Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another great weekend..

I got my party on this weekend again..two wonderful weekends in a row. Now if only our financial issues were as great. Two week, streching the menu, cleaning out the freezer meals! Zach has had birthday parties every weekend for the last month and this coming weekend is the same..although this kid might be more interested in something cool and homemade...we shall see if my crafty bone is up for the challenge.
I will try and check in with a few foodie pics this week. Toodles

Very veggie lasagna
garlic bread

2 medium carrots, julienned
1 zucchini, cut into slices
1 yellow summer squash, cut into slices
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup sliced green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 jar (28 ounce size) spaghetti sauce(I used homemade)
1 container ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten
4 T parmesan cheese
14 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, stir-fry the vegetables, garlic and salt in oil until crisp-tender. Mix up ricotta, egg and parmesan. Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Arrange noodles over sauce, overlapping as needed. Layer with half of the vegetables, spaghetti sauce, ricotta mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for about an hour, removing foil for last 10 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting, otherwise you will have a runny mess.

Pan fried boneless pork chops
oven roasted cauliflower
rice -white (make a double batch to use extra on Friday)

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 boneless rib end pork loin roast, around 6 slices
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour measured

Heat the butter and oil in an 11 to 12-inch skillet over low heat. While the pan is heating, sprinkle the chops on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge them in flour. A couple of minutes before sauteing, increase the heat to medium-high. When the butter stops foaming and starts to smell nutty brown, arrange the chops in the skillet. Cook, turning only once, until they are a rich golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.

1 head of cauliflower
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
Lemon juice from half a lemon
Olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the oven hasn't reached 400°F yet, set aside until it has. Place in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

leftovers or breakfast
(It's my massage night)

Easy shepards pie
using leftover potatoes

1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried rosemary
8 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (such as carrots, peas, and corn), thawed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Cheddar
leftover mashed potatoes

Heat oven to 400° F. Place the beef in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until no trace of pink remains, about 5 minutes.Spoon off and discard any fat. Stir in the ketchup, dried rosemary and Worcestershire. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Spoon into a baking dish. Mix the cheese (if desired) with the potatoes in a bowl. Spread over the beef and bake until heated through, 25 minutes.

Oven baked chimis
spanish rice(made by using leftover rice)

1 – 2lbs round steak
1 cup salsa + extra for garnish
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar or monterey jack) + extra for garnish
4 burrito sized flour tortillas
about 1TBSP olive oil
optional sour cream, guacamole, cilantro

Place a roundsteak in a crockpot and cover with 1 cup salsa, cover, set on low for 4–6 hours. The steak should be fork tender when removed. Remove the steak (leave the juice behind) and shred with forks.
Preheat your oven to 375F. On a clean baking sheet, place 1/4th beef mixture and approximately 1/4th cup of shredded cheese on each of the four tortillas.
Fold and lightly brush with olive oil.Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the chimichangas are golden. Top with desired garnish: salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, guacamole, or cilantro and serve.

Rice: heat leftover rice with about 2 T salsa, 1/4 cup chicken broth, and 1/4 tsp cumin. Serve.

I will be back later in the week to post the rest of my two week menu.. Enjoy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Good weekend...hopefully a good week!

We had a great date night with another couple and a late night of fun was had by all. Thier teenage son is our babysitter so the arrangment works out perfectly. We enjoyde a Burger at our favorite joint The Burger Stand in downtown Lawrence. Seriously the pickled onion on a Kobe Cheeseburger, is a great way to start a Sat night! YUM! This week is not too exciting, but I was slightly hung over when I made the menu. Enjoy.


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.

We have a boyscout supper to attend, so no meal for tonight!

Slow cooker Chicken paprikash
over egg noodles
steamed broccoli

8-10 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 teaspoons Hungarian Paprika (Get the good stuff for this recipe! It comes in a large red can)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup, flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (I prefer concentrated stock paste)
½ cup sour cream (can use light sour cream)
1 teaspoon flour

Place thighs in a large skillet. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of paprika over the thighs. Turn thighs over and sprinkle the other 1 teaspoon of paprika over the other side. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the chicken.Place the skillet on the burner on medium/high heat. Watch the thighs carefully as there is no extra oil or water in the pan at this point. This is done deliberately so that the thighs brown nicely. Cook the thighs on one side for 2-4 minutes without moving or turning them. You can carefully peek under them occasionally to make sure they don’t burn. It’s ok to let them stick a little as this improves the flavor. After one side is nicely browned. Use tongs and turn thighs over. Cook on this side 2-4 minutes as well until browned. If you need to, you can add a small amount of water to prevent overbrowning. Transfer thighs to a slow cooker. Keep the pan drippings intact and add the onion to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium heat and sauté for several minutes. Turn the heat off and add the flour, mixing well. Add chicken broth and turn the heat back on the medium, stirring well until mixture starts to thicken. Add bouillon.
Pour thickened broth over the thighs in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before serving. Mix the sour cream with 1 teaspoon flour in a separate bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the liquid from the slow cooker to warm up the sour cream mixture (this will prevent it from curdling). Add the sour cream to the slow cooker and stir well. Continue to cook on low for 30 minutes. Serve over wide noodles. Serves: 6-8. Leftovers freeze well. Recipes compliments of:
Make dinner

Tatertot Casserole

2 lbs hamburger
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup plus one can of milk
1 bag shredded cheese
1 bag of tator tots
1 onion soup mix package
1 package frozen french style frozen greeen beans

Browm meat with soup mix in pan. Place in bottom of casserole dish. Top with frozen green beans. Mix soup and milk. Pour over beans. Top with tots. And then cheese. Bake uncoverd for about 1 hour at 350 or until tots are crispy and casserole is bubbly.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Long weekend Illness...

I went for a visit to my mom's house this weekend. I swear every time I go there I get sick...By Sunday morning I was puking my guts out...yay me! I am now well with the exception of a nervous feeling stomach. This round was doozy. Sorry I did not get the menu in on time. Just FYI I did make my family a nice meal yesterday: Steak, Scallops, fresh asparagus, and twice baked potatoes. It was devoured and enjoyed by all, sometime I will share the recipes, but for now I will just resume with the rest of this week's menu. Love and tater tots Evie

Crock pot pork ribs
baked beans
french bread

Ribs: I had the luxury of finding pork ribs for .99lb so I bought a slab..

1 slab of pork ribs
1 whole onion cut into rings
garlic powder
1 bottle BBQ sauce

Cut ribs into sections of 2-3 ribs each. Heat broiler to LOW. Place ribs on baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder. Broil until browned on each side. I usually have to do this in a few batches. Place onions and a little BBQ sauce into bottom of crock pot. Place browned ribs on top of onions. Lightly covering with sauce on each layer. Cook on high for 1 hour and low 6-8 hours. Serve with beans and coleslaw and good french bread.

Ham and Noodle Casserole

6 cups water
4 cups uncooked egg noodles
1/2 large onion chopped
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups diced cooked ham
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Boil water and cook noodles, add broccoli to noodles and cook at the same time. Saute onion in a little oil until softened. Mix all ingredients, reserving about 1/3 of cheese for the top. Bake about 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Breakfast for dinner!

Homemade pizza

Have a great rest of the week folks..thanks for tuning in!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Super Bowl Sunday..

Not that I really care..HA. What I mean to say is that I am not a big football fan, but my boys are so I will participate in making the proper food stuffs for them. I am putting a little extra TLC into house cleaning today should we invite a guest or two last minute. I am looking for a new sewing project..or maybe I will perhaps pick up and old one to keep me busy. Have a super week, may your favorite team win.

Layered taco dip with tortilla chips
Little Smokies in BBQ Sauce
Mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce

Layered dip:
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) can re fried beans
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 large tomato, chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and re fried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the re fried beans. Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green onions and lettuce over the salsa, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives.

Little Smokies in BBQ sauce:
1 pkg. Little Smokies
Prepared barbecue sauce of your choice

Put in saucepan. Cook until hot throughout. Serve warm.

Mozzarella sticks:
1 pkg. mozzarella cheese strings (8 sticks)
2 tbsp flour
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
marinara sauce for dipping

Place the cheese strings in the freezer at least 1 hour before you plan to make these. These will lessen the oozing of the cheese. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Place the flour, egg whites and crumbs in 3 separate dishes. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Cut the cheese strings in 1/2 width wise. Dip one cheese stick at a time into the flour to coat, then into the egg whites and then the crumbs. Dip it into the egg again and then the crumbs again. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Serve immediately with warmed marinara sauce.

Meatless chili pasta

1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water
1-1/2 cups uncooked pasta (I am using penne)
1 can mild chili beans, undrained
1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 can Tomato Sauce
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute the onion, green pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the water, pasta, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Top with sour cream.

Dijon crusted tilapia
steamed broccoli
leftover chili mac

3-4 tilapia filets
1/2 cup of Dijon mustard
1 juiced lemon
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Mix together dijon mustard and lemon juice. Dip fillets in mixture on both sides, then bread with pank crumbs on both sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until panko is slightly brown and fish flakes easily with fork.

potato wedges
raw veggies

You can do this one alone folks!

Baked chicken
mushrooms and spinach

16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
4 green onions, sliced on diagonal
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon lemon zest
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 lbs spinach, precleaned
4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken breast with whatever seasoning you like, I am using a grill seasoning. Spray nonstick pan and saute chicken until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. Slice into strips if desired. Spray pan again if needed and saute mushrooms, lemon zest, green onion, garlic and tomatoes just until soft.
Add wine, lemon juice and enough water to equal one cup liquid. De glaze pan and reduce to make a thin sauce. Add fresh spinach and cook til wilted. Season with fresh pepper and salt. Plate veggie saute and place chicken on top.
Garnish with fresh Parmesan on top! Serve with steaming hot rice.

Orzo and tomato soup
grilled cheese sandwiches

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup orzo, cooked AL dente
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil and chicken stock and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and, working in batches (about 1 cup at a time), transfer the soup to a blender (or just use an immersion blender in the pot) and puree until very smooth. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the orzo, cream, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Blues equals cooking and sewing

Well I have been cooped up for three days. Finally we had school today and I am glad to get a break from Zach. Not that I don't love him..but he requires a lot of attention. He has the only kid syndrome. He needs constant attention and interaction. Luckily we still had cable, so I was able to get some things done. I made some amazing cookies, and most importantly I finished a blanket I have been working on for quite some time.
Its so cute and warm! I can't wait to give it to the little baby I made it for.
During the break I swear I have gained 10 lbs..probably 5 just yesterday. I switched up the menu this week and made things out of order, but I still made what was on the menu. I cooked three homemade meals yesterday: Biscuits and gravy for breakfast, hamburgers and potato wedges for lunch and for dinner lasagna with bread and salad. It certainly was an eating day! Hope you are staying warm.