Thursday, October 21

company's comin'!

so, it's official: i'm hosting my very first thanksgiving ever!!!!!

my family is coming in from north carolina & texas to spend thanksgiving here at the casteel casa! i am so excited! of all my family's traditions, the ones we enjoy during the thanksgiving respite are my favorites. this is partially because on top of celebrating thanksgiving, we also put up the tree & enjoy all my favorite of our xmas traditions, too.

now, the scary part is the looooooong to-do list that i place upon myself to get the casa into ship-shape before they arrive.  i have four weeks & counting, so i've broken down my to-do list by week. this also pretty much coincides with my holiday preparation to-do list, so yay - two birds, one stone!

four-week plan:
week 1 - clean & straighten
week 2 - deep clean & organize
week 3 - special projects
week 4 - decorate & clean

Monday, October 18

menu plan monday

shaun's finishing harvest this week, so hopefully we're back to a semi-normal schedule!  oven still isn't fixed, but we're hoping to have that done soon!

monday - pot roast with carrots & potatoes, salad
tuesday - OUT [dinner with a friend]
wednesday - black bean & sweet potato quesadillas
thursday - turkey burgers, corn
friday - sweet potato hash
saturday - corn dogs, veggie sticks, baked beans
sunday - LIFE GROUP [bringing dessert, tbd]

Tuesday, October 5

the casteel cafe is OPEN!

i've finally launched the casteel cafe blog! i've been considering this for a while since one of my most common posts here on the casteel casa is "menu plan monday." now, i can link up recipes to my menu plans in case anyone else is interested.

i love to cook, but i rarely have significant time to indulge in this hobby. most of my recipes are 30-minute meals & prepared on the stovetop. i love spicy food & anything that seems like an odd combination. for these reasons, i'm a huge rachael ray fan. you will notice that many of my recipes are modified from hers. i almost never make anything exactly the way the recipe says! i use what i have on hand & what we enjoy. experimenting is half the fun of cooking!

occasionally, i will post more elaborate recipes/meals that i usually reserve for company. and i love a good party, so i'll go all out for theme menus, too.  but overall, my repertoire is simple, easy, & quick! i hope you take a moment to hop on over to the casteel cafe, & enjoy!

Monday, October 4

menu plan monday

it's autumn - my favorite season! [granted, it feels more like winter here than fall, but it's still pretty outside when seen from the warmth of my home or car!] this is my favorite time of year for menu planning. i have a whole list of fun fall foods that i pick from throughout october & november. i still haven't had my oven replaced, & since so many autumn dishes are baked, i'm newly motivated to get that taken care of. and shaun's busy with harvest. this means needing meals that are hearty & filling & able to be kept warm till whenever he gets home [or whipped up quickly when he arrives].  so, with all that in mind, here is this week's specials at the casteel cafe!

monday - black bean stoup with grilled cheese
tuesday - orange chicken salad
wednesday - butternut squash quesadillas
thursday - sweet potato hash with fried eggs
friday - y.u.m.
saturday - pork chops, green beans, applesauce
sunday - LIFE group

y.u.m. = yesterdays' uneaten meals