Monday, May 31, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ May 31

First off, I just want to say how excited I am about having 50 followers! Thanks to everyone who takes the time, to read my ramblings, LOL.

Last week was hot. As much as I love the summer, I'm not too thrilled with cooking during the summer. I guess I'll have to suck it up and make do. This week should be fairly quiet and I'm hoping the weather co operates, so we can attend a local Medieval Festival. With the warm weather, we will be grilling most nights, so the menu is nothing extravagant. Keep an eye out for Bronco Burgers, from last week, in the next few days. So in no particular order, here is our menu for the week.


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  • Grilled Pork Slouvaki with Tzatzikki and Mediterranean Pasta salad
  • Hot dogs and Brats (grill) with coleslaw and baked beans (Heinz)
  • Chicken and Dumplings
  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin with grilled veggies and salad
  • Grilled Steaks with tomato mozzarella salad, spinach dip, chips and veggie sticks
  • Burgers (grill) with grilled veggies and coleslaw
  • Leftovers

As always, head on over to OrgJunkie, for tons of other great meal plans for the week.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Potluck Sunday~ Banana Cream Pie

I decided to be adventurous, last week and try my hand at making banana cream pie from scratch. Banana cream is my least favorite pie, but I was looking for something different to do with my bananas. I must say that I'm converted and am in love with this pie. I guess the difference, between store bought and homemade, is that homemade tastes so much better. I always thought that store bought tasted too much like fake bananas. I really hate anything banana flavored. It reminds me of taking penicillin, as a child, LOL. But this pie was wonderful. It had a real banana flavor, which wasn't too overpowering. The custard did not taste egg-y at all, so that made it even better. I'm very proud that my custard turned out so well, and I did not end up with vanilla flavored scrambled eggs, LOL. This is rich, creamy and wonderful. I also made a banana graham crust, since I wanted a more intense banana flavor. I was a bit disappointed with the crust, which came out a tad chewy. The flavor was great, but I didn't care for the texture. So next time I'll just go with regular graham crust. Can't wait to make this one for my Dad!!!


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Banana Cream Pie
Submitted by Erika

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks beaten
1/2 cup butter
1 T vanilla extract
3 medium bananas (peeled and sliced)
1 baked pie crust (9 inch)
1 cup whipping cream
2 T sugar

1. Stir together ½ cup sugar, cornstarch and milk until smooth in heavy saucepan and heat until boiling.

2. Stir small amounts of hot milk mixture into beaten egg yolks in a bowl.

3. Stir egg mixture into saucepan with remaining hot milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently until sauce thickens and boils, about 5 minutes

4. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Cool for 15 minutes.

5. Fold in bananas, reserving a few for garnish, spoon filling into piecrust, then cover and chill 1 hour.

6. Whip cream in a bowl until soft peaks form and gradually pour in remaining 2 tbsp sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie and add bananas for garnish.



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BANANA GRAHAM CRUST

1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers (about 16 crackers)
1 very ripe banana, smashed
1 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, banana and butter. Using a fork, combine ingredients until cracker crumbs are evenly coated (this can also be done in your food processor if you used it to crush the crackers- just pulse to combine). Press crumb mixture evenly into a nine-inch pie dish. Line with a double thickness of foil and bake for 10 minutes, then remove foil and bake another five minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Don't forget to head over to Mommy's Kitchen, to see other great recipes for Potluck Sunday!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Cheese Manicotti

I was able to make this before the weather got too warm. That's the only thing I don't like about summer, I can't bake or use the oven, without turning the house into a sauna. I really love Italian food. It's one of my favorites. I could live the rest of my life on pasta and cheese and be perfectly happy. Hubby however would go crazy without meat for more than one day, LOL. Hubby is usually the one who makes the manicotti/canelloni since he likes making his own pasta. I'm not that adventurous, so opt for good ole store bought pasta shells. I've tried many different kinds of manicotti, but always seem to go back to cheese manicotti.


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Three Cheese Manicotti

1 box manicotti shells, cooked to aldente
1 16 oz tub of ricotta cheese
1 1/2C shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 C Parmesan or Romano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbs dried parsley flakes
1 jar favorite pasta sauce, or equivalent of homemade sauce

Mix the Ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Parmesan and parsley in a small bowl. Mix in 1C shredded mozzarella and mix well. Using a piping bag or Ziploc bag with one corner cut off, fill manicotti noodles. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 13X9 inch baking dish. Place noodles in dish and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and cover with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes, before serving.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Puffed Apple Pancake

A few weeks back, we were browsing in a discount store and I found a copy of a Bon Appetit cookbook, dirt cheap. I immediately scooped it up and enjoyed reading it, from cover to cover. There was a ton of recipes that I bookmarked and this is the first one I tried. I wasn't sure how well it would go over with the kids, since last time I made an oven pancake, no one really liked it. I think it's because we all thought it was going to be different than it was. This one, however, was awesome. It wasn't too eggy and the brown sugar added a sweetness that the previous oven pancake lacked. Mr.B loved his, while Quennie picked at it and ate mostly the apples. I loved how light and fluffy it was and it tasted great with a slight drizzle of maple syrup. This would be great for a brunch or even for dinner.


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Puffed Apple Pancake
Adapted from Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook

1C whole milk
4 large eggs
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2/3C flour
1/4C (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2-6oz Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 Tbs brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk first 6 ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Add flour and whisk til batter is smooth. Place butter in 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Place dish in oven until butter melts, about 5 minutes. Remove dish from oven. Place apple slices in overlapping rows atop melted butter in baking dish. Return to oven and bake until apples begin to soften slightly and butter is bubbling and beginning to brown around the edges of dish, about 10 minutes.

Pour batter over apples in dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake pancake until puffed and brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar or with jam, apple sauce or maple syrup.

Cindy's notes: I used Jonathan apples, since that's what I had on hand.

This recipe has been linked up to Brenda's Canadian Kitchen Cookbook Sundays, Recipe of the Week and Countdown to 2011: Breakfast

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meal Plan Monday: May 24

Happy Victoria Day to my Canadian readers! It's a holiday here, so Mr.B has no school today. Hubby however, still has to work. The joys of working in the restaurant industry..... This week should be busy, with school Wed and Fri and a zoo outing on Thursday. Poor little Queenie has vaccinations tomorrow :(. I hope she tolerates them well. With the warmer weather, we are trying to use the grill more often. And I really am starting to curse Hubby's decision to go lowcarb/carb free, since I feel guilty making all my favorite summer salads (pasta and potato) and eating them in front of him. So I'm still trying to find fun, creative and delicious ways of cooking vegetables on the grill. If anyone has any favorite low carb veggie recipes, please feel free to post them. So here is our menu for the week, in no particular order, except for tonight.


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Monday- Grilled Honey Lime Chicken (new recipe) with grilled veggies (snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, garlic, evoo, sea salt, pepper, oregano and thyme) and baked beans (from the can).


  • Bronco Burgers (new recipe) with homemade burger buns and a salad
  • Crockpot Chicken Lickin Good Chops (new recipe) with rice and veg
  • Bowties with Broccoli and Cheddar (new recipe)
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs with a salad
  • Italian Sausage and hotdogs on the grill, with veggie kabobs
  • Leftovers in there somewhere

Head on over to OrgJunkie.com for tons of other great meal plans for the week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Potluck Sunday: Maple Crescent Pull-aparts

I made these for breakfast this morning. I had 3 tubes of crescent rolls in the fridge and I was wondering what I was going to do with them, LOL. With Hubby on his low carb diet, I try not to make too many wonderful carb ladden dishes, since I don't want to make him suffer. But this morning I was in a crescent roll kind of mood. I remembered this recipe in my dessert file. It's been there forever, and I've never tried it until today. Mostly because I don't buy Maple Syrup too often. It was on sale last week, so I grabbed a bottle. These are really good. Tender and fluffy, with a maple sugar glaze and crunchy nuts. I love the buttery-ness of the crescent rolls with the maple glaze..... it's heavenly.


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Maple Crescent Pullaparts

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2-8oz. can reduced fat crescent rolls
2 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degreesIn an 8 inch ungreased round cake pan combine butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Place in oven for 3 to 4 minutesor until butter melts; blend well.Sprinkle with pecans.Remove dough from can; do not unroll; cut each roll into 6 slices.In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Dip both sides of each slice in the sugar mixture.Arrange slices in pan over nuts. Sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture. Bake for 17-23 minutes or until golden brown.Cool 2-3 minutes, then invert onto serving platter.



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Don't forget to head over to Mommy's Kitchen, to see other great dishes, for Potluck Sunday!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Potato Caesar Salad

I first had this salad many years ago, when I was in college and attended a cookout, at one of my classmates homes. Her Mom made a warm potato Caesar salad. I was very intrigued by it and surprised at how delicious it was. I immediately asked for the recipe and this has become one of our summer staples. The potatoes and Caesar dressing pair so nicely together. And we all know how well potatoes and bacon get along, so how could this not be Yummy???


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Potato Caesar Salad

1 lb baby red potatoes, halved
1 romaine heart, chopped
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
your favorite Caesar dressing, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste
1/2 C croutons

Steam potatoes until fork tender. Meanwhile, place chopped romaine, crumbled bacon and croutons in a bowl. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and throw them into the same bowl as the salad. Toss with dressing and parmesan, to your liking, until well coated. Serve warm.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mongolian Beef

I had some cooked steaks in the freezer, so I decided to use them up in some sort of stir fry. They were cooked med-rare and I only eat well done steak, so I knew they'd be perfect for such a dish. I decided to look on Tasty Kitchen for some sort of stir fry recipe. The first recipe listed looked so good, I searched no further. I didn't really want to cook a separate veggie side to go with this, so I threw in some red peppers, corn and snow peas. This was truly a great dish. I did think the sauce was a bit sweet, so I added some salted cashews, to counter balance the sauce. It worked perfectly. The creamy nuts with the sweet sauce tasted amazing. The kids gobbled down there dinner, and you know that always makes me happy. I'm definitely making this one again and again.


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Mongolian Beef
via Tasty Kitchen

¼ cups Cornstarch
1 pound Flank Steak, Very Thinly Sliced Against The Grain
1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
¼ cups Water
½ cups Dark Brown Sugar
¼ cups Canola Oil
5 whole Scallions, Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces

Sprinkle cornstarch over the sliced steak and toss until the pieces are evenly coated. Set aside. In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine ginger, garlic, soy sauce, water and sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and stir until the sauce boils. Remove from heat and set aside. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan (or a wok) with canola oil and heat over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the steak, sautéing it until browned on all sides. Remove the steak with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels. Remove any leftover oil from the pan, then add the steak, sauce and scallions, and cook over medium heat for just a few more minutes. Serve over rice

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Ricotta was on sale super cheap, a few weeks back, so I bought a couple tubs. Once I got home, I thought to myself, "what the heck did I need all this cheese for?", LOL. Determined to use it all and not let it go to waste, I browsed on line for a stuffed chicken recipe. This one caught my eye and I was fully prepared to make it, using chicken thighs instead. My first snafu was, that the bacon I thought was in the freezer, was no longer there. No problem, I'd use some deli ham, that I had bought for Mr.B's lunch. Snafu number two, the jar of pimentos I thought was in the pantry, had also disappeared. Luckily, I had a red pepper that I roasted and chopped up, so I used that. So, despite the little hiccups in my plans, I made the chicken and it tasted good. The thighs were tender, the filling salty and savory. I really think the bacon would have added more flavor, but it was good regardless. A very nice way to use ricotta, other than in lasagna or pasta.


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RICOTTA STUFFED CHICKEN

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 c. chopped cooked broccoli
4 slices bacon
2 tbsp. chopped pimento
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 c. ricotta or sm. curd cottage cheese
1/4 tsp. pepper

Pound chicken breasts between waxed paper until they are about 1/4 inch thick. Cook bacon, drain and reserve fat, crumble bacon; set aside. Make stuffing: Combine broccoli, cheddar, ricotta or cottage cheese, pimento, stuffing in chicken breasts and carefully roll up the bread jelly roll style. Secure with toothpicks if they begin to unroll. Chill slightly. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add olive oil and warm to medium high heat. Add chicken breast and sear on all sides (add more olive oil if needed). Reduce heat to medium and cook until breasts are cooked throughout, about 15 minutes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meal Plan Monday: May 17

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was quiet, with Hubby working, but at least the weather was nice and we were able to spend sometime outside. This week will be a quiet one, yet I really struggled to make my meal plan. Just feeling uninspired lately. Look forward to a great Mongolian Beef recipe, from Tasty Kitchen in the next few days.


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Here is our menu for the week, in no particular order:


  • hot dogs with foil packet veggies (potatoes, carrots and corn)
  • grilled steaks with grilled cauliflower and broccoli
  • grilled chicken breast with tomato mozzarella salad
  • Creamy chicken crescents with peas
  • Pasta Fagioli soup with rolls
  • broiled fish with rice pilaf
  • leftovers

Check out more great menus at OrgJunkie.com

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Potluck Sunday~Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Once again I'm participating in Potluck Sunday over at Mommy's Kitchen. Thanks Tina for letting us share our recipes with her readers!! Make sure to head over there to see what other great dishes are being brought over.


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I really love to eat peanut butter toast, with sliced bananas on top. Just the combination of the salty peanut butter and the sweet banana, makes me smile. I was recently craving peanut butter and thought to myself, why not make peanut butter banana muffins. I knew the kids would love them, since they love banana muffins of all kinds, LOL. So, I did an online search and was pleased to find a recipe using whole wheat flour. I recently bought a bag, to try and make our favorites a tad more healthy. The muffins smelled so good while baking! You could smell the peanut butter and that wonderful banana muffin smell. I couldn't wait to dig in, once I took them out of the oven. They were good, but I would have liked a stronger peanut butter flavor. I really enjoyed the crunchy roasted peanuts, in contrast to the moist sweet muffin. I think next time I'll increase the amount of peanut butter and decrease the amount of banana, to see if there is a better PB flavor.



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Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Adapted from Best Health Magazine

1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (75 mL) peanut butter
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) whole wheat flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
2 Tbs (30mL) ground flax meal (optional)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) very ripe mashed bananas, about 2 large
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
1/3 cup (75 mL) unsalted peanuts, chopped

Directions Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Lightly spray or grease 12 muffin tins. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in peanut butter. Pour into a large bowl to cool. In a medium bowl, place flours, baking powder, flax meal and baking soda. Whisk together ensuring there are no lumps. Stir sugar into cooled peanut butter mixture. Then stir in eggs until completely blended. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

Spoon into muffin tins. Sprinkle with peanuts, gently pushing into batter. Bake in centre of preheated oven until golden and a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to a rack to cool.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Zucchini con Queso

Though Hubby has been following a low carb/carbless diet, he still likes to indulge, once or twice a month. Cinco de Mayo, was the perfect opportunity, since I knew he loves enchiladas. But every time I make enchiladas, I end up serving them with spanish rice and we never really eat the rice. I wanted to make a side dish that Hubby could enjoy if there was leftovers, without being too worried about his diet. I remembered my friend MM, over at MS. enplace, had posted a zucchini recipe on CFYF. I did a quick search, found it and knew it would be a hit for us. I mean zucchini in a cheese sauce..... how can that go wrong?? I just have to say it was wonderful! I kept the veggies tender crisp and had to substitute Cheddar and Swiss, since I had forgotten to buy Jack cheese at the store. Even with the substitution it was great. The crunchy zucchini and peppers, the soft tomatoes; all covered in ooey gooey cheesy goodness. Queenie loved the zucchini while Mr.B wasn't too fond of the whole thing. Lately his opinion does not count, since he seems to be rejecting even his favorite foods.....


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Zucchini con Queso
Submitted by MM

Vegetables

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds (about 5 c) zucchini, cut in fat matchsticks
1 small onion, cut into thin strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bell pepper (any color), cut into thin strips
2 small Roma tomatoes, cut into strips
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt

Sauce

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
10 oz evaporated milk
1/4 cup crema (I used sour cream)
4 oz Pepper Jack cheese, grated

In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add the zucchini, onion, and bell pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until wilted. Add the garlic, tomato, and seasonings and cook for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are very tender.

While vegetables cook, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter and olive oil together in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute briefly. Add the milk and crema and heat through. Stir in the grated cheese, cover the pot, and remove pot from heat. Stir again in intervals. Keep the sauce warm.
When vegetables are done, add cheese sauce to them and combine well. Serve immediately.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Honey Pork Oriental

I have a ton of cooked pork shoulder, hanging around in the freezer. So, I've been trying to find recipes in which I could use it. I found this one on cooks.com and decided to convert it to a crock pot recipe, to fit my needs. I didn't have any gravy mix, so I used a beef bouillon cube. I also used red pepper, instead of green and added some snow peas. It worked out wonderfully! The pork was tender and sweet and the vegetables added the right amount of savoriness to the dish. My favorite part was the carrots. They were tender and sweet.... amazing, LOL. Hubby and the kids also enjoyed it and I was more than happy to use the rest for sandwiches, the next day, with tons of spicy brown mustard and cheese.



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HONEY PORK ORIENTAL
Adapted from cooks.com

2 lbs. pork shoulder steaks
2 tbsp. oil or melted shortening
1 env. brown gravy mix
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. honey
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 lg. onion, cut
1 green pepper, cut

Cut pork in 1 inch squares, discarding bones. Brown pork in oil in large skillet, stir often, about 15 minutes. Combine other ingredients, cover and cook slowly 1 hour. Serve over cooked rice

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meal Plan Menu: May 10

Please forgive me for being late this week. We left Sunday afternoon, for my parent's house and returned last night. I had a great Mother's Day, with many drawings of fruit, from Mr.B and a beautiful bouquet of white lilies and orange tulips from DH. I enjoyed spending time with my parent's and just getting away from the hustle and bustle. But now we are back home and have to get back into our routine. Here is our meal plan for this week.


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Monday- pot roast with potatoes, carrots, rutabaga and green beans

Tuesday- we ate on the road (Wendy's)

Wednesday- Beef Stir Fry with brown rice

Thursday- Meatballs and sausage in the crock with pasta for the kids and spaghetti squash for DH and I. Tossed salad on the side

Friday- homemade veggie pizza with steamed broccoli

Saturday- Chicken Manicotti with sauteed zucchini

Sunday- no plan as of yet....

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dill Dip with homemade Pita Chips

I love pita chips, but they are so expensive. So I recently decided to try making some. The first time I did, I used regular pita bread that you fill and that didn't work as well as I would have liked. So this time I used Greek style pitas, with better results. And what are pita chips without dip?? With fresh dill still in the fridge, this was the logical choice, though I would have loved some hummus too. Great paired together and I even added some of the dip in my mashed potatoes the other night, with super yummy results.


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Homemade Pita Chips

1 pkg Greek style pitas
olive oil
fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut pitas in half, then cut each half into 4. Place, in a single layer, onto a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until chips begin to turn a golden brown color.

Dill Dip

1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
2 tbs fresh dill, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients into a bowl and refrigerate 1 hr, before serving, to let flavors develop.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cottage Dill Bread

If you remember from a previous post, I bought a ton of dill weed, on a whim. Of course I had to find ways of using it, so I looked for a bread recipe. You know how much I love my bread, LOL. This was really the only recipe that caught my eye. The only problem was, it used cottage cheese. Now, I'm not big on cottage cheese and refused to buy some just to make bread, since I knew I wouldn't use the leftovers. I thought of using Ricotta and went to the great ladies on CFYF for advice. Everyone agreed that the substitution would work, so I made the bread. Wow, it was great! It was soft and fluffy, but a bit more dense than regular white bread. I thought the dill taste could have been stronger, but it was good none the less. The kids loved it (Queenie called it croutons, every time I toasted it) and my Mom thought it was really yummy too.


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Cottage Dill Bread
Adapted from Cooks.com

"Dill and onion spiked cottage cheese bread teams up with almost any robust entree. Your bread machine makes this a snap to prepare."

2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45degrees C)
2/3 cup cottage cheese
2 tablespoons margarine
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon dry milk powder
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dill fresh weed
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1. Measure ingredients into the machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Basic Bread cycle.

Cindy's notes: I replaced the cottage cheese with an equal amount of Ricotta. I also replaced the water with milk and omitted the powdered milk, since I don't really buy it. I used the dough cycle on my bread machine, formed the dough into a loaf, let it rise 45 minutes and baked it at 350 degrees, for about 30-40 minutes ( the bread should sound hollow when tapped).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gyro Burgers

I saw this meal mentioned on a blog's Meal Plan, when I was browsing the Meal Plans at OrgJunkie, the other week. It intrigued me, so I did an online search for recipes. I found a recipe that used ingredients I always have on hand, so decided to give it a whirl. Hubby often asks why I never cook foods from different regions. I figured you can't go wrong with Greek food right, LOL. The burgers were good, for burgers, LOL (remember I am not a ground beef or burger fan). Hubby enjoyed them very much and really enjoyed the Tzatziki sauce that accompanied them. I thought the onion in the burgers, plus the onion in the sauce was too overpowering, but I'm not a huge onion fan either. (I know, I know... what the heck is my problem, right??). Hubby suggested maybe using veal, if I were ever to make these again and a wonderful lady on CFYF shared a recipe using beef and lamb. So I'm sure another variation of these will end up on the table, at some point in the future.



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Gyro Burgers

1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pita bread rounds (6-inch), halved crosswise

yogurt sauce:

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 2/3 cup)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh dill, chopped
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt, optional

In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Refrigerate until burgers are done cooking. In a bowl, combine beef and spices, mixing well. Form into 4 patties and grill until desired doneness. To serve place 1 patty inside one half of a pita and top with yogurt sauce and lettuce and tomato, if desired.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meal Plan Monday and Silicone Bakeware Giveaway Winner!!

Today is the day a winner is picked for the Silicone Bakeware Giveaway.


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And the winner is.....


Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 2
Comment #2 - Brenda!!
Timestamp: 2010-05-03 13:14:09 UTC
Brenda I will be in contact with you so I can get your mailing address. Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Last week's Meal Plan pretty much went out the window, with my parents dropping by for a few days and Mr.B having a cold. Since he wasn't eating much, I wanted to make dinners I knew he would love, to get some nourishment into him. He still has a cough and I'm hoping the worse is behind him. So I will be carrying over some dishes from last week.


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Monday- Crock pot Honey Pork Oriental( new recipe) with white rice and broccoli
Tuesday- Bean and Cheese Enchiladas, with Zucchini con Queso(new recipe)
Wednesday- Breakfast: bacon, waffles and melon(watermelon and canteloupe)
Thursday- Ricotta stuffed chicken breast (new recipe) with mashed potatoes
and veg
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- hot dogs on the grill with potato cesar salad
Sunday- Steak and cheese sandwiches

Once again head on over to Org Junkie to check out tons of meal plans for the week!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Caramel Apple Cake

Today I'm participating in Potluck Sunday over at Mommy's Kitchen. Head on over to grab some great recipes. Thanks to Tina for hosting and letting us share our recipes with her readers!


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Everytime apples are on sale, I have to buy some. I don't know why; it's like I think there will be an apple shortage or something, LOL. So, imagine my surprise when I found 3-5lb bags of apples, in our cold storage room the other day. That's right, 15 lbs of apples!! Well, of course I now need to use all these apples, before they turn on me. I guess that's what I get for being obsessed with buying apples. I wanted to make something special for Mr.B, who has a cold and hasn't been eating all that well lately. So it had to be somewhat healthy too. I liked this recipe, since it used Whole Wheat flour and seemed to have more apples than batter. Let me tell you, this cake is a winner! It's moist and soft, with hints of tender apple and crunchy nuts. The caramel sauce brings it to another level, without making it too sweet. The spices aren't overwhelming and bring a comforting warmth to it all. I made a cinnamon whipped cream, to add a touch of richness and a hint of glamor to the cake. Mr.B enjoyed a piece for breakfast this morning, and I didn't feel guilty about him having cake for breakfast, LOL.


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Caramel Apple Cake
Submitted by Jennifer (on Cooking for your Family)

4 C. apples - peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. Canola Oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. white flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/3 C. finely chopped walnuts (almonds or pecans also work)

Sauce

5 tbsp. butter
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. half and half (my sub evaporated milk)
Pinch salt
1/2 t. Vanilla extract

Mix together apples and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil and vanilla. In a separate bowl stir together flours, salt, soda and spices. Stir dry ingredients into apples until well blended. Mixture will be very thick. Mix in the nuts. Pour into a 9x13 pan that you have sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake in 350 oven for 45 min, or until cake starts to shrink away from sides of pan.While cake is cooling, make caramel sauce.

Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in brown sugar. Add half and half and salt and heat to a boil stirring frequently. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly until it reaches desired thickness. Stir in vanilla. Slice the cake and serve with some of the sauce spooned over the top. (Store leftover cake with a lid, or plastic wrap over the top so it doesn't dry out. Store the caramel sauce in a separate container with an air-tight lid in fridge).

Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1/2 C whipping cream
1 Tbs sugar
1 dash cinnamon

In a chilled bowl, beat whipped cream until soft peaks for. Add in sugar and cinnamon and beat until stiff peaks for. Store in the frige for up to 4 days in a covered container.

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