Monday, March 30, 2009

3/30 Some People Make Their Grocery Lists on Mondays Obviously

I found a blog where over 400! moms share their Monday menus for the week. Many have links to the recipes, and most are stretching a small budget like me.
Here is the link for this week, I haven't had time to check this out too much, but I plan to use it in the future:

3/27 An unhealthy? splurge!

I am winding down my Rachael Ray recipes I promise. This time I have chosen something I normally would not cook. I felt like we needed to eat something a little on the wild side, then my husband hurt his leg, and I wanted to make him happy. SO here is:
Cheese-stuffed Hot Dogs with Spicy Onions
4 franks
2 T. grill seasoning (Rachael uses this a lot)
2 thin slices sharp cheaddr cheese, cut into 1/2 in strips
2 T. olive oil
2 small onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus 1 t. adobo sauce
2 T. butter, melted
4 hot dog buns
Preheat broiler. Make slit down each frank, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place grill seasoning and franks in plastic bag, shake to coat. Place franks on baking sheet and stuff each with 2-3 strips of cheese.
In large skillet, heat the olive oil over med-low heat. Add the onions and cook, until soft and golden 12-15 minutes. Add brown sugar, chipotle, adobo sauce, and 1/2 t. salt and cook, stirring until sugar dissolves. 2 minutes.
Butter insides of buns and place face up on baking sheet with dranks. Broil until cheese melts and buns are toasted, 3-5 minutes. Serve with caramleized onions on top of hot dog.
Only advice I have here is to broil the buns and hot dogs seperately. My oven burned the first batch of buns cause I either had it too high, or you just can't leave them in as long as the franks.
I added mustard to our dogs, but they can be served without cause they are so good. We also had oven fries.

The Great Cookie Mystery

I found this blog post that claimed to have the best chocolate chip recipe in the world-

Then I found it on the back of my NECO (?) bag of chocolate chips....
So I have no idea who actually came up with this recipe for sure, but I did try it.
Husband said- cookie dough (cooked) is too plain and ordinary, not enough taste
I said- Chocolate tastes great and tons of it, dough is ok to me
Baby said- MRM MORE (well he pointed and stuff)
Leave your feedback here or at Daily Dose to tell us whether you liked these!

3/26 Mexican Lasagna

Rachael Ray magazine has turned chiliquiles into something she calls Enchilada Suiza Mexican Lasagna...
2 T. olive oil
2 lb ground chicken or turkey
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. ground coriander
salt and pepper
1 15 oz can hominy, rinsed
1 rec onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 large or 14 small tomatillos, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 c. cilantro or flat leaf parsely leaves
2 avocados
grated peel and juice of 2 limes
1 T. honey
1 11 oz package flour tortillas
1/2 lb monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 lb Siwss cheese, shredded
1 c. sour cream or creme fraiche
Preheat broiler or oven to 400. In large skillet, heat 1 T. olive oilo over med-high. Add meat, crumbling with cumin and coriander. Season with salt and pepper.Cook 3 minutes, stir in hominy and cook for 3 minutes more.
In large saucepan, heat another T olive oil; add onion, chilies, and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, 5 minutes.
Using food processor, process tomatillos and cilantro until almost smooth then stir into onion mix and simmer for 5 minutes. Rinse out food processor bowl, add avocados lime peel and lime juice; puree and season with salt. Stir the avocado mix into the tomatillo sauce. Stir in the honey.
In dry skillet, cook tortillas until charred. In bowl, combine cheeses. In 9x13 baking dish add sauce, tortillas, meat, cheese, tortillas and so on. End with layer of cheese. Broil about 5 minutes and serve with sour cream or fraiche.
OK this week I left my grocery list at home :( So I ended up getting most of this recipe bought, but not all of it. So here are the changes I had to make:
lemon juice instead of lime and peel
corn tortillas instead of flour, I did not char them and I only used about 6 or 9
10 tomatillos
1 avocado
cheddar cheese instead of monterey jack
Believe it or not, this still turned out fabulous, which just proves you don't always have to have everything to make a recipe work! Try it using the recipe or my changes, either way it is great.
And my toddler liked it too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

3/25 Total rework of Rachael Ray Recipe- Try mine!

I found a recipe for spaghetti and meatballs in the Rachael Ray March magazine, but then when I read it it called for it to be slow cooked for SIX HOURS! I dread bringing out the slow cooker for anything besides chili and pot roast, and there was no way I was going to use it for cooking some simple meatballs. I am not going to post the original recipe to avoid confusion, but they were using ground turkey and loads of paprika with some veggies, fire-roasted tomatoes, and a jar of roasted red peppers.
I was out of red peppers, and it is hard to find jarred ones at the stores I go to. I also used ground beef because we are cooking a lot of ground turkey later this week. So here is the revised recipe:
Meatballs in Paprika Tomato Sauce Jennifer Style
Oilve oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finelyh chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1-/2-1 c. spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 T. or more paprika (taste test)
salt and pepper
1/2 c. unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1-1/2 lb ground beef

1. In large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often until soft, 7 minutes. Transfer 1-1/2 c. of the onion mix to a large bowl, let cool. Reserve skillet.
2. Add tomatoes and spaghetti sauce to skillet. Stir in paprika and season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile mix breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper into remaining onion mix. Mix in meat. Form 1-1/2 inch meatballs. Add meatballs to skillet and cover.
4. Sauce will cook down, add more spaghetti sauce and paprika if needed. Flip Meatballs once and cook until done. Serve over spaghetti noodles.

We loved this!

3/23 Spicy Fajitas Recession Style

Earlier this week I made some fajitas following a Rachael Ray magazine article. Here it is:
Red Spice Steak Fajitas
8 flour tortillas
2-1/2 t. chilli powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1-1/2 lb sirloin steak
2 T. olive oil
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
3 bunches scallions, cut into 2 inch lengths
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 c. cilantro sprigs
1. Wrap the tortillas in foil, place in the oven and heat to 300.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, cayenne, and 1/2 t. each salt and pepper; sprinkle all over the steak. Heat a large cast-iro9n skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T. oilve oil and steak, tent with foil and cook for 4 minutes on each side for medium-rarel trasnfer to a cutting board, tent twith foil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
3. In same skillet, and the remaining 1 T. oilve oil, the bell peppers, scallions, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the steak along with any juices and the cilantro and toss. Serve with warmed tortillas.
When I went shopping, I found that sirlion steak was a bit more than other kinds. So I bought a round steak on sale, and marinated it in red wine to make it more tender. I ran out of chili powder, so I used what I had and hoped it was enough. I also did not have 3 bunches of scallions, so I used one.
I didn't understand what tenting the foil was all about, plus I was bad this time and didn't read the recipe correctly or something. I cut my steak up before putting it in the skillet, but it cooked fine, and I covered with foil after it was done cooking.
I also warm my tortillas up in a microwave so I don't heat up the whole house for no reason. Put them between paper towels and warm for 20 seconds.
My husband loved these, but I found the cayenne way too much for my tolerance.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Salmon is so Easy!

Here is another Rachael Ray recipe, but really can she claim this as hers? I have seen tons of recipes for salmon, and almost all of them are this easy. This takes 1 minute prep and 8 minutes baking....
Brown-Sugar-Mustard-Glazed Salmon
1/3 c brown sugar
2-1/2 T. Dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
four 7 oz salmon fillets (I used 3)
2 t. vegetable oil
(summarized...) oven to 400, bake skin side up with salt and pepper on it for 3 minutes, flip and pour sauce over it using 1/2 t. pepper with the sugar, mustard, lemon...bake for 5 minutes
EASY!!!! Even my mom liked it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Note to followers...

There will be no posts this week- check back next week for more!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

3/5/09 Meatloaf!

I am so full right now I don't know if I can write this, but I will try my best.

Today I made a Rachael Ray meatloaf:

According to the recipe, it makes enough for two meatloafs, two sauces, etc. That is because the recipe is intended to cook enough for leftovers you can use to make another Rachael Ray recipe. I didn't want to do that, so I halved the recipe for the stuffing, meatloaf, and the sauce. I made all of the potatoes and green beans.

I did some interesting things with this recipe, which made me nervous at first, but everything turned out ok...I was out of celery so I used leftover fennel stalks. This added a bit more taste to the meatloaf. I also used beef broth in my sauce instead of chicken broth, which also added more taste. I seasoned my green beans with a touch of herbs, feel free to add something to yours if you want to or just eat them plain.

Whoever wrote this recipe forgot to include the directions on how to finish the potatoes. You might want to cook the scallions before putting them into the mashed mixture of potatoes, milk, and sour cream.

They also say this recipe is for four people...that is crazy. I HALVED the recipe, and I still had enough meat to make 3 huge mini-loaves. My husband and I both ate an entire mini-loaf (or tried to), and I had one left over. So I would say this could feed six if you made the entire recipe. (however, there is no need to make all of the sauce unless you plan on using it all)

This recipe is a keeper! I will have to try the leftover recipe next time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

3/4/09 Turkey Burgers

I couldn't find my prized turkey burger recipe, so I tried this one instead:
I halved the recipe. Not as good as my original recipe though. :(

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

3/3/09 Chicken and Dumplings

An old recipe handed down through the generations is called an herloim recipe. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been collecting and publishing these old recipes every week. I decided today to cook a comfort meal of chicken and dumplings, the first time I have ever attempted to make them. The recipe is here:

I served this with mashed sweet potatoes flavored with honey and cinnamon. I was going to serve peaches as well for dessert, but we were too full to eat any! This is also a family friendly meal, my son is 15 months and ate at least half a Denby bowl of it.
Eric gave this "two big thumbs up." I gave it an ok because I thought it was a little bland. I would make it again, though, perhaps with some herbs de provence or something to give it more flavor.
Share an heirloom recipe and honor a loved one: Go to, and under Recipe Restoration Project ,click on Submit Yours and fill out the form. Or e-mail it to Or mail it to Southern Recipe Restoration Project, c/o Food Editor Jamila Robinson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 72 Marietta St. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30303.

Monday, March 2, 2009

3/2/09 Cobb Salad Triple-Decker Sandwich

Sorry it has been a few days since I have really "cooked" anything. I had some things going on, so we have been warming up things and eating them.

It snowed quite a bit yesterday, and my son is in daycare today. So I wanted to fix something sort of easy that my husband would love. I really wanted to make a soup or vegetable stew, but then I remembered I had some avocados I bought the other day. Avocados are great eating, but have a extremely low life expectancy. Unless there is some way of keeping them around longer, if there is please share it with me!

I used this recipe on the Rachael Ray website (of course):

This sandwich layers things my husband loves such as avocados, tomato, and blue cheese. The recipe is so easy...the only thing I would change is instead of pouring the dressing on top, just put it on the sandwich. It makes it easier to eat, and the sandwich will look more appealing imo. My husband also said to use less blue cheese than called for.
I served with home fries in olive oil, herbs and salt.

So 2 thumbs up for this one.