Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday means laundry... Unstuffed Peppers

I'm trying to get in a good cleaning routine.  So far, it's working.  Monday is laundry day.  It's grocery day.  It's errand day.

It's a busy one.

But the laundry is done.

The dishes are done.

The fridge is full.

The errands are done.

And dinner was good.

Unstuffed peppers with quinoa and chorizo.  We all liked it.  Little Guy thought it was a little spicy, but ate half of his.  It was worth a try.  And it makes a ton!!!

1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 c water

1 lb chorizo- We used mild.
2 green peppers
1 onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 can diced tomato

In a small pan, heat the quinoa and water over low heat.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

In a large pan, cook chorizo. 

When both the chorizo and quinoa are done, add the chorizo to the quinoa pan.

In the large pan, saute the peppers and onion until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes (or is it tomatos, neither look right!).

Add the quinoa and chorizo back to the large pan.

Simmer 5 minutes.

Serve with some milk and a biscuit.  (gotta have something to cut that little bit of heat!)


And monday menu planning.

And it's Monday again.  Here's what we're trying this week... how about you?

Monday- Unstuffed Peppers with quinoa
Tuesday-Meatball subs
Wednesday- work
Thursday- work
Friday- gnocchi wtih spicy tomato sauce
Saturday- Tostada bake
Sunday- Pizza cook off

If you need more ideas, check out the menu plan links on Org junkie.

The weekend... Broccoli cheese soup

There aren't many meals that I make more than once or twice.  I just like cooking and love experimenting with new foods.  But I make broccoli cheese soup... and that recipe is one that Husband told me I have to make again.  So every so often I pull that recipe out. 

This weekend we had friends over and so I pulled it out again.  It's so good when you make bread bowls to go with it too.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic, minced
3 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
1 head of broccoli
2 1/2 cups milk, we use skim
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
8 ounces velveeta, we use the 2%


In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil.

Add the chicken broth and broccoli.  Simmer 10 minutes.

In a small bowl mix the milk and flour.

Add the milk mixture to the broccoli and broth.  Cook 5 minutes, or until slightly thick.

Remove from heat and add the cheese, stirring until it's melted.

Using a blender or immersion blender, blend half the soup until it's creamy.

Eat with friends!  Enjoy!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

So grateful today... my Kitchen Aid mixer

Today, I've spent a lot of the day in the kitchen with my buddy.  Her name is Kitchen Aid Mixer.  She's lovely.

She helped me make this.

And these. 

At the end of our time together she got a bath so she'd look gorgeous.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A real date!...chicken salad

Tonight, Husband and I are going on a real date.  Or kind of a real date.  It's early so we can get a sitter (Love my Auntie!!) but it's a dinner and a movie, so it works!!

So I thought I'd share my lunch with you.  I'm having a friend over for lunch so I made Chicken Salad.  Healthy, yummy.  Good.

Thickened yogurt
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp feta cheese
salt and pepper
red pepper chopped

Mix the thickened yogurt and the spices.

Gently mix in the chicken.

Add the peppers and feta.

Let sit for at least an hour to get all the flavors to be all happy like in the bowl.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Switching it up.... Beef and snow peas

It wasn't on the menu for tonight.  But the veggies were calling my name.  They looked so good.  And then we decided to go to the movies on Friday night, which means we wouldn't all be eating together.  So I decided to go ahead and make it tonight.

You'll notice that dinner tonight is beef and snow peas.  But mine has orange peppers.  Please, don't tell The Pioneer Woman that I changed her recipe.  Because I think her recipes are pretty good as they are.  But I had that pepper and it was calling my name. 

Maybe I'll rename the dish... beef with snow peas and that yummy orange pepper.

1 lb sirloin steak, sliced thin
1/2 c soy sauce
2 TBSP Brown Sugar
2 TBSP Corn Starch
1 tsp ginger powder (but please feel free to substitute 1 TBSP fresh ginger)
8 oz snow peas, trimmed
1 orange pepper, sliced
5 whole scallions, cut on the bias
3 TBSP olive oil
Crushed red pepper for sprinkling
Brown rice

Start by prepping all your meat and veggies... it makes life go smoother.  And we'd all like life to be a little smoother, right?

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger together.  Add the beef and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet or wok over high heat.  Add the snow peas and pepper.  Cook for 45 seconds.  Remove from pan.

Let the pan get very hot again and add half the beef (leaving the marinade in the bowl) and half the scallions.  Don't move it for 1 minute, letting it get some really good color and flavor from the heat.   Turn it over and cook 30 seconds more.

Remove beef from the pan and set aside. 

Let the pan get screaming hot again, and then add the second round of beef and scallions.  Let it sit for one minute and then turn it over.  At this point add the marinade to the pan.

Add the veggies.  Let it sit for 30 seconds and then turn off the heat. 

Let it sit a few minutes to thicken the sauce.

Serve over the brown rice.  Add some pepper flake to give it some heat.


Thanks to those who followed the link from Good Cheap Eats!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sometimes I suprise myself!... Vegetable beef Soup

I never liked veggies much growing up.  Especially cooked ones.

So tonight when we ate our dinner and there were EIGHT! veggies in our soup, I was suprised at how much I loved it.  Each of the veggies were either fresh or frozen fresh last summer.  And it was SO good! 

Our Eight veggie Vegetable Beef soup.

2 lbs beef (we used cube steak because I have a few in the freezer.)
2 c diced tomatoes and juice
2 c beef broth
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsbp worchestershire sauce
1/2 c onion
1/2 c green pepper
1 c celery or celery greens
1 c carrots
3 potatoes peeled and cubed
1 c green beans
1 c corn kernals

Heat a pan over medium high heat until very hot. 
Add beef and seasonings.  Let it sit a minute before you stir it around.
Add worchestershire sauce.
Add onion, pepper, celery, carrots and potato.   Let simmer for 30 minutes.

Add green beans and corn.

Let simmer another 10 minutes.

Serve with this really yummy bread.

And Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu planning Monday... here we go

Monday- Vegetable beef soup
Tuesday- Taco potato
Wednesday- Work
Thursday- Work
Friday- Beef and snow peas
Saturday- Broccoli cheese soup and bread
Sunday- Sausage gravy and biscuits

What are you eating this week?

It's been a while.. Chicken tamale cassarole

Wow.  That was a full weekend.  We were busy, and I barely even got a second to get online.  But it's Monday, so things are back to normal... or a little more normal. 

Friday night we had Tamale Cassarole.  It's a tasty treat, way easier than rolling real tamales.  Or at least I'd imagine it is.  We brought it to a family potluck and didn't bring much home.  So this recipe is for a double of my regular batch.

4 chicken breast, cooked
2 packages corn muffin mix, prepared
1 cup mexican cheese
1/2 green pepper
1/2 TBSP mexican seasoning or taco seasoning (we prefer adobo seasoning)
2 cans enchilada sauce
1/2 can green chilis  (we kept it mild for the kiddos)

Shred the chicken breasts that you've cooked.  I cooked mine in the crockpot while I was gone for the day. It's  an easy way to do it.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, green pepper,  1/2 the prepared cornbread, 1/2 c of cheese, sauce, green chilis and seasoning.

Pour the mixed ingredients from the bowl into a greased 9x13 pan.

Add the rest of the cornbread to the top, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

serve topped with sour cream, green or red salsa or, our favorite, pepper plant sauce!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Date night, redefined... Chicken cordon Bleu

We had a date night planned last night.  Husband and I were going to drop the kids off at AWANA and go to coffee and do a bit of shopping.

Then the boys got sick.  Not really sick, but just enough that we knew they'd be better off staying home and going to bed early.

So date night had to be redefined.

We sent the boys to bed a little earlier than usual (and their bedtime is pretty early) in order to get them healthy for the next day.

And I made us a nice dinner, which we got to sit and eat together. 

So date night, just redefined.

I found a couple of chicken cordon bleu recipes that I wanted to try.  So I kind of combined both of them and this is what we had.  It was a good combination.

(Please excuse the mess on the counters in the background of all these pictures... I did clean it up after dinner, I promise!)

Chicken Cordon Bleu

2 Chicken breasts, pounded thin (I only made two but you can just figure out your recipe based on how many pieces you want.)
2 pieces string cheese
4 pieces thin sliced ham
1/4 c panko bread crumbs
1/4 c honey mustard (we like the sweet baby rays brand)
2 tbsp flour
salt, pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Start by getting three plates ready.  One for the flour, one for the honey mustard and one for the bread crumbs.  To the bread crumbs add your salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders.

Take the chicken breast and put the ham slices down.
Put the string cheese on top of that and roll from the thicker side.

Fasten it together with a toothpick.

Roll the chicken in flour.

Then the mustard.  The mustard is a really nice touch!

Then the panko bread crumbs.

Spray with a little olive oil.

Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes.

Serve it to someone you love, for date night or family night or whatever.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Confession... Bahn mi Sandwiches

I'm a reality tv junkie.  Yup, I said it.
I like reality television.  And sometimes it pays off.  

Like tonight.

This summer, I watched the Great Food Truck Race on Food Network.   And I wanted to go to every single food truck and try their food. 

But since they weren't coming anywhere near my neck of the woods, it wasn't going to happen.

So I had to make it myself. 

Now, I'm sorry, but I wasn't a fan of the Nom Nom team that had the vietnamese food truck.  But I was still dying to try their food.

So tonight we had vietnamese sandwiches, also known as bahn mi.

Carrots, cut into matchsticks
Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
Red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 lb Boneless pork loin chops
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 tsp lime juice
sweet chili sauce
mayo, if you'd like... we don't.
French rolls or baguette

Before you get started, you'll need to pickle the veggies. (Yes!  I pickled my own veggies!!)   It's easy.  Take your cut veggies and put them in a bowl.  Mix the vinegar and sugar.  Pour it over the veggies.  Stick it in the fridge until you're ready to add it to the sandwich.

Then take your pork loin chops.  Sprinkle them with salt, pepper and garlic on both sides.  Sprinkle the lime juice over top.

Cook the pork in a large skillet over medium high heat (closer to high than medium) for 4 minutes a side or until browned and cooked through.

Let the pork rest while you toast up the baguettes.

Slice the pork into strips. 

Smear the chili sauce  (and mayo if you want) on the baguette.  Put on the pork.  Then the veggies.  Then the cliantro.

Smoosh it all together.

And ENJOY!  It's totally different than anything we've had before.  But it was so GOOD.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday nights potluck night... Taco pizza

Sunday nights we have a good group that comes over for band practice. This week I was in charge of the main dish.  I made taco pizza.  It was incredibly easy and I can't believe I haven't done it before.  THere really was little to no recipe, and so I'll just share how I did it.  Try it, you'll like it and surprise everyone at how easy it really is. 

Don't tell my brother and his girlfriend fiancee though.  I think we're going to have a pizza face off here soon!

pizza crust (homemade, store bought, from a mix... whatever kind you'd like)
refried beans
ground beef
cheddar cheese
sour cream
black olives
whatever other toppings you'd put on pizza.

My crust recipe made two crusts, so I used two cans of beans, one lb of meat and 8 oz of cheese.

Basically you make the pizza crust, brown it in a 450 oven for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, beef and cheese.

Bake in the 450 oven for another 10 minutes.

Take it out and top it with all the yummy toppings! 


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Menu planning...

This is going to be a busy week.  But a fun one.

Sunday- Out for lunch, taco pizza for dinner
Monday- heart shaped pancakes, eggs and bacon
Tuesday- Bahn mi
Wednesday- Chicken cordon bleu
Thursday- Work
Friday- Bday party- chicken tamale cassarole
Saturday- Out for Valentines with my Valentine

What's on your menu this week?

Friday, February 11, 2011

What we like... Creamy chicken pasta

We like garlic.
We like onion.
We like green pepper.
We like carrots.
We like salt and pepper.

So when I pulled out this recipe to try it today and there was none of that in it, I changed it.   And it was good!  It probably could have used a little more salt and pepper, but I'm watching my sodium today so I didn't add it.  Feel free to add it to yours.

Creamy Chicken and Pasta
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 TBSP chopped garlic
3 TBSP chopped onion
1 1/2 c uncooked multi grain pasta (we used penne)
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 green pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c chicken broth
2 oz cream cheese
3/4 c mozzerella cheese

Heat your oven to 375. 

Put a pot of water on to boil.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  (We're multitaskers here!)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the broccoli and carrots for the last 2 minutes.

In the skillet, add the olive oil, garlic and onions.  Let it cook a minute.
Add the chicken and green pepper. Saute until the chicken is no longer pink.

Stir in broth and simmer 3 minutes.
*If I were to make this again, I would probably double the chicken broth.  I wanted more sauce on my noodles.

Add cream cheese.  Stir and cook for 1 minute until melted.

Add 1/2 cup mozzerella.

Drain the pasta and veggies.  Add to the chicken mixture.  Put it all in a cassarole dish and top with the remaining mozzerella.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  

*You could make this meal ahead and just cook it covered for 20 minutes until it's warmed through.

Enjoy!  It's a great way to get some veggies in.

A super huge thanks if you stopped by from Eat at Home!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Everybody likes the one they like... Burger barbeques

Everybodys mom makes the best.  Whether it's lasagna, spaghetti or sloppy joes, everyone has a certain one they like. 

Me, I've never liked burger bbq.  Bbqs, to me, were the ones my mom made with pork roast, ketchup and mustard.  But I've never liked sloppy joes (or burger bbq as my boys call them).

Until I found my own recipe.  It's so simple, and it's so good!! 

It started as Rachael Ray's bbq recipe, but it's been tweaked (imagine that!!) and now it's mine.  And it's good.   I make a double batch because it reheats so well.   But this recipe I posted can easily be halved.

2 lbs ground beef
2 TBSP steak seasoning
1/2 c brown sugar
1 onion, chopped
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP worchestershire sauce
2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
4 TBSP tomato paste  (I used the stuff in the tube.)

In a large pan, brown your burger.  Add the seasoning and brown sugar.  Let it cook for a minute. Add onion.

Turn heat to medium.

Add vinegar and worchestershire.  Let it cook for 5 minutes.

Add tomato sauce and paste.  Let it cook 5 minutes.

Put it on buns.  We like to top ours with cheese and dill pickles.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Not much to chat about.... Beef and bean taquitos with cucumber salsa

Really, not a whole lot going on here.  But man, dinner was good.  It tasted alot like rolled tacos, but a whole lot healthier.

We had beef and bean and bean taquitos with cucumber salsa.

1/2 cucumber peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 c sour cream

12 corn tortillas
16 oz can fat free refried beans
3 oz leftover roast
1/2 c salsa
1/4 c shredded cheese (we used cheddar jack)

In a medium bowl, mix together the cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and sour cream.  Put it in the fridge until you're ready to eat.

Warm beans, roast and salsa together. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet and get ready to build your taquitos. =)

Step one: Heat your tortillas in the dry pan.  
Step two: Take the warm tortilla and spread the beef/bean mixture on top.
Step three: Add some cheese.
Step four: Roll the taquito.

Repeat with all the tortillas.

Take the pan that you warmed the tortillas in and add one tsp olive oil to it.  Put three taquitos in the pan and brown them on each side. 
Set in a 200 degree oven to keep them warm.

Repeat these steps until you've fried all the the taquitos. You'll want to add another tsp of oil to the pan for each group of 3.
Serve with the cucumber salsa.


This recipe was linked on Good Cheap Eats.  Thanks for travelling here, or if you start here, be sure to check them out.