Sunday, September 13, 2009

menu for this week:

Wow what a quick weekend we had. We had a night out for grown ups, a yard sale, a birthday party, and a tractor show that we attended. Just this weekend.
I made just enough money at the yard sale for groceries. I had just $62 to spend and I only spent $57!

Grilled hot dogs
Grilled chicken leg quarters
Orzo veggie salad
baked beans

Neighborhood potluck

Scalloped potatoes with ham and broccoli

1 cup fresh or frozen chopped onion (about 1 medium-large yellow onion)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups sliced, peeled all-purpose potatoes (4 to 5 medium-size) or 4 cups thawed frozen hash brown potatoes
3 cups broccoli slaw mix or coarsely chopped fresh broccoli
1 pound boiled or baked ham, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat shallow 2-quart casserole with non-stick vegetable spray and set aside. Cook onion in olive oil in heavy medium-size saucepan over moderate heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Combine milk, flour, salt, and pepper in 1-quart measure, add to onion, and cook and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes. Layer half the potatoes into prepared casserole then top with the broccoli and half the sauce and cheese. Arrange ham on top, dot with mustard, then cover with remaining potatoes and sauce and cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until potatoes are just tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes longer. Serve at once.

Tacos and beans

Lasagna with Italian sausage

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups diced tomatoes (from 28-oz can), undrained
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
12 uncooked lasagna noodles (12 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese or small curd creamed cottage cheese (2 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook sausage, onion and garlic in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, sugar, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered about 45 minutes or until slightly thickened. Heat oven to 350ºF. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package. Mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the oregano. Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Top with 4 noodles. Spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over noodles; spread with 1 cup of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with 4 noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, 1 cup of the sauce mixture and 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining noodles and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting otherwise it won't hold together well.

Citrus beef and veggie stir fry

1 1/2 pound beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange-juice concentrate
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 tablespoons grated ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup julienned carrots
2 tablespoons canola oil
Hot cooked brown rice
8 broccoli florets, steamed or blanched

Mix sugar, rice vinegar, juice concentrate, salt and soy sauce. Toss beef in cornstarch. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok. Stir-fry meat 1 minute in hot wok. Add remaining oil, carrots, zest, ginger and garlic, cook until fragrant. Add soy mixture, bring to boil. Cook until thick and syrupy, 3-4 minutes. Serve over rice and top with broccoli. Garnish with canned mandarin oranges.

Balsamic braised chicken breasts
mashed potatoes
steamed asparagus

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Season chicken breasts with ground black pepper and garlic salt. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and brown the onion and seasoned chicken breasts.
Pour tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken, and season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Have a great week! Evie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Make your own on Wednesday

Healthified rice crispy treats

1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup cashew or almond butter
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
3 cups brown rice crispies
Bring the liquids to a boil. Add rice crispies and stir and coat well. Put in a greased pan and smooth the top with an oiled hand. let cool for 15 minutes before devouring pan. Evie

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Labor day weekend!

Salutations! I hope everyone is enjoying thier weekend. I have a new project finally! I am altering some cool vintage curtains my neighbor gave me, Bless her!
I am totally in love with these and plan on decorating the living room around them, all vintage bird themed. I am looking for some old birdie print to join the curtain and maybe a few bird cages too!

Anyways here is a look at my little man on his first day of school!
First Day of school

Gene got laid off again...hello economy. Good thing I can make a cheap menu fit for a king! I am picking many things that are in the freezer, or that I have on hand to minimize my spending. I still managed to spend $55 at the store this week anyways! I will have to tighten it up a bit more next week. He was told this lay off is for just a month, but as I recall he was told that last time! Here's the menu, enjoy. Evie

The skewers were so popular last week I picked them to grill again.
Sweet and Sour Pork kabobs
steamed rice

2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 pound boneless pork, cut into 1-inch pieces
green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

In a small saucepan, bring 1 in. of water to a boil; add carrots. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until almost tender; drain well. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice. Set pineapple aside. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, soy sauce, hoisin, sugar, garlic and reserved pineapple juice. Pour over cubed pork; let stand for 30 minutes. On soaked wooden skewers, alternate the pork, carrots, peppers and reserved pineapple. Grill over medium-hot heat for 5-6 minutes or until meat is tender, basting with reserved marinade. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Corn and salmon chowder

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 pound potatoes - peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
12 ounces smoked or cooked salmon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I cooked mine in the oven)
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 cup half and half

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, and celery. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are transparent. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir well to make a dry roux. Gradually add the chicken broth and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in the potatoes, tarragon, thyme, and paprika. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the salmon, wine, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Simmer over low heat, uncovered for 10 minutes. Mix in the half-and-half and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not let the chowder boil after adding the half-and-half. Serve hot.

Oven Fried Chicken
steamed zucchini and yellow squash

6 tablespoons butter, melted
5 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up

Place butter in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine dry ingredients. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in crumb mixture. Place in a greased baking pan. Spray pieces lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear.

2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim ends from squash. Cut each one in half, then cut each half lengthwise into quarters. Place squash and garlic into a steamer basket, then place the steamer basket into the pot. Steam for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash are tender. Transfer squash to a large bowl. Mash the garlic and put it in the bowl with the squash. Drizzle the olive oil into the bowl and toss until the vegetables are coated with oil and garlic.

Breakfast for dinner
(your choice)
We are having Biscuits and gravy, eggs and fruit.

Pierogies and sauerkraut
heated smoked sausage

Purchase store bought pierogies. Boil and serve with warmed sauerkraut. Pan fry the smoked sausage.

Have a great week lovlies!