It’s that time of the year again! Fall is here, the weather is glorious, the leaves are changing, and my usual anal retentive, box checking self takes a chill pill and allows my inner domestic goddess to have her moment.

Last weekend was not nearly so glorious as today, but nevertheless I took Little M to the local Fall Festival and then to the “pumpkin patch” where we picked up two nice sized pumpkins and four mums for planting in the pots around the house. Last night (finally!) I planted the mums, hung the jack-o-lantern flag, and set out the pumpkins along with a scarecrow girl on a stick.

I’ve already gotten most of my interior decorations up, just a little tweaking to do here and there. Once I’ve done that, I just need to get the wreath up and some fall fabric on the pillows for the front porch, then I can turn my attention to…food.

An email exchange I had with my brother this week has me desperate to get in the kitchen and get busy. His description of the mashed potato volcanoes he made had my stomach at attention, but when I got to this:

            Yesterday while just tinkering around the yard, I decided to make some homemade potato soup.  Used 10 pounds of red potatoes, so it was a small batch.  Did I mention I love real food? We took some ciabatta rolls and hollowed them out to use for bowls. Topped with cheese, chives and fresh crumbled bacon… mmmm…”

I LOVE potato soup so naturally I’m reading his email and mentally inventorying my pantry at the same time, wondering if I have everything I need to make potato soup. Which led me to think that I haven’t roasted a pork shoulder for carnitas in while, and if I picked up some more apples (or pears) I could make Granny’s dumplings as well. And while I’m thinking of it, where is that Lentil Soup recipe I wanted to try, and oh wait, I forgot about this one…Brazilian Feijoada – gotta try that.

Next thing you know, a menu plan for the week and a (very long) grocery list was born. All of the labor intensive or slow cooking items I can do over the weekend and serve throughout the week interspersed with easier to prepare fare. Menu the for week, not necessarily to be served in this order:

Saturday – Burgers on the grill (its going to be a great day for grilling), dumplings

Sunday – Ham and Potato Soup, homemade bread

Monday – Shrimp and Fettuccine Alfredo

Tuesday – Carnitas

Wednesday – Italian Chicken

Thursday – Brazilian Feijoada

Friday – Roast (Beef)

Saturday – Meatloaf (Mexican Style)

(The Lentil Soup isn’t officially on the menu, but I still hope to make it to pack in my lunch for the coming workweek.)

Can’t wait to hit the grocery store and get cooking!