Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sticking to the menu?

Ok, so this past week, I tried to stay on the plan for meals, but ended up only eating 1 or 2 items. The week b/4 I made sloppy joes. I forgot how much this makes, so we ate on it for many meals after. Also, I made the sausage spaghetti casserole & still have some in the frig for tomorrows lunch. Next time I plan these two meals, I will save 1/2 of each & freeze them for later meals. I am posting the Sloppy Joes recipe as well as dip recipe we had tonight at small group.

Sloppy Joes from the Ultimate Southern Living cookbook

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef*
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 sm. green pepper, chopped
1 (10 3/4oz) can tomato soup (undiluted)
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. prepared mustard
1/8 t. garlic powder

Cook 1st 3 ingred. in large skillet, drain fat. Stir in Soup & next 6 ingred. Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Serve w/ hamburger buns or chips.

* If cooking mass amounts of hamburger for bulk/freezer cooking, 1 pound of cooked burger is equal to 2 cups. You'll need 3 cups cooked beef for this recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1- fully cooked rotissirie chicken
1- 8oz brick Cream cheese, softened
1 c. Ranch dressing ( I used Kroger brand & it was fine)
1/2 c. Red Hot (Buffalo sauce)
shredded cheese
Celery sticks/chips/sliced baguette bread for dipping

Dice up as much chicken as you can get from the bones & put in microwave safe bowl. Add cream cheese, ranch dressing, & Red Hot & mix. Put in microwave for 7 minutes or until hot/bubbly throughout. Stir once during the middle & when done. Top w/ shredded cheese & serve w/ celery sticks/chips/ or bread.

I usually make ahead of time & store in my mini crock to heat up later.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wow! This has been a busy week of getting the boys back to school & me starting a new job. It is the 1st paying job I've had since my State Farm job 6 years ago. I've had to make some adjustments...trying to get all my mommy duties done w/in the day. I couldn't have done it w/o planning my meals. Here is a list of what I'd planned for this week.

Sun: fried pork chops,scalloped potatoes & pears
Mon: French fri casserole,green beans & peaches
Tue: leftovers( I was exhausted)
Wed: Tuna burgers, peas, & grapes
Thur: Stomboli w/ sauce, asparagus (family did not like this), & banana
Fri: Sloppy Joes w/ pickles & chips
Sat: Grilled Chicken, potatoes&onions-grilled, fruit, & bread

Next weeks menu will be:

Sun: leftovers for lunch
Itallian sausage spaghetti, salad, & fruit
Mon: leftovers
Tue: Chicken casserole, peas, fruit
Wed: sausage links & homemade mac & cheese, fruit, veg
Thur: leftovers
Fri: homemade pizza, veg, fruit
Sat: leftovers/sandwiches for lunch
chicken tenders, potatoes, & fruit

Before figuring out what we would be having these 2 weeks, I sat down & wrote out everything my family likes. Then from there, I filled in my monthly calendar.(I plan meals a month at a time). I then shopped my pantry to see what I would still need. Luckily, I had most of week 2 food in my freezer/pantry so I won't have to buy much at the store. Also, I don't always stick to my planned meal for a certain day. I am fairly flexible w/in the week, but try not to stray from the plan by ordering pizza/take out.

Ok, think that's it for now...till next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Slow-Roasted Summer Tomatoes

So everytime we head to Minnesota, my mom & I ALWAYS stop at a Byerly's grocery store. We LOVE this store & especially their pastries! Also, they have quarterly complimentary food magazines. This recipe is from that mag.

12 tomatoes
20 cloves (yes, 20)
5 large thyme sprigs
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Place a lg pot of water on the stove & bring to boil.

Fill large bowl or sink basin w/ ice water.

Using a paring knife, core tomatoe & cut a small x in bottom of each tomato.

Place tomatoes in boiling water, wait for 2 minutes till the skill starts to come off, then place the tomatoes in the ice water to cool. Once tomatoes are cool, peel off the skin & set aside.

Next, cut tomatoes in 1/2 at the equator of the tomato. Remove all the pulp & seeds & place in a bowl. (this can be saved for tomato sauce)

Spread the olive oil on a lg cookie tray & place tomatoes flat-side down on the tray. Sprinkle w/ fresh thyme & crushed garlic & season w/ S&P. Roast in oven at 180-200 degrees for 10-12 hrs or 7-8 hrs if using a convection oven. (like over night) The tomatoes are done when they are done, like fresh apricots.

Allow tomatoes to cool. Slip them into sturdy zipper-top freezer bags, press out the extra air, & freeze. (Save the oil from pan for salads*)

The uses for these roasted tomatoes are nearly endless. They make a great side dish alongside roasted meats, a perfect pizza or bruschetta topping, can be cut up for a quick pasta sauce, or added to lasagna. If you want individual plated appetizers consider garnishing a roasted tomato half w/ a bit of fresh mozzarella & a basil leaf drizzled w/ evoo, good balsamic vinegar, or a simple vinaigrette.**

* I kept some of the garlic to make a garlic butter for steak. Can't wait to try it!
** I doubled the recipe & had 40 cloves of garlic. Let's just house smelled of garlic for a good day.

These are delicious! 2 trays made approx. 2 quart size freezer bags.