Archive for November, 2010

Menu Mondays

November 29, 2010

Saturday: take-out

Sunday: parmesan pork chops, garlic rice pilaf, green beans

Monday: steak, steamed broccoli, pasta

Tuesday: spaghetti and meatballs

Wednesday: creamy white chicken chili

Thursday: skillet beef stroganoff, salad

Friday: creamy white chicken chili leftovers

Saturday: stroganoff leftovers



Menu Mondays

November 22, 2010

Kind of a simplistic menu this week…we’re leaving Wednesday afternoon to visit my family for the Thanksgiving holiday!

Saturday: cornmeal breaded whitefish, macaroni and cheese, green beans

Sunday: take-out

Monday: steak, steamed broccoli, pasta

Tuesday: spaghetti with garlic bread; salad

Wednesday: grab something on the road!

Thursday: TURKEY DAY!

Friday: leftovers from turkey day 🙂

Giveaway Winner!

November 19, 2010

The winner of the Panko giveaway is…
True Random Number Generator

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self!
Katie @ Health for the Whole Self Says:
November 15, 2010 at 11:14 am | Reply edit
WOO HOO! The best new dish I recently tried was a slow cooker Moroccan stew.

Katie – please email me your full name/address at

Thanks to everyone who entered!!

Shredded Beef Chimichangas

November 16, 2010

Okay, first off….a chimichanga is fried, a burrito normally has nothing done to it but stuffed with ingredients, an enchilada is baked, and it can be wet or dry….geeze, Mexican food is confusing. 🙂

DH requested a “beef mexican dish” for dinner, and this recipe from Pennies on a Platter fit the bill perfectly. Nikki has some great recipes, so check out her site!

Little did I know that I was about to encounter the best Mexican shredded beef I’ve ever had.

You heard me.

This beef is phenomenal. Even if you don’t make this into chimichangas, make the beef. Put it in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, on top of nachos, whatever. It’s amazing.

This was also my first time cooking with chipotle peppers in adobo. I know…I was a little late getting on that ship.

Delicious, flavorful, and quick thanks to the crockpot beef and mere seconds in the frying pan, this is a great meal! Enjoy!

Shredded Beef Chimichangas

(Pennies on a Platter)

6 chimichangas

4 – 6 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 lb boneless chuck roast
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup beef stock (or broth)
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how much you love garlic)
flour tortillas
choice of toppings – lettuce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.

To make the shredded beef:

Combine the spices in a small bowl.  Rub into the beef, covering all the nooks and crannies and each side evenly.

In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering.  Sear the meat on each side, using tongs to flip it.  Remove and place in the bottom of a large slow cooker.

With the skillet remaining over the heat, deglaze with the beef stock and scrape up any brown bits.  Whisk in the tomato paste and chipotle peppers.  Once sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened and reduced.

Meanwhile, add the onion and garlic to the top of the beef in the slow cooker.  Carefully pour the sauce over top.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Once the meat is fork tender, remove and shred with two forks.   Pour a portion of the sauce, including the onions, over top of the meat and let soak to enhance flavor.

To make the Chimichangas:

Heat 3-4 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until shimmering.

While waiting for the oil to heat up, warm the tortillas in the microwave for 10 – 20 seconds.  Fill with a few tablespoons of shredded beef and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.  Roll the tortilla into a burrito shape.

Once the oil is heated, place the burritos (2-3 at a time) into the skillet and brown on each side until golden.  Start with the seam side down first.

Place on paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.  Serve with desired toppings.


Cauliflower Gratin

November 15, 2010

Ezra Pound Cake always has the best of the best recipes. Truly.

This one is no different. We eat a lot of roasted or steamed cauliflower and I was looking for a new preparation when I stumbled across this beauty in my Google Reader.

Cheesy, comforting — it’s basically like vegetarian macaroni and cheese, just like Rebecca says! It’s also a delicious side dish, and the cheesiness of it all makes it appealing even to folks who don’t like vegetables 😉

Cauliflower Gratin

(Ezra Pound Cake)

4-6 Servings

1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into  florets

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups hot milk

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided (can be replaced with cheddar)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 cup bread crumbs


– Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to boil; add the cauliflower and cook for 5-6 minutes, until its tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.

– In another medium saucepan, over low heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add the flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, then pour the hot milk (I just heated it up in the microwave in a glass measuring cup) into the butter-flour mixture, and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened.

– Take the pan off the heat, and add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

– Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top, and then spread the remaining 2/3 of the sauce evenly on top.

– Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top.

– Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Menu Mondays

November 15, 2010

Saturday: take-out

Sunday: spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread, salad

Monday: steak, steamed broccoli, pasta

Tuesday: kahlua pork, rice, baked pineapple

Wednesday: potato-crusted mahi mahi, garlic green beans

Thursday: leftover kahlua pork

Friday: lemon pepper chicken, cauliflower gratin

Lemon Pepper Salmon + Giveaway!

November 14, 2010

The kind folks at MyBlogSpark and Progresso (General Mills) recently sent me a new cookbook and a box of lemon pepper flavored panko to test out. They also sent me one to give away to a reader!

The cookbook is fantastic! I don’t know that I was ever specifically a Michael Chiarello fan, but this cookbook has tons of delicious, flavorful recipes that I am dying to try!

Additionally, I couldn’t wait to try the lemon pepper panko. My biggest complaint about panko is it always seems a little…well..bland. And I LOVE all things lemon pepper, so how could this go wrong?!

I did, however, cop out on making an original recipe, and instead made the lemon pepper salmon, which is listed on the back of the box.

It was delicious! The lemon pepper panko is very flavorful, and it was fantastic on the salmon.

I’m also excited to try it on chicken, pork, and a white fish! 🙂

Lemon Pepper Parmesan-Crusted Salmon


1 salmon filet, 1 1/4 lb (about 3/4″ thick)

3 tbsp melted butter or olive oil

1/2 cup Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions


Heat oven to 375 degrees F, and spray a baking dish with cooking spray

– Place the salmon skin side down and brush with 1 tbsp butter

– In a small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, cheese, onions and remaining 2 tbsp butter; press evenly over the salmon

– Bake 15-25 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork

Giveaway Instructions!

You can win a package just like the one I received; with the cookbook and a box of lemon pepper panko, courtesy of General Mills and MyBlogSpark!

To enter: Leave a comment below — what’s the best new dish you’ve tried recently??

Deadline: Friday, November 19 at 8:00 pm EST

I will draw one winner Friday evening and post the winner here 🙂

Menu Mondays

November 8, 2010

Saturday: shredded beef chimichangas, mexican rice; black beans

Sunday: easy chicken cordon bleu, roasted potatoes, green beans

Monday: steak, steamed broccoli, pasta

Tuesday: weeknight paella

Wednesday: leftover chimichangas, mexican rice, black beans

Thursday: leftover easy chicken cordon bleu, garlic rice, salad

Friday: leftover paella

Chicken Tortilla Soup

November 1, 2010

This was a delicious and easy crockpot soup! I got the recipe from my co-worker, and am posting the original below, along with my changes.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Makes 6 Servings

4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded

1 garlic clove (I added 2)

2 tbsp margarine (I used 1 tbsp olive oil)

2- 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth

2- 14.5 oz. cans chopped stewed tomatoes and juice (I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes and juice)

1 cup salsa – hot, medium, or mild – your preference

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I used 1/4 cup because we’re not big cilantro eaters)

1 tbsp cumin

8 oz cubed monterey jack cheese

sour cream

tortilla chips

rice (optional)


– Add minced garlic and margarine to the crockpot and saute

– Add chicken broth, tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, chicken and cumin; stir

– Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours

– Divid cubed cheese into soup bowls and ladle soup over

– Add dollop of sour cream and serve with chips


– I used shredded cheese, and added it on top of the soup

– To make the soup more substantial, I served it over brown rice



Menu Mondays

November 1, 2010


Saturday: crockpot chicken tortilla soup

Sunday: California Pizza Kitchen (Copycat) BBQ Pizza

Monday: steak, steamed broccoli, pasta

Tuesday: lemon pepper crusted salmon, wild rice, cauiflower gratin

Wednesday: leftover crockpot chicken tortilla soup

Thursday: ham, risotto and garlic green beans

Friday: BLAT’s (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado & Tomato!) with coleslaw