Monday, May 30, 2011

Spinach and Berry Salad

Happy Memorial Day!
I'm going to try to post every night after dinner, but if I don't, then just know that by the end of the week, there will be 5.

And, since I'm not used to taking pictures of my food, I forgot. So, these are from elsewhere on the internet. This recipe has many variations, so feel free to do whatever you feel like.

In a large bowl add:
Approx. 6 cups fresh spinach (or however much you think you need.)

1 quart berries (strawberries or raspberries) sliced or halved

1-2 cooked chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks. ( I used one of the roasted chickens from the grocery store and just did 1 of the breasts and it was a lot.)

1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I didn't have any, so I didn't add it)
1/2 Tbsp minced onion (that seemed like too much work too)

Combine all ingredients well. The recipe says to refrigerate it for an hour. I didn't read that well and added it to my salad immediately. It was just fine.

Toss and enjoy. You can also add slivered almonds, or chopped nuts, feta or gorgonzola cheese, or anything else you think would be yummy.

Serves approximately 4

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spaghetti biscuits

These are kind of fun, and you can switch it up a million different ways.

First you make spaghetti sauce -- homemade, from a can, with or without meat. Whatever you do.

Meanwhile, take biscuit dough (Pillsbury, homemade, whatever) and smoosh it into some muffin tins.

Fill 'em (not too full) with the spaghetti sauce and top with cheese.

Bake them for 17-20 minutes or until the biscuit is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Then serve it up alongside spaghetti and green beans and you've got yourself a great meal.

I mean, if this smile doesn't make you run out and make these biscuits ...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken

A friend sent this to me as one of her "food storage" recipes -- something you eat when it's the end of the world and you don't have anything else more worthwhile to eat. But it's delicious, and (especially if the chicken is precooked) it's super fast.

In a large skillet, boil
  • 2 cubed chicken breasts*
  • 1 cup of salsa**
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packet taco seasoning***

*I used precooked shredded chicken.
**I always throw my salsa in the blender and whirl it up. I don't like chunks and neither do some of my kids, but if it's blended we'll lap it right up on its own or in recipes.
***We use taco seasoning in several recipes, so instead of dropping 70 cents each time, we bought a big container of it from Costco for $3.50. If you do the same, you'll use about 2.5-3 Tbps of seasoning.

Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked (or warmed in my case). Stir in
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Heat through. If you have to cook the chicken, this whole thing can take maybe 20 minutes start-to-finish. But if your chicken and your rice are already cooked, you're looking at 5-10 minutes total.

You can top this with sour cream and cheese and eat with corn and tortilla chips, or you can throw these in a wrap like we did last night. Might I recommend getting super fancy and buying a pack of jalapeno cheddar burrito shells and garnishing with lettuce, cheese and sour cream. Amazing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

When the 3-year-old eats all of dinner, you know it was good. When she has seconds and thirds and tells you you're the best mommy ever? Well, that's a hit. And that's what happens every time I make my homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner.

This is the easiest recipe ever -- three ingredients. And one of 'em is macaroni noodles. The rest are these.

Boil 2 cups of elbow macaroni as directed on the package. Meanwhile in a saucepan warm up a can of tomato soup and add a handful or two of grated cheese.

Stir until it's all well blended.

Then add it to the cooked, drained noodles.

My favorite meal in the universe. YUM.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

If you've ever lived in Rexburg, this kind of reminds me of the Sweet and Sour sauce at Fongs. It's certainly closer to the Eastern Idaho take on Chinese food than the sauces I get here in northern Idaho.

For the sauce, boil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 can pineapple juice

At first the ketchup will look globby and gross like this.

But don't worry, when it boils it gets better.

Pour the sauce onto some precooked chicken, about three chicken breasts-worth. I like to use shredded chicken, since I always have cooked shredded chicken in my freezer. But you can cube and cook it over the stove or whatever you want. (You can also coat the chicken in an egg, flour, cornstarch and garlic salt concoction, but that's way too much work in my mind.)

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make yourself some perfect rice in the microwave. Top the rice with the chicken and sauce and enjoy.

By the way, this also makes fantastic leftovers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Potato Corn Chowder

We have soup for dinner every Monday, and this particular soup is by far everyone's favorite.

I'm sure many of you wouldn't deem this a hard recipe -- definitely not complex enough to justify all the pictures. But for me it's pretty fancy.

First you dice up a bunch of potatoes. I usually do about 8 or so, but potatoes up here come really small. Cube them however you like -- my husband likes them pretty chunky, but I like them small because that makes this recipe all the more chowdery. (What, that's a word.)

Boil the potatoes. If you're weird and like extra work you can dice up some onions. Otherwise just sprinkle in a bunch of onion salt.

When the potatoes are soft, drain the water. You can either go for stick-a-fork-in-it done or you can let it get really mushy if you want it to be super chowdery. (Again, it's a word.) This particular batch got really soft ... I totally forgot it was boiling and started folding laundry. Turned out delicious.

Return the potatoes to the original pot and throw in a few tablespoons of butter or margarine. (Don't judge the starch all over my pot -- I told you, I forgot the potatoes were boiling.)

Then add a can or two of creamy corn. I always do two cans, but I always do a big batch for the leftovers. Did I mention this makes fantastic leftovers?

Add about 3 cups of milk (more or less depending on how many potatoes you cubed and how large of a batch you'd like to make) to the pot and put it back on the burner at a medium heat. Stir regularly while warming the milk.

When the milk is warm enough* add a handful or two of grated cheddar cheese to help thicken the soup. The official recipe calls for about a cup, but there is no wrong amount of cheese here. (*What is "warm enough"? You could wait until it bubbles, but I'm never patient enough. As soon as you think it'll actually melt the cheese, toss it in. It'll melt eventually.)

Once the cheese has melted, viola! You're ready to ladle the soup up.

Looks delicious, right? And this is the leftovers -- I made a pot large enough to feed a small army because we become eating machines for this meal.

This is great with bread or rolls. You can also toss in some bacon pieces of you're so inclined.

8 medium potatoes, diced
onion salt to taste
3 Tbsp butter
1-2 cans cream style corn
3 cups milk
1 cup cheese, grated

Boil potatoes. Add onion salt. When potatoes are soft, drain. Add butter, corn and milk. Bring back to a light boil. Add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Monday, May 23, 2011

This week's recipes

I tried to pick recipes that I haven't posted before ... and that I hadn't discovered on this blog. Hopefully I was successful and these are all new recipes.

Monday: Potato Corn Chowder

Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese

Thursday: Santa Fe Chicken and Rice

Friday: Spaghetti Biscuits

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pick a Week

Sorry folks. I meant to post the weeks last week... but you know, life happened :) If you're game for "the experiment", then post in the comments which week you want. Remember, it's 5 recipes. I'm going to post the weeks as Monday-Saturday, so that gives you a night off (dinner out, with family, cold cereal. etc.

Dani's already taken last week/this week with 4 of her 5 recipes (thanks Dani!)

May 23 - 28
May 30 - June 4
June 6 - 11
June 13 - 18
June 20 - 25
June 27 - July 2
July 4 - 9
July 11 - 16
July 18 - 23
July 25 - 30

Let's start with these 10 weeks. Makes summer look really short, doesn't it?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lemon Basil Chicken

I made this in the crock pot, it was so easy and very good. My husband LOVES lemon, and that's an understatement. So if you don't want the lemon as strong only 1/2 it.

4 servings
2 Chicken Breasts
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 C. Water
1/2 C. Lemon juice
1t. Basil
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 3-4. If the sauce seems to thin just add about 1T. corn starch. I shredded my chicken. If you want to leave the breasts whole you could, but you might need to add more.

Serving Suggestions:
Cous cous, rice & Asparagus, broccoli, Salad

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

I made these tonight and all 3 ok my kids at a full pork chop. My kids are 5,4, & 2. And they are not always great eaters.
Sorry it's not the best picture, but believe me it's delicious!

We ate these without the pecans. And served french bread and corn on the cob on the side.

Servings: 4 Time: 30 min

• 4 Boneless pork chops
• 2T. Vegetable oil
• 1/4 C. Brown sugar
• 1/4 t. Ground cinnamon
• 1/4 t. Nutmeg
• 1/4 t. Salt
• 1/8 t. Pepper
• 2 Braeburn apples
• 4 T. Butter
• 1 C. Chicken broth
• 4 T. chopped pecans (optional)
• Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and pork chops.
• Brown pork chops on each side, about 5-6 min. Remove from pan.
• In a small bowl add sugar and spices.
• Core apples and slice into 1/2 in. thick wedges.
• Melt butter in skillet, add sugar, apples and broth.
Cover and cook for 3-4 min.
• Add pork chops back in. Continue cooking until pork chops are done.
Approx. 10 min.
• Serve with pecans sprinkled on top.
*If the sauce seems to thin you can add a little corn starch to thicken it up

7 can soup

We at this the other night for dinner.
It's great with corn bread, tortilla chips, sour cream & cheese.

Philly Cheese Steak

servings:4 Time: 45 min (approx.)
1 lb. Sirloin steak thinly sliced
1T. Flour
1/4t. Ground nutmeg
1/4t. salt
1/4t. pepper
1T. Oil
1 1/2 C. Beef broth
2T. Barbecue sauce
2t. Molasses
1/4t. dried rosemary
1/4t. dried thyme
1/2C. green peppers, sliced (or red, or both)
1/4c. onion, sliced
4 slices Swiss cheese (or whatever kind you like. We also like Provolone.)
4 Hoagie buns

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set aside a baking sheet.
Place steak in medium mixing bowl. Add flour, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
Put oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add steak and cook until no longer pink. Add beef broth, barbecue sauce, molasses, rosemary and thyme. Stir well. Cover and simmer for 15 min.
Add peppers and onions. Simmer for an additional 10 min. stirring occasionally.
Place buns open on baking sheet. Divide meat evenly onto 4 hoagie buns, place 1 slice of cheese on each. Place in the oven until cheese is melted.

We ate fruit on the side, or Salad is a good option too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"The Experiment"

Ok, I should come up with something better than "the experiment"... but I don't know what to call this. People's comments pretty much confirmed what I suspected. People still check this blog, whenever it's updated, and people are using (some) of the recipes. Believe me, I know what it's like to get stuck in a rut... you make the same 15 things over and over, right? That was the whole point of starting this blog, to get new ideas. Anyways, onto my idea...

Each person who wants to participate takes one week and posts what they ate that week (dinner only). You can do it one of 3 ways: plan ahead and post what you are planning to eat; post as you go along; or wait till the end of the week, and post then. If it's something that seems fairly obvious, like lasagna, then just write what you had, no need for a recipe. Is this making sense?

So, for example, say I had last week. I'd post the list of what we ate (below) and then post all the recipes (one per post).

Monday- lasagna
Tuesday - chicken enchiladas (something I've already posted)
Wednesday - sloppy joes
Thursday - poppyseed chicken
Friday - pizza

(I'm just making this up, so I'm not posting the actual recipes)

If it's something you've already posted, make it a link. If it's a new recipe, then make it into a new post. You'll be responsible for posting 5 recipes for that one week. So when you're all done, you should have at least 6 posts.

I don't know, I'm hoping this works. It would give us all some new ideas, and see what other people are making for dinner. If possible, write what you served with it (rice, salad, rolls, veggies, etc.)

Does this all make sense? If yes, I'll post weeks and people can pick which one they want.

Questions? Comments?