Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Menu. Sort Of. Maybe.

It is kind of a strange week. It is my birthday week.  And I am guessing we will celebrate at some point but I have no idea when. Plus my dear hubby is heading out of town for a few days. And we are having some friends over.  So my menu is all over the place and just guesstimates. By Thursday, it may look totally different.  But it is a start.  Gotta have a plan...

Sunday:  Bacon Wrapped Shrimp (pushed back from last night), salad, asagio herb bread and dipping oil, potatoes in basic white sauce

Monday:  Ham sandwiches, chips

Tuesday:  Mostaccioli, Caesar salad, garlic bread, ice cream sundaes for dessert

Wednesday:  Take Out

Thursday: Not sure

Friday: Toasted Sesame Quinoa with Chicken (new recipe), roll, carrots and dressing

Saturday:  Marinated Beef Kabobs (new recipe), Potatoes Romanoff (new recipe), Katie bread, black eye peas

I still have some recipes to post from last week. But for tonight, it is late.  And I am tired.

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


Friday, July 27, 2012

Korean Beef


I admit it.

It is another Pinterest recipe.

I saw it not long ago and have wanted to make it from the day I saw it.

I could almost taste it.

Beef, brown sugar, and soy. How could I go wrong?

So finally, tonight I made it.  Korean Beef.

First of all, it is an EASY meal.  And quick. (Quick is less than 30 minutes to me)  And best of all, it was yummy.

A HUGE hit with the family.

Well, most of them.

A couple picky eaters picked at it.

But the rest of us chowed down.

Think "Mongolian Beef" in a cheaper and easier form.

I can say that with all honesty because we have made P. F. Chang's Mongolian Beef before.  And it was good. But it also was rather pricey (flank steak is NOT cheap right now) and fairly time consuming.

This recipe uses ground beef and takes less than 30 minutes.  Yet it tastes very similar to Mongolian Beef.

I will definitely be making this again.

1 to 1.5 lbs ground beef, browned (The original recipe calls for 1 pound but our "half a cow" beef is in 1.5 lb packages so that is what I use)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce (I think next time I would even double that)

1 Tbsp sesame oil (pricey but it is worth the flavor and can be used with several recipes)

 3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1/2 -1 tsp crushed red peppers

salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch green onions, diced

Okay, I messed up the directions just a little...

You are SUPPOSED to brown the ground beef in a skillet with the garlic and sesame oil.

I totally missed that part.

I just browned the meat like normal and drained it.

THEN I added the other ingredients except for the green onions.

And I let it simmer while I finished up the other parts of the meal.

Before serving, top with the green onions.

We ate it over basmati rice and with a roll with honey butter.  I would have served some veggies/dips too but we are out. 

And that is it.

Like I said, very easy.  Very quick. And very yummy.

More soon,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brownie Delight

 I was making lunch for a church event this week.
 I needed a dessert.
If you know me at all...desserts should almost always involve chocolate.

So I checked out my Pinterest board ("Sweet Treats") and remembered this recipe.

Just what I wanted. I mean, just what I hoped to make.

It takes a little time (mainly due to cooking the brownies) but otherwise is fairly easy.

And yummy.

Perfect for a summer day.

I followed most of the recipe. My main changes involved using lighter ingredients when possible.  And I used one family size brownie mix rather than two boxes as the original recipe suggested. Otherwise, I followed it to a T. :)

1 family size brownie mix for a 13 x 9 pan (I used dark chocolate because I like dark chocolate)

Oil, water, and eggs for brownie mix (follow directions on the package)

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened (I think I used light but I am not positive...I usually do)

1 cup powdered sugar

2 containers whipped topping (I did use light)

3 oz. package instant chocolate pudding

3 oz. package instant vanilla pudding

3 1/2 cup milk (we only have 1% milk here, it works)

Hershey bar or chocolate syrup (I used a Hershey bar)

 Mix and bake brownie mix according to package directions in a 13 x 9 greased pan/dish.

Let the brownies cool.

Mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 container of whipped topping.  Spread over the cooled brownies.

Mix together both pudding mixes with milk.  Give it a few minutes to thicken.  Layer on top of cream cheese mixture.

Spread the second container of Cool Whip on top.

Top with grated or curled Hershey's bar or the syrup.

Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Enjoy.  Each and every bite.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Back to Reality Menu

After a week away, it is time for me to get back to reality.  And back to the menu.  It was nice having some time off (and my sister is a good cook).  And I really don't mind cooking. I just wish I could figure out a way to do it without going grocery shopping. :)

Here is my proposed menu, though life is going to start getting busier.  That means things could change.  And probably will. :)

Saturday:  Pizza.  From Chicago.  A treat from my husband. I enjoyed every bite.

Sunday:  Panko Encrusted Swai, Almond Rice Pilaf, Carrots and Ranch, Cheddar biscuits (new recipe)

Monday:  Grilled Ribs (new recipe), Twice Baked Potatoes (new recipe), Carrots/Snap Peas and Ranch, Martha Harp rolls

Tuesday:  Crockpot Tostadas, chips and corn dip, brownie dessert (new recipe)

Wednesday: Chicken pillows (new recipe), salad

Thursday:  Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce (new recipe), black eye peas, roasted baby bakers (Schwans), cheese stuffed breadsticks (Schwans)

Friday:  Korean Beef (new recipe), Basmati Rice, 30 minute rolls (new recipe)

Saturday:  Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Potatoes in White Sauce, Garlic bread, salad

That is what I am thinking anyway.

Always subject to change.

And I am sure it will.


What is for dinner at your house this week?


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Steak Marinade

I have one marinade for steaks/pork chops that I like to use.  But I am always looking for others to try.

Recently I had some sirloin steaks to prepare for grilling. I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with them.

My cousin P. sent me a recipe for a steak marinade.

It was easy and quick to put together.

And it sounded good.

Works for me!

Ingredients (for 2-4 steaks)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp oil (I used my canola blend)

Mix together the ingredients and marinate the steaks for at least 4 hours before grilling.  (Do watch for flare ups while grilling)

I just put all of the ingredients in a large ziplock and put the meat in, then I refrigerated it for the day.  I turned the bag at one point just to make sure all of the meat was getting the "juices".

I really liked it.  It had a good flavor but was subtle (not overpowering).

Thanks to my cousin for sharing the recipe!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Double Fudge Brownies

I wonder if they have classes in how to photograph food?  People I can somewhat photograph with success.  Food, not so much.

Anyway, there won't be a weekly menu because I am visiting my sister in Kansas with the girls who are attending camp here.  So I am off cooking duty for much of the week.  And who knows what I will make when I get home. :)

I did stick to last week's schedule for the most part. We did have one impromptu sushi night (a date at home) so I never made the roast. But otherwise I stuck to it.

Saturday night we had grilled steak (marinade recipe coming soon). The kids have been begging for a dessert. I had one in mind but when I went to make it, we were missing some key ingredients. Bummer.

So I pulled out my handy dandy cookbook.  It is a family recipe cookbook.

And I searched for a dessert that I did have a recipe for.

I came upon a recipe from my Aunt S. from Indiana.

Double Fudge Brownies.

That sounded good.

And even better, I had all of the ingredients!

And they were good.

Too good.

It is a good thing I left town the next day because the leftovers would have been a HUGE temptation for me.  I am sure my boys will polish them off while I am gone.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup margarine (I used unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz...I would love to try these with dark chocolate chips too)
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan or a 4 cup measuring cup, combine margarine/butter, sugar, and water.  Bring just to a boil.  (I did mine in the microwave because my pots were all dirty from our dinner)

Add chocolate chips and vanilla.

Stir well until chocolate melts, and the mixture is smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  (I just used my mixer)

Gradually blend in flour mixture.

Add in nuts if desired...I didn't at this point. My crew is about half and half on who likes nuts. So I waited until I had put the mixture in the baking dish.  Then I sprinkled nuts on half of the mixture, so we had some with and some without.

Spread into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.

Bake for 50 minutes.


I served them with vanilla ice cream on the side.


A nice sweet way to end our day!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Hashbrown Eggs and Cheese

Sorry for not posting much this week.  We are getting back into the swing of things after vacation.  And while I have cooked (all but one day...had a nice sushi date with hubby last night), I have been making tried and true recipes.  So I haven't had much to share. But I did have this recipe that I never got to post before we left for vacation.

Hashbrown Eggs and Cheese...

Sometimes we need a "light" dinner.  And breakfast for dinner fits the bill for that much of the time. 

We like our eggs and cheese.

So when I saw this recipe for something similar but that added hashbrown potatoes and bacon...well, we had to try it.  (I believe the website author adapted the recipe from Paula Deen...)

It was pretty quick and quite yummy.

We will be having it again.

3 cups frozen hashbrown potatoes thawed (I used the shredded)
4 Tbsp melted butter
3 large eggs beaten
1 cup half-n-half (I did use the low fat version)
6 or 7 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 Tbsp dried onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Dry out the thawed hashbrown potatoes (using paper towels).  Mix with the butter.  Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie dish.

Bake for about 20 minutes in the oven.  The potatoes should be lightly crispy.  Just don't burn.

While the crust is cooking, mix together the remaining ingredients.

Once the crust is lightly crispy, pour the egg mixture into the pan. 

Don't make the mistake I did and try to pick up the pan though because it is still hot from the oven. Ouch.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting Back in the Groove...Our Menu

We are back from the beach.

I am sad.

I love being at the beach.

And I do love eating seafood every night.

But at some point, I have to leave the beach. I have to get back to reality.

And here I am.

That being said, I did miss cooking.

Which is good.

Because eating out days are done (other than the occasional treat).

It is time to get back to reality.  And the kitchen.

On a happy note, my half of a cow is done and ready for pick up. I cannot wait to see exactly what I got!  It will make planning meals so much fun, I think!

Here is my tentative menu, always subject to change.

Sunday:  On Your Own (we got back just in time to throw together sandwiches and stuff for dinner with limited groceries)  I made myself a pizza grilled cheese.  Love that stuff.

Monday: Cheese Stuffed Chicken, Angel Hair, Garlic Bread, Carrots/Ranch

Tuesday: Sausage and Potatoes (Skillet), Salad, Bread

Wednesday:  Tacos, Chips and Salsa

Thursday: Crock Pot Roast/Gravy (new recipe), Cheesy Mashed Potatoes (new recipe), Rhodes Dinner Rolls, Carrots/Ranch

Friday: Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken, Fried Rice

Saturday:  Balsamic Flank Steak (new recipe), Hashbrown Potatoes, Blackeye Peas, Katie Bread

I am also probably making pumpkin muffins for breakfast one day. And I am sure there is a dessert in our future. Just not sure yet what. 

Now the menu is made.  Time to work on the grocery list...

What is for dinner at your house this week?


Friday, July 6, 2012

Grilled Smores

We are on vacation this week (if you wondered about the lack of posts...that would be due to lack of cooking :).  We typically eat breakfast at our rental (in this case, a beach house) and then eat a light lunch or dinner there also.  We then go out to eat for the other meal.

Tonight we had some friends come over (also vacationing here) for dinner.  We grilled burgers and hot dogs and tried to use up some of our extra foods from the week since it is the last night.

But I wanted some sort of dessert.

I was in the mood for smores or something chocolatey.  It is really hard to cook in someone else's kitchen though.  So I needed simple.

I went to my first choice (always).  Pinterest.


Good food but nothing as simple as I wanted.

It just so happens I was reading a magazine at that time that had a recipe for Grilled Smores.

And it was simple.

We just needed to pick up a few basic ingredients.

I will say that they taste nothing like smores (or I didn't think so).  But that didn't stop me from eating one.  And wanting to eat more.

frozen pound cake (I used the Sara Lee family size...actually 2 since we had so many people), thawed and cut into slices

a bag of mini marshmallows

a bag of mini chocolate chips (though really the little Hershey's bars would work too)


Place some mini marshmallows and chocolate chips on the sliced pound cake.  Top with another slice. 

Grill, flipping after the chocolate and marshmallows start to melt and the pound cake gets "toasty".


Like I said, simple.  And not a pure smores by any mean.

But a sweet treat just the same.