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
cream cheese and mango kolaches

monday - eat out at texas roadhouse

tuesday - breaded chicken parmesan over wheat noodles (
crunchy-baked broccoli and cauliflower

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

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


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 ( recipe)
zucchini, tomato and provolone bake ( 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

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

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

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
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
basil cinnamon mandarin oranges

tuesday - orange marmalade chili-rubbed salmon
shrimp, apple and sauerkraut quesadillas
sauteed mushrooms
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

saturday - roasted ricotta risotto
spinach and artichoke dip with pita chips
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
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.)
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