Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Photos

Hello faithful blog readers. I just wanted to let you know that I have added photos to two older recipes that previously had none: Lava Cakes and Vegetarian Chili.

Happy Cooking!

Chicken Noodle Soup

The first time I made this soup, I followed the recipe exactly. Since then I've kind of just done my own thing and we ended up liking it more. It still is a soup that I just toss things into, but for the most part this is the "recipe" that I follow:

Chicken Noodle Soup
(makes about 4 servings)

2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced**
2-3 carrots, diced
1/2 cup of canned green beans**
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup to 1 cup egg noodles **
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized pot, bring chicken broth to a simmer. Toss in chicken, carrots and egg noodles. Simmer for 10 minutes or so until chicken and noodles are cooked. Toss in green beans and green onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes to heat beans and then serve.

**If you have more chicken on hand or you prefer a meatier soup, then by all means use more! We have also substituted canned corn and frozen peas for the green beans. All good. The noodles I prefer to use are found in the freezer section of our grocery store. (I use a 1/2 bag for this recipe.) Thanks to Robyn for finding these! They keep for awhile in the freezer, are easy and quick to use, and taste just like homemade.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Week 43 Menu

Monday - Chicken Noodle Soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
Tuesday - Creamy Pesto Penne with steamed veggies (recipe to be posted later)
Wednesday - Yo-yo dinner (busy day)
Thursday - Sesame Chicken & Gav's fried rice
Friday - eat out
Saturday - Baked Rigatoni
Sunday - Baked French Toast

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Easy Baked Manicotti

Even though this is the second time I've made this manicotti recipe, I wanted to write up a post about it. I love the recipe because there are few ingredients, it's kid friendly, and I can whip it up earlier in the day and pop it in the oven just before the man of the house arrives home at night. How very domestic.

Here is a link to the recipe, but I'll type it up below also. This makes a nice big 9x13 sized dish, but for my small family I cut the recipe in half and use an 8x8 pan.

Click here for printable recipe!

Easy Baked Manicotti
from Kraft Foods
(6 servings, 2 manicotti each)

2 cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pesto
12 manicotti shells, cooked, rinsed in cold water

Preheat oven to 350. Spread 3/4 cup of the spaghetti sauce on bottom of 9x13 dish. Mix egg, cheeses and pesto until well blended. Spoon cheese mixture into large ziploc bag. Snip off a small bit of one of the bottom corners of the bag.

Fill manicotti shells, one at a time, squeezing cheese mixture into both sides of each shell. Place manicotti over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining 1 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce over manicotti. Sprinkle with a bit more mozzarella, if desired. Cover with foil. (at this point I refrigerate until later.)

Bake 40 minutes, or until heated through.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Week 42 Menu

Monday - Easy Baked Manicotti
Tuesday - Beef Stew
Wednesday - Chicken Noodle Soup & grilled cheese
Thursday - Chicken Salad Croissants & Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad
Friday - eat out
Saturday - Johnson Shredded BBQ Beef Sandwiches & roasted red potatoes
Sunday - Pancakes & scrambled eggs

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine Ideas

I sat with my sister-in-law and neices and brainstormed some fun, kid-friendly valentine meal ideas. Leave a comment to this post if you have ideas of your own to share.

  • cut ham slices into heart shapes with cookie cutter. Serve with pink mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes with pink sour cream
  • create personal, heart shaped meatloaves (serve with baked potato idea above)
  • have breakfast for dinner! Heart shaped pancakes with strawberries would be perfect paired with pink milk, or a pink berry smoothie.
  • Try a heart shaped homemade pizza with Cherry 7-up
For yummy desserts try:
  • chocolate fondue

Need more ideas? Check this link

Valentine Cupcakes

Need a cute & easy treat for Valentine's Day? Try heart shaped cupcakes. All you need is a cake mix, tub of frosting and a bag of marbles (or a bit of tin foil will do - oh and some red food coloring.)

Mix up the cake mix according to directions. Pour into cupcake papers (don't use the foil kind) and place one glass marble in each cup. If you don't have any marbles on hand, wad up a bit of foil to the size of a marble - works great.

Fill cups with batter. For a pink swirl cupcake, divide batter into two bowls. Color one bowl pink, and leave the other plain. In each cupcake cup put a scoop of white and a scoop of pink and swirl with a toothpick. Bake according to directions on package.

Cool cupcakes on a rack. Be careful when removing the marbles from the pan - they can be hot! Frost cupcakes when cooled. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Baked French Toast

Note about recipe: I have two recipe "sizes" for this dish. The first time I made it was just for our little family. I used a small cookie sheet and 6 slices of texas toast type bread. I will list that recipe below as a "single" recipe. The second time I made the recipe was using 2 pans (1 large cookie sheet and a 9x13 pan) and the entire loaf of texas toast bread. I'll type that up below as well and label it the "family size" recipe.

Becuase of it's richness, I like to serve this with fresh fruit, bananas being my favorite, and then drizzle some of the brown sugary sauce on top.

Baked French Toast
**single recipe**

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup to 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are good)
zest from one orange (about 2 tsp)
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup milk
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs, or 5 medium eggs

In a small saucepan (or use microwave) melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar and corn syrup. Spread sauce in bottom of a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Lay 6 to 8 slices of bread on top of sugar sauce & nuts.

In a large bowl, wisk eggs. Add orange zest, orange juice, milk, granulated sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Wisk to combine.

Using a small measuring cup or ladle, scoop the egg mixture over each slice of bread making sure to coat each evenly. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, checking bread for doneness.

Baked French Toast **family size**
(FULL batch – uses full loaf of texas toast bread)

1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
6 Tablespoons corn syrup
Chopped walnuts (about 1 cup or more)
Zest from 2 oranges (3-4 teaspoons)
1 ¼ cups orange juice
1 cup milk
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
10 eggs, beaten
1 Loaf of Wonder Texas Toast bread

In a small saucepan (or use microwave) melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar and corn syrup. Spread sauce in the bottom of 2 pans (I use one large cookie sheet, and a 9x13 casserole). Sprinkle with nuts if desired (I make one pan with nuts and one without.) Lay slices of bread on top of sugar sauce & nuts.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add orange zest, orange juice, milk, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Wisk to combine.

Using a small measuring cup or ladle, scoop egg mixture over each slice of bread making sure to coat each evenly, and dividing egg mixture evenly between the two pans.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, checking bread for doneness.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Week 41 Menu

Monday - Fajita Chicken Quesadillas
Tuesday - Stir Fry
Wednesday - Chicken Burritos (using Amanda's Taco Chicken)
Thursday - still deciding....some fun Valentine's Day meal....
Friday - eat out
Saturday - Broccoli Cheese Soup
Sunday - Oven French Toast

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Week 40 Menu

Monday - Mom's Potato Soup
Tuesday - Macaroni & Cheese
Wednesday - Beef Stew
Thursday - Orange Chicken
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - eat out
Sunday - Oven French Toast