Saturday, February 27, 2010

A ho hum weeekend..

Nothing exciting to report on, a fairly quiet weekend thus far. I am going to watch the new release Julie/Julia later this evening if I can take control of the TV.
Here is this week's fabu menu. Cheers, Ev

Sauteed Middle Eastern Chicken

3T vegetable oil
salt and pepper(to taste)
1 cup AP flour for dredging
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1T minced garlic
1 onion chopped
4 large carrots shredded
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup white wine(or extra broth)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup golden raisins(optional)
cilantro or parsley for garnish

Mix salt, pepper and flour. Place in container and dredge chicken in flour. Heat oil in skillet to medium high. Cook chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove chicken and set aside. Add vegetable to the pan and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Add chicken, broth, raisins, cumin and wine, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Taco Salad
You can make this on your own I bet.

Cheddar Broccoli soup (A labor of love, well worth the effort)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fat free half-and-half
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Reserving some of the broccoli for texture. Return to the pot. Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick.

Leftover night

Scalloped potatoes
with ham and spinach

2 cups milk
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup diced ham
1 small box chopped spinach defrosted and drained

Measure milk into a 2-quart saucepan. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until almost tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir carefully until just melted. Sprinkle flour over the surface, stir gently then pour into a greased 2-quart casserole. Add in spinach and ham. Top with extra cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, until browned.

Tuna Melts
leftover soup

1 (6 ounce) can tuna, drained and flaked
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 teaspoons chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375. Place bread slices in the oven to toast while it preheats.
In a small bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, salt, mustard and dill pickle until well blended. Remove bread from the oven, and pile the tuna mixture onto one slice. Sprinkle cheese over the other slice of bread.
Bake for 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted and tuna is heated through. Place the cheese side of the sandwich on top of the tuna side.

Monday, February 22, 2010

and you thought I forgot...

no...just no internets yesterday. It was down. Here is your menu for the week starting with tonight.

Baked Tilapia
steamed edamame

4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
dash pepper
dash salt
pinch dried dillweed or parsley
dash paprika
8 tilapia fillets
1 lemon sliced

In saucepan, combine butter, garlic, pepper, salt, dillweed, and paprika. Heat over low heat until butter is melted and starts simmering. Remove from heat. Brush a little of the butter mixture in the bottom of a shallow baking dish (line baking dish with foil, if desired) then place tilapia fillets on the buttered area. Brush top of each tilapia fillet with the seasoned butter mixture. top each one with a lemon slice. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, until tilapia flakes easily with a fork. Serve with steamed edamame.

Greek Style chicken
spinach rice

4 lemons, thinly sliced
4 bone-in chicken breast halves with skin
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon mint leaves
1 tablespoon oregano
10 pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Arrange rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 350F. Layer lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Loosen skin on breasts. Mince garlic. Lift the skin from breast and place garlic between skin and breast. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remaining herbs. Sprinkle olives over chicken. Bake 45 minutes, until juices run clear. Remove from oven and sprinkle with feta. Bake 5 minutes more.

olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 10-ounce package fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper

Heat 1/4 cup oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until rice is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in large sauté pan. Add spinach and cook over medium heat until just wilted, about 4 minutes. Add spinach to rice. Using same pan, sauté peppers in remaining 1 Tablespoon oil until crisp tender. Add peppers, as well as feta cheese, to rice and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Easy Crockpot chili

2 cans kidney beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
2 med. onions, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 T chili powder
1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. cumin

Place in crock pot and cook 6-8 hours on low. Serve with some corn muffins if desired.

yogurt sauce

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry bread crumbs
oil for frying

In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; don't use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender, process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form 8 balls and then flatten into patties.
Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides.
1 (6 ounce) container plain yogurt
1/2 cucumber - peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

In a small bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

(It is Lent for those of you who aren't religious, and we are not but we usally observe it anyways, my husband grew up catholic, plus we just love fish.)
Cheesy Tuna noodle casserole with peas

1 bag of Egg Wide noodles
2 cans mushroom soup (I found a good organic brand)
1 bag OG frozen peas
2 cans drained tuna
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBS lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375
Put Egg noodles on to boil as directed on back of package. While noodles cook mix together, Mushroom soup, peas, tuna, mayo and milk. Once noodle have cooked drain and put them into a casserole dish.Add your sauce to noodles and mix well. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and put into the oven for about 8-10 mins until cheese has melted.
Have a super week. Hearts Evie

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

This is a pretty low key holiday for us around here, and since we are poor we tried not to place too much on the holiday. I presented each of my men with a big bag of pistachios(super sale price of $2 each) and a giant candy bar $1 each on sale, but not from valentines sales. (I feel like it is stupid to pay more for candy on the holiday just because it's wrapped in pink and white.) Anyways, we went to our favorite breakfast dive in Topeka, only to find the staff and menu have changed. Bummer, but the food was still decent even if slightly more We rounded out the rest of our day with a trip Big Lots, Lowe's and Orschelin' I said we don't celebrate a whole lot, but a trip to Topeka was worth getting to go to some stores we don't have in Lawrence. We got a new lampshade and a birthday present for a friend at Big Lots, nothing at Lowe's and chicken feed ($3.00 cheaper)at Orchelin's. We dragged a screaming child out of Orschelin's, (he wanted a John Deere movie) and headed back to Lawrence. I will cruise the candy sales tomorrow looking for pink discounts to pass off as Easter treats. All in all nothing special or romantic about this day.

My Valentine's Menu:

Grilled Chuck Steak
herbed potatoes
baked beans
steamed cauliflower

Sprinkle both sides of steak with a steak seasoning blend, use meat tenderizer tool and pound both sides. Place in marinade for at least 4 hours. Cook 8-10 minutes on each side on grill or until cooked.
Marinade for steak:
1/2 cup cider apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
Whisk together before placing meat in marinade. Flip meat a few times during marinating.

1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 bundle fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or sage
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Pluck the little leaves off of the stems of your fresh herbs until you have about a tablespoon of them. Wash and pat dry the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with the olive oil, then toss them so they're fully coated with the oil. Sprinkle generously with Kosher salt and toss again to distribute the salt evenly. Add the fresh herbs and toss once again. The fingerling's should now be fully coated with the oil-salt-herb mixture. Place the potatoes in a roasting pan and roast until a knife slides easily into one of the largest potatoes —20 to 25 minutes — turn them every 10 minutes so to the tops don't burn.

Red lentil Dahl

1 T. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils,
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
1 t. turmeric
¼ t. cardamom
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. cayenne pepper
1 t. salt, or to taste
2 T. tomato paste

In a stockpot or other medium-sized soup pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
Stirring constantly, add the water or broth, lentils, spices and salt. Bring to a low boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender. Stir in the tomato paste until well combined. Remove from heat, let cool. Place in blender or using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Serve heated over rice, very yummy.

Chicken and barley bake

1 tbsp. butter, divided
1 tbsp. oil, divided
1 lg. onion, minced
2 lg. cloves, garlic, minced
1/2 c. minced celery
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, drained & chopped
1 c. barley, rinsed
3 c. chicken broth
Black pepper to taste
6 chicken legs & thighs, skinned & separated
1/4 c. milk

Heat 1 teaspoon butter and 1 tsp. oil in large saucepan (3 quarts). Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots and cook over moderate heat about 5 minutes. Add wine; bring to a boil and stir until almost evaporated. Add tomatoes, barley and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover and cook for 25 minutes. There should still be plenty of liquid in the pot. Stir in pepper and transfer to 3-4 quart casserole with a cover. While barley is cooking, brown the chicken on both sides in remaining 2 teaspoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of oil. Transfer chicken pieces to the casserole embedding them into the barley mixture. Cover and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the milk over the casserole and bake, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.

Breakfast for dinner
Fried potatoes
scrambled eggs

Adapted from TOH recipe
Meatball torte
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 bag of store bought meatballs
1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, (6 ounces)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, shortening, egg, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, place tomatoes and onion in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, herbs and salt.
Punch dough down. Divide into three portions. Roll two portions into 11-inch circles; line the bottoms and press partially up the sides of two greased 9-in. spring form pans. Roll third portion into a 12 inch x 10 inch rectangle; cut into 12 10 inch x 1 inch strips.
Place meatballs in prepared crusts; top with tomato mixture and mozzarella cheese. Make a lattice crust with strips of dough; trim and seal edges. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges. This makes two tortes, make one for now and freeze the second one.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Homemade fig bars

I have a bag of dried figs I bought from our co-op that no one has really wanted to eat, and I did not want them to go bad, so I made them into yummy homemade fig bars.(Like fig newtons).

1/2 cup butter
2 small eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup dried figs stems removed
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup water
1 tablespoon flour

Make first:
Grind figs in food processor with 1 cup water, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 2 tablespoons honey. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and stir until it has cooked down into a paste, about 7-10 minutes. Cream butter and white sugar, add vanilla, flour, salt and soda. Roll out half of dough and place in 9X13 greased pan. Spread filling on top of dough, and roll remaining dough and place onto filling. Bake at 375for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned. Cut into bars when cooled.
And a bonus picture of Zach..he is my cutie!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Cleaning out the freezer menu.

Its quiet around here, not a whole lot of babysitting going on. This is seriously limiting my funds, so I am trying to use what's in the house for groceries. This is not too hard since I have a pretty stocked freezer.

Super Bowl menu:
hot wings
raw veggies and dip
We were not invited anywhere so we will have a cozy evening at home, complete with good junk food.

Hot wings:
3 lbs chicken wings
garlic powder
one stick butter
1 bottle hot sauce(franks is our favorite)

Heat over to 375, place wings on baking pan. Liberally spinkle wings with garlic powder. Cook for 45 minutes. Melt butter and mix with bottle of sauce. Pour over wings and return to oven for 15 morre minutes. serve with lots of napkins and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Baked chicken in rice casserole
steamed carrots

4 boneless chicken breast halves, skin removed
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can half-and-half or milk
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom pieces, with liquid
3/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 envelope dry onion soup mix, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Combine soup with half and half. Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture for later. Mix remaining soup mixture with rice, garlic powder and half of the dry onion soup mix (about 1/4 cup). Mix well and pour into a baking dish. Place chicken breasts on rice mixture. Combine reserved soup mixture with undrained mushrooms. Pour over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with remaining dry onion soup mix, thyme, and Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Chili feed at Zach's school, but here is an easy chili recipe:

2 cans kidney beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
2 med. onions, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 T chili powder
1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. cumin

Place in crock pot and cook 6-8 hours on low.

Stir fried veggies in peanut butter noodles

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil divided
1 bag asian style veggies
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tablespoon salt

In a large bowl, blend cornstarch, garlic, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until cornstarch is dissolved. Mix in veggies tossing to lightly coat.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Cook vegetables in oil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Stir in soy sauce and water. Mix in onion, salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon ginger. Cook until vegetables are tender but still crisp. Serve over peanut butter noodles.

1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon hot chile paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces noodles

cook and drain noodles. Meanwhile, combine chicken broth, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, chili paste, and garlic in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until peanut butter melts and is heated through. Add noodles, and toss to coat. Top with stirfried veggies.

Lamb Burgers
oven baked fries
Burger fixings: red onions, tomato slices, cuke slices, and yogurt sauce

1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp miced garlic
2 tsp minced rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese

Mix all togather and make 4-6 patties depending on how large you want them.
Cook over meduim high heat until desired doness. Serve with fixings in buns or pita bread with yogurt sauce.

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
5-6 leaves of fresh mint
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Put all ingredients except the mayonnaise in the blender and blend at low speed until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, whisk in the mayonnaise, and serve or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Crockpot beef stew

2 pounds stew beef
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 envelope brown gravy mix
1 envelope onion soup mix
3 cups water

Spray the crock pot with a vegetable cooking spray . Place the vegetables in the crock pot. Top with the beef. Mix the water, brown gravy mix and onion soup mix. Pour mixture over the beef. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the vegetables are tender.

Hope you have a super week, stay warm! Evie

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Layer Bars healthified

When my grandma was moved from her apartment to the nursing home, I inherited many assorted baking ingredients. My cabinet is still packed with things like graham cracker crusts, cans of sweetened condensed milk, boxes of brownie and cake mixes and sprinkles galore. These will be expiring soon so I thought I would make my guys some treats. I thought of my favorite treat as a kiddo: those 7 layer or Magic bars, here is my take on them.

Better Magic bars:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 can sweetened condensed milk
graham cracker crust

In the crust layer in order of ingredient list. Pouring the can of milk in an even layer last. Bake in preheated 350 oven for about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before serving. YUMMY