Sunday, December 26, 2010

menu planning 12/26-1/1

sunday - turkey and gravy open-faced sandwich
sweet potato pecan casserole
green beans
fruit salad

monday - chicken cordon blue (with swiss)
brown sugar glazed butternut squash
salad with peanut butter dressing and crunchy noodles
strawberries
peach upside down almond cake

tuesday - creamy asparagus soup
cheesy cauliflower bake
ginger-glazed carrots with slivered almonds
blueberries

wednesday - flatbread alfredo pizza
scalloped potatoes
broccoli with bacon in a ranch sauce
red grapes

thursday - beef enchiladas
spinach salad with artichoke hearts and mozzarella in a white wine vinegarette
canteloupe
lemon pudding

friday - chicken and dumplings
salad with cucumbers, green peppers and colby jack
oranges

saturday - ham, portabella mushroom and spinach crepes (with smoked gouda or feta)
halved brussel sprouts
bananas

sunday - halibut over angelhair pasta with asparagus, olives and tomatoes
grilled corn with romano
raspberries in whipping cream

Sunday, December 19, 2010

no menu

we are only home three days this week and one night is spent at a friend house for supper, one night is leftovers and one night is eating out. have a very merry christmas and see you back in the kitchen next week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

menu planning 12/12-12/18

sunday - tex-mex lasagna
parmesan bread
brussel sprouts
pomegranate

monday - blt
salad with edamame, avocado and feta
apples with peanut butter
chocolate mousse

tuesday - leftovers

wednesday - eat out at rubio's

thursday - broccoli quiche with gouda cheese
sweet potato hashbrowns
yogurt
pears
peanut butter fudge

friday - rotisserie chicken with summer squash and julienned carrots
mashed potatoes
kiwi

saturday - spicy sausage chili
crackers and cheese
spinach salad with cranberries and candied walnuts
canteloupe

sunday - pineapple-black bean (and mozzarella) enchiladas
sweet corn
cuties
melting moments cookies

Monday, December 6, 2010

cauliflower-crust pizza

you will need: mixing bowl, saran wrap, fork, paper towels, wax paper, cookie sheet with edge
yields 4 servings

2 heads cauliflower
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoon parsley
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup slice mushrooms
pepperoni or cooked hamburger


preheat oven to 450 degrees.

break cauliflower off the head into a microwavable bowl. cover with saran wrap and microwave 5 minutes.

allow to cool and mash the cauliflower into small pieces (the size of rice) with a fork (can also use a cheese grater). set on a paper towl and 'dry' cauliflower. place back into bowl.

mix cauliflower, cheese, egg.

place wax paper on cookie sheet (it WILL stick otherwise) and press mixture into flat "crust". sprinkle with spices. cook for 20-25 minutes (or until edges are dark golden brown).

remove from heat. add sauce and toppings. place under broiler until cheese is melted.


idea from http://blog.yourlighterside.com/2009/05/low-carb-pizza-dough-cauliflower.html

Sunday, December 5, 2010

menu planning 12/5-12/11

sunday - eat out at lola's

monday - crunchy cashew salmon
apricot couscous
grilled zucchini spears
pineapple
scotcharoo bars

tuesday - cattleman ribs
shrimp with cocktail sauce
blue cheese bites
garlic fried baby potatoes
raspberries

wednesday - cauliflower-crust pizza
baby carrots with french onion dip
blueberries

thursday - jalapeno guacamole cheddar burgers
baked beans
corn
cottage cheese
blackberries
almond bark pretzels

friday - leftovers

saturday - eat out with in-laws

sunday - tex-mex lasagna
parmesan bread
brussel sprouts
pomegranate

Sunday, November 28, 2010

menu planning 11/28-12/4

sunday - rueben sandwiches
salad with cucumbers and craisins
blackberries
kettle chips

monday - green chili french dip sandwiches
tandori cauliflower
roast carrots
plums
strawberry cheesecake

tuesday - grilled cheese
tomato soup
mixed veggies
applesauce

wednesday - leftovers

thursday - parmesan tilapia
sweet potatoes
clementines
white chocolate cookies

friday - scrapbooking weekend

saturday - scrapbooking weekend

sunday - eat out at lola's

Sunday, November 21, 2010

menu planning 11/21-11/27

sunday - eat out at dos chili verdes

monday - apple, walnut and gorgonzola salad
greek yogurt
sugar snap peas
canteloupe

tuesday - chicken cordon blue
halved brussel sprouts with cheese
sauteed summer squash with garlic and orange peppers
kiwi

wednesday - salami, cheese and crackers
veggies and hummus
banana chips

thursday - prime rib and roast turkey
tomato and mozzarella caprese
mushroom stuffing
mashed potatoes and brown gravy
green bean casserole
roasted parmesan asparagus
steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
zucchini, corn and mint salad
raspberry jello
pineapple
rolls
pumpkin pie with whipped cream
pecan pie

friday - leftovers

saturday - eat out at maggiano's

sunday - rueben sandwiches
salad with cucumbers and craisins
blackberries
kettle chips

Sunday, November 14, 2010

menu planning 11/14-11-20

sunday - kielbasa sausage-fruit kabobs
cambozola and crackers
twice-baked potatoes
grapes

monday - chicken stirfry
brown rice with red peppers and peas
pears
almond pound cake with figs

tuesday - ricotta gnocchi with pumpkin and blue cheese
broccoli
kiwi

wednesday - banana pancakes with maple syrup
scrambled eggs
bacon
applesauce
grape juice

thursday - taco salad with frito corn chips
guacamole
corn and black bean salad
mandarin oranges
chocolate chip cookies

friday - leftovers

saturday - lasagna
garlic bread
salad with asparagus, shredded carrots, cucumbers and feta
strawberries
chocolate zucchini cake

sunday - eat out at dos chili verdes

Friday, November 12, 2010

twice baked potatoes

you will need: fork, large mixing bowl, hand-held mixer, cookie sheet
yields 8 servings

4 large russet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup to 1 cup cottage cheese (depending on desired creaminess factor)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
celery salt (to taste)
paprika
chives

preheat oven to 400 degrees. pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until tender (about an hour).

allow potatoes to cool. cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop pulp into bowl, leaving a thin shell. set shells to the side.

add butter, milk, cottage cheese, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, and celery salt to pulp. mash together to make a smooth filling. stir in 3/4 cup parmesan cheese.

place shells back on cookie sheet and stuff filling back into shells (or pipe in if you want a fancy ruffled look).

sprinkle with paprika and remaining parmesan cheese. bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. top with chives if desired.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

menu planning 11/7-11/13

sunday - smoked turkey (and swiss) panini (with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, garlic mayo and apples)
creamy red pepper potato soup
artichoke hearts
blueberries

monday - beer cheddar and broccoli soup
cesar salad
raspberries

tuesday - chicken and asparagus skillet supper
summer squash with green onions and tomatoes
edamame
asian pears

wednesday - eat out at mateo

thursday - chorizo and white beans
parmesan and parsley garlic bread
green beans
honeydew melon

friday - mediterranean salmon and noodle bowl
spinach salad with bacon, red onions, olives and feta
pineapple

saturday - leftovers

sunday - kielbasa sausage-fruit kabobs
cambozola and crackers
twice-baked potatoes
grapes

Monday, November 1, 2010

wedding soup

you will need a medium bowl, a medium saucepan and a large saucepan
yields: 4 servings

1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 egg
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped spinach
1/3 cup shredded carrot
optional: celery and sliced mushrooms (1/3 cup each)
1/2 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
grated parmesan cheese

in bowl combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil and onion powder. shape into 3/4 inch balls.

in a saucepan, cook pasta according to directions.

in large saucepan, heat olive oil and cook carrots (celery and mushrooms) 1 minute. add broth and bring to a boil; stir in meatballs.

return to boil; reduce heat to medium and cook at slow boil for 10 minutes. stir frequently to avoid sticking.

stir in spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted. remove soup from heat source and add cooked pasta and lemon juice.

serve immediately with additional parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

menu planning 10/31-11/6

last week was another bad week for sticking to the plan. (oops!) it started with olive garden (oh naughty eggplant parmigiana, you are soooo tasty), then we chose lemon-pepper salmon over shrimp salad and wonton soup instead of taco, then i blew up the spaghetti squash (yes, i literally blew it up) so we opted for grilled cheese, had sushi instead of roadside barbeque, left town on an impromptu trip and hit texas roadhouse, and finally finish off the week with banana popsicles, saltine crackers, mashed potatoes and seven-up (sick household). ah, well, such is life sometimes. :) you'll be seeing last week's selections again sometime soon.

sunday - maple bacon-wrapped chicken breast
mashed sweet potatoes
sauteed mushrooms and orange peppers
peaches

monday - wedding soup
crackers with sliced cheddar
grilled zucchini and summer squash
cinnamon applesauce

tuesday - red beans and cauliflower rice
celery with peanut butter
mango

wednesday - raspberry basil chicken
roasted garlic broccoli
buttered corn
banana chips

thursday - leftovers

friday - lo mien
veggie medley
mandarin oranges with toasted coconut and shave almonds

saturday - eat out at cinzetti's

sunday - smoked turkey (and swiss) panini (with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, garlic mayo and apples)
creamy red pepper potato soup
artichoke hearts
blueberries

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

western omelet potato skins with pepper jack cheese and smoked paprika

you will need: sharp knife, cutting board, a fork, paper towels, mixing bowl, skillet and baking sheet
yields 2 servings

2 medium russet potatoes
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 slices deli ham, chopped small
2 tablespoons onion, chopped small
2 tablespoons mushroom, chopped small
1/2 cup red and green bell pepper, chopped small
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
pam
salt and pepper
smoked paprika


preheat oven to 450 degrees. using a fork, pierce potato several times and place in microwave on a paper towel. cook 10 minutes.

cook onions, pepper and mushrooms in a skillet until done. reducing heat, add ham. whisk eggs, milk and salt and pepper in bowl. add eggs to veggies in skillet and scramble (leave it a little less done than you like to allow for cooking in oven). remove from heat.

when potatoes are finished cooking, remove from microwave and stick in freezer to cool (about 5 minutes). cut potatoes in half horizontally, scooping out potato 'guts'. leave a 1/4 inch thick wall.

spray potato skins with pam before placing on baking sheet. fill each skin with egg mixture. top with 2 tablespoons cheese. bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. season with paprika.


**fry up the potato guts in the skillet (high heat) with some butter until browned and crunchy, or mash and make potato pancakes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

menu planning 10/24-10/30

sunday - french onion soup with melted gruyere cheese
corn on the cob
lime jello
apple with peanut butter

monday - leftovers

tuesday - shrimp salad on cucumber halves
tomato slices with mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar
steamed broccoli
cantelope
strawberry scone

wednesday - taco soup
flaky crescents
house salad with blue cheese dressing
cactus fruit

thursday - cottage cheese and ricotta stuffed shells
spaghetti squash with garlic and parmesan
green and wax beans
pears
pumpkin ice cream with caramel sauce

friday - eat out at roadside bbq

saturday - western omelet potato skins with pepper jack cheese and smoked paprika
asparagus
kiwi
banana blueberry apple oatmeal cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

sunday - maple bacon-wrapped chicken breast
mashed sweet potatoes
sauteed mushrooms and orange peppers
peaches

Thursday, October 21, 2010

asparagus rolls

you will need: saucepan, tongs, mixing bowl filled with ice water, paper towels, serving platter, knife
yields 8 servings

2 bundles of (thin) asparagus
1/2 pound deli-sliced salami
garlic-flavored cream cheese
salt and pepper
grated parmesan cheese

boil pot of water. take each asparagus spear and bend it so that it snaps at the weakest spot.

place asparagus in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. when the timer goes off, immediately transfer asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process.

dry asparagus with a paper towel. place on a platter in a single layer and season with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.

take salami and spread a thin layer of cream cheese over each slice. wrap salami around 2-3 asparagus spears (depending on thickness).

chill before serving.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

menu planning 10/17-10/23

sunday - eat out at 'chugwater deli'

monday - french dip with au jus
green beans
pumpkin seeds
papaya

tuesday - rotisserie chicken
mashed potatoes
panzanella salad (spinach, roasted eggplant, olives, peppercini, cucumber, red onion and feta with greek dressing)
honeydew melon

wednesday - blt's
summer squash and julienne carrots
peaches

thursday - leftovers

friday - eat out at gb's (fish and chips)

saturday - mexican beef and avocados in tortillas
sliced red, orange and yellow peppers
southwest spaghetti squash
grapes

sunday - french onion soup with melted gruyere cheese
corn on the cob
lime jello
apple with peanut butter

Thursday, October 14, 2010

grilled cheese with pumpkin

you will need: butter knife, small mixing bowl, spoon, griddle, spatula, pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter (optional)
yields 6 sandwiches

12 slices bread
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon cream cheese

butter one side of bread and set aside.

mix cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth and add in cheddar cheese. divide equally on six sandwiches. cook on medium heat until toasted and golden, flipping once.

great side with chili, beef stew, black bean soup, etc.


**to add flair, use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to cut off the crust (before buttering). tip: don't throw your crust away. place in a bag in the freezer to use later for croutons, bread crumbs, stuffing, etc.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

menu planning 10/10-10/16

sunday - chili with avocado
cheesy bread florentine
baby carrots
mango-banana fruit salad
ice cream

monday - eat out at 'buffalo wild wings' (watch vikings game)

tuesday - chunky beef stew with potatoes, carrots and peas
beer bread with butter
sauteed mushrooms
strawberries

wednesday - chili cheese dogs (use leftover chili)
broccoli slaw
macaroni salad
cherries

thursday - spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast with tzatkiki sauce
zucchini with mint, dill and feta
corn on the cob
fruit kabobs

friday - eat out at 'jersey mike's'

saturday - potato soup
basil, mozzarella and tomato sandwich
salad with orange peppers and black olives
baked apple with pumpkin butter

sunday - eat out at 'chugwater deli'

Monday, October 4, 2010

cheesy bread florentine

you will need: a sharp knife, spatula, mixing bowl, skillet, cookie sheet, parchment paper
yields 10-12 servings

1 loaf french bread
3/4 jar alfredo (or make your own)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 cups shredded provolone or gruyere cheese
pepper to taste

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

in a mixing bowl, combine alfredo, mustard and pepper; set aside.

slice loaf of french bread down the middle. place bread flat side up on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

in a hot skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic until tender and fragrant. add spinach, alfredo and parmesan, stirring to mix well. add tomatoes and remove from heat.

spread mixture evenly over bread. sprinkle with provolone cheese. bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until cheese is golden and bread is crunchy.

slice and serve warm.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

menu planning 10/3-10/9

sunday - cinnamon orange smoked turkey with orange mustard mayo on rye
brussel sprouts with chipolte butter and parmesan
clementines
chocolate milkshakes

monday - creamy tomato basil soup
zucchini fritters
salad with craisins, almonds and feta cheese
kiwi

tuesday - asian chicken with broccoli and cashews
thai coconut rice
garden green beans
watermelon
crustless pumpkin pie

wednesday - turkey, bacon and gouda cheese in a crusty baguette
yogurt
sweet potato homestyle fries
plums

thursday - grilled make-your-own-pizza on sweet bread
summer squash
grilled peaches
almond bark pretzels

friday - eat out at 'marcel's'

saturday - leftovers

sunday - chili with avocado
cheesy bread florentine
baby carrots
mango-banana fruit salad
ice cream

Saturday, October 2, 2010

muenster cheese and chicken fajitas

you will need: 2 non-stick skillets, a flat spatula
yields: 6 fajitas

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 medium purple onion, thinly sliced
6 flour tortillas, buttered on one side
18 slices muenster cheese
lime wedges and plain greek yogurt for serving


in a resealable plastic bag, combine chile powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, water and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. add chicken, onion and bell peppers. seal and knead gently to coat. refrigerate for 15-30 minutes (up to 24 hours).

heat remaining oil in a large skillet until shimmering. empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the chicken is cooked through, about 6-9 minutes.

remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. divide into six even portions.

in second skillet, place buttered tortilla down and cover one half with 2-3 slices meunster cheese. when the tortilla is lightly browned and cheese is melted, about 1 1/2-2 minutes, place one portion of the fajita mixture on the cheese and fold the tortilla over.

transfer to a plate and serve with lime wedges and plain greek yogurt. do not replace the cheese with a different kind; the key is using muenster cheese.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

menu planning 9/26-10/2

sunday - sausage and rice filled butternut squash
baby carrots and green peppers with southwest dip
pears

monday - eat out at 'chili's' (100% of chili's profit goes to st. jude's hospital on this day)
text 'hope' to 90999 to donate $5 to st. jude's for children's cancer

tuesday - mahi-mahi tacos with cilantro-pecan salsa
mexican green bean salad
apricots
cream cheese pinwheels

wednesday - black bean and hummus pitas with sprouts
salad with zucchini, shredded carrots, edamame and blue cheese
grapes

thursday - eat at the walk for 'leukemia and lymphoma society'
donate here - http://pages.lightthenight.org/rm/DenverL10/DRichardsWagner

friday - muenster cheese and chicken fajitas
guacamole with chips
sauteed mushrooms and peppers
blackberries
pumpkin muffins with caramel sauce

saturday - hamburger sliders in hawaiian bread buns
corn on the cob
grilled cauliflower
applesauce
pineapple

sunday - cinnamon orange smoked turkey with orange mustard mayo on rye
brussel sprouts with chipolte butter and parmesan
clementines
chocolate milkshakes

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

hot insalata caprese

you will need: small mixing bowl, whisk, broiler pan and serving platter
yields 4 servings

4 1-inch slices of ripe tomato
4 1/2-inch slices of fresh mozzarella
4 tablespoons pesto
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
sugar, to taste


preheat oven broiler. whisk together vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon oil and sugar; set aside.

season tomato slices with 1/2 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. broil tomatoes 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. do not overcook.

top each tomato with a slice of mozzarella and broil until cheese starts to run. transfer tomatoes to serving platter.

top each tomato with a tablespoon of pesto. drizzle with vinegar mixture. serve immediately (so cheese does not yellow).

Monday, September 20, 2010

roasted parmesan asparagus

you will need: cutting board, sharp knife, cookie sheet
yields: 4 servings

1 bunch asparagus (thinner is better)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon

preheat oven to 400 degrees.
cut woody sections off end of asparagus and place spears on a baking sheet.
drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. toss to coat. sprinkle parmesan over the top.
roast until just tender, 10-12 minutes.
spritz lemon juice over the asparagus and enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

menu planning 9/19-9/25

sunday - grilled shrimp
mushroom, yellow pepper, zucchini and avocado kabobs
quinoa
strawberries and cream

monday - bta sandwich (bacon, tomato, avocado)
corn, edamame, tomato saute with smoked gouda
blueberries

tuesday - blue cheese and dried cherries meatloaf muffins (make extra for a friend who just had a baby)
spagetti squash with butter, salt and pepper
cactus fruit

wednesday - 4-cheese ravioli/tortellini with spinach pesto (football's birthday)
green beans
apples with peanut butter

thursday - honey mustard salmon (recipe from mpf)
salad with sharp cheddar, tomatoes, cucumber and pepperoni
roasted parmesan asparagus
peaches

friday - tomato, mushroom, spinach and feta cheese omelette
baby red potatoes with parsley and butter
toast with raspberry jelly
grapefruit halves

saturday - eat out at 'old spaghetti factory'

sunday - sausage and rice filled butternut squash
baby carrots and green peppers with southwest dip
pears

Monday, September 13, 2010

blue cheese and dried cherries meatloaf muffins

you will need: mixing bowl, muffin tin
yields: 5-6 servings

1 pound of lean ground beef
1/2 cup dried cherries (or craisins)
3/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles
1/4-1/2 chopped onion (to taste)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup skim milk
2 eggs
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

in a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. mix well.

liberally spray the inside of your muffin tin pan with cooking spray.

evenly divide the meat into twelve portions and place in each circle. round the tops.

cook for 25-40 minutes. the meat is done when it is cooked thoroughly and has browned on top and darkened on the edges.

remove from pan and let sit for 15 minutes before consuming.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

menu planning 9/12-9/18

sunday - bacon-wrapped filet
brushetta with shaved parmesan
brussel sprouts
mashed cauliflower
honeydew melon
ice cream

monday - margherita pizza
spinach salad with craisins and almonds
pears
red wine

tuesday - kielbasa hobo packets
ranch-style beans
spicy sweet potato chips
pineapple

wednesday - leftovers

thursday - parmesan-crusted halibut
roasted broccoli and baby red potatoes
green beans with bacon and onions
kiwi

friday - crockpot 'root beer' pulled pork sandwiches with pickles and red onion
cucumber salad
asparagus with lemon zest, feta cheese and tomatoes
cantelope

saturday - gooey baked nachos
yogurt
bananas

sunday - grilled shrimp
mushroom, yellow pepper, zucchini and avocado kabobs
quinoa
strawberries and cream

Saturday, September 11, 2010

chili relleno egg bake

you will need saute pan, skillet, deep baking dish, 2 mixing bowls, fork, whisk, paper towels
yields 8-12 servings

8 poblano chilis, roasted (if they are not roasted, you can do this yourself under the broiler)
1 package chorizo
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
12 eggs
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
2 cups monterey jack, shredded
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon minced oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 375 degrees.

heat olive oil in a saute pan, on medium. add the chopped onion. cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. add the garlic and cook for a minute more. add the can tomatoes (with juice). bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. remove from heat and set aside.

in a skillet over medium-high heat, cook chorizo, stirring occasionally to break up meat, about 4 minutes. add can corn. remove from heat and set aside.

peel and discard blackened skin off the chilies. hang on to the stem and rub with a paper towel. cut stem off and remove seeds, and discard. pat dry chiles and set aside.

pour tomato mixture into baking dish. in bowl, mix chorizo, cotija, and oregano. stuff chilis with sausage mixture and lay them on top of the tomatoes, stem side to the wall of the baking dish. add spinach. sprinkle chilis with half of the monterey jack cheese.

whisk eggs thoroughly in separate bowl. whisk in the flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt. pour egg mixture over chilis and top with remaining cheese.

bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

menu planning 9/5-9/11

sorry for the earlier incompleteness; my husband's grandpa passed away. it has been a difficult summer for our family. thanks for stopping back.

sunday - green chili and sausage pizza
cheesecake

monday - meatball stroganoff
sauteed mushrooms
string cheese
apples with peanut butter

tuesday - leftovers

wednesday - crockpot salsa chicken
pinto bean, green chilis and corn toss
guac and chips
grilled peaches
caramel brownies

thursday - eat at 'panda buffet' (funeral)

friday - easy peach chicken
sliced tomato, basil and mozzerella cheese
stuffing
sweet potatoes
strawberries with cream cheese/marshmellow fluff dip

saturday - chili relleno egg bake casserole with meunster cheese
nacho cheese hashbrowns
grapefruit with sugar

sunday - bacon-wrapped filet
brushetta with shaved parmesan
brussel sprouts
mashed cauliflower
honeydew melon
ice cream

Sunday, August 29, 2010

menu planning 8/29-9/4

sunday - turkey salad patty melt with green olives
kettle chips
celery and cucumbers with french onion dip
green grapes

monday - eat out at 'taco bell' (4 tacos for $1 rockies special)

tuesday - grilled cheese sandwiches
sweet corn
cantelope
blueberry pie

wednesday - eat out at 'guadalajara'

thursday - eat out at 'applebee's'

friday - leftovers

saturday - grilled santa fe chicken
macaroni salad
coleslaw
baked beans
jojo potatoes
strawberries

sunday - green chili and sausage pizza
cheesecake

Saturday, August 28, 2010

puffed walleye

you will need a mixing bowl, paper towel, a shallow baking dish, a spatula and pam cooking spray
yields 4 servings

2/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/3 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon frank's hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pound white fish fillets

preheat the oven to 375.
mix parmesan cheese, mayonaise, green onions and hot sauce.
pat fish dry.
coat baking dish with pam and place fillets in baking dish.
spread the parmesan mixture evenly over the filets and top with a sprinkle of paprika.
bake 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. topping will be puffed and light golden.


**around 250 calories.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

menu planning 8/22-8/28

sunday - meatball and provolone hoagies
sauteed zucchini and summer squash
cherries

monday - baked pepperoni spagetti
green beans with parmesan
house salad
ice cream with raspberries

tuesday - grilled salmon
diced sweet potatoes with cayenne pepper
spinach salad with pears
string cheese
watermelon

wednesday - loaded baked potato soup
beer

thursday - eat out at 'texas de brazil' (anniversary)

friday - chicken enchilada
rice with cranberries, green onions and orange zest
broiled carrots and asparagus
blackberries
white chocolate oatmeal cookies

saturday - leftovers

sunday - turkey salad patty melt with green olives
kettle chips
celery and cucumbers with french onion dip
green grapes

Sunday, August 15, 2010

no menu

my grandma's funeral is tomorrow. after that, we will be camping and i haven't planned out my meals yet. see you next week.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

cauliflower gratin

you will need: 2-quart baking dish, large skillet, small mixing bowl
yields 6 servings

10 cups cauliflower florets (fresh, frozen or steamer bags)
1/4 cup green olives, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups (1/2 pound) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup bread crumbs (homemade or store-bought)
salt and pepper
pam


preheat oven to 400 degrees.

spray baking dish with pam and set aside. steam cauliflower in the microwave for 5 minutes, or until soft.

in skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over moderate heat. add garlic and red pepper. cook until fragrant; remove from heat. add cauliflower and olives. toss. fold half of cheese in with vegetables. transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

in bowl, combine crumbs with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. sprinkle crumbs over cheese.

bake 12 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crumbs are golden.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

menu planning 8/8-8/14

sunday - open-faced manwiches with colby cheese
watermelon and feta salad
green beans
pears

monday - puffed walleye
potato salad
salad
honeydew melon
marbled cream cheese brownie

tuesday - blue cheese pizza (recipe from one perfect bite)
sauteed red pepper
watermelon

wednesday - egg salad sandwiches
corn, lime and parsley salad
cherries

thursday - tomato stuffed with grilled shrimp, cucumber and rice
cauliflower gratin
apple
lemon mousse

friday - eat out at 'el padrino'

saturday - tacos
zucchini
blueberries

sunday - ice cream sundaes

Monday, August 2, 2010

bacon-wrapped figs with blue cheese

you will need: toothpicks, paring knife, small baking dish
yields 4 servings

8 strips microwave bacon
8 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
8 ripe green or black figs, trimmed


preheat oven to 475 degrees.

make a small x-shaped incision in the bottom of fig. take 1 tablespoon of blue cheese and press it together. insert into the bottom of fig. wrap bacon around fig and secure with a toothpick. repeat until all figs are wrapped.

place figs in baking dish. bake 8 minutes or until the bacon begins to crisp and some cheese oozes out. let cool 1 minute before serving. may turn halfway thru if bacon is cooking unevenly.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

menu planning 8/1-8/7

it is another week of quick and easy suppers (we have football 'conditioning' every night this week from 5:30 to 8:30). we will probably have some form of ice cream every night this week after practice. better eat it while we can because the countdown to school has started in this household!

sunday - ribs
cowboy beans
cheesy-garlic mashed potatoes
pineapple
brownies

monday - deli turkey sandwich with smoked gouda and green peppers
carrot sticks
peaches

*tuesday - cheddar brats
corn on the cob
raspberries

wednesday - four-cheese tortellini with chicken, slivered zucchini and tomatoes
spinach salad with pepperoni, red peppers and parmesan
plums

thursday - portabella mushroom burgers (pepperjack?)
celery with peanut butter
yogurt
nectarines

friday - five-layer dip with blue corn chips
cheesy broccoli and cauliflower
oranges

*saturday - pulled pork
bacon-wrapped figs stuffed with blue cheese
roasted potatoes and baby carrots
cantelope

sunday - open-faced manwiches with colby cheese
watermelon and feta salad
green beans
pears

Friday, July 30, 2010

watermelon and feta salad

you need: mixing bowl, serving bowl
yields: 6-8 servings

1 small seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
1 english cucumber, diced
1/4 red onion
3 cups spring green mix
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
salt and pepper

in a bowl, whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, lime juice and salt and pepper for dressing. set aside.

add watermelon, cucumber, onion and salad to serving bowl. pour dressing over salad and gently toss to combine.

top with crumbled feta and serve.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

menu planning 7/25-7/31

the boys have evening vacation bible school this week so suppers need to be quick and easy. yes, i did say EVENING vacation bible school! :) hubby and i are looking forward to spending some childless evenings together. what should we do?

sunday - mexican meatloaf (smoked cheddar and salsa)
corn on the cob with herb butter
honeydew melon

monday - leftovers

tuesday - fried chicken
suddenly salad (classic)
watermelon
fresh-squeezed lemonade

wednesday - chorizo breakfast burritos
sweet potato hashbrowns
banana ice cream

thursday - eat out at golden europe

friday - chili
orignal fritos
baked cinnamon apples

saturday - brown sugar halibut
parmesan broccoli overnight salad
strawberry shortcake

sunday - ribs
cowboy beans
cheesy-garlic mashed potatoes
pineapple
brownies

Monday, July 19, 2010

pesto

you need: a food processor
yields: 2 cups

2 cups basil leaves, washed and patted dry
4-6 good-sized garlic gloves
1 cup shelled walnuts or pine nuts
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (more to thin)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated romano cheese
salt and pepper

combine basil, garlic and nuts in a food processor. chop. leave motor running and slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. shut off food processor. add cheese and a grinding of salt and pepper. process to blend.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

menu planning 7/18-7/24

sunday - fetticini alfredo with shrimp
green peppers, grilled zucchini and summer squash
kiwi

monday - spaghetti
cheesy garlic bread
garlic green beans
cottage cheese
peaches

tuesday - minestrone soup with shaved parmesan
salad
blueberries

wednesday - eat out at jersey mike's

thursday - halibut steaks
pesto and crackers
roasted asparagus
cucumber salad
cherries

friday - eat out at maggiano's (belated birthday dinner with the girls)

saturday - egg salad sandwiches with tomatoes
cheesy french fries
baby carrots
mango

sunday - mexican meatloaf (smoked cheddar and salsa)
corn on the cob with herb butter
honeydew melon

Monday, July 12, 2010

blue cheese dressing

you will need a small bowl and a whisk
yields: 6 servings

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
4 oz crumbled blue cheese
black pepper

in a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and sour cream/yogurt. add pepper to taste. fold in blue cheese. the dressing will keep in refrigerator for 4-6 days.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

menu planning 7/11-7/17

it seems like i always get to about this point in my menus where nothing sounds good and cooking seems like such WORK. anybody else? but i need a menu because without it, i want to eat out every night. not only is that expensive, but it's not that healthy for us either. i think i am going to resort to some very simple faire and let the fresh-picked veggies be the main attraction.

sunday - leftovers

monday - teriyaki salmon with grilled pineapple
grilled asparagus
watermelon
limon chips

tuesday - eat out at the hibachi grill

wednesday - chicken salad on croissants
garden tomatoes, avocado and red onion
apples

thursday - grilled cheese and tomato soup
salad with yellow tomatoes and homemade blue cheese dressing
oranges

friday - taco bar
strawberry salsa

saturday - leftovers

sunday - fetticini alfredo with shrimp
green peppers, grilled zucchini and summer squash
kiwi

Friday, July 9, 2010

crockpot cheesy chicken and broccoli over rice

you will need a crockpot
yields: 6 servings

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (or canned chicken)
2 heads of broccoli, cut off stem (or 1 bag frozen broccoli, thawed)
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken stock (or 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon)
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cups water (if using bouillon, use 3 cups)

combine all ingredients, except broccoli, in slow cooker and cook on low for 5 hours.

stir in broccoli and cook additional hour or until broccoli is desired softness. add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

menu planning 7/4-7/10

this week, my hubby is gone on a fishing trip to hippa island (in the british columbia) so i am going to be eating out of the freezer to make room for the sixty or so pounds of fish he plans on bringing back. the meals and sides might seem a little random. :)

sunday - tapas plate with marinated chickpeas and roasted pepper spread
edamame
cottage cheese with cucumbers
strawberries

monday - chicken parmesan
grilled zucchini
cherries
cheesecake

tuesday - appetizers (shrimp, clam strips, jalapeno poppers, spinach artichoke dip)
yellow tomatoes with mozzarella and basil
brussel sprouts
peaches

wednesday - tatortot casserole
pesto-stuffed mushrooms
plums
ice cream sandwiches

thursday - mediterranean chicken salad
corn
blueberries

friday - totino's pizza

saturday - grilled pork chops
steamed broccoli
kiwi

sunday - leftovers

Thursday, July 1, 2010

crockpot lasagna-spinach pie

you will need a crockpot, large mixing bowl, a medium mixing bowl, a spoon, two 1/2 measuring cups and a sharp knife
yields: 8-10 servivngs

36-40 oz of marinara/spaghetti sauce (1 1/2-2 cans/jars)
1/2 cup basil pesto
4 cups ricotta cheese (2 15 oz containers)
3 cups mozzarella cheese
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 package frozend chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 box of oven-ready lasagna noodles

mix marinara sauce and pesto together in large mixing bowl.

mix ricotta, eggs and spinach together in a medium bowl. add 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup parmesan cheese.

liberally spray interior of crockpot with pam and spread 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of the crockpot.

break noodles into pieces to evenly cover bottom of crockpot. cover with 1/2 cup sauce and sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

repeat.

add another layer of noodles. spread half the ricotta mixture and cover with 1/2 cup sauce.

repeat.

add another layer of noodles, cover with 1/2 cup sauce and sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.

repeat.

add one last layer of noodles and press down gently to compress. top with remaining sauce and parmesan.

cook on high for 4 hours or until top is rippled and golden brown along the edges. check for noodle tenderness by piercing lasagna with tip of a sharp knife. if not done, cook for 30 more minutes.

serve out of crockpot with garlic bread and broccoli.


**you can add a teaspoon of minced garlic to the marinara to enhance flavor if desired.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

menu planning 6/27-7/3

sunday - camping (eat out at 'the chuckwagon')

monday - crockpot lasagna-spinach pie
brussel sprouts in browned butter
baked cinnamon applesauce

tuesday - steaks on the grill
mushroom, onion, summer squash and pineapple kabobs
romaine salad with avocado, nectarine, goat cheese and sunflower seeds
grapes
carrot cake

wednesday - crockpot cheesy chicken and broccoli over rice
white sweet corn
frozen bananas dipped in chocolate

thursday - left-overs

friday - fried walleye with cucumber and tomato chutney
cinnamon and sugar sweet potato fries
green beans
bread pudding with raspberries and cream

saturday - crockpot shredded beef and veggie tostadas
shredded carrot, jalapeno, black bean, avocado and lime salad
watermelon and feta salad

sunday - tapas plate with marinated chickpeas and roasted pepper spread
edamame
cottage cheese with cucumbers
strawberries

Friday, June 18, 2010

greek pasta salad

you will need: a stockpot, a saucepan, a colander, a large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, a whisk and a spoon
yields: 4 serving

8 ounces of whole wheat spiral pasta
4 cups raw baby spinach
2 cups green beans, cut in half
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
8 kalamata olives, minced
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
4 tablespoons light italian dressing
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

cook pasta according to directions. at the same time, start green beans.

drain pasta in colander and pour into large mixing bowl. stir in spinach when pasta is still hot. set aside to cool.

combine olives, feta, vinegar, italian dressing and cinnamon in small mixing bowl and whisk together.

place red peppers in bottom of colander and drain green beans over them. add to spinach and pasta.

add tomatoes and dressing. stir and serve immediately.

for additional flavor, dice 10 slices of thinly slice salami and add.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

menu planning 6/13-6/19

okay, it's confession time; i did not make a single thing on my menu last week. not one. instead we had brats, chinese, olive garden, leftovers, salmon, soup and ribs. expect to see the previous menu incorporated into my menu plan sometime in the future. an advance apology for the future repeats.

sunday - mushroom ravioli with red peppers and wilted spinach in alfredo sauce
paprika cauliflower
banana mousse with raspberries

monday - marinated beef medallions
baby red potatoes
honeydew melon

tuesday - baked paprika-parmesan chicken (recipe from allrecipes.com)
pesto and triscuits
greek pasta salad
broiled carrots in balsamic vinegar
blackberries

wednesday - pumpkin curry with cashews
black bean hummus and tri-colored chips
broccoli
plums

thursday - left-overs

friday - blt's
zucchini fries
chocolate covered pears

saturday - camping (hamburgers on the grill with onion, lettuce and tomato, corn on the cob, macaroni salad, watermelon, lemonade and s'mores)

sunday - camping (portabella spaghetti, garlic bread, green salad, cherries and ice cream)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

chicken, blueberry and feta pasta salad

you will need 2 skillets, a large spoon, a stockpot, a colander, a cutting board, a sharp knife and a serving bowl
yields 8 servings

1 pound chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth
1 box whole-wheat pasta (fusilli or radiatore is good)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
4 oz (1/2 cup) feta cheese
1 tablespoon lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice (or one lime yields)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper

place chicken in a large skillet and add half the chicken broth; bring to a boil. cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, about 10 to 12 minutes. drain and transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool.

place oil and onion in a small skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. remove from heat. add remaining broth, lime juice, lime zest and feta. stir until feta is melted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

bring a large pot of water to a boil. cook pasta according to package directions, about 9 minutes. drain and transfer to a decorative serving bowl and coat with feta dressing. salt and pepper to taste.

chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. stir into pasta. toss in blueberries and fresh thyme right before serving. serve room temperature or chilled.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

menu planning 6/6-6/12

sunday - loaded baked potatoes (broccoli cheese, sour cream, chives, salsa)
cowboys beans
salad
watermelon
homemade hot fudge sundaes (with homemade fresh mint ice cream)

monday - tequila honey lime shrimp in avocados
rice, zucchini and corn salad
cottage cheese
apricots

tuesday - marinated pork
cheesy-garlic mashed potatoes
lemon broccoli
strawberry shortcake

wednesday - chicken, blueberry and feta pasta salad
roasted green beans and onions
parmesan brussel sprouts
mango

thursday - left-overs

friday - artichoke chicken pizza
salad with bacon, sunflower seeds, croutons and blue cheese crumbles
baby carrots
fruit salad parfait
black bean brownies

saturday - kielbasa with tomatoes and white beans (recipe from recipezaar.com)
spaghetti squash
pineapple

sunday - mushroom ravioli with red peppers and wilted spinach in alfredo sauce
paprika cauliflower
banana mousse with raspberries

Thursday, June 3, 2010

bacon pie

you will need toothpicks, a skillet, deep dish pie plate, 2 mixing bowls and whisk
yields 6 servings

1 package crescent rolls
1 1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons flour
onion powder
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 450 degrees.
weave 6-8 slices of bacon together forming a lattice. use toothpicks to hold together.
cook remaining bacon until crisp; drain.
line an ungreased pie plate with crescent rolls and press together. rest remaining dough over sides (will cover top later).
crumble bacon into small pieces. layer half on bottom. use half tomato slices to cover bacon. sprinkle with half amount of cheese.
repeat.
in bowl, whisk egg yolks, whipping cream, sour cream, flour, onion powder and salt and pepper. mix until frothy.
in another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. fold into egg yolks.
pour egg mixture over all and top with dough (center with be open). cover center with bacon lattice.
bake at 450 for 10 minutes, reduce to 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

menu planning 5/30-6/5

sunday - spaghetti with pork roast (wheat noodles)
gooey parmesan mushroom bombs
cesear salad
pistachio salad
cuties

monday - leftovers

tuesday - eat out at wheatland inn

wednesday - bacon pie
sliced tomatoes
lemon-pepper asparagus
honeydew melon

thursday - cream cheese chicken
garlic toast
pasta salad with pepperoni and parmesan
cauliflower in gruyere cheese sauce
strawberries

friday - blue cheese bread and tomato soup
vinegar cucumbers
green beans
yogurt
apple slices with peanut butter

saturday - black bean burritos
guacamole
brown rice with soy sauce, bacon and green pepper
corn on the cob
pineapple

sunday - loaded baked potatoes (broccoli cheese, sour cream, chives, salsa)
cowboys beans
salad
watermelon
homemade hot fudge sundaes (with homemade fresh mint ice cream)

Monday, May 24, 2010

no menu

my dad passed away and i will not be making any food this week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ricotta-stuffed tomato

**the orginal recipe came from 'the pioneer woman cooks', but this version is the one i adapted

you will need a spoon, paper towel, cutting board, sharp knife, medium mixing bowl, flat wide bowl, baking sheet, tinfoil, serving platter
yields 8 servings

8 roma tomatoes, halved
1/2 bunch fresh italian parsley
1/2 bunch fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup italian bread crumbs
salt and pepper
olive oil

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

wash and halve the tomatoes. scoop out and discard the seeds. remove any pulp necessary to form a nice rounded shell. sprinkle a bit of salt inside each tomato. lay the tomatoes face down on a clean paper towel.

mix ricotta cheese, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese. salt and pepper to taste. chop herbs and garlic and add to ricotta. mix well.

fill each tomato with a heaping spoonful of the ricotta mixture.

pour bread crumbs into a flat dish. press each ricotta-filled tomato face down and then place face up on a tinfoiled baking sheet. drizzle each tomato with a bit of olive oil.

bake for 25-30 minutes. serve hot.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

menu planning 5/16-5/22

sunday - lobster bisque (costco)
ricotta-stuffed tomato
steamed asparagus with butter and sea salt
mangos

monday - hot dogs or burritos (baseball)
nachos
apples

tuesday - manicotti alfredo
cooked sweet carrots
cherries

wednesday - breaded walleye
baked sweet potato fries
brussel sprouts
seedless red grapes

thursday - thai chicken lettuce wraps with peanut butter drizzle
bacon, black beans and edamame in a cilantro lime rice
kiwi

friday - eat out at 'c level'

saturday - eat out at the casino (all-you-can-eat-crab)

sunday - shrimp enchilda verdes
sauteed summer squash and zucchini
pineapple and bell pepper salad
melon, banana and walnut salad
ice cream cake (birthday party)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

menu planning 5/9-5/15

sunday - bacon and blue burgers
crab-stuffed mushrooms
garlic-grilled potatoes
spinach salad
pineapple

monday - portabella philly cheesesteak sandwich
stilton with blueberries on stacy's pita chips
baby carrots
apple
honey-roasted peanuts (baseball game)

tuesday - buffalo chicken salad
celery with blue cheese
green and yellow beans
greek yogurt
clementines

wednesday - eat out at cracker barrel

thursday - leftovers

friday - butternut squash ravioli with ragu
yellow carrots, broccoli and purple cauliflower
house salad with cucmbers, tomatos, red onion, italian herbs and dressing
cheesy garlic bread
pears

saturday - grilled lemon-pepper salmon
salad with blueberries, candied lemons, yellow peppers and feta
sweet potatoes
kiwi
cheesecake with strawberry puree

sunday - lobster bisque (costco)
ricotta-stuffed tomato
steamed asparagus with butter and sea salt
mangos

Saturday, May 8, 2010

baked brie

no recipe this week, but here's a picture. happy mother's day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

menu planning 5/2-5/8

sunday -subway

monday - baked teriyaki chicken
basmati rice
edamame
steamed red peppers, broccoli and cauliflower with feta cheese crumbles
honeydew melon

tuesday - steak fajitas
chips and guacomole
blood oranges
german chocolate cake with coconut and pecan frosting

wednesday - grilled tomato, gouda and pesto on a bagel
corn on the cob
cantaloupe
strawberry basil margaritas

thursday - eat out at 'daphne's greek cafe'

friday - honey-glazed ahi tuna
baked brie
asparagus
kiwi
lemon cookies

saturday - leftovers

sunday - bacon and blue burgers
crab-stuffed mushrooms
garlic-grilled potatoes
spinach salad
pineapple

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

scalloped potatoes and ham

you will need a cutting board, knife, bowl and crockpot (use crockpot liner to save on clean-up)
yields 8 servings

8 medium potatoes, sliced thin (i leave the skin on, but you can peel)
1/2 onion, minced
1 pound ham, cubed
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 tablespoons skim milk
lemon pepper and pepper
paprika and crushed croutons (optional)

chop everything, but keep separated. place sliced potatoes in a bowl of water to keep from drying out.

add 1 tablespoons of milk to bottom of crockpot. layer half the potatoes and onion in the crockpot. sprinkle with lemon pepper. cover with 3/4 cup shredded cheese. add half the ham. repeat, except season with regular pepper. pour can of cheese soup on top and spread out.

cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. stir and sprinkle with remain cheese if desired before serving. garnish with paprika and crushed croutons.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

menu planning 4/25-5/1

sunday - grapefruit-mint chicken
cambozola cheese on rosemary crackers
asparagus with prosciutto and pine nuts
blackberries
cream cheese and mango kolaches

monday - eat out at texas roadhouse

tuesday - breaded chicken parmesan over wheat noodles (allrecipes.com)
crunchy-baked broccoli and cauliflower
yogurt
blueberries

wednesday - blt's
spinach salad with avocado, black beans and corn
cottage cheese
mandarin oranges
creme brulee

thursday - leftovers

friday - turkey, green pepper and provolone hoagies
cucumbers and baby carrots
string cheese
apple slices and grapes
cheddar sunchips/cheetoh's

saturday - sloppy joe's with mustard and pickles
celery with peanut butter
seven layer salad
raspberry jello
pineapple

sunday - subway

Saturday, April 24, 2010

roasted ricotta risotto

you will need a baking sheet, tinfoil, saucepan with lid, skillet and serving platter
yields 4-6 servings

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
salt and pepper
1 package mushrooms, cut in half
1/2 large onion, cut into thin wedges
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces (4 cups cooked) orzo
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup crumbled roasted ricotta

preheat oven to 425 degrees. grease a large baking sheet.
spread squash pieces evenly in pan. sprinkle with salt and pepper. cover with foil and bake 10 minutes. remove foil.
add mushrooms, onions, oregano, and 1 tablespoon oil. stir to combine. bake uncovered, 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. reduce to a simmer and keep covered.
add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. add orzo and garlic. saute 2-3 minutes until orzo is lightly golden, stirring frequently. add 1/2 cup of hot broth to orzo in skillet. cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. continue adding broth by half cups until mixture is creamy, about 15 minutes.
stir in 1 tablespoon butter. add roasted vegetables and pine nuts to mixture. stir gently just to combine.
transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with roasted ricotta.

Monday, April 19, 2010

ricotta

you will need large sieve, deep bowl, cheesecloth, enamel pot, wooden spoon, serving bowl
yields 2 cups

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar

set sieve over bowl. dampen two layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth. set aside.

pour the milk and cream into pot. stir in salt. bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. allow the mixture to stand for one minute until it curdles. it will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

pour the mixture into sieve and allow it to drain into bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. the longer the mixture drains, the thicker the ricotta.

transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate; it will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

menu planning 4/18-4/24

sunday - bacon-wrapped filet mignon with blueberry-bourbon barbeque sauce
potato salad
pears baked in riesling with blue cheese

monday - corn and broccoli calzone (eatingwell.com recipe)
zucchini, tomato and provolone bake (allrecipe.com recipe)
salad with walnuts and dried figs in a gorgonzola-honey dressing
honeydew melon

tuesday - hot ham and gruyere sandwiches
brussel sprouts with roasted garlic in browned butter
yogurt
clementines

wednesday - eat out at 'buffalo wild wings' (school fundraiser)

thursday - eat out at 'tacos & salsa'

friday - left-overs

saturday - breakfast burritos (green chili - ?)
ranch potato cubes
pumpkin banana muffins with lemon icing
strawberries

sunday - grapefruit-mint chicken
cambozola cheese on rosemary crackers
asparagus with prosciutto and pine nuts
blackberries
cream cheese and mango kolaches

Monday, April 12, 2010

pears in riesling with blue cheese

you will need a mixing bowl, whisk, zester, glass baking dish, small saucepan and dessert cups
yields 4 servings

4 bosc pears with stems (make sure they are ripe)
2 cups riesling
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
4 strips orange peel
6 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles

preheat oven to 400 degrees.
cut bottom of pear flat and place in a square glass baking dish or glass pie pan.
whisk wine, honey, nutmeg and orange zest in a medium bowl until well blended; pour over pears.
add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and orange peel slivers to the liquid.
bake pears, basting every 10 to 15 minutes, until they are wrinkled and tender (45 minutes to 1 hour).
remove pears to shallow dessert bowls and chill. remove bay leaves and throw away. remove cinnamon stick but keep to use as garnish if desired.
pour the wine mixture into a small saucepan; bring to a boil until thickened (6 to 10 minutes). add 2 tablespoons blue cheese and melt.
when ready to serve, drizzle warm liquid over cold pears. arrange 1 tablespoon blue cheese at the base of each pear and cinnamon stick garnish.

**also good with red wine (use sugar instead of honey), dried cherries and ricotta; chenin blanc, crystallized ginger and dill havarti; drizzled with melted dark chocolate, slivered almonds and creme fraiche.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

menu planning 4/11-4/17

sunday - scalloped potatoes and ham
steamed broccoli with almonds
banana-kiwi salad

monday - turkey roll-up with cream cheese, raspberry preserves, yellow peppers, lettuce and provolone cheese
green beans with bacon
baked apples with fig newtons

tuesday - left-overs

wednesday - ham, corn and bean soup
cucumber, avocado and smoked salmon tea sandwiches
cottage cheese
pineapple empanaditas

thursday - chicken pesto pizza
battered zucchini sticks
wilted spinach with lemon, curry and coconut milk dressing
frozen grapes

friday - biscuits and gravy (country or chocolate - ?)
goat cheese, red pepper and asparagus souffle
sweet potato pancakes
cantelope

saturday - crusted parmesan garlic pork chops (good seasonings recipe)
cesear salad
real fruit (and mint) popsicles

sunday - bacon-wrapped filet mignon with blueberry-bourbon barbeque sauce
potato salad
pears baked in riesling with blue cheese

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

homemade asiago rolls

you will need 3 mixing bowls, a chopstick, a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with a bread hook, saran wrap, parchment paper, baking sheet, sharp knife, basting brush
yields 12-16 rolls

1 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten (reserving a little egg white if desired)
3 cups asiago cheese, divided
cornmeal (to prevent sticking)

use a chopstick to mix the water, yeast and honey together at room temperature. let stand 5-10 minutes (it should have small bubbles).
in another bowl, mix salt, oregano, oil, egg and half of flour together for 5-10 minutes (it should be frothy). combine with yeast and beat with a mixer at medium speed. add additional flour a little bit at a time until dough starts holding together. if the dough is not sticking together very well, you may use another 1/2 cup of flour, but do not overflour.
knead or mix until dough is a smooth consistency (about 5-10 minutes).
grease a clean bowl with a dash of olive oil and transfer dough. cover with saran wrap and move to a warm location. the inside of your oven with the light on will work. let rise 1 hour. it should double in size. (to tell if it is ready, press two fingers into dough; if indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
place parchment paper onto a baking sheet and sprinkle cornmeal. divide dough into 12-16 even portions. roll like a meatball. place on baking sheet and press flat.
return rolls to the warm place. let rise again for 1/2 to 1 hour (until they are doubles in size). using a sharp knife, cut a small 'x' in the center to make an indention about 1/4 inch deep.
preheat oven to 400 degrees. poke the cheese into the middle of the dough and fold cut ends over each other. (can brush with egg white if desired.) bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. sprinkle extra cheese over the top immediately and serve warm.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

menu planning 4/4-4/10

sunday - spiral-cut honey-baked ham
homemade asiago rolls
cheesy hashbrown casserole
green bean casserole
tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil
sauteed zucchini and summer squash
sesame broccoli slaw (from 'flat belly diet')
deviled eggs
red, white and blue jello
pineapple
lemon-raspberry mousse squares
pumpkin cinnamon muffins
sugar cookies

monday - easy cheesy broccoli chowder with ham
long-grain rice and black beans
creamy stuffed tomatoes
yogurt
basil cinnamon mandarin oranges

tuesday - orange marmalade chili-rubbed salmon
shrimp, apple and sauerkraut quesadillas
sauteed mushrooms
blackberries
white chocolate pudding

wednesday - egg salad sandwiches
spicy white refried beans
salad with sesame ginger dressing
brussel sprouts
strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinegar

thursday - left-overs

friday - crockpot chicken straganoff with stilton crumbles
roasted butternut squash
bacony barley salad with avocado
peaches

saturday - roasted ricotta risotto
spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips
edamame
raspberries
angelfood cake triffle

sunday - scalloped potatoes and ham
steamed broccoli with almonds
banana-kiwi salad

Friday, April 2, 2010

'almost' apple grande

you will need a small mixing bowl, cookie sheet, knife and a spatula
yields 2 servings

1 white flour tortilla
butter
sugar and cinnamon (3:1 ratio)
1/2 cup chunky applesauce
2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3-5 crushed red hots

preheat oven to 450 degrees. mix small amount of sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. butter both sides of the tortilla and place on baking sheet. bake until crispy, but not burned (about 10 minutes). sprinkle one side with cinnamon and sugar while still warm. spread applesauce in a thin layer evenly on tortilla (you may not need to use the full amount). layer with cheese and red hots. the cheese should melt just a little bit, but not be 'gooey'. if it is not melting, stick it back in the oven for 30 seconds. allow to cool before eating.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

easy cheesy broccoli chowder

you will need measuring cups, a cutting board, sharp knife, large saucepan, large stockpot, large wooden spoon and a soup ladle
yields 6-8 servings

4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup
12 oz frozen hashbrowns
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup light cream (or 1 1/2 cup skim milk)
1 tablespoon mustard
3 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper (to taste)
6 oz velveeta, cubed
2 cups shredded cheddar
(left-over ham would be a great inclusion)

in large saucepan, melt butter and saute carrots, onions and celery until translucent. stir in flour, mustard and pepper; cook 1 minute. slowly mix in cream and bring to a boil. add cream of celery soup.

in large stockpot (or dutch oven), bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. add hashbrowns and broccoli (make sure there is enough liquid to cover). cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5-15 minutes, until broccoli is desired softness. add a pinch of salt.

add the rest of the chicken broth. combine the contents of the saucepan. add the velveeta and stir until melted smooth. if soup is too thick, add water to thin.

sprinkle cheese on top and fold in. serve right away. (garnish with cayenne pepper if desired.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

menu planning 3/29-4/3

**sorry, no new ideas this week; i am out of town and will not be cooking. as an apology, i will post two cheesy recipes instead. happy easter!**

sunday - mexi-casserole with guacamole
roasted cauliflower
grapes
margaritas!!!
apple pie

monday - chick-fil-a (chicken tender salad with chick-fil-a sauce)

tuesday - taco john's (2 tacos with sour cream and a large potato ole with lotsa sauce)

*wednesday - tea garden (wonton soup and veggie spring rolls)

thursday - applebee's (oriental chicken salad)

*friday - subway (6-inch wheat spicy italian with cucumbers)

saturday - apricot-glazed pork loin
roasted asparagus and red peppers with shaved parmesan
sweet potato hash
cottage cheese with bananas and chocolate
blackberries

sunday - spiral-cut honey-baked ham
homemade asiago rolls
cheesy hashbrown casserole
green bean casserole
tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil
sauteed zucchini and summer squash
sesame broccoli slaw (from 'flat belly diet')
deviled eggs
red, white and blue jello
pineapple
lemon-raspberry mousse squares
pumpkin cinnamon muffins
sugar cookies

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

open-faced turkey, pear and mozzarella sandwich

you will need a bread knife, tinfoil and cookie sheet
yields 6 servings

loaf of french bread
2 soft pears, thinly sliced
12 slices of deli turkey
2 cups mozzarella cheese
avocado (optional)

preheat oven to 350. cut bread down the middle lengthwise, opening sandwich. place on tinfoiled cookie sheet for easy clean up. scoop avocado flesh onto each side of the sandwich, spreading in a thin layer (like mustard or mayo). layer turkey, then pear slices. cut each sandwich into thirds. sprinkle shredded mozzarella evenly on top and place in oven until cheese is melted. do not close sandwich back together!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

menu planning 3/22-3/28

sunday - crockpot pork chops and gravy
couscous with garlic, yellow squash and zucchini
steamed broccoli
fruit salad

monday - beef roast with banana peppers
baked brie with strawberries and french bread
green and wax beans
kiwi

tuesday - pizza pinwheels
greek pasta salad
yogurt
baby carrots
cinammon applesauce with apple chunks, shredded cheddar and crushed red hots

*wednesday - leftovers

thursday - buffalo chicken chili
salad with bacon bits, tomato, gorgonzola and lemon vinegarette
corn
oranges

friday - fish fry at the catholic church

saturday - eat out at carmine's family-style italian

sunday - mexi-casserole with guacomole
roasted cauliflower
grapes
margaritas!!!
apple pie

Saturday, March 20, 2010

baked mac and cheese

you will need a saucepan, strainer, cutting board, sharp knife, mixing bowl, fork, greased 8x8 (or 9x9) square baking pan
yields 9 servings

4 eggs
3 cups cheese (i usually do 2 cups cubed velveeta and 1 cup shredded cheese - either sharp cheddar or mozzarella, depending on whether i want a strong, tangy taste or a mild, mellow taste. if you want to reduce the cheese, 1 1/2 cup of velveeta and 1/2 cup shredded cheese works perfectly well.)
2 cups cooked pasta shells (4 oz dry pasta will typically make 2 cups cooked, i like whole wheat spirals, but you can use any kind you want.)
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons salted butter (not margarine)
pepper to taste (salt is not needed)

preheat oven to 375.
cook pasta according to directions and drain.
while pasta is cooking, cut velveeta into small cubes. crack eggs in a mixing bowl, beat well. add milk and pepper.
place cooked pasta in a greased square pan, add cheese and dump egg mixture on top. make sure all the noodles are covered.
place two pats of butter on top.
cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until egg mixture has set up and browned a bit on top.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

menu planning 3/15-3/21

sunday - cheese enchiladas
chips and salsa
black beans and corn
salad with green onions, dried blueberries, dried cherries and pecans
caramel apples

monday - leftovers

tuesday - rotisserie chicken on spinach bed
mashed potatos
brussel sprouts in brown sugar
cantaloupe

*wednesday - cheddar brats with onions and peppers
nacho cheese doritos
baby carrots
watermelon

thursday - angel-hair spagetti and large meatballs
garlic bread
baked parmesan zucchini sticks
honeydew melon

friday - open-faced pesto feta sandwich
gouda stuffed artichoke
jalapeno crab salad
strawberries

saturday - eat out at the melting pot

sunday - crockpot pork chops and gravy
couscous with garlic, yellow squash and zucchini
steamed broccoli
fruit salad

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

broccoli cheese egg muffins

you will need a mixing bowl, a muffin tin and a large spoon
yields 12 muffins

5 eggs
1/3 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheese (i use mozzarella, but you can use colby jack, cheddar, pepper jack, mexican blend, parmesan, etc)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup steamed broccoli florets
1 cup steamed cauliflower florets
optional: onions, garlic, mushrooms (5-6 sliced), etc

pre-heat oven to 350.
steam broccoli and cauliflower (5 minutes in microwave with a little bit of water, covered), allow to cool.
finely chop bell pepper, broccoli and cauliflower.
scramble eggs in a medium bowl.
add salsa, cheese and chopped veggies.
mix well and scoop into well-greased muffin tin. (2 large spoonfuls is 12 muffins)
bake for 30 minutes.

enjoy warm or cool!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

menu planning 3/8-3/14

sunday - chicken pot pie
salad with orange peppers, pears, chives and goat cheese
yogurt
nectarines

monday - barbeque chicken pizza on wheat pitas
carrot cake salad
roasted cauliflower
raspberry jello with raspberries and whipped cream

tuesday - crockpot meatloaf with mushroom gravy
brown rice
grilled asparagus
blackberries dipped in chocolate

*wednesday - strawberry and cream cheese stuffed french toast
scrambled eggs with bell peppers and bacon
hashbrowns with hollandaise sauce
cantelope

thursday - leftovers

friday - grilled mahi mahi
sweet potato casserole
broccoli salad
barbequed kiwi kabobs (with kiwi, peaches and pineapple)

saturday - eat out at maggiano's for amy and jenni's birthdays

sunday - cheese enchiladas
chips and salsa
black beans and corn
salad with green onions, dried blueberries, dried cherries and pecans
caramel apples

Friday, March 5, 2010

crimini, spinach and cheese stuffed chicken

you will need a skillet with lid, thick, flat toothpicks and tongs (optional: a sharp filet knife, a cutting board and a cake pan)
yields 4 servings

4 4oz chicken breasts (cut in half almost all the way thru [but leave it still attached] or pounded flat - i pound flat with a skillet [place on a non-skid cutting board, cover with saran wrap and whack with the skillet until desired thickness])
4 garlic and herb cheese wedges (half a wheel)
8 to 10 ounces crimini (or other) mushrooms, sliced
2 cups spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

heat skillet and 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high. add mushrooms and saute until brown, around 8 minutes. add spinach and wilt, about 2 minutes. remove skillet from heat. divide into 4 even portions.

if you cut the chicken, open. salt and pepper outside. spread cheese wedge on the inner side on half chicken (it will be thick). add mushrooms/spinach to center (don't spread out much). take other half of chicken and stretch over top. close with 1-2 wide toothpicks.

reheat skillet and 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high. place chicken in skillet to cook for 4-6 minutes until bottom side is cooked thru. depending on the skillet, the chicken may be browned. reduce heat, flip chicken over and cover with lid to steam cook the rest of the chicken. leave a crack for the heat to escape. maybe another 4-6 minutes. use tongs to pull out the tootpicks and serve. if a lot of the cheese melted out of the chicken, sprinkle pan with 1 tablespoon flour and pour in a 1/4 cup of white wine or chicken stock (and stir), making a yummy cheesy sauce to pour over the chicken instead.

garnish with paprika and/or parsley.

**you can probably bake it for the same effect, about 40-45 minutes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

menu planning 3/1-3/7

sunday - eat out at texas de brazil

monday - cajun honey lime fish tacos with mango salsa
spinach salad with strawberries, almonds and parmesan in raspberry lime vinegarette
bananas
pineapple upside-down cake

tuesday - reuben with baby swiss cheese
sauteed zucchini and yellow squash
watermelon

*wednesday - leftovers

thursday - eat out at cilantro fusion

friday - fried egg sandwiches
broccoli cheese soup
blueberries
pepperidge farm chocolate triple layer cake

saturday - eggplant parmesan
artichoke, red pepper and feta dip on bagel crisps
celery
honeydew melon

sunday - chicken pot pie
salad with orange peppers, pears, chives and goat cheese
yogurt
nectarines

Thursday, February 25, 2010

uncle keith's popcorn

you will need an air-popper, a one gallon bowl, a small microwavable bowl, and a tablespoon
yields 4 servings

1/4 cups popcorn kernels
1 stick salted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic (in a glass jar)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (you can substitute 1/2 cup grated parmesan)
salt and pepper

pop popcorn.
melt butter in the microwave, 30 seconds ought to do it.
mix garlic into butter and pour over popcorn.
shake parmesan onto popcorn.
lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
give the bowl a toss or two to coat before eating.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

menu planning 2/22-2/28

sunday - french dip and spicy mustard
spagetti squash with rotel and parmesan cheese
strawberries and cream

monday - tuna melt
brussel sprouts
plums

tuesday - pasties
steamed broccoli
yogurt
melon

*wednesday - terryaki turkey burgers with mango salsa
loaded mashed potatoes
spinach salad with feta, walnuts and cranberries
bananas

thursday - leftovers

friday - baked mac and cheese
raw veggies with hummus (carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers)
apples

saturday - vegetable lasagna
garlic bread
salad with grapefruit and avocados
blackberries

sunday - eat out at texas de brazil

Monday, February 15, 2010

four cheese and tomato panini

you will need a knife, a spatula and small cookie sheet
yields 1 serving

1 english muffin
1 wedge laughing cow cheese (garlic and herb)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 slice havarti cheese
1 slice provolone cheese
2 slices tomato
jarred roasted red pepper, sliced thin (10 strips)
nutmeg
wilted spinach (optional)

turn on broiler. toast 2 english muffin halves. spread laughing cow cheese on the holey side of each english muffin half. add havarti cheese to one, provolone and a sprinkle of nutmeg to the other. place under broiler until just beginning to melt, 2-3 minutes. add tomato slices and parmesan cheese to one and red peppers (and spinach) to the other. place under broiler for another 1-2 minutes until parmesan cheese is melted. carefully press english muffin toasts together and allow to 'set' for one minute before cutting in half.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

menu planning 2/15-2/21

sunday - shrimp scampi
dirty rice
green beans
tangelos
cheesecake sopapilla
white wine

monday - minestrone soup with bacon
buttery cheddar herb biscuits
spinach salad with kiwi (in homemade raspberry vinegarette)

tuesday - meatloaf
mashed potatos
cheesy baked cauliflower
apple
ice cream with homemade hot fudge

*wednesday - laughing cow cheese (garlic and herb), spinach and crimini stuffed chicken
mixed veggies (green beans, carrots, yellow carrots and red peppers)
yogurt
pears

thursday - leftovers

friday - lemon orange roughy
rice stuffed bell peppers
grapes
diet soda cake

saturday - goulash
corn
bing cherries
apple juice

sunday - french dip and spicy mustard
spagetti squash with rotel and parmesan cheese
strawberries and cream

Saturday, February 13, 2010

cheese ball

you will need a tablespoon, a fork, a half cup measuring cup and a glass dish or plastic bowl with lid
yields 8 servings

1 cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
parsley flakes

mix worcestershire sauce into cream cheese with fork. using clean hands, mix cheese in using half cup increments. sprinkle parsley flakes over the top and roll the ball until covered. cover and refrigerate 24 hours. serve with crackers and chips.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

menu planning 2/8-2/14

sunday - grilled cheese and spicy tomato soup
spinach salad with almonds, mandarin oranges, and crasins
grapefruit halves with sugar
homemade ice cream sandwiches

monday - pork loin
cooked baby carrots and klondike baby yellow potatoes
pineapples

tuesday - taco salad (meat, black beans, lettuce, cheese, dorothy lynch dressing)
zucchini, cucumbers, yellow peppers with tzatziki dip
blood orange

wednesday - orange bbq pulled pork sandwiches
asparagus
peach

thursday - vegetable barley soup
crusty bread
blackberries

friday - veggie quiche with green chili
cheese and crackers
honeydew melon

saturday - leftovers

sunday - shrimp scampi
dirty rice
green beans
tangelos
cheesecake sopapillas
white wine

Friday, February 5, 2010

grilled cheese and spicy tomato soup

you will need a non-stick skillet, large spatula, and empty beer bottle
yields 1 serving

slice of deli cheese (colby or montery jack works great!)

set skillet over medium-high heat. when hot, place cheese slice in pan. when the cheese has fully melted, swirl the skillet to coat the bottom completely. as the cheese browns, the oil will separate and the cheese will adhere to the pan’s surface. remove from heat and tip off the excess oil into a heatproof bowl. the cheese will continue to cook and turn an even deep golden color. (you may have to cook and drain off the oil more than once). use spatula to loosen the grilled cheese (called 'chicharron' in mexico) from the pan. lift it up as you would a crepe and drape it over the side of a beer bottle. it will only take a few minutes to cool and become crisp. use this to garnish the spicy tomato soup.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
you will need a medium saucepan, large stockpot, slotted spoon, and a hand-held mixer
yeilds 8 servings

2 medium potatoes
2 medium red onions
2 medium carrot sticks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
5 cups water
2 cans stewed tomatoes
4 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup chorizo

peel and chop carrots, potatoes and onions. add to saucepan with the olive oil - give a good shake to coat it all and put on a low heat for 5 minutes (veggies will be slightly soft).

in stockpot, add chicken broth and water. bring to a boil. add vegetables and keep heat on high. add canned tomatoes. add the paprika, tabasco, honey and worcestershire sauce and give a stir. reduce the heat to a simmer and leave until vegetables are tender.

cook chorizo in the saucepan that held the vegetables.

turn off the heat and blend with a hand held blender until smooth and no lumps. add chorizo (including the spicy oil). simmer to blend flavors for 10 minutes. season with salt & pepper to taste.

optinal extras:
to make this even more substantial, add a few boiled gnocchi.


*a one cup serving is under 250 calories.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

menu planning 2/1-2/7

sunday - 'tokyo joe'-style veggie bowl with brown rice
edamame
cucumbers with sour cream dip
apples

monday - chorizo salad with jicama (recipe from rick bayless)
cheddar corn bread
tangelos

tuesday - caramelized beef kielbasa (bangers)
baked potato topped with (blue) cheesy steamed broccoli
banana pudding with bananas and nilla wafers
chocolate milk

wednesday - potato corn chowder with shrimp
crusty french bread
red plums

thursday - smoked gouda burgers on wheat buns
spagetti squash with salt and pepper, butter, and parmesan cheese
kiwi
raspberry lemonade

friday - leftovers

saturday - eat out at 'namiko's' (sushi)

sunday - grilled cheese and spicy tomato soup
spinach salad with almonds, mandarin oranges, and crasins
grapefruit halves with sugar
homemade ice cream sandwiches

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

parmesan lemon chicken with feta

you will need a saucepan, a large spoon, and a 22 cm x 33 cm casserole dish
yields 4 servings

4 cups low-sodium 99% fat free chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound orzo (pasta)
8 oz crumbled reduced fat feta
1 cup grated parmesan

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

in a saucepan, bring broth, water, butter, salt and pepper to a boil.

in a casserole dish, combine dill, lemon zest, chicken and orzo. coat. add lemon juice and feta. pour broth mixture into dish.

bake in oven uncovered until orzo is tender and cooking liquid is creamy, about 40 minutes. stir once to incorporate.

sprinkle parmesan on top. let stand 5 minutes before serving.


**1 cup of this is only about 250 calories!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

menu planning 1/25-1/31

sunday - mandi's salsa chicken
chickepea salad with spicy ranch dressing
fruit medley

monday - blt's
homemade sweet potato fries
oranges

tuesday - bacon, leek and tomato spagetti (racheal ray recipe)
carrot cake salad
cantelope

wednesday - crockpot chicken torilla soup
avacodo and lime salsa
tortilla chips
pears

thursday - left overs

friday - parmesan lemon chicken with feta over orzo
cream cheese and bacon stuffed mushrooms
broiled asparagus
honeydew melon
brownies

saturday - dinner at chuck and amy's

sunday - 'tokyo joe'-style veggie bowl with brown rice
edamame
cucumbers with sour cream dip
apples

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the best zucchini fries

you will need: a cutting board, sharp knife, 2 shallow mixing bowls, a fork, cookie sheet, tinfoil and a spatula
yields 2-4 servings

1 large zucchini or 4 small
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs (homemade or store-bought)
3/4 cup grated parmesan
pepper
pam butter spray


preheat oven to 425 degrees.

whip eggs and milk until frothy in one bowl, set aside. mix breadcrumbs, parmesan and pepper in another bowl, set aside. slice zucchini into thin rounds.

place tinfoil over cookie sheet and spray with pam.

using fork, dip zucchini into eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs. place on cookie sheet.

bake for 15 minutes and flip. bake for 5-10 minutes more.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

easy cheesy tomato and pasta sauce for two

you will need a large saute pan with lid and a slotted wooden spoon
yields 2 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped or grated
salt and pepper
1/2 dried italian seasoning packet
1 can delmonte italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry whole wheat pasta (i like the spirals)
2 tsp honey
fresh parsley, chopped
2-4 tbsp parmesan cheese

saute onion, garlic, salt and pepper on medium high heat in olive oil until tender.

stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth and can of tomatoes. saute on medium heat 4-5 minutes (tomatoes will begin to break up a little).

add italain seasoning and pasta. coat. pour chicken broth (approximately 1 cup) until slightly soupy. make sure all the pasta has been wet.

cover with lid and turn burner to low. stir every 2 minutes for 8 minutes. if liquid evaporates and pasta is not tender, add a little more broth and continue to cook with cover on. when pasta is soft, remove cover and turn up heat to reduce sauce mixture until it's the consistency you like.

mix in honey, parsley and cheese right before serving.

serve with steamed veggies and grilled chicken breast.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

menu planning 1/18-1/24

sunday - ribs
grilled zucchini and squash
corn on the cob
pineapple

monday - steak
steamed broccoli
yukon gold potatoes
carrot cake

tuesday - spinach pesto on wheat pasta with cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers and parmesan cheese
strawberry shortcake

wednesday - mozzerella cheese stuffed chicken breast
green beans
blackberries

thursday - four cheese stuffed silly mushrooms (hungry girl recipe)
ramen noodle salad
brussel sprouts in butter
grapes
ice cream

friday - eat out at chili's

saturday - leftovers

sunday - mandi's salsa chicken
chickpea salad with spicy ranch dressing
fruit medley

Friday, January 15, 2010

portabella mushroom parmesan

you will need a cookie sheet, aluminum foil, wire cooling rack, cooking spray like 'pam', 2 shallow bowls, fork, wide spatula
yields 4 servings

2 eggs
1/2 cup italian-style bread crumbs
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons minced parsley, plus additional for garnish
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
4 large (5 to 6-inches wide) stemmed portabella mushrooms, brushed clean
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

line cookie sheet with aluminum foil. place cooling rack on top and spray rack with pam.

combine egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano in a bowl. mix well.

in separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, parsley and paprika (to taste). mix well.

dip both sides of mushrooms into egg mixture and dredge in crumb mixture until both sides are completely coated. transfer, stem side down, to prepared wire rack. spray tops with pam and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. remove pan form oven.

reset oven to 450 degrees.

carefully turn mushrooms stem side up. cover each mushroom with remaining parmesan cheese. spoon spaghetti sauce over parmesan and top with mozzarella cheese. return to oven and bake until cheese melts, about 10 minutes. sprinkle with any remaining parsley and serve.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

menu planning 1/11-1/17

sunday - pork shoulder roast
cooked carrots
yukon gold baby potatos
cooked pears with havarti cheese

monday - veggie soup (using pork shoulder broth)
french bread
sliced apples

tuesday - pepperjack and bacon stuffed chicken breast
green and wax beans
cottage cheese
oranges

wednesday - blts
spring green salad
blueberries

thursday - leftovers

friday - veggie kabobs
corn on the cob
yogurt
kiwi

saturday - eat out at 'c level'

sunday - ribs
grilled zucchini and squash
corn on the cob
pineapple

Saturday, January 9, 2010

cheese (or chicken) enchiladas

you will need 2 mixing bowls, a large spoon, and a greased 22 cm x 33 cm cake pan
yields 4 servings (recipe can easily be doubled)

8 small corn tortillas
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (i like sharp cheddar, but you can use any)
1 can diced green chilis (i like hot, but you can use medium or mild)
1 can enchilada sauce
1/2 can low-fat cream of chicken soup
(can shred up a 6-8 oz of cooked chicken breast if desired)

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

in first bowl, blend 1/2 can enchilada sauce and 1/2 can cream of chicken soup.

in second bowl, combine cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup shredded cheese and green chilis (add the shredded chicken to this step).

coat one tortilla and with the sauce/soup mixture and place a scoop of cheese mixture in the middle. roll and place seam-down in cake can.

repeat until all tortillas are rolled and in pan. dump any sauce mixture left-over on top of tortillas.

pour 1/2 can enchilada sauce over tortillas.

bake for 15 minutes and take out of oven.

sprinkle onions and 1 cup cheese over warm enchiladas.

put back in oven for 10 minutes. serve right away.
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