Monday, November 29, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving Menu

The Thanksgiving food orgy is over. I actually didn’t do too bad. I never got too full, I kept my portions small, but I did major damage to leftover Mac and Cheese and Apple Pie. So needless to say, no matter what, I did damage to my waistline to the tune of 2-3 pounds. (The daily Starbucks didn’t help that any I’m sure) ::sigh::

Over the weekend my mother-in-law purchases some older cook books from a used book store that had some interesting recipes in them. They are on the lighter side or as they claim “Light Comfort Foods.”

So this week, before the Christmas baking begins, I’m going to try and do some cheap light dinners to not only make up for the waist line expansion but the reduction in the wallet from Black Friday shopping.

Creamy Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole

Beef & Pasta Stew

Soft Tacos

Black Pepper Fettuccine with Grilled Chicken Salad

Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Monday-Thanksgiving Week Edition

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is here! We have been so busy that I didn’t get to do a lot of Holiday experimenting but I am hoping to do some baking/ new recipes for Christmas. This week’s menu is on the sparse side since we have company coming and everything is all about the Thursday meal!

This weekend I journeyed (the whole 45 minute trip….ooooooo…LOL) to my parent's house to do a little Farm shopping for the holidays. Loaded up on fresh from the garden sweet potatoes, Gala Apples right from the tree, collard greens, mixed greens, turnips and eggs (right from the chicken’s butt!). Those will be put to great use as fried greens, stewed turnips, sweet potato casserole, deviled eggs and the apples are incorporated into a big basket of fruit and candy for everyone to snack on.

This week’s menu (of non thanksgiving meals) includes:

Grilled Steaks, rice and collard greens
Fried Chicken tenders, mixed greens, perogies
Baked Spaghetti

I will do a separate post on the Thanksgiving Menu and my holiday tips and preparations.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Easiest Pot Roast Ever

Seriously. Need a fast meal? Forgot to put the Pot Roast in the crockpot before work? I have a five minute dinner cure for you.

2-3 Pound Beef Roast
2 Stalks Celery
2-3 large carrots
1 medium yellow onion
3 pounds of Red Potatoes
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 cup Beef Broth
Garlic Powder
1 ½ tbs Worcestire Sauce

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Tinfoil line a Roasting pan (for easy clean up). Place Roast in pan and pierce several times with a fork. Liberally sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over the top. Pour Worcestire Sauce on top and press in with fork tines. Peel carrots and any eyes off the potatoes. Cut carrots into 1 inch pieces, quarter potatoes. Cut Celery into 1 inch pieces. Slice Onion. Layer carrots, potatoes, celery and onions into pan around and over roast. Pour Cream of chicken Soup over and then dilute it with Beef Broth.

Cover and cook for an hour and a half. What comes out is tender Beef, delicate potatoes and rich gravy with very little prep work! So after a long hard day, you can spend five minutes in the kitchen and then put your feet up while your oven does the work.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

This recipe sounded so fresh and fall, light and flavorful that I had to give it a try after digging it out of the Health Magazine (December 2009). I did change it to suit my tastes and what I had on hand and it was lovely. It was a great recipe for two (with a few potato wedges left over for my lunch) and perfect after a night of exercising.

2 large sweet potatoes
2 skinless bone-in chicken breasts
½ of a thinly sliced Red Onion
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups of fresh spinach leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425. Peel and slice Potatoes into wedges. In a large baking sheet with deep sides toss potato wedges, onion slices, approx a tbs of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25 minutes.

While the potatoes bake, heat approx 1 tbs of oil in skillet. Pour lemon juice on chicken breasts. Sprinkle Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder over breasts and sauté until cooked through on medium high heat. About 10 minutes per side.

Serve: Place 1 cup of spinach leaves on a plate. Top with potato wedges and onions and one piece of chicken. I served with a runny buttermilk ranch. (See Ranch recipe and modify by using 1 tbs dry mix, 2/3 cup mayo, 1 cup buttermilk, whisk briskly for a “drizz-able” dressing).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Monday-Preholidays

Vegetable Soup

Baked Turkey Spaghetti

Roasted Honey Garlic chicken with Scalloped Potatoes and Peas

Chicken Pot Pie

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Plus One night out (probably subway or Panera) since we will be out and about.

I have tentative plans to bake or try a few new recipes in preparation for Thanksgiving company but with the schedule over the next several days (Dr.’s appointments etc.) I’m not sure if I will have time so we are keeping the menu rather simple and easy.

Next week we will probably do the pre-thanksgiving Fast which means MINIMAL cooking, lots of salads and veggies to counteract the heavy foods (and tons of it) the next weekend.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

I am not going to re post this recipe as I followed it pretty exactly from Country Living. However it does need improvement. I doubled the orange food coloring and still did not get a true orange color after the chocolate cream cheese was added back in. My chocolate glaze was also too runny. I checked with Ashley who also made this recipe (and turned me on to it) and she had the same issues but we both agreed the cake part was extremely moist and delicious.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ranch Bacon Cheddar Burgers

I ran across this recipe awhile back from one of many Blogs (though I forgot to write down which one). Now that I have my homemade Ranch seasonings I decided to give it a try. This was a super quick meal and perfect after a weekend of heavy fall eating. I even lost a pound! LOL

1lb Ground Turkey
1 tbs dry Ranch Seasoning
1 egg white
¼ cup finely diced onion
8 slices turkey bacon
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 wheat buns
Lettuce, tomato, mayo for garnish

Cook up my turkey bacon in a dash of olive oil until crisp in a grill pan while assembling burgers. Stir together turkey, seasoning, egg white and onion and divide into four portions for patties. Remove crisp bacon from the pan and place four Turkey burger patties in pan. Grill until cooked thoroughly and crisp on the outside.

Assemble Burgers layered with cheese, 2 strips of bacon, mayo, tomato and lettuce. A very light, quick and flavorful dinner for a hectic weekday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Monday-It's the Holidays!

This weekend we had a successful Halloween Party full of Chicken Stew, Chili, Chocolate Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Homemade Ranch dip with a veggie tray, a punch fountain and all the trimmings. I will be posting the Cake recipe and pictures of the party soon.

Needless to say, with all the leftovers yesterday, I’m burned out on the heavy fall dishes for a few days. So this weeks menu includes some lighter fare and several new recipes! (aren’t you excited?)

Broccoli Chicken Alfredo

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Turkey Burgers

Cheese Bacon Tart

Honey Garlic Chicken

Beef Stew and Biscuits

I will be munching on flavorful foods while putting away the Halloween décor and preparing the Thanksgiving menu and festivities! Can you believe the Holiday season is here?!