Saturday, September 4, 2010

Menu for 9/5 to 9/11

Celebrating Labor Day this year with a great line up of fun filled foods!

Sunday is a Pita version of the Veggie pizza we did on Memorial Day
Monday is Brats on buns with homemade coleslaw
Tuesday brings a Baked Potato Bar (with cottage cheese)
Wednesday features Barbaras Salmon Melts combo'ed with my Tropical ideas..... Tropical Salmon Melts
Thursday is time for Chick Peas again - with spinach and tomatoes on penne
Friday let's have grilled pork chops with sweet tomato relish, and a medley of sauteed veggies
and we'll end the week on Saturday with a crustless pizza quiche

I'll get you a grocery list tomorrow!

Roast Beef Bruschetta hor de vour

Once upon a time I attended a party with Barbara.  We had these amazing roast beef hor de vours.  Upon watching them be prepared in the kitchen by the chef, I am pleased to say I know the recipe!

Deli Roast Beef slices
Blue Cheese
Carmalized Onions
Bruschetta Bread pieces
balsamic vinegar

Fire roast your bruschetta bread in advance... Barbara's taught us how - over an open fire and brushed with olive oil and rub with garlic.  MMMMM.

Carmalize the onions --- slice onions into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices.  Place in a frying pan over LOW heat, and stir, periodically, for a really long time - like a half an hour.  You can add some brown sugar to the onions once they start to release their own juices to truely sweeten the pot and make the onions a bit more "carmalized" instead of just golden brown.  By a bit, I mean about 1 tsp or less to a medium/large onion.

place a piece of deli roast been approximately the size of your bruschetta on top of the bruschetta.
next pile on carmalized onions.
sprinkle with blue cheese and lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar (you could brush the balsamic on the bread before the roast beef if you so desired)
Place in oven or broiler and heat until the blue cheese starts to melt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Salad $7.38

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts $ 2.13
1/4 c. flour .10
2 egg whites, beaten .20
3 oz. grated parmesan cheese .40
1/3 t. dried parsley .02
1/3 t. dried chives .02
1/3 t. dried basil .02
1/3 t. dried tarragon(?) optional.15
3 plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped$1.20
2 tsp fresh shredded basil .15
2 Tbsp olive oil .60
1 lemon, juiced .40
1 dash pepper
4-8 cups mixed field greens$1.99

pound the chicken into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick cutletts.
prepare three bowls for dipping the chicken - one with the flour, one with the egg whites, one with the parm and spices mixed.
In the order listed, dip each chicken piece in flour, egg, and parm, then place into a non-stick skillet warming over medium heat. Saute for approx 5-6 min per side.
While watching the chicken cook, in a small bowl combine the lemon juice and pepper, then add tomato and basil. Stir.

Place desired amount of field greens in large bowls or plates. Top with prepared chicken, then tomatoes and serve.
A very healthy alternative to the heft of noodles on a gorgeous summer day (ha ha - it's like 56 and cloudy - and really windy.) :-)

The website I got this idea from lists this as 350 calories, 15 g. fat, 13 carbs, and 40 protein. 3 grams fiber as well!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lemon Garlic Chicken and Veggies $7.88

This dish sounded really easy and simple, wholesome and fresh. It delivered. The lemon was not overbearing at all - in fact, I like even more lemon flavor - I upped the zest to 2 Tbsp now! Also, I made it with asparagus, which goes amazingly well with the lemon and peppers! We loved this dish - and it was not high in calories or carbs... very wholesome!

Lemon Garlic Chicken and Veggies

4 tsp olive oil, divided .40
2 large red bell peppers, diced $2.20
1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces or brocolli(or both)$1.19
2 T freshly grated lemon zest .20
1/4 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic, minced .35
1 to 1 1/2 pound(s) chicken, cut into bite size pieces $2.50
1 cup chicken broth .49
2 tsp cornstarch .15
2 T lemon juice .20
2 T chopped parsley .10

Heat 2 t oil in large skillet. Add peppers and aspargus and or brocolli, lemon zest, and salt, cook until softened - about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
Add the rest of the oil, chicken and garlic. Cook about 6-8 minutes until chicken is almost cooked thru.

In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and chicken broth. Once chicken is cooked, add this mixture and cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes more. Then remove from heat and stir lemon juice and parsley into the chicken.

Serve the chicken over top of the veggies.

Here's a day when Barbara and I didn't get exactly the same results, but I think she used brocolli, and I used asparagus. Be creative folks - just because you don't have the exact recipe ingredients, don't be limited, use what you have, and make it work!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Risotto Milenese $3.79

Im thinking I shouldnt be calling this dish Risotto Milenese because although my family has always called this rice dish by this name, I couldnt find a recipe that did the same. There are tons of versions of this dish on the internet, but I didnt find any of them made the way we make ours. Ours has always been strictly a tomato based rice dish, and any Risotto Milenese recipes I found on the internet were basically plain dishes with chicken broth, sometimes white wine and lots of times saffron. So, Ill put up our recipe, but bearing in mind, that it is litterally our family recipe only...I have never made a risotto dish with a recipe, I usually just keep adding broth and stirring until the rice is cooked to an even creamy consistency. I did measure and use a recipe this time for blogging purposes. I thought it came out pretty good, and as usual was much easier to make then I thought.
1 1/2 cups Aborio Rice $1.25
2 1/2 cup chicken broth $1.20
1 cup tomato sauce .59
1/2 medium onion sliced thinly .15
1/4 cup oil -30
1 tablespoon butter.20
salt and pepper .10
fresh parm cheese

simmer chicken broth, tomato sauce and oil in a sauce pan
in a large pot on low heat, melt butter and saute onions
add rice and a cup of liquid mixture, keep heat on low and stir constantly, slowly add more liquid(approx-in increments of a cup,) constantly stirring. The rice will slowly absorb the liquid and become creamy. remove from heat when there is no more liquid.
serve with fresh parm cheese

Whitefish topped in a Cilantro Lime Pesto with mixed greens $4.04

Well this is a double cilantro week, and i still have some cilantro left. I spent $1.29 on a bunch of cilantro and because it packs such a big flavor, not alot is required and hence, I need to keep finding used for it. I made this pesto in about 3 minutes, and got a great reaction from my diners, and the beauty of it is, I cut out a lot of oil, so the fat content was low. I used lime juice and water to liquify the pesto, and that worked great. The pesto was great on fish but I am certain it would be awesme on chicken as well.

1 cup cilantro(minced very fine) .70
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil .30
2 clove garlic .15
1 medium lime(juice) .20
1 teaspoon honey .10
1/2 small onion .20
salt and pepper .10
4 pieces whitefish $2.99

in food processor combine cilantro, oil, garlic, lime, honey, onion, blend until smooth and add 1/4 cup waterand blend, add salt and pepper to taste
top each peice fish evenly and bake at 300 for 15 minutes

Here's the Heron's picture... remarkably similar. I put a few walnuts in my pesto. You can see a bit of that coming thru on my whitefish - wich I pan fried in a large non-stick frying pan for about 4 minutes per side. Awesome, fast, cheap and easy. This was great!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Shrimp Cevice -take 2

Lots of times Kim and I both take pictures of the same the entres, but usually they look close enough alike, that we dont feel the need to show both pictures, but in the case of our cevice's, they both look absolutely delicious, but completely different. I think the difference was in the size to which the avocado, tomato, shrimp etc was diced and oh yes, how much cilantro was used. I diced all my ingredients really small, while Kim left chunks. I think Kims looks amazing, and I am so glad she enjoyed it, is truly one of my favorites.

Shrimp Cevice $6.88

HELLO BARBARA! Thank you for opening my eyes to this treat! YUMMO! I loved it, I think I put way too much cilantro in (and Joe agrees with that!), but this is a combination I could totally enjoy for lunch or dinner anytime! And amazingly healthy - fantastic for my goals for this week - to really crack down on the not-so-healthy things I've eaten lately.

I researched this a bit before Barbara gave me this awesome recipe - a couple I found on line omitted the tomatoes and avocados. I don't think this dish would be nearly as wonderful without those items... also not nearly as filling. Perhaps that would work if you were serving it just as an appetizer!

16 ounces cooked shrimp, tails removed, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (4.99)
1 firm but ripe avocado (.79)
2 plum tomatoes or a handful of grape or cherry tomatoes (.50)
2 tbsp cilantro (I used way more) (.20)
juice of one lime (.20)
1/4 cup red onion (.20)

246 calories, 16 carbs,8 fat, 21 protein - I mean REALLY! cost $6.88

Chop the shrimp into 1/4 inch chunks, dice the onion finely, wash and chop the cilantro into fine pieces, and chop the plum tomatoes or half the grape or cherry tomatoes - combine all these things in a 2 quart bowl. Juice the lime over the top of the rest of the ingredients - allow it to sit for a few minutes... some might add salt - I didn't.
Divide into four attractive bowls or glasses and serve.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bacon Lettuce Tomato & Avocado Wraps $5.37

We had SUCH a great weekend. My parents, Dave and Marilyn, were the parade marshalls for the Fireman's Festival in the small Wisconsin village that I grew up in. We were very proud of them, my parents both looked great, and are really enjoying their "retirement" from the fire department. Dad was a volunteer fireman for about 47 years, and Mom and Dad were both "First Responders" for almost 20 years. For a long Long LONG time they were charged with the financial aspects of the Festival, and it was so nice to see them just wander around talking to friends and family and having a GREAT day. Thanks too to my Aunt Dawn & Uncle Gordy for making the trip to catch the day with us kids and grandkids. My sisters two kids were with my three - they are ages 9,7,6,5,& 3. Chaos and happiness rang throughout every action!

Then we drove back home... tired, hungry, and ready to eat. This "BLTA wrap" was great - totally hitting the spot along with some farm fresh (from the farm stand up the road) sweet corn.

4 wraps ($1.33) I used the Fit and Active Original wraps, which are HUGE and only 90 or 100 calories.
1 avocado (.79)
8 strips bacon ($1.00)
8 pieces romaine lettuce (.50)
a squirt of Kraft Olive Oil Mayonnaise spread (.25)
1 large tomato (.70)

4 ears corn on the cob (.80)

Total = $5.37

Cook the bacon either in the microwave, on the stove top, or in the panini press. Approx. time is 2 min.
slice tomato and avocado so as to create pieces for four wraps
put the wrap on a plate, put the mayo stuff on the wrap, then the other ingredients. Wrap, cut on a diagonal about half way thru, and serve in two pieces alongside the corn on the cob (boiled for about 15 minutes until the steam smells like "done corn").

MMM - so summer-y, and so GOOD! And, actually quite healthy as well!

shopping is SO simple these days

OK, if you're working outside the home, you take this menu, you add in your lunch time favorties and breakfast standbys, and you're out the door!  If you're an at home Mom, you take this shopping list, you add in your lunch time favorites and breakfast standbys, and you're out the door!  If you're an empty nester you take this shopping list cut each amount in half, add in your lunch time favorites (minus the times you'll be enjoying the company of friends you now have time to see during the day!) and breakfast standbys, and you're out the door! MY POINT IS THAT WE'VE DONE THE WORK... DON'T LET YOUR WORKING/BUSY-NESS/COOKING FOR TWO status deter you from cooking right for your family!  this is easy friends!


Fresh Basil
Olive oil
1 tsp Corn starch
1/3 tsp dried parsley
1/3 tsp dried chives
1/3 tsp dried basil
1/3 tsp dried tarragon
¼ cup flour

2 eggs
Blue Cheese

Grated parmesan cheese

Tomato (optional)
4 ears corn on the cob
5 plum Tomato
Green Beans
2 red peppers
2 lbs asparagus
2 Lemon (for zesting) & juice
Yellow onion
1 bag mixed greens

Turkey Bacon (or regular bacon)
Precooked Shrimp
White Fish
2 to 3 lbs chicken
Roast Beef – thinly sliced (deli meat is good)

3 cups Chicken Broth
Flat wraps
Arborio rice
Thick bread to cut for bruschetta

that's a pretty simple list - I know we're having a fast cooking week whenever the shopping list I create is less than one page in the software I use to write it out.  This week we're not even close to a page (and I didn't change the font!).  It's gonna be a great week!

time for the menu! 8/29-9/4

WOW... September already. EEESH. I can't begin to you how much fun this project has been, and how EASY it has become to sit down and make a menu on Fridays with my dear friend Barbara, and then pop thru the shopping list and get it posted. Now that my travels are almost done for the year - I will try to get you menus more timely. It is SO easy and comforting to KNOW what's for dinner each night without stopping to think it thru... it's done - I did it on Friday! And I have all the ingredients, I bought them on Sunday. YES!

This week we want you to enjoy:

  • Turkey Bacon Avocado wrap with corn on the cob
  • Shrimp Ceviche
  • whitefish with cilantro lime pesto and a green vegetable of choice
  • Risotto Milenese(rice in a tomato sauce)
  • Chicken with Asparagus and Red Peppers
  • Summer Version of Parmesan Chicken
  • Roast Beef Bruschetta Treasures.
OK... on with the recipes.