Monday, February 4, 2013

Late Winter

It feels like spring in Texas right now, but I am just waiting for that cold snap to come through and slap us in the face with one last hurrah.  

Beds ready for planting!
Nevertheless, I placed an order for a whole bunch of seeds last Friday.  In January we started working on some of our garden beds when the weather was nice, getting them ready to plant THIS MONTH.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  I am sure I bought way more seeds than I should have, but I just couldn't help myself.  They were just begging me to purchase them and plant them and let them grow into delicious food right. in. my. own. backyard.

Last Saturday my husband dug up the overgrown bushes in our front yard with the help of his brother. (Thank you, dear!)  We are going to plant blueberry bushes in their place.  YUM!  Weather-permitting we will start our planting this weekend.
Soon to be home for blueberry bushes!
I can hardly wait!!!

In the meantime February looks like it will be a continuation of January's menu plan with a few additions.  I realized soon after posting the menu for January that I had three very similar soup recipes in my menu plan.  While my family are not overly picky eaters, the redundancy would have been overkill, so I added a few more recipes to the plan:

Beef Stroganoff

Twice Baked Potatoes

Pork/Sausage with Crock Pot Braised Red Cabbage & Apples

Chicken Enchiladas

Black Bean or Lentil Casserole

Make-Your-Own Taco Salad (with black beans)

Finally, I'm sharing the Lentil Soup recipe I promised a while back.  Since lentils do not have to be soaked, this recipe often becomes a go-to recipe for me when I forget to prep something in advance.  We like to eat this soup served over brown rice with a salad or cut up veggies.  Enjoy!

Lentil Soup
(adapted from

  • 1 lb dry lentils (brown or green)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or a can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced (optional)
  • Spike Seasoning or thyme, marjoram, oregano, and basil to taste (I add around a 1/4-1/2 t of each)
  • 6-8 C water or broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the lentils according to package directions, then put in slow cooker. Saute onions until almost translucent, then add tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno. Saute just a few minutes more. Add sauteed veggies to lentils, cover with 6-8 cups of water or broth and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for about 10hours. The end result should be a deep brown, thick soup, with the onions, tomatoes and jalapenos barely noticeable.

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