Archive for July, 2009

Menu Mondays

July 27, 2009

Menu Plan MondaySunday: white and whole wheat bread for DH and I this week

Monday: steak, corn on the cob, pasta

Tuesday: grilled bbq chicken, green beans, foil packet potatoes

Wednesday: sausage and mozzarella bake, salad

Thursday: grilled bbq chicken leftovers, lemon roasted broccoli, rice pilaf

Friday: california blt’s, natural potato chips


Chicken Gyros

July 26, 2009

chicken gryos

No wonder these are making the rounds on my food blogs — they’re delicious! My picture is pretty crappy — it was late and we were hungry!

I did a few things differently, but that’s because I ran out of time/forgot to do some of the steps.

It was still delicious!

Chicken Gyros

(Annie Eats)

For the tzatziki sauce: (I halved this since it was just two of us eating, and I forgot to give myself time to strain yogurt…I used greek yogurt right out of the fridge and it was fine)
16 oz. plain yogurt (not nonfat, if possible)
1/2 hothouse cucumber or 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or finely minced)
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs chicken (I just used three chicken breasts)

Other ingredients:
Pita bread
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin


To make the tzatziki sauce, strain the yogurt using cheesecloth over a bowl.  Let strain for several hours or overnight, if possible, to remove as much moisture as possible.

Shred the cucumber.  Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible.  Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Whisk together until mixed well.  Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler.  (I chopped the chicken into small pieces when it was raw, before it went into the marinade, so I didn’t do the following) Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.   Cut into strips.

Heat pitas (I just tossed them in the microwave, but you could warm them other ways)  Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions.  Serve immediately.

Lemon Pepper Linguine with Chicken

July 26, 2009


Another yummy dish — very similar to the garlic lemon shrimp with broccoli I made a few weeks ago.

We enjoyed this a lot! I’d love to cut down on the butter in it though. Holy calories!

Lemon Pepper Linguine with Chicken

(The Lasy Housewife Cooks)

8 ounces linguine p asta
2 thin-cut chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
– Heat oven to 200 degress F, and bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add linguine and cook until al dente. Drain.
– While the linguine is cooking, sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, about 5 minutes each side. Remove to a plate and place in preheated oven while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
– Add garlic to skillet and cook for 1 minutes. Mix in chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, and reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes.
5. Add butter and herbs into saucepan. Mix and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and slice into bite-sized pieces. Add to sauce and mix well. Divide linguine on plates and top with chicken mixture and serve. (I tossed my pasta with the chicken/sauce mixture before serving)

Menu Mondays

July 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Trying new things again this week — hurray! Here’s hoping these chicken gyro’s live up to their hype…the last recipe I tried was really blech.

Monday: steak, steamed broccoli, pasta

Tuesday: lemon pepper linguine with chicken, side salad

Wednesday: grilled hamburgers, green beans, (maybe foil packet potatoes?)

Thursday: chicken gyros, tomato/cucumber salad

Friday: no meal planned — we’ll wing it, or, i’ll pick up something tasty at the farmer’s market on Thursday.

Menu Monday

July 13, 2009

Menu Plan MondayI was a busy girl on Sunday! Made lots of yummies, and even had my first Green Monster! (I drank it all before I took a pic — whoops. Basically spinach, banana, blueberries, milk, and ice in a blender). It was yummy.

Saturday: pizza hut-style pizza — at home!

Sunday: homemade bread, blueberry muffins for my co-workers, strawberry jello poke cake for DH’s co-workers

Monday: steak, green beans,pasta

Tuesday: spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, homemade bread

Wednesday: grilled turkey sausage sandwiches with onions and peppers, homemade mac n cheese, veggie

Thursday: spicy honey chicken thighs, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Friday: breakfast for dinner — pancakes, eggs, turkey bacon (and maybe home fries for me…loooooooove home fries)

Pizza Hut Pizza – At Home

July 12, 2009

Pizza HutMessy plate picture! We were hungry! LOL

DH loves, loves, LOVES Pizza Hut pan pizza, but, their heavy, greasy pizza doesn’t exactly agree with me.

As a result, we NEVER eat it. Poor DH sacrifices his love of Pizza Hut to ensure my belly doesn’t hurt 🙂

So when I was this on your home based mom, I was anxious to try it. Making it at home, I had a little more control over the “grease factor” that keeps us away from the place.

Now, here’s the dilemma: *I* thought it tasted nearly exactly like pizza hut…but less greasy. The sauce tastes DEAD ON to me, and the oil in the pizza pan really makes the dough taste “correct”. DH, however, claims he doesn’t think it tastes like Pizza Hut at all, but acknowledges it’s been so long since he’s had it, he could be wrong.

This recipe also had a lot of “Advice” with it from Real Mom Kitchen, were LeighAnne apparently saw the recipe. I’m going to just copy that advice here, so you can take it into consideration when you make your pizzas. I did use her advice to only use enough oil to coat the bottom, to use glass (I thought I had 3-9″ cake pans and I did not….so I used her suggestion of 1-9″ pie plate and a 9×13 pan), and to pull the cooking temp down to 450. Next time I’ll bump that back up to 475, though, because I think it’ll do a nicer job on the pizza at a higher temp.

Real Mom Kitchen advice:

“I did have a couple of problems with this recipe the first time I made it. The recipe calls for 3 oz of oil per pan. I didn’t even put in the full amount and it was still way too much. When I put the dough in the pan, oil started to come up the sides and get on top of the dough. The other problem was with the pans I used. I have 2 (8 inch) dark non-stick cake pans, so two of the pizza went in there. Then for the third pizza, I used a 9 inch glass pie plate. I cooked them just like the recipe said. The two in the dark non-stick pans turned out burnt on the bottom. So the second time I made this, I put just enough oil in the bottom of the pans to coat them, that solved the oil problem. The second thing I did was lower the oven temp to 450. That work well. Then I used my glass pie plate for one of the pizzas, then I used a glass 9×13 dish for the remaining dough. I love glass, because you can see the bottom of the pizza and make sure it’s not getting burnt. After the changes I made the second time, the pizzas turned out perfectly.”

Pizza Hut Style Pizza – At Home

(your home based mom)

Makes 3-9″ pizzas, or one 9″ pizza-in-a-pie-plate and a 9×13 rectangular one!


1 1/3 cup warm water (105 degrees F)

1/4 cup non-fat dry milk

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 package dry yeast (regular kind — not rapidrise)

2 tbsp vegetable oil (for the dough)

9 oz vegetable oil (3 oz per pan) for the pans — I only used enough to coat the bottom of the pan

Cooking spray


– Put the yeast, sugar, and dry milk in a large bowl, and add the water; stirring to mix well. Let sit for 2 minutes. Add oil and stir again.

– Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes.

I won’t lie — I used my kitchen aid for the entire first two steps. I mixed the dough into a ball with my mixer paddle, and then switched to the dough hook and let it knead the dough.

– Divide dough into 3 balls. In 3-9″ cake pans (or 1-9″ pie plate and 1 9×13″ dish), put 3 oz. of oil in each, making sure it’s spread evenly (I only used enough to coat! Not the full 3 oz)

– Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9″ circle and place in the cake pans. Spray the outer edge of the dough with cooking spray, and cover with a plate. Place in a warm area and allow to rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.

Pizza Sauce

*I doubled the sauce recipe below — I was afraid it wouldn’t be enough. Plus, it gave us extra for dipping!

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp dry basil

1/2 tsp garlic salt


– Combine and let sit 1 hour while dough rises

Cooking Directions:

For each 9″ pizza:

-Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (Again, 450 was reccommended, but next time I’ll bump it up to 475)

– Spoon 1/3 cup sauce onto dough and spread to within 1″ of the edge

– Distribute 3 oz shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce

– Place toppings of your choice on in this order: pepperoni or ham, vegetables, meats (cooked ground sausage or beef).

– Top with 3 oz mozzarella cheese

– Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown; about 15 minutes

Garlic Lemon Shrimp and Orzo with Broccoli

July 12, 2009

Garlic Shrimp/Orzo

This was delicious. It was the best new recipe I’ve tried in a LONG time (per DH!)

We’ll be adding this to our regular rotation — it’s delicious, super-quick to put together, and light-feeling. Perfect for summer — heck, you could feed this to company and they’d feel special 🙂

Garlic Lemon Shrimp with Orzo and Broccoli

(Cooking This and That)

1 cup orzo

1 broccoli crown, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 lemon, juiced and zested

1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth

kosher salt and course ground black pepper, to taste

1 tbsp butter

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2-3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


– Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, add the orzo and cook until al dente (about 8-9 minutes). During the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add broccoli to the pasta water. Drain orzo and broccoli and set aside.

– In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, and add onions. Cook until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for an additional minute.

– Add lemon juice, zest, and wine/broth to saute pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, summering for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

– Stir in the butter, and continue stirring until melted

– Add the shrimp to the saute pan, and cook until pink and cooked through (about 4-5 minutes). Add the orzo and broccoli, parsley, and cheese to the shrimp and toss gently to combine

– Serve immediately

– *We discovered this is even delicious and amazing COLD as well!

Menu Mondays

July 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I’ll be out of town visiting family when you read this (family in the boon-docks…dialup internet only! GAH!). I find that pre-planning my menu BEFORE I leave for a trip makes it a thousand times easier to deal with when I get home.

At least this upcoming week we’re trying new things! Hopefully that means the slump is over!


Monday: steaks (with our newly re-stocked free omaha filet mignons from my dad!), roasted cauliflower, pasta

Tuesday: cafe rio pork tacos, rice, black beans

Wednesday: french onion burgers, potato nibblers, green beans

Thursday: cafe rio pork leftovers

Friday: garlic lemon shrimp with broccoli