Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tater Tot Hotdish

I grew up in Minnesota so in my opinion it's a hot dish, not a casserole! Either way this dish hits the spot; as my husband says "It's basic, but good".
All the ingredients are things commonly on hand so it's an easy meal to put together when you have no other idea. It has vegetables, meat, and a starch so just add a side of fruit and you have a pretty well rounded meal.

Tater Tot Hot Dish
 Print Recipe
Yields: 6 servings 

1 lb hamburger
1/2 onion, diced
1 bag frozen green beans or 2 cans green beans, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I like to use this homemade version)
1 bag tater tots

   1.  Fry hamburger and onions until hamburger is no longer pink.
   2.  In a 9x13 pan, combine green beans and soup. Stir in hamburger and onions. Top with tater tots.
   3.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until tater tots are done.
 This is linked to Good Cheap Eats.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu 7-25

Recap From Last Week:
Monday we had Hawaiian Tuna Sandwiches on Hamburger Buns. It was the first time I tried the bun recipe and I was very pleased with the results. We also had Green Bean Apple Salad. Honestly, I liked it better the first time we had it but I think the difference might be that I used a Granny Smith Apple this time instead of a Red Delicious.
Tuesday we went to Red Robin for my birthday. I got the Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich, the highlight of which was the grilled pineapple on it. Delicious!

Wednesday night we had burgers with sweet potato fries. We used the rest of the Hamburger Buns for the burgers and again loved them. The sweet potato fries weren't really fry-like in crispiness but I wasn't expecting that since I was unable to find a recipe where people got a good crisp on them.
Thursday we had Spaghetti Pie with Breadsticks. That was the second time I made the breadsticks and we loved them once again so I will definitely be keeping that recipe!
For my birthday I made Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. What a delicious combination!
This week I also made also made Breakfast Bars with Strawberry Mango Sauce that we loved! I learned that stacking them in a container and putting them in the fridge is not the best way to store them though as they got a little soggy, but still tasty.

We had an atypical weekend and ended up having pizza on Sunday night. This week we had Fajita Pizza which uses the normal Pizza Sauce and is topped with chicken, green peppers (and red peppers if available), onion and a sprinkle of chili powder.This was one of the first types of pizza we tried when we started experimenting with different pizzas. Obviously, we determined it was a keeper!

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Bunsteads with Green Pea Salad: The Bunsteads are an old favorite but the Green Pea Salad is a new recipe. I'm going to try the Hamburger Buns again. Assuming they're as successful as last week this might become my go-to bun recipe.
  • Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup possibly with Corn Bread: I don't think we've had soup at all this summer so I don't even feel bad making it.
  • Wednesday: Chimichangas with Mexican Rice: Last time we had Chimichangas I experimented with making Mexican Rice. It turned out great but of course I didn't write down what I did. Hopefully I'll be able to make it similar again.
  • Thursday-Sunday: My daughter and I are going home for a wedding shower this weekend so I'm leaving some easy foods for my husband: (his requests) frozen pizza, frozen burritos, mac n cheese, ramen, etc.
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

This was a week of hard decisions. Since I bookmarked a lot of recipes I had to narrow it down to these five. In the end, I tried to pick recipes that were from different categories.
  • Tortilla Pie from GreenBacks Gal: This looks like something unlike what we usually would eat but something we would likely enjoy.
  • Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from My Favorite Finds: These cookies combine three delicious ingredients which I'm sure creates a spectacular cookie!
  • Drop Biscuits from Saving by Making: Like mentioned in the post, I think these would make a fantastic, last minute side for many meals.
  • Lazy Granola from The Finer Things in Life: I've been wanting to try making granola but all the recipes call for so many ingredients I have yet to make any. This looks so easy I think my chances of making it are much higher!
  • Incredible Ice Cream without a Machine from An Oregon Cottage: Sadly, even though we have an ice cream maker, we have yet to use it. In the meantime this looks like a good recipe to try.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pineapple Chicken Casserole

This dish has a lovely sweetness from the pineapple that contrasts well with the slight saltiness from the soy sauce. I love it just the way it is; my husband likes to add a little extra soy sauce to his serving.
This dish is fairly easy to put together, especially if you do some of the prep work (such as cooking the chicken and cutting the celery) beforehand. I like to reserve some chow mein noodles from the dish so that we can add some crispy noodles after we reheat the leftovers.

Pineapple Chicken Casserole
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4-6 servings

2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 can cream soup (I've been using this recipe instead with great results.)
1 can pineapple tidbits or chunks
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 T green onion, chopped (not pictured)
1 T soy sauce
2 cups chow mein noodles
2 cups cooked rice

   1.  Combine chicken, cream soup, pineapple, celery, green onion and soy sauce. Fold in 1 cup chow mein noodles.
   2.  Spread mixture in 2 quart baking dish or 9x13 pan. Spread remaining noodles on top (reserve some for leftovers, if desired).
   3.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Serve over rice.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu 7-18

Recap From Last Week:
Last Sunday night during dinner my husband mentioned how good the Teriyaki Chicken Salad Sandwiches had been a few weeks ago. I happened to have everything on hand so I changed the plan Monday and we had those instead of Tuna sandwiches. I also tried a recipe for Calico Salad, which we loved! It's very similar to 3 Bean Salad but with it's own twist.
Tuesday night we had Pineapple Chicken Casserole, a recipe I got from my grandma. We really enjoyed this dish and the sweet versus salty combination. {Recipe coming Wednesday.}
Wednesday night was a bit of an experiment with the Mac n Cheese Patties. They weren't awful, in fact the crust from toasting them in the pan was quite tasty, but they weren't spectacular enough to warrant making them again.
The Sloppy Joes from Deceptively Delicious were a much bigger hit than I was anticipating. My daughter, who tends to pick around hamburger based dishes, ate this up. My husband, who I thought would balk at the healthier aspects of it (sweet potato puree, carrots, turkey), thought it was a higher class version of sloppy joes. I guess that's why you should always try new recipes, even if you're skeptical of how they'll go over!
I broke down and bought some green peppers for a less than stellar price but when I bit into the Sweet Hawaiian Pizza on Friday night I knew it was worth it!
For brunch on Saturday we had eggs sandwiches. I took leftover hamburger buns, fake cheese, fried egg and frizzled ham, put it all together and got a wonderful sandwich!
We tried Maple Oatmeal Muffins this week. While we loved the flavor, they were pretty crumbly, especially for my daughter, so they probably are not a keeper.

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Hawaiian Tuna Sandwiches with Green Bean Apple Salad: The green pepper for the sandwiches and the green beans for the salad have both been limping (literally) along, trying to make it Monday. I'm not worried though, I know both of these will still be great!
  • Tuesday: Out to eat for my birthday!
  • Wednesday: Cheeseburgers with Sweet Potato Fries: My husband made the  hamburger patties weeks ago and they're waiting in the freezer. Sweet potatoes were on sale last week so that will be a nice change from regular fries.
  • Thursday: Spaghetti Pie with Breadsticks: The best part about this meal? There will be two more pans of Spaghetti Pie waiting in the freezer!
  • Friday: No pizza night for us this week.
  • Saturday Brunch: Also no Saturday brunch.
  • Sunday: Leftovers
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

I made up for last week (and my less than inspired recipe searching) this week. I marked a ton of recipes! Since a lot of them were bread recipes (I'm looking for a new bread recipe) I decided to leave those off this list and share some of the other delicious recipes I found this week and hope to try in the future.
  • Chicken Teriyaki Pizza from Chefs Best: My husband gets the credit for this one. While we were eating our Teriyaki Chicken Salad Sandwiches he thought that combination would be a good pizza so he found this recipe.
  • Rhubarb Breakfast Bars from Finding Joy in My Kitchen: I'm looking forward to trying these but am going to make a strawberry/mango sauce instead of rhubarb. (We'll see how that sauce turns out.)
  • Tuna Melt Quesadillas from The Happy Housewife: I'm always looking for new ways to use tuna; hopefully this will be a hit in our house.
  • Easy Mexican Chicken & Beans from Betty Crocker: This reminds me a little of my Chicken Tortilla Soup but in dish form instead of soup.
  • Popcorn Chicken from Heavenly Homemakers: This looks really easy and I'm optimistic about the results.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Honey Mustard Breaded Pork

Pork is not a meat we eat a lot of around here. It's not that we don't like it, it's more a case of this cook not knowing many ways of making it. This Honey Mustard Breaded Pork is one way that we really like though! The honey mustard hidden under the toasted breadcrumbs is such a sweet surprise that really pleases the taste buds.
At first glance, this recipe seems a little labor intensive but once you get in a groove of putting the mustard on and then the breadcrumbs it goes really quickly. The final cooking in the oven is essential. I tried finishing it on the stove top and while it turned out okay it definitely didn't have the wonderful tenderness you can get from the oven.

Honey Mustard Breaded Pork
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4 servings

1 lb pound pork
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
~1/2 cup honey mustard
vegetable oil to cover skillet

   1.  Heat oil in a large skillet. Preheat oven to 375.
   2.  Cut pork into 2 inch pieces. Spread honey mustard over the sides of the pork; press in breadcrumbs to coat.
   3.  Place pork in warmed oil, turning to lightly brown all sides. Place in 9x13 baking dish; bake 15-20 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165. Serve with more honey mustard, if desired.
Adapted from: Woman's Day

This is linked to Good Cheap Eats.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Menu 7-11

Recap From Last Week:
We spent the 3rd and 4th at the cottage. Last minute, I decided to try making the Fourth of July Cake I posted a few Fridays ago. It turned out fine, especially for what was really my first attempt at a decorated, put together cake, but I learned a few things. 1) Put more frosting in between each layer. 2) Don't expect it to do well when you take it in the car for a couple hours then leave it on the counter in the heat. Nonetheless, it was fun and delicious!
Tuesday we had Stromboli. This time it was filled with ham, pepperoni, olives (for some of us), cheese and mixed vegetables (instead of just peas). I loved the different vegetables in there, especially the corn which added a little sweetness.
The Chicken Salad Sandwiches were a hit. My husband said usually a chicken salad sandwich wouldn't be his favorite but he really enjoyed these. We also had Creamy Corn Salad again. Last week wasn't a fluke, I really enjoy this salad!
Thursday we had hot dogs and Homemade Baked Beans. This is such a simple, delightful, summery meal.
We didn't have Sweet Hawaiian Pizza because I couldn't find green peppers for a decent price. Instead we had Pepperoni Pizza which was good, as always, especially since my husband assembled it again.

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Tuna Salad Sandwiches with 3 Bean Salad: Keeping it simple but still enjoyable.
  • Tuesday: Pineapple Chicken Casserole: This is a recipe from my Grandma that we really like.
  • Wednesday: Mac n Cheese Patties: I can't find this recipe online but it's from the most recent Rachael Ray magazine. It's essentially mac n cheese with a little bit of breadcrumbs mixed in and cooked. It looks interesting and good to me.
  • Thursday: Sloppy Joes: I'm trying this recipe from Deceptively Delicious.
  • Friday: Pizza Night! Chicken Bacon Ranch: Technically this is our backup plan. Again we'd like to have Sweet Hawaiian Pizza but that's only if I find a decent price on green peppers this week. Hopefully I'll be more successful this week!
  • Saturday Brunch: Egg Sandwiches: Husband's request. We were at the lake last Saturday and didn't have brunch so we'll have Egg Sandwiches this week.
  • Sunday: Leftovers
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

Evidently I didn't spend a lot of time looking at blogs and recipes this week as I only had four recipes marked from this week. (I "stole" the breadsticks one from last week.) Nonetheless, I think these all look great!
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sweet Potato Muffins

These muffins have quickly moved to the top of our list for muffins. There is just something about them that is absolutely wonderful. Technically, they would probably make an excellent fall muffin but we've been loving them in the summer as well! My only complaint is I'm out of sweet potato puree so no more of these for us for a while.
These muffins are no harder to put together than any other muffin. The only possible additional step is the topping but don't skip the topping! It really adds to the muffins and since I eliminated the butter and extra sugar when I modified it from the original recipe I don't feel it's too unhealthy. :)

Sweet Potato Muffins
 Print Recipe
Yields: 12 muffins

1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 T oats
1 T brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger

   1.  Preheat oven to 350.
   2.  In a large bowl, combine flours, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda. Add eggs, sweet potatoes, water and oil; mix just until moistened.
   3. Fill muffin cups, dividing batter evenly among 12 cups.
   4.  In a small bowl combine topping ingredients. Spoon 1 T of topping over each muffin; gently press down with back of spoon.
   5.  Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.

Adapted from: Taste of Home 

This is linked to Tasty Tuesday and URS.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Menu 7-4

Recap From Last Week:
Well, even though the Ravioli looked easy it was not. It ended up in the garbage and we had spaghetti instead. That's okay though because it had been ages since we'd had spaghetti.
The BBQ Chicken turned out awesome! It was so tender, moist and delicious. The Vegetable Risotto was good but my husband thought it just tasted like rice with vegetables stirred in. I liked it though so next time I made it I'll probably just put some chopped veggies in the rice and call it good.
The Hawaiian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches were, not surprisingly, very similar to the Ham and Peach Sandwiches and Bistro Apple Paninis we've had recently. The Creamy Corn Salad was excellent! I couldn't figure out if it was simply the mayo or the basil that was giving a wonderful taste but I loved it.
We ended up not having Stromboli as planned but instead had guests for dinner. We had 3 Cheese Ziti, Breadsticks and Triple Chocolate Cookies. We'd had the Ziti before and loved it, the Breadsticks are definitely a keeper and the Cookies were okay. They ended up spreading so much that I made the rest of the dough as bars which worked out great. I probably won't be keeping the recipe though.
Burrito Pizza was the selection for this week and I didn't even have to make it. All I did was make and roll out the dough then my husband took it from there. I'm pretty sure it tasted that much better because of that!
Instead of French Toast Stratas we had regular plain French Toast and it was still wonderfully delicious.
For breakfasts during the week we had Sweet Potato Muffins. These are absolutely wonderful. The only sad thing is I used the rest of my sweet potato puree from the freezer so no more of these muffins for a while. {Recipe coming Wednesday.}

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Leftovers
  • Tuesday: Stromboli: This is a carry-over from last week.
  • Wednesday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches: This is a recipe from a friend of mine from college that I'm looking forward to trying.
  • Thursday: Hot Dogs and Homemade Baked Beans: Such a simple but tasty meal!
  • Friday: Pizza Night! TBD: We'd like to have Sweet Hawaiian Pizza but that's only if I find a decent price on green peppers this week.
  • Saturday Brunch: Egg Sandwiches: Husband's request.
  • Sunday: Leftovers
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

After two weeks of collecting recipes I had quite the collection to choose from. Here are my top five.
  • Wheat Crackers from Morsels of Life: I made crackers mimicking Cheeze-its this week and now I have the cracker bug.
  • The BEST Ham Sandwiches from The Keune Home: I love ham and I love Hawaiian rolls.
  • Cinnamon Roll Biscuits from Money Saving Mom: This is another cinnamon roll recipe to add to my list that I sadly never get around to tyring because I feel I should make something "healthy".
  • Spasagna from The Country Cook: This looks like such a tasty idea. By combining both spaghetti and alfredo, both delicious on their own, how can you go wrong?
  • Cake Doughnut Muffins from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs: If you put the word muffins in the name along with doughnut they're instantly better for you, right?
This is linked to Friday Favorites.