What are you making for dinner this week? Do you plan ahead? Do you open your refrigerator and pray that something jumps out for dinner? Or are you somewhere in between?

Most home cooks make the same 20 dishes about 85% of the time.

Personally,I get a little bored cooking the same dishes. I read cookbooks and great cooking mags like they are romance novels! I am a foodie down to my soul!

Menu Plans are just that... a plan. So many people ask me if I actually cook the menu I blog. Well, yes... and no. On a good week I do. But I am not slave to my menu. If we want to go out to dinner, we do. If I am not in the mood to eat what is on the menu I switch days around. And when I have a busy day and I'm too tired to cook, Bobby brings home take out.

For me, menu planning is a wonderful way to keep organized.
Menu planning is a discipline, a habit and a tool.

I have decided to jump into the Linky Party Pool this summer and host On The Menu Monday", a menu planning meme. Not wanting to limit this meme to just those who make a weekly menu plan, I am opening it up to any menu planning. If you are planning an event and have a menu, please join in.

My vision is to provide a place (StoneGable) where people can share delicious meal and party ideas. A place to come to find great ideas for  bridal shower, graduation parties, tea parties, supper clubs, vacation meals, kid friendly birthday parties, a single meal,  grown up cocktail parties and of course the helpful weekly menus!

I would love to see recipes, pictures, tips and lots of sharing.

On The Menu Monday will premiere Sunday evening June 26, 2011. Won't you join me? Look for more info in upcoming posts!

Now, here's what's On The Menu this week...

Monday
StoneGable Hamburgers On The Grill
Hamburger Fixins'
Oven Roasted Garlic Potato Wedges

Recipe: StoneGable Hamburgers
1 lb 85% ground beef (no lower fat content)
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix3 TBS water
3 TBS Worcestershire Sauce (or more... we like lots!)
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt

Heat up the grill to medium heat.
Put ground beef in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and GENTLY mix. Do not smoosh or your hamburger will be tough. GENTLY form into hamburgers. We love large hamburgers so I usually double the recipe. Grill until done to your liking. DO NOT press hamburger down with spatula! We want all those wonderful juices to stay IN the hamburger. So yummy!

Tuesday
Cedar Hill Ranch Chicken Salad
Garden Lettuce Salad Greens
Steamed Artichokes With Lemon Aioli

Recipe: Cedar Hill Ranch Chicken Salad
Doesn't that sound so lovely for a warm summer's evening out on the porch? Recently I found this great blog called Cedar Hill Ranch. Anita's tag line is Texas living with a French accent! OOOh La La, Y'all! To try this chocked full of goodies Chicken Salad, click HERE.

Wednesday
Turkey Black Bean Chili
Buttermilk Sweet Corn Bread


Recipe: Turkey Black Bean Chili
Recipe is in the Williams-Sonoma June catalog. It sounds so yummy and nutritious I'm giving it a try! Click HERE for this on-line version.

Recipe: Buttermilk Sweet Corn Bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and add sugar and combine. Stir in butter.
Combine buttermilk and baking soda and stir into egg/sugar/butter mixture.

In a separate bowl combine cornmeal, flour and salt.  Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients in thirds.

Pour batter into pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when tested.
Printable Recipe

Thursday
StoneGable Crab Cakes With Homemade Tarter Sauce
Fried Spinach
Sauteed Rice

Recipe: StoneGable Crab Cakes
1 lb lump crab meat
2 slices of fresh white bread, torn in pieces
2 TBS mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 TBS melted butter
1 tsp dried parsley
1 egg, beaten

Put crab meat in a bowl and pick over for any shell or cartilage. Add torn bread and toss. Add the rest of the ingredients and incorporate, being careful not to break up crab meat. Form into 5 large cakes.

Heat large oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Add 1-2 TBS cooking oil, let heat. Cook crab cakes in skillet for 5 minutes each side until golden brown. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Serve with tartar sauce. This is a delicious recipe!!!!! I am requested to make this all the time.
Printable Recipe

Recipe: StoneGable Tartar Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3 TBS relish
1/2 tsp grated onion (optional, I don't always use onion)

Combine all ingredients and serve with Crab Cakes. Refrigerate leftover tartar sauce.
Printable Recipe

Recipe: Fried Spinach
I know what you might be thinking~ a good way to take something healthy and make it bad for you~ well only sort of! I don't eat mountains of this, although I could. This is such a wonderful treat. I just scatter the fried spinach with a light hand around the plate. Oh this is soooooooo good. Please give it a try!
1-2 bags fesh washed baby spinach.
cooking oil
salt

If you have a deep fryer set it to 350 degrees. I don't have one so I follow the directions below.
If spinach is not washed, wash it and make SURE it is dry!
Put oil in a large pot or dutch oven, about 3-4 inches. Heat to 350 degrees.
Put spinach in oil and fry for 30-45 seconds. Remove from oil to a paper towel lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt.
Oh I can just taste it!
Printable Recipe

Friday
Ceasar Salad With Grilled Flank Steak


Saturday: Father's Day Picnic
This is the ultimate make ahead picnic. I'll be using my slow cooker all week to makes these dishes and refrigerating them until the Father's Day Picnic
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Coslaw
StoneGable Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Homemade Rhubarb Applesauce
Mini Mac And Cheese Cups
Garden Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing
Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
adapted from Wm-Sonoma recipe
1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
2 TBS salt
2 TBS smokey paprika
2 tsp ground pepper
1 TBS fresh thyme
2 tsp coriander, ground
1 TBS dried mustard
2 tsp fennel seeds
9 garlic cloves, divided
2 tsp onion powder
3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder
1 1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup water
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke

Combine sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, thyme, coriander mustard and fennel in a bowl. Set aside.

Score the fatty side of the pork in a diamond pattern. Create 6 slits in pork and inset a garlic clove in each pocket. Press the remaining 3 garlic cloves and rub pork with TBS of spice mixture, set leftover spices aside.
Wrap pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from pork and place fat side down in the insert of an oven proof slow cooker insert. Roast pork for an hour. Transfer insert to slow cooker base. Add apple juice, water, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Cook covered for 6-7 hours, turning a couple of times. Rough chop. Strain liquids. Put pork and 3/4 cup of liquids in a bowl and toss. Serve on buns topped with good coslaw, or refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe: Rhubarb Applesauce
Here's the formula,
2 parts apples, peeled, cored and rough chopped in 1/2 inch chunks
1 part rhubarb, chopped in 1/2 inch slices
sugar~ start with 1/4 cup and taste to see if you need more. The bigger the batch the more sugar you will need
a pinch of cinnamon (I often omit this)
a pinch of nutmeg (I often omit this)

Put apples with a splash of water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until they soften.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 10-15 minutes until rhubarb is soft and falls apart and apples are broken down.

You can eat it hot and chunky. Mash it, mill it or pulse it in the food processor and serve cold. YUMMY!

Recipe: Mimi Mac And Cheese Cups
Martha Stewart's recipes are consistantly delicious! I'll serve these cups in little white ramekins. Click HERE for this classic!

Recipe: StoneGable Slow Cooker Baked Beans
I throw all sorts of good, smokey, meaty, sweet ingredients together and let them cook in my slow cooker for hours.
Click HERE to get the recipe for this picnic classic!

Recipe: Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Look for this on an upcoming post this summer!

Sunday: Father's Day
Bobby and Chris will golf all afternoon after church and I'll  recover from the picnic! When the boys come home, we will have lots of leftovers and golf stories!


I am joining Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

 
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