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Hi, I'm Karen but I'm better known around the web as Sassymonkey. Most days you can find me on Twitter and at BlogHer.com where I am a Community Moderator. Find out more.

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Monday
Dec222014

Meal Plan Monday December 22: The Christmas Edition

I can't believe Christmas is this week. Wasn't it just December 1? Heck, wasn't it just September? This year seems to have flown by.

I think we're ready for Christmas. We still have a few gifts to wrap but we finished shopping awhile ago (thank goodness). I have one gift to finish making. We have to clean. I should probably change my chalkboard wall since it's still sporting some summer chalkboard art. We have a plan for Christmas dinner. We have a plan for the whole week.

Meal Plan Monday December 22 | Sassymonkey.ca

Sunday: Beef fajitas. Mostly made because we had a bunch of bell peppers in the fridge to use and Lee had been to the Lone Star recently and that always makes me think of fajitas.

Monday: H'Mac but instead of macaroni we're going to use mini ravioli. (Yes, we're essentially making our own Chef Boyardee.)

Tuesday: Clean out everything from the fridge that is not needed for Christmas. Eat all the things! If by some chance we don't have leftovers, maybe we'll order in. Or we have a bunch of frozen appetizers in the freezer. We could always make those.

Wednesday: Tourtiere. We usually do Chinese take-out but it's just Lee and I this year and we already have a tourtiere in the freezer.

Thursday: Christmas dinner! We cook a turkey. (I'll actually start making the sides on Wednesday.)

Friday: A second Christmas dinner! Thankfully I don't cook this one. (It's also turkey.)

Saturday: Leftovers. Sometimes we make a casserole by layering the leftovers and baking it. I'm considering stuffing waffles but I doubt we'll have enough stuffing leftover to make them. I might just have to make Melissa's savoury potato dressing at some point to do that because that sounds like a pretty much perfect dish to waffle-ize.

[An aside: we stuff our turkey but we always make extra and cook it on the side. I'm seriously considering cooking the extra stuffing in the slow cooker. That link contains suggestions for converting your stuffing recipe to a slow cooker but I can guarantee you it will be a cold day in hell before I add eggs to my stuffing.]

The one thing we haven't completely figured out yet? Christmas breakfast. It always stumps me. We didn't really do Christmas breakfast at my house growing up. We had our turkey vaguely around lunch (more often a rather late lunch). We mostly just nibbled at the chocolate in our stocking for "breakfast" but now that we eat turkey at dinner time (erm... early-ish dinner) breakfast is a must. Breakfast is my least favourite meal of the day in general and that just makes Christmas dinner extra hard.

What do you make for Christmas breakfast?

Monday
Dec152014

Meal Plan Monday December 15

This week's meal plan was brought to you by Lee. It's his birthday this week. He gets to choose all the things. You may join me in my surprise that this does not contain tacos. On any given week if I ask him what he wants, he will say tacos. (He really wants pizza but it's in the plan most weeks anyway.)

Meal Plan December 15 | Sassymonkey.ca

Sunday: Lee's favourite pasta sauce with Nicastro's garlic bread. The bread contains actual pieces of garlic and we could eat a loaf of it all on its own.

Monday: Chicken enchiladas.

Tuesday: Pizza. It's Lee's traditional birthday meal. (Erm... except that year he was sick and went to bed without eating on his birthday. That was weird.) This year it will be a pepperoni, mushroom, and bacon pizza.

Wednesday: Dinner out.

Thursday: It's just me at home. I'm hoping to have leftovers.

Friday: Chicken korma.

Saturday: Dinner out before the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Concert.

Extras: I made Lee banana fudge for his birthday. He's also requested chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. And I need to make Chex Mix. Do I also want to make cinnamon rolls? Hmmmm....

Tuesday
Dec022014

Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday 

Yes, I am aware it is actually Tuesday. Monday was very... Mondayish. When I realized at 9pm I hadn't posted I just threw my hands up in the air, decided I would post on Tuesday, and went to bed to read a book.

Lee and I committed a rookie mistake. We were halfway to the grocery store this week when I realized I had not actually finished the meal plan. We had to play fill in the blanks with pantry supplies after shopping. Not ideal, but not horrible. We made it work.

Meal Plan Monday Dec 1 | Sassymonkey.ca

Sunday: Roasted fillet of sole with cilantro and hoisin. We usually do fish in papillote but I wanted something different and was inspired by this Canadian Living recipe. Served with a warm farro salad.

Monday: Beef curry and lemon, ginger and turmeric rice. The rice was fantastic.

Tuesday: Pork stir fry with vermicelli rice noodles.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs. While I'd love to make them from scratch I think this is probably going to be a dump frozen meatballs into a crockpot with a jar of dressed up marinara sauce day.

Thursday: Leftovers.

Friday: The traditional Cat-is-visting shrimp ring. Then I promised her lobster chowder and biscuits. It's like the store knew she was coming because the shrimp ring was on sale.

Saturday: Sweet chili chicken and chick pea salad (or as Cat calls it, dream salad).

What are you cooking this week?

Monday
Nov242014

Meal Plan Monday November 24

Lee's travelling the first few days this week. Our schedules didn't align for me to travel with him this time (boo) and I have dentist appointment. But hey, I planned meals, even when Lee's not home and I could have legitimately ordered in take out. Go me!

Meal Plan Monday November 24 | Sassymonkey.ca

Sunday: Sloppy joes on Hawaiian buns.

Monday: Baked potato stuffed with the sloppy joe leftovers.

Tuesday: Crockpot meatballs. I'm just dumping some frozen meatball in the crockpot with a bottle of some kind of glaze we picked up at Costco. I'll make rice and broccoli, eat early, and then I'll leave the crockpot on warm. Lee can help himself when he gets home from the airport.

Wednesday: Chicken gyros

Thursday: Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Roast beef or beef dip. Something warm and filling since it's also Christmas parade day.

Tuesday
Nov182014

Kindness Matters. Always. 

I was part of a Twitter chat today based on a NaBloPoMo writing prompt about kindness. I don't do NaBloPoMo because, besides all the necessary things I must do to function as a human being in the world, I can't think of anything I'm able to successfully do for 30 days in a row.   

I've said it be before and I'll keep saying it. Kindness matters. Always. 

Kindness Matters | Sassymonkey.ca

I know how easy it is to remember meanness. I know how easy it is to be thrown off track by one critical comment. I know how the things that are said and done stick with us and try to eat away all the good. The first person who ever said that sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us was an idiot. Names hurt. Mean comments hurt. Slights. Lies. Omissions. Secrets. They all hurt. They make us question the very core of our being. 

Meanness is like a cannonball. It's big and splashy and loud and soaks everything in the immediate area. 

Kindness often isn't like that. Kindness is quiet. Kindnesses are usually small. While we might rant about a moment of meanness for days to our friend, an act of kindness often only gets mentioned softly if we recall to mention it at all. Meanness is hard, kindness is soft. 

If meanness is a cannonball, kindness is skipping rocks. Until the rock is out of our hand, we don't know if we threw it exactly right. We don't know if it will skip three times or five. Every skip is another small splash, another set of ripples. 

The thing about kindness is we often don't see the ripples. We don't see how people carry kindess forward. Maybe they shovel a neighbour's drive way. Maybe they compliment the mom in the grocery store who is struggling. Maybe because you left a nice comment on their blog, they've gone on and left three more. Maybe they tell someone they did a good job. 

Cannonballs are big. Ripples are small. It takes a lot of kindness -- a lot of skipped stones making small ripples at the same time -- to drown out meanness. 

We don't know where kindness will take us. We don't know where it will take the person to whom we're being kind. Each act of kindness is only the first skipping of a stone, but if we all pass that forward -- if we keep the stone skipping -- I know kindness can outdistance meanness.

Kindness matters. Always.