Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Soooo try this instead :D I don't know how much chicken/turkey/ham to use - lots of times I just buy the rotisserie chicken and use everything off that.
Can of mushrooms
8 oz Cream Cheese (try using just half at first and add from there...depends on how much meat you have)
Mix together (yes with your hands....just make sure you wash them first *ewww*)
Place 1 Tbsp in the center of each Pillsbury Crescent roll (regular size - if you get large, just cut each one in half). Roll up - they look like strangely shaped balls (I should not be laughing at that but I am) but they cook nicely. Dip in melted butter (I start by melting 1/4 cup) and roll in bread crumbs (again, use ritz if you don't have breadcrumbs).
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Then top with the sauce, mmmm:
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 can of cream (I think it's 1/2 and 1/2 that I use - I never remember until I see it at the store. LOL)
Cook on low until heated through. Pour on roll ups before eating. Oh delicious...
This is GREAT with fried rice and the orange/almond salad. Perfect meal! It's a great meal to make for company too - it's really simple and quick and delicious!
I know some people have used leftover gravy instead of the mushroom soup sauce and also loved it.
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 5 STARS
16 oz (2 cups) uncooked spaghetti (I used macaroni the first time and shells the second time)
1/2 cup butter (I used 4 Tbsp)
1/2 cup flour (I used 1/3)
3 cups chicken broth (I used 2 cups)
2 cups of milk (the first time I used 1 cup milk and 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 cream)
1 2/3 cup grated parm (I use about half parm and half shredded cheddar)
4 cups cooked turkey cut into small chunks (can also be made with chicken)
1/2 onion diced
2 garlic cloves diced
sliced mushrooms (about 4 - more or less if you want)
frozen peas (about 1 cup)
Cook pasta. In a pan sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil (or butter if you want). Add mushrooms and peas until soft. In a pot melt the butter and add flour, mixing well. Add chicken broth and milk. Mix well - will thicken as it heats. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add turkey :)
In a 9x13 casserole dish pour pasta and mix in sauteed veggies. Pour sauce and turkey mixture on top and cover with bread crumbs (if you don't have bread crumbs you can either crumble bread or smash crackers - ritz are great for topping). Bake for 40 minutes at 350 and ENJOY!! :D
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 4 STARS
Monday, April 13, 2009
12 medium carrots - sliced and cooked
1/4 cup margarine
1 diced onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 cup grated old cheddar
2 cups bread crumbs
Sautee onion in margarine, then add flour, milk, pepper, and celery salt. Layer in casserole dish - cooked carrots, cheese, sauce. (or just mix all together, I don't honestly think it will make a HUGE difference. LOL). Top with 2 cups bread crumbs and Bake for30-45 minutes at 350....you can broil for a few minutes at the end to brown the top *mmm*.
Ham - seriously, the best ham ever!!! Please try it - I want to hear your thoughts!
Easy Slow-Cooker Ham
1 bone in country ham (you can use already cooked, but I prefer uncooked)
30 whole cloves (I skipped this step and omitted them)
3 cups apple cider (I used apple juice)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional - I'm pretty sure I added it)
1 orange's peel
Press whole cloves into ham so they are evenly distributed. Scoring the ham will make it easier to insert. Place Ham in slow cooker. Pour apple cider until only about 2" of ham is above the surface. Pack the brown sugar on top of the ham, pressing into the cloves. Pour maple syrup over the ham. Season the remaining apple cider with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, and vanilla. Add the orange peel to the pot. Fill slow cooker as full as you can with the apple cider without going over the fill line. Cover and set to Low - Cook for 8-10 hours (you do not need this long....I cooked ours last time from about noon to 5pm and it was great!)
Seriously - so delicious! It's definitely a little pricier to make because of the maple syrup - but sooo worth it in my opinion!
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 5 STARS
Sunday, April 12, 2009
6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup salad dressing (mayonnaise/miracle whip)
1/2 tsp dry mustard (once a staple in this house I haven't used in a looong time and never replenished it when I ran out. So I just used prepared mustard from the fridge...just a squirt)
1/2 tsp salt (as you probably have guessed, I did not add this)
1/8 tsp pepper
Paprika (to sprinkle on afterwards)
Cut eggs in half lengthwise and place on a plate. In a bowl mix yolks (they should crumble), salad dressing, mustard, and salt and pepper. Mix until smooth and spoon into egg white halves. If the mixture seems too dry you can add a bit of milk, although i would be tempted to just add another small bit of salad dressing (in my mind the milk could make it really runny). You can use a pastry tube to make a design with the mixture - I just spoon it in. Sprinkle with Paprika. I prefer them right fresh whereas Brent prefers them from the fridge (cold). Either way they are delicious and really fast!
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 5 STARS
The only down side to this otherwise perfect little Sunday: The horrible stir fry lunch dish I tried! *bummer* I was sooo excited to try it - the photo in the recipe book looks awesome! I only needed a few ingredients that I don't normally have or purchase so I picked those up when I got groceries. It was Sesame Oil (because we had run out), Dried Egg Noodles, and Chinese 5 spice powder.
This Recipe - Five-spice Vegetable Noodles came from our Step-by-Step 15 minute Vegetarian cookbook (i tried to locate a photo off the internet but no such luck....perhaps I should take one myself, after all i am such a stellar photographer. HAHA). It really does look great and has everything we normally like in it. I usually have a pretty good idea of what to expect taste wise when i try a new recipe, but this one had me stumped. I've never even heard of Chinese 5 spice powder, let alone tried it. So this was a new one....but the photo....
Ingredients: 225 g/8oz dried egg noodles
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 carrots, julienned
1 celery stick, julienned
1 small fennel bulb, julienned (remember to cut the core out) - I did not use this
2 courgettes (zucchini) - half-moon slices
1 red chili, seeded and chopped (I did not use this)
I also added 4 sliced mushrooms, and a handful of sliced snap peas
1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 tsp chinese five-spice powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 spring onions, sliced (scallions, green onions)
1/4 cup warm water
Add noodles to boiling salted water (I do not salt my water). Cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender and drain. Return to pot and toss with a little bit of sesame oil. Set aside. Put remainder of oil in wok or large frying pan. Add all the vegetables (including the chili if you use it) and stir-fry for about 7-8 minutes. Add Ginger and garlic (I just chop them both up together in the handy chopper) and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add spices and cook for 1 minute. Add spring onions and stir fry for another minute before adding the warm water. Cook for another minute and add noodles. Toss well (I used tongs) and serve sprinkled with sliced red chili if liked.
The verdict - needed more sauce. I added some soy sauce to my dish and it was waaaay better, although still not scrumptious. Brent said the same - but also that it needed chicken. (Not sure how that keeps with the vegetarian theme, but oh well). In all honesty I'm pretty happy I didn't waste a chicken breast on this - we threw it all out. If you know my husband, you know that just doesn't happen. I'm sure there would be a way to perfect this and make it really delicious - I just don't know that I'll attempt in the near future. I would definitely add soy sauce in the cooking process though - and perhaps even just go for the easy option and buy a pre-made sauce. LOL That would be pretty darn delicious I think. So I *might* actually do it again (I do have half a noodle pack left after all) and go that route. It just needed the right sauce!
As it stands though:
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 2 STARS
Saturday, April 11, 2009
In the cupboards:
Soup - Tomato, Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom specifically
Basic Kid Snacks (Crackers, Chips, Fruit Leathers, etc.)
Oils - Olive and Vegetable
Vinegar - White, Red Wine, Balsamic
Sugar and Flour (of course)
Food Storage: Canned Mushrooms, Canned Corn, Creamed Corn *barf*, Beef Broth, Evaporated Milk, Tomato Paste, Stewed Tomatoes, Spaghetti Sauce, Kidney Beans and Black Beans (newly added), Soups (Mushroom, Tomato, Vegetable, Chicken Noodle), Ichiban, Macaroni and Cheese, Rice
Pepper, Garlic Powder, Seasoning Salt, Oregano, Italiano, Montreal Steak Spice, Roasted Garlic and Peppers, Chili Powder, Cumin, Chicken and Beef broth (powdered)
In the fridge (this is the big one):
Veggies: Lettuce (always - except of course when there isn't any at the store *grr*), Peppers (all but green, I don't like green), Cucumbers, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Celery, Carrots, Green Onion, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash (a new favorite), Snap Peas (newly added as a staple - in the summer, the sugar snap peas are to die for raw....but these snap peas are the flat stir fry kind)
Basics: Milk, Eggs, Margarine, Cheese (I'm an addict remember), Yogurt, Sour Cream (a must!!!)
Other: Apple Sauce or Fruit Cups (I like to alternate), Mayonnaise/Miracle Whip, Pickles (I'm not pregnant - I just loooove pickles...when I'm going to an wedding or even a funeral for that matter I'm always hopeful there will be pickles. LOL), Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, Cheez Whiz (ohhh of course!!!), Anchovie Paste, Dijon Mustard, Lemon Juice, Salad Dressings (I like to have a few on hand just in case I'm not in the mood for home made, or perhaps don't have the time), Tortilla Shells (for tacos and wraps)
Fruit: Ideally I would have a huge variety every grocery trip....but for actual *staples*:
Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Pears, Nectarines (when in season), grapes (when they are worth buying...), and either Strawberries, Cantaloupe, HoneyDew, Pineapple, Watermelon, or Kiwis - rarely every kind at once....but I do like to have at least one *fun* fruit per trip. It changes things up a bit. We do go through banana phases so they aren't always a staple - but I do like having them around as they are quick and easy....
Meat: Chicken Breasts (frozen 4kg box), Hamburger (Deer that Brent got last hunting season), Stew Beef (again, from the Deer), Marinating Steaks (although we've recently gotten more clever and just buy a roast and cut it into our own marinating steaks - waaaay cheaper) and I prefer to have at least one roast just hanging around waiting to be made, but that's not always the case, so I guess it can't really be considered a staple. LOL
Freezer Food: chicken strips and fish sticks - when they are on sale sometimes we pick up a few freezer dinners simply because they can be great in a time crunch...but honestly I absolutely despise having them in my cart and taking them to the till. I much prefer having my cart full of fruit and veggies, etc.
We rarely buy cereal so it's definitely not a staple. And Bread - we really don't eat a lot of bread but of course it is a staple as it's good to have around. We've recently decided to start buying the $0.99 French loaves (that I usually use for my garlic bread) instead of spending $2+ on a loaf! The grilled ham and cheese sandwiches we had for lunch today on the french bread were especially delicious. I'm already liking the change! :D
Snacks: Chips (mmmmmm chips), Popcorn, Ice Cream (ooo we had delicious strawberry milkshakes last night thanks to my fabulous husband!!!)
Equipment: Bosch (How would I ever live without it!), the Mini Chopper, Basic Cutting board and good Knives (we have henkel...thanks auntie Glenda!)
Well those are our staples....I'd love to hear about yours...I'm sure I'll think of a hundred other things I have to have, but I'd say this is a pretty decent list! Thing is we don't buy food we don't eat....so all of these things are items we not only have in our fridge on a regular basis but that we also are eating - we don't get caught up in impulse buying at the grocery store, okay maybe we do sometimes (or maybe I do...lol). What I love is that trying new recipes is rather simple when you have most of the items already....I usually only have to buy a couple of things (like hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil (we had run out actually), etc.) which is nice.
Well this week will bring a few new recipes...I just need to plan it all out and see what I want to try and when! For now, I'm off to bed!
Happy Easter everyone!!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Today was a perfect day! Brent didn't have work (holiday) and was able to just hang out all day! We had our nephews over which was awesome - we played outside for most of the day (I love this warm weather) and just really had a great time! We recently purchased this beauty and LOVE it!
Every time I walk by it I love it all over again! And we lucked out because it was on sale when we bought it (I LOVE that!!)....thanks to my parents for contributing - instead of presents last year for the kids' birthdays they just gave $$$ to go towards it. Perfect!
For dinner we decided to do some hot dogs - it's sooo bbq weather! I don't know why I have never tried these, but they are definitely on my quick, easy, and seriously scrumptious list!
The kids devoured them! It helped that the crescent rolls (pillsbury) were on for $1 the other day! (limit of two...grr). Roll up the weiner, and bake at 350 for about 12 minutes (ish) - keep an eye on them until they are golden brown.
Dipped in ketchup (I admit to smearing cheez whiz on top of mine first - no shame, I'm a cheese addict and that's how I'll stay! haha)
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 4 STARS - it was just a fun thing to have...not every day (they are after all still hot dogs!) but a great variation of a childhood favorite. And sometimes, who can deny that a hot dog just *really* hits the spot!
On the menu: Marinated chicken breasts, fried rice, sweet potatoes, and asparagus - with fruit salad for dessert. Superstore was out of lettuce when I did my grocery shopping so we didn't have a lettuce salad. I don't like buying prepackaged lettuce - not only do I find it expensive but I just prefer to get the romaine hearts. Anyways....
Chicken breasts - marinated from frozen all day in Kraft Roasted Red Pepper and Parmesan Salad Dressing. Their dressings are really great for marinades - and it's quick! We chose to bbq the chicken breasts, although have done them in the oven before (350 for about an hour). Both are great! The only thing I like better about the oven in this case is that the dressing then cooks as well and you can use it on top of your rice! mmmm....
Fried Rice - I've talked about a *few* times before. hehe...it's really a perfect addition to any meal. And since we don't eat a lot of potatoes, it's a great alternative! This time in the rice I put, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, snap peas, and green onions. And of course I season with seasoning salt!
Sweet Potatoes - I love these more and more every time I have them. I've posted about them before too....slice up sweet potatoes into oven safe dish. Crush a couple garlic cloves and place in dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano....mix...oven 350 for about an hour (I had it on 400 to cook faster)! Make sure you stir it a couple of times while cooking.
Asparagus - normally I just steam it with butter. But I baked them once after my mother in law had done them and they were divine! This time they were alright - not fantastic, but okay. Cut off ends of asparagus and lay on baking sheet. Drizzle with melted butter or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper...or garlic salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until soft. I honestly don't know how long they were in for - just watch them!
Fruit Salad - thanks to Jenn for picking awesome melons (I'm hopeless). We had cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, and pineapple! It was perfect - whipping cream would have been an absolutely divine touch but I didn't have any *pout*. Or ice cream....but it was honestly delish without. Grapes would have been a great addition too but the grapes at superstore (purple/red) were not appealling....
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 5 STARS
Then Brent got to relax and enjoy a fabulous hour massage! Thanks Carla!!!
(this post has a vegetarian label because of all the veggies involved...I realize chicken sort of eliminates it from the *vegetarian* category, but take that away and it's perfect! lol)
Friday, April 3, 2009
I also made spaghetti - making meatsauce for Brent and the kids, but sauteeing veggies and topping with sauce and parm for myself. I really do prefer it to the meatsauce. I also had some leftover salad and put it in a pita for lunch today with my new favorite spread...(it's really good just on soda crackers too!!). It's healthy and delicious and great in a wrap! You can get it at Costco - it comes in a two pack container for $10. So, split it with a friend....it's a much healthier option to miracle whip/mayonnaise and in my opinion is sooo much better (I also have used garden vegetable and Chive and Onion cream cheese - roasted red pepper and herb and garlic would also probably be great too). Of course I really do love garlic :)
Of Greek origin, Skotidakis Tzatziki is a yogurt-based sauce seasoned with cucumber and garlic. It can be served as an entrée along with bread or pita bread. Also known as an excellent accompaniment for lamb, roasted pork, seafood and grilled meats, such as kebabs. For a fresh, zesty taste, try it as salad dressing or a vegetable dip. Our Tzatziki is made with probiotic yogurt that contains an active culture Bifidobacterium lactis.
Thanks to my mother in law for passing it along - I love great finds like this!
I will be looking at cooking the following items this month:
BQ soup (not vegetarian), Glorified Hash Browns, Balsamic Pasta, Sloppy Janes (vegetarian version), Vegetarian Chili, Chick pea Curry (Vegetarian), Seitan Fajitas (anyone cooked with Seitan??? I hadn't heard of it until today...), and some others I'm about to search for online :) I'm hoping to branch out and try some new ingredients - wish me luck :D
Check out the following websites for different ideas (vegetarian or otherwise):
http://www.webecoist.com/ (Thanks Radelle for the link), http://www.thebittenword.com/, http://www.allrecipes.com/ (a fave!!!), http://www.easysaladrecipes.com/, and http://www.recipezaar.com/ - oh don't forget www.kraftcanada.com and www.cookingwithphilly.ca
Please let me know of any others that you have stumbled upon or read regularly - you can never have too many resources!
But I was inspired recently by my sister in law, Sarah. She was raised vegetarian and has continued the lifestyle for lots of reasons I am sure, but one for sure is she doesn't even really like the taste of beef or chicken, etc. Which I am a bit surprised by I must say - of course I'm equally as surprised she loves fish (I do not) so what can I say. LOL I'm not interested in being vegetarian 100% of the time and am definitely married to a man who wants and *needs* meat, but there are of course benefits to limiting our meat intake. Recently, while out at my inlaws for a week with the whole family I became acutely aware of just how much meat we were all eating. it's something I try to watch anyways, but having a vegetarian around definitely made it more noticeable (particularly for me). As food was brought in (for which we were incredibly grateful) and we ate - never did a meal go by without some form of meat, and usually a few different kinds and lots of it! Like I said - we were more than grateful, but I can tell you that I have never eaten so much meat (and bread!) in one week. By the end I was definitely *meated* out! And ready for lots of vegetables and fruit. So this past week (since being home) I have made a conscious effort to eat mainly vegetarian dishes. I can feel my body being rejuvenated and grateful - it needed the break. And having been brought two meals this week (for which we are again incredibly grateful) I was able to enjoy them without feeling like the meat was overkill. Chicken Pot Pie Casserole (I will be getting the recipe for this - it was amazing!!!) and Broccoli Chicken and Potato Casserole (I will also be getting the recipe for this - fabulous!) have been enjoyed and savoured and of course, devoured :D
Tired of me blabbing yet? LOL
Anyways - I have yet to do a big grocery trip since returning home so I am taking lots of time to plan meals ahead of time....I will be continuing with a higher majority vegetarian dishes for myself and adding chicken or beef for Brent where possible. Honestly though - he's amazing and never complains...always eats what's made and is a star husband all around. And he's always willing to try new things (unless it involves vinaigrette salad dressing - he DOES NOT like vinaigrettes. LOL). So he's pretty great to have around for meals!
This month I am looking at more resources and finding some new dishes. Vegetarian, even a few Vegan, and of course some meat ones as well. So stay tuned! There will be lots and lots of cooking! I'm looking forward to getting back into it!
Send any recipe ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to try something you love, or have been wanting to try yourself!