Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Meatballs and Gravy

This summer, we (me and three) visited my sister for a week. One night she made meatballs and gravy, then served it over rice. One daughter is picky, so she went more for the rice, but the other two (along with me) LOVED the meal. And I have been determined to make it ever since.

Well, sure enough, there is the recipe in our family cookbook, passed down from my mom. And finally this weekend, I had a chance to make it.

I am going to give you the whole recipe, though I have to confess something. My sister suggested a shortcut which comes in handy for those days you just don't have time to roll out meatballs. Schwann's meatballs. And lucky me, our school just had a Schwann's fundraiser, so I was able to get a couple of bags. But if I had had time, I would have made the meatballs.

Meatball Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 cup crushed crackers (I am thinking Ritz would be good)
1 tbsp minced onion
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Gravy Ingredients:
1-2 cans cream of mushroom soup (depending on how much gravy you want)
1 package brown gravy mix
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp minced onion
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all meatball ingredients together and form meatballs.

Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Drain and place in a layer in a casserole dish.

Drop oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Mix all gravy ingredients together and pour over meatballs in casserole dish.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour at 325.

Good served over white rice, beef flavored rice, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles.

We had ours over white rice. Yum.

Happy cooking!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This Week's Menu

Here is our menu for the week. Now I just need to get to the store to have all ingredients on hand. I am just thankful it is a fairly normal week at our house. :)

Sunday: Breakfast- Pumpkin Muffins, Dinner-Meatballs and Gravy over white rice (finally!) Recipe coming this week... (sides included a salad and French bread)
Monday: Crockpot Chicken Dip over chips
Tuesday: On Your Own night (sports, sports, sports)
Wednesday: Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes (new recipe), I think we will also try the chocolate chip cookie dough mug cake for dessert if time allows
Thursday: Lasagna in a Bun, Fruit
Friday: Popcorn/Shakes
Saturday: Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Fingerling Potatoes, Katie Bread

What is for dinner at your house?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Honey Sauced Chicken

I think I have mentioned (a time or two) that I LOVE Pinterest. I keep finding new recipes I just "must" try. And I have really been making an effort to try at least one a week. When I first saw the recipe for honey sauced chicken, I was ready to go to the store right then to buy the ingredients. But since our schedule has been busy, I had to wait about a week. I finally had a chance to try it out Wednesday.

By the way, the recipe comes from this website.

I was originally going to make it in the crockpot, but due to time constraints ended up baking it in the oven (30 minutes...done). I would like to try it in the crockpot sometime too.

So, here is the recipe...

3/4 pound chicken I just used a 2 pound bag of chicken due to family size...I actually doubled everything in the recipe you see. Next time, I will use a couple chicken breasts less.
1/2 tsp salt (I really didn't measure on mine)
1/4 tsp black pepper...I used the fresh ground kind...I don't truly measure it
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup chopped onion or 1/16 cup onion flakes
1/8 cup ketchup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

I will give the baking directions since that is what I did. I would encourage you to visit the site above though and read the directions for the crockpot.

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Place in a pan. I had to use a 9x13 due to all of the chicken. I just notice the recipe says to dice the chicken. I didn't. I think next time I make this though I will either dice it or use tenderloins.

Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour the sauce over the chicken.

Confession: I added some sesame seeds to the top of it before putting it in the oven.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes (I went for 30 since I had big pieces of chicken).

I served it over white rice.

My family liked this, even though I wasn't sure they would. With the red pepper flakes, it does have a little "kick" to it though it also has the sweet side with the honey. Definitely an Asian flair to it.

I will make it again. :)

Happy cooking!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dessert Dip

I think I have mentioned that I have become addicted to Pinterest. I am so visual so having pictures of yummy foods "pinned" to my wall reminds me of things I want to try, whereas when I used to save good recipes to my "bookmarks", it was long forgotten. Anyway, when I saw a picture similar to the one I took today, I wanted to try it. And since we had a fellowship after church today, I had the perfect excuse.

The original recipe came from the Fake-It Frugal blog. I take NO credit for this recipe. I am just thankful someone "pinned" it and I found it. :)

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dessert Dip
1 box cream cheese (I did use the 1/3 less fat kind which I don't think is truly cream cheese but works)
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 jar of caramel sauce (got it in the ice cream topping department)
mini chocolate chips (will comment on that soon)
1 Heath bar

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with a mixer until well mixed.

Spread in a serving platter. I just used a glass pie dish...just the right size.

Pour the caramel sauce over the top.

Crush the Heath bar and mix together with chocolate chips (I didn't measure, just used about half a bag). Spread over the top.

Note: I couldn't find mini chocolate chips unless they were semi-sweet. I just bought regular size milk chocolate chips. However, next time I will buy the semi-sweet minis. I like that little bit of bitterness that semi-sweets offer. Milk chocolate is just too sweet for me!

I recommend letting it chill in the fridge for a while before serving.

Cut your apples (I love my apple wedger) and arrange around the dip. It looks like a beautiful sunflower.


I really liked the dip. My husband wouldn't touch it. However, several people ate it at the fellowship and liked it. I will say that though I love apples and dip, I almost think this would have been even better on a graham cracker. And some people at the fellowship just ate it by the spoonful.

Happy cooking!

Weekly Menu for Another Crazy Week

It is going to be another crazy week, so who knows if this will work or not. :) I have parent/teacher conferences which means some late nights. But it is always good to have a goal. AND I already went grocery shopping for needed ingredients, so I have no excuses other than fatigue.

Saturday: Snack-Strawberry Smoothie, Crockpot recipe-Baked Potato Soup...I just couldn't wait any longer. I thought it was cold enough. :)
Sunday: Breakfast-Overnight coffeecake, Lunch- Sunday School potluck...I am bringing Apple Caramel Dip (recipe soon), Dinner-On Your Own
Monday: Sloppy Joes and Sweet Potato Fries (one of my conference nights)
Tuesday: On Your Own (I am conferencing, Mark will be SuperDaddy with games and homework and such)
Wednesday: Honey Chicken and white rice (new recipe, thanks to Pinterest!)
Thursday: On Your Own pizza night
Friday: Meatballs and Gravy (I am wanting these so much but every time I have it planned, something happens...) over rice

What is for dinner at your house this week?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese

I have become addicted to Pinterest. When I find something I like on the Internet, instead of saving it to "Bookmarks", I can "pin" it, including a photo, to my "boards". I have found some yummy recipes this way. In some ways, it may not be the best use of my time. But in other ways, it saves me lots of time and energy. I simply see what my other friends are "pinning" and don't have to do all of the searching in my not so spare time...

Anyway, I saw this recipe the other day and was intrigued. I LOVE bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits from McD.'s, but I cannot afford the calories. This recipe solved a lot of that for me.

By the way, I found the basis for this on this site.

I will say I didn't cook all 12 eggs either. I cooked two for lunch, and one for breakfast another day.

So, I sprayed down my muffin tin and then simply opened up an egg into two of the "bins".

Then I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.

They are just the right size for my biscuit now...

Next I toasted some English muffins in the oven (also) and put a slice of 2% American cheese on one of the "buns" to melt. Oh, in case you are wondering, English muffins are very low fat. My favorite kind of bread!

I also added a couple of strips of the microwavable bacon.

In about 25 minutes, I had a bacon, egg, and cheese "biscuit", ready for lunch...along with a smoothie.

I enjoyed every bite.

More later,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly Menu

I shot myself in the foot last week with my comment on this menu holding me accountable. Well, it wasn't that the menu failed me. I failed me. I didn't get to the store for a big shopping trip last weekend. So I was limited in what I could make.

But we made it.

We did have one mid-week eat out moment.

And lots of "On Your Owns".

Anyway, I did get my shopping done yesterday, so hopefully I will do better this week. I already have two days of cooking done.

Saturday: tacos, salsa and chips, refried beans, chocolate lava cakes for dessert
Sunday: bacon wrapped shrimp, sliced potatoes in white sauce, arsagio/garlic bread
Monday: pancakes
Tuesday: crockpot bacon chicken, wild rice, veggies and dip, rolls
Wednesday: Grams' birthday celebration
Thursday: on your own night (soccer games)
Friday: on your own night (football practice/game)
Saturday: meatballs/gravy (recipe coming)

I did try one new recipe last week...manicotti. Unfortunately, I prepared part of it ahead of time then wasn't here to complete it. I did taste it later and it was okay...I need to make some adjustments before posting.


What is for dinner at your house this week?


Monday, September 5, 2011

Potato Fans

Not the best picture quality but you get the idea.

Recently on Pinterest (which is VERY warned), someone posted a picture of potato fans (which have other names like "armadillo potatoes"). However, when I clicked on the picture, it was a private blog so I couldn't get the recipe. By then my interest was piqued. I always love a good potato. So I decided to do a little research (also called "google"). I found a few recipes then decided to combine them to make my own.

One thing I learned from perusing different recipes is that you can really top these potatoes with anything you want.

Here is what we used (no specific amounts):
6 yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
olive oil (I didn't measure but I am thinking about 1/4 cup...many recipes recommended butter but I prefer olive oil)
rosemary (just sounded good to exact measurement)
3 garlic cloves diced (or if you are feeling lazy, chopped with a food chopper)
salt and pepper to taste (I used sea salt and freshly ground black pepper)
cheddar cheese
bacon bits

I also threw in some bread crumbs, since several recipes had recommended them. Maybe mine were too fine. I don't know. I just know I could have done without them. (I actually left one potato without much cheese and bacon...the olive oil and the garlic/salt/pepper/rosemary were good enough for me :)

Make several cuts across the potato, cutting almost to the bottom but not all the way. Several people recommended using a skewer through the bottom or wooden spoons on the side of the potato to stop the knife when slicing...I just did it on my own. I only had two that cut all the way through.

Use a basting brush to brush the olive oil/spices mixture over the tops of the potatoes, getting in between slices when possible.

Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. (I would check for tenderness)

Pull potatoes out.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese and bacon bits (however much you want) and bread crumbs if you want them across the top.

Return to the oven for a few minutes more.

I did cut back the oven temp about 20 minutes into it because I had something else to cook too. I just kept checking tenderness.

I saw a wide range of oven temps and times as I perused recipes...even a recipe or two for the microwave.

Regardless (or is it irregardless?), my house smelled like garlic roasting. It was just...fragrant. Really. And for those who eat potatoes in our household, they were well-received.

I will be making again!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

This Week's Menu

Here is the week's menu. I don't know that anybody really cares, but it does keep me in check...makes sure I really do plan. We are much less likely to eat out spontaneously if I have a plan. Unfortunately this week will be hit and miss with meals due to some evening activities. But I plan anyway. :)

Sunday: breakfast- pumpkin muffins, dinner- ribeyes (Mark marinated idea how), potato fans (recipe coming), black eye peas, Katie bread
Monday: manicotti (carried over from last week), bread, veggies/dip
Tuesday: On Your Own (two games for two kids in two places)
Wednesday: Mark/Reba date night (probably a pick up sushi night) due to some evening activities...
Thursday: sour cream bacon chicken (crockpot), wild rice, rolls
Friday: square ham sandwiches, fruit smoothies
Saturday: grilled pork tenderloin, black eye peas, fingerling potatoes, French bread
Sunday: tacos, salsa and chips

What is for dinner at your house this week?


Friday, September 2, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Dip

(Don't let the picture/visual mislead was good stuff)

A friend of mine (Brandi) posted a recipe on Facebook not long ago. It just sounded so very good to me. I decided it would be a perfect Friday night dinner...light and yummy. Plus it is a crockpot recipe so it got bonus points before I even made it.

Here is her recipe. I made a couple of changes, just because I have a picky family.

package frozen corn (my family would have balked...I used a can of kidney beans instead)
3 frozen chicken breasts
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar of salsa (I used my homemade salsa)
1 box of cream cheese (I use the light)

1. In a crockpot, layer the frozen corn, 3 frozen chicken breasts, can of black beans, and jar of salsa. Of course, I used my favorite crockpot liners.
2. Cook on high for 4 hours. I had to cook mine for about six due to timing with my lunch break, so I set it to low. By the time I got home, my chicken was cooked.
3. Remove chicken and shred. Return to crockpot. I didn't actually do a whole lot of shredding...I probably should have. But it worked out okay.
4. Add box of cream cheese. Stir. I did this about 20 minutes before we ate.

Brandi had recommended serving individual bowls and throwing some chips on the table. I did just that. I put out some Fritos and baked Tostitos. Then we ate it like a dip.


It was exactly what I wanted tonight. Like a snack but a little more. Good flavor. The chicken was just so tender. Even my picky kids ate it (though one wouldn't touch a bean).

I think it would be delicious in a tortilla or over rice too.

One kiddo has already asked when we can have it again.

It won't be tomorrow. There were hardly any leftovers!

Happy cooking.

Sidenote: Today (Nov. 11, 2011) I made this for dinner. I didn't have kidney beans or frozen corn (which they won't eat anyway) so I used a can of blackeye peas for the first layer (then black beans later). Delicious. They all ate it. My oldest didn't even realize it had blackeye peas in it!