Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu November 14th

Recap From Last Week:

I completely forgot to thaw chicken for the Fiesta Chicken Soup so I just put the already cooked chicken breast in the soup as it cooked and then shredded it closer to dinner time. It worked out great and I think I liked the shredded chicken better than the typical chicken pieces. I decided to make Onion Cheddar Rolls to go along with the soup and they were wonderful! The cheese flavor didn't really come through so I will probably leave that out the next time.
I used cranberry juice instead of apple juice for the Apple Chicken because it's what I had on hand. It worked just fine. The flavor wasn't significantly different, it just gave the dish more of a pink hue than normal.
While my lasagna didn't really hold it's layers once it was dished up it tasted wonderful anyway. There is something so delicious about lasagna that just cannot be beat. We also had Breadsticks alongside. I was on the phone while I was putting the garlic butter on so the amount was rather scant but we had no problem eating them anyway!
I am so proud of this meal for some inexplicable reason. I think it's because I thought of something pretty basic but worthy of being called a meal without having to search the internet or cookbooks. The bread, chicken and cheese, while simple, came together quite nicely. Also, my husband declared that I did a great job my first time making German Potato Salad.
For Pizza Night it was Pepperoni/Salty Dog week. As a refresher, my husband and his friends developed this pizza while they were in school: pizza sauce with pepperoni, black olives and green olives. They love it! I don't since I don't care for olives so I just have pepperoni and am quite content.
For the first time in quite a while we had French Toast on Saturday. I think the fact that we hadn't had it in a while just added to the wonderful taste of it.
I made Cinnamon Streusel Muffins for breakfasts {but didn't take a picture}. The jury is still out on whether or not they'll be repeated. It was a little bit more of a hassle than normal muffin recipes and much of the streusel topping ended up on my muffin pan instead of the muffins.
We also celebrated our daughter's second birthday this week. I made Double Fudge Layer Cake but in cupcake form topped with Vanilla Frosting. Because I changed it to cupcakes I had to guess on the time and I think I may have slightly over baked them. They still tasted great, just perhaps a bit crumblier than they should be.

Onto This Week:

I am actually going to be taking a bit of time off. We're expecting our second child any day now so while we're adjusting to a new normal I'm going to free myself from this responsibility for a little while. We'll still eat {obviously} but it will definitely be more laid back planning wise than normal. I'm not committing myself to a certain date to start posting again but I'm hoping sometime in mid-December.

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

I found a whole bunch of soups I'd like to try so that's the theme for this week. We might have to have soup night more than once a week so we can try them all!
  • Corn & Potato Chowder from Mama Loves Food: This is a crock pot recipe, which I'm always searching for more of. Also, I don't have any soups similar to this in my repertoire so it'd be a big change of pace.
  • Crock Pot Bacon Corn Chowder from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures:Yes, this is pretty much the same as the first recipe. However, I always find it interesting to see how different people have their own twist on similar dishes.
  • Ground Beef Stroganoff Soup from Cooking During Stolen Moments: Ironically it was just last week that I found a recipe for Beef Stroganoff that I'd like to try and now I also found a soup. Something about the flavor combinations must really be appealing to me right now.  
  • Creamy Tomato Balsamic Soup from My Recipes: This tomato soup has cream in it, which, as I mentioned last week, is what I think has been missing from all the others I've tried. Now I know I have at least two tomato soup recipes with cream to try; hopefully one of them will be the winner!
  • Cheesy Vegetable Chowder from Lulu the Baker: This soup looks wonderful! It has so many tasty ingredients and I'm sure it will be nothing but delicious.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Burrito Pizza

Burrito Pizza--the first time we had it we were definitely a little apprehensive. The whole thing is so very different from most pizzas we enjoy. Well, it's a good thing we tried it anyway because it has turned out to be quite a delicious pizza. It took a few tries but we've finally found what we enjoy as Burrito Pizza.

Burrito Pizza
 Print Recipe
Yields: 2 medium pizzas

pizza dough
1 can black beans, drained
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup chicken, cooked and chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes (or 1/2 can diced tomatoes), diced
olives (optional)
1-2 cups shredded cheese
1/3 cup sour cream

   1.  Preheat oven to 400. Roll out pizza dough to desired shape.
   2.  In a food processor combine drained beans and 3-4 T salsa. Pulse until it reaches a thick sauce consistency. Spread over pizza dough.
   3.  Top with chicken, onion, tomatoes, olives and cheese.
   4.  Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes.
   5.  Serve with salsa and sour cream.
Adapted from: Good Cheap Eats

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu November 7th

Recap From Last Week:

Using frozen spinach in the Lasagna Soup worked perfectly. We all loved this soup. My husband even declared that he thinks he likes it more now than he did last year. I predict Lasagna Soup will make frequent appearances this winter.
The Apple Onion Cider Chicken on Tuesday was only okay. One major flaw was that one of the apples I used {I can't remember what variety it was} was so soft that it was practically applesauce by the time it was done cooking. We decided we much prefer my Apple Chicken instead {probably why it's on the menu for this week}.
Wednesday's Raspberry Marinated Chicken with Crispy Potato Bake was half success half failure. We loved the Crispy Potato Bake but the chicken basically just ended up being pink and thus not all that appetizing looking.
Instead of making the Cheesy Salsa Meatloaf in muffin cups as the recipe calls for I tried doing it in a loaf pan. {We found the muffin tin was ridiculous to clean but worried about the meat drying out by doing it in the loaf pan.} In the future I will definitely be doing it in a loaf pan. The Fried Potatoes were tasty but not quite how my mom would make them. I guess I'll have to keep trying!
The Burrito Pizza was splendid. It's been a long time since we've had it so it was nice to remember how well everything works together. {Recipe coming Wednesday}
While I was making the Apple Cinnamon Pancakes my husband was wondering if the apples would be too crunchy in the pancakes. It turns out they were perfectly soft. We really liked these pancakes so I'll be adding them to my recipe file.
For breakfast this week we had Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Chips. Unfortunately, I'm out of cinnamon chips now but will be watching for a sale again {or waiting until next year I suppose as I heard that they are only available for a short time in the fall}.

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Soup Night! Fiesta Chicken Soup: We'll also have some type of bread with this, I just haven't decided which yet.
  • Tuesday: Apple Chicken: I just can't have the Apple Onion Cider Chicken we had last week be stuck in our memories for too long so we'll have this better version this week.
  • Wednesday: Lasagna with Breadsticks: We have leftover cottage cheese from the Lasagna Soup and since it's been a long time since we've had lasagna this will be well received. The leftovers will go in the freezer for an easy meal once Baby is here.
  • Thursday: Warm Chicken & Cheese Sandwiches with German Potato Salad: This is definitely a meal catering to my husband as he loves warm sandwiches and German Potato Salad. It'll be my first time making German Potato Salad so hopefully it turns out.
  • Friday: Pizza Night! Pepperoni/ Salty Dog: Traditional sauce with semi-traditional toppings.
  • Saturday Brunch: TBD: Not sure right now and honestly, I'm not feeling inspired to look right now. :)
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

Pulling up all these recipes again to add them to this post is really makes me wish that I could stop everything and make each of them right now. They each look {and sound} so good to me. Sometimes I feel as though I have so many recipes to try and just not enough meals each week to try them at.
  • Peanut Butter Banana French Toast Enchiladas from The Sweets Life: A combination of all the things in the recipe title that sounds like an interesting idea. I like all the components and it seems like a relatively easy dish to put together.
  • The Best Parmesan Chicken Bake from Food Wishes: My husband really likes Chicken Parmesan but I have never actually made it. This appears to be an easier than normal version so maybe this will be my first attempt.
  • Beef Stroganoff from My Homemade Happiness: Beef Stroganoff has been mentioned in our house a few times in the last months so when I saw this recipe I knew I should mark it. Like her kids we don't care for mushrooms so our version will be sans mushrooms.
  • Apple Pie Bagels from Blue Jeans and Cotton Tees: These look delicious and with such a classic combination of apples and cinnamon I'm sure they taste delicious as well.
  • Tomato Soup from Kate's Great Crafts: I've finally found a recipe for homemade tomato soup that has cream in it, which I think has always been the missing element. This will definitely be the next tomato soup recipe I try on my search for a keeper!
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Breakfast Rice with Fruit

It just so happened that while I had Not Your Mother's Casseroles from the library I ran out of oatmeal (the typical breakfast for my daughter and me). Needing to try something else for breakfast turned out to be quite a pleasant happening because this Breakfast Rice is now part of our breakfast rotation. The dish turns out creamy, filling and comforting.
The original recipe recommends using short grain brown rice. All I have is long grain but by increasing the cooking time (as noted in the recipe) it is no longer an issue. I've used dried cranberries and dried apples and enjoyed both versions. With the dried apples I also added cinnamon, which I find is always a pleasing combination.

Breakfast Rice with Fruit
 Print Recipe
Yields: 6 servings

1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup dried fruit
1 tsp cinnamon (if using apples)
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 cup milk
2 T butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

   1.  Preheat oven to 375.
   2.  In a 2 qt baking dish stir together rice, fruit and salt.
   3.  In a medium saucepan bring water and milk to a boil. Pour over the rice.
   4.  Cover baking dish with a lid or tinfoil; bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
   5.  Remove dish from oven; sprinkle brown sugar over top, stir to combine. let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
   -This also reheats well. I like to warm it up and then stir a splash of milk in.
Adapted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles.

This is linked to URS.