Friday, February 29, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
If the weather holds out, it should be back to school like normal for us. Two weeks ago, we missed 2 days of school, and this past week we were out on Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately it was due to ice both times, so we didn't even get the joy of playing in the snow. It also means that we now have to go to school into June. Yuck! Because of the snow day, I ended up needing to cook on Thursday, so you will see an added recipe for Pasta Carbonara. I also baked a couple of desserts yesterday, so be sure to check out the Cream Cheese Squares and the Black Bottom Cupcakes.
This week is back to the normal busy schedule. I have evening computer trainings, the boy has scouts, jazz band, and church youth, and the hubby has a work retreat. I have my church book club on Friday, and I'm excited because I get to make one of my all-time favorite dishes - sauerkraut and dumplings! My boys will have nothing to do with sauerkraut, but luckily all of the ladies in my book club love it. I will have to post a recipe after I make it, because I just kind of eyeball it. So those of you who love sauerkraut, be sure to check back after Friday. Have a great week, and if you want to see more menus, go orgjunkie.com.
Sunday - Beer Braised Beef with Noodles, Green beans
Monday - Eat at training
Tuesday - Funky chicken with sesame noodles, Pea pods
Wednesday - Chili (have some frozen in the freezer) and PB Sandwiches
Thursday - Eat at training
Friday - Sauerkraut and dumplings
Saturday - Pork Chop Potato Casserole, Brussels sprouts
The noodles were a bit strong for me. The sesame oil was a bit much and was a stronger flavor than I expected. The next time I make this I will drastically reduce the amount of sesame oil I use in the recipe. I also substitued Splenda for the sugar, which worked great.
1 lb spaghettini (get the thinnest spaghetti you can find)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup sugar
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts sesame oil, for sauteeing
First make the sesame noodes:
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.
In a jar, add the soy sauce, sesame oil and the sugar.
Shake until well blended and the sugar has dissolved.
Pour this over the pasta.
Toss with scallions and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Set aside while you marinate and then cook the chicken.
Funkying the chicken:
In a bowl mix the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic, brown sugar and the ginger.
Make sure the sugar has pretty much dissolved.
Add the chicken, making sure it's all coated with the sauce.
Cover and stick in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, and toss out the marinade left at the bottom of the bowl.
Heat the sesame oil in a large non-stick pan.
Add the chicken in batches and saute for about 10 minutes, or until done, adding more sesame oil as needed.
Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool slightly.
Slice the chicken diagonally into thin strips.
Serve the chicken over the sesame noodles.
(recipe source - recipe zaar)
Note after dinner: This was great! Even the boy loved it.
3 bacon strips, diced
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 can (12 ounces) beer or nonalcoholic beer
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
Hot cooked noodles
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, discarding drippings. Sprinkle beef with pepper and salt. In the same skillet, brown beef in oil. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker.
Add the bacon, onion, garlic and bay leaf. In a small bowl, combine the beer, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Pour over beef mixture. Cover and cook on low for 5-1/2 to 6 hours or until meat is tender.
In a small bowl, combine flour and water until smooth. Gradually stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf. Serve beef over noodles.
Yield: 8 servings.
(recipe source -Best Simple Recipes)
Saturday, February 23, 2008
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups Pillsbury All-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup almonds, chopped, if desired
2 tablespoons sugar, if desired
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and egg; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips; set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Fill prepared muffin cups 1/2 full. Top each with tablespoonful of cream cheese mixture. Combine almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar; sprinkle evenly over cream cheese mixture (I almost always leave these off as my family doesn't like nuts in desserts). Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cream cheese mixture is light brown. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers.
Servings: 18 cupcakes
(recipe source - Pillsbury)
Cream Cheese Squares
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a
medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla until
smooth and creamy. Spread over the crescent layer. Unroll the second can of
crescent rolls and lay them on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down.
Pour the melted margarine over the entire pan. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup
of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is crisp and
4. Refrigerate overnight to help them set before cutting into squares. If you try to cut them when they are warm, they will be runny.
(recipe source - allrecipes)
1/2 pound bacon, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 onion - chopped
1 t rosemary
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup parmesan cheese
pasta noodles of your choice (I used thin spaghetti as that is what I had in the house)
Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling water.
While pasta is cooking, fry bacon in a large frying pan. Cook until almost done (I like mine cooked through, but not crispy). Add the garlic, rosemary and onion. Cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add 1/2 cup white wine and cook until liquid is reduced to about half of original amount.
Drain pasta and pour into large serving bowl. Add bacon mixture and parmesan cheese. Mix to coat pasta.
Yes, I know this is not a normal post from me - it's not a recipe. But, aprons and recipes go hand-in-hand, so I think it's still appropriate. :)
I stumbled on the Flirty Apron Swap last week and thought it would be really fun to participate. It will be a great way for me to force myself to get my sewing machine back out and practice my sewing skills. Plus, my very talented mother promised she would help me make my apron for the swap, so my partner won't have to worry about the quality of the apron they receive. It will be great! Anyway, here are the details of the swap if this sounds like fun to you:
Deadline to Sign Up: March 2, 2008
Deadline to Mail Aprons: March 31, 2008
Total items required to receive a Swap-Bot 5 rating for the swap:
* Handmade adorable adult-sized apron (by you or you could buy one on Etsy I suppose)
* A kitchen/cooking accessory of some sort - could be a fun gadget, a small cookbook, or new condiment. Must be valued at least $5.
* Two of your favorite recipes, preferably something fun, flirty and cute! =) (Feel free to make up a fun name for a more-ordinary recipe)
Want hearts on Swap-Bot? Make an effort for adorable packing, naming, creative embellishments, etc. Most of all , HAVE FUN! Click here to join at Swap-Bot. Not a Swap-Bot member? E-mail the swap host, Shawneeh, at shawneeh at yahoo dot com with your full name, mailing address and blog URL (if you have one).
As an extra incentive to sign up for the swap by February 29th, the Maple Lane Apron Company has donated one of their very cute aprons to be given away in a random drawing. All you have to do to be eligible for the drawing is register for the swap by February 29, visit the Maple Lane website and look at their aprons, and post a comment on Shawneeh's blog stating which apron you like the best. Here are a couple of pictures of the apron that will be given away in the drawing:
Friday, February 22, 2008
As a kind-of birthday present, he and some friends redesigned my header image, which I thought was very sweet. Here is what it supposed to look like. Isn't it cute? Wouldn't it be cuter if it were at the top of my blog as a header? I think so, too!
Today, I went to upload the new image, and to my utter frustration, stupid Blogger won't show the image. I had problems with this in my original version, so I actually created a practice blog to make sure the new image and template would work before I changed my real blog. The practice one worked perfectly, but of course my original blog did not. As you can see, I'm headerless (I feel so vulnerable!).
I asked my computer guru friend Mark and my brother to help me out, and I'm hoping one of them will save the day. All the CSS html code nonsense is way beyond my poor little brain's technical abilities. If anyone else out there knows of a way to bring my header to life, I'm open to suggestions. So for now, I'll just have experience a little "blog nakedness".
Sunday, February 17, 2008
My birthday is Monday and I turn 38. I think I'm supposed to feel old. I have a son in junior high for pete's sake! But, I really don't feel old. I still feel pretty young. :-) I have a lot of energy and I definitely don't act my age. Ask my son, he'll agree with me. Anyway, my hubby has a meeting Monday night and the boy has scouts, so guess I'll have to take myself out to dinner. I am going to make one of my favorites for dinner Sunday, so I guess I'll count that as my birthday dinner. I only have one computer training this week, so I do actually get to cook a bit more than I have been. Enjoy the recipes, and if you want to see more menus, go to orgjunkie.com.
Sunday - Filets and bacon wrapped scallops, Twice-baked potatoes, Brussels sprouts, Salad
Monday - out to eat for my B-day, then take the boy to scouts
Tuesday - Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu, Green Beans, Mandarin Oranges
Wednesday - Fettuccini Alfredo, Broccoli, Salad
eat at training Pasta Carbonara (snow day - needed to cook after all)
Friday - Fusilli with Shrimp and Spinich, Salad, Garlic bread
Saturday - Cuban Pork Tenderloin, Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice, Salad, Peaches
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans black beans,drained
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
In a small stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the spices, bacon and black beans.
(modified from a recipe on cooks.com)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup dark rum
5 minced cloves of garlic
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients except pork and pour into a large resealable plastic bag. Place tenderloin in the bag and marinate in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.
Drain and discard marinade. Place tenderloin in foil lined pan. Roast at 350 degrees for 50 minutes-1 hour. Let pork rest for 10 minutes and slice.
(recipe source - cooks.com)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined (I used frozen, pre-cooked shrimp - faster and cheaper)
12 ounces fusilli (spiral) pasta
3 cups (packed) fresh spinch, torn in 1/2
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and
garlic and and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper
flakes and white wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the wine reduces by
half, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook just until they are pink, about 2
Meanwhile, cook the fusilli in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender
but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Drain the fusilli. Add the fusilli and spinich to the skillet. Toss to combine.
Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a large
bowl and serve.
(recipe modified from recipe by Giada De Laurentiis)
1/2 lb. fettuccine, uncooked
1-1/4 cups. fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 tsp. flour
1/3 cup. Light Cream Cheese Spread
3 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
COOK pasta as directed on package.
MEANWHILE, mix broth and flour in medium saucepan with wire whisk. Add cream cheese spread, 2 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese, the nutmeg and pepper; cook 2 min. or until mixture comes to boil and thickens, stirring constantly.
DRAIN pasta; place in large bowl. Add sauce; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese and the parsley.
(recipe source - Kraft)
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened (I use fat free)
1 stick Butter, softened (I often use light margarine)
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup grated Parmesean Cheese
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Melt Cream Cheese, Butter, and Milk together in a saucepan. Add remaining ingrediants, Garlic Powder last. Stir with a whisk until all melted together. Pour over cooked pasta.
(recipe source - Food for Thought)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c butter, melted
4 thin slices deli ham
4T honey mustard
4 thin slices swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pound chicken to equal thickness and place into a casserole dish
Brush the chicken equally with the melted butter
Place ham slices on each breast and top each with 1 T honey mustard
Top each with cheese slices
Bake covered 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through
(recipe source - Mommy Cooks)
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/3 cups chicken broth
3 T cornstarch
3 T sherry
2 T light soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 T ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T sesame oil (I use whatever oil I have around - canola, olive, etc.)
fresh vegetables of your choice (I like broccoli, pea pods, and mushrooms) - sliced for stir fry
Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine broth, cornstarch, sherry, soy sauce, and vinegar. Set aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet or wok over high heat. Add ginger and garlic and suate 1 minute. Add chicken and stir-fry until lightly browned. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.
Add vegetables and broth mixture to pan. Cover for about 5 minutes to steam. Return chicken to pan and cook until sauce is thickened.
Serve over rice or noodles.
Monday, February 11, 2008
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
In a 3-quart pan over low heat, heat butter until melted. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, peanut butter, and baking powder until smoothly blended. Evenly spread batter in a buttered and floured 8-inch square pan. Bake in 350°F oven until edges feel firm to touch and begin to turn a shade darker, 25 to 30 minutes (but can take up to 40 minutes, depending on your oven). Run a knife between pan rim and baked brownie. Cool in pan on a rack. Cut into squares.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This week is a "use what's in the freezer" week for me. Sometimes I get so excited planning my meals for the week that I forget to look at what I already have in the freezer, and I end up spending unnecessary money on groceries. So, this week I'm using what I already have. My menu may not be quite as exciting, but it will work with our busy schedule and use existing ingredients. :) I'll try to post some extra recipes this week just for fun. For other menus, check out Organizing Junkie.
Sunday - Chicken Manicotti, Garlic Bread, Broccoli
Monday - Turkey Breast (I have a Jenny O Oven Ready Turkey Breast - just throw it in the over straight from the freezer), Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Tuesday - Chicken Stir Fry, Rice
Wednesday - BBQ Pork Baked Potatoes (had some BBQ pork frozen in the freezer - I just cook a pork roast in my crock pot, shred it, and then pour in a bottle of BBQ sauce and let it sit in the crock pot - makes a ton of meat, freezes well, tastes great on a baked potato, espcially if you top it with cheddar), Corn, Peaches
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday -Homemade pizza
Saturday - Honey Dijon Salmon and Asparagus, Rice (I've skipped this twice now, so hopefully I'll actually cook it this week)
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Last week I did fairly well on my menu. We ended up altering weekend plans, so I didn't make the salmon on Friday (we got a rotisserie chicken from Wal Mart instead) and our company is coming for the Super Bowl instead, so we didn't do steak and scallops on Saturday (just ate leftovers). This week I will be presenting at a conference in St. Louis, so the boys are on their own for a couple of nights. I will be cooking some new things when I return, so you will see some new recipes listed. Enjoy! Check out Laura's site for more menus.
Sunday - Super Bowl Party: Chili Dogs, Chips and dip, Bacon appetizer crescents, Fruit tray, Veggie tray, Brownies/ice cream
Monday - Boys eat out
Tuesday - Corey with Grandpa; Eric has work dinner
Wednesday - Spaghetti, Salad, Rolls
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Meatloaf Muffins, Mashed potatoes, Green Beans, Salad
Saturday - Chicken Manicotti , Broccoli, Salad, Peaches
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast tenders (uncooked)
14 uncooked manicotti1
(30 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/3 cup of the spaghetti sauce in ungreased 13x9.2 baking dish. Sprinkle garlic powder on chicken. Insert chicken into uncooked manicotti shells. Place shells on spaghetti sauce in dish. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce evenly over shells, covering completely. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 1 hour, or until shells are tender.
(recipe from Mommy Cooks)
1 lb lean ground beef (93/7)
1 box Stove Top Lower Sodium Chicken stuffing mix
1 cup water
2 egg whites
1 medium onion, diced
1 T A1 sauce
Mix all ingredients together and divide into 12 muffin cups that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Makes 6 servings of two muffins per serving
(recipe from Weight Watchers)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I use fat free)
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. milk
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Preheat oven to 375 °F. Mix cream cheese, bacon, Parmesan cheese, onions, parsley and milk until well blended; set aside. Separate each can of dough into four rectangles; firmly press perforations together to seal. Spread each rectangle with 2 rounded tablespoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture. Cut each rectangle into 12 wedges. Roll up wedges, starting at short ends. Place, seam-sides down, on greased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes: 8 doz. or 24 servings, four crescents each
(recipe from Kraft)