Saturday, January 21, 2012

Oh Baby, Baby...Totally Freaking Out

I am 38 weeks pregnant.  The doctor told us Baby Dempsey Boy (this is what Tessa calls him) is making progress and should make his debut sometime soon!  With that news, I promptly went home and freaked out.  I could not sleep because I was thinking too much about all the things I still had to do.  So, I was up at 3:30 finishing my report cards to turn into my principal.  Looking at recipes to plan the week's meals is just what I need.  It calms me.

The blog hasn't been updated in a while.  Preparing for baby boy has been consuming my life.  My sis-in-law threw me a shower last weekend.  It was a Dinners and Diapers shower.  It was an awesome idea!  We pretty much have everything we need for baby, so people brought dinners that were easy to freeze and diapers!  So fun!  Our freezer is so well stocked now.  It hasn't been this full since before we lost power during the hurricane over the summer.  And yesterday, my 2nd graders and their families threw me a "surprise" baby shower complete with cake and gift cards.  Those 7 and 8 year olds were so pleased with themselves.  I can't wait to be on maternity leave with my Tessa and Dempsey, but those 21 little people become my babies when I am at work and I will miss them!  We are so blessed by the people in our lives. 

I'm still planning meals for the week even though I have no idea what's in store.  I'm going to TRY to make the following three recipes:  Parmesan Chicken, Baked Spaghetti, and Roast Beef sandwiches.

You can never have enough chicken recipes.  Chicken is such a staple in our house.  We make it at least once a week.  I got this recipe off of 
Parmesan Chicken
  • tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 (5-oz) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 1/2 English muffins (not sandwich-size)
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and add chicken breasts, tossing to coat well.
Pulse English muffins in a food processor until finely ground. Add cheese, butter, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pulse until combined well. Transfer to a shallow soup plate or pie plate.
Dredge chicken, 1 piece at a time, in crumbs, coating completely and pressing gently to help crumbs adhere, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cooks' note: · Chicken can marinate in mustard mixture, covered and chilled, up to 2 hours before coating.

Sandwiches are an easy weeknight dinner and I don't make them enough for dinner.  I thought this recipe from Food Network would be fun to try.
Hot Open-Face Roast Beef Sandwiches
  • 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, pierced with a fork
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 3/4 pound sliced roast beef
  • 1/2 bunch watercress, woody stems removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Microwave the potatoes on high until soft, about 20 minutes. Using a fork, mash the potatoes in a bowl with 2 tablespoons butter. Add the milk and mash; season with salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until slightly brown. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth until smooth. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and simmer until thick, about 3 minutes.
Toast the bread under the broiler, about 1 minute. Spread the mustard and horseradish on toasts; place each on a plate. Pour some gravy over the toast; top with the roast beef, more gravy, watercress and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the sandwiches with the potatoes.

I have a new fave chef:  Bobby Deen.  We watched his new show, "Not my Mama's Meals," last weekend and we were hooked.  He is taking his mom, Paula's, meals and making them lighter and healthier.  So awesome!  In this month's Food Network magazine, he took his mama's baked spaghetti and lightened it up.  I have ground pork in the freezer, so I will be using that instead of the chicken sausage he calls for.
Light Baked Spaghetti


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions; drain.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers, mushrooms, seasoned salt and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, 3/4 cup water and the basil and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine with the sauce. Spoon half of the pasta mixture into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with half of each cheese. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and cover loosely with foil sprayed with cooking spray (do not let the foil touch the cheese). Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*This recipe will make great leftovers or keep in the freezer well.
Have a great week!  Happy Eating Y'all!

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