Showing posts from April, 2012

Prepping Garlic

When the kids were little, as "punishment", we would make them peel a 3 lb bag of garlic. Horrible, I know. Abusive. But hey, we got the garlic cleaned in a hurry! And it really was a family thing as we all sat at the dining room table, chatting while we smashed, peel and chopped. We all shared in the garlic infused fingertips ...

Anyways, now that the animals are grown, we ask them nicely to help us. And that's when Sonny Boy sarcastically pointed out that you can buy garlic already peeled so why didn't we just buy it that way. Uhhh...BOY, it's expensive that way! Not really, so we found out at Costco.

Then Hubby was doing his cooking classes and the Chef insisted that everyone STOP buying the garlic with the paper stuff still on and buy the stuff in the container that was already peeled. Said it was fresher. Hrmp, not so sure about THAT but we did buy it that way....

And then we tossed it in the food processor

And then filled two small jars to keep in the frid…

BBQ Chicken Crockpot Style

Hubby has been a very busy bee this past weekend again, trying to reduce a little bit of the load for me, which I greatly appreciate!

In addition to the sauerkraut and pork dish, he also loaded up the crockpot and made some BBQ Chicken.

Granted, I would have preferred he NOT make a whole crockpot of BBQ Chicken as it only has one 'real' use, and that is BBQ chicken. But alas, I can't squash his good intentions...

BBQ Chicken ... seriously easy

6 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast (I think next time I will suggest chicken thighs with 1 or 2 breast)
1 cube of frozen garlic (or fresh garlic, finely chopped) (Keep an eye out for the garlic tip!)
salt and pepper
finely chopped onion
1/2 cup or so of chicken broth

Sorry for the raw chicken picture, but I wanted you to see how FINE he chops the garlic onion (!!) courtesy of the food processor!

And look how MUCH seasoning he uses!
That there be the frozen cube of garlic ... post coming SOON, I promise!

Toss all in a crockpot and…

A Tuna (and a chicken) Recipe from Tequila Friends

I have a cryptic recipe (2 actually!) from my girlfriend.

They were written down this past weekend at, oh, about 2am ...

It was her daughters 14th birthday.

A surprise birthday party, I might add.

Lots of tequila was involved by the time Hubby dragged me out the door (kicking and screaming, "I'm not ready to go home yet!!")


It was a lovely party and I am inviting my NEW friends over this weekend for the Air Show. And just between you and me and the blog sphere, it's going to be LEMON DROPS, not Patron ::wink:: ::wink::

On to the deciphering of tequila induced writing

French Tuna Salad
copycat from Storks

5 cans of organic tuna, packed in water and drained
Juice of one lemon
1 organic carrot shredded
a handful of organic fresh cranberries
a handful of diced celery
a handful of finely chopped red onion
::secret ingredient alert:: 1 tsp sugar
Organic mayo

Sort of a vague recipe but at least we have the key INGREDIENTS. The organic stuff? Ummm, we shall see F…

Menu Plan - Week 17

17 weeks into the year. Wow. And it's almost MAY!!! The year is flying by and when I look at all my 'goals' I had set up, I see complete failure. Unfortunately, this has been a rough year where not a whole lot of things have gone as predicted ... thankfully I think to menu plan though!!

Sonny Boy comes home Friday evening. Air Show is this weekend also, meaning we will have friends over on Saturday and a few on Sunday. My dad is still here but I am aiming for May 1st to be the date for him to start at the assisted living facility. I don't believe he's warmed up to the idea much but it needs to be done and he has to know this ... we've had a few things happen and well, quite honestly, he's HAS to know this is the RIGHT thing to do.

So ... on to the plan:

Sunday - BBQ chicken sandwiches (Hubby made in the crockpot) ... serving on leftover potato rolls (hot dog and sandwich style) As I still have a little soup that wasn't frozen, that is on the table too


Busy Weekend

We had a pretty busy weekend in the kitchen!

Not to mention the busy week so far that I'm posting this 2 days later! I'm so glad we cooked ahead, definitely great to have food ready to eat on those busy nights!

Hubby made Ham and Bean Soup ... which produced enough to snack on for lunch and snacks on Sunday along with a small bowl with dinner AND enough to make 8 individual lunch servings and TWO large containers (that I'm debating on freezing) along with 2 medium size bowls for 2 meals each. This all from a leftover ham, bag of dried navy beans, 4 large carrots that were shredded in food processor and 2 onions that were finely chopped in food processor. Chicken stock AND chicken bouillon and miscellaneous spices were added ... and WOW is it good!

So I just asked Hubby what he thought his secret ingredient was and he still insist it the ham. Hrmmp. AND he soaked the beans something like 48 hours and ran half of them through the food processor to thicken up. All I can say is…

Menu Plan - Week 16

It's that time again and I really need to stay focused!  The freezers are still full and the pantry has quite a bit too so I'm aiming for minimal shopping ... of course, having my dad and his diabeties makes it a little more challenging as I keep figuring out that he needs more snacks in between meals so I have to get fruit and I picked up some organic granola bars (had the least amount of sugar and carbs) ... he seems to eat A LOT of fresh produce which is good ... said that he never had easy access to the stuff before which makes me very sad but I'm guessing that is probably more normal with older folks that we like to think.

Sunday - Chicago Style Hot Dogs (had to give my dad a little taste of memory stuff)

Monday - Ham and Bean Soup with Salad and bread on side (Hubby made the soup over the weekend from the leftover ham)

Tuesday - Leftover chicken stuffed with spinach and egg noodles (from Saturday night dinner)

Wednesday - Bangin Shrimp on a bed of cabbage and lettuce…

Salads - Make Mine a Taco Salad

We eat A LOT of salads around here. Mostly for lunches and occasionally for dinner. Of course, a dinner salad, as a meal, needs a little more than just rabbit food.

So we do a variety of things, Cobb Salad, Steak Salad, Chicken Cesar Pasta and so on....there are just so many options to be had.

But another neat one that I like, which is especially good if you are trying to cut back on carbs and such is the good ole taco salad.

Yup. A large bowl of taco stuff. Sounds good to me!

1 lb ground beef (or be like me and use ground turkey or ground sure to use the LEAN stuff otherwise you get all kinds of icky stuff)
taco seasoning
shredded lettuce (or cut in to small pieces)
diced tomatoes (or just cheat and use fresh salsa)
diced onions
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
Guacamole or diced avocado (optional, rarely use myself)
Refried beans (optional, highly recommend!)

Cook the meat til cooked through and toss in your taco seasoning. I admit it, I'm a packet kind of girl eve…

Freezer Meal Qualifier?

I've wanted to dabble in freezer cooking for so very long, but just don't have the room in the freezers to do so. Well, I suppose I could thaw the stuff, cook it up and refreeze it, but I do believe that's not politically food safe?

So when I can pull stuff out of the freezer and toss it all together with somewhat minimal fuss, I'm so very excited! I sort of, kind of, did a freezer meal!!

This turned out to be a pretty darn good italian dinner that was ready in LESS THAN 30 MINUTES. The time it took to bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta.

Red Sauce (Hubby had made this back in late January I believe)

Salad in a jar (free from Architect at office, they had a catering job and tons of salad leftover from Panera Bread, so they gave me the large bowl)

Frozen (thawed) italian bread with butter and a heavy garlic and herby mix spread over top

And you have a pretty quick yet yummy dinner

Did you know that you can freeze pasta that's already cooked? Just let it cool, pu…

Chicken Ceasar Pasta Salad

This is like my FAVORITE salad to make ... well, I suppose it's really in the top 5, I love my steak salad too ... and the Olive-Y Garden Salad, and the Cabbage Salad ...

Anyways ... this is ONE of my favorite salads, hows that?

And with Spring in the air for most of you, I figured why NOT share this again? It's so easy to do and surprisingly good!

Here's what you need:

Head of romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed and torn/cut into bite size pieces (if you were smart, you've already checked out the foodsaver tip!)
1 grilled chicken breast (I generally use a leftover one) cut into bite size pieces
a little bit of pasta, rigatoni or penne work best (cooked)
sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese
Cesar Dressing (I prefer Kens Light Cesar)

It's so easy. Dump all in large bowl. Mix well to coat evenly. Serve.

See that picture? That is made up of ALL leftovers ... the chicken was grilled for dinner a few nights ago, the salad stuff is ALWAYS prepped and ready to g…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 15

I'm back from my trip northward to get my dad.

Can I tell you how very glad I am to be home? At last? Of course, there is a little anxiety with my dad being here. Hoping he remembers what I've told him and to NOT try to walk the 3 blocks to the beach. He doesn't understand that there is a major road (A1A) with a LOT of traffic that you have to cross and there are not any crosswalks so to speak. Uggg.

Anyways, Hubby was sweet and made the ham and my scalloped potatoes so we could have a little dinner when we got home, even though it was 8:30pm. That's ok, my dad needed to eat. And I think that was very kind for him to welcome my dad like that. It's been a rough conversion but it will all work in the end.

Most likely I will NOT get to the gym again. That will be 3 weeks now. Uggg. Just not right but I need to make sure that dinner is ready at a reasonable time for my dad. I keep telling myself this is only temporary until I get the assisted living place together.


Time for a Costco Trip!

Yes, I am flying out for 5 days ... but Hubby and Princess still need to eat ... and well, some of the stuff last way longer than 5 days :-) ... so it was justified. Not to mention, I had to steal a roll of tp from the guest bath because we were OUT. How could that be? I mean, the joke always is that as long as I shop at Costco we will never ever run out of tp ... guess what? We came mighty close!!

So I had a list. And my debit card. And really, I know, I should have done cash. But at least I left the American Express out of the picture ... it's going to have flight and car rental stuff on it AGAIN. Uggg.

So here's what I got:

Dish soap, Kirkland brand $7.99
Bath tissues, Kirkland brand $17.99
Milk $2.99
Kcups (80 ct) $37.99
Kcups (54 ct, tea & lemonade) $29.99
2 20 piece white china dinner sets $39.99 each
black pepper $5.39
half and half $1.59 (thankfully they've gone back to the smaller sizes)
3 dozen xlarge eggs $4.05 (price increase!)
b/s chicken thighs ($1.99/lb)…

Pork Tenderloins - Ranchy Style

We were having a few couples over for dinner Saturday evening and in my quest to clear out the freezers AND save some dough we took out 2 pork tenderloins I had picked up a while ago for $3/lb (great deal, wish I had gotten MORE) ...
And then Hubby was like, hey, lets try the ranchy tomato stuff ... DO know what he's talking about right?? Ranchy Tomato Stuff. Uh huh. Why not, we've done steaks and chicken already, might as well give pork a try!

Since this is like 6 pounds of pork, I doubled the recipe.

2 bags of sun dried tomatoes (and then some) 2 large onions, cut in half and thick sliced 15 to 20 sweet mini peppers, cut in half, quarterd as needed 5 lbs of mini red potatoes 4 pkgs of dry ranch dressing mix a few good shakes of cayenne pepper 1 1/2 cup canola oil with a little more if needed. 2 pkgs of pork tenderloin (which really equals FOUR tenderloins)

You know the drill by now right?
Grab your shoebox.

Dump the dressing, cayenne pepper and oil in and whis…

Menu Plan Monday - Week 14

Not really much for planning this week since I fly out early Wednesday and return on Easter Sunday ... but I do have 3 days to plan so here it is:

Sunday - Pasta with Red Sauce and garlic bread. Pulled the sauce and bread from freezer (Hubby will make it a garlic buttery mess)

Monday - black beans and rice with leftover pork tenderloin (rice mix from pantry, pork from Saturday)

Tuesday - ChixMc Sandwiches - had picked up some chicken patties last week while on sale (2 bags for $5.99) and toast some buns I have in pantry still

Wednesday through Saturday Hubby is on his own. I'm thinking I will probably chill with my dad one night at the rehab place, one night with my father in law (again, will try to take HIM out be he never lets me pay) and one night at Hubby's brother. I need to stay focused and get the trailer done once and for all to get rid of it. $385 lot rent, $140 electric and $55 for insurance. Figure only $1100 a month coming in and thats way too much for a 'stora…