Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Revised 4 week menu

Side note: I cook from my menus Monday-Thursday. I have more than 4 recipes listed under each week. That allows for some variety or taking advantage of weekly sales. Friday and Saturday nights we eat leftovers or homemade pizza. I hate cooking big dinners on Friday and Saturday. Even if I buy stuff to make I just don't do it. I know myself well enough to know it won't get done. Homemade pizza is easy. Sunday nights is always breakfast for dinner. Pancakes or waffles with eggs and fruit. I always have that stuff on hand and so I don't put it on my menu or shopping list. Each dinner in the list is linked to the recipe. No shopping lists yet...

Week #1
1. Taco Salad
2. Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
3. Pepperoni Macaroni
4. Spaghetti
5. Meatball Sandwiches
6. Chicken Bacon Ranch
7.  Chicken Enchiladas

Week #2
1. Chicken Parmesan
2. Stromboli
3. Rav'n Ravioli
4. Southwest White Bean Chili
5. Sloppy Joes
6. Fajitas
7.  Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Week #3
1. Chicken and Black Bean Tostizzas
2. Manicotti
3. Thai Lettuce Wraps
4. Turkey/Chicken Pot Pie
5. Baked Ziti
6. Tuscan Garlic Chicken
7. Pork Chimichangas

Week #4
1. Lasagna
2. Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings
3. Pasta with Chicken and Squash
4. Taco Soup
5. BBQ Cups
6. One Pot Sausage and Tortellini
7.  Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

BBQ cups

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c BBQ sauce
1 T. minced dried onions
1 can grands jumbo biscuits (biscuits made from scratch work well)
2 T. brown sugar
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef. Drain off any fat. Add onions, BBQ sauce and brown sugar to meat and mix well. With a rolling pin roll each biscuit flat. You want a nice big flat circle. Press each biscuit into a muffin tin making a nice "bowl" to hold the meat mixture. You will have a little of the biscuit sticking on top. Fill each biscuit with the meat mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese.


1 lb. ground beef
1 16 oz. container cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (approximately)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
3 lasagna noodles broken in half

*I like the oven ready lasagna that I don't have to cook ahead of time.

Brown ground beef. Add spaghetti sauce and mix well. In bottom of pan spread 1/2 cup meat sauce.
First layer: 3 pieces of lasagna noodles on top of sauce (each piece is really 1/2 regular noodle so it will fit in the 8x8 pan).
Second layer: 1/3 of meat sauce
Third layer: Spoon of cottage cheese (you can use more or less depending on how much cottage cheese you want in each layer) over the meat sauce
Fourth layer: Sprinkle approximately 1 cup of cheese over the cottage cheese. Again, adjust to fit how much cheese you want.

Repeat layers 2 times: noodles, meat sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese

Cover tightly and bake at 425 for one hour.

Taco Soup

2 cans corn
2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 cans Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning

In large pot/sauce pan brown ground beef. Add taco seasoning and stir. Add corn, kidney beans and tomatoes. DO NOT DRAIN JUICE.
Mix well and heat through. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

*** I like more liquid than this recipe provides. I add about 1/2 can of water using the kidney bean can.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Serves 4-6 (depending on if you are serving adults or kids)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup lowfat milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound fettuccine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a shallow pie plate or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated.

In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through (they’ll finish up in the oven). Don’t scoot the chicken around once you lay it in the hot oil! Let the oil work it’s magic to sear the crust on the chicken. If you get all antsy and try flipping too early and/or moving the chicken around the pan, the breading is lightly to fall off. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in one tablespoon flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from More of America’s Most Wanted Recipes

***Changes I made while trying the recipe. My family does not like pepper so I only used about half the pepper called for in recipes. I used whole wheat linguini instead of fettuccine. I used half the amount of parmesan cheese called for.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pinterest failure

Trying recipes on Pinterest is a gamble. Some are great and some are not. This one was not. It was supposed be a recipe for a Dole Whip. This was nothing like a Dole Whip. It was more like pineapple whipped cream. If you are looking for a pineapple whipped cream recipe, then this is it. Otherwise don't bother. Click here to see pin on pinterest