July 25, 2010

What's cookin' this week? July 26, 2010

What a great time of year to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. This week we’ll be making some delicious recipes with fresh ingredients that are healthy and quick. The stars of the show this week are peppers, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant and tomatoes. I haven’t made any of the recipes for this week, so I’ll be testing them along with you.

It’s also a week of no grocery shopping. I’m only making recipes that I already have ingredients for. It’s a little harder, but the fresh veggies delivered to the door are definitely a help. J Try them and let me know what your family thinks! I pulled all of these from allrecipes.com.

So here is the menu for this week – quick, easy and healthy so you can own what your family eats one meal at a time.

Eggplant parmesan
Side of veggies

Chicken and summer squash

A night out at a baseball game with some wonderful friends so no cooking tonight!

Stuffed peppers for two
Mashed potatoes

Eggplant parmesan
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
1 tbsp. fresh basil
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 medium tomato thinly sliced
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine oil and garlic and brush over both sides of eggplant slices. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, turn. Bake 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Place half eggplant in a greased 1 qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the basil and parmesan cheese. Arrange tomato slices over top. Sprinkle with remaining basil and parmesan. Layer with half of mozzarella cheese and remaining eggplant. Top with remaining mozzarella. Cover and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Chicken and summer squash
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
¾ pound yellow squash sliced
¾ pound zucchini, sliced
1 medium tomato – peeled, seeded and chopped

In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium high heat. Season chicken with half of salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until lightly browned – about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to large plate and cover to keep warm.

Pour off fat for skillet. Add squash, zucchini and tomato. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until squash is slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat, and return chicken to skillet. Cover partially. Cook until squash is soft, and chicken is white throughout but still juicy, about 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Raise heat to high. Cook vegetable mixture, stirring often, until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Arrange vegetables on chicken and serve.

Stuffed peppers for two (modified slightly based on some of the reader reviews)
2 medium green bell peppers
½ pound ground turkey
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
¼ cup crushed Ritz crackers
3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon chopped onion
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten

Cut tops off peppers and discard. Remove seeds. Blanch peppers in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water and set aside.

Lightly brown meat (not all the way through) and drain. Combine meat, ¼ cup of tomato sauce, crackers, 2 tablespoons of cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and egg. Mix well. Stuff peppers and place in ungreased 1 ½ quart baking dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers. Cover and bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven for about five minutes or until cheese is melted.

You can add some chicken broth to the bottom of the pan to help steam the peppers if you want.

July 17, 2010

What's cookin' this week? July 19

It’s time to get back in the kitchen and whip up something good! This week I am making some family recipes. We are going to start the week off right with some smoked baby back ribs in the smoker. We are also going to have a delicious chicken stuffing casserole. I’m not a huge casserole fan, but this is definitely a family favorite. To make sure we get a little culture in our week, we are going to have a lasagna loaf and chimichangas, plus a breakfast for dinner night.

You would be amazed what yummy recipes your family members have. Plan a recipe swap with your family so you can share your favorites and build your recipe book. It’s fun to not only learn new recipes, but spend time with your family and learn what life is like in their kitchen. Send me your favorites too! Reader recipe week is coming soon!

So here is the menu for this week – quick, easy and healthy so you can own what your family eats one meal at a time.

Smoked pork baby back ribs (in the smoker)
Corn on the cob

Chicken stuffing casserole
White beans

Pancakes and eggs

Lasagna loaf
Fresh fruit salad

Mixed veggies

Appetizer night for the guys poker game

No menu would be complete without the recipes!

From the kitchen of Yakeroo

2 diced baked chicken breasts (or 1-2 cups of grilled, diced chicken breasts)
1 cup cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup chicken broth
1 box stove top stuffing (chicken)

Mix chicken, broth, soup and sour cream. In a separate bowl, melt butter and mix with stuffing. In a 9x9 pan, put in half the stuffing. Cover with chicken mixture. Spread on rest of stuffing mix. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

From the kitchen of Aunt Mary

½ pound ground sausage
½ pound ground turkey
¾ cup chopped onion
½ garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
6 oz. can tomato paste

1 cup creamed cottage cheese (ricotta in our house)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg

2 cans crescent rolls
2 slices mozzarella cheese or 1 cup shredded

In a large skillet, brown meat and drain. Add remaining meat mixture ingredients. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes
Combine cheese filling ingredients
Unroll crescent rolls and separate into 8 rectangles. Place together on cookie sheet, overlapping edges. Press edges and perforations to seal. Spread ½ of meat filling down center of dough lengthwise to within 1” of edge of each 13” end. Top meat filling with cheese filling. Spoon remaining meat filling over top forming three layers. Place cheese slices over top. Fold 1” ends over edge of filling. Pull long sides of dough over filling, overlapping edges ¼”. Pinch to seal. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until baked through and golden brown crust.

From the kitchen of Aunt Lora

2 ½ c. shredded cooked chicken (boil thighs 20 minutes) or use grilled diced chicken cubes
2/3 cup picante sauce
½ cup diced scallions
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon crushed oregano leaves
½ teaspoon salt
8 flour tortillas (8”)
8 oz. Monterrey cheese (or Mexican blend)

Combine chicken, picante sauce, cumin, oregano and salt in sauce pan. Simmer 5 minutes or until liquid as evaporated.

Brush one side of tortilla with butter. Spoon 1/3 cup of mixture on unbuttered side and top with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold and place seam side down on 13x9x2 pan.

Bake in preheated oven at 475 degrees for 13 minutes or until golden brown.

July 4, 2010

What's cookin' for the 4th?

The 4th of July is a time to stop and remember how blessed and fortunate we are to live in this country. Because of so many amazing men and women who fought for our country – some making the ultimate sacrifice – we enjoy an incredible freedom that we so often take for granted. The fact that I can write this blog and that you can read it is a great example of our freedom that so many other countries do not get to enjoy.

This past week I was part of a prayer and praise gathering for our new church property and we stopped for a minute just to be thankful for being out in the open to pray to and praise God. As a woman, I can go to work and pursue the career of my choice and I don’t take that for granted!

We live in an amazing country and we have AMAZING people who believe wholeheartedly in our country that they are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect it. I am truly grateful for these amazing people and the fantastic families that support them and keep the world moving while their loved ones are gone.

Take some time this week to stop and remember all the wonderful freedoms we enjoy every day!

As with many others, this is a crazy week in our house. Cookout today, business trip for me this week and then we are going on a road trip this weekend. Needless to say, there isn’t much time for cooking. It’s weeks like this that I’m glad I can cook ahead and have food in the freezer. We are going to give the stove a break this week and try to use up some freezer meals or make some quick and tasty salads. My goal this week is to watch what I’m eating while I’m away and make smart choices with every meal and every snack.

Have a fantastic week! If you are looking for great meals this week, look back to some of the previous menus for great ideas that are quick, healthy and affordable!