Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I kind of just made this up, so bare with me.
1 ham bone
Rice (I used a Rice Sides packet)
1. Put your left over ham bone into a pot and fill the pot with water until bone is mostly covered with water. Put on heat to boil.
2. Meanwhile start cutting up your potatoes, leftover ham, and carrots. After the water has begun to boil you can add the potatoes and carrots (they take longer to cook). Your rice made need to go in towards the beginning depending on how long it needs to cook. The rice packet I used was Butter & Herb so I didn't really need to add any other seasonings Also, don't forget to add whatever leftover ham you feel like.
3. Feel free to play around with the vegetables you add. Pick and choose your favorites. You can even add some of your favorite beans (kidney, black, etc.). Your main concern is letting your bone boil long enough to really season the water and veggies. Once you've let it boil long enough (I boiled mine for about a half an hour) you can remove the bone and let the soup simmer until you are ready to eat.
There is this great website out there called “Food Storage Made Easy”. They have got a great e-book that helps you get on the road to being prepared for a disaster (i.e. food storage, water storage, 72 hour kits, etc.). They also have great tips each week on different subjects that fall under these categories.
They have recently been having a Spring Party. The best part, the Party Favor! They have compiled a recipe book with TONS of good recipes that include ingredients right from your pantry. Not only that, but it is free! Here is a link to their blog and the free download!
Make sure to take a look around their website and see all of the great things that they have to offer!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
1 medium onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp salt
Finely chop onion and parsley. Combine beef, onion, parsley, pressed garlic, and salt. Mix well. Separate into patties and grill!
6 cups tortilla chips
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tbsp Jamaican Jerk Rub, divided
1 small yellow or red bell pepper or combination
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange tortilla chips in an overlapping layer on pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine chicken, cheese, and 1 tbsp of the rub; mix gently. Sprinkle chicken mixture evenly over tortilla chips. Bake 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted; remove from oven.
3. Meanwhile, dice bell pepper. Cut lime in half crosswise. Juice half of the lime into a small bowl. Add bell pepper and remaining rub and mix well.
4. Snip cilantro and set aside. Slice remaining lime half thinly and cut slices in half.
5. Spoon bell pepper mixture over nachos; sprinkle evenly with cilantro. Serve with sour cream and garnish with the lime slices.
Jamaican Jerk Rub is available through Pampered Chef. It is amazing!!!! If you want to make this without the rub I’m sure it will still be super yummy!
Thank you Grandma! :)
3 cups Flour
3 Tbsp Veggie oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1. Mix all ingredients with a fork. Once a ball is formed knead with hand a few times. Let it rest 5-10 minutes.
2. Pinch off dough just larger than a golf ball. Roll out extremely thin and round.
3. Cook on a hot ungreased griddle or pan. First one side until golden, then the other.
Thank you Patty Green!
1 – 24 oz. pkg Frozen Hashbrowns
10 eggs, beaten
1 lb cooked meat (sausage, bacon, or ham)
1/2 Tbsp Salt
1 cup shredded cheese
1. Preheat oven tot 350 degrees
2. Spread the bag of hashbrowns evenly in a 9x13 pan. Pour the eggs over the potatoes. Spread the pound of meat over that, then the cheese.
3. Cover with foil and back at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
This is a meal that you can prepare beforehand and store in the fridge easily until you are ready to stick it in the oven.
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
6 tbsp butter
1 cup flour
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Place butter in a 9x12 cake pan. Melt butter in preheating oven. Watch closely! You don’t want it to go too long and catch on fire.
3. Mix remaining ingredients. Once butter is completely melted pour in your batter. DO NOT STIR!
4. Bake for 18 minutes
You still need to watch this kind of closely. I’ve had it rise clear to the top of my oven before. You might want to lower your oven rack. I usually do now.
Very good with Maple syrup, or fruit and whipped cream!
Thank you to Valerie for this one! One of my all-time favorites!
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked and diced
1 box Long Grain and Wild Rice (6 oz) with seasoning packet
1 Gala Apple, cored and choped (or your favorite kind)
6 Green Onions, chopped
2 large ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Prepare Rice according to box.
2. Meanwhile, chop all of the rest of the ingredients.
3. Mix together and enjoy! :)
This is good both warm and cold. Store in an air tight container for 1-2 days.
1 pkg Doritos (I like using Nacho Cheesier, but you can play around with your favorites)
1 can of olives, sliced
5 chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 lb cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can green chilies
1. Lightly line pan with Doritos.
2. Mix olives, onions, soups, chicken, and chilies together in bowl. Pour mixture in layers with cheese and chip layers in between.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.
1 can cream of Chicken Soup
1 large container of Sour Cream (16 oz)
1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix
3 lb bag of chicken breasts (or the amount that fits in your Crock-pot)
1. Mix soup, sour cream, and Italian dressing well
2. Pour in Chicken and flip to coat
3. Cook 5-6 hours on high
Really good served over noodles!
OHHHH So Good! :) Thank you Valerie Jones!
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pimiento stuffed green olives (I’ve never used these)
1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini salad peppers (never used these either…)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small clove garlic minced
1 tsp dry Italian Dressing (in the same area of the store as all of the dressings. You can buy it in packets and then keep the extra in an air tight container or ziplock bag.
3 oz ham, diced
3 oz salami, diced
1 1/2 cups provolone cheese
Pizza Crust – No Fail Dough Recipe!
1. In a small mixing bowl stir together celery, olives, peppers, olive oil, garlic, and salad dressing mix. Cover and chill overnight (I’ve never done this)
2. Stir ham, salami, and cheese into olive mixture. Spoon atop pizza crust.
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes
You can also buy a pre-baked pizza shell. Then just bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the toppings are heated through (i.e. Cheese is melted)
It’s not as healthy, but oh so good! Just make sure you have your portion control and get your veggies in with a salad or something.
Turkey is a healthy alternative to beef. I know the applesauce sounds a little weird, but try it before you completely dismiss it!
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup chunky applesauce
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Mix all of the ingredients together
2. Portion off into patties and fry/grill up.
When cooking with a crock-pot there are some rules you need to follow.
1. Leave the lid on!!! Sometimes you’ll find people like to lift the lid to peek at what is cooking or to get a good whiff of it. Every time you open the lid you need to add an additional 15 minutes of cooking time. When the lid is opened on a crock-pot you lose too much of your heat.
2. When you are going to cook on LOW heat you need to turn the crock-pot on HIGH for the first while so that it can quickly get up to the correct temperature. I’m not sure on the exact time, but I would say at least 15 minutes. Then you can turn it back to LOW as planned. Otherwise your food temperature won’t get in the safe zone quick enough.
I’m sure I will add more rules as I remember them.
2 cans Condensed Cream of Chicken soup
1 1/2 cups water
4 large carrots, thickly sliced
1 package (6 oz) seasoned long-grain/wild rice
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1. Mix soup, water, carrots, rice, and seasoning packet in 3 1/2 qt. slow cooker.
2. Add Chicken and turn to coat
3. Cook on LOW 7-8 hours or on HIGH 4-5 Hours. Make sure to measure the temperature of the meat! (170 Degrees)
Courtesy of Valerie Jones! (LOVE YOU!!!)
This makes two pans. You could freeze one for a later date, or it would be a good recipe to make for your family and a neighbor. (Unless you need two pans, then this is perfect!)
5-6 Chicken Breasts cooked and diced
1 4 0z can of diced green chilies
2-3 cups grated Cheddar/Monterey Cheese
1 onion diced
3 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Mix soup and sour cream together for sauce. Place some of each ingredient on tortilla with a spoonful of sauce. (Spread on the sauce before putting the ingredients on). Roll up tortilla and place in pan with seam sided down.
2. Once pan is full, sprinkle with cheese and pour on remaining sauce.
3. Back at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Some great additional toppings are tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, olives, and corn chips.
YUM! Pampered Chef!
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 medium onion
1/2 cup very finely crushed authentic restaurant-style tortilla chips
1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp Chipotle Rub (Your Favorite Spicy Seasoning)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 egg (I’m wondering if 2 will work better. I’ll let you know)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1. Finely chop pepper and onion. Place chips into large resealable plastic bag; very finely crush to measure 1/2 cup crumbs. combine ketchup with rub in another bowl. In larger bowl combine pepper, onion, tortilla chip crumbs, 3/4 cup of the ketchup mixture, beef, egg and 1 cup of the cheese: mix well.
2. Place meat mixture in pan (Use 2 loaf pans, or a large baking dish) and bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for 65-70 minutes. Brush with sauce 15 minutes before end of bake time.
3. Sprinkle remaining cheese over meat loaf: cover and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle cilantro over meat loaf if desired.
If you have a covered baker you can also cook this in the microwave. It will need to be cooked on HIGH for 14-17 minutes, then brushed with the extra sauce and microwaved for 3-5 more minutes or until your thermometer reads 160 degrees
Pampered Chef Favorite!
3 large baking potatoes
3 1/2 cups milk,divided
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter
2-3 green onions with tops
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 tsp salt
Optional Toppings such as chopped cooked bacon, sour cream or steamed broccoli florets are great!
1. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and place in microwave dish. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk over the potatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 11 minutes. Remove dish from microwave. Move center potatoes to ends of dish and outer potatoes to center. Cover: microwave on HIGH 8-11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove dish from microwave. Coarsely mash potatoes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add remaining 3 cups of milk (add a little mix it. add a little mix it) until smooth. Add cream cheese mixture and butter to potatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until mixture is hot. Slice green onions.
3. Carefully remove dish from microwave. Grate cheddar cheese over chowder, add green onions, salt and pepper and mix. until cheese is melted. Serve with toppings.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Pampered Chef Favorite (changed a little)!
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 jar (7 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, undrained (I like to use fresh plum/cherry tomatoes instead)
3 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth (5.25 cups)
1 lb uncooked penne pasta
1 head broccoli (2 cups small florets)
2 medium carrots peeled
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
Grated Fresh Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil (optional)
1. Slice or press garlic (if you don’t have the tools you can smash your garlic cloves by pressing them with the flat side of your butcher’s knife. Just use the heel of your hand and press it with a rocking motion). Place garlic and 1 tbsp oil from sun-dried tomatoes into stockpot (use 1 Tbsp of another oil if using fresh tomatoes). Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until garlic is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add broth. Return to burner; increase heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Add pasta; cover and simmer vigorously 8-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked but still firm, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets; place into bowl. cut carrots in half lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise on a bias. Drain tomatoes; pad dry and slice into thin strips.
3. cut cream cheese into cubes. Add vegetables, cream cheese, salt and pepper to pasta; stir until cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook an additional 204 minutes or until vegetables are tender. If desired, top with Parmesan cheese and basil.
You can also add grilled turkey, Italian sausage or sliced grilled chicken breasts to the pasta.
Pampered Chef Recipe
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (I usually leave this out)
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 medium onion (about 2/3 cup chopped)
1 can (28 oz) enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
1. Chop cilantro and set aside. Microwave your cream cheese on high 30-45 seconds or until very soft. Add cilantro and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese; mix well. Chop onion and set aside. Spread 2/3 cup of the enchilada sauce over bottom of your dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce into mixing bowl and set aside.
2. To assemble lasagna, dip for tortillas into enchilada sauce in mixing bowl and arrange over sauce in dish, overlapping is necessary. Scoop half of the cream cheese mixture over tortillas and spread. Top with 1 cup of the chicken and one-third of the onion. Repeat layers on time. Dip remaining four tortillas into sauce and arrange over second layer. Top with remaining chicken and onion. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over lasagna and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
3. Microwave, covered, on high 12-15 minutes or until center is hot. Let stand 10 minutes.
I have yet to try this recipe in the oven. If you don’t an appropriate dish for the microwave then I would suggest using your oven and covering your dish with tinfoil (DO NOT use tinfoil in the microwave!) Where all of your meat is cooked you mainly need to bake it until heated through. 425 degrees for 30 minutes should work. Take a look at it around 30 minutes and gauge it from there. I will try it in the oven next time I make it to double check.
A meat thermometer is a very important tool to have around. It can keep you from getting sick and also save your meat from having to be overcooked. Here are your temperature rules!
145 Degrees - Beef, lamb & veal steaks and roasts, medium rare (medium – 160 degrees)
160 Degrees – Ground beef, ground pork, ground veal, and ground lamb. Pork chops, ribs & roasts, egg dishes
165 Degrees – Ground turkey & chicken. Stuffing and casseroles. Leftovers
170 Degrees – Chicken and turkey breasts
180 Degrees – Chicken and turkey whole bird, legs, thighs and wings
This is one of my favorite easy recipes.
Chicken (however much you need to serve your family)
Italian Dressing (your favorite)
That’s it, really!
I throw much chicken in my skillet and cover with the dressing. If you want to be healthier then use only enough to coat the chicken. I’ve also heard of people using the dressing as a marinade and letting it soak all day before dinner. Cook it over med-high heat until your meat thermometer reads 170 degrees (or until you feel comfortable with it). I usually cook mine covered and move around every now and again so that you don’t burn anything.
I like to serve this with wild and long grain rice. There are multiple brands that you can get in any grocery store that are easy to prepare in your microwave while you chicken is cooking. (Uncle Ben’s and Rice-a-Roni are both great!)
I was given the opportunity recently to go to a special meeting. The Food Nanny, Liz Edmunds, was going to spend the evening with us talking about her book and her inspired menu plan. It was a wonderful meeting. It's got me very excited about dinner time and the possibilities that are just waiting for me to take a hold of them.
Liz has worked out some great ideas. I've had the pleasure of reviewing many different meal plan ideas (lots of them through the Pampered Chef and other books out there) and I have to say that her's has got me the most excited. She has picked a category/theme for each day of the week. For me this makes things so much easier to narrow down what we are going to have. Here they are:
Monday - Comfort Food
The first day of the week is usually the hardest day of the week. It is the farthest from the weekend and can sometimes seem pretty bleak. Foods on this day should include favorites that don't appear on the other days of the week. Things like casseroles, Mac 'n Cheese, Soups, Meat Loaf etc. This is also the only day that has a planned dessert.
Tuesday - Italian
Wednesday - Fish/Meatless (Also includes Breakfast for Dinner)
Nutritionist have told us that it is important to have fresh fish 2 times a week. This can get pretty expensive and isn't very feasible for those of us that are still living on a pretty small budget. Liz suggested that we aim for a fish meal once a month. We have also been told that it is important to have at least one meatless dinner a week. Putting 'Breakfast for Dinner' allows us to spend a little less money (breakfast is made pretty cheap) plus it's really good.
Thursday - Mexican
Friday - Pizza Night
Liz stressed the importance of having a pizza night every week. It is usually a family favorite and is a fun food to bond around. She gave us a very easy dough recipe that was mixed up and ready to go in 5 minutes (it is successful even when you don't let it rest/rise). This is the No Fail Pizza dough recipe I have shared.
Saturday - Grill Night
This can be fun during the summer. It can also be a meal that your hubby is in charge of. Once it is too cold or wet you can still grill things inside on your stove or inside grill. If you'd like to put your fish meal here that is a good idea too.
Sunday - Family Traditions
I really liked this night. This is the night that they saved for the Mom and Dad's favorite meals from their childhood. Turkey/Chicken dinners with potatoes and gravy, Roasts, etc. Traditional meals that you can pass on to your children.
Now there are some rules that you are supposed to follow.
First off, everyone is required to come to dinner hungry. She said that grazing during the day is a bad idea. If you need a small snack in the afternoon that is okay, just make sure you don't spoil your appetite. Obviously this also means no big lunches if you are planning on dinner. She suggested that if your friends invite you out to just get a salad, or soup, just something small, or to split a plate with someone.
Second, you should not have red meat two nights in a row. Our bodies need time to digest and utilize different types of food. She said it is okay every now and again, but really we need a variety.
Third, we need to aim for cooking 5 meals a week. She told us that the most recent polls have said that people are eating out an average of 5 nights a week. Not only is that expensive, but you can't focus on your family when you are out. Her plan aims for 7 days a week, but she reminded us that it is important to have breaks now and then. Whether it is left-overs, ordering something to eat at home, or going out to eat, it doesn't matter. Just aim to cook 5 meals a week.
You need to have dinner at a specific time. Keep to a schedule. Even if you are only cooking for yourself it's a good habit to keep. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one. With Hubby having classes at night I sometimes want to wait to eat with him, but I can also see the importance of helping my kids learn about eating at the right times. I'm still weighing my options here.
So the way that she sets things up is she plans her menu out two weeks at a time. You can get a calender that you devote specifically to your dinner plan. Figure out your own themes. You don't have to stick to hers. If you prefer Chinese more often then go for that or whatever floats your boat. Then figure out what you are going to make. Once you have each night picked out you can make your grocery list. Go through each meal and think of what you'll need or what you might already have. Take the things that you need and right them down on your shopping list. She suggest having your shopping list divided into categories so you don't have to go back and forth in the store trying to get everything. So have sections for meat, produce, dairy, canned veggies, baking goods, etc. This also helps you get out of the store without extra things. Stick to just what is on your list.
Some people like to kind of do this backwards from this. They prefer to see what is on sale, and then decide what they want to make. Either way works. No matter what you will be saving money because you have a plan to use everything you are buying and it won't be going bad in your fridge or on your shelf.
So yeah, that's what I learned/was reminded of. She has a good book out there "The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner" or something like that. It explains a lot of what's here and more. It also has a ton of recipes for dinners that fit into the categories that she set. Her husband is a pilot so she's traveled all over and has a good variety of things to try out.
Anyway, that's my interpretation of what I heard. Take it, or leave it.
This Recipe is Courtesy of the Food Nanny. If you've never heard of her make sure you look her up! She is WONDERFUL! Lots of great ideas. She has a great show and a book that are both sure to help you brainstorm!
Anyway! Pizza Dough!
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons of oil
1 Tablespoon of Honey
3-4 cups of Flour (white or wheat or a mixture)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Then start with your yeast and water. Mix together and then cover. Let it sit for a few minutes to get the yeast activated
2. Meanwhile measure your oil and honey into a large mixing bowl (oil first and then your honey will come out of the spoon easily). Add your yeast mixture and then add your 3 cups of flour and mix. Depending on the humidity you might need more. Just add the flour until you’re able to easily handle the dough. I like to initially mix with a big spoon, but quickly just get my hands in there (take off all jewelry and wash up good!). Once it’s reached a good consistency move it to your counter (put a little flour down first) and knead it. I like to fold my dough in half, squish out, turn. Fold in half, squish out, turn, etc. Knead for a minute or two. If you’ve got time to let it raise you can, but it works without it too.
3. Put on your pan and top it! You can make one thick crust pizza out of this or a couple thin (I like mine on the thinner side. It’s still a reasonable pizza crust). Bake for 16-18 minutes depending on your oven.
*Quick Tip: When you buy your yeast don't buy the little dinky packets. Buy it in the larger sealed packet. When you open it to use it the first time pour the contents into an air-tight container and keep it stored in your refrigerator. If you're cooking pizza every week (and maybe even your own bread :0) ! ) you'll go through it fast enough to make it worth it.
Here is my first recipe. :) Friday is pizza night at our house. I'll try to share a bunch of different pizza recipes over the next while so you can have a fun variety. When I think of a healthy pizza this is immediately what comes to mind. So here you go!
California Club Pizza (c/o Pampered Chef with some tweaks)
1 tsp veggie oil Pizza dough (Use the no fail dough recipe!)
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheese (suggested is Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend)
2 Roma Tomatoes
1/4 medium red onion
1 Medium avocado
6 slices bacon, thinly sliced, cooked and drained (I like to use pre-cooked and crumbled bacon that I buy in bulk and freeze)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly brush your pan with oil. Spread dough onto pan. Top crust with chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 16-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, dice tomatoes and slice onion (I would cut all of it up and freeze what you don't use). Cut avocado in half, twist and pull to separate the halves and use a spoon to remove the pit. Dice the avocado and place into mixing bowl. Add tomatoes and onion. Juice lemon to measure 2 tablespoons (T) juice. Add to mixing bowl and stir gently.
3. Distribute tomato mixture evenly over pizza. Sprinkle with bacon (if desired). Yields about 8 servings