The Yummy Side of Life…


Menu Plan Monday
August 30, 2009, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Weekly Menu

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Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner (never got around to it last week!)

Monday: Grilled Cheese

Tuesday: Thai Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Fried Rice

Wednesday: Crazy Noodles, Sautéed Zucchini

Thursday: Chicken Breast with Roasted Garlic & Red Bell Pepper Seasoning (McCormick’s), Green Beans

Friday: Crazy Noodle Leftovers, Corn

Saturday: Baked Potato with all the trimmings, Steamed Veggies



Farmers’ Market Finds
August 30, 2009, 11:41 am
Filed under: Vegetables

I finally got out to the farmers’ market yesterday. With almost every kind of produce in season this time of year, I wanted to take advantage of it, but my budget only allows so much… Here’s a couple photos of my small, yet (hopefully) tasty bounty!

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I got some unsprayed lettuce (better wash it so I don’t ingest any *friends*!), zucchini, white corn, and flowers. I also got a pint of blackberries and two challah rolls, but I ate the challah rolls for a snack yesterday before I took a photo. Whoops! I got all of this for $20.00.

Hopefully next Saturday morning, I’ll get back out there and find some other treasures! I leave you with a photo of my beautiful flowers I picked up for $5 (with vase!)…

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Potato-Tomato Tart/Hash
August 25, 2009, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Dinner | Tags: , , ,

Oh, how I am still learning in the kitchen!! I figured this tart from The Way the Cookie Crumbles would be no problem, and boy, I was either just wrong or way off my game tonight…

And therefore, I have no photos tonight. The only thing I did differently from her recipe was to add some crumbled Sweet Italian Sausage on top with the mozzarella. I think I had the heat on too high with my Le Creuset skillet (hey, I’m still getting used to this new glass-top range!!) and the potatoes on the very bottom were burnt to a crisp.

We managed to save dinner by flipping the whole thing over onto a plate, picking off the burnt potatoes, and just mixing everything up into a bowl. Therefore, it ended up being a potato-tomato hash…

Definitely not the best thing I’ve made, but definitely not the worst! In fact, I think I’ll be trying my hand at this one again soon 🙂



Meal Planning Monday
August 24, 2009, 6:28 pm
Filed under: Weekly Menu

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I’m joining Meal Planning Monday over at “I’m an Organizing Junkie”!! So here’s the deal, I’m kinda late on this one but I’m going to post anyway. I’ll try to post my meals on Sunday so that YOU can see what we’re having for dinner this week.

Sunday: Summer Sausage & Muenster on Hawaiian Rolls, Grapes

Monday: Frito Pie

Tuesday: Potato Tomato Tart

Wednesday: Turkey Sloppy Joes, Fresh Broccoli

Thursday: Chicken Garlic Creamy Pasta (using canned chicken and Knorr’s Creamy Garlic Shells), Salad

Friday: Out to Eat

Saturday: Biscuits, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs



Bonnie’s Chicken Tenders
August 16, 2009, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Dinner | Tags: , ,

I guess I get to call this my first recipe. There are the basics: dredging, dipping in egg, then coating with breadcrumbs… But the spices. Oh, the spices! They added just a little kick to the tenders, but the spices were not overwhelming.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • All-purpose flour
  • Paprika (sweet or hot? you decide!)
  • Poultry seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • One spoonful dijon mustard
  • Japanese panko
  • Toasted breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil (more as needed)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Several dishes to dip chicken in (I used a loaf pan, a large bowl, and a casserole dish… it’s what I have!)

In your first dish, cover the bottom with the all-purpose flour. Sprinkle paprika & poultry seasoning over the top of the flour and mix together. In your second dish, whisk eggs and dijon mustard together. In the last dish, cover bottom with panko and breadcrumbs tossed together.

L to R: Chicken, Flour, Eggs, Panko

L to R: Chicken, Flour, Eggs, Panko

Coat all tenderloins with flour mixture, egg mixture and panko mixture (in that order, please!), and place on plate until ready to fry.

Dredging the Chicken

Dredging the Chicken

Dipping Chicken in Mustardy Eggs

Dipping Chicken in Mustardy Eggs

Coating in Panko

Coating in Panko

Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Depending on how big your pan is, place 3-4 tenders in pan (no crowding!). Cook for 2.5-3 minutes on each side until center is no longer pink and juices run clear (you can also use a meat thermometer). Use more olive oil for each batch if needed until all tenders are cooked.

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Place tenders on paper towels to drain. Immediately salt and pepper each side of the tenders (S&P has a tendency to stick better when things are fresh out of oil). Enjoy!!

Yum!

Yum!

I’m not quite sure I’ll be buying premade chicken tenders or nuggets ever again. These were so easy to make, and I knew exactly what the ingredients were (hello, pink ice cream chicken! EW!). P and I thoroughly enjoyed these and I’m certain they’ll be on the menu again soon 🙂



Classic Tomato and Basil Sauce
August 9, 2009, 6:06 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Vegetables | Tags: , , ,
Oooo... Pretty! Wonder what's in there!

Oooo... Pretty! Wonder what's in there!

Mmmm… I’ve been looking for a relatively easy tomato sauce to use when P makes spaghetti. We have, up until now, been using whatever jarred sauce strikes our fancy. But we always make meatsauce, so I was looking for a recipe that would be good with some ground beef mixed in. At work, I forgot that we had some Le Creuset pamphlets with recipes on them. And of course, they have one for Classic Tomato and Basil Sauce. It’s to be made in their 3.5 quart round oven, but quite honestly after making it, I’m not sure how it even fits in the 3.5 quart. I used my 5.5 quart and the sauce filled more than half of the pot.

I inherited quite a bit of Le Creuset’s original Flame pots and pans from my grandma. According to my mom, that is what my grandpa gave her for special occasions instead of jewelry. Well–thank you, Grandpa 🙂 I’ll have you know it’s being put to good use on occasion, and I will say this tomato sauce was a perfect occasion to break out the inherited dutch oven.

Bubbling away...

Bubbling away...

Classic Tomato and Basil Sauce from Le Creuset (my revisions in red)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped finely (I used three)
  • 1 carrot, grated coarsely (I only have a fine grater)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed (I used three)
  • 2 pounds canned plum tomatoes, chopped with their juices (I just used two large cans and ended up spilling some… It probably evened out to 2 pounds)
  • A large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A pat of butter, to finish
  1. Heat the oil in the Round Oven over a medium heat on the stovetop. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook very gently for 4 to 5 minutes without letting the ingredients brown. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute longer (forgot to do this, so I just added it in when I added the tomatoes).
  2. Add the tomatoes, roughly torn basil leaves, and plenty of seasoning. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Uncover the pan, increase the heat, and boil gently for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken.
  4. Use the sauce as it is in the “chunky” consistency, or purée in a food processor (I puréed half of it and then added it back to the other chunkier half). Whichever texture you choose, stire the butter into the sauce just before serving: it rounds off the flavors and makes the sauce smoother.
Yum!

Yum!

I did not add the butter yet. I’m planning using half of this tomorrow night (it’s my late night and therefore, P’s turn to start dinner) and freezing the other half for future use. I’ll just add the butter when reheating the sauce. I think it’ll be fine. We taste tested the sauce earlier and I must say–the freshness is sooo goood and would beat a jarred sauce any day. Yeah, I’m converted 🙂

Okay, I might just be showing off my beautiful countertops :-p

Okay, I might just be showing off my beautiful countertops :-p



Chicken Schnitzel
August 9, 2009, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Dinner | Tags: , ,

I’ve been determined to successfully fry something for quite sometime. See, what usually happens is that the outside cooks before the inside so I have a nice crispy breading and raw meat inside 😦 I might have actually conquered frying this past week!

I saw a chicken schnitzel recipe a while back that looked really, really (no, I mean REALLY) good. My mouth was watering just at the sight of it. Well, according to several dictionaries, a schnitzel is a veal cutlet that is breaded and fried (basically a conglomeration of what all the dictionaries said). Uhoh… Frying??? Yikes. I decided to give it a shot anyway–I had backup plans just in case!

Look at this beauty after frying up a couple of schnitzels for P and me!!

Perfectly Crispy Chicken Schnitzel

Perfectly Crispy Chicken Schnitzel

So here’s what you do:

Take enough boneless, skinless chicken breasts for however many of you there are. Pound them between wax paper until they are 1/4″ thick. Dredge them in flour, dip them in beaten egg, and coat them in plain breadcrumbs. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Place one or two schnitzels (depending on how big your pan is) in the oil and cook for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes on each side (until golden brown and juices run clear). Drain on paper towels and enjoy!

That’s it–seriously! That’s it! Phil’s came out a little crispy, but the heat was too high. He doesn’t seem to mind a few burnt spots. I turned the heat down for mine and it came out perfectly golden brown 🙂 We enjoyed it with our regular condiments (ketchup for me, mustard for him), but next time I make this I will probably make a lemon butter sauce to drizzle on top. ::licks lips:: Yum!