Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu for May 24th - May 30th

We have a mellow week this week. Just school and work, then a 3 day weekend. I'm hoping for nice weather. We got blackberries for the first time this season, sweet and yummy. Also enjoying nectarines, blueberries and strawberries. The menu this week is filled with quick and simple. With school heading to the end, i'm starting to get more relaxed.

Monday- Spaghetti with a veggie sauce, berry salad
Tuesday- Chicken Tacos, Red Rice
Wednesday- Ravioli Skillet, brocoli
Thursday- Pork and Beans(crock pot), green salad
Friday- California Cheeseburger, fries, carrot sticks
Saturday- Eat out
Sunday- BBQ with friends

Dessert of the Week: Fresh berry pizza cookies

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thai Stir Fry

So the idea for this one came out of my clean eating magazine. I have often considering making a peanut sauce but never did because i thought it would taste strange. Since i'm willing to try almost anything once and want the kids to also, I decided to give it a try. It was very tasty, very different from my usual soy based stir fry sauces but still very good. As with any stir fry feel free to use whatever protein and vegetable combination you and your family prefer. I have to admit that the children don't care for shrimp yet, but I will keep trying.

3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon thai chili paste(depends on how hot you like it)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons peanut butter
juice of 2 limes
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups broccoli, boiled for a minute so they are a little soft
2 cups snow peas
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
10 raw shrimp, tails removed, and cut into small pieces
1 pork loin chop, cut into bite size pieces

Make It:
In a bowl whisk together the coconut milk, chili paste, red pepper flakes, peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, ginger and tomato paste. Set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add pork to pan, stir for 2 minutes until browned. Add shrimp, stir fry for 2 minutes until shrimp just start to change color. Add broccoli, snow peas and red pepper stir fry for 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium and pour in sauce, stir and let cook for about 3 minutes, until sauce thickens a little. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Menu for May 17th - May 23rd

I'm so glad it is starting to be warm! Summer is almost here. This week is just normal. We have a birthday party on saturday. Sorry I didn't take any pictures last week, I just didn't feel like it, lol. Now that is officially warm the oven will hardly get used, more skillet and stir fry dinners. It is great to grill in summer as well, but I leave that to the hubby. The produce at the farmers market is fantastic right now. I never knew how good seasonal was until I switched. Cherries, blueberries, strawberries and cherry tomatoes are our favorites right now. The menu this week is very simple with lots of fresh veggies. I got fava beans in my box this week not sure what to do with them or if we will like them, just have to see. Everyone have a great week.

Monday- Pizza, green salad
Tuesday- Spicy Skillet Chicken, Black and Pinto Bean Salsa, Cheese Quesadilla
Wednesday- French Onion Beef(crock pot), Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, butter carrots
Thursday- Thai Shrimp Stir Fry, Coconut Rice
Friday- Taco Pasta Skillet, broccoli
Saturday- Birthday Party
Sunday- King Crab, Macaroni and Cheese, Fava Beans, green salad

Dessert of the Week: Rice Crispie Flower Pops

Chicken and Sausage Lasagna

We love lasagna in this house, it is a very fun thing to try a bunch of different ways! In this one I mixed chicken and spicy italian sausage, it came out great!

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
3 italian sausages
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jar plus one cup spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 12 oz. container ricotta
2 1/2 cups mozzarella
3/4 cup shredded parmesan
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, whipped
9 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Make It:
In a bowl mix together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, basil, and garlic. Taste and then add salt and pepper to your liking. Mix in egg, cover and set in refrigerator. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray add chicken to pan, cook till brown on all sides. Add italian sausage, stir, cook until browned. Add onion and bell pepper, stir, cook until softened about 5 minutes. Pour in spaghetti sauce, leaving the extra one cup out. Stir, allow to come to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover stir and cook for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 375 degrees. In a large casserole dish, Pour reserved cup of spaghetti sauce onto bottom, spread to cover bottom of pan. Stir 1 cup water into sauce. Begin layering lasagna, put noodles first, then 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, then 2 1/2 ladles of sauce, then 1/3 cup mozzarella, and a good sprinkle of parmesan. Continue the next two layers the same ending the top with the rest of the sauce and cheeses. Cover with saran wrap, and then foil. Bake on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes. Remove saran wrap and foil. Allow to bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven let sit for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce

So my plan was to make chicken piccata, for the first time, but after I got home I decided I did not want to go through the trouble of breading the chicken. So this is what I made. It came out very tasty.

4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/2 cup chardonnay
1/3 cup lemon juice, keep lemon halves
3 tablespoons butter, divided
salt and pepper

Make It:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Salt and pepper each chicken breast on both sides, put in skillet 2 at a time. Cook for 2 minutes per side, remove to a cookie sheet. Once all four chicken breasts are done place them in oven for 15 minutes. Wipe out skillet, add 1 tablespoon butter, wine, lemon juice and reserved lemon halves to skillet, Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by 1/2, should take about 10 minutes. Remove lemon halves. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to pan, allow to melt. Serve sauce over chicken. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Italian Sloppy Joe's

This is my third version of sloppy joe's. They have become a favorite in this house. They are quick, easy and filling with not to many ingredients. Good for a weeknight dinner.

2 italian sausages
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic glove, chopped
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
8 pieces provolone cheese
4 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
salt and pepper to taste

Make It:
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add ground beef to pot, cook breaking up and stirring. Once browned drain off grease. Add italian sausage to pan, squeeze out of lining into pot, add bell peppers and onion to pot. Cook and stir, using a spoon to break up italian sausage, until sausage is browned and veggies are tender. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Stir in spaghetti sauce, bring to a low simmer and cover, let cook for 5 minutes. Uncover add salt and pepper to taste and basil, stir to combine. Let cook for 5 more minutes. Put one piece of cheese on bottom piece of each roll. Spoon 1/4 of the meat mixture onto the cheese, place a second piece of cheese onto top of meat, continue with next 3 rolls. Place on a baking sheet, put under a broiler set to low. Broil until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Place top of rolls onto sandwiches. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Creamy Italian Sausage Spaghetti

This is a fast one should take about 30 minutes. So nice to have fresh seasonal tomatoes again. I used spicy italian sausage but mild could be substituted if you do not like spice.

3 italian sausage
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
7 oz. spaghetti
1/2 cup chardonnay
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 garlic gloves, chopped
1/4 cup shredded parmesan

Make It:
Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat, cover, once boiling add spaghetti noodles, cook for 11 minutes. While spaghetti noodles are cooking, heat a large pot over medium high heat. Put italian sausage in pan by squeezing sausage out of lining. Break up sausage using a spoon, add bell pepper and onion to pan, stir to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes until sausage is not pink and veggies are tender. Drain of any excess oil. Add garlic and tomato to pan, stir to combine. Add wine to pan, cook for 5 minutes until wine is reduced to almost gone. Drain pasta, do not rinse. stir seasonings and cream and parmesan into pan. Allow to cook for a couple minutes till thickened slightly. Pour noodles into sauce and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu for May 10th - May 16th

So I have had a cough for a week now, ugh. I'm hoping it goes away soon. Mothers day was fantastic, I wish it happened more than once a year! We got Kili's last book report done and turned in this week, and I can see the end of school coming. I'm very excited to have a break for a couple months. Going on this week we have Kili's open house at her school, and a birthday party. We finally made it back to the farmers market this week and it was wonderful. Sweet tomatoes, blueberries, cherries and white peaches. We also picked up snow peas, broccoli and a huge bunch of basil for a dollar. The kids were so excited, all I heard was mom can we have this mom can we have that. I have a dehydrater this season so I will be able to preserve fruit for winter, this week i'm making strawberry slices. I must have been craving italian food when I made this weeks menu. Except for tacos its all italian!

Monday- Creamy Italian Sausage Spaghetti, snow peas
Tuesday- Italian Sloppy Joe's, green salad
Wednesday- Chicken Piccata, masshed potatoes. peas
Thursday- Shredded Beef Tacos, carrot sticks
Friday- Ham and Veggie Calzone, broccoli
Saturday- Chicken and Sausage Lasagna, green salad
Sunday- Birthday Party

Dessert of the Week: Triple Chocolate Brownies

Friday, May 7, 2010

Leah's Slow Cooked Chicken

My new friend Leah e-mailed this recipe to me a couple weeks ago. I was so excited to put it on the menu. I used chicken thighs because I prefer them in the crock pot, but you can use breasts or a whole chicken cut up. I also used bone in thighs to give the sauce more flavor, when its done cooking you can just pull the bones out and throw them away. I used sun dried tomatoes that were in olive oil, next time I will rinse the oil off of them. I thought it tasted a little oily. Serve this over rice or noodles.

8 skinless chicken thighs
3 oz sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water

Make It:
Spray the inside of the crock pot with cooking spray. Put chicken thighs in first, then tomatoes, onion, olives, and basil. Pour chicken broth over top and stir lightly. Set on low for 8 hours. Turn crock pot on high and stir in cornstarch water mixture, recover for 10-20 minutes, till thickened. Taste and salt to your preference. Serve over noodles or rice and sprinkle with basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

Tortellini Toss

This is adapted from a pampered chef recipe. They do their's in the microwave. I just can't cook a dinner in the microwave. If you don't care for spinach, switch it out with broccoli or asparagus. You can use chicken instead of ham if you prefer. This is also a very quick dinner, if you make the sauce while the tortellini cooks, this will take 30 minutes.

1 ham steak cut into cubes
1 container tortellini noodles, cooked
2/3 cup shredded parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
8 oz. spinach, cooked
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk

Make It:
Heat a large pot over medium high heat, add butter. Once butter is melted add garlic, cook for a minute. Add flour to pan, stir, cook for another minute. Pour milk in whisking to combine. Cook for a minute or two until thickened. Turn heat to low. Add ham and tortellini, stir to combine. Add spinach, cover pot for 2 minutes to wilt spinach. Stir in parmesan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shredded Beef with Onions

I made this beef in the crock pot so it is so easy. Perfect for sandwiches. Feel free to add more ingredients if you like. We put the beef on french rolls with cheese and dipped them in the au jus. Super Yummy!

1 top sirloin roast, trimmed
3 small sweet onions, sliced
4 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste

Make It:
Put beef in crock pot first, then onions over the top of the beef. Add salt and pepper. Cover with beef broth, set on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Pull out meat and some onions and shred meat with forks. Add a little broth to the meat if it needs it. Now put on bread and eat as a sandwich or eat alone whatever you prefer.

To make au jus pour rest of broth and onions into a pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add a little worcesterchire  sauce, a little sherry wine, a little apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper. Allow to reduce by a little more than half. Serve next to sandwiches as a dip. Enjoy!

Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy

This recipe along with all my meatball recipes can be made with premade frozen meatballs, if you don't want to make your own. Also these meatballs can be made ahead and frozen, to use for a quick weeknight meal. You can also use more mushrooms if you prefer.

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 container mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup low fat milk

Make It:
Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl mix together beef, parsley, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, red pepper, parmesan, bread crumbs, garlic and egg. Stir until completely mixed together. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Meanwhile using a small scoop, put mixture into the palm of your hand and shape into a tight ball. Add to pan continue until pan is full. Brown meatballs on all sides. Move to a baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the mixture. Move baking sheet to oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. While meatballs are in the oven, heat a large pot over medium heat. Add butter to pan, once melted add mushrooms to pan. Once mushrooms are softened add flour to pan, stir to combine. Allow flour to cook for 1 minute add beef broth to pan, whisk to combine. Allow to cook and thicken, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in milk, season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Remove meatballs from oven and add to gravy, stir lightly to combine. Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles. Enjoy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Menu for May 3rd- May 9th

Well last week didn't up the way I planned, I ended up catching some kind of cold. So 2 of my recipes didn't get made, we had kfc and pizza instead, while I layed on the couch and hoped to get better. I have for the most part made a full recovery, still tired though. We did make it to the choctaw festival which the the kids and I really enjoyed. This week we have Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day! Kili also has her final book report of the year to turn in, a diorama, she is very excited. I'm glad that she didn't get the fear of public speaking that I have. She loves to stand up in front and talk! For Cinco de Mayo i'm going to pick up tacos from Las Salsas. Even though I make good tacos, their little tacos can't be beat! And we will have margaritas of course. I have no clue what we will have on Mother's Day, but I will be relaxing and enjoying being a mom. On the menu this week I have one adapted recipe from pampered chef, one recipe from a new friend, one new recipe of my own, and a twist on a old favorite.

Monday- Tortellini Toss, broccoli
Tuesday- Open Faced Patty Melt on Texas Toast, fries, green salad
Wednesday- Cinco de Mayo- Tacos and Margaritas
Thursday- Leah's Slow Cooked Chicken, Parmesan Bow Ties, butter carrots
Friday- Steak, mashed potatoes, asparagus
Saturday- Orange Shrimp, rice pilaf, peas
Sunday- Mother's Day

Dessert of the Week: Peanut Butter Cookies