Monday, January 26, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Oh, late again . . . I am contemplating some changes to the format and content of my blog. In the meantime . . .

Sunday - Creamy Black Bena & Salsa Chicken in burritos
Monday - Eating with friends because "the husband" is out of town again
Tuesday - leftovers
Wednesday - Harvest Bisque Soup, Tri Colore Orzo Salad
Thursday - Homemade Pizza (Pepperoni & Cheese by request and BBQ Chicken)
Friday - Panang Curry, rice, potstickers
Saturday - Ultimate Cordon Bleu, green beans, Fluffy New Potatoes

I am also enjoying trying my hand at baking with some of the recipes from Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. My first turned out near flawless, the second was a flop. If I have other successes, I will try to get some of the recipes up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

Recipe from RealSimple February 2009

Cooking with extra-sharp Cheddar lets you use less cheese without giving up flavor. Tender cauliflower adds fiber and vitamin C.

12 ounces multigrain elbow macaroni
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
4 slices multigrain bread, torn
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain. Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and pulse to combine; set aside. Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sorry, for the REALLY late posting, but the husband is out of town this week. So, we're a little all over the place with our food.

Sunday - Lasagna, Winter Fruits salad, broccoli, peas
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - Chili (in honor of President Obama's inauguration)
Wednesday - Lightened Mac n' Cheese (from Real Simple Feb 2009)
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - Potluck with MBA friends, taking dessert
Saturday - Husband has a Pizza Party with the boys in his Primary class, we'll be eating . . .

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

{Creamy Fire Roasted Tomato and Bacon Soup}

original recipe here from Picky Palate

12 strips of bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 Cup white onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
¼ Cup flour
3 14 oz cans reduced sodium chicken broth
28 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
10-12 fresh basil leaves with stem
Few pinches of salt to taste
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Cup half and half or heavy cream

Place bacon pieces in a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Cook until browned and crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Add onion, carrots, celery and pepper to hot bacon grease. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic for 1 minutes then stir in flour for another minute. Slowly stir in chicken broth. Add tomatoes, basil leaves, salt, pepper and half of crumbled crisp bacon. Remove basil leaves from soup and carefully transfer soup, in batches, to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into pot and stir in heavy cream. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. Top each bowl with remaining crumbled bacon pieces.

*This was great! Just a note, definitely wear gloves when choping the pepper. Oh, I didn't and everytime I tasted something from hand to mouth, I thought my mouth would light on fire! The soup itself wasn't hot, our 3 year old at ie no problem, but that pepper remaining on my hands was!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dad's Birthday Enchiladas

My dad requests these every year on his birthday. The recipe originally came from my aunt. They are by far our family's favorite enchiladas. It takes some work, but it will be worth it in the end.

{Dad's Birthday Enchiladas}

2 Tbsp shortening (1 Tbsp), melted
3-4 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
pinch oregano
pinch cumin
2 C water
1 C light cream (or evaporated skim milk)
2 Chx bouillon cubes
Sm onion, chopped
2 green chilis from a can
1 clove garlic
1 lb tomato puree
2 C chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
10-12 tortillas, fajita style
1/2 lb cheddar or mont jack cheese (1/4 lb)

Combine first 8 ingredients (shortening through water) in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 min. Combine cream and bouillon, heat to dissolve. Make filling: Saute onions, then combine with next 6 ingredients (green chilis through pepper) and simmer uncovered for 10 min. Put a small amount of first sauce in the bottom of an 11x13 dish. Dip tortillas in cream, fill, and roll up. Put tortillas into dish as you roll. Pour sauce and cream over the top, cover with cheese. Bake at 350* for 15 min.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

I don't typically watch Oprah (sorry, Oprah not time!), but this week she did a whole week on living your best life. Some things we already knew, others we didn't are to know. But, one show that struck me was the 2009 Financial Plan with Suze Orman. She talked about making commitments to not use a credit card for a week, and not eat at a restaurant for a month! So, while we do not have credit card debt, we decided to try it. So here it goes, a month without eating out!

Sunday - Dad's Birthday Enchiladas, Brownies-bottom Sundaes
Monday - Spaghetti, salad, peas, bread
Tuesday - Potstickers
Wednesday -Creamy Fireroasted Tomato and Bacon Soup, Grilled Cheese Crostinis
Thursday - Cheese Lover's 5 Cheese Mac n' Cheese
Friday - Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili
Saturday - leftovers

Sunday, January 4, 2009

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Salmon, "Grandma's Rice," Asian Crunch Salad, green beans, carrot cake
Monday - Beef Stroganoff
Tuesday - White Chicken Chili
Wednesday - Shepherd's Pie (I have to check volume of the sauce without the meat for our new Freezer Meal Prep group.)
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - Church Potluck (I need to take a main dish and a side or salad - I'm thinking, Chiken Pot Pie and Tri Colore Orzo Salad.)
Saturday - wedding reception

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Our New Year's Tradition: Fondue

Cocktail Weiners
This recipes is originally from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook circa 1970s and is for meatballs. We like the Lil' Smokies better, beause is it a lot easier.
1 lb Lil' Smokies (or other brand cocktail sausages)
12 oz bottle chili sauce
10 oz grape jelly

Heat chili sauce and jelly in a sauepan, stirring constantly, until jelly is melted. Add sausauges and stir until thoroughly coated. Simmer for 20 minutes, sausauges will plump in the mixture.

Cheddar Cheese Fondue
1/3 C flour
2 tsp dry mustard
2 C half & half
2 C (1/2 lb) shredded Sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
2 drops Tabasco sauce

In a fondue pot, Combine flour and mustard. Set heat control to "SIMMER" and add half & half gradually. Stir until thickened. Add cheese, 1/4 C at a time, and stir until melted. Add worchestershire and Tabasco sauces; stir. Heat 5 minutes to develop flavors.
For serving, spear rye or french bread cubes with a fondue fork or dip crackers. Makes 6-8 servings. You can also dip: broccoli, cauliflower, cooked new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cubes of meat, apple slices or pineapple.

Milk Chocolate Fondue
2 11-1/2 oz packages milk chocolate chips
1 C heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp mint extract or 1-2 Tbsp creme de menthe (optional)

In a fondue pot, combine chocolate chips and cream. Set heat to "WARM" and stir until chocolate mealts. Add mint flavoring, if desired. Stir until blended.
Serve with: Nilla wafers, graham crackers, pound cake cubes, pretzels, marshmallows, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, apples, or mandarin oranges.


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