*** This cooking blog is being maintained as a recipe archive for now. For current posts, please visit my main blog, Tiny Blessings! ***

Monday, January 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 1/28

I didn't get to my menu planning on Sunday like I usually do, so this is a quick draft that may change later in the week. :)

Recipes are marked "new recipe" or TNT= Tried & True!

TUESDAY: *new recipe* Simple Chicken Pot Pie, fruit salad
WEDNESDAY: *TNT* Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed mixed veggies
THURSDAY: *new recipe* Broccoli Chicken Lasagna, garlic bread (If that looks familiar, it's because it's been on my menu the last two weeks and we STILL haven't gotten to it. This week we're having it for sure!)
FRIDAY: *new recipe* Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, peas
SATURDAY: Open, as usual, for skipped meals or eating out.

Oh! And I have a favor to ask.... somebody, somewhere in the blogosphere, recently posted a delicious-looking photo and recipe for oatmeal muffins with cinnamon. I thought I had saved the recipe, but I didn't. If you've seen this and can point me back to it, I'd be grateful! :)

Head on over to I'm An Organizing Junkie to share your menu
or see what others are eating this week!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 1/21

NOTES FROM LAST WEEK: The Chicken Empanadas were great, and very easy. Otherwise, we didn't stick to the plan very well! Usually I might change one or two meals, but last week, I changed several of them. Oh well! :)

SUNDAY: *family favorite* Beef Enchiladas, sweet corn cake, stewed tomatoes
MONDAY: My Mom's recipe for Crockpot Pizza, green beans, garlic bread
TUESDAY: bratwurst, sauted onions, potato salad, carrots & celery
Tuesday night I'll be bulk cooking chicken overnight in the crockpot.
I love to have cooked chicken and homemade broth on hand in the freezer!

WEDNESDAY: *family favorite* California Kitchen style BBQ Chicken Pizza & salad
THURSDAY: *new recipe* Broccoli Chicken Lasagna, garlic bread
FRIDAY: pot roast with veggies in the crockpot
SATURDAY: Open for meals we skipped or eating out.

Head on over to I'm An Organizing Junkie to share your menu
or see what others are eating this week!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let me know how it is....

LOL! I'm not above the occasional Spamwich... like once a year or so is plenty... but this particular recipe just made me laugh. If you try it, let me know how it is! ;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Secret Ingredient Tuesday- potatoes


I found a fun food meme-- Secret Ingredient Tuesday-- but it looks like it hasn't been updates in a while, so I don't know if it's still going or not. The mission each week is to post five recipes with the secret ingredient. I'll go ahead and play along with the last posted secret ingredient, which is POTATOES.... one of my favorite foods!

Some of my favorite potato dishes:
~The recipe I always use for homemade baked fries: Cajun Roast Potatoes
~An easy side dish: Parslied Potatoes: Cube desired amount of potatoes and boil on stovetop until tender. Drain and immediately stir in one-half to a full stick of butter. Sprinkle generously with dried parsley. Stir and serve hot.
Another favorite potato dish is Ranch Potatoes- I've made this one so often that I know the recipe by heart. :)

4-6 baking potatoes, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small bottle ranch salad dressing

Place potatoes and onion slices in a large pot, cover with water, and boil until tender. Drain water. In a round glass casserole dish layer about half of the potatoes/onions, cover with a thin layer of ranch dressing, then a layer of cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Sometimes I also garnish the top with dried chives.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

National Soup Month

I just realized that it's National Soup Month. Sounds like a great thing to celebrate to me-- I could eat soup almost every day. The rest of my family isn't quite as fond of it, though, so I mostly have it for lunches and only occasionally make it for everyone for supper.

My personal favorite is potato soup. I've created my own recipe over the years, and it's posted over on RecipeZaar-- here's the link. (I'm Chef AmyMCGS there.) I'll make a big pot of this and have it for my lunches several days in a row- it reheats well.

Another favorite of mine is Broccoli Cheese soup. I've tried several recipes, and liked them, but I haven't found that "perfect" recipe yet.

One of the few soups that my DH really enjoys is one we simply call "Hot Soup". I've blogged about it before-- it's a quick and easy soup that basically involves combining canned ingredients. If you have a little more time and you enjoy spicy soups, try my take on Tortilla Soup:

Amy's I-Don't-Feel-Like-Cooking Version of Tortilla Soup:
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can diced tomatoes/ chili peppers (Rotel)
1/2 cup salsa (guess-timated amount)
1/2 onion, chopped
several shakes of dried cilantro
two shakes of chili powder
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 can precooked, chopped turkey

Put that all together in a crockpot and let it simmer on low for a couple of hours. I usually do this around lunchtime and serve it for supper, so it probably cooks around 3-4 hours. Top it with shredded cheddar cheese and crushed tortilla chips.... yum!

And for comfort food, there's always vegetable soup- another one my DH likes.

Amy's Easy Homemade Vegetable Soup
This is my own recipe, basically learned from my mom, but now tweaked to suit my (and my husband's) taste. Mom always saved all the leftover vegetables in the freezer, until the container was full. We never have enough leftover vegetables to make soup when we want it, so I came up with this combination of canned veggies that works well. You could always add/subtract any veggies that you like... green beans, etc. The soup has a tomato broth that we love... credit for that goes to mom. There's nothing better than coming home on a cold day and smelling this soup!

2 cans diced tomatoes
2 - 20oz cans Veg-All Homestyle (big chunks of potatoes, carrots, etc.)
1 can corn
1 lb stew meat, cubed (Optional- I would leave it out, but DH prefers to have meat in the soup. It will cook in the crockpot. You can brown it if you prefer, but it will cook just fine in the broth.)
2 TBSP cilantro
2 TBSP dried onion flakes
2 TBSP Mrs. Dash
OPTIONAL: a small can of tomato sauce, to make a richer broth

Place stew meat in bottom of crockpot, add dried onion and Mrs. Dash. Dump in the canned vegetables and tomato sauce, top with cilantro. Fill the crockpot the rest of the way with water. Cover and cook on low all day (8 hours or more).

So, what are your favorite soup recipes? I'd love it if you'd leave me some links or recipes to try!

P.S. I'm also celebrating National Soup Month with my residents at the nursing home where I work, and I made this wordsearch puzzle in honor of the occasion. It's best viewed by clicking on the "printable PDF" link at the bottom. Enjoy!

Menu Plan Monday~ week of January 13th

I'm actually posting this on Sunday afternoon. :)

Did you know that it's National Soup Month? Check out some of my favorite soup recipes in the post after this one.

NOTES FROM LAST WEEK'S MENU: I absolutely loved the Chicken Raviolini Soup... but I was the only one-- nobody else cared for it. We didn't have the Ranch Steak with Veggies that I wanted to try, because I thought we had round steak in the freezer when I planned my menu, but we actually had pork chops, so we had those instead. ;)

SUNDAY: *new recipe* Cheesy Chicken Empanadas and Corn Potato Chowder ~~The corn chowder is a mix that my parents brought back for us from a trip they took last month- looks yummy!

MONDAY: *new recipe* Spanish Hamburger Casserole, cornbread
~~I'll be bulk cooking ground beef today after our trip to the warehouse store, so of course I have to use some in tonight's supper. :) Bulk cooking it saves me a lot of time, and makes prep work quick for many recipes. I'll be cooking 15-20 lbs. of ground beef with onions, salt, and pepper, then packaging it into 1lb. portions and freezing it.

TUESDAY: *family favorite* Jolean's Cheese Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole, biscuits, peas ~ I've made this several times and my family loves it. This week I'm going to try it in the crockpot and see how it comes out.

WEDNESDAY:*new recipe* Broccoli Chicken Lasagna, garlic bread, salad

THURSDAY: *new recipe* Crockpot Spicy Mexican Beef in flour tortillas, stewed tomatoes, rice

FRIDAY: *family favorite* California Kitchen style BBQ Chicken Pizza & salad

SATURDAY: *new recipe* Kittencal's Juicy Crock Pot Turkey Breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed broccoli
Head on over to I'm An Organizing Junkie to share your menu
or see what others are eating this week!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Stand Mixer Giveaway

Enter to win at MyWoodenSpoonDOTcom

A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 1/7

Last week I went without a plan again... that's a record, twice in two months. This week, we're starting new routines in our house-- DH is changing shifts, DD returns to school, and I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" again!

SUNDAY: hamburgers, steak fries

MONDAY: Sausage Melts, pasta salad, carrot sticks

TUESDAY: *new recipe* Chicken Raviolini Soup, sandwiches (cold meat or grilled cheese)

WEDNESDAY: family favorite: Copycat Beef Meximelts, stewed tomatoes, nachos & cheese dip

FRIDAY: BBQ ribettes, corn, biscuits

Head on over to I'm An Organizing Junkie to share your menu
or see what others are eating this week!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Saturday Special questions

Since this week's Saturday Special is food-themed, I thought I'd post it here on my cooking blog. If you've just come for the Saturday Special, you can check out my main blog HERE.
~It's Dinner Time~
1. Standard Oven or Microwave?: Both! I use the microwave daily, sometimes just to defrost meat, sometimes to cook things. I use the oven about every other day.
2. Fry or Bake?: Bake. I rarely fry things anymore, though once in a while there's nothing better than a fried pork chop.
3. Cooking or Fast Food Meals? Why?: Again, both. I love to cook, but some days, we're on the run. Also, we're Taco Bell regulars. I can make several copycat versions of their food (these copycat Beef Meximelts are awesome) but since there's a Taco Bell about a mile away, we zip through there on a regular basis.
4. Sit Down or On The Run Dinners?:
Lately, it seems like they've all been on the run. But next week we'll have some big schedule changes in our house, so I'm looking forward to a lot more sit-down family dinners. :)

Check out more Saturday Special answers HERE!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Veggie Pizza

Yum! I hadn't made one of these in a while, so I made one for a belated family Christmas party on Sunday. I thought the purple cauliflower and yellow peppers made it quite colorful and fun. :)


2 tubes crescent roll dough

2 bricks cream cheese, softened (I would have used low-fat, but the store only had regular!)

1/4 cup mayo (I used fat-free.)

1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

3 cups assorted chopped veggies (I used purple cauliflower, broccoli, yellow peppers, and shredded carrots.)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Unroll crescents onto a cookie sheet and smooth edges together. Bake according to package instructions- around 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Mix together the cream cheese, mayo, and ranch dressing mix. Spread mixture onto crust. Top with chopped veggies, then cheese. Refridgerate until serving time. Cut into squares for serving.