Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu plan Monday

My meal plan for this week. I plan lunches on the weekends when my husband is home. During the week I eat leftovers or something simple.

Monday: Egg Salad Sandwiches, potato chips, pickles
Tuesday: Lazy Lasagna, garlic toast
Wednesday: Kung Pow Chicken, rice
Thursday: French dip sandwiches, fries
Friday: Tuna Croquettes, Orzo with broccoli, feta and olives
Saturday lunch: BLTs, leftover orzo
Saturday: Thai Chicken Pizza
Sunday: My nephew's birthday party... will eat there

Egg Salad

I was sent home from my mom's last night with a big bag of hard boiled eggs. I swear she must have made 3 dozen eggs so she had a TON of leftovers. When I have extra eggs I love to make some egg salad. Of course like most salads I dont exactly measure.... but here are the basics to some yummy egg salad

8 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced
around 1 cup of Miracle whip (or mayo)
around 2 t of honey dijon mustard

1. Mix eggs and green peppers in a big bowl
2. Add miracle whip a big spoonful at a time mixing it into the egg mixture. Stop when you get the consistency you prefer.
3. Add honey dijon and mix
4. Add salt and pepper to taste

Serve on croissants, toast, ciabatta or whatever bread you prefer.

Tomorrow I will share my awesome deviled egg recipe.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf

Mmmmm meatloaf! This meatloaf is made of turkey and not the normal mix of beef and pork. It also has a well of cheesy goodness running through the center of it. Its awesome both right from the oven or cold for a leftover meatloaf sandwich. In fact this picture was taken the next morning before I scarfed it down for breakfast. (yes I said breakfast)

19.2 oz package of ground turkey
1/2 cup (plus 2T) of milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 T worchestershire sauce
1 cup of crushed saltine crackers
2t italian seasoning
1 egg
1/4 t pepper
8 oz shredded cheese (I use a mix of whatever I have on hand, cheddar, mozzarella, colby jack.. whatever)

Preheat oven to 400

1. Toss everything (but the cheese) in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. (I use my hands)
2. Press 1/2 of mixture into a loaf pan. Make a well by pressing the mixture up the side of the pan
3. Fill the well with cheese
4. Top with remaining meat mixture
5. Spread a layer of ketchup on top of your meatloaf
6. Bake 50-60 minutes or until meat is cooked. Allow to sit 10 minutes before cutting

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mini Onion Cheese Burgers

These mini burgers are perfect for parties, the big game or little fingers. The are similiar to the White Castle burgers that my husband loves but taste soooo much better. They are very quick to make a freeze beautifully.

1 1/2lbs lean hamburger (I use 92%)
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 T water

24 mini slider buns or dinner rolls.
6 slices of cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Mix hamburger, soup mix, egg, water, pepper and bread crumbs
3. Press into a cookie sheet. If you want perfect littel squares use a 15x10 pan. I use a 12x17 and it still works out fine.
4. Bake for 10 minutes.
5. Using a pizza cutter cut into 24 squares
6. Serve burgers on buns. Top with cheese

To freeze: Flash freeze burgers(on buns) on a cookie sheet. Once frozen wrap with plastic wrap and store in a big freezer bag.

To heat from frozen: upwrap plastic wrap. Wrap in a paper towel. Microwave 1 minute.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars

I love granola bars! I dont however love the cost or the extra junk thrown in. I looked around at a bunch of different recipes and combined them into my version. It will make about 24 quaker sized bars. They are chewy and delicious! I'll get the cost comparison up soon.

2 c Rice Krispies
1 1/2 c Quick Oats
1/2 c chopped peanuts
1/2 c light corn syrup or honey
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c peanut butter
1 t vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips (frozen for optimal results)

1. In a large bowl mix rice krispies, oats and peanuts. Set aside
2. In a medium saucepan add corn syrup(or honey) and brown sugar. Bring to boil
3. Once boiling remove from heat. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla until creamy smooth.
4. Dump liquid mixture over dry mixture. Quickly mix it together
5. Mix in frozen chocolate chips. They dont have to be frozen, but it helps them not to melt.
6. Press mixture into a GREASED pan. I use a 9x13 glass pyrex pan.
7. Allow to cool. Cut into bars. I removed mine when they were "hard" enough and placed on a plate so they could dry completely.
8. Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Carmalized Onion and Rosemary Focaccia Bread

My bread machine is SO hot right now. I have yet to use it to bake anything, but its been cranking out the dough all week. I have made 2 of these gorgeously delicious focaccia breads this week. One to use for breakfasts (grab and go hunk of bread for dh) and one for company as an afternoon snack. It's my adaption of this focaccia recipe 

3/4 c water (75-85 degrees)
2 T olive oil
2 c bread flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1 1/2 t active dry yeast

1 large sweet onion (sliced)
3 T butter or margarine
1 t dried  rosemary
1 t minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 c cheddar cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

1. Add dough ingredients to your bread machine in the order your manufacturer suggests. I add in the order listed above.
2. Choose the dough option. Allow machine to do its magic
3. When dough is finished remove it from machine.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
4. Place dough on a greased cookie sheet. Pat dough into a circle (around 12")
5. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 30 minutes)
6. While dough is rising we will prepare our topping :)
7. In a large skillet melt butter.Cook onions until they start to caramelize. (about 15-20 minutes)
8. Add rosemary and garlic to onion mixture. Stir 2-3 minutes. Set aside
9. Back to dough: Once risen make indentations in the dough every inch or so. I use the back of my wooden spoon. You can use your finger if you'd like.
10. Cover dough with onion mixture.
11. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of onions.
12. Cover everything with cheddar cheese.
13. Bake 20 minutes or until edges are brown.
14. Cut into wedges and serve.

 **dough before topped**

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ranch style Tuna Patties

Tuna is something I buy in bulk at BJs wholesale. Its something that keeps a looooong time and is always handy for a quick lunch. Its way cheaper for me to buy 12 cans at a time than it is for me to buy them at the grocery on sale. So needless to say I have a lot of TUNA (why is it my brain still goes to big brother when I say that)

So today I had company and after everyone left I realized I forgot to defrost the chicken for dinner tonight. So I had to find a way to make tuna into dinner.... and since my darling husband will not eat tuna noodle casserole, I had to be creative. I found this recipe and adapted it to fit my needs. It was originally from Starkist Tuna. My husband loves them and asked me to put them in the rotation.

3 (5oz) cans of tuna in water (completely drained)
1 3/4 c bread crumbs (divided) (i use fresh bread crumbs... you may need less if using dry crumbs)
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c Miracle Whip
1 egg
1/3 c Ranch dressing
1/2 c finely chopped onion
1/2 c finely chopped red pepper
1/2 t old bay seasoning
vegetable or olive oil for frying

1. Drain tuna making sure to squeeze as much water out of it as possible
2. In a large bowl mix 3/4 cup of bread crumbs and everything else (may be a little sticky but that is okay)
3. Form mixture into patties (I get 10 medium sized patties)
4. Fill a small bowl with remaining bread crumbs.
5. Coat patties with bread crumbs.
6. Place covered patties in the fridge for 15-20 minutes (optional, but helps hold them together)
7. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add patties. Fry 4-5 minutes each side or until they are brown.

Small patties would make a great appetizer! Large patties would make great sandwiches! I make medium patties and eat them like a crab cake.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Louisiana Chicken Pasta ( Cheesecake Factory )

I break for the Cheesecake Factory. When I see one I jump for joy and whine til I get to go. Good thing I dont see one very often. I think the closest one is an hour drive to Beechwood. I usually only go when in Columbus.

I always get the same thing. Im sure they have a fabulous menu, but my brain focuses on the Louisiana Chicken pasta and it doesnt seem to look elsewhere. Of course I usually get a different cheesecake so I do shake some things up a bit.

Anyways, on my quest to try new recipes I found this one. It CANT be... I said to myself with glee. So of course I HAD to try it. And seriously... it SO is. This is my very close adaptation. I made it in honor of Mardi Gras

Vegetable oil (for frying)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
2 T flour
1 cup milk (optional)

 *Note* I cut my chicken up so it's easier to eat with bites of pasta. The original recipe calls for you to pound it flat, dredge with milk, the into dry mixture. If you want it authentic try it this way.

1. Cut chicken into bite sized chunks
2. Mix dry ingredients.
3. Toss chicken with dry ingredients Making sure to coat each piece
4. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry chicken pieces until done. Remove to a paper towel. Set aside

Cajun Sauce

2 T butter
1 small red pepper (chunked)
1 small green pepper (chunked)
1 small sweet onion (chunked)
1 c baby portabella mushrooms (quartered)
2 t minced garlic
1 t crushed red pepper
12oz heavy whipping cream
8oz half and half**
1 c chicken broth
1 T dried basil
1 c grated parmesan cheese
1 box whole grain penne pasta (CF uses bow tie feel free to use)

1. Make pasta as directed on package. Set aside
2. Melt butter in a large skillet.
3. Add peppers, mushrooms and onions. Saute 4-5 minutes.
4. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Saute 3 minutes
5. Add chicken stock, whipping cream and half and half
6. Simmer until sauce begins to thicken, About 5 minutes
7. Stir in basil and parmesan cheese.
8. Reduce sauce by simmering on low about 10 minutes
9. Toss pasta with sauce.

To serve:

Plate pasta, top with cooked chicken and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

** I used half and half to lighten recipe(and because I only had 12 oz of cream left. You can use all 20oz cream if you prefer)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sesame Bagels using the bread machine

The other day while unpacking boxes I found the user manual for my bread machine.I hadnt used the thing in forever so I decided to skim it quickly. I then discovered I could use it to make BAGELS!!!

Im addicted to bagels. When I was pregnant I ate one every morning to keep the morning sickness away. Buying bagels can be pricey. Bagels at the grocery store are 69 cents... and  Panara (maker of my favorite bagels) gets a whopping 89 cents a bagel.

So I decided to try and make a batch. They turned out great! They are smaller than your mammoth store bought bagel but that just means less calories to burn.

1 cup water (75-85 degrees F)
2 t olive oil (or vegetable oil)
3 cups flour
1 T sugar
3/4 t salt
1 t active dry yeast

1 egg white
1 t water
sesame seeds

1. Using a 1 1/2 - 2lb bread machine Add first 6 accoring to your machines directions. With my machine I add water, oil, flour (to cover liquid) sugar, salt then yeast
2. Set to the dough (or bagel dough) setting. Push start
3. When done remove from machine. Punch down and set in a bowl to rest for 10 minutes. Cover with towel.
4. Divide dough into 9 balls. Form each ball into a ring (you know like a bagel)
5. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Allow to rise for 20 minutes
6. In a large pan put water (and 1 T sugar) on to boil (do it now so its boiling when you need it)
7. After the 20 minute rise place bagels under the broiler on high. Broil 2 minutes, flip bagels over broil 2 more minutes.
8. Drop bagels into boiling water. Simmer bagels for 7 minutes turning over after 3 minutes. (make sure bagels arent laying on top of each other. simmer in 2 batches if you need to)
9. Remove from water and place on cookie sheet
10. Mix egg white with water. Brush on tops of bagels. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
11. Bake bagels at 375 for 30 minutes

Toast and Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms

I threw this together one night when I couldnt find a recipe for stuffed shrooms and my internet was down. They are meatless yet fabulous!

12oz pkg Portabella mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped mushroom stems
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1 t minced garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs (i made mine fresh by toasting a hot dog bun)
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t parsley
1 T parmesan cheese (grated)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
2 T melted margarine

2 T melted margarine
more mozzarella cheese

1. Remove stems and gills from mushrooms
2. Mix all ingredients and stuff into mushrooms
3. Pour 2T melted margarine over shrooms, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese (however much you want... we make ours very cheesey, but a little will do.
4 Bake at 400 for 20 minutes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day

The plan for Valentine's Day was to stay home and make a fabulous dinner to save some money. Then we remembered we had a gift card for a local steakhouse and decided to find a babysitter and go out. Since my husband had to work on Sunday we decided to go out Saturday night.

So Sunday while he was at work I decided to surprise him when he got home by making some of his favorites. This was our second vanetine's day dinner :)

Stuffed Mushrooms
Italian Salad
Pizza Bianco with fresh tomatoes
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with homemade whipped cream
Chocolate covered strawberries

i planned on getting out my wedding china and eating by candlelight, but we ended up in the living room eating on tv trays while playing with the baby. Oh well. 

Photos: Recipes to follow this week

Stuffed Mushrooms

Pizza Bianco with fresh tomatoes

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Recipes will be posted over the next few days and linked back to this post! Hope you had a happy valentine's day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry

Im dubbing this kung pao stir fry because typical kung pao only has green onions and I like to stretch out my chinese by adding lots of veggies. I added mushrooms, carrots and pea pods to my recipe, but feel free to add your favorite veggies. This is a pretty saucy version of the recipe because my husband enjoys extra sauce for his rice. Feel free to cut the sauce in half.

1lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1" pieces
1 T cornstarch
4 t sesame oil
5T rice wine vinegar
6T soy sauce
6t sugar
1/2 cup peanuts
3 green onions and tops (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
3/4 t crushed red pepper (like spice? add more, dont like spice? add less)
1t dried ginger
3/4 cup pea pods or sugar snap peas
1 medium carrot juillened
8 white mushrooms quartered

1. Coat chicken in cornstarch
2. On medium high....Heat 2t sesame oil. Add chicken and saute 5-7 minutes until no longer pink. Remove
3. Add remaining 2t oil to pan Add carrots, mushrooms and pea pods. Saute 5 minutes
4. While veggies are cooking make your sauce. Mix vinegar, soy and sugar until sugar dissolves.
5. To veggies: Add onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper. Saute 1 minute.
6.. Pour in sauce. Stir
7. Add chicken back to the pan. Add peanuts
8. Cover and reduce heat....simmer mixture about 4-5 minutes

Serve over rice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black and white brownie bites

Okay so this is a semi-homemade recipe. I usually dont like to use mixes to make things, but sometimes I just cant help it. When I can snag a box of brownie mix super cheap I buy a few to have on hand for when a chocolate fix sets in.

1 box of Duncan Hines Chewy fudge brownie mix
(using 2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup water as directed)
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
55 pieces of vanilla (or white chocolate) candy disks

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Make brownie mix as directed
3. Mix in chocolate chips
4. Spray mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray
5. Spoon mix into muffin tin filling about 3/4 of the way
6. Bake for 18 minutes
7. Remove from oven. Press a vanilla candy on top of each brownie
8. Bake for 2 more minutes to let disk get melty
9. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack

Makes 55 brownie bites

(try making these with different kinds of candy disks. I have used peanut butter disks, mint disks, chocolate disks. My husband loves these little bites. I like them because I feel like a piggy when I have 3... but if I were to eat a BIG brownie it would be way more than 3 bites)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thanksgiving leftover quesadillas

I got this idea from one of those money saving Food Network shows with Sandra Lee. I didnt use her recipe but it is a fantastic way to use some thanksgiving leftovers for a quick and easy lunch. No measurements because I just used up what I had. You just have to wing it sometimes. It really helped me use up what was left from that chicken dinner!

Leftover turkey (or chicken)
Leftover stuffing
Cheddar cheese
sour cream (for dipping)

1. Melt 1T margarine in a skillet. Lay in tortilla
2. On half of the tortilla spread 1 scoop/spoonful of stuffing
3. Top stuffing with leftover turkey/chicken
4. Top chicken with a handful of cheddar cheese
5. Fold tortilla over the filling.
6. Toast tortilla until golden brown. Flip over and toast the other side
7. Serve with sour cream for dipping and maybe somecranberry sauce!

Mmmmm melty!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Impromptu Superbowl party

My husband and I had discussed having a superbowl party and then decided against it. We were just going to hang out with the baby and watch the game. Of course last minute he decided to invite over some family members (and by last minute I mean about 4 hours before kickoff) I quickly threw together some snacks for the football lovin crowd. I was a little bummed because if I knew ahead of time I could have made some really cool food and rockin decor... but everyone had a good time and that is what mattered. GO SAINTS!

Buffalo Chicken dip with celery and tortilla chips
Matt's famous dip with potato chips
Garden salad with lots of veggies
Hot dogs with secret recipe Coney Sauce
Baked Parmesan Garlic fries
Black and white brownie bites
Coca Cola

None.... no notice


Buffalo Chicken Dip with celery and tortilla chips : aka crack dip. The ultimate football food

Matt's famous dip with potato chips: I wish I could tell you the exact measurements, but this is my husbands recipe. He doesnt exactly measure. He just keeps adding things and tasting it til he likes the result

2 (8oz) bricks of cream cheese
1/4 of a large onion (chopped finely)
tobasco sauce
Garden Salad with lots of veggies
Romain, radicchio, cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and carrots. Served with homemade balsamic vinaigrette. 

*Insert pic*

Kosher beef hot dogs with secret recipe Coney Sauce.
I wish I could share the recipe, but my life has been threatened. It is hands down the best coney sauce Ive ever had, but it is a secret recipe among my husbands family. Rumor has it one of the aunties worked at a famous hot dog stand back in the day and snagged the recipe.
Oven Roasted Parmesan Garlic Fries
a healthier than deep fried french fry

Black and white brownie bites
A semi homemade recipe! I will be sharing this sometime this week.

Everyone loved the food! Not bad for a few hours notice.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Bacon Quiche

I was in the mood to try some new quiche recipes. Id only ever made my mom's recipe and wanted something different. I found this Emeril recipe and fiddled with it a bit. Its definitely NOT on the light side but it is so rich and decadent! Its perfect for a brunch when you want to impress.  My husband proclaimed this to be his new favorite thing and that real men would eat quiche if it all tasted like this. BAM!

1 pie crust
8oz bacon (chopped)
3 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
8oz thinly sliced mushrooms
1 t dried thyme
1 t minced garlic
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 eggs
6 oz mozzarella/provolone blend shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Press crust into a pie pan
3. Cook the bacon untl crispy. Remove to drain on paper towel
4. Add onions to the bacon grease. Cook until they start to wilt (8 minutes)
5. Add mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to onions. Cook until they carmelize (8-10 minutes)
6. Remove onion/mushroom mixture with a slotted spoon (to drain excess grease) Allow mixture to cool.
7. Add chopped bacon to onions and mix. Pour into pie pan
8. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese on top of onion mix
9. In a separate bowl Beat 5 eggs with the heavy cream until frothy
10. Pour over onion mixture in pie pan
11. Top with remaining cheese
12. Place pie pan on a cookie sheet. Bake 35-40 or until golden brown. Rotate pan  1/2 thru

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Orzo with broccoli, feta and olives

My husband claims he doesnt like orzo. Whenever he claims he doesnt like something (especially something so versatile) I take that as a challenge. I came across this recipe looking for a way to use up the leftover feta cheese in my fridge. The oil takes on the flavor of the toasty pine nuts and the crushed red pepper adds just a touch of heat. I usually dont like to take a chance with an unrated recipe, but goodness this one was worth it! Im already looking forward to eating it for lunch.

.... and my husband ate a TON of it and loves it..... silly men!

16oz box Orzo cooked
16 oz bag of frozen broccoli florets
1/4 c Olive oil
3 T Pine nuts
1/2 t Crushed red pepper
3/4 c Feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 c Black olives, pitted, halved
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 c Fresh basil, chopped

1. Dump cooked orzo in a large bowl
2. Cook frozen broccoli add to large bowl with orzo
3. Heat olive oil in a small skillet (med high)
4. Add pine nuts to oil and cook until brown (about 3 minutes)
5. Add crushed red pepper to oil and saute (about 30 seconds)
6. Dump oil/nut mix into orzo/broccoli. Mix
7. Add black olives, feta, parmesan cheese and basil. Mix

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken and Brie Sandwich with Roasted Tomato

I found this recipe here while looking for a way to use up the 1/2 round of brie I had in my fridge. Its from the June 2001 issue of Cooking Light magazine. Its such an amazing mix of flavors! I think I could eat the tomatoes on anything!! I used leftover shredded chicken and a loaf of sourdough bread (my grocery was out of french bread :0 ) I also used 1t dried thyme because I was out of fresh.

Makes 6 sandwiches

1  teaspoon  olive oil
2  cups  halved cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound)
2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
1  tablespoon  chopped fresh thyme (i used 1 t dried thyme)
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
1/4  cup  low-fat mayonnaise
1  tablespoon  whole-grain Dijon mustard
1  garlic clove, minced
1  (16-ounce) loaf French bread
3  ounces  Brie cheese, sliced
3  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
2  teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  balsamic vinegar
1/8  teaspoon  salt
2  cups  fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 300

1. Mix mayo, garlic and mustard. Place in fridge til you need it
2. Heat 1t olive oil  over med-high heat. Add tomatoes. Saute 5 minutes
3. Remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme. Bake for 15 minutes
4. Cut loaf of bread lengthwise
5. Spread mayo on the top portion of the bread
6. Spread tomato mixture on bottom portion of bread
7. Top hot tomatoes with sliced brie (it wil start to melt)
8. Top brie with warm shredded chicken
9. Whisk together 2t evoo, 1t balsamic vinegar and pinch of salt. Dump in spinach. Toss
10. Top chicken with spinach mixture
11. Put the top on the sandwich
12. Slice into 6 sandwiches.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicken Gyro Salad

This salad uses one of my OAMC freezer kits and tastes awesome! You do not have to use the kit. Just marinate a few chicken breasts in this marinade and make some tzatziki for dressing

Makes 2 dinner sized salads

1 chicken gyro kit (marinated chicken, tzatziki and pita bread from this post)
8oz chopped romaine lettuce
1 plum tomato (sliced)
1/3 can black olives
0.5 to1oz feta cheese (crumbled)
1/4 sweet onion (chopped)
1/2 cucumber (to use in frozen tzatziki)

1. Defrost gyro kit
2. Wrap chicken in foil and warm in the oven
2. Wrap pitas in foil and warm in the oven
3. Pile lettuce on a plate, place sliced tomatoes around the edges
4. Sprinkle lettuce with black olives, onions and feta
5. Top with warmed chicken
6. Chop and de-seed cucumber and mix with tzatziki packet. Use this as dressing
7. Serve with warmed pitas

Monday, January 25, 2010

French Toast Sticks

I also love french toast. I never make french toast, but I love it. I actually just never think to make it. We only ever make breakfast on the weekends when my husband is home. If its just me and the baby I try to eat something quick like a bowl of cereal or a banana after I feed her.  So when I found this recipe it just called out to me. It was french toast I could make ahead of time and microwave in 1 minute! This is my adaptation of that recipe.

This will make you 54 sticks. Best yet my estimated cost is only $3.25 (and that is rounding up) for the entire batch and I know what is in them. I know packaged frozen french toast sticks are very popular. I have never bought them but most of my friends with young children go thru them like a junkie goes through crack. I know that alot of fast food places also sell this. Burger King has them on their $1 menu. You get 5 for that $1. You get 5 of my homemade ones for around 30 cents. I bet kids could even eat them in the car

1 loaf Texas Toast (18 slices)
8 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup melted margarine (1 stick)
Cooking Spray (like pam)

Preheat oven to 350

1. Cut each piece of bread into thirds (you know like a stick lol)
2. Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla
3. Mix cinnamon and sugar. Mix into egg mixture
4. Melt margarine. Slowly whisk into the egg mixture. If you dump it in the hot butter might cook the eggs so go slow.
5. Spray cookie sheets with Pam (dont use a stone.. I did my first batch and they didnt cook right. Use a cookie sheet)
6. Dip each stick into egg mixture them place on cookie sheet
7. Place them in the oven (middle rack)
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes Flipping them over about halfway through baking

To eat fresh from the oven: Put on a plate, drizzle with syrup, enjoy!

To freeze: Allow to cool. Flash freeze sticks on cookie sheet. When they are hard transfer to large freezer bag.

To cook after frozen: Put 3 sticks in the microwave. Cook for 1 minute

I ate 5 right out of the oven! They are so good I couldnt resist. Plus my house smelled like french toast for hours. Yum!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chicken Caesar Wraps

Makes 4 wraps

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 10" flour tortillas
1/2 cup creamy caesar dressing (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup sliced black olives
2 plum tomatoes sliced
approx 6 oz chopped romaine lettuce (I used half a bag)
parmesan cheese to sprinkle

1. Mix shredded chicken with creamy caesar dressing. (you can skip this step and drizzle dressing on wrap but I think this makes alot less mess)
2. Warm flour tortilla
3. Lay tortilla flat. Add 1 handful of lettuce.
4.. Add 1/2 cup of chicken mixture in a line down the middle
5. Sprinkle black olives
6. Line sliced tomatoes along the top of chicken
7. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
8. Fold bottom up and wrap mixture with tortilla
9. Repeat steps 3-8 with remaining tortillas.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crockpot Salsa Shredded Chicken

My husband for years has driven me crazy because he wont eat Mexican food. He wouldnt specify what about it he didnt like, he just didnt like it. It took me awhile to narrow it down, but I finally found he just didnt like cumin. He associated ALL things remotely southwest or mexican with cumin and therefor wouldnt even try things.

I for one LOVE mexican food. I love fajitas and quesidillas, enchiladas and burritos. It made me sad that I could never make anything remotely tasting like these things because he wouldnt eat it. Now that I know its the cumin I find ways to introduce non-cumin versions of my favorites so he will eat them.

Almost everyone has a version of salsa chicken. Most people have it as a meal with taco seasoning and sour cream mixed in. My salsa chicken is a base for many meals. Its basically a filling. I have never eaten just salsa chicken for dinner, but I have eaten a lot of it. I always make a BIG batch in my crockpot and freeze it in 2 cup portions. Its really basic and makes a ton.

3-4lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast
1 jar of your favorite medium salsa*
1/4 cup water(to rinse out jar)

1. Toss everything in your crock pot
2. Cook on high 4 hours.
3. Shred chicken in juice

*Use a salsa you have eaten and LOVE. Your chicken is going to taste like it. Dont just but the cheap stuff or something on sale. If you love it and its on sale... awesome! Just make sure you like it.

So far I have used this for: (I will share recipes soon)
chicken quesidillas
chicken nachos
chicken pitas
chicken burritos

and my husband eats them up!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Parmesan Garlic Oven Roasted Fries

I have been craving fries for days but Im trying my best to stay away from fried foods. Last night I decided to try my hand at oven roasting fries. After looking around the net at various recipes I came up with this one. They are covered in bubbly parmesan cheese and have that nice bite of garlic. Make sure to scrap the little bits of cheesy garlic from the pan!

5-6 yukon gold potatoes
1/4 c olive oil
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese
2t minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Cut potatoes into a medium size fry. You can peel them first but I dont.
3. Soak fries in cold water until ready to go in the oven
4. Drain water and dry fries completely with a paper towel
5. Toss fries with olive oil, salt and pepper
6. Spread fries into a single layer on a cookie sheet or a baking stone.
7. Bake 35-40 minutes turning potatoes every 10-12 minutes
8. When brown remove from oven Sprinkle with parmesan and garlic. Toss fries with tongs to coat them.
9. Put back in the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt cheese

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quick tip: Stock Cubes

When I make chicken stock I always make a huge stock pot full. I use lots of chicken so I have extras to use for other recipes. Lots of chicken lend me lots of rich delicious stock. I always make chicken noodle soup with some of it but I always have some left over. Sometimes it would get dumped out if not used in the next few days(which is wasteful and sad) I would freeze it but never remember how much was in there or Id need more/less for recipe.

On my quest to throw nothing out I decided to start freezing even little bits of stock. I found the best way to freeze stock is in an ice cube tray. That way I can just microwave however many cubes I need and have stock whenever I need it.

This also works if you open a carton of chicken broth and can't use it before the date. You can do this for beef broth, beef stocks or veggie stock!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Theme Party: Breakfast at Tiffanys Tea

I wish I could take credit for all of the gorgeousness I am about to show you, but this party was ALL my Mom's doing. Now the cool thing is she threw the party for me on my 30th birthday. I adore Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffanys is one of my favorite movies. We started with a lovely tea full of tasty treats and then watched the movie while sipping red wine and having desserts.

Black and white Holly posters
Black tablecloth
Silver blue napkins with silver rings
Glass vase filled with tiffany blue and silver ornaments
Tiffany blue tablecloth (movie room)

The Menu
Chicken Salad on a croissant
Pimento cheese sandwiches (shaped like CAT)
Sal E Tomato Brushetta on baquette toasts
Cucumber Sandwiches
Cheeseball with crackers
Brie with crackers
Chocolate cups filled with fresh fruit
My SIL Pam's famous iced sugar cookies
Pumpkin Mini muffins
Mini brownies
Apple Cinnamon Tea

Sugar cookies are shaped like Holly's dress, lips, shoes, moon(river), cats and tiaras. Also cakes and martini glasses.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

My husband dreams of Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Okay... not really but he loves them. Whenever RL is brought up all he can talk about is the biscuits. I dont even know if he can name anything else on the menu.(we rarely eat there) So I decided to surprise him and try to duplicate them at home. I found this recipe and tweeked it a bit by adding a little more cheese (at husbands request)  I think I ate 6 out of the first batch! They rock!

2 cups bisquick
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t old bay seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Mix bisquick, milk and cheese
3. Drop biscuits on ungreased cookie sheet
4. Bake 8-10 minutes
5. Mix butter, garlic and old bay
6. Melt butter mixture
7. Spoon over top of baked bisuits

Monday, January 4, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip is SO hot right now. (dig the Zoolander reference) It seems everyone is making some variation of it. Its hot and bubbly and cheesey. Its good both hot (in a crockpot for a party) or cold (when you go sneak some out of your fridge at 2am)  Best of all it tastes just like a chicken wing and you dont have to mess with the bones. Pardon the bad picture. The piggies at this house were eating it before I had time to put it in a serving bowl and take pictures :) It makes a TON and is perfect for a party.

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
2 (8oz) bricks of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup Franks hot sauce
1 cup ranch dressing
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Mix everything and dump into a 13x9 glass baking dish
2. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Serve with celery sticks or tortilla chips (I do both)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pineapple Salsa

Mmmmm pineapple salsa. I adapted this recipe from the pampered chef seasons best cookbook (spring 09) Its sweet and tangy with a little bit of bite. Add more jalapeno to make it hotter.... but whatever you do be careful when cutting that sucker. My thumb is still burning.

1 (20oz) can pineapple (or 1/2 fresh pineapple)
4 plum tomatoes
1/2 small red onion
1 (6") piece seedless cucumber (or a deseeded regular cucumber)
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno pepper
1 lime
1/2 tsp salt

1. Dice tomato, onion, cucumber
2. Cut jalapeno in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Finely chop jalapeno
3. Chop cilantro
4. Dice pineapple
5. Toss all in a bowl.
6. Squeeze 2-3T of lime juice into mixture. Sprinkle with salt
7. Mix everything together.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce

Since its the week after Christmas and our pockets are a bit light Im trying to cook dinner with what I have on hand. Since I had a bunch of basil left over from my caprese salad I decided to try to make a tomato basil sauce with what I had in my pantry. Its a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy and bursting with basil. Its a very chunky sauce ans tastes great with whole grain spaghetti.

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 large sweet onion (chopped)
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
2t balsamic vinegar
4t sugar
1/2t dried basil
1/4t crushed red pepper
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1.Heat olive oil in pan. Add onions and garlic. Saute over medium heat until soft
2. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, water, sugar, dried basil and crushed red pepper. Stir
3. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer, stirring frequently, 50-60 minutes
4. Remove from heat. Stir in fresh basil leaves. Serve with your favorite pasta

Related Posts with Thumbnails