My Mundane Musings

Growing up I longed for the fast paced life of big city life and corporate America. Now I’m a stay at home mom of 4 in a small rural community! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! (At least for now).

Menu Plan Monday – September 29, 2008… September 29, 2008

Filed under: food,menu,recipes — Rebekah Sanders @ 8:00 am

Oh. my. word. I hate Mondays. They make me growly and snarly and I never want to get it. Just a little over a month until the time changes and I’m already dreading it. I need to stock up on the coffee I guess.

A few people have asked about my Sunday meal plans since we always have the same thing. It’s the day we eat leftovers. Some people are shocked when they find out that we don’t have a big family meal on Sunday afternoons (we did yesterday – baked ziti – put it on the calendar, it likely won’t happen again soon). But by the time we get home from church on Sunday afternoons, Chip and I are so tired that the last thing on our mind is making something for lunch. So, we do easy things like sandwiches or even cereal. The kids like it because they can come home and gulp something down and go outside to play with their friends – I mean, it’s been a whole 15 hours or so since they last saw them. How does the world go on? – and Chip and I can eat at our own leisure. Oftentimes, I don’t even eat in the afternoon. A nap is much more appealing. And my husband has mercy on me and we usually go out to eat if we have company on a Sunday. That man deserves an award, y’all!

We ate out twice last week. Friday, I had a migraine. The worst in a long time. We ordered pizza for dinner. And then Saturday, we were out and about well past dinnertime, so we grabbed some McDonalds to eat in the van. So, I still have quesadillas for dinner. I made the ziti yesterday.

Monday – Quesadillas

Tuesday – Beef Stew

Wednesday – Pork Sandwiches at the football field. The last game of the season.

Thursday – Coca Cola Chicken – at Elijah’s request. You can use any seasoning you want, not just onion soup mix.

Friday – Baked Ravioli

Saturday – Chili

Sunday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)

So, what’s on your menu for this week?


Menu Plan Monday – September 22nd… September 22, 2008

Filed under: food,healthy living,life,recipes — Rebekah Sanders @ 8:13 am

It’s early, so forgive me any typos. I just almost typed May 22nd into the title. It was a long night of weird dreams. Crazy weird.

Someone forgot to tell the weather people that today is FALL and they are calling for temps in the mid 80’s all week. I’m ready to start breaking out the fall/winter meals, but it really does need to cool down first. It’s just not the same eating chili or a nice thick soup when it’s so warm outside.

I’ve added a new page to my blog – it has most of the recipes that I’ve posted on my blog in the last year. The ones we actually liked anyway. I really need to go back through the archives, but y’all – there are a LOT of archives. Next month, I’ll celebrate my 7th year of blogging! I’ll get through them all eventually.

Monday – Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes

Tuesday – Shrimp Scampi

Wednesday – Stromboli

Thursday – Sweet & Sour Chicken

Friday – Quesadillas

Saturday – Baked Ziti with garlic bread

Sunday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)

What are you having for dinner this week?


The Omnivore September 15, 2008

Filed under: food,life — Rebekah Sanders @ 4:13 pm
If you routinely travel through the blogosphere, by now you have probably heard of The Omnivore’s Hundred. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a list of 100 items created by Andrew of Very Good Taste; but not just ANY 100 items: these are apparently the 100 items that every Omnivore should taste at least once. I’ve bolded the items I’ve eaten. Crossed out ones I’d never even consider putting in my mouth. And added comments where applicable. 

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison: I grew up in Wisconsin. Where everyone either has a cabin “up north” or is related to/friends with someone who does. Yes, I’ve eaten venison. I do *not* like it.
2. Nettle tea: Tried it. Don’t like it. But it’s tea, so are you really surprised?
3. Huevos rancheros – YUM!
4. Steak tartare – No way. No How.
5. Crocodile – Well, it was alligator.
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue – Did I mention I’m from WISCONSIN?
8. Carp
9. Borscht

10. Baba ghanoush – YES! Love eggplant!
11. Calamari –  YUM.
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich – an all time favorite. Especially on toasted Italian bread from Paielli’s bakery.
14. Aloo gobi – I have no idea what this is.
15. Hot dog from a street cart – Almost as good as a hot dog from a ballpark.
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle – absolutely divine!
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream – hate it!
21. Heirloom tomatoes – YUM-O!
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras: Sounds disgusting, but I’d be willing to give it a taste. Just to say I’d done it.
24. Rice and beans – yep, red beans, black beans. LOVE it!
25. Brawn, or head cheese – yes, I’ve tried head cheese. ICK!
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper – I have no idea what this is either
27. Dulce de leche – Yes! YUM!
28. Oysters – yes. disgusting. 
29. Baklava – if you’ve never had this, you are missing out!
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas – just reading that made my tastebuds cringe.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl – Hate clam chowder. I try it every now and then. I don’t like clams.
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut – yuck!
35. Root beer float: Love root beer floats. Love Dr. Pepper floats more.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea – I’d try it, but wouldn’t like it. That whole tea thing again.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O 
39. Gumbo – oh I love me a good gumbo!!!
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat – a bit greasy. I prefer curried chicken.
42. Whole insects – not on purpose, but yes.
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk – yes, not a big fan.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel – I would try this though.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut – No explanation necessary.
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear YUM!
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. ICK!
56. Spaetzle Yes. Wonderful!
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine – YES! After many recommendations from my Canadian friends.
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores – it’s almost un-American to not eat them.
62. Sweetbreads – someone tricked me into eating this and I almost threw up!
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs – my dad *loved* these
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake – YUM!
68. Haggis – ICK!
69. Fried plantain – yum!
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe 
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill – um, I once ate deer someone had hit with their car and killed. In some states, they’ll let you haul it in for butchering.
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – I lived on these things in high school
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini – this is served at a lot of Italian weddings instead of champagne for the toast. I’m sure I had it once or twice when I was young.
81. Tom yum 
82. Eggs Benedict – not a huge fan of the hollandaise
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare – as in rabbit? Yes.
87. Goulash
88. Flowers – they were on a cake at a wedding I went to.
89. Horse- I haven’t but Chip’s dad has. Ask him about it sometime. rofl
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam – My mom loves this stuff. YUCK!!
92. Soft shell crab – love me some crab!
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta – definitely.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake



Goop on my hands… September 10, 2008

Filed under: family,food,healthy living,life,Nifty Stuff,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 11:22 am

I love to cook. Really. Hate my kitchen, but still love to cook. Especially after discovering vinyl gloves!

We went to a friends house for dinner one night and as we walked in, she was chopping garlic and had gloves on her hand. Not big gloves like dishwashing/cleaning gloves (do those things make anyone else’s hands sweat like they do mine?), but latex/vinyl gloves like doctors wear.

My mind screamed BRILLIANT! And starting racing with the possibilities.

So, I went out and bought a box. They were buy the first aid supplies at my Target. And now I find myself using them almost daily.

I use them any time I have to do anything with dough. I don’t even have to take my rings off anymore. I use them any time I have to handle raw meat with my hands. I use them any time I might otherwise find myself washing my hands over and over and over again while I prepare a meal.

And you know how it is – as soon as you get your hands dirty, one of the kids needs you. The phone rings. There is a knock at the door. When you’re wearing gloves, you simply pull them off and go! GENIUS!!!

What’s your favorite kitchen tip?


Menu Plan Monday – September 8th… September 8, 2008

Filed under: family,food,healthy living,kids,life,marriage,menu,recipes — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:56 am

Well, Chip threw his back out last week, so we never ate any of the meals that required grilling. That’s right – we’ve been married 12 years and I’ve never once been forced to endure the grilling. Chip enjoys it and I enjoy letting him! rofl Hopefully we’ll get to those meals towards the end of the week.

I’m going to try letting the kids cook with me more often. If nothing else, they can help with side dishes. I’ve heard one story too many lately about people who just don’t know how to cook. There was a time when I was convinced that I couldn’t cook. It just wasn’t a talent that I picked up on as I was growing up. But I’m learning. Chip and the kids even tell me that I’m an excellent cook and request food all the time. I never thought I’d get to that point. Seriously, I couldn’t even boil water successfully at one point. So. not. kidding.

So, I know if I can cook, then my kids can definitely learn to cook. And I figure I might as well teach them when they are still at an age where they *want* to help me. So, for the most part, my menu this week is kid friendly and has stuff they can do to help me…

Monday – Black & Blue Nachos

Tuesday – Homemade gnocchi with marinara sauce and cheese sauce (or both I suppose) and garlic bread

Wednesday – We’ll eat out this day because of football

Thursday – Grilled pork steak

Friday –  Shrimp lettuce wraps and/or springrolls

Saturday – Garlicky Grilled Orange Chicken

Sunday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigator Night)

How do you involve your kids in helping prepare your main meal? Or do you just let them do the dishes?


Apples, apples everywhere… September 6, 2008

Filed under: food,friends,fun,life,recipes — Rebekah Sanders @ 9:14 am

And I’m not talking about the computer! (Although, if someone out there were to want to gift me a MacBook I definitely wouldn’t complain).

Chip’s dad brought me about 2 bushels of apples. My kids have eaten about 1/2 a bushel. I’ve made applesauce. And apple bread.

And this apple bread? Y’all, it’s like I got a little taste of heaven when we tried it! Oh. my. word. It’s really *that* good! And I will so completely blame my friend Suzanne for giving me the recipe when I gain 30 pounds because my family is insisting that I make it again. Very, very soon.

So, without further ado, for your gastronomical pleasure, I present…

Suzanne’s Apple Bread

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
2 cups chopped apples

Mix all together and spread into a greased 8×4 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes. 

I went a step further and put a glaze on it since we were having it for dessert. After it was done baking, I moved it to a cooling rack. I mixed together 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar (that’s just plain powdered sugar for those of you who don’t like to get all fancy) and about 2 tablespoons of water until it was thin and pourable. Then I poured that over the bread and let it all cool.

I’ll be making it again very soon.


Rain, rain, go away… September 4, 2008

Filed under: family,food,kids,weather — Rebekah Sanders @ 3:56 pm

So, Hurricane Gustav has made it’s way to the Midwest. It pushed it’s way up and started DUMPING water on us yestrday afternoon. We got about a 2 hour break yesterday – right during football practice – and came back with winds and rain. And oh. my. word. with the rain already!

Have I mentioned recently that our basement is *not* waterproofed? Thankfully experience has led us to a place where we try to keep things up off the floor down there. Still makes for a mess though.

And my kids? They are about to drive me insane! After a summer of glorious weather that found them wanting to be outside even more than normal, they are not used to being cooped up in the house. I think we need to invest in a hamster wheel for them. Those kids? Especially the boys. They need a place to run!

Thankfully, with this rain, comes cooler weather. I *should* be able to open the windows tomorrow. Which should induce some supernatural desire within to clean. Notice I said should. Not would. But I’m going to try. And I’m able to pull out some old favorites for dinner. Instead of the garlicky orange chicken that was on my menu, I’ve got my stock pot going and we’ll be having some good old fashioned chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight. My Gram would be proud.