Sunday, October 30, 2011

Too much stuff to do, too little time

I'm up early again planning the week's meals because I don't know when else I will be able to do it.  The laundry needs to be done, but we don't have a working washing machine due to the fact that it flooded our house almost three weeks ago.  We have had to be creative in getting a little bit of laundry done each week.  Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law she has been doing some for us each week when she watches Tessa.  Thankfully, it looks like people will be coming out this week to start repairing our floor molding, carpet, and floors in the guest bathroom and laundry closet.  Yahoo!  That means I can go ahead and order a new washing  machine this week. 
Anyways, enough venting.  Hopefully this week's recipes will help warm us all up.  It's freezing here!  Tonight I am making Teriyaki Burgers.  I usually do soup on Sundays, but we have a lot in the freezer now, so I am taking a break.
Teriyaki Burgers (From Once a Month Cooking)
I saved 2 tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce from the Asian Chicken last week to make this.
1 pound lean ground beef.
4 sandwich rolls

Mix teriyaki sauce into ground beef and form four patties.  Freeze patties in a 1 gallon freezer bag with a piece of waxed paper between each patty.  Freeze sandwich rolls.  To serve, thaw rolls and patties.  Grill or fry meat to desired pinkness.  Serve on warmed sandwich rolls.

I'll probably serve this with carrot sticks and celery sticks.  I need to get rid of the rest of the celery from the soup last week.  Tessa loves carrot sticks and dip.  Then we'll have some of our Halloween sugar cookies!

Monday's Menu:  Happy Halloween!
We usually have a lot of people over here for Halloween.  It's tradition that my parents usually come over.  This is what my grandparents did every year on Halloween. My parents don't have a lot of little kids in their neighborhood.  My sis-in-law and bro-in-law and nephew, Jackson, will be coming over, too.  Our neighborhood is a great place to trick-or-treat.  Since everyone is coming over, I wanted to make something that would serve lots of people and didn't require a lot of prepping.  This recipe comes from courtesy of Rachel Ray.  She and I are pretty tight.  :) 

Indian Summer Turkey Chili ( I love using ground turkey b/c it makes it just a little bit healthier)


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey (85 percent lean) or ground turkey breast (99 percent lean), 2 packages
  • 4 tablespoons dark chili powder, 2 palm fulls (I probably won't use this much)
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend, any brand, 1 palm full
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 palm full
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce, medium to extra-spicy
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 large peppers, any color combination, red, green, purple, yellow or orange, chopped
  • 1/2 bottle beer (the alcohol cooks out), about 1 cup
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups corn kernels, optional


Heat a pot over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan, and the turkey meat. Season the meat with: chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon into small crumbles.
Chop the onion, reserving 1/4 of it for topping the chili. Brown meat 5 minutes, then add onions and chopped bell peppers and cook 10 minutes more. Add beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up the drippings and cooking off the alcohol. Add tomato sauce and barbecue sauce and bring to a bubble. It using corn kernels add them now. Let chili simmer 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste. Remove from heat and serve.

I'll probably serve this with shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, and blue corn tortilla chips for toppings.  Once we've eaten, we'll have time to go out and trick or treat!

My best friend got me a subscription to the Food Network Magazine and I am forever grateful.  I loved it so much that I got it for my mom.  I also love the website!  This chicken recipe is super easy and yummy!  Balsamic Vinegar is something I always have in the pantry.

Tuesday's Menu:  Giada's Chicken with Balsamic BBQ Sauce


For the Balsamic BBQ sauce:

For the chicken or steak:

  • 4 pieces chicken (any combination of breast or leg-and-thigh pieces) or 4 pieces of New York strip or Club strip steak
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the BBQ sauce:


Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

For the chicken or steak:

Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Lightly coat with some of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill. Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over low heat or on the edge of a gas or charcoal grill and allow to gently simmer while the meat cooks.
Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side. Cook the steaks starting at about 4 minutes per side until a meat thermometer reads the desired temperature, 120 degrees F for medium rare, 135 degrees F for medium (about 6 minutes per side), 155 degrees F for well done (about 9 minutes per side). Continually brush the meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes. Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with the heated BBQ sauce alongside.
Alternately, the chicken can be baked in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the chicken skin side up in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

I might serve this with a some potatoes or sweet potatoes and a veggie.  It depends on what's for sale at the store!

Hopefully this will get you started this week!  I'll post some other dinners we will have later in the week.  Happy Eating!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Snappy Side

I am making the Asian Chicken tonight and it smells delicious!  Broccoli was on sale this week at the local grocery store, so I figured we could serve that alongside the chicken and rice.  Here's what you do:

Chop the desired amount of broccoli that you want.
Toss in sesame oil and sesame seeds.  Roast in the oven alongside the chicken.  You know it is done when it has a bit of a brown tinge to it. 

So yummy!  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Man's Out Fishing

My hubby got up early to go fishing in Urbanna, so of course I couldn't fall back to sleep after his alarm went off.  The little one ended up coming into our room just before 6 and fortunately fell back to sleep until 7:15 (unheard of!).  I got up and took advantage of the quiet time to start planning the grocery list and meals for this week.

First, I always see what I have stocked in the fridge and what's on sale for the week at the local grocery store.  I have lots of chicken in the freezer and chuck roast is on sale.  I have not tried these recipes yet, so hopefully they turn out ok!  We will be having:  Wild rice and turkey soup, Asian chicken, and Italian Pot Roast.

My wonderful Aunt Cathy, Tessa calls her Gacky, gave me a cookbook called Once a Month Cooking.  I have yet to try and do the once a month cooking, but I love the recipes that I've made from it and the fact that you can freeze them ahead of time.  The Asian Chicken recipe comes from this cookbook.

Asian Chicken (from Once a Month Cooking)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup regular, uncooked rice

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil, garlic, and ginger to make the marinade.  Freeze chicken in marinade in a 1-gallon bag.
When preparing to serve, thaw chicken.  Pour chicken and marinade into a baking dish.  Bake in a preheated oven 350 degreesF for 35 minutes.  Prepare rice according to package directions.  Serve chicken over rice.

I am a cookbook collector.  Another favorite is the newest edition of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I love doing soup on Sundays now that the weather is cooling off.  The wild rice and turkey soup calls for chopped cooked turkey, but I have chicken on hand, so that is what I will be using.

Wild Rice and Turkey soup (from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)
1 6.2 ounce package quick-cooking long grain and wild rice mix
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup sliced celery
2 14 oz. cans reduced sodium chicken broth or 3 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped smoked turkey or chopped turkey or chicken (about 10 ounces)
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)

Prepare the rice mix (using the seasoning packet) according to package directions, except omit butter or margarine.
In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and celery.  Cook about 5 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender and most of the mushroom liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken broth and pepper.  Bring to boiling, reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.  Stir in cooked rice mixture, turkey, wipping cream and dry sherry if desired.  Heat through.

I love the south and the sweet southern accents.  Another thing I love about the south are my Southern living cookbooks and magazines.  The recipes I have tried from them have always been good.  I got the Italian Pot Roast recipe from my All New Southern Living Cookbook.  My mom gave it to me a few years ago for Christmas and it has been well loved.  This recipe is a slow cooker recipe, which I love!!!  The crock pot in our house is used at least once a week.  It's a teacher's best friend.

Italian Pot Roast
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
1 boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 14 oz. can beef broth
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

Place mushrooms and onion in a 5 1/2 quart slow cooker.  Sprinkle roast evenly with pepper.  Brown roast on all sides in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Place roast on mushrooms and onion in slow cooker.
Sprinkle onion soup mix evenly over roast.  Pour beef broth and tomato sauce over roast.  Cover and cook on high 5 to 6 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
Remove roast from slow cooker, and cut into large chunks; keep warm.
Skim fat from juices in slow cooker; stir in Italian seasoning and tomato paste.  Sitr together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until smooth; add to juices in slow cooker, stirring until blended.  Cover and cook on High 20 to 30 minutes or until thickened.  Add roast pieces back to slow cooker.  Cover and cook until thoroughly heated.  Serve over egg noodles.