Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eat Write Menu Days 26-30

Pilgrim Cat, by Carol Peacock and Doris Ettlinger

2014 Eat Write Writers' Menu

Below you'll find the meals for the last week of November. You can still carve out extra time for writing amid your pre-Thanksgiving frenzy. You're in the home stretch. Don't give up!

A New Look At Thanksgiving
If this is your first visit, you'll find tips and instructions on How Not To Starve During PiBoIdMo where you'll also find kitchen staples to complete the meal plan.
Just a reminder that many recipes can be found in their original states on my Writers' Menu Pinterest Board.

Assuming you're following the full menu, I've made a printable version of the shopping list and the information below, in case you don't want to keep referring back to this post.
Don't forget, the numbers in brackets following the grocery item tell you which day the ingredient will be needed. Use the numbers if you've deviated from the Writers' Menu selections.

Thanksgiving is Here!, by Diane Goode

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or constructive comments.
I'm thankful for this great community of writers. Have a fabulous holiday!

This is the Turkey

Writers' Recipes November 26-30

[26] Garlic Shrimp & Pasta, courtesy Food Network
20 to 25 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, about 1-1/4 pounds
2 tsp olive oil
4 Tbl unsalted butter, divided
1 Tbl minced garlic
1/2 cup white cooking wine or broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb cooked pasta

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over high heat. 
  • Spread shrimp in single layer in heated pan. 
  • Cook 2 minutes. Flip.  
  • Add garlic to the pan and cook about 30 seconds. 
  • Add wine, lemon juice, lemon zest and remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook 1-1/2 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Add pasta. Toss to combine. 
Complete the meal:
Serve with broccoli and garlic bread.

[27] Happy Thanksgiving!
Need more creative ideas? You can find 102 interesting Thanksgiving side dishes on Southern Living.

[28] French Bread Pizza, courtesy Finding Joy In My Kitchen
2 loaves French Bread
12 oz tomato paste
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups mozzarella cheese

  • Slice loaves into thirds lengthwise, and then in half to create thick slices.
  • Top each with tomato paste, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  • Top as desired. Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Broil 5-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Complete the meal:
Add a side of applesauce.

Note: You may need to start tomorrow's dinner in the slow cooker, depending on your amount of leftovers.

 [29] Turkey and Sweet Potato Leftover Casserole, courtesy Kalyn's Kitchen

Note:  If using raw ground turkey, follow the recipe link above. 
If using cooked sweet potatoes, after cooking onion, combine all ingredients on stovetop. Heat to boiling; simmer 20 minutes. Keep warm in slow cooker, if desired.

leftover turkey
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces 
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbl brown sugar
2 Tbl Chili Garlic Sauce
2 tsp minced ginger 
2 tsp minced garlic
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup sliced green onions

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray. 
  • Saute onions in olive oil until soft, about 4-5 minutes. 
  • Add onions and sweet potatoes to slow cooker. 
  • Mix together soy sauce, chicken stock, sugar, brown sugar, Chili Garlic Sauce, minced ginger, and minced garlic. Pour into slow cooker. 
  •  Cook on high 2 1/2 hours. 
  • When the sweet potatoes are starting to fall apart, add the turkey, coconut milk, and green onion.
  • Turn heat to low, and cook 30 minutes more.
Complete the meal:
Serve with rice, corn, and green beans, or leftover vegetables from Thanksgiving dinner.

Note: Thaw steaks in refrigerator overnight.

[30] Steak Dinner, courtesy Stockpiling Moms
2-3 Ribeye Steaks
1 bottle of Steak Sauce
Steak Seasoning
8-10 red potatoes
4-6 ears of corn
Sea salt

  • Place steaks into bottom of slow cooker.
  • Heavily sprinkle steak seasoning of your choice.
  • Pour approximately ¾ cup steak sauce over steaks.
  • Top steaks with a sheet of  aluminum foil.
  • Spritz the top with cooking spray.
  • Place a layer of red potatoes on the foil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Add another layer of foil and cover the potatoes tightly to form a seal, allowing potatoes to steam.
  • Butter corn. Add salt and pepper. Roll tightly in aluminum foil.
  • Place on top of  potatoes in foil.
  • Cover and cook 6-7 hours on low.
Complete the meal:
Serve with a side of peas or leftover vegetables from Thanksgiving dinner.

The Memory Cupboard
Congratulations! You've arrived!

I hope these simple family favorites have left you plenty of time to prepare for Thanksgiving. Holidays are made for celebrating, not stressing out! Thanks for sticking with it.

May the time with family and friends inspire many new picture book seeds.

Friday, November 21, 2014

PPBF: The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Book

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

A Thanksgiving counting story
by Laura Krauss Melmed and Mark Buehner
This First Thanksgiving Day
Written by Laura Krauss Melmed
Illustrated by Mark Buehner
HarperCollins, 2001
ages 4-6

1 Dressed in linen,
sitting in a tree,
dreaming of the tall, strong ship
on which he crossed the sea.

2 Dressed in deerskin,
gathering nuts below,
giggling as they tiptoe by,
too shy to say hello.

Holiday, Counting, Historical

This simple Thanksgiving counting book alternates between Pilgrim preparations and those of the Wampanoag. From one to twelve, the gentle rhymes lead the reader from gathering  food to feasting in this colorful picture book for the very young.

What I Love:
This may not be Laura's best book of verse, but  it is still charming and full of historical details. It's a perfect book to count down to the Thanksgiving holiday, to halt the headlong rush into Christmas for a moment of genuine gratitude.

Mark's illustrations are playful, and he packs them full of the details little readers will want to study. He includes animals to count, hidden pictures, and an elusive turkey on every page. Can you spot the cat hidden on the cover pictured above?

1. The book's hidden pictures and historical elements beg to be discussed.
2. Learn the history of the Wampanoag nations.
3.  Use a fun PDF from the USGS on animal tracks and casting them in plaster (like number 6 in the book!)
4. Cook up a clam stew (like number 8) from Taste of Home.
5. Weave your own upcycled paper basket (like number 10 in the book!) from Instructibles.
6. For a change of pace, try this cranberry pistachio biscotti recipe from All Recipes.
7. Check out these and other Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Julie
Reviewed by Penny
Reviewed by Erik
Reviewed by Susanna

Did you find the hidden cat?
Hint: It's upside down!
Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for November 21, 2014 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Eating Write Recipes Days 18-25

Pre-Thanksgiving Writers' Recipes

Below you'll find the meals for the coming week. Between your writing goals and your holiday preparations, I'm sure you are pressed for time. The upcoming meals are pretty basic. If you've been following along,  much of the work should already be done. Here's hoping you stay productive this week (and stay well-fed)!

Correction: I forgot to add a meat to the shopping list for Day 21's stir fry. Pick up 1.5 lbs of chicken or pork, or throw in leftover Teriyaki chicken from Day 19. I am SO sorry. The list is corrected now, if you haven't shopped yet. Thanks for your flexibility.

If this is your first visit, you'll find tips and instructions on How Not To Starve During PiBoIdMo
All the ingredients needed for this list can be found on yesterday's post.
You should have frozen pot roast for Day 18, teriyaki chicken for Day 19, and chili for Day 25.
Just a reminder that many recipes can be found in their original states on my Writers' Menu Pinterest Board.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or constructive comments.
Note: The numbers in [brackets] correspond to the dates on the meal planning calendar.
I've made a printable version of the information below, in case you don't want to keep referring back to this post.
Thanks for reading!

Writers' Recipes November 18-25

[18] Pot Roast, courtesy EatingWellSpendingLess
Thawed pot roast
6-8 red potatoes, diced
6 raw carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped

  • Place in slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Add chopped carrots, red potatoes, and onion to the crock pot after 2 hours.
Complete the meal:
Serve with (or over) mashed potatoes, with a side of fruit.

Note: Thaw the Teriyaki Chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Or find the recipe here and marinate in refrigerator overnight.

[19] Teriyaki Chicken, courtesy KojoDesigns
Thawed chicken in marinade
Sweet potatoes

  • Prick skins of washed sweet potatoes with fork.
  • Wrap sweet potatoes in foil.
  • Add to 350 degree F oven, (50-60 minutes)
  • Place chicken and marinade in greased baking pan. 
  • Cover. Bake at 350 degrees F 20 - 30 minutes. Uncover. Bake 20 - 30 minutes longer until juices run clear.
Complete the meal:
Serve over rice with a side of peas. Unwrap sweet potatoes. Slip from skins and serve with cinnamon / sugar or brown sugar and butter.

Note: Don't forget to start the slow cooker first thing tomorrow morning.

[20] Chicken Fingers
Frozen chicken fingers
dipping sauce or ketchup

  • Cook chicken according to package directions.
  • Cut celery, carrots, green pepper, and additional veggies into sticks.

Complete the meal: 
Serve veggies with dip and sections of orange for a finger food festival!

Note: Leftover vegetables will be used in tomorrow's stir fry. Cut additional vegetables into uniform pieces, if desired. Refrigerate.

[21] Stir fry
1.5 lbs chicken or pork
leftover raw vegetables, plus additional green pepper, onion, carrot
any canned stir fry vegetable, like baby corn or bamboo shoots
Bottled stir fry sauce.

  • Chunk chicken or pork. Cut veggies into uniform pieces.
  •  Fry meat in small amount of oil. Remove from pan.
  • Line up vegetables according to cooking time. 
  • One at a time, add veggies to skillet. Cook and Stir after each addition. 
  • Stir in bottled sauce. Return meat to pan. Heat through.
Complete the meal: 
Serve over rice with chopsticks!

Note: Thaw hot dogs in refrigerator overnight.

[22] Nacho Cheese Dogs, courtesy Pillsbury
2  12 oz cans Pillsbury Grands Big & Flaky refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (16 rolls)
8 cheese slices 
8 hot dogs
2 Tbl milk
4 cups cheddar tortilla chips, crushed  (about 64 chips)
dipping sauces, if desired

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.
  • Separate each dough into 4 rectangles. 
  • To make each sandwich, place 1 slice of cheese lengthwise down center of dough rectangle; place hot dog lengthwise over cheese. Fold short sides of dough up over hot dog. Fold one long side of rectangle up over hot dog, rolling dough to form tube with cheese and hot dog inside.
  • Using pastry brush, brush milk over each wrapped hot dog. Roll each in crushed chips; place seam side down on cookie sheet.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with dipping sauces.
Complete the meal:
Serve with macaroni and cheese, apple slices, and pickles for a kid-friendly favorite.

Note: Check the fridge! There should be enough leftovers for a full meal tomorrow.

[23] Leftover night
leftover odds and ends
Ramen noodles

  • Supplement leftover night with Ramen noodles, or add random meat and veggies to cooked noodle soup for a change of pace.
Note: Thaw bacon in refrigerator overnight.

[24] Pancake Breakfast
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1.5 cups whole milk
6 Tbl oil
3 cups flour
3 Tbl sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp salt

  • Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs.
  • Beat in buttermilk, milk, and oil. 
  • Add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  • Let rest 5 minutes.
  • Lightly grease a griddle or pan. 
  • Ladle approximately 1/2 cup of batter into griddle.
  • Flip when pancake fluffs and bubbles form. brown second side.
  • Remove and keep warm.
Complete the meal: 
Top with butter and syrup. Fry the bacon and serve with side of grapes.

Note: Thaw chili in the refrigerator overnight.

[25] Chili
refrigerated chili

  • Reheat chili to boiling
  • Simmer 15-30 minutes to blend flavors.
  • Meanwhile prepare cornbread.
Complete the meal: 
Serve with cornbread and an optional salad.

I hope these simple family favorites have left you plenty of time to prepare for Thanksgiving. Holidays are made for celebrating, not stressing out!  
That leaves just five more meals on the Writers' Menu. I'll combine the last shopping list and recipes into one post later this week. Thanks for sticking with it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shopping List for Eat Write Menu Days 18-25

The menu suggestions for this week are pretty basic. With Thanksgiving coming here in the U.S. you probably have lots of other preparations, so we have to minimize meal prep and empty our refrigerators. I hope the menus, shopping lists, and recipes have been a huge help in de-stressing both your holidays and your writing times. Drop me a line in anytime. I'd love to hear how you're juggling your responsibilities.

Need a good book to put you in the holiday mood?
Check out my review of Cranberry Thanksgiving.
2014 Eat Write Writers' Menu

Late to the party? Start here. You can still carve out extra time for writing amid your pre-Thanksgiving frenzy. Visit my Writers' Menu pinboard anytime you need a meal idea.

Assuming you're following the full menu, I've compiled a shopping list for days 18-25. You'll need to get these items by Monday so you can pop everything into the slow cooker by Tuesday morning. Double check the kitchen staples listed on How Not To Starve During PiBoIdMo, if you need to.

Just a reminder the Pot roast (Day 18), Teriyaki Chicken (Day 19), and Chili (Day 25) should be prepped and in the freezer by now, making this week's cooking a breeze! 

Don't forget, the numbers in brackets following the grocery item tell you which day the ingredient will be needed. Use the numbers if you make several small trips during the week, or if you've deviated from the Writers' Menu selections.

Special Note! Thanksgiving prep will be in full swing, so I've planned to use a bunch of convenience foods:
Day 18, I opt for mashed potato flakes and canned fruit.
Day 20, I use Tyson frozen chicken fingers, but help yourself to the freezable recipe from America's Test Kitchen, if you like. Buy veggie dip, or the ingredients to make your own.
On Day 21 I have chosen to use a bottled stir fry sauce. If you have a favorite sauce recipe, please leave it in the comments section or drop me an email. I'd love to try it.
Okay, I admit it. I resort to boxed macaroni and cheese on Day 22. Thanksgiving is coming; forgive me.
Ramen noodles supplement the leftovers on Day 23. What would PiBoIdMo be without them?
I use a cornbread mix on Day 25, because mine always comes out too dry and crumby.

Photo courtesy Sherry Smith-Noble,
 the Examiner
No matter how busy, I cook pancakes from scratch: 
Day 24 calls for the pancake recipe handed down from my grandmother. It's easier than you think. Make a note to buy mix if you opt out.

Shopping lists today, recipes tomorrow.
We're in the home stretch.
May all your picture book ideas be fabulous!

Friday, November 14, 2014

PPBF: This Land Is Your Land

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Book and Cd by Woody Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen

This Land Is Your Land
Written by Woody Guthrie
Illustrated by Kathy Jakobsen
Little Brown, 1998
ages 4 and up

Music, Patriotism, Activism, Biography, Folk Art

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway.

Produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's famous song, this picture book features the complete lyrics to "This Land Is Your Land", a CD with nine of Guthrie's songs for children, and select lyrics to more than a dozen additional songs.  The forward by his daughter, Nora, details the making of the book. The afterward by Pete Seeger chronicles the history of the song itself. Folk Artist Kathy Jakobsen includes people and places which played an important role in Woody Guthrie's life. The last spread is a tri-fold pull-out  with a two page biography of the singer / songwriter.

What I Love:
This book goes beyond the obvious images evoked by this famous folk song, delving into the history of both the country and the singer.  It provides a splendid opportunity to talk about the dust bowl, the activism of the 60s, the civil rights movement, folk art, patriotism, the Great Depression, community service, immigration, and much more.

I love how the publisher chose a modern folk artist to illustrate the lyrics, and how she brought so much depth to the book, making it a biography instead of solely a tribute. My favorite detail is the use of tramp art motifs on the page borders. And, hey . . . fold-outs and a CD? What's not to love!

Memories of the Veteran,
by Nick Quijano Torres
1. Visit the Woody Guthrie Archives, online or in person.
2. Folk Art Revealed offers terrific lesson plans for grades K - 12.
3. For more art exposure, visit the American Folk Art Museum in New York.
4. Lesson has some suggestions for children to compose their own music.
5. Bill Moyers examines the history of migrant workers in America on PBS.
6. Learn more about America's dust bowl from the History Channel online.
7. Find an overview of the Great Depression on Digital History's website.
8. Make a difference in your community. Volunteer at a local charity, or find your cause at VolunteerMatch.
9. The U. S. Department of Education has selected a list of books which will make children better citizens, including This Land Is Your Land.
10. I couldn't possibly list all the Perfect Picture Books which could be used as companions to this book. I've chosen a few about American geography, music, and folk artists. Check them out at your local library.

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Reviewed by Joanna
Reviewed by Kirsten
Reviewed by Salaamu

book and CD about
musical composition
and the orchestra
Reviewed by Barbara

Reviewed by Julie

Reviewed by Erik

Reviewed by Clar

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for November 14, 2014 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.