Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New Featured Cookbook

Today I added a new featured cookbook. I have heard a lot about the "101 Things" cookbook series so I checked one out from the library. It's a smaller book, but each recipe looks quick and simple to make. I've looked through the first half of the book and I already have 9 recipes marked for testing. I'll probably have a few of them included on my menu for next week!

Does anyone have some of the other "101 Things" cookbooks? Can you recommend any to us?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kristi's Baby Shower Menu

I finally got around to posting the salad recipes we used for Kristi's baby shower. The first two I discovered in my ward in San Diego, so I'm not sure who to credit for those. Most of them I was able to make the evening before and then add the dressing just before serving. Enjoy!

Salad Recipes

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

1 (16-oz) bag of Rotini Pasta, cooked & drained
4 skinless chicken breasts, cooked & diced
1/2 pint container of fresh Pesto (or from a jar)
Parmesan cheese

Toss first three ingredients together, salt lightly to taste, serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. For a quick version, purchase pre-cooked chicken breast strips by Butterball.

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 large head finely shredded/chopped cabbage (I mix purple and green)
2 packages Ramen noodles, crumbled (discard seasoning packet)
4 Tbsp slivered almonds
4 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 green onions, chopped
4 skinless chicken breasts, boiled and diced
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained

4 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp white rice vinegar

Place crumbled noodles, seeds and almonds on a tray. Bake at 350 degrees for a couple of minutes until lightly golden. Add to remaining ingredients and toss with dressing.

Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad
(from Sweet Tomatoes / Souplantation Restaurants)

1 bunch uncooked broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Mix the broccoli, bacon, cashews, raisins and onions in a large bowl. in a second bowl, beat dressing ingredients together gently until smooth and sugar is dissolved.

About 10 minutes before serving, toss the salad with the dressing to allow flavors to meld.

Pizza Pasta Salad
(from Kraft Food & Family magazine, with a few changes)

3 cups penne pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
4 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)
24-36 slices pepperoni, chopped
1 cup Kraft Mozzarella cheese crumbles
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c to 1 c Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing

Toss all ingredients in large bowl. (I needed to add more dressing because it seemed too dry). Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Makes 10 1-cup servings.

Chicken Salad
(from Sharon Johnson)

2 C chopped cooked chicken
2 C celery, chopped
2 tsp grated onion
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 C mayonnaise
1 C grated cheese
3/4 C crushed pineapple, drained

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Better flavor is made a day ahead. Serve in croissant rolls or lettuce cups.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Where Did March Go?

Did March go by crazy-fast for anyone else? Sheesh!

This week's menu has a few new additions for me; the Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, and the Chicken Almondine are new recipes that I've never tried. I found the recipe for Creamy Enchiladas on another cooking blog (click here). There are a few recipes for this week that I have not yet posted and I promise I'll get to that tomorrow.

Also coming soon, are recipes for some tasty salads we served at my sister Kristi's baby shower yesterday. They'll be great additions to any Summer menu!

Week 5 Recipes

Chicken Almondine

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup (10-oz)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 C Mayonnaise
1 C chopped celery
1 Tbsp grated onions
1/2 C pimentos, sliced
1/2 C almonds (slivers, or chopped)

Lay prepared chicken in the bottom of the crockpot. mix all other ingredients in a mixing bowl, EXCEPT for almonds and potato chips. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove each serving to dinner plate. Spoon extra "gravy" over chicken and top with almonds.

California Vegetarian Chili

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 cans (14-oz) redi-cut tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 can black beans, drained
1 can great northern beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 Tbsp yellow mustard

Heat oil in a large (6 qt) kettle. Add garlic and veggies. Heat until veggies are crisp-tender.

Add all other ingredients. Stir well. Cover and simmer at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 minutes. Serve and garnish with cheese and/or avocados.

Week 5 Menu

Monday - Creamy Enchiladas
Tuesday - Vegetarian Chili
Wednesday - Maui Chicken
Thursday - Fried Rice
Friday - eating out
Saturday - Lasagna Rolls
Sunday - Chicken Almondine (crockpot)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cheesecake Anyone?

A friend of Gavan's from California was in town this weekend and we invited him to dinner tonight. He brought with him an enormous, beautiful cheesecake. It literally is 6 inches tall. We are never going to eat it all. I'm not sure there's even room for it in my fridge! Boy was it tasty though!

Alright everyone. I did poorly last week at sticking to my menu. I ended up only making one of the meals on my original menu. This week looks nice and dull though, so I should be able to be more faithful to the menu I'm posting for the week.

I added a couple of new posts. I now have a space for submitted recipes. When I get them, I'll put them in categories (soups, main dish, salads, etc) to help keep them organized. So if you have recipes to share, go ahead and email them to me and I'll copy and paste them. A big thanks to the recipes already submitted.

Have a great week everyone, and happy cooking!

Shared Main Dishes

Robyn’s Roast
This pot-roast makes its own gravy!

2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 (1oz.) package dry onion soup mix
1 ¼ cups water
3-5 pound roast

In the crock-pot, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in crock-pot and coat with soup mixture. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8-9 hours.

When done I like to take the roast out and shred it up and add it back to the gravy so that I’m not spending my whole meal cutting up meat for the kids. We serve this over rice or baked potatoes. The kids even love it!

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce
(submitted by Robyn)

½ cup butter
1 8oz. package cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 oz. grated parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked to long. Toss with hot pasta and serve.

**Robyn's note**
I made this tonight and found that it makes enough for 2 dinners for our size of family. I cooked 16 oz. of bowtie pasta with this and have another whole dinners worth of alfredo sauce left. I’m freezing it and will use the other half for a dinner one night next week. So you could easily cut everything in half and have plenty for one dinner. For the parmesan, I just used Kraft parmesan in the green can, like you would put on the top of spaghetti sauce, not a brick of cheese that I grated and it turned out really good.

Shared Soups

Robyn’s Taco Soup
Quick and easy!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope ranch seasoning
1 can kidney beans-DO NOT DRAIN
1 can chili beans-DO NOT DRAIN
1 can corn-DO NOT DRAIN
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 8oz can of water

Brown hamburger with taco and ranch seasonings. Drain fat if any. Then add all other ingredients and let simmer till heated through. Serve with tortilla chips and have some sour cream and shredded cheese ready on the table and it’s time to eat! Then people can top it with what they like best. Enjoy!

Zesty Minestrone

(submitted by Sharon)

1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
1 cup chopped onions (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (about 1 medium)
1 can (14 1/2-0z) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (19-oz) red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (14-oz each) vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups small shell macaroni, uncooked
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat dressing in a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots; cook 2 min or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Spoon into slow cooker. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, water and Italian seasoning; stir. Cover with lid.

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Stir in macaroni and cook for 15 more minutes until macaroni is tender. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.

Mom's Potato Soup

3 cups diced, peeled potatoes uncooked
1/2 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups chicken bullion (2 cubes with 1 1/2 cups hot water)
1/2 cup onion diced
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp chives, chopped (optional)

Cook potatoes, celery and onion in bullion, water and salt. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK potatoes - you almost want them a little undercooked. Do not drain off liquid. Add 1 cup of the milk and heat. Watch so that it doesn't burn. In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, flour and remaining milk. Add that mixture to the potato mixture. Cook over low heat until thick and heated through. I like to serve this with a little grated cheese on top.

Week 4 Recipes

Robyn's Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp diced onions (I use dry onion flakes)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 can (20-oz) pineapple chunks with juice
1/3 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 green pepper, chopped

Mix together first 6 ingredients; add beef and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs on all sides, turning often. Remove and set aside. (Drain fat, if any)

For sauce, combine brown sugar and cornstarch in the same skillet. Stir in pineapple with juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add green pepper; cover and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Return meatballs to skillet and heat through. We serve with rice.

**Andy's note** I found a similar recipe in the Fix-It and Forget-It cookbook. If you'd like to try the crock pot version of Robyn's recipe, here are the directions --

1. Combine meatball ingredients. Shape into 1 1/2" balls. Brown in skillet. Drain. Place in crock pot.
2. Add brown sugar and cornstarch to skillet. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Pour over meatballs.
3. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.

Week 4 Menu

Monday - Pasta Milano
Tuesday - Garlic Lime Chicken
Wednesday - Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Thursday - Baked Rigatoni
Friday - Game Night (pizza maybe?)
Saturday - Kristi's Baby Shower leftovers
Sunday - Robyn's Roast

Thursday, March 15, 2007


We are big fans of smoothies. We began a tradition in San Diego which we have continued now that we are home. Our after-church meal each week is Papas Con Juevos and we also blend up a smoothie to go with it, served with a bendy-straw and everything! I only have two of our favorite smoothies written up in recipe form, and I'll try to do the others as we make them each week. Each recipe makes a blender-full, which then divides great between the three of us.

** (Sunday, March 18) I just posted two more smoothie recipes. They're at the bottom!

Razzleberry Freeze

3-4 ice cubes
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or raspberry yogurt)
1 banana
2 Tbsp sugar
about 1 cup of Apple Raspberry Juice

Add all ingredients (in the order I listed them) and blend! If you like a thinner consistency, add a bit more juice.

Very Berry Strawberry

2 1/2 cups whole frozen strawberries
1 large banana (or 2 small)
1 container of Strawberry yogurt
3/4 cup Strawberry Breeze Juice

Add ingredients to blender (in the order listed) and blend! Instead of the Strawberry yogurt, I've also used raspberry and strawberry-banana.

Peach Beach

2 cups of frozen peaches
1/2 can of peaches, no juice
1 banana
1/2 of a small peach yogurt
3/4 cup of White Grape Peach juice

Add ingredients to blender (in the order listed) and blend! If you find your smoothies to be a bit thin, you can throw in a few more pieces of whatever frozen fruit you are using and blend again. I have found that the frozen fruit helps to thicken the smoothie.

Bionic Berry Thunder
(Mr. D.o.M. names these things....not me!)
I know this looks similar to the Razzleberry Freeze, but has more of the blueberry taste.

12 frozen strawberries
1 c frozen raspberries
1 c frozen blueberries
1 banana
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 cup Apple Raspberry Juice

Add all ingredients (in the order I listed them) and blend!

So I'm A Few Days Behind

Sorry everyone! Crazy week.

So the week 3 menu is up, and it's clearly a little, shall we say, lacking? I did make the Feta Penne tonight and it was nice to be back in the kitchen. By the way, it is my personal cloned version of Chicken Feta Penne from Mimi's Cafe. I left the chicken out because when I eat this in the restaurant, I end up picking around the chicken. You could certainly add it back in.

Tomorrow's meal, Pasta Milano, will be another clone - this time from the Macaroni Grill. I won't post the recipe until I try it tomorrow. I have 3 different recipes that I'm going to meld together to make (hopefully) one tasty dish. I'll let you know!

I'll be back tomorrow with a few recipes that have been emailed to me, and also some tasty smoothies.

Week 3 Menus

Monday - turkey
Tuesday - turkey
Wednesday - turkey
Thursday - Feta Penne
Friday - Pasta Milano
Saturday - eating out
Sunday - Robyn's Roast

Week 3 Recipes

Feta Penne
(about 4 or 5 large servings)

3 cups penne pasta (or other tube shape pasta)
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Tbsp Sun Dried Tomatoes, packed in oil**
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup Classico brand Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo sauce**
1/4 cup milk
crumbled Feta Cheese**

In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta according to directions.

As the pasta cooks, make the sauce:
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add diced onion and garlic and saute for 4 - 5 minutes (or until it starts to smell tasty.) Add pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes and continue to saute for 5 more minutes or so. I always cook the pine nuts about 10 minutes or Mr. D.o.M. has an allergic reaction to them. The longer this stuff sautes, the more the flavors blend. Just watch so it doesn't burn.

In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of Classico sauce with the 1/4 cup of milk. Stir until creamy, then add to the onion/garlic/pine nut mixture. Cook this over medium heat until heated through, then turn to low heat.

When pasta is done, drain the water off and then add the pasta right to the sauce mixture. Toss the pasta to coat. Serve into bowls and top with a sprinkling of the crumbled Feta.

**I find the sun-dried tomatoes in the produce section. They come in an 8.5-oz jar and I prefer the "julienne cut" style. The Classico sauce was a find from San Diego. I believe the Albertson's stores carries this sauce, but that's not confirmed yet. As far as the Feta goes....don't be scared. It's a mild, crumbly cheese that's also good on salads. It comes in a small tub (on the cheese aisle) and stays good in the fridge for awhile. It also adds just the right amount of saltiness to this pasta recipe.

.....And here is a LINK to info on the Classico sauce.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

So Far So Good

Welcome to any who are just joining us. I had someone ask this week if it was okay to share this site with a friend, and the answer is yes, yes yes! The more the merrier, especially when others start sharing their recipes and menus.

I've also had questions about how you all should post your stuff. For posting your menus, just post a reply to my menu for that week and it should add yours at the bottom. To post your recipes, for now just email them to me and I'll copy and paste them into a new post on the blog. As we collect more, I might give you each your own space.

Ok, enough business. My favorite song to listen to while I cook this week is "Our Town" performed by James Taylor. It's from the Cars Soundtrack and was nominated for an academy award. It's by far my favorite song from that soundtrack. You can hear a clip here (scroll to the bottom).

I have a teaser for next week's recipes. We had some friends over for dinner tonight and they told us they were able to successfully clone the salad dressings from Cafe Rio. I begged for their recipe and they promised to deliver. So hopefully I'll be adding it next Sunday. The official names of the real-deal dressings are: creamy tomatillo house and cilantro-lime vinaigrette. My mouth is watering just thinking of them!

Have a great week everyone, and happy cooking!

Week 2 Recipes

I'm considering breaking down all recipes into categories (like main dish, desserts, soups, etc) instead of by weeks. Possibly by week 3 I'll have gathered enough recipes to make that necessary. For now here are the recipes for our week 3 menu.

Creamy Enchilada Chicken
**this is a new recipe that I'm trying for the first time this week

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups salsa
8 ounces neufchatel cheese, cubed (can substitute cream cheese)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoons cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to crock pot, except Neufchatel cheese.
Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Stir in cheese cut into cubes, turn off heat. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Stir to blend in cheese.
Serve over rice or spoon into tortillas, enchilada style

Baked Rigatoni

White sauce:
1 stick butter
1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp flour
1 cup whipping cream (or heavy cream) at room temperature
3 cups milk at room temperature
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 pound dry rigatoni or other tube shaped pasta
3 Tbsp butter, diced
1/2 cup cubed ham (optional)

preheat oven to 425.

In a large saucepan, melt the stick of butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, add the cream and milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it's thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 10 minutes). Take off heat and stir in a dash of nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and ham if desired (I don't).

In a large pot, boil 6 quarts of water. Add rigatoni and boil for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook pasta since you will be baking the pasta in the oven also. Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour white sauce over pasta and mix well.

Pour into a greased 9x13 dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Dot the top with butter (makes a beautiful brown crust) and bake in oven for 25 minutes.

Tostadas (crockpot option)

3/4 to 1 lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp sugar
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste
1 can (8-oz) tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans

Brown ground beef. Add onion and garlic toward the end and let them saute for a few minutes. Drain fat off of ground beef if necessary, and then add all other ingredients. Simmer 2 hours over low heat, or place in crockpot for 2-4 hours. (The flavor is great the longer it simmers). Serve over tortilla chips with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, olives, salsa, sour cream or other. We usually eat this taco salad style, using this as the meat layer.

Mom's Potato Soup

3 cups diced, peeled potatoes uncooked
1/2 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups chicken bullion (2 cubes with 1 1/2 cups hot water)
1/2 cup onion diced
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp chives, chopped (optional)

Cook potatoes, celery and onion in bullion, water and salt. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK potatoes - you almost want them a little undercooked. Do not drain off liquid. Add 1 cup of the milk and heat. Watch so that it doesn't burn. In a medium bowl, mix sour cream, flour and remaining milk. Add that mixture to the potato mixture. Cook over low heat until thick and heated through. I like to serve this with a little grated cheese on top.

Maui Chicken (crockpot)
(Fix It and Forget It Recipes for Entertaining - see link on the right)

6 boneless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp oil
14 1/2-oz. can chicken broth
20-oz. can pineapple chunks
1/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Brown chicken in oil. Transfer chicken to slow cooker/crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours. Serve over rice.

Week 2 Menu

Monday: Tostadas
Tuesday: Leftover night!
Wednesday: Maui Chicken (crockpot)
Thursday: Mom's Potato Soup
Friday: Baked Rigatoni
Saturday: Spaghetti (recipe: 1 bag of noodles, 1 jar of sauce)
Sunday: Creamy Enchilada Chicken (crockpot)

Dessert Recipes

Lava Cakes
**an easy recipe with a few ingredients

1 box chocolate fuge cake mix (or dark chocolate cake mix)
eggs, water and oil (according to directions on box)
1 bottle Hershey hot fudge topping (*NOT* heated up)
vanilla ice cream
Smucker's magic shell chocolate topping (optional)

Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box. Pour 1/2 cup of batter into the greased cups of a large (Texas sized) muffin pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place the cakes on a cooling rack until cooled all the way.

Use a serrated knife to slice off the domed tops of the cakes. Flip over the cakes and using a paring knife, cut out a quarter sized chunk from the bottom (now the top) of each cake. The hole should be about 1 1/2 inches deep. Pop that 1 1/2 inch piece of cake in your mouth, and then fill the hole in the cake with hot fudge topping. Store the cakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

TO SERVE: heat one cake at a time in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or until the fudge begins to bubble. Remove the cake, let it sit for a minute, then top with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle (or a glob, if you're John) of Magic Shell topping. Eat, and enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

It Begins....

Alright, my week 1 posts are up. I did them a little out of order but you'll get the idea as I add each week's menu. Again, if you have requests or suggestions you can always email me.

Here's another little addition: I have an under-counter cd player (don't know how I managed without it!) and I love to listen to music while I cook. My favorite song this week is Cuando, Cuando, Cuando by Michael Buble and Nelly Furtado. It echos the cries of my child just before dinner time....when, WHEN, WHEN?? I'm going to die if I don't eat!

Week 1 Recipes

I'm going to start with one recipe for now, just because I'm short on time. But I will continue to update this post until it contains all of the recipes for week 1. Also, since the "Robyn's Roast" recipe obviously belongs to Robyn, I'm going to let her post it when she gets a chance. Boy is it yummy!

Broccoli Rice Casserole (crockpot)
(4-6 servings)

1/2 lb chopped fresh broccoli (or 10-oz pkg frozen chopped broccoli, thawed)
1 tsp dried onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 8-oz jar of Cheese Whiz (or 1 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups rice, uncooked
1 stalk of celery, chopped
dash of pepper
optional: 1 cup cooked, cubed ham

Combine all ingredients except ham. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Stir in ham, cook 15 minutes or until heated through. At this time I also sprinkled some grated cheese on top and let that melt - just to make it look pretty.

(just a note: I've made this before and it was a big hit, but for some reason this time when I made it.....well.....not so much. Last time I used grated cheddar cheese, and this time I used the Whiz-type of cheese so maybe that's what changed their opinions.)

Meatloaf (a clone of Boston Market's Meatloaf)

1 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce (we like Kraft original)
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
6 Tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and sugar. Heat until it begins to bubble, then remove from heat.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add ALL BUT 2 Tbsp of the tomato sauce mixture. Use your hands to mix the sauce in thoroughly. Then add the remaining ingredients: flour, salt, onion powder and pepper. Again, use your hands to mix well.

Place meat mixture into a loaf pan, top pan with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the foil and slice the meatloaf into 8 equal slices (while it's still in the pan). This helps to cook the center of the loaf. Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp of sauce on top of the meatloaf in a stream down the center. Place meatloaf back into the oven, uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until it's done.

BBQ Chicken (crockpot or oven)

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pieces
1/4 vegetable oil (or canola)
8-oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice or vinegar
3 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Place chicken in crockpot and pour sauce over meat. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. For oven baking, bake at 325 degrees for 2-3 hours. We serve this over rice, and it's great as leftovers.

Papas Con Juevos
(potatoes with eggs)
**One of my first roomates in college would make this for us, including fresh homemade tortillas. So yummy!

1 bag frozen hashbrown potatoes (we like the cubed kind with peppers and onions)
5-7 eggs
salt / pepper to taste
Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (I buy it in the bag, pre-shredded)
3 Tbsp butter
sour cream

In a large frying pan over medium high heat, melt the 3 Tbsp butter and fry the frozen potatoes until golden brown. Move the potatoes to a plate and scramble the eggs into the pan. We like fewer eggs, so we use 5 large eggs. Cook eggs until done. Add potatoes back to eggs and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese and take the pan off of the heat. While the cheese melts, warm your tortillas in the microwave and you're ready to serve.

Week 1 Menu

Here is our menu for this week. I usually do a menu for two weeks at a time so I can shop just twice a month, unless I need another loaf of bread, fresh fruit, or more frozen burritos for Gav. I won't include our lunch menu on this blog since 99% of the time it's just leftovers from the day before, or the ever-so-gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

Monday: Broccoli Rice Casserole (crockpot)
Tuesday: Robyn's Roast
Wednesday: Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
Thursday: Meatloaf & Twice Baked Potatoes
Friday: Papas Con Juevos
Saturday: our anniversary! (so there's no way I'm cooking!)
Sunday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Creamy Fruit Salad, Lava Cakes

Recipe Index

To help with the organization of the recipes on this blog, I'll list all recipes here, and they will link to the post that contains the recipe. As I add recipes, I'll try to keep this list current.

By the way, the recipes marked with an asterisk are our favorites!

(note: Let me know if any links are wrong)

Salads / Dressings

Aloha Coleslaw
Asian Chicken Salad with Roasted Peanuts
Basil Pesto *
Buttermilk Syrup *
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad *
Chickpea Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad
Cilantro Lime Dressing
Cranberry Chutney
Creamy Sesame Dressing
Famous Disappearing Macaroni Salad
Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad *
Kristi's Caesar Dressing
Melon Salsa
Orzo Salad
Orange, Walnut, Feta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Pasta Salad
Pizza Pasta Salad
Roasted Corn and Apple Salad
Roasted Vegetable Salad
Sharon's Chicken Salad
Tuna Waldorf-Esque Salad


Black Bean Soup
Broccoli Cheese Soup (Panera)
California Vegetarian Chili *
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup *
Chicken Noodle Soup
Creamy Fennel and Potato Soup
Creamy Vegetable Soup
Magic 6 Chicken Tortilla Soup
Mom's Potato Soup *
Roasted Red Pepper Soup *
Robyn's Taco Soup
Sweet & Sour Cabbage Soup
Sweet Corn Puree
Tortellini Soup with Chicken Meatballs
Vegetable Beef Soup with Barley
Zesty Minestrone
Zuppa Toscana *

Banana Nut Mini Muffins
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Corn Bread in a Skillet *
Corn Dog Muffins
Donut Muffins*
French Toast *
Hawaiian Bread *
Honey White Bread
Loaded Pancakes
No-Knead Bread
Pan Bread *
Poppy Seed Bread
Rustic Pan Bread *

Side Dishes / Vegetables

Chili Cheese Dip
Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
Fiesta Rice
Fried Rice *
Garlic Green Beans
Grilled Potato Wedges *
Herb Green Beans *
Johnson Baked Beans
Kaymak (veggie/bread dip)
Orange Honey Glazed Carrots
Oven-Dried Tomatoes *
Red Potatoes with Herb Vinaigrette
Roasted Vegetables
Sesame Ginger Noodles *

Main Dishes
Andy's Fondue *
Apple and Mustard Pork Skewers
Bacon Wrapped Hamburgers
Baked French Toast
Baked Lemon Chicken w/ New Potatoes and Vegetables
Baked Oatmeal
Baked Rigatoni
Baked Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables
BBQ Chicken
BBQ Chicken Pizza *
BBQ Club Sandwiches *
Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Boston Market's Meatloaf
Breakfast (Fruit) Pizza
Candied Chicken
Cheesy Baked Tortellini
Cheesy Enchilada Stack
Chicken Caesar Club Sandwiches *
Chicken Cordon Bleu Crepes *
Chicken Cordon Bleu Strata
Chicken Fajitas
Chicken Pot Pies
Chicken Taco Pie
Chicken Tikka Masala *
Chicken with Ginger
Cilantro Lime Chicken Wraps
Creamy Rosemary Penne with Chicken *
Crispy Chicken Wraps
Fajita Chicken Quesadillas *
Feta Penne *
French Toast
Fresh Pasta Primavera *
Fresh Pasta with Lemon Cream
Fried Rice
German Apple Pancake
Ginger Pork Pot Stickers *
Grilled Chicken with Avocado, Tomato & Corn Salsa
Ham and Cheese Strata
Ham and Fruit Salsa Croissant
Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki Skewers
Honey-Lime Salmon
Hungarian Chicken *
Indonesian Ginger Chicken
John's Sweet & Sour Sauce
Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole
Make-Ahead Meatballs
Orange Chicken
Oriental Chicken Wraps
Papas Con Juevos
Pasta Milano *
Pepper Rubbed Salmon
Pesto Panini
Pizza Margerita
Pleasant Pork Chops
Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce
Rhodes Dough Calzones
Robyn's Meatloaf *
Skillet Sarzana
Swedish Meatballs
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Teriyaki Chicken (marinade)
Tostadas *
Turkey Pot Pies
Unbelievable Chicken
Upside Down Spaghetti
Vegetable Frittata *

Crock Pot Meals

Amanda's Taco Chicken
BBQ Chicken (crockpot optional)
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches *
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Chicken Almondine
Cream Cheese Chicken
Creamy Enchilada Chicken
Hawaiian Haystacks
Hungarian Chicken *
Johnson Shredded BBQ Beef Sandwiches *
Maui Chicken
Orange Chicken
Robyn's Roast *
Simple Beef Stroganoff
Slow Cooked Steak Fajitas *
Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Tostadas (crockpot optional)

Bionic Berry Thunder
Peach Beach
Razzleberry Freeze
Very Berry Strawberry

Blue Ribbon Brownies
Breakfast (Fruit) Pizza
Brownie Cookies
Carmel Apple Dip
Caramel-Coconut-Pecan Brownies
Chocolate Crinkles (cookies)
Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas
Chocolate Drop Cookies (a.k.a. No-Bakes)
Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Bars
Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
Coconut Oatmeal Cookies *
Cranberry Upside-Downer
Donut Muffins
Easy Cheese Danish
Fuel-Up Fun Bars *
Heavenly Chocolate Mousse
Honey Bun Cake *
Hot Fudge Sauce *
Ione's Strawberry Pie *
Just Enough Brownies
Lava Cakes *
Lemon Brownies
Lemon Cream Cupcakes
Lemon Yogurt Cake
Nilla Apple Crisp
Oatmeal Cookie Peach Cobbler
Orange Brownies
Orange Crunch Cake
Outrageous Brownies
Pizza Cake
Poached Pears with Cinnamon-Vanilla Cream
Poppy Seed Bread
Rocky Road Fudge Pops *
Shortbread Candy Bars
Strawberry Sorbet