Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Waiting Game

And another week has passed.  And no baby.  It's ok!  The house got cleaned and I think the husband did more nesting than I did.  Most of the lesson plans are done for this week and next.  My last day of work will be this Tuesday if the little guy hasn't shown up by then.  I really should be working on grad school homework, but am planning melas instead.  Anyways, if we're home I will be making the following recipes:  Southwestern Chicken Soup, Creamy Beef Spinach over noodles, and Sloppy Joe and Macaroni Casserole.  Most of these recipes can be frozen or made ahead.

The weather has not been cold in any way, shape, or form.  However, I still love trying to have soup at least one night a week.  I came across this recipe and it sounded very simple and yummy!
Southwestern Chicken Soup adapted from Once a Month Cooking
1 12 ounce jar salsa verde
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
tortilla chips

Empty salsa into a large saucepan, cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the chicken, beans, broth, and cumin.  Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can freeze this ahead of time.  When thawed heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Top each bowl with a sprinkling of onions, a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips.

***I need to utilize my crock pot as much as possible, just in case we end up heading to the hospital unexpectedly.  This recipe will definitely come in handy this week!
Creamy Beef and Spinach Over Noodles adapted from Southern Living Annual Recipes
1 lb. ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (8oz) package, sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (14 oz.) can low-sodium, fat free beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8oz) container sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (8oz) block Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, shredded
hot cooked egg noodles

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.
Drain spinach well, pressing between paper towels.  Combine beef mixture, spinach, broth, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  Spooin into a lightly greased 4 qt. slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low 4 hours.  Serve over egg noodles.

***I was watching Rachael Ray's show Week in a Day and she made this sloppy joe casserole that you can make ahead.  It has simple ingredients and is simple to put together.
Sloppy Joe and Macaroni Casserole
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp Worcestshire sauce
one 15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
salt and ground pepper
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup beef broth
12 ounces elbow macaroni with ridges
2 cups shredded yellow cheddar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce in a small bowl. Heat the EVOO in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until well browned. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Add the garlic, bell peppers and onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Pour the tomato mixture over the beef, add the beef broth and stir until well combined. Simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water until not quite tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and add to the sauce. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with the cheese.

Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the top is browned.
Cook's Note: The unbaked casserole can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Bring to room temperature and bake as directed before serving.

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