Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Menu 10/14-10/20

Nothing to post this week. We went out of town this weekend for a family reunion and will be out of town this coming weekend for a wedding. So instead of trying to cook with everything else going on (husband had a test, I had a test, plus laundry and packing for 2 weekends) we went to Costco and tried some things.

Friday was just hubby and I... so we bought some chicken tenders and crab rangoon and that was our dinner.

Saturday was Ruma's Deli... which is right down the street and I love love love it. I had yet to go since we moved here, so decided it was time.

Monday we had the Slow Cooker Tacos that I have posted about before.

Tuesday we tried some breaded Chickens along with some fire roasted veggies. Both were really good.

Tonight (wednesday) we had angus cheeseburgers, waffle fries, and stir fry veggies. Also very good. I wasn't a fan of the veggies, something in them didn't agree with me, but everyone else loved them.

Tomorrow is Asparagus and Gruyere Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce and the rest of the stir fry veggies. Hubby and I made the ravioli tonight, because he works till midnight tomorrow, and they were really good. Can't wait to eat the rest of it.

We also tried Costco (kirkland brand) waffles this week... taste just like Eggo brand. We also tried these sausage patties which were good. The last item we tried were Zucchini Souffles. They weren't bad for being microwavable.. but I still prefer the homemade ones hubby makes.

With the exception of the Chicken Tacos, everything is pre-made from Costco and just requires being heated up. I think everything next week will be the same... but I will let you know. It's just that time of the year... So much going on.

Pineapple Pork tenderloin


3lb pork tenderloin
2tbls brown sugar
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbls cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2tbls soy sauce
1/2c apple juice
16oz frozen pineapple

combine meat, sugar, spices and cornstarch in a plastic bag. Seal and shake. pour it all into crock pot. Add garlic and peppers. Pour in soy sauce, juice, and pineapple. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or high for 4-6.

Some how when we did the grocery list, I missed the apple juice. luckily, I used canned pineapple (in 100% juice of course) instead of frozen pineapple, so I just used pineapple juice instead of apple juice. I also don't have the time or patience to do the mixing in a bag stuff, so I just mixed it all right in the crock pot. The pork was so tender, it fell apart with a fork. this was really good. The pineapple gave it a sweet taste that contrasted well with the pork.

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings


6lb chicken pieces
1/2c chicken bouillon broth
4tsp salt
1tsp pepper
1tsp poultry seasoning
6ribs celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
6small carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2c packaged biscuit mix
3/4c milk
1 tsp parsley flakes

Wash chicken pieces, cut away fat. place chicken pieces in Crock Pot. Add broth, salt, pepper, seasoning. Add celery and carrots on top. Cover. Cook 7-9 hours on low. Combine biscuit mix, milk, parsley flakes; stir until just moistened. Drop dumplings by spoonfuls over chicken. Cover, cook on high 30 minutes.

This was pretty good. My husband says it tasted almost like his grandma's... which is a big deal! I made the mistake of scheduling this on a night I wasn't home... so Hubby had to do the biscuit part. Well he did... but he followed the package directions instead of these. Which means he used water instead of milk, and no parsley. They were garlic biscuits so the no parsley part was fine. But since he used water they didn't quite cook right in a crock pot (crock pot filled with water vapor...) So they took longer to become biscuits and the ones in the center never quite made it.... So make them with MILK not water.... Still very good, we all enjoyed it.

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes


2lbs ground beef, turkey or chicken
1/2c onions, chopped
1/2c green peppers, chopped
1 (14oz) cans tomato sauce
8oz tomato soup
1/2c brown sugar, packed
1/8c ketchup
1.5 tbls Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbls mustard
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

cook beef in large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring to break up meat. Drain fat. Add onion, and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 5-10 min or until onion becomes translucent and mixture become fragrant.
Transfer meat mixture to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, stir well to combine.. cover, cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve on fresh buns or toast.

These were YUMMY!!!! Love it. Super easy, super good. OUrs were really sweet... but that was becomes we used Splenda brown sugar and we didn't pay attention to the conversion, so we had too much brown sugar. But still really good. Served ours on toasted buns with tater tots. Definitely will be reappearing on our menu.

20 to 40 clove garlic chicken


3-4lbs chicken
1 large onion, sliced
2 tsp salt
1 tbls olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
20-40 cloves garlic, peeled

Place onion slices on the bottom of the crockpot. In a large bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper and the garlic cloves. Pour into slow cooker. Do not add water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook it the more tender the chicken will be.

Honestly... we didn't like this recipe. It has potential. We love garlic and onions, but I don't know. I think if we would of had it on some rice or quinoa with a salad or something it might of been better, but we didn't... so it wasn't.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pork Stew with Vegetables


1tbsp vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (1 lb) cut into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes
1 med onion coarsely chopped
1 rib celery sliced
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves crushed
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
2tbsp all purpose flour
1 c chicken broth
1/2 pkg (16oz) frozen mixed vegetables
1 jar (4.5 oz) sliced mushrooms drained well
2tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add pork, onion, celery, basil, rosemary, and oregano; cook until pork is browned. Place pork mixture into crock pot. Whisk flour with chicken broth, pour into crock pot. Stir in frozen vegetables and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours. About 15 minutes before serving, stir lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

This was really good. I didn't cook the stuff in the skillet first... I just threw it in the crock pot. We just ate in plain, not over rice. Very good, thick stew.

Menu 10/7-10/13

all store bought stuff- cereal, smoothie, oatmeal, waffles, etc.

pork stew with vegetables
20 to 40 clove garlic chicken
crock pot sloppy joes
crock pot chicken and dumplings
pineapple pork tenderloin

Store bough stuff: yogurt, granola bars, almonds, fruit leathers, veggies

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hummus Dip

This is a new favorite that was passed on to us from a good friend. It is a second dish we take to parties now.

Take your favorite Hummus Dip (store bought or homemade) spread some on the bottom of a round glass shallow serving dish. A couple inches worth. Chop some tomatoes and sprinkle over top. Chop some cucumber and sprinkle over top. Chop some onions and sprinkle over top. Then sprinkle some feta cheese over all of it. Serve with pita or pretzels chips.

This is very good. Not everyone likes hummus, so we usually take this and our seven layer dip so that people eat one or the other. We rarely bring any home. This is a great, light snack for your family as well.

Lean Seven Layer Dip

I have no idea where this recipe came from. I have been making it for years to take to parties and get togethers. I have changed the original recipe so much that I think it is safe to say this is my recipe now.... Enjoy!

16oz can fat free spicy or zesty refried beans
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1.5 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
11.5 oz jar quacamole
1/2 c chopped green onions
1 c light sour cream
3tbsp canned, drained, diced green chilies
1.5 seeded, chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
4oz shredded 75% light cheddar cheese
2tbsp finely, chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 c sliced, drained black olives

In medium bowl, mix together beans, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and garlic
Spoon bean mixture into a 6cup glass serving bowl. Using a spatula, spread evenly to form a flat layer. Pour guacamole evenly over beans and smooth with back of a spoon. Sprinkle green onions evenly over top. In a small bowl, mix sour cream and chilies. Spoon mixture evenly over onions and smooth. Sprinkle tomatoes over top. In a second small bowl, mix cheese with cilantro. Sprinkle evenly over tomatoes. Sprinkle olives over that. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Depending on the individual ingredients you purchase this is a pretty healthy dip. Of course it is amazing, so it is very hard to now devour the whole thing (which throws the health factor out the window). Because it is usually so well liked, I usually double the recipe and then put it all in a 9x12 glass pyrex dish. I usually get a can of plain refried beans and a can of zesty beans and mix them together. We like to use either Wholly Guacamole or the new one at Shop n Save (calenta maybe?) They come in flat plastic containers with a paper covering. Both very good. You can also make your own, but I never have good luck with my avocados being ripe when I need them. This was the dish that made me fall in love with cilantro. The taste of fresh cilantro is just wonderful. I usually get either scoop tortilla chips, or pretzel and/or pita chips for this. I love love love this dish and have never had complaints from anyone that has ever eaten it. (Except for my mother, who complained because there were onions in it.)

Asian Chicken


1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz water chestnuts, canned, drained, sliced
4.5 oz whole mushrooms, jarred, drained
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 to 6 chicken breasts, boneless
4 tbls hoisin sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Place peppers, garlic, water chestnuts, mushrooms and ginger into stoneware, stir to blend. Place chicken breasts on top of vegetables. Drizzle with hoisin sauce and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

This was pretty good. It had a great flavor. Because of the hoisin wings we made a week or so before this, we didn't have enough hoisin sauce. Wish we did, because it gave the chicken excellent flavor. We also didn't add the cayenne pepper because it makes my husband sick. This recipe is definitely a great new way to have chicken.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos


2 can diced green chilies
24oz salsa
2tsp cumin
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
4lb bone in chicken thighs

Place chicken in the bowl of a slow cooker. Top with salsa, diced green chilies, cumin, onion and garlic. Cover and set on low. Cook for 8 hours. Remove chicken from pot, shred, and return to juices. Spook chicken into taco shells, with whatever toppings your family likes. Or use the meat to make burritos, tostadas or as a filling for enchiladas.

This was absolutely wonderful. If you are looking for a make ahead recipe for shredded chicken to use in your dishes, use this one. When you slow cook something on a bone, the longer it cooks, the more tender it becomes. The flavor and texture of this chicken was just perfect. We put into hard taco shells and added some shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese and guacamole. We ate it with some chips and our leftover seven layer dip. This is definitely a recipe that will be making more appearances to our menu.

Menu 9/23-9/29 and 9/30- 10/6

I am combining these two weeks because we had a lot of activities, so we didn't do alot of cooking. Also, alot of what we did cook was either store bought stuff (pizza, deli sandwiches) or was repeat meals that I have already posted the recipes for. I also can't find the menus anymore so I am recalling these by the recipes I set aside to post here. I subbed for most of both these weeks, so things were a bit busier than normal.

Waffles, Cereal, Smoothies or Oatmeal is what is on our breakfast menu currently... too busy at the moment so we need dishes that don't require a lot of prep work.

Slow Cooking Pork Chops (repeat meal)
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
Asian Chicken
Lean Seven layer Dip
Hummus Dip
Crock Pot Pork Loin (add Pork Loin and onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots and celery to a crock pot add some salt and pepper and a little water and cook on low 8 hours.)

We have been rotating between granola bars, almonds and fruit leathers, yogurt and veggies, all store bought.

Tuscan Pasta


1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (15.5 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (15oz)
2 cans Italian-style stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained (4.5 oz)
1 med green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c water
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
6 oz thin spaghetti, broken into halves

Place all ingredients except spaghetti in Crockery Pot. Cover and cook on low 4 hours or until vegetables are tender. Turn to high. Stir in spaghetti; cover. Stir again after 10 minutes. Cover and cook 45 minutes or until pasta is tender. Garnish with basil and bell pepper strips if desired.

Serves 8

My husband got his meal this week so this was for me. I am a pasta fiend. I think it comes with being Italian. So when I found this crock pot pasta meal I was definitely looking forward to it. And it was pretty good. Personally I am a white sauce kind of gal, but this red sauce dish was still worth it. We used Spiral Pasta instead of spaghetti. I would definitely recommend spraying the crock pot with cooking spray to keep everything from sticking. And if you like your pasta extra saucy...double up on the tomato sauce. If your looking for an easy, yummy crock pot pasta meal... you've found it!

Slow Cooking Pork Chops

Original Recipe

Our recipe
8 pork chops
2 cans tomato sauce (8oz)
1/2 c chopped green peppers
2 bags pearl onions
3 cans french cut green beans
1 clove garlic, chopped

Saute pork chops in skillet until brown. Place remaining ingredients in slow cooker. Add pork chops and enough water to almost cover chops. Cook on law for 6 to 8 hours or until chops are tender.

I am not normally a pork fan (unless it is in the form of bacon or breakfast sausage), but this was so good we did it the next week as well. The original recipe only called for 6 pork chops, but we needed 8, so we add an extra can of green beans to spread it out some more. We also used pearl onions instead of regular onions and they were really good. We got some red pearl onions and after simmering all day, they were really sweet and super good. This was definitely a hit.

Hoisin Chicken Wings


2.5 lbs chicken wings or drumettes
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup honey
5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 piece fresh ginger (1 in size) peeled and grated
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Put the chicken into the crock pot. Add the hoisin sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours. Stir before servings.

These were for my husband. He wanted to watch football on Sunday and wanted some football food to eat. These were ok. My husband loved them, but said it needed more hoisin sauce. I am not a fan of wings to begin with, they are too messy for me. But, they were pretty good. Great for a football day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I haven't forgotten about this blog... Was subbing for a full week so been pretty busy, I plan to update the past few weeks this weekend so be looking for the updates... Also I just finished next weeks menu and I think I have outdone myself... It looks amazing and our grocery list will be super small because I am using all the extras in our freezer!