti with Meatballs. Pretty similar to the line linked at Williams-Sonoma. This is new for us, so we’ll see how it goes over! (Keeping in mind that William doesn’t believe in consuming any tomato products!)

WednesdayShrimp Fried Rice. I gotta tell you – we tried this a few weeks ago for the first time and – hands down – an all out fave. I see this one getting repeated often! It’s quick, tastes fabulous, and is literally about 30 minutes from start to serving. Well – you do need to have rice cooked and cooked ahead of time, but hey – I don’t mind doing that!

Thursday – Baked Fish. We’re going grocery shopping tomorrow night, so not really sure which type or how – but this is an all time fave at our house – there’s pretty much no BAD way to fix fish when John McBride is the guy cooking. Seriously – he’s got a gift! Sometimes it’s seasoned and floured and baked, sometimes fried, sometimes it’s not coated – just steamed in garlic butter and dill. Amazing stuff!

Friday – Steak & Salad Night! Steak for John and Jonathan (William will be away at Middle School Retreat), salad for me. If it’s dry, we may even heat up the grill!

SaturdayTuna Noodle Casserole. Seriously. We’re guessing Jonathan will be busy at dinner time, and William is out of town at retreat. And well, John and I really like this – we can just never get our kids to eat it. So we’re gonna! (BTW, we don’t do ANY canned condensed soups. Yeah – not okay. We just mix up a roux quickly and go from there.)

Sunday – Taco Bell after church and picking William up from Retreat.

So – that’s our plan.

What’s Your Plan?

I’d love to know!

I have a problem…

…I seem to be utterly incapable of making a small pot of soup.

Maybe it’s because it’s so cold, and wet, and dark, and dreary.

Something about a bowl of soup with the last hurrah of summer in it seems to help me make the transition to fall with a bit more grace.


It’s the base to my juicer/steamer.

Seriously – herking huge.

A bigger problem?

I’m probably the only one in the house who will eat this soup.

It’s chock full of veggies.

It’s vegetarian.

Yeah. The boys won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.


I’m thinking there’s going to be a LOT of soup in my future this week!

Lunch, anyone?