Friday, May 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

A friend gave me this recipe and I'm really looking forward to trying it out.
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 6 T peanut butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c + 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 c chopped peanuts (or just use chunky peanut butter instead for the crunch)
  • She also mentioned maybe adding chocolate chips.
  1. Cream together the bananas through egg in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour through salt. Add to wet mixture a little at a time. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Menu: May 30-June 5

Memorial Day tips off the new week's menu and I've got lots of yumminess planned!
If you need some other ideas, check out the "master" list.

Citrus "Ranch" Grilled Chicken

This is a recipe that I came up with specifically for using on my salads but it would be good by itself, too.

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (5 to 6 ounces each) pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together everything except the chicken and cooking spray. Place chicken in a large ziploc bag and pour mixture over the chicken; seal and shake till chicken is coated. Let rest in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Spray a grill or grill pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Grill until grill marks have formed and chicken is cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from heat, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve. For topping salads or placing in wraps cut into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Eggplant Parmesan

We watched a Throwdown on Food Network a couple of years ago where Bobby Flay challenged a guy to an Eggplant Parmesan Throwdown. The dish looked so delicious that we had to try it. The only problem is that the original dish is fairly high in calorie, so here is my take on a lighter version.
  • 1-2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise to a 1/2" thick
  • 1-2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk for each egg used
  • 2 tablespoons Mozzarella cheese per slice of Eggplant (how much depends on your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese per slice of Eggplant (how much depends on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup Marinara Sauce per slice of Eggplant (how much depends on your taste)

  1. In a flat dish, whisk together milk and egg. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture and then bread crumbs. Place breaded eggplant slices on a greased cookie sheet. Bake eggplant at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and top with sauce and cheeses. Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve with pasta of your choice, side salad and French bread.

Friday, May 20, 2011

BLTA Sandwich

A month or two ago the hubby took me out for dinner to a local restaurant. I saw that they had a new item on the menu - a BLTA Croissant (bacon, lettuce, turkey and avocado). It was SOOOOOO good and I would like to make it here at home some night, which is why I'm posting it.

Ingredients (per sandwich)
  • Croissant (I have a recipe for crescent rolls that I use to make my own croissants, I just shape them differently)
  • 1 tablespoon Mayo or Miracle Whip
  • 2-3 leaves of lettuce - I would go with a nice bibb, butter/boston, or other delicate lettuce 
  • 1-2 thin tomato slices 
  • 3-4 slices deli turkey (thinly sliced or shaved)
  • 1 slice provolone
  • 2 slices bacon - I would use turkey bacon to cut down on the fat content
  • 2 avocado slices - make sure you get a ripe one and slice it thinly, about 1/4"-1/2" thick
  1. Spread Mayo/Miracle Whip on both sides of the croissant. Layer lettuce, tomato, turkey, provolone, bacon, and avocado. 
  2. Enjoy!

Menu: May 23-29

As each week passes we get closer to the arrival of Miss S. I will hit 35 weeks during this menu plan and I am definitely feeling it lately! Mr. R asks me almost weekly when Baby S is going to "get here." The munchkins are all very excited for her to arrive.

I already have people asking when I'm due because they think I look further along than I really am - one of the "joys" of carrying only out front and having 9lb babies. Can you tell that I'm starting to get a little frustrated. I have always gone past my due date and had to be induced (yes, with all 3 of them), so I really should be used to this by now. Unfortunately, I am still a bit sensitive about this. I thought I was doing better until a cashier at the local grocery store asked how many weeks I had left. After my reply, she said, "You're quite large for still having that many weeks to go." Thanks for the reminder!

Anyway, I better get back on track with the menu or this post will end up being solely about the frustrations of the 3rd trimester. I have been really tired lately so I am sticking with simple.
  • Garlic Lemon Parsley Tilapia (boil-in-a-bag product), roasted baby red potatoes (or even in the crockpot), sauted veggies and cheesy garlic biscuitsFestival had the Wholey Seafood Boil-in-a-Bag entrées on sale 3/$9 (5/15-5/21), you have to buy 3 to get the deal but you get 2 fillets per package which I believe is a good price for fish. Also, there are several printable coupons for this product on Wholey Seafood's website including one for $10/3 (a $1 money-maker).
  • Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce and fresh fruit - I'm making a double batch and freezing one to have on hand for dinner after Baby S. arrives. I generally pick up some 9x13 foil pans when they are on sale for the purpose of freezing dishes like this.
  • Grilled Chicken Salad - lettuce, grilled chicken, boiled eggs, cheese, turkey bacon, fat free/light dressing, etc.
  • Sub Sandwiches - homemade French bread, deli meat, cheese, lettuce and turkey bacon.
  • Still thinking about this, probably something grilled...

Crockpot Baby Red Potatoes

I came up with recipe on a whim and it worked, which I was very excited about! I LOVE slow cooker recipes because they save me so much time and energy.

  • 3 lbs baby red potatoes (I believe they are also called "B" size), washed and poked
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • water
  • 6 qt. crockpot
  1. Place potatoes in 6 qt. slower cooker, top with everything except water and butter.
  2. Fill slow cooker with water till it almost covers the potatoes completely. Cook on high till potatoes are fork tender (2-4 hours). I usually make this recipe on Sundays when I'm gone all morning so I'm not completely sure on the cook time. 
  3. Remove water and add butter, serve.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Menu: May 16-22

I wanted to get this up before Saturday (just in case anyone wanted to pick up the whole chickens from Festival), but it's been a really CRAZY week so far as Miss E. had to make a visit to the ER for a finger injury and then we have her 3rd birthday party on Saturday. I will finish writing the up the menu once I've got some housework and birthday party stuff under control.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Buns

We prefer charcoal grilling to gas and have found it to be super fast and easy with the use of a Chimney Starter. We use 85% lean ground beef for burgers and then simply salt and pepper them before grilling. The hamburger patty should be simple and delicious on it's own so you don't need to add a bunch of stuff to the burger. If you want to add more flavors do it with the topping choices not the actual patty. A really good resource for grilling hamburgers would be Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes. The hubby and kids bought me a signed copy for Mother's Day a few years back and I LOVE it!

Some topping ideas: sauted mushrooms & onions, cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, Vidalia onions, fried egg, etc.

I have a hard time going back to store bought hamburger buns after trying this recipe. I have made a few changes to it, but you can find the original here.
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, soft or melted (I use 4 tablespoons coconut oil + 1 tablespoon butter)
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnishing the sandwich rolls (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or melted butter, for brushing on the hamburger buns
  1. The original recipe called for mixing and kneading the dough by hand but I opted to use my bread machine to save some time. Place yeast, sugar, milk, and water in the bottom of the bread machine pan. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add the butter/coconut oil then top with flour and salt.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured or greased surface. Knead a few times then divide into 12 portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball and place the dough on a greased baking sheet. Lightly pat the tops of the balls of dough to flatten them slightly.
  3. Cover the tray with a towel, and leave the dough to rise again for another hour.
  4. Preheat an oven to 425° F (220° C). If garnishing the hamburger buns with sesame seeds, brush the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake the hamburger rolls until rich golden brown, about 20 minutes. Immediately upon removing the rolls from the oven, brush their tops lightly with melted butter or coconut oil.
  5. Transfer the sandwich rolls to a rack and cover them loosely with a towel to trap steam and keep the crust soft as they cool. Store thoroughly cooled rolls in a plastic container or plastic ziploc bag. Freeze any rolls which won't be used within a day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Menu: May 9-15

I just realized that I've been blogging about my menus and favorite recipes for just over 2 year! I hope that you've enjoyed trying some new things during that time as I know that I have enjoyed sharing them with you. With summer just around the corner (though it may not seem like it right now), we are starting to see lower prices on fresh veggies, which we have missed terribly after just about living off them exclusively last summer. I cannot wait until it is warm enough to put my garden in!

This weekend is also Miss E's 3rd birthday and we plan to have a simple party with family.
Need some other mealtime inspiration? Check the "Master List".

[Crockpot] Sloppy Joes

Simmering away in the Packer crockpot
that belonged to the hubby's grandma. :o)
While working on the menu for next week I realized that I have never officially posted my recipe for Sloppy Joes. I've listed it in with menus before but decided that it needed to have it's own post. This was my Grandmother's recipe with a couple of extras from me. It is very quick and easy to make with ingredients that I keep around the house. You can also toss it all in the crockpot to simmer away.

~Total $avings!~: Free Emeril's Essence Seasoning Pack

A fellow blogger shared this and I was very excited to see it, being we watched Food Network almost exclusively last summer due to no football for the hubby and reruns on our favorite shows!!

~Total $avings!~: Free Emeril's Essence Seasoning Pack: "Head over here to get a FREE seasoning sample pack from Emeril! :)"