Sunday, March 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - New Recipes!



I finally have a some new recipes posted this week! I spent most of the day today getting some stuff cooked and put in the freezer, which is a good thing because I totally depleted my stock. I also made a double batch of Best Ever Blondies (this time with chocolate chips) which were simply outstanding. If you need a new dessert to try, I highly recommend them. :-) I hope you enjoy the recipes and find the menu helpful. Find other menus at orgjunkie.com.

Here is this week's menu:

Sunday
Breakfast: Bacon Quiche Biscuit Cups
Dinner: Catalina Meatballs with Noodles, Green Beans, Salad

Monday
Breakfast: Cinnamon Streusel Cider Muffins
Dinner: Eat at training

Tuesday
Breakfast: Sausage Cheese Muffins
Dinner: Cheese Manicotti, Broccoli, Salad

Wednesday
Breakfast: Breakfast burritos
Dinner: Eat at teacher banquet

Thursday
Breakfast: Pumpkin bread
Dinner: Leftovers

Friday
Breakfast: Eggs on Toast
Dinner: Chicken enchiladas, Applesauce, Salad

Saturday
Breakfast: Bacon Cheese Pull-Aparts
Dinner: Filets, Baked Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Peaches

Cinnamon-Streusel Cider Muffins


The streusel topping makes these muffins! I use 1 cup of regular flour and 3/4 cup of wheat flour to up the fiber. I also substitute applesauce for the oil.

Ingredients

For Streusel:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter

For Muffins:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/4 cup cooking oil

Directions

For Streusel:

Stir brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Set aside.

For Muffins:

Lightly oil twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper baking cups; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center.

In a small mixing bowl combine egg, apple cider, and oil; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just till moistened. (The batter should be lumpy.)

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the batter into each prepared muffin cup. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar mixture over each. Fill with remaining batter. Sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining streusel.

Bake in a preheated 400° F oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove muffins from pans; cool slightly on racks.

Makes 12 muffins

Basic Meatballs


This is just the basic meatball recipe I use when making spaghetti, meatball sandwiches, Catalina Meatballs, etc. I bake them and use ground round so they are pretty low fat.

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef (93/7)
1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup skim milk
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 egg

Directions

Mix ingredients; shape into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls (can make them larger or smaller - your preference). Bake in 13x9x2 inch pan on a rack so grease falls away while cooking, in 400 degree oven until light light brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Bacon Cheese Pull-Aparts


This is a wonderful breakfast dish that my family loves.

Ingredients

1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 (16.3-oz.) can Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Layers Refrigerated Original Biscuits
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, cooked
3 oz. (3/4 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (4 medium) (I often leave these out.)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 11x7- or 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat egg and milk with wire whisk until smooth.

2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Fold in bacon, cheese and onions. Spoon mixture into sprayed dish; arrange biscuit pieces in single layer.

3. Bake at 350°F. for 23 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares.

(recipe source - Pillsbury)

Easy Chicken Enchiladas


You can make this same recipe with 1 pound cooked ground beef. I use Mission brand Carb Balance tortillas because they taste fantastic - just like a regular flour tortilla - but they are low fat and high in fiber (7 grams of fiber in each one!).

Ingredients

8 oz. cooked, shredded chicken
2 10 oz cans Enchilada Sauce
2 oz. shredded cheese (I use Kraft 2% milk cheddar)
8 Mission Carb Balance Small flour tortillas

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat chicken, 1 can enchilada sauce, and 1 oz cheese in skillet until warmed through and cheese is melted.

2. Spoon enchilada filling onto tortillas; roll up and place seam-side down in lightly greased 13x9x2 baking dish.

3. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings of 2 enchiladas each.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

I make this recipe in a bundt pan and usually have enough batter left over for about 6 muffins. It is a very moist, very tasty pumpkin bread recipe. I usually cut the cake into thirds and freeze it for later use.

Ingredients

2 cups canned pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, water, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat until well mixed

3. Measure the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice into a separate bowl and stir until combined.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth.

5. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and dust with flour (or use Bundt pan). Evenly divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans by inverting onto a rack and tapping the bottoms.

(recipe source - Mommy Cooks)

Manicotti with Cheese


This is a family favorite. It's a little messy to make, but it's worth it.

Ingredients

14 pieces (8 oz) manicotti noodles, uncooked
1 ¾ cups (15 oz container) part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups (about 28 oz jar) spaghetti sauce

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Cool in single layer on foil. Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, stir together cheeses, parsley, salt and pepper; spoon into cooled pasta tubes. Spread thin layer of sauce on bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish; arrange filled pasta in single layer over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over pasta; cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly.

Servings: 6-8

Catalina Meatballs with Noodles


This is very similar to a Dutch Oven recipe I make with chicken. My family enjoys the sweetness of the sauce. This is a nice alternative to spaghetti and meatballs.

Ingredients

For meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef (93/7)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup skim milk
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 egg

For Sauce:
1t ground ginger
1t garlic powder
1/4 C apricot preserves
1/2 C Catalina dressing (I used French)
1 T soy sauce
1/4 C water

8 oz Ronzoni Smart Taste Extra Wide Noodles

Directions:
To make meatballs:
Mix first seven ingredients; shape into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls (can make them larger or smaller - your preference). Bake in 13x9x2 inch pan on a rack so grease falls away while cooking, in 400 degree oven until light light brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Place cooked meatballs and remaining ingredients, except pasta, into a medium saucepan, stirring often until it comes to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. While sauce is simmering, bring 8 cups of water to a boil and add noodles. Boil 8-10 minutes or until tender. Serve hot meatballs and sauce over pasta.

Makes 4 servings.

Bacon Quiche Biscuit Cups


These are spectacular! If you have ever eaten one of Panera Bread's baked egg souffles, this recipe will remind you of them. To try to make them a bit lower in fat, I use fat free cream cheese, skim milk, and I use 2% milk cheddar instead of the swiss. I think I might try adding some spinich or artichokes next time (at least in mine - the 13-year-old will have nothing to do with spinich unless it's in a salad).

Ingredients


5 slices bacon
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded Swiss cheese (I used cheddar because I didn't have any swiss)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 (12-oz.) can Pillsbury® Golden Layers® Refrigerated Biscuits


Directions

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 10 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. In medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in small bowl until smooth. Gradually add milk and eggs, beating at low speed until smooth. Stir in Swiss cheese and onions. Set aside.
3. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press or roll each to form 5-inch round. Place 1 biscuit round in each sprayed muffin cup; firmly press in bottom and up sides, forming 1/4-inch rim. Place half of bacon in bottom of dough-lined muffin cups. Spoon cheese mixture evenly into cups.
4. Bake at 375°F. for 21 to 26 minutes or until filling is set and edges of biscuit cups are golden brown. Sprinkle each with remaining bacon; lightly press into filling. Remove biscuit cups from pan.

Makes 10 biscuit cups

(recipe source - Pillsbury)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Survival Mode



Well, I'm beginning to think I'm not going to have a "normal" week ever again. Ah, what's normal anyway? Sounds boring. Spring break ended up being a bummer for me. I was sick the whole time, and I am still trying to recouperate. I sure wish I could have a spring break do-over. I was really hoping to accomplish a lot of things during the week. Oh well. This week is another busy one for our fam. The hubby will be traveling, I have lots of computer workshops after school, and the boy has his usual busy schedule, including turning 13 on Friday! Boy, do I feel old! :) Anyway, here is our survival mode menu for the week. I know it might not help you out much this week. Be sure to go to orgjunkie.com to see other menus. I did a couple of great dessert recipes (Raspberry Dream Cheesecake and Best Ever Blondies) so be sure to check them out.

Sunday - Easter dinner at my mom's house (Thanks, Mom! It was great!)
Monday - Eat at computer training
Tuesday - Chili, PB sandwhiches
Wednesday - Spaghetti Chili
Thursday - Eat at computer training
Friday - Out for dinner to celebrate the boy's 13th birthday
Saturday - Voodoo pasta that we never got to last week due to my illness

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Raspberry Dream Cheesecake


This is a modified version of a Kraft recipe. My friend Sandi recently made an orange version for a teacher luncheon at school. You can substitute any flavor of jello to flavor the dessert. I'm partial to raspberry. I leave out the graham cracker crumbs comepletely, and I put it in a pie plate instead of a springform pan. This is a very low-fat, low sugar dessert, and it tastes amazing!

Ingredients:

1 graham cracker, crushed
2/3 cup. boiling water
1 pkg. (4-serving size) raspberry flavor sugar free jello (or whatever flavor you like)
1 cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
8 oz. Fat Free Cream Cheese
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping

Directions:

1. Sprinkle crumbs onto bottom of 8- or 9-inch springform pan sprayed with cooking spray. (can also use a pie pan)

2. Stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 min. until
completely dissolved. Cool 5 min.; pour into blender. Add cheeses; blend well. Pour into large bowl. Gently stir in whipped topping. Pour into prepared pan; smooth top.

3. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Remove rim of pan before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Best Ever Blondies


Chewey, rich and flavorful, these blondies are simply heaven on a plate. I use white chocolate chips when I make mine, but you could easily substitute butterscotch or chocolate, and if you like nuts, feel free to add them in. You won't be able to resist these tasty treats! Serve them with a cold glass of milk and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of white chocolate chips (chopped walnuts, butterscotch chips, or chocolate chips are equally tasty)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour an 8X8 pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.
2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.
3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the butterscotch chips or other mix-ins.
4. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 9 blondies.

Grilled Asparagus


This is a great recipe for fresh asparagus. It is easy to make and tastes great. It is a great side dish for grilling season. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

For 4 servings
1 pound asparagus
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper Cooking spray

Directions:

1. Prepare grill.
2. Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Combine all ingredients except cooking spray in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Remove asparagus from bag, and discard marinade. Place asparagus on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until asparagus is done.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday




Well, our spring break starts today, and wouldn't you know it - I'm sick. :( I've been in bed for two days with a nasty cold. So, I have accomplished nothing this weekend. I didn't get my menu planned, and I didn't get my grocery shopping done. I'm hoping that I will feel well enough later today to at least make it to the store. I promise to post my complete menu and recipes as soon as I'm better, so come back and visit me in a day or so. You can find other menus at orgjunkie.com.

Sunday - Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup
Monday - Corned Beef and Cabbage
Tuesday - Voodoo Pasta
Wednesday - Beef Enchiladas
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Grilled chicken fajitas
Saturday - Filets

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup



This is my go-to chicken noodle soup recipe. It's creamy, tasty, and as the title says, very comforting. The best thing is, it's low in calories and sodium. It makes 15 cups of soup.


Ingredients
6 cups water
1 quart Imagine Organic Chicken Broth, Low Sodium
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
8 oz. uncooked Ronzoni Extra Wide Noodles
2 cans Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
16 oz. cubed cooked boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup fat free sour cream
fresh parsley (dried works in a pinch)
fresh ground black pepper

Directions

In large pot, bring water and stock to a boil. Add carrots and celery and cook about 10 minutes. Add noodles; cook, uncovered until tender, about 10 minutes. Do not drain. Add soup and chicken, heat through. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper to taste.

Servings: 15 one cup servings

Refried Bean Soup

This soup is mildly spicy, very flavorful, and super healthy. It’s one of my favorite lunch soups. I make a batch and eat it all week for lunch. If you want to make it heartier, add in some diced cooked chicken. Top it with some shredded cheese, sour cream, and cilantro for an extra special touch (just don’t forget that this adds to the calories).



Ingredients
2 cans (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 cans fat free refried beans
4 cups Imagine Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup uncooked Minute Instant Brown Rice (optional)

Directions

Combine tomatoes, garlic, onion, and 1 cup of broth in a large pan; boil for five minutes, stirring often.

Stir in beans and remaining 3 cups broth and rice; simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Serving Size: Makes 11 1-cup servings

Menu Plan Monday



Well, I'm almost embarrassed to publish my "menu" for this week. We will be gone every night this week, so there won't be much cooking going on. I'm going to make a couple of batches of soups that we can bring with us to our various evening events and quickly heat up so we don't have to eat out every night. I will try to post the recipes as soon as possible, but I won't be able to take photos since we will be on the run. I can't wait until spring break.

Sunday - Honey Roasted Pork Loin
Monday - soup on the go
Tuesday - soup on the go
Wednesday - soup on the go
Thursday - soup on the go
Friday - Homemade Pizza, Salad
Saturday - Lasagne, Salad, Garlic Bread

Soups - Refried Bean Soup, Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup, Chili (already in freezer)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A peek at my apron fabric choices

I went shopping for fabrics for the apron I am making for the apron swap. I purchased fabrics to make four different aprons, one of which will be for my swap partner. I created this little "video teaser" to show off my fabric choices. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



We had an amazing weekend weatherwise. It seems like it has been cold, cloudy, dreary and icy forever. The previous two weeks we had four snow days, and we have had a total of eight snow days so far this year. For southwest Missouri, this is kind of a big deal. We don't usually get much winter precipitation. Unfortunately, it has all been ice and sleet, which does not lend itself to fun, wintertime activities. Well, this weekend was our first hint of spring. It was 70 degrees and sunny both days (though today was rather windy)! It was so nice to be outside. Yesterday, we went for a hike in northern Arkansas (Hide Out Hollow trail - beautiful waterfalls). I can't tell you how great it felt to be outside in the sun again. But, (yes, there is always a but) leave it to kooky Missouri weather to go and ruin my happy spring feelings. Even though it is currently 70 degrees, we are under a winter storm watch. :-( Tomorrow evening it is supposed to snow and sleet, with possible accumulations of up to 12 inches! Only in Missouri can you have 70 degrees one day and a foot of snow the next.

We have our usual busy schedule this week, though with the chance of snow, who knows what will actually happen. I have computer trainings Monday and Tuesday, Corey has scouts and jazz band, and he starts track practice. I also have a fund rasier for the library to help fund an author that is going to come visit my kids in April. Because of the busy schedule, you won't see a lot of new stuff this week, but if we end up with snow and manage to keep our electricity on, I'm sure I will be doing some extra cooking. So, here's this week's menu. For other great menu ideas, check out Organzing Junkie.


Sunday - leftovers (need to finish up the funky chicken, pork chops, and dumplings from last week)
Monday - eat at training
Tuesday - Frito Pie (hubby request - boys, what are you going to do with them)
Wednesday - Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Broccoli, Salad
Thursday - eat at Papa Grands Pizza for school fundraiser
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Chinese Lemon Chicken, Rice, Green Beans


Chinese Lemon Chicken


Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces
1/2 cup flour
1 T salt
6 oz (1/2 can) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
3 T brown sugar
1 t balsamic vinegar
3 T ketchup
olive oil for browning chicken

Directions:

Cut chicken into strips or largish chunks
Dredge in flour and salt, shake off excess
Brown chicken in a skillet with a bit of olive oil (you are not trying to cook the chicken--just give it some color and get the flour mixture to stick a bit)
Place into crockpot
Mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over the top of chicken pieces
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 6-8

Serve over rice, drizzle with remaining sauce.


(recipe source - Crockpot Lady)

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