Saturday, November 28, 2009


My meal plan this week is sorta dull. No new recipes at all - just a few revisited and a couple pulled from the freezer.

Monday - The stew I made a few weeks ago made enough for two meals for us. I don't want things to get too lost in there, so I want to have it while I still remember it!

Tuesday - Shake n bake pork chops. ...........zzzzzzzzzz.............  Maybe someday the chickies will let me make something else with pork chops.  MAYBE!

Wednesday - Way last spring I posted a Coconut Shrimp recipe up, but it never actually happened... I found a random bag of coconut in my cupboard and that along with the bag 'o shrimp I got at Costco = a match made in heaven.

Thursday - I enjoyed the Chicken Thighs alla Puttenseca so much, I making them again this soon! That says great things about that recipe, because as you can see by my meal plans, that doesn't happen very often!

Friday - I posted this Red Beans & Rice awhile ago, but got side-tracked by this version, but I found a turkey kielbasa on sale, and have bacon leftover from my Thanksgiving appetizer recipes, so I decided to revisit this recipe. I also will use dried/soaked red beans.

Saturday - Back to the depths of the freezer for the chicken noodle soup. The chickies loooooooooovvvvvvvveeeeee my chicken noodle soup. I expect lots of slurping and "this is yummy" during dinner tonight!

Sunday - Also leftover from my Turkey day goodies where some anaheim chilies that I roasted up and made some of these green chile enchilada sauce that I will use for Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas. Last time I made them, with even with canned sauce KK declared them her favorite, even more so than an enchilada with red sauce.

I didn't get a meal plan up last week, but on Sunday (11/29) I am making a recipe I saw a few weeks ago on The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I know that some people dis The Pioneer Woman for "going commercial" or "arbitrary use of butter" - but I dig the The Pioneer Woman. She speaks to my 40-year old self. She is funny, self-deprecating, takes beautiful photos, and cooks up a storm. I usually drop by her website during my lunch time and say wistfully, "The Pioneer Woman is giving away a really cool knife today." My office mate said recently, "I think you want to be The Pioneer Woman". Yeah. So? LOL

At any rate, I saw this little short rib number and the kicker was it was served on polenta which I have been dying to make for a long time. YUMMY

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Catching Up on Reviews

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. We spent a lovely day over at The Smith's. I didn't get a meal plan up this week, but rest assured I'll be back next week!

Here are a few reviews of things I've made lately:

Savory Meatloaf - *** 1/2
This was on okay meatloaf - nothing special. It held together nicely, but I thought the flavor was really lacking. My search will continue!

Chicken Thighs alla Puttanesca - *****
So simple, so yummy! These were so good, I served with couscous. I can't wait to make it again!

Spaghetti Carbonara - ****
I'd never made carbonara before and it was pretty good. I took the advice of the AR reviewer who suggested mixing the eggs with the parmesan and then mixing with the spaghetti off the heat. I think next time I'll mix it on the heat, it was a bit loose.

Cheesiest Macaroni and Cheese - *** 1/2
The description of this mac and cheese said it was like Stouffer's. It was not. It was wayyyyyyyyy to dry. Stouffer's has a nice crust and is not dry. My search continues.

Simply Great Chicken - *****
Fantastic chicken! Simple, easy, tasty! All great attributes in my book. Make this chicken.

Beef Paprika - **
The chickies did not like this. I wasn't very fond of it either. I'm not quite sure what I didn't like, but it wasn't great. :(

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes - *** 1/2
This was pretty tasty even though I substantially cut back on the butter and oil. Both the chickies declared it "okay - but it needs shrimp".

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Go With the Flow

My menu plan didn't quite work as I "planned" last week, but that is the beauty of the meal plan. If your plans change, you just can go with the flow - knowing that a new week is just ahead!

Monday - We went to Costco and were able to get a few random yummies, one being a jar of oysters. We love fried oysters (yes, the chickies too!). I just drain them, dip them in a little beaten egg, and dredge them in a little Krusteaz Bake & Fry. Because the banner says "A Northwest Tradition since 1932", I'm thinking this a regional thing. I'm very sad for you if you can't get it, as it a nice seasoned coating mix.

Tuesday - KK reminded me "it has been forever since we've had shake 'n bake pork chops". So, if you read my blog on a semi-regular basis you know that this is not acceptable! :)

Wednesday - I have a couple of packages of turkey bacon lurking in my freezer. I thought I would try a Spaghetti Carbonara. It isn't something that is in my regular meal rotation, but I think the chickies will like it. It seems pretty speedy too, since it is my turn to drive for piano lessons.

Thursday - I've had a hankering for some beef stew for a couple of weeks and it just missed getting on to my comfort week food fest. I found a nice little chuck roast on sale, so I will cut it up and make a variation of this allrecipes version.

Friday - I still haven't made that catfish and tartar sauce, from last week. I really want some sweet potato fries too!!!

Saturday & Sunday - So, last weekend I was very busy. I had my cooking demo (which went great and was so much fun!) and my picture for Pillsbury, I didn't get a chance to be very culinary last weekend. As my freezer is low or empty of my staples, I want to make up for it this weekend. I definitely need to make a big batch of my favorite marinara (I got a BIG can of tomatoes at Costco!). We also need some chicken soup base using the weird-named soup, then freeze with and add noodles. And it looks like the crockpot is empty, we better make a big batch of refried beans!

Next week is Thanksgiving. I'm giving my sides a lot of thought - Mrs. S and family haven't gotten the same couple of recipes the past couple of years! I think my contribution of appetizers and sides need to be shaken up a bit! ;)

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

WHEW! Thank Goodness!

I really, really missed making a meal plan last week. I didn't even have one just sketched out on a piece of paper... and it wasn't a good week, culinarily speaking! That week sent me straight into planning the coming week!

Monday - Requested by KK, meatloaf. Sometimes I use a recipe for meatloaf - sometimes I just throw some stuff together and hope for the best. Sometimes I make Stove Top Muffins. This week we are going for Savory Meatloaf from AR. I'm looking for something which will cut nice and make some good sandwiches.

Tuesday - I've been eyeing this recipe chicken recipe since my friend, Cookin' Mama brought it to my attention. I found some capers hiding in my fridge, so today is the day.

Chicken Thighs alla Puttanesca

Chicken thighs have a richer flavor than breasts and are better able to stand up to the bold sauce. If you can't find boneless thighs, use bone in thighs increasing the cooking time to 40 minutes, but do not use chicken breasts.

8 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp. pepper
20 pitted kalamata olives
1 (14 1/2- ounce crushed fire-roasted tomatoes in puree
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon coarsley chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put chicken in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish, season with pepper and scatter olives on top.

2. Combine tomatoes, garlic, and oregano in tomato can. Spoon over chicken to cover. Bake until chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken and sauce to a platter, sprinkle with capers and serve.

Wednesday - All this week is only 1/2 day of school for the chickies because of Parent/Teacher conferences. Wednesday is NO SCHOOL (and no work!!! YIPEE!), I think they are going to spend part of the day with their dad so I can go and get my hair done in the evening. Pillsbury is requiring that I get a professional business photo and I can't let my picture by thrown all over the place (hheeeeheeehhee) with all these gray hairs running amuck! So, I thought I'd make a nice lunch instead of dinner with the Simple Stroganoff the mini-chicks are very fond of.

Thursday - When was the last time I used the crockpot?? Way toooooooo long. How about a roast chicken on tin foil balls. Except, I'll put some potatoes in those tin foil balls. :)

Friday - I scored some catfish on a shopping expedition and we were all big fans of the Oven Fried Catfish. I still haven't tried the best lookin' tartar sauce, but I'm going to!

Saturday - I'm going to be doing another cooking demonstration at Harvest Foods. This time it is "Easy Candy" or "Don't be Intimidated by the Candy Thermometer". I'm going to be making a couple versions of a no-cook fudge and a microwave peanut brittle. If you are around, stop by Harvest Foods at 12:00 on November 14 and enjoy a piece of candy, throw me questions about candy-making and just generally harass me to give me practice cooking for an audience!

Sunday - We are going to run off to the big city (relatively speaking compared to Royal City!) and get my picture taken. I am hopin' for some sushi to be somewhere on the agenda too!

It feels so good to have this here. Typed out. Ready to go!!

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Friday, November 6, 2009


Well, not really. But here is the very lovely article The South County Sun wrote about me. Look at my chickies - they definitely are the stars of the photo op!

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