Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu

Here's our menu for Thanksgiving. I meant to post this earlier in the week, but report cards and making pumpkin pretzel dough for my wonderful first graders kind of took all my time! So, here's what I'm doing with some links:

Brined turkey using Williams-Sonoma's brine and bags
stuffing (I'm trying this recipe so I can save oven space,1712,153178-240207,00.html

mashed potatoes

Acorn Squash (I was sold by this picture, aren't these gorgeous?!)


homemade cranberry sauce (This was so easy!)

Spinach Souffle (from my mom's old Betty Crocker cookbook

Green beans with cranberries and candied pecans
apple pie and pumpkin pie (pie crusts are in the fridge, made last night)

I will have mulled apple cider on the stove.

I'll post some pictures when the spread is complete! Enjoy you Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I was inspired!

My husband brought home broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce from my in-laws this week. In honor of using food and not letting it go bad, I am trying to find creative ways to use what we have in the fridge.

Tonight, we are having broccoli salad, empanadas, and mexican rice.

Here are the recipes and some pictures:

2 pre-made pie crusts (I like the ones from Trader Joes)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 24 oz can stewed tomatoes
2/3 cup grated jack cheese (that's the amount I had in the fridge from dinner last night)
2 cloves garlic
Dash of hot sauce

Preheat over to 450. Brown the ground beef. When browned, add remaining ingredients and cook on the stove top for 5 minutes. Cut the first pie crust into quarters (I did this on my pizza stone, which made it easier) add approx. 2 tbs. filling to each triangle. Cut the other pie crust into quarters and lay the pieces on to of the filling. Score with a fork around each triangle. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes, until browned and crispy.

Makes 8 empanadas. I made 4 tonight, and put the rest of the filling in the freezer for another dinner.

Mexican rice:

1 1/2 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1/2 24 oz can tomatoes
1 2.25 oz can olives
cilantro, salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in rice cooker and cook according to directions.

Broccoli salad:

4 small heads broccoli, blanched (place in boiling water 1-2 minutes, then put in iced water to stop the cooking process)
1/4 cup mayonaise (I used the olive oil mayo from Kraft)
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
celery salt to taste
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

(I was going to add bacon, but I got home and my stepson had eaten all of it!)

Mix all ingredients together.

The whole family enjoyed dinner! It was a big hit.

What are your family's favorite meals?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Back in the Kitchen

Our fridge is fixed, and I am back in the kitchen! Tonight, I'm making my family's favorite macaroni and cheese with cauliflower.

Here is my meal plan for the rest of the week.

Monday: green chili casserole with salad and tortillas

Tuesday: Empanadas and rice pilaf with tomatoes and olives (from Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals) and sliced bell peppers

Wednesday: leftovers (I have PTA for my stepson)

Thursday: Tri-tip sandwiches with sun-dried tomato spread (this was one I was going to make before our fridge went on the fritz) with sweet potato and yukon gold baked fries.

I'll post recipes this weekend. Are you trying anything new or a family favorite this week?

Monday, November 9, 2009

No fridge= eating out for the week!

Last week, my husband and I realized that our fridge wasn't staying cold. Then the smelly meat that had just been taken out of the freezer to defrost. The repair guy came by on Saturday and he's ordering the parts. Here's hoping he can fix it. I'll be back to cooking on Sunday, hoping the repair man can fix the fridge on Wednesday. Tonight, I'm stopping by Whole Foods and picking up something healthy for the family to eat, along with dinner for a dear friend who is going through chemo therapy.

Have a blessed week, maybe I'll post some of my latest craft projects this week since I'm not cooking!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Farmer's Market Soup

Last night turned out to be one of those evenings where everything takes twice as long, and you stop and get dinner out! Thank goodness for Panera right down the street. We had dinner there and I brought home dinner to the older boys.

Tonight, I wanted to use up all the vegetables we got at the Farmer's Market, so I made the soup I had planned for last night. Since we all had BLTs for lunch today, and the weather got rather blustery and cold this afternoon, I got a craving for a yummy melty cheese sandwich. I went over to Whole Foods and grabbed some brie. Voila! Brie and heirloom tomato grilled sandwiches and Farmer's Market soup!

Here's what I added for our soup
2 boxes free range chicken broth
(32 oz. each)
1 zucchini cut into small pieces
3 leeks cleaned and sliced
1 head cauliflower cut into small pieces
1 large can stewed tomatoes (my favorite is muir glen)
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed
pinch of salt
dash of pepper

4 handfuls cheese tortellini

Add all ingredients to the pot and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Before serving, add tortellini and cook for another 5 minutes.

This recipe made a ton of soup! We have enough for another meal next week. I meant to cook the tortellini in a separate pot and just add it when I served it, but I was busy at that point and just threw it in. When I defrost it for next week, I will have to add some more broth.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week's menu plan

I thought I would post my menu plan for the week. I'll post a couple of the recipes later in the week as I take pictures.

Monday: fresh pasta (from farmer's market) and leftover pesto or red sauce

Tuesday: tortellini soup and BLT sandwiches

Weds: burritos (My friend's father in-law makes the tortillas for Trader Joe's and he was in town this past week, we got some yummy fresh tortillas to take home!)

Thursday: Tri-tip sandwiches with sun-dried tomato spread. I think I will play with it a little to not add sugar, but we'll see. We'll have zucchini crisps with this since I got some at the farmer's market yesterday!

Friday is pizza night because I don't cook on Fridays, and Saturday I'll be at the football game, so my boys are on their own! I am excited to try some new recipes this week, and bring back some old favorites!


My husband and my 16 year old stepson are HUGE fans of cereal. Eat it every morning and LOTS of it! My son and I can take it or leave it. However, I have always been a HUGE fan of good granola. On one of the blogs I read every day, I came across this today...

I am ordering some and trying it out. I will post when I get it and tell you how it is. I wanted to let my 5 year old make some of his own too, but I'm not telling him he can add candy!!!