ON THE MENU- A weeks worth of great recipes and dinner ideas!

I don’t like when people ask me, “Are you ready for Christmas”? Too much pressure! I will be… eventually. I’m not one to decorate, buy gifts, wrap them, etc as items I need to check off a to-do list. Yes, they need to get done but I am more of an enjoy-the-process girl! I love turning up the Christmas music and reveling in all the once a year things I’m doing! So when someone asks me if I am READY I say… YES, my heart is so ready!

This is the last week to enter to win the NOVEMBER’S READERS APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY! 


Are you ready for a week’s worth of yummy recipes? 


Today is the first day of Advent. A time of preparation and anticipation for the coming of our LORD! You can get a free downloadable Advent devotional by Billy Graham. We are all so busy preparing our home and lives for Christmas let’s make sure we take time to prepare our hearts as well! I downloaded my copy and Bobby and I will use it until Christmas!


It’s Cyber Monday! And yes, I am going to buy most of my Christmas gifts today! I tried this last year and it was so easy that I’m doing it again! Hope to get some great deals today!

We are big soup eaters here at StoneGable. And one of our favorite soups is ham and bean. There is a secret… a very simple secret… that makes ham and bean soup amazing and delicious! I’m spilling the beans about it!  

This was also one of my very first post. You can certainly see how my photography has improved! Photographs, not so good but the soup sure is!



Last day to enter to win StoneGable’s READER APPRECIATION Giveaway!  Comment, comment comment!!!!

I’m hoping the weather is nice because I’m adding more outdoor Christmas decor to StoneGable today!


Do you wrap your gifts as soon as you get them? You should! It saves so much time and angst! Don’t wait until the last minute. Start today and start wrapping. Here’s a very easy and portable gift wrapping station! A must read to keep your gift wrap and everything else that goes along with it in one place. See it here.

And here’s another tip… keep all your gift  receipts in a big envelope in your gift wrapping station! You will know where everything is!



Happy December! Are you having guests for Christmas? Now is the time to survey all your guest rooms to make sure they have everything your guests need! Don’t forget to put together a little box of necessities guests might forget like toothbrushes, antiperspirant or disposable razors.





One of my readers asked what I do with all my “everyday” decorations when I put up Christmas decor. That’s a great question! I use one or two plastic laundry baskets and fill them with my everyday decorations and stash them in the basement. When I am ready to put them back out after Christmas I know exactly where they are and can easily bring them back upstairs!



Okay, I’m not bragging when I say this is the best chicken noodle soup EVER!!!! There are a few tricks for making perfect chicken noodle soup. My Nani taught me and now I’m showing you too! I make tons of Chicken soup during the winter! I like to freeze it so I never run out! 



Zesty Ranch Crackers… these are addictive!


Starbuck’s inspired Lemon Loaf Cake


Mason Jar Lid Chocolate Raspberry Tarts


Hope you have a delicious week!

You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see all the fun things I’m finding to pin every day HERE.



ON THE MENU- A weeks worth of great recipes and dinner ideas!

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  1. I make your Mexican explosion salad often. It’s delicious! The recipe for quesadillas sounds good. The addition of pepper jelly is new. Trying that one Next.
    What a great attitude towards Christmas. It’ll get done!

  2. I too dislike it when I am asked “Are you ready for Christmas!”
    I usually reply I will be when it arrives, are you ready?
    Love love love your response!

  3. Yvonne, what a perfect response to that age old question, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I will forever be in you debt!

  4. Yippie – new recipes……will be making all of these over the Holidays. The best Chicken Noodle Soup is the best and make it often. The Starbucks Lemon cake is the best ever ever……….thanks for sending some new things……..

  5. We had a second Thanksgiving dinner with extended family today. Right now I feel like I may never want to eat again. But in case I do I am going to print out the recipe for the ham and bean soup. It looks delicious!

  6. I have so missed On the Menu… glad you brought it back! I hope you will be able to keep it a regular feature on the blog. Love it! Thanks! Kim

  7. I just love this post! All the little ideas you gave us for each day. Great ideas to help get us through til Christmas, and the wonderful recipes too. You are such a blessing, Yvonne!!

  8. Can’t wait to try the Cheese Tortellini recipe. With three children I’m always looking for delicious meals that are fast and easy to prepare. This looks like a great one!

  9. Before you wrap the gifts, have a master list telling what each gift is. One year I wanted to finish up some last minute gift shopping and had a gift labeled for my daughter but I couldn’t remember what was in the wrapped box! So although I knew who the gift was for, I didn’t know what was in the box. Not wanting to ruin the paper by unwrapping it, I kept shaking the box and FINALLY remembered what was in it. After that I kept a list!

  10. I have made the chicken pot pie and it IS wonderful! Now I want to make some of the chicken noodle soup – do you freeze with the noodles in the broth or wait til you heat it up to add them??

  11. I also do not understand the big rush to Christmas. . . . Advent is such a beautiful time of quiet, preparation, and waiting. . . . it is so good for kids to be still, light a candle, sing a song such as “Come thou Long Expected Jesus” or something they choose. Christmas is stressful for adults & kids so kick back & make the most of Advent. Thank you too for the recipes. I will keep this posting!

  12. Thank you for the recipes and like you I’m so ready, today I decorate the Christmas tree and later my husband will work on the train that goes around the living room.

  13. I love to turn on holiday music while I decorate the house. It inspires me to get creative and puts me in a Christmas spirit.

  14. In our living room there is a very large Victoriam armoire…when its time to decorate the house & the tree all I have to do is remove the plastic bins stored in the armoire & voila!… all the decorations are easily accessible. Love all your tried & true decorating ideas & holiday recipes, Yvonne. Thank you for all your creativity & exquisie taste.
    Happy Holidays…enjoy a blessed Christmas, Angela

  15. Oooh, the Mason Jar Chocolate Raspberry Tarts is such a good idea and look yummy. And the lemon loaf looks really good too. I’m going to have to try both of these recipes. Thanks for the great inspiration. I might try to make chicken noodle soup this week too, but I might not have time because of work. Just the thing for this time of year.

  16. Ok…you’ve inspired me! My first 2017 resolution will be to make a weekly menu and shop ahead. One question though…what about left-overs? How does that work into weekly menu planning? Lunch the next day?

  17. “You put all your everyday decor in laundry baskets and set them in the basement.” Waaaaaaa!!!!! You can’t imagine what it is like for those of us who have had basements and then move to a place that doesn’t! Sheer torture I tell you!

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed Christopher’s Shepard Pie and now will have to try one of these new ones! I can just see you in the kitchen with the music in the background.

  19. Thanks for the yummy recipes YVONNE. Can you tell me what you do with all those Xmas decorations you don’t use anymore. .
    And would love to see a night time pic of Stonegable,

  20. What to do with your everyday decor when you are decorating for Christmas…. I store the everyday in my emptied Christmas tubs. That way when I take down the decor, I know exactly where my everyday things are! Love your delicious looking recipes…. I love to bake and the lemon cake looks divine… Another great page of advice….

  21. Thanks for the recipes/ideas. I REALLY appreciate them.
    Loved your idea of putting everyday decorations in plastic laundry baskets and putting them in the basement. Unfortunately we don’t have basement in our area!!! Storage is a challenge but instead of stashing things I am going to try to keep them together better.

  22. Okie Dokie – I am all in with the Bean Soup, Roasted Carrots, Cheater Chicken Pot Pies and the Perfect Chicken Noodle Soup and for dessert, the Starbucks Lemon Cake. All comfort food for this gal as it is finally raining in Southern California! Back to work tomorrow – Let’s do this! thanks as always! xx-hb

  23. I haven’t had that Christmas Spirit lately so reading your post (even the older ones!) gave me a dose of whatever I needed to get it together. We won’t have many decorations this year and, no tree because we will be with our daughters and their families for the better part of the holidays – no sense putting the tree up only to come home and take it down! Surely we will enjoy others’ decor and trimmed trees but most importantly we’ll be with family …especially a new granddaughter who will be only two weeks old. So when I well up at the sound of the Hymns and bells at church on Christmas Eve, that Spirit will definitely be present!

    Yvonne, thank you for gently nudging me with your beautiful photos that show decorations, pretty wrapped boxes and for all of the scrumptious recipes, the gift ideas, and for reminding me that that Christmas spirit does not only come in tangible measures! To you and your loved ones and to fellow readers a: Blessed Christmas full of heartfelt spirit and the joy of being with your family, friends.

  24. I love seeing the ideas planned out for the week. It helps me focus. I’m so busy with 3 jobs that I’m having a hard time focusing on the Heart of Christmas. I’m the director of Children’s min at a church and working on a play/musical that sings about the Heart of the Story. Thank you for helping me focus.

  25. You seem so organized and together! I wish….I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I can’t seem to get dinner plannned or cooked and Christmas decorations and shopping…. you do make it all look easy?Good job!

  26. So glad that ON THE MENU postings are back! Thank you!!! I have really missed this part of your blog.
    I’m adding the ham and bean soup to our menu next week.