Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sample Menu 7

I think(?) it's my week to do the Sample Menu...

I watched an episode of Rachael Ray last week - she did her Top Ten downloaded recipes from her website (super awesome episode!) so I've copied all those recipes and I'll be trying a few of them this week!

Sunday: Gyoza & Ramen (without the liquid) a new fav in our house
Monday: Linguine with Shrimp and Creamy Roasted Tomatoes
Tuesday: Cheeseburger Chili Mac N’ Cheese
Wednesday: Deluxe Potato Casserole
Thursday: Sticky Baked Chicken
Friday: White Bean Chicken Chili
Saturday: Date Night - $5 Pizza

SUPER BOWL FOODS: Buffalo Chicken Dip, Queso, Devilishly Delightful Deviled Eggs, Texas Caviar - I can't wait!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Simply Delicious Pork

This recipe came from the Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes book (page 143):
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 6 pieces or 6 boneless pork loin chops
4 medium Golden Delicious apples, sliced
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place pork in Crock Pot. Cover with apples.
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, & salt in small bowl; sprinkle over apples. Cover; cook on LOW 6-8 hours.
I made this with thin cut pork chops and cooked it for 6 hours. The flavor was great, but the pork chops were dry (overcooked). I'd try this again with the whole pork loin or thick cut pork chops ... or maybe just a shorter time would work too.

Squid Dogs

I got this recipe from the Family Fun magazine I get in the mail every month. It looked like a fun idea for lunch for my 2 year old son & 2 year old niece I watch everyday. The kids loved it!

Just stick spaghetti noodles through cut up pieces of hot dog and boil. Top with butter (and I added some grated parmasean cheese).

Gyoza (Dumplings, Pot Stickers)

Yummy in my tummy...
I bought this super ginormous baking sheet at Williams & Sonoma (reg $70) for $9.99 - it is too large to fit in my oven (that was obvious when I bought it) but it is great for Gyoza or when I am making rolls or more than one loaf of bread.
Thanks to my super awesome lady Morgan for giving me this recipe!! I made gyoza (aka Japanese dumplings or pot stickers) from scratch today!! It was really fun - and they turned out so delicious!!

Don't be intimidated. It is an extremely simple recipe. The trick is getting all that goodness into those wonton wrappers is a bit time consuming - but I am telling you it is worth it! I would def recommend buying a dumpling press (about $2) that speeds up the process tremendously! Just think of the satisfaction you will feel knowing that you can make your own gyoza. Ok, maybe I am a little crazy - but y'all know how much I LOVE food!

Morgan's Gyoza
1/2 lb ground pork
6 cabbage leaves diced (1/2 a small head)
3 minced cloves of garlic
3 diced green onions
3 dashes garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
gyoza wrappers (or square wonton wrappers)

Cook the pork (in a saute pan over medium heat until no longer pink). Combine all ingredients. Mix it well.
Then you need the gyoza wrappers, a teaspoon, a small dish of water for sealing them and a tray to put them in once you're done folding them. Take one wrapper and put approx a tsp of filling in the center of the wrapper. Then dip your finger in the water and wet half of the edge of the wrapper. Then take the center of the wet edge and fold it up to meet the center of the dry edge and lightly pinch. Moving towards the outside fold small sections over to make the pretty folds, making sure to pinch the edges shut so filling doesn't explode out. Once you hit the end seal it and then do the other side working from the center to the end. OR you can get a dumpling press which is ten times faster - totally cheap and worth it!

Then pan fry them. I start with a hot saute pan and add a little sesame oil to coat the pan, then add as many dumplings as the pan will hold. I brown two sides of the dumpling. Once browned I add water to cover them half way and cover the pan. Allow them to steam until the water runs out, on medium heat, approx 9 minutes. Remove the lid, and then let the dumplings crisp up again on one or two sides. I get impatient and crisp one side because they smell so yummy :D Once crispy they're ready for hungry tummys. we usually dip them in soy sauce, lightly topped with sesame oil and a dash of chile oil (but no chile oil for the kiddies unless they like the spice).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gyoza Soup

If that is what you call it... my brother's girlfriend is a pastry chef in LA. She is an amazing cook too. She posted yesterday about the 'made from scratch' gyoza (pot stickers) she made - and the soup she made with them. I went to the asian market today to get everything I need to make her delicious Gyoza - but I didn't have time to make them today - that's on the agenda for tomorrow.

Anyway... I couldn't get that soup out of my head - so I made a total cheater version:

Gyoza Soup
Ling Ling Pot Stickers (costco)
Top Ramen (any flavor of choice)
Green Onions (diced)

Boil pot stickers in a covered sauce pan for 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, take each pot sticker out of the water and set on a plate to cool a bit. Using the same water you boiled the pot stickers in - cook Ramen according to package directions. While that is cooking - dice your green onions.

Combine all ingredients and mànmàn chī! (Bon Appetit)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Deluxe Potato Casserole

This is another recipe from Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes (Page 148). They were great - served with BBQ Chicken.
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 container (8 oz) sour cream
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds red potatoes, peeled & chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups stuffing mix
Combine soup, sour cream, onion, 1/4 cup butter, and salt in small bowl.
Combine potatoes and cheese in Crock Pot. Pour soup mixture over potato mixture. Mix well. Sprinkle stuffing mix over potato mixture; drizzle with remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Cover; cook on LOW 8-10 hours or HIGH 5-6 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
*** I cooked on LOW for 8 hours and the edges around the crock pot were pretty crispy. I wouldn't plan on cooking longer than 8 hours.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sample Menu

Monday- Onion Soup Roast, potatoes, veggies and Rolls
Tuesday- Leftover Roast Beef Sandwiches and Salad
Wednesday- Southwest Chicken Taco Salads
Thursday- Turkey Avocado Wraps with Chips
Friday- Fend for yourself night... GIRLS NIGHT OUT!
Saturday- BBQ chicken with Rice
Sunday- Veggie Chowder Soup with bread sticks

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My New Fav Ingredient - ROTEL

Yes, it's true. Rotel. Where has this lovely ingredient been my whole life?? 2 of the most simple, fast, easy recipes I have made with Rotel this week...

16 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 can Rotel (medium or hot - based on preference)

Microwave ingredients for 3 minutes. Stir and microwave again for 3 minutes. Done.

I returned from a bike ride to find my hubs and his friend watching the NFL playoffs. I whipped up the Queso and both men were in heaven. Hubs friend, Mike (who is a huge fan of hot/spicy food) commented on the spice and flavor of my dip (I used Rotel HOT). He's not a real foodie - which made me watching him devour this Queso even more rewarding. Mike's wife came over and the first thing he said was "you have to try this dip" she was also impressed (and she IS a foodie) they were all shocked when I told them what was in it. Minimal effort - maximum taste points!

Black Bean and Rotel
1 can of Black beans
1 can of Rotel

Cook black beans in microwave (as per directions on the can) 3 minutes. Add rotel. Done.
I have eaten this both in a burrito and as a side dish. Super delish - and it's high in fiber and low fat!

Thank you Rotel. I will be finding more ways to use you - you rock!
*AND - my friend just told me that the capsaisan in hot peppers has just as much Vitamin C as an orange - so not only is Rotel delicious and low fat - but a great source of Vitamin C!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cream Cheese Chicken with Broccoli

4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" pieces

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 package italian salad dressing mix

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 cup chopped onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 bag (10 oz) frozen broccoli florets, thawed

1 package (8 oz) low-fat cream cheese, cubed

1/4 cup dry sherry

hot cooked pasta

Toss chicken in olive oil (I used boneless skinless chicken tenders - about 8 to feed my family of 3 w/ leftovers). Sprinkle with italian salad dressing mix. Place in Crock Pot. Cover; cook on LOW 3 hours.
Coat large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add mushrooms and onion, cook 5 minutes over medium heat or util onions are tender.
Add soup, broccoli, cream cheese and sherry (I used 1/4 cup chicken stock instead of sherry - I couldn't find dry sherry at Smiths and I found this substitution online) to skillet; cook until hot. Transfer to Crock Pot. Cover; cook on LOW 1 hour. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta ( I used fetuccini).
This dinner was fantastic, I would highly recommend it!!

Banana Nut Bread

This is another recipe I got from the Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes (pg 208). I don't know what the advantage is to cooking this in the crock pot as opposed to an oven, but it turned out pretty good. I cooked it the full 1 1/2 hours without checking it and the edges got a little burned. I cut the burnt part off and the rest tasted great!
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3 ripe bananas, well mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Grease and flour Crock Pot. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, & baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
Cream butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy. Slowly add sugar, eggs, corn syrup, and mashed bananas. Beat until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture. Add walnuts and mix well. Pour into Crock Pot. Cover; cook on HIGH 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool, then invert bread onto serving platter.

Salmon with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Salmon with Creamy Pesto Sauce
4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, mix cream cheese milk and pesto - I use my immersion blender. Salt and Pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 30+ so the sauce has time to marry.
Heat grill to medium heat.
Brush both sides of fish salmon with EVOO. Grill, skin-sides down, 10 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Serve fish topped with sauce and parsley.

**I just bought a George Foreman Grill (I know) and I have been so thrilled with it!! I got the family sized grill (enough for 6 servings) on sale at Wal-Mart for $20. I have used it many times already! I love grilled protein and veggies - but have not mastered the BBQ - that is sort of my husbands domain! The George Foreman Grill is a great solution for me!!

Steamed Asparagus

My husband and I have always been big fans of steamed asparagus. I made it last night and much to my surprise - the kids liked it too! My 6 year old and 5 year old both asked for seconds! Super easy

Steamed Asparagus

The amounts depend on how much you are going to cook. Break the woody stalks off of the asparagus (if you have never done this - they easily yield and you want to break them approx. 3" above the bottom.) Add your EVOO to a saute pan over medium heat. Add asparagus, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let steam for 8 - 10 minutes - depending on your preference. Try not to check on them too much - every time you open the lid, you let out the steam. Just let the steam do the work and shake the pan a few times so the asparagus gets evenly cooked.

Jelly Dot Com

I got a comment regarding the "Mom's Artichoke Heart & Asiago Cheese Pasta Sauce" - wondering where I got it. They sell their products through Costco and Sams club seasonally - and also through various grocery and specialty stores. Their web site is - they sell all Mom's products as well as products from Fischer & Wieser. Awesome site - TONS of great gourmet sauces. Go check it out!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sample Menu 6

I am a few days behind on my Weekly Meal Plan - but, here it is:

Sunday: Grilled Bratwurst with Fischer & Wieser Brat Haus Beer Mustard & Chips
Monday: Baked Rainbow Trout & Sweet Jasmine Rice
Tuesday: Mandarin Chicken & Japanese Chop Salad
Wednesday: Chicken Azteca & Corn on the Cob
Thursday: Grilled salmon & Creamy Pesto Sauce & Steamed Asparagus
Friday: Pizza Night
Saturday: Shrimp Tacos

I am trying a bunch of new recipes this week - I will be posting a bunch - so stay tuned!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Easy Taco Dip

I bought this new cookbook this week and gave it a try tonight. It looks like it has a ton of really good recipes in it and we're going to try a few out this week.

Tonight we tried Easy Taco Dip (Page 39). It is listed under the appetizer section, but we used it as taco meet for burritos / nachos instead of as a dip. It was VERY tasty and made just enough for a family of 3 w/ leftovers for one more meal.
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup mild taco sauce
1 can (4 oz) diced mild green chilies
1 can (4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Mexican Style cheese blend
Tortilla chips
Sour Cream
1. Brown ground beef. Drain & discard fat. Transfer to crock pot.
2. Add corn, onion, salsa, taco sauce, chilies, and olives. Mix well. Cover, cook on LOW 2-3 hours.
3. Just before serving, stir in cheese. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream.
Tip: To serve this dip hot through an entire party, leave it in the crock pot on the LOW or WARM setting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Easy Pesto Veggie Pizza

This pizza is so quick and easy and, I promise you won't even know it's veggie.

1 package Knorr creamy pesto sauce
1 Boboli thin crust pizza crust
1 package frozen spinach defrosted (you can also use fresh spinach)
5 button mushrooms sliced
2 Morning Star sausage patties (already prepared in the microwave)
Mozzerella cheese

Prepare the pesto sauce according to the package and spread on your crust. Top with as much spinach and mushrooms as you would like. Then crumble the "sausage patties" on top and finish up with desired amount  of cheese. Bake according the the package directions on the Boboli crust. That's it! This is super easy, very yummy, and is completely vegetarian!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter Pasta

Oh yeah baby. This one rocks - and it's sooooooo easy. I was talking with a friend about cheese and Mizithra came up. It made me remember The Old Spaghetti Factory's Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter Pasta - yummmm.
Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter Pasta
2 sticks butter (1 cup) - you have to use real butter
0.4lbs Mizithra Cheese, shredded finely
1/2 lb Spaghetti noodles

Cut the butter into 6 - 8 pieces and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Once the butter starts to boil - stir frequently. It will start to rise and foam. Once it stops foaming, cook until it's a dark caramel color (and the smell will make you want to bathe in it!)

Turn off the burner and let it sit for a minute. Strain into a seperate bowl. Seperate pasta into your serving bowls. Spoon butter over each bowl of pasta and top with Mizithra cheese.

*Remember - a little butter goes a long way.

Pardon my French, but - can I get a HELL YA?

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Easy peasy.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Loaf of french bread, sliced horizontally in half
Johnny's Great Caesar Garlic Spread & Seasoning (find at Costco)
Butter (real of course!)

Spread butter on the bread, sprinkle with JGCGS&S and mozzarella - set your oven to broil (or as high as it will go) - and bake for about 5 minutes - or done to your liking.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Artichoke Heart & Asiago Cheese Pasta

"Mom's Artichoke Heart & Asiago Cheese Pasta Sauce" and is to DIE FOR! Just saying the name makes my mouth water...
Once I had that jar of sauce in my hand I just couldn't help myself! We ate dinner at 4:30p.m.

It was so delicious - it was like eating a gourmet meal - only it didn't take slaving over the stove all day - it just took the time to cook the pasta... you can't beat that!!

I served it with garlic bread - I used the Italian Bread I made yesterday, slathered it with butter, sprinkled it with a little garlic salt and grated Mozzerella and baked it to perfection (remember this only took the time to cook the pasta!!!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

You have to make these! They are like pieces of heaven. Browning the butter makes these cookies super delish! Mmmmmmm...
Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies - Betty Crocker
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, don’t even think of using margarine
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup white chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan melt the butter, swirling and stirring the butter until nicely browned bits appear in the bottom of the pan. This may take about 5-7 minutes. Once the butter is browned, remove pan from heat and set aside to cool a bit while you measure out the dry ingredients and set them aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the brown sugar and slightly cooled butter. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add egg and beat for one minute more. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
Turn the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients all at once. With either the stand mixer on low, or by hand with a spatula, incorporate the dry ingredients until just mixed in. Fold in the chopped nuts and white chocolate chips.
Scoop two teaspoon sized balls onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are deliciously golden. Remove from oven and let rest of the baking sheet for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Malibu Chicken

Chicken patties or you can use Grilled chicken or Chicken coated in panko breakcrumbs. (Which ever you prefer).
Swiss Cheese
Deli Ham

Cook Chicken however you prefer until the chicken is completely done and cooked through. My favorite way is to bake the chicken after rolling it in egg and panko bread crumbs. However, I have bought chicken patties from Costco and used them in a pinch too.
Then just add ham and then cheese on top and bake until warm and cheese is melted. Super easy. Also, I use the packaged or bottled dijon mustard sauce to dip this in and it makes for a great, fast, and easy meal! Enjoy!

Sample Menu

Monday- Teriyaki Pork Chops, mixed veggies, baked potatoes, and Rolls
Tuesday- Chicken Roll ups, Salad and Rice a Roni
Wednesday- Homemade Chili, and Breadsticks
Thursday- Jen's Spinach Lasagna, Garlic Bread and Salad
Friday- Pizza Grilled Cheese
Saturday- Malibu Chicken, Potatoes au gratin and Salad
Sunday- Roast, onion soup red potatoes, rolls, salad

Spicy Burgers with Green Chile Mayonnaise

I got this recipe from my new cookbook "Worldwide Ward Cookbook" by Deanna Buxton. The recipe was submitted by Valarie Sudlow in Hauula, Hawaii.

My picky, eats like a bird 6 year old (who is 2 lbs lighter than his 5 year old sister) took one bite and said - "I want 4 of these!!" and he ate 2 (which impressed me). I made a few changes based on availability and kids preference. I didn't add chorizo (a Mexican sausage - it's spicy and very greasy when cooked) I didn't add Emeril's Essence or ciabatta rolls b/c I don't have them on hand and finally - I used cheddar cheese on the kids burgers - just to tone down the spice factor.

Spicy Burgers
1/3 lb chorizo, outer casings removed
1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
1 T minced garlic
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t Emeril's Essence
3/4 t salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
4 ciabatta rolls, split in half
4 slices pepper Jack cheese
Green Chile Mayo (recipe below)

Preheat the grill to med-high. Place the chorizo in a food processor and process until finely chopped (sausage should appear crumbly). In a large bowl, add to the chorizo the ground pork, ground beef, garlic, W sauce, Essence salt and cayenne pepper; mix gently. Form into patties. Grill. Add cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Top with Green Chile Mayo.

Green Chile Mayo
1/3 c mayo
2/3 c sour cream
1 t minced garlic
1 poblano or Anaheim pepper, roasted and peeled
1 T lime juice
black pepper

Combine all ingred together and blend until smooth. Refrigerate.

**Make the mayo ahead of time (at least before you put the burgers on the grill) so that it has time to marry.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sample Menu 5

I know it's Wednesday - but I thought I'd share my menu this week (even though it's not my turn!)

Sunday Pot Stickers, Egg Rolls and Jasmine Rice (frozen from Costco)
Monday Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Chicken and Broccoli Salad
Tuesday Queensland Salad
Wednesday Salmon and Sweet Jasmine Rice
Thursday White Bean Chili and Cornbread
Friday Navajo Tacos
Saturday Spicy Hamburgers with Green Chile Mayo

I got an awesome cookbook from my Mom for Christmas called the "Worldwide Ward Cookbook" by Deanna Buxton. The recipes for Thursday, Friday and Saturdays meals are from that cookbook and will be posted soon with pictures!!

Sweet Jasmine Rice

My sister made "Megans Rice" (the second version) when we stayed with her a couple weeks ago and we loved it!!

My kids don't like rice - so to ease them into loving rice, I eliminated the cilantro and the onion. They LOVED it made this way.

Sweet Jasmine Rice
1 1/3 C. Jasmine rice, uncooked (you can also use white rice)
1/2 C. sugar
3 C. Chicken Broth

Combine sugar and chicken broth. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add to (dry) rice in rice cooker. Cook.

Megans Rice - this one is delish too
1/2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro (chopped)
1 1/3 C. white rice (uncooked)
1/2 C. sugar
3 C. Chicken Broth

Saute onions and cilantro in oil--set aside. Combine sugar and chicken broth. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add to (dry) rice in rice cooker. Cook. Add onions and cilantro after rice is done.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Outback Steakhouse Queensland Salad

This is my favorite item at Outback Steakhouse. I Googled it to try and find a good recipe - but I didn't have any luck. So, I got on Outback Steakhouse's website and read their description and went from there. It was GREAT - totally hit the spot!!

Queensland Salad
Grilled chicken, diced
Romaine lettuce
Tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes today)
Shredded Cheeses - Monterey Jack and Cheddar
Hard Boiled eggs, diced finely
Toasted almonds (I used slivered almonds from a bag)
Crumbled Bacon (again - I used my old standby Kirkland bacon pieces)

Chicken - I grilled a few extra pieces last night - seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic. Assemble all other ingredients to your liking. I boiled the eggs (look here) and then sliced them both ways in my egg slicer and seasoned them with salt & pepper.
I served this as a main dish - buffet style so my kids could assemble the salad with the stuff they like and eliminate what they don't like. Worked out great!

Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Chicken

Okay - the name already has you hooked right?? I went to Costco and on a whim grabbed a bottle of "Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce" (Fischer & Weiser brand). The bottle comes with a bunch of recipe ideas that I will def be trying!

The sauce is most famous used as an appetizer - the one we all love with a brick of cream cheese and the sauce poured on top served with crackers. And that my friends is what inspired me to make this dish.

Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Chicken
Sauce mentioned above
cream cheese
grilled chicken

Grill your chicken (or bake if you like), spread with cream cheese and drizzle with chipotle sauce. You will thank me!!

*Pictured with Broccoli Salad


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