Archive for August, 2011

  • Meal Plan August 28- Sept 3

    Date: 2011.08.27 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Sunday- dinner out for my brother’s birthday

    Monday- taco salad

    Tuesday- bacon wrapped meatloaf

    Wednesday- chicken and rice crockpot

    Thursday- leftovers

    Friday- crescent roll quiche

    Saturday- grilled pizza

  • Enchilada Casserole

    Date: 2011.08.22 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    My favorite sister gave me this recipe a bagillion years ago.  It had been buried in my recipe box for years and I just came across it and decided to try it this week.  I had to make a few substitutions based on what we had in the kitchen, but it was a HUGE hit with the family- especially Kate!  I put all of my substitutions and additions in parenthesis so you can make this yummy recipe either way!

    1.5 pounds hamburger (we used preseasoned ground taco turkey)
    1 medium onion, diced
    2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce (I used 15 ounces of tom sauce, 10 ounces of mild salsa and 6 ounces of tomato paste)
    1 tsp chili powder
    2 tsp salt (we thought it was too salty with the other changes I made, I’ll skip the salt next time)
    1 Tbs vinegar
    1 clove diced garlic
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 small can black olives
    (1 cup frozen corn)
    1/2 cup flour
    1 cup water
    8-12 corn tortillas (I used 5 flour tortillas)
    3/4 lb shredded cheddar cheese (I used 1.5 cups)

    Brown hamburger and onion, drain.  Add tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, vinegar, garlic, pepper, olives, and corn.  Mix well and simmer on low for 20 minutes.  Mix flour and water and add to meat sauce, stir until sauce thickens.  Slice tortillas into fourths.  Spray a 9×13 pan with PAM, then layer tortillas, meat sauce and cheese; repeat with a second layer.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

    Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips or a salad.

    I think next time I’ll add a can of black beans and decrease the meat to one pound and I’ll do a full 16 ounce jar of salsa and skip the tomato paste.  I think it will balance the flavor a little better.  I also debated about actually making enchiladas with this filling, I think it would be excellent that way- and a little fancier if you’re serving it to guests!  This is a pretty easy recipe to alter depending on your tastes- give it a try!


  • Meal Plan

    Date: 2011.08.21 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Sunday- salmon burgers

    Monday- enchilada casserole

    Tuesday- fried rice

    Wednesday- lemon artichoke chicken

    Thursday-  tilapia

    Friday- easy chicken parm

    Saturday- bacon wrapped meatloaf

  • Shrimp and Mango Skewers

    Date: 2011.08.15 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    I saw this recipe in the August edition of Good Housekeeping and suspected that I could easily alter it for our family’s tastes (the original had curry which we don’t love).  All four of us love shrimp and mango, and the finished meal did not disappoint.  Here’s our version-

    3 tsp lime juice
    1 cup light sour cream
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 cup couscous (we used brown rice, but I think couscous would be even better)
    5 oz baby spinach
    1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp
    2 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

    Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning.
    Mix lime, sour cream and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
    Cook rice or couscous according to package directions.  Lay spinach on top, cover and let stand 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile, thread shrimp and mango chunks onto skewers.  Place half of the sour cream mixture in a separate bowl and brush over shrimp and mango.  Grill 5 to 7 minutes or just until shrimp turn opaque, turning over once.
    Toss spinach and couscous before serving.  Top couscous mixture with shrimp skewers and drizzle with reserved sour cream mixture.


  • French Dips from the Crock Pot

    Date: 2011.08.13 | Category: recipes | Response: 2

    I love me a French Dip sandwich.  I often order them in restaurants and I remember that several years ago my mom made them for my birthday, but I had never made them before.  Well, I made them last week and now that I know how easy it is I’ll be adding them to my regular rotation.  Thanks!

    1 (4 pound) boneless beef roast
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1 beef bouillon cube (I didn’t have any cubes so I used a can of beef broth)
    1 bay leaf (I didn’t happen to have one so I skipped it)
    3 whole black peppercorns
    2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    Sliced provolone cheese
    20 slices French bread (I happened to have Texas Toast, yum!)

    Remove and discard all visible fat from the roast. Place trimmed roast in a slow cooker.
    In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, bouillon, bay leaf, peppercorns, herbs, and garlic powder. Pour mixture over roast, and add enough water to almost cover roast. Cover, and cook on low heat for 10 to 12 hours, or until meat is very tender.
    Remove meat from broth, reserving broth. Shred meat with a fork (we thinly sliced it with the electric carving knife), and distribute on bread for sandwiches, top with a slice of cheese. Lightly toast sandwich in the toaster oven to melt cheese. Use reserved broth for dipping.


  • Menu Plan August 14-20

    Date: 2011.08.13 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Sunday- taco salad

    Monday- shrimp and mango kabobs

    Tuesday- leftovers

    Wednesday- chicken fruit salad

    Thursday- bratwurst on the grill

    Friday- birthday party for my sweet nephew Drew- no cooking for me!

    Saturday- meatloaf (I think I’m going to try this bacon wrapped recipe!)

    I ended up making this yummy recipe for dinner on Saturday night- I really enjoy the Our Best Bites website and have made several of their recipes.  It’s where I found  this week’s meatloaf recipe and where I found the inspiration to make grilled pizza (we’ve made it twice this month, it’s a new family favorite!) and Brazilian Lemonade (I made it for Kate’s birthday party, yum!)- and I have several other recipes bookmarked to try.  Check it out if you’re looking for some new ideas for the kitchen!

  • It’s the little things

    Date: 2011.08.11 | Category: crafts | Response: 0

    We love to host gatherings at our house, and I’ve never had a good way to set out silverware for our guests.  A few years ago I was wandering through Target when I spotted something on clearance I had been wanting for years… a silverware caddy!  I picked it up for a few dollars and stuck it in the cabinet for our next party.

    A few months later as I was preparing for a shindig I pulled it out and stuck my silverware in it only to discover… wa wa wa…

    Hmmmmm, was it on clearance because other shoppers recognized it’s poor design and passed it up or had other schmoes actually paid full price for this thing?  Who designed a silverware caddy that doesn’t actually hold silverware?  Didn’t ANYONE actually try this thing before mass producing it and shipping it out to Targets across the country?

    Anyway, I stuck a few Christmasy disposable cups inside and used it that day, but I didn’t have any cups that would fit for events the rest of the year.  And then it occured to me… cans!  The openings are the perfect size to hold tin cans.  So I saved and  washed three cans and then it sat like that in my cupboard for several months.  (Fortunately I didn’t do any entertaining because that’s not a real cute look.)

    Finally I pulled out some leftover scrap paper and the hot glue gun and I prettied those cans up the other day.  Quick and easy!  I didn’t even do a perfect job, but you can’t tell since the seams are hidden by the caddy itself.

    And now when I stick my silverware in it stays put!  Hooray!

  • Menu Plan

    Date: 2011.08.08 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Sunday- beef and broccoli kabobs

    Monday- salmon

    Tuesday- we’re going to a birthday party!

    Wednesday- French Dip in the crock pot

    Thursday- Chicken Piccata

    Friday- dinner with friends

    Saturday- taco salad

    I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting here on the blog during the past weeks.  The good news is we moved my craft area down to the basement, organized the garage (I’m hoping to post pictures soon!), held a garage sale, started organizing the basement, sold Chris’ truck, bought Chris a cute little Suzuki Sidekick, had a birthday party for our big three year old, and I got a bonus ultrasound and we got to see the baby at 11 weeks.  The less good news is our dear friends had a baby girl who just died this week after only 54 days, I’m still not feeling great- I seem to have all day sickness with this pregnancy and the heat is really affecting me, our air conditioner seems to have given up the ghost and it’s NOT in our current budget to fix, Chris started back up at work again this week after enjoying the summer off, and we STILL haven’t finished the renovation of our upstairs bathroom that we started back in April!  Big sigh.

    I’m finding myself in a season of shifting priorities and letting some things go for now.  Blogging seems to be one of them.  Hopefully I’ll get back into the groove soon.  Thanks for sticking with me.

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