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Sunday, April 29, 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 fridge AND got out the ice cube trays ...

Yup. We freeze cubes of garlic.

And it's a beautiful thing.

Now. Here's where Hubby and I disagree. He likes to put olive oil in his. I don't like it as sometimes it starts to smell a little off and doesn't keep the nice color ...

Me? I just toss the straight garlic in to the jars and the trays with no garnishment. Then it's PURE HEAVEN in my opinion.

Go ahead and give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Looking forward to linking up with some of these great blog hops ... you should go check them out! Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Menu Plan & Blog Hop, Made By You Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Tuesday Kitchen Tips , Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, What's New Wednesday, Ultimate Recipe Swap, What's Cooking Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Taste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Dishing It Up (sorry, I think this is a monthlong hop?), Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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 cook til chicken is done, about 2 to 3 hours on high or 5 to 6 hours on low. Every crockpot is different which drives me NUTS but it is what it is :)

Once chicken is cooked, drain the liquid out of crock and allow the chicken to cool enough where you can shred it with 2 forks OR your hands (oh, go for it!) ... top with bbq sauce of choice and mix well. Make it as wet or dry as you like. Hubby added a touch of garlic powder too at this point.

Serve on a toasted roll with coleslaw on the side.  Enjoy! (Seriously? We used leftover burger and hot dog buns, I buttered up the insides and laid flat in skillet to toast) ... no slaw to be had so we skipped that part. AND we've been eating it just plain in a bowl it's so dang tasty!

NOTE: We used a bbq sauce made by Jack Daniels that was EXTRA SPICY. Also expensive, but a gift ... price tag was $9.95. Some dang good stuff ... and well, like the silver, if you have it, you might as well use it!

Linking up with these great blog parties: Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, What's New Wednesday, Ultimate Recipe Swap, What's Cooking Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Taste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

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
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 Fran...I don't think it will ALL be organic but lets see if you notice :) (I know she will because she KNOWS I won't be buying organic mayo for petes sake!

Ready? Ready.

Put tuna in non reactive bowl, add lemon juice and let sit overnight in fridge.

::next morning:: (and trust me, this was way over empathised), add the carrot, cranberries, celery and red onion. Sprinkle the sugar over the top and mix up.
Add the mayo right before serving (she suggested that it be added to desired consistency, although I can't quite make out THAT word in my writing)

Ready for the chicken recipe??

Chicken Angelica
(which is from the restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Broward County Main Library)

boneless skinless chicken breast
handful of chopped celery
white pepper to taste (empasis on white, has a 'distinctive flavor')
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream

Poach chicken in a 300 degree oven. Use 1 tbs of water in pan for each chicken breast.

Allow chicken to cool and then dice into bite size pieces and place in large bowl.

Add the celery and white pepper. Add the 1/2 cup mayo and the 1/4 cup of sour cream. Increase the mayo and sour cream (2 to1 ratio) as desired.

All I have to say is I KNOW that she talked about the seasoning salt somewhere but she didnt' tell me that when I was scribbling writing this down.

I find it rather humorous that the celery was NOT specified to be organic even though that is ONE thing I buy organic  most often!

Stay tuned for pictures!!

Linking up with the following GREAT parties: Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Made By You Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Recipe Swap

Sunday, April 22, 2012

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

Monday - chicken thighs that were marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled along with the grilled onions and peppers (made this Friday night)...the thighs were from the freezer and the peppers needed to be cooked up quick!

Tuesday - pork loin with sauerkraut and red potatoes (Hubby made on Saturday and the roast was from the freezer)

Wednesday - would love to have a date night but will wait until next week. Therefore, I'm thinking of load bbq chicken sandwiches (topped with coleslaw and sweet potato fries, served on french bread like my favorite bbq joint!)

Thursday -leftovers and more leftovers hopefully. Considering a chicken fajitas type thing using the chicken thighs and grilled veggies (top with cheese, sour cream, and salsa)

Friday - most likely will order pizza or something along those lines as Hubby will pick up Sonny Boy at 7:30pm and we will be prepping for Saturday's event.

Saturday - NOT A CLUE ... I'm thinking Hubby will put together some stuff  and we will serve smorgasbord style. I really don't want to do the big grillin fest as in years past ... I'd like to get my girlfriends french tuna salad (cranberries?) and her chicken salad too ... but she swears I need organic mayo ... hmmm

I really need to be utilizing what I have in the house as May 1st is going to take a big chunk of money out of my account ... it really stinks but the options are very limited and finances are going to be tight regardless ... Uggg...Which is why I'm going to shoot to keep the party food low key :D but not obvious!

What are you making this week? Linking up with Menu Plan Monday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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 yummmm yummmm yummmm.

Ummm, he made a TON of soup ... that's 9 containers and that did not include the 3 we used Sunday night ... oh my.

Hubby also made a special dinner Saturday ... Chicken stuffed with spinach and egg noodles on the side. Chicken came from the freezer along with a package of spinach ... we used swiss cheese (instead of blue) to mix the spinach with (I prefer blue next time) and the egg noodles were baked with a cream of mushroom and chicken broth combo to make a delicious creamy sauce. This was a pretty stellar dinner!

I need to get the recipe up for you all ... this is DELICIOUS stuff :)

I made Chicago Style Hot Dogs Sunday night and also cooked up a package of cheddar brats ... my dad requested I set aside a hot dog for his lunch Monday. It breaks my heart to hear him request food like that for a lunch the following day. Had no idea that he was eating toast with a cup of Styrofoam soup before he went to the rehab facility. Sorry, I have no NEW pictures but here's from a few weeks ago :)

This time around, we slice baby dill pickles in half long ways ... much much better than that sweet relish I accidentally bought! Hey! I don't normally eat the stuff.

And then, of course, I had to do my salads in the jars. Had to endure Hubby shaking his head at me and my dad inquiring look. Hey, it works for me so I'm doing it!

 3 heads of romaine, cut down the length 4 times and then cut/slice to make an excellent bite size piece of lettuce ... pure heaven in a salad in my opinion!

 give them a spin dry

 Ran out of canning jars so ended up using the food saver plastic containers

Filled up the drawer in the garage fridge for the week! NOTE: there is a small bag of coleslaw mixed in to give it crunch!

All the above food should be enough to get us through the week mostly for lunches and dinners as we
deliberately made extra for leftovers. I plan on getting back to the gym this week and also anticipate a busy week ahead of me so this will be good. Knowing that something is available for my dad to make a hot meal is pretty comforting.

It's definitely been an adjustment for us this past week. We realize, even though my dad does not want to admit it, that he needs supervision for both his medication (insulin is 5 to 8 shots a day minimum) and pills (40 a day) ... just too much for me to take care of in addition to work and other stuff. I think he is probably lonely during the day with no one around, even though he says he is fine, I don't think that's true.

Monday, we were running late leaving the VA (didn't get to the office til 2:30!) so on Tuesday, after going back to do blood work, we stopped at an Assisted Living Facility I checked out (I went to about 10 total, this is the one that I felt most comfortable with) ... he was somewhat warm to it but that evening was very upset ... offering me his full social security check and such to let him stay here ... there really really REALLY needs to be a book to deal with this stage of a parent's life. After many tears, many false accusations (you don't love me, you don't want me, send me back to Indiana), we finally calmed down. I CAN NOT provide the care and attention he needs working full PLUS time.

Sniff. I feel the need to head back to the kitchen and cook something else now ...

I'm linking up with Works for Me Wednesday, Kitchen Tip Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

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 base

Thursday - leftovers or Hubby can decide

Friday - Chicken thighs with grilled veggies (grillin)

Saturday - Hubby's choice ... he's been in the cooking mood lately so I'm letting him take the reins.

I will probably hit up The Fresh Market on Tuesday for the $2.99 chicken breast, ground beef and milk (all are $2.99) ... just because I've got the $5 off $20 coupons too ... I can pick up any produce as needed at that time.

Go check out what a bunch of others are planning this week at Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, April 13, 2012

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 even though I've got this cool recipe saved to give a try ... cook it up as directed.

Nowadays, I use a plate for myself, but only because the new plates have a little dip in them as opposed to the others that were FLAT ... but otherwise, I'd recommend you use a shallow type bowl.

Layer the refried beans, lettuce, meat, cheese and top with the tomatoes, onions and sour cream with the guac on the side if using.

Serve it up and enjoy!

NOTE: I made this for my dad the other night and he was sort of, kind of grumbling about NO SHELLS (he's a pretty bad diabetic and I've managed to keep his blood sugars in the range of 120 to 150 this past week as opposed to 220 to 250 normal) ... so I crushed up a few tortilla chips and sprinkled around the outer edges. I think he's craving carbs big time right now :D

Linking up with these folks (you should too!): Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, What's New WednesdayFrugal Food Thursday

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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, put in a ziploc bag (or other freezer safe container) and toss in the freezer. To use, let it thaw and heat up a bit in some hot water and you will be good to go in even less time. Unfortunately, I didn't have any premade stuff in the freezer, but that was ok as everything else was ready to go!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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 go ... the pasta was from Princess having a carbfest .... I mean really, this is P E R F E C T.

Give it a try ... I think you'll be surprised (especially if it's all leftovers!) ...

Linking up with: Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth MondayMade By You Monday, Hunk of Meat MondayMarvelous Mess, Mix and MingleTempt My Tummy, Made From Scratch, Tasty Tidbits, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Made Famous By, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, What's New WednesdayTaste This Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, What's Cooking Thursday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday


Monday, April 9, 2012

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.

Anyways ... here's what we are planning (and remember, my dad is a very bad diabetic, 70 to 400 on any given day with 5 shots of insulin)

Sunday - ham and scalloped taters, sliced tomatoes and deviled eggs

Monday - Hubby tossed a big hunk of beef in the crockpot, so I'm guessing something along the lines off BBQ beef? I really do appreciate him doing this (and it's catching my off guard!)

Tuesday - Chicken of sorts, probably a quick stirfry

Wednesday - Taco salad (using the ground turkey I bought from Costco before trip)

Thursday - Chicken Pasta Cesar Salad

Friday - Burgers or dogs (not sure which yet) with onion rings.

Saturday - Do not have a clue ... we eat late on Friday's and Saturdays so may just make my dad a McChix Sandwich and small salad on the side and then we will eat later.

I am seriously lacking motivation for the week ... does it show?

Linking up with Organizing Junkie and Menu Planning Monday

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

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) $15.08
4 pk ground 93/7 turkey ($2.39/lb) $16.96
lb of coastal cheddar $6.99
Honeynut Cheerios $6.99 (Hubby was ready to revolt)
2 Hillshire thin slice turkey $8.39 each (whats up with the smoked turkey? haven't seen last 2 times)
black forest lunchmeat $6.97 and $6.75..
hard salami $5.27
5 lbs tomatoes $6.99
twin pack printer ink $66.99 (yikes, didn't see that price!)
2 cashew crunch snack things $10.99 each
6 pk romaine $3.99

Total $379.98 ... now, technically, food was only about $225 or so as the dishes were $80 and the ink was $67.

NOW. I had picked up 2 tshirts and a pair of dress shorts for Hubby on one of the clearance carts. Tshirts were $6 each and shorts were $5. They rang up as $12.99, $12.99 and $29.99. Had to pay for the rest of stuff and ran back, grabbed the sign off the cart and came back up ... ran into a manager in process and he agreed that it should have rang up correct prices. $18.02 total for that too. So yeah, $400 day ... ugg.

So, I'm saying I've spent $225 on food already for the month. That gives me about $125 left ... should NOT be a problem BUT the air & sea show is the end of the month AND my dad is going to be here for a few weeks most likely ... so yeah, I can probably still pull off the $30 or so a week for the rest of the month. I actually NEED to make that happen since we will have to put out a big chunk of change for Dad to get in the Assisted Living place ...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

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 whisk it up.

drop in the veggies and toss to coat all well.

Add the pork and nestle down in the marinade, covering the meat with the veggies.

Of course, I realize that dang, that's alot of meat! So I ended up putting the pork in a NEW shoebox and then dumping the veggies on top ...

Thankfully I have a handy dandy rubber spatula!

Grab your showercap and cover it up, stick in fridge for a few hours.

Now, if your Hubby is anything like mine, he grabbed the pork out of the shoebox around 6ish and tossed in a ziploc with some Dales (low sodium, green label) Seasoning and a little liquid smoke. Irritating isn't it? How dare he step in to MY domain and interfere. Whatever. He's a good cook so I let him go at it (besides, he's the one that suggested the pork).

Grill meat as desired.

The veggies can be either grilled in a foil pack OR if you have a decent size skillet/grate tray, grill them on that and cook til cooked through to kill any germs (um, raw meat, pork, you now, just cook them). I will use the grill skillet as I like the CHARRED edges.  FYI - do NOT dump the veggies in to the grill pan over the grill itself. Oil plus open flame equals PANIC. Umm, yeah. I let the boys tend the grill and about dumped the pretty drink jumping up from the table to take over. Darn men. THINK!

The green beans? Picked up for 98 cents/lb ... sauteed them with a little olive oil and a LOT of garlic


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 'storage facility' since no one is living there.

I'm having major anxiety about bring my dad back ... hoping all goes according to plan...wish me luck!

Linking up with Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday ...