Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kristine's Menu

I haven't done a menu for awhile. The last few weeks have been slightly crazy with going out of town, spending time with family who just moved closer and adjusting to the new weather!  This menu is mostly made up of stuff that I had planned on my menu WEEKS ago, but am finally getting around to making.

Monday: Smothered Chicken. Skillet Potatoes. Green Salad. This was something I just kind of made up on the fly. I butterflyed a chicken breast, breaded it lightly in some Italian bread crumbs and then cooked it on the stove with a little olive oil. Then I smothered it with cheddar cheese and bacon.

Tuesday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  30 Minute Rolls. Both new recipes I am looking forward to trying!

Wednesday: Pot Roast. Mashed Potatoes. Green Salad.

Thursday: Shredded Beef Enchiladas. Green Salad. I make the enchiladas with leftover meat from my pot roast. I just warm it up in the crockpot with a little salsa or enchilada sauce, then put it into tortillas with more sauce and cheese and bake.  Every time I make a roast, I always use the leftovers to make burritos, tacos, quesadillas, cafe rio salads, etc. It's the easiest and best way to use up all of those leftovers.

Friday: Hamburgers.  We've got to grill one more time before the cold comes in for good!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dresden's Menu

We just got back from a trip to California and when we got home...our cupboards were empty. So I spent some time today planning a menu and writing out a very long grocery list. So here's what I came up with...

Monday: Pizza (I was lazy and bought a Boboli-yum!)
Tuesday: Pasta w/ Creamy Tomato Sauce & Meatballs (thanks to Natalie!)
Wednesday: Cheesy breadcrumb chicken with YUMMY salad (both recipes coming soon)
Friday: Date Night
Saturday: breakfast- Sticky Buns
(I rarely make breakfast so I thought I'd surprise my husband this weekend)

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Seriously, my next post will have a picture! I thought about taking a picture of this recipe once we had slurped down every last bit in the crock pot! Oh well, it's still a really good recipe that you'll have to try. Plus it's really easy! 
I modified this recipe from a large recipe, this one serves 2-3 people (double or triple as needed).

White Chicken Chili

1 large (or 2 small) chicken breasts (I put mine in frozen)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. salsa
1 can white beans, UN-DRAINED
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. black pepper
3/4 c. sour cream
shredded cheese (enough for garnishing...we like a lot!)

Put everything except the sour cream and cheese in a crock pot. Cook on low for 4 hours, or til chicken is cooked and easy to shred. Once it's cooked, shred the chicken well, add in sour cream and cook for another 15 mins or so. Add cheese to each bowl and more sour cream is desired.

My husband and I are home visiting my parents for a few days, I collected a ton of acorns today to spruce up our fall decor. Can't wait to use these!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Natalie's Menu

Monday: Roasted shrimp pizza, spinach salad
Tuesday: Pasta fagioli (one of our favorite soups), french bread + raw veggies
Wednesday: Honey chicken (trying it for the first time) over rice, roasted broccoli
Thursday: BBQ chicken sandwiches + roasted potatoes, carrots and radishes
Friday: Garlic butter shrimp with french bread for dipping, green salad

Something I'd like to note- when recipes I use call for wine, I've always replaced it with chicken stock or broth, so feel free to do so if you don't feel comfortable buying it. I'm too lazy to pick it up + spend the extra money on it for now.

                                                                      Photo of the honey chicken via blogchef.net

For dessert this week I'm making homemade orange rolls. It's the same recipe I use for bread or cinnamon rolls, so I will post it soon! It's my mom's recipe and its the BEST!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Swedish Meatballs over Mashed Potatoes

I love pretty much anything served over mashed potatoes (one of my absolute favorite things). I saw a recipe for Swedish meatballs last week and thought that it might be fun to try them out. I've never made them before but I have had them at Ikea :) The photo I saw of the pretty little meatballs sitting in a creamy, brown gravy really got my attention. I added it to my weekly menu and made them tonight. I cut the recipe in half and it made about 15 meatballs which is more than enough for the two of us. The meatballs were tender and flavorful and the gravy was sooo yummy. I mixed up my own version of my favorite potatoes to serve under the meatballs. 

Here's the recipe (below it's cut in half), and my variations are in parentheses.

1 slice fresh white bread (I used sourdough)
1/8 cup milk
4 tablespoons clarified butter, divided ( I just used regular butter and still used all 4 T)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt in the meat + 1 teaspoon koser salt in the gravy
3/4 pound ground 
beef (I only used beef, not pork)
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (left this out)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth (i used chicken)
1/4 cup heavy cream

You can read the directions on the actual post, but I'll break down what I did since I changed it up a bit.

Soak the bread in the milk in a little dish.
While it soaks, saute the onion (which I grated, not chopped) in one tablespoon of butter for about 3 minutes. Then turn the heat off of the onions and let them sit.
Now take the beef and put it in your kitchen aid bowl (if you don't have a kitchen aid, just mix it by hand. This tip was amazing tho, and from Stephanie Meyer's recipe). Add the egg yolk, salt, nutmeg, pepper to the meat. Add the cooled onions and milky bread. Now mix it for like 2 minutes in medium with the paddle attachment.

In the same pan you cooked the onions, add another tablespoon of butter, heat on medium-low and start forming meatballs. As you form them, put them in the pan. Brown them all over, but don't worry about cooking them through. As they are done browning, place them in the crock pot. 

Once all of the meatballs are browned, put in the last 2 tablespoons of butter, melt it, and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook it for about 30 seconds. Then add the broth and cream plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir it until it's decently think, then pour over the meatballs in the crock pot. I simmered mine for about 3 hours on low. That's it!

As for the mashed potatoes- let me tell you two things that will change your life. 1) YUKON GOLD. For mashed, NOTHING is better. They're creamy, golden and perfect. 2) A POTATO RICER. I thought they were a bulky piece of whatever that didn't make a difference. Well, I was wrong. 

Golden Mashed Potatoes:

4 Large Yukon Golds
2 Tablespoons of butter
2/3 cup sour cream or cream cheese or both
1/2 cup milk OR cream OR buttermilk
1 or 2 or 3 teaspoons of salt (add it slowly and taste as you go)
1 teaspoon of pepper (I like a lot of pepper)

Cut your potatoes the same size (like 1 inch). Place in a pot and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, simmer for about 10 minutes or until you can pierce the potato piece and it falls apart. Rice the potatoes a scoop at a time into a bowl. I like to put the other ingredients in first so as the hot potatoes fall on the cream cheese and butter, it melts it. Then add in the liquid and stir. DON'T stir your potatoes for ten minutes. They'll get gummy and cold. Stir until everything is incorporated and thank me later. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dresden's Menu

It's been awhile since I've posted my menu...I finally got one together, I hope you enjoy or use some of the recipes for your menu. Have a fabulous week!

(sounds kinda gross but it was actually really yummy!)
Tuesday: Fajitas
Wednesday: White Chicken Chili
Thursday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pasta Salad & Peaches
Friday: Date Night
Sunday: Steak with Twice Baked Potatoes and veggies
image source

Fun stuff happening over on my blog...check it out!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

I love chicken enchiladas.  I was partial to a creamy white enchilada that my mom made all growing up. It was one of the first recipes that I learned to make all on my own and I haven't branched away from it at all.  I saw this recipe a long time ago, but didn't make it until last week.  I think it is definitely going to be added to our rotation. Making your own enchilada sauce seems intimidating, but I think the extra little bit of effort was worth it. And cooking the chicken in with the sauce is genius since it added flavor and saved me a pot :)

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon oil
3 medium garlic gloves, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar 
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large tomato, chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large pieces)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella or monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 c minced fresh cilantro
6-8 flour tortillas
cooking spray
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part is no longer pink in the middle), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.

Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.

Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don't like the crunch).

Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.

Recipe adapted from Tide and Thyme, but originally from America's Test Kitchen

Natalie's Menu

You'd think it would be cooling off since it's nearly the middle of October, but here in Orange County it is still HOT! This week the forecast shows two 99 degree days. I'm sad about it, but what can I do? All I know is I will not be turning on my oven those days! That means crock pot or stove top meals for the most part this week. I'm planning 7 meals and attempting to eat at home for the next 7 days. ( to the left is the yummy aebelskivers I made for Conference breakfast).

Monday: Taco Salad. (Lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, ground seasoned beef, canned beans, chips, ranch dressing)
Tuesday: Crock pot chicken served over rice. Frozen peas with butter, green salad.
Wednesday:Crock pot Swedish meatballs. Trying this recipe and serving it over mashed potatoes.
Thursday: Creamy chicken + garlic pasta. Green salad.
Friday: Sourdough pancakes (need to post this recipe), sausage, green smoothies.
Saturday: Taco soup + cornbread.
Sunday: Chicken pot pie. Veggies and ranch.

What are you making? Is it fall where you are? I'm jealous!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

I made this recipe awhile back and forgot how much I liked it. We had it this week again and it was even better than the last. I still don't have a camera...
so I'm using the picture from the original recipe (kinda blurry).

Chicken Enchilada Pasta
Serves 2-4

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded or cubed
2 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 smallish red pepper, diced
4 oz. can of green chilies, diced (I only used about 1/2 of the can)
1 can of green enchilada sauce
1/3 c. red enchilada sauce
1 c. sour cream
1 c. grated cheese (I used colby jack)
2 c. penne pasta (more or less depending on how saucy you like it)

Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 mins then add garlic and red pepper. Let that cook for another 2-3 mins til red pepper is barely tender. Add cooked chicken, green chilies and enchilada sauces, let the sauce simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add sour cream and cheese, heat through but do not boil. Pour the sauce over the hot pasta, garnish with anything such as tomatoes, green onions or crushed tortilla chips.

The original recipe had about 4-5 more ingredients...I used them all the first time I made it and didn't think they were necessary. I have modified the recipe to feed less people, if you want the full recipe click here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I hereby declare that this is the easiest meal EVER.  This is serious. I said EVER.  For one, you probably already have everything on hand.  And the original directions for the recipe pretty much consisted of "open up cans, dump everything in, heat through".  If that doesn't sound easy, well then I don't really know what to do for you.

I originally got this recipe from my Aunt Jenny.  I made a few adjustments to make it a little more hearty, but still - easy peasey.  Since the weather is rather dreary outside today, I thought it was the perfect day to share it.  It tastes similar to a taco soup, but with chicken and my addition - rice.  I used to defrost the chicken, cut it up, maybe even BBQ it. Then I eliminated the BBQ step and would throw the defrosted chicken chunks into the soup to cook. Last night? I just pulled a chicken breast out of my freezer and threw it in. When it was thawed enough, I just pulled it out of the soup, shredded it and threw it back into the pot.  I also used to add in rice I had previously cooked, but then I just started throwing in raw rice and adding extra water.  Give it a try tonight! You know you don't know what to make and going to the store doesn't sound fun!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can diced tomatoes
1 14.5  oz can green chili enchilada sauce
1 14.5 oz chicken broth
1 can black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn (or about 1.5 cups frozen or fresh corn)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 chicken breast (thawed, frozen, cooked, whatever)
1 envelope taco seasoning
2/3 c. white rice (optional)
1-2 cups water

 Combine all ingredients in a medium stockpot. Bring to a simmer.  If you use raw chicken or rice, simmer until cooked through (about 25 minutes). Add water as needed when the rice starts to soak up the juices. Stir consistently - especially the bottom of the pot as all of the heavy ingredients fall there.  Serve with sour cream, guacamole or avocado (my favorite), cheese, and tortilla chips