Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken Taco Salad

This is meal #2 from once a month cooking:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes w/ green chilis
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
lettuce (I prefer romaine, spinach, or spring mix)
2 tomatoes
1 avacado
1 bag tortilla chips

Put first 3 ingredients in a slow cooker for 4-5 hours. 
Make salad with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, avacados, cilantro.  Put meat mixture on top and crushed tortilla chips.  Serve with Salsa and Sour cream. 

Next time I will add black beans and corn too.   mmm mmm good!

Winter Pot Roast

This is the first meal we ate from my "once a month cooking" experience.  Actually, I only did a 2 week meal plan.  And I should not say 'only' as it was still almost a day's worth of work.  Definitely worth it. 

1 21/2 lbd beef roast (I used chuck)
2 TBS steak sauce
2 medium onions chopped
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp  salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tbs pure horseradish (I left this out)
8 new potatoes

Combine all ingredients except roast and potatoes.  If freezing, pour over roast in a 1 gallon freezer bag.  Seal and freeze. 

Thaw and place the contents into roast pan or dutch oven.  Cover and cook at 250 for 11-12 hours. 

I boiled and mashed the new potatoes and served the roast on top. 

Chinese Beef Broccoli

I got this recipe from the Pioneer Woman's website.  And she actually took it from another's cookbook.  I LOVE this website!!!  She is amazing, if you haven't checked out, you can do so here.  I'm hoping someone buys me her cookbook for my birthday or christmas.  And when I say someone, I mean my husband (wink wink).  Actually, My husband pretty much lets me buy whatever I want so I always tell him not to get me anything.  When I go to a jewelry party, and return home, he always asks:  Whadja buy, whadja buy??  With all the enthusiasm you can imagine.  when we're roaming the bookstore and I see something I want, he'll encourage me.  Isn't he wonderful?  Okay, back to the beef. 

1 lb  top sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-in (3-mm)-thick strips
11/2 lbs broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cooking oil
Freshly ground black pepper to season the beef

3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
     **I used red wine and balsamic vinegar and omitted the oyster sauce, it's just what I had on hand.

1 In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the beef and let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.

2 In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Stir-fry Sauce.

3 In a wok or large sauté pan, add 1 inchof water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.

4 Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak strips, keeping them in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.

5 Pour in the Stir-fry Sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.

Bug cake

My son's birthday was a few weeks ago, but do to the illness, etc. that I have been talking about, I'm just now getting that post up.  This was definitely the easiest cake I have made so far. 
Start with a 9x13 cake and a dome type cake.  I just used an oven proof bowl and it was perfect. 
1.  after the cakes cool, put the 'mound' cake on top of the 9x13 cake, sort of toward the end.  Hold it on with frosting.
2.  Frost the rest of the cake.  I have to say, the frosting was delish.  I used 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, and some heavy cream.  Melt the first 2 together, then add the cream til you get the consistancy. 
3.  time to decorate!  I used chocolate grahm crackers, fudge covered grahm cookies, and chocolate creme filled cookies (like oreos, but w/chocolate creme, I used the Meijer brand).  Crush up the cookies, you need about 1 1/2 cups total, then sprinkle it on the top. 
4.  Place your gummy worms, plastic bugs, etc. 

Mmmmmm.... bugs! 

Close up of the mound.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2 week meal plan

Hello!  I did not fall off the face of the earth!  As noted in an earlier post, my family was sick.  I just can't seem to catch up.  So, once we were well again, I had this idea of trying the once a month cooking thing.  Have you heard of it?  It's basically making all your meals in 1 day and freezing them.  This is different than my cooking group, I'll have to explain that one later.  So, I decide that since I've been  so busy lately, this would be a great thing to do.  Just pull it out and pop it in the oven.  That way, I can be more available to my little ones during what I call the witching hour.  For some reason, it is just a hard time of day for them.  My cooking group is fantastic, but we have been a little short staffed, so I wanted some extra meals in the freezer.  So, I go out and buy all the ingredients.  I'm actually not doing 30 days, I'm just doing a 2 week plan.  And, actually, my husband did the grocery shopping, bless his heart.  I lined up a sitter, my kids were going to go away for the whole day so I could do this, among many other errands.  Yes, I'm quite ambitious, which is why maybe I'm never 'done' with anything, too much to start with.  Anyway...
The night before my big cooking day, I get a call and my dad had to go to the hospital.  God is always working on me an my agenda, and do you know I STILL plan things?  I love how he knew I already had a sitter and would be totally available!  He is so good.  My siblings were at the hospital all night, and they all work, so it worked out perfect that I could be there all the next day.  Well, my idea of doing this meal thing in a day obviously didn't go as planned, so I've been doing it in stages.  Among the hospital visits and taking care of my children, I have a niece that was having a bridal shower, on the other side of the state.  So, the weekend wasn't looking good for cooking.  I did some prep work early fri. morning (5 am, yes I'm crazy--did you know I get up at 5 3 times a week?)  And I got 1/2 the meals done friday night after the kids were in bed.  I did the other half of the meals today, while also entertaining children, bsf leaders meeting, picking up my boarders from school.   (Sigh)  I'm quite tired.  I'm thinking about not getting up at 5 tomorrow and skipping the work out.  My plan, which you must know may change at any time without notice, is to post the recipes as we eat them.  All of these were recipes I've never tried before, so I can also tell you how good they are.  Definitely a little different from my 'au natural' cooking, but not overly processed by any means.  I substitue more natural ingredients when I can.  Like dry beans instead of canned. 

Here is the 'before' shot:

These are'nt even all the groceries, but most everything.

Now I've got to go clean up the kitchen...
Have a blessed day!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Magnificent Monday

The title of today's blog is a phrase one of my friend's uses alot.  Honestly, I'm trying to find some Magnificance today.  I haven't posted in what feels like forever.  I've got sick kids, and I got it too!  My son has had a fever since last Tuesday.  He has a dr.'s appt. today.  Also, it's his birthday, my precious firstborn is 5 today.  He was sick on his birthday last year too.  So sad!!  I'm praying he will be fully recovered for his first 'friend' birthday party on friday.  Please pray with me, we could really use those prayers. 
I asked my son what he wanted for his birthday dinner.  He replied, "eggplant parmesean".  What 5 year old likes eggplant?!  Mine does, and I couldn't be prouder.  He always has been my good eater.  He will try everything and usually likes it.  I will definitely post this recipe, it is delicious.  Even grown ups that I know who don't care for eggplant like it.  I hope to get it posted by the end of the week.  I'll also be posting another birthday cake.  The theme... bugs!  Thanks for checking in, and sorry there hasn't been much to read lately.  I will hopefully be back soon and good as new.  The Lord is faithful!!