Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kristine's Menu

I thought I would report back on a few recipes that I tried last week so everyone would know how they turned out. I updated the post with my reviews, so feel free to revisit this post if you were thinking about making something, but wanted to hear more first.

Sunday: Italian Lemon Butter Chicken - I used white cooking wine instead of champagne and also omitted the mushrooms. I liked it enough to make again. I used the juice of two lemons for the sauce and when I tasted it, I thought WOW, that is way too much lemon. I ended up adding a little more cream and milk to the sauce, but once it was on the chicken and pasta, I couldn't taste the lemon strong at all. So next time, I will leave as is!

Monday: Chicken Pillows - Jordan's favorite thing I make. And maybe the most ghetto :)

Tuesday: Waffles & Eggs

Wednesday: Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta

Thursday: Chicken Cordon Bleu

Friday: Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers - never got to them last week because my mom came into town!

Saturday: Hamburgers

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dresden's Menu

Happy Monday evening everyone! I've heard from a few of you that you've been using our recipes. I am so glad! We'd love to see some of your yummy recipes, feel free to email us or leave a link in a comment.

Last week I posted a recipe for crock pot ranch potatoes, I highly recommend them if you're looking for a good side dish. I used cream of chicken instead of cream of mushroom only because I am not a fan of cream of mushroom. I also added a decent amount of salt & pepper, season to taste.

Here's my menu for the week:

Monday: Leftover French Dip Sandwiches
Tuesday: Enchiladas (didn't get to this last week) with salad
Wednesday: Crock Pot Lasagna (thank you for the recipe Lani!)

Thursday: BBQ Chicken Salad (using Natalie's idea from here)
using this salad dressing recipe
Friday: Hamburgers with corn on the cob

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dresden's Menu

Another week is already here, I seriously feel like August flew by faster than any month this year. Which is weird cause my birthday is this month and it usually goes by really slow. We've been super busy every week this month so that's probably why it's has gone by so quickly. I have a few new recipes I'm trying this week, click on the green ones new recipes to try.

Monday: Hamburgers with fruit
Tuesday: Crock Pot Orange Chicken & rice
Wednesday: My birthday!
Thursday: Enchiladas with salad
(I can never have too many of my mom's enchiladas:))
Friday: Chicken Alfredo with broccoli
(this is my favorite alfredo sauce recipe)
Saturday: Steak with Crock Pot Ranch Potatoes

I was looking for a healthy granola recipe for awhile when I came upon this. My old roommate is a super incredibly healthy strong girl. She has lots of great workout and healthy eating tips over at her blog here. These little babies are peanut butter oatmeal banana granola bars, a recipe from her blog. I made a batch of them, wrapped each one in freezer paper + tape and grab one on my way out the door from the freezer every morning. I highly recommend them as a snack at work, they are yummy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kristine's Menu

I didn't post a menu last week because I only cooked twice as we were out of town. It is tough getting back into the swing of things, but I know with a menu, I am MUCH more organized!  Here's my menu for the week!

Sunday: Had dinner at my parent's house. Why does food taste much better when you are not cooking and it is cooked by your mom? :)

Monday: Neighborhood BBQ

Tuesday: Alfredo Pizza - I have some frozen leftover alfredo sauce from a few weeks ago and I am pretty sure this is the only thing I have the ingredients for. I need to go grocery shopping!

Wednesday: Breakfast burritos - tortillas, eggs, bacon, cheese and salsa verde. So easy and so delicious!

Thursday: Baked Ziti and Garlic Pull Apart Bread - both new recipes that I am excited to try out. - UPDATE: loved this.  It reminded me of a dish that my mom used to make when we were kids. It was super easy and super fast. And really only required one dish! I didn't have any ziti, so I used macaroni noodles. I would DEFINITELY recommend using a pasta with a little more stability because mine was a little too soggy. I also didn't have any fresh basil on hand, so I just threw in a few dollops of Costco's prepared Pesto.  I didn't want to make a whole recipe of the pull apart bread since there are just two of us, so I halved it and put three little balls into a cup of a muffin tin. They turned out really cute, but I think they needed a little more garlic. Also, beware of overcooking! I was waiting for mine to turn golden brown, but they really never did and turned out on the slightly overcooked side.

Friday: Ground Beef Tacos - I never use ground beef besides hamburgers, so I am branching out and making some good old fashioned tacos
UPDATE: also, loved these. The fried shells made all of the difference. Maybe not the most healthy thing, so I am going to try a baked version very soon (especially since I have a big ol' bag of corn tortillas sitting in my fridge waiting to be used.)

Saturday: Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers and Skillet Potatoes - recipe coming next week!

I am also trying to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables this week. I have recently started making Green Monster Smoothies and it is such an easy way to get both of those in. I make a few batches at a time and freeze them so Jordan and I can both have a good breakfast!

Natalie's Menu

David started school today so we are back into the normal swing of things. However, we are probably moving into our own place this weekend so that will probably stir things up, right when I thought they were going to slow down :) Here's what we're having this week:

Sunday: Sonoran hot dogs, grilled corn (recipe coming this week!)
Monday: Crock pot chicken tacos + easy mexican rice
Tuesday: Teriyaki salmon, rice, roasted veggies from the garden
Wednesday: Creamy chicken taquitos + raw veggies
Thursday: Stuffed zucchini (filled with sausage, tomato sauce + mozzarella. Probably a variation of this recipe.) + green salad
Friday + Saturday we will be out of town because Davids family will be visiting for our nieces 1st birthday and our other nieces baby blessing.

Photo is of the pretty cupcakes my mom made for a bridal shower she threw. They were DELICIOUS! Now I want to make a chocolate mayonnaise cake tonight. Have you ever had a cake made with mayonnaise in the batter. THE BEST!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Natalie's Menu

It's been a busy week! I barely made dinner last week, we had so much going on. Shame, shame. David started school this week, so I should have plenty of time to plan and work on some yummy meals! I'm only planning thru Thursday because it's our anniversary on Friday! David will be at school all day, but we'll grab dinner and spend the rest of the day together-- and then this weekend we're going to celebrate for reals at Disneyland because our passes will finally be unblocked! Can't wait to grab a Gibson Girl ice cream.

Monday: Chicken Pot Pie // I'm going to do a simpler version of Ina Garten's Pot Pie
Tuesday: Roasted pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli + asparagus
Wednesday: Kristine's California club pizza // cut up watermelon, pineapple, melon + grapes
Thursday: Bacon basil chicken // roasted potatotes, green salad
The rest of the week we'll be super busy and celebrating!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

California Club Pizza

If you know anything about my cooking, you know I LOVE pizza. I am not talking about plain old red sauce and pepperoni pizza {although I still think it is yummy}. I am talking about delicious specialty pizzas which usually include chicken.  I make a variety of different pizzas, but I am pretty sure this is my all time favorite. And lucky for you, it is also one of the easiest!

This pizza is a direct replication of the California Club Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen. I always used to go there just for this pizza. I decided that I could try replicating it on my own and it tastes EXACTLY like it came from CPK.  Since making it on my own, I never have a reason to go there anymore!  This pizza tastes so fresh, it is perfect for summer.

Also, are you still buying your pizza dough? Give the recipe below a try! It is SO EASY! Don't be intimidated by the yeast. I think that pizza dough is the perfect place to start using yeast because if your dough isn't perfect, it doesn't ruin the pizza.

Pizza before toppings are added. This is how I store my leftovers as well.

California Club Pizza

1/2 recipe pizza dough (see below)

1 chicken breast cooked and cut into small pieces {cooking method is all preference here. I browned mine in a little olive oil and salt & pepper}
6 slices of bacon - cooked and chopped into small pieces
Grated Mozzarella cheese {I'm not putting a direct measurement here because 1- everyone has different preferences for how cheesy they like their pizza 2- does anyone actually measure cheese?}
2 Tomatoes, sliced and slightly salted
1 Avocado, sliced
1/2 head Romaine Lettuce, chopped into tiny pieces {like almost pulverized :)}
Mayonnaise - desired amount. I like a little, my husband likes a lot.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out dough onto pizza stone leaving the outer area slightly thicker to create a crust.  Poke holes in dough to prevent bubbles and leave standing for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare chicken and grate cheese.  After dough has slightly risen, layer chicken and cheese on the pizza. Put into oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Pull out and top with bacon. Put back into oven and bake until crust is golden and cheese is starting to get small brown spots (about an additional 5-10 minutes). When pizza comes out of the oven, let it cool just slightly for a few minutes. During that time, toss lettuce with mayonnaise. Top pizza with tomatoes and avocado and finish off with the lettuce/mayo mixture.

Pizza Dough
Note: This recipe makes enough for TWO pizzas. I always make the full recipe, let the dough rise, cut the dough in half, wrap it in plastic wrap and throw it into the freezer for another time. {When you are ready to use the frozen dough, just pull it out a few hours before you need it and let it rise until double in size.}

1 1/2 c. very warm water
1 Tbs yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbs oil - I use olive

3 1/2 - 4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt

Combine yeast, sugar and water in a bowl (or bowl of KitchenAid). Let stand for about 5-10 minutes. When the yeast is ready, the foam of the mixture will be about 1/2 inch thick. Add salt, oil and add flour in 1/2 c. increments until dough is fully combined. You want the dough to be slightly tacky, but not too sticky, so adjust flour measurements as needed. Knead by hand or mixer for 5-7 minutes. Cover with towel and let rise about 1 hour until doubled in size.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kristine's Menu

Hope you all had a good weekend! Here's my menu for the week.

Sunday: Nothing! We were at a friend's baby blessing, so no cooking!

Monday: BLT pizza - never got around to it last week, but I am CRAVING it today, plus I need something good to eat for the premiere Bachelor Pad :)

Tuesday: Mexican Baked Chicken. Mexican rice. Salad. Fruit.

Wednesday: Burritos w/ leftover meat from Tuesday.

Thursday: Breakfast egg sandwiches. Fruit.

Friday: Hamburgers {we didn't have these last week either. We love hamburgers, so making them at home keeps us from eating out all weekend}. Homemade friends {we obviously love these}. Salad.

Saturday: Giving myself one free day of either leftovers or out!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Easy Ranch Chicken Pillows

We pretty much love anything wrapped up in a crescent roll and baked. Who doesn't?! Well the other night I was thinking about what to make and this popped into my head. It is a combination of a couple recipes. I cooked an extra breast at the beginning of the week and put it in the fridge. When it came time to make this it took like 15 mins in total to prepare. Simple. 

If this is for a family you'll want to double the recipe, this feeds me & my husband.

Ranch Chicken Pillows
1 chicken breast cooked & shredded (I bbq'd mine)
1/3 cup cream cheese, softened (1/3 less fat tastes great in this)
1/3 cup cream o ckn (or more depending on how saucy you want it)
2 t. Ranch Seasoning (ranch dressing mix)
1 pkg. crescent rolls (the ones with 8 in them)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cream cheese, cream o ckn & ranch seasoning in a bowl. Add pepper to taste or more ranch seasoning. Add chicken and mix well.

Open crescent rolls, spread them all out on a cookie sheet. It should be one large rectangle. Take 2 crescents and press the centers together making 4 small rectangles in total (make sense?).

Add a spoonful of ckn mixture in the middle of each rectangle, fold sides over and seal edges.

Bake for 13-15 mins, checking often after 13 mins. You want them to be golden brown, like a normal crescent roll.

Serve with a side of veggies and enjoy!

Sorry no pictures again...my point & shoot got wet last weekend :(

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fried Chicken Sliders

A few weeks ago, Jordan and I went to Cheesecake Factory with some friends. We ordered an appetizer of Fried Chicken Sliders and they were so good. I thought I could easily replicate them at home, so that is what I did!  I knew this was up on my menu, so when I made homemade buns a few weeks ago, I split up two sets of the buns in two to make four mini buns. You could obviously easily make this into a full sized sandwich instead of sliders.  This recipe makes four mini sliders, but it is very easy to change the portions since there isn't a lot of measuring.

1 large chicken breast
Cajun seasoning {I use Tony Chachere} - optional, but adds a great flavor
1 Egg
1/4 c. Milk
Vegetable Oil

Butterfly the chicken breast and then cut in half to make four equal pieces.  Combine flour, salt, pepper and cajun seasoning. Combine egg and milk in a bowl. Dredge in flour, then egg mixture, then back in flour mixture. Cover a medium skillet with about 1/4 inch of oil. When you place a corner of the chicken in the oil to test the heat and it bubbles, you know you are ready to go!  Fry each side of the chicken until it is golden brown {about 4 minutes on each side}.

Place on bun and top with any of the following:

  • Sauce: Fry Sauce {equal parts ketchup and mayo}, Special Sauce {BBQ sauce and mayo}, Ranch, Mustard, Honey Mustard Sauce, Guacamole
  • Pickles
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Onions
  • Bacon
  • Or whatever your little heart desires

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Natalie's Menu

It's already Wednesday! We skipped a few days of making dinner to meet up with friends we hadn't seen in years. But I'm back on track tonight! And I'm planning on making these yummy no-bake cookies since it's so dang hot.

Sunday: Homemade hamburgers, fresh cut french fries with lots of salt + pepper and salad.

Monday + Tuesday: Ate out

Wednesday: BBQ chicken drumsticks, roasted lemon broccoli, garlic bread

Thursday: Chicken enchiladas + green salad (we didn't end up getting to it last week)

Friday: We're shooting a wedding in LA so we'll grab dinner afterward.

I'm excited about chicken drumsticks tonight. We eat chicken breast every week and my husband likes a break with a little dark meat every once in a while and these organic ones I got were on sale for less than $3 for a pack of 5.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Country Chicken Piccata

I don't know where this recipe came from, but I remember my mom made it when I was in high school and I LOVED it. This, along with chicken enchiladas, was the first meal that I perfected. It is so easy. I hadn't made it in awhile and apparently Jordan forgot all about it. He loved it so much that he wants it to become one of our regulars!  Seriously, make this!

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper {original recipe calls for cornflake crumbs, but this is not something I keep on hand, so I just substituted it with a simple flour dredge}
4 TBS butter
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 TBS lemon juice {I didn't measure this, I just used the juice of one lemon}
A few green onions, chopped.

Combine the milk and eggs in a bowl. Combine flour and salt and pepper on a plate. If chicken is too thick, flatten  so it can cook evenly. Dip chicken in flour mixture, then egg/milk, then back in flour to dredge.  Melt 2 TBS butter in skillet and add garlic. After the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, add chicken and cook on medium heat. Flip after golden brown. If all of the butter has been soaked up, add remaining 2 TBS butter after flipping. After both sides are golden brown and chicken is cooked through, squeeze lemon juice over chicken and top with green onions.

I served this with Mashed potatoes and corn on the cob and it was perfect.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kristine's Menu

We had two unexpected visitors this past week, so again, I only cooked 5 out of the 7 meals last week! But for real this week, I am committing to at least SIX of them!

Sunday: Chicken Alfredo. Broccoli. Salad.

Monday: Cilantro Lime Enchiladas {new recipe I am excited to try out!}. Salad. Zucchini.

Tuesday: French Toast. Fruit. {this is one of those meals from a few weeks ago that was replaced by eating out so it's back on the menu}

Wednesday: Pork chops. Mashed potatoes. Salad. Zucchini.

Thursday: Navajo Tacos.

Friday: Hamburgers. Fries. Fruit. Broccoli.

Saturday: BLT pizza {will post recipe next week when I take pictures}