Monday, August 30, 2010

Blueberry Snack Cake

Last night, while browsing through some of my favorite cooking blogs, I came across the recipe for this Blueberry Snack Cake on Mommy's Kitchen.  I checked in my freezer, and discovered that I had exactly the right amount of blueberries for this recipe (and they were looking like they may not last much longer).  That, coupled with the fact that my daughter was going to have her first day of school today and I wanted something special for breakfast, was enough to set the baking wheels into motion.  I'm glad I made it because my kids (and I) absolutely loved it.  It was dark when this finished baking, so please excuse my terrible picture.

Blueberry Snack Cake

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cold butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. milk
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites, beaten
2 c. fresh for frozen blueberries (if frozen DO NOT thaw)

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar.  Cut the butter into small pieces using a knife and add to the flour mixture.  Blend using a fork or pastry blender, until crumbly.  Set aside 3/4 c. mixture to use as a topping.  Add the baking powder, milk, egg yolks.  Mix well.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold into batter.  Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with blueberries and reserved crumb mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown or a toothpick comes out clean.  


Sunday, August 29, 2010

September Menu Plan

1st: Grilled Sausages, Peppers, & Onions on Rolls & Corn
2nd: Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad & Self-Filled Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Frosting
3rd: Tacos in a Bag
4th: Pork Medallions with Olive-Caper SauceChampagne-Feta Risotto, & Salad
5th: Judge's Fantastic Shredded Pork & Sweet Restaurant Slaw
6th:  General Tso's Chicken, Steamed Rice, & Egg Rolls
7th: Tortellini & Ham & Salad
8th: Borscht Soup
9th: Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package
10th:  Homemade Pizza: Buffalo Chicken & Pepperoni
11th:  Slow Cooker Buffalo Sandwiches
12th:  Cheese Buttons, Sausage, & Peaches
13th: Olive Garden Breadsticks & Johnny Carino's Bowtie Festival
14th:  Runzas
15th:  Italian Wedding Soup
16th:  Panko & Herb Encrusted Tilapia & Cheddar Brushetta 
17th:  Taco Night
18th:  Cheesesteak Subs & Fries
19th: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
20th: Simple Sesame Noodles, Chicken Breast, & Stir-fry Vegetables
21st:  BBQ Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, & Green Beans
22nd:  Penne alla Vodka & Salad
23rd:  Whole Wheat, Buttery Crab Cakes
24th:  Homemade Pizza
25th:  Onion Strings & Buffalo Wild Wing Night at Home
26th:  ABC Meatball Soup
27th:  Cajun Chicken Pasta
28th:  Taco Joes
29th:  Spaghetti alla Carbonara
30th:  Balsamic Glazed Salmon & Sundried Tomato Risotto

* Easy & Delicious French Toast
*Aunt Cyndee's Mexican Breakfast
*Cereal Yogurt Bars
*Bacon Breakfast Pizza
*Make Ahead Muffin Melts
*Steel Cut Oats
*Herb & 3-Cheese Omlet
*Supersonic Breakfast Burritos

*Creamy Pimento Cheese
*Grilled Banana & Nutella Panini

*Peanut Butter Cookies
*Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
*Oatmeal Creme Pies
*Monster Cookies
*Special K Bars
*Antiquity Rose Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
*M&M Sugar Cookies

*Neely's Fried Zucchini
*Soft Pretzels
*Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos

Weekly Menu Planning

Monday:  Huli Huli Chicken & Parmesan Zucchini

Tuesday:  Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Bread, & Side Salad

Wednesday:  Grilled Sausage, Peppers, & Onions on Rolls  & Corn

Thursday:  Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad & Self-Filled Cupcakes (this is what I am bringing to a family get-together)

Friday:  Tacos in a Bag

* Aunt Cyndee's Mexican Breakfast

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

Last night, I made Fettuccine Alfredo.  Don't let the simplicity of the recipe fool you, it was incredibly delicious.  Often times, simple is best.  Because my boys feel like they must have meat with every meal, I marinated 2 chicken breasts in Zesty Italian salad dressing for 3-4 hours and grilled them.  I then sliced them and served it on top of the Fettuccine Alfredo.  The chicken was delicious with it, but not really necessary, in my opinion.  You just go ahead and do whatever floats your boat.  

Here is what you need to get started, a mere 6 ingredients:

Fettuccine Alfredo

1 lb. Fettuccine Noodles
1 stick Butter
1 c. Heavy Cream
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 c. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  

In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  

Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl.  Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top.  

Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.  Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan.  

Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.  Serve immediately as a main course or an accompaniment to meat or salad.  

Source: PW

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Last night I finally got around to trying out this delicious Spinach & Artichoke dip recipe.  It comes from a great friend, who is also a great cook.  With the start of football season, I am sure I will be making it again very soon.  We love to have delicious appetizers handy for those lazy football-watching Sundays.

Here is what you will need to get started.  I actually ended up adding basil to mine, but that is purely optional.  I liked the flavor of basil in this dip, but the original recipe does not call for it and it is still extremely good.  I guess it all depends if you are a lover of basil:)

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

3-6 oz. jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, water squeezed out
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (reduced-fat is fine)
1/3 c. grated Parmesan (I think I actually added 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. sour cream (light is fine)
1/4 c. mayonnaise (light is fine)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp. basil, optional

Place all ingredients in a small slow cooker.  Heat on high for an hour, or low for longer, stirring as it heats up to combine the ingredients.  

Serve hot, with pita chips, crackers, or whatever you like!  Although you *can* substitute regular canned artichoke hearts, I think the marinated ones make this dip something special, so I don't recommend it.  

Source: My fab friend, Jen

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hi!  I thought I would get a jump on the week and get my Menu Plan for the upcoming week up!  I really *should* be out babying my tomatoes and peppers that have been a bit neglected lately.  If not that, I should REALLY be out painting my deck, a job that I started nearly a month ago already. is 100 degrees today.  So, I think I will just sit around the house and find some things that need doing inside:)

This is what I REALLY wish I was doing today though.  Aren't my boys handsome?  ;P

Monday: Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken Breasts

Tuesday: Beef Chimichangas

Wednesday: Easy Calzones

Thursday: Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Butter Chicken over Steamed Rice & Roasted Broccoli

Sunday: Oriental Fried Rice

*Bacon Breakfast Pizza
*Make Ahead Muffin Melts
*Special K Bars
*Oatmeal Creme Pies
*Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos
*Antiquity Rose Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
*Microwave Caramel Corn
*Birthday Bones (for the dog)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tangy Sirloin Strips

These Sirloin Strips were fantastic way to up the wow factor on "just" sirloin steaks.  So delicious, I didn't even find myself yearning for a Ribeye while eating them.     

Tangy Sirloin Strips

1/4 c. Canola Oil
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lb., 1 inch thick boneless sirloin steak
6 bacon strips
Lemon-Pepper seasoning

1/2 c. BBQ sauce
1/2 c. steak sauce
1/2 c. honey
1 Tbsp. molasses

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first six ingredients.  Cut the steak into 6 wide strips; add to the marinade.  Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight, turning once.

Drain and discard marinade.  Wrap a bacon strip around each steak piece; secure with a toothpick (I didn't, you just need to take care when handling the steak then).  Sprinkle with lemon-pepper.  Coat the grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill.  

Grill steak, covered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until meat reaches desired doneness.  Combine the glaze ingredients, brush over steaks.  Grill until glaze is heated.  Discard toothpicks.  

Note: I heated all of the glaze and served it as extra dipping sauce with the steaks.

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Zucchini Au Gratin

Guess what!  We had zucchini for dinner!  I know that you are shocked!  By the time summer is over, I am going to be a zucchini expert.  My husband told me to just pull up the plants, but I refused.  That is for quitters and I'm no quitter!  I am going to keep cooking zucchini until my plants aren't producing anymore.  I'm sure my family will be THRILLED !  Seriously though?  I have found SO many zucchini recipes that I really do just love. Zucchini is such a versatile vegetable!  I am so glad that I tried my hand at growing it this summer.  I will be planting it again, just maybe not 7 plants;P  Anyway, this Zucchini Au Gratin really was fantastic, give it a try.  

Zucchini Au Gratin

3 Tbsp. butter
1/3 c. fresh, minced onion
2 zucchini (about 1 lb.), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg 
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. Club crackers, crushed
3/4 c. sharp cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and zucchini and cook for 10 minutes, covered.    

Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg; mix in.  Stir in the flour.  Add the milk and cook on low, stirring, until a sauce if formed.  

Pour into an 8x8 baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Combine the crackers and the cheese, then sprinkle on top of zucchini mixture.  

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.   

Source: Adapted from Beth's Favorite Recipes

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sherried Tomato Soup

Oh happy day!  I have once again found a new recipe that all 3 of my children really enjoyed!  This made a pretty large pot of soup, enough for me and all 3 kids to eat it for lunch the next day.  Guess what?  No one complained about having to eat it again!  They actually WANTED to have it!  That tells me this is certainly a keeper.  It is such a quick recipe to make too.  I foresee us having this on many busy nights during the cold winter:)

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

Sherried Tomato Soup

6 Tbsp. butter
1 whole medium onion, diced
46 oz. tomato juice
2-14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1-3 Tbsp. chicken base (I used 2)
3-6 Tbsp. sugar (I went with 4 1/2)
1 pinch salt
black pepper, to taste
1 c. cooking Sherry
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
Chopped Fresh Parsley, to taste (I left out since I didn't have any)
Chopped Fresh Basil, to taste

Saute diced onions in butter until translucent.  Then add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, salt, and pepper and stir.  Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat.  Add in sherry and cream and stir.  Add in parsley and basil to taste.  

Adjust other seasonings if needed.  Delicious served with crusty garlic bread, or a grilled cheese.  

Source: PW

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Italian Zucchini Bake

True to my word, here I am with another zucchini recipe.  I still have a counter-full, so I am guessing I will be back again with even more.  I do think that I am going to try shredding and freezing some zucchini, I have heard that has worked for many people.  I made this one last week, and it was very good.  I do believe it is my new favorite zucchini recipe (at least main course-wise!)  I made this for dinner, but I also think it would be a delicious served at breakfast.

Here are the ingredients that you will need:  I know a visual always helps me, so I thought I would try to start doing that on here.

Italian Zucchini Bake

4 c. Zucchini
1 c. Onion
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Parsley Flakes
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Oregano
3 Eggs
8 oz. Mozzarella or Italian Blend Cheese, shredded
1 1/2 lb. Italian Sausage, browned & drained
1 package Refrigerated Crescent Roll Dough (I use reduced fat)
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

Thinly slice zucchini, leaving peel on.  Dice onion.  In a large skillet, melt butter.  Add zucchini and onion.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in parsley and other seasonings.  

In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Blend in cheese.  Stir in veggie mixture.  Add well drained, browned sausage to this mixture.  

Spread crescent roll dough out evenly in an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Press seems together, making a crust.  Spread mustard evenly on crust (basting brush works great for this).  Add vegetable mixture to the top of the unbaked crust. 

Bake 30 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Source: Tasty Kitchen    

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well, we are back from the family canning party (known as Pickle Palooza this year) with TONS of canned goods.  The family canned 360 quarts of dill pickles & 60ish pints of bread & butter pickles.  Other family members brought some of their own veggies that we also canned.  This year, that included beets from our garden (we did pickled as well as regular veggie beets), tomatoes, and roasted red peppers.

Me pickle packing!  Other canning stations include: Washy Washers, Nibber Nubbers (cut off ends), Briners, Steamed Steamers, as well as the jar preparation station.  I can't remember the exact names for a few, but there are visors stating job title for everyone;P

There were about 30 people there for the canning weekend spanning Thursday evening/Friday morning until Sunday morning when everyone began leaving.  My in-laws hosted at their house out in the woods this year where some slept in tents outside and others all throughout the house.  They have a perfect location for it though and no one felt too packed in.  I can't wait for next year!  It is such a fun way to have a family reunion!

Here is what I brought home with me from the canning weekend!

Monday: Cathy's Sherried Tomato Soup & Tomato & Basil Grilled Cheese

Tuesday: Big Daddy's Dirty Rice

Wednesday: Oven-Ham Sammies & Salad

Thursday: Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package & Green Beans

Friday: Taco Night

Saturday: Tangy Sirloin Strips & Zucchini Au Gratin

Sunday: Butter Chicken over Steamed Rice & Roasted Broccoli

I will also be making lots of things with these I would imagine....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mini-Mac Sliders

Thought I'd get one more post up quickly while I am baking some yummy zucchini bread up.  I hadn't been out to my garden much lately and you would not BELIEVE the number of zucchini that I picked out there last night.  Some of them are HUGE!  Not sure if they are still very good that big?  We shall see because I decided to seed and peel one of the larger ones and try using it in a bread.  I'm thinking maybe the larger ones would be OK for baking?  I'm learning.  I obviously don't know much since I am the person that planted SEVEN zucchini plants.  I'm sure I will have many more zucchini recipes to share soon;P

I made these Mini-Mac Sliders last night and I LOVED them.  Now, I'm not a big fan of McDonald's, but these were so much better.  My kids really enjoyed them too, sliders are always just perfect for small hands to hold and manage.  My oldest skipped the Secret Sauce, but I guess I expected that since he isn't big on any type of sauce aside from ketchup on his burger.

Here is what you will need to recreate the McDonald's Special Sauce:

Special Sauce:
1/2 c. Mayo
2 Tbsp. Creamy French Dressing
3 Tbsp. Sweet Pickle Relish
1 1/2 Tbsp. finely minced onion
1 tsp. white Vinegar
1 tsp. granulated Sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt (as you can see, I messed up and used regular)

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use!

Here is what you will need to complete the burgers:

Mini-Mac Sliders

1 1/2 lb. Ground Chuck
2-3 Green Onions, sliced thin, then roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
Iceberg lettuce cut into super-thin strips (about 1 c.)
Pickle Slices
6 Colby Jack cheese slices
12 Slider Buns (I couldn't find them so I used dinner rolls which worked perfectly)

Combine the ground check with the green onions, olive oil, black pepper, and kosher salt.  Mix by hand until just combined and, then form 12 mini burgers- make an indentation in the center of each burger to prevent them from becoming much thicker in the middle than in the rest of the burger.  Little tip from Bobby Flay;) 

Place on a preheated grill pan (I used my regular outdoor grill) over medium high heat.  Cook 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Flip and repeat.  

Toast buns if desired (I do, I just can't live without toasted buns).  Top bottom bun with a slider, cheese, pickle, lettuce, sauce, and then top bun.  


Monday, August 9, 2010

Banana Crumb Muffins

I think I have finally found another winning banana recipe.  Yes, there are so many out there, but just not many can come close to our love of this banana bread recipe.  These muffins are heavenly.  My only complaint is that I think I will need to do a double batch next time because these only lasted a few hours here.

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly spray 10 nonstick muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 c. flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  In another bowl, beat together bananas, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla, and melted butter.  Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. flour, and cinnamon.  Cut in 1 Tbsp. butter until  mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  

Adapted from: Allrecipes

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

LOVE.  That is what I am with this pasta dish.  IN LOVE.  Totally, completely.  I could eat this every day.  It is simple and beautiful.  I'm not the only only that loved it.  My entire family also did.  As a matter of fact, we pretty much put the entire pot away in one sitting.  Give it a try.  You will thank me.  If you do, please try to use the pancetta, it does beautiful things in your mouth.  Thank you.

Here is what you will need to create heaven in your mouth:

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

1 lb. Spaghetti
2 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz. Pancetta, cut into small pieces (you can also use bacon, it will be good, just not QUITE as good;)
4 whole large garlic cloves, minced
2 whole large eggs
1 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, divided
Kosher Salt
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Fresh Parsley for garnish, optional

In a large pasta pot, add enough water to cook your pasta.  Salt your water generously.  Once water comes to a boil, add spaghetti and stir so that the pasta separates.  Cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.

WHILE the spaghetti is cooking, in a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil and cook pancetta until fairly crisp (3-4 minutes).  Add garlic and cook for another minute (you don't want your garlic to burn).  While these are cooking, crack your eggs into a small bowl and add 1 c. of your cheese.  Stir together and set aside.

Take a ladle of the spaghetti water and set aside.  Drain your pasta well and add to bacon mixture.  It is IMPORTANT that your pasta is hot when adding it to the mixture.  Toss well (I find that tongs work well for this).  Take off of heat.  Add in your cheese and egg mixture and toss well.  If you find the mixture is too thick, you can thin it out with a little pasta water (remember you can always add more but you can't take away so add sparingly).  Season well with pepper.

Garnish with the remainder of the cheese and fresh parsley if you like.  This dish is best eaten immediately. 

Source: bell'alimento

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 6
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 540.1
  • Total Fat: 21.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 85.6 mg
  • Sodium: 235.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 59.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 26.6 g

Sicilian Butter

WARNING: If you are not a garlic lover, run away now.  This recipe IS NOT for you.  However, if you are, you are home.  Keep reading, cause you will love this, baby.

Sicilian Butter

8 cloves garlic (about 1/2 a head), or to taste, minced
1 1/4 c. high quality, extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 pinches salt
1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan
2 pinches red chili flakes (optional)
2 tsp. chopped, fresh, basil

Whisk all ingredients together, except basil.  Let the mixture sit on the counter for a few hours in a covered container to allow the flavors to meld.  

Right before serving, add the chopped basil.  

Serve the Sicilian Butter in a shallow dish with Crusty bread.

Note: When I am making this for my family, I typically cut it in half.

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

Don't you just love it when you try something very much outside of your "box" (or your whole families perhaps) and everyone ends up loving it?  That is EXACTLY what happened with this recipe.  I was kind of expecting everyone to turn their noses up at this lemony pasta, but everyone from my husband to my 4 year old absolutely loved it!  OK, maybe not my 11 year old, he didn't even try it.  Want to know what he was doing during dinner that night?

Yes, he was completely passed out.  He had a "sleep" over the night before and was a little tired.  He never even got to try the lemony pasta.  This made a huge amount and it was gone in a flash.  I didn't even get any leftovers, I think my husband and 4 year old ate them all;P

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

4 whole grilled chicken breasts, sliced (I only used 3 which was plenty)- Great marinated in mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, honey, & salt for 6-24 hrs.
1 lb.  Penne pasta cooked until al dente
4 Tbsp. butter
3 whole lemons, juiced
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. half and half
1 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
20 whole basil leaves, chopped

Cook pasta, reserving 1 c. of hot pasta water when you drain.  Set pasta aside in a colander.  

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Squeeze in the juice of 3-4 lemons.  Whisk together.  Pour in cream and half and half.  Whisk until hot.  Pour in cheese and whisk until melted.  Add salt and pepper.  Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.  Add about 1/2 of the basil and mix in.  

Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle remaining basil all over top, the add the sliced chicken breasts.  Serve immediately! 

Source: PW

Firecracker Shrimp

Have you even made or eaten Firecracker Shrimp?  I'm sure that many of you have because it is a very popular recipe and there are so many different versions out there.  I have tried a few different versions, and this is my personal favorite.

Firecracker Shrimp

1 lb. (16-20 ct.) shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp. hot chili sauce (Sriracha recommended)
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed

Combine all sauce ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.  Add shrimp and marinate at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.  Skewer shrimp and grill until opaque and brown with black bits.  

Great 4th of July recipe idea! 

Source: PW

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Apricot Sauce

I am on a roll today, so I am going to try to post a few more recipes from my big backlog.

This is yet another recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  She has certainly been providing me with tons of kitchen inspiration lately.  Try not to be shocked, but this recipe contains NO BUTTER.  Now, that is a rarity for a PW recipe.  If you go easy on the olive oil, it really is a pretty healthy sandwich.  I really adored this sandwich, in fact, I think I really need to make it again, SOON.  The sauce was different, and I am really glad I tried it because it was unexpectedly delicious.  I will say, my kids did not care for it.  Next time, I think I will just let them put their own toppings on their sandwich, which probably will not include the red onions or the sauce.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Apricot Sauce

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even out thickness (I marinated my chicken in Italian Salad Dressing)
Sliced Sourdough or other crusty sliced bread
Apricot Preserves
Dijon Mustard
Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Baby Spinach
Red Onion (thinly sliced)
Olive Oil

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper (I skipped this and marinated them for about 4 hours in Italian Dressing).  Drizzle with olive oil (again, I skipped because the Italian dressing contains oil) and grill until they are cooked all the way through.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Combine equal parts apricot preserves, Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise.  Add cayenne to taste, refrigerate until needed.  

To assemble, spread apricot sauce on two slices of bread.  Top with chicken, red onion, and baby spinach.  

Serve cold or drizzle with olive oil and grill on a panini grill until browned (I don't own a panini grill so I use my George Foreman grill which works perfectly).

Delicious with kettle cooked potato chips.

Note: The original recipe uses an entire chicken breast for each sandwich.  I found this to be too much.  Once I pounded them out a bit, 1/2 breast was perfect for each sandwich.

Potato Bundles

These potato bundles are the perfect side dish for grilled meats.  This is, obviously, the picture taken right before they were wrapped up in the foil and baked (they would also be perfect for throwing on the grill).  Unfortunately, I didn't get an after-photo taken.  My oldest son LOVED these.  I don't often get compliments from him, so that makes these a definite keeper.

Potato Bundles

6 whole Russet potatoes (I was out of Russets, so I had to use red)
1/2 whole yellow onion, diced
1 stick butter
1/2 c. heavy cream
Kosher salt to taste
Paprika to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. minced parsley 
8 squares tinfoil 

Pile potatoes and onions on a squares of foil.  Add 1 Tbsp. butter.  Splash on cream.  Then, sprinkle on salt, paprika, and black pepper.  Sprinkle minced parsley over the top.  

Wrap bundles tightly and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until extremely tender.

Serve bundles right on the dinner plate.

Source: PW

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich

Hello!  I am sure I have been sorely missed, it has been too long since I last updated this blog with a new recipe.  Funny, since I now have a huge backlog that I want to get up!  I will be posting several new ones today.  The thing is, I live in ND.  In ND we just DO NOT get enough really nice and hot weather, so I feel like I need to enjoy all the hot weather activities while I can, like taking the kids to the pool and NOT shivering the entire time.  This weekend we went tubing which was so much fun!  I couldn't believe it that my 7 year old loved it as much as he did!  

If you need a meaty, hearty sandwich, give this a try.  I just love these puppies.  Last time I made them though, I went a bit heavy on the hot sauce (which I love) and as a result my 2 younger kids wouldn't eat them.  Heavy means that I probably put in a good 2 Tbsp;)  Also, be advised that I cut the butter in this recipe in half.  If you want to go with the PW original, just double the butter each time you put it in.  I find it is delicious with just a stick, and my arteries thank me.

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich

1 whole large (or 2 small) onions
1 stick butter
2-3 lbs. cube steak (tenderized round steak that's been extra tenderized)
Seasoned Salt
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco Sauce, to taste
4 whole French/deli rolls (like Earthgrains)

Slice the onions & cook in 1 Tbsp. butter until soft and light brown.  Remove and set aside. 

Slice cube steak against the grain.  Season with seasoned salt.  

Heat 1 Tbsp. butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown.  Add meat in single layer.  Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.  

Add 1/2 c. (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5-6 shakes Tabasco, and 1 Tbsp. butter.  Add cooked onions.  Stir to combine.

Butter halved French rolls and brown in skillet or under broiler in oven.

To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate.  Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonful of juice from the pan.  Top with the other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!

Source: Thank you PW for another winner!

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Ground Round Chicken Tortilla Soup & Salad

Tuesday: Mini Mac Sliders & Firehouse Potatoes

Wednesday: Italian Zucchini Bake

Thursday: OOT

Friday: OOT

Saturday: OOT

Sunday: Cathy's Sherried Tomato Soup & Tomato & Basil Grilled Cheese

***Probably some additional snacks and things to take with out of town for my monthly menu.


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