Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Month of Menus

How did I get behind posting the menus for a whole month?

I know your life has been incomplete just waiting for me to do so.

Don't let me disappoint. :)

Week of April 7
Monday:  Pancakes/bacon
Wednesday:  OYO (on your own)
Thursday:   Korean beef, honey rolls, carrots, basmati rice
Friday:  Pork chops in gravy with potatoes, carrots, leftover rolls (I am pretty sure we had something different since we ended up having this the next week but I can't remember what we did have...)
Saturday:  Popcorn/shaved ice (I don't think we really had that but I cannot remember what we had!)

Week of April 14
Sunday: Tacos, salsa, chips, refried beans
Wednesday:  OYO
Thursday:   Pepperoni rolls
Friday:  Swai, angel hair pasta, carrots, Rhodes loaf
Saturday:  Hot dogs/hamburgers, cole slaw, nachos, dessert- birthday cake with buttercream frosting...yum!

 Week of April 21

Monday:  Waffles, bacon
Tuesday: Fried rice ( with chicken, bacon, shrimp), cheese stuffed rolls
Wednesday:  OYO           
Thursday:   Roasted chicken, carrots/Ranch, Rhodes loaf, new potatoes with white sauce,
Friday:  OYO          
Saturday:  Pizza (herbed crust, one "meaty", one 4 cheese)

Week of April 28
Sunday:  Church lunch
Monday: OYO
Tuesday: Hamburger gravy over biscuits, hashbrowns, fruit
Wednesday:  Chicken spaghetti, cheese bread (new recipe), carrots/Ranch
Thursday:  Baked potato soup, French bread/dipping oil
Friday:  Shakes and Popcorn
Saturday:  Not sure yet. :)

I am sure you are breathing a sigh of relief now.  

I am.

I am caught up. :)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Roasted Chicken Thighs

I saw this recipe on Pinterest not long ago and thought it looked fairly easy and very good.  I actually bought the chicken a few weeks ago to make it then our menu got mixed up so I stuck them in the freezer.

Until yesterday.

I pulled them out and let them defrost in the fridge (then in the microwave for a little while). 

I didn't get to "marinate" as long as I should have (which is what happens when you forget to read over a new recipe the night before), but it worked.

And it was simple.

And good.

My picky eater walked through and actually jumped for joy seeing the chicken.  "That is REAL chicken, Mama!"  I guess the fact that there was even skin made it more real?


8 chicken thighs (bones/skin included)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 lemon juiced (or about 1/4 a cup of lemon juice)

Salt and pepper

1-2 tbsp grainy mustard (I used "spicy mustard")

2-4 tbsp honey


Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the chicken.  (I used a ziplock)  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven at 375 for about 25 minutes (or a little longer if you didn't defrost in time :) with the skin down.

After 25 minutes, flip chicken over and return to oven for about 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the mustard/honey.  I used about 2 Tbsp mustard and 4 Tbsp honey.  

Remove from oven and brush the mustard/honey on top of the chicken.

Broil for about 5 more minutes.


We ate ours with potatoes with white sauce, carrots/Ranch, and a Rhodes bread loaf.

It was enjoyed by all.

I will be making this again.  (And next time, I will "marinate" it a little longer...)


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Graham Crackers

The other day, a co-worker at school was having a milestone birthday.  We were asked to bring snack foods.  If you know me at all, I don't typically just drop by the grocery store.  I try to go once a week.  That is it.

And this past week was particularly busy.  And exhausting.

What to do, what to do...

I remembered reading a recipe I found via Pinterest using graham crackers. I have lots of graham crackers. That sounded promising.  But when I looked at it, I was short an ingredient or two.

I considered making the brownie bites with peanut butter frosting.  But, alas, there was no cream cheese in the house (how did I let that happen?).

So I did a Google search and found just what I needed.

Chocolate caramel graham crackers.  

Quick, easy, and I had all of the ingredients needed.

I don't know that I totally agree with the title. It had more of a toffee taste to me than a caramel.  But otherwise, it was right on...and delicious too!

12 (or so) graham crackers (the sheets)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (3/4 cup)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans but almonds, walnuts, and probably even peanuts would be good)

Pre-heat oven to 375.

Line a cookie sheet (15 x 10) with aluminum foil.

Line the bottom of the cookie sheet with graham crackers, breaking apart when needed.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter.  Add the brown sugar.  Stir constantly (for about 5 months) until it thickens.

Add in the salt.

Pour over the graham crackers, spreading evenly.  Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until mixture is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and evenly pour chocolate chips over the top.

Return to oven for 2-3 minutes (until chocolate chips are VERY soft).

Remove from oven and use a spatula or a frosting spreader to spread the melted/soft chocolate over the top of the brown sugar mixture.

Press chopped nuts into the top.

Let cool.  (I put it in the fridge overnight to help it set).

Remove foil from the back of the crackers and break into pieces.

Then enjoy!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pork Chops and Potatoes with Gravy

 I saw this on Pinterest not long ago and thought it seemed like a good recipe to try. Gravy, potatoes, meat, and all in one dish.  Perfect.

Finally this week, I gave it a try.

And it was delicious.

Like really good.

I wanted to eat it all.

Even my picky little eaters chowed down on it.

We will be having this again...

(Note:  I followed the original recipe fairly closely though I changed things up just slightly...)

4 Thick boneless porkchops (I used 5 and some did have bones...)

1 egg

2 Tbsp milk


2 Tbsp oil for frying pork chops

5 potatoes, sliced thin (honestly, I think three would have been enough...I sliced pretty thin)

1 stick of butter (I used unsalted)

1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup flour

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream (I was actually out so I used an additional 3/4 cup milk and an extra 1/4 cup butter which is a substitute for heavy cream according to my research)

1 envelope onion soup (I usually use a homemade version but I actually had a Lipton's version I used this time)

1 medium onion chopped (or pureed if you leave them in the food processor too long...)

1 cup (more or less to taste) mushrooms. I used just a few. I love mushrooms.  Most people I live with don't and they did complain about the few I used...

2 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 350.

The original recipe has you start the pork chops first, but I started the gravy first to make sure it thickened.

To make the gravy:  In a saucepan, melt the stick of butter.  Add in 1/4 cup flour.  Stir in the milk and heavy cream.  Stir often.  When it has thickened, add in the onion soup mix.  I then removed it from the heat.

While I was waiting for the gravy to thicken, I worked on the pork chops.

Add some oil to a skillet.

Mix the egg and 2 Tbsp milk in a shallow bowl, and place the 1/2 cup flour with salt and pepper to taste in another bowl.

Dip each pork chop in the egg mixture then the flour mixture. 

Add to skillet, browning each side for a few minutes.

Once the pork chops were ready, I started assembling...

Place the browned pork chops in the bottom of a large casserole dish or Dutch oven.

Add layer of mushrooms/onions (if desired).

Layer sliced potatoes on top. 

Then pour the gravy over the top.  (This is out of order from the original recipe)

Bake for about an hour and a half.  About thirty minutes into it, I did cover the casseroled dish with aluminum foil)


We ate ours with carrots/Ranch and leftover yeast rolls.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Honey Yeast Rolls

I just made these for the third or fourth time and have yet to actually blog about them.

Tonight is the night.

If I can keep from falling asleep anyway.

Not that I bore myself.

I am just in a state of fatigue all of the time this week.

Tonight we ate Korean Beef over rice, a family favorite.

A few Korean Beefs ago, I discovered a recipe for honey yeast rolls.

That seemed like the perfect match for this dish.

And it was.

The first time I made them, they were a little heavy.

I am still not sure what I did wrong.

The next time they were better.

And tonight they were even better.

I guess I am finally figuring it out.

My kids actually cheer when I make these...

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 cup warm water (not too hot, not too cold)

1/4 cup honey

3 Tbsp canola oil (I used olive today)

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, lightly beaten (unless you are like me and just throw the raw egg into the dough mixture)

3 to 4 cups bread flour (I used 3 1/2 today)

2 Tbsp melted butter (topping)

2 Tbsp honey (topping)

Combine the yeast and warm water.

I let it sit for just a minute. Usually I wait five minutes but I was crunched for time today.

Add in the honey, oil, salt, and egg. 

You can do all of this with an electric mixer.

If you know me at all, you know I just knead/mix by hand.  Wearing a rubber glove.

Add in the flour a cup at a time.

At about three cups, it was almost right.  I added about 1/2 cup more.

It will still be a slightly sticky dough at this point.

When it is kneaded thoroughly, cover and let rise for 2 hours.

Unless you are crunched for time like I was today.

Then you stick it in the oven (on warm) and let it rise for an hour or so.

Once it has doubled in size (or close to it in my rush this afternoon), knead the dough.

Ideally, you would let it rest for 10 minutes.

Unless you are trying to beat the dinner deadline.

Then you would just go ahead and divide it into about 12 portions and roll into balls.

Which is obviously what I did.

Grease a round pan (9 or 10 inch). 

Place the balls in the pan.

Let rise covered for 20-30 minutes.

I put them on top of my stove (while I cooked some other things) and went ahead and preheated the oven to 400 to give a little warmth.

Brush with the butter/honey and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool slightly before serving.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I needed a dessert for a teacher meal at Child 1's school.

I needed something easy to transport.

Something I could make ahead of time.

Something I could get several servings from.

And something chocolatey of course.

Because what kind of dessert isn't chocolatey? :)

I had pinned a recipe for brownie cupcakes on Pinterest.  And it looked yummy.

However, the frosting looked a bit too much for me.

I brainstormed other toppings (and by brainstorming I mean "Googled" :).

Then I happened upon this recipe.

Just what I was looking for.

I had to adjust a little (due to differences in measurements).  Once again, I was thankful for Google to help me convert grams to ounces.  And Celsius to Fahrenheit.

I don't know that I got it perfect.

But I do know that what came out of the oven and went into my mouth was oh so yummy.

I taste tested one of the "brownie cupcakes".

Then later I taste tested it with the peanut butter frosting.

Both delish.

Even the hubby who doesn't typically do a lot of chocolate with peanut butter raved about it.

Unfortunately for us, since these were for teachers, we only got one.  (And each kid got one)

I think I will be making these again soon.  For us.

Ingredients (Brownie Cupcakes):
1/3 cup butter (I used unsalted)

1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (if you use the squares, that would be three squares. And I totally forgot to chop it :)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup cane sugar (granulated)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

Directions (Brownie Cupcakes):
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a regular (around 10) or mini (around 30 ) muffin tin with liners.  I did the mini. I honestly don't know if I could have eaten a regular size one even as good as they are. That would be REALLY rich!

Sift flour.  Set aside.  Okay, totally forgot to do that part. But it was fine.

Melt butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate in a double broiler. Or if you are like me, put it in a microwavable bowl/measuring cup.  Put it in the microwave for a minute.  Take out and stir.  Return for another 30 seconds, then stir again.  Continue until the chocolate and butter are melted.  That was about 1 minute 30 seconds in all.  Note:  The original recipe called for only melting 1/2 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Oops. I totally missed that and melted all of them. :)

Transfer butter mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Add in the brown and cane sugars.

Whisk/stir one egg at a time into the mixture.

Add in flour, vanilla, and salt.  If you didn't add all of the semi-sweet chips (like I already did), add the rest now.

Mix.  Divide into the muffin liners, filling about 3/4 full.  I used a "cookie" scoop for this part.

Bake for around 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.

As the cupcakes cool, prepare the peanut butter frosting.

Ingredients (Frosting):
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

1/2 cup butter (room temperature).  Again, I used unsalted.

1 cup creamy peanut butter

chopped peanuts (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients OTHER THAN the chopped salted peanuts with a mixer.

Spread or pipe onto the brownies once they have cooled off.

Top with chopped peanuts if desired.

We stored ours in the fridge.

Well, the ones we didn't eat anyway. :)


PS:  I ended up with leftover frosting, so I have been putting a little bit on graham crackers topped with a few chocolate chips.  Not quite the same as the brownie cupcake, but it works for me.  :)