Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Menu in the Making...

Here is the proposed menu for this week, starting with yesterday...

Saturday:  Hamburgers (WITH homemade hamburger buns!), garlic fries
Sunday: Sweet and Sour Chicken (put off from Friday night when we went out for dinner :), sesame noodles (new recipe)
Monday:  Pepperoni Ciabatta, chips
Tuesday:  On Your Own night
Wednesday: Herb Encrusted Pork Chops (new), roasted baby bakers, black eye peas, bread
Thursday:  Bacon Sour Cream Chicken, almond rice, carrots/Ranch, rolls
Friday:  Cheesy Spaghetti Bake, garlic bread, maybe salad, chocolate "lava" cakes

I actually have a few recipes still from last week to share! I better get on the ball!

Hope you have a great week.

What is for dinner at your house?


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Frito Pie

Earlier this week I was in the mood for some "light" Mexican food.  I remembered seeing a recipe on Pinterest for Baked Frito Pie.  That sounded good to me.  It is one of my guilty pleasures from Sonic that I allow myself to have about once every 10 years.  I am not saying that making it at home (baking it) makes it low doesn't.  And with Fritos in it, I knew it wouldn't. But I am betting it is lower cal than I could get elsewhere...

I followed the recipe for the most part, just eliminating one ingredient that I knew my family would balk at.

It was easy.  Good.  And fairly quick.

All good components for a meal at our house. :)

1 lb ground beef, browned  (I used 1 1/2 because that is what size the package was)

1 can chili beans

1 can (8 oz, though I used a little more) tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes (that is the ingredient I left crew balks at tomato pieces)

1 envelope taco seasoning (I don't think I used a whole one but I can't remember...a whole one would be good though)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used a Monterey and cheddar block, freshly shredded)

1 1/4 cup sour cream (I just used an 8 oz container of light sour cream)

3 1/2 cups Fritos

After browning the beef, drain.  Add the tomato sauce, taco seasoning, beans, and tomatoes (if using), and 1/4 cup shredded cheese.  Mix. 

Sprinkle part of the Fritos on the bottom of a baking dish (size depending on how much you are making).

Cover with the meat mixture.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven.

Spread sour cream over meat mixture. 

Top with remaining Fritos and cheese.

Return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so.


Hubby was out of town, so I didn't get his opinion.  Most of the kids ate it.  Some are picky about "Mexican" flavors. I personally loved it.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Cheddar Bacon Dip

To Celebrate Secretary's Day (hmmm, what is the more politically correct term...administrative assistant?), we (as in the teachers) decided to have a "snack food" day.  My favorite kind!

I decided to seek out one of my Pinterest dip recipes I had pinned.  When I saw this one again, I knew I had to make it.  So simple, make ahead, and few ingredients.  Gotta love that!

I "tested" a bite or two (no double dipping) before I took this to school.

And I quickly realized I could eat the whole bowl.

The next morning I did take it to school, got a few more chips' full of dip, then went on to class.

When I returned after lunch, my bowl was sitting there.  Empty. All gone.

Apparently others thought it was good too...

16 oz sour cream (I did use light)
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix (the dry powder stuff)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a lowfat sharp cheddar)
3 oz real bacon bits (used "bagged" bacon bits...REAL, not imitation)

Stir ingredients together.

Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Serve with chips or crackers.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Skillet Sausage and Potatoes

When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, my mouth was watering.  I will eat potatoes cooked just about any way.  And I like smoked sausage. 

Then one day I was planning our weekly menu. I was perusing the recipes I had pinned on Pinterest when my hubby spotted this one and indicated he wouldn't mind trying it.  So I added it to the menu then shopped for the necessary ingredients.

Tonight I finally made it.

And I will definitely make it again.

It was a hit.

Even my pickiest eater ate it.

My non-potato eater ate it.

And I ended up with only about 1/4 cup left over for my lunch tomorrow...

I followed the original recipe fairly closely.

2 pounds Russet potatoes, cleaned and sliced.  I used my mandolin (and my safety glove :) and sliced thin slices

1 package smoked sausage (I used Hillshire beef smoked sausage), cut into pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

sage (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp, I just used "fresh" sage and cut it up into small pieces

garlic (the original recipe calls for one clove...I like garlic.  We had two), minced

The original poster mentioned an optional dash of Cayenne or hot pepper.  We opted not to.  :)

Spread olive oil in skillet(s).  I used two skillets to make sure my potatoes cooked through.  Place the potatoes on the skillet and cook at medium high.  When one side begins to get crispy, flip them.  I had to double/triple layer the potatoes.  After a while, we just stirred them.  Not nearly as fancy looking for the picture, but it didn't stop us from eating them.

When you are nearing the end of the cooking stage, add the sausage, onion, sage, and garlic.

Reduce heat to medium.

Serve when the onion and potatoes are tender and ready to be eaten.


We had ours with big dinner rolls (yum) and would have had a salad but we went the easy route...carrots and Ranch.

Very simple, very delicious. 


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Salisbury Steak

Another Pinterest recipe.

I really do find recipes other places.

But Pinterest is an easy place to find them. Mainly because of the visuals. The pictures. The photos (usually done by much better photographers than I am :). The ones that make my mouth water.

Like this one.

I know Salisbury steak is a familiar recipe to most. I have eaten it (once upon a time). I have heard of it. But I have never made it.

So I was inspired.

I had to preface this with my kids that it is not TRULY a steak. It is more like the meatballs and gravy that I make. It is ground beef.

Except it isn't exactly.

The meat is similar.

But the sauce. Oh, the sauce.

Good stuff.

I am not sure I really needed the meat. I could have just had the sauce and some mashed potatoes (which I whipped up to go with this) and been a happy camper.

Apparently it was well-liked...not one single bit left over.

Not a bite.

So, here is the recipe. I followed the original pretty closely. I just made a couple small adjustments...

1 can French onion soup

1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I usually use 93%/7%)

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I used Panko because that is what I had on hand :)

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt (I don't really measure anymore since I "freshly" grind it...I just estimate)

1/8 tsp pepper (again, I don't measure...I just grind peppercorn)

1 tbsp flour

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp mustard powder

In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of the French onion soup, the ground beef, the bread crumbs, egg, salt, and pepper. I just put some gloves and just "kneaded it" all together.

Shape into patties. I made 6.

In a large skillet, brown both sides of the patties over medium high heat. Drain excess fat (though I rarely have any).

Blend flour and remaining soup until smooth in a separate bowl. Add ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard powder.

Pour over patties in the skillet.


Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Very good with mashed potatoes.

Make extra gravy. It is good stuff.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The. Menu. Just Ask the Wall.

I was inspired by my daily visits to Pinterest.

I have a beautiful sign that says "I love you because..." that I framed for my husband for Christmas. I use a dry erase marker and change the answer every 2-3 days.

Then I saw something on Pinterest that made me think, "We need to do that for the weekly menu." I usually just scribbled it on the dry erase board hanging on the side of the fridge. So that was my project today (instead of say, filing paperwork, grading papers, etc...).

It isn't perfect, but I really like it. It is already filled out and hanging on the wall in the kitchen.

Now when my kids ask, "What is for dinner?" which I get about 10 times a day (and yes, we only have four kids), I will just point. Okay, I might help the youngest out with the answer since he isn't quite reading to that extend. But I guess if he really wants to know, he will polish those phonics skills. :)

I have a recipe for Salisbury Steak to share but I think the picture is on my camera which is in another room.

And after the picture project, I am much too tired to go get it.

So I will do the menu thing today. And the recipe thing tomorrow. :)

Here goes. Always subject to change.

Saturday: Grilled sirloin (marinated all day), hashbrown potatoes, cheese filled breadsticks, black eye peas, spinach/strawberry salad

Sunday: Poppy seed chicken, wild rice, carrots and Ranch, crescent rolls

Monday: Baked Frito Pie

Tuesday: Ham/cheese sandwiches, chips

Wednesday: On Your Own Night (I will probably have pizza grilled cheese...I can't get enough pepperoni these days :)

Thursday: Sausage and Potatoes (new recipe), salad, rolls

Friday: Sweet and Sour Chicken, Sesame Noodles (new recipe)

Saturday: Hamburgers and French Fries, maybe shakes, and if I am feeling very ambitious, I want to try to make my own hamburger buns :)

So that is the plan. For today. However, it is always subject to change, especially if I think too much about pizza.

What are you having this next week?


Friday, April 20, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan

I have mentioned a few times that food photography is not my thing.

So again, I apologize for the photos.

They weren't staged in anyway (obviously). I was just trying to get food on the table so we could eat. My phone camera was handy, so I just snapped a quick pic or two and then sat down to eat.

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and have been wanting to try it.

I want to preface this by saying it isn't a true chicken parmesan, or at least what you would get at a restaurant.

It is a crockpot recipe after all.

But it was good food. The chicken was tender, and with the sauce and cheese...well, it was just good food.

I will be making it again.

Chicken breasts (I used 6 due to family size, but I did have to stack in the crockpot)

salt and pepper (to taste, about 1/4 tsp)

1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used freshly shredded because that is what I like)

1 egg, beaten

1 jar spaghetti sauce (the original recipe used marinara)

1/2-1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (I used Panko because that is what I had...the Italian version. Oh, and the variation in measurement is related to how much chicken you are using)

1 tbsp olive oil

Mozzarella cheese (amount depends on how cheese you want it)- I actually used provolone. I have found that it melts better than mozzarella and I had some on hand I needed to use up :)

Spread the olive oil on the bottom of the crockpot (or for me, the crockpot liner).

Beat egg with a fork or a whisk in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and Parmesan.

Dip chicken in the beaten egg, then in the bread crumb mixture. Place chicken in the crockpot.

Cover the chicken with the cheese (Mozzarella or Provolone in my case :).

Pour spaghetti sauce (or marinara sauce) over the chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.

I did top with a little more shredded Parmesan, just because you can never have too much Parmesan...

We ate it over angel hair pasta and with garlic bread. We would have had a salad if my salad stuff hadn't gone bad...

Good stuff.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Swai in Lemon Butter Sauce

As you know, swai fish is one of my new favorite foods. I love it. Really. It is such a light fish with good flavor. And not very "fishy" for a fish. That and it is low in calories. Oh, and cheap. Really, it is all you could want in a fish and more.

The last few times I have made it, I used our panko encrusted swai recipe.

I would eat that meal over and over.

But I thought I should try something different for the other people in the house.

And this just sounded good.

I found a couple of recipes online that were almost identical, so I am not sure who to give credit to. I guess you could try this one or that one.

I followed the recipe fairly closely.

Swai fillets, thawed (I made 7 for our family of 6...I think I had a half of one leftover for my lunch the next day)

salt and pepper

1/4-1/2 cup flour

1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil

2 tbsp unsalted butter (I did use blue bonnet light)

1/2 cup white wine

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper both sides of the swai.

Dredge the swai in the flour. (I put the flour in a ziplock bag, threw the swai in there, and shook to my heart's content).

Heat 1 tbsp butter and the tbsp of oil over medium high heat.

When the oil/butter is hot, add the swai and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. It should flake easily.

Remove swai from heat.

Add the white wine, lemon juice, and thyme to the same skillet you cooked the swai in. Cook over medium heat until boiling. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring. (The "browned" parts from the fish can be stirred in...yum!)

After it is heated through, turn off the oven and add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the sauce mixture.

Serve the sauce over the swai fillets.

We ate ours with almond rice pilaf, garlic bread, and carrot sticks/Ranch.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Asian Pork with Mushrooms

I saw this recipe on Pinterest (of course) and have been itching to try it. We have really expanded our tastes in recent years. When we first got married, adventure might be trying a different type of Hamburger Helper. These days, we eat sushi, Thai, Chinese, etc. I also am using a lot more fresh herbs, fresh cheeses, etc.

Anyway, Friday I ran home for lunch. (Okay, drove, not ran) I had enough time to prepare this and still eat a quick lunch.

As soon as I got home from school on Friday afternoon and stepped out of my car, I could SMELL this. Even in our garage. And it smelled WONDERFUL.

For the next couple of hours, my stomach growled as the aroma continued to drift through our house.

I posted on Facebook that I hoped dinner tasted as good as it smelled because I would be quite disappointed otherwise.

Thankfully it was.

I followed most of the recipe, making a couple changes mainly based upon what kinds of ingredients I had on hand.

2 lb pork center loin roast

salt and pepper (I just used freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn)

Non-stick spray

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (I was out of balsamic so I used red wine vinegar)

3 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp Chinese five spice (found in the "ethnic foods" section by the Chinese food)

3 cloves garlic (it was supposed to be crushed, but I minced it)

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root (I had trouble grating it so I minced it)

8 oz sliced mushrooms (I used Baby Bella)

Chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper the pork.

Spray a skillet and brown the pork on medium high heat for about 7-8 minutes.

In the crockpot, add the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, Chinese five spice, garlic, and ginger.

Put the pork in the crockpot, cover, and cook on low for about 8 hours.

At about the 7:30 mark, remove the pork from the crockpot to rest. Add mushrooms to the sauce and continue to cook on low for the remaining 30 minutes.

Shred the pork with two forks then return to the crockpot.

Add cilantro if desired. (I LOVE cilantro)

Serve over rice or noodles.

We ate it over egg noodles.

The pork was very low calorie. The noodles not so much. :)

All of it was good though.

All of it.




A Menu in the Works

I have been working on the menu for the week. Some weeks it just falls into place. Other weeks, like this one, I am just at a loss as to which direction to go. I try to use different proteins, vary the starches, vary the cuisines. It isn't easy. I doubt my family will ever know how much thought goes into this process. If they did, maybe they wouldn't be so quick to critique what we are having. :)

I do have a recipe I can't wait to share and hope to do so tonight, so check back in.

Anyway, here is where we are right now...always subject to change, of course.

Saturday (yesterday): Braided spaghetti bread, Caesar salad, birthday cake with buttercream frosting For me personally, the whole meal was yum, yum. I am really glad it was my "calories don't count" day. :)

Sunday: Pan seared swai (trying it a new way), Almond rice pilaf, Italian bread with Gorgonzola
(also a new recipe)

Monday: Salisbury steak (new recipe), Garlic-herb mashed potatoes (new recipe), rolls, carrots and Ranch, a dessert of some sort (Child 2's choice)

Tuesday: Chick Fil A (school event that night AND it is our youngest son's birthday)

Wednesday: On Your Own night

Thursday: Pork chops ole, garlic bread

Friday: Crockpot chicken parmesan (new recipe), angel hair pasta, salad, probably a bread of some sort :)

I can't think beyond that. :)

I know it seems silly to post this each week but it does help me plan out our meals and our grocery meal. And it really does keep us from eating out as much; I remind myself we have food and a plan...there is no reason to go out when we can eat at home.

So, what is for dinner at your house this week?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pizza Bread

I don't think it is a secret. I LOVE pizza. Like I could eat it every week.

Except that I am counting calories these days.

And pizza is not a calorie friendly food.

Especially restaurant pizza.

Which is my favorite.

So I find myself looking for substitutes.


And in this age of Pinterest, I have found plenty.

So every week or other week, I find myself attempting a new one.

And most of them are met with "That is good..." or "Yeah, this is nice." response.

When I saw the photo for this pepperoni and cheese stuffed ciabatta bread on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.

I also figured I would be the only one who really liked it.

So yesterday, I took a large oval shaped loaf of ciabatta bread (I think the original recipe probably uses the smaller ciabatta rolls, but that seemed more time consuming than I had time for :). And in less than 30 minutes, I had this "pizza bread".

We ate in shifts yesterday because hubby and oldest son attended a school meeting.

I heartily ate my one serving size (though I would have LOVED to have more...dumb calories).

Child 4 wasn't really in a hungry state; you just never know with him.

Child 2 made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which I expected. She tells me often how much she doesn't like pizza. Yes, she is one of my biological is that possible??? :) She did glance at it during the meal though and announce that she might have liked it if she had tried it.

Child 3 happily asked for seconds.

Then later the boys came home.

They are the big "pizza" judges.

Not that this is pizza.

But they are the ones who will usually eat the pizza substitutes I make but not with much gusto.

Except this time they did.

They loved it.

And they ate every single bite.

No leftovers for me. :(

I think next time I will make two...

Ciabatta Loaf


Provolone Cheese

Carefully cut the "top" off the ciabatta loaf and and hollow out the inside. My daughter likened it to a pumpkin. It did remind me of the act of gutting a pumpkin actually.

You can save the inside for bread crumbs for future recipes. Or feed the local ducks at your duck park. Or if you are really tired and too overwhelmed to think, you can just throw them out and think of it as disposing of calories.

Layer pepperoni and cheese as many times as needed to fill "bread bowl". It took two layers of each (10 slices of provolones and about 50 pepperoni).

Then replace the top.

The original recipe also places more provolone cheese on TOP of the "bread bowl".

I didn't...dumb calories.

Place on a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

I served ours with the squeezable pizza sauce on the side for dipping.


I know.

It is simple. Nothing fancy.

But it works.

(I imagine you could add about whatever you wanted as far as toppings go)

I am already ready to make it again!


Monday, April 9, 2012

My Manic Menu

Crazy week.

It is only Monday, and it is a crazy week.

And it won't get any better.

At least until maybe Sunday.

Anyway, here is a possible menu which is always subject to change especially when it is a crazy week.

Breakfast- Overnight Coffee Cake
Dinner- Ham, black eye peas, Rhodes Texas rolls (YUM), 7 layer salad, Manchego mashed potatoes
Dessert- chocolate covered strawberries

Monday: Leftover ham and the fixings

Tuesday: Pepperoni Bread (new recipe), chips

Wednesday: Meatballs and gravy over white rice, carrots and Ranch, rolls of some sort (to be determined :)

Thursday: On Your Own night

Friday: Asian Pork with Mushrooms w/rice (new recipe), veggies and dip

Saturday: Child 4's birthday celebration! Braided spaghetti bread, sweet and sour salad, and of course, for dessert...birthday cake with buttercream frosting!

That is about how far into the future I can see right now. :)

What is for dinner at your house this week?


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Manchego Mashed Potatoes

Right before Thanksgiving, our local grocery store (Harps) had a cheese tasting event. I didn't really realize that; I just stopped in with child 2 for some groceries. It was pure luck on my side. I LOVE cheese. And while all of the cheese treats were tasty, one stood out.

Machego Mashed Potatoes.

I do like mashed potatoes. I really do.

But these potatoes. I loved.


The cheese of course.

I was ready to go home and make a pot of them (since I only seemed to be allowed to have one sample). Child 2 was ready to join me too. She loved them too.

I got the recipe and checked out the cheese.


Then I saw the price.

And the dream was over.

Manchego is apparently a special cheese.

I am not overly frugal; I am terrible at cutting out coupons, and I do buy brand names mainly because there are some things I just prefer brand names for.

At the same time, I just cannot splurge. I mean, I am feeding a family of 6, including one very hungry teenager. I cannot use our whole paycheck for food. That is one of the reasons I plan out menus. It keeps us from buying food that will go to waste (and waist) as well as from eating out frequently.

My biggest splurge in the cheese department is Parmesan wedges to grate/shred on demand (usually my own demand). And even then, I do NOT get the high end Parmesan.

This cheese costs about 3 times what I pay for Parmesan.


Fast forward to this week.

I asked my parents if they would like to come over for Easter dinner (which is a twist since we usually go there :).

I had already decided we would have ham, the traditional meal. Sidenote on ham: One of my friends explained that one of the reasons we eat ham on Easter is because with Jesus' death and resurrection, we were freed from the law which banned ham as an unclean food. I don't know if that is true, but it sounds neat.

I thought Easter might be the perfect time to splurge.

I will admit, I almost walked away when I looked at the price again.

But in the end, the memories won out.

I bought the cheese.

And we had the potatoes tonight.

They were just as wonderful as I remembered.

This will not be in the regular line up for us due to the cost of the cheese. I just cannot justify spending that money.

But for very special occasions...well, if we can, we just might.

I do think I will use this basic recipe and substitute Parmesan on occasion. It isn't a fancy recipe but I REALLY liked the texture. And honestly Parmesan and Manchego have a similar taste, though I daresay that I like Manchego more.

I am not totally positive who to attribute this recipe to...I guess Harps? The main adjustments I made were reducing the amount of ingredients to what I could find.

3 pounds baby red potatoes (or baby Yukon gold potatoes)

4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces (I used Blue Bonnet light)

1/2 cup milk or cream (I used milk...did add a little more)

5 to 6 oz Manchego cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes (I just have to...I can't use dirty potatoes). I chose not to peel them; peels in mashed potatoes don't bother me. The recipe said to halve the potatoes, but I actually quartered them

Place potatoes in a large pan, filling with water just above the potatoes. I went ahead and added some salt at this point (just in the water).

Bring to a boil.

I didn't cover to bring to a boil but if you do, uncover once the water starts boiling.

Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Drain potatoes.

Return potatoes to the still warm pan.

Add milk, butter, cheese, and pepper (which I actually forgot this time around) to pan.

Mash potatoes until smooth.

Enjoy. Each and every bite.

And don't think about the cost. :)


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Key West Shrimp and Chicken Kabobs

Yes, another Pinterest recipe.

Can you tell how visual I am?

I see pictures of food, read their description, and my mouth starts watering.

And some foods, some pictures, for whatever reason, get stuck in my mind. In my taste buds. In my dreams. And I just must make them.

This was one of those foods.

I saw the recipe on Pinterest not long ago, and I have just been waiting for a good day to grill.

Today seemed like that day.

At least until it started raining.

But apparently that didn't affect the food a whole lot.

There were only 2 shrimp left. And NO chicken.

I followed the recipe very closely, as well as the directions. There are only a couple minor changes I would make, and those are mainly in the preparation.

Overall, this was a winner. We WILL make it again!

Chicken tenderloins (cut into small chunks) and/or peeled shrimp...I used about 5 tenderloins and 1 1/2 pounds shrimp. The shrimp was just right, size wise. I wish I had prepared more chicken and will know for next time.

2 tbsp honey

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp minced garlic (I just minced a garlic clove)

minced fresh cilantro (optional in the original recipe, but I think personally is a MUST :)

juice of a lime

Since I used both chicken and shrimp, I doubled the ingredients for the marinade.

Mix the honey, soy sauce, vegetable oil, and garlic together. Add cilantro.

Place the mixture in a bowl or a gallon size ziplock. Then add chicken/shrimp to mixture.

Marinate the chicken/shrimp for 30 minutes (I do that in the fridge...I am terrified of food poisoning :).

Soak the skewers in water for at least five minutes.

At the end of 30 minutes (or longer), "thread" shrimp and chicken onto the skewers. I separated the food on the skewers since the chicken takes a little longer to cook than the shrimp does.  Makes it easier to regulate and not burn the shrimp.

Grill for 6-8 minutes per side for chicken, 2-4 minutes for shrimp.


We had ours over the almond rice pilaf along with cheese filled breadsticks and carrots/Ranch.

Because I was running behind from my errands/outings, we didn't get to marinate the full amount of time. We will next time.

Like I said, it didn't stop us from eating it.

Two shrimps. That was all that was left...


Note:  Just made this for the second time.  Nothing left, and I even added more chicken this time!  I also made an extra batch of marinade right before grilling (minus the cilantro and lime juice) since it is so easy to make and hubby brushed it on the skewers while grilling.  It made the meat a little more moist and tasty. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Not long ago, I saw a recipe on Pinterest for stuffed chicken breasts. I already have a recipe for something similar, so I almost overlooked it. But something inside me said, "Try this one." Okay, it may have been my growling stomach. But wherever it came from, I listened.

And I am SOOOOOO glad I did.

I made this recipe (and followed the original fairly closely), placed it on the table, and waited for the response.

I believe hubby's words were "restaurant worthy".


He is always complimentary but I don't remember ever hearing something like that!

I will be making this again. Probably soon since I only got one serving.

Chicken breasts (I did use 6 and probably could have had 8 since there was NONE left over)

1 block cream cheese (I used light...oh, the original recipe doesn't call for that much. I made a creative change for my taste buds :)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (And I did do freshly grated)

1/4 cup minced fresh Basil leaves (so thankful for the spice "singles" I can buy in produce at the grocery store)

1 clove minced garlic

2 (or so) tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Using a knife, cut a slit in one side of the chicken breast. It is like a little pocket.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the garlic, Parmesan cheese, softened cream cheese, and minced basil leaves together.

Spoon some of the mixture into each "pocket" chicken breast.

Heat oil in a skillet on the stove (medium high heat?).

Place each chicken breast on the skillet, cooking about 3-5 minutes, until chicken is browned.

Flip the chicken breasts and cook another 5-10 minutes.

At the end of that 10 minutes, I checked the chicken to make sure it had cooked all the way through.

Then I spooned all remaining mixture ingredients over the chicken AND into the skillet so it became a rich, cheesy sauce. Yum. (This was a little different than the original recipe)

I let it simmer a couple more minutes until the sauce was heated through, then I removed from the heat and let it rest a few minutes.

We ate ours atop a bed of angel hair pasta (the sauce and the pasta was REALLY good) with a side salad and some garlic knots.

Like I said, no chicken left in the end.

Always a sign of a good meal!


Monday, April 2, 2012

A Menu, A Menu...

Here is the possible menu for the week, always subject to change. As usual. As always. All of that stuff.

Saturday (as in past):
Seasoned pork tenderloin (I buy them that way), roasted Parmesan potatoes (new recipe), French bread, black eye peas, caramel pecan brownies and ice cream for dessert (child 4 assisting with this)

Breakfast- Pumpkin muffins
Dinner- Taco night, salsa, refried beans, chips

Monday: Stuffed chicken breasts (recipe to come...YUM), angel hair pasta, salad, garlic knots

Tuesday: Fried catfish nuggets, hush puppies, cole slaw, rolls (Child 1's night to help cook)

Wednesday: OYO night (on your own night)

Thursday: Sloppy joes, sweet potato fries, fruit

Friday: Popcorn and Shakes (movie night)

Saturday: Grilled shrimp and chicken, almond rice pilaf (yes again), Katie bread, carrots and Ranch

What is for dinner at your house?