April 29, 2011

New posts next week

We were gone all weekend for Easter and then I was out of town for work a few days this week thus no new recipes to post this week. Look for new ones next week!

April 21, 2011

Week 40, Recipe 1: Southwest Shrimp & Avocado Salads with Lime Vinaigrette

  • This was really, really good. One I'll make a lot this spring & summer.
  • I modified the original recipe so much I'm calling it my own now
  • The following recipe makes 2 fairly large salads, adjust as necessary for your family.
  • If you have kids and are worried they won't eat the salads and/or shrimp, make brown rice (+ 1 tbsp butter) or a flavored couscous and frozen mixed veggies for them. Chop up some shrimp into small pieces and add along with the cooked frozen veggies to the rice or couscous.

Salads -
  • Approximately 1/2 lb shrimp, thawed if previously frozen
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Lettuce - either bagged salad or a mix of fresh red or green leaf lettuce
  • 1 c. frozen corn, cooked
  • 1 c. frozen peas, cooked
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced thin
  • Chopped red onion to taste
Vinaigrette -
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
  • Several tbsp freshly minced cilantro
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
1. In a large skillet, cook the shrimp, garlic, chili powder, salt and cumin in a little oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
3. In a large bowl combine the lettuce and other salad ingredients.
4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads.

Week 40, Recipe 2: Sausage & Pepper Calzones

Photo by Randy Mayor

  • Original recipe modified from Cooking Light.
  • If your kids baulk at "chunky" things like veggies and sliced sausage, do what I did and pulse the filling in a food processor until you've reached the desired consistency. That way you're not leaving any of the good stuff out!
  • The original recipe called for apple chicken sausage so we tried it and liked it but thought a regular Italian sausage would have been better.
  • The recipe below makes 2 large calzones and 1 smaller one. Double it if you want more or want to freeze extras (freezing directions in step 6 below).
  • Pizza dough (either homemade, store bought or pick some up at your favorite pizzeria)
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 c. thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1)
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound chicken apple sausage or other favorite kind (see NOTE above), cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 c pizza sauce
  • 1/4 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
1. To prepare filling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, and sausage; saute 10 minutes or until tender. Spoon mixture into a bowl; cool slightly. Add mozzarella and remaining ingredients to sausage mixture; stir well.

2. Preheat oven to 450°.
3. Divide dough into the number of calzones you are making and roll into circles on a lightly floured surface.
4. Spoon about 1/2 cup sausage mixture onto half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold dough over filling; crimp edges of dough with fingers to seal.
5. Place calzones on a large baking sheet lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Pierce the tops of the dough once with a fork. Lightly coat the calzones with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 14 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
6. To freeze: Cool calzones completely. Coat a sheet of foil with cooking spray. Place 1 calzone on coated side of foil; seal. Repeat procedure with remaining calzones and cooking spray. Place calzones in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; freeze. To cook frozen calzones: Preheat oven to 450°. Place foil-wrapped, frozen calzones on a large baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Week 40, Recipe 3: Vegetable Beef Soup

Photo by Stacky5

  • Had a craving for this soup and this recipe did the trick.
  • This recipe makes a very large pot - plenty for leftovers or freeze it (once cool) in freezer storage bags.
  • The recipe takes 1 hour to simmer so make the day of or the night before you want to serve soup.
  • Feel free to vary the vegetables depending on what you have on hand.
  • Original recipe from http://www.food.com/
  • Forgot to take a picture of this!
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 c. beef broth
  • 3 c. V8 vegetable juice
  • 3 c. water
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced\
  • 2 c. cabbage, chopped
  • 1 small package frozen corn
  • 1 small package frozen green beans
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
1. Heat the vegetbale oil in a large soup pot. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Add the red wine and deglaze the pot, stirring all the brown bits on the bottom until the wine is reduce by at least 1/2.
2. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes longer over low heat.
3. Add remaining ingredients.
4. Bring just to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer covered with the lid slightly ajar, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Add more salt and pepper to taste and discard the bay leaf before serving.

Week 40, Recipe 4: Pasta with Asparagus, Spinach & Bacon

  • The recipe had amazingly restaurant quality taste with relatively few ingredients!
  • A delicious way to eat what's in season - spinach and asparagus.
  • Double this recipe to have lunch leftovers or if you're cooking for a big family.
  • Original recipe from Cooking Light
  • 8 oz uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
  • 2 1/2 c. (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 4 c. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
1. Cook pasta according to the package directions.

2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; and cool and crumble.
3. Add onion and asparagus to bacon drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute.
4. Add broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender and broth has reduced a little.
5. Add pasta, spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper to pan; toss well. Serve on plates sprinkled with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bacon crumbles.

Week 40: Recipe 5: Smoked Salmon Egg Salad on Croissants

Photo by Taste of Home

  • I made this sandwiches on Sunday morning for a nice after church picnic - they were good! We even had enough leftovers to make two sandwiches for Monday lunches.
  • The original recipe is from Taste of Home. The only changes to the recipe below that I would make for next time is to try adding a tbsp of finely chopped capers and a tsp or two of dijon or spicy mustard.
  • I only used 1/2 of the smoked salmon fillet I bought so we ate the rest on crackers with cream cheese - yum!
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, chopped (I bought pepper seasoned smoked salmon)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, more to taste
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Croissants
1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients (plus additions - see NOTES above). Chill for at least an hour if possible.
2. Place egg salad mixture on the bottom of each croissant; top with spinach leaves and replace croissant tops.

April 15, 2011

Week 39 Recipes

  • The last month or so I've totally slacked off...but I have a good excuse! Baby #2 is due is on the way! Thank goodness I'm through the first trimester and the queasiness. I hope to be back posting (more) regularly.
  • Sorry no shopping list again! I will try and get back into that soon.

Week 39, Recipe 1:Quick Egg, Potato, and Bacon Burritos

  • What a quick and delicious weeknight meal. I precooked the potatoes until just slightly tender and stored them in a container in the fridge so dinner could be on the table in 15 minutes after I got home.
  • Tortillas
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 large or two medium potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled for about 6-9 minutes or until just barely tender
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Salsa for serving
1. Pre-cook peeled and diced potatoes until just barely tender, about 5ish minutes. Drain and pat dry.
2. Cook bacon until browned. Remove and cool on paper towels. Remove the bacon oil from the pan except for 1 tbsp.
3. Heat the remaining tbsp of bacon grease and add a little more canola oil. Fry potatoes in a single layer until lightly browned on the bottom, about 7 minutes. Stir and fry and a little longer.
4. Meanwhile, crumble the cooled bacon. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the cheese and salt & pepper to taste.
5. Add the bacon and egg mixture to the fried potatoes. Cook for a minute or so before stirring. Cook, stirring once in awhile, until the eggs are scrambled and cooked through.
6. Serve on tortillas with salsa and roll up.  

Week 39, Recipe 2: Pan Fried Italian Chicken with Pasta

  • Recipe modified from Taste of Home
  • I did some pre-prep so I could quickly make dinner when I got home from work. I flattened the chicken and put in a container in the fridge, pre-mixed the bread crumb mixture, and set out all other ingredients/utensils I would need. I even had a large pot filled with water ready to turn on high for the pasta the minute I walked in the door. Seems strange but just setting everything out (cutting board, spices, knife, oil, etc.) helps SO much after a long day!
  • 3/4 ish jar tomato basil or three cheese marinara sauce
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 c. dry brad crumbs
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 c. all purpose-flour
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Hot cooked angel hair pasta
1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. In a saucepan, heat the marinara sauce over medium-low heat.
3. Meanwhile, flatten the chicken breasts by setting them on a cutting board, covering with plastic wrap, and pounding lightly with the flat side of a mallet until about 1/4-inch thick.
4. In shallow bowl #1, mix the bread crumbs, oregano, basil, and salt.
5. In shallow bowl #2, whisk water and eggs.
6. In shallow bowl #3, add flour.
7. Coat the chicken first with flour, then dip in egg mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture.
8. Cook the chicken in a thin layer of oil in a large skillet for 4-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.
9. Serve chicken over a plate of pasta. Spoon marinara sauce over chicken and sprinkle with cheeses.

Week 39, Recipe 3: Roast Pork Tenderoin with Crumb Crust

Photo by Beth Dreiling Hontzas

  • Recipe modified from Southern Living
  • This is actually a quick recipe to prepare. For do-ahead prep, mix the crumb ingredients and store in a ziplock bag until ready to use.
  • You can also sear the pork ahead of time and rub the roast with the crumb mixture.
  • 1 1/2-2 lb boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • approx. 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons coarse-grained Dijon mustard (or spicy mustard)
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat to 450 degrees.
2. Trim pork, pat dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Sear in a large pot in oil until browned on all sides, turning as necessary. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.

3. Stir together breadcrumbs and next 4 ingredients; press breadcrumb mixture onto top of pork loin.
3. Roast in the oven until the center of the pork registers 155 degrees, about 15-25 minutes. Cover the roast with foil to keep crumb crust from browning too much, if necessary.
4. Transfer tenderloin to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Week 39, Recipe 4: Easy Skillet Lasagna

  • The original recipe, from Taste of Home, called for no-cook lasagna noodles. I had only regular ones on hand and wasn't sure if they would cook ok (although I think they would) without precooking them so I boiled them for about 4 minutes shy of what the package directions called for, just until flexible and slightly softened. Feel free to try just regular uncooked noodles as I think they would soften over the 15-17 minutes that you simmer the lasagna.
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano or Italian-style, undrained
  • 1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce, 1 c. of which is set aside
  • 2/3 c. cream mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs. lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Lasagna noodles - about 10
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (or a mixture of mozzarella and Colby-Monterey jack)
1. Cook noodles for a few minutes (see my NOTE above) in a large pot of boiling water. Drain noodles and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add Italian seasoning and cook until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and sauce and heat through. Transfer meat mixture to a large bowl.
3. In a large bowl, mix the soup, eggs, and cottage cheese.
4. Place 1 c. of the marinara sauce that was set aside in the skillet, spreading out evenly. layer with noodles (tearing to fit; they can overlap some) then meat mixture and cottage cheese mixture. Repeat layers of noodles, meat, and cottage cheese, finishing with remaining meat sauce.
5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15-17 minutes or until noodles are tender. Remove from heat and sprinkle with shredded cheeses. Cover and let stand for 2-5 minutes before serving.

Week 39, Recipe 5: Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Not the best picture but you get the idea!

  • A rotisserie chicken is so convenient for a quick meal. We actually had the chicken for dinner one night with baked potatoes and then I made chicken salad that night for the next day's lunch and dinner.
  • I doubled the recipe below to have enough for 4 sandwiches.
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped or shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
  • 1/2 c. chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 c. sliced green onions (about 2)
  • 1/3 c salad dressing or mayo
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh minced tarragon or basil (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken through the green onions.
2. For the dressing in a small bowl stir together mayo, lemon juice, tarragon or basil, and 1/4 tsp salt (more to taste). Add pepper to taste.
3. Mix dressing into chicken mixture. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

April 10, 2011

Taking a break

So today is Sunday and I had great plans to type up 5 of my new recipes (and I've got quite a few of them to share) but now is 9:15 and I just don't feel like typing. The cooking part is fun but the typing part has been hard for me lately (if you haven't already noticed by my lack of typing up the Shopping List the last few weeks). I hope to type up a few this week as I get to it so check back periodically. I apologize for any inconveniences!

April 8, 2011

New recipes this weekend!

So in the crazy busy-ness if this week, I forgot to post recipes! Look for new ones later this weekend.