Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pasta Primavera Fall Style

This pasta was a fun dish because it truly was made as quick as the pasta noodles boiled(hey, btw, just discovered water boils much quicker on an electric stove than a gas stove.) This was a clean out the fridge for my friend and I, and I love those kind of nights because the old me would usually just let the food get rotten, but the new thrifty me tries never to waste. I had carrots, onion and zucchini that needed to be used and my friend had brussel sprouts that needed a meal to be part of, so our "Fall Primavera" was created. The meal was simple, fresh, and light. I even got Michael to try a brussel sprout.

2 carrots pealed and cut into 2 inch(approx) match sticks
1/2 lb brussel sprouts
2 zucchinis pealed and sliced horizontally
1 medium onion sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 tablespoon olive oil
s(alt and pepper to taste
parm cheese
1 lb pasta

boil noodles according to instruction
in large skillet heat oil on medium and add onions
cook onions until glassy
add garlic on low, saute for 5 minutes, stirring and careful not to burn
add remaining vegetables
saute 10 minutes, or until pasta is done
drain pasta noodles leaving 1/4 cup pasta water aside
add water to vegetable saute
salt and pepper to taste
toss pasta in skillet with the vegetables
and serve
parm cheese optional

Cuban Panini

What is a Cuban panini? good question. Upon much research, this sandwich definitely exists, and I found many recipes for it. A few consistent ingredients were mustard and pickles. The meat varied between, Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef and Chicken., and the cheese varied as well between provolone, swiss, mozarella to name a few. This sandwich originated in Cuba, and the laborers would eat them for lunch. The bread of choice was usually ciabatta or French bread, but we are going with good old whole wheat. I think what makes the sandwhich stand out most is the pickles. I dont know if I have ever put a pickle in a sandwich before, but I loved the crunch. This is my first attempt at a Cuban Panini, but I am certain there will be other attempts and different ingredients used. But for now, my first attempt at a Cuban Panini was a success.

8 slices whole wheat bread
8 slices ham
4 slices cheese of choice
2 tablespoons mustard
4 medium dill pickles sliced lengthwise in 4 pieces each

spray each piece of bread lightly with cooking oil, or butter
On four pieces of bread spread 1/2 tablespoon mustard
layer bread with two slices of ham each, next layer with slice of cheese each, finally top each with slices of pickle, close with bread

cook on panini maker until cheese is melted, or place in skillet with lid, cook on each side 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted, or bake in oven aon cookie sheet

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beef Stew served over Polenta

Way back when we starrted this blog, we made a beef stew. It was a recipe from one of Kims neighbors and not only was it my first attempt at beef stew, it also went over really well with my family. Since we are trying to make each entres only once, this is sort of cheat making the stew again, but served over polenta. The polenta changes the dish a bit, as well as eliminating the potatoes. If we are cheating, who is going to tell?

Heres a refresher on the stew:
1 1/2 lb Beef Stew meat
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can 16 ounces tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup water
1 large sweet onion sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 carrots sliced in large chunks
1 cup celery
3-5 boulion cubes
basil and thyme

heat oil in large dutch oven
coat beef in flour
add beef to oil
add onion slowly, when onions glassy add tomato sauce, water, boulion, onion, basil and shyme
bring to boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour
add carrots and celery cook another hour
serve over Polenta
instruction for Polenta
when stew is with in 30 minutes of being made make polenta

bring 3 cups water to a boil
slowly add 1 cup cornmeal to water, stirring all the time, keep heat on medium and stir making sure not to let cornmeal to bottom of the pan
when smooth and creamy, remove from heat

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chicken Stir Fry - homemade sauce

Time for some "from scratch" sauce making

1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon ginger

snow peas and or carrots
peppers and or green beans
1 bag Aldi Stir Fry Veg mix (without sauce)

heat soy, vinegar, 1/2 chicken broth, garlic and ginger - saute until tender
add the meat - saute five minutes
add the veggies - saute until tender and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sprimp Quesadilla with Avacodo and Tomato Salsa

We got this recipe from foodie website I love this blog because the blogger Gina calculates all the weight watcher points for each meal. The big surprise about this meal was my son ate his serving and asked for more twice, not even noticing or caring there was something green inside the tortilla. Thats a good cooking day for me. I loved these quesadillas, however, my camera did not. It just didnt do the meal justice. Im going to have to make them again, and reshoot the picture, darn:)

20 medium cooked shrimp, sliced in half
1 medium tomato diced
1 medium avocado diced
1/4 medium onion diced
1 lime
1 tablespoon cilantro
salt and pepper, cumin optional
8 flour tortillas
4 slices cheese(monteray jack, mozarella- your choice) I used a spicy pepper jack
cooking spray

turn oven to 350 season sprimp with salt, pepper and cumin
place on baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes
in meantime mix together tomato, avocado, onion, lime, cilantro
on two baking pans lay out two tortilla's on each
evenly spread salsa and shrimp, top with slices of cheese and close with other tortilla
bake in oven for 1o minutes or until cheese is melted
remove from oven and slice in quarters

I think next time a make these I am going to make them on my panini maker, I know Ill be making them for lunch soon, since they were such a hit!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Zucchini in a Sage and Butter Sauce

Thumbing through our recipes, I didnt realize we just had spaghetti squash a few weeks ago. This dish will be totally different becuase the squash really takes on the flavor of the sauce and we are going to do a butter sage sauce instead of a red sauce. The biggest draw to this dish for me is the illusion of eating pasta but not being weighed down by the gluten.
This squash can be boiled or baked, we are going to bake the squash.
2 squash cut in half lengthwise, scoop out insides including sead and discard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sage
1 tablespoons butter
1 medium zucchini, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
parm cheese

preheat oven to 375
place squash on a bake pan cut side up, brush olive oil on top and salt and pepper
bake for 35-40 minutes
remove from oven and remove all the spaghetti squash with a spoon or hand
in a skillet melt butter add zucchini and sage saute until zucchine soft
add squash and saute together for 5 minutes
remove from stove and top with parm cheese

Grands Rolls Pizzas

My coupon shopping machine husband bought a bunch of Pillsbury Grands rolls for next to nothin a few weeks ago.  This week I used them to form a pizza crust in a deep dish.  The kids, who like almost all cooking kids, love the sound of that poppin' can, thought this dish was fun because they got to pop the can, smash dough, decorate their own pizzas.  Hmmm... all good things in a kids mind.

Here's what we used:

4 Pillsbury Grands rolls (8 regular size biscuits, which are loads cheaper if you're paying full price)
pizza sauce
sausage or pepperoni
red peppers

anything else you desire in your pizza.

spray the sides and bottom of what ever bowl or pan you are going to make your pizza in.  I have a few five or six inch round corningware crock type bowls that we used - they were PERFECT!  with the pads of your fingers smash the dough to the edges of the bowls - try not to poke holes in the dough (the tricky part!).  Once the dough touches the edges, put about 1 tbsp of sauce on your dough, 2 tbsp cheese, your toppings of choice, another 2 tbsp cheese, then bake for about 12 minutes until the pizza is done.
Cool 3-5 minutes, remove from bowls or from pan, then EAT!

If you didn't get your Pillsbury Grands for free from coupons/sales/and Catalina rebates, then use the cheaper biscuits that are 1/2 the size - and use two.  Smashing them together will be even more fun for the youngsters in your family!

TIME TO SHOP! we're in a veggie mood...


Lite soy sauce
Ginger (left over from last week!)
Black pepper
Bay leaf

Grands refrigerated biscuits – or regular refrigerated biscuits
Mozzarella cheese – or pizza blend
Breakfast sausage or turkey pepperoni
Turkey lunch meat
Cheese of choice for sandwich

Pizza sauce – marinara will work well
Flour tortillas
Spaghetti pasta

Red peppers
Pea pods
Sweet potatoes

Pre-cooked shrimp (12 oz)
Chicken tenderloins or breasts
Beef stew meat
Frozen cut green beans

Spaghetti Squash
Rice vinegar
Corn meal
Chicken broth

10/24-10/30/2010 menu

WHOLLY COW... end of October.
We've got some work to do on a number of projects.
Are your halloween costumes set?  Mine aren't.

Give yourself some late afternoon freedom - plan your dinners ahead of time... here's what we mapped out for you...

Sunday - Grands Pizzas
Monday - Spaghetti Squash with sage, butter, and garlic
Tuesday - Shimp Quesadilla with Avocado/Tomato Salsa
Wednesday - Chicken Stirfry
Thursday - Beef Stew (gravy?) over polenta
Friday - Cuban Panini
Saturday - Pasta "Primavera" - fall style

back in a flash with the next steps!

weekend passenger

On Friday morning, bright and early, Barbara and I had our weekly meeting to get the menu together - we put together another yummy and food horizon-stretching menu.  I grabbed some things from Trader Joe's (a champagne/pear salad dressing I like, greek yogurt, Chocolate Cat Cookies, coffee, gluten free/allergen free cookies for Jenna's friend, and some pea pods to be precise!) then swung home with great intentions of putting the menu up, the shopping list, packing for my whirl-wind trip to my parents house, when all of a sudden ... I became a passenger in my life instead of the leader.  Just like that I lost all control and "the calendar" took over.  From mid-day Friday until pretty much 8:15 this morning I became a shuttle bus getting my three kids to the things the calendar dictated.  Nuts!
We... went to dance class, hockey practice, hockey parent meeting, drove 3 hours to my parents - arriving at 11:15 pm, slept, delivered something to my cousin's amazing coffee shop in Baraboo, went to my nephew's birthday party, drove home - arriving at 10:45 pm, slept, got up for my workout, HOCKEY GAME - JACOB SCORED TWO GOALS, birthday party - I went to the wrong bowling alley - right bowling alley, home, deal with the two window-peaking tweens I caught in my front window by alerting all my neighbors, bathe, dinner, PACKER VICTORY over the Favre lead- Vikings, bed, and then the morning ritual of the weekday... OMG I lost control and became a passenger.  NOW i have a million things to do - everything that should have been done all weekend when I rode along in life.  Plus, I haven't worked out yet, which is probably throwing my world off the most.
Anyway, sorry I let life get in the way of my blogging - back to reality today!