Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu: Nov 23-29

Due to traveling, I did not really cook a meal in the past week. We spent Thanksgiving at Hubby's parents house. We went up on Tuesday and came back on Friday. Then we had Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Saturday (due to my sister being in the hospital, they postponed their meal.) I'm still writing up a list of what we had, but there will be no poll this week. Instead I will leave it open to all of you to decide which recipe from all the meals I have posted before you wish to have posted - just leave a comment with the recipe you would like to see.

I hope you all had a great thanksgiving! Ours was a little hectic as my son took a nose dive out of a high chair and we went to the Emergency Room. Luckily he's fine, he had a swollen upper lip and a cut on his bottom lip from his teeth. If there is one thing that can make you feel horrible, it is having your child in pain. The worst part for him is that he is cutting in about 3 teeth on his upper gums which took the worst beating. He's one tough 8.5 month old and is doing great, in fact his mouth is almost all healed. The night we had the meal with my family was exciting as well! The dinner went great and while my mom was on her way home from taking some to my grandfather, my little sister went into a seizure. She is doing pretty well now. Hopefully Christmas will be a lot less hectic than either of my Thanksgiving meals.  How was your meal (hopefully less hectic than mine)?

So here is what we ate, such as it was:

Monday:  Leftover 'Naked Burritos'

Tuesday: We at with some friends at Cafe Sabor on our way to Hubby's parents. (Cafe Sabor is a great resturant in the town we went to college)

Wednesday: Hubby's mom made fried chicken and asparagus

Thursday: Thanksgiving meal - Turkey, rolls, cranberry sauce, sweet potato/yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, jello with bananas, stuffing, lemon-lime punch and for pies we had: apple, pumpkin, chocolate pudding, oatmeal (plus a pecan pie we ate the night before.)

Friday: We picked up a pizza on our way home.

Saturday: Thanksgiving meal (with my family): Turkey, rolls, stuffing, yams, twice-baked potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and apple-raspberry juice.
Pies: pumpkin, coconut creme, chocolate pudding, pecan and apple

Sunday: Leftovers from Saturday.

Which recipe would you like to see that you've voted for in the past. Just leave a comment letting me know how your Thanksgiving meal went and which recipe from all past posts (listed below) you would like to see on Wednesday! In case of a tie, I'll be the tie breaker (probably based on which recipe has the best pictures, cause that's just how I am...) Comments are now closed. Are there really only 2 of you that wanted to vote for these recipes?!?

Here's the list:
Stir Fried Thai Chicken Salad
Quesadillas with Fresh Salsa
Chicken Fajita Pizza
Garlic Sage Roasted Chicken
Shepherd's Pie
Chicken Italian Pasta
Southwestern Chicken Skillet
Macho Nachos
Mini Meat Loaves
Taco Soup
Tortilla Soup
Baked Potato Soup
Tin-Foil Dinners
One-Pan Stovetop Mac & Cheese
Chicken Club Pizza
Taco Salad
Pineapple Salsa

Friday, November 27, 2009

Enjoy you're weekend!

Since I'm out of town this weekend and I ran out of time to post, this is it for today!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my readers, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are all enjoying your day!

I am thankful for my family... For my son who has added so much joy to my life! He's just a little over 8 months now.

I am also thankful that I'm not pregnant (and do not have hip pain) this Thanksgiving. Along that line, I'm thankful that I'm not in charge of a potluck dinner for 20+ people (yes I volunteered).

I'm thankful that we're spending the day with family.

I'm thankful for my supportive husband who lets inspires me to achieve my dreams and helps me reach my goals. Thanks hon for all you do for me.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beef Carnita

I can't believe it's already almost the end of November!! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone - tomorrow. This dish is not a Thanksgiving dish or even close, but it is delicious! Hubby has been after me to make it for about a month since I briefly mentioned it and made Beef and Broccoli instead. It has been nice since lately the roasts at our local store have been on sale for as cheap as you can buy 75/25 hamburger. I don't think it is a hard decision to make... so we have quite a few roasts.

Wrapping the roast in aluminum foil to cook it helps keep in the moisture making this very tender. Be sure to use a roast that is not marbled with fat as it will make it harder to shred. We used these to make 'naked' burritos. The name comes from Qdoba Mexican Grill, a place we use to eat before we moved. I really loved that place, it had really good food. A naked burrito is a burrito without a tortilla shell. I have missed eating at Qdoba since we moved, but after making this meal, I felt like I can make a meal that comes close to their shredded beef burrito. Now all I need to do is figure out the seasonings for the shredded pork. That was my weakness. (Just a side note, if you get some of the juices from a shredded pork quesadilla on your fingers while feeding your 4 week old baby - DO NOT break a latch using one of those fingers... please trust me on that one. It was worse than the lemon juice finger I had while in the hospital right after giving birth. Its moments like those when you wonder why you think you were qualified to be a parent!)

I'm just going to show you the recipe now, before I start spilling all my parenting mistakes.

Beef Carnita

Mix together: 
1/4 cup salsa, 2 Tbsp Chipolte hot sauce,
2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 2 cloves garlic-minced,

1 4oz can chopped green chilis
in a bowl.

Place 2-4 pound roast on Heavy Aluminum foil. I would suggest a 4 lb roast because if you are going to go through all this work you may as well have leftovers!
Rub seasoning mix over roast.
Wrap foil around beef.

Place on a baking sheet or in a baking pan. Bake at 350 for 3-4 hours or until beef falls apart.
Remove from oven, let cool slightly.
Shred using two forks and place shredded beef and juices from cooking in a saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Menu: Nov 16-22

So this week I made two dishes requested by Hubby. He wanted to have Slow Cooker Black Beans and Beef Carnita. I also made Feta Chicken, which is one of my favorite meals. I will say one thing for the meal I made last night (Naked Burritos) though... Hubby and my dad both went back for seconds! Then my mom asked me to give her the recipes so she can make it for my dad in the future. I don't know what it is, but somehow that makes me feel so happy. Maybe it is because my 'mentor' asked me for the recipe or it is because I was able to introduce a new food to them successfully. Either way I love the feeling! I think part of it was that the pineapple salsa and the beef carnita were a first time success. I also made my own adaptation of the beef carnita, which turned out wonderful.

We did have a frozen pizza one day this week... right after I went on a 1.8 mile walk. Is that something I should feel guilty about? I feel like after a walk like that I should have had a nice salad instead. What do you think?

Here is the menu, although there are only two days that have recipes, there are a few to vote for this week.

Monday: Slow Cooker Black Beans

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Black Beans

Wednesday: Feta Chicken

served with a Carrot Apple Bisque

Thursday: Baked Ham (made by my mom)

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Frozen Pizza

Sunday: "Naked" Burritos

(made with Beef Carnita,

Pineapple Salsa,

Garlic Black beans, and Lemon Garlic Rice)

Let me know which recipe you want to see on Wednesday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maybe Foodless Friday: Television Confession

Yesterday Hubby and I were visiting one of my best friends.  I haven't seen her in 1.5 years since we lived so far apart. While there she started a movie for her daughter and soon Hubby and I were transfixed.  My wonderfully honest friend said that she does the same thing and she was grateful to know she was not the only one. So are you able to ignore television or do you start watching it without realizing it like the three of us? I sure hope there are some people out there who can just ignore it from the start. For my credit I usually do realize that I'm watching it and don't want to be after a while... (and maybe I'm just saying that to make me feel better, but I think its true!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

So I bough Panko bread crumbs for the first time in my life last week. I have never understood why people would specifically list that as an ingredient, why not just use normal bread crumbs? Well, I learned why, Panko crumbs are so crisp and they made this dish so delish! Everyone really enjoyed it, and so I made it again the second night.

I served this dish with a bad imiatation of Noodles & Co Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine. Let's just say, I'm not so great at trying to replicate recipes, I can tweak but not try from scratch. I tried to replicate this one because it is my favorite dish at Noodles & Co but we live about 3 hours away from the closest location. Plus I was craving it, and when I crave a food I really try to get what I'm craving. So that is why I tried to replicate it. Maybe some day I'll get closer than I did last week, but who knows? One reason that I try to satisfy my cravings is because I read somewhere (Prevention?) that it is better to give your body what it is craving so you don't eat more food trying to avoid what you are craving. That is my justification - it works for me!

 Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

Mix together

1/2 cup Flour,1 tsp Salt,1/2 tsp Black Pepper, and 1/4 tsp White Pepper.

In the flour mixture, dip 4 boneless pork loin chops that have been pounded flat. If you do not have a meat mallet, that is fine. Just place the meat in a freezer bag and bang with anything in  your kitchen that is heavy (but not anything you don't want to break). A rolling pin, cup, etc can work.

Beat 2 Eggs. Do you ever feel like you are a mean cook? Pounding meat and beating eggs... I actually like how easy it is to take out frustrations while cooking ;).

Dip the floured pork chops into the eggs.

Mix 1-1/2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs, 1/3 cup Chopped fresh parsley, and 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese.
 Dip floured and egged pork chops in bread crumb mixture. I shouldn't really say egged, that makes me think of throwing eggs at someone's house. I've never actually done it, but Hubby always makes it as a suggestion for showing people we're not happy with them. Not that we would...
 Turn over pork chop and coat other side in bread mixture.
Place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
 They will turn out excellent!
 Blurry picture of only the finished pork chop, sometimes I just can't win! Just to let you know: blurry food still tastes good.  Unless it is not good blurry food, but that goes without saying so I'll just stop now.
Enjoy these with a pasta dish (that hopefully will turn out better than the one I made), salad, or anything else you want to pair with it.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Menu: November 9-15

This past week I think I've finally got over the bug that I was struggling with for the past few weeks. I felt more like myself and more like cooking, which was WONDERFUL! I didn't realize how much the sickness (whatever it was) that I got impacted me... Hopefully I am done being sick this winter, I could really hope!

I really enjoyed the menu we had this week, so without further blabbering on my part, here's what we had:

Monday: One pan stovetop Macaroni and Cheese (made with cheddar cheese)
Tuesday: Parmesan crusted Pork chops with vegetable pasta (The recipe will be for the Pork Chops which turned out wonderful - I love it when that happens the first try!  The pasta needs some work before I'd want to share it with the world.)
Wednesday: Parmesan crusted Pork chops with vegetable pasta

Thursday: Taco Salad
Friday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Saturday: Chicken Club Pizza (this one I craved while pregnant - the idea is from Papa Johns.)
Sunday: Chicken Club Pizza

And here's a picture of my son after eating pear blueberry oatmeal this past week (just ignore the messy background counter). He really enjoyed it!
Be sure to vote for which recipe you want to see on Wednesday.

May Be Foodless Friday: Ramblings and a Funny

Happy Friday the 13th everybody! So this is the third time this year that we've had a Friday the 13th... Third time's the charm? Interesting fact: fewer accidents happen on Friday the 13th than normal Fridays according to the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics. This is attributed to people doing fewer things due to it being 'a day of bad luck'. I hope you all have a great day.

To end on a happy note, Hubby sent me this link today and I thought you'd all enjoy it: Blonde Cookbook. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is such a classic and what tastes better when you are sick?!? I love having some of this when I am feeling under the weather, but usually there isn't any around when I am sick! The downfall of it all is that when I am sick I do not feel like making it either. I make my chicken noodle soup completely from scratch... well sometimes I cheat and use some canned chicken broth. I am a chicken noodle soup snob now. It is hard to eat anything besides homemade chicken noodle soup... that doesn't mean I do not ever eat canned soup when I'm sick. However, when I'm sick I can claim non-working taste buds (that's my story anyway.)
My mom made this recipe (or close thereto) when I was growing up so it also had a nostalgia. Some of the soup that I made on October 1st I took out when we visited my grandmother at the rehabilitation center. She was glad to have some - she loved my mom's chicken noodle soup as well. While I was talking with her she told me that since I made the soup she was going to tell my mom that my soup tasted better than hers. That is just the sort of person my grandmother was, she had a great sense of humor.
Chicken Noodle Soup

To start, make noodles. This step I always forget until I add the veggies to the soup to cook... and it still turns out well, but noodles are best if they dry out before you cook them.
To make the noodles:
To 1 beaten egg, add 1 Tbsp water, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 cup flour until well mixed. Place dough on a floured surface, knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rest for 10-20 minutes.

While dough is resting, boil chicken in a large pan in 6-8 cups water/chicken broth (I like to use a whole chicken, but you can use any parts of the chicken that you want to use - you'll just want to have enough meat on the chicken pieces to total about 1.5 cups chopped chicken.)Divide dough in half, on a floured surface, roll half of dough until 1/8-1/16 inch thick. Dust with flour, roll as you would cinnamon rolls. Cut into 1/8-1/4-inch strips. Shake to separate strips. Cut strips to desired length. Repeat with other half of dough. Lay strips out to dry.
While noodles dry, remove chicken from pan and let cool enough to cut up. While chicken is cooling, add 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion, 1-1/2 cup sliced carrots, 1 cup sliced celery to the broth and allow to boil.
Cut cooled (cooled as much or as little as you like to be able to handle) chicken into bite sized pieces. Add to pan. Once the carrots are tender add noodles,.
Stir well.
Bring to a boil.
Cook for at least 5 minutes to allow noodles to cook.
Serve with Saltines or rolls. Take some to a friend/relative who is sick and they'll love you forever, or at least while they're eating it!Enjoy!