Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cranberry Chicken, Rice, Vegetable

Tuesday:  Knoefla Soup & Salad

Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff, Noodles, Green Beans

Thursday:  Leftovers/Pantry Party

Friday:  Homemade Pizza (Toppings Inc.: Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Green Peppers, Red onion, & other assorted vegetables)

Saturday:  Buffalo Chicken Nachos & Salad

Sunday:  Texas Chicken Quesadillas

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Herbed Sandwich Buns

As I said yesterday, this week I am attempting to clean out my pantry and freezer a bit by not doing any real shopping this week.  I have been scrounging through what I have, creating meals.  I haven't had to get very creative, which tells me I could probably do this for another week.  I don't think I will do that, but I do think I will start to use my pantry/freezer to cook on the fly, creative meals more often.

Today, I have a beautiful roast beef going in the slow cooker.  I was thinking that it would be so good on homemade buns, which made me think of the recipe I am sharing today.  I haven't made these in quite some time, but a couple of years ago I became a bit obsessed with them.  They are SO DARN GOOD.  Anyway, my searching for the recipe made me realize 2 things: 1.) I didn't even HAVE them on Recipe Addict (I shared them on my first blog, which I no longer use), and 2.) I don't have cottage cheese so I can't make them.  Boo-hoo.

Herbed Sandwich Buns

1/4 c. water (70-80*)
1/4 c. warm milk (70-80*)
1 egg
2/3 c. small-curd cottage cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. bread flour
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
4 1/2 tsp. butter

In bread machine pan, place the first 12 ingredients in order suggested by the manufacturer. In a small skillet, saute onions in butter until tender; add to bread machine pan. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 Tbsp. water or flour if needed).

When cycle is complete, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 10 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375* for10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Yields: 10 buns

Tip: Since I cannot usually find a warm enough place for my dough to rise, I usually preheat my oven to about 170*. Once it reaches that temp., I turn it off and place my dough in the oven to rise. It works great!

Source: I got this recipe out of my 2004 Quick Cooking Annual

One Year Ago:  Sweet & Sour Chicken

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Well, it is drawing to the close of the month.  This month, I failed to ever do a monthly menu plan.  That worked out OK though, because it gave me the opportunity to do a bit of freezer cleaning.  That is something we all need to do once and awhile.  I had to throw a few packages of some very sad looking pork chops away due to severe freezer burn.  I hate doing that, I always feel like I am flushing money down the toilet.  It goes to show, I need to take stock and use up what I have in the freezer more often.  I am going to begin to make an effort to do that a few times a year.

This week, I am going to cook from what I have without making any more trips to the grocery store (hopefully--aside from some milk, bread, sandwich meat that I know I need).  Unfortunately, I stopped at the grocery store Friday after I picked the kids up from school and it WAS NOT pretty.  We stopped to grab some taco shells and lettuce and ended up spending $80-something on junk food.  What can I say?  There was a sale?  I did think I would stock-up on some of those types of snacks since we have some traveling coming up.  I forgot though, that it NEVER lasts.  If I don't buy chips, we don't eat chips and we are perfectly fine.  If I buy 2 bags of chips, they are INHALED in no time flat.  My kids just ignore the good food and try to eat exclusively junk food.  Lesson LEARNED.

Monday: Lemon Garlic Tilapia, Brown & Serve Dinner Rolls, & Frozen Veggies

Tuesday: Roast Beef with Coffee, Homemade Buns, Frozen Veggies

Wednesday: Spicy Shrimp QuesadillasMexican Rice

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday:  Out of Town

Saturday: Out of Town

Sunday: Frozen Pizzas

One Year Ago: Fudge Puddles

Friday, February 18, 2011

Egg Drop Soup

My family, as you well know, just loves Chinese food.  One of my kids' absolute favorites is Egg Drop Soup. It is just so dang easy to make and it is something we typically have the ingredients on hand for, so we have it very frequently as a first course to a Chinese meal.  I have made many, many different recipes but I do think this was my favorite to date.  I really liked the taste of the ginger in it & the way the cornstarch thickened it, just a touch.  Give this a try!  You won't regret it!

Egg Drop Soup

5 cups chicken broth (low-sodium is best), divided
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 green onions, finely chopped (chives are even better & what I like to use when I have my summer herb garden)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs

Reserve 3/4 cup of chicken broth, and pour the rest into a large saucepan. Stir the salt, ginger and green onions or chives into the saucepan, and bring to a rolling boil. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining broth and cornstarch until smooth.  Stir in the cornstarch mixture gradually until the soup is the desired consistency.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs using a fork.  Add eggs slowly, stirring soup in clockwise direction with a wooden spoon.   Egg should cook immediately. 


One Year Ago:  Pork Medallions with Olive-Caper Sauce (A family favorite!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oriental Fried Rice

I have been wanting to get this recipe for Fried Rice up for quite some time.  It is a total winner that will spoil you for even restaurant fried rice.  It is so easy and quick, not to mention everyone is always happy to see it on the table.  It tends to be one of those quick meals that I whip out on a busy night, so I have never gotten it photographed.  I had my crew around me, giggling at me taking my food pictures tonight (anxiously waiting to eat) so I didn't look closely at them.  Unfortunately, I see that they didn't turn out very good.  I will have to make it again and have a re-shoot!  I'm not waiting any longer to share though!  

As you will see, I have shrimp in the picture below, but not in the recipe.  I typically make this with chicken but tonight I only had one (very measly) breast so we had 1 chicken breast diced up and about 3/4 c. on small shrimp in the rice.  It was very good that way.  You can get creative and use leftover meat that you have on hand too!  Leftover pork tenderloin would be great!  

Oriental Fried Rice

 4 Whole Eggs, Slightly Beaten
4 Tablespoons Oil
2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Small Pieces
4-5 whole Green Onions, Sliced (use White And Green Parts)
6 cups Cooked Rice (This is 2 cups raw,white rice)
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoons Sugar

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over high heat.  Quickly fry the chicken until browned, reduce heat to medium-high.  Add the rest of the oil and fry beaten eggs in oil until firm. Chop up the eggs as you cook them. In the same pan after egg is cooked, add onion; cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add cooked rice. Mix soy sauce with sugar and drizzle over rice. Cook for about 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with extra soy sauce, if desired.

Note: An absolute MUST when making fried rice, is to make your rice ahead of time and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, but preferably overnight.  The reason for this is that it will turn the grains firm and get rid of excess moisture.  If you use freshly cooked rice, you will end up with a lumpy, goopey mess.  Remember, Fried Rice was invented as a way to use up leftover rice!  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake

This past weekend, we celebrated my son's 8th birthday with his friends.  As you can see, he had a pirate themed party (which turned out to be a really fun theme to run with).  Quinn wanted me to make him a homemade cake.  Usually when I do homemade cakes, I don't really do homemade cakes.  I just doctor up the boxed mixes.  In the past I have had a hard time finding a cake recipe that was anywhere near as good as the boxed mixes.  Well, I'm so glad I tried this one because it was a total winner.  The recipe was a little odd, calling for 1 c. of boiling water to be added to the batter (making it very thin) but it resulted in a light, moist, delicious cake.  Dare I say, better than the boxed mixes?  Give it a try and be the judge yourself.  

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake

Ingredients (cake):
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Hershey's Cocoa
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Milk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Directions (cake):
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl or mixer. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat until combined evenly. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin) Pour into 2 9-inch round greased and floured cake pans. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pans and then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost and serve.
Ingredients (frosting):
1 Stick Butter
2/3 Cup Hershey's Cocoa
3 Cups Confectioners Sugar
1/3 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Directions (frosting):
Melt butter in the microwave or in a saucepan, and then pour into a large bowl. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to a spreadable consistency. If needed, add a small amount of additional milk. Stir in vanilla.

Note: DO NOT use pans smaller than 9 inches or you will end up with a hot mess in your oven.  Just trust me.  
Source: Hershey's 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little Smokies Football Wienies

So, I feel a little weird posting this recipe for a couple of reasons.  First off, doesn't everyone and their dog already have this one is their head?  Secondly, what the he** kind of name is that?  Football Wienies?  Really?  See, I didn't know what to call these, so I had to do some googling and that is what I found.  My kids just ADORE these (which is why I decided to post this after all) but we just call them "Little Smokies".  But...that doesn't work either.  I realize I could call these anything I wanted, but some weird part of me wants to go with Google, so that is what I shall do.

Little Smokies Football Wienies

3 lb. Little Smokies
1 3/4 c. BBQ sauce 
1 3/4 c. Grape Jelly

Combine the BBQ sauce and grape jelly in a small slow cooker.  Stir in the little smokies.  Cook on low for at least 2 hours, or until the smokies are nice and hot.  

*Note: I bought this big bag of Smokies at Sam's Club.  You can easily half this recipe with a smaller bag like those sold at the grocery store.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday, Oh, Wait it'sTuesday...

I have really been a menu planning slacker lately.  I never did get my monthly menu plan done and I am late with my weekly plan.  My weekly plan is a bit pathetic.  I shopped without a plan and I had to plan my menu based on what I have around.  I don't like working that way!  Oh well, it is a short week for us since we will be heading out of town for my oldest son's hockey tournament in Jamestown, then to Grand Forks for a Fighting Sioux game.

Monday: Leftover Mouthwatering Beef Dip Sandwiches, YUM!

Tuesday: Hamburgers & Veggies

Wednesday: Drunken Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, & Veggie

Thursday: Balsamic Glazed Salmon Fillets, Savory Herb Rice, & Side Salad

Friday: Out of Town

Saturday: Out of Town

Sunday: Out of Town

Mouthwatering Beef Dip Sandwiches

Today it is horrifically cold here in ND.  My Pilot registered a frigid -15 this morning on my way to drive the kids to school.  I always feel for the teachers on those days, because you know the kids won't be going outside which means (at least for my kids) that they will be a bit off-kilter (a.k.a. hyper;).  There are so, so many reasons that I love ND...this is not one of them.  Don't get me wrong, I love the 4 seasons and the snow.  I don't even mind colder weather!  When the temperature dips well below zero though, I start to dream of tropical vacations.  

This sandwich is a perfect winter meal.  Hearty, easy, and delicious (my favorite beef dip recipe to date).  In my opinion, this is best slow cooked for at least 10 hours on low & refrigerated over-night.  When it is nice and cold, the hardened fat (I know, so appealing) will rise to the top and you can easily remove it.  Then you can just reheat it in the slow cooker and enjoy!  Let me add, this is not necessary.  We had this for Super Bowl Sunday and I just cooked it for 10 hours.  We ate it and it was delicious.  I did this for the leftovers last night though and I thought it was even better.

Mouthwatering Beef Dip Sandwiches

4 lbs. beef chuck roast
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary (I like to use the crushed variety)
3 bay leaves
1 c. soy sauce, preferably low-sodium
1 can French onion soup, condensed
1 can low-sodium beef broth
3 c. water
Crusty Rolls
Provolone Cheese Slices, optional
Horseradish Sauce, optional
Banana Peppers, optional

Place roast in slow cooker.  Season with garlic, rosemary, and bay leaves.  Pour in soy sauce, French Onion soup, beef broth, and water.  

Cook on low setting for 8-10 hours (if you have the time, longer is better).  

I like to pile my shredded beef on a crusty roll and top with provolone cheese.  Next, I like to pop in under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and the bun begins to brown.  Finally, I like to top it off with horseradish sauce and banana peppers.  

Serve with bowls of au jus.

**Note: If you have left over au jus, it is a great base to make French Onion soup!

Cooking on Today's Date 2010: Champagne-Feta Risotto (Still my favorite Risotto.  This post also proves that my food photography, while leaving much to be desired, has markedly improved.  At this point, I think I just need a better camera.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Dip

As someone that posted recently about the benefits of making my own bread, I am a little embarrassed to post this recipe.  The fact is, every once and a while, we all just have to treat ourselves to some good old-fashioned comfort food.  For me, this is just that.  I grew up eating this dip at A&B Pizza (long since closed down) in my hometown of Dickinson.  Some weekend nights, my dad would order in, broccoli dip and pepperoni and green olive pizza.  The pizza was cut in squares, which I loved.  It meant I could go for the middle slices and avoid eating any of the dreaded crust.  My favorite though, was to eat at A&B so that I could hit the roller rink that was attached to the pizza place after, often capping the night off with a giant pickle.  Oh, the joys of childhood.

When I first moved to Bismarck, I was OVERJOYED!  There was an A&B Pizza, right here in town!  Much to my dismay, they had no clue what I was talking about when I tried to order Broccoli Dip.  I called my dad and vented my frustrations.  Not long after, he ran in to the old owner of the Dickinson A&B who graciously shared his personal recipe for Broccoli Dip.  So, so simple.  So, so yummy.  

Broccoli Cheese Dip

1 lb. American cheese slices, cubed (NOT Velveeta, you may want to get it without the pesky wrappers)
10 oz. chopped frozen broccoli florets (you used to be able to find 10 oz. boxes of frozen chopped broccoli, but you can't anymore.  I let them partially thaw and give them a rough chop myself.)
1 can mushrooms, undrained
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Combine all ingredients in a small slow cooker and warm, stirring occasionally, until it is all melted.

Serve with tortilla chips.  I prefer the yellow kind with this dip.  I don't remember if that is the kind A&B served, but my taste buds tell me it is so.

In My Cooking Diary One Year Ago: Calico Beans


Related Posts with Thumbnails