Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Potato Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Sauce and Tomato Basil Sauce, salad, broccoli
Monday - Amber's Turkey Enchiladas
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" night
Wednesday - Easy Mango Chicken over Coconut Rice
Thursday - Four Cheese Stuffed Shells with Smoky Marinara
Friday - Taco Soup with Chicken (crockpot)
Saturday - Homemade Pizza

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sweet & Spicy Crockpot Chicken

This super easy recipe is so versatile. You can make salads, tacos, burritos, etc. I keep it relatively mild for the kiddos, but you could spice it up quite a bit. {Sweet and Spicy Crockpot Chicken}
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe
2-4 chicken breats
1 can petitie diced tomatoes
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I use 1/4 tsp)

Place all ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4-6 hours. If your chicken breast are frozen, you will be on the longer end of this spectrum.
After the cooking time, pull the chicken out and shred it with two forks. Return to the juices in the pot, which will be absorbed into the chicken as it warms back up.
Serve it up with all the topping for a tasty taco salad.Or, use corn tortillas to make the easiest, yummiest tacos ever!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie Cookies

We made these after Valentine's day, but the were still yummy! The frosting makes for a pretty rich filling, we all had to stop after about one cookie. My preschooler did not like the filling, but the toddler gobbled it up.
{Red Velvet Whoppie Pies}
recipe from Food Network Magazine
For the Cookies:
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 ounce milk chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon red food coloring
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped

Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the semisweet and milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50 percent power until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
Whisk the melted butter, sour cream, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring in a bowl until combined. In another bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in four equal batches, whisking each batch completely before adding the next. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets and smooth the tops with a damp finger. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly pressed, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla seeds. Sandwich a heaping tablespoonful of filling between 2 cookies; repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Once again, last week was one of those weeks where I should post a follow-up called "What We Actually Ate for Dinner This Week." Maybe, this week we'll eat what we have planned.

Sunday - Lemon Dill Salmon on the grill, Pasta con Cavolo, broccoli, salad, fruit
Monday - Oven-fried Popcorn Chicken, fruit salad, green salad
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" night
Wednesday - Bacon-Makes-It-Better Corn Chowder
Thursday - Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tacos or salads (lettuce, tomato, corn, kidney beans, avocado and cilantro dressing)
Friday - Chilaquiles, refried beans and fried eggs, or cheese enchiladas
Saturday - leftovers

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pasta al Balsamico

We ended up sharing this with some friends for Valentine's Day dinner. It was super yummy, and comes together really fast.{Penne al Balsamico}
adapted from PCC Cooking Class by Iole Aguero
1 lb Italian-made penne pasta
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/3 C pinenuts
1/2 C chiffonade basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (up to 1/2 tsp, if you like it spicy)
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
28 oz can peeled tomatoes, crushed (puree them in the can with an immersion blender)
1/2 C grated romano cheese

Cook penne to al dente, reserving some of the pasta water. At the same time, add olive oil to a large saute pan over med-high heat. Saute sliced garlic, pine nuts, basil and crushed red pepper until pine nuts start to color. Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar and let it reduce slightly, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Toss with al dente pasta; then, add grated romano cheese.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Because I was thinking, when I planned last week's menu we have a lot of roll-over to this week.

Sunday - Pasta con Cavolo, Tri Colore Salad, Carrots, Magelby's Rolls
Monday - Chinese New Year Celebration - eggrolls, crab rangoon, Chicken and Egg Fried Rice with Napa Cabbage
Tuesday - Three Bean Vegetarian Chili (I first saw it here, then this crockpot version caught my eye)
Wednesday - Oven Fried Popcorn Chicken, broccoli, salad
Thursday - Sweet and Spicy Chicken tacos or salads
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Hawaiian Haystacks

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Plan

This year, with Valentine's Day being on Sunday, we will be spending a not-so-quiet evening at home with the boys. But, I still want to make Saturday night special for my husband and I, so here is what I am cooking up:

Starters: Pear and Raspberry Brie Wheel with Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps
Main Course: Pasta al Balsamico (from my Pasta class I attended)
Sides: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinagrette and Lemon Butter Green Beans with Pinenuts
Dessert: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies or Frozen Hot Chocolate (which would have to be followed by a showing of Serendipity)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

So, here it is. My quick version of Baked Taquitos. The canned chicken helps to speed up the process in the evening when dinner has to be made, but the kids need Mom, too.

{Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos}

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C salsa
1/2 t cumin
3/4 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 T chopped cilantro
1 sliced green onion, white and green parts
1 Costco-size can of Chicken, drained
1/2 C grated pepperjack cheese
1/2 C grated monterey jack cheese

small corn tortillas
cooking spray
kosher salt

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add salsa, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

Work with a few tortillas at a time, wrap in a wet paper towel and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking.
Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve with your favorite mexican dipping sauce, or try one of mine.
*I tried this with small flour tortillas, and we like the corn better when served right away. But, the flour tortillas reheat a little better. Just thought you might like to know.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Superbowl Party food - paninis, fresh salsa and guacamole, chips, spicy chicken dip, chewy chocolate chip cookie bars
Monday - Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos (recipe for my version to come), corn, black beans
Tuesday - Black Bean Soup, baguette with salted avocado
Wednesday - Oven Fried Popcorn Chicken, sweet potato fries and Chipotle Ranch dipping sauce
Thursday - Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tacos or Salad
Friday - Three Bean Vegetarian Chili (I first saw it here, then, this crockpot version caught my eye)
Saturday - Hawaiian Haystacks

For lunch this week, we are trying Southwestern Black Bean Hummus wraps. I'll post the full recipe later in the week.

I, also, thought this Red and White Pasta looked like a good idea for those times when you need to take a meal to someone else's family.

Friday, February 5, 2010

World Nutella Day

So, apparently, it is World Nutella Day. Very exciting as I recently fell in love with Nutella. I just thought I would share this little snack.

7 Utz Pretzel rods

just over 2 Tbsp Nutella

Dip the end of your pretzel into the nutella. Bite. Flip. Dip again. Enjoy!

A single serving of this tasty little snack is just over 300 calories, but could obviously be reduced by cutting the number of pretzels and amount of nutella down.

Chicken Tomatillo Soup

I found this recipe linked ot on a friend's blog. It sounded so yummy that I just had to try it! The soup has a really light, citrus flavor. I did add the fresh lime juice to my individual bowl, but my husband did not and he said that it was plenty citrus-y!{chicken tomatillo soup} serves 6-8 people
adapted from here
saute in big stock pot approx 10-15 min:
1/2 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb tomatillos, diced (about 5 medium size, don't forget to remove the husk and wash)
1 tablespoon cumin

add the rest & simmer approximately 15-25 minutes:
3 chicken breasts, roasted & shredded
6 C water
6 tsp chicken boullion, or 6 boullion cubes
1 16oz fresh salsa from the grocery store deli
1 15.5 oz cans yellow hominy (drained)
1 15.5 oz cans white hominy (drained)

**serve with:
blue or white tortilla chips
avocado slices
white rice
shredded cheese
sour cream
fresh lime juice

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spaghetti with Mini Chicken Meatballs

This is the best "spaghetti with meatballs" version I have ever come up with. My husband love spaghetti and meatballs. I really don't make it that often, because it isn't my favorite. Or, perhaps, it is because I like other versions of pasta so much more. Anyway, we have had these meatballs before in their original recipe, and we really liked them. So, when the husband asked for spaghetti and meatballs this is what I put together. {Spaghetti with Mini Chicken Meaballs}
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 tablespoon ketchup
3/4 cup grated Romano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb ground chicken

Mix together all of the ingredients except chicken. Add the ground chicken and mix through, being careful not to overmix.
Using a melon baller (or a teaspoon measure), form the chicken mixture into 3/4-inch pieces. With damp hands, roll the chicken pieces into mini meatballs.
In a large (14-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes longer.

Thin spaghetti noodles
spaghetti sauce (or use Giada's, it make a big batch so you can freeze some)

Top cooked spagheti noodles with warmed spaghetti sauce and, then, meatballs. Serve immediately.

My littlest one started pointing to his dinner, when he saw me taking the picture of my plate. So cute! Even better was the fact that he ate 10 meatballs that night. He kept asking for, "More bed." More bread, huh? Whatever works.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Cracker Chronicles

Remember this post about Homemade Graham Crackers? Well, I make them often. Perhaps not often enough for my little guys, and my sister who loves them immensely - but, I do try to make it at home when I can.

Recently, I have been inspired by several tasty looking cracker recipes floating around on the internet. Here is a sampling of the ones I hope to try soon:
Parmesan Thyme Crackers
Parmesan Cream Crackers
Crisp Rosemary Flatbread (I will be making this on for Valentine's Day, to share with my hubby and a wheel of Baked Brie.)
Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps

Pretty much anything that I can spread Brie on catches my eye these days. Ha ha!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Week's Dinner Menu

Sunday - Ultimate Chicken Cordon Bleu, fluffy new potatoes, asparagus, Tri Colore Spinach salad
Monday - chicken nuggets, fruit
Tuesday - "Meal Swap" night
Wednesday - Spaghetti with Mini Chicken meatballs, peas, "magelby's rolls"
Thursday - Chicken Tomatillo Soup, baguette with salted avocado
Friday - Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos (recipe for my version to come), corn, black beans
Saturday - Stuffed Pizza Rolls


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