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Friday, September 30, 2016

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for late September


Leftover pumpkin-bean soup
Whole wheat bread and butter
Fresh apples
Brownies (using this recipe, but baking in 350 F oven for about 22 minutes or until done)


More leftover pumpkin-bean soup
Kale and cheddar biscuits (standard scratch drop biscuit recipe, with fine-chopped kale, onion powder and grated cheddar added to dough, then after baking, brushing with garlic butter)
Apple wedges


Brown rice, topped with
Black beans, ground beef, canned tomatoes, beet greens, onions and seasonings


Leftover black beans, beef, vegetables and rice (last night's dinner combined into a casserole)
Fresh tomatoes on the side


Leftover black bean and rice casserole, topped with cheddar
Fruit salad of apples, pears, bananas, dried cranberries, with a peanut butter and jelly salad dressing


Roasted turkey
Mashed potatoes
Canned green beans
Fresh tomatoes


Leftover turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes
Puree of carrots, onions and pumpkin
Apple wedges
Tofu spring rolls (my husband brought a few home)
Pumpkin snack cake with cream cheese icing

So this is the first week that I've posted a menu reflecting a whole lotta leftovers. It's working for me, and no one is complaining. I haven't heard anything on my blood work, yet. My head is throbbing today. My neck hurts. Cooking sounds like the last thing I want to do.

The turkey should last through the weekend, and give us some frozen leftovers, as well. I think frozen turkey tastes best if it's sliced and frozen the first day or maybe second after roasting, instead of allowing it to linger in the fridge for a few days before freezing. So, last night, I sliced a good share of it and have it stashed for future meals. It'll make picking apart the turkey over the weekend, an easier chore, too.

The pumpkin snack cake is a really great recipe, and very apropos to the season. The recipe is versatile, and has a few variations. You mix the cake in the baking dish. It has no eggs and no milk. I'll type it up over the weekend and post it for you, as I really think it's a good one for quick and easy meals, with or without icing. (And this being Cheap & Cheerful -- a nice cake certainly cheers me up!)

I have a new favorite tea that I've been sipping. It's ordinary black tea, with a few whole cloves, some orange juice and a bit of honey (not to be confused with Bit o' Honey -- but that might be tasty, too!).

Thank you so much for all of your nice and thoughtful comments the other day. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them. I wasn't at all expecting such an outpouring of kindness. Thank you! And to those of you struggling with your own health issues, I really empathize and wish you well. It just stinks to not feel well!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back on Monday!


  1. Sounds like a great week, menu plan wise. I'd appreciate the pumpkin cake recipe, when you have time to post it. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Carol,
      I'll type up the snack cake recipe, over the weekend. It really is a good one, quick easy, and minimal clean-up. Have a great weekend!

  2. Even with all of the leftovers, which are not the norm for you, your menu sounds great. I like the idea of putting chopped kale into the biscuits. I'm sure it wasn't that much, but every little bit of extra nutrition you can stick in here and there helps.

    Sorry about your throbbing head and exhaustion. I can relate. I've had two migraines this week. I think the weather is not my friend in this regard. Hope you feel better soon. I am pretty confident that you have something that can be easily treated like a thyroid imbalance.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      You're right , it wasn't that much kale. I think 3 medium-sized leaves, finely chopped, for a batch of biscuits that used 1 1/2 cups of flour. This would work with spinach or any other green that needs using up.

      I am hoping so, too. This is the second time I've had my thyroid tested. It would make the most sense, to me, from reading a description of how people with hypo-thyroid feel. And it would be relatively simple to treat, which is the ideal.

      In any case, I think I'm at a point in my life where I want some changes to what I do each day, beginning with meal prep. Thanks for your support.

      Have a great weekend, live and learn!

    2. When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism, my numbers were in the upper end of normal--usually a range that they did not treat. However, I had all of the symptoms, so the doctor started me on medicine. I took longer than normal to figure out the right dosage (a year), but things did get better.

    3. Thanks for sharing this, live and learn. It's helpful to know someone else has been through the same, or similar, experiences.

  3. Your meals still sound delicious, Lili. I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. I hope you feel better real soon. Take it easy this weekend.

    1. Thank you, Mary. It really helps that we had some fresh produce from the garden to supplement the leftovers.

      I have some fun stuff to do over the weekend, which is always refreshing! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too!

  4. You don't have mono do you? My son over a week ago had body aches, pain in the back of his neck and a low grade fever. He then got a nice virus that made swallowing almost impossible. We had to take him to the er and get a steroid to stop the swelling. Hope you get relief soon. Cheryl

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I hope your son is starting to feel a bit better, now. I know it takes a long time to get over mono. My best girlfriend had it senior year in high school, and it seemed like forever she was out of classes and sleeping most of the day. Mono can be quite serious.

      I don't think I have mono as my throat is okay. I just have a sore spot on my neck near my ear (and my ears look clear, too, so go figure on that one). After a while, even I begin to think I'm making all of this up! LOL! Then I have to remind myself that this is different from how I've felt just 6 or 9 months ago. Than you for your well wishes.
      Have a wonderful weekend, Cheryl!

  5. Another great week of interesting and nutritious meals, Lili. Kudos! :) That first picture of the pumpkin cake is so appetizing! (I love "snack" cakes and quick breads.) I also liked the sound of the puree of carrots, onion and pumpkin. :)

    Enjoy your weekend's activities, and keep hanging in there! Sara :)

    1. Hi Sara,
      oh the carrot, onion and pumpkin puree was so good that I "hid" the leftovers to that in the garage fridge for my lunch today!! I could eat that every day. I should try something along those lines with other veggies. It could be good! And the pumpkin cake -- I had two pieces!

      Have a great weekend, Sara!

    2. I've done carrot, parsnip, and potatoes together, and it was yummy. I think the onion must be fabulous, though. How about some herbs? I've done cooked sliced carrots with butter and fresh rosemary. Wonder if you could add some fresh herb and boost the flavors even more in the puree? Hmmm... things to consider!!! I have fresh rosemary growing in a color pot and some carrots, pumpkin, onions, and potatoes in the house!

      Sara :)

      PS... The "prove you're not a robot" has been easier lately. Hooray!

    3. The onion is a favorite with me, for flavor in carrot puree. I add fresh onion, and then afterwards a bit of onion powder. I think it could be made "more gourmet" by adding some herbs or spices. I think ground cumin added at the end, or whole caraway would be delicious with the carrots. With leafy greens, a puree with a bit of potato, leafy greens and lots of garlic would be good.

      I'm glad the robot-thing is working better.

    4. Yummy ideas, thank you! Caraway, YUM! :) Do you cook the onion first? I was thinking maybe sauteed in butter with some salt and cracked pepper before pureeing sounded tasty. And, ooooooo, just was thinking, how about sauteed fennel for the puree? Every once in a while I get a yen for fennel root, but usually I just slice some thinly onto pizza like you would onions. That might go well with both the carrot and pumpkin flavors, though.

      I was relieved about the robot-thing, too. I was starting to feel sort of dumb. LOL Hugs-- Sara

    5. In the past, I've sauteed the onion in butter, first. This time, I was lazy and just tossed the onion quarters into the pot with the carrot chunks and steamed until soft. I do think browning the onion first improves the flavor.

      Fennel would be great, too. I've seen recipes for carrots and fennel, combined, so I think it would be delicious.

      Ha ha about the robot thing. Sometimes the blog "stuff" malfunctions, and I have no way to fix it. Very frustrating! But you are most certainly NOT dumb! Sometimes, blogger won't let me answer a comment on my own blog. Crazy!
      Have a great weekend!

    6. Ooooooo, steamed together would give you great flavor, too.

      As for the blog mechanics, I always say technology is wonderful, except when it isn't! ;)

      You enjoy your weekend, too! Sara

  6. Oh, Lili, I'm sad that you're not well. I know the feeling of just now feeling good! I also should go to the dr. but we keep getting bills that I just keep postponing making an appointment.

    Turkey with gravy--I happen to like the kind that is frozen in the aluminum rectangle with gravy that has to cook for two hours. I would love to make that from scratch but I have no idea how. I love the taste of the turkey and gravy with mashed potatoes! How can that cook for two hours and not burn the gravy? I could eat that right now.

    Get well, Lili.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Thank you for the well wishes, Alice. I'm feeling like maybe this is something that can easily be treated/addressed, and I can get on with life. One of those nuisances that happens to us, eventually.

      I hope you do make an appt for yourself to see the doctor. Even if money is tight, with other bills, taking care of your health is important on many levels. Good health allows you to work and earn money to pay bills, but it also allows you to enjoy your life fully.

      Healthcare should never be an optional expense. (I know, I had it as an optional budget area for myself for a long, long time. I could have been feeling much better by now if I'd only made myself, and my health, a priority before now.)

      You have medical insurance, right? So, use it. With your husband's surgery this past year, wouldn't that mean that you may be close to your family's deductible for 2016? Seeing a doctor might not be as expensive as you think. It may alleviate some of your financial fears about seeing a Dr, to check on insurance and see how close you are to a family deductible. Anyways, I'm praying for you to feel better.

      The turkey with gravy was/is very good. I made myself a turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy sandwich for lunch yesterday. Heavy on the starch, but soooo good.

      Take care of yourself, Alice. Have a great weekend.

  7. Lili,
    Your menu looks good. The snack cake sounds yum. The carrots,pumpkin,onion puree! I am totally stealing this
    idea. I have pumpkin from last year. Praying you feel better and know whats wrong soon. Your Turkey dinner is calling my name. It really seems like fall at your house. Soon the days will be shorter and you can get some much needed down time. Sorry your head hurts.I pray in Jesus name you feel better. Enjoy your day.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Thank you for the prayers. I'm feeling better this afternoon. I took some advil at the first sign of pain, today, and that made a difference. Still just waiting for test results.

      It smelled like fall at our house!! The carrot puree was so delicious. Up until last November, I had to do purees in the food processor. It is so much easier with the immersion blended I bought last year. Enjoy your veggie puree! I'm now thinking lots of veggies might be very delicious prepared like this.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Patti!

  8. I think your meals are wonderful with good variety in the side dishes. As you said, the garden is a great help with that regard. Almost feels like we have our own produce stand in the back yard. We're still eating leftover Kalua pig with cabbage, a local easy favorite, but the assortment of vegetable side dishes that we serve every dinner make it seem more buffet-like in spread, even as we have the same main entree for several days.

    I really hope you will feel better soon. You have done so much for others, constantly, as seen with your dedication to readers of your blog, I think your body is telling you that you need change, where you can take some much needed time to give yourself lots of very good care. The good news is it's coming....your duty and commitment to your family will be less as your children need less from you, your volunteerism with church and friends can be lightened as needed, your blog commitment can lighten too, maybe every other day instead of five days per week, and eventually you will start thinking of taking care of yourself as your main duty and priority. Because as we age, I think that is the progression. I will be extremely satisfied if I can do only that for as long as I can, until one day when I can no longer do even that for myself, and someone has to take care of me. Could this be where your feelings are heading?

    Take a good rest this weekend, count your many blessings and have fun!!


    1. Hi YHF,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and wisdom. There is a natural progression to life. As a mother, I feel myself leaving a part of that role behind, and allowing my kids to manage their own lives (meaning butt out more often). It's funny how that feels so sudden, but really it's been in the works for several years.

      Today is a good day. And I am thankful for that. I had an appointment in the morning which was helpful. I took advil early in the day, so my neck isn't hurting now. The sun is shining and it's at a lovely early autumn angle, so the light is gentle. It's a good day.

      Every time I read your "Kalua pork", my mind thinks "Kahlua pork". So I imagine it to be made with the liqueur that is coffee flavored over pork. Ha ha! Then I remind myself that your kalua pork is a much different dish. I did look up kalua pork, once and saw that it's a sort of slow cooker pork dish (whether in an earthen pit or done in the crockpot). Much different! I love the idea of a buffet-like spread.

      Have a great weekend, YHF!

  9. I'm confused. Everyone keeps referring to the carrot onion puree but I can't find it and am wondering if that was the basis for your Pumpkin bean soup. Am I correct in thinking that. Sure hope you find some answer soon and pray that you will begin to feel better soon.
    I have fibro and so I definitely know what happens when you aren't feeling well but don't know the reason or what to do to make yourself better.Have a great weekend and do something just for yourself

    1. Hi Susan,
      The puree was on Thursday night. These little details, of less than 1 line, get lost in a long post. I had cooked up some garden carrots, with some onion and some pumpkin puree, to serve as a side dish last night. It was very yummy.

      Gosh, I'm so sorry you have fibro. That's a tough one. I hope you take very good care of yourself, always. I'm hoping to do something crafty this weekend, for a fun thing. Plus read a novel in the evenings.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Susan!


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