The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza day 313-319 (week 46)

November 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm (Food, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  It’s been an interesting week…  nothing Earth-shattering, just interesting.

Work has been really busy, which I can only think is NOT a good thing considering what I do, that means the foreclosure business is booming, or maybe things are just moving better through the courts, but whatever is going on, it can’t be a good sign for the economy.

And of course, there was all the post-election stuff going on, the stock market dropping, businesses laying people off, Hostess closing, just kind of a depressing week all the way around.

BUT, William had a really good week at school, things are going very well for him, he’s enjoying his classes, and getting good grades.  Absolutely cannot complain!

Mike had a good week at work, things are picking up, they are finally keeping him almost busy, and he spent all day yesterday working on his guitar.  Took his birthday money and bought some new pick-ups, a new pick guard, and he’s really happy with the results.

I’ve been fairly busy working on jewelry, too, but I need to get better at getting OFF the computer at night and doing things I LIKE instead of wasting so much time on Facebook.  I mostly work on new pieces on my lunch hour at work, but I spent about 3 hours last night making clay beads, which was more fun than I remember, and then a few hours today making jewelry from some of those beads, so I feel like I had an extra special day!  And, I still got the laundry done, cleaned up the kitchen, and did my nails.  GOOD DAY!

So, on to the food….

Monday

Baked BBQ Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops

About 3 cups BBQ sauce of your choice

1 Tsp garlic powder

Put the pork chops in a roasting pan, sprinkle with garlic powder, pour over BBQ sauce, cover and bake at 350 degrees for at least an hour, or until chops are done through and sauce is bubbly.  Serve!

Ratatouille (this was fun!)

1 smallish yellow squash

1 smallish zucchini

1 Chinese eggplant

2 Tbsp dried onion flakes

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 cup tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1/4 cup Parmesan

Italian seasoning blend

Using a mandolin slicer, slice the squash and eggplant very thin.  Spray a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish with olive oil flavor cooking spray.  Pour the tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with the onion flakes and garlic powder.  Liberally salt and pepper.  Lay the slices of squash and eggplant on the sauce, alternating each type of veggie, overlapping each, all the way around and in the center. (sort of like in the movie, looks a little like a fan)  Salt and pepper, sprinkle with a few Tbsp Parmesan.  Layer more veggies, salt and pepper, Parmesan.  Repeat until you have about 3 to 4 layers, or you run out of veggies.  Sprinkle with remaining olive oil and any remaining Parmesan, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning blend.  Cover with aluminum foil, cook at 375 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, or until tomato sauce is bubbling up around the edges of the veggies.  Serve!!

Fried Potatoes

2 leftover Perfect Baked Potatoes

Sour cream, about 1/2 cup

Parmesan, about 1/2 cup

2 Tbsp butter

Salt and pepper

Chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes and fry until they start to brown a little.  Skin on or off is entirely up to you!  Once the potatoes are heated through and just a very little browned, remove from heat, stir in sour cream and Parmesan.  Serve!

Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Pudding Pokes

Basic Yellow Cake recipe

3/4 c butter

3 eggs

2 1/2 c all purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 c milk

1/2 c chocolate chips

Allow butter and eggs to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease and flour 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds.  Gradually add in sugar, beating on medium, until well combined.  Scrape sides of bowl, beat two minutes more.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beating on low after each addition, just until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake 25-30 minutes for 9″x13″ pan (I actualy had to put this back in for an extra 20 minutes before it was done, so I cooked 50 minutes)

Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely in pan before frosting.

When cooled, poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.

Prepare instant chocolate pudding to package directions, family size package.  Pour over cake, making sure it gets into those holes and leaks down the sides a little.  Allow to cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving.  YUM!

Tuesday

Ranch Fried Chicken, Bacon and Tomato sandwich

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 pkgs ranch dressing mix

2 cups flour, divided

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 pound bacon

1 large tomato, sliced

Cut the bacon into about 1/2″ wide pieces, cook until crispy, remove to paper towel lined plate to drain, set aside.

Trim any excess skin or fat from the chicken, cut into chunks, then pound those to about 1/4″ thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap.

Put 1 cup plain flour in one wide shallow bowl.

Put the eggs, beaten, into another wide shallow bowl.

Mix the other cup of flour, ranch dressing mix, and a little salt and pepper, in a third wide shallow bowl.

Dip each piece of chicken first in the plain flour, then in the egg, then in the seasoned flour.  Fry in shallow oil over medium heat until golden brown and crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain excess oil while cooking remaining chicken.  I can usually do 3-4 pieces at a time.

Serve on bread, toasted or not is up to you, with bacon, tomato and your choice of sauces.  YUM!

Wednesday

Jet’s Pizza

Thursday

Chicken and Sausage with Tomato Sauce

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 rope Kielbasa

1 Jar spaghetti sauce

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend

1/8 Tsp red pepper flakes

1 Tsp orange Everglades seasoning

1 Jar (that sauce jar!) water

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Cut the sausage into roughly 2″ pieces.  Don’t cut the chicken, in fact, frozen works really well for this.

Put everything in a crock pot, mix a little, cook on LOW 8-10 hours.  Using a slotted spoon, fish out the chicken, which should be falling apart at this point, the sausage and beans, put on a serving platter.

Serve with rice or pasta, your choice, and a little of the sauce from the pot poured over each serving.

Parmesan Orzo

1/2 box Orzo style pasta

1 stick butter

1 c Parmesan

Cook pasta to package directions.  Drain.  Melt butter in the hot pan, add back in pasta, and add Parmesan.  Mix well and serve!

Steamed Veggies

Friday

Burritos and Taquitos

Frozen ones, sorry, no recipe this time!

Saturday

Taco Bell

Yes, we ate out.  I just didn’t feel like cooking after working half the day, then housework, just didn’t have it in me!  But, once I ate dinner, I made…

Chicken soup

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

4 pkts chicken flavor Flavor boost

2 pkts vegetable flavor Flavor boost

4 quarts water

2 Tbsp green Everglades seasoning

1 Tsp garlic powder

1/2 bag frozen green beans

1/2 bag frozen sliced carrots

1/2 c frozen peas

1/2 box Orzo style pasta

In a LARGE stock pot, pour in water, add flavor packets and spices, mix well.  Add in chicken.  Cook over LOW heat about 2 hours.  Increase heat so that water boils, add in pasta, cook about 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is well done.  Reduce heat again, add in veggies, cook another 30 minutes.  Remove from heat, serve, or allow to cool and put into serving size containers.  Freezable!!  This made about a dozen large servings, about the same size as Chunky soup cans, but a lot better for you.

Sunday

Breakfast for Dinner

Bacon, cooks crispy

Scrambled eggs with cheese

Crescent Rolls

Simple, quick meal that everyone loves.  I added a sliced tomato to my plate, but I’m the only one that likes them…

Apple Banana Dessert

1 small apple

1/4 cup dried banana slices

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 C old fashioned oats

Core apple, cut into wedges, then slice the wedges into very small slices.  Put into a microwave safe bowl.  Add in the dried banana slices.  Top with the butter and brown sugar.  Microwave 1 minute, mix well, microwave another 4 minutes.  Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving!  Top with a little ice cream, YUM!!!

Anyway, that’s it for this week.  Hope you found something you want to try!!

Until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

Advertisements

Permalink 1 Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 264 – 270 (Week 39)

September 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!

Everyone was actually healthy, no one missed any work or school, feels like we should celebrate!!  And it was a pay week, so of course we went a little overboard this weekend, but that’s nothing new.

The only stories for this week revolve around my fun day yesterday, the rest of the week was kind of quiet.  But, it was a pay week, so we did the Friday night out, more on that a little further down.  And then Saturday…

Started the day getting my nails done, getting my toes done (hurt a bit, but SO worth it!), got my hair cut.  William joined me for this part of the trip, he likes to sit in the massage chair while I get my nails done.   Then we made a quick trip into Winn Dixie to see what meats they had on special.  Got two pot roasts, two packs of boneless pork chops and stir fry beef for $32.

Then it was off to Game Stop to get William the current free character for Pokemon, and he put a game on order.

Next, my first trip to the local Oriental Market.  WOW!  I could spend a whole day in there if I didn’t have William sitting the car waiting!!  Maybe next time…  But I did get some cool food for Saturday movie night.  More on that below.  And I think I found the elephant I want for my desk, but I didn’t want to spend the $8 that day…  kind of glad I didn’t get him this week, since I ended up spending almost $400 on groceries at Walmart later!!  Still haven’t figured out how I spent so much, I didn’t feel like I got that much, but I think prices are going up little by little.  Have to pay more attention to the individual items next time, see if I can figure it out…

So, sort of a “me” day, sort of a “me and William” day, sort of a shopping day, all in all, a very GOOD day, even if it was expensive.

Monday

Spaghetti with Beef and Sausage Sauce

1 box Dream Fields angel hair pasta, cooked to package directions

1 pound ground beef

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

Brown and drain ground beef and sausage together, crumbling as fine as you can.  Put the meat back in the pan, add in the sauce, and heat while you cook the pasta.  Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday

Pork Roast Everglades

1/2 pork loin roast, about 2-3 pounds

1 quart water (will NOT cover the roast, that’s OK!!)

1/8 cup original Everglades seasoning (the green one)

Put everything in the crock pot, set on LOW, cook 8-10 hours.

Remove from pot, slice and serve!  We had some steamed veggies along with this, it was YUMMY!!!

Wednesday

Chicken Bacon Ranch Wraps

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pound bacon

Dry Ranch dressing mix

Flour tortillas

Cook the bacon crispy, set aside.

Clean any excess skin or fat from the chicken, cut into very small pieces, cook over medium heat just until no longer pink.  Sprinkle with about 2-3 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix, mix well and cook about 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

Spoon a couple large spoonfuls of chicken into a tortilla, add in 2 slices bacon, cheese if you want it, and a little bit of prepared ranch dressing, wrap and serve!

Bacon Grilled Cheese

William’s idea…

Basically, we saved a few slices of cooked bacon from the wraps, and put them inside a grilled cheese sandwich, and it was AWESOME!

Thursday

James brought us Wendy’s for dinner

Friday

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Yogurtology, comic book store

Gotta say, the pizza was REALLY good, the yogurt was over priced and just not that good.  The store was cool, and William enjoyed it, but it was just GOOD, not GREAT, and for $20, it should have been AMAZING!!!

Saturday

Steamed buns with chicken (purchased at the Oriental market – OK, not great)

Steamed dumplings with chicken (same as above)

Fried dumplings with chicken (same as above – would have been better deep fried rather than pan fried)

Quick cheesecake (I bought a graham cracker crust, and a container of Philly pre-made cheesecake filling, and put them together)

Sunday

Southwest Egg Rolls

Egg Roll wrappers

2 pounds Ground beef

2 cans Black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Taco seasoning

1 1/2 cups Water

Brown and drain ground beef, add in water, taco seasoning and beans, mix well, cook until sauce thickens, remove from heat, allow to cool at least 1 hour.

Put an egg roll wrapper on a plate, spoon in about 2-3 Tbsp filing.

Fold up bottom, tighten up the filling inside, fold in the sides roll forward, dampen the last open tip of the wrapper and finish rolling.  Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.

When done, fry in oil over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Serve with your favorite salsa.

Vegetarian Egg Rolls

Egg Roll Wrappers

1 head cabbage, shredded extra fine

12 baby carrots, shredded extra fine

3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce

2 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce

Mix the cabbage, carrots and sauces.

Lay an egg roll wrapper on a plate, spoon in about 2 Tbsp filling.

Fold up bottom and tighten up the filling a little.

Fold in the sides, and roll ONCE.

Dampen the last tip with water and finish rolling.

Continue filling wrappers until you run out of filling or wrappers.

When done, fry in oil heated over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

Remove from oil to paper towels, serve with your favorite sauce, I prefer Duck sauce since the Hoisin is a little spicy.

Southwest Wonton Bites

Wonton wrappers

Leftover filling from the SW egg rolls above

Put the wonton on a plate, put in about 1 tsp filling, dampen two edges of the wrapper.

Fold over into a triangle.

Dampen the two furthest corners and fold in towards each other.

Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling!

Fry in oil over medium heat, almost exactly 1 minute per side, just a few seconds more maybe, or until golden brown.

Serve with salsa!

Mongolian Beef

About 1 pound stir fry beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 Tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp honey

1 Tsp rice wine

2 Tbsp water

3 green onions, green part only, cut into 1″ strips

2 Tbsp oil for frying

Put oil in frying pan, heat over medium heat.  Add in beef, cook just until no longer pink.  Mix the rest of the ingredients (except the onion) in a cup, pour over beef, add 1 Tbsp corn starch or flour to thicken, cook about 8-10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Add in onions and serve!

Orange Chicken

4 – 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 Tsp orange extract

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 Tsp ground ginger

1 Tsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp flour or corn starch

Trim chicken thighs of any large pieces of skin or fat, cut into very small pieces.  Cook over medium heat with just a touch of oil, cook until no longer pink.  Add in remaining ingredients, stir well, cook just until sauce thickens.  Serve!

Virginia light rolls (sort of!)

This is a recipe I got from my mom, but I have no idea where she got it, and I changed it!

1 Cup + 1 Tbsp milk, warmed about 1 min in microwave

3 Tbsp honey

2 large eggs

6 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces

2 1/4 cups white bread flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 Tsp salt

2 Tsp yeast

4 Tbsp melted butter for brushing

Put milk, honey, eggs and butter into the bread machine pan.

Add in the flours.  Make a small well in the center, add salt and yeast.

Set the machine for DOUGH, hit start and go do something else for an hour!

Turn the dough out onto a floured towel, knead with a little whole wheat flour for just a couple minutes.

Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with parchment paper.  Pull globs of dough off the pile, roll into balls and put into pan.  You should get 15 balls, pan should end up 3 across and 5 rows.

Cover, let rise for 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 25-28 minutes, brushing with melted butter at the 15 minute mark.

Serve with butter and honey!!

Bacon Egg and Cheese Casserole

12 eggs

1 Cup half and half (fat free)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 pound bacon

2 Tbsp flour

Cut the bacon into small pieces, cook until crispy, drain.

Mix the eggs, half and half, cheeses and flour, pour about 2/3 into a greased 13″ x 9″ dish.  Sprinkle about 2/3 of the bacon into the eggs, push it down into the eggs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

Bacon Egg Cheese and Spinach Casserole

Take the rest of the egg mixture and bacon, pour into a greased casserole dish (or in my case a souffle dish), add in about 1 cup frozen spinach thawed.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve!

And that’s it!  I cooked all day, and my feet hurt, but it was ALL so good!!

So until next time, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 223

August 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm (Food) (, , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you’re having a happy Monday!

Busy day at work, but that’s becoming the norm.  Mike had a good day at work, but forgot to eat.  James had the car because he worked during the day today.  And William is trying to get a project done for school, part of the summer reading project, but he’s having a hard time getting back into the swing of actually working!

Anyway, this is going to be a very short post, just because I’m sort of distracted tonight….

Here’s the recipe of the night!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken (I made this one up!!)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mayonnaise

Ranch dressing mix

Parmesan cheese

Trim chicken breasts of any excess fat or skin.  Cut in half.  Put the chicken between two pieces of clear plastic wrap.  Pound the chicken breast halves with a meat mallet until about 1/2 inch thick.  Place in a baking pan.  Coat with a thin layer of mayonnaise.  Sprinkle with just enough ranch dressing mix to add a little flavor but not cover the mayo.  Completely coat with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees about 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.  Serve!

We had this with some Dreamfields pasta mixed with butter and Parmesan, and some veggies steamed in the microwave with butter.  Simple but VERY tasty meal!

Anyway, that’s really it for tonight, sorry it’s not more involved, but try it on a night when you don’t have a lot of time, this could work for you!

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 213 – 216

August 6, 2012 at 10:19 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , )

Yeah, yeah, I know, behind again.  And not even a good excuse to offer you!  Not much cooking going on around here either…

So here’s what’s been going on in our little corner of the world…

Friday, Mike got home from his trip to Orlando.  James took off for the weekend.  Mike and William went to the comic store and picked up their regular order.  When I got home from work, we splurged a little and went to Sonny’s for dinner.  Hadn’t been in a while, wasn’t all that impressed.  William’s burger wasn’t cooked, Mike and I got cold corn on the cob (wasn’t supposed to be cold!), just not the best meal we’ve ever had there, but the waitress and manager comped William’s meal, and gave us a discount, so I guess it was OK.  Don’t think we’ll go out of our way to go again any time soon.  So, no cooking!

Saturday, I went to work for a couple of hours, yeah, everyone was a little behind, so they approved some OT for us, I took some!  When I got home, Mike, William and I went back to the comic shop.  They were having an anniversary sale, fill a short box for $50, which for us worked out to about 30 cents per book, because we packed our box!  Not as much as some folks I saw, but we did pretty good!  So, after poking through comics stacks for 3 HOURS, we went and got subs at Jimmy Johns, then William and I went school supply shopping.  He wasn’t thrilled, but he cooperated completely and was good as gold!  $130 later and he’s ready for school, got it all!  Finally got home around 6, got to sit down, look through all our comics, and just sort of nibbled the rest of the evening.  Again, no cooking!

Sunday, we got up, had bacon and eggs, I worked on my grocery list while the bacon cooked, got all my coupons ready.  Then we headed off to see The Dark Knight Rises…  yes, again!  Had to take William to see it!  Splurged on popcorn, but took our own bottled water (that big purse sometimes comes in handy!).  Had to stop back at the comic shop to get bags and boards for all those books we bought (this is turning into a bit of a money sucker…), stopped at McD’s because we all HAD to eat after all that time in the theater, then dropped the boys at home and went to Walmart.  Boy, Walmart on tax-free school shopping weekend is a little crazy!  Almost wished I didn’t need groceries, but I made it.  2 hours after walking in, finally walked out $350 later with groceries and prescriptions.  Needless to say, my plan to cook dinner was out the window.  I was whipped!  So, free for all, everyone got something, but mom didn’t really cook.

And here we are, another Monday, back to work.  Work was busy, feeling just a little overwhelmed with my new area, but starting to get a handle on it.  Got a few things off my desk, got a little more organized, but still didn’t get everything done I wanted to.  Gotta work on that some more!  Poured down rain, lightning and thunder, lights flickered at work a few times, interesting drive home, but no major issues, just slow.  James tried to cut the grass for me, ran out of gas.  Cut up a cantaloupe and honey dew for me during the day, then later a papaya.  LOVE having fresh cut fruit in the house!!  Made fruit bowls with a little of each, plus some grapes, like grabbing one for my lunch, and sometimes have one for dessert, too!  Finally cooked dinner!!  A new twist on our chicken casserole…

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed if needed and cut into bite sized pieces

2 packages chicken flavor stuffing mix

3 cups water

1 stick butter

16 slices Swiss cheese (more or less, it’s up to you, we like it cheesy!!)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 pound bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked until crisp

3 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Pour dry stuffing into casserole dish.  Heat water and butter in microwave 5 minutes or until butter is melted and water is hot but not boiling.  Pour water and butter over dry stuffing, mix well until all the dry stuff isn’t dry anymore.

Place cheese slices over stuffing, overlapping, to cover all the stuffing without going over the edges of your dish.

Spread crispy bacon over cheese.

Mix soups, ranch dressing mix and cut up chicken, spread over bacon and all the way to the edges of your dish.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour, serve!!

This went over really well, had good flavor, didn’t need salt or pepper or anything, Mike didn’t even put his Cajun seasoning on it!

Anyway, that’s it for tonight.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 208

July 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back to my little world!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and are ready for all the fun that Monday brings! (yeah, I know, a little sarcasm goes a long way…)

So, laundry is done, kitchen is MOSTLY cleaned up, I’m showered, I’ve packed some snacks for work, although I just realized I forgot to get bottle water, hmmm…  cars are cleaned out, kids helped!  And Mike and I went to the movies this morning!  So, all in all, it’s been a really good day!  Great way to end the weekend.

AND, for a change, Mike helped ME figure out a problem with my meds!  Usually it’s the other way around, but I didn’t recognize my symptoms as “fatigue”, I was thinking I was depressed.  So I stopped my pain pills last night, and today I feel better than I have in months!  Going to call my doctor today and see if I can get something with different side effects that will do the same job without messing up something else!  I’ve been through so many over the years, and they’ve all messed with me in one way or another, I’m almost ready to say I’ll just deal with the pain, but then when things get really bad I just can’t deal with the pain, so I guess I need to call…

Anyway, good day for cooking, and getting things ready for later in the week since Mike won’t be home Tuesday through Friday, and I’ll have no transportation on the night James is working, so I have to be prepared!!  Dinner was AWESOME, and there are left overs, so that’s one lunch taken care of already.  Now I need to think about the rest of the week.  Thinking I might make some bread one night, that’s easy enough to do, and I’m dying to try a fish in the crock pot recipe I found, so now that I have a little more energy, maybe I can actually do these things this week!

Here’s tonight’s entry for you, it was a HUGE hit:

Meatloaf with Sausage

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

1 package of 5 sausages, Great Value brand, mild Italian flavor

1 cup quick oats

1 small can tomato paste

1 egg

1/4 cup dried onion flakes

salt and pepper to taste

One Perfect Meatloaf Pan!! (got it for my birthday, and am ashamed to admit, this is the first time I’m using it, but I am now HOOKED!)

Squeeze or cut the sausage meat out of the casings.

Mix all your ingredients by hand in a large bowl, squish it all around really good, make sure there aren’t any obvious chunks of sausage anywhere, it should be relatively smooth when you’re done.  Form this mixture into a rough loaf shape, and put it in the Perfect Meatloaf Pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 and 1/2 hours.  It should be pulled away from the sides of the pan, and crispy on top.

This was all that was left after we all dug in.  Told you it was a hit!

Along with this, we had steamed broccoli, steamed peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, and fresh cut fruit.

Oh, and I forgot to share my new dip recipe last night, so here’s a little bonus for you:

Bacon Ranch Dip

4 strips bacon, cut into pieces and cooked crispy

1 container sour cream

2 Tbsp ranch dressing mix

Mix everything together in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Serve with chips or veggies or whatever you usually dip! YUM!!!

So that’s it for tonight.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 131

May 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm (Food) (, , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  I know I am!!

Slept in a little today, was planning to head to a free shred event at our bank, get rid of all the crap we keep putting off shredding, decided we might be better off playing catch-up on our own.  We came up with a (maybe) cool idea…  William can earn a penny a piece for shredding for us after school.  We’ll have to wait and see how that works out…

Went grocery shopping, Mike went with me, was a nice little trip.  Used a little of my birthday money, picked up my favorite beading thread and a decorate-it-yourself photo cube for my desk.  Been working on it a little today, need to find my rhinestones to add some bling!  Finished another custom order, well, almost finished.  Have one more piece on order, should be here soon, then I can get this order on it’s way.  Made something for my mom for Mother’s Day.  Did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, got help from my guys.  Good day all around!

So for dinner, felt like cooking, but nothing too fancy or complicated.  So here we go:

Bacon Ranchburgers

1 Pound thick sliced bacon

1 pound ground chuck

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 Tbsp ranch dressing mix

Fry bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels, set aside.

Mix burger, egg and ranch dressing mix very well, form into however many patties you need.  I did three tonight, because there were only three of us for dinner.  Fry, turning once, until well done and juices run clear when patty is pressed, or about 15 minutes total.

Put each burger on roll of choice, I used potato rolls tonight, top with cheese of choice, bacon slices, and toppings of choice.

There was so much burger and bacon, there just wasn’t really need for side dishes, so we just had popcorn later while watching a movie.

Hope you enjoy this one, it’s GOOD!  And until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 111

April 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!  Hope you all are having a Super Saturday!

It’s been extremely quiet around here today.  The most exciting thing all day was going grocery shopping!  William has been playing games and watching cartoons all day.  Mike and I have been watching movies and playing on the computers.  So not a whole lot to report today, but I do have some food for you…

Ranch Sliders

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

3 Tbsp ranch dressing mix (dry)

1 Egg, lightly beaten

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix very well.  Get in there with your hands and really smoosh it all around, make sure you don’t have any little pockets of bread crumbs or anything.  Divide meat into 10 meatball sized balls, smash these down to about 1/4″ flat.  Place on preheated George Foreman grill, cook about 5 minutes or until browned on the outside and done on the inside.

I served these with toasted pepperoni cheese bread, baked potatoes, chips and dip.

The cheese bread came from Walmart’s bakery, I just sliced it and toasted it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, turning half way through.

I made the potatoes the same way as last night, except I only made one and Mike and I split it, only took 14 minutes to cook in the microwave, probably could have even gone a little less.  GOT to make sure you turn them over when they are cooking or the skin on the bottom gets very tough.

Mike also had a fried egg on one of his sliders.  I’m not much into fried eggs, but I learned how to cook one tonight, finally did one without breaking the yolk, so it was cool!

Anyway, enough for tonight.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 108

April 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!!  Hope you all are having a Wonderful Wednesday!  I know I am.  🙂

Today started off relatively quiet…

Mike was out the door before I even got out of bed, as usual.  I feel bad about that, but we get to spend the evenings together, and weekends, and his steady job is keeping up afloat!

Got William a good breakfast for yet another day of FCAT testing.  He seems really comfortable with the tests this year, not nervous at all like last year, and his teachers have a really good approach, they provide snacks before the test starts each day so the kids get a little extra boost.

James got to sleep in since he didn’t need to be to work until 5PM.  He really seems to be liking the new job, I’m glad, but I still wish he had just a little more ambition.  Oh well, one of these days…

I had to get ready for my interview at 9AM, no problem.  Got there almost 15 minutes early, just sitting around, staring at the lobby, watching the guy working on the ceiling lights, kind of dull.  Finally get called in at exactly 9AM, met with two very nice ladies, did the question and answer stuff, talked a little about this blog which was kind of cool.  Thought it went well, and they said they would let me know by the end of the day.  Spent maybe 20 minutes in the interview, home before 10AM, figured it would be a while, so I decided to try to do some jewelry.  Well, it wasn’t even 11:30 when I heard back, they want me!  WOO HOO!!  Had to go run around, pick up paperwork, get a drug test (passed of course), start on Monday morning!  Gotta go back tomorrow, I think, and get a time card so I’m ready for next week!

So, in between running around today, I managed to take William back to Game Stop, since he picked out the wrong game yesterday, and he picked out two more today.  Spent about half his birthday money now, can’t believe he still has any, he usually spends it as fast as he gets it!  AND, I managed to put together a pretty good meal!  Here’s what we had:

Tomato Ranch Chicken

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 large can petite diced tomatoes (plain, not seasoned)

3 Tbsp ranch dressing mix

2 cups water

1 Chicken Flavor Boost packet

Put everything in the crock pot (yes, I know, crock pot again?!), cook on LOW at least 6 hours, 8 is better.  Serve each chicken breast individually, with or without tomatoes, depending on what your family likes.  We end up with some of each around here.

 

Whole Wheat Flat Bread

3/4 cup lukewarm (80-90 degrees) water

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 Tsp salt

1 pkg (or 2 Tsp) active dry yeast

Put water, honey and oil in bread machine pan.  Add in flour and salt.  Tap pan to settle ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add the yeast.  Lock pan into bread machine.  Set machine for DOUGH and press start.  When done, turn dough out onto floured surface, dust lightly with additional flour, knead about 1 minute.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes.  Roll dough out onto pizza pan dusted with corn meal, about 12 inch circle, cover and allow to rise another 20-25 minutes.  Bake at 425 degrees 20-25 minutes or until edges are crispy.  Let rest 5-10 minutes, then cut into bread sticks or pizza wedges to serve.  Serve warm or cold, with a dipping sauce or with a meal.

We also had some leftover veggies with this meal, and salad or fruit salad, depending on what everyone wanted.  This was a really good dinner!  Sorry I didn’t get any photos for you…  tomorrow, promise!

So, until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink 1 Comment