Archive for May, 2009

Menu Mondays

May 30, 2009

Welcome to the new page, everyone! Hope everyone made it over safely from blogger!

I haven’t made many new dishes here lately — we’ve been falling back on our old favorites, and focusing on taking in all of the amazing produce available right now — local strawberries, fresh, ripe pineapples, watermelons, and more!

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: homemade bread for the week; cinnamon bun cake for DH’s coworkers; homemade pizza for dinner

Monday: grilled steak, steamed cauliflower, wild rice

Tuesday: skillet noodle lasagna, salad, homemade bread

Wednesday: grilled marinated chicken, pasta, green beans

Thursday: leftover skillet noodle lasagna

Friday: leftover chicken pot pie

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Menu Mondays

May 25, 2009

I’m currently working on moving my blog over to WordPress — any advice or tips?
Blogger is blocked at my workplace, which makes it a pain to give co-workers recipes. WordPress, however, is not blocked, so I’m thinking of switching camps….

Monday: Hopefully the cinnamon bun cake for my co-workers tomorrow; maybe soft pretzels. Steak, broccoli and pasta for dinner — DH was away all weekend, so we’re not doing anything for the holiday
Tuesday: Crockpot French Dip sandwiches, chips, salad
Wednesday: cheddar brauts on the grill, baked beans
Thursday: Crockpot French Dip leftovers
Friday: marinated grilled chicken, green beans, wild rice medley

Old-School Stuffed Peppers

May 22, 2009

I don’t know why, but I’ve had a hankering for stuffed peppers lately.

What makes this odd, is that I HATE — venhemently hate — peppers. Most of my aggression is towards green peppers (which I think taste like toxic green clumps of dirt) but still.
Peppers are not my thing.
Nonetheless, I was hungry for them. So, I took out an ancient family recipe card, and made some changes, and came up with stuffed peppers.
They were deeeeeeeeelicious.

Old-School Stuffed Peppers
(Makes 8 medium-sized peppers full)

8 medium-sized peppers (I used all red, since my farmer’s market had them)
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey (your pick)
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (white or brown; your pick)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheese (your pick on type) — optional

Directions
– Cut the tops of the peppers off, remove all the membranes and seeds. You can stuff these peppers whole, but I like to cut them in half and stuff each pepper half. Cut them however you’d prefer to do it.
– Cook the peppers in enough boiling water to cover them for 5 minutes, then drain
– Cook the ground meat and onion in a large skillet for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until meat is browned and cooked through. Drain the meat and onion combination and return to the skillet
– Stir in the rice, salt, garlic and 1 can of the tomato sauce, cook until warmed through
– Heat oven to 350 degrees F
– Stuff pepper halves (or whole peppers if you go that route) and place in a casserole dish, stuffing-side up.
– If you have leftover filling, go ahead and spread that over the stuffed peppers
– Pour the remaining can of tomato sauce over the stuffed peppers
– Cover and bake for 45 minutes; uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until peppers are tender
– Sprinkle with cheese (optional); serve.

Step Away From Food: Bathroom Remodel, Weeks 3 & 4

May 22, 2009

Week 3 of our bathroom remodel (yes, that’s right. The job they told us would be 3-4 days, has come to this point) was really not newsworthy.

Tallying it up later, I concluded that I only actually had contractors in my house for 6 hours, the entire week 3. SIX HOURS. That’s not even a full day of work.

We complained to the contractor — who got attitude and told us “he was trying to finish it”.

bull. pucky. BULLPUCKY!!! If you were trying to finish it — you’d have guys here for more than 6 hours in a week.

Unfortunately, said contractor is still holding most of our stuff for the bathroom hostage…so firing them isn’t really an option.

Week 4 actually made some progress (noted in the images below). I got a painted ceiling, painted walls, and beadboard put up.

Note there is no:
– flooring
– vanity, vanity top, sink, or faucets
– outlets
– lights
– shower head
– toilet
– baseboard or chair rail

– also note that my stupid-expensive-bathtub is FULL of construction supplies. nice. real nice.

Contractor claims his guys will be back on Wednesday of week 5, to install flooring. What I’d like to know is why we can’t install lighting, chair rail, and shower heads while we’re waiting on the flooring to arrive. 😛

This is easily going to be a 6 week project, if not longer. *sigh*

I miss my bathroom, guys.

Menu Mondays

May 18, 2009

Not much to report this week…

Sunday: Cinnamon Bun Cake for work
Monday: steak, broccoli/cauliflower mixture, pasta
Tuesday: spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, homemade bread
Wednesday: stuffed peppers, old school style
Thursday: whiskey glazed pork chops, green beans and baked potatoes
Friday: stuffed pepper leftovers

Weeknight Paella

May 15, 2009

This was tasty! We have leftovers, and I anticipate that after it has been sitting overnight, it’ll be even better!

I doubled the recipe below, because I had a full pound of shrimp and chorizo.

Weeknight Paella

2/3 cups yellow rice (Goya)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 pound chorizo, sliced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas
Directions
– Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat
– Add rice and cook until it begins to toast, about 1-2 minutes
– Add shallot and garlic and continue to saute until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute
– Add shrimp, chorizo, and broth
– Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium-low
– Cook for 18 minutes
– Remove lid, add parsley and peas and cook until heated through
– Continue cooking uncovered until all liquid is absorbed.

Cinnamon Bun Cake

May 15, 2009

This is heavenly. Seriously. I basically ate it for breakfast and dessert all week! Oops?

I originally made it for my co-workers, but once DH tested it on Sunday….it wasn’t allowed to leave the house. LOL

I’ll be making this one again — both for my co-workers as originally planned, and for DH’s co-workers (at his request)
Cinnamon Bun Cake
(your home based mom, originally from Mentoring Moments)

Batter:
1 yellow cake mix
3/4 C oil
1/2 C brown sugar
4 eggs
8 oz. sour cream

Cinnamon Swirl:
1 C brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 C chopped pecans or walnuts (I left out)

Icing:
1 C powdered sugar
3 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp softened butter

Directions
– Heat oven to 325 degrees F
– For the batter mix the cake mix, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and sour cream together with an electric mixer
– In a separate bowl make the cinnamon swirl by mixing the brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans or walnuts
– Grease and flour a 9 x 13 cake pan and pour half of the cake mix into the baking pan
– Sprinkle half of the cinnamon, sugar, and nut mixture over the batter
– Pour the rest of the cake batter into the pan
– Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon nut mixture over the batter
– Run a knife through the cake mix to swirl the cinnamon–be careful not to touch the bottom of the pan with the knife
– Bake for 45 minutes
– When the cake is removed from the oven, blend the softened butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together until smooth
– Drizzle over the cake while still warm

It’s a Ziploc Meal

May 11, 2009

Ziploc isn’t a sponsor for me or anything, but after the meal I made Friday night, they could’ve been! I used the zip-top bags to save me some dishes in the end. I love doing that on Fridays, especially, because it means I get to relax after dinner!

Baked Cornflake Chicken Fingers and Roasted Potatoes

Chicken Fingers
1-1.5 lbs. chicken tenders, or boneless skinless breasts cut into tenders (My pack of tenders had 10 in it)
1 cup flour
seasoning you like (I use garlic salt, onion powder and black pepper)
1/2 stick melted butter
4-5 cups crushed cornflakes (make sure you crush them to oblivion — they’ll stick better)

Directions
– Mix flour and seasonings in a zip top bag and add chicken pieces; toss to coat
– Put cornflakes in a zip top bag and crush completely with a rolling pin or meat mallet. If you have a food processor, that would be awesome too
– Place melted butter in a shallow dish for dipping
– Place crushed cornflakes in another shallow dish (I use pie plates for both)
– Shake excess flour off of tenders, and dip in butter to coat, then dip in cornflakes, pressing to make sure they stick to the chicken
– Place on a foil-lined baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray
– Bake chicken at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes
– Serve

Roasted Potatoes
4-6 baking potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
garlic powder
onion powder
black pepper

Directions
– Thinly slice the potatoes (about 1/4″ thick) and place in a zip top bag
– Add olive oil and seasonings; toss to coat potatoes
– Spread potatoes out on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray
– Cook at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes
– Remove from oven; can eat as is, or sprinkle cheddar cheese over them and let it melt

Menu Mondays

May 11, 2009

Alas, still no bathroom.

This makes me NEVER want to do my kitchen!

I had some leftover meats in the freezer, so we’re using those up this week

Sunday: stuffed french toast with strawberries for breakfast, loaf of bread for the week, baked oatmeal for my breakfast for the week,and a cinnamon bun cake I was originally taking to work, but DH has claimed for himself
Monday: steak, broccoli/cauliflower mix, pasta
Tuesday: pork ribs, wild rice, green beans
Wednesday: chicken thighs on the grill (haven’t decided on a recipe), baked potatoes and veggies
Thursday: spaghetti and salad
Friday: weeknight paella

Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries

May 10, 2009

Last Friday, DH showed me an ad for a restaurant on the other side of town and said it was a shame we had to go over there to get delicious stuffed french toast (they were advertising it).

I told him we didn’t; we could have it at home! We had homemade bread leftover, so I picked up some cream cheese and strawberries.

Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries
(Me)

For strawberries:
1 qt. strawberries, sliced
2-4 tbsp sugar

– Mix sugar and strawberries and place in the fridge. I like to do this the night before, so there is plenty of delicious strawberry juice for on the french toast

For the french toast:
4-6 slices of bread (can make more if you have more people to feed)
5-6 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
sprinkling of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla

Directions
– Mix the eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla together and place in a shallow dish(like a pie plate)
– Heat your griddle or skillet for medium heat
– Soak your slices of bread; taking care to leave them in long enough that they’re completely saturated
– Cook each slice as your space permits (obviously a griddle cooks more at once than a skillet!)

The important stuffing part:
1 8oz block of cream cheese, room temperature (low fat is fine. it’s what i used)

Directions
– Gently blend the cream cheese so that it is light and fluffy and easier to spread
– As your toast slices come off the griddle/skillet, slather one piece with cream cheese, and sandwich it with another piece of french toast
– Drizzle strawberry juice and strawberries over top
– If you’re not ravenous by this point, you can add powdered sugar or whipped cream, but we didn’t make it that far!

I’d say each person only needs one of these sandwiches. I couldn’t even finish mine!