Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Menu Wednesday

We're Scottish around here, at least my husband is, and therefore so are his children.  No green dinners on St. Patty's day for us.  Though the lil' chef did wear a green skirt to school today for fear of being pinched, or worse (what's worse?) if she didn't.

In the spirit of not being Irish, our menu starts out with a favorite Scottish dish:

Thursday - Mince & Totties
Friday - Chinese Chicken Salad (It's just so fresh and crisp outside.  Time for lighter dishes.)
Saturday - Pizza (been on the menu several times lately, and has managed to elude us still.)
Sunday - Beef Stew
Monday - Pineapple enchiladas
Tuesday - Tortellini
Wednesday - Biscuits and Gravy (one more time before summer hits and it's just too heavy.)

Recap last week:
Thursday's beef stew, ended up being chili.  I didn't get a chance to go shopping, and in an effort to find something else that simmered in a pot and used beef, I made a quick chili.  Yummy as always.  Friday's Thai Peanut chicken was good, only I still hadn't gone shopping so it included the last few carrots I had in the fridge and no snap peas (which really can make or break the meal.)  A good hearty meal for sure, but lacking in the color and variety arenas.  Saturday instead of chicken pot pies, we ended up ordering Thai food from a place nearby.  It was delicious.  If you haven't tried Thai, or at least not recently, I recommend this detour from your normal routine.  The yellow curry with sticky rice and chicken is an easy favorite.  Baked potatoes didn't happen yesterday because it was warm outside and we went for a walk while I forgot about doing anything productive.  Today's pizza sticks are a maybe.  Depends on whether I can muster up the strength to get the dough rising in the next five minutes.  The chicken enchiladas were delicious if you ask me, but if you ask my husband not so much.  I included all the wonderful tatsy things he hates.

I'm not mean, I just didn't think he was going to make it home in time to have dinner with us, so I made it my way.  He was home in time and suffered through it for me.

What's on your menu for tonight?  Surely you have time to include the name of your dinner dish in a comment.  How do I have six devoted followers now (I'm sure you are devoted) who don't comment?

Monday, March 15, 2010

And the winner is..


Thanks for following me.  I will make you a gift.  You'll have to wait to find out what it is, but could you send me your two favorite colors and Summer's dress size?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Menu Time

So usually I do this on Wednesday, but that didn't happen because I was too lazy.  Or I had too many other things to do.  Either way, it's here today.

Thursday - Beef Stew and Easy Cheese Bread
Friday - Thai Peanut Chicken with Snap Peas and Carrots
Saturday - Chicken Pot Pies with Puff Pastry Crust
Sunday - Sausage Corn Chowder with corn muffins
Monday - Chicken Enchiladas with rice and black beans
Tuesday - Baked Potatoes with a garden salad
Wednesday - Pizza Sticks (breadsticks with pizza toppings, with sauce to dip)

I'm considering switching up my Tuesday (Comfort Food) and Wednesday (Italian/Leftovers) nights.  Tuesday we don't get home from gymnastics until 5:30, and that limits time to prepare anything.  In order to make that switch, I'll have to change the headings on my menu columns in my spreadsheet.  That seems like a lot of work.  I'll put it on my list of things to do on Tuesday when I have my "Ironing/Ironing out paperwork" chores.

Shopping List:
Beef for stew.  Whatever's cheap.
Block of cheddar cheese
5 lb. bag russet potatoes
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch celery
Thai Peanut Sauce, dry packet
Coconut milk
Snap Peas
Puff Pastry
Frozen chicken
1 10oz. bag frozen peas and carrots
1 can creamed corn
1 can corn niblets
2 lbs Jimmy Dean's breakfast sausage (I plan to make some for breakfast, as well as the chowder)
1 box cornmeal
1 bag uncooked tortillas from Costco
3 large baking potatoes
1 bag salad greens
1 packet active dry yeast
1 jar marinara sauce
1 bag pepperoni slices
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 tub sour cream

Many of these items I'll "shop" for in my kitchen first.  Then if I still need them I'll get them at the store.  I always assume I have the essentials like flour, sugar, beans, rice and condiments.

Now off to look for some coupons that match my menu (I know some of you probably do it the other way around, but I'm not that savvy or good at matching my menu to what's on sale.)

Last on my list today would be to finish Wednesday's chores by cleaning out my fridge and making room for the groceries that will come home with me this afternoon.  (And also folding the laundry that has been in a massive pile on my bed/floor/back to bed since Monday.)

What are you eating this week?
Are there any meals on my menus that surprise you?
Any recipes you'd like to try?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Follow Follow Me

You don't have to do as I'm doing, just read about it.  To follow me, you have to actually click on "Follow" on the top left of my blogger page.  Adding it as a bookmark on your internet browser doesn't count, though this is not a practice I would discourage.

I LOVE comments.  They offer validation.  When I see a comment to a post I wrote it makes me think "wow, I have friends who cared to read and/or were bored enough to actually stop by my little blog."  Then I feel happy.  I'm a better friend when I'm happy.  I also bake more.

Monday, March 8, 2010

When the cat's away...

So, I know my husband isn't my boss, but somehow without him here I find little motivation to do normal things.  Usually around four o'clock I start thinking "I'd better get things cleaned up, Hubby will be home soon."  "I should start dinner, I don't want him feeling like he would rather eat a bowl of cereal than wait for me to make something once he's here."

Today, I feel more like offering the kids a bowl of cereal in paper bowls, all of us eating on the couch, and then throwing the mess away and going to bed when the kids do at eight o'clock.  I can't do that though, because the smallest chef only naps at eight o'clock, and will wake back up as soon as I get asleep if I attempt it.  Maybe I'll take a bath instead.

On my menu for today is fajitas.  I can go as far as saying that will not happen.  I didn't buy the meat.  But maybe I'll make something like that anyway.

So, these mice will play and hubby will probably have a really nice dinner on the client's dime.  I like to live vicariously through him for those dinners.  I could go for a nice steak and baked potato right about now, but only if someone else were to make it and feed it to me.  Also they'd have to clean up.

I did make a cake last night, which still needs to be frosted and eaten.  If we have that for dinner does it count?  It's homemade and has eggs, flour, and milk in it, so it's healthy.

I also made two loaves of sweet white bread, which is delicious.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Menu Time

This will be a tricky one, we have suddenly made plans to host lots of family this weekend.  There will be twelve eaters.  I don't know how to cook that much food well, so we will likely eat out a lot.  I'll try though.

Thursday - Baked Potato Soup
Friday - Hawaiian Haystacks (we had this last week, but with company it's easy and makes a lot for cheap)
Saturday - Pizza, made here or ordered out, we'll have to see
Sunday - BBQ Pork shoulder (again, easy and makes a lot)
Monday - Fajitas
Tuesday - Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Wednesday - Chicken pot pie

I'll probably make a few desserts too, since I do love to fatten up my house guests.

Apple Pie
Glob (rocky road bars)

Off to shop today because tomorrow I'm sewing until my fingers hurt.  Gotta narrow down some stuff on my list.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bajio Style Salad

If you haven't been to Bajio in Utah, I'm sorry.  It's delicious food.  There are many restaurants with that style of salad, like Cafe Rio, etc.  So I make a version of that at home.

The uncooked tortillas from Costco are essential.  It's the only way to get the fresh restaurant taste.  Then I make rice in my rice cooker.  I use the normal amounts of water for my rice, and then add a tsp of lime juice and about a T. of cilantro paste.

To the ranch dressing in my fridge, I add a tsp. of cilantro paste, a squeeze of lime juice, and some milk or buttermilk.

I used the same meat as from the BBQ pork this week.  I didn't change anything about it, it was perfect just reheated in the microwave.

I made black beans by using the canned beans and adding a few pinches of garlic salt, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder and onion powder.

Dice some tomatoes and use crushed tortilla chips, or tortilla strips (which I can't find anywhere.)

Layer starting with the tortilla, then I like my bed of lettuce first, rice, meat, beans, toppings.  Of course cheese on top.

Another yummy dinner!  I didn't take any pictures.  By the time I got it cooked and served, my right bicep was aching from holding the baby and he needed to eat or I believe he might have melted away.  I ate mine cold, half an hour after preparing it for everyone else.  It was still good.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hawaiian Haystacks and BBQ Pork Shoulder

Hawaiian Haystacks were yummy as usual.

I had intended to use the leftover chicken from the dumpling dinner for the Hawaiian haystacks, but alas after that didn't work out, I resorted to my usual method of just throwing three frozen chicken breasts into the crock pot.  Recipe:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, frozen
1 or 2 cans cream o' soup (I used chicken this time, sometimes I use half chicken half celery)
Season to taste, I use about 1/2 tsp. onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper, and then a dash of cayenne pepper.

Put ingredients into crock pot.  Turn on low for 4-6 hours, until easily shredded with a fork.
Voila!  Cooked chicken in a gravy.  It's amazing how the soup changes in the crock pot.  It would be a totally different thing if you just used the cooked soup over cooked chicken.

We put this sauce over jasmine rice and top with pineapple chunks, diced tomatoes, chow mien noodles, celery and whatever other veggie sounds good at the time.  Delicious!

BBQ Pork shoulder worked well too.

I used a 4.5 lb. pork shoulder.  Put that in the crock pot on lowest heat for about 4.5 hours (from when I woke up, until we returned from church.)

 Then I removed the pork, poured out the disgusting fat that I didn't want mixed in with my sauce, and returned the pork to the cooker.

Over that, I poured half a recipe of this bbq sauce from scratch.  I didn't pre-cook that part of the sauce since it would cook for so long in there anyway.  I did cook what was left, and just let it sit out until the pork was done, about 5.5 hours later.

It cooked for a total of 10 hours on lowest heat (my crock pot has 4 heat settings, and one of them is 10 Hours Low.)

When it was done, it pulled off the bone very easily and shredded with just the wooden spoon.  This one had only one large bone, so it didn't cause me the hardship that the chicken did the other day.  Phew!

We had it on top of toasted sesame buns with a side of fruit salad.  Awesome! Looking forward to lunch leftovers.