Monday, March 30, 2009

Week 89 Menu

Monday - Mom's Potato Soup
Tuesday - Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry (we never ate it last week!)
Wednesday - baked terriyaki salmon & garlic peanut noodles
Thursday - Mini-Sloppy Joes, carrot sticks & green salad
Friday - eat out
Saturday - Cilantro Lime Chicken Wraps, chips & salsa
Sunday - undecided...maybe turkey?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Week 88 Menu

Monday - Hot Bean Soup & green salad
Tuesday - Robyn's Meatloaf with roasted carrots and potatoes
Wednesday - Lasagna Rolls, green salad & garlic french bread
Thursday - Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry
Friday - eat out
Saturday - pizza
Sunday - pancakes & eggs

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oven Dried Tomatoes

I am really looking forward to Spring this year. Well, I suppose I do every year, but this year I have a different reason. All Winter I've been planning my garden and dreaming of all the
delicious things I'd like to plant. I've never tried growing tomatoes before, but I'm going to this year, along with all of the local garden classics....carrots, beans, peas, and peppers.

Last week I went through a catalog looking (and drooling) over all of the different tomato varieties. Who knew there were so stinkin' many? I haven't yet decided on which ones to try this year. Any recommendations?

In the meantime, here's a recipe for Oven Dried Tomatoes. They are easy to make, but it requires some forethought. These beauties cook low and slow and end up with a lovely sweetness that can add the perfect flavor to pastas, sandwiches, salads, or just an afternoon snack.

I usually select Roma tomatoes for oven drying, however I think any variety would work just fine.

  • Wash & dry tomatoes
  • Slice tomatoes in about 1/2" slices. This doesn't have to be exact, but I wouldn't slice any thinner than 1/4", or any thicker than 3/4". If you're using plum or cherry tomatoes, you can probably just slice them in half.

  • Place tomato slices on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Season with a little salt and pepper

  • Toss a few whole garlic cloves on the baking sheet (optional)
  • Bake at 200 degrees for 5-6 hours. For a drier, chewy tomato, increase to 6-8 hours.

I usually make these the day before I need them, and then just store them in a plastic bag in the fridge. We eat them so quickly, long-term storage has never been an option for me. I have seen other dried tomato recipes though that say you can place tomatoes in a jar, cover with olive oil, then store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just Enough Brownies

I know, I know....I can't believe I'm about to say this, but sometimes a huge 9x13 pan of brownies is just too much. Sometimes I just want one or two brownies and then I want them to all go away so I don't eat 5 more and give myself a stomach ache. I love this little recipe just for that reason. It makes an 8x8 inch pan of thick brownies with just enough walnuts to provide a crunch. Oh, and the batter is fabulous too.

Just Enough Brownies

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (bittersweet ok)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts (I use right out of the bag - chop if you prefer)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To prep your baking dish, butter an 8x8 inch pan then line with parchment paper. Allow the ends to hang over the edge of the pan to make for easy removal of brownies. Now butter the parchment paper so the brownies won't stick.

Melt butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring often. I use a glass bowl over a small pan of simmering water. Just make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the boil. Set aside to let cool a little.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add vanilla and stir. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Add flour, salt and baking powder and stir just until combined. Add walnuts and stir. Pour brownie batter into the buttered baking pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool for 30 minutes then using the parchment paper "handles," remove from pan and place on a flat surface. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares.

Week 87 Menu & The Winner Announced

And the winner is.... #16

Julie! Who said, "
pick me pick me pick me!!! those are so darling!!!!"

Julie, please send me an email ( so I can get your mailing address. Congrats - one handmade hostess apron is coming your way!

For those of you other wonderful people who left me comments - thank you, thank you! I wish I could make aprons for all of you. Fortunately I do have one more to give away. I'll be posting that one later this week so check back. Better yet, subscribe to Dinner's on Me!

Now for this week's menu...

- Chicken Noodle Soup (the best thing for a sick family)
Tuesday - eat out (celebrating 9 years of being Mr & Mrs)
Wednesday - Beef Ragout over Creamy Polenta
Thursday - Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Friday - Zuppa Toscana, breadsticks & salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette
Saturday - eat out
Sunday - French Toast with Buttermilk Syrup

Need more ideas? Check out Menu Plan Monday