About Me

I'm a stay at home mother of 2 adorable children, a daughter of the King, a loyal friend, and a Martha Stewart trainee. :-)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 31

My week has started out very busy. So I'm getting this done rather late today.

Monday- Dinner at my in-laws house

Tuesday- Frozen pizza from Trader Joe's & salad

Wednesday- Sloppy Joe's & green beans

Thursday- Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Spanish rice & refried beans

Friday- Spaghetti & salad

Saturday- Breakfast for dinner

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Recipe Swap: Dinners - Fancy Schmancy

I almost completely forgot to do the Recipe Swap again. I forgot the last 2 weeks. :( This whole meal is from the Everyday Italian Cookbook. I've made this meal a couple times when we've had company. I haven't tried making the dessert, but I thought I'd add it here because it sounds delicious. The kids eat a separate dinner; since it is to spicy for them.

A couple notes: I've substituted boneless, skinless chicken breasts and it turned out great. I've also bought Trader Joe's Chili Oil which is wonderful. It's a nice little shortcut. This meal may seem like a lot of work, but if you do some prep work early it's very simple.

Spicy Chicken

4 chicken thighs with skin and bones
2 chicken breasts with skin and bones, halved crosswise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Chili Oil, recipe follows
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted, coarsely chopped green olives
4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
2/3 cup dry white wine

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the garlic, olives, 3 tablespoons of parsley and capers. Add the wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a platter. Spoon the sauce over. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley and serve.

Chili Oil:

2 cups olive oil
4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes

Combine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the oil and pepper flakes to a 4-ounce bottle. Seal the lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Fiery Angel Hair Pasta

1 pound angel hair pasta
1/2 cup Chili Oil, recipe follows
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Coarse sea salt
Dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, optional
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the angel hair pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
Stir the oil, parsley, lemon juice and lemon peel in a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and toss with enough reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and red pepper flakes, to taste. Sprinkle grated lemon peel over pasta for extra flavor and texture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.

Wicked Hot Chocolate Mousse

4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons coffee liqueur
4 teaspoons Chili Oil, recipe follows
7 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Spicy Whipped Cream, recipe follows

Whisk the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, butter, 1/4 cup of water, coffee liqueur, and chili oil in a large metal bowl to blend. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water); whisk constantly until the mixture is very thick and frothy, about 3 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in another large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, beating until stiff and glossy peaks form. Remove the chocolate from over the water. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the warm chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining meringue.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or overnight. Spoon the mousse into 6-ounce bowls. Top with spicy whipped cream and serve.

Spicy Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Cocoa powder
Ground cayenne pepper

With an electric mixer, whip cream gradually adding the sugar until soft peaks form. Top with a dusting of cocoa powder and a pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.

For more Fancy Schmancy Dinner recipes go to The Natural Mommy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 24

I've decided to try out some recipes this week from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I checked it out from my local library. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead and buy it. I already cooked and pureed a few vegetables last week.

Breakfasts- muffins, waffles, cold cereal, oatmeal, and banana bread

Lunches- sandwiches and salads

Snacks- carrot sticks and ranch, fruit, banana bread, and crackers with peanut butter


Monday- Freezer meal or something simple like grilled cheese

Tuesday- Macaroni and Cheese (from Deceptively Delicious)

Wednesday- Sloppy Joe's (from Deceptively Delicious) and green beans

Thursday- Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Friday- Saucy Stir-Fried Pork

Saturday- Spaghetti Pie (from Deceptively Delicious)

For more delicious menu ideas go to Orgjunkie.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 17

I'm a little late posting this. I was so busy today. I have lots of Mexican type meals planned this week. My family's favorite!! I have a lot of tortillas to use up.

Monday- Leftovers (We have a Brownie meeting tonight, so there's no time for a special
St. Patrick's Day meal. :( Oh well)

Tuesday- Homemade Pizza w/ whole wheat dough made with bread machine

Wednesday- Tex Mex Chicken Soup and tortillas (it's supposed to rain this day so I thought soup would be nice)

Thursday- Chicken Enchilada Casserole (so yummy!!)

Friday- Breakfast Burritos (I'll be using bacon instead of sausage, and I add cheese and salsa.)

Saturday- Mexican Lasagna (already made from freezer)

Sunday- Not sure yet since it's Easter Sunday!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 10

Well, another week has come and gone. I wasn't able to do 2 of the meals that I had planned last week. I found out on Friday that I had a sinus infection. Needless to say I was pretty miserable with that and my asthma all week. My new doc put me on some strong antibiotics. So I'm starting to feel better. At least my ear isn't hurting anymore.
I hope to stick to this week's menu plan a little better. Here it is.

Monday- One of my frozen meals- Chicken Vermicelli and salad

Tuesday- Tater Tot Casserole- this meal is using up a few ingredients I have in my freezer and pantry (I think my kids may like it)

Wednesday- I'm having a jewelry party @ my house. So the kids and I are going to have a light meal before everyone comes over, and then continue munching on the snacks I'll have for everyone. My husband has a class this night, so he usually eats fast food on the drive to class.

Thursday- Bow Ties with Turkey, Pesto and Roasted Red Peppers- from Betty Crocker 4 Ingredient Dinners (I picked this up @ the library)

Friday- Chicken Burritos

Saturday- I have a bridal shower to go to. So we'll figure this dinner out later. Maybe my husband will BBQ.

Sunday- Mexican Lasagna

For more menu plans this week see the Organized Junkie.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Snacks: The Unhealthy


This was one of my favorite snacks as a kid. My mom made it for us once in awhile. I haven't made it in quite some time; I really don't know why. Maybe I've been trying to be healthy. ;-) This cake is very easy and delicious.

Mix-in-the-pan Chocolate Snack Cake

1 & 2/3 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1/3 vegetable oil
1 tsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Mix flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt with fork in an ungreased square 8 x 8 x 2 in. pan. Mix in the remaining 4 liquid ingredients and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Bake until toothpick inserted in the middle of cake comes out clean, about 35 -40 minutes.

For more delicious recipes see The Natural Mommy.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ March 3

Well last week, my family had the flu bug. So needless to say I did not completely stick to our menu. We didn't have hearty appetites anyhow. So this week my goal is to get back on track.

My daughter and I went to the library today. I checked out a few cookbooks. So a couple of the recipes here are from the Dream Dinners cookbook. I'm curious how those will turn out. The recipes each have ingredient lists to make 1 or 3 dish(es). So I'm going to make 3 of each. One to eat the night I make it and two to freeze. So hopefully I plan it all out correctly because I'm planning on only going grocery shopping once this week. :-)

Monday- Caesar Chicken Casserole (This is from my freezer meals; it's already thawing in my fridge.) & salad

Tuesday- Chicken Enchiladas w/ green sauce and Mexican rice

Wednesday- Baked Pasta and Lemon Chicken or Shrimp (from the Dream Dinners cookbook) & salad

Thursday- Burritos

Friday- Chicken Parmesan (also from the Dream Dinners cookbook)

Saturday- Chicken Fried Rice

Sunday- Chili (homemade from my freezer meals) and homemade cornbread

If I feel quite ambitious, I may make some Lemon Buttermilk Sherbet this week. I have a lot of buttermilk and a ton of lemons from my grandparents-in-law's tree. I got this recipe from The Perfect Scoop. (Love that library!) :-)

For more menu plans this week see to Organized Junkie.