Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weekly Menu

Chicken piccata with creamy lemon sauce
(the pics for this one got lost... I guess I'll have to make it again so I can post it- Darn!! :)

Spaghetti and meatball bake
cheesey bread sticks (you really don't want to try these...they are TOO good)Thursday:
grilled chicken (hubby was off and grilled outside!)
baked potatoes
roasted carrots

fried pork chops
roasted potatoes, zucchini and squash

Fried Pork Chops with Potatoes and Onions

This is some comfort food for you!! My best friend's mom made the best pork chops growing up, and I had lunch with that best friend recently and she told me exactly how her mom made those great pork chops!! I've made them twice since I let with her a few weeks ago :)
It's a simple dish, but they are full of flavor. Marinate the pork chops in Italian dressing for at least 30 minutes, then dredge them in seasoned flour. Fry 'em up and you have some yummy chops!!!

Fried Pork Chops
pork chops (I used boneless, but you can use bone-in. You need to butterfly them if they are too thick)
Italian dressing
salt and pepper
I butterflied the chops, and seasoned them with salt and pepperMarinating in the Italian dressingI seasoned the flour with Lawry's season salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Dredge the chops well in the flourFry up in the hot oil, about medium heatGet nice and golden
Pork Chops, Part 2:
I made these again last night. For my husband's chop, I stuffed his with ham and Gruyere cheese after they had marinated in the dressing. Then, I dredged them and fried them like the others.
I cut up potatoes and onions, and cooked them in the same pan that I cooked the pork chops in.
I told you this was comfort food for you!Sooo yummy! Crispy on the outside, with all the yummy flavor from the pork chops. Don't forget to season the potaoes and onions with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Roasted Garlic

I love garlic. One of my favorite smells, not just food smells- any smells, is garlic sauteeing in the pan. It smells SO good!! Roasted garlic is really yummy. Garlic gets sweeter as it cooks, and when you roast it, it gets soft and sweet. It's really good to simply spread on bread, or add it to your mashed potatoes. You could absolutely set it out as part of your appetizer tray with bread or crackers.

Roasted Garlic
head of garlic
olive oil

Cut the end of the garlic head, so it is exposed.
Place garlic head(s) on a piece of foil. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil.
Wrap and place in hot oven- 400 degrees. Roast for 45 minutes.
Open and let cool. Squeeze out the garlic.
Spread on bread or add to mashed potatoes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekly Menu

Orange chicken, sauteed zucchini, chow mein noodles

mini meatloaf sandwiches, carrots, mac n cheese
I made the mini meatloaves, cut them in half and put them in a roll. It was something different! We have meatloaf a lot, so I have 3 different varieties, and am always looking for ways to mix it up a little bit. The sandwiches were great!

Brisket sandwiches, Red, Hot and Blue potato salad
This potato salad rocks!! No mustard, no mushy potatoes- just YUM!

chicken Caesar salad with quick homemade Caesar dressing

Hubby taking me out!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Potato Salad

I am not a potato salad fan. I always thought it would be something I would like, so I have continued to try every potato salad passed my way. My uncle brought some potato salad to a family get-together from a barbeque restaurant- Red, Hot and Blue. I tried it, because I always try it, and it looked different. It was not yellow and mushy. AND, I saw hard-boiled eggs in it. I LOVE hard-boiled eggs. Well, it was just about one of the best side dishes, not to mention the absolute BEST potato salad, I had ever had.
I had brisket sandwiches on the menu for this week, and was trying to think of a side dish. I thought, "you know what I really want?? That totally awesome potato salad from Red, Hot and Blue" (a restaurant I have never actually been to)
I went to the internet and up came several posts and forums from foodie sites about this exact salad!! I was so excited! I looked at almost every recipe, and came up with a consensus recipe.
This is easy, and oh-so-good. No mustard, not mushy and served at room temperature.

Red, Hot and Blue Potato Salad
8 new potatoes, steamed
4 hard-boiled eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/4 tsp. celery salt
salt and pepper to taste

I set 4 large red potatoes in the steamer basket. They took about 30 minutes.

Hard boiled 4 eggs
(I only used 2 for the salad. I made deviled eggs with the other 2. I know- I have a problem.)

Let potatoes cool a bit. Cut into large, bite-size pieces.
Chop boiled egg (whites only) into chunks.
Put chunked potatoes and eggs in bowl.
Season with salt and pepper. Add mayo, chives and celery salt.
Mix well.
IT'S SO GOOD!!! I am bringing it to a get together this weekend, and my husband is demanding it become a staple (and not many things get "staple status"). MAKE THIS!! It's really great and different from most potato salads- I really loved it and I hope you will try it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Easy Cheese Balls

We had my grandmother's 80th birthday party at our house this weekend. We were smart and did in between mealtimes, so we just had a few snacks, cake and punch. I made my mother-in-laws cheese balls, which are super easy!!

Cheese Balls
2 lb. Velveeta
8-oz cream cheese

toppings for cheese ball- your choice!!
Some favorites are: bacon bits, chopped pecans, paprika, garlic salt, dried herbs

Put softened cream cheese and chunks of Velveeta is large bowl.Beat until combined.Separate into 2 balls (or 4 smaller logs). Cover and refrigerate.
Before party, bring balls (or logs) back out and roll in toppings. I did one in paprika, and one in dried herbs. I did a combo of dried herbs- just what I had on hand.
Thyme, Herbs de Provence and oregano. Refrigerate again until ready to set out. Serve with crackers.

This is a side view of the bar where we had all the food. We purchased the cake (I am NOT a cake decorator). The punch was great! Two 2-liters of ginger ale (or 7-UP), 2 quarts of lime sherbet and one large can of pineapple juice. Easy, but yummy! My kids had about 10 cups and were asking for more this morning when they woke up!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Menu this Week

Roasted chicken tenders and white rice
(this was just for the kids. The hubby and I had an unexpected date night!!!)

grilled salmon, chow mein noodles, broccoli

Chicken fried rice (with leftover roasted chicken and rice from Mon.)
pot stickers

Taco Salad

Cheeseburgers on Hawaiian bread buns
french fries

These rolls are SO good. Each package is 4 rolls, that are stuck together, and that is your bun.
Put the patty and cheese on, then you can slice it into 4 little mini burgers.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekly Menu

Roasted chicken and veggies

beef burritos and quesadillas

chicken salad sandwiches and deviled eggs
My fav chicken salad:
chopped cooked chicken (a rotisserie chicken is my favorite)
red grapes, cut in half
celery, chopped fine
mayo (or miracle whip)
salt and pepper
I was thrilled rotisserie chickens were on sale for 4.99 this week at the store.
I bought one and tore it apart!! We used it for 2 different dinner this week.
fried pork chopes
potatoes and onions
chopped spinach
(post coming soon)

chicken spaghetti (used the rest of the rotisserie chicken for this recipe)

Roasted Chicken and Veggies

My favorite thing to do with potatoes and carrots are to roast them, and that has been well documented on this blog. But, last summer- I did a whole meal roasted. It's a favorite summer meal of mine- and I will repeat it often this season. One of the foods I get the most excited about this season is corn on the cob. I LOVE corn on the cob. I could eat it everyday. I always wrapped mine up in foil with butter and salt and cooked it in the oven- it's great, but it takes about 40 minutes. My mother-in-law showed me how she does about 6 minutes. She puts her ears in a gallon baggie and closes it, then cooks it in the microwave. After the bag pops and the corn is hot- it's ready. It is so crisp!!! I am so excited now to have a quick way to do corn.

Roasted Chicken and Veggies
chicken tenders or chicken breast cut into large chunks (I just marinated the chicken in a little olive oil and a dry herb blend)
corn on the cob, shucked and cleaned
carrots, peeled and sliced thick
potatoes (preferable gold or new, but I used russet because that's all I had), chopped
*Use whatever veggies you like- these are our favs

The veggies are clean and chopped, the oven is preheated to 375
You will need 2 baking sheetsOn one baking sheet, toss the carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper
Place the chicken on the other end of the baking sheetPotatoes on the other baking sheet- also tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper
Put a pat of butter and sprinkle salt on the corn, wrap up nice and tight in foil
Place them in oven, no need for a baking sheet

The potatoes and corn go in first- they will each take about 40 minutes. Then after 20 minutes, put in the carrots and chicken. They only take about 20 minutes. And- you're done!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Beef Brisket

I love BBQ. I really, really love barbeque. I regularly crave barbeque and kept seeing brisket on sale at the grocery store. I thought- surely I can figure this thing out. I have made a brisket twice now- in the oven. The grill is my husband's, not mine. So, I cook it low and slow. Basically, my 3 pound brisket cooked for 10 hours. I will tell you how I like my brisket. I like it falling apart, and "wet". "Wet" means the sauce is brushed on the brisket. Here is how I did my brisket. This is not the only way to cook it- this is just how I do it.

I rubbed the thawed brisket with a dry rub I had on hand. It was Emeril's Rib Rub.
Then wrap it in foil. I used this roasting pan (or whatever it's official name is). I filled the bottom halfway up with water- this will put moisture in the air in the oven, and help with not drying the brisket out. The brisket is well covered in foil. The oven is on 285. I left it alone for 9 hours.
Yes, seriously.
After nine hours, I started basting the brisket with barbeque sauce. There are alot of juices that have collected in the foil, and I let that out and it goes down into the pan. I tent the foil, so the brisket can breathe a bit. I turn up the heat to 300 (mainly because I will be opening the oven door alot to baste during this hour, and I don't want the oven to lose all it's heat), and baste with sauce every 15-20 minutes for one hour. Take the brisket out of the oven, off of the foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before you start slicing.

Slice at a 45 degree angle.
This was my favorite brisket I have made. I like it low and slow for sure. I have tried it before where I cranked up the temp at the end, and the brisket got scorched on the outside. I always serve it with kicked up baked beans.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Peanut Butter Rice Kripsie Treats

My friend made these for a playdate we had a few weeks ago. I love Rice Krispie treats and love recipes that they kiddos can help me with. These are sweet, and yummy! They were absolutely incredible the first day, but a little stale tasting the next day. Not sure if that was the store brand Rice Krispies I used, or that just happens to these. I did make the chocolate topping, but my daughter requested some without chocolate topping, so we had it both ways. I really liked the chocolate, personally, but they were good either way. Get in the kitchen with your kiddos and have fun!!

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
1 cup sugar
1 cup KARO syrup
1 cup Peanut Butter (I used creamy)
5-6 cups Rice Krispies

Chocolate topping (optional)
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup semi sweet chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. milk
Measure 5-6 cups of Rice Krispies, and grease a 13x9 dish.
Put sugar and KARO syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil.Add peanut butter and stir to combine. Take off heat.
Combine Rice Krispies and peanut butter mixture in 13x9 dish and stir together. Spread evenly

Make chocolate topping. Melt chocolate chips in microwave at 30 second intervals. When melted, add vanilla and milk to chocolate. Pour over Rice Krispie treats, and let cool and set up. I didn't put mine in the fridge because I really don't like cold Rice Krispie treats, but you definitely could do that to get a firmer bar.