Monday, September 5, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
I've been composing this blog post in my head all evening, and boy do I have a lot to say! Maybe with Clayton being at scout camp, I feel like I have no one to talk to. I mean, obviously he rarely talks back when I am talking (sometimes I am just sure he's not listening, but then he can spit back what I just said word for word), but it's nice to know that there is someone there capable of conversation. :-) Anyway, on to the food, because that is really what everyone wants to hear about! This week, since I'm alone, I figured I'd try some new, smaller things. With Clayton gone, I can have fruit and yogurt for dinner and not think twice, and I don't need to pack up leftovers for lunches because I get free lunches at work. So here are a few things I've tried so far. If anything else goes over really well, maybe I'll post it.
Disclaimer: Experimentation with me usually means throw stuff together till it looks good. In other words, these "recipes" are very loose measurements.
Philly Chicken Flatbread Sandwiches
I went to the store on Saturday and chicken drumsticks were on sale ridiculously cheap. So I grabbed some and we had bbq chicken for dinner. However, we had leftovers, and I'm not big on eating meat by itself. I like it better surrounded by pasta or a taco or something. So, to get rid of the extra, I pulled the chicken off the bone and made flatbread sandwiches (on the flatbread that was on clearance in the bakery!).
1/3 c. Sliced Onion
1/2 c. Sliced Green Bell Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 c. Shredded, cooked chicken
3 Tbsp. cream cheese
2 deli slices Pepperjack or Provolone Cheese
2 pieces of flatbread
Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, etc.
*So this could be as simple as mayonnaise, but if you like a little extra flavor look in the dairy section of the grocery store. There are lots of flavors of cream cheese spreads. We have a spread that is actually a "chip dip" but it is a roasted red pepper flavor with a sour cream base. We really like it.
Sautee the onion and bell pepper in butter until tender. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Cook until heated through. Add cream cheese and sliced cheese and stir until melted. Prepare flat bread by warming for a few seconds in the microwave. Add sandwich spread and any toppings, then the philly mixture!
Spinach and Ham Omelet
Clayton asked for a snack, and I decided to make him an omelet. I've realized that there are a couple secrets to omelets that took me a while to figure out:
1. Use a pan that is the size you'd like your omelet to be. (You can't contain your egg in half of the pan).
2. Be PATIENT!
Grease the pan with a little butter or cooking oil and heat over medium-high. Scramble 2 eggs and add 1-2 Tbsp of milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour eggs in skillet. Allow them to cook without stirring until the bottom is completely set. Using a rubber spatula, lift up part of the egg and tilt the pan to that side to allow the liquid egg still on top to run down underneath the cooked egg. Continue until all liquid egg is now underneath the cooked egg. Wait about 30 seconds-1 minute and flip the omelet over with a spatula. Add toppings. I used a handful of spinach, torn up deli sliced ham, and a small handful of mozzarella. Let sit for about 30 seconds, then slide onto a plate and fold in half.
Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Burgers
My goal for these was to have something a little better than a regular old burger. And I got it! YUM!
Sprinkle basil and your favorite chicken seasoning (mine is a garlic/red pepper/sea salt blend) onto turkey patties and incorporate by rolling into a ball and re-forming the patties. I read in a Rachel Ray cook book that if you make the patties thicker on the edges, when it cooks, it will become a flat burger instead of puffed in the middle. Cook the patties in a greased skillet for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Cook until no longer pink in the middle. Add a slice of your favorite cheese (I put on mozzarella) and heat until melted.
For the chutney topping, cook 1/3 c. onions and 1 Tbsp garlic in butter until carmelized (about 15-20 minutes on medium heat). Add 1 roasted red pepper and cook until heated through.
Put your favorite toppings on a hamburger bun (we used potato buns with lettuce and bbq sauce), then add the burgers and chutney.
I feel like you can never go wrong with a smoothie unless you put ingredients in that don't taste good, but expect them to magically taste great when mixed together. Otherwise, go crazy! My smoothie this morning had roughly:
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. frozen strawberries
1/4 c. mixed berry juice
small handful of spinach (for extra nutrients -- mix it well and you won't taste it).
It was surprisingly sweet!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Well, Sunday Suppers are being blogged about on Tuesday this week. Oh well, it’s been a busy week already. And I’m now on a plane headed to Texas for a dance conference. Saturday I’ll fly to Tennessee to spend a few days with my family!
It seems like some weeks I make to completely different dishes, and other weeks I make things that are very similar… Well, this week I wanted to make pasta primavera, and Clayton asked for Turkey Tetrazzini. He didn’t know what it was, but he saw it at work, in the freeze dried meal cans. So, when I asked for suggestions, he said that’s what he wanted. I ended up going to the grocery store and deciding that I didn’t want to buy a whole turkey, and turkey breasts are just too expensive. So, we had chicken tetrazzini instead. I just took a turkey tetrazzini recipe I found online and modified it for chicken instead. It turned out SOOOO good! It is a little longer than many of my recipes, but it is basically just a regular white sauce with cheese and seasonings.
½ sweet onion, diced
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
1 c. milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 red bell pepper, diced
2/3 c. shredded cheddar
1 pound cooked chicken, diced
1 box thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1/3 c. shredded cheddar
Cook pasta to package directions and drain. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Slowly add flour, stirring with a whisk. The mixture should become very thick and have a grainy appearance. Slowly add the milk, stirring briskly so that no lumps form. Add can of soup and cook until heated through. Add seasonings, red bell pepper, and 2/3 cup of cheddar. In casserole dish, layer ½ pasta, ½ chicken, and ½ sauce then repeat. Top with 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar and bake for 25 minutes.
The other dish we made was pasta primavera. Clayton and I make it frequently, and it is different every time. I don’t think that it really matters what kind of pasta or veggies you use, and you can add meat or leave it vegetarian! My goal for this time was A LOT of vegetables!
¼ c. butter
½ sweet onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
¼ c. flour
1 ¼ c. milk
½ c. parmesan
½ -1 c. shredded mozzarella
½ tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
One box of pasta of your choice (I like fettucini or rotini), cooked and drained
About 1 pound of veggies of your choice (I cooked ½ pound of carrots and ½ pound of sugar snap peas)
Melt butter over medium heat in sauce pan and cook onion and bell pepper until tender. Add flour to make a thick rue. Slowly whisk in milk and cook until mixture thickens. Add parmesan and mozzarella, adding more or less to taste. Add seasonings, more or less to taste. Toss with cooked pasta and vegetables. YUM!
My last dish of the day was fish. We really like fish, but it gets so expensive… This week “Wahoo” fish fillets were on sale. They were thick filets, almost more like the cut of a tuna steak. For these, I heated up my large skillet with olive oil and cooked minced garlic until browned. I added the fish and sprinkled each filet with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and cooked for about 5 minutes on each side (sprinkling both sides with the seasoning. They were really yummy, but you could add a little more flavor with a good sauce. Maybe a spicy hollandaise…I’ll keep experimenting with that one and get back to you!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Before I get started on Sunday suppers, here's me showing off the pound cake I made yesterday. We brought it to a Fourth of July party and it all got eaten but one little slice -- just enough for an after church snack for Clayton and I today! I always use the same recipe when making pound cake, because I have never tasted a pound cake better than my Grandma Odom made. I have a tendency to undercook it, making it slightly doughy in the middle, but this time, it was PERFECT! The decorations were not that great, but I was using leftover icing from Clayton's cake (I just died the orange to a reddish, more patriotic color) and I had a half hour to make it work. So, not my best, but still delicious!
Oops...looks like I didn't quite get one of the strawberry slices stuck down.
I was thinking to myself today, well, what happens if I make something that I've already made and put on my blog??? And then I realized, well, life will go on. And maybe, just maybe, I'll even spend less time blogging because I won't have to describe a dish twice in a row! After all, I am not trying to do one of those crazy blogs where they make something different every single week. So, here's my warning: I may in the near future make something that I've already made and recorded on this blog. And when that happens, well we can all smile and think to ourselves, "Well, maybe she is human after all..." :-)
This week I got a produce basket from a co-op called bountiful baskets. I really enjoy it because I get a variety of produce for pretty cheap. So, I thought today I'd start off with the before picture -- all the stuff on my counter that would soon be made into delicious dinners.
We're going to make fresh lemonade tomorrow! And most of the fruit we just eat plain. I just wash it and put it in the dish rack to dry.
However, sometimes I get items in my produce basket that are more of a challenge for me. Exhibit A:
Swiss chard. To me, it's a close relative of lettuce and spinach, both of which I am not a big fan of, except on sandwiches. What to do, what to do...???
Iceberg lettuce. Now how is that hard? All you do is throw on some tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese, and you've got a salad. Right? Wrong. I really don't like green salads much. It feels like such a waste of chewing. :-) And Clayton is not a big lettuce eater either.
Well, I tackled the chard first. This is a cooked chard dish that is supposed to go over couscous or brown rice. I just liked it plain. It tastes WAY better than spinach.
Chard with Beans and Roasted Tomatoes
One Tomato, sliced
One small bunch of Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves torn
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. craisins
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned -- about 3-5 minutes. Turn and cook for one more minute and remove from the pan. Reduce heat to medium and add the chard, raisins, craisins, garlic, water, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the chard wilts. Return the tomatoes to the skillet and add the beans and lemon juice. Cook until heated through, 1-2 minutes.
Next, to tackle the lettuce. I decided to try some lettuce wraps. Asian foods is one of the kinds of foods that I often use shortcuts for. It's just expensive to buy hoisin sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and teriyaki sauce, and then store them in your cabinet for several months before you pull them out again. So, I buy a "seasoning mix" packet at the store for $.75. I made General Tso's Chicken just as the packet instructed, but added diced onions, asparagus, celery, and edamame. Once it is cooked through, just place in lettuce leaves and roll. It's not really a great picture, but there are several wraps on that plate (it was our dinner), and I wanted you to see the inside of one.
And last but certainly not least, Moroccan Tangine. This is one of Clayton and my absolute FAVORITES! And it is very different from almost anything else we eat. For this one, I actually follow a recipe -- surprise! So, below is a link to the recipe:The only change I make is that I always cook chicken in batches. I bought five pounds of chicken yesterday. I used some for the lettuce wraps and marinated the rest in a greek dressing and grilled it all. I diced it and put a third of it in the pan for the tangine and put the rest in two bags and froze it. Cooked chicken for two more meals!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I'm on a roll! Number 3! Here goes...
Since we are now working on really saving money after our very significant car expenses, I'm trying to work more with what we have at home. This week's theme happened to be ground beef (I had about four pounds of it in the freezer). Today I didn't have to do too much. I already had all the fruit washed so all I had to do was veggie bags and two main dishes. I made a bunch of tortillas to use in the mexican lasagna and for sweet pork tacos.
Next, I cooked up some ground beef and onions, then split it in half. One half got taco seasoning (I just learned you can make that from spices in your cabinet and you don't have to buy the packets. We'll be having Mexican much more often now), and the other half got pasta sauce and roasted red peppers.
Next, I made Mexican lasagna. I layered corn tortillas, salsa, seasoned ground beef, refried beans, sour cream, and cheese (then repeated all the layers) and baked it for about 45 minutes. It turned out pretty good too. And I'm really excited that I used my tortilla press sucessfully! YAY!
And since I couldn't find any nice looking number candles at Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart, I though that the pinwheels were a nice finishing touch.
Monday, June 20, 2011
1. What feature of the opposite sex do you notice first?
Their weight. I notice everybody's weight first. Don't worry...that includes my own too.
2. Do you talk to yourself?
Daily. I remind myself what I need to do, then I discuss with myself how I will do it. I have so many great conversations with myself, I just wish I could replicate them with someone else...
3. What is your current relationship status?
MARRIED! (and if you couldn't tell, I LOVE it!)
4. Do you have a garden?
No...we don't have any land at all - just a basement apartment. Clayton bought a potted flower for my birthday, but we gave it too much sun and water, and now it doesn't look so great. Here's what it should look like... (I'm obviously too embarrassed to put up a picture of what it really looks like :-)
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Well, here I go, trying to establish my own blogging tradition. We'll see how long it lasts... Anyway, today, I laid down with Clayton to take a nap. He got up, but let me sleep for 3 hours! This resulted in not finishing the cooking until 10:15 -- super late for me! Oh well... he really prizes sleeping and cannot grasp the concept that I WANT to be woken up, even if it looks like I need the sleep. As for our vacation, it was great! I'm going to let Clayton cover it though. He put up pictures on facebook, and maybe, just maybe, he'll blog about it, if we all ask very nicely. :-)
So, for the cooking today, I had potatoes to get rid of. I made roasted red potatoes with butter, thyme, Tony's seasoning, olive oil, salt and pepper. YUM!
Next, I made a bruschetta chicken bake. I love this recipe, and I found it on the back on the chicken stove top box! All I do is marinate and grill chicken breasts, then sprinkle with basil and mozzarella. Next you mix stuffing, diced tomatoes, water, and garlic and pour it on top. Bake it and you're done!
Next came a potato casserole that I had growing up, and Clayton and I both really like it. First, make mashed potatoes with onion and garlic (adding milk, butter, salt, and pepper when you mash them). Then, I add diced sausage, shredded cheese, and parmesan cheese and put it in a dish. Decorate the top with sliced sausage, cheese, and thyme, and bake!
Finally, I made veggie bags. I make these every week. They each include: jicama, cucumber slices, red pepper slices, and baby carrots. That way I make sure Clayton eats his vegetables even when he makes his lunch in a rush!
Well, that's it! Happy Father's day! I hope this post didn't make you too hungry...
Sunday, June 12, 2011
And just to keep with my new tradition -- so that I don't miss a week after only two -- here is a quick meet me on Monday. Then I really will go and pack!
1. What is your favorite yogurt flavor?
Anything Wallaby's brand. SO YUMMY!!!!
2. Ankle or knee socks? and on the same theme, white socks or coloured??
Colored ankle socks. Except, I always wear white ankle socks because I'm hard on socks and I don't want to ruin my cute patterned socks. So, my favorite socks sit at the bottom of my drawer, unworn. Dumb.
3. How is the weather right now?
Mostly sunny. WAY too cold. Highs in the 70's. I'm still waiting for summer to come.
4. Are you a fast typer?
very. I can't remember the wpm. At least 70. I think it was 79 last time I took a typing test though. I also can't stand watching slow typers type. I just want to do it for them. Oh and when people right click to copy and paste instead of using keyboard shortcuts -- that is a huge pet peeve!
5. Red or White Wine?
I have no idea. In my year of it being legal for me to drink, I have not partaken. I'll always pick water. I guess if I am really in the mood for something other than water, it would be lemonade. I love a good lemonade with mint leaves! YUM!