Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pizza Burgers

I must say, these were the best pizza burgers that I have ever had.  I think they would be even better with some sliced black olives and maybe some mushrooms.  My husband and kids would turn their noses up at them then, but if you have more adventurous eaters, it would be great!  

I invented this recipe last night.  I had pizza burgers on my menu for the month, and I forgot to write down the recipe I intended.  I was in a hurry, so I just created my own!  

Here is the meat mixture all ready to go!  May I add, I LOVE my new chop and stir?  Thank you Cyndee!

Pizza Burgers

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. minced onion
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/3 c. pepperoni, quartered
15 oz. jar pizza sauce (I used my own homemade)
Shredded Mozzarella
Buns, buttered and toasted

In a 12 inch skillet, combine ground beef, onion, and garlic.  Cook until ground beef is browned.  Add pepperoni and pizza sauce.  Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes.  

Serve on a toasted bun topped with mozzarella cheese!

Simple and delicious! 

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

Hi all!  I hope everyone is enjoying their last day of June!  I can hardly believe it is already nearly July!  I have a couple great and easy recipes to get up today that would be great for over the holiday weekend!  

I thought I would try out a cast of character shot.  2 chicken breasts, brown sugar, petite diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and adorable 7 year old.

Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken
Serves 4 (This was *just* enough for my family of 2 adults 3 kids.)

1 lb. (about 2 breasts) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (last time I didn't drain, but next time I will drain most of the juice out, as you can see, my chicken is a little TOO juicy)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (add more if you want extra heat. This was mild enough that even my spice hating 4 year old ate it)

Lightly spritz your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.  Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.  In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.  Pour over the chicken.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours.  

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks.  Return to the slow cooker and mix the chicken with the juices from the tomato/brown sugar sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  

Serve in Flour Tortillas with topping such as: Lettuce, Avocado, Shredded Cheddar, and/or Sour Cream

Freezable Meal: You can freeze the leftovers in a freezer safe container and let thaw in the fridge overnight before serving the next day.  Reheat over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove top.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Tonight, for the first time this summer, I walked out to my garden and picked some beautiful salad greens for us to eat with our chicken and tortillas.  It was so beautiful and fresh, there isn't much that can beat it.  I find, even my kids love vegetables more when they have watched them grown in our backyard.

I actually spent my entire day out in the garden today, not showering until nearly 4 pm.  The weeds/grass in my garden had a real growth spurt recently and my garden was really in need of some TLC.  It is looking beautiful now!  For me, gardening is kind of like running.  The more I do it, the more I fall in love with it.

Take care and have a wonderful 4th of July if I don't get to pop back in this week!

Monday: Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken (with accompaniments)
Tuesday: Pizza Burgers
Wednesday: BLT Quesadilla Wraps
Thursday: Foil Packet Tilapia Crockpot Recipe
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday/Sunday: Out of town.  May make a few things to bring along: *Roasted Red Pepper Hummus *American Potato Salad * Mini Cheesecakes

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Hi all!  This is my first post as a woman in her 30's!  I celebrated my 30th yesterday with my wonderful family.  Do you think my husband bought a big enough cake for the 5 of us?  As you can see, he forgot candles but he got creative and lit a 3-wick candle for me to blow out.  

I know I have been a terrible blogger, but if you make these, I think you will forgive me.  So simple, so delicious.  They make a great summertime appetizer.  They are also SO yummy plopped on a burger.  Mmmmm!

My picture didn't turn out the best.  My camera was in need of new batteries and I was in a rush these....

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

1 lb. thin (regular) bacon, sliced into thirds
2 (16 oz) cubes cream cheese (softened)- I always use reduced fat
20 whole, fresh jalapenos (2-3 inches is best)

If you have them, you may want to wear latex gloves to prep the peppers.  There is nothing worse forgetting and rubbing your eyes.  Ouch!  

Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise.  With a spoon removed the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat, leave a few if you want 'em nice and spicy!)  

Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half.  Wrap jalapeno with bacon piece (1/3 slice).  Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle.  (At this point, you can freeze them, uncooked, in a Ziploc bag for later use.)

Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  You don't want the bacon to shrink so much it squeezes the jalapeno.  If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn't look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish them off.  These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it.  

Serve immediately, or they are also great at room temperature.  

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It seems like all I show up for is Menu Planning anymore!  Well, I have (another) good excuse, we have been out of town.  Please don't judge me for the below menu.  This is NOT a typical week.

Monday: Italian Sausage, Peppers, & Potatoes
Tuesday: Steak, American Potato Salad, & Jalapeno Poppers (Fathers Day meal I didn't get to make since we unexpectedly took a trip)
Wednesday: Crab Legs, Breaded Butterflied Shrimp, Cheddar Biscuits, Veggie
Thursday: Tacos in a bag
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Chris's Bay Area Burger
Sunday: Mongolian Beef

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Why, oh why, is my sleeping rhythm so disturbed?  I plan on being exceptionally tired tomorrow since I WILL be making it to the gym bright and early in the morning, so I figure it is best to get my Monday Menu Plan ready while I am twiddling my thumbs, drinking wine, and waiting for sleep to be within my grasp (yes I am having insomnia issues lately).

Let me just say, looking at my menu, I am very excited for Father's Day myself.  Those Jalapeno Poppers & Margaritas are THE BEST!  The margarita recipe is mine, I put it on the Spark People website last summer so I could find out how many calories I was drinking.  Sometimes, it is better not knowing.  Other times, you have to know, or you will have no hope of your clothes ever fitting you again.  And sometimes???  You just need to know how far you need to run, so that you can have guilt-free margaritas.

P.S . Dad, you are invited for dinner any and all days, like usual, if you want to drop by;-)

Monday: Slow Cooker Orange Chicken, Steamed White Rice, & Veggie
Tuesday: Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches & Glazed Baby Carrots
Wednesday: Italian Sausage Peppers & Potatoes
Thursday: Crockpot Sweet & Spicy Salmon & Antipasto Pasta Salad
Friday: Tacos in a bag
Saturday: Chicken Parmesan Heroes
Sunday: Delmonico Steaks, American Potato Salad, Jalapeno Poppers, & Ultimate Margaritas

Smoked Sausage & Okra Dirty Rice

Long time, no see!  I am having a heck of a time finding TIME with the kids out of school.  Time to myself, to quietly sit at the computer, blog, play, whatever.  Plus, my husband was out of town all week last week so I REALLY had no time.  This week is going to be the week that I find some kind of routine I can live with for the summer.  Tomorrow, I am even going to get back to the gym, something I didn't manage all week last week.

I wish I would have done the nutritional info for this recipe, maybe I still will get it done tomorrow.  I do think this is a pretty healthy recipe aside from the sausage.  If you want to make it healthier, you could easily sub the regular sausage for a turkey sausage.  If you do decide to do that, you may need to use some Cajun seasoning to spice things up because much of the spice in this rice comes from the sausage.

Give it a try!  It really was great!

Smoked Sausage & Okra Dirty Rice
Serves 6-8

4 c. water
2 1/2 c. long-grain white rice
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 lb. smoked hot pork sausage links, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 lb. sliced frozen okra; thawed
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 scallions, thinly sliced

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 4 Qt. heavy saucepan.  Add rice and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed.and rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes, the fluff rice with a fork and keep covered.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a lg. heavy skillet over med-high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2-3 minutes; transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl.  Add okra to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to another bowl.

Heat remaining Tbsp. oil in skillet over med-high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add okra, broth, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper, bring to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly thickened and reduced to just below surface of solids, 10-15 minutes. 

Stir in sausage and toss with rice, scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Adapted from Gourmet Today

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hi!  Sorry I have been so bad about getting new recipes up!  My excuse is two-fold: 1.)I am still trying to ease the kids into a summer 'routine' and 2.)I need new camera batteries;)  I hope to do better in the coming week.

In the meantime, here is my Monday Menu Plan!

Monday: Crockpot Buffalo Wing Soup
Tuesday: Crockpot Broccoli Beef
Wednesday: Spicy Pork with Bean Thread Noodles
Thursday: Crockpot Sweet and Spicy Salmon & Antipasto Pasta Salad
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Shrimp Kebabs & Foil Wrapped Veggies
Sunday: Smoked Sausage & Okra Dirty Rice

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Menu Plan

I've been so busy the past few days!  Not much to say, just want to get my monthly menu plan up!  I am loving having my monthly menu plan, then fine tuning it each Monday with Monday Menu Planning.  It is working great and I am staying very organized, at least as far as dinner goes!  I am trying out several crockpot recipes this month due to baseball in the evenings.  It seems many of our games conflicted with my time to make dinner on Thursdays, and I normally make some type of fish on those nights.  So, I may regret this, but I am going to try to do it in the crockpot.  Hopefully it isn't terrible!

June 1st: Oriental Fried Rice, Egg Rolls, Sweet & Sour Sauce
June 2nd: Peking Pork Chops, Rice, Veggie
June 3rd: Crock pot Fish Chowder
June 4th: Taco Night
June 5th: Grilled Delmonico Steaks & Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad
June 6th: Chicken Tikka Masala, White Rice, Veggie
June 7th: Slow Cooker Orange Chicken, Steamed White Rice, & Veggie
June 8th: Crock pot French Dip Sandwiches & Glazed Carrots
June 9th: Spicy Pork with Bean Thread Noodles & Egg Drop Soup
June 10th: Crock pot Sweet and Spicy Salmon & Antipasto Pasta Salad
June 11th: Homemade Pizza
June 12th: Shrimp Kebabs & Foil Wrapped Veggies
June 13th: Smoked Sausage & Okra Dirty Rice
June 14th: Buffalo Wing Soup
June 15th: Crock pot Broccoli Beef
June 16th: Italian Sausage Peppers & Potatoes
June 17th: Foil Packet Tilapia Crock pot Recipe & Veggie
June 18th: Tacos in a bag
June 19th: Brats, Sauerkraut, Buns, & American Potato Salad
June 20th: Chicken Parmesan Heroes
June 21st: BBQ Chicken & Cheddar Sandwiches
June 22nd: Mongolian Beef, Rice, & Egg Rolls
June 23rd: Crab Legs, Butterflied Shrimp, Cheddar Biscuits, & Steamed Veggies
June 24th: Grilled Ham Steak & Macaroni Salad
June 25th: Homemade Pizza
June 26th: Chris' Bay Area Burgers & Fries
June 27th: PW's Sloppy Joe's & Veggie
June 28th: Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Chicken
June 29th: Pizza Burgers
June 30th: BLT Quesadilla Wraps

*Monkey Bread
*Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
*Perfect Fried Eggs
*Basic Omelet
*French Toast
*Steel Cut Oats
*Blueberry Muffins

*Pizza Rolls
*Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
*Crescent Roll Hot Dogs

*Iced Coffee
*S'mores Trail Mix
*Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
*Fruit Kabobs with Creamy Orange Dip
*Double Chocolate M & M Cookies
*Mini Cheesecakes
*Samoa Blondies
*Soft Oreo Cookies


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