Sunday, December 27, 2009

Celebrating the Holiday Season

We had a few fabulous meals together with family surrounding the Christmas holiday. To me food is love, and I really wanted this year to be special. Our Christmas Eve Dinner included Pumpkin Orecchiette with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pepitas
I love this dish. I love pumpkin and the combination of crunchiness from the pepitas and creaminess from the goat cheese are fabulous.
Herb Garlic Bread from The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
Christmas Salad
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Basil Curry Mayonnaise

And, due to a small change in plans, I ended up hosting Christmas dinner also - which was fabulous. We snacked on brie with fig jam and crackers. Then, we had our traditional ham, "lightened" potato casserole, homemade rolls, carrots, asparagus, and salad. And, finally, dessert was Peppermint Layer Cake.
Layers of white and red velvet cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with crushed canes.

Christmas Morning Breakfast

We had a fabulous breakfast on Christmas morning. Fabulous in that most of the prep was done the night before and, then, baked off Christmas morning while we opened presents. Tuck these ideas away for next year! Simply plated Christmas breakfast.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, which I found here, but the source is Williams-Sonoma's Family Meals cookbook.
Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Yogurt ala Ina Garten. Found at

{Christmas Casserole}
recipe from The Lybbert family
7-8 slices of bread, cubed or broken (Iused French bread
2 C shreddedcheese
1 1/2 to 2 lbs pork sausage (I used ham)
4 eggs
2 1/4 C milk, plus 1/2 C
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 can crm of mushroom soup.

Place read in a greased aserole dish. top with meat, then cheese. Mix 21/4 C milk with eggs and dry mustard. Pour egg mixture over casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight. in the morning dilute soup with other 1/2 C milk and spread over casserole. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Baked French Toast

For Breakfast on Christmas Eve, I made a Baked French Toast and topped it with Cream, Carmelized Pecans and Strawberries. I had the idea of what type of dish I wanted and went searching for a recipe, but I couldn't find one. So, I combined ideas from a couple different recipes and I loved the results!

{Baked French Toast with Caramelized Pecans, Strawberries and Cream}
1 loaf Challah bread
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt

Slice challah into 1" slices. Arrange slices in a 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish sprayed with cooking spray in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. Combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and saltin a large bowl. Whisk together. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Use this baking time, to prepare your toppings.

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together strawberries and 2 tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend together heavy cream, cream cheese and 1 tablespoon sugar until thick and creamy.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the pecans, brown sugar and butter. Stir until sugar has melted and pecans are coated and sticky.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Last Week's Dinner Menu

My in-laws have been here this week for Christmas, and I have been busy-busy. I have gotten a lot done with them here, but sadly I have ignored this little blog. That's okay at the holidays, right? Here's what we have been eating.

Sunday - Ina's Company Pot Roast, Baked Potatoes with Yogurt Sour Cream, broccoli, and salad
Monday - Homemade Pizza, salad, fruit
Tuesday - Baked Beed Taquitos made with leftover Pot Roast
Wednesday - Chinese Take-Out
Thursday (Christmas Eve) - Pumpkin Orechiette with Toasted Pepitas and Goat Cheese, Beef Tenderloin with Basil-Curry Mayonnaise, asparagus, Herb Garlic Bread, and Christmas Salad
Friday (Christmas) - Ham, Lightened Funeral Potatoes, Rolls, Salad, Red Velvet Peppermint Cake
Saturday - Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Crostini

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

I got this recipe from a friend of mine. I had never made a gingerbread house before so this was a fun adventure. This makes great gingerbread for cookies. I ended up drying the gingerbread house piece in the oven for a while to make them stiff enough to hold up the candy.
{Gingerbread Cookies}
1 C packed brown sugar
1/3 C Shortening
1 1/2 C dark molasses
2/3 C cold water
7 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix brown sugar, shortening, molasses, and water in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Roll 1/4 of dough at a time 1/4" thick. Cut with floured cookied cutters. Place 2" apart on a baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna

We obviously have an obsession with Butternut Squash. The day that my sister came home from school for the holidays we tried this:

The recipe can be found here at Closet Cooking. Closet Cooking is a food blog that I have come across before, but not spent much time perusing. I will definitely be adding it to my list of favorites!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pomegranite Salsa

My sisters were talking about this salsa, when we were together to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday. They said they would save me some but, alas, they did not. So I broke down and made it wor myself. I love it! A light "salsa" in the middle of winter.

{Pomegranite Salsa}

1 avocado, diced

seeds of 1 pomegranite

red onion, finely diced

lemon juice

salt, to taste

a little bit of pepper

Mix all together to combine flavors. Eat it fast, or someone else will!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Anniversary Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes, Tri-Colore Salad
Monday - Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Crostinis
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" night
Wednesday - Italina Baked Chicken and Pastina, Broiled Zucchini and Potatoes with Parmesan Crust
Thursday - Dinner at Mom's
Friday - Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos with Salsa Ranch and Jalapeno Ranch dipping sauce, corn, fruit
Saturday - Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells, breadsticks, salad

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Surprisingly Delicious

Remember when Jessica Seinfeld's book "Deceptively Delicious" came out and she was on Oprah and all the rage. I remember reading mixed reviews about some of the recipes. People were saying that their kids questioned why the chicken nuggets (dipped in broccoli puree) were green. So, I didn't really try any of the recipes at the time.

Well, I recently revisted her recipes through a friend's suggestion. Today for lunch we had Macaroni and Cheese 1. And, the boys ate it up!!!

This is what the toddler looked like at the end of his meal. Two servings down.

{Macaroni and Cheese}
modified slightly from Jessica Seinfeld
3/4 C shaped macaroni
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T flour
1/4 C non-fat milk
1/4 C pumpkin puree (the original recipe calls for butternut squash puree)
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 oz cream cheese (I will cut this down to about 1 oz)
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper and paprika

Cook noodles according to packages direction for al dente. Make a rouxe out of the oil and flour, let cook about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk. Cook, stirring occassionally, for about 4 minutes and sauce will thicken. Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Mix in noodles and serve.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What is that?

A friend asked what this was, when she saw it on last week's menu, so I thought that I would share it here also. The whole idea came from a local pizza place, The Rock. They have unique combinations for their pizza and every pizza is named after a rock song. They do a Garlic Mozz Bread, and a Brown Sugar Mozz Bread. Here is what i do:

{Brown Sugar Mozzarella Bread}
my version
1 pizza crust (small)
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp oil (I use olive oil)
brown sugar
shredded mozzarella

Slice garlic clove. Heat oil in a saucepan, add garlic. Watch so that garlic does not burn. Roll out pizza crust. Remove garlic from oil, and spread oil on pizza crust. Top with a layer of brown sugar, then, a layer of mozzarella. Bake on a pizza stone heated to 500 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Slice pizza in half, then perpendicular strips. Serve with peppercorn ranch for dipping.

I know this sounds weird, but we had a waiter that we totally trusted who reccommended that we try it. We did, we loved it! Oh, and don't skimp on the brown sugar and mozzarella. I tried that once - not a good idea. Another reason we love the restaurant, it is loud, the music is turned up and that means our kids aren't distracting to anyone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Potato Latkes with Applesauce, Roasted Chicken, Salad, and Homemade Jelly Filled Doughnuts
Monday - Potstickers and Terriyaki Noodles
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" Night/Relief Society Activity
Wednesday - Sundance Chicken Tortilla Soup, Pomegranite Avocado Salsa
Thursday - Anniversary Chicken, scalloped potatoes, salad
Friday - Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells, breadsticks, salad and vegetables
Saturday - Eat out before visiting Snowflake Lane as part of our Christmas Advent

And, apparently, last week was so busy that I forgot to post our dinner menu. Here is what I remember:

Sunday - Dinner at Mom's before the siblings go back to school (Thanksgiving again)
Monday - Butternut Squash Ravioli
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" Night
Wednesday - Homemade Pizza (BBQ Chicken, Pepperoni, and Brown Sugar Mozzarella bread)
Thursday - Award Winning Pork Chili, salad
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Office Christmas Party

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Eggplant Parmesan, Grill Roasted Vegetables with Pinenut Pesto, Herb Garlic Bread, Salad, Keylime Tart
Monday - Amber's Turkey Enchiladas
Tuesday - Going out for Sister-in-Law's Brithday
Wednesday - Dinner at Mom's
Thursday - Thanksgiving Dinner at Aunt Terri's (We're taking homemade rolls and the pies!)
Friday - Chili with Pumpkin Cornbread
Saturday - leftovers

Monday, November 16, 2009

Butternut Squash Raviolis with Sage Pecan Brown Butter Sauce

We needed a quick dinner last night, and I happened to have picked up some Butternut Squash Raviolis at Costco. So, we whipped up this yummy sauce to go with it. I highly reccommend you try it. {Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Pecan Brown Butter Sauce}
adapted from Monterey Gourmet Foods
1 pack (approx. 17 oz) butternut squash raviolis
1 large handful pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried sage
2 Tbsp cream

Prepare the pasta as dirrected on package. Toast the pecans in a large skillet. When toasted remove from skillet. Add butter to skillet and stir until melted. Let butter brown in pan. Return pecans to pan, add sugar and spices. Stir to combine and melt sugar. Add cream and stir. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Butternut Squash Ravioli, broccolini
Monday - Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" night
Wednesday - Amber's Turkey Enchiladas, salad
Thursday - Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken served with chips for the "littles" and salad for the adults
Friday - Stuffed Pizza Rolls (some pepperoni, some hawaiian)
Saturday - leftovers, party, we'll see . . .

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chili & Cornbread

Oh, Fall, how I love this season. There is a wonderful shift in the food that we eat. Comfort food to warm the little bodies in my home, and share with friends. Aunt Sharon's Easy Chili
1 1/4 lb ground sirloin
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg Chili-O seasoning mix
8 oz. tomato sauce
15 oz. stewed tomatoes
15 oz. dark red kidney beans, undrained
15 oz. pinto beans, undrained
brown sugar, to taste

Brown beef and onions in a pot big enough to hold all ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 15 minutes. Serve with Fritos, sour cream and grated cheese.
Katie's Cake-like Cornbread
3 C light Bisquick
1 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C cornmeal
3 eggs
1 1/2 C milk
1 stick of butter, melted

Combine dry ingredients. Beat eggs and milk with a fork. Add wet to dry; mix well with a spoon. Mix in half of the butter. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour the rest of the butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the center is done.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Couscous Chicken Salad

One of my highschool friends has a baby who recently turned 1! To celebrate his birthday she had a playdate/luchdate party - it was so fun. The kids played while mommies chatted, then, she threw out a large blanket for an indoor picnic. The menu included Chicken Couscous Salad and Fruit salad for the moms. The kiddies feasted on cut-up fruit, crackers, goldfish, string cheese and fruit snacks (for the older siblings). It was a great simple party idea that everyone really enjoyed!
{Couscous Chicken Salad}
adapted from Kim Smith
1 can chicken broth
1 1/4 C quick cooking couscous
1/2 C golden raisins
1 C coarsely chopped cucumber
1/2 C chopped celery
1 tsp orange zest
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1/2 C chopped pecans, toasted

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Combine all salad ingredients and stir.

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Shake to combine all ingredients. Pour over salad and stir to coat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ina's Pizza Crust

We were in a hurry tonight, so the regular pizza dough went out the window. But that was okay because I had just seen Ina Garten do a "Pizza Party" and it looked delicious. I didn't do her full pizza, but I did use her crust. It got rave reviews from the husband - thin, but still soft and chewy.

Ina Garten's Pizza Dough
1 1/4 C warm water
2 pkg dry yeast
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 C flour
2 tsp kosher salt

Combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved add 3 C flour, then salt. With the mixer on med-low, add up to 1 C of additional floour just enough to make a soft dough. Remove from bowl and knead about 10 times to create a smooth ball. Place in a greased bowl, and let rise for 30 minutes. Remove from bowl and divide into 6 pieces for individual pizzas, or 3 pieces for family pizzas. Let the dough rest 10 minutes before rolling out.

Bake at 500 degrees for about 8 minutes, if you are using a pizza stone.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Simply Lasagna, peas, salad, and rolls
Monday - Dad's Birthday Enchiladas, salad, zucchini
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" night
Wednesday - Homemade Pizza (pepperoni and bbq chicken) with My Basic Pizza Dough
Thursday - White Chicken Chili, tortilla strips
Friday - Aunt Sharon's Chili and Cake-like Cornbread for the Ward Potluck
Saturday - Creamy Baked Chicken Taguitos with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping sauce

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Shepherd's Pie
Monday - Four Cheese Stuffed Shells with Smoky Marinara, fresh baguette with smashed avocado
Tuesday - "Meal Swap Night"
Wednesday - Soccer Banquette (pizza, although, I am seriously craving pizza on the grill again)
Thursday - Diner Meatloaf Muffins, potato gratin, salad
Friday - Cilantro Lime Chicken Wraps
Saturday - "Kung Fu Panda Party" with authentic soup

Sunday Morning Breakfast - Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aunt Susan's Minestrone

The last time I made this, I was in college and trying to impress a boy. So, as I was planning this week's menu my husband says to me, "Do we have a recipe for a GOOD minestrone?" And, I think, "Well, yes I do." You see, my husband was not the afore mentioned boy. Let's hope that it will impress my husband, too.
{Aunt Susan's Minetrone Soup}
1 1/2 - 2 lbs Italian seasoned sausage (or, 1 lb sausage with 1 lb ground beef)
2 qts water
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can of beef broth
2 small cans of tomato sauce
1 large can of tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 clove garlic, minced

Cook, crumble, and drain the sausage and ground beef. Combine with all other ingredients and simmer for 6 hours. That's right - 6 hours!

20 minutes prior to serving, add:
2 C. noodles
1 can green beans, cut
1 can yellow wax beans (you could also use garbanzo beans)
1 tsp sugar
salt & pepper, to taste

Serve warm with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

*I just got the simmer started on mine, I can't wait to smell it cooking all . . . day . . . long.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Taco Bake (I was just returning from a quick trip to Utah, and my husband made dinner for everyone. Thanks, honey!)
Monday - Stuffed Shells with Smoky Marinara, peas, garlic bread
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" Night
Wednesday - Aunt Susan's Minestrone, rolls, salad
Thursday - Diner Meatloaf Muffins, Individual Potato Gratins, salad and broccoli
Friday - Halloween Dinner (more details to come)
Saturday - Halloween Breakfast, Dinner will be at a Church Activity

Monday, October 19, 2009

Goodbye Sun, Hello Rain

I just returned from vacation in San Diego and Disneyland. And, let's just say that fall has hit the Northwest while I was gone. We had a great time with our family, but really enjoyed the food. I convinced my husband that we had to try out Cafe 222 during our trip. We saw it on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Wake-Up Call.
We convinced the whole family to follow us down. And, while they have limited indoor seating, they graciously accomodated our party of 11 and the 8 we sent in on the second shift.
It is a kitschy little cafe with cup and saucer chandeliers and eggs painted on the floor. Those alone entertained my little one while the rest of us finished eating.
Terryl was even kind enough to pose for a picture while we were there.
The menu was great! We got a few orders of the Famous Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast, along with various other waffles, eggs and breakfast yummies. I loved the bite I had of the French Toast, but I would have to say the tastiest thing I tasted that morning was my father-in-laws "The Mexican" eggs. Maybe, someday, I can acquire that secret recipe . . .
In other food related travels, my husband loved the bacon burger and onion rings at Hodad's and we all enjoyed authentic mexican food in Old Town San Diego. From there, it was continental breakfast, brown bag lunches and snacks as we ran around Disneyland for the rest of our vacation. And, to be honest, I am excited to be cooking again in the Fall weather of Washington.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

My sister made these granola bars, but they did not "firm up." But, even as granola they were worth giving it a try. I made a few modifications to the recipe and mine turned out great.

{Homemade Granola Bars}

1 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup honey
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 7 by 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the honey, vanilla, and salt in a microwaveable bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, stir and heat for another 30 seconds if needed. Pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the apricots, raisins, and cranberries and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan, with the back of a greased spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into 10 bars. Serve at room temperature.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Baby Breakfast Parfait

Here a simple trick for a quick, healthy breakfast for the little ones. It is my Baby Breakfast Parfait. My little guys love yogurt, but I like to get a little fiber into their breakfast to give them some staying power. Here is what I do:

Portion out plain 3% milkfat yogurt into individual bowls. Add, 1 Tbsp fruit jam. I like to use my own homemade jam, because I can control the sugar better that way. Sprinkle in 2 Tbsp of oats. Somtimes I crush these up a little between my fingers. Then, stir it up.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh, September, Where have you gone?

That is about how I feel right now. We entered into a "Biggest Loser" competition with some of our good friends. And there is a monetary prize to help motivate everyone. So, between trying to eat healthily and my husband being gone 11 of the last 14 work days (since Labor Day), cooking for myself and the kids has mostly been made up of two different meals every night.
But, I have discovered some healthier alternatives to some of our favorite meals. Like Egg, Bacon and Tomato Sandwiches.
serves 4

2 beefsteak tomatoes, each sliced into 4 slices
2 tsp dijon or spicy mustard
4 slice swiss cheese
4 slices of turkey bacon, cooked
4 eggs, poached

Preheat the broiler. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Spread 4 of the slices with mustard, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top those 4 slices with 1 slice swiss cheese each. Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven, move each of the cheesy tomatoe slices to a separate plate. Top with 1 slice of bacon, 1 of the eggs, and an additional tomato slice. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Roasted Red Salsa

I have been searching for information about home-canning salsa. There is a concern that the other ingredients in salsa - onions, peppers, cilantro and spices - decrease the acidity of the tomatoes enough that it isn't "safe" to canned in a waterbath canner anymore.

Well, my search lead me to this recipe which sounded too good not to try it. And, well, it did not disappoint!

{Salsa Roja, or Roasted Red Salsa}
original recipe here
8 full size Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 yellow onions
2 Serrano peppers, remove top and seeds
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/2-1 Tbsp salt
1 bunches cilantro
Halve the tomatoes and onions and lay cut-side up on a cookie sheet along with the peppers and garlic .
Roast at 375 till the onions look nice and translucent, tomatoes look soft, and peppers are getting a nice char on them.

Let it all cool down, then, process in a food processor or blender. Dive in, it will go fast!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Benefits of a Meal Swap

Well, truly the benefits are endless. However, tonight, we experienced one of my favorites. Getting to try a new recipe that someone else already likes. My meal swapping friend made us this lovely Vodka Pasta from Rachael Ray. They had told us about it, and we were waiting with baited breath to try it. Another plus, I discovered that my kids will down pasta topped with real parmesan cheese, a little cream, and a little garlic. Seriously, my littlest one ate 4 plates.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This Week's Menu

Sunday - Ham and Asparagus Mac, Caprese Salad
Monday - Homemade Pizza
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" Day
Wednesday - Skillet Lasagna, peas, salad, bread
Thursday - Summer Tex-Mex Vegetable Soup, rolls
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - something fun, I'm still trying to determine what that is.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Week's Menu

What? I was supposed to plan a menu? I feel like I haven't been grocery shopping in ages, okay it has been more like a couple weeks. With everything that has been going on around here, I just run to the store when needed and grab supplies, then we are on to the next thing.

Sunady - we ate with my parents and grandparents again. We had Salmon with Northwest Marinade, Grilled eggplant with goat cheese and pine nuts, salad with pear and grilled nectarines, and roasted potatoes.
Monday - we ate out - Thai food
Tuesday - we ate out - Soup and sandwiches
Wednesday - Navajo Tacos
Thursday - "Meal Swap" night - I heard runor of a greek salad with flank steak
Friday - Homemade pizza
Saturday - I have no idea . . .

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This Week's Crazy Menu

Okay, maybe the menu isn't crazy, but I sure feel crazy with all the "stuff" that is going on this week. We have a soccer coach's meeting, an Eagle Court of Honor, a baby shower, and a wedding reception. Not to mention a car in the shop, which required me to drive 45 minutes to pick my husband up from work. So, good luck planning dinners around that. Here's what has happened so far:

Sunday - my parents, sisters, and grandparents joined us for dinner after a weekend away at a family wedding. We had: Anniversary Chicken, green beans, mini-Caprese salad, green salad, baguette, and Texas Sheet Cake for dessert.
Monday- I picked the husband up from work, and we ate out.
Tuesday - the kids ate early, I went to an exercise class then ate restaurant leftovers for dinner, while the husband had pb&j with SunChips.

Now, here we are on Wednesday, and I'm still trying to figure out a menu for the rest of the week. How about this?

Wednesday - Fusilli alla Caprese, roasted garlic bread, green beans.
Thursday - Tuxedo Salad (easy to prep ahea of time and then we can eat whenever we get to it). This is the Baby Shower night.
Friday- I think that I desired a night off, but we'll probably whip up some pizza on the grill.
Saturday - Wedding Reception, I'll be busy. But, the husband and kids will have to find their own food. And, no, ice cream does not count as dinner.

Maybe next week will look better . . . maybe.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This Week's Menu

Sorry, this has been a crazy week. I am in the middle of planning a baby shower, and I have a cousin getting married this weekend out of town. So, things are a little crazy. Here's what our week has looked like.

Sunday - Amber's Turkey Enchiladas
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - Grilled Hotdogs, Onion Rings, Cabbage and Green Apple Coleslaw, and a variation on Caprese Salad
Wednesday - "Meal Swap" night - we had yummy fajitas, I'll post the recipe soon!
Thursday - something fast, we'll see what I come up with amid packing and baking for the family dinner

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spaghetti with Tomato-Caper Sauce

My mom made ths for us last week when we stayed at her house to escape the heat. She is going through a kitchen remodel right now and is working out of a make shift kitchen, so really anyone could do this. And, that made me think that it would be a fabulous "less-cooking" meal.
{Spaghetti with Tomato-Caper Sauce} serves 4
6 medium-sized tomatoes
3 green onions
2 cloved of garlic
6 large basil leaves
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
8 oz spaghetti

Core, but do not seed, and diced the tomatoes. Put them into a bowl. Mince thin the green onions. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut basil leaves into slivers. Add these and all remaining ingredients (except noodles) to the tomatoes. Stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

Break the spaghetti into shorter lengths and cook. Drain well, add to the tomatoes and toss gently. Let sit for a few minutes, toss again and serve.

*Tip: The tomato topping would also be excellent mixed with mini-fresh mozarrella balls and serve atop crostini like a bruschetta.

Monday, August 3, 2009

This Week's Menu

We just returned from a quick weekend at "the lake" with our family. Sadly, we couldn't stay the whole time because of my husband's work schedule. We'll have to plan ahead for next year. Here is our menu for the week.

Sunday - Cold cereal (having just returned from camping, this is as good as it gets!)
Monday - Pizza on the Grill (don't want to heat up the kitchen)
Tuesday - Spaghetti with Tomato-Caper Sauce, Crispy Zucchini Coins, Crostini
Wednesday - Tuxedo Salad
Thursday - "Meal Swap" night
Friday - Grilling, again.
Saturday - And, grilling, again.

Can you tell that I really don't want to cook in my house? So far today, the heat hasn't gotten too bad, but the day is yet young. I'll update as I decide what can be cooked outside and will be eaten by my family.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lake Food, what's that?

Here is a peak into what we eat when we are out at "the lake" with our family I just got the rundown of the menu from my aunt and it looks yummy againthis year!

Friday: Hot dogs, Baked Beans, Corn on the Cob
Saturday: Hamburgers, Corn on the Cob, Potatoes
Sunday: BBQ Chicken, Potatoes with Onions, Watermelon
Monday: Quesadillas
Tuesday: BBQ Pork, Pasta with Cream and Butter
Wednesday: Aunt Terri’s Taco Salad
Thursday: Quesadillas
Friday: Spaghetti

These dinners are ntermixed with pancake breakfasts, eggs and bacon/sausage. And lunches are typically sandwiches, some made with pizza bread. Then, we have dutch oven desserts through out the week. It is so yummy, and a great family tradition.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

This Week's Menu

Oh, the heat! It is killing us. It is supposed to be over 93 degrees everyday this week. And, someone decided that homes in western Washignton didn't need A/C standard, so we don't have one. Let me tell you, a fan will only take you so far. The heat is putting a serious "crimp" in my desire to cook - ANYTHING!

Sunday - Orrechiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs, rolls
Monday - Cereal for dinner
Tuesday - Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Chicken as Tacos with all the fixings
Wednesday - I'll think of something . . .
Thursday - "Meal Swap" night
Friday - Off to the lake
Saturday - Lake food, yeah!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Small Measurements Tip

Sometimes a recipe calls for you to add things in rapid succession, so you need the prepared ahead of time. But, that can be a challenge when you are measuring small amounts of liquid. Here is my solution:I use medicine cups to measure teaspoons and tablespoons of liquid. The best part is that it won't spill like a measuring sppon does if you set it down. And who doesn't have a few extra medicine cups laying around?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pizza on the Grill

Last night, we tried out a recipe from Pizza on the Grill. My husband chose "Grilled Pineapple and Pancetta" pizza. I thought it was really good. By the time I got around to taking a picture, this was all that remained of it. We will definitely be using this combination again.
{Grilled Pineapple and Pancetta Pizza}
modified by me
4 oz pancetta, sliced 1/4" thicked, or slab bacon, diced
1 can pineapple rings, drained
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
sprinkle of sugar
3 green onions, roots trimmed
sprinkle kosher salt
1 ball pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's ready-made pizza dough)
1/2 C Onion Marmalade
6 oz Camemebert cheese, sliced

Cook the pancetta in a small skillet over med-high heat until crispy, and drain on a paper towel.
Brush the pineapple rings and green onions with oil. Sprinkle the pineapple rings with sugar and the green onions with salt. Place directly over the heat on the grill. Grill 3-5 minutes per side, until the pineapple is well marked and the onion are limp and charred in spots. Chop the scallions.
Roll out the pizza dough, drizzle each side with oil and place on the grill. [The book recommends and indirect heat cooking method. I found that my grill worked best with both burners set to low.] Close the lid, wait 3 minutes without peeking. Check the crust, if necessary, continue cooking for a few minutes, until the crust is well-marked and nicely browned. Remove the crust to a rimless baking sheet, cooked side up.
Spred the entire crust with onion marmalade. Top with cheese. Arrange pineapple, and sprinkle with pancetta and green onions.
Finish grilling, with the lide closed, about 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

{Onion Marmalade}
makes 1 Cup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced and rings separated
1 tsp kosher salt

Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan pan over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the onions and salt. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove cover and cook until the onions are golden in color, about 20 more minutes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I work so hard and, then . . .

I open my fridge and see this. What? You can't see it? Try again. Okay, okay. Let's take a closer look. That's right, jam jars that look like this.
Between the fresh rolls that my mother-in-law made when she visited and sheer love of strawberry jam, our little family (primarily the dh and the "big boy") is consuming 1 1/2 pints of jam/week. That is a lot!
At least, the freezer one looked like this. But, alas, the big boy knows where the extra jam is. Today at lunch I explained that he and Daddy had finished off the strawberry jam that was in the fridge for breakfast. He said, and I quote, "Maybe, you should just get some raspberries and make some more."

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Week's Menu

Sunday - BBQ with my family and cousins - Hotdogs/Hamburgers, Fruit, and Salad
Monday - Tortellini Au Gratin, bread, peas
Tuesday - Ginger-Peanut Chicken Salad Wraps
Wednesday - Grilled Pineapple and Pancetta Pizza, onion rings
Thrusday - "Meal Swap" night
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - hopefully, cooking "yumminess" with my sister

This week's sweet treat: Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Shiree's Summer Salsa

Once upon a time, I did not like tomatoes. I know, crazy! This is the recipe that changed my mind. I was a freshman in college and had a women's group supervisor who was a cateror. She would bring food to all of our meetings. And, I fell in love, not just with this recipe but with tomatoes. {Shiree Thurston's Summer Salsa}
1 pkt dry Italian dressing mix
2-3 tomatoes
1-2 avocados
1 can black-eyed peas
1 can corn
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Make the Italian dressing according to packet instructions. Seed and chop the tomatoes. Chop the avocado. Drain the peas and corn, and rinse. Mix together tomatoes, avocado, peas, corn and cilantro. Toss gently to combine. Pour Italian dressing over the top, and toss to coat. The amount of dressing really depends on how "wet" you would like your salsa. Be careful not to mix too much or the avocado will start to get smashed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This Week's Menu

Did you notice the title change? No. That's okay. I am always wanting to post more recipes on this little blog of mine but, often, my dinner inspiration comes from someone else. So, here is what I am working on for meals in general this week.

Sunday - BBQ Chicken Salad, baguette with smashed avocado, zucchini (from MY garden - okay, more like my hiusband's garden)
Monday - Toasted Orzo with Parmesan and Peas (for lunch), and birthday party or dinner
Tuesday - leftovers
Wednesday - Amber's Turkey Enchiladas, zucchini
Thursday - Baked Tortellini Au Gratin, green vegetable, salad
Friday - "Meal Swap" night
Saturday - date night

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blue Cheese Chicken Salad Wrap

My friend made this for us last week when my husband was working late. Super yummy! No real measurements, but you'll get the point.

{Blue Cheese Chicken Salad}
1 rotisserie chicken
blue cheese
green onion

Pull the chicken off the bones and chop to bite-size. Add enough mayo to just wet your chicken. Toss in craisins, blue heese, and 1 chopped green onion. Stir to combine. Fabulous served in tortillas as a wrap, or on toasted bread.

Friday, July 3, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are here visiting us for a week. Then, we are headed out on a "girls' trip" this weekend, so the hubby and boys will be on their own.

Sunday - Sweet Pork Burritos or Salads, cilantro rice, corn, black beans
Monday - "Pizza on the Grill" (Checked the book out from the library, all I have to say is - YUM!)
Tuesday - Asian Spinach Salad, rolls, mac n' cheese on the side for the "tinies"
Wednesday - Giada's Lasagna Rolls, green salad, rolls, zucchini
Thursday - Thai food night
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Leftovers, or the hubby's creation

Fourth of July

Here is our menu for
"The Fourth with Friends"

Smoked Baby-back Pork Ribs
BBQ Chicken
Potato Salad
Corn on the Cobb
Summer Salsa with Tortilla Chips
Creamy Raspberry-Chipotle Dip with Crackers
Tri-Colore Salad (We need something green!)
Chocolate Cream Pie
Traditional Flag Cake

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yummy Summer Goodness

We had this pie for the first time over Memorial Day Weekend in Chelan. We were celebrating my dad's birthday and strawberry pie is standard. But, this was not the pie that my mom normally makes for his birthday.

{Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie}
from Becky Rands
3 1/2 C chopped strawberries
3 1/2 C chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 C sugar
2 T corn starch
2 T tapioca
dash of salt
2 pie crusts

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix. Stir in strawberries and rhubarb. Let sit for 15 minutes. Pour into pie crust. Place remaining crust on top and slie to vent. Brush crust with milk, and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Begin checking after 20 minutes, and place pie ring when edges begin to brown.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Let the summer begin! This week, as we approach the Fourth, we Washingtonians can depend on nice weather. This week truly marks the beginning of summer for us. We thought it appropriate to kick off the summer with a backyard BBQ with friends.

Sunday - Asian Beef Skewers, Tuxedo salad, grilled asparagus, fruit, Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Monday - Baked Ziti with Hearty Meat Sauce (recipe to follow), rolls, salad
Tuesday - Dad's Birthday Enchiladas
Wednesday - Shredded Chicken Burrito Salads
Thursday - "Meal Swap" Night
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Fourth of July menu to come

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Menu

We had a fun filled day of spoiling the Dad at our house. I let my three-year-old plan the menu. The night before we talked about what to make Dad for breakfast in bed - popcorn, of course. When I asked what we should make for dinner he said, "I don't know." I suggested that we make something that he really likes, because I bet Daddy would like it, too. "Pizza!" he exclaimed.

And, since I am sure that everyone is wondering about how to make their own wonderfully balanced menu with these foods, the recipes are below.

{Dad's Eggs Benedict}
This one is a little different from your traditional Eggs Benedict. But, you can find my instructions here. The last time I made this, my husband said, "Whoever thought to make eggs benedict on bran muffins is a genius."

{Chocolate Frosting}
Recipe from Sheila Campbell
3 sticks of unsalted butter (room temp)
3/4 c cocoa
1 t. vanilla
4 c powdered sugar
4-5 T whipping/heavy cream

Cream the butter. Add the vanilla. Beat in the cocoa. Then add the sugar a little at a time, alternating with the whipping cream so it doesn't get too hard to work with. You might need more cream, depending on how soft your butter was when you started, etc. Anyway, I get to about 2 1/2 c of sugar and do the rest by taste. The nice thing about using cream instead of milk is it never gets too runny if you're a little heavy handed with the liquid, it'll just get more fluffy.

{Love PB&J}
This one isn't too hard, and technically you don't have to put quite as much "love" into yours. You see, the secret is in the homemade jam. (Pick the berries, wash the berries, make the jam - you get the picture, right?) Then, cut out the center with a mini heart-shaped cutter.

{Award-Winning Pizza}
Adapted from
Giorgio Giove
1 pizza crust, uncooked
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 ounces mozzarella knots, shredded
6 thin slices pancetta
1 (2-inch) piece zucchini, thinly sliced
2 ounces herbed cream cheese

Place a pizza stone on the floor or the lowest rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Roll out your pizza crust. Spread on the heavy cream. Place the pancetta slices on so there is pancetta on each slice of pizza. Place the zucchini slices all around. Drop chunks of cream cheese evenly over the pizza. Finally topp with mozzarella. Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for 8 minutes.

{Tri-Colore Orzo Salad}
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Finally, my "secret" will be out! Here is exactly how I make this a salad.
1/4 C orzo pasta
1 bag fresh spincah (about 1/3 - 1/2 lb)
3/4 C crumbled feta cheese
1/2 C craisins
12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 C toasted pine nuts
1/8 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper, plus a pinch more

Cook pasta according to package's al dente instructions. Toast pine nuts, well, until the flavor truly comes out. Place spinach in a bowl top with cooked pasta, pine nuts, feta, craisins, and basil. Mix remaining ingredients together, and shake to combine. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Mmmm!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Father's Day Extravaganza! I let my three-year-old plan the menu for Dad today.

Eggs Benedict
Graham Cracker and Chocolate Frosting Sandwiches
"Love" PB&J
Homemade Pizza - Award-Winning and BBQ Chicken
Tri-Colore Orzo Salad

Monday - BBQ Chicken Salad Stackers (No, we don't eat them every week, but I keep forgetting to defrost the puff pastry.)
Tuesday - Orecchiette with Broccoloi Rabe Pesto
Wednesday - My Birthday! Perhaps, I'll just eat all my favorite foods.
Thursday - Baked Chicken Taquitos (I will be missing my "Meal Swap" friend.)
Friday - Tuxedo Salad
Saturday - Leftovers - no fun on a Saturday, but we'll see where the week takes us!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Okay, I just looked bak at last week's menu and we were really bad this week. So, there will be A LOT of make-up this week. Sorry!

Sunday - Grilling with friends - Salmon, BBQ Chicken, Tri Colore Orzo Salad, Sweet Potatoe Fries
Monday - Crockpot Green Chili Chicken with Blue Corn Tortilla Crumbles (I will probably add some toppings - black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, olives, etc.)
Tuesday - Pastor Ryan's Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Pasta, asparagus, rolls
Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Salad Stackers
Thursday - "Meal Swap" Night
Friday - Work BBQ for the family, yeah!
Saturday - Homemade Pizza, salad

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baked Chicken Taquitos with Dipping Sauce

Let me preface this post with the fact that my husband does not like CORN TORTILLAS. I know, the man is crazy. But, never the less, I keep trying and this time I found success. We had Baked Chicken Taquitos this week. The recipe is originally from Our Best Bites by way of My Kitchen Cafe, and "adapted" by me.

I served the taquitos with two dipping sauces - Chipotle Ranch and Avocado Cream.

{Chipotle Ranch}Mix on packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing as instructed. Add in 1/2 - 1 1/2 tsp minced Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce.

{Avocado Cream}Mix 1 avocado with a few tablespoons of sourcream and a splash of lemon or lime juice. Season with salt & pepper to taste. It's like a lightened guacamole!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What's In This?

Yes, I am not a mother who is above tricking my children into eating vegetables. I was meaning to post something else tonight, but I found this picture "from the past" and decided to post about it instead.
Sometimes, when you find yourself or your children in a food rut, you just have to take matters into your own hands. So, that's mac n' cheese with butternut squash puree, zucchini bread with cream cheese (the batch pitured also had shredded carrots, as I recall), and "ants on a log" (celery, peanuts butter, and ANTS!).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Pizza Crust Recipe

{Basic Pizza Dough}
(Half Recipe)
3 C hot tap water
2 T honey
3 C whole wheat flour
Mix to a paste, and add:
1 T SAF instant yeast
1 T real salt
Add flour 1 C at a time, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead for 5 minutes - all white flour
8 minutes - half/half
10 minutes - all wheat flour
During the last 2 minutes of kneading, add:
1 T dough enhancer

Preheat a pizza stone to 500 degrees. Roll crust to desired shape and size. Add favorite toppings. Bake for 7-8 minutes on stone. (Without a stone, it will take longer for the dough to bake through, probably 12-14 minutes.)

***This recipe makes 3-4 full size pizza crusts. I like my pizza crust thinner, so I cut the yeast about in half. Also, I normally cut the "half recipe" in half for my family, divide it in half and get 2 pizzas.

The Baby Eats a Vegetable, Again!

Okay, calling this a vegetable may be a little bit of a stretch, but he ate it and technically there was a vegetable in it. I finished this bread on Monday afternoon. The kids both had a slice for breakfast today. The baby was loving it. The toddler and I had this conversation.

Mom: Do you like it?
Toddler: Mmmm. It is good.
3 minutes pass
Toddler: Uh, Mom, what are these green things?
Mom: Just part of the bread.

I had a Church dinner tonight for Home, Family and Personal Enrichment. And, upon returning home, I was informed that the baby ate two slices of zucchini bread for dinner. Apparently, my husband was so overjoyed that he a something green, he thought that sufficed as healthy.

{Zucchini Bread}
Adapted from Stephanie's Kitchen
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar

Mix together in a bowl until well combined, and create a well.

1 large egg
1 T water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel

Mix together well. Add to dry ingredients, and stir to combine. This will take a little work. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cover with foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - BBQ with my cousins, I'm taking a vegetable tray with Dill Cottage Cheese dip
Monday - BBQ Chicken Salad Stackers (These have become a favorite of ours!)
Tuesday - Pastor Ryan's Bolognese Sauce with Fresh pasta, asparagus and rolls
Wednesday - Baked Chicken Taquitos, rice, beans, salad (?)
Thrusday - "Meal Swap" Night
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Homemade Pizza (who knows what kind - we'll see where the week takes us)

Friday, June 5, 2009

SuperNoots for Super Eaters

We tried it and it is great! We have been using the SuperNoots chart for about 1 month now. My three year old is not a very big eater, but it seemed like everything was "sprinkled with sugar." If you know what I mean. I had limited fruit snacks to one package per day, but how do you explain that you are not "required" to eat that one package.

When SuperNoots arrived, we unpacked it together. I really talked it up, saying how fun it would be to make a list for shopping and move his magnets with each food he ate. And, you know what it worked. When he ask for a snack, I can say, "What would be a healthy choice?" and he will check his board to see what he still needs for the day.

The best part about it, other than limiting to one "treat" per day, is that I discovered many more fruits and vegetables that my three year old is willing to eat. We definitely have our favorite things to eat, but we are woeking some variety in as well. And, SuperNoots is helping me build a foundation of understanding the different food groups and eating a balanced diet even though my kids are little. I can't wait to get the "How 'Bout Me" Pack for the next little one and start him on a path to healthy eating as well!

Try it yourself, I promise you'll like it!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Sweet Pork Burritos or Salad, grilled corn, Strawberry Rhubbarb Pie
Monday - BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tuesday - Hamburgers and Hot dogs, potato salad, grilled asparagus
Wednesday - Second Chance Taco Salad, chips & salsa
Thursday - "Meal Swap" Night
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - salad or grill, who can decide?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Tuesday - Garlic/Parmesan Chicken and Pasta
Wednesday - Ham, Cheese and Asparagus Mac
Thursday - "Meal Swap" night
Friday - Bagel Dogs & Tri Colore Orzo Salad
Saturday - Eat Out for Dad, Mac n' Cheese for kiddos

The Weekend's Food

Saturday - grilled hotdogs and bratwurst, salad for lunch
"Dad's Birthday Enchiladas" and salad for dinner, with Strawberry Rhubbard pie for dessert
Sunday - Cedar Plank grilled Salmon, salad, corn on the cobb, Grandma's rice
Cookies and leftover pie for dessert
Monday - we waited 1 hour 15 minutes for Hamburgers and Fries outside on Lakeview Drive-in in Chelan, WA - but, hey, we did it with family!

{Chocolate, Almond, Coconut Cookies ala Lauren}
2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons almond
5 cups oatmeal
2 packages Guittard milk chocolate chips
2 cups coconut
3 cups flour

Do not put butter in the microwave to soften. Just leave it on the counter, or take it right out of the refrigerator. Put butter in the mixer and beat it for several minutes. Add sugars and eggs and beat for several minutes. Add baking powder, soda, salt, almond, and oatmeal. Mix. Add chocolate chips. Mix. Add coconut. Mix. Add flour. Mix. Bake at 350ยบ for 8 to 9 minutes. The cookies should start turning light brown around the edges but they don’t look done in the middle. We like to keep them in the refrigerator. They are fantastic cold. (I find if I let the dough sit out about a half hour before baking the cookies turn out more puffy, if I make the cookies right away they turn out flatter, I don’t know why that is. Also, roll the dough into balls to bake, don’t make them too big, maybe about 1 ½ inches.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hello, Old Friend

Oh, the memories associated with this snack. Like my roommate, Heidi, who first introduced me to it in college. Or, how we carried it in to football games to snack on. Or, how a pan would last me a week of breakfasts the summer I was engaged. Somewhere along the way, I stopped making it.

That is until I scored 18 boxes of cereal at $0.37/box. My family doesn't eat THAT MUCH cereal, so I am having to get creative. Enter my old friend, the Grape Nuts Carb Bar!

{Grape Nuts Carb Bars}

1 C light corn syrup
1 C sugar
3/4 C peanut butter
4 C Grape Nuts cereal

Mix corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter together in a microwaveable bowl. Heat on high for 1 minutes, stir and repeat. Dump in cereal and stir to coat. Press into a 9x13 baking dish lined with aluminum foil and greased. Cut in 30 bars.

Cal: 150 Carbs: 30g Protein: 3g Fiber: 2g

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Tuxedo Salad
Monday - Taco Bake
Tuesday - Baked Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Tri Colore Orzo Salad
Wednesday - Sundance Tortilla Soup with Grilled Chicken
Thursday - "Meal Swap" Night

We're going away for the weekend, so I will tell you about our yummy adventures when we return. It sure to be good, we'll be celebrating my dad's birthday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Roast Beef Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded (or, buy one bag "taco shred")
grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
avocado, diced
1/2 lb deli roast beef (ask for it shredded, super thinly sliced)
crumbled bacon

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Top with REAL Buttermilk Ranch dressing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sundance Tortilla Soup with Grilled Chicken

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, fresh minced
1 red onion, medium size (optional)
3 C Roma tomatoes, diced
3 C corn kernels, preferably fresh
1 Tbsp cumin seed
2 qts chicken stock
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
3 C grilled chicken breast, diced
Garnish: 1 avocado, 1 lime wedged, 2 corn tortillas cut into strips, salt, pepper, Tabasco

In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and corn. Cook 15 minutes, stirring until all are soft. Add cilantro and cumin, cook another 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken and fresh cilantro. Heat through and serve.
***I like my soup "thick." So, at the end I added 2 Tbsp flour to thicken the broth. I made a half recipe for our family, but ended up sharing with neighbors. So, I added 1/2 can of black beans to stretch it a little further.***

Sunday, May 10, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

We're back! And, after a week of eating out and on-the-go, I cannot wait to get back to cooking. Our friends that we traveled with (not to Mexico) reminded me of some of their recipe that we have enjoyed in the past or have yet to try. So, I am throwing in some of them this week.

Sunday - Mother's Day Dinner with my parents

The boys are making BBQ chicken and flank steak, grilled asparagus, Grandma's rice, and dessert. Dad is bringing a salad.

Monday - Sundance Tortilla Soup with Grilled Chicken
Tuesday - Roast Beef Salad, Garlic Knots (possibly chicken nuggets for the little ones)
Wednesday - Baked Macaroni and Cheese, salad, carrots and peas
Thursday - BBQ Chicken Salad Stackers
Friday - leftovers or a Freezer Meal
Saturday - Enchilada Stack

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A New Tradition

For two weeks now, my bigger boy and I have gotten up before Dad and the little boy to make breakfast together. It has been a special treat to work together and make something special for everyone. Many people have probably had this sweet "Monkey Bread" before, but I have a couple tricks up my sleeve for cutting down the calories (if that is even possible for Monkey Bread) and making it faster.{Sunday Morning Sweet Bread}
1 can refrigerator biscuits
1/3 pkg butterscotch pudding powder
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp water
6 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Take out your bundt pan and spray "lightly." Open the bicuits, cut each biscuit into quarters. Roll each quarter into a ball, and drop in a single layer in the bundt pan. Sprinkle with the butterscotch pudding powder (only 1/3 of a box). Mix together remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Stir until melted and combined. Pour over the bicuits in pan. Bake according to biscuit instructions, maybe a minute or two longer. (I know, very precise.) Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate. I make a simple, thin frosting to drizzle over the top.

My big boy loves to roll and squish the dough to form the balls. He is also very good at helping me count measurements for the ingredients.


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