A big hug and THANK YOU  to all my dear readers who sent me well wishes and kept our family in your prayers. Last week was a sad week for my family. Even though I did not post or visit I did see all of your kind comments, e-mails, and facebook postings. I read all of them to my husband and he was very touched. I ask that you continue to keep us close in your prayers. The memorial service for my Mother-In-Law will be this week.

This is a busy week of "getting back to normal". I like normal! Exciting and adventurous and new is wonderful  but normal, for me, is just where I want to be right now! I like my busy routine... my empty nester home (as long as it is filled with friends and family often), my husband, my dog, my Bible study time, my chores, my friends, my fieldtrips, my projects, my blogging life... When things get a little out of control it is amazing how fabulous normal feels! Remind me never to complain about normal... ever again!

Whatever your normal is, take a minute and drink it in! Be thankful for it. Just for today.... just for normal!

Now here's what's on my normal menu...

Pecan Crusted Tilapia
Sauteed Rice
Roasted Butternut Squash With Onions, Brown Butter And Sage 

Recipe: Pecan Crusted Tilapia
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 finely chopped Pecan
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
a dash of Tabasco sauce
4 tilapia fillets
1 TBS vegetable oil
2 TBS butter
lemon wedges
fresh chopped parsley

Put bread crumbs, chopped pecans, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix. Add milk and Tabasco sauce to a second bowl, mix. Pat tilapia fillets dry and dust with flour.
Dredge tilapia in the buttermilk and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Set aside.
Add oil and butter to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and just bubbly.
Add tilapia and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until fish is done and flaky.
Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with fresh parsley.
Printable Recipe

Recipe: Sauteed Rice
My Nani (grandmother) made this homey rice dish and I just LOVE it. Certainly great memories of my childhood! I have made this for years. The amounts in the recipe are guesstimates! Thank goodness it is not rocket science!
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken stock or water
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery. Cook until translucent and slightly browned, about 6 minutes.
Add butter and rice. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Add liquid and cook covered until rice is done, about 20 minutes.

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash With Onions, Brown Butter And Sage
I have a beautiful butternut squash just waiting to be eaten, and the last hold-outs of my herb garden... sage! This is a beautiful recipe from Food and Wine that I cannot wait to try.
Click HERE for the recipe.

Orange Chicken
Sauteed Green Beans In Garlic Oil

Recipe: Orange Chicken
There are some dishes that are so good you can't resist them but they are not that healthy for you... General Tso's Chicken is one of them. But my friend Patricia from Butter Yum came up with a yummy alternative... this fabulous Orange Chicken. You will love her blog ( and don't you just love the name!!!) Her blog is one of my favorites! Click HERE to get this recipe and visit Butter Yum.

French Onion Soup
Crusty Bread

Recipe: Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
8 large yellow onions, Make sure to use YELLOW ONIONS, peeled, sliced in thin half-moons
2 TBS Olive oil
2TBS butter
1 1/2 TBS  sugar
1 1/2 TBS salt
3 cans Campbell's Double Strength Beef Broth
32 oz. chicken broth
1/2 cup good white wine, dry sherry or Marsala
1 dried bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme, tied with kitchen twine
1tsp pepper
1 baguette, cut into 1/2 thick slices
1/2 shredded Gruyere cheese for EACH serving

Combine oil and butter in a frying pan and put all 8 cups of onions in pan.  Add sugar and salt and toss to coat.  Cook onions on medium low heat for 40 minutes to 1 hour stirring occasionally. They will cook down to a fraction of their former volume and most of the liquid will evaporate.  You can do this step ahead, and put in refrigerator until you are ready to make soup.
Add onions to slow cooker. Add broth, wine, bay leaf and thyme to slow cooker and cook for 2- 3 hours on high.

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Put baguette slices on baking sheet and toast for 15-20 minutes until dry. Increase oven temp. to 400 degrees.
Put baguette in soup bowl and ladle soup over baguette. Grate cheese on top of soup.
Put bowl on baking sheet and bake in oven until cheese is melted and brown, 10 minutes.
Printable Recipe

White Farmhouse White Chili
Roasted Broccoli

Recipe: White Farmhouse White Chili
We are Chili lovers at StoneGable. I have several recipes that we make. But I was so intrigued by Maggie's first try at White Chili! Maggie has been a bestie blogging friend since I began blogging 2 years ago. She is hysterically funny (some of her antics leave me laughing out loud), has a heart as big as the sky... and she has that Midwest, pioneer, plow-ahead gumption that I so admire!!!! You will love her too! Click HERE visit The White Farmhouse to visit Maggie and get her White Chili recipe. I am doubling this recipe to have on hand for the weekend!

Savory Pumpkin Quiche
Mixed Greens With Goat Cheese And Pumpkin Seeds In A Champagne Vinaigrette

Recipe: Savory Pumpkin Quiche
This is a "dry run" recipe. I would love to use this next week when I am hosting an Autumn High Tea here. If this recipe is as good as I think, I'm going to make mini quiches for my guests!

I added the cheese and nutmeg to the recipe and used half and half instead of cream. I also changed up the short crust pie dough for phyllo. I may also use a couple of slices of bacon just for a little smokey taste. This is an untested recipe... are you game?
6 phyllo dough sheets
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 TBS butter
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup half and half
dash of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb pumpkin, cooked and mashed or 1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup good smoked ham, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup good Gruyere cheese, grated (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay a phyllo sheet on a work surface. Brush lightly with oil. Lay another phyllo sheet on top of the first and brush with oil. Continue with the remaining phyllo sheets. Brush a pie plate(or cake pan), with a removable bottom, with a thin coat of oil. Line with the phyllo sheets. Tuck the ends of the phyllo into the pie plate to form the side crust. Refrigerate.

In a large skillet, heat butter until just bubbly. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Reserve.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add the pumpkin, ham, onions, cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into pumpkin mixture.
Pour mixture into the phyllo lined pie plate. 
Bake for 30-35 minutes until set.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Printable Recipe

Anitpasto Plate
Assorted Crusty Bread

Recipe: Antipasto Plate
After a very busy week Bobby and I are kicking back, watching a movie and eating some fun tasty foods! I am going to Wegman's to pick up great goodies to make our Antipasto Plate. YUMMY AND NO COOKING~
Here are some delicious and easy ideas ...
marinaded artichoke hearts

fresh mozzarella cheese
marinated cheeses
port salut cheese
sopressata, prosciutto, capocollo  
cherry tomatoes
assorted marinaded olives
cut fresh veggies, carrots, celery
bleu cheese dressing
marinaded mushrooms
dates drizzled with honey
homegrown grapes
bread sticks
Marcona almonds 

Antipasto Leftovers
Broccoli Cheese Soup

The fall foliage is starting to get so colorful~ I just love a long drive in the countryside and a roadside picnic this time of year. I am packing some antipasto leftovers and a thermos of broccoli cheese soup from the freezer. I'm keeping my eye out for pretty naturals to bring home and tuck in my fall arrangements.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup
6 cups fresh broccoli
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup flour
2 cups whole milk ( or half and half, or a combo of both)
4 cups very sharp cheddar cheese,  1/2 cup reserved
Pancetta, 6-8 thin slices ( can also use bacon)

Wash and trim broccoli. Do not use tough ends. Rough cut and put in slow cooker. 

In a large frying pan, heat cooking oil and add onions. Cook onions on medium low heat until soft. Add a healthy pinch of salt. Add shreddedcarrots and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add to slow cooker. 
Add chicken stock, pepper, and only if using low sodium stock, 1/2 tsp salt. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Remove 2 cups of cooked vegetables (mostly broccoli) and chop into small pieces, reserve. 
In a bowl, mix flour and milk with a whisk. (I use a large jar with a lid and shake) Add to slow cooker. Grate a little nutmeg (1/8 tsp) and add. Cook on high for 30-45 minutes until thickend. Replace lid and keep closed.
Add cheddar cheese and continue to cook until melted. Replace lid and keep closed.
Using emulsifying blender, blend soup until smooth. You can also use a standard blender and blend in batches. This will make the soup thicker and creamy. Add reserved chopped broccoli and stir.

Shred pancetta and cook in a large skillet until crisp. Use to garnish soup.

Printable Recipe

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I can't wait to see all of your delicious dishes. Thank you for joining ON THE MENU MONDAY! 

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I am participating in FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen's Country Cottage


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