Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sloppy Joes - the way I make them

Okay, folks, I usually just season to taste, so these measurements are my best guesses. 
This one is for Marie:

ground beef (I usually buy 1.5lbs of 85% - because it's healthier than 80% and cheaper than 90%!)
1 C ketchup
1 Tbsp mustard
short 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1 rounded tsp minced garlic
1/4 C chopped onion (optional)

Season hamburger with salt and pepper and brown in large pan.
Add garlic and onions.
Add remaining ingredients, mix well and cook until heated through.

You might need to adjust the ketchup and vinegar for consistency (we like it thicker) and zing.
This stuff is best on a bun, and we like it with a slice of pepper jack cheese.  It's also a good dip for potato chips.  It makes an excellent left over and it freezes well.

I've served this to guests before because it's so flavorful and filling.  (and cheap and easy!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

this week's menu

Monday:  Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tuesday:  frozen pizza (we're going to drive through Folepi's Festival of Lights park so it needs to be easy)

Wednesday:  Spaghetti with Meatballs

Thursday:  Chicken Divan

Friday:  Christmas Eve at my Mom's!

Saturday:  Christmas Day at mil's and Grandma Joan's - I'm bringing a cashew salad as requested by Travis.

What's on your menu?

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 chicken breasts
Olive oil, a couple of glugs
3 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 bag frozen corn
1 medium onion, chopped
Lemon juice, few glugs
1 jar good chunky salsa
1 can rinsed black beans
2 cans chicken broth
Cumin to taste
Chili powder to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste

1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips

Cook the chicken breasts.

Chop or shred into small pieces. (If you boil them it will be easy to shred them and you can then use that water instead of buying broth.)

Add all ingredients to crock pot except cheese and chips.

When thoroughly warm, serve with cheese sprinkled on top and chip in the side of bowl or crumbled on top.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Beef, Mushroom & Onion Tart

This was a hit.
Travis said it smelled like something that would be served in a fancy restuarant.  It was easy to make, can easily be altered, was filling, and was liked by everyone in my family!
From Better Homes and Gardens Magazine March 2010.

pizza crust, can be store bought or follow the recipe below
1lb ground round
1 8oz pkg sliced mushrooms (I used a can of mushrooms from my cupboard)
1/2 med red onion, cut in wedges
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 oz blue cheese, crumbled
fresh oregano, or pizza seasoning (optional)

my pizza crust recipe:
3 cups flour (can use 1c whole wheat)

1 package fast-acting yeast
1 cup very warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

-In a large bowl combine 1c flour and the yeast. Add the water and stir.
-Add the oil, sugar, salt and remaining flour, blending it until it forms a ball. (You may need to add more water, oil or flour depending on the texture and humidity in the air. It should moist but not sticky.)
-Turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead 8 - 10 times, form it into a ball and let it rest -preferably near something warm to help it rise some.

tart recipe:
Heat oven to 425. 
Cook beed, onion, and mushroom over med heat until meat is browned and onion is tender.  Drain off fat; stir in s&p.
Prep baking sheet with parchment paper or grease (I just sprinkled on some corn meal.)  Lay out crust on sheet.
Fill curst with beef mix, keeping an 1-2" edge.  Fold edge up, pleating and pinching where needed.
Bake 15 mins or until crust is golden.  Top with blue cheese, oregano, and pizza seasoning.

my notes:
I baked the tart with mozzerella on half of it since Travis doesn't like blue cheese.  I also used fresh parsley and oregano.
This was a little on the dry side and we decided a dipping sauce is needed.  Horseradish sauce will be the first thing I try.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

meal plan

Sunday:  Chili from the freezer

Monday:  Beef, Mushroom and Onion Tart (if it's good I'll put the recipe here), salad and green beens

Tuesday:  Plain Ole Chicken Breasts, Mac & Cheese, broccoli

Wednesday:  Sloppy Joes, Hummus, Chips, Veggies

Thursday:  Moroccan Beef Stew, Bread, Salad

Friday:  I have a rehearsal dinner - kids are on their own with frozen pizza  (good mom)

Apple-Vinegar Biscuit Cobbler

Found this one on, here.  It's really, really good.


8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into wedges
2 cups sugar
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese
1/3 cup butter or margarine, cut up
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour***
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Combine apple and sugar; set aside.
Cut cream cheese and 1/3 cup butter into flour with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly; stir in milk.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter; set aside.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apple mixture. Cook, stirring often, 20 minutes or until apple is tender and syrup thickens slightly. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; place dish on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange 12 biscuits over hot mixture. Place remaining biscuits on a baking sheet.

Bake cobbler at 425° for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Bake biscuits at 425° for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve cobbler with ice cream, if desired.  (I served it with carmel sauce, ice cream, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.)

***I didn't have self rising flour, so I used this subsitute:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, plus
1/8 teaspoons salt.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Thank you, Amanda, for introducing Lisa to this recipe, and thank you, Lisa, for introducing it to me.  I have a new love.  This was perfect for our little football watching party.  Soda, home made pizza, veggies and dip, and this dip served with tostitos.  It was like having hot wings, but better!  (no bones, no frying)

Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup Frank's® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Frank's® RedHot® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (9.75 ounce) cans Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained