The Yummy Side of Life…


Menu Plan Monday
April 19, 2010, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Weekly Menu

#1: Hawaiian Roll Sandwiches with Turkey and Muenster, Fruit of Choice

#2: Lemon Pepper Chicken, Braised Green Beans, Fruit of Choice

#3: Hamburgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Fruit of Choice

#4: Romaine Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Shredded Carrot, Turkey, and Cheese

#5: Breakfast for Dinner (Pancakes or Waffles, Eggs, Fruit of Choice)

#6: Leftovers

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Find more inspiring dinner menus at I’m An Organizing Junkie.

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Menu Plan Monday
February 14, 2010, 11:55 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Weekly Menu | Tags: , , ,

After a long hiatus, I hope to be coming back (if not at least to give ideas for menu planning)! I had my daughter Katie just over two months ago, and now more than ever we’re trying to save money! Menu planning is definitely helping us with that.

1: One Pot Mac & Cheese, Green Salad

2: Tuna Melts, Chips

3: Taco Soup

4: Raspberry Dump Chicken, Green Beans

5: Garlic Butter Shrimp, Orzo Salad with Parsley and Grape Tomatoes

6: Pizza Pretzels with Marinara, Green Salad

7: Beef Enchiladas, Refried Beans, Chips & Guacamole

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Find more fascinating menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.



Menu Plan Monday
October 18, 2009, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Weekly Menu

Nothing too special being made this week, although I’m excited to try a copycat of Panera’s Broccoli-Cheese soup from this book.

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Sunday: Shake n Bake Chicken, Macaroni & Cheese, Steamed Broccoli

Monday: Hawaiian Rolls with Cracked Pepper Turkey, Panera’s Broccoli-Cheese Soup

Tuesday: Spaghetti with Meatsauce, Breadsticks

Wednesday: Baked Potatoes, Salad

Thursday: Taco Soup

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner (Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs, Grapes)

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Find much more inspiring (:-p) menus this week at I’m an Organizing Junkie.



Poor Man’s Nachos
October 18, 2009, 3:23 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Snack | Tags: , , ,

I don’t know why we call these by this name. They’re not exactly cheap. But that is what we call them, and they’re great for a night when you want something really snacky/easy.

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Poor Man’s Nachos

  • Bag of Tostito’s Mini Rounds
  • 1-2 cans Fritos Bean Dip
  • 1 bag Shredded Mexican Cheese
  1. Spread chips out over microwave-safe plate.
  2. With back of spoon, spread bean dip over each chip. Be liberal!!!
  3. Sprinkle shredded cheese over chips–however much you want is fine!
  4. Microwave 45-60 seconds, or until cheese is melted and chips are warmed through.

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I never claimed to be healthy! And these definitely aren’t! Phil has apparently eaten these for years and introduced them to me when we got married. They’re great for a night when I get off late (which fortunately doesn’t happen often anymore), or if we’re just pooped after a long day.



Menu Plan Monday
October 4, 2009, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Weekly Menu

This week, I’m trying to clean out my freezer–I have TONS of things in there. Basically, the only meal I have to really buy the main things for are the meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Fortunately for me, my favorite meatloaf is one that I don’t even have to do anything fun with. My favorite meatloaf is the Hormel brand that you just pop in the microwave. I would rather have this any day over a homemade meatloaf. I think it has to do with texture (I like the taste of almost everything–I have to fight with not liking a food because of texture constantly).

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Sunday: Cheeseburgers, Fries

Monday: Grilled Cheese, Chips

Tuesday: Taco Soup, Chips and Salsa

Wednesday: Shake N Bake Chicken, Green Beans

Thursday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes

Friday: Easy Crusted Salmon, Steamed Broccoli, Wheat Roll



A Triumph in the Kitchen: Risotto!
September 9, 2009, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Sides

I *love* watching Hell’s Kitchen on Tuesday nights. I love the intensity in the kitchen, and then tension I feel when one of the chefs has to bring something (especially a risotto) up for service. Will it be well seasoned? Will Chef Ramsay throw the whole pan in the trash? It’s always a close call, and you can almost never tell which he is going to lean.

Because of this, many people I know (ahem, Krista!) have been discouraged from trying risotto, including myself. I decided to bite the bullet, however, and I’m so glad I did! I certainly didn’t expect it to come out well the first time, but lo and behold, I had a wonderful creamy, parmesan-y risotto in my bowl when I was finished.

I didn’t follow a certain recipe, just gathered tons of information from various readings about risotto. So, another recipe all my own! In fact, this is the first time (ever!) that I have cooked off the top of my head, just going by what I know. A major triumph in the kitchen today.

Okay, okay, on with it!!!

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Parmesan Risotto for Two

Ingredients:

  • 1 32-ounce box chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • Parsley (fresh or dried)

Directions:

  1. Warm the chicken broth in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium heat. In a medium sized sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium. Sauté onion and garlic until onion is nearly translucent, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and stir to coat. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes until you can hear the grains clicking against each other. The rice should not be browned. Pour in the water while stirring, and let the rice absorb all liquid.
  3. Turn the heat under the rice mixture to medium-high. Ladle the broth into the rice until the rice is covered. Stir frequently (but not constantly) until the rice has absorbed the moisture.
  4. When the rice does not immediately come back together as you stir, add more broth to cover. Again, stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid. The rice should start to look creamy around this time.
  5. Add more broth as needed, tasting as you go to determine whether the rice is cooked through. The rice should be al dente–firm but not crunchy. This process should take 15-20 minutes from the time you add the water.
  6. Take the sauté pan off the heat, and add the two tablespoons of butter, stirring to incorporate. Add the parmesan, once again stirring until thoroughly mixed. Add salt & pepper, if needed.
  7. Garnish with parsley.


Crazy Noodles Casserole
September 6, 2009, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Beef, Dinner, Pasta | Tags: , , ,

I’m pretty new at this whole “making up recipes” thing, so this casserole wasn’t perfect, but it was extremely comforting! But then again, when isn’t a recipe with pasta, tomatoes, beef, and cheese comforting? I did find that if you let it sit for a few minutes after bringing it out of the oven, the taste of the Italian seasoning “quiets down”  a little, and everything tastes a little more blended.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 box Rotini pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick’s Italian Seasoning
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided into 1 cup portions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brown beef in large sauté pan on medium heat. Drain and add back to pan.
  2. Boil pasta according to directions on box. While pasta is boiling, add tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, and s&p to beef and warm through on medium heat.
  3. Drain pasta and place in large mixing bowl. If any juice is left in meat mixture, drain, and add to pasta. Add 1 cup mozzarella, and fold all ingredients together.
  4. Place mixture into 9×13 glass pan and sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese on top. Warm in preheated oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!