Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chicken's Winter Stew

As it continues to stay rather cool out it is time for another soupy stew! This is another super simple recipe that is delightfully flavored.

Chicken's Winter Stew

6 skinless chicken thighs (or a whole chicken cut up and skinned or go super simple and chunk up a rotisserie chicken)
Seasoning: salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic
3 potatoes
3 carrots
1/3 pound green beans (if you have on hand)
1/2c corn (fresh off the cob or frozen)
1 bell pepper (if you have on hand)
1 small onion (if you eat onion..lol!)
1 can diced tomatoes (or 1/2 can of tomato paste)
Water or chicken broth

1. Season chicken with the seasonings of your choice. If you don't have much on hand, a simple salt and pepper rub would be fine! Then, in a large stock pot, brown chicken, peppers and onions in a tablespoon of olive oil. Brown both sides of chicken.
2. While chicken is browning, chop up remaining veggies and then add to the pot. Cover with water or broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
3. In a food processor, process one can of tomatoes. Mix into soup. Simmer until veggies are tender. Season soup if needed with additional salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Crockpot: Brown chicken, onion and peppers. Then, add everything into the crock pot at one time. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spicy Lentil Soup

I made this last night and it was delicious! I served it with the french bread I made earlier in the day. I made a prosciutto panini with provolone and pimentos.

Spicy Lentil Soup

4c beef broth (I made my own but you can use the canned/box stuff)
carrots (or use a can)
1/2c lentils
1/2 can of kidney beans
1/2 can of northern beans (you can use whatever type of beans you have on hand)
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1 strings of leeks- chopped
1t cumin
1T red wine vinegar
1 spicy kielbasa- sliced and chopped

1. In a pot, bring broth to a boil. Add carrots, lentils, beans and garlic. Simmer for 45 minutes or until carrots and lentils are tender.
2. Saute kielbasa and leeks in a little Pam. Then, add to the soup along with seasoning and vinegar. Simmer 10 minutes longer. Serve hot!

Meal Plan Monday

We are going on week 2 of not going shopping for anything other than the staples (milk, cheese, lunchmeat, bread, etc...). I ended up spending about $30 on groceries last week. I will probably spend a bit more this week because I will be stocking up on chicken. Hopefully by then Publix will have some better sales on because it will be time to re-stock the pantry.

Monday: Smoked Sausage and Lentil soup with a Proscuitto and Peppers Sammie
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Bacon and Peas in a Cream Sauce
Thursday: Fried Pork chops (for hubbie) Stuffed Zucchini (for me)
Friday: Beef Stew
Saturday: Left over soup with a Mozzerella and Red Pepper Roulade
Sunday:Chicken Tacos

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bread Time!

With saving money comes baking, so, a quiet day at home with a sick, screaming 2.5 year old who is trying to out scream his 6wks brother definitely calls for day of bread. French bread that is! It blows my mind that to buy a loaf of bread at the store constitutes me forking over $2+. Thus, let the flour tossing and dough throwing commence while baby wearing!

French Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1t salt
1T sugar
2 1/4t yeast
1 c warm water

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in your stand mixer, then slowing beat in warm water (water should be a bit warmer than baby's bath water...if it is too hot then you will kill your yeast). Beat in your mixer for 2-3 minutes.
       ***If you do not have a stand mixer, then follow these directions: Combine dry ingredients with 1 1/2 cup of water. Beat with a hand mixer until combined. Then, continue to stir in the remaining flour until it is too think to stir. Then, dig in with well floured hands (or pam sprayed hands) and mix until combined.

2. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes. If your arms get tired, then walk away, rest and then come back! You want to knead your bread to ensure it is chewy instead of crumbly. It is better to over knead then under.

3. Turn on your over to 350 degrees for 1 minute exactly...then turn off! Put your dough into a greased bowl and cover with a thin towel. Place your dough bowl in the oven to allow the dough to rise. (MAKE SURE YOUR OVEN IS OFF)

4. Allow dough to rise until it doubles (30min-1 hour). Punch down and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll flat until about the size of a small cookie sheet. Then roll up to form your french loaf. Return to your warm oven to allow to rise. (You can re-heat your oven if needed)

5. Once loaf size has doubled, then remove from oven and preheat to 400 degrees. While oven is heating, brush loaf with an egg white wash (1 egg white and 1T water). Then, using a sharp (this is key) knife carefully slash the top of your loaf diagonally 3-4 times a few inches apart.

6. Return to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cranberry Mango Chutney

I have 1 mango left from last weeks trip to the farmer's market last weekend and a 1/2 of a bag of cranberries. I need to use them up before they go bad, so, I was trying to figure out what to do with them. Then, I noticed my jar of raspberry chutney was almost gone...cha-ching! Cranberry Mango Chutney!!! I am hoping that I will have enough to make 2 jars. I would love to include a jar in a holiday gift basket I am making for my family. It would make an amazing appetizer!

Cranberry Mango Chutney

1/2 bag of cranberries

1 medium mango, peeled and diced
1/2 c sugar
2 T cider vinegar
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t salt
1/2 t ginger (optional)
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
1T diced Jalapenos (optional)

1. Put everything in a saucepan and bring to a hard boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes. (Wait for cranberries to pop which will allow the sauce to thicken)
2. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Curious how to easily sterilize your jars without buying a ton of canning equipment...
1. Wash all the parts in soapy water.
2. In a small pot of water, boil lids. Keep boiling until ready to use.
3. Please jars on a cookie sheet and place in a 225 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then, turn off heat and leave in warm oven until ready to use.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

Macaroons are my most favoritest cookies. I never gave them a chance when I was younger because I was not a huge coconut fan, but my mom and uncle horded them whenever they got the chance. Now, I see why! They are so light and absolutely delicious. These cookies are beautiful in their own right! Anyway, this is a really simple go to recipe when you a easy sweet treat. (I have other macaroon recipes, bu this is nice simple one) Plus, as a bonus it makes a lot of cookies and doesn't involve a lot of ingredients. Plus, you can fancy them up by dipping them in chocolate or drizzling chocolate on them.

Coconut Macaroons

2/3c sugar
6T flour
14oz bag of coconut
1/4t salt
4 egg whites
Optional: 1t almond extract or vanilla extract

Combine sugar, flour and coconut. Then, add your egg whites. (Now you can simply combine the egg whites lightly beaten or you can go fancy and beat your whites to form peaks...I do both depending on my mood!).

Bake at 325 degrees for 22 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.

Stuffed Pork Loin

Speaking of leftover stuffing, I ran out of time to make my soup today, so, I quickly threw together this delicious pork loin. It used up a managery of items I had left over from my Thanksgiving cooking. (Can you tell I only have pork left in the freeze yet...I can't wait to go to Publix for chicken this weekend!!!)

1 pork loin
1 box stuffing
1/4c dried cranberries, rough chop
(* you can use whatever you have- dried cherries, fresh apples, etc...)
2 T walnuts, chopped (optional)
* toasting your nuts will add another level of flavor, just don't burn
1/4 onion (I sauteed to add flavor)

1. Cook stuffing according to directions. While  cooking butterfly your roast. This is a fancy way of saying slice the meat in half without slicing all the way through the meat, You want to be ab;e to open it up like a book. I then pound mine a bit, but that is totally your choice.

2. Once stuffing is complete, stir in the fruit, nuts and onion. Spread onto your opened meat. Then, roll the meat up and secure the seam with toothpicks or a long skewer.

3. Brown your roast in a little butter or olive oil. Then, bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes per pound. (This will cook your roast...we don't serve any pink pork in this family no matter how safe the Food Network insists it is.)

4. Please wait 10 minues before carving up this beauty, otherwise all those wonderful juices in your meat will run right out. No one wants dry pork!

***This can also be done with thick cut (bone -in or -out) porkchops.

Dough Stretchers

Ever have leftover crackers and need something to do with them...or, if you are like me, do you have a bunch of left over boxes if stuffing that need be used? Can't stand the thought of another bite of stuffing? Here's an idea...

Put your stuffing or crackers in a food processor and process until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs. Or, put in a ziplock bag and beat until smooth. Great way to deal with the frustration of the day!

Then, dredge your meat (porkchops, chicken, etc...) in 1 lightly beaten egg and then through your crumbs.

Finally bake or fry your meat. Simple, but tasty meal that is a easy way to use up those leftover crackers or stuffing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Recipes I wanna try...

I have been whoring it up again...with food porn! I love when I have a few quiet moments (which is like never) and I can just relax. Now if only I had a glass of wine or a brownie sundae that would complete the whole experience! This will have to do for now!

How awesome do these wonderful picture look? I can't wait to try these recipes!

Coutesy of Jolene from What's cookin, Chicago?

Courtesy of The Good Mood Food blog

Swedish Meatballs
Courtesy of Simply Recipes

Coutesy of Kalyn's Kitchen

Courtesy of Appetite for China

Glazed Butts and Fried Toes

Another change in the menu...no chicken equals more pork. I was at Sweetbay a few weeks back and they had some really nice (smaller) pork butts on sale for between $2-3 bucks! I couldn't pass them up so we bought like 6 of them. Hence, tonight we are having...

Glazed Butts (Honey Glazed Pork Roast)

Season Rub: Onion powder, Black pepper, Salt, Red pepper flakes (I was out of Cayenne), Paprika

1. Rub Roast generously with your seasoning rub. Turn on oven to 350 degrees
2. In an oven ready pan, melt 3T butter along with 2T honey (or maple syrup) and 1T garlic. Once butter is melted, add Roast. Brown all the sides.
3. Cover pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven. Cook 15-20 minutes per pound. Turn the Roast half way through. (This can also be placed in the crock pot on low for 4-6 hours)

Fried Toes (Potato Croquettes)

Mashed Potatoes (1 tub or about 1 lb)
Garlic, minced/crushed
2 eggs
bread crumbs

1. Season your potatoes if not already and mix in the garlic. Next, lightly beat 1 egg and then combine with the potatoes.
2. Roll the potatoes into 2 inch logs that are about the thickness of a quarter. (if you have cubed cheese, it is super yummy to slide a cube in the center of the potato roll before coating)
3. In a new bowl, lightly beat the other egg. In a separate bowl, add the bread crumbs. (I like to spice things up a bit add a bit of Tabasco in with the egg)
4. Roll each potato roll (or croquette) in egg and then in breadcrumbs. Fry or bake until crispy. Serve with sour cream.

Change of pace

Although I posted my meal plan menu, I haave not stuck to it yet. It was based on what I thought (key word) was in the freezer in the way of meat. Yet, I was surprised to find that I was totally out of chicken (good thing it is on sale either this week or next week at Publix...time to stock back up. Anywho, I made a few changes...

Frisco Melts for 2
I made these last night and served with frozen Matzo Ball Soup...yes I defrosted it first!

3/4 lb lean ground beef
4 slices of cheese (I used Munster)
4 pieces of toast
Ketchup/Mayo mixed
Pickles- thin sliced

Make the paties really thin and then fry up. Add cheese and melt. Spread your mayo mix on the bread, layer with pickels (tomato and lettuce) and meat...serve hot and delish!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa's Cake cookies

Today we had a Santa Movie and Cookies playdate, so, I needed a quick cookie to whip up for the kiddos. I didn't have time to make anything the night before and there was no trip to the store in my future. As I peered into my pantry I noticed my canister of flour was almost empty...so, it was between the bok of white cake mix or the brownie mix. Although, I am sure the brownie mix would make fantastic cookies, they were not right for tomorrow. So, a white box of cake mix it is!!!

Cake Cookies

1 box of cake mix
1 egg
1 stick of butter (softened, not melted)
***Optional: mix in choc chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, basically anything you want

Dump it all into a standup mixer and mix. (or use a hand mixer to combine then use your hands to finish off the mixing. Make 1 inch balls (roll in colored sugar) and place on a un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for a non-stick pan (375 degrees for a light colored or glass pan) for 7-9 minutes.

(If you want to make rolled cookies instead of drop cookies, use 2/3c of butter)

The cookies were a real hit. I think the moms ate as many cookies as the kids....if not more! I would say that is a true measure of success! lol!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crockpot: Cream Cheese Chicken

Cream Cheese Chicken a la Crock pot

3 chicken breasts
1 package dry italian dressing mix (I use Good Seasons)
4 T melted butter
1 small onion chopped (optional)
2 garlic clove chopped (or use the jarred already minced variety)
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth (or water if you are out of broth...drop in a boullion cube if you have one!)

Spray your crock pot with Pam and then add your chicken. Sprinkle the seasoning packet over the chicken piecesand then dump 2 T melted butter over top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Mlt the 2 remaining T of butter in saucepan. Saute onions and garlic. Then, add the soup, cream cheese, and chicken broth; stir until melted & smooth. Add the soup mixture to the crockpot and cook on low for 1 additional hour.

Serve over Rice or noodles or even mashed potatoes!!! Yumm!

Meal Plan Sunday...lol

I just realized that although I created last weeks meal plan post, I totally forgot to post it. Geesh! Sorry about that. Thus, I decided to start early this week and get my mela plan posted ASAP...before I forget!

This week is pretty easy. We are playing pantry clean up! We have done such an amazing job stocking up with all our awesome Publix shopping trips that we now need to get down to the business of eatting it! Kind of the point right! So, here ya go...

Sunday- Roasted Vegetable Minestrone
Monday- Pork Roast with glazed carrots
Tuesday- BBQ Sliders with Rosemary Parm Fries
Wednesday- Cream cheese Chicken over noodles with fresh green bean
Thursday- LO
Friday-Chicken Tortilla Soup with Spicy Island cheese Quesadilla
Saturday- LO soup with Ham and swiss panini
The minestrone recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drumond is an amazing cook and photographer. If you check out some oif her pics you will also see her house/kitchen is to die for!!! If you need some new ideas check out her blog for some new versions of your fav ol' recipes!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Per your request...

White Chicken Chili a la Crock Pot!

1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red pepper diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapeno peppers (I use 1/2 can so it isn't too spicy)
2 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
2 t ground cumin (Don't panic if you don't have in hand!)
Salt to taste
1 t cayenne pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
3 c chopped cooked chicken breast (I boil and shred my chicken)
3 (15 ounce) cans white cannalini beans
1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or your choice of cheese)
Sour Cream to garnish

1. Add all of the ingredients into the crock pot and cook on low for at least 5 hours (6-8 hours preferred).
2. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream.


Tomorrow should be an awesome experience. We will have six 2-3 year olds and their mamas trying to put pierogies together. It should be interesting to see the attention span of these little ones in addition to their attention to detail. I am thinking they will have some fun making circles and maybe putting the filling in, but the mamas will probably have to take over to finish everything up! We shall see though. I will update with pics (if I remember to take them. In the meantime...here is the recipe for you to check out!

Potato and Cheese Pierogies

Dough:   2 c flour;  1/2 t salt;   2 egg yolks;   2 t oil;   1/2 - 3/4 c hot water
Filling:   Prepared mashed potatoes; 1 c cheddar cheese

To make the dough:

1. Put the flour in a mountain shape on your counter. Sprinkle the salt on top of flour, then make a well in center. Add the egg yolks and oil in the center of the well. Stir in circular motion using your fingers, working from middle of flour out. Add water a little at a time, as you go. The dough should be slightly sticky. Roll into a ball.

2. Knead dough 20 - 25 times or until soft and elastic. (or simply put in the stand mixer with the kneading bit for a few minutes until elastic) Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

To Fill:
1. To fill pierogies, divide dough into 3 - 4 pieces. Using hands, shape into logs about 1" in diameter. Slice each log into pieces 1-inch wide. Dust lightly with flour. Press each piece into a thin round circle. Add 1t of filling in center. Then, gently pull dough over filling to form half-moon shape. Carefully, pinch edges together to seal. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

To cook:

1. Bring a big pot of water to a hard boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add perogies, one at a time. (be careful not to over crowd the pan) Cook uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pierogies from water or drain.

2. In a saute pan, melt 1-2 T butter. Saute pierogies on each side until lightly brown. Serve with sour cream.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Meal Plan

I hope everyone had an outstanding Thanksgiving! We had a small dinner at home with the boys. We are so thankful to be together and definitely spent the day counting our blessings. But, now it is time to jump right back on the meal plan train. So, here is what I have planned thus far...

Thursday: Spaghetti Dinner with all my hubbies High School friends
Friday: Braised Short Ribs
Saturday:Shepards Pie (using up leftover mashed potatoes)

Sunday: Left overs
Monday: Stove Top Pork chops with Sweet potatoes
Tuesday:Chicken and Yellow Rice with a salad
Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Hanukkah Dinner with family

Friday: Stuffed Pork Loin with Pierogies
Saturday: Chili with Jiffy pudding
Sunday: Leftovers

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

I decided to make these a bit different this time around. I am going to put the rice in the enchiladas and the serve with a salad and plantains. For this recipe, you can purchase enchilada sauce or at the bottom I have included my enchilada sauce recipe. Do what works for you!

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

10-12 flour tortillas
1 onion, chopped **Optional of course!
3c mild enchilada sauce (store bought or homemade)
2 (16 ounce) cans black beans (do not drain)
2 cups cooked brown rice (or white rice if you prefer)
1c shredded cheese
1. Saute onion in a bit of pam. Add black beans, then mash everything up. Now, add 1 cup of enchilada sauce, rice and cheese.
2. Fill the tortilla with your bean/cheese mix then roll and put in baking dish seam side down. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Enchilada Sauce
2 T oil
2 T flour
2 T chili powder (or hot sauce if out of chili powder)
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
2 c water
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Heat oil in pan, then stir in flour and chili powder; cook for 1 minute. (If using hot sauce, cook flour only for 1 minute, then add hot sauce with remaining ingredients) Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

*Makes about 3 cups sauce.

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

*This is a super simple chicken recipe that you can throw together in a pinch. Is is quick and very yummy!

3 breasts boneless skinless chicken
3 slices bacon
3 slices ham (the reg. lunchmeat type)
3-4T cottage cheese
**Optional: Parmesan, mozzerella cheese

1. Slice chicken almost in half. Open up and place one slice of ham in between the halves. Then, add 1T cottage cheese (optional to mix cottage cheese with mozzerella and/or parmesan). Then, fold closed and wrap in bacon. You can then coat with BBQ sauce or simply serve on the side as a dip.

2. Bake at 475 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spaghetti a la #1

Spaghetti a la #1 is my own recipe for a meat filled spaghetti sauce. It has been adapted from the recipe my dad used to make when I was younger. My family LOVES this sauce. You can use any combination of meat that you have on hand. It is a great way to clean up a bit of this and a dab of that!

Spaghetti a la #1

2 chicken breast
2 boneless pork chops (or boneless pork ribs)
1/2 lb gound meat (pork, beef, chicken..your choice)
1-2 sausage (remove casing of spicy, italian...your choice)
1-2 cans Tomato Sauce
3 cans petite diced tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper
1T paprika
2 t pepper flakes
Veggies: broccolli, red peppers, onions, carrots, zucchini, ect...

1. Brown all your meat. Then, add to a large pot along with tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer.
2. Steam veggies. Then, place in a food processor and process until it turns to mush! Add your veggie mush to your sauce.
3. Simmer sauce until meat is tender (1- 1.5 hours). Remove meat chunks and shred. Then, return to pot, stir and serve over pasta.

Meal Plan...on Tuesday

Well, things have been super busy in our household. Our 2nd son was born on October 25th and after a few complications, I was released from the hospital on Oct 30th. Luckily my mom flew in just in time to help my hubbie take care of our 30 mo old and newborn son. Unfortunately, my mom had to fly home and I am on my own again. Thus, the meal plans are starting back up! I also finally cleaned out my freezer. Now, I have a very clear picture of what I have to clean/use up! So, here is what I have planned for this week!

Monday: Spaghetti Dinner (delivering dinner to a sick friend)
Tuesday: Leftover spaghetti
Wednesday: Marinated Pork Chops with Pad Thai noodles
Thursday: Cube Steaks with Triple Corn Casserole and fresh sliced tomato
Friday: Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Spanish Rice and Salad
Saturday: LO
Sunday:Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken with Squash
Monday: Chicken and Rice

I also plan on using up my brown bananas this week. I will be making a Cranberry Banana Bread. This is a easy quick bread recipe. I merged 2 recipes to create this yummy creation. So, here you go...

Cranberry Banana Bread
2 c all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
4 T butter, melted
1 c dried cranberries, or 12 oz fresh cranberries
4 brown bananas, mashed

Spray your loaf pan with PAM and lightly sprinkle with flour (or use a nonstick pan). Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a seperate bowl, combine egg, milk, butter, and mashed banana.

Pour the banan mix into the flour mix and stir to combine. Add cranberries. Pour into pan and bake 1 hour 15 minutes if using fresh cranberries, or 45 minutes if using dried cranberries. Remove and allow to cool. Then smear warm bread with fresh butter and endulge!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quick Man's Apple Crisp

Last night on a total whim my hubbie said he was craving apple pie...so I had to come up with something. I mean who doesn't like cooked apples. I had 3 apples waiting to be used so, I created the Quick Man's Crisp.

3 apples- peeled cored and chopped
1T butter
1T Brown sugar
1/4t salt
2t Corn starch

Put the first 4 ingredients in a small pot and cook on medium low until tender. Then, drain the juices into a small dish. Whisk in the corn starch until smooth. Then, return juices to the pot. Continue to cook on low until apples thicken, then remove from heat and spoon into a small baking dish.

Turn oven on to 375 degrees.

2 spoonfuls oats
2 spoonfuls flour
2-3 spoonfuls brown sugar
1.5 T butter
**I used the larger spoons not the cereal size spoons.

Put all ingredients into the food processor. Process until crumbly. Sprinkle crumbles on top of apples and put in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a bit. Serve with vanilla icecream.

Super yummy and definitely super easy!!!

Meal Plan Monday...on Sunday (AGAIN...lol!)

So, maybe I need to change the name again...but at least this gives me an extra day for those weeks I fall behind. This week when I asked my hubbie what he wanted for dinner he said potatoes, rice and country fried ham. Usually I listen to what he says, do my own things and try to accomodate at least 1 of his requests. If it were up for him we would eat pork chops and potatoes every night...to mix it up he might mix in some baked beans or Rice-A-Roni...hence why I do my own thing. Yet, I did try to take his requests to hear this week.

Sunday- Pot Roast with root veggies (from last weeks menu)
Monday-Cube Steaks with boiled/butter/parsley potatoes (I will have a sweet potato or zucchini) and green beans
Tuesday-Chinese Pork Stir Fry with noodles
Wednesday- LO
Thursday-BBQ Pork Slopy Joes with Latkes and a salad
Friday-Mojo Pork Burritos with Red beans/Rice and Plaintains
Saturday-Country Fried Ham with Squash and salad

Eggplant Parmesan

I LOVE eggplant, but I don't get to cook it very often because my hubbie won't eat it. Eggplants are rather large,so, to make it for just me...it make way to much! Yet, I figured I would take one night and go all out. I started the sauce at 3:45 and finished everything by 5:30. Not too bad considering the massive servings I made.

I found this recipe on a cooking message boards. I also made Chicken Parmesan for my hubbie using the same process as the Eggplant recipe. I also only made half half the eggplant...3 eggplants is def too much for one person!!!

**Tip: Read through the recipes for both before you start cooking. Your first step should be to slice and salt the eggplant before you start the sauce.

Scalini's Eggplant Parmesan

3 medium size eggplants
1 cup of flour
6 eggs, beaten
4 cups fine Italian bread crumbs, seasoned
Olive oil
8 cups of marinara sauce*
1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lbs of mozzarella cheese shredded
2 cups of ricotta cheese

After you wash the eggplant, slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices. You may choose to peel the eggplant before you slice it, however you may want to leave the skin on since the skin contains a lot of vitamins. Place the eggplant slices on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt, then cover with another layer of paper towels and hold it down with something heavy. This will drain the excess moisture. Let them set for about an hour.

Working with one slice of eggplant at a time, dust with flour, then dip in beaten eggs, then coat well with bread crumbs. Saute' in preheated olive oil on both sides until golden brown.
In baking dish, alternate layers of marinara sauce, eggplant slices, ricotta, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses, until you fill the baking dish about an 1/8 inch from the top. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 25 minutes in 375 degree oven. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

Scalini's Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
3 tablespoons of olive oil
8 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup onions chopped
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (if you don't have use hot sauce)
1/8 cup of fresh chopped sweet basil
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of rosemary
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon black pepper

Lightly sauté the onions in olive oil in large pot for a few minutes. Add garlic and saute' another minute. Add tomatoes and bring sauce to boil, then turn heat to low. Add remaining ingredients, stir, cover and let simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Cooking from the Couch: Croatian Style Goulash

If you are not used to eating sauerkraut, this recipe may scare you a bit. Yet, if you put it in the food processor it will chop it down nicely and add a great texture to this goulash. It is also not sour (pickled tasted) because you you drain and wash the sauerkraut. So, try it out...it really is yummy!

Croatian Style Goulash:

1.5 lbs Beef (I used pot roast)
2 T Olive Oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 T paprika (hot or mild)
1 (15oz) can diced (or crushed) tomatoes
1 t sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 (15oz) can sauerkraut
3/4 c sour cream

1 pkg egg noodles

1. Trim fat from meat and cut into 3/4" cubes.
2. In a med. pot, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Then, stir in garlic and saute for 1 minute (or until fragrant). Remove pan from heat, add paprika and swish around to combine. Return to heat and add meat and brown until it releases most of its juices. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt/pepper. Simmer on low for 20 minutes.
3. Remove sauerkraut from jar. Rinse in water and squeeze to remove the excess of the water. Put in a food processor or chop until it is in smaller pieces. Add to beef and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender. (Add additional water as needed)
4. Stir in sour cream and allow to thicken. While thickening, boil water and cook pasta as directed.
5. Serve over egg noodles (or polenta, rice, mashed potatoes)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cooking from the Couch: Chicken Philly Subs

We bought some yummy fresh bread from the store and we already had leftover roast chicken from dinner the other night. Since we needed a really easy dinner after a hectic weekend, I thought Chicken Philly subs would be a great "easy" choice.

Chicken Philly Subs

Shredded Leftover chicken (even rotisserie)
1 pat of butter
sliced Pimentos
Onions (for those who actually like onions)
sliced Mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
Provolone Cheese
Crusty Bread

1. Saute veggies in butter. Once they start to get tender, add chicken. Cook on low until warm. Cover with cheese and put a lid on pan to allow cheese to melt.
2. Cut bread in half and lightly toast. Smear on the mayo and spoon in the veggies/chicken mix. Serve warm with a nice Kosher Dill.

Meal Plan Monday...on Sunday!

Well, I have had a crazy 2 weeks between guests in town, family in the hospital and a sick son. So, I apologize for the meal plan hiatus! I should officially be off bedrest sometime this week, so, I look forward to picking back up on cooking! I can't wait. Since this is in the works, I am planning on making a great Sicilian Eggplant Parmesan this week! It sounds so delicious...I can't wait!

Sunday: Chicken Philly Subs with spinach salad
Monday: Potroast with lots of Veggies
Tuesday: Sicilian Eggplant Parm (and Chicken Parm for the hubbie)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Croatian Goulash
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Grilled Terriyaki Chicken and Fried Rice
Sunday: Asian Chicken Salad (with LO chicken Terriyaki)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cooking From the Couch:Manicotti

Today we master manicotti. This is a simplified recipe to accommodate my husbands ever expanding repetoire. It should be interesting to see how many of these noodles end up on the floor for the dog! Hope we have dinner tonight!

Tomato Sauce:
28oz can diced tomatoes
28oz can tomato sauce
2 T olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/2 t salt

Ricotta Filling:
3 c ricotta cheese
4 oz Parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
salt and pepper
16 lasagna noodles
1. Boil a pot of water and cook noodles until al dente.Once cooked, fill pot with cold water.
2.Saute your garlic in the pan with oil until light brown. Careful not to burn. Remove from heat and add all the remaining ingredients. Return to heat, cover and simmer.
3. Make Ricotta filling by mixing together: Ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper.
4. The Assembly: Put 1 cup of sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Spread 3 spoonfuls (about 1/4c) of ricotta filling on each cooked noodle. Roll up the noodle and place seam down in the baking dish. Then, cover pasta rolls with remaining pasta sauce (making sure to cover each roll completely). Then, cover dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and add the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake a few minutes longer until cheese is melted. Allow to cool a bit and serve.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Well, I am still on bed rest and feeling really tried and quite poopy lately. I spent much of the weekend in bed to be honest. I was hoping by now to be feeling a bit better, but it comes and goes! I have been able to cook at least 1 night a week lately, but it is always super quick and easy!

This week I am excited about our mealtime plans...I even had to get an early start!!! Hubbie and I  love Shepard's Pie...it is out ultimate comfort food! Plus, who doesn't love manicotti! Should be fun to watch my hubbie dig into making this one! I am also planning on a simple peach crisp since peaches are still in season! I love peach cobble and apple crisp, so, I decided to combine them into one delicious dessert! Now to send my hubbie to the store from some ice cream.

Sunday- Shepard's Pie
Monday- LO Pie and a salad
Tuesday- Pork chops, boxed potatoes (sweet potato for me) and a salad
Wednesday- Manicotti
Thursday-Ricotta Chicken and LO Manicotti
Friday- Dinner out/ Take out
Saturday- Grilled Pizza

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cooking from the Couch: Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

This was a really nice change from your traditional chicken and yellow rice dish. Super easy to throw together and you can add whatever veggies you like! This makes a nice big pot and is great served with a simple salad and of course...a staple...plantains!!!

Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans

2 T oil, divided
3 chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces
½ package of Taco seasoning, divided
2 c rice

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cans chicken broth
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c frozen peas
1/2c frozen corn
1 pimento, chopped
Salsa and sour cream for serving

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the diced chicken breast and season with salt, pepper and 1/4 package Taco seasoning. Brown chicken 2-3 minutes (doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through). Remove the chicken and add the second tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the rice. Cook on medium-low, make sure to stir until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and  the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the pot along with the beans, corn, peas and pimentos. Cook on low for 10-12 minutes. Check rice to see if tender. If not, cover  for another 5 minutes or so. Keep and eye on it though so it doesn't burn.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cooking From the Couch: Ravioli Casserole

We made the Ravioli Casserole tonight and it was super easy and really yummy! I would definitely recommend trying this quick and easy recipe out! It is a great spin off of the traditional spaghetti and meat sauce. Not the most dietetic dinner, but it sure was good!

Cheese Ravioli Casserole

1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
1 T olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 c heavy cream (I used milk)
salt and ground black pepper
1lb frozen cheese ravioli
1 c mozzarella cheese

Bring a pot of water to a boil. In another pan, brown the sausage. Make sure to chunk it up as it cooks. If it doesn't chunk up small enough, put the cooked sausage in the food processor for a bit until it looks like ground beef. Remove and set aside.

Once water is boiling, cook ravioli according to directions. I cook to al dente.

In the same pan, add oil, garlic and tomato paste. Saute for a minute or two and then add tomato sauce. Allow to simmer for a 3-4 minutes. Then, add milk and seasoning. Simmer a few minutes longer.

Combine drained ravioli and sauce in a baking dish...cover with mozzarella and bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted. (This step can totally be skipped)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cooking from the Couch: Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are something I ate a lot as a child. I really LOVE my sloppy joes. Yet, it is something I had to introduce them to my hubbie. I always ate the typical canned variety, but it has onions, so that was quickly nixed. Hence, I came up with my own Sloppy Joe recipe to accommodate my hubbies hatred for onions.

The nice thing about this recipe is my hubbie can make it completely on his own with no instruction necessary. I had him make a double batch so we could freeze a few meals for post baby. Try it out and let me know what you think!

2 ½ lb ground beef
2 T tomato paste
3/4 c smoky BBQ sauce

2/3 c ketchup
¼ c Worcestershire sauce
¼ c soy sauce
pepper (I like a lot of pepper)
1T paprika
Brown the ground beef, then drain off the excess oil. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Then, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Serve on buns.

Meal Plan Monday!!

I love the sound of that..Meal Plan Monday! I wish I was on top of things enough to make sure to have my meal plan posted every Monday. Hey...nothing like a new goal right!!!!!

Here is what we are thinking for this week:

Sunday- My Birthday...no cooking here!
Monday-Sloppy Joes (homemade)
Tuesday-Cheese Ravioli Bake with Garlic Cheese Bread
Thursday-Red Chile Chicken and rice with plantains and salad
Saturday-Grilled pizzas
I know many of these meals (like the sloppy joes) could also have a left over day, but I am going to start freezing some of the leftovers now so when baby does decided to come we have some frozen meals ready. I know my hubbie is doing great learning to cook, but I cannot guarantee that I will have it all together ahead of time to put my meal plan and cooking directions together when the new little one gets here. AND, I certainly don't think he will have it all together to be preparing meals every night in addition to taking care of our 2.5 year old, me and a newborn. We are all great multi-taskers, but we all have limits...lol!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bento: Jello Snacks

I recently introduce my son to jello snack cups. It was love at first bite! As I looked at the back of the box, I was saddened to see all the ingredients I could not read. So, I knew that was going to be a one time buy. In the meantime, I knew I had to find an alternative plus I would be thrilled to $$. Those little jello cups were $2.79 for 4, that is $0.70 a piece plus everything else you put in the lunch box. It all adds up! So, when I saw our local store had V8 Splash for BOGO, I knew what I was going to do.

Kiwi Strawberry Jello Cups

1 1/2 cups strawberry kiwi V8 Splash juice, divided

1 cup frozen strawberries ( I used fresh strawberries had frozen earlier in the season)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (I used Agava Nectar)
Blend 1 cup of juice and the frozen fruit until smooth.(I like to keep it a bit chunky) Pour into a small pan and bring to a boil. Stir to avoid those little frothy bubbles. Put the remaining 1/2 cup juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and let stand 1 minute. Add the hot juice and whisk until the gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar. Allow to cool a bit before you pour the jello into small reusable containers. (I also strain off any remaining foam) Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. Do not add lids to the containers until completely set.
***These can be done with virtually any juice/fruit combination.

Bento: What's for Lunch?

I have been making my son's lunch for the past few weeks now. It was easy at first. A protein of some sorts, a fruit, a dairy and a snack. Even as I tried to mix things up I started to notice how much processed foods were making their way not only into my home, but most importantly into my son's lunch. That got me thinking...we buy these things because they are easy and convenient.

So, I am now finding recipes to make some healthy alternatives for my son's lunch. My first find...peanut butter balls. Yes, I know real creative right! haha! I have made these before, but forgot about them! The best thing about this recipe is you can you what ever HEALTHY cereals you have on hand.

Healthy Peanut butter Snack Balls
2/3 cups honey (I used agave nectar)
2 cups peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 cups rice krispies
1/2+ cups grape nuts (I used lowfat granola)

1/4 cup applesauce
2/3 cups coconut
1 cups crushed cereal (I use cheerios and Chex)
1/2+ cups chocolate (I used raisins)
1.5-3 T powdered milk
2/3 cups crushed mini-wheat cereal (or graham crackers)
Mix everything but the last ingredient. Roll into 1" balls, then roll in the crushed cereal. You can refrigerate or freeze. This sized batch made over 50 balls.

(I forgot to add that I put flax seed in with the rest of the ingredients)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Southwest style burger and Campfire Potatoes

Southwest style burgers are a real hit in this household which is a surprise with my super picky hubbie.

Southwest Style Burgers
1 can of chipolte peppers in adobo sauce
1lb ground beef
1t garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
Fixings: Colby Jack cheese, tomato, avocado buns, ketchup

I cut up 1 pepper and added just a bit of the sauce (maybe 1-1.5T) into a bowl with the meat. Then, seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then, my hubbie grilled up the burgers. I sliced up the tomato and avacado.

Campfire Potatoes
Red potatoes, diced small (I used 5 med potatoes)

A1 sauce
Hot sauce
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
Red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
Worcestershire sauce

In a non-stick skillet heat the potatoes over high heat for a few minutes. (cut them small so they cook quickly) Cook until tender, but not soft. Add enough A1 sauce so all the potatoes have a thin coating over them. Next add some red pepper flakes, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and Lawry's. (Use as much or as little of each) Continuously turn the potatoes until they are cooked through. The sauce will form a crunchy outer layer. About 5 minutes before finishing add a little more A1 and hot sauce, tossing to coat.

Cooking from the Couch: Carnitas and Pork Tacos

Carnitas are really easy and husband friendly. We had a family sized pack of boneless pork ribs to use up this week, but you can really use just about any cut of pork...although I don't recommend thin pork chops! Once defrosted, I have my hubbie put all the pork in a big zip lock bag with about half a jar of Mojo sauce (found in Mexican food section at your local grocery store). We let this marinate over night, then, my hubbie dumped it in the crock pot in the morning (sauce and all) and cooked on low for 6 hours.

I had the luxury of smelling this delicious pork cooking all day...it was almost too much to handle. When my hubbie got home, we whipped up a batch cornbread and a salad.

We have this mix made ready to use. It is 4 c flour, 1 T salt, 1 c sugar, 1/4 c baking powder, 1 c lard, 4 c cornmeal. It makes about 10 cups of total mix. I just throw everything into the stand up mixed with the whisk attachment and let it do the work of mixing. Then, put in and airtight container and in the fridge it goes.

To make tonight's, cornbread, I used 2 1/2 cups of the homemade cornbread mix with 1 beaten egg and 1-1/4 cups milk. Mix just until dry ingredients and then pour in a drained can of corn. Mix well. Pour everything into a greased  8" square pan and bake at 425 degrees for 15-25 minutes. Super easy and extra yummy!

Pork Tacos (with leftovers)

We turned the oven on to slowly heat up the leftover pork some pimentos (or cooked green and red peppers). We let this heat up slowly in a covered dish at abut 300 degrees for 20 minutes. (or,microwave it)

While it was heating I had my hubbie make a batch of brown rice and white beans. The rice cooked on its own. Then, for the beans he put a can of white northern beans in a small pot with a little olive oil, 1 t cumin and 1 t cayenne pepper. Just let this heat up on low.

Then, once everything was hot are ready to go we had soft flour tortillas, the pork with peppers, some sour cream and cheddar cheese with the white beans and brown rice on the side. Super simple and a great use for the left over pork.

Cooking with Kids: Banana Bread

Today I hosted my monthly Cooking with Kids playdate. It ended up being at the end of August due to the bed rest situation. I was nervous at first about if I was going to be able to handle having all the kids over, my son home all day and still accomplish our project. I definitely still did more than I am supposed too, but it all worked out...only a few contractions during the event.

With hubbies help, we made 1 loaf of banana bread and 1 chocolate zucchini bread to share with the group.

We have a small group of 4 kiddos cooking today...our 5th slept through the whole thing! lol! So, I set it up so that everyone had their own job.

The two oldest boys (almost 2.5 yos) had the job of mashing bananas.

The two younger ones (almost 2yos) each had a set of ingredients to mix. To help make this easy, I gave each a bowl to mix in, all the ingedients, a whick to mix and  plastic measuring cups and spoons. (Oh and a notecard with the measurements)
One mixed the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. I gave this little one a sifter to play with while the others mixed. She loved it!

The other little one had wet ingredients: oil, sugar and 1 egg. His mommy helped to get all the ingredients in the bowl and then he did his best to mix it all together.

Then, the two older boys dumped all the ingredients in the big bowl and each took turns mixing it. By this time, I was having contractions, so to the chair I went. Mrs. S was nice enough to pour the batter into each childs own mini loaf pan.

Then, we gave the mini loaves back to the kids to add their extras. We had chocolate chips and nuts. Then, into the oven the mini loaves went for about 30 minutes (convection oven at 350 degrees). As payment for all their hard work, the kids were then given some "cake" to eat! Both types were a total hit!

The kids went off and plyed while their bread baked! Then, each got to take home their own mini loaf of banana bread! Complete success...especially because while I engulfed banana bread the ladies helped clean up! The kids were great though, no real mess to speak of!

If you haven't tried cooking with your kids yet or hosting a cooking playdate...try making banana bread. It is quick, easy and bakes up fast!

Banana Bread Recipe

1 3/4c flour,
2 1/4t baking powder,
1/2t salt,

1/3c oil,
2/3c sugar,
1 egg,

4 bananas

Mix dry ingredients in 1 bowl and the wet in another, then fold in together. Pour into pan....Bake at 350 degrees. For a 1 loaf pan bake 50-60 minutes. If using mini loaf pans or muffins, bake for 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This week's Cooking from the Couch Menu...

I was really drawing a blank this week on what I wanted to eat..go figure the pregnant girl with no cravings. Since it is coming towards the end of the month, I figured this would be a good week to work on cleaning out our pantry and freezer. So, we will make some classic dishes with a few alterations to accomodate what is available on hand. We have a lot of pork and chicken in the freezer along with a few other random things, so, let's see what we come up with.

Sunday: Carnitas with Cornbread mash
Monday: (LO meat) Pork Tacos with white beans
Tuesday: Grilled Pork chops with green bean soup
Wednesday: L.O soup with Ham and Cheese stuffed Biscuits
Thursday: A friend is bringing Cuban food
Friday: Southwest style Burgers with campfire potatoes
Saturday: Frito Pie

Again I will work to post recipes as we go along!

Cooking from the Couch: Spaghetti and Meatballs

One think my hubbie can make is spaghetti...I mean boiling water and setting a timer is right up his alley. So, I decided to make a very simple spaghetti and meatball recipe. It did not have all the glorious veggies hidden in the sauce like I usually do, but it was still simply delicious. Plus, all you non cooks out there won't have any more excused for takeout with this simple menu.

Spaghetti and Make-Shift Bolognese

First make the meatballs:
My hubbie brought me a huge bowl with:
1/2lb of extra lean ground beef
1/2 c bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1 egg
1/4c milk
1/4c Parmesan

Once I mushed everything, I formed into1.5-2 inch balls. I placed each ball into a lightly greased cupcake pan. I have a huge 24 cupcake pan, so, I filled each cup. My hubbie put it in a 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes while I got up to wash my hands.

While it cooked, he started the water boiling in one pot. In another pot he poured in 1 large can of tomato sauce...you can use any spaghetti sauce unless you have a super picky eater like my hubbie. So, he put the sauce in a saute pan and turned on low. As it heated up he mixed in 1/2c chicken stock (I had him use the leftover veggie chicken stock from the chicken pies) and 1/2 c milk.

Once the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and carefully place in your sauce. I always encourage my hubbie to roll the meatballs around a bit to cover in sauce. Then, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

You pasta should be ready now, so drain and add a splash of oils to avoid everything sticking together. Then put into individual pasta bowls with a meatball or two and slather in sauce. Garnish with a little bit of Parmesan! Mission accomplished..easy and delish!

Cooking from the Couch: Chicken pies

Tonight I was craving chicken pot pies, so, I put my hubbie to work. He brought me all the veggies  to prepare then, I walked him through the cooking process. He did great and it totally hit the spot.

Chicken Pies
Veggies of yout choice: potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans
3 breasts of boneless, skinless chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup (low- sodium)
1/2 c milk
Salt and pepper
1 can of biscuits

First, I prepared the veggies:
* I chopped up 3-4 potatoes into bite sized pieces.
* Cut baby carrots into thirds
* I de-stemmed the green beans and cut into thirds
* My hubbie opened a car of corn..I wasn't even going to try to mess with trying to cut corn of the cob on the couch...didn't sound like the safest option!

While I was chopping, my hubbie filled a stock pot half way with water and set it on the stove to boil. Once boiling, he added all the veggies (minus the corn) and boiled for about 10 minutes. You want the veggies to be al dente, soft but firm.

As he fished out all the veggies and returned the water to boiling. I cut 3 breasts of skinless boneless chick in half lengthwise. Then, he added to the water and allowed to boil for another 10 minutes.

In the meantime, my hubbie combined 1 can of low sodium Cream of Chicken soup with 1/2 cup of milk. Mix well with a bit of salt and a lot of pepper. Then, mix in the corn and veggies. Once the chicken was cooked, remove from the pot (save the stock you created...it will be a great veggie chicken stock for soups...freeze it for later). Chop up into bit sized pieces and mix into the veggies.

Pour everything into a baking, I had my hubbie pour everything into a deep dish pie pan, but you could use a 9x9 square or something similar. Then, he cracked open a tube of biscuits (I prefer the small cheap ones..not grands, but that is a personal preference!) and covered the top of out chicken pie with the biscuits. Then, Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Serve..it's delicious!

Boo Hoo Breakfast Brunch

I decided to have a few friends over for a Boo Hoo Breakfast. Many will be sending their little ones off to preschool for the first time. So, I though it would be filling to wallow together instead of alone...AND...what better way to do it than with some good ol' homecookin'!

Orange Stuffed French Toast

1 loaf day-old french bread
Orange Marmalade
Spreadable butter
2.5 cups milk (I will use low-fat milk for my diet conscious pals)

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
6 large eggs (I will use egg beaters instead)

1. Cut loaves in half, then slice the bread 3/4 of the way through. Each slice should be about 1" wide. Spread one side of the bread with a thin layer of butter and on the other spread a nice thick layer of orange marmalade.
2. Mix remaining ingredients. Place in a ziplock bag prepared french bread loaves. Refridgerate overnight to allow all that eggy goodness to soak in.
3. Carefully remove from bag, Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Serve with:
Marmalade Syrup: warm up 1/2 c of marmalade and 1/2 c water.

I will also make a Yogurt Parfait: 1 layer of plain yogurt, 1 layer of sliced strawberries, another layer of plain yogurt and top with low fat granola. Mmmmm!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken

This the easiest recipe. I usually would do this very differently, but I had to come up with something simple for mu hubbie to make. I had him cut 2 breasts of chicken in half and grill them. Then, once cooked he chopped up and drenched in Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce. Super simple!!!

He served over brown rice and some steam fresh mixed veggies that he also lightly drenched in sauce.

Tex Mex Enchilada Bake

Although the recipe calls for everything to be put together in layers and baked...I hate when everything gets all mushy, so, my hubbie mixed everything together and I helped roll it up into individual enchiladas. Also, we used flour tortillas because I don't like corn.

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 each large red and green pepper, chopped
2 cups salsa
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed and drained
12 corn tortillas (6 inch)...I use flour
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups Mexican style shredded cheese

Heat oven to 400. I had hubbie cut breasts in half and grill. He also grilled the red and green peppers. Then, he chopped up. Once everything is chopped up, stir in salsa and corn.

Original recipe says: Arrange 6 tortillas on bottom of 13X9 inch baking dish, cover with layers of 1/2 each chicken mixture, sour cream. Repeat layers; cover with foil. Baker 40 minutes, then removing foil after 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes

My version: Filled each tortilla with chicken mix and some sour cream. Then place in a baking dish and  cover in foil. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meatloaf, Meatloaf, everywhere!!!

Who doesn't love a meatloaf every once in awhile..plus leftover meatloaf sammies are da bomb! My hubbie was raised on meatloaf with the cooked egg in the center, which I love, but he hates eggs. Meatloaf is not his favorite, but he will tolerate it ever so often. Plus, he HATES to touch/mix the meat. So, I had him dump everything in a big bowl and I mixed from the couch.

Here is how to throw it all together:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef ( I use a mix of pork and beef)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
Salt and black pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs

Press the brown sugar in the bottom of the loaf pan and spread the ketchup over the sugar. In a big bowl, mix remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup. Bake at 350 degrees for 1- 1.5 hour or until juices are clear. Flip over and serve.

Potato Soup and Reubens

Since I had leftover sauerkraut, I thought it would be a great idea to make Rubens.

I started hubbie off with the potato soup. Now, I know this was going to be a challenge for him, but I knew if I made the directions simply enough he would be fine...he was not so confident.

Here is how to make the Delicious Potato Soup:

Delicious Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes ( I did this while on the couch)
1/4 cup diced celery (skipped)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (skipped)
3/4 cup diced cooked ham ( we used leftover sliced ham)
3 1/4 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
5 tbsp butter (I used non-salted butter)
5 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I used 1c cream and 1c milk)

Boil the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a pot over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the bouillon cube, salt and pepper. in the micro melt butter and whisk in flour with a fork. Put bak in micro for 30 sec, stir and repeat for 30 more seconds. Slowly whisk in milk so there are no clumps. Micro for 1 more minute the add to pot. Cook soup until heated through.

1/3lb Corned Beef
1/4lb Swiss
Thousand Island dressing
Rye or your choice of bread

Spread Thousand island dressing on both halves of bread...spread generously. Then, add meat and swiss. Top with sauerkraut and bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts (about 3 minutes) or if you are my hubbie stick in the toasted oven!

Pork and Sauerkraut Bake

For this recipe you can use almost any type of pork. I bought pork ribs on sale, so, that is what we are having for dinner. I had my hubbie brown them in the pot. This was funny because he kept bringing the pot over to the couch to show me...is this right? Are they done yet?

Anywho...the next part can be done in the slow cooker if you want to have for dinner and are not going to be home all day. This is how we did it because otherwise we would have eaten dinner at 9pm. Usually, I would mix everything and place in a Pyrex dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours or until meat is soft.

So, here is how you put it together...

Drain the sauerkraut, but do not rinse! Put 1/2 bag of sauerkraut in the bottom of the slow cooker. Then, place the browned pork on top. Put the remaining kraut on top. Then, season generously with salt, pepper and paprika. Fill the dish with water, pan should be about half full with water. Turn on high and cook for 3 hours. Voila dinner is served!

Pork Roast Dinner

Cooking a pork roast might be one of the easiest things my hubbie had to cook and I might say he was pretty proud of himself! I had him buy the type of pork roast that is tied together. These tend to be the most tender.

I had him cover the roast with salt and pepper. Then, place in a covered roasting pan (or any pan and cover with aluminum foil)and bake at 350 degrees for about 3 hours. Meat should easily pull away from the roast.

The leftover meat was placed back in the roasting pan with about 1/2 cup of water. He placed back in the oven for 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Once hot, he chopped it up and tossed in some leftover homemade BBQ sauce. Served on toasted buns with some store bought coleslaw.

Here is my homemade BBQ sauce recipe:

2 c Ketchup

4 tbsp. Brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Soy sauce
1 tbsp. Apple cider Vinegar
1 tbsp. Honey or Agave Nectar
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Yellow Mustard
1 tsp. Smoked paprika
1/2 Onion

I put everything in a pan and simmered for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft. Then, remove the onion and allow to cool.

Grilled Pizza

I LOVE grilled pizza! It is super simple (plus my hubbie can make them on his own). They cook so quickly and always have a crispy crust. Plus, there are so many variations.

My hubbie will made 3 pizzas (one for each of us). Our 2 yo sone, who also LOVES pizza, had a small cheese pizza. My hubbie had a pizza with fresh mozzarella, pimentos and sliced ham. I had a pesto and grilled zucchini and squash pizza with fresh mozzarella.

We used store bought pizza dough, but you can make your own if you like. The key to grilling pizza is to keep the flame low and check it often so it doesn't burn. Should take about 3-4 mins per pizza.

Here is my dough recipe if you want to make it from scratch:
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 package Rapid Rise Yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup very warm water (not hot)
2 Tbsp oil

In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, and salt. Stir in the very warm water and oil. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make soft dough not too sticky. Knead on lightly floured surface (or throw into the stand up mixer) until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes. Roll out to the desired size.

Cooking from the Couch

Since I have been on bed rest for the last week in a half, I had had to come up with meal ideas that will be suitable to my husbands cooking expertise. (Which I might add is very limited). So, I figured I would start this series of meal ideas called "Cooking from the Couch: Meal Ideas for a Non-Cook". The concept is simple...

So, here is what I have come up with thus far:

Sunday: Non- Creole Jambalya with salad
Monday: Left overs
Tuesday: Grilled Pork chops with baked beans and pickles
Wednesday: Grilled pizza (cheese, ham/cheese, grilled veggie)
Thursday: Pork Roast with green beans and a salad
Friday: Left over Pork- BBQ Pork Sammies with coleslaw
Saturday: Take out
Sunday: Pork and Sauerkraut Bake with Salad
Monday: Potato Soup with Rubens
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Meatloaf with baby carrots and village salad
Thursday: Leftovers with premade mashed potatoes
Friday: Tex- Mex Enchilada Bake
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Teriyaki Chicken over brown rice with frozen veggie mix

I am pretty confident that my hubbie can do these meals. Some of the recipes have been changed a bit to accommodate his cooking style. For example, the chicken and sausage for the Jambalaya was grilled instead on sauted or boiled.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tuesday's Greek Night

Opah! Although I live in a predominantly Greek town, I do and eat very little Greek. My husband is not a super fan especially of citrus in our food. Totally bummer I know! But, sometimes he just has to go with the flow...Tuesday night will be one of those nights!

I had a Pork Roast in the freezer, so, I pulled it out to defrost in the fridge on Sunday. Then, Tuesday morning I will put it the marinade before cooking. Here is my plan:

Pork Roast:
Marinade: 1- 1.5 cups lemon juice ( I will use 1 cup and save some lemon slices), 3/4 c olive oil, 1- 1.5 T minced garlic, 3T minced rosemary and oregano, Salt and Pepper.

Marinade meat for 3-5 hours. Place in a roasting pan covered with a few lemon slices and bake at 325 degrees for 2-3 hours (depending on the poundage).

Roasted Potatoes:
1lb. little  red potatoes, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 T olive oil, 1/2 T minced garlic, 1 t oregano, Salt and Pepper,
1/2 cup water, Feta cheese

Cut up potatoes. Then, mix up sauce of lemon, oil, garlic and oregano. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and potatoes. Cover potatoes with lemon sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add water to the pan and bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Sprinkle with Feta before serving.

My Village Greek Salad:
1 Cucumber, peeled and chunked;  2-3 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges; ½ Cup Kalamata olives (optional for us since we don't eat olives); 1 Roasted red pepper, sliced; 1 bell pepper, chunked; 8 oz Feta cheese
Dressing: ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar, ½ cup olive oil; Fresh oregano; Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all veggies and dressing. Can be served over Romain lettuce or with potato salad, but ours will be plain!
Do you think I over did it with all the garlic and lemons? Hmm...we shall see!

My Menu for the Week

This week I thought I would not only clean up some of the meat in our freezer and food in our pantry, but I would do it while throwing together a few new recipes. So, here is what I have come up with so far...

Sunday- Spaghetti and Meatballs with a Salad and homemade Pull Apart Garlic Bread
Monday- Left overs
Tuesday- Pork Roast with greek Seasoning, Roasted Potatoes and a Village Greek Salad
Wednesday- Cube steaks with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Fresh Green Beans
Thursday- Potato Soup and Monte Cristos
Friday- Asian BBQ Thighs over rice or with Lo-Mein
Saturday- Left overs or go out to dinner?
Sunday- Chicken Paprika with Egg noodles and a salad

In addition to this weeks menu, I look forward to making Blueberry Crumb Bars. I can't get enough of the blueberries while they are still in season. Lately my attempts at Blueberry muffins have come up...powdery. I think i can taste the baking powder in the muffins and it is totally a turn off. I am blaming it on my super pregnancy taste buds obviously it is not my cooking!

I will post some recipes for this week as we get to them...so keep checking back!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And today I want...

I am finally getting my bake on...again! I have been making a lot of simple, delicious dinners lately, but have been craving more! I definitely think that is the baby talking. Finally my sweet tooth has kicked in, but it is different this time around. This time I crave pastry and cake along with fruit. In that sense it is not overly sweet per say as it is just crumbly goodness.

So, Here are a few recipes I have found while perusing over the last few weeks. I hope to get to all of these within the next 2 weeks.

1. Blueberries. Since blueberries are in season here...I have been stocking up. It is one of the few fruits my son will eat, plus I LOVE blueberries. I have already made a homemade blueberry sauce that is dying for a nice cheesecake. Yet, in the meantime it is smothering every waffle and pancake I can get my grubby little hands on. So, to mix it up I found Bree. She has this delectable Blueberry muffin recipe on her blog Baked Bree. I can't wait to bake these like delights!

Here is her beautiful picture of the Blueberry Muffin.

2. Apple. What is more American the Apple Pie...right! When 4th of July came and went I was so disappointed not to have this classic American treat on hand. I can see those glorious gooey apples smothered with with melting frozen goodness! MMmmm....excuse me while I drool! Thus, while at the market the other day Apples topped my list. I found two delicious recipes I can't wait to dip into!

The first is a classic apple crips...I grew up on apple crisp with its scrumptious little oatmeal crispies...Cory over at Culinary Cory has recipe I can't wait to dive into! The vanilla ice cream is already in the freeze waiting...

Here is his picture of this simple American dessert.

Yet, one apple dessert is never enough. Remember that I said I was also craving cake. Well, I couldn't resist this recipe the moment I saw this picture.

See what I mean! It just screams crumbly gloriousness. Ohhh...I want some now. So, thank you to the mother and daughter cooking combo over at Russian Season. I can't wait to bake my own!

3. Pineapple. Usually this is not a fruit high on my list of delights, but recently I had some fresh pineapple at a playdate. It was so juicy and delicious, I gorged! So, since I love pineapple on my pizza I knew I would love this recipe. (I will just have to make a separate pizza for the boys! LOL!

Thank you Barry at Rock Recipes for posting this sensation pizza-pie!

I can't wait to dive into these treats...Not to decide which ones to start first!

Breakfast: Oatmeal Medley

I personally LOVE fruit with my oatmeal. My favorite is peaches and cream, but instant oatmeal is expensive and full of sugars. So, instead of the instead sludge, I decided to throw a Baked Oatmeal Medley together this morning for breakfast. It is wet, and dreary outside, so what is better to start off the morning.

Oatmeal Medley

2 cups oatmeal ( I used steel cut oats)
2/3 c brown sugar ( I actually used a bit less)
1/2 t apple pie spice (or plain cinnamon is fine)
5T butter
2 eggs
1 1/3 c coconut milk (or plain milk is fine)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2t salt
Fruit of your choice: Apples, Peaches, Mangoes, Apricots, cranberries, raisins, walnuts
(This is a great way to use up very ripe fruit. I made mine this time with peaches, apples, cranberries and walnuts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Then, combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix. Pour into a greased baking dish (13x9 or 9x9 will work). Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm alone or liven it up with a hint of milk (or cream if you dare!)

***This recipe was adapted from the Baked Oatmeal recipe at Pennies on a Platter.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Non- Creole Take on Jambalaya

Since my husband is super picky, this has become a great go to meal. It can be dressed up nicely with chilies and such, but I usually make it pretty plain. If we ate shrimp, I bet that would be good in it also. I also make a large portion so we can have 2 nights and freeze the rest or send over to the in laws.

Non-Creole Jambalaya
1-2 chicken breast
1 polish sausage (cut in half and then slice)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 diced bell pepper (I use green and red OR orange and yellow...whatever)
2-3 cups hot cooked rice (I usually add 2c uncooked rice  and 4c water into the rice cooker and then use 3/4 of the cooked rice)
2 T hot sauce

Boil chicken for 10-12 minutes and then shred. In a separate pan, saute the sausage and peppers in just a dab of oil. I usually do this while the rice is cooking. Once the peppers are soft, I add the remaining ingredients. Mix it together and let cook down a bit. (I usually add extra hot sauce because we like it spicy!)
Serve hot with a nice warm crusty bread and a yummy green salad.

A New Take on the Dinner Burrito

I love burritos because they hold so many possibilities. You can throw together whatever flavors you have on had to make new combinations every time. I don't think i ever make them the same way twice!
Tonight I had planned to make enchiladas, but was seemingly out of cheese. So, change of plans...

Chicken Corn Salsa Burritos

2-3 chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
1/3-1/2 can cream of chicken soup
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup corn (I used leftover homemade creamed corn)
1/2 can black beans
1 T chopped cilantro (optional)
1 red pepper, chopped (or you can use green chilies)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 c shredded cheese (I didn't have so I didn't use)
(I also sometime combine 3T sour cream to the chicken soup)

1 package flour tortillas

1. Boil the chicken for 10-12 minutes, then drain  and shred chicken. Combine shredded chicken and all remaining ingredients (except for the tortillas). Stuff into the tortillas and roll up. You can serve as is...or you can lightly fry...or you can grill using a grilling pan. I chose to grill this time! Then serve with a spot of sour cream or pepper jelly.

It's Time for some dessert!

I haven't been baking a lot of sweets lately because I am watching my weight gain with this pregnancy, but I have been to a few different parties and play dates lately that required a sweet injections. So, here are a few of the recipes.

Cupcake Crispies

This is just a simple alternative to Rice Crispie Treats.

3/4 box of Cupcake Pebbles (like Coco Pebbles)
1 bag strawberry marshmallows
2-3T butter

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Then, add the marshmallows and cook low until melted. Stir often. Then, add the the marshmallows to the Pebbles. You can do this in the same pot if deep enough or in a mixing bowl. I added to the pot to avoid additional dirty dishes. Mix until thoroughly combined. Then, press into a lightly greased pan. (I used a cookie sheet) Allow to cool. Then, cut up and serve. (I used cookie cutters to make fun shapes)

Apple Fritters

***This recipe is originally from Prudent Baby. Awesome and super easy! I loved that it didn't make a gigantic batch, just the perfect size! I let me son help and he loved "measuring" and mixing!

Here is my adapted recipe (I was out of eggs...which I only noticed once everything else was already combined..lol!!)
1 c flour ( I used cake flour, but I will try next time with a wheat/white flour mix)

1/2 s sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp apple pie spice mix (I used pumpkin pie seasoning...it was the only thing at hand)
1/2 cup apple sauce (or 2 small individual apple sauce containers)
1/3 cup milk
1 apple, chopped (I finely chopped a red delicious apple!)
1 egg ( I skipped this obviously)

2 c powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla (or cinnamon extract)

**Oil for frying

Combine all the dry ingredients. Then in a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients. Fold the wet into the dry. Finally, stir in the chopped apples.

Then, heat up a pan of oil (your preference of type) to medium high. Once hot, spoon in 1 Tbsp scoops of mix. These will cook very quickly. Allow to lightly brown on each side, then drain on a paper towel. Place on a cooling rack with the other batches are cooking. Also, mix together the glaze. Once relatively cool, drizzle each side with glaze. Serve and dig right in!

Peach Fabulousness
**This was served at a playdate by my friend Kim. Oh WOW! It is super yummo! I am not really a big "cheats" cook, but I will be making this again for my hubbie tomorrow.

2 cans of crescent rolls
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1/3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 can pie filling (she served with peach filling and it was fabulous!)

2/3c powdered sugar
1- 1.5 Tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using 1 1/2 cans of rolls, unroll the dough and separate the triangle pieces (put the remaining dough in the fridge). On a round pan (she used a pizza stone) place the triangle pieces. Place the wider edge on the outside rim of the pan and the pointed tip pointing towards the center. Place on the pan to completely cover the bottom of the round pan. Roll out the dough a bit if needed. Then, create a rim on the outside edge of the dough to form a crust.

Whisk together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and the vanilla until smooth. Spoon on a thick layer of cream cheese mix onto the crescent roll pan. Smooth out. Then, spoon on the pie filling on top.

Remove the remaining rolls from the fridge. Unroll and pull apart. Cut each triangle in half and place on top of the pie filling. Leave 1-2" in between each triangle slice. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-27 minutes. Once cooked, allow to cool for 10 minutes while you mix together the glaze. Drizzle glaze over the top of the Fabulousness. Serve warm (or cool if you prefer).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Preggo Friendly Foods

I have found food to not be much of a friend lately...especially at dinnertime! My morning sickness seems to be at its peak at dinner time, so, this has made cooking rather challenging. That along with my massive food aversions...you know...any veggies basically, eggs, pork, chicken...and so much more. So, beef has been on the menu. My poor husband, he had to do the majority of the cooking for the last 3 weeks. In case I have not mentioned before he is NOT a cook. He basically ate grilled pork chops and baked beans every night...it must have gotten old...even for him! Poor guy!

Here are a few of the simple recipes we have been eating . Nothing fancy or overly healthy for dinner, but it has gotten me through...

Sloppy Joes:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 sweet red pepper diced
3/4 can of tomato soup
a dash of water
1/2 c ketchup
1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Brown the beef with the peppers. Then, stir in the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over buns.

Yumzetta- an delightful Amish dish

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg egg noodles
1 can each cream of chicken, mushroom, and celery soup ( I bough the low fat, low sodium kinds and only used about 1/2 of each can)
1 can green peas (I use frozen peas)
1 pkg shredded cheese (I only used about 1/2 a pkg)
Preheat oven to 350. Cook noodles as directed. Brown meat. Drain noodles and meat. Mix remaining ingredients together, except cheese. Pour into baking dish ( I use a 9x13 pan), top with cheese, place in oven til cheese melts. Usually takes about 10-15 mins. Enjoy!

Ham and Penne Milano

3/4 pkg penne pasta
2 cups frozen broccoli or asparagus
2 garlic cloves, minced ( I skipped this time)
2 T butter
3 T all-purpose flour
1 small can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup milk
1 lbs chopped cooked ham
1 jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 t pepper
Cook the pasta and then in the last 5 mins add the broccoli or asparagus. Saute garlic in butter for 1 minute. Stir in flour then slowly add chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil; allow to thicken for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Add the pasta and broccoliand toss to coat.

Sheppard's Pie...My way

Brown 1 pound of ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. (you can add sauteed onions, garlic and/or red peppers) Drain and leave in the pan. Dump some cheddar cheese on top. Then, add some frozen veggies (I sometime use peas, or corn or a veggie mix). Finally cover with homemade mashed potatoes. Then, broil until golden brown. Umm...comfort food!

Smothered Cube Steak

Brown cube steaks in a bit of butter or oil. Remove beef. Then, add about 1 cup of beef broth. In a seperate cup mix 1T broth with 2 teaspoons corn starch. Add to the pan and allow to thicken. Add beef back in and allow to simmer for 1 minutes or so. Serve over white rice, potatoes or alone with asparagus.