Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pretty Quiet Week???

I probably am jinxing it by saying that, but really not much is on the agenda for this next week! YEA!!

Monday - We didn't have sloppy joes on Friday because, well, quite honestly I was pooped! LOL We'll have them today since I have everything on hand.

Tuesday - One of our local Mexican restaurants has some good Barboca. We'll see if I can do as a good job!

Wednesday - I gotta keep my SS happy, her favorite, spaghetti and meatballs it is!

Thursday - I am having my very 1st interview today! Can't let dinner slide just 'cuz I think I'm famous though! So, crockpot to the rescue with the Salmon Cheddar Casserole.

Friday - Another favorite of the chickies, Chicken Noodle Soup. When I made it a few weeks ago, I froze half without noodles.

Saturday - Happy Halloween! KK has a party and either SS will go trick-or-treating with her friends, or I will take her. I'm thinking Peanut Butter Cups will make an outstanding dinner. ;)

Sunday - I have been questing for the perfect mac & cheese to compete with that red Stouffer's box for many years, but nothing ever seems to come close to its cheesy perfection. Today I'm going to give it another - here are the contenders:

Cheesiest Macaroni & Cheese from recipezaar.

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese from Allrecipes.

I might do half a recipe of each for a head on taste test!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pillsbury Finalist List

Pillsbury has released the finalist list for the 44th Bake-off Contest. Check it out!

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Recipes and Old Favorites

A well-balanced week of new tries and old favorites for the week.

Monday - My cute little friend, Katy from Food for a Hungry Soul posted a good lookin' chicken recipe that is right up my alley (easy!). Simply Great Chicken looks easy-peasy! I bought a head of broccoflower that needs to be eaten, so we will have that for a side along with a pasta.

Tuesday - I got some lean little top round steaks on-sale this week, so I wanted to do something different than a stew or beef tips and since I have some really nice Penzey's Hungarian Paprika, Beef Paprika seemed like a good idea. I will do it in the crockpot since KK has her last home volleyball game tonight. And just for the record, I will not be browning it in shortening! LOL

Wednesday - One of PW's (Pioneer Woman) latest recipes fit the vegetarian criteria for me this week! Her Wednesday Night Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts with Tomatoes looks pretty good, but like most of her recipes pretty full of fat. I'll tone it down a bit with fat free half and half, less butter and oil - but probably keep the Parmesan.

Thursday - I never did get that Indian Tandorri chicken and sweet potato curry made from week before last. Absolutely no excuses for this week!

Friday - By request from both chickies - sloppy joes made with real burger. The past couple of times I've used lentils - but both requested the real thing this time.

Saturday - I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. ;)

Sunday - My all-time favorite roasted chicken... you know the drill. Famous Dave's Country Roasted Chicken. So.Good.

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More Reviews

Simple Creamy Lemon Chicken Sauce ****
KK liked this - said it would do when I didn't want to go to all the trouble of making her very favorite lemony chicken. :) What a thoughtful daughter, LOL.

Bryan's Spicy Red Lentil Soup ***
I was a little disappointed in this considering my glee in finding red lentils. Neither of the chickies liked it at all. :( I still have some lentils left and am going to use them on something better!

Skillet Lasagna **** Pretty basic, hard to go wrong! It made a lot so we enjoyed the leftover for lunch.

Chicken and Dumplings III
So good! I doubled the recipe (it is only 4 to begin with). I made my own chicken broth and this was terrific. We pretty much scarfed down the whole pot, with just enough for my lunch the next day. The dumplings were better the first day, they seemed to toughen up in the fridge.

German Style Pork and Saurkraut ****
I used a little more kraut, I couldn't find anything less than a 24 oz. jar! I used one big turnip and a small pork roast. I served it over mashed potatoes. It was a very "white" looking meal, but very tasty. KK said she'd eat it again, and SS ate everything but the turnips. Surprisingly that was the thing she said was sour, not the kraut! Crazy kid. LOL

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Brrrrrrrr..Let's have some comfort food.

It was COLD here this morning. Way colder than it should be for mid-October. So, we are having the week of the comfort food.

Monday - KK's idea of comfort food is lemon-y chicken. I found this Lemon Cream Sauce. Sounds good over some simple lemon pepper broiled chicken and couscous. (Hey, comfort and good for you!)

Tuesday - KK has a volleyball game and the orchard should be finished picking today. That means busy evening for the momma, so I have some chili in the freezer from a few weeks ago. In an attempt to find a decent substitute for my favorite Buttery Corn Bread (which I realize isn't going to be possible), I thought I give this Weight Watchers Cornbread a shot.

Wednesday - SS has piano. She is practicing her Christmas songs already for a recital in December. She is very excited but said, "How can Jingle Bells be the hardest song ever???" LOL I love my SS. I thought we'd try somebody's else idea of "comfort food". I have only made sauerkraut maybe twice for the chickies. We'll see how it goes over. Plus, I won't be using chops, I have a small pork roast that needs to be used. AND I get Granny Smith apples from the orchard FOR FREE! Gotta love that.

German-Style Pork and Sauerkraut
Serves: 4

4 boneless pork chops, about 1-inch thick
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large onion, sliced thick
2 turnips, peeled and sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled & sliced
16 baby carrots
1 can (6oz) sauerkraut, do not drain
10 3/4-oz can low-fat cream of celery soup
2/3 cup nonfat chicken broth
Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Sprinkle pork chops with Mrs. Dash and pepper. Cook in skillet over medium heat until browned on both sides.

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine sliced onion, turnips, apples and carrots in bottom of slow cooker. Top with sauerkraut. Place pork chops on top. Combine celery soup and broth; pour over all ingredients.

Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3 1/2-4 hours.

340 calories, 9.7 g total fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 1,291 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 28 g protein

Thursday - Last week I got to go and have lunch with my old friend. We had yummy greasy hamburgers and since I had already taken the afternoon off from work, and I was in a town with a fancy-dancy grocery store - I went grocery shopping. I FOUND RED LENTILS. It was a big deal. LOL I thought a nice spicy red lentil soup would be very comforting.

Friday - We will be going for SS's idea of comfort food tonight. Something with red sauce, noodles, cheese... YUM. Skillet Lasagna will be my jumping off point. I'll use my homemade sauce, probably only ground beef, mini-bowties (they are so cute!), and some mozzarella on top.

Saturday - I could tell you what I was cooking on Saturday but, then I would have to kill you. ;)

Sunday - So, last Sunday my meal-plan said sweet and sour chicken and egg drop soup. Didn't happen, I started my week of comfort food early and made Chicken and Dumplings. So, we will try the Asian thing again this week.

I hope everybody's week is filled with your idea of comfort, whatever that may be. And hey, if you gotta a second, click on that annoying google ad. ;)

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Typical Conversation While Grocery Shopping

KK: Mom, why do you always look at the "fancy" cheese. (The cheese usually around the deli area).

Me: I like fancy cheese. Fancy cheese makes me happy. :)

KK: Mom?

Me: Yes?

KK: But you never BUY the fancy cheese. You only look at it.

Me: Well, I'm too cheap to actually BUY it. But it makes me happy to look at it.

Send help. I've obviously got a serious problem. LOL

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Review Time

Cheeseburger Soup ****
This was a pretty tasty soup. I didn't crockpot it because a 2-hour crockpot recipe doesn't really do me a lot of good when I work all day. It seemed a bit thin, so I threw in a couple handfuls of mini penne. KK loved it.

Beef Tips w/Zip! *****
I make a similar recipe using red wine for the liquid that I love and this is a close second! I was going to use the leftovers to make a beef pot pie, but they disappeared!

Virus Killing Soup *****
This was a terrific chicken soup. I ran out of red pepper so I used a couple healthy shakes of a creole seasoning. It was enough to feed us twice with leftovers each time. I made it Sunday and then Monday skimmed the fat off the top, added some egg noodles when it was simmering and SS had 3 bowls! A winner by all accounts.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Average Week

Just life this week - not exciting. Not boring by any stretch, just, well - average. LOL

Monday - I am giving my "Meal Planning 101" class at the high school. If you are from Royal and want some tips/tricks about meal planning - stop on by the home ec room at the high school at 6:00 pm. Not sure when I'll get home, so we will have some of the leftover chicken soup from Sunday.

Tuesday - We haven't had time between with volleyball to go to WW, I think I am holding my own. KK has asked for Hamburger Stroganoff, one of her favorite things. I do make it with reduced fat ingredients, but it is by no means diet friendly. But, she has been working hard at volleyball, so I thought I'd let her have her favorite.

Wednesday - I have been wanting to do more Indian food, I really loved the Tikki Masala. I found Indian Tandoori Chicken to try. Since grilling weather as gone, I will just bake in the oven. This Sweet Potato Curry looks like it would be an interesting side.

Thursday - KK has a volleyball game - so we are going to keep it simple and warm. SS asked for quesadillas this week, so we will have those with homemade potato soup. I make potato soup just like my mom, very simply. Potatoes cooked with celery and onions, a little butter and finished with milk. I do thicken mine with a little bit of cornstarch, and since we don't drink whole or 2% milk like I did when I was a kid, I usually add a little bit of fat free half and half for a richer flavor than fat free milk can provide.

Friday - Let's go Mexican, shall we? I usually make a red sauce for enchiladas, but how about something different. Green chile chicken enchiladas. I will make "Gem's" rice - maybe if I keep trying the chickies will say it is as good as hers! LOL Probably not.

Saturday - I never got burgers made last weekend. We will try again today. Everybody share your favorite burger recipe!!!!

Sunday - So far this week we've had two comfort dishes (stroganoff & potato soup), Indian, Mexican, and American (burgers). What's missing???? Asian, of course! Three on Food had this little Sweet and Sour Chicken number last week. I don't think I'll fry in oil, rather do my "oven-fry" trick with cooking spray before adding the sauce. SS's favorite thing Asian? Egg Drop Soup. She will think I'm amazing when I present her with this!! LOL I think I'll add a few peas like her favorite restaurant does.

I hope you are having a great week in your world, average or not. Hey, got a minute - click annoying google ad. :)

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