Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Weekly Menu 6/27 - 7/2

I'm late posting this!!! I guess better late than never right?

Sunday - We had California Pizza Kitchen Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad Copycat that I was supposed to make last week.

Monday - We had a Chicken and Stove Top Stuffing Casserole, Corn on the Cob, Scallded Lettuce

Tuesday - Chili and Cornbread

Wednesday - Baked Ziti, Salad, Bread

Thursday - Pizza Turkey Burgers (we shall see how that goes), Tator Tots

Friday - Fried Salmon Cakes, Fried Potatoes, Broccoli

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Enchilada Lasagna

I tried out a new recipe last night for dinner. It is from the July 2010 issue of Taste of Home.
The recipe is called Enchilada Lasagna and it was actually really good! The "noodles" in the lasagna are actually flour tortillas. It is full of enough cheese to choke you, but it is yummy!! My Dad and Brother-in-law loved it!

I do have a few changes that I would like to make next time that I make it, but overall it didn't need changing.

Enchilada Lasagna
adapted from Taste of Home Magazine
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
1 to 2 tsp ground cumin (I used 1 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
8 flour tortillas (8 inch) cut in half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the enchilada sauce, tomatoes, salt, pepper and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine egg and cottage cheese; set aside. Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce into a greased 13x9 baking dish. Layer with half of the cheese blend, tortillas, cottage cheese and remaining meat sauce. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Top with sour cream, guacamole or pico de gallo.

Changes that I would make next time...
- Add small can of chopped green chile's
- Add half of a packet of taco seasoning to the sauce. It needs some more flavor.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Amazing Chocolate Cake from The Pioneer Woman Cooks


**WARNING** If you are on Weight Watchers or any other program to lose weight...DON'T READ THIS POST!

I made this cake a couple weeks ago and I HAD to post it because it is that amazing! One of my pet peeves is a dry cake and this cake was nothing of the sorts. It is a rich chocolate cake with a cooked chocolate icing. You will notice from the picture that the frosting isn't thick and fluffy. It is more fudgy and you pour it overtop of warm cake while it is still hot. The frosting then seeps down into the cake and down the sides. You can see in this picture that some of the icing made it down to the bottom of the cake and oozed out. I am typing this out now and dreaming of the time that I MUST make this again.

I got this recipe out of The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. You can access the recipe here. Ree makes this recipe in a large jelly roll pan. I made the cake in a 9x13 pan, so it was much thicker and I will definitely make it that way again.

Enjoy! Enjoy!

Marinated Ribeye's & Twice Baked Potatoes

In typical fashion, my Dad and brother-in-law wanted meat and potatoes for their Father's Day dinner so I decided to spice things up a little bit. We had marinated ribeye's and twice baked potatoes. I have been making twice baked potatoes for years and I cut the ribeye marinade out of Taste of Home magazine recently.

The twice baked potatoes are just what you expect. Creamy, cheesy, potatoey goodness in a potato skin boat. I don't really follow a recipe for this but here's the basic gist of it.

Twice Baked Potatoes
4 baking potatoes
5 TBL softened butter
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 TBL minced chives

- Bake potatoes at 350 until done. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to be able to handle them.
- Slice the potatoes in half and scoop the potato out into a large bowl. Place the potato shells back on the pan.
- Add the butter and mash by hand to incorporate the butter.
- Add the sour cream, 1 cup cheese, chives, salt and pepper and continue to mash until combined
- Scoop the potato mixture back into the potato shells and top with the remaining cheese. If you like them extra cheesy then by all means add the more!!
- Bake at 350 for another 15 - 20 minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly.

**I have added bacon to this before as well and it was a big hit.


The ribeye marinade was super easy and I was actually really surprised at how many ingredients were in it. It had a sweet undertone to it and I personally really liked it.

Ribeye Marinade
(adapted from Taste of Home magazine)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
3 TBL steak sauce
3 TBL olive oil
3 Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp steak seasoning
1 garlic cloved, minced
1 TBL red wine vinegar
1 TBL soy sauce
1 tsp hot sauce

- Combine all ingredients.
- This recipe makes enough marinade for 4 steaks.
- Marinade steaks for at least 4 hours and up to 12.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekly Menu: June 19 - 25

Well I was good last week and almost made all of the dishes that I had planned on. Life happens right? Here's the plan for this week...

Sunday - Marinated Ribeye's (have a marinade recipe I want to try), Twice Baked Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Salad (All my Dad's requests of course because today is all about him)

Monday - Enchilada Lasagna (yet another new recipe), Guacamole and Chips

Tuesday - Baked Chicken with Cream of Mushroom Soup, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday - Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Chips

Thursday - Catering a Wedding Reception so no dinner!

Friday - California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad Copykat

Other goals for Sunday afternoon:
- Low-Fat Cheesecake with fresh fruit (recipe from Food Network Magazine) (for my Dad for Dad's Day)
- Zucchini Bread
- Chocolate Cake from The Pioneer Woman Cooks (for my spoiled bro-in-law for Dad's Day)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Teriyaki and Pineapple Glazed Pork Loin


Okay so I know that this isn't the most beautiful thing in the world, but it's really yummy! And it's something different from the "standard" baked chicken breasts that I feel like we have all of the time. Pork's "bad" rep had gotten better recently because surprisingly, you can get very lean cuts of pork.

Any of you that know me know that I am all about making great food for the best bargain. My menu each week tends to be based upon the meat that is on sale for that week. This week was no exception. Our local store had half boneless pork loin's on sale. They are huge and I probably could have fed 12 people total that evening for dinner with one $6 dollar pork loin. Can we say leftovers???

This was really simple to make. The roast turned out moist and tender enough to cut with a fork. I can't give you a specific on the time that it took because all roasts are different. This is when your handy dandy kitchen thermometer gets good use.

Teriyaki and Pineapple Glazed Pork Loin
1 - 4 (ish) pound pork loin
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice (you can buy the real small cans in the juice aisle)
1/2 tsp kosher salt for glaze plus additional for pork
1/4 tsp ground black pepper for glaze plus additional for pork
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

- Preheat oven to 315 degrees
- Place pork loin on a cooking rack in a roasting pan
- Liberally season with kosher salt and pepper
- Cover with foil and cook in oven for approx 2 hours.
- Combine teriyaki sauce, pineapple juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- This is where your judgement comes into play based on the size of your loin. According to a site that I found for cooking temperatures of pork loin, it needs to be cooked to 155 degrees. At around 2 hours, my pork loin was within 20 degrees of being done after testing it with a thermometer. At this point I removed the foil, turned the temp to 350 and began basting the pork loin every 15 minutes until it reaches 155 degrees.
- When done, pull from oven and let rest for 15 minutes so that the juices will redistribute. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

MSC Cupcake Club - Strawberry Cupcakes


So I am back with the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club after a few months hiatus. Between traveling during what seems to be the middle of every month and craziness at work, I just haven't had the time.

This months great cupcake pick was from Sherry at Sherry Starts Cooking. The cupcakes are Strawberry cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Strawberries are at their peak in my area so these were an even better pick for me.

The cupcakes themselves were very simple, but yummy. They were super moist and I enjoyed the small chunks of strawberries in them. I do have to say that I was a little disappointed that the cupcakes weren't more "strawberryie". I think that next time I will add in some strawberry puree to make them more like a cupcake and less like a strawberry muffin.

I made the mistake of trying the meringue icing again. It looks all pretty, but the taste just isn't there for me. It's too much butter. I should have stuck with a simple strawberry buttercream. This is solely my personal preference though.

I will definitely make these again with a couple of tweaks. Thanks again Sherry for the pick! I have been anxious to make these ever since buying the book!

Out Of This World Cornbread

I have been on the hunt for a great cornbread recipe for awhile. I don't want a plain tasting cornbread that is dry and falls apart when you cut into it. I wanted one that was heavy, moist and super sweet. Well the search is over!!!! haha.

Martina McBride, a majorly famous country singer, had her cornbread recipe posted in Good Housekeeping this month in the July 2010 edition of the magazine. When I saw the sugar content, I knew that I had found a match.

This is definitely going on my make again and again and again list. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. Beware though...if you don't like a sweet cornbread then this isn't for you.

Martina McBride's Corn Cornbread
- 1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal, plus more for pan
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 lg eggs
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 8x8 or 9x9 square baking dish. (The recipe called for a 9x5 loaf pan) Dust the pan with cornmeal.

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a mediaum bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, milk and oil. Stir egg mixture into cornmeal mixture until just combined. Stir in the corn and pour batter into prepared pan. I honestly don't remember how long that I baked this but I believe that it was another 20 minutes or so after the first 15 minutes. Just bake it until it springs back to the touch in the middle.

Bake 15 minutes and reset the oven control to 325. I honestly don't remember how long that I cooked it after this. I believe that it was 20 minutes. It just needs to spring back when you touch it. I will time it next time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly Menu: June 13 - 18

I guess if I am going to get back into the swing of things with blogging, I should start posting my menu for the week on here so that I can keep myself held accountable. Here's what we are having this week.

Sunday Lunch - Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches, Mac and Cheese and Peas. I am not making the pork bbq homemade like I normally do. I got 2 tubs of pork bbq for cheap while couponing yesterday so we are doing that. Nice and easy, and I love meals that feed 7 of us for under $10 bucks.

Sunday Dinner - Terriaki/Pinapple Glazed Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans and Cornbread. (Yes, I know that we are porking it out today but I don't have time to cook a whole pork loin during the week because of the time that I get off of work)

Monday - Spaghetti, Salad and Bread

Tuesday - Grilled Barbecue Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Corn on the Cob and Scallded Lettuce

Wednesday - Pasta alla Betsy (from the Pioneer Woman Cooks) and Salad

Thursday - Homemade Chicken Veg Soup and Grilled Cheese

Friday - Pizza Night

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where Have I Been???

So....I haven't posted since January 20th. Shame on me!!! I love blogging so much but I have been so busy with work and life in general. The first half of my year is consumed with Graduation at Liberty. I work what seems like around the clock from the first of April through mid-May on getting that ready. I also took 2 trips to California for work since January. I went to Los Angeles and then San Francisco and tacked on a trip to Vegas. Then you add in vacation and just life and I haven't really had time to try out a lot of new recipes. (Yes, I am soooo ashamed of this).

I do have a few things to post that I have made and that will be coming within the next few days along with a post to the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club that I have been horrible with and neglected. I promise that I am going to make up on all of my posts though!!!

Here are a few pictures of what I have been up to the past few months...

Graduation! - May 15th


San Francisco!

Vegas!

Los Angeles and Laguna Beach!

Myrtle Beach, SC!



Mady's K5 Graduation!