Menu Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Week and Trader Joe’s

menuplanmondayWelcome to menu plan Monday for another week!

About a week ago we went on a 2-hr trip which pleasantly brought us near a Trader Joe’s.  I don’t know if you’ve been to Trader Joe’s before, but I love that place.  It’s kind of a crunchy-granola spot, healthy organic stuff, but fun environment.

There are little kids’ shopping carts which my girls love.  There is a stuffed monkey hidden somewhere in the store … if kids locate him, they can report his location to the folks in the baking corner in the back and they’ll get a yummy treat (adults can get samples of whatever they’re baking as well).

Here’s my haul from the last trip:

Trader Joe'sA 3-lb bag of pears, just the right size for lunchboxes, $3.  Light coconut milk, which I love using for chicken curry – better price than Meijer.  A bag of tortellini (always reminds me of my trip to my penpal’s in Florence, when her family gave me a similar bag to take home, only to have it confiscated at the airport), whole wheat tortillas, and the yummiest little pretzel bits filled with peanut butter.

Monday: I’ll be having the Trader Joe’s tortellini with pasta sauce and some type of veggie

Tuesday: Leftovers – we’ll be gone the end of the week and need to clear out the fridge

Wednesday: Mini Thanksgiving

Story: Last week (and this week too, I see) Meijer had a deal: $14 off a turkey 16 lb or more when you spend $20.  Well, I did spend $20 on the regular groceries for the week (acutally I spent less than $20 after coupons, but that still “counted”), and got a 16.4 lb turkey for about $5.50.  I was very excited about that!

frozen turkey

Our neighbor’s grandma fell down their stairs last week and died. It has been very sad for them (obviously) and for our family.  We went to the funeral home today and they were saying how they had planned to get together with her for Thanksgiving.

So, we got home and my oldest daughter said we should have Thanksgiving for them Wednesday.  I was thinking no, but the more I thought, the more I think we will.  I’m no great turkey baker – I don’t do rubs (gross, putting my hands under the turkey’s skin?  I don’t think so!!) – I just bake it.  But, I figure I can bake the turkey, make some mashed potatoes, open some canned green beans and whip up some Stove Top stuffing.

Speaking of baking turkeys, I ran across this tip on a blog which sounded good to me:

The fun­da­men­tal, unavoid­able turkey prob­lem is the white meat is done 20 degrees ear­lier than the dark meat. This is often com­pounded by the white meat being on top, closer to the pri­mary heat source. So, when the ther­mome­ter says the breast is done (actu­ally 5 – 10 degrees before “done”), haul the bird out of the oven and grab your carv­ing knife. Start­ing at the breast bone, carve away the two breast lobes. This is sur­pris­ingly easy, with only an intact wish­bone pro­vid­ing resis­tance. You will end up with two beau­ti­ful, skin-clad breast lobes, which should be cov­ered with foil and allowed to rest before slic­ing.
Cover the breast cav­ity with foil and put the rest of the bird back in the oven until the dark meat is done.

If you have any easy turkey-baking tips (easy, I say – I claim no relation to Martha Stewart), leave them for me.  It’s already defrosting in the fridge …

I have always wished to spend a major holiday at my own house, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us – so come Wednesday night, we’ll travel 4 hours away through Saturday.  I am thankful, though, that it will be a few days of no cooking.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

6 thoughts on “Menu Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Week and Trader Joe’s

  1. You’re doing a turkey dinner, THEN leaving on a trip the same night? Wow!

    The last time I roasted a turkey (a couple of months ago), I split it up before roasting – the whole breast, and the two leg quarters. No brining, no under-the-skin stuff (I agree – eew!) – it was fantastic.

  2. The smallest act of kindness is much greater than the grandest intentions which you never carry out. I am sure your neighbors will never forget that you cared enough to help them at this time.

    I believe, years ago, Bridey (sp?) Grant’s grandmother fell down their stairs and died.

  3. Have a good trip! I would LOVE to have family with whom to spend Thanksgiving, but alas, that is not to be. I guess we always want what we can’t have, don’t we?

    Sorry, but no good turkey roasting recipes from me. As you know, I’m not a cook.

  4. Glad you met Trader Joe Susan. I shop at Trader Joe’s all the time and I love it! Unfortunately, where I am moving, well, no Trader Joe there. Boo-hoo! My sympathies regarding your neighbor’s Grandmother. It is so hard to have loss at the holidays. What a wonderful idea to share a thanksgiving meal with them. Blessings to all!

  5. Yummy menu! I so want to head to your house for dinner.
    I’m enjoying blog visiting while I’m watching “Law & Order” on TNT.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Loved Trader Joe’s when I lived in Indy. Now I work 4 miles from Food Mecca–aka Jungle Jim’s!!! Google it–it’s worth the drive only over to the north side of Cincinnati!!

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