Monday, August 24, 2009

Menus 8/24 - 8/28

I'm a little late posting this - don't know where the weekend went! Okay, so this week, I decided to challenge myself. I wanted to see if I could do a week's worth of menus using only food that we already had on hand. I knew I had plenty of meat in the freezer - just had to see what else we had. So, these are the recipes I came up with - not as fun and "exotic" as usual (haha) but some are old favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, 8/24 - Chicken Casserole

This is an old favorite. I l-o-v-e this casserole. It just feels homey. Probably cuz my mom made it when I was a kid.

1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups diced celery
1 T. chopped onion and a dash of onion salt
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
3 cups cooked rice (1 1/2 cups uncooked)
Mix and put in a 9 x 13 pan. Top with sauce:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
Grate cheese over top. Top with potato chips (optional)
Bake 20-40 minutes at 400 degrees.

*The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup mayo but I have found that it is too "mayo-ey" so I cut it down and added sour cream. You could probably use all sour cream if you are opposed to mayo.

*I half the recipe for my family

*It really is yummy with potato chips on top - we never have potato chips in the house - but when we do, it is worth it!

Tuesday, 8/25: Gringo Tamale Pie

This recipe is in a family cook book and was submitted by my Grandpa Ketterer (my mom's dad). I have never tried it before but looks yummy.

1 lb. ground beef
1 - 4 oz. can diced green chilies
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup cream style corn
1 - 1 oz. taco seasoning packet with 2/3 cup water
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients, except cheese, in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat. While heating, mix:
1 1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 t. salt
1/2 t. chili powder

Cook over medium heat until quite thick, stirring often. Hold back 3/4 cup. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and line bottom and sides with cornmeal mix.

Pour filling into casserole dish, top with rounded tablespoons of remaining cornmeal. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 8/26: Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

Got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Jenn. The first time I had it, I was pregnant with Haylie and I was at her house and she served this. I am not ashamed to admit that I ate 2 wraps, then finished off what was left in the bowl. Sooo delicious!

Combine in plastic bag:
3 T. olive oil
1 t. lemon pepper
1 t. crushed garlic
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1 lb. chicken, cubed
Marinate for 15 minutes then cook chicken in skillet on stove.


1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup olives, chopped or sliced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups romaine lettuce (I've never actually measured that out - I just cut til it looks like enough!)
3/4 cup seasoned croutons
1/2 cup caesar salad dressing

Add chicken. Roll up tightly in a tortilla.

*As a general rule, when something calls for garlic, I usually use garlic powder. Same with onions.

*I've never actually had this with red bell pepper - Jenn made it with tomatoes and that's how I've always done it. It probably would be good with red bell pepper - but it is delicious with tomatoes!

Thursday, 8/27: Homemade Pizza

Eric usually makes the pizza dough for this and I'm not entirely sure what recipe he uses - so if you are interested - leave a comment and I'll get the recipe up for you. I'm just gonna make the dough, spread some leftover spaghetti sauce on it, and use kielbasa slices for the pepperoni (that's how we did it growing up and it's YUMMY!)

Friday, 8/28: Beef Stroganoff

Okay - I have the recipe for this around here somewhere...from Eric's mom. Again, if you're interested, leave a comment and I'll post it - but for now, the children are needy so I must say good night.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Menus 8/17-8/21

It's good to be home! I only got one week of planning in this time but hopefully in the future I'll be doing two weeks at a time again!

Monday, 8/17: Chinese New Year Chicken

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law - very delicious.


1 T. soy sauce

1 T. oil

1 T. cornstarch

2 chicken breasts

1 carrot, julienned

1/4 lb. snow peas

1/2 cup chopped green onion

8 oz. vermicelli noodles


3 T. soy sauce

1 T. sugar

2 T. white vinegar

1/2 t. ginger

1/8 to 1/4 t. red pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)

Cut chicken breasts into cubes. Marinate at least 10 minutes. Break pasta in half, cook without salt, drain and keep warm. Stir fry chicken and remove. Add onions, carrots, and peas and cook for 1 minute (or until warm). Stir in chicken and sauce and toss with pasta. Serve immediately.

*A couple things: I usually leave out the onions cuz I just don't like them. If you do not like spicy, then 1/8 t. of red pepper is probably best, if not less! You don't have to use vermicelli noodles; angel hair, spaghetti and linguine all work too.

Tuesday, 8/18: Tacos / Spanish Rice / Beans

This is another of my fallback meals. I just love it. I use flour tortillas and I fry them up just a little bit with olive oil so they are a nice golden brown color. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, olives, green chile sauce. Mmmm.

Wednesday 8/19: Chicken in Creamy Pan Sauce

This recipe is on A favorite in this house and very easy to make! I serve it over rice.

Thursday, 8/20: Crock Pot Chicken

This Thursday is book club where I will feast on delicious food that other people have made! But, since I don't want to completely abandon Eric and the girls, I'm gonna throw some chicken in the crock pot for them.

My friend Kari made this chicken for book club once and it was delicious. All you do is throw some chicken in the crock pot and sprinkle some Pappy's seasoning on it (I think most stores are selling Pappy's now - and the "low salt" is very good - I think the original is too salty). It is best if you mix thighs with breasts, but it will work with any cut of chicken. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours - and again, I serve it over rice.

Friday, 8/21: London Broil

Ok, so I got a London Broil on sale a couple weeks ago at the store. Eric BBQ'd it one night and it was TOUGH! So I'm going to try to cook it in the crock pot and see what happens. If anyone has any ideas to soften it up - please let me know!!

Also, has anyone tried any of the menus/recipes I've put up so far? If so, let me know how they're working for you! Am I inspiring anybody? ;-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sesame Seed Chicken Review

This chicken was scrumptious! It was my intention to serve it with mashed potatoes but Anna was NOT happy this evening when I was making dinner so the mashed taters didn't happen. It would have been DELICIOUS with potatoes. But, it was still tasty. The recipe for White Chicken Gravy was good - but I don't seem to be capable of making thick gravy . Eric says I just need to keep adding flour until it is thick - but why doesn't it say that in the recipe? Why doesn't the actual recipe ever work? Is it just me?

Both girls gobbled their chicken up - I even had to cut more for Anna (!) so it was definitely a hit!

I think this would be 5 out of 5 stars with thick gravy and homemade mashed potatoes. :-)

Just a little side note: I always buy the chicken tenderloins at Costco and I think they are so much better than breasts. ;-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Baked Chimichanga Review

These chimichangas were very yummy. I used canned chicken instead of ground beef and I think it was perfect. The girls weren't thrilled with the chimichangas but ate heaps of spanish rice. For some reason, they have never been big on mexican food - but the rice is always a hit.

A very quick, easy, yummy meal. 5 out of 5 stars!