Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week 2- What's been cookin' in my kitchen?

I'm a little behind schedule on getting this posted, but I've had some stuff come up the last couple of days that needed some immediate attention. I'm popular and when people need me, they need me. What can I say?

So last weeks cooking endeavors where well intended, but I took the easy way out a couple more times that I would have liked last week and dined out. But, we started off well and it's the intent that matters most, right???

Monday: Roasted Chicken Quarters, pan sauteed veggies, and mashed potatoes.

How'd ya do that? Skin-on chicken quarters were on sale this last week at the store, so I snagged up a family size package so we would have leftovers, of course. I rubbed them down with a blood-orange olive oil (but any old olive oil would do) and seasoned them with salt and pepper. Threw in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, a quartered onion and added a bulb of garlic (which I cut the top off of and rubbed with olive oil )to the pan and roasted everything on 350 for about 30-40 minutes.

Boiled the cut washed red potatoes until soft. Drained the water and added milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste.

For the veggies, I melted a little butter in a saute pan and added some pine nuts until they were toasty and brown. To that I added the following leftover items from my fridge; steamed green beans, roasted asparagus, jar of pimentos. Just cooked until heated through and added a little salt and pepper.

Tuesday: Creamy spinach dip, chicken croissant rolls with salsa for dipping with chips and fruit salad.

How'd ya do that? Remember that left over spinach dip?? Well, it came in handy. I spread it on a package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and shredded up some of the leftover roasted chicken from the night before. Rolled them up and baked according to the package directions. And the fruit salad was my favorite medley of sliced bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.

Wednesday: Willie's Ice House

How'd ya do that? This is where we started to go downhill. But, it was a celebratory meal of sorts. Griffin had a tennis match that he won. He won!! This was cause for celebration and what better way to celebrate such a victory than a savory burger from Willie's.

Thursday: Homemade pizza. This started off with good intentions of being a veggie pizza, but the Italian sausage and peperoni's in the freezer caught my eye and stole my heart.

How'd ya do that? Click right here for The Pioneer Woman's easy, cheesy, pizza dough recipe. It makes plenty for a family of 5-6 or leftovers for a family of 2, like mine. Topped with some leftover jar pizza sauce hanging out in the fridge and browned Italian Sausage, Peperoni's and Kraft Pizza Cheese Mix.

P.S. I had leftover browned Italian Sausage to be used in a future meal. Love.

Friday: Boiled crawfish from Repka's. We had cause to celebrate again. It was the weekend. We live for the weekends.

Their motto is: Good food. Good friends. Good fun. I like these people and their motto.  It's a hole in the wall in the middle of nowhere. And if you think I'm exaggerating, I dare you to drive there. Only be prepared to wait on a Friday night. Because a lot of other people dare to drive all the way there too. It's just that good and that fun. Pool. Crawfish. Dollar bills stapled on plywood ceilings. Juke boxes. Peackocks and guineas out back with a fire pit. Open kitchen crawfish purging and boiling. Picnic tables. And they even moved up a little last year and got a credit card machine. Whoa. You have no excuse to go.

Many Happy Times,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What's been cookin' in my kitchen?

This last week's menu went a little something like this...

Monday: Cracker crusted chicken strips with mashed red potatoes and oven roasted broccoli.

How'd ya do that? Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips. Dredge them in melted butter and dredge them in a mix of crushed crackers, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake them in the oven on 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until done. I used Ritz crackers, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Tuesday: Spicy Dr. Pepper pulled pork, leftover mashed red potatoes and roasted broccoli.

PS. I froze a lot of the leftover pork. That will surface again. I give it a two thumbs up. But, boy is it spicy!

Wednesday: Fox's Pizza with Caesar Salad.

How'd ya do that? Pick up the phone and call your nearest Fox's pizza right now. You won't be sorry. I promise. While your waiting, wash and tear up some Romain lettuce leaves. Toss them with creamy Caesar dressing, Caesar croutons, and Parmesan cheese. I bet you will eat one or two less pieces of pizza if you throw this salad together while you wait. A little roughage and fiber never hurt anyone.

Thursday: Gorton's Fish Sticks, steamed green beans, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Don't judge. Just don't. We do the quick and easy and totally processed diet from time to time. Especially when the 14 year old is in charge of dinner.

Friday: Pork Chops topped with mango, apple, habenero salsa, garlic and cheddar mashed potatoes, and oven roasted asparagus.

How'd ya do that? The pork chops were seasoned with a little salt and pepper and grilled stove top in my grill pan for about 4 minutes on each side. Then, I placed them in a casserole dish topped with the Mango Salsa and finished cooking in the oven. For the potatoes I boiled and mashed potatoes and added milk, butter, grated sharp cheddar cheese, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Tossed the asparagus with olive oil and sea salt and roast on 350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes.

This weekend has left me with a large helping of leftover spinach and artichoke dip. I've got my thinking cap on and  getting creative about how to use it and can't wait to share it with you. Hope you all have fabulous weeks planned!

Munching away,

Friday, April 1, 2011

What's Cookin?

At Christmas I was doing a little shopping at a spice store called Penzey's in The Heights. Tucked in the bottom of my bag was a bumper sticker that says...."Love people. Cook them tasty food." I stuck it up on my fridge and it has become one of my favorite things in my kitchen. You see there are a few things in life that I really, really, really love.

One is that I love food. Not just eating lots of food. But, I love the flavors and the preparation. The magic that happens when you add the right mix of ingredients with a little heat or cold that causes a party in your mouth.

The other is that I love cooking for others. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

So, the sticker is perfection on my fridge.

In an attempt to reacquaint myself with more consistent posts, I am going to attempt to introduce some regular weekly posts. One of which will be a weekly dinner menu. This is a trial basis, so don't get too attached too quickly. My life is known to get crazy on a whim and if that happens, the blog usually gets neglected. So this is my disclaimer, you could get your heart broken if you fall too fast, too soon. Remember the heart on the sidewalk lesson, people. There was truth in them thar words!

But, because I love people, I am going to cook them tasty food. I mean you. Cook YOU tasty food.

My goal is to 1. cook regularly, 2. do my shopping and cooking on a decent budget, 3. incorporate a balanced diet with occasional splurges on cupcakes and chocolate cake (because who can live without those little bits of sweetness) and 4. use my leftovers wisely.

It is simply divine to end my days with good food and good people. There isn't much that  I can think of that makes it better, except maybe a great glass of wine.

So, keep an eye out for upcoming posts on my weekly menus. I'm preparing one today for this upcoming week and will get it up over the weekend.

Happy Dining Friends,