Friday, August 31, 2012

Roasted Lemon Garlic Shrimp

I have been trying to incorporate fish or shrimp at least once a week. I just wish shrimp were a bit cheaper.  Most of us eat it and it is just good food (to me :).  And it is fairly healthy (low cal, low fat).  It is just that darn sodium level that keeps it from getting a gold star.

Anyway, I had a recipe pinned that looked promising so I decided to give it a try.  I was a little hesitant with all of the lemon in it but after one taste, I was hooked.  Oh, yum.

And it was easy. And quick. 

Definitely yummy for my tummy.

I know not everybody is a shrimp eater, but if you are, I highly recommend this recipe!

1/3 cup olive oil

1 lemon

3-4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed (okay, I don't know if it is unhealthy but I just used the whole sprig...)

sea salt and freshly ground peppercorn

2 tbsp butter (I used light margarine)

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (the original recipe calls for fresh; that is hard to get around here...I did use about 2 pounds)

5 cloves of garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Zest the lemon (I had never done this. I used a vegetable peeler and just carefully peeled off bits of the peel, trying to not dig in too much).  Then halve it.  Cut one half into thin slices. Save the other half for later use, though I didn't ever use the second half.

Pour olive oil in a baking dish. The original recipe called for an 8 x 8 dish. Since I had so much shrimp, I used a 13 x 9.  There was still plenty of olive oil to cover the bottom of the dish. 

Add the lemon zest and thyme to the oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes or so, checking to not burn the zest (which I did because I was peeling shrimp).

Remove pan from oven.  Add butter and stir to melt in oil.  Toss in the shrimp and garlic.  Stir to coat.

Bake for 8-10 minutes (watch carefully) until shrimp is pink.

We ate ours over angel hair pasta with garlic bread and a salad. Oh, and I added a little freshly shredded Parmesan because Parmesan goes with everything. :)

And I enjoyed every single bite.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Survival Mode Menu

It is my first week with MY class (last week, our kinderkids were not assigned to a class so they "floated" all day).  And that means I am one tired mama by the end of the day. But I really am making an effort to cook. Most of the time.

I will confess that I strayed from the menu a little last week. By Friday I couldn't even think about cooking.  We went out to eat instead. And I enjoyed every bite.  Then I somehow had forgotten Hubby was going out of town over the weekend for work, so that threw my whole weekend plans off.  Needless to say, I have already had protests that I did NOT make any mostaccioli.  I will have to make that up to them soon.

Anyway, here is my menu for this week of survival.  We will see if I pass the test or not. :)

Saturday (after changing things around):  Korean Beef and Basmati Rice, carrots and Ranch, honey butter biscuits

Sunday:  Chicken spaghetti (even with Hubby gone, they ate almost ALL of this. I had like 1/3 a serving left over for lunch yesterday), garlic bread

Monday:  Pulled Pork Sandwiches (new recipe), Waffle Fries (a nice frozen version.  Once in a while I have to resort to frozen)

Tuesday:  Roasted Lemon Garlic Herb Shrimp (new recipe...YUM!), angel hair pasta, salad, asiago garlic bread

Wednesday:  On Your Own

Thursday:  Chicken Stuffing Bake in the Crockpot (kinda a new recipe), carrots/Ranch, some sort of bread (not sure what yet :)

Friday:  Taco Night!, salsa

Saturday:  Our grilling night is dealing with interference from that Razorback game. Bummer.  :(

I am not going to lie. It is tempting to eat out every single night this time of year.

But I am standing strong.

At least tonight. :)


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pork Tenderloin With a Pan Sauce

I am behind on recipes.  :(  It has been a really hectic week.


Recently on Pinterest, I found a recipe that looked SOOOO good.  Or maybe it was the picture that looked so good. :)  Either way, I just had to try it.

Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce.

So a couple weeks ago, I decided to give it a try.

And it was just as good as I hoped it would be.

I followed the original recipe fairly closely with just a few minor changes after reading some of the comments.

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

juice from one lemon

1 or 2 tbsp Worcestershire

1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, finally chopped

2 tsp dry mustard

freshly ground pepper (to taste)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (if your grocery store has herb "singles", it is a great place to get already peeled cloves)

1 lb pork tenderloin (okay, mine was more like two so I upped my ingredients)

Pan Sauce:
Scrapings from pork tenderloin

1/2 cup chicken broth

2-3 tbsp pork marinade

1-2 tsp butter

Combine all the ingredients from the first list (minus the pork tenderloin).  Reserve 2-3 tbsp for later use.

Place the pork tenderloin in the marinade in a large ziplock bag and marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

In a hot skillet, sear the pork tenderloin on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes per side.

Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

After reading some comments, I put this in a large baking pan.  Then I poured the marinade over it so it cooked in the marinade.

I am not sure if that is considered safe or not.

My thinking was that if the pork is going to cook any bad germs out, the marinade will too.

My main goal was to keep the pork moist while it was cooking.  I removed the pork from the marinade before serving.

Like I said, I was going on the advice of some of the commenters.

Nobody got sick, so I would probably do it again that way. :)

Oh, latebreaking commenter said that she had read to boil the marinade for about 5 minutes and it would be good to go.  Take that for what it is worth. :)

Or just cook it without the marinade and avoid all of these questions and concerns I have. That is what I may do next time if I don't want to live life on the edge. :)

Sorry for the rambling.  It is late and I am really tired.

So toward the end of the cooking time (start checking it around 30 minutes so it doesn't dry out), get the pan sauce ready. 

Add the chicken broth to the skillet, scraping up any pork tenderloin that might be left in the skillet from earlier.

Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the butter. Remove from heat and stir the sauce, letting the butter melt.

Pour over the pork tenderloin.


We ate ours with potatoes and black eye peas. Yum.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Smores Dip

Monday was the first day of school.

I don't get to do a lot of the fun "first day of school" traditions a lot of families do, mainly because it is MY first day of school too. And I am plumb exhausted all day long.

But I wanted to do something special.

So I checked out Pinterest and found a recipe for Smores Dip.  Hubby doesn't care for Smores (how is that possible???) but the kids and I love them. And this was a very quick (less than 5 minutes) recipe.  How could I go wrong?

It didn't disappoint. It is taking all of the willpower I have to not go finish off the leftovers (it made a lot).  And it is actually easier to eat than real Smores are.

1 can condensed sweetened milk (14 oz)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used dark family couldn't tell a difference)
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
graham crackers for dipping

Place sweetened milk and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until chocolate chips are melted. (I think mine took 1 minute)

Pour/spread chocolate mixture into a 9 inch glass pie plate.

 Drop marshmallow creme/fluff by the spoonful into the chocolate mixture.

Microwave 30 seconds.

Use a knife/spoon to spread marshmallow throughout the mixture, giving it a marbled look.

Serve with graham crackers.


(We refrigerated the leftovers and just heat it up when ready to eat, though I may or may not have eaten a spoon full cold. :)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School Menu

I am still behind on posting recipes.  I would like to think I would get caught up this week (because I KNOW you are on the edge of your seats waiting), but it is the first week of school. I will be doing good to stay up until 9 every night.

Because of that, I am sticking with some tried and true recipes this week.  It really is a miracle I am even cooking (or hoping to). In years past, this was a HUGE take out week for us.  But I am determined to try.

Sunday:  Bubble Up Enchiladas, carrots and snap peas with Ranch
Monday:  Poppy seed Chicken, wild rice, crescent rolls, dessert (new)
Tuesday:  Pizza Bread
Wednesday:  On Your Own
Thursday:  Pot Roast Pizzaiola, roasted baby bakers (Schwans), cheese stuffed breadsticks (Schwans)
Friday:  Mostaccioli, Caesar salad, garlic bread
Saturday:  Steak, hashbrown potatoes, black eye peas, Katie bread 

Tried and true. That is all I can do this week.

How about you?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy and Delicious Fruit Salad

The other day I wanted a little sweetness but nothing heavy. Since the good "fruit" season will be ending soon, a fruit salad just seemed like the perfect dish.

And it was.

This recipe came from my cousin P. It was in the family cookbook. I have made it before but it has been a while.

Easy, quick, and good.

Fruit (I used kiwi, apple, strawberries, grapes, and can use what you want. :)

1 box vanilla instant pudding

1 regular can of pineapple chunks

Drain juice from pineapple chunks.

Mix desired fruits in a bowl.

Add in drained pineapples.

Mix the pineapple juice with the vanilla pudding.

Then pour over the fruit.


I know, it is very simple.

And very good.

Nothing like a good fruit salad on a summer day!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back in the Swing of Things Menu

It is time for me to go back.  My summer vacation, break, what is the word I am looking for here? is over.

Like that, it is done.



It is time to get back to regular life.

Just in case you wonder, this is called "New Year's" for teachers.

Everyone else's life starts "over" on January 1.

Not so for teachers.

It is more mid-August (at least around here).

Anyway, on to the menu.

I am going to make every effort to cook most days this week.  Since I am in in-service rather than on my feet, maybe I won't be too tired.  Next week, I may be too tired to eat...

Sunday:  Pizza (out)
Monday:  Skillet potatoes and sausage, carrots/Ranch, rolls
Tuesday:  Crockpot honey chicken (new recipe), Basmati rice, Oriental salad, garlic bread
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes, Sweet potato fries
Thursday: On Your Own night (I will be at Open House)
Friday:  Shakes and Popcorn (Per Kid's Request)
Saturday:  Grilled Shrimp Boil Kabobs, Katie bread, probably a dessert of some kind

Not many new recipes this week, but I still have some from last week to share.  

What is for dinner at your house this week?

PS I did pretty good sticking to the menu last week. We did swap out an On Your Own night for pancakes and bacon one night, so we had OYO night the next night rather than Taco Pasta. I am going to put that off for next week...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grilled Swai

As you know, we discovered Swai this past year. And it has quickly become a favorite. Well, with most of it. I have one who isn't keen on any fish.  But the rest of us love it. And it is cheap. And easy.  That makes me love it even more.

Recently, a FB friend of mine mentioned that he had grilled Swai. We have pan fried it and baked it but never grilled it.

Since our grilling season will wind down soon, I thought tonight was a good night to try.

Oh, yum.

Even my non fish eater ate some of it.

Apple Wood Chips (soaked)

Swai (we had 6 filets)

Olive Oil

Lawry's Seasoned Salt

After soaking the wood chips, place them in the bottom of your grill. I actually bought a metal box that is made for wood chips.  It worked wonderfully.

Heat up the chips. (350 degrees)

Be prepared. Your yard will smell SOOOOO good.

Brush the Swai with olive oil and then sprinkle some seasoned salt.  I did it very lightly so it wouldn't be too salty.

Put the swai on the other end of the grill (no heat below it) and close the lid.  After about 10 minutes, flip the swai over.  Brush with more olive oil or sprinkle with more seasoned salt if desired.  Note:  Use a large spatula to flip it. If you try using tongs, the fish WILL fall apart.

Grill for about 10 more minutes, until the fish flakes easily.


We ate ours with almond rice pilaf, French bread, and a salad.

The only sad thing is there were no leftovers for me for lunch tomorrow. :(


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Sensation

 I needed a dessert to make for a church event. I wanted something I could make ahead of time. Instead of heading over to Pinterest this time, though, I headed to my kitchen cabinet and pulled out our family cookbook.  I browsed desserts and settled on this one...
 Chocolate chip sensation.
Chocolate chips, cream cheese, chocolate pudding.

How could I go wrong?

This dessert is very similar to Brownie Delight and Oreo Layer Dessert

But if I am completely honest, this one is my favorite of the three.

Oh, I like the others.

But chocolate chip cookies...yum.

That would be a weakness of mine.

Oh, this recipe is courtesy of my cousin Doug and his wife Tammy from Michigan. 

1 package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (This time I used whipped rather than a "block")

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 container Cool Whip

1 pint half and half

1 package instant chocolate pudding

mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375. 

Flatten cookie dough (this takes a little armwork) onto a 15 inch pizza pan. Since I was transporting mine, I put it into a 9 x 13 glass dish that had been prayed instead. I needed a deeper dish than a pizza pan. Run knife or spatula under crust.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375.

Let the cookie cool for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and the powdered sugar.  Set aside.

Combine the half and half and pudding.  Whisk together then set aside to set.

Spread cream cheese mixture over the cookie crust.

Spread the pudding mixture on top of the cream cheese.

Top with Cool Whip.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Roast Beef in Gravy

I have other recipes to post, but I want to post this one right now while the taste is fresh on the tip of my tongue.


My friend Julie had posted this recipe on her FB. I also found it on Pinterest and had even pinned it. But it was Julie's recommendation that motivated me to put it on the menu.


And easy.

I put this in my crockpot right before lunch and by dinner, the house smelled good (which was nice since earlier today I burned a Pop-Tart in the microwave due to a number malfunction). And my stomach was growling.

Then, just as if that wasn't torture enough, Hubby was a little later than usual getting home.

At that point, I was ready to just pop the lid off the crockpot and chow down.

Yet, like a good wife/mom, I waited.

And it was worth it.

Thanks for sharing, Julie!  We WILL be having this again!

Roast (I used an arm roast which we got with our "half a cow")...about 3-4 pounds.  3 pounds was just the right size for us...there is just a smidgen left thanks to a really hungry teenager)

1 envelope Ranch dressing mix (the powder, not made)

1 envelope brown gravy mix

1 envelope Italian dressing mix

1/2 cup warm water

I really think you can just mix the mixes and the water together and pour it over the thawed roast in the crockpot.

I also read you could sprinkle the mixes on the meat then add the water.

I did it that way.

I really don't think it matters.  

However you do it, cook on low for 6-8 hours.  You could probably cook on high for 3-4. I don't know...I haven't tried it on high.

But I do know with the low, around 6 was just right.

And it was good stuff.

We ate it with potatoes, rolls, and carrots and Ranch.

BIG hit.

And easy to boot.

We will be having this again.



Saturday, August 4, 2012

Da Menu...

Here is da menu for da week. :)

Saturday:  Pizza (using homemade pizza crust...I made the white cheese it!)
Sunday:  Quinoa with chicken (new recipe), salad, garlic bread
Monday:  Roast beef (crock pot- new recipe), potatoes romanoff, dinner rolls, carrots and Ranch
Tuesday:  On your own night
Wednesday:  Buttercream chicken, angel hair pasta, some kind of bread, salad
Thursday: Taco pasta (new recipe)
Friday:  Belated birthday dinner with my parents and sister/family
Saturday:  Grilled Swai (new recipe), basmati rice, carrots/Ranch, garlic knots

This week I had to make a few changes due to my birthday outing with hubby.  Also, we were craving pizza, so we had that tonight rather than later next week.

I still have a recipe or two to share but it won't be today.

I am slowly getting back into the grind...the school grind that is.

What are you having for dinner this week?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chicken Pillow Pockets

Recently my friend Carol, a faithful reader and commenter as well as a fellow lover of food, shared a recipe with me. She had made it for her family and thought I might like to try it.  The funny thing is I had pinned it once upon a time on Pinterest which means I was definitely interested.  I just hadn't gotten around to making it.

This past week, I finally did.

They reminded me of a fancier version of the "hot pockets" I make on occasion.  And when I say fancier, I mean even tastier.


The sauce was just yum.

I had only one child turn her nose up at it, yet it is the same child who totally shuns the hot pockets I make. So that wasn't a total surprise.

As for me, I loved it.

1 package of 8 crescent rolls (I used light)

8 oz cream cheese (I used light)

1/4 cup butter (Guess what...I used light :)

2-3 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I just boiled some frozen tenderloins then shredded)

1 egg

1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crushed

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup milk

2 spoonfuls of sour cream (I did use light but they were also heaping spoons :)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (yes, light again)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Soften butter and cream cheese (I just set out about half an hour before).  Stir together to a smooth consistency.  Add in cooked/shredded chicken.

Lay out the crescents and stretch out. Instead of triangles, I pinched the seams and rolled our rectangles, then I cut the rectangles in half to make squares. Does that make sense?

Spread two spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the middle of the crescent roll squares.

Bring in the corners, pinching together any holes and seams.  It should look like a little pillow.

Take the egg and add a little bit of water (maybe 2 Tbsp) in a separate bowl.  Mix together.

Dip the pillows into the egg then into the Saltine crumbs.

Place on a cookie sheet or baking dish.

Cook the "pillows" for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

While the "pillows" cook, create the sauce by mixing together the cream of chicken soup and the milk to a desired consistency.  At the end, add in the sour cream and cheese.

Pour over the "pillows".

Then enjoy!