Thursday, April 29, 2010

kitchen wish list IV

grapefruit spoons (Crate & Barrel)
Total Blender Countertop Blender by blendtec (only $379 at Costco) Only? Ha!

Friday, April 23, 2010

orange rolls

We make these every Easter.

Orange Rolls
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 orange peel, grated
18 frozen dinner rolls (like Rhodes)
1 recipe Orange Glaze

Combine melted butter, sugar, and grated peel in a bowl. Dip rolls in mixture and place in muffin tins. Allow to rise for three hours. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Frost wtih Orange Glaze while still warm. Makes 18 rolls.

Orange Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. orange juice

Mix ingredients together until smooth.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

your basic spaghetti bake

This is something I will make when I don't know what else to make and I usually always have the ingredients on hand. Here's what you do.

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 small yellow onion
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce (I like to use Newman's Own Marinara)
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups shredded cheese (can use one kind or mix and match)
desired herbs and spices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop onion and brown in pan with ground meat until thoroughly cooked through. While it is cooking, boil the spaghetti until al dente (usually 8-10 minutes). Drain grease from pan. Stir in jar of spaghetti sauce and 1 cup of cheese. (I used cheddar and parmesan for the one pictured above). Add any desired herbs and spices to taste. Combine meat and spaghetti mixture with noodles. Pour into 9 X 13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. This is a very versatile dish so you can make a lot of changes to fit your preferences.

Monday, April 19, 2010

menu plan monday: week of March 19th

for more menu ideas see here

MONDAY  leftovers. we have a lot of leftovers from last week. So really all I have to do is make a pot of rice

TUESDAY  crockpot orange chicken :: rice :: steamed broccoli

THURSDAY  Pioneer Woman's Veggie Bagel Sandwich

FRIDAY  pizza night :: homemade dough :: kids choose toppings

SATURDAY  Brinner :: whole wheat muffins :: fruit compote :: apple and cheese sausage

SUNDAY Just had to try this once: Ina Garten's Grown up Mac and Cheese :: steamed veggies

Sunday, April 18, 2010

an actual week of bentos! (#'s 47-53)

Alright, let's get this party started with one whole week of bentos. I know, it's an actual miracle!
grownup bento: chicken salad sandwich with lettuce and tomato on croissant, fortune cookie, 3 red cinnamon bears, asparagus, and strawberries.
Nino Envuelto (recipe to come)-it's essentially a rice cake wrapped in cabbage leaves, apple quartered, babybel chese, and sweet and salty trail mix.
Dannon drinkable yogurt, cucumber slices, 3 pieces of rolled up ham, apple quartered, and Breton crackers
Oatmeal squares cereal, cucumbers, apple chunks, natural cheese
Danimals drinkable yogurt, mini rice cakes, venta crackers, carrot sticks, cucumber coins, and quartered apple. The stuff in the top right container is Boursin cheese spread. It's a Gournay cheese (kind of like cream cheese). This one is flavored with shallot and green onions. It's strong, but pretty delicious. The kids liked it on crackers and veggies.
This is a new bento box! I'll try to get a picture of the whole thing with the lid sometime. It's called Dyno Dips because of the dinosaur dip dividers in the center. I thought it would be good for a bento and it was pretty good. It's cute. And I got it at ROSS for $2. Can't beat that. Also, our ROSS had a bunch of those lock and lock containers but they didn't have any of the divider containers so I wasn't completely sold on it even thought they were just over $2 a piece. Maybe one of you can tell me if you can buy the little divider containers seperately. Anyway, this one has grainsfirst crackers (brand is Dare. These crackers have 10 kinds of seeds on them. I wasn't sure if the kids would eat them, but they loved them.), strawberries, Boursin cheese, "dinosaur eggs" (leftover easter candy), apple slices, carrot sticks, and 2 chocolate covered pretzels.
carrot sticks, half an apple with skin off, "dinosaur eggs", 2 chocolate covered pretzels, a chunk of mozzarella cheese, and 4 of those seed crackers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

menu plan monday: week of march 12

I'm a little late to the party this week, but see other menu ispiration here.

MONDAY  Zuppa Toscana :: salad (yes, this is THE Olive Garden recipe. It is awesome)

TUESDAY  leftovers day (we have lots this week)

THURSDAY  Matzo Ball Soup

FRIDAY  pizza night: Papa Murphy's veggie pizza.

SATURDAY  breakfast for dinner: Hootenanny pancakes (without the sausage and baked in 9X13 pan) :: fruit :: apple sausage

SUNDAY  HF's crockpot ribs. So easy, even he can make it. And that's sayin' a lot! All you do is take a package or two of boneless country style pork or beef ribs. Salt and pepper them and brown them in a little oil. Then place them in a crockpot. Pour 1-2 bottles of your favorite BBQ sauce over all and cook on high for 6 hours or until desired tenderness. Fast, easy, cheap, and man-pleasin'!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

asparagus parmesan

Asparagus was one of those foods that I couldn't stand growing up. We ate it ALL.THE.TIME. My mom grew up picking asparagus out of the ditches near the farm where she lived. We ate it the same way for every meal. Always steamed with salt and pepper. As the time grew near for me to leave home and go to college, I began to appreciate asparagus. Now, I love it a number of ways, including in soup and wrapped in, what else than bacon. I mostly prefer it steamed with a little salt and pepper, but my second favorite way is sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

1 Tablespoon butter (you can leave this out)
1/4 cup olive oil (I use a little less)
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (use the real stuff, not from the shaker bottle)
salt and pepper to taste (I usually leave the salt off because there is plenty from the parmesan)

Over medium heat, melt the butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus and saute for about 10 minutes or until desired firmness. Remove from pan and place on serving dish. Sprinkle with parmesan, salt, and pepper, while still hot.

*If you want to prepare this in the oven, you can spray a pan with Pam, then you line up the asparagus and shake it a bit so all sides are coated with the spray. Then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Bakes at 450 for 5 minutes. Then sprinkle with paremesan when you pull the pan out of the oven.

**If you want to use the microwave to steam it, place one pound of asparagus in a microwave-safe dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on high for 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle cheese, salt, and pepper when you remove from the microwave.

Monday, April 5, 2010

bentos #'s 44-46

HF's work bento: leftover pizza, strawberries, carrot sticks, mini peppers, and little containers of ranch dip.

corn bread muffins, turkey, cucumbers, cheddar cheese, and craisins
not so healthy bento: rainbow goldfish, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, and green grapes

Sunday, April 4, 2010

chicken salad croissants

There are so many ways of making chicken salad. I have tried so many ways and know for sure that I do not like pineapple in mine. I also don't like pickles or curry or nuts (besides cashews) and please no seasoning salt! But that's just me. How do you like your chicken salad?

4 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
5 green onions, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 medium red delcious apples, chopped with skin on
1-2 cups green or red grapes
1/2 - 3/4 cup cashews
Best Foods Mayonnaise
salt and pepper

Chop onions, celery, apples, and grapes. Toss with chicken. Add enough mayonnaise to moisten or to taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle cashews on top after spooned into croissants.

For this recipe, I left out the cashews and apples, but I would put them in if I had them on hand. You could also skip the croissants, and boil 1/2- 1 package of small shell pasta and stir it into the chicken mixture and serve over greens. This is something we usually eat on Easter for some reason.