Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken and Cabbage Salad

This was delicous! I had it at a baby shower, then, stopped for the ingredients on the way home. I ate it for lunch over the next few days. Just thinking about it makes me want it again today!{Chinese Chicken Salad}
recipe from Sandi
4oz. Slivered almonds
3T sesame seeds
2T vegetable oil

Sauté these together until lightly toasted.

2cups diced chicken
1med. Head of cabbage, shredded
6-8 scallions, sliced
1/2 lb. Sliced mushrooms

Combine all the above and toss with dressing.

3/4 cup veg.oil
6T rice vinegar
4T sugar
1/2t. pepper

Top with chow mein noodles.

I used a method I learned from my dad for "tossing the salad." You see, Dad, often takes a salad for lunch at work. And, you cannot dress a salad that early in the day. So, he puts all of the salad together in his container. At lunch time, he pours on the dressing, replaces the lid, and shakes it up.

You can, actually, dress this salad ahead of time because the cabbage is so hearty. It will hold up for a while - even a few days in the fridge!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bountiful Baskets: This Week's Basket

We haven't had a basket for almost a month! I was so excited to get another basket , and this one was great. Here's what we got:
2 napa cabbages,
1 spaghetti squash (plus, one for volunteering),
6 grey squash (like a zucchini),
5 lbs of potatoes,
2 cucumbers
7 bananas,
6 grapefruit,
8 oranges,
5 pears,
7 fuji apples

I am going to make SukiYaki this week with my Napa Cabbage, "Spaghetti" with marinara and parmesan, and stuffed zucchini boats. We will be eating a lot of fruit with our meals this week, but it will be really yummy! Maybe, I will even switch my "waiting in the oven dinner to California Enchiladas this week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Remember back in November, when I promised you a Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe - well, today is the day!

I got this recipe from a friend at church. It came through a "light and healthy" recipe exchange. I love it! And, I know that my friend's family does, too. In fact, the day that we received acorn squash in our Bountiful Baskets, she was trying to trade other things for extra acorn squash.

{Stuffed Acorn Squash}
recipe by Melissa
2 medium acorn squash
1, 12 oz. package of bulk sausage (ground pork – country style is good if you can find it)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
½ cup thinly sliced celery
¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half, remove seeds and place squash cut side down in a pan or dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
In a large skillet, combine sausage, mushrooms, celery and onions. Cook until meat is done and veggies are tender. Drain well. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Blend well. Stir into sausage mixture. Spoon evenly into squash halves and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

You could prepare this recipe through stuffing the squash ahead of time, then, just bake it off when it is time for dinner!

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

I know it has been a while since I posted a dinner menu. We have been trying to eat healthier, but that means a lot of the same from South Beach or other various diet cookbooks. And, my husband traveled all of last week, so pretty much we ate whatever the boys wanted and I foudn something in the fridge. So, here is this week's fast menu.

Sunday - (Dinner at Mom's) Flank steak, Grandma's Rice, kabocha squash, and Pear & Gorgonzola Salad
Monday - Crunchy Chicken Tenders with Herb-Buttermilk Dressing, broccoli, raw carrots, fruit
Tuesday - Broccoli Cheddar Soup, bread bowls, simple salad, fruit
Wednesday - At mom's prepping for Thanksgiving
Friday - Beef "Pasties", broccoli or zucchini, cottage cheese and tomato salad
Saturday - might be back at mom's for a farewell dinner to my sisters!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Planning

I am starting to pull together ideas for our Thanksgiving dinner. Being from a family that loves food, we tend to try new recipes each year until we find the one that we love! I know some families that eat the same basic, bland stuffing every year - not us! We have made so many different stuffings over the years, it is so fun to sit down to dinner on Thanksgiving.

My dad with one of his turkeys

Here are some of the things I have had my eye on:
Baked Brie with Pepper Jelly
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry Pistachio Pesto
Butternut Squash Gratin
If you don't want or need a full turkey, try Bobby's Spice Rubbed Turkey Breast

Our Traditional "Go-To Rolls" (I really need to separate this recipe out, so I can find it easier!)
Parker House Rolls, or Bobby's rolls got rave reviews
Sweet Onion Rolls (I found these a few years ago, I still haven't made them. Maybe, this is my year!)

For dessert, there is one essential pie for our Thanksgiving table - Banana Cream. Years ago, when my grandparents moved to Michigan, they celebrated with families from Church because their family was in Utah. The woman who always made the pies, brought Banana Cream pie every year. Now, it has become a tradition that we cannot go without! I am wondering if I can sneak in this variation this year: Banana Carmel Cream Pie.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green Smoothie Breakfast

This may sound strange to many out there, but I have been drinking and really enjoying a Green Smoothie each morning this week. I had a friend who told me she was drinking them about a year a half ago, then, a woman in our Bountiful Baskets co-op said that her family drinks them too. And, I decided to give it a try since we have so much spinach and greens coming our way.{Megan's Green Smoothie}
juice of 1 orange
2 1/2 inches of banana, diced
3-4 frozen strawberries
1 tsp Truvia sweetener
2 C packed spinach (or other greens)
a couple Tbsp water

Layer in your blender with spinach closest to the blade. Blend until well mixed. Add water as necessary to get it to spin, or to a good drinking consistency. Enjoy!

159 cal, 1g fat, 37g total carb, 4g fiber, 9g sugar, 4g protein

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bountiful Baskets: This Week's Basket

No pictures this week, I was helping longer than normal at the site today. Then, my husband was headed out to run errands, so I quickly divided our basket so that he could take my parents their share.
This is what we received this week:
5 lbs of Russet potatoes
5 large turnips (so excited!)
2 acorn squash
2 bunches of celery
2 eggplant (1 was my volunteer extra)
1 bunch of spinach
7 bananas
6 persimmons
5 Granny Smith apples
4 pears

So, here is what I'm thinking . . . I was surprised at how many people have not had parsnips. Although, ten years ago, I hadn't either. My favorite way to prepare them is to roasted them together with carrots, or you could try sweet potatoes as well. Here is a good recipe to try if you would like specific instructions. Or, try one of these ideas:
Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash, Parsnips and Turnips
Smashed Parsnips with Mascapone Cheese
Annabel Karmel's Quick Chicken Couscous from the "First Meals Cookbook"
Parsnip Muffins or Good Morning Muffins

And, here is my favorite recipe for Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad. It is to die for! And, I don't usually like eggplant.

Stay tuned for recipes for Stuffed Acorn Squash and a delicious Pear Salad.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kabocha Squash Orzotto

I used my Kabocha Squash from Bountiful Baskets for Orzotto. Yeah, you read that right - Orzotto. It is like Risotto in method only faster.It Kabocha Squash was really hard to cut through, at least, for me. So, I prepped the squash one day and threw together a quick dinner when it became obvious that this would take too long and the children were starving!
I would recommend that 1) you start early if you try this, 2) you look for squash already cubed, or 3) you substitute butternut squash for the kabocha.
However, the end result was delicious!
{Kabocha Squash Orzotto}
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 – 2 cups diced squash
1 ½ cups orzo
½ cup dry white wine, or extra chicken broth
3 cups chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan
fresh thyme and basil
salt and pepper, to taste

In a heavy-bottomed medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and squash, sauté until beginning to soften. Add the orzo and toast for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook until absorbed.

Gradually add the stock, stirring frequently. Bring to a simmer and cover; cook for 8-10 minutes until liquid is almost absorbed and orzo or barley is tender. Remove from heat.

Stir in the cream, parmesan and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dill & Cottage Cheese

As my husband and I spend more time trying to revamp our eating habits, I am having to be more creative with what we eat. I went back to this dip recipe from a dear friend of mine to help us with that. This recipe is easy to whip up, and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen.{Dill & Cottage Cheese Vegetable Dip}
recipe adapted from my dear friend, Carol Loveless
1 C cottage cheese
1/4-1/3 C mayonnaise
1/2 T dried minced onion
1/2 T parsley
1/2 t dried dill
1/2 t seasoning salt

Mix all ingredients together. Place in the refrigerator for several hours prior to serving. Serve with vegetables.

Take Two: My mother often eats cottage cheese and tomatoes as a salad. I thought this dill dip would be a great way to add a little extra flavor to that dish!
{Tomato & Cottage Cheese Salad}
dill & cottage cheese dip
quartered cherry tomatoes
diced carrots

Top cottage cheese with tomatoes and carrots. Mix together and enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bountiful Baskets: This Week's Basket

This week our Bountiful Basket contained:
1 bag of onions + 1 extra
1 bag of carrots
1 bunch of mustard greens
1 bunch of spinach
1 bunch of radishes
11 persimmons
10 bananas
8 apples
7 pears
5 oranges
1 cantalope

I split my basket with my mother again, but that is still a lot of persimmons! So, here are some recipes and ideas I found for using them up:
Persimmon Salsa as an accompaniment to fish
Persimmon Jam, or this version without pectin
There are also several recipes floating around for persimmon desserts that you could try.

As for the mustard greens, one woman mentioned green smoothies when we were picking up our baskets. If you are into that, you could definitely try it out, but the mustard greens have a little bit of a spicy after-bite. Here are some other recipes that look more like what we will be trying out:
Balsamic-glazed Chick Peas and Mustard Greens
Mustard Greens Salad with Quinoa, Feta & Lemon Vinaigrette
Mustard Greens with Beans and Quinoa
Apparently, mustard greens pair well with garbanzo beans (chick peas) and quinoa!
Warm New Potato Salad with Bacon and Mustard Greens
Mustard Greens (with onion, garlic and sesame oil)
Mustard Greens and Pumpkin Pasta

The rest of our basket was pretty straight forward, or things that we commonly eat. And, I came across this recipe in my searching. I am, actually, secretly hoping to get brussel sprouts one of these weeks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clean from the Kitchen!

I am so running into my kitchen to try this one out.
Fill a bucket with 4 L of warm water, add 1/2 C white vinegar. Soak bath toys for 10 - 15 minutes. Gently wipe with a soft cloth or kitchen rag. If needed, scrub deep with an old toothbrush.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bountiful Baskets

Today I received my first basket of produce from Bountiful Baskets. It was great! We received:
2 bunches of celery, spinach, heads of cauliflower, kabocha squash
1 cantalope
11 bananas
12 plums
6 apples
8 oranges
3 pomegranates
7 pears
My mother and I split 1 traditional basket and still had plenty for each of our families. I am so excited about doing produce this way. It will help us to have more variety in our diets, and have plenty of options for each meal.

And, here is what I am thinking of trying out this week:
Spinach, Bacon and Cheddar Frittata (along with some great spinach salads)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baked Cheese Crepes

I call this "South Beach Manicotti!" It is perfect for Phase 1 or anytime after that. You use a flourless egg crepe instead of a pasta noodle, and roll it up like manicotti would be.{Baked Cheese Crepes}
based on this recipe
6 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
unsalted butter
8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 ounces fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 cup Marinara Sauce (I like Newman's Own brand)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat a 6-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Brush the skillet with some butter. Working quickly, pour 3 tablespoons of the egg mixture into the pan, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. When egg begins to set, flip crepe to cook other side. Slide onto a plate and repeat to make 10 crepes total, brushing the skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on the plate.

Butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange 1 egg crepe on a work surface. Place some of the fontina and mozzarella cheese in the center of the egg crepe, then sprinkle with some basil. Roll up the crepe. Place the filled crepe in the prepared baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining egg crepes, cheese, and basil. Spoon the marinara sauce over the crepes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and top with more basil. Bake until the cheese melts and the top is golden, about 15 minutes.

*You could also grate the fontina and mozzarella cheeses. Just place them in the freezer for a few minutes to harden a little before grating. Sprinkle any remaining cheese over the top of the crepes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Hotdogs a la Rose, Cucumbers and hummus
Monday - Asparagus Risotto, Crunchy Garlic Chicken, green salad
Tuesday - leftovers, the huband has a work dinner
Wednesday - Tuxedo Salad
Thursday - Ricotta Gnocchi with Pancetta and Basil Cream Sauce, green salad
Friday - Pizza & Movie Night
Saturday - still thinking . . .

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Take Two: Almond Chicken

"Breaded" chicken doesn't do so well when it is cooled, stored and reheated. So, I came up with this option for my husband's lunch the next day. Mind you, it was difficult to keep enough away from the children to even have something leftover!{Cobb Salad}
South Beach Diet-friendly
fresh lettuce
cheddar cheese
leftover Almond Chicken
hard-boiled egg
turkey bacon
sliced olives, if you have them

Layer together in a large to-go container. At lunch time, top with dressing and shake. Yumm!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Baked Ziti with Hearty Meat Sauce

We ate this a lot last fall and winter. I used my own Meat Sauce and the kids ate it up. So, far this is my favorite Ziti recipe, and with Meat Sauce tucked away in your freezer it is really easy to put together! {Baked Ziti with Hearty Meat Sauce}
adapted from this recipe
2 1/2 - 3 C Meat Sauce (from this recipe here)
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 lb of penne pasta
1 1/2 C ricotta
1 1/2 C shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 C parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
1/2 T parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix together meat sauce and tomato sauce, and simmer on stove. Prepare pasta by under cooking by 4 minutes, based on the box's directions. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the ricotta, 1 C mozzarella, 2 T parmesan, egg, parsley and black pepper. Mix 1/2 half of the cheese mixture with the cooked pasta.
In your baking dish layer: 1 C of the meast sauce, 1/2 of the pasta, remaining cheese mixture, 1 1/2 C meat sauce, remaining pasta, remaining meat sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes. If your baking dish is VERY full, you will want to place something under it to catch the bubbling over that may occur.
Serve with a vegetable, green salad and bread. Such a comforting fall meal!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Baked Ziti with Hearty Meat Sauce (recipe coming), asparagus, green salad
Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Canary Lentil Soup, bread for the boys
Wednesday - Almond Chicken, broccoli, bread
Thursday - Hotdogs a la Rose, something green
Friday - Aunt Susan's Minestrone, homemade rolls, honey butter and homemade jam
Saturday - I'll have to check my list, maybe it was Portabella Caps with Marinara and Warm Goat Cheese

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Almond Chicken

In an effort to broaden our low-carb, South Beach-friendly recipe collection, I came up with this twist on my sister-in-law's Parmesan Chicken Tenders. We substitute ground nuts for the bread crumbs. My kids ate it up! The littest one ate two chicken tenders by himself, which is unheard of for my children.{Crunchy Almond Chicken Tenders}
1 C whole almonds
1/3 C grated parmesan cheese (in this case, from a can works great)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 C egg substitute
8 - 10 chicken tenders, thawed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease a cookie sheet. Place almonds in a food processor, and chop into crumbs. Mix in cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in a shallow dish. Pour egg substitute into another shallow dish. Pat chicken dry, then place in egg substitute. Transfer to crumb mixture for "breading." Place on a cookie sheet and repeat with remaining tenders. Bake at 400 degrees for 13 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 8 minutes.

Serve with a green salad and a side of vegetables. Leftovers are great diced over a Cobb-style Salad.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - grilled salmon, brown rice & barley pilaf, zucchini, green salad
Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Tomato Bisque
Wednesday - Almond chicken, green salad
Thursday - Arugula Pesto Linguine
Friday - Grilled Portabello Caps
Saturday - thinking . . .

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Black Bean Soup

Everyone loved this soup. My husband, who normally shys away from black beans, enjoyed it so much that he ate it for lunch the next day. I think my kids enjoy anything that involves cheese, sourcream and tortilla chips - whether they put them in their soup or not!{Black Bean Soup}
adapted from this recipe
1 T olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)
3/4 C diced celery (about 2 ribs)
1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)
4 C homecooked black beans
1 3.5oz can green chilies
2 C water
2 tsp beef boullion
1 t kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t dry oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc.

Place olive oil in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes.
Add in the black beans, chilies, water, and beef boullion. Stir to combine and then add seasonings.
Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup. Puree soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender.
Ladle into bowls and garnish as desired.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Chicken Quesadillas with Fruit Salsa and Avocado Cream, Cilantro Rice, Black Beans, Aunt Terri's Salad
Monday - Going out for our Anniversary
Tuesday - Mexican Black Bean Chili
Wednesday - Baked Cheese Crepes, Broccoli, green salad
Thursday - Black Bean Soup
Friday - Homemade Pizza night
Saturday - Coconut Chicken

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Gnocchi with Proscuitto & Basil Cream Sauce (adapted from this recipe), salad, broccoli
Monday - beef brisket, pulled pork, spinach salad, brownies sundaes with chocolate and raspberry sauce
Tuesday - Chicken Quesadillas with Fruit Salsa and Avocado Cream (The birthday boy requested "quesadillas with just cheese.")
Wednesday - Shepherd's Pie, salad, fruit
Thursday - Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili (an old favorite),
Friday - Risotto with Asparagus, fruit salad
Saturday - homemade pizza night

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - grilled chicken and steak, mashed potatoes, cesaer salad, Aunt Louise's rolls, Italian sodas and chocolate chip cookies (A celebration of my cousin's return from a mission for our church.)
Monday - Italian Pub Burgers, grilled asparagus, salad, "Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt"
Tuesday - Mom's Taco Soup
Wednesday - Taco Salad and Quesadillas
Thursday - Summer Work Family Picnic
Friday - (camping) Navajo Tacos
Saturday - (camping) Spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flying Farmer Chicken Salad

My cousin called recently in a panic. She was hosting a bridal shower and had planned on chicken salad croissants with Sonoma Chicken Salad from Costco. Only, Costco didn't have it beause it was being discontinued. We poked around on the interent for some good alternatives and, then, I remembered this recipe.
I got this recipe from my grandmother, the summer that I visited her in Hong Kong after graduating from high school. It was contributed by a friend to their Ward Cookbook. I ate it in Hong Kong and fell in love. Years later I still come back to it for a special occasion. It is so delicious! I love the citrusy flavor in the dressing. And, the rice helps you add bulk for a crowd without blowing your budget. The recipe makes A LOT, so be prepared to feed the neighborhood or cut it down.

{Flying Farmer Chicken Salad}
Cook, cool and diced chicken breasts. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Combine 5 C. diced chickien with:
2-3 T orange juice
1 t salt
3 T salad oil (vegetable)
2 T vinegar
Let stand overnight in the fridge. The next day add:
3 C cooked rice
1 1/2 C seedless grapes
1 1/2 C thinly sliced celery
1 can pineapple tidbits (12oz), drained
1 can mandarin oranges (11oz), drained
1 C slivered almonds, toasted
1 1/2 C mayo (start with less and see if you really need that much)
Toss together. Serve on a lettuce leaf. Garnish with a slice of orange and a fresh strawberry. Serve with a croissant (optional).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Chicken Taco Soup
Monday - Grilled Pizza (Cheese, BBQ Chicken), Mini-Caprese Salad
Tuesday -Grilled Chicken, Zucchini and Rice with Cilantro Sauce
Wednesday - Taco Salad
Thursday - leftovers, or something else REALLY fast
Friday - on the road, again . . .
Saturday - "Lake Food"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Grilled Flatbread with Ricotta, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic Oil

We had grilled pizza last night with our friends. I had seen this recipe before, but have never gotten around to trying it. Our friends have, and they liked it so much they made it again with us. I loved it! It is fresh, crispy and delicious - all the things a summer meal should be. {Grilled Flatbread with Ricotta, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic Oil}
original recipe here
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head of roasted garlic
1 ball of pizza dough
1 (8-ounce) container ricotta cheese, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil

Roasted Garlic Oil:
Cut the top off of the garlice, drizzle with olive oil, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Place oil and garlic cloves in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain.

Flatten pizza dough, gently press into a large rectangle, brush liberally with olive oil, and throw on grill. Grill on both sides until golden brown. Spread 1 side with ricotta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, scatter tomatoes over, drizzle with Roasted Garlic Oil, and garnish with basil and more freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

*To really kick the flavor up, top off with a sprinkle of truffle salt. Thanks, Sheila!

This Week's Dinner Menu

We are back in the swing of real life, we have to be. And, I am needing to do some "real grocery shopping." Here is what we are looking at for this week.

Sunday - Breakfast for Dinner
Monday - "Meal Swap" night (Sour Cream Enchiladas)
Tuesday - Four Cheese Stuffed Shells, green salad, bread
Wednesday - Pad Thai, Potstickers (maybe spring rolls)
Thursday - Grilling something . . .
Friday - Family Pizza & Movie Night
Saturday - leftovers

For this week's Sunday Breakfast, I am debating between Baked Doughnuts and Muffins That Taste Like Doughnuts.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

It is AUGUST, and we are almost done traveling for the summer. We were gone, literally, every weekend in July with only a few weekdays spent at home. But, it was a great time to be together as a family and see extended family as well. I will go back and add recipe for many of the summer dishes that we have been eating, so that you can sneak some in before it gets too late.

Here is how the meals are shaping up this week:
Sunday - Dinner at Mom's (pot roast, salad, vegetables, and raspberry-brownie sundaes)
Monday - Hotdogs, Ham and Carmelized Onion Tart, Peaches
Tuesday - Rootbeer Rocks, garden salad
Wednesday - Orrechiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs, Tomatoes, and Mozarella
Thursday - Family Taco Night
Friday - Grilled Pizza
Saturday - Grilled Chicken and Vegetables with Cilantro Sauce, Cilantro Rice, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad and Fruit Salad

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu (Really Late)

This is a busy week of celebrating for us. I am hoping that we get to the gnocchi on Saturday, because it looks so good!

Sunday - Father's Day Celebration
Monday - Potluck with friends
Tuesday - Taco Salad
Wednesday - Potstickers & Chow Mein Noodles
Thursday - Eat Out for my birthday
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Ricotta Gnocchi with Pancetta and Basil Cream Sauce, Savory Monkey Bread, Aunt Terri's salad

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ball Fresh Taste of Summer Party

At the beginning of June, I hosted a Ball Fresh Taste of Summer Party. I was selected to demo products and teach others how to preserve their summer harvest.

We had a "working lunch" with some close friends to celebrate the wonderful taste of summer. I prepared my version of Pepper Jelly before the party and we made a batch of Homemade Salsa together.{Confetti Pepper Jelly}
4 1/2 C finely chopped green bell pepper (I use 2 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow pepper)
1/2 C finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 C cider vinegar
1 pkg Ball-brand No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
2 C sugar
1 C honey
12 - 4 oz. jelly jars (with new seals)

Prepare water bath canner and jars for canning.
Combine bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and vinegar in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add sugar and honey. Return to a boil. Boil hard for 3 full minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jelly into jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band on. Process filled jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove from canner and allow to cool.

While the salsa was cooking and, then, processing we dined on Pepper Jelly & Cream Cheese appetizers, Chips & Salsa, Lemon Cucumber Water, and Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad. Each guest went home with a reuseable gift bag full of coupons for Ball products, a box of pectin to make their own jam or jelly, recipes, ideas for how to use their Pepper Jelly, a jar of Pepper Jelly, a jar of Salsa, and some with other prizes too.

To watch my Pepper Jelly Canning Demo, shown at the party go here.

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - BBQ Chicken, salad, Fruit salad, and Individual Cookie Sundaes
Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - "Dinner on the Go"
Wednesday - Chicken Taco Soup
Thursday - "All Things with Your Fingers" Think chicken fingers, salad skewers, and fruit.
Friday - Game Party Night taking a veggie tray
Saturday - Homemade Pizza and Movie night, Butter Lettuce Salad

This is going to be my special treat for the week. And, after that, I will be running another 5k. When you eat like this, you have to find some way to get the weight off!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Sandwich Option

This looked so good, I have to remember to try it. I have heard about using nuts in place of bread crumbs for those aiming for lower carb diets, but never tried it. And, I love grilled cheese, so this is a definite must try.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - BBQ Chicken, salad, rice pilaf, fruit salad, breadsticks, cheese plater
Monday - Taco Night, fruit salad
Tuesday - Chicken Pasta Salad, rolls, broccoli
Wednesday - Pea and Pancetta Risotto (recipe coming!), green salad, fruit
Thursday - Homemade Pizza & Movie Night
Friday - Local Carnival
Saturday - Some variation of Chicken Enchiladas (maybe these), salad, fruit

For a sweet treat this week, we are trying these! And, for a switch to our Sunday morning breakfast, coffee cake.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend 2010

We just returned from a fabulous, relaxing weekend with my family. And, as always, we celebrated with food. Many of the foods we ate are traditional for our Memorial Day weekend together, but we tried some fun new things too!

Friday: Breakfast - Bagels & Lox
Dinner - Caitlin's Asian Crunch Salad
Homemade Pizza - Cheese, Pepperoni, Hawaiian, BBQ Chicken, Veggie
Saturday: Breakfast - Bacon, Eggs, and Homemade Poptarts
Lunch - Proscuitto and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, salad
Dinner - Enchiladas, salad, and Coconut Rice with Mango and Strawberries
Sunday: Lunch - soup and sandwiches
Dinner - our Memorial Day BBQ with Tomato and Corn Salad, Cape Cod Salad, and bruschetta
Dessert - Chocolate Gelatto with Toasted Almonds, White Chocolate and Mocha Cookie Bars
Monday: Breakfast - Almond Pancakes

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Dad's Birthday Enchiladas (for his birthday), Tri Colore Orzo, roasted vegetables, salad, strawberry pie
Monday - Taco Salad and quesadillas
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" night
Wednesday - Savory Chicken Pillows, salad
Thursday - headed out on vacation . . .

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Grilled Salmon and Chicken, Roasted Asparagus, Salad, and Lemon-Mint Cake with Lemon Syrup
Monday - Taco Night
Tuesday - Canary Lentil Soup, bread
Wednesday - Lettuce Wraps (recipe from a friend, or maybe this one)
Thursday - Amber's Turkey Enchiladas
Friday - Going Out
Saturday - Pizza & Movie Night

For lunch this week, Israeli Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Herbs.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stuffed Pizza Rolls - Our Way

It's Friday Night and that means it is Pizza Night at our house. So, I thought I would share a new twist on pizza! Inspired by the idea found on Our Best Bites, I set out to make this one for my family.

My kids like the tiny little bites and the dipping. I discovered that I do like Canadian Bacon Pizza, who knew?{Stuffed Pizza Rolls}
1 batch of pizza dough (or 1/2 if you only want one pan)
pizza toppings of choice (pepperoni, ham & pineapple, chicken and bacon)
mozzarella cheese
olive oil cooking spray
parmesan cheese
italian seasoning
marinara sauce for dipping

Roll pizza dough out into a large rectangle, about 12" x 8". Cut the dough into 24 squares, about 2" x 2" each. Place pizza topping of choice and some mozzarella onto every spuare. Gather up the edges and seal it shut. Spray a 9" cake pan or pie plate, and place rolls in it as you go. When all of the dough is finished, spray the tops with cooking spray. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and italian seasoning (unless, of course, you children avoid anything green in color).

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with marinara sauce to dip in.
*Freezer Instructions: Prepare rolls to the point of baking. Freeze in a foil cake pan covered with plastic wrap and, then, foil. Thaw, in the refrigerator, or bake an additional 15 minutes straight from the freezer.*

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pasta with Peas & Pancetta

I attended a cooking class on Springtime Risotto, and the teacher mentioned a pasta with peas and pancetta, similar to a risotto we made in the class. It sounded so good, I had to find a way to make it. So, after searching the web for ideas, I decided just to go for it.{Pasta with Peas & Pancetta}
1 lb shell-shaped pasta (medium shells, orrechiette)
1 lb frozen peas
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 oz. pancetta, diced
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 C chicken broth, or white wine
1/2 Tbsp butter
grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt liberally. Add pasta and cook per directions, adding the peas for the last 3 minutes. (You may need an extra minute or so, because the cold peas will slow the cooking a little.) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Cook the pancetta until crisp. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with your chicken broth. Reserve 1 C of the past water, and drain pasta. Toss butter, pasta and peas into the skillet. Stir to combine. Add some parmesan cheese and some of your pasta water, to make a slightly creamy sauce. Serve warm, top each serving with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Polenta & Portabellos

{Portabello Mushrooms over Cheesy Polenta}
based on this recipe
1/4 C polenta
1 C chicken broth
1 oz shredded monteray jack cheese
1 portabello mushroom cap, cubed
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped shallot
pinch of thyme
salt and pepper

Bring chicken stock to a boil, and stir in polenta. When polenta is finished cooking stir in shredded cheese.
Saute portabello in olive oil and thyme. Add shallots for last 2 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over warm polenta.

serves 1

Monday, May 10, 2010

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

I found this recipe online and sent it to my sister as an idea for dessert on Mother's Day. She and my dad made it up for us, and it was delicious!{Salted Caramel Ice Cream}
original recipe here
3 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon flake salt

Place milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil). Place egg yolks in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add half of hot milk to yolks, stirring constantly. Return yolk mixture to pan.

Combine sugar, cream, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar melts. Cook 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat; stir in sea salt. Gradually add caramel mixture to yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return pan to low heat; cook until a thermometer registers 160°. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until completely cooled, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Drain ice water from freezer bucket; repack with salt and ice. Cover with kitchen towels, and let stand 1 hour or until firm. Scoop about 1/2 cup ice cream into each of 10 dishes; sprinkle evenly with flake salt.

This Week's Dinner Menu

Last night, my sister and dad made us a delicious Mother's Day dinner. And, so, I was not even thinking about food for this week. But, alas, I must plan again.

Sunday - Grilled Flank Steak with Salsa Cruda, Potato and Asparagus Gratin, Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad, Homemade Rolls, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Frozen Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
Monday - Taco Night
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" Night
Wednesday - Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad, tortillas (probably quesadillas for the kids)
Thursday - Pasta with Peas & Pancetta, salad, rolls, fruit
Friday - Homemade Pizza (maybe on the grill, or maybe this one)
Saturday - Canary Lentil Soup, baguette, salad

For me, for lunch. For the bananas rotting on the counter.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Breakfast in Bed

Just in case, those in charge of your breakfast this Sunday need a little help. Here are some ideas for a Mother's Day breakfast. They are either fast or can be made the night ahead with instructions for morning preparation. Hey, whatever works right?
Sunday Morning Sweet Bread
Martha's Dutch Babies
serve sprinkled with sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Sleep in Omelet

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Feta, and White Beans

Just so you know this was amazing! I loved the spinach and beans. In fact, I would probably eat that as a side dish on it's own.You can find the full recipe here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Sole, Aspargus Risotto, salad, spaghetti squash
Monday - BBQ Chicken Braid, spinach salad, fruit
Tuesday - Tuxedo Salad (and chicken nuggets for the kids)
Wednesday - Cinco de Mayo Dinner
Thursday - Risotto with Pancetta and Peas
Friday - Homemade Pizza and Movie night
Sautrday - leftovers, or whatever we didn't get to.

This week we have snacks for Preschool, and the letter is Vv! I am thinking something vanilla, veggies with dips, and valentine cookies to top off the week.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


{Homemade Wontons with Dipping Sauce}
adapted from this recipe
1/4 head green cabbage
1 onions
1 large carrots
1/2 T ginger
3/4 t salt
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 t black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1 pkg won ton wrappers
flour and water (1 part flour to 2 parts water)

Chop the veggies up super small. Mix the veggies, seasonings, and hamburger together. Add the egg and mix well. Mix the flour and water together to make a paste. Lay won ton wrappers out. Dip your finger in the paste and then coat the inside edges of the wrappers with it. Place about 1 T of meat mixture into the center of each wrapper. Fold the edges of each wrapper together, and press so the paste has a chance to seal. Repeat with all wrappers.

In an electric skillet heat 1 T olive oil. Fry the won tons over medium heat (covered) for about 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the won tons over and cook for another 5-6 minutes (uncovered).

{Dipping Sauce}
1/2 C jalapeno pepper jelly
1/4 C rice vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Heat the jelly in the microwave until it liquifies. And, the rice vinegar and soy sauce. Whisk to combine.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lentil Soup

A while back, we met my husband for lunch at a foodcourt near his office. I had Lentil Soup. It was statisfying and delicious. I ran out and bought lentils to recreate the soup at home, but they have sat in my cupboard for a few months. Today, it was pouring rain. They kids and I were running to the car and getting soaked. As I sat in the car, wet while driving home, I decided that soup was what we needed for lunch.
{Lentil and Vegetable Soup}
adapted from this recipe
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onions, diced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 can tomato sauce
3/4 cup orange lentils
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons pomengranite juice
1 bay leaf
3-1/2 cups chicken stock
parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a large stockpot, saute the onions in oil until they are glossy. Stir in garlic, paprika, celery, carrots, and saute for 10 minutes. Once the vegetables have sauteed for 10 minutes stir in tomatoes, chicken stock, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir well, then add the wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 35-40 minutes; or until the lentils are tender.
Sprinkle the soup with parmesan before serving.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce with Extra Vegetables

I have been inspired by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and a couple cooking classes that I have taken to cook more from scratch. It really isn't that hard, and it provides a great opportunity to make it healthier.

Last night we had Spaghetti with Extra Vegetable Sauce.
{Spagehtti Sauce with Extra Vegetables}
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground meat, optional
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 zuchini, shredded
1/2 C cubed butternut squash
2 cans tomatoes, puree in can
1/8 tsp oregano, basil, pepper
1/2 tsp salt, more to tasteHeat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions, carrots, and zucchini. Saute for about 5 minutes. If adding meat, cook with the vegetables. Warm butternut squash in the microwave, then puree. Puree tomatoes in the can with an immersion blender. Add squash, tomatoes and spices to the saucepan. Heat through, then simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Related Posts with Thumbnails