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

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

tuesday - red beans and cauliflower rice
celery with peanut butter

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

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
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
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
pumpkin ice cream with caramel sauce

friday - eat out at roadside bbq

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
chocolate milkshakes

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

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

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

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.
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