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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Menu Plan Week #100 - Using What We Have

Hello!

Have you missed the weekly menu plan from me the past two weeks?  I've been busy and traveling and quite honestly, did NOT make a plan that was stuck with ... I was more concerned with using what we had on hand before leaving town!

We spent a good chunk of time with family and it was so great to see everyone!  Of course, my last day out of town and my dad fell in the middle of the night, broke his wrist and while at the hospital they noticed that he has kidney issues and a heart valve issue. Both of which he has had for a while but for whatever reason, they wanted to do more testing on him. *Cardiologist has just informed him that there is nothing to be done at this time*. So that was my excitement!

Is everyone else in a state of denial that it's DECEMBER? You've got to be kidding me!! We have this weekend and next to prep for our big party ... feeling slightly stressed, you know? :-) On the other hand, I was excited to dig out my "Stay Calm and Get Your Ho Ho Ho On" picture out!

I need to run to the store for produce and dairy stuff ... and some bread and cat food but hoping to keep the expense down ... this past week was a little pricey food wise and I will need to hit up Costco the 2nd week for the upcoming party ...

Here's what we are planning for the upcoming week:

Sunday - Spaghetti and meat sauce. I wanted to make MY meat sauce, but got lazy so pulled out a Victoria Marinara sauce I had from Costco in the pantry. Pasta from pantry too (doh!). Will also cut up some chicken italian sausage (freezer) and toss the slices in the sauce.  Will pull a loaf of the sour dough french bread that is vacuum packed (Costco) from the pantry to make alongside. IF I'm still feeling somewhat ambitious, will also make a small salad, even though we ALL know that I need to do this any way for the week ahead! I 'think' my romaine is still edible ;-) Feeding 6



Monday - Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (I think I will add bacon) - I want to avoid CANNED soup but can not make any promises ;-) IF I am up to it, a cheese and broccoli soup will be made (I have a somewhat simple recipe to try). Cheese in fridge (need to shred), broccoli in freezer and balance of ingredients in fridge and pantry. IF I still don't get to the store today, I will just use another loaf of the vacuum packed bread for the grilled cheese sandwiches. Feeding 4



Tuesday - Chicken Cesar Pasta Salad - chicken from freezer, pasta in pantry, salad stuff will be picked up by this time! ;-) Feeding 4



Wednesday - Tacos (salads) ... ground beef in freezer, toppings and shells in the fridge/pantry. I will most likely will make a side batch of Corn Salsa to go along too ... Feeding 4





Thursday - Ranchy Chicken in the Crock Pot ... looking to serve some green beans alongside ... beans and chicken in freezer, balance of ingredients in pantry Feeding 6



Friday - Hubby's choice ... this will really depend on where we are with putting the lights up outside as we have ONE week til our Christmas Party at the house ...

Saturday - Hubby's choice ...same as last night ... I have a feeling this will be a busy day today ...

What are YOU making this week? Check out Menu Plan Monday for more ideas!


Friday, November 28, 2014

Super Easy New England Clam Chowder


We went to see family in NW Indiana and boy, after the weekend rain, it got chilly (and thank you for the light dusting of snow on Thanksgiving!) ... Hubby and I had agreed that we should make this soup since the original recipe came from my sister in law and it had been awhile since we made it ... a quick stop at Costco (and a couple hundred dollars less), we had the essentials to making this!



New England style is creamy ... Manhattan is red and chunky. And if you've been reading for any length of time, you probably picked up that Hubby HATES chunky tomatoes in cooked dishes. For someone who is a big fan of food, he certainly can be picky at times ;-)

Just for the record, I do not like clam chowder, normally. And this recipe, I mean, all the ingredients were pretty much processed and well, I'm trying to avoid that stuff ... but, heck, its the holiday and we are with a large family ... so why not!



Yes, it is a little indulgent and I would suggest you not make it every day. But please, whatever you do, give it at least ONE shot ... I think you'll be glad you did!

Here's what you need:

1 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled (save a lot of the bacon grease in the skillet)
2 medium onion, chopped
4 cans of baby clams
5 cans of diced potatoes, drained
3 cans of cream of celery soup
2 cups half and half
2 cups milk
2 tsps dry dill

Make life a little easier and give the bacon a quick whirl
in food processor to chop it up

Cook onion in the bacon grease until translucent and soft.  Add the juice from the clams (set clams aside) and the potatoes to the pan and cook til the taters are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.



Add the balance of the ingredients, stir and let simmer 45 minutes or so until thick. Add the clams towards the end.



Dish up into some pretty bowls, top with a little more bacon bits if you have ... ENJOY!



This makes a lot and was more than enough to feed 12 of use with about 3 servings leftover for my father in law. We put these in 3 containers and stuck them in the freezer for an easy, later meal.

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradise, Weekend Social, Foodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopCelebrate It!,  Friday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend Wonders, Weekend SocialWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday Showcase Sundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayPin It Party Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday What’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving!



Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving ... and don't forget to make yourself a Hot Brown with the leftover turkey (recipe will be reposted) ... 

Count your blessing, an remember how many things there really are in life to be thankful for. We forget on a day to day basis how blessed we really are. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hot Browns - the Glorified Open Face Turkey Sandwich

I'm not a big Thanksgiving fan ... and every year, Hubby and I will lay in bed one night leding up to the big feast and discuss my 'issues' and what memories we have. Him? He LOVES Thanksgiving ... and it's a big deal when it comes down to it.

My only real vivid memory is the scolding, ridiculing and just plain misery as I wouldn't eat any of 'that' food when I was a kid. Picky? You bet. Which is why I can sympathize with the Boy and why I always make sure to make a large tray of mac and cheese ... just one of those things that I can so relate to ....



I like turkey nowadays ... thankfully, but after 2 full days of breakfast, lunch AND dinner, I get a little fed up with it ... so after we had this at the Brown Hotel a few years back, I had kept it tucked away in the back of my mind ...

I made it a few times ... but never really after Thanksgiving ... and then it became a Saturday or Sunday night tradition ... 

So if  you are like ME and get a little tired of all that turkey leftover stuff ... give this a try ...

Hot Browns ...

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, room temperature and beaten
Salt and black pepper to taste
Dried parsley as desired
8 slices toasted texas style bread, crust removed and cut in two triangles
1 pound cooked turkey breast, thickly sliced (or chunky)
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
8 bacon slices, fried crisp
One medium size tomato cut in quarters and halved again (8 quarters)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Gradually add flour, whisking constantly, until smooth and free from lumps.

Gradually stir in milk and cream until sauce comes to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted and well blended.


In a small bowl, beat egg. Gradually add 1 cup of hot sauce, 1/3 cup at a time, to the egg, stirring constantly. Gradually add egg mixture to remaining sauce, stirring constantly until well blended; add salt and pepper to taste with parsley.


For each Hot Brown sandwich, place two slices of toasted bread on a metal (or flameproof) dish.

Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey.

Nestle a tomato wedge in one corner and then other corner (2 total). Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove dish from broiler and cross two pieces of bacon over the top, and serve immediately. *Honestly, I think in the future I would skip roasting the tomato slice as it's doesn't really do a whole lot for 'me'*

Admire, and eat. Remind yourself that this is day xx of eating leftover turkey and think, wow, life is good!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradise, Weekend Social, Foodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopCelebrate It!,  Friday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday Showcase Sundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayPin It Party Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday What’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays