Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Menu for March 29th - April 4th

Spring break whoo hoo! A week of sleeping in! Not having to rush to get out of the house, no homework, no pressure. A week of relaxation and enjoying your life. Funny when I was 20 it was a week about going somewhere and partying like crazy. Amazing how things change in ten years! Then at the end of your relaxing week you get to spend a day eating ham, potatoes and watching your amazing children hunt for eggs as they are completely overdressed. I love Easter! So here is a simple menu for the week. Hope yours is relaxing and completely enjoyable!

Monday- Creamy Lemon Chicken Primavera
Tuesday- Pork Chops with Orange Sauce, sticky rice, stir fried veggies
Wednesday- Spaghetti Pie
Thursday- Shephards Pie(crock pot)
Friday- pizza, green salad
Saturday- Birthday Party
Sunday- Easter

Dessert of the Week: Bunny Cupcakes

No Mayo Coleslaw

I am a big fan of cabbage in any form, and I eat normal coleslaw all the time. When I saw this recipe I thought huh I never even considered making coleslaw without mayonnaise, but I will try anything once. I really enjoyed it and hope you will too.

2 cups green cabbage, sliced
2 cups red cabbage, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 green onion, chopped

Make It:
In a large bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add cabbage and green onion to bowl. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Enjoy!

Chipotle and Guacamole Burger

I love burgers and I love guacamole so why not put the two together! Add some extra spice and smokiness with some chipotles and there you have it, a delicious burger. This recipe is for 4 burgers, but if you don't need that many precooked hamburger patties store and reheat well.

1 pound ground beef
2 chipotle peppers, chopped finely
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 avocados, pitted and cut two ways and scooped out into a bowl
1 jalapeno, diced, remove seeds if you like
2 tablespoons diced cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
couple pinches of salt
little sprinkle of pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons salsa
4 hamburger buns
4 slices cheddar cheese

Make It:
Put ground beef, chipotles, tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and granulated garlic. Using your hands mix all together well, then flatten out in bottom of bowl. Using the side of your hand divide mixture into four parts. Grab one part at  a time and roll into a ball in your hand and then flatten it out into a patty. If you are unsure of the size hold it over the bun, they do shrink up a little bit when you cook them. Repeat this step placing each patty on a plate once you have all four made, place plate into refrigerator for about five minutes. Mix avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin, salsa, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mash up avocado with a fork, until mixture is fairly smooth. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Turn broiler on low. Place hamburger buns under broiler for a minute or so until just barely toasted. Place hamburger patties into hot skillet, I cook two at a time. Cook each patty 3 minutes a side. Then place each cooked patty on a cookie sheet and put one slice of cheese on each. Place under broiler for a minute or two to melt cheese. Serve each patty on a bun with about two tablespoons of guacamole. Enjoy!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Flank Steak Tacos

Flank steak is probably one of the cuts that if you do not know how to cook it you will never try. It can be a little fatty, and tough. You need to either cook it  fast on the grill or under the broiler or cook it low and slow in the crockpot. Always slice it against the grain.

1 flank steak, any excess fat trimmed off
2 teaspoons chili seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 lime or one cube of frozen lime juice(I buy a bunch of limes when they are on sale and juice them all and pour it into ice cube trays, then when you need lime juice you just pull out a cube, this tricks works with lemons too)
corn tortillas
diced white onion, cilantro, and avocado for topping

Make It:
Turn broiler on high. Place flank steak on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle one side with 1 teaspoon chili seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, rub seasoning into meat. Flip over and repeat on the other side. Place flank steak on cookie sheet under the broiler and cook for 6 minutes a side.
Remove from broiler and let rest for 6-10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain. Serve in a tortilla with toppings. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs

In an effort to become better friends with my crockpot, i'm trying all kinds of new things in it. I thought hmm spaghetti sauce needs to cook for a while to be good, so lets try it in the crockpot. If you don't care for meatballs make the sauce without them. You could also use premade frozen meatballs if you prefer, just bake them first. Spaghetti sauce is also another good way to sneak in veggies on your kids. Add diced carrots, bell peppers, celery or shredded zucchini if you want. Add one or all and see if the kids notice the difference.

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 jalapeno, seeds and inside removed, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, whipped with a fork
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons grated parmesan
cooked spaghetti noodles

Make It:
In a large crockpot combine tomatoes, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno. Divide the wine into the two tomato cans and swirl to pick up the tomato that is left in the can, pour into crockpot. Add 1 tablespoon italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt and garlic to crockpot. Stir to combine. In a bowl combine meat, granulated garlic, italian seasoning, salt, bread crumbs, parmesan and egg. Using your hands squeeze all ingredients until combined. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat, add one tablespoon vegetable oil. Using a small scooper, scoop out meat into your hand and roll into a ball, place in saute pan. Repeat until pan is full, brown meatballs on all sides and add to crockpot. Repeat this step with all the meatball mixture. Very softly stir so the meatballs are covered with sauce. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over spaghetti noodles. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beef and Spring Veggie Stir Fry

I love to make stir frys, they are a good and easy way to sneak a lot of veggies on the kids. This is just another version. The sauce and veggies are different from other stir fry recipes I have posted. I did cheat and buy a red pepper from the grocery store, we have not had one in months and I could not resist.

1 pound sirloin steak cut into strips( I like to get the already cut steak strips from fresh and easy, they are about 4 dollars a pound, and very tender)
1 cup blanched raw or thawed frozen broccoli florets
3 spring onions or green onion chopped
1 carrot sliced and blanched
4 to 6 asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces and blanched
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pressed garlic

Make It:
Whisk last seven ingredients together in a bowl. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat, spray with cooking spray and add meat. Stir fry for about 3 minutes until meat is browned. Remove meat from pan. Wipe pan out. Spray with cooking spray and add onion and pepper, stir fry for 2 minutes till both are tender. Add rest of veggies to pan and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add meat back to pan and stir to combine. Turn heat to low. Pour sauce over top and stir until all is coated and sauce is thickened. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu for March 22nd - 28th

I'm going to start this post by saying that the pampered chef party was so fun! If you have never had one or attended one do it, you will love it. Now on to this week, i'm hosting a baby shower, volunteering at Kili's school and going to a wedding. Busy, busy. I know that spring is here when I get asparagus, we love it, so I have a happy house this week. Also this week I got baby artichokes, which are delicious. We got even more tangerines and oranges, i'm on citrus overload at this point, I feel like its the only fruit we have had in months! Thank god for the apple and pear sauce I made and froze when they were in season. Without it my kids might have killed me. Last week I was staring at all the tangerines and lemons and thought what the heck can I do with these things besides eat them? I juiced them and its pretty good juice. I'm going to juice some tangerines this week and make margaritas, I will post the recipe if they come out good. On the menu this week i'm making chicken piccata for the first time, and new stir fry, taco, meatball and burger recipes. Should be a yummy week!

Monday- Pan Fried Pork Chop, Mashed Potatoes, Baby Artichokes
Tuesday- Chicken Piccata, Parmesan Bowtie Pasta, Asparagus
Wednesday- Beef and Spring Veggie Stir Fry, sticky rice
Thursday- Spaghetti and Meatballs(crockpot), green salad
Friday- Flank Steak Tacos, pinto beans
Saturday- Wedding
Sunday- Chipotle Guacamole Burger, No Mayo Coleslaw

Dessert of the Week: Blueberry Tarts

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Corned Beef and Red Potatoes and Cabbage

I cooked the corned beef this year in the crock pot. We were so excited to eat I forgot to take a picture. Making the corned beef and potatoes in the crock pot made them both so tender and delicious. Since corned beef requires about 50 minutes of simmering per pound it is hard to make on a weekday if you work all day. So my husband suggested the crock pot, not only was it nice to have dinner done when I got home, it was the best corned beef I have ever made. So here is the recipe!

1 packaged corned beef
8 red potatoes, cut in half
1 small green cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
mustard for your meat if you like

Make It:
Place potatoes on bottom of crock pot. Remove corned beef from package and place on top of potatoes. Add seasoning package to crock pot. Fill with water, to cover corned beef. Set on low for 8 hours. Steam cabbage for about 10-15 minutes until tender, serve with butter or mustard on it. Remove corned beef from crock pot, scrape off fat, and slice. Serve with mustard on top and potatoes and cabbage on the side. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taco Macaroni

This recipe is based on me trying to make something different based on something the family enjoys. I try to do this often, just to mix it up a little. So this is based on tacos. Which my lovely Kili said why can't we just have tacos? She likes what she likes, but once this was ready she cleared her plate! This came out good but I through it together quickly. In the future it will get some changing, but here it is for now.

1 pound ground beef
1/2 bag macaroni noodles, cooked
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 onion, diced
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup cheddar cheese

Make It:
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add meat and cook until completely browned, drain. Add onion to pan stir and cook until tender. Add taco seasoning and cumin to pan, stir to combine, stir in water and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salsa and beans to pot, stir to combine, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in noodles, sprinkle with cheese. Turn heat to low and put on lid. Remove lid after 5 minutes, if cheese is not mostly melted put lid back on for a couple more minutes. Stir to coat mixture with melted cheese. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quick and Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie

This version of pot pie is what I always made. It is quick easy and not so homemade, but very tasty. The vegetables can be changed and switched based on what your family likes. My vegetable choice is based on season, so it changes all the time.

2 skinless breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pie crust, homemade or store bought
1 turnip, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 parsnips, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup leeks, chopped small
1 can cream of celery soup
milk for thinning
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 bag frozen tater tots

Make It:
Preheat oven to 450. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. Add vegetables to pan. Cook for 5 minutes until softened. Remove from pan, set aside. Add chicken to pan, cook until browned on all sides. Remove from pan. Pour soup into pan, add a little milk, stir to combine. Add more milk if needed to get a sauce consistency. Stir in chicken and veggies. Place pie crust into pie pan. Pour chicken mixture into pie crust. Sprinkle cheese over chicken. Layer tater tots over cheese. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or less depending on your oven, as soon as the tater tots are browned its done. Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu for March 15th - 21st

Another week is here and I realize I have been neglecting this blog. I have been so busy and sometimes my creativity hits a wall. I'm feeling better now though, the boys party is done and spring is here. Something about the warmer weather and longer days, I feel like going and doing. In other words, i'm feeling creative again! This week brings a time change ugh, and St. Patricks Day yay. Also with Jessica i'm hosting my first pampered chef party, i'm really looking forward to it. This week brings 2 new recipes(which I promise to post) another chicken pot pie and a simple dish that is always a favorite. Oh and of course corned beef and cabbage.

Monday- Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday- Taco Macaroni, green salad
Wednesday- St.Patricks Day- Corned Beef and Cabbage, Boiled Red Potatoes and lots of beer
Thursday- Zesty Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Butter Carrots and Rutabaga
Friday- pizza
Saturday- Pampered Chef Party
Sunday- Pretzel Crusted Chicken, macaroni and cheese, broccoli

Dessert of the Week: Leftover Birthday Cake

Monday, March 8, 2010

Menu for March 8th - 14th

So last week got completely flipped around for us. After seeing the weather report I decided to move my all outside party to this weekend. On monday the weather report for saturday was rain al day. Then by friday it had changed to pm showers. Well saturday came and not a single drop of rain, we could have had the party. It was overcast and breezy, i'm hoping that it will be sunny this saturday. Other than that I have a consignment sale i'm participating in this week. It is the first time I have done something like that, so it should be interesting. The menu this week is not to exciting. I had canceled my vegetable box because we were having the party, so I have to get veggies from the grocery store. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just have not done it in a long time. I still have frozen green beans and broccoli so I will use those and get some salad stuff and fruit at the store. I'm looking forward to the season change and all the different things we will start getting.

Monday- Western Bacon Cheeseburger, Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday- Shake and bake chicken. shells and cheese, butter carrots and parsnips
Wednesday- Steak and Potato soup(crockpot), crescent rolls, fruit salad
Thursday- Ham and Cheese Stuffed Shells, broccoli
Friday- Beef tacos, Refried Black Beans, salad
Saturday- Bodhi and Loki birthday party- Pizza, Red Lasagna, White Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Green Salad
Sunday- New York Steak, Twice Baked Potato

Dessert of the week- Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes