Friday, July 24, 2009

Beef & Broccoli

I finally got a chance to try this recipe. Thought it was good but made some changes (I also have notes at the end from a couple of others who tried it). My changes are in parenthesis.

1 lb lean stew meat
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cups sliced fresh carrots (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoon flour (cornstarch)
2-3 cups water (2 cups beef broth)
I added:
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup julienned red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Brown meat with garlic in skillet or wok. Add soy sauce and water, bring to boil. Reduce heat to very low and cover. You can also simmer this in the crock pot for about 2 hours so meat is very tender then put back in skillet or wok--keep an eye on water level. (I made this in a large skillet and reserved 1/2 cup of the water/broth till the end to mix in with my cornstarch.)

2. Add flour/cornstarch to thicken sauce. (I moved this to the last step of the recipe.)

3. Add carrots, cook for 3 minutes.

4. Add broccoli cook for 5 minutes.

5. Serve over rice. Makes 4 (1 cup) servings.

From VC - It was yummy, but it could be SO much yummier! I think I would soak the beef in soy sauce and garlic powder for a bit before I cooked it. It didn't soak in the flavor as much as I would have liked. Also, I did use the low sodium soy sauce, so I needed SO much more then 2 tablespoons! (plus I just like the flavor) Obviously, don't just add the flour like the recipe says. Dilute it with water and then pour the paste in to your near boiling liquid. I added a dash of crushed red pepper for color and kick, but fresh red peppers would be nice as well! I just used bagged matchstick carrots (found in the salad section) and threw them in right at the end. All in all, I would definitely make it again with some adaptations, and, most importantly, the hubby really liked it!

From B - Yeah, it was good, but if you are using the crock pot like it mentions, don't cook the meat too long! Mine was cooked a little too long. I think you might be better of skipping the crock pot step or just cooking it on low for maybe 2 hours.

Week 15 Menu (July 26-August 1)

  • Sunday - Red Robin, Yum
  • Monday - Anniversary Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, & French Bread
  • Tuesday - Beef & Broccoli (Stir Fry type dish)
  • Wednesday - Bacon Cheeseburger and Onion Rings with a zesty dipping sauce
  • Thursday - Mashed Potato Hot Dish
    (Hamburger or Chicken, Cream Soup, and Veggies topped with mashed potatoes and cheese, then baked)
  • Friday - Grilled Chicken Salad (boiled eggs, ham, cheese, croutons, carrots, etc.)
  • Saturday - We have two options for today (a birthday party or a wedding) but haven't decided for sure which to attend as both are over an hour and a half from our hospital. At 38 weeks prego, the hubby is usually pretty uneasy about driving anywhere farther than an hour and a half from our hospital, but considering that I have had to be induced at 5-7 days past my due date makes him a little more comfortable with the idea. We'll just have to see what my doctor thinks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chicken Quesadillas

When my husband and I got married, we decided to register for a few items that we wouldn't necessarily need but thought they'd be fun to have. One item was a quesadilla maker. Our whole family loves quesadillas and I don't really make them that often, but decided to add them to the weekly menu as I knew we'd have leftover roast chicken. Here is my recipe for chicken quesadillas.
  • 3-4 cups Taco/Mexican Blend shredded cheese
  • 16 burrito size flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (if using leftover roast chicken, it will shred itself during the cooking process)
  • 1 package fajita seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Optional Ingredients
    sliced black olives
    julienned peppers
    julienned onions
    sour cream
1. In a saute pan, combine chicken, water, and fajita seasoning (at this point you can also add olives, peppers, and onions). Cook until heated through (and any veggies are soft), about 8-10 minutes.

2. On one tortilla, sprinkle cheese, then chicken mixture, and cheese again, then top with another tortilla. If using a quesadilla maker, follow manufacturer's directions. If using the oven, bake at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes depending on how you like your quesadillas.

Serve with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa on the side. Makes 8.

Tonight was the first time our 14 month old daughter has had guacamole and she just loved it! She kept shoveling it into her mouth by itself and then saying, "More," when she had none left on her plate.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

I just bought some 7 oz. ramekins (got a really good deal, $ .50/each) and wanted to find a dessert recipe that used them. So I went through my cupboards to see what ingredients I had on hand, then off to to list the ingredients that I wanted and those that I didn't. (The munchkins thoroughly enjoyed playing with the bubble wrap and box that the ramekins came in the entire time that I browsed the internet!)

Nothing was really catching my fancy, when I remembered that my the Pastor's wife at my extension church (while I was in college) use to make a really yummy hot fudge pudding cake. I never thought to get her recipe, so I decided to just type "Hot fudge pudding cake recipe" in the search field at Google. Then, I found it, the recipe that I had all the ingredients for - Nook & Pantry's (blog) version of Hot Fudge Pudding Cake! I made it on Tuesday night after dinner and served it warm with a scoop of Kemps' Old Fashion Vanilla Custard. Sooooooooooooo, yummy!

Here is the recipe:

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake (Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1 1/2 cup water (or mix 1 cup of cold leftover coffee with 1/2 C water)
  • 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup All-Purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
For One Big Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position. Spray a 8 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the instant coffee into the water and set aside. In a bowl, stir together 1/3 C of the cocoa powder, the brown sugar, and 1/3 C of the granulated sugar. Break up any large clumps of the brown sugar and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a heat proof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water or in the microwave. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth (heat it in the microwave using low power if the chocolate does not all melt). Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

4. Add the remaining granulated sugar, vanilla, milk, and egg to the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spread it out, and smooth the top. Sprinkle the cocoa and sugar mixture that you set aside earlier evenly over the batter. It should cover the batter completely. Then drizzle the coffee mixture all over the top of the cocoa mixture.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is puffed, bubbling, and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not overbake. Cool the cake for 20ish minutes before serving; they will fall as they cool. Serve with vanilla or coffee ice cream or whipped cream and berries.

Warm leftover cake in the microwave and it'll taste just as good the next day.

For Individual Cakes
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and spray 6 7oz. ramekins with nonstick spray and set the ramekins on a baking dish. (Don't overfill your ramekins! Individual cakes should be baked in 6-7 oz. portions.)

2. Divide the batter evenly in the ramekins and smooth out the top. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of the cocoa sugar mixture over the top of the batter. Make sure to cover the batter completely. Slowly pour 3-4 tablespoons of the coffee mixture over the top of the cocoa. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until puffed and bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes before serving; they will fall as they cool. Serve with vanilla or coffee ice cream or whipped cream and berries.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tip 3: Bananas Breads and Muffins for Less

With banana prices going up a bit ($ .49/lb. is usually the cheapest and that's at Kwik Trip), it gets a bit more expensive to make banana breads and muffins. Also, my kiddos LOVE bananas, so for them to last long enough in our house to get really ripe is unusual.

Recently, I started checking our grocery stores to see which ones sell the overripe bananas at a lower price. One of the stores that I usually visit sells the overripe bananas for only $ .29/lb. So, I stock up and then freeze the bananas in groups of 4-6 (most bread/muffin recipes call for around 4-6 bananas).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Week 14 Menu (July 19-25)

  • Sunday - PB&J Sandwiches
  • Monday - Tater Tot Casserole
  • Tuesday - Roast Chicken, mixed veggies, and biscuits (I moved it from last week's menu to this week's)
  • Wednesday - Chicken Taco Soup (I will be substituting chicken broth for the beer, 2 cups leftover roast chicken for the 3 chicken breasts, and will use the taco seasoning recipe mentioned in the Oct. 17, 2006 review by RaisinKane aka Patti)
  • Thursday - Chicken Quesadillas with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream
  • Friday - Pulled Pork & Slaw Sandwiches (slaw recipe, I use the sauce from this recipe and then just add a bag of pre-made coleslaw veggies, and pulled pork ideas)
  • Saturday - We have a College/Careers Group activity (we'll be grilling burgers and dogs, etc.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tyson Skillet Creations - Try It For FREE

I happened to be checking out someone else's blog and saw this post for a FREE Tyson Skillet Creations. I already have a coupon like the one mentioned in the post so no need to print a new one, but thought some of you who are big "couponers" might enjoy checking this out. I know that I will pick one up (it will come in handy when baby #3 arrives), using the coupon, and sending in the rebate form!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Aunt makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever. I made them for dessert last night and thought that I would share the recipe with all of you.

DeeDee's Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (you can also make them into chocolate chip oatmeal cookies by substituting 1 3/4 cups oats for 1 1/2 cups of flour)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. In large mixing bowl, cream butter, oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.

3. In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture 1 cup at a time.

4. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes (DO NOT bake for more than 10 minutes or they'll burn). Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheet for another 5 minutes (the cookies will finish cooking during this time), then place on a rack to cool.

The best part is that you can make a huge batch and freeze the dough in long "tube-shaped" sticks or individual balls for baking later.

"American Fries"

I wanted a nice potato dish to serve alongside my quiche and this is what I came up with:
  • 5 Russet/Idaho potatoes, washed and cubed (1/2" size)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • onion powder*
  • parsley*
  • basil*
1. In a large skillet, wok, saute pan, or electric skillet (needs to have a lid or something that you can use as a lid), combine oil, butter, and drippings over medium to medium-high heat until hot.

2. Add potatoes, stir until all pieces are well coated. Cook 8-10 minutes, turning often.

3. Add seasonings, mix well and cover; turning and covering every 4 minutes until done.

I make these while the quiche is in the oven and they are usually done cooking before the quiche, so about 20-30 minutes.

*use as much or as little as you desire


Last night, I decided to make quiche for dinner as I had just stocked up on eggs. I have never made quiche, so I looked up the highest rated quiche recipe on (one that included bacon and spinach because I had them on hand). It turned out to be absolutely delicious! Here is my variation on Clark's Quiche (

  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked (deep dish) pie crusts (I like to buy Pillsbury pie crusts when they are on sale and I have a coupon, then I freeze them to save for things like this)
  • 1/2 pound thick sliced bacon
  • 3/4 cup finely diced smoked ham
  • 3/4 cup sausage, browned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon drippings)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 cup Mexican Blend shredded cheese
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • salt (optional) and pepper to taste (I found that the combination of meats made it unnecessary for the salt to be included)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Cook spinach in skillet with a teaspoon of bacon grease over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool, then set aside.

2. Heat olive oil (or bacon grease) in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in ham, browned sausage, and cooked bacon. Remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, salt and pepper. Divide, and spread into pie crusts. Layer with meat mixture. Mix together cheeses, and sprinkle over pies. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over pies.

4. Place pies on middle shelf in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. The top will be puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand for 10 minutes.

One quiche easily feeds 4-6 people (if you have a side dish, I do homemade "American Fries").

This recipe makes 2 (9 inch) pies of quiche. Trust me, you'll want the extra pie for breakfast the next morning:)

You can also make the quiche in a 9x9x2 baking dish if you don't have more than one deep dish pie plate on hand.

Other Crust Options:
If you don't want to take the time to make a pie crust, you can also use

Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 13 Menu (July 12-18)

Last week, I totally switched the menu around from what it was suppose to be, so I will be using a few of the meals from the menu this week. If you would like to make some of my substitution meals from last week, just take a look at that menu as I posted my changes.
  • Sunday - We had a Scripture Collating Day at church, so we ended up just doing Burger King (I know not very healthy) as they have 99 cent kid's meals on Sundays.
  • Monday - Sausage, mushroom, and cheese calzones (I was originally suppose to make tacos)
  • Tuesday - Quiche and American Fries
  • Wednesday - My mother-in-law has asked us over for dinner:)
  • Thursday - Waffles with Sour Cream and Fruit Syrup
  • Friday - Roast Chicken, mixed veggies, and biscuits (It ended up being just the kiddos and I, so we had grilled ham & cheese sandwiches instead)
  • Saturday - Chicken-n-Dumplings (After dealing with 2 sick kids all day, I wasn't feeling up to making supper so the hubby made dinner - "breakfast burgers")

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blueberry Banana Muffins/Bread

These are my husband's absolute favorite muffins and I finally got the recipe from my mom (who got it from my aunt). So, our two and a half year old son and I made a batch this afternoon. When my husband got home, our son told him, "Daddy, we just murdered some blueberries!"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Butter Crescent Rolls (or Croissants)

I stuffed these ones with cheese. Yummy!
I love crescent rolls and croissants (and so does my family) so I was quite excited when I found a fairly quick and easy recipe to make them from scratch. They are super light and fluffy, buttery and delicious! I also use this recipe for making pigs in a blanket, which the kids adore. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Week 12 Menu (July 5-11)

For starters, I ended up switching a couple of items on this week's menu with those of the previous week, but I will note where I made changes.
  • Sunday - We have a big church dinner/picnic in celebration of Independence Day so I don't have to do any cooking, I just have to bring along some fresh fruit.
  • Monday - Hawaiian Wraps (spinach, ham, swiss, pineapple, and mayo sauce wrapped in garden veggie tortillas, Chips & Salsa (I switched and made this on Thursday last week, so I'll be having the chicken salad sandwiches instead)
  • Tuesday - Crockpot Chicken-n-Rice (I ended up making the Meatloaf, etc. that was scheduled for Thursday)
  • Wednesday - Leftovers (Bought some cheap pizzas from P-n-S instead)
  • Thursday - Meatloaf, Potatoes, Veggie, and Dinner Rolls (I was actually craving tacos, which doesn't happen very often, so I decided to make tacos instead as I had scheduled tacos for next week Monday)
  • Friday - Waffles with Sour Cream and Fruit Syrup (the hubby surprised me with date night, he figured it might be the last one before baby #3 comes)
  • Saturday - Calzones (had some friends invite us over for a picnic, so I made up some boxed pasta salad mix to take with us instead)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

This is for a double batch (I use for dinner the day I make it, and then freeze the other pan so I can use it later).
  • 1 (26 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter/margarine
  • 3 bunches green onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped (or about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (if using leftover roast chicken, you can just chop it as it will shred itself while you heat and stir it)
  • 1 (7 oz) can chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 16 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, mix the soup, sour cream, chili powder, and milk until smooth; set aside.

3. Melt butter/margarine in a large sauce or saute pan over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute until tender. Stir in the chicken, chile and roasted red peppers, cayenne pepper, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, and 4 tablespoons of the soup mixture. Cook and stir until heated through.

4. Spread 1/2 cup of the soup mixture into each of two 9x13 baking dishes. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas, and place, seam-side-down, in the baking dish. Spoon remaining soup mixture on top, and sprinkle each dish with 1 1/2 cups cheese.

5. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Source: and my own ideas