Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - February 8, 2010

Last pre-baby menu plan, so the goal here is quick, easy, and low mess!

-College dinner (wholewheat pasta with lean ground beef, pasta sauce, and frozen mixed vegetables)
-Wholewheat pasta with white beans and sauteed spinach, tossed with olive oil, parmesan, and black pepper
-Refried bean, cream cheese, cilantro, and corn quesadillas
-Easy chicken parm (made with breaded chicken) and bag salad
-Buffalo chicken sandwiches with carrots and celery
-Shrove Tuesday pancakes (English tradition for Mardi Gras)
-Windy City Pie (from March/April issue of Clean Eating magazine) - I had to try one new thing this week :)


-Pancakes and applesauce
-Baked oatmeal
-Fruit, yogurt, and granola
-Cinnamon rolls
-Egg in a hole

-Almond Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (for toddler birthday party)
-Pudding cookies (for hospital)

-Cheese sticks
-Fresh fruit
-Trail mix
-Granola bars

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick Lunch - Cheater's Salmon Chowder

Bean and I wanted a quick hot lunch, and after eating some pretty fake food at the Aquarium yesterday, I wanted it to be homemade. I adapted an already quick chowder recipe to be even faster. This whips up in 15 minutes - great for sneaking in pre-naptime!

Is it scary that I went to the Aquarium yesterday and today am cooking fish? :)

Salmon Chowder (adapted from a Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals recipe)
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tbsp butter
-1/2 onion, finely shopped
-1 container (4 cups) fish stock (this was a little more liquid than my preference - I would probably use half the stock next time)
-1 can diced potatoes
-1 can crisp sweet corn kernels
-1 can pink salmon
-1 can low fat evaporated milk

-In a medium soup pot, saute onion in olive oil and butter until softened and lightly browned
-Stir in tarragon and saute an additional minute
-Add drained and rinse cans of potatoes and corn and saute 30 seconds
-Add fish stock, bring to a boil, and simmer five minutes
-Lower heat to medium-low
-Add drained salmon and evaporated milk and cook an additional 2-5 minutes

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cherry Dump Cake

I want to hate this, because it's so, so unhealthy. But it's so, so, SO good.

I had originally rethought my plan and was going to make a crisp with a topping from scratch, but after celebrating Bean's birthday today I just didn't have the energy. And yet . . . I still had the craving!

Back to the initial plan of a dump cake, and - one hour and 2 STICKS (yes, 2 sticks) of butter later - I'm in heaven.

Our friend Nate gave us a butter slicer. It may be the best food gift ever, especially for projects like this!

Cherry Dump Cake (Source: Cooking with Carrie)
-2 cans cherry pie filling (I did a little taste test between store brands from my local grocery stores, and, while they both tasted about the same, one had about twice as many cherries in it!)
-1 yellow cake mix
-2 sticks butter

-Preheat oven to 350
-Grease a 13x9 pan and spread pie filling across bottom of pan
-Sprinkle cake mix evenly over top
-Slice butter and lay it evenly over cake mix
-Bake 50 minutes until golden, crispy, and bubbly
-Enjoy with ice cream or cool whip

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cilantro Succotash Quesadillas

This is one of my favorite dinners I've made in a while. It was super fast and convenient and yet totally fresh and healthy. Tasted like a summer meal, even though it certainly doesn't feel like summer out. Brrrrr!

We make quesadillas a lot and I usually do them in a pan. Baking them really helped to keep the loose filling from falling out.

We served these with guacamole and Mishke had black bean dip also.

Cilantro Succotash Quesadillas (inspired by Big Girls, Small Kitchen)
-One frozen bag Trader Joe's Soycutash (recipe suggests making your own using 5 ozs frozen edamame, 15 ozs can corn, and 1/2 small red onion, chopped)
-One 15 ozs can black eyed peas (recipe uses black beans)
-One lime, freshly squeezed
-1/4 cup chopped cilantro
-Few handfuls shredded cheddar jack
-8 wholewheat tortillas

-Preheat oven to 350
Cook soycutash as directed on package and drain in a colander
-To the colander, add can of beans and rinse thoroughly
-Squeeze lime over and mix in cilantro
-Lay tortillas on two cookie sheets without overlapping
-Divide filling mixture evenly among tortillas, spreading only on half of each tortilla
-Fold over and bake until browned and crispy

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hula Joes

(Subtitle: This actually IS a 30 minute meal!)

I like Rachel Ray's recipes and her magazine, though I'm not a fan of her show. But it always seems to take me way longer than 30 minutes to whip up one of her 30 minute meals. (they also make the largest four servings I have ever seen.)

This one actually came together really fast.And it was SO, so good. Sweet and tangy and delicious! We served it on challah rolls with steamed baby carrots.

Hula Joes (Source: Rachel Ray, as found on Real Mom Kitchen)
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 lb smoked ham
-1 1/2 lb ground pork (I only had a pound so used extra ham)
-Chopped sweet onion (recipe calls for 1, I used about 1/3)
-Minced garlic
-3 tbsp brown sugar
-3 tbsp red wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
-1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
-1 cup tomato sauce
-1 cup pineapple tidbits, halved, or fresh chopped pineapple

-Saute ham in olive oil in a large skillet until browned, then remove and set aside
-Add pork to pan and cook until browned and cooked through
-Add onion and garlic and cook until softened and translucent
-Return ham to pan
-In a medium bowl, mix vinegar, sugar, worcestershire, and tomato sauce
-Add to skillet and cook for one minute until bubbling
-Add pineapple and stir to thoroughly combine
-Serve on split rolls

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lemon Cookies

These cookies remind me of my SIL Janie. She's the queen of the cake mix cookie. Her funfetti cookies are to die for.

These are light and squishy and zesty. It's kind of strange to me to make a baked good where the only "real" ingredient is an egg, which is added to two processed food products, but they are a great once-in-a-while treat.

Lemon Cookies (Not sure where I originally got these from; I think from a WW message board, but I just found them again on Cooks.com)
-One box lemon cake mix
-2 cups cool whip
-One large egg
-Powdered sugar for rolling

-Preheat oven to 350
Mix the cake mix, cool whip, and egg until it forms cookie dough consistency
-Drop by spoonfuls into powdered sugar and roll to coat
-Place on greased baking sheet, well spaced, and bake 13ish minutes
-Cookies will still be soft

Peachy Chicken

Only I would look at a blog I like, see a recipe labeled "Recipe Flop" and decide to try it. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the fruit-meat combo (I can picture my friend CRAJ cringing at this . . . she abhors "hot fruit.")

The verdict? I didn't hate it, but it won't be a regular in our house. Mishke didn't dig the taste of the onion soup in it. My biggest issue was the sodium, especially after yesterday's dinner. But I liked the combination of peaches and chicken. It kind of reminded me of something I used to buy in a jar in college (anyone remember Chicken Tonight? "I feel like Chicken Tonight!" Man was that stuff good.)

I didn't get to make the au gratin potatoes, because I was planning on making this dish another night this week and was short an ingredient. Sadly, the other dish was sabotaged by a breadcrumb challenge. So I made it with plain rice, and was too busy making cookies to come up with a veggie. Good thing I had a massive salad for lunch . . .

Peachy Chicken (Found at Tried-and-True Cooking with Heidi, originally from Taste of Home)
-1 lb chicken breasts (I used tenders)
-1 tbsp oil
-1 tbsp butter
-1 15ozs can peached, undrained (mine were in syrup)
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup orange juice
-1 envelope onion soup mix (I used mushroom onion)

-Bown chicken in oil and butter a large skillet over medium heat
-Remove chicken and keep warm
-Add the peaches and their liquid, sugar, orange juice and soup mix to the skillet
-Bring to a boil for 2 minutes
-Reduce heat, return chicken to the pan and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, ensuring that chicken is thoroughly cooked