Sunday, May 6, 2018

Meal Plan for week of 5/6/18

Trying something different. The boys have track meets twice a week and practice the other three. We are running- literally and figuratively! Here is our meal plan for the week. You can click the name of the recipe, which links you to the website where I got the recipe or the cookbook is listed where you can find the recipe.

Breakfast for DH and I:
Spinach Sheet Pan Quiche - crustless

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet - I add Thyme
Golden Flaky Biscuits

Korean Beef and Rice Bowls

Baked Salmon with Parmesan Herb Crust

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Southwestern Goulash - I add a can of Rotel

Quick Thai Curry with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
America's Test Kitchen, Best Simple Recipes

Homemade Meatballs with Red Wine Sauce
Feed Zone Cookbook

Monday, January 8, 2018

Shannon's Sweet Chili

 This chili got put on the menu because the boys got tired of me trying new recipes! I go through jags of working through a new cookbook or magazine and that happened last week. When I do my share of the menu planning, I ask the boys if they have any requests. Neither had any ideas for me, so off I went. On Monday night, after seeing nothing familiar for the rest of the week, my older son put a sticky note on the monthly meal planner that he wanted this for dinner 😂 

I remember when my mom gave me this recipe. It was right after my oldest son was born. I still have the original copy she made from Family Circle magazine. I made a few modifications for our tastes.

This a recipe that can be thrown together on a weeknight or made over the weekend and warmed up and served later during the week. This recipe freezes well. I serve this with cheese on top.

Shannon's Sweet Chili

1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, diced

1 can diced tomatoes, 28 ounces
1 can tomato sauce, 28 ounces
2 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

 In a large nonstick pot, brown beef, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
 Add chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes. Fill can with water and add to pot along with tomato sauce, beans and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes. 
Let stand for 10 minutes 
Serve over cooked elbow macaroni. Serve with cheese and sour cream if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is one of those dishes I've had my whole life. My mom got it off of the Mueller's Elbow Macaroni box. It is a family classic. I remember she made us Macaroni and Cheese a lot when she and my dad went out to dinner and we would have a sitter. Then even when we were old enough to not need a sitter. Just like my mother, I make this when we go out for dinner. It is so easy to make and pop in the oven.

When my brother was dating his now wife, in college, he made this for her. She loved it so much that she made it for her roommates for dinner. They loved it so much that one of them made it for dinner EVERY week!
I don't recall my mom using a certain brand of cheese. Most likely whatever she had a coupon for. She used coupons before using coupons became a "thing". I, on the other-hand, prefer to use Sargento 4 State Cheddar. It is a blend of Mild and Sharp Cheddar Cheeses that really makes this recipe. (No, this is NOT a sponsored post, I just love this cheese!)

The leftovers are also tasty. The boys will happily eat them. The key when reheating is adding a little bit of milk to help give it some sauce and adding more cheese. Stir, reheat, stir and serve.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces elbows (~1 3/4 cups)

Cook elbows for about 7 minutes and drain.

In medium saucepan combine first 4 ingredients; stir in milk. Add butter, stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Stir in cheese until melted. Add elbows. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole.

Bake uncovered in 375º oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Roasted Green Beans

So, I seem to be on a side dish kick lately. Well, it is a pretty important to have some go-tos when you cook dinner pretty much every night of the week. One can only have steamed veggies so many times.

These are on rotation quite a bit. I even make them for us to eat with lunch on the weekends because they are just that good! 

These are similar to Roasted Broccoli, but I love them so much they get their own post 😀

I have only ever made these using FROZEN green beans, straight from the freezer. The most they get thawed is if I get them on the pan and the oven is not to temperature.

I make a large batch of these and if there are any leftovers, it is a small container.  This recipe could easily be halved.

Roasted Green Beans

20-24 ounces green beans
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450º

Place green beans in a 9x13 baking pan.  Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper, toss to coat.

Bake 25-30 minutes until tender and browned in spots.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Potato Wedges

If you are like me, you get tired of making the same side dishes all the time. I was so happy when I stumbled upon this recipe. The boys and I love them, which is key.

The wedges are not small, but they really do bake up crispy and delicious.

To cut the potatoes into wedges, cut each potato lengthwise in half. Turn potatoes cut side down, and cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. I leave the skin on for extra deliciousness.

These potatoes are also easy to throw together. I can usually have these in the oven in less time than it takes for the oven to heat up. They cook for about 30 minutes, so there is plenty of time to get your main dish and a veggie done without too much work. 

Don't be shocked, but we like these with ketchup!

Potato Wedges

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/4 pounds baking potatoes, 3-4 medium 
Olive Oil

 Heat oven to 425º. Mix salt, sugar, paprika, mustard and garlic powder.

Scrub potatoes, leaving skin on. Cut the potatoes into wedges, cut each potato lengthwise in half. Turn potatoes cut side down, and cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. Place potatoes in a jelly-roll pan. 

Generously pour olive oil over potatoes. I use between 2-4 Tablespoons. Mix potatoes and olive oil so potatoes are evenly coated. Sprinkle spice mix onto potatoes, mix again.

Bake 25-30 minutes, turning the potato wedges halfway through.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Easiest Bacon Ever!

If you haven't baked your bacon in the oven you need to try this! This isn't a recipe per say, but you can cook an entire package of bacon at once, that turns out pretty much perfect every time with little effort.

The trick to making your bacon in the oven is putting the bacon in a cold oven. As the oven heats up, it slowly renders the fat.

You end up with crispy, meaty pieces.

Oven Baked Bacon 

Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Lay bacon on pan, try not to have it overlap.

Place pan in COLD oven. Set oven temperature to 400º. Set timer for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Drain bacon grease and turn bacon pieces. Bake for 5-10 minutes longer, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Check the bacon frequently so it does not get overdone.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Ingredient Banana Oat Muffins

When you buy two bunches of bananas each week at the grocery store, there are usually a few leftover. Even after you use this handy trick:  Buy one bunch of bananas as green as possible and stick them in a Green Bag, and clip it closed. 

These muffins are SO easy to make - dump and process! It takes longer for the oven to heat up than to get these mixed up. I call these 5 ingredients, because to me, everyone should have baking soda, salt and cinnamon in their panty 😉They are also gluten-free.

I use the food processor bowl from my Ninja Blender system, which has a very high powered motor. I put everything in the bowl, process for 90 seconds, scrape down the sides, add the chocolate chips, and process for a minute more. (The chocolate chips stay mostly intact but end up larger than had I used mini chips.) After the second process you should not be able to see pieces of the dates. You can also use a blender, but you may need to blend the mixture a little longer. I get 12 nicely domed muffins from each batch. 

There is no added sugar, other than what is in the chocolate chips, so make sure your bananas are VERY ripe. As my mom would say, loaded with sugar spots. Don't worry, the dates provide the sugar!

Older's Thoughts: 

This recipe is fast and easy to make. They are tasty and I like to have them with butter. This is a kid friendly recipe; just dump in the ingredients, blend, then spoon into the muffin tins and bake. I like this recipe a lot! You could also put in berries and other kinds of chocolate chips


5 Ingredient Banana Oat Muffins

2 cups rolled oats
3 medium bananas, very ripe
2 eggs
¾ cup pitted whole dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let rest in pan 5 minutes before removing from pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve with a smear of butter or peanut butter.