Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yummy for the Tummy

Happy Sunday Everyone! Time for yet another weeks full of meals! I am starting to wonder where the time goes, because that week flew by! I didn't end up making the Minestrone soup as we ordered in Chinese for Mr. M who was recovering from surgery. So I will stockpile that recipe for later.

A good friend of mine started her own blog this week, inspired by my cajones hahaha, so I will feature a recipe of hers from time to time, and for those of you who want to check it out, FRESH IDEAS, is looking mighty yummy so far...

One of the major struggles I encounter with meal planning in my soooo soooo small town is lack of ingredients. I am unsure if I can get one of the ingredients needed for my first recipe but I am hoping because it sounds delicious! So without further ado, Happy Eating everyone!

Monday - Italian White Bean, Pancetta, and Tortellini Soup (From Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Pasta) 

I had to make the following substitutions due to lack of ingredients in my lovely (please note the undertones of sarcasm) local store, Overchargey. BUT even with the substitutions the soup was GREAT, Lu even ate it!

fava beans instead of cannellini beans
thick-cut bacon instead of pancetta
red chard instead of swiss chard

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 lb. pancetta, chopped (thick-cut bacon also works)
3 shallots (or, 1 small yellow onion), chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
6 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1/2 lb. ( 1 package) fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
Salt and pepper

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, shallots/onion, and carrot and cook until the vegetables are soft and the pancetta is crisp, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, beans, chicken broth and water and bring up to a boil over high heat. Toss in the Swiss chard and let it wilt, about 3 minutes.

Add the tortellini and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the tortellini are tender (about 4 minutes for fresh, 8 minutes for frozen). Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Tuesday - Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms

4 servings
15 min 5 min prep
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced (or more!)
4 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
2 cups small mushrooms, halved,or quartered if using larger mushrooms
1/3 cup chicken broth or white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled


In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil.
In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, the mustard and garlic.
Add the chicken and coat both sides with the mixture.
Transfer the chicken and mixture to the skillet; saute until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
In the skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil.
Saute the mushrooms about a minute; add the broth/wine, thyme and remaining tablespoon of vinegar.
Cook stirring until the mushrooms are deep brown, about 2 minutes longer.
Serve the chicken, topped with the mushrooms.

Wednesday: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
recipe from FRESH IDEAS 

1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
1 Onion*
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
2 1/2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup Bacon Bits (I use leftover bacon from the weekend)*
2 Cups Grated Cheese (Sharp Cheddar is best, but I use a mixture in a pinch)
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp mustard
2 Cups Macaroni (dry)

½ Cup Bread Crumbs
2 tbsp butter
2-4tbsp Grated Cheese (I like fresh Parmesan)
Pinch Paprika


*Onion and Bacon bit are optional

Cook macaroni noodles until tender firm. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add onion (if using) and sauté until transparent. Add flour, salt and pepper and stir until bubbling. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Add cheese and stir until smooth; mix in mustard, Worcestershire and bacon bits. In a casserole dish (1.5 quart) mix together cheese mixture with cooked macaroni noodles. Meanwhile, melt butter for topping in a small sauce pan, add bread crumbs and grated cheese. Place topping mixture on macaroni and cover. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes; uncover and bake for 10 minutes at the same temperature.

Thursday - Cheater Souvlaki with Pita, Tzatziki and Grilled Vegetables   (courtesy of Sandi Richard Fixing Dinner)Ingredients

4 cloves cloves of garlic
Heavy freezer bag (large)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large large chicken breasts (approx 1 1/2-2 lbs / 675-900 g)

Tzatziki ( I will probably use a store bought one, or the recipe from Whitewater cooks at home which I will post later)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried dill (fresh is better if you have it)
1 teaspoon garlic (in a jar)
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning

1 small zucchini
1 red onion
1 stalk celery stalk
7 mushrooms (quartered)
1 green pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning
Prepared marinated chicken
1/4 cup crumbled feta
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes (from a jar) (optional)

4 ( 8”) pita pockets

Smash garlic cloves with the back of a wide knife. Peel and finely chop.
In a strong freezer bag, add the following ingredients; chopped garlic, oregano, olive oil, wine and lemon juice. Swish the ingredients around to combine.
Cut chicken into large chunks, adding to bag as you cut. Before closing the bag, massage the sauce into the chicken pieces while holding the bottom of the bag.
Lay the bag on the counter, holding the open side straight up. Fold toward you and seal. Place in fridge, flat, until you are ready to serve dinner.
Prepare tzatziki in a small bowl with lid, combining the following; sour cream, dill, garlic and spice. (If and only if I have the time, I chop up fresh garlic.
Cover and place in fridge.

When you’re ready to make dinner…
Heat oven to 450°F (230º C).
Cut veggies in large chunks (so kids can pick out what they don’t like) tossing into a large cake or lasagna pan as you cut.
Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with spice. You can use any veggie that grills nicely.
Pour the bag of chicken with marinade into another cake or lasagna pan.
Place both the chicken pan and veggie pan in the oven at the same time. Set timer for 20 minutes. When the timer rings, remove veggies. Drain part of the liquid from the chicken pan.
Put the chicken back into the oven on a low broil. Toss veggies into a bowl with feta and sun dried tomato. When chicken starts to get a few brown edges, remove from oven and stuff the pita pockets with whatever components you like (or eat it all separately).

Friday - Leftovers!

Saturday - Out! We have company coming.....

Sunday - Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, veggie and garlic mashed potatoes

1 roast
1 bulb garlic
garlic salt
garlic powder

Cut up garlic and place slices in the roast (take knife and make a slit push garlic into roast) season with garlic powder and salt. Cook for 1-1 1?2 hours at 350F in oven.

Yorkshire Pudding ****the trick to getting the puddings to rise is to have the eggs and milk at room temperature when you make the batter*****


1 cup plain flour
1 cup egg (about 4)
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to hot (425F/220C/Gas 7)
Put a teaspoonful of oil or dripping in each of several muffin tins or, to be truly Yorkshire, a couple of tablespoonsful in a larger roasting tin and place in the oven until the fat is really hot and beginning to smoke. Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients and beat to form a batter of the consistency of double cream.
If you wish you can add mixed dried herbs to add a savoury flavour.
When the fat is smoking take the tin out of the oven and place it over a low light so that it doesn't cool as you add the batter.
Pour in the batter If you're using muffin tins don't over fill.
Remember that the puddings will rise and puff up.
Put the tin back into the top of the oven as soon as possible and leave for about 20-25 minutes by which time they will be puffed up and crisp.