Saturday, February 27, 2010

Menu for March 1st - 7th

Well it's a big week for our house. We are having the boys combined birthday party. Supposed to be all outside, if it rains I will cry! Kili is the student of the week in her class, she is very excited. She made a poster all about her and can't wait to show it to her class. I'm having a PBR for my side business on monday, and just doing our normal weekly routine. My seasonal box this week has cabbage and parsnips in it and i'm so excited. A parsnip looks like a white carrot and tastes similar to one, just with a little radish kick. You can roast, steam or boil them, we don't get them very often so I usually just cook them with our butter carrots. Still waiting for different fruit though. I try to cook different things all the time so this week i'm experimenting with salmon. I love sushi but usually don't eat or make a lot of cooked fish, so we will see how it goes. Also this week i'm going to use my shredded chicken for tacos and a second recipe. I have been trying to do that more, double up on a protein or carb the first time so for the next recipe its ready to go. Thats a helpful tip if you are like me and have no spare time! I did finish a book this week, and I will be honest it took me 2 years to read it, but I did it. The book was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and it is a wonderful book. All about eating seasonal, local and organic.

Monday- Baked Rigatoni, kale
Tuesday- Shredded Chicken Tacos( i'm making a double batch to use half in another recipe), orange kiwi salad
Wednesday- Soy Salmon, Stir fried veggies and ramen
Thursday- Creamy Red Chile Chicken with noodles, butter carrots and parsnips
Friday- Western Bacon Cheeseburger. sweet potato fries
Saturday- Bodhi and Loki Super Mario Brothers birthday party! Lasagna, Pizza, Garlic Bread, Green Salad
Sunday- Ribeyes, baked potato, brussel sprouts

Dessert of the Week: Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Smothered Pot Roast with Brussel Sprouts

I'm so busy these days with the kids and work and anything else that comes up! The crock pot has become my new best friend. For years I only used it to make taco meat. I think I didn't really understand how to use it. But now after lots of recipes gone wrong I seem to have the hang of it. It is great for tough meats that need long cooking and dry beans. For this pot roast I used a 1 pound sirloin roast, but you could use any roast cut of meat, thats just what I had. Also the brussel sprouts came out very spicy so if you have a little one in the house you might want to leave out the jalapeno. 

1 pound sirloin roast
1 14 1/2 ounce can tomato
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
1 bell pepper, cut into big chunks
1 jalapeno diced
1 tablespoon creole seasoning, you can add more if you want
2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup good quality red wine
1/3 cup flour plus 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
enough brussel sprouts to cover the bottom of your crock pot

Make It:
Pour 1/3 cup flour in a large plastic ziploc bag. Add roast to bag, seal and toss around to cover meat with flour. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Remove roast from bag and add to skillet. Brown each side for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place brussel sprouts on bottom. Then place roast on top of brussel sprouts. In a medium size bowl mix together tomatoes, 1 cup beef broth, wine, seasoning, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno. Pour over roast and brussel sprouts, use a spoon to go around the inside of the crock pot so the liquid goes to the bottom. Cover cook on low for 8-9 hours. Remove lid and pull out meat, place on a plate. Use a slotted spoon to pull out all the brussel sprouts, place them in a bowl, they are ready to eat. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour what remains in the crock pot through it. In a sauce pan over medium heat melt butter, add flour and whisk to combine, cook for a minute. Whisk in strained liquid and remaining cup beef broth. Allow to cook until thickened. Slice roast and serve with gravy over top with mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts on the side. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ham and Cheese Macaroni

So this recipe came out of a families love for macaroni and cheese and my son's love of ham. When sitting around creating recipes I always think hmm what would everybody like, and this was a hit. Even Kili had seconds and she always proclaims that she doesn't like ham!

1 ham steak, diced
2 ounces velveeta diced
2 cups shredded mild cheddar
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 cups milk, you may need more if your sauce is to thick
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked

Make It:
Heat a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add ham and cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add butter to pan. Once melted add flour and stir to combine. Cook for a couple minutes. Add milk a little at a time, whisking in each addition. Once all milk is combined allow sauce to come to a low simmer. It should thicken a little. Turn heat to low and add velveeta. Cook and stir until melted. Add 1 cup mild cheddar and all sharp cheddar. Cook and stir until completely melted. Turn broiler on high. Add noodles to cheese sauce, add salt and pepper, stir to combine. Make sure noodles are completely covered with sauce. Pour into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle last of cheddar cheese over top. Place under broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until top cheese is completely melted. Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Menu for February 22nd - February 28th

So it seems that we have hit the time of year in the veggie box that stumps me the most. It is so easy to be seasonal in summer when there are tons of fruit and veggies available. Thank goodness I froze bell peppers, green beans and corn when they were in season. This week my box included collard greens and chard. The chard I have made before but not comfortable with it yet, and collard greens I have no idea what i'm doing with those. Also the only fruit we are getting right now is citrus and new this week kiwi. I don't care for kiwi but after weeks of citrus a kiwi tasted pretty good. We will be headed to the beach for the weekend for the last time, amazing how fast a month can go. The menu this includes 2 new recipes and another version of chicken pot pie.

Monday- Beef Tacos, green salad
Tuesday- Ham and Cheese Macaroni, orange and kiwi salad
Wednesday- Smothered Pot Roast with Brussel Sprouts
Thursday- Chicken Pot Pie
Friday- Birthday Party
Saturday-To Beach
Sunday- Pizza, green salad

Friday, February 19, 2010

Red Beans & Rice

I have never made and never had red beans and rice before so this was a total experiment. I did the beans in the crock pot. Since I work during the day and I usually do not have 2 hours on a week night to cook dinner. It came out really good and so easy. I took a traditional recipe that I found and changed some things and added cheddarwurst. I love to add cheddarwurst to spicy dishes, it just goes well with them. Also I made a box of Rice a Roni herb and butter as the rice, but I would think you can use whatever you like.

16 ounces dry red beans, soaked overnight
1 yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning, you can add more or less depending on your taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
6 cups water
2 spicy sausages, andouille or linguica diced
3 cheddarwurst diced
2 cups chicken broth

Make It:
Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat, spray with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and celery to pan. Cook stirring often until softened. Pour beans into crock pot. Pour vegetable mixture over beans. Place saucepan back over heat and add sausage to the pan, cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour sausage into crock pot. Add creole seasoning, salt, bay leaves and thyme to crock pot. Pour into crock pot water and broth, stir to combine. Cover and set on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove lid and using a potato masher, mash 1/3 of the beans in the crock pot, this gives them a creamy consistency. Add cheddarwurst, stir to combine. Cover and cook for 15 to 30 more minutes with the crock pot set on high. Uncover and serve over rice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Believe or not I had never had or made anything red velvet before this. I wanted to make them last year for valentines day but was so pregnant I didn't have the energy. I can't believe how good they are. Light and spongy and the cream cheese so good. I'm already dreaming of all the different things it can go on.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
4 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make It:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffins cups. In a big bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa and salt. In a mixing bowl gently mix together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. After all is combined on low speed slowly add in dry ingredients. Add about a half cup and allow to incorporate before adding another. After all is combined, fill each cupcake liner 1/2 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes based on your oven. When a toothpick can be inserted in the center and come out clean they are done. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Make It:
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar a little at a time until completely incorporated. Turn mixer to high speed and beat until fluffy. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu for February 14th - February 21st

After taking a little break from blogging and a little beach trip with the family, i'm back with new recipes and new ideas. Hope everybody is still interested. Since I started this blog I have not gone more than a couple days without posting. I was terrified I might lose my audience, but everybody seems to enjoy it as much as I do and i'm so proud. Well enough of that lets get to the menu. First off I made this a sunday to sunday menu so I could include Valentines Day. I have had lots of requests for crock pot recipes so I will be posting one every week(until I run out that is). I'm doing a lot of experimenting with dry beans. They are a good low cost source of protein, and I enjoy them. It seems winter is almost gone so casserole and soup season in our house will be ending. I try to only use the oven a couple of days a week once it warms up. My array of seasonal veggies is interesting right now. I find myself cooking and eating things I never would have bought out of a grocery store. The enjoyment of opening my veggie box every week never gets old. I will be happy when we get other fruit besides citrus though. I encourage everyone to at least for one week go to the farmers market and see whats in season locally. Even if it looks strange buy it and try it. You might find something you love that you would not have tried before. For me recently it has been turnips. I had never eaten or cooked them before this year. Now they are one of my favorites, to me they are like a radish and potato mixed together. Also Tuesday is "Fat Tuesday" so we have to have some cajun food.

Sunday- Valentines Day- King crab legs, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, asparagus
Monday- Beef Enchilada Casserole, refried beans, green beans
Tuesday- Red Beans & Rice, bread
Wednesday- Chicken Winter Veggie Casserole, orange slices
Thursday- Pinto Beans & Beef, cheese quesadillas
Friday- pizza, green salad
Saturday- Roasted Chicken & Winter Veggies with Gravy
Sunday- Ribeyes, Spicy Baked Beans, green salad

Dessert of the Week- Red Velvet Cupcakes

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cuban Burger

This idea was based on a quick click on the food network website. I saw a picture of Bobby Flay's Miami Burger, read the recipe and thought yum, i'm creating my own version of that. Feel free to adapt this burger to your liking.

1 pound ground beef, I use 80/20
4 hamburger buns
12 thin slices honey ham
8 slices swiss cheese
8 dill pickle slices
salt, pepper and granulated garlic

Make It:
Divide ground beef into 4 equal size patties. Season patties with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Place patties in refrigerator for 10 minutes, I think they cook better if they are cold. Heat a large iron skillet over high heat, for 2 minutes. Turn down to medium high heat and place patties in pan. Allow each pattie to cook 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile turn broiler on high. Place hamburger buns on cookie sheet, and place under broiler for 2 minutes. Remove patties from pan on a plate. Build burgers by placing a slice of cheese on bottom bun, then pattie, then 3 slices ham, then 2 pickle slices, then 2nd piece of cheese and top with bun. Wrap burger in foil and place back in hot skillet. Use a heavy skillet to press burger, 2 minutes per side. Unwrap and enjoy!